I had the perfect life. I had a huge celebration because I was turning 40. I was blessed with a wonderful wife and two beautiful daughters that made me so proud. However, that perfect life was about to change. The doctor said I had bladder cancer. I believed that if I did everything that the doctors instructed me to do I would beat the cancer. I did as I was instructed and after one surgery and three and a half years of treatment the cancer was gone. But four days from my last treatment for bladder cancer my body was doing things it had never done before.
After many doctor visits and tests, the doctors said I had pancreatic cancer. I was put on medicine to help the symptoms, but the pain had increased so much it was no longer tolerable. My doctors suggested I undergo another surgery called a Whipple procedure and if I didn’t, I would die. I won’t lie, I was extremely scared. I thought, “I can’t die. I have to see my girls graduate from high school. I haven’t spent enough time with the love of my life. How could I leave her all alone?” This turned my life upside down. I was angry and fearful that my life was over before it really got started. On May 9, 2008 my life had changed forever.
This is where the story really begins. It is a story of the love of a family. Yes, I had cancer but I also had Michelle, LisaMarie and Alexis along with a host of family and friends to help me fight this disease. With the strength of my family, the skill of my doctors and their staff, and my faith in God, we beat it. I said “we” because it takes a family to beat cancer. It takes all of us to tackle it and tackle it we did. The chemotherapy sessions, the radiation appointments, the doctor visits. They all had a hand in getting me to where I am today.
Fast forward to May 9, 2013 and it brings you to the five year mark of my pancreatic cancer battle. I know that only six percent of us survive this horrible disease and this needs to change. I want to thank everyone that helped me get to where I am, especially my wife, Michelle, who is the love of my life. To you I am forever grateful for your love and tireless effort to keep me alive. I can never repay you for all you did for me. To my daughters, LisaMarie and Alexis, your Daddy loves you. Thank you for giving me a reason to fight. You gave me purpose during this time and allowed me to find the extra strength to battle when I didn’t think I had anything left. To my family and friends, your support was immeasurable and it gave me the boost I needed to fight to hold on.
We can beat this disease, but it is going to take all of us. Thank you to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network for all you have done to help us in our fight to rid this disease.