It was five years ago today, August 25, 2007, that I was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer. Six doctors said I'd be dead within a year and I'm still here.
I wish Jeff, Sid, Melissa, Gary, Mr. Sherman, Liz and Farrah were still here.
If I told you the number of cancer patients and their loved ones I've talked to over the past five years, you wouldn't believe it. I can hear the panic and confusion in their voices. If I get to meet them, they all have the same look of absolute fear in their eyes. I had it too.
I tell them all what Farrah said to me in Germany:
"Never, ever stop fighting. Never give up!"
Then she doubled her fists and held them like a boxer and punched the air.
About five minutes after I was diagnosed and told by the doctor to get my affairs in order, I came out and told my wife I had stage 4 throat cancer. As we took the long walk to the elevators I was very quiet and my wife was crying and asking questions. She finally said, "Say something!" and I said, "It's a bad day for cancer."
I was scared but determined to beat it and we did.
You notice I said, "we" beat it. You can't do it by yourself. I had a great support system of family, friends, the best doctors, God and Charlie. I truly would like to thank everyone for their good thoughts and prayers while I was sick.
I don't really know what to say about my wife, Vinnie, who was by my side every step of the way. Honestly, she saved my life.