I hate to admit, but I forgot something: this weekend is the one year anniversary of my diagnosis and the wait for labor day to pass so that the surgeons could remove my cancer-ridden testicle. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year. But moments ago, as I was sweating in the heat of a late August day while sanding down a piece of furniture to be restained and spiffed up for our new home, I realized how lucky I am. A year. A year ago I was doing my best to keep my fears at bay, heading blindly into a surgery that I thought would be no big deal (it hurt like hell, and let’s not even talk about my vagel response when they put the largest IV needle ever into my arm).

That weekend last year was the beginning of many things: fear like none I’d ever experienced, perseverance (on Dawn’s part as much as my own), an outpouring of love and support from friends and family, and a new realization of what life is really all about. It’s also given me yet another place to focus my energy — my volunteerism has increased, and so has my ability to be with people, listen to them, and be more compassionate.

So, I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone in my life. Even the folks who didn’t know me a year ago. Thank you for what? For being around. For helping me see life for all its complexity and nuance.

This afternoon I thought to myself, “one year of life lived, and every day I get is a blessing — don’t let any of them slip through my fingers.”


One Response to “milestones”

  1. Dear Mike:

    I hear in your words the *real* healing that has taken place (not the healing induced while you passively received the chemotherapy treatments). I’m so grateful that something good has come of this ordeal.

    I read something Randy Pausch said (of Last Lecture fame) which I want to share:

    “Cancer didn’t change me at all. I know lots of people talk about the life revelation. I didn’t have that. I always thought every day was a gift, but now I am looking for where to send the thank you note.’’

    Love you, Georgia

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