New Career?? - (Journal Entry: November 10, 2005)
Results from my follow-up CT Scan on Nov. 1 were fine and we appreciated the good news.
Well, I continue to feel better all the time and my strength is coming back gradually. For a little excitement, the family and I went to the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte to participate in the Petty Driving Experience. We are big NASCAR fans anyway, so we thought it would be a major thrill to get a little closer to the action.
My youngest daughter joined several other kids in a 14-passenger window van and they got to tour around the track at about 75-80 mph. Her smile on exiting the van was absolutely priceless.
Next I went through the driver's training and safety courses. Got suited up with a racing suit, helmet, and HANS device and climbed into the stock car for eight (8) laps of fun. I had to follow the instructor's car and stay 3-5 car lengths off his back bumper. Each lap was progressively faster and I topped out at 141 mph. Felt like I could easily have gone faster, but I think they keep rookies from going too fast. They do offer different driving packages with more laps, and I think it would be fun to do it again!!
Finally my oldest daughter and my wife each signed up to ride along with a professional driver. They got suited up and gave me the thumbs up before they streaked down pit-road. They made several laps and topped out at about 160 mph. Of course, they let Dad know that they were faster than me. What a great experience and wonderful family memories for all.
Also, my wife and I got to celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary. The official date was June 4th, but with my chemo treatments going on, we decided to delay our celebration until now. Twenty-two years that the Lord has blessed me with such a wonderful, supportive, and loving woman!!!
Finally, through all of this, I have been considering a change in career. Even though I am happy at my current job and I was not seeking another job, something fell into my lap that I could not ignore. An international engineering consulting firm asked if I would head up their operations in Greensboro, North Carolina. You can only imagine how uplifting it is for me to have a company that wants a "cancer survivor" to be their leader as an Area Manager. The boost to one's self esteem is incredible!! The focus for me now is on the future and how I can contribute to this new organizaion and help them grow and prosper financially.
I learned through this battle with cancer that not everyone makes it. But those of us that do, have a new lease on life. Life is short and very fragile. We all need to be willing to take a chance and try new things.
Therefore, I am going to seize this opportunity and run with it. This career change will challenge and stretch me professionally. It will also reward me financially for operating successfully.
This is the right decision for me and my family. The hardest part is saying good-bye to the men and women that I care so deeply about, after being their department head and leader for more than 17 years. Their love, support, and prayers helped get me through cancer and I will never forget any of them.
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