Odds of One in 1,000

Your odds are one in 1000. Do you believe miracles happen? When people say there is no chance, prove them wrong and do what they say you couldn’t. Anything is possible no matter what the odds are. There is always a chance to beat the cancer or win the hockey game. You can do anything you put your mind to.

A few years ago my grandpa was diagnosed with stage 2 Prostate Cancer. He had a one in 1000 chance to beat the disease. When he told me that he had cancer, it was the worst thing that ever happened to me. There is not one day I can’t not think about the day when he told me.

I went to his house to stay, like I do before every big hockey game. He told me to sit down on his cream colored couch in the dark TV room. I was watching a hockey game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Buffalo Sabers, the score was 3-1 Penguins. He sat down next to me and we started talking about our lives like we would normally do, but then he said “ Erich I have to tell you something, you are my first grandson, and you are like my son that I never had. We share all of our stories and can talk forever about our day and people. I wanted you to be the first to know that yesterday I went for a checkup and the doctor told me that I have stage 2 Prostate Cancer and I need to be admitted to a hospital soon.” I didn’t know what to say, so I just sat and thought how this had happened to him.

If my Grandpa is ok then everything else in the world will be ok. He’s the only role model that I have and can talk to about my problems, and my successes. When I needed someone to talk to I knew I can call him. He is the first person to take time out of his life to understand me and relate to my feelings. I went to my first hockey game with him, and now he has me addicted to hockey. He comes to all of my games within two hours to watch and coach me. He played goalie when he was a little kid, so he knows about the pressure. He respects that I’m committed to play for Princeton University. Even though my grades aren’t the best my Grandpa’s help was the biggest reason that I’m going to Princeton. He trained me hard enough where I was good enough to get exceptional status to play. That’s why he was the one who sat next to me when I signed my contract. He has been there for every important moment in my life, so that’s why he is so important to me. But knowing that there was nothing I can do to change the cancer, that I had to sit and watch, and my only help is to comfort him when ever he needed it. It didn’t feel fair that I couldn’t help fight this. It didn’t feel fair because he has helped me through so much, and I couldn’t help him.
The hardest part was seeing my parents give up. Their facial expressions were heartbreak and helplessness. My mom said to me, “There is such a little chance that your Grandpa will get better, that we can’t stand here and watch him die it’s to hard for us. You can stay but my heart is already broken enough that I can’t bear to be there.” But when I was alone with him at his sickest time, that’s when I really started to connect with him, and know who he really was and how strong of a person he was. I would come right after school at 2:33P.M. and stay there till 9P.M. each night just to be with him while he was staying in the hospital. In that time I learned how he lived, what were his biggest struggles, successes, and it was the closest I have ever been with someone in my life. We would talk about him being in the war, his grandparents. That made the thought of losing him even worse than I thought possible; nothing was as important as keeping him around no matter what the cost was.

Everything I knew about this world was because of him. When my he told me he was going to have to get chemotherapy, I was happy and sad. I knew that they were going to try and make him better and kill the cancer with radiation. But this treatment doesn’t always work, and isn’t always the safest option. When he got all of the treatments, I sat outside the radiation room and waited for one to two hours every time for 70 treatments. I could never talk to anyone. I was too worried about how he was doing. I was also thinking about all of the stories he would tell me about when he was in the war and how bad it was. He said this cancer was worse. All of his strength was gone all his motivation to live wasn’t there. The only reason he was trying to live wasn’t for himself, but for the family. Thats when I knew he was my hero. After all 70 treatments we went to the doctors to see if all of the cancer was gone. But when we got there it hadn’t even killed any of it. We were both shocked and confused.
After the doctor explained the different options, we chose to go with bone direct treatment, or bone surgery. That choice was one of the hardest decisions to make, because if it didn’t work, the doctors didn’t know if they could treat it any other way. The date was set for July 8th, 2012. I walked with my Grandpa to the operating room and said good bye. I waited with my mom four hours outside in the waiting room. Then the doctor came out and told me and my mom that the surgery was a success. Thats when I couldn’t control my emotions and finally cried a little bit.
After they let us see my Grandpa, I just hugged him for the longest time. The world was lifted off of my chest. Now he goes back to see the doctor every six months. He is doing extremely well and is back to being his normal self as funny, loving, and sometimes serious hero. After that experience we are closer than ever and now talk to each other every day. That’s why after my grandpa had a one in 1000 chance to live and he beat the cancer. Thats why I believe in miracles.

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