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Gaining Perspective

Saturday, October the 5th, 2019 had a beautiful start. The sun was bright in the early fall sky. The roads were dry, and traffic was light. For a truck driver, it was a near-perfect morning. I was southbound on I-65 in northwest Indiana. I had already finished my job assignment for the day and was headed to the yard to put the truck away for the weekend.

Laughing and talking with my son

Behind me, in a second truck, was my youngest son. He is a co-worker and we were running together. We use Bluetooth headsets so we can talk, handsfree, and we had spent all morning laughing and joking and just having a great time. We joked about the job and the funny things we saw every day as we drove back and forth. We talk about the square body Chevy truck he is restoring and about all the dreams I have for the 1994 Harley Davidson I just bought.

Feeling invincible after receiving the all-clear

This is what we do. Almost every day is spent talking to my wife and kids as I drive along. I love driving and enjoy my time on the highway. My annual scope (see “Scope 2019”) was in the books and I had been given the all-clear. I had spent a good month stressing about the scope and having it behind me had me feeling invincible.

Everything changed in a second

All of that changed in a split second. I heard an explosion, saw smoke and felt my steering wheel jerk right. I followed my training. I kept steady on the throttle and tried to regain control. My right front tire had blown out. I was going 65 miles an hour. The truck continued to drift right and as soon as the front wheel hit the soft shoulder, any control I had was gone. The wheel spun hard right. The truck followed and I hit the brakes. I was now heading down an embankment and into a large highway sign. The truck continued through the sign and slowed until I was facing north. My tanker was attached but it was facing west. Both of my windshields were shattered. One of the beams that had held the sign was laying in front of my windshield, the second one was behind the cab and in front of the tanker. The sign was also wedged behind the cab. The hood was tilted forward.

A surreal experience

It took me a few seconds to regain my bearings. The first thing I became aware of was my son, sprinting down the embankment towards me. He shoved the beam that was between him and me out of the way and nearly ripped my door off the hinges. “I’m okay,” I said as I climbed down. He grabbed me and hugged me. I held onto him for dear life. We were both in tears and shaking. He checked me over, and I kept telling him I was okay. It was surreal beyond explanation.

I am fine and the truck will be, after some repairs. My son and I ran together again today. The point of this for me is this: cancer is just a part of a life. It may be a big part from time to time, but at the end of the day, it is just a part.

Life is more than cancer

Life is my daughter offering to fly home from New Orleans, where she was vacationing, to check on me. Life is my oldest son coming home “just for a hug.” Life is my wife wanting to FaceTime so she could see for herself that I was okay. Life is having my baby hold me tighter than tight and tell me he loved me as we stood in a ditch next to a wreck. Next year, I will try to remember that my scope day is 1/365th of my yearly life – no more and no less. I am blessed beyond measure and thankful beyond words.

When cancer is at it’s worst, look around and find the amazing. Perspective is a wonderful thing. My scope faded in importance, looking through a shattered windshield at a clear blue fall sky. Be blessed.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.