It was late Summer 2014, age 74, when I first learned that I had bladder cancer. Urostomy surgery and cancer treatment came on fast, followed by an extended stay in the hospital, additional surgeries and even some time in intensive care. My time in the hospital was the worst part of my journey, but my wife was with me every day.
Night time became the most difficult, because I couldn’t sleep. With difficulty sleeping, showering and other daily tasks, I got to the point that I really didn't want to live. Then one day, they told me that my 3-year-old great-granddaughter was asking about me, and I requested that they bring her to visit me. When she arrived at the hospital, I could hear her calling me all the way down the hall. She didn’t recognize me at first, but I assured her it was me. I will never forget how she ran and jumped up on my bed and just hugged me. At that point, I decided to get up and try walking again. The support of my wife and family made all the difference.
In Spring 2015, the hospital finally released me to recover at home. After experiencing some pouch leaking, we switched to ConvaTec which I still wear today. Allowing my wife of 54 years to wait on me was hard, but I finally I got up and started walking, exercising and completing physical therapy. It wasn't easy, but I never gave up. 4 years later, I can do just about anything I could do pre-surgery, including my passion – archery. Don't ever give up! There are people out there that need you.