This blog is made up of thoughts for my children as I battle cancer. It is not meant to be all knowing or holier than thou. It is simply a place for those that have asked, to read about the lessons that I would like to share with my children, whether I am able to stay with them, or not.



As I contemplate what I have left in this life, my thoughts often turn to “What have I done with this gift so far?” The answer to that question is exactly as deep and complex as the question. I can choose to look at it from a very high level and say that I have made mistakes, but overall, feel pretty good about my efforts. That is fine for maintenance purposes, but as I begin this Introduction from a hospital bed afflicted with Stage IV Prostate Cancer at 40 years old, it is not sufficient. The prognosis for my disease lies somewhere between 6 months and 2 years.

The odd thing about life is its ever changing definitions and standards. When I was younger, I would characterize life as freedom to make my own decisions and choices, beholden to no one. When I married, my life felt like it was intangible, yet to be defined, like a ghost. It was something that I was working towards, a goal. My wife and I were building a life together. It was like watching our first home being built. I saw the foundation, then the structure come into focus. Eventually, we began to see the frame taking shape to resemble our dreams and expectations. After we had children, my life completely became our life. Our life developed into defined roles. Some, my wife assumed, while others became mine. Instead of a mist that was formed by the particles of a concept, life became tangible and required research, planning, and action. I didn’t think of me anymore. Me became us. Not all the time. I’m not so full of myself to disregard times of selfishness, but my family of four, was ONE. I felt that one of my main roles and responsibilities was to provide for my family. To provide is a concept that isn’t only financial, but also to make sure that essential necessities of life were available to my family. Sometimes it was paid for, sometimes it was a shoulder, and sometimes, it was just time.

Not too long ago, our life changed. At 39, what was thought to be Prostatitis was diagnosed as Advanced and Metastatic Prostate Cancer. The cancer had left the prostate and spread to the lymph nodes, bladder, hips, pelvis, ribs, sternum, shoulder blades, and spine. My vision of life turned into a fight to live. My children, ages 9 and 11 became the focus of that fight.

As I pondered that high level question of whether I have done enough with my life, it inevitably became a much deeper question with much deeper answers. The more I thought about the question, the more I realized that the answer was much more involved than, “basically, I did fine.” The fact that I have 2 young children that I may not see progress into adulthood told me all that I needed to know. No matter what I had ever done, unless I left a road map for them, it could never be enough.

So what did I want for them? Easy enough. Everything. The best. All they could dream and all that they desired. As I prepared to make sure that they had all of these things, I realized that wanting these things at a high level, but not defining or measuring what that meant or telling them how to achieve it was the equivalent of calling them to my death bed, shaking their hands, and telling them, “Good Luck!” If that is all I give them, I have not done nearly enough.

These writings then, are exactly that. I don’t know how long I will have before I am called from this place, but I want my wife and children to know what I mean when I say, “I want the best for you.” I want them to feel my spirit with them, even if my body cannot. Mostly, I want my immeasurable love for them to be felt eternally as they progress through this life. I love them with every particle of my being and it overwhelms me. I want them to always know that without question. I want to define what “The Best” means to me and the values that make the type of person who lives that kind of life. This is for them, in the hopes that it will give them a map to use, whether I am there to guide them in this life, or the next.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I just finished reading “Tathea” by Anne Perry. It is a book that I read several years ago, but I felt like I wanted to read it again. It is set as a fantasy, science fiction type book, but it is really a metaphor for the war between God and Satan, good versus evil. It is not necessarily religious, but directs you along those lines. It is set against Satan’s plan that man would have no trials, no sin, and no pain. All souls would return to him with none lost. Jesus then gave his Plan of Salvation which was that only through trials would we grow beyond the spiritual infancy that we were born into. Only through sin could we learn repentance and forgiveness. Only through pain would we recognize joy and truly grow in God’s image. The Plan presented by Jesus won and Satan left heaven intent on destroying all those that fought for choice. The reason for this book report is that, according to the author’s intent, it makes you think about choices. Especially about motive and whether we do good for good or reward. It may sound trivial and irrelevant why we choose good. It may seem like you are looking too deeply into something if the result is the same anyway. I believe there is importance in why we do things as much as what we do. When the reward is clear or the choice is easy and defined, we will almost always choose good. Do we always choose good when it is easier to choose, not even bad, but less? Do we sell our own growth short when we choose the path of least resistance? It is to accept the trials, not as punishment or damnation, but as opportunity. They are opportunities to choose light and grow in wisdom and experience. To allow tough times to stagnate you and push you down does not move you forward. You will still have to move forward, in time. It is your decision how long that takes. I hope you will take your lumps in life with the knowledge that these will not define you, but how you respond to them will. There is no question of whether you will get knocked down in life. You will. Will you get back up? Will you recognize the joy of stepping out of the darkness and into the light? Will you allow wisdom gained to be a hope and a source to others who seek your counsel because of your strength, example, and resilience? This doesn’t only apply to our choices, but those around us, as well. In order to become the person that we are destined to become, we must allow others to choose, even if their choice is not what we would do. We can’t be so tied to ideals that we direct others to our choices. We have to allow each person the freedom to choose in all things, even if we believe with all of our heart that our path is the correct one. To choose for someone, or deny information to make our way more appealing stunts their growth. It denies them the ability to take a step up or down their own ladder. In time, it denies them the will and desire to shape their own life. To truly love someone is to share with them the knowledge, but let them choose whether to pick up the tools and use them or not. Your choices will define you. Don’t ever fear making the right choices, no matter how hard. They will always leave you on solid ground. I know you and I trust in you. I will always love you.