Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I made a new friend through my roommate last month. His name is Chad Hickey. Chad and I recognized one another from "around Fresno", but can't seem to place exactly how we know one another. Tonight, insomnia held my eyelids open late and I stumbled across this precious piece in search of something of interest on facebook. I definitely found what I sought. This is 4 months old, written by Chad himself. I found it inspiring and comforting. I am thankful for my health, but I am even more thankful for the perspective he gives.

"For some time i have been meaning to write. there seems to be an urging within me to address all of those souls that have been in my service and support for the past year of my life. however i regret to say it has been difficult to really be able to compose something that could rightfully depict my current position in the fight against cancer and my battles that have waged. so please forgive me if this for any of you is not fully encompassing or paints a full picture of the great and small things of this year. I must start by saying, wow, what a year. there are not really words to say all of the things that i feel about all of my treatment and care. i could talk for hours about the nights that nurses stayed with my through the vomit, tears, breathing difficulties, codes called, and near death experiences. i could tell you about the doctors that through days weeks and months Never stopped fighting and believing in me and the other patients at the hospitals i lived at. or i could tell you about all of the "wisdom" i have attained in the clutches of death, but i fear it would be a stretch to assume even that. Instead i will say this. one year ago this week i was told i had an expiration date. i watched my biggest dream be ripped away from me and the darkest and most difficult fight of my life beset me. i watched great and terrible things happen to my body and spirit. i felt the fear as you hear and see you heart rate drop. i have held the hand of loved ones as i felt my lungs close in on themselves. i have felt so many drugs come into my system that took from me everything to even sanity. and i have watched in the mirror as i changed in every way. and yet with all of this i stand today. i walk today, not perfect but in remission. i live today knowing that the darkness which has threatened every aspect of my life is at bay, it is not gone but away. i will stay on a treatment regiment which continues to make life hard, but will point out, i am Alive. Through 160 days in the hospital, over 15 insertions into my spine, countless bone marrow biopsies, gallons of chemo, hundreds of opiates, antibiotics, transfusions, and various procedures i remain. I want the doctors and nurses and friends and family that have stayed by me to know, of my deepest gratitude. thank you for making my life mine again. may i live in a way that honors the effort of all of you as well as that of my own. And if i may make mention to a special group. to all those that i have lived with, suffered with and grown with. to all those that are still in the fight and to those that have lost or will to this awful darkness. I am honored to have known and know the great battle that you and i share. the horror of this awful disease is something i could never have understood in any sort of way but in person. i have been so blessed to see so many courageous warriors fight every day in the halls of 11long just to stay alive. please know those memories we share last forever, and you are so brave. i have never seen such strength as those that have fought and still are. and i want those that have lost loved ones and those who have given everything for the research in this fight to know of my personal gratitude for the sacrifice. there is no way for some to live without others to fall and i am so sorry for the loss and want you to know that the memory and love for those that have gone on before is never far from my heart. it is what fuels me these days and always. may God rest the souls of those that have fought till the end. And so what now right? i have asked myself that much as of late and each time the same thing happens. this smile comes to me, from the deepest part of my heart and i shake my head and think to myself, Just Live. i will continue in school and business and life, but everyday i am just so grateful to be alive, to be feeling a bit better daily, and to know of the journey that is still ahead in my life. thank you again, each of you that has helped me and known and shared in the darkness and given to me pieces of light when it seemed impossible for this to happen. i pray for the health and safety for all you and please know even if i don't write, or properly thank you, you are my life. each day the memories of your goodness, of your giving, and sacrifice is what fills my cup. i could never thank each of you for the gifts of life that you share but hope that in my life i may give and live just as so many of you. oh and one last thing..... Chad 1, Cancer 0. C Is STILL for Chad Not Cancer"

Right on, Chad. Cheers.