August 11th is one of my favorite days of the year. Just three years ago on August 11, 2014 I rang the bell celebrating my last radiation & chemo treatment while battling stage IV HPV-related oral cancer.
Last Friday, Ronni and I were joined by two of our closest friends, Rich & Gayle Reis at Ruth's Chris to celebrate my 3 year anniversary. It was also a celebration of friendship. Rich & Gayle, along with a few other close friends were their for me throughout my fight, also providing support and comfort for my wife.
While this date is significant to me, every day feels like August 11th. I always think about how fortunate I am to have beaten cancer.
One example of this is that just this week, our twins, Ryan and Lauren, entered their junior year of high school. I feel so fortunate that I was given the gift of life, and that I get to watch them grow up. Our younger son Adam started 5th grade, and he is a patrol. His enthusiasm for life is truly inspiring. I certainly don't take any of our kids for granted, and cherish each day with them.
My purpose in writing this blog is to let others recently diagnosed, those currently going through treatment, and/or those just finishing treatment understand that they too can enjoy their new normal. In the not to distant future, they too will be enjoying time with their spouse, kids and friends.
Just like me, they will one day have a date that is significant to them. They will ring the bell and inspire others.
Thank you for allowing me to share why August 11th is important to me.
I'm here if you need me.