In the past, I would normally make this first page a description of my career for that was what defined me for so long, but on March 20th of 2017 everything dramatically changed. That was the day the Doctor looked at me and told me that my upper left lobe of my lungs had collapsed and I had a 2 centimeter mass. “You have Stage 3 Lung Cancer…”
At that very moment I felt like my world had been turned up-side down… Life’s rug had been pulled out from under me. I had just come back to Houston from Arkansas to look for a better job, for good paying jobs seemed to be more abundant in Houston than in Hot Springs. I had no idea that anything was wrong with me… sure, I was a little short of breath, but I just attributed that to the fact that I was a cigarette smoker for over 40 years. It was only due to the fact that the VA required basic tests for job assistance… a TB test, a Pee test and a chest X-ray. It was the chest X-ray that initially revealed a problem; and then they had me get a CT scan for a more defined diagnosis. That lead to a broncoscopy that lead to a biopsy and diagnosis.
Since I had no family or support structure in Houston, the Doctor advised me that I should go somewhere that I would have family for a support network. “You will need a support network, believe me” were his words.
That is when I decided I would have to relocate to Nashville to be closer to my daughter Trish.
Over the years, I have had many experiences and careers:
- In High School, I was a thespian, acting in dramatic, comedy and musical theater productions.
- I was an NCO Staff Sargent in the Air Force for 12 years.
- I was an Air Traffic Controller in Chicago for 10 years.
- I created computer based training while working as an Instructional Designer for 14 years.
- I worked in Tech Support and Customer Service roles for 10 years, being the voice of comfort and reassurance for people calling in with anger and frustration, but by the time I finished, I seldom hung up on anything but happy friendly people.
Now, I still I hope that I might find a career path that will allow me to use my voice, but I have a new reality…. survival and sustaining myself as I progress through my cancer treatment.
So you want to see who I am? Here ya go…. check this…