(Dave 2.0) Finally Feeling Like my Old Self but Better

Somewhere over the Persian Gulf at 1:00 am on Easter 2022.

After being diagnosed in 2019, May and I sat down and talked about what our future would look like. We decided that after treatments and a lengthy recovery we would would work toward getting our old life back. We hoped that I would be in good enough health to resume my career as a defense contractor and we would be able to travel again and spend time overseas. It seemed so far away, almost impossible. It felt like we were lying to ourselves and just trying to convince ourselves that I was going to survive this.

Over the past 3 years we’ve held onto this goal. We didn’t know what the extent of my recovery would be. I wondered If my taste buds would ever come back, If I’d be on a feeding tube for the rest of my life or even if the treatments would work at all.

I did everything the Doctors and Nurses told me to do. I got a lot of help from friends, family and strangers on discussion boards and blogs who told me I’d get through it. Gradually, as my recovery progressed, the dream of being normal again began to seem achievable.

I’m happy to write that almost exactly 3 years from the date of my diagnosis I realized a huge step in my recovery. In the middle of the night on Easter Sunday April 17th 2022 I was the only passenger in the back of a C-130 Military Aircraft somewhere over the Persian Gulf. I had just completed 10 days of preparation and passed an extensive medical evaluation by the Military Medical team at Ft Bliss, TX prior to being allowed to deploy.

It was surreal. The old familiar humming of the C-130 propellers and the smell of the aircraft took me back to a time before cancer when I felt invincible. I felt like Did 20 years ago but more experienced and wiser. I take nothing for granted now and see each new day as an opportunity to be a better, more appreciative person than I was before.

I feel like I’m getting control of my life back as I work toward being a better version of my former self. I hope this provides a little bit of inspiration to anyone who is dealing with this awful disease. There can be life on the other side of a cancer diagnosis.

My bags loaded on the C-130 in Qatar at midnight. Getting ready for wheels up.

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