Father’s Day 2015, I get sprung from an 8 day stay in the hospital after having surgery to remove an 8cm malignant tumor that had perforated my colon and was choking it off. Stage III Colon Cancer was the diagnosis but really the most pressing thing for me was getting out in time to make it to Jackson’s wrestling tournament. Well, that and eating solid food!

We made it to the gym at Xavier University as he was on deck. Our friends weren’t expecting to see us and as much as I wanted to soak up all the hugs and well wishes and take all of the ribbing for missing all of the work the parents had put in to host a tournament of this size I just wanted to get to the mat.

Jackson was the only one of the boys I hadn’t seen while I was hospitalized too so that was also weighing on me. He was warming up when we walked up, not sure what he was thinking but it probably didn’t help his pre-match mindset. Nonetheless he ran over and gave me a hug, I probably gave him some unsolicited advice that he never used.
After that one match I needed to get home. I was exhausted, hungry and eager to stream the rest of the tournament and hang out with the family on Father’s Day.

Corey was in town, my mom and my sister were with us and since I was in the hospital all week with no set check out it wasn’t like Christina had time to plan anything. She asked me what I wanted, my surgeon told me I could eat whatever I wanted and needed to get my colon “working again.”

My Father’s Day meal that year and my first solid food in a week was Popeye’s Chicken! No one has said if they were disappointed or not but who doesn’t like Popeye’s Chicken?

So now, each year around Father’s Day my cancer diagnosis anniversary comes around and these two events occupy my thoughts.
That week my future was uncertain. We didn’t have a clear plan yet all we knew was I had advanced stage colon cancer. I looked it up the first chance I had and read that colon cancer is the third leading cause of death in men. Father’s Day is a week away. I lost my dad at 12. How many more would I have. I’m hungry. Am I going to get see Jackson compete this week.

All of those thoughts were bouncing around in my head all week. Nine years later I’m still so fortunate to be celebrating Father’s Day. But that does eat at me and it drives me to help others. That’s why we started Running for Dreams.

Happy Father’s Day and Phuck Cancer!

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