My next life is still hanging in the balance.
It was July of 2012. Our family was in a very good, solid place. It had been five years since I was honorably discharged from the military. I was focusing on my family and growing a small business. Paula was as smart and beautiful as ever, happily employed as a teacher. We even had time to add our precious Sofia to the clan.
I first noticed “it” as two tiny bumps on my upper arm (what I would later learn was my humerus) while taking a shower. I paid “it” very little attention. By this point, I was wrestling Alex on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, wrestling, tickling, and laughing were in great supply at the Carson household. Surely, these bumps must be due to these physical activities. I had neither worry nor concern.
Sometimes life is better than you realize and you take it for granted. You complain about petty items. You get caught up in the small insignificant dramas that come with the human experience. We certainly went down that road during that summer. But we always knew that we were blessed. Paula and I were a team on everything and we adored our kids with every ounce of our beings.
I still have the July 2012 family picture in my computer.
My wife’s side of the family had been visiting from Bogota, Colombia and we were able to get a rare snapshot of our summer lives during that beautiful hot mountain summer on our backyard deck.
All the while I was blissfully unaware that the tumor was quietly dividing at a rapid pace and destroying my bone and soft tissue in the process, that small microscopic cancer cells, undetectable to any modern scanning equipment, were flooding my entire body. By October, the two small bumps had grown into something larger and solidified into one mass. It was time to go to my primary care doctor. He suggested two potential approaches, “wait and see” or sonogram. I chose the latter.