Today is my last day as a journeyman pipefitter. It's 530 in the morning. I got up early so I could stop at the local bakery to buy three dozen donuts to take in for my crew. My apprenticeship began nine years ago. Two short months later I receive my diagnosis. At the time no one believed I would even finish the four years it would take to become journeyman but here I am nine years later. Monday morning I will begin a two year apprenticeship to become a machine lube tech1. Through the durationof this program I will retain my current salary. Upon completion of this 2 year apprenticeship will receive a substantial raise in pay that I keep even if I choose to return to my previous trade.
Last night I received an email from the bargaining board. Apparently through nine months of negotiations we have finally reached a tentative agreement. Although I have not seen the offer I am certain the board would not notify us if they were bringing back a sub-standard contract for us to vote on.
Yesterday my "93' Nissan go to work truck" informed me that the 285000+ miles of abuse were too much. I drove it to work today. I hope I make it home without a tow truck.
I spoke to a friend on the phone the other day.I told him that "I just don't know what is wrong with me lately"! I haven't posted anything on healingwell.com. My last blog post was 6 weeks ago. I just haven't thought much about cancer in a while. He told me life has become normal.
I could write every day about work, high school athletics, and small town life but in regards to cancer,
I got nothing.
After 9 years of this disease dealing with the aspects of cancer has become normal. I am no longer consumed by it.
Life has become so full that there is no longer room for cancer. I know that for many men this is not the case. I wish that it was. I wish every man who has this disease could share in my blessing.
I know that one day the beast will awaken. For now it sleeps. I have won this battle. There will be others. I am not afraid. Today I am cancer free. I wear my scars as a badge of honor. They have shaped me. They do not define me. The beast took a lot from me but not the best of me. Monday I begin a new apprenticeship. As I set upon a new path it is different then last time. I believe I will be alive to see it through.
We leave for Hawaii in a week. I am ready to get away. I look forward to seeing Mandy smile as she swims with the fish. I will write more soon. Todd