A year ago today, at this very hour, I was laying in the Shelby Emergency Room desperately seeking relief from a horrible stomach pain. Just a few minutes later, around nine or so, I would be informed that I would be admitted to the hospital. They gave me some pain medicine and the relief was instant.
When I agreed to go to the emergency room - at my wife's insistence - I never thought they would keep me. I thought they would just think I was weak and dumb and would send me home. I hoped they would not and had actually decided if the ER docs did send me home I would walk out of the hospital and come right back in to the ER. The pain was intense and unbearable. I remember telling Amanda, "There's something inside of me that has to come out."
Little did I know that I would be in the hospital for ten days, undergo a major surgery, receive a cancer diagnosis and be discharged with the promise of chemotherapy and the fear of dying young.
February 28. A day that will be ingrained in my memory forever. A rebirth. And for all of the trauma, uncertainty, nausea and pain, in retrospect I can honestly say that the past year has been one of the best of my life. I have learned to put things (work) into perspective, to enojy free time, to cherish my wonderful wife, children and family and to appreciate the mere fact that I get to be home with them at night.
But most of all, I have faced one of my greatest fears - the ominous "C" word - and so far, won. I can honestly say that life is better today than February 28, 2012. And even with all the challenges of the past year, it has been one of the best of my life. What a tremendous blessing! Praise be to God!