To the Editor:
As I write this, it is Aug. 24. You won't read it until days later. I say that because the dates are important. Tomorrow, Aug. 25, my wife and I will celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary. Now, to many, that is nothing newsworthy. To us, it is a miracle!
You see, two years ago, on our 29th wedding anniversary, we were not out celebrating. We were, instead, in the emergency room at Cape Regional Medical Center. Yes, we spent our 29th anniversary in the ER. Later that night, we would hear the most devastating words we had ever heard: Stage 3 cancer.
During my lifetime, I had known many people, some family, that had cancer. In 1981, I lost one of the closest friends I ever had to cancer. He was only 31. I thought I knew what dealing with cancer was all about. Trust me, if you have never dealt with it under your own roof, with someone you live with... You are as clueless as I was.
Those three words - stage 3 cancer- would change our lives forever and in ways we could never have imagined!
Thanks be to God, my wife is now in remission and life is as back to normal as it can be, with that word always in the back of your mind! But I did not write this for us or to gain anyone's sympathy. I wrote this to say thank you!
I want to thank the staff at Cape Regional, who cared for my wife during her many hospitalizations and surgeries, The Brodessor Cancer Center, The Cancer Center at Shore Medical Center, and Hope Community Cancer Center.
I specifically want to thank Drs. Cho, Childs, and Tomassello for their care and part in saving my wife and for their continued care! I know that I cannot name or even remember everyone involved in the various stages of care and treatment. We are, however, eternally grateful to each and every person involved.
I also wish to thank all of our friends and family near and far for prayers, well wishes, meals brought to us, and a shoulder to cry on. They are far too many to begin to name. Nonetheless, we are grateful to them all.
Cancer is a word no one should ever have to hear. It is devastating to its victim and to everyone that surrounds them. Without the support of the medical teams I mentioned and the support of friends and family, we never would have made it.
As I stated before, if you have never lived it, you have no clue. If you have never lived it, I pray you never do! If you have and you've survived it, God bless you! I know the feeling!
We all need to contribute to cancer research and cancer funds. The research saves lives, and it may, one day, be your own! Perhaps someday, cancer will be a word no one ever has to hear.
For now, from my wife and I to all those who gave of themselves in our darkest hours, we want to say a heartfelt thank you, and may God bless you all! We owe you all a debt we can never repay!