Fourteen years ago, our parents received some news. We were young then, but from what we hear it was devastating to a degree that we’ll likely never understand, having not been there ourselves to hear the sound the earth makes when it cracks open to swallow you whole. After a routine doctor’s visit, our dad was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer.
“If we’d have caught this in six months,” the doctors said. “It would have been over. We have to treat this immediately, aggressively, and now.”
And so began years of grueling radiation therapy combined with various other treatments – some experimental at the time – that eventually saved his life. He was in remission by the time we, his children, then ages 7, 9, 11, 20, and 23, found out that the whole time that our parents were going to our soccer tournaments, coaching our basketball games, dropping us at college, and making smiley-faced pancakes for us, they were also fighting for his life.
It’s been fourteen years since, and in those fourteen years our family has been fortunate to have been able to live a blessed life. And that’s the thing of it, really – living. All of those years growing up together as a family. Pushing each other off of the pier on Murphy Lake and sneaking onto the neighbor’s water trampoline. Hanging out in the boathouse or practicing our free throws in the backyard. There were fishing trips to Canada, skiing trips to Colorado, sunning trips (and senior trips) to Mexico, and summers up at Klinger Lake. As we write this, we look back on life and can’t even imagine the alternative. To think what a difference six months could have made, and what may have never been without it.
Today, the Goros are alive and well and living in various Chicago neighborhoods, having started another new chapter in life. But as strong as we feel now, is as vulnerable as we felt then. Few things in life weigh as heavy as a cancer diagnosis. No matter how far down the road to remission, the ripples of diagnosis continue on, and the fear of recurrence remains constant. When we were kids, our parents used to say, “Don’t cry, you’re tough as nails.” They didn’t know then how it would stick with us. We don’t give up easily, and we won’t go out without a fight. Prostate cancer hit us, and this is our way of hitting back. We may be wearing flags on game day, but this year at the PCL BlueZone Tournament you’ll find us doing our damnedest to ‘Tackle Prostate Cancer’.
For more information check out: www.pclbluezone.org