Thursday, July 1, 2010

Life Changing

Five years ago today, our lives changed forever. That was the day the lab results on the "cyst" which had been removed from Tito's leg eleven days earlier came back. I was already on an emotional roller coaster. My brother-in-law had died a week earlier and circumstances prevented Tito from being at the funeral. My sister and my brother-in-law were married a year and half before I was born, so he had always been in my life and it left a void that I had not expected. Then came the call - the cyst we had been led to believe was just a harmless cyst was actually soft tissue sarcoma - a rare form of cancer. The roller coaster ride was just beginning.

Eight surgeries, two amputations, a month in rehab, four rounds of chemotherapy and seven months later, we got the good news, he was cancer free.

But life as we knew it would never be the same again. We had to sell our tri-level home with its huge yard we had worked so hard to get "just right" and move into a ranch style home. Tito had to retire from his job. We had to purchase a new vehicle so it was easier from him to get his wheelchair in and out. Everything we did was different.

But we were blessed. We were referred to an excellent surgeon who was out of our insurance system but was approved. She was kind and caring and tried everything she could to save at least part of the leg. We had friends and family rallying around us to help with anything we needed. We were able to sell our house in a short period of time - at a time when the market was beginning to slow down and homes could be on the market for over a year. We were able to purchase a home that was still under construction and make changes in the layout and doorways that would allow a wheelchair.

And Tito was blessed with a wonderful attitude and a determination to be able to do what he wanted to do. In addition to doing most of the housework and cooking during the week (which is a blessing to me) he

works in the garden

clears the snow

travels (this was in Mexico and he had tears in his eyes the first time he was able to go to the beach and put his toes in the sand)

attends the annual camping and fishing trip with his brothers

and rides his motorcycle. He had his motorcycle converted to a trike and even rode to California by himself last year. I don't have a picture, but he also has a recumbent hand petal bicycle.
He is truly amazing, his can do attitude is remarkable. I am not sure I could have done what he has.
Our life did change, but God has stayed with us and has blessed us in ways we could not imagine that day five years ago.


NanaNor's said...

Hi there, What a wonderful determination by your hubby. Thank you for sharing his story-and now that we know what his bike looks like we can look for it up here.
That is such a strong spirit to continue on in the midst of recovering.
Did you read my comment about the fabric you asked about? The sashing and back fabric came from Joane's in Loveland.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Hugs, Noreen

Tonja said...

As they cn't keep a good man down! How inspiring! He has faced tough things and dealt with them and come out a winner. Don't you just praise God for giving Tito such a wonderful attitude. I enjoyed learning more about you and your family. You have dealt well also. Having to move and being a caregiver. You have a wonderful story of God's grace and care. Thanks for sharing.

Jeanie said...

"Tito was blessed with a wonderful attitude and a determination to be able to do what he wanted to do." That is the key to it all.
I honestly believe I have seen him on his bike.