Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Something personal

It's hard to believe I started this blog 16 years ago. I am not sure the title I came up with, "Mid-Life Thoughts from Bob," provides an accurate description of the blog owner anymore. 

But given the various quirks of Blogger, I am not going to try and change the name, even though I no longer fit the definition of "mid-life."

I started the blog as an outlet for writing, a longtime passion. A few years later I got a gig writing a weekly (mostly) column for a local publication. That became the main focus for my writing, although I continued my presence here. A couple of years ago, the column ended but I moved that effort to the Substack platform and was fortunate enough to take many of my column readers with me and gain some new ones. 

That is my main focus for writing today, but I still keep this blog. I do so because I made some friends here, and even though I know you only online (except for Kelly, who I have known my entire life and who urged me to start this blog), I feel a connection with the handful of you whose blogs are listed at the right. 

People have come and gone from here through the years. Some have left the blog world, and some have made their blogs invitation only. For the few of you who remain, as I said, I feel a connection and it keeps me writing here and checking in on your blogs. 

Because of that connection, I wanted to share something personal with you today.

As regular readers know, I have three adult children -- two sons and a daughter, with the daughter in the middle. My older son lives just outside Atlanta with his wife and two children; my daughter is in Huntsville, AL with her husband and three children; and my younger son lives in Birmingham, AL with his wife and two-month-old son. We are just south of Nashville, and everyone is within easy driving distance. 

I am a family man to the core, and those folks I just listed, along with my sweet wife, bring me far more joy than I deserve.

That brings me to the personal matter I want to share. Last November, the Monday before Thanksgiving to be precise, my son-in-law in Huntsville was diagnosed with colon cancer. He was 37 at the time, and 38 now. As you can figure out from what I wrote above, he is the father of three (adorable) children. They are 6, 4 and 2 years old. 

I can't adequately describe the kick in the gut I felt when our daughter called to give us this news. Sorrow, denial and anger are among the emotions I experienced. How is it fair that this awesome young husband and dad would be struck with a life-threatening disease? 

He was given a good prognosis. The cancer was detected early and had not spread. He soon started radiation and oral chemotherapy, and in early February he began periodic infusion chemotherapy. For the most part, he tolerated all of this well, with his most significant side effect being extreme fatigue the few days following infusion. 

My daughter has been incredible, caring for him and educating herself about his form of cancer and treatments. She is his biggest advocate. And oh yeah, she has maintained her job and taking care of the three children I described above. 

Through the generosity of friends, Wife and I were provided a guest house in Huntsville to use during the infusion weeks so we can be there to help with daily life while our son-in-law rests from the treatments. It's about 12 minutes from their house, so it's easy to get there and also nice to have our own place. 

His last infusion was May 14th. A couple of weeks later, their family headed to the beach for a week for some much-needed R&R, and a break from cancer and cancer talk for that brief period of time. 

He had an MRI and a scope in early June, which showed while the tumor has shrunk, it is still there. He will have colon resection surgery June 27th. Cancer is still confined to the colon and the medical team is confident the surgery will take care of it. 

In the midst of all of this, there have been blessings. I will share more later. 

For now, I would like to humbly ask my little community here for your best thoughts and prayers for the surgery next week and through his recovery time. Wife and I plan to be in Huntsville for about ten days and will make adjustments to that plan if needed. 

I will keep you posted. Thank you. 


Jeff said...

Oh Bob, I am so sorry to hear this. And 37 is early (I had my first colonoscopy at 50). Also, colon cancer is too real for me for I have had two friends to die from it. I will pray for it.

I still think of myself as mid-life even though I know the calendar on the wall isn't as thick as it once was

Ed said...

You most certainly have my prayers as well Bob! Cancer is such an unfair disease because it affects entire families at once.

Kelly said...

Bob, I trust that the upcoming surgery will be the final chapter in this story and I pray for a speedy recovery from it. You know my DOK chapter will be praying and I'll share this post with my friends in the Wesleyan group.

JayCee said...

Whilst I am not someone who prays, I am sending my very best hopes and wishes for a successful surgery and ongoing recovery.

Debby said...

Your family has been on my heart for a while now. I will be thinking of you all on this day. I hope that you will let us know.

Becki said...

Bob, I'm praying for your son-in-law's speedy and complete healing after what I trust has been a successful surgery. I'm sorry he's had to go through this. I hope your next report is NED (No Evidence of Disease) - a term I was a complete stranger to a year ago.