Bad News, Folks…

by Brandon

I’m gonna’ get right to it… the cancer has returned.

Basically, the cancer has returned in my abdomen area. The doctors aren’t completely sure if it’s new cancer or just some cancer that was hiding with the scar tissue from my last surgeries, but really… it doesn’t matter. What matters is the fact that it’s there.

There is, however, good news involved in this diagnosis…

1. This cancer is treatable and curable. I’ll be going through chemotherapy again, which – I gotta’ admit – is the epitome of suck, but if I gotta’ do it, I gotta’ do it… and I gotta’ do it.

2. We caught it early enough to fight (and beat) it. The last time, when we discovered the cancer was there, it had already eaten up a significant chunk of my body. That’s not the case this time. This time, we caught it before it could do too much damage.

3. I’m in much better shape this time. The last time, by the time the doctors were actually treating my cancer, I weighed 138 lbs, I was horribly malnourished, and I was a step away from dead. This time, I’m much, much stronger. This time, I’m going into it with a relatively healthy body… so this time, it won’t beat me down like it did the last time. Sure, it’ll lay a hell of a beating on me, but nothing I can’t handle.

4. I have the best support system in the known universe. My wife is flat-out unstoppable. Throughout the years, Laura’s tenacious attitude has driven me frickin’ nuts… but when it comes to fighting cancer, it’s the best trait a spouse can have. And Laura has it in abundance.

My parents are currently on their way from Texas. I didn’t ask them to come. I called my mom and told told her about the diagnosis. I told her we’d beat this and she didn’t have to worry. Then, about 10 minutes after that phone call, she texted me to let me know that her and my dad were heading this way. I knew better than to argue, so instead, I just thanked God that I have them in my life.

My brother and sister have always been there for me… always. As a kid and as an adult. And I have absolutely no doubt that they’ll be here for me through this. And that’s just my immediate family… In the mountains of southwest Virginia, family begins with parents and siblings. It certainly doesn’t end there.

My friends are immeasurably amazing. I’m genuinely hesitant to call them friends because that word just doesn’t adequately describe them. I know it’s a cliche to say this, but right now, I’m really not concerned about cliches, so I’ll say it anyway… My friends areĀ not just friends. They’re family.

And when it comes to the doctors and nurses who are taking care of me… truly, there’s only one word to describe these people: Heroes. They don’t just treat the disease. They treat the entire patient. They have the amazing ability to make me feel safe while they’re treating me for cancer. I trust these amazing people because they’ve proven – over and over and over – that they deserve my trust. They’ve earned it a thousand times over.

So while this is devastating news, it could have been much, much worse, so you know what?

I’m thankful.

I’m thankful we caught it early enough to kick its ass, I’m thankful that it’s treatable, and I’m thankful for the support I have.

And I promise you this… my family and I have plenty of fight left in us, so this cancer doesn’t stand a chance.

We’ll tough through the chemo, we’ll tough through the healing, and we’ll move on.

So yes, this sucks. It sucks a lot.

But it’s just another bump in the road. Granted, it’s a big bump in the road, but it’s a bump in the road nonetheless. We knew all along that this was a possibility, so we’re ready to beat it…


I love you guys. Thank you all for your amazing support, and I promise you… I will beat this, because I owe it to you all for fighting so hard for me the last time.

The Day Soldiers series will be finished, and after that, you’re gonna’ get a hell of a lot more from me.

I’m not done yet.

- Bran

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