You'll have to forgive this post, as is has nothing at all to do with online marketing, but everything to do with the people within the industry.
Sometimes in life, we have to just stop. Stop and realize what's important, and what really matters in a person's life. Drama of any kind, is a distraction, especially when dealing with true life and death struggles brought on by medical situation, that aren't your own.
This past December one word made my whole world stop. Cancer.
My father is my inspiration for a lot of the things in my life. I thank him for encouraging my curiousness in computers and love of electronic gadgets and classic cars. When I got the call, I'm sure you can just imagine the fear and the worry that went through my mind in those seconds. Everything flew by so fast.
We soon found out my father's condition was limited to a tumor in his esophagus. He was very lucky because it was found in a very early stage. But now what was he to do? Chemo, radiation? Some of you know my dad's lungs ad heart aren't the greatest, so enduring that would have been a considerable strain on him. It was decided that he would have an operation that would remove part of his esophagus and attach his stomach up to the end of the area that was removed. The doctors felt he was strong enough to endure the operation and what came after, rather than what the chemo and radiation would do to his body.
The operation happened on February 4th of this year. It took 3 hours longer than the 7 hours they originally told us it would take. In my own mind, that was a signal that this was not going to be an easy road for my family. That signal was right. My dad's weak lungs were working against him, although the surgery itself seemed a success, he had to be put on a ventilator.
We soon found out the hospital he was in did not specialize in getting him weaned off the vent. We had to send him to another hospital. He was there for over 2 months, and lets just say, his stay at this place was rather horrible (to they point where they told us he wouldn't ever get off the vent nor eat on his own again, which they were wrong about). Soon the insurance demanded that he be moved to another specialized facility. Third facility did start to help, but my father fell a few times and the last time he fell, it was likely one of the better things that happened in this whole ordeal.
This 3rd hospital truly helped my dad, they aggressively weaned him from the vent. They figured out what was really the culprit of why he wasn't progressing. Not surprisingly, it was what my sister had brought up at the 2nd hospital and the doctor poo-poo'd her, telling us that what my sister suggested looking at wasn't the culprit at all (and they knew better than us). This 3rd hospital kept us in constant contact and finally we felt we were getting somewhere, and finally, my Dad could go back to the hospital he started off in to finish up his rehabilitation. Communication, is one heck of a comforting thing.
Five months and 4 days after the operation (as well as 4 hospitals and 1 rehab facility) my dad came home last Tuesday and we celebrated that home coming yesterday. He's still not ready to run marathons, that'll take time, but my dad is alive, my dad is home and he's cancer free. I'm very thankful for that, and I'm very aware, not as many families have these types of outcomes.
From Dazzlin' Donna, Mike, Deb, Matt, Robert, Julie, Jenn, Simon, Greg, Donna, Diane, Brian, Elizabeth and Kim who'd check in on me and how I was doing emotionally - especially when I seemed a bit more stressed out than usual through email and IM, to MarySue and Beau who'd come over to my apartment or call, I appreciated the support more than you'll ever know.
My wonderful friend Christine (who happens to be my boss) and her husband Mike and my coworker Jim, helped me deal with this in other ways, and a person couldn't have a more supportive, understanding and caring employer and co-worker than me. I'm extremely lucky, and thankful to work for KeyRelevace. Having a support system like this to get me through these truly extraordinary, extenuating circumstances was a blessing I'm so thankful someone bestowed upon me.
As children we all tend to think our parents are indestructible. Its really tough when you realize, that's not so true. You become very thankful for those blessings in your life like your family, and friends like I have here in the search industry. If I didn't have you all for support to bring me back to center while I was traveling to London, Santa Clara, New York, San Francisco and elsewhere or even to the many, many trips to the hospitals, I would have truly broken down.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those sent the emails, the im's and the thoughts and prayers to my family. I hope this gives you an idea of the true depth of my appreciation, and gratitude for the caring hands you extended. Without all of you, this would have been a lot rougher journey than it was.