At the end of January 2021, I started to have issues in my left elbow that were thought to be pinched nerve related. Over the next 4-6 weeks, symptoms worsened and sensations spread up through neck and into my face. A trip to the ER followed and after nearly being discharged, a serious seizure led to CT which revealed my tumor. Subsequently, I’ve had successful surgery which removed 95% of the tumor by mass, received the diagnosis of a Stage IV Glioblastoma, and am currently in my second week of 6-week regimen of chemo and radiation at The Ohio State University.
While there are trying times on a daily basis, my fight resolve, and demeanor remain strong.
I stand here today a humble yet proud and extremely invigorated and motivated man who is ready to fight and win.
I wrote the following just prior to surgery and they continue to be my mantra:
I am humbled by the overflowing love and support you have all provided to Miranda, my family, and myself through the whirlwind of events that has transpired. One could not be more blessed to have this quantity and caliber of folks in their corner. Here comes song lyric quote number 1 for those of you that have that in your bingo cars. “I’m a lucky man to count on both hands the ones I love.” All though that doesn’t even come close to the number of appendages I would need to accurately count them. Luckily I do need to accurately count things as part of my job.
Reflecting further and embracing on this deluge of love and support has made me extremely proud as well. Proud to know that the strength, love, compassion, sense of humor, and devotion instilled initially in me by my parents, sister, grandparents and close relatives and further cultivated along my road with all of you has resulted in the man I am today and the bonds we all have formed. The apex of that development and pride is my relationship with Miranda. I could not have found a stronger, passionate, and beautiful woman to share my life with than her. As I’ve told her many times over the past week, I’m not sure what this tumor was thinking getting involved in a fight with someone she loves. It doesn’t stand a chance in hell. So here comes song lyric number 2. “Once you hold the hand of love it’s all surmountable.” The pride I take in knowing that I am so loved has been one of most important battle cries.
Finally, as I reflect back of the course of my life – and I’ve been doing that a fair amount lately – I am in awe and inspired by the beauty of how everything has come together for me and therefore know without a doubt there is so much more in front of me. Just over and over again the events in my life have a unfolded exactly how they’ve needed to and established an upward trajectory that is too powerful to stop. Miranda and I’s unique story and circumstances in finding each and building our relationship to where it stands today. The decision of a college to attend and a floor to live which leads to life long friendships. The last minute acceptance of a co-op interview at a company you had never heard before which yields not only a rewarding career but another set of lifelong friendships. Those are some of the larger items along my path. But there have been so many other small things as well and as you think back you realize these things are not random. They were meant to be. As someone who takes great joy in figuring out how a bunch of complex items come together as a whole and work, I find so much strength, motivation, and resolve in knowing that my life has and continued to work in that way as well.
“There’s no time to be coy or save up on life no you got to spend it all.” And that’s what I intend to do.
I think that’s enough for now. Again I can’t express enough how much you’ve all meant to me over the years or how strong the support I’ve received has made me.
So I’ll guess I’ll leave you with a few final lyrics, and a bit of a paraphrase. Probably a bit cliched but hey zero F’s given at this point.
I will get by.
We will get by.
We will survive.