This time of year we seem to have something we remember or celebrating every other week, whether it is a birthday or anniversary. Yesterday happened to be Eric's 6 Year Anniversary of when he was diagnosed with cancer. At the time we had been married about 2 and a half years and were approved for adoption. I was working at Physical Therapy Aide and Eric was busy with school and track at WSU. That day seems like forever ago. It feels like we have lived multiple lives since then.
Every year on Eric's Anniversary, I try to do something for him to celebrate his health and what we have learned. This year it came up on me quicker than I anticipated, the kids and I made some last minute cookies yesterday morning and surprised Eric at school with them. For FHE, I got out some of Eric's pictures and told the kids the stories of what their Dad has been through.
He started chemo the end of Jan. '06 and was able to start pulling chunk of his hair our on Valentines Day.
We just shaved his head after this, so we wouldn't end up with his hair all over.
Nine weeks later this was Eric's last day of chemo. It was nasty nasty stuff. He had the same chemo that Lance Armstrong had. He lost 20 pounds, all his hair, threw up many many times, his mouth/throat got covered in sores, got poked way too many times, got staph infection, spent a night in the hospital cause of the infection and his fever was so high, and many more things he never even told me about. He would get so worn out from the most small tasks, like taking a shower or holding Aubree.
He was able to make it back on the track 2 weeks later. It was pretty inspiring.
Eric even made it back to compete at the PAC-10 Championships. He had quite a few newspaper articles and a couple news segments on his story.
I threw a No-More Chemo Party the week after Eric finished.
The story doesn't quite end there. About a year later, Eric had a routine cat scan that came back abnormal. His blood markers were still all good (so the cancer wasn't back), but they had to remove a benign tumor that had wrapped itself around some lymph nodes and nerves in his abdomen. The surgery was pretty invasive and he spent seven days in the hospital.
This is a picture from one of those seven nights where they couldn't get a vein to get blood. Eric was warming up his arms so they could have a better chance. They got it on their 16th try. Eric is so great!
Eric's body filled up with a bunch of fluid from his lymph system.
I'm so grateful for Eric. He never ever complains no matter what trials he is given. He takes everything and still smiles. Eric is always looking for ways to help and serve people around him no matter how stinky he feels/felt. He has so much love for everyone around him. Eric really is my hero.