On December 20, 2011 our lives would change forever. When someone receives a cancer diagnosis one might think that change would be for the worse, however in our case – that change was for the better. I will never forgot the moment when the words came out of your surgeon’s mouth that your diagnosis was grade 4 glioblastoma brain cancer – the highest severity possible with the lowest chance of survival. I also vividly remember the hesitation that the doctor gave us when I asked what was a typical prognosis; the words muttered out of his mouth of 6-12 months, but quickly followed that up with ‘you fight like hell’…and from that second, that is exactly what you did. We knew those statistics weren’t going to be you. We knew that you would prove those statistics wrong.
The car ride home from the doctor’s office was quiet. You mom was with us that day, and in those 20 minutes that it took us to get home, so many thoughts ran through my mind; first was; why you? You are the nicest, most amazing person in this entire world – this shouldn’t be you. My next thoughts went to your mom; while I was your wife, she was your mother and to hear of this diagnosis of her first son had to be devastating. Then of course I thought of Bryce; what do we tell him? All those plans that we had as he grew up – would you be there to experience those; the first day of school, his first baseball game? Little did we know, that answer was yes – and then some.
On that you were diagnosed, you made it a mission to never look back. I remember asking you, “why you” and your response was “why not me, I can handle it.” From that second, I knew you weren’t scared and knew I shouldn’t be either. I stopped looking at any crazy stories on the Internet that may tell me otherwise, and from that moment on; whether we knew it or not, it was all about our mantra ‘Cancer Canknot’…Little did we know what world that meaning would truly take on.
These past years you have helped us all live life. Live Life like we probably never would have done before. We have gone on amazing vacations, spent more time with ‘the Mouse’ that some people get to do in a lifetime, wrote a children’s book, designed a line of jewelry, renewed our vows in Hawaii and brought one of the most amazing little beings into this world, our precious Erica Jane.
Every yearly milestone since your original diagnosis is such an accomplishment, and a huge marker in the world of medicine – especially with brain cancer. You have tackled your diagnosis head on with confidence, but not cockiness – as you always do. You have been such an inspiration to myself and so many others. Thank you for that. Thank you for being you. Thank you for loving me.
I am so happy, proud and privileged to say that I have been able to come along for the ride. You have truly shown us what Cancer Canknot do.
I love you so much. WE love you so much.
About the jewelry....Our Cancer Canknot® Jewelry is custom designed to look like a cancer ribbon with a knot in the middle of the ribbon to symbolize strength and be a reminder of everything that Cancer Canknot® do. We are very proud of our creation. Whether you are a survivor, a person battling cancer or a part of the support system for the person fighting the disease, you can wear this jewelry as an unspoken word to how you have been affected by cancer and what it canknot do.
Our story behind the book....It all goes back one of the first thoughts that crossed our mind given the news of Eric’s cancer diagnosis; our child. At the time of Eric's diagnosis we were the parents to a 3 year old boy and much of our time was spent reading children’s books to him. When you hear news as devastating as cancer you think; “How are we going to explain it? Maybe we don’t say anything?” We have written a lighthearted rhyming children’s book, Bear Hugging and Cancer Crushing, to help explain to a child what cancer means. Children’s books are amazing; they are often filled with life’s lessons – but told in a way that a child can understand. Children have many questions when they learn of a parent’s diagnosis, and everyone needs to find strength through what can be a trying time. Our son gave us strength in the best way he knew how, his bear hugs, which inspired this book. While this book was based on our story and our experience, we realize that everyone’s experience with cancer is different. We hope as your family fights the battle of cancer, you find that one thing that gives you strength, just like our little Bryce’s bear hugs did for us.