So why am I writing about this? Well, this life that we have grown to know, the life we have grown together into, is ending in the next few months. I know, it's a surprise to us too. If you think back to my last post, I had terrible news. Josh's tumor had spread and they were to cancel our VA board and his medical retirement. Well, things have changed. Literally in a few days our life flipped around and we were finally given good news. After that post, Josh walked in Tuesday morning to muster and his liaison between us and the med board handed him his VA ratings! He came home, handed them to me and we both just sat there in disbelief. I kept telling him "They were supposed to cancel these! What the hell!"After months and months of waiting, I was actually pissed off that they didn't get canceled! Go figure, lol. After collecting ourselves, we walked over to Navy Safe Harbor to see what our options were. I had assumed that the results held no value since they were supposed to be canceled. NOPE! We were told that if we wanted to accept the finds, we could and we could actually go home! We of course didn't want to make such a huge decision right away so we went home to weigh our options. You are allowed 10 days to either accept or decline your ratings. That mean't we had 10 days to get our life in order and develop a plan. Our first order of business was to get Josh's oncologist on board. I was nervous to do this as we had already started planning on starting another round of chemotherapy. Luckily for us, his doctor is very understanding and he always treats his patients with their best interest at hand. So, I had the daunting task of asking for his professional opinion. We could stay up here for almost two years and have Josh go through another round of chemotherapy, in a place that we honestly hate OR go home and have him be happy going through chemotherapy around friends, family, and in our house with our dog. Easy choice right? Well, we weighed more than just that. We have fantastic doctors up here and though we hate this place, we are offered way more medical advances then what we would find in small town Palm Bay. Honestly, it was down to stay here and have great doctors but be miserable, or go home, be happy and still get a great doctor. So I sent the best email of my life to his oncologist. I pleaded our case. His doctor emailed me back hours later and had no objection to us going home. He even offered up a referral for a doctor in Orlando and a treatment plan. Along with that, he set us up with a second opinion with a Oncologist at Johns Hopkins as well as an appointment at NIH to be placed in the system for drug trials.
So we weighed our options, talked it over with a lawyer, and we finally came to a decision. On Monday, November 14th Josh signed his ratings. He received a 100% on both the VA side and the DOD side. He will get tricare for life and he will receive 75% of his base pay for the rest of his life. I honestly feel as if a weight has been lifted off of our shoulders. The next month or so will fly by and soon enough we will be home in Florida. Josh has to do the normal check out but it shouldn't be to crazy. We are so anxious to get home and move into our house!
Above all else, the one thing that this cancer has taught me is that you can never plan for anything. The moment you feel as if you have a routine down and you can take a breath, life throws a wrench into all of your planning and you're scrambling to get your life back in order. While most people look at this situation as a daunting task, I have grown accustomed to it. My life is full of ups and downs, twist and turns and it is never a dull moment. For that I am thankful. For my husband I am thankful. And for this time I have with him, I am forever thankful.