November 14th of this year marked 10 years ago that my father, Paul, lost his battle with prostate cancer.
He had lived with the disease for 12 years before ever showing symptoms. By the time he was diagnosed, he was given 6 months to live. It had spread to his bones, lungs, and brain. I was 12 years old and had just lost my aunt to breast cancer on my birthday and my grandma to a car wreck 6 weeks after. In my mind I convinced myself he would get better. And for a while, it seemed that way. (see, no one told poor little me that he didn't have a chance.) But it just 2 short weeks, my father lost his speech, strength, ability to walk, eat, use a toilet, or grasp reality. On November 14, 2001 I said goodbye to my dad as he died in his dining room.
It is my mission to make sure every man in my life gets the knowledge that my father never had. No family should ever have to see the things I've seen. If my dad had caught his cancer in time, he could still be alive today. But instead, I didn't have my dad to give me away at my wedding, and my daughter will never know her grandfather. My father was my hero, and I am ready to do whatever I can to raise awareness in his memory.