Diagnosis Anniversary

steveriver2/24/2006. It’s been 12 years since I was initially diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. That’s 4,383 days. I’ll admit there have been a few of those days where all of the emotions associated with cancer may have gotten the better of me and I felt like throwing something in the Schuylkill River. But the majority of those days have been lived positively, relentlessly, and triumphantly. I’ve been blessed with an amazingly supportive family and crew. It takes a village. A strong, positive, united village. And a little Merlot. Below are a few excerpts from my family from my book Relentless Mettle; My Cancer, My Rules.

“My dad can make any crappy situation okay, but this wasn’t just a crappy situation. News that seemed like a mountain to me, was merely a bump in the road for him. I admired him for that. The way he reacted to his cancer diagnosis was nothing short of inspirational and maybe even a little crazy.”

“This was unfamiliar territory to us, and I was just a kid trying to read my parents the best I could to help me decide how I felt about the situation. My dad was eerily calm, my mom was supportive. Maybe it was because he always promised me he would live to be 200 years old.”

steveoverhead“We next told Steve’s Sister Chris, who immediately stopped over with a bottle of Merlot. Then we talked to Steve’s mom, as well as my parents and then had a meeting with my siblings. I am the last of 7  children. My brothers and sisters decided to have a combination birthday and cancer fighting party, as Steve’s chemo was to start the next day. It was a great day of feeling united, supporting Steve and resolving to fight this together.”

I’m grateful for my village.

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