Every morning that I wake up I have to take a moment to set my head on straight and remind myself that life in the short term has taken a drastic turn and that my life is not quite the same as it was a month earlier. I have cancer and the cancer that I have is treatable but it will take a very aggressive course of treatment and surgery to beat it.
On July 8th I set a personal record for an individual time trial at the Bicisport Suffer Like a Dog ITT. On July 9th I broke away in the Provincial Masters Road Race and took another silver medal for the weekend. On July 10th I went to the hospital for a scheduled colonoscopy and learned that I had a large colorectal tumour.
Lying on the table at the end of my colonoscopy it seemed that my life was forever changed and perhaps was not going to last much longer. The surgeon said that he will need to speak to Misty and I in private after recovery. The nurse held my hand and told me that she was sorry. The world seemed rather dark at that moment and you wonder what’s next. You are in shock and you are scared. We will all face our fate but we are just never sure when it will come. Lying on the hospital bed the only thing I could think about was my family and my friends. Within a few days the thought of hope was on the rise as the cancer had not spread but the tumour was classified as stage three with local metastasis to two regional lymph nodes.
For the past month I have had a lot of time to think about life, how we live and what is important to us. I have also asked myself if I have tried hard enough and have I succeeded? I have failed in many ways, I have given up at times in life but I have had my share of wins. I have learned to be a father. I have learned to be a better husband and I have learned to be part of a community and to contribute as much as I can.
We can be hard on ourselves and we can question our validity. I have spent a lifetime being overly critical and wondering if I have done enough but in the last month I have learned to stop doing that and I have grown stronger. I am angry at times and I am sad at times but each day gets a little easier. Each day I grow closer to those around me and each day I try a little harder. In some ways I feel bad for what I am putting my loved ones through but I am sure that is normal.
I started this blog to express myself and to show a journey that I was on to find form. Form as an athlete, form as a family man, form as a community contributor. Today I feel that I have found form in many ways. The world around me has stepped up to help and to show support and I don’t think there is any great form of success than to feel the empathy and love from my family, my friends and my community.
I have shared my experience as my own therapy and it is very helpful for me to keep it top of mind and to talk about it with friends, family and my social media circles. When I don’t think about it and when I stop talking about it I find I get quite overwhelmed.
On August 21st I will start five weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Surgery will follow later in the winter.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your support.