After I got the “all clear” from the doctor, I’ve been going on with life and haven’t looked back. I went back to residency the very next week and am happy to announce I made it to the halfway mark on July 1st when I entered by third year. You don’t realize how much you love something until you’re forced to step away.
When I first was diagnosed, I told Varisara that I was going to be a stay-at-home dad and spend all the time I could with her and Avery. I love my daughter, but those 3 months at home gave me a new-found appreciation for stay-at-home parents. I truly appreciated all the time I was able to spend with her as she was beginning to grow into her own and develop a personality, but I also quickly realized how much I missed performing surgery. There’s no feeling better than helping people. I never doubted my decision to return to the hospital (as a surgeon, of course), but that was quickly reaffirmed when one of my patients said to me “This surgery is going to change my life. I can’t wait for people to stop making fun of me”. At that moment, I knew I made the right decision coming back.
Since that magical day in March, I’ve also been very busy crossing things off my bucket list:
- We went to New York to eat at Sushi Nakazawa, a omakase restaurant made famous by the documentary ‘I Dream of Sushi’. It was an amazing experience you definitely have to try once in your life.
- Varisara and I went on our first solo trip without Avery to our friends’ (Wilmo and Veronica) in Key Largo, FL. It was really nice to get away and reconnect, but we missed our little girl so much.
- We moved into a new house last month. I always imagined raising my children in a family friendly neighborhood where they could run around and ride their bikes. It has been truly a joy to watch her roam and explore our new home. I can’t wait to see her grow into it.
I had my last scan in June and the disease remains at bay, which means the medicine is still working. All in all, we’re getting used to the new normal. Great news all around!