Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Post from my Son

Harrison posted this on Facebook last night.  Just thought I would share some of his awesomeness with you all---

Well, 2012 is over, and boy, what a year it was. The world didn't end, Honey Boo Boo got her own show, and Gangnam Style becomes the most viewed video of time. So it's definitely had its ups and downs. And while those were some really big/catastrophic events, they won't be what I really remember about this year. Nope, not even close.

A year ago to this day, I was at universal studios. It was a new year, everyone was excited, fireworks were everywhere, and many people partied WAY harder than what they should have. While this should have been an amazing trip for me and my family, we could not deny the real reason why we were there. While everyone else was there to party till they passed out, we were there for different reasons.

About a week before that, I had gone to the hospital. My leg had been hurting for months, and was only getting worse. It got to the point were I would wake up in the middle of the night screaming in pain, so that I was scared to go to sleep. So we thought maybe I had pulled something, or maybe it was growing pains. If only. So they took some x-rays, and a doctor came to speak to us. He didn't sugarcoat it. I either had a bone infection, or a tumor. A few days later, it was confirmed. I had cancer.

So after a quick trip to Orlando, to be able to do one last thing before the unavoidable happened, we came back to where we called home. And while I knew all the people here, I really didn't in a way. (For the most part) I wasn't treated, looked at, or spoken to the same way again. I had cancer. I was sick, I was wounded, and I was a pain to look at. Although people wanted to comfort me, looking at me just served as a reminder that I was not the young, lively person that I was before, and that (let's be honest) I might not make it through the year. For the first time in my life, I was truly scared that I might die.

And honestly, there were times that I wanted to. Now hear me out: I'm not saying that I don't love living, because I do. But are you really "living" when you're going through harsh chemotherapy, constantly sick, and too weak to even make it from one side of the house to the other without nearly passing out? At that point, It was a fight just to make it through each day. Not even each day, but really each hour. I won't go into great detail of everything they did, because I don't want to gross out the weak at heart, because it would take too long, and because that's not really the point of this post. (But if you ever do want to talk about it or hear more of what it was like, I'll be happy to talk to you in person. Just don't expect all the details to be perfect, or for me to not make the occasional joke to brighten the mood.)

Basically, after 12 weeks of chemo, they performed surgery on my leg. They removed my femur, and replaced it with a cadaver bone. So their plan was to give me a month to recover from surgery, and then put me back on chemo. But after some research, we found out that the chemo hadn't killed any of the cancer, and that it wasn't going to prevent it. So after much thought, prayer, and and basically begging multiple doctors, we were able to convince them to not make me do anymore chemo, but to give me plenty of periodic scans to make sure that it didn't return. Technically, if we had gone by their plans, I'd still be taking chemo, and MIGHT just be halfway done. Yeah, glad we didn't take that path.

So even though I am clear of cancer, I'm still living with the scars of survival. I have fear that it might come back, trouble trusting people and knowing if they really care about me as a person, or just feel bad for me having the disease, and depression that comes from realizing that I'll never really be able to reclaim what I once called "Normal", because let's face it, after something like this, there is no such thing as normal. But I'm also thankful for all the good that's come out of this year, all the good friends, me growing closer to some people, and really seeing the love of God shine through many people in ways I didn't know were possible. So yes, I'm glad this year is over, but I don't feel like it was wasted. If anything, I feel that it has helped me grow as a person, as a man, and as a warrior after Christ.

So Bring it on 2013, I'm ready!

That's my boy!

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