On Thursday evening I received disturbing news from a fellow aviator and old friend who I served with in the Army.
My friend Dennis who was a retired Brigader General and former Chief of the Army Medical Services Corps informed me that a former commander of mine was battling from a very aggressive form of brain cancer. I was devastated about this news as I had no idea about this. My former commander (Mickey) was one of the nicest persons I have ever known. I was his executive officer while stationed in Germany. Mickey and I were good friends and we had a great working relationship and he always had my back and took great care and support in my development as a young officer. After retiring from the Army I lost touch with so many of my old military friends to include Mickey and just recently, I have begun to rekindle old military friendships. I was so grateful to receive this update from Dennis, but the news affected me deeply and brought back old wounds of Terry and others who have struggled with the trials and tribulations of cancer.
As a result, I cancelled several social activities on Friday day and evening and Saturday morning as I couldn’t get Mickey and his family off my mind.
Luckily, late in the afternoon on Saturday, I heard from Dennis once again who let me know that he received a short note from Mickey that his brain surgery appeared to go well and the surgeon was able to remove the cancerous growth without having to affect other good parts for his brain. Mickey’s cancer is apparently terminal with chances that he may have just one year to live, but I have to believe that miracles can happen and I must have hope. Knowing that the operation was successful (at least for now) I decided I needed to get out socially for a few hours on Saturday night so to not allow myself to become too depressed. I figured getting out would help me emotinally so I went to the Knight Parade in Ybor City (see yesterday’s post).
This evening (Tuesday) I went ahead and wrote the note below to my friend Mickey. My hope is that it will help to uplift his spirit and to let him know that I am thinking about him, his wife and children.
I wanted to take a moment to reach out to you and to let you know that I was in complete shock to learn that you have been struggling with cancer over the past few years. I had no idea about this until this past Thursday when Dennis was so thoughtful to share with me a note you had written a couple of weeks ago pertaining to your current condition and that you would be undergoing surgery at MD Anderson on this past Friday to remove the cancerous growth that had resurfaced in your cranial area. I was completely devastated by this news and admittedly tears began to roll down my eyes thinking about all the physical and emotional pain that you have been going through. Ever since I became aware of the news, you and your loving family have been on my mind every moment of the day. I prayed to God on Thursday evening and all day Friday that he would provide you the strength to defeat this dreaded disease and I pleaded to him to provide a positive outcome after your surgery.
I wanted to reach out to you immediately last Thursday evening once I heard about your condition, as my heart ached for you. However, given that your surgery was the next day, I felt it best to allow you to rest up and to spend as much quality time with your wife and children who I know would give you the unconditional love and support that you needed at that very moment. I wanted to give you a few days to recuperate first before reaching out to you. However, admittedly I did make a call to your nursing ward at MD Anderson on Saturday, to at least ensure that you had your operation and your conditional was stable. Naturally all they could tell me was that you were resting comfortably, but that was enough for the moment to at least remove some uneasiness as to how things went.