In 2016, I quit my full-time job at a web design agency and started my own company, creating WordPress web sites for local clients, when I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Ironically, at 39 years old I was in better shape than I had ever been in my younger days.
I had been hitting the gym 5 days a week and kayaking for a couple years leading up to my diagnosis. Good thing too, because surgery and treatment were obviously very tough and took a heavy toll on my body and spirit.
To get through treatment it was important to me that I still work every day.
Some days all I could manage was a couple hours in the afternoon in between intense body aches and spells of puking, but it really helped me to cope and endure surgery and a lengthy, exhausting series of painful chemotherapy treatments. I had recently completed a couple of websites with the help of my friend and mentor, those sites had a captivating design and quickly gained good reach with a little help from social media. I mean they were the kind of sites that groups of people used and managed, so I got some attention for the work and word of mouth spread locally.
Fast forward to 2017, after having beaten cancer and cranking out a lot of enterprise-level work, a biopsy revealed I had a cancer reoccurrence. I never wanted cancer to be part of my story, and I tried to deny or overcome it in all ways but it had resurfaced in October of 2017. Professionally, I was involved in collaborating on very large scale enterprise sites and diverse marketing strategies across several verticals, all integrated with teams of various skilled professionals like myself. I was spending the year testing the waters at a whole new level of production that placed an overwhelming amount of investment in our most precious commodity: time.
It was not good timing to require another surgery and 18 more rounds of chemotherapy. Fortunately, I found support in the industry from other designers, developers and marketers who helped me to the finish line with 3 large projects in areas of e-commerce, mobile applications and enterprise site work – one with a large volume of animations. After surgery, in February of 2018 I completed 18 rounds of chemotherapy treatments. I’m officially cancer-free. Again. But, equally important, I’m financially independent and free to do all those things on my bucket list now that I am assured of more time to devote to them. Work is vital for the mind, body and soul. It gives us worth in many ways besides the obvious.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story, to publicly thank my wife Sarah, my family, and friends for their support.