The day was Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 – a little over a year since Leah, for some odd reason, said “yes” to me when I proposed to her in our current home. At 11:00am, I had to get bloodwork done on Floor 2 at Dana Farber. Next, at 12:00pm, we had to go up to Floor 10 to meet with the Neuro-Oncology doctor and the Nurse Practitioners. On the way home, in the pouring rain in downtown Boston, we had to stop at Lahey Peabody in order to have a Radiation Consultation with the Radiation Oncologist at 3:00pm. When it was all said and done, we probably didn’t get home until around 7:00pm.
At that point in my life, this sort of day with multiple appointments in different locations, was a normal day in our lives. Leah was driving myself, and my parents, that day. As we were driving from Dana Farber, to Lahey Peabody, in pouring rain and bumper-to- bumper traffic, there was only topic on my mind. On that day, I ruined Leah’s 27th birthday, Wednesday, April 25th, 2018. She looked miserable trying to get through the traffic, making sure I was not late to my third appointment of the day. Right then and there is when I realized all of the lives that I am ruining because of my cancer, especially my fianceé Leah’s life.
If you ask Leah’s perspective on all of this, she would not sound as dramatic as I do right now. And why is that? Because she is stronger than I am – simple as that. Ask anyone who has a direct connection with my battle, and they will say the same thing. I tear up at least once a month, and she takes care of me with pure emotional strength. She, along with my parents and aunt, drive me to appointments due to my inability to drive with the chance of seizures occurring at any time.
At this point of my life, I am not fighting this cancer just for myself. As I have written in the past, if I lose my battle, Leah, and my parents, and my brother, and my friends, are the ones still here – not me. Not only do I want to get to Leah’s dream wedding in order to look at her the entire time and not even notice who else is there (sorry to our guests in advance), but I want to get past that event. I want to become a father with Leah as my partner. I want to become a grandfather with Leah as my partner. And then, after all of that is said and done, I want to be in my 90’s with Leah, like her inspirational grandparents are, and only focus on our success in the goals we had for each other. Those goals can be summed up with one idea, “as long as we are together, nothing else matters.”
If you love someone like that, hopefully it did not take a cancer diagnosis for you to realize it. If you are still looking for this realization, allow this post to clear the road towards achieving this goal. Leah has given up everything to be with me. The very least I can do is grow old with her.
My fianceé is my form of a cancer medication. Whether you have cancer, another sickness, a stressful job, a bad haircut, or even a couple more pounds on the scale than last week; try and be sure to find your source of love. Without Leah, I am unsure of where I would be.
I love you Leah Palazola. Always.