Friday, October 24, 2008


October 24th is a special day in the Nygard household; it is a day of celebration and gratitude. It is a time to celebrate life, celebrate Eric's health, celebrate what we have learned, and celebrate blessings and miracles.

Today marks the three year anniversary of a day when Eric had an appointment with a urologist, while I was at work. Never in a million years did I imagine the outcome of this appointment. I was waiting for Eric to pick me up from work, so I decided to give him a call. He had just left the doctor's office, and he was on his way to pick me up, but he sounded different. I asked him how the appointment went, and he simply said that it would be better if we talked about it when he picked me up. His response made me anxious and worried, and I had the craziest ideas run through my mind, but cancer was something that didn't even cross my mind. Eric picked me up and as we were pulling out of the parking lot, he told me he had cancer. I instantly broke down in an uncontrollable cry (i really am not a big cryer). We had no idea how serious things were. We didn't know how far the cancer had spread, or if he'd need chemo or radiation. All we knew was that Eric had cancer, and the doctor said it was essential that he have surgery as soon as possible. That was one of the longest, hardest, and most emotionally challenging nights of my life.

When Eric was diagnosed, it changed me. I had a different attitude and outlook. Instantly, I saw things from a different view. Little things that I previously thought were a big deal, just didn't seem to matter anymore, and some things that I would have overlooked became increasingly important. I looked at people different – I had a different love, appreciation, understanding, and concern for people. When a person starts dealing with death, life takes on different meaning. I wish I could maintain those feelings and perspectives always.

That is why I like to celebrate today. I want to always remember how I felt and how fragile life can be. The event that occurred three years ago was completely life changing, and it taught me a lot. Sometimes, I feel as though I have lost the perspective that I gained on that wild day, and I don’t want to lose that. Celebrating is my way to help me remember.

I am so grateful for Eric and the strength that he has. Eric inspires me. I appreciate that life's challenges have allowed us to look at our life differently. I appreciate that God has blessed us with this opportunity to improve.

I was looking through some of the stuff we have from the time Eric was diagnosed, and I found a tv clip that was done on him. I still get emotional watching it, even though I hate seeing myself talk.

And this is my favorite newspaper article they did about Eric.

It is crazy to me to see what has happened in our life in the 3 years since Eric was diagnosed. That was the beginning of a whirlwind of blessings, trials, and miracles.

We have been so blessed!


cookfamily said...

Such a touching post. I cried. Eric, you inspire me and I feel like the worst sister in the world because the whole time you were going through all of the cancer treatments I was not able to be there to help you. Believe me, I wanted to be there. I still cry when I think about all you two have been through. I admire you both and look up to you more than you will ever know. I feel so fortunate to live close to you and hope that we can always live close and support one another throughout our lives. I love you both and wish with all of my heart that I could have been there for you during this time.

All my love,

Adam & Brandi said...

Thanks for sharing this post and experience with all of us! I admire Eric for all that he has accomplished and for all that he is! You are such and amazing example to me. You are so strong. You are so faithful. You are so YOU! I love you so much and am so blessed to be able to call you my friend. Like Anita, I too feel so guilty that I couldn't be there during your battle. I felt so guilty afterwards for not calling. I didn't know how to even say, "hi." But you are such a strong person. You made it so easy to get back in touch with you. And thank you for taking the initiative. Thanks, you guys, for sharing that video. I see, Jenny, why you get emotional. Seeing Eric back on the track, running the race after his treatment, is not the Eric I remember. In fact, was he leaning over a trash can about to "lose it?" :D I can't even imagine. You are such an amazingly strong individual, Eric. My life is blessed for having known you. I love you so much and am so grateful for our friendship. I, too, got emotional watching the video clip. Thanks, again for sharing this post. And, CONGRATULATIONS on this special day for you two!!!!

Your Friend,

Tara said...

You always make me cry! You guys have been thru so much these last 3 years and you are both such an inspiration to all of us. I'm grateful that things are good and pray for many more blessings to come your way. I love you.

Stephanie & Andrew Hansen said...

Greetings from Rexburg! So happy for you guys. Thanks for sharing such personal thoughts and feelings.Love to news clip and the article. We all love you and are so proud of you! Always have been, always will be! Celebrate all you want! We'll celebrate from a distance too!

Love Stephanie!

Melanie said...

Amazing. Every time I think of you two are you family and all you have been through, no other word comes to mind.

I think it's awesome that you celebrate this day to remember all you have learned in the process.

You guys are inspirational, to say the least.

Way to go.

Shannon B said...

Love you guys! You sure have been through a lot (BOTH of you) and am so happy and thankful for your health and your cute family!

HalnJess said...

Ok, what a touching post. I'm wiping my eyes now. Hal spent last week with the doctors freaking him out and sending him to an oncologist with "cancer" and all I could think about was your example! We received the best news (after they freaked us out) that at least it's not cancer.

You guys are my heroes!! I think you definitely deserve a huge celebration for that landmark!

Stephanie B said...

That was such a touching posting. I wish we would have stayed in better contact over the years. I loved hanging out with you guys. You're some of the best people I know.

John Sabin said...

Eric and Jenny,

I was glad to find your blog from Eric's Plaxo profile. Sincere congratulations on your three years of trials and miracles. Thanks for linking to the TV clip, it was great to watch. I'm glad you e-mailed and that we are in contact again. I look forward to keeping up with you and your family!

John Sabin