Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cancer - Losses and Gains

I lost my wife to cancer.
I lost my kids to cancer.
I lost my job to cancer.
I lost my sanity to cancer.

These are all true statements.

I was diagnosed with kidney cancer at 33 years old. It was a blessing and a curse. I am alive, so obviously, it was a good thing. But, the life I had is gone. I was married, 2 kids, 2 cars a mortgage. I was living the American dream. Things were as perfect on the surface and one could imagine. We had a life that people dream of having.

I was happy.

The day I was diagnosed with cancer was the last day of my former life. I didn't know it at the time but it was the beginning of some really dark days. Every day past that was another day of emotional pain, worry and I sunk into a depression that it took me years to break out of. I was a pretty level headed guy by the time I got married at 25. Not much bothered me and I was happy.

Cancer changed all that. I was angry, spiteful. I didn't want to be around me and I didn't want people around me. I was doing exactly what I knew I shouldn't have. I was closing myself off from the support system that I had. And it was a great support system. People would die for a support system like I have and still have today.

But that being said... I pushed away my ex-wife, I pushed away my family, and I am sure I underperformed at my job. The only thing that is missing to make this the movie of the week is drugs and alchohol. Sorry folks... the story is not that juicy.

But I did go through 3 years of hell. Even if no one knew it. (Most did. I am sure of it.)

And then it happened again. Scans showed another tumor on my left kidney. I was done. If there is a textbook case of a person shutting down, my picture is next to it.

As I've stated in one of my earlier blogs. I go for scans every year now to find out if my cancer has returned(Hey! It happened!) and during that time, I slip right back into that person that I described in a prior post. I become an asshole. So, it takes me a looooong time to make my appointments. Because I know that I am going to be very mad, sad, angry and very hard to be around. I am very fond of the phrase "You are the owner of your reactions" But, I can honestly say that during this time, I just don't care.

Nothing scares me in this life like another reoccurence... Nothing.

I am making my MRI appointment on Monday. Wish me luck!

Honestly, Like most of these blogs... I have no idea where I am going with this. I just have these thoughts and it helps me to get them on paper(virtually) in the hope that I can help someone to see it from a different perspective.

If you have cancer - embrace your family and friends.
If you have a friend or family member who has cancer - talk to them. But give them the space they need.
If you love someone with cancer - Understand that we know you are going through it too. But we can't help you. Not right now.
If you are a survivor of cancer - Bravo! Live life like you never have before because only you know what it is like to feel immortal, and then with one sentence, one word... never feel that way again.

My life now is finally on track. I am happy like I haven't been in a very long time and yes, 2 years of therapy helped. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

So, I am living proof that there is hope.

I have an awesome girlfriend who will be my wife one day(if she'll have me)
She is pregnant with our first, and my 3rd child.
My kids are happy and seem to be doing well. (nothing is more important)
I get along really well with my ex which is rare in these situations.
I have a great job.
I got my sanity back.

Well, most of it.

Thanks for reading!


Check out my Facebook page for The Mighty Titan, Where I am attempting to wrap my cancer experiences in a superhero shell.

"Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope." - Aristotle


  1. Bravo! You are a survivor in your own right. I applaud your sharing and I will add your page. I created an entire hero universe and I am currently using it to show families with autism that we can still "do" things. Cancer is also common in my family. It took my Great Grandmother and my Father. I read ya man. I'm following your blog now and I'll add your fb page. I hope you'll come check out my universe too :D

  2. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?