Well, here I go. Finally, twenty-two days removed from hearing that there has been a regrowth of the tumor and that an operation is necessary, I will be in surgery in less than 48 hours.
While I have a myriad of emotions running through my mind, I am overall in good spirits and feeling extremely optimistic about the operation. I have the best team of doctors that someone in my position could possibly ask for and would not alter a thing. I have the BEST family anyone could ever ask for and am surrounded by a wonderful group of friends, coworkers and acquaintances. Nervous though? Sure; I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t. But I have faith. I have been told that there are a lot of people who are praying for me and I can feel the positive energy.
But there is an additional motivating factor. This past week, the sports world mourned the death of ESPN anchor, Stuart Scott. Stuart passed away after a long battle with cancer but showed true strength and perseverance in the way that he fought. On July 16, 2014, Stuart accepted the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance and gave a speech which resonated with me and millions of other warriors: “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.” Though I do not have cancer, that statement is spot on.
A brain tumor, or any other disease for that matter, is no different. From day one of this battle, I have not allowed my tumor to get the best of me. Rather, I have stayed determined to battle back, punch for punch. After all, I know that so long as I remain optimistic and stare down this adversity which life continues to throw at me, I will persevere. The past six years have presented the darkest, most trying and most difficult of days but I will absolutely tell you that my tumor has taught me invaluable lessons about life and the way we should live. Every day is a miracle and nothing should be taken for granted.
And with that, I’ll enjoy the next day with my head held high, confident that this is the close of this arduous journey in my young life.
Keep those prayers and good vibes coming.
So tumor, as I prepare to bid you good riddance, I do so by borrowing a phrase that Stuart made so popular on SportsCenter: “Booyah!”