You know that point in a movie or tv show that has a flash forward to give an update on what life is like for your beloved character? Those are fun.
So here’s one of my own, but first, lets flash back nearly 10.5 years ago.
End of May 2008.
I at one point, stupidly uttered the phrase “I’m in the best shape of my life.”
It wasn’t a brag, but I said it to myself. I was. Not like super cut, like Ben Stiller from Tropic Thunder, but I was in really good shape.
I don’t regret much in life, but uttering that line is One of those things I would go on to later regret. To be honest, I was trying to win the divorce. You know when you break up, and in the off chance you have to see that person, you want to be in your best shape, look your best, smell your best. That’s what I was doing. I was working out, running, and playing flag football with friends in a league. Eating healthy. All that nonsense.
I was in really good shape.
But, one day, my legs were weak. I had this undeniable pain. I, being an ignorant typical man, thought:
I’ll just rub some dirt on it. It will go away. No doctor for me (laughs like a hyena on pure nitrous oxide).
Only the pain lingered. It persisted. I got to the point where I couldn’t deal with it. So, I decided to use those health benefits my then Job at Wells Fargo paid.
Probably smartest thing I’ve done. I won’t bore you with the details. So…
Long story short. Cancer. Chemo 3 times per week. 11 surgeries to remove tumors from my leg. Ugly scar.
Let’s smash cut to:
Ten years later…
Today to be exact.
Anytime I have an appointment related to what I went though, I’m nervous. I stay up unable to sleep. I get up early and worry. I hope I don’t have to deal with all of that again, because I was close to the breaking point.
Today, was no different. I knew it was happening. Was routine. Machines. Scans. Poking my scar, that I’ve come to forget is there. Occasionally, I’ll look down at the back of my leg, or my kids will ask, and I’ll be like “oh yeah” this ugly thing is older than you guys.
Then I think about that time period in my life. The sickness. The then girlfriend of just over a year, Rhonda, who left me when I told her. “The I can’t deal with this right now,” defense.
Cool. Awesome. If I get through this, I’ll make much smarter choices in who I date.
After that, I then had a self imposed loneliness. The surgeries. The telling the doctor just before I went under anesthesia NOT to look at my naked parts.
But today, ten years later. It felt so great, because although I’ll never say the phrase I regret saying (see above), I feel great. I have a great wife. Wonderful kids. A home. So many things to be thankful for.
As I’m leaving, as I’m putting my pants on, and listening to the doctor. As the nerves in my body had tensed up waiting for the results of this all too familiar routine. I looked at the doctors face. Most, if not all doctors have that steely reserve. The fantastic poker face. Mine did as well. But, after a bit of scribbling and staring, my Oncologist looks me in the face, and says:
“I hope I never see you again.”
It wasn’t in the smarmy mean way, it was in the “hey this is great news for you, I like you BUT it would be great if I didn’t have to see you again.”
I managed to reply, “Me either, Doctor. Thanks for taking care of me over the last decade.”
We had one of those small victory hugs. I love that Doctor, however, calm down on the Old Spice my man.
I shall celebrate, not sure How, but 10 years is pretty cool. Maybe I’ll go and get some french fries, and gummy bears.