🔥🔥Impassioned Marketer
🗣️Speaker 📋Coach ✍️Writer
🚑Aortic Aneurysm Survivor
🙏Devoted Dad

Sometimes we're in the hospital for 4 days in a row for chemo, and other times we are just there for the day. 

These day trips to chemo: I never would have imagined bonding so closely with my son in of all places, the car.

We put the numbing cream on his access port before we leave the house so that it has time to work before they connect him. We've learned to make sure he has a full stomach so we don't have to stop on the side of the road for him to throw up. 

The sun rises, we turn up the music, and I feel the soft skin on his tiny hand inside of mine. I hold his hand almost the entire ride. I don't allow him to use his iPad during these trips. Sometimes we talk about politics or gaming, and other times we just sit silently and listen to the music. 

My father left when I was eleven years old and I didn't have contact with him for more than 20 years. Perhaps this is why loving and being loved has become the driving force in my life. There's nothing I want more, and nothing I do better. I can't imagine having no contact; not talking to my children or not having a relationship with them. I wanted the perfect family, and even though what I have been left with is far from that, I'm okay with it being perfectly imperfect. I thank God that every time life has brought me to my knees something spectacular happened or someone special appeared in the wake of it. A life lived with such highs and lows has been like the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, but it has taught me that nothing else matters but trust, love, and kindness. If you're in my circle you can count on me for that.

Yesterday while I was giving my older son a haircut Sully came into the room, and I noticed new growth on his head. There's roughly 909 days left of his chemo program, so I'm not sure if it will disappear again during one of the cycles, but for now I took the opportunity to clean it up.  I trimmed the soft fur that was growing slightly over his ears, and I ran the clippers along the back of his neck to clean up the base. My mind wandered as I rubbed my hands on his head trying to remember what he looked like with his thick blonde spikes. 

I was thrilled that his last MRD reading was negative. He is so easy and simple, and outside of being occasionally tired and cranky, he is usually in good spirits. He is continuing his normal schooling albeit virtually, but it's not so bad because there is a virtual component even for the healthy kids due to the COVID mandates. His teacher Dr. Fitzsimmons has been a godsend and gone above and beyond for him. 

My other kids have been trying to navigate the COVID changes to their normal school and sports schedule. My oldest is finishing her last year of high school, and my middle guy made honor roll again. They are great with Sully except his brother shows no mercy wrestling with him. My fiancé is the light in my life; my peace & serenity, and my mom and some of my friends have been kind and helpful, and constantly checking on us.

The nurses at Cohen's Children's hospital have been phenomenal. They are always so upbeat, kind, and accommodating. They make you feel like family, not like they are doing a job. During our last hospital stay Sully got tired of losing to me in scrabble (they have to beat the old man on their own I show no mercy), and bored with my jokes and banter so he took his IV cart and roamed the halls outside our room. One evening I lost track of time and realized he was gone for an hour. When I found him he had convinced the nurses to use their computer to play Call of Duty. They were all laughs when I found them sitting at the nurses station and they told me how amazed they were with his 1980's movies knowledge.  

Like many businesses and industries COVID has hammered my online marketing business. Life is not what it used to be for anyone right now. I try to juggle the challenges and stay positive while we chip away at the calendar in this face-off against cancer. Life is what you make it.


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