Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Monday was a very special anniversary: the fifth anniversary of The Diagnosis. On June 24, 2013, I took The Boy to the doctor's office with a lump in his belly. They sent us for imaging, then right back to the doctor's office. We went home, and the image that I have burned into my brain is the three of us lying on the bed, my wife and I holding each other, scared out of our minds, while The Boy giggled and smiled and played in between us. That night, The Boy screamed all night long because of the botched IV job preventing him from getting at his thumb. It was, quite probably, the worst night of my life. The official diagnosis wouldn't come for a day or two, but our pediatrician had diagnosed Wilms Tumor twice before, so we kind of knew.

Tomorrow is another special anniversary: our ninth wedding anniversary. My biggest memories of the day? Switching the official wedding yarmulkes with Yankees ones; spending time with my wife in Yachud, a wonderful tradition of uninterrupted time between husband and wife that was interrupted by a stoned aunt; and hanging out in the hotel pool with A and his daughter.

These two anniversaries, because of their calendar adjacency, are going to be linked for us forever, mostly because these were two events that reshaped our world far more and far thoroughly than we could ever have imagined. I'm thoroughly and completely glad I married the lady I did; without her strength and resourcefulness and intelligence, we wouldn't have made it through the treatment. (That is not to mention that she really is an awesome partner, roommate, and friend.)

I'm not glad about the cancer diagnosis, but I'm glad about some of the good results: the extra closeness that I share with my oldest son; our new life and my new career in Pittsburgh; and the two other little boys that came during and after the treatment. I feel like my relationship with my wife was up through a major trial by fire, and the fact that we've flourished is a testament to the strength of our partnership.

Birthday season starts next week. We're also traveling to New Jersey. Should be fun.

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