Today I hit the 6 year mark of battling cancer. I’m still here on this earth and feel very fortunate. For those of you who find yourself in a similar battle keep up the fight! If you know of someone who is battling this disease, support them the best way that you can.
Six years ago today I was handed a very significant challenge to beat. Nothing is more sobering than having your health instantly taken away from you with a severe diagnosis. I want to beat the odds and be part of a company that can demonstrate this as well. On this anniversary day I don’t want to talk about my battle, but rather remember 2 people. A neighbor and friend, who fought bravely, but both did not reach a 5 year cancer free anniversary. First there was Joseph. A young boy who did not see double digits of age here on earth. He had the courage and drive of a young lion. During his short life he managed to pack a full agenda of activity into his precious day, even when he was sick from his therapy and surgeries. His battle was fought over a period of a few years. At the later stages of his battle he knew he was going to die and was at peace with what was about to happen. Joseph died but deserved better. I can still see the image of a boy who is my hero. He was a brave heart.
Sharlene was the wife of a childhood friend. I have known this friend since we were both in kindergarten. Sharlene had three children ages 4, 3 and 1 when she died of cancer. She was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma, which is one of the deadliest forms of cancer when discovered too late. I cannot forget the time I had to provide my friend an honest opinion on a last chance effort she was desperate to pursue. Talk about integrity and character of cheating people… The so called cancer cure claimed to be able to cure up to 90% of the cancer in a patient. The treatment was not medicinal but rather a vitamin and herb regiment. It was extremely difficult but my childhood friend asked me to be honest with him. I remember the words I said. “Mike any treatment has to cure 100% of the cancer in order for it to be a cure.” He thanked me but knew that his family was grasping at any sense of hope. Sharlene died and deserved better. I asked Mike how does he cope? He told me he straps on a suit of armor before getting out of bed every day. He then takes it off at night and falls apart only to be ready for the next day by suiting on the armor the next morning. He is also a firefighter so maybe he was prepared for trauma through his occupation.
Talk about integrity and courage. We can all do better. I’ll keep fighting for Sharlene and Joseph…