Five years ago, I was a junior at San Francisco State University, living on my own in a big city for the first time. I was kicking butt in school, thriving in my internship at ABC-7, and kicking down the door of the sports broadcasting industry. Nothing could stop me. Then I got a call that changed everything. My parents called all my sisters and I over to the house to tell us that something showed up at dad's doctor appointment. That something was cancer. They told us not to worry, that this was something he'd beat and the odds of survival are good. I heard the words but I wouldn't allow them to sink in. My dad is the strongest person in this world, how could this possibly be happening to him? He is the rock. The strength. The hard head. This couldn't be happening. I kept thinking that we need him around for many more years and many more milestones. We knew we had to do the only thing we could do: beat it. That was the only option.
I dealt with my shock and fear of the whole situation by spending hours and hours online obsessively researching things my dad could do to help fight the Hodgkin's Lymphoma he was diagnosed with. I found hope in my research since I learned it was one of the most treatable forms of cancer out there - and if you had to have it in your lifetime, this was the preferrable type. So my mom accompanied my dad to countless hours of chemo and radiation to try and kill the baseball size lumps he had in his chest. Throughout the entire painstaking process, he never missed a single day of work.
After several long, hard months, many sleepless nights, and a huge outpouring of love and support from our friends and family, my dad was finally proclaimed cancer free. Those have come to be some of my favorite words to hear. And thank God I heard them again this morning as he reached the 5 year cancer free milestone. Go dad! He seriously is the strongest, toughest, most determined person I know, so of course he beat it. He has too much to live for, and we need him around!
One of my favorite pictures from my wedding.
My mom and dad.
Dad and all his girls!Since I was little, I've always signed all my letters and cards to my dad as his #1 fan. Because I am and I always will be. He's the best dad, grandpa, husband, and friend out there. He's my hero.