I was originally diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus in October of 2009. I underwent surgery the day before Thanksgiving 2009 which involved removing the bottom six inches of my esophagus and the top third of my stomach, then re-connecting the two. At the time of my surgery, eight lymph nodes tested positive for cancer, so we knew there was the possibility for reoccurrence. On Jan. 5, 2010, I began radiation and chemo therapy to hopefully eradicate any of the remaining disease. Everything was looking fine until April of 2011. My checkups were doing good and there was no evidence of any more cancer. Things then changed. What I thought was simple back issues turned out to be bone cancer. It is stage 4, which means there is not a lot of hope for cure. My treatments now are designed to help give me “quality of life” and as much longevity as possible. They are going well and I actually feel pretty good now. The chemo is not nearly as invasive this time as it was the first time around. The only real problem is that of energy. Between the chemo therapy and all the medication to battle the side effects, it robs you of your normal levels of energy. I just don’t have the level needed to continue a full time job. I hoped to do this until a more normal retirement age, but it wasn’t meant to be. So for now, I will enter a” disabled retirement” phase of life. This was a difficult decision to come to. I know though in my heart it is the right decision. I have the support of Anita to help reassure me. In talking with my oncologist, she too, believes it to be the right time for me to make a change. OK, enough about all that. Now you know the whole story.
There are so many things about my job I will miss. I don’t really know where to begin. I have had the great pleasure of getting to know so many fine people in our community and watching so many of our young people grow up. I consider myself to be truly blessed. Something that I wish for my many young friends out there. As you decide on what you want your life’s work to be, do not overlook the importance of enjoying your job. Don’t let money necessarily dominate everything you decide. Find something you are passionate about and you will be rich already.
Needless to say, covering STC sports has been somewhat comparable to riding a roller coaster. Yeah, we’ve had our ups and downs. But through it all, I have been able to meet so many fine young student athletes, their parents and of course our coaches. These are friendships I will treasure forever. You can never have too many friends.
Anita and I have received tremendous support from our community these past two years. Everyone who said a prayer, or sent a card, or had a kind word was greatly appreciated. The out pouring of support was such a comfort.
Last spring, during the girls basketball state tournament, I was honored before our game with a IGHSAU sportsmanship award. That was really a special moment for me. To be recognized for support of a school district I have come to admire so much, was a real honor for me. Having such a great crowd of STC supporters there to see the game made it a magical moment for me. All I really want is for others to know how great is to support the Trojans in all their activities.
I hope this doesn’t come off as a depressing story. I’m not planning on going anywhere just yet. I still plan to go to as many games as I can. It’s what I do. I am kind of looking forward to being a spectator again, however I know I’ll miss the football sidelines and being mat side at state wrestling or court side for basketball, but I’ll adjust.
The Chronicle and News-Herald is having a time of recognition for me Thursday, from 3-5 p.m. at the State Bank of Toledo meeting room. If you have the time stop by for some cake and give me the chance to say thank you to all of you who have been so supportive through the years.