This is my story about my Dad. I encourage everyone who joins to write something about how cancer has had an affect on your life. Thats why I named out team F3's "For Friends and Family."
Karma, the Universe, and the old adage; Everything Happens for a Reason:
July 2009: I was supposed to move out of my house; plans changed, I remained home.
Oct 2009: Springsteen Concert w/ Big Jim. Arrive early, move toward front of stage, Big Jim gets tired, looks pale, we get seats. Entire family is at Yankee Stadium to see Yankees win 27th World Series. Even though he was continually tired he refuses to go to doctor.
Dec 2009: Big Jim twists knee, swells up, refuses to go to doctor.
March 2010: Big Jim's knee has gotten so bad he can no longer walk; still refuses to go to doctor; FINALLY goes after a long talk with Lenny Jompulsky.
March 2010: Aside from knee problems, and infection from not getting it treated, Big Jim was diagnosed with Waldenstroms and Multiple Myeloma. Doctors give him very little chance of recovery.
April 2010: Big Jim comes home, infection cleared, and responding very well to chemo.
May 2010: Big Jim in remission; decides to take well deserved trip to Florida. Home Nurse leaves medication in pik line; after 3 days in Fla. Big Jim is put in Celebration Hospital, has sepsis and kidneys shut down. Doctors call to have family fly down, little chance of recovery.
July 2010: Big Jim comes home kidneys begin working on their own again.
Oct 2010: For the first time in a long time, entire family goes to Disney for Wine and Food fest, Big Jim is chosen to be Veteran of the Day @ the Magic Kingdom. When asked to participate in flag retreat ceremony, Big Jim jumps out of wheelchair, refuses cane, and walks with cast members to lower and fold the American flag.
Nov 2010: Back in hospital through Dec. in rehab facility through Feb 2011. Beats it AGAIN!
Aug 2011: Having good rest of year; except for possibility I may be laid off. Big Jim decides to go back to work. After several weeks of work, Big Jim in hospital, James Jr. laid off. Eventually Big Jim back home and ready for another Disney Wine and Food vacation.
Sept - Dec. 2011 - First time in 2 years we are home to celebrate the holidays together. I'm still interviewing for jobs with no luck.
March 2012: A dear friend Kevin Heenan passes away. I was happy we never lost touch, Kevin was always a great person to talk to. At Kevin's wake I ran into another old friend who I hadn't seen in a long time, talk about the old days, and catch up on life.
June - August 2012: We begin to notice Big Jim is not feeling well; by the end of July, Myeloma is back and we begin going for transfusions, oncologist eventually puts Big Jim Back in hospital.
Sept 2012: Receive email out of the blue from Erik, the friend I saw at Kevins wake. He recommended me to his boss, I went in for an interview and was hired shortly after. Not only am I now employed by a great company, but 12 years after graduating from Hofstra, I'M SYSTEM ADMIN, just like my Dad was! Standing in the server room I remember my father always telling me, "I CAN'T TALK IN THE SERVER ROOM, IT'S LOUD"...call my Dad to tell him where I was. You could hear how proud he was on the other end of the line! Thank you Erik, not only for remembering me, but because of you I was able to tell my Dad about my job before he passed.
Sept 19, 2012: The cancer was no longer treatable, we knew Big Jim was going to pass. Even after being told there were no other treatments, he never stopped fighting, he never closed his eyes, he wanted so badly to beat it again, we spend the next 2 nights in the hospital.
Sept 20, 2012: This year is the first season the NFL has a Thursday Night Game every week, that Thursday was the Giants vs. Carolina, the Giants played GREAT. Even better, Jonathan and I got to watch one last Giants game with our Dad.
Sept 21, 2012 6:25AM: James Dascole Sr. passes away; surrounded by the people who love him. My mother lost the love of her life, my brother and I lost our best friend, and the world lost a man who was admired and loved by HUNDREDS of people. Just reading the cards, emails, and seeing the amount of people who came to his wake you could see he touched so many lives.
It was sad to lose him, but it's a beautiful story. Time after time he was told to prepare for the worst, but he kept on fighting, and enjoying his life. Doctors are amazed when they hear his story. Was it a miracle? Maybe but we can't forget the people around him. He was being treated by an amazing oncologist! Dr. Jeffrey Schneider and his team are incredible, and my family is forever grateful to them. He had people praying for him constantly, and remember, God is not a Genie and doesn't grant wishes. We prayed for strength and guidance, and our prayers were answered. Most importantly, he had the will to go on.
When he first got sick I went online to get as much information as possible about his disease. After reading numerous medical papers, message boards, and blogs, I lost hope and those first 5 weeks were hard. Then a few months passed, then a year, and eventually I realized you can't diagnose a person using WebMD, everyone's stories are different. Hopefully his story will inspire other Multiple Myeloma patients to keep fighting, take things a day at a time, and NEVER GIVE UP!
I love you Dad, you were my best friend, you were my buddy, and I'm so proud of you! You didn't lose the fight, you WON, again and again! RIP Big Jim.