This evening my wife mentioned to me that tomorrow marks exactly two years since my surgery for colorectal cancer. So much has happened since then - post-surgical complications that left me in hospital for almost a month, chemotherapy, another tumour board, further tests and worries, one discharge from the cancer centre followed by more treatment and finally another discharge. That was followed in short order by being laid off work, looking for another job and rebounding with an excellent career move with a fantastic company.
I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm still here. Sure, there are scars and days when I deeply wish my physical problems would just disappear, nights when I wish I could just sleep through several hours without trips to the washroom. But I'm working and making a tangible contribution in my career. My family life is very good; in fact, my wife and I are getting ready to celebrate 35 years of married life and we have two grown sons who make us proud every day.
In fact, I was just re-reading the blog entry on my An Unwanted Journey thread that my eldest son wrote on my behalf two years ago after my surgery. He did a great job. Both my sons impress me regularly with their maturity, good humour, and knowledge. I love being with them. On most days, I think they really enjoy my company too. I know I'm an old fart by comparison to them, looking forward as they are to further post-secondary education and careers, and me often looking back trying to recall what it was like to be their age when the world was so much slower and simpler.
As I sit here writing on my notebook computer, I'm watching this year's Sweet Sixteen games. Two years ago, as I rolled into surgery, we were waiting for the Final Four games to begin on April 1st. Then, as now, we watch some of the most exciting games in all televised sports - young men with their whole lives stretching out in front of them, young men not that different from my two sons. Then, I wasn't sure what kind of future, if any, lay before me. Part of the worry was simply that I wanted to be around with my wife to see that future unfold for my sons.
Today, I have reason to be optimistic and to think that I just may be around long enough to see my scars fade and my sons continue to move into an exciting future. Nothing should be taken for granted, whether it be in the NCAA March Madness or in life in general. But is it ever sweet to be here right now with my life partner and my two sons. This Final Four is the best of all.