As I parted ways with my parents and Ashley, who were escorted to the waiting room, and I was wheeled into the operating room, only one thought came to mind – I will persevere and see you all soon.
But, I was not without emotion. The operating room is cold and sterile. The bright lights are reminiscent of a movie scene and the scalpels and doctors’ tools set the scene for a gruesome horror flick. But then, somehow, there was a feeling of peace and serenity. As I laid down on the operating table, the nurses and technicians propped my body and moved my limbs where they wanted them. I heard my surgeon’s voice in the background and then everyone in the room came over to the operating table to run through everyone’s duties for the operation. And then, with that, the IVs were started and into a deep sleep I went.
However, before writing about my latest triumph, I opted to write a “thank you” dedicated to the following individuals:
First and foremost, my surgeon, Dr. Piepmeier. I do not have enough time or space to thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for my family and I, but let me say everything is noticed. The confidence that you carry and the assurances that you provide me have given me such great trust, belief and confidence in you. Your calming demeanor and persona are what get me through the day when I see you. As I have said before, ever since I was introduced to you on July 1, 2008, I was confident and knew that I would win this battle because you are my surgeon. Thank you for everything.
To my nurses at Yale-New Haven Hospital: Tina, Max, Caroline, Maebel and Shanea. I want to thank each of you for your help and support in nursing me back to health. And Barb, for getting me out of bed and walking me around the hallways, I thank you.
To the CT Brain Tumor Alliance, thank you for your support, messages and keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. Connecting with you has been one of the greatest things to happen to me in a long time and am so relieved to know that I have an army of support behind me. KC, you have welcomed Ashley and I into your family and I am so fortunate that this connection was made.
To Aunt Linda for the never-ending love and support you have shown me. From the text messages, to the cards and the prayers, I cannot thank you enough. Your outlook on life and situations is inspiring and I cannot help but to think where I would be without you. Thank you for believing in me.
And to my extended family and friends who took the time to send me a message of encouragement, support, to let me know your thoughts are with me or just to say hi, thank you. The love that I feel from you all is incredible and I am grateful beyond words.
To Jackie, Stephen, Wayne and Greyson – you guys are the best. I don’t know where I’d be without you, but know that I’m still here because of you. You all keep the fight in me and give me the resolve to carry on and plow forward. Thank you for all that you do and know that I am forever grateful.
Mom and Dad – I am so happy that you are my parents! From being with me every step of the way to nursing me back to health and checking on me all day, I appreciate it more than you may ever know. You have watched me grow into an adult and have seen my best and worst days but never wavered and never pushed me toward anything. I love you both very much and can only hope that none of us will ever have to go through such a tumultuous situation again.
Finally, to Ashley, my loving, caring wife. You are amazing and I owe you so much more than I can ever repay you for what you’ve given me the past six years. When you heard that an operation was necessary, I shared your disappointment and nervous reaction, but you never outwardly showed that to me. Instead, you stood beside me with your head held high and were prepared to take down this monster with me and for that, I am so grateful. I love spending every day with you and am hopeful that now, with this behind me, we will have many many more days to celebrate life and enjoy each other every single day.