Today marks the first day of a blog I am starting to help share my daily experiences being a cancer survivor.This blog is dedicated to the countless brave soldiers that are fighting or have sacrificed their lives to this horrible disease. This is for the parents that face the daily agony of watching their flesh and blood fight for their life. This is for the survivors who have “beaten” cancer, but because of the side effects of treatment can no longer work. Men and women who spent their lives building a career they can no longer depend on. They “Stood Up To Cancer” but now face the prospect of being destitute.
GIVEN SIX MONTHS TO LIVE
I was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma on December 12, 1990. Rhabdomyosarcoma is a very rare skeletal muscle cancer that at the time only produced 66 cases a year in the United States and of the 66 cases most dealt with kids between the ages of 2-6. The doctors initial diagnosis gave me six months to live.
The Dorrance Publishing Company has published my experiences during my ordeal with cancer in “My Scars Tell A Story” (now available on Amazon and other sites).. I started writing the book back in the summer of 1994 and its been a long and difficult process getting it edited and published. I am very excited to share my story of perseverance, prayer and patience as God carried me and my family through the worst times of our lives.
I am now 45 years old and have been on disability since 2008 due the side effects of the chemotherapy and radiation. About 18 months after my treatment finished I started to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. That grew worse and eventually grew into Crohn’s disease.
Along with chemotherapy and radiation, I also had lymph nodes removed in my groin in December 1990. This resulted in the onset of lymphedema, the effects of which started to become obvious in 2003. Not long after that I was unable to travel to my job in Bristol Connecticut at ESPN. My bosses in studio production and the research department then allowed me to work from home. During the last three years of my employment (2004-07) I was working full-time from home.
I had the privilege of working for some wonderful people at ESPN. I am so grateful for the incredible patience and graciousness of people like Craig Wachs, Ed Macedo, Jeff Bennett, David Brofsky, Mark Gross and Norby Williamson, who always supported me in my health issues.
After being promoted in 2006, I was given a lower grade in my next evaluation in 2007. Despite my disappointment in my performance, I knew that I had performed at the best level I could considering my circumstances which were now a lot worse, Since I could no longer consistently accomplish very reasonable job responsibilities, I had to make a very hard decision. After discussions with my bosses, I applied for disability soon after. I still depend on that today.
NEXT BLOG DATE - -June 20, 2019 - Part II of “The Daily Life of a Cancer Survivor”