Well, I’m married! The wedding went off without a hitch too. Not too bad considering we planned it in 17 days and it was 4 days before Christmas. After 7 years we are now officially Mr. and Mrs. Madonia. A lot of people keep asking me what took so long? Hell, my wife (that is still weird to say) has also asked that question, even though she knows the answer. And the answer is that we were both in school for almost all of that time we have known each other, Lorrina for 6 years and me for 7! That on top of my track and field shenanigans, Lorrina’s several jobs, 3 bouts of cancer, and losing my father in the middle of an accelerated nursing program; we had a few excuses! Despite the long wait, I couldn’t be happier. I have married the strongest and most determined woman I have ever met. She has been by my side through hell and back and has done it all with a smile. When you are battling cancer, or any type of disease or illness, it is those closest to you that hurt the most. They are burdened with not only the emotional pain of watching their loved one be sick, but also the emotional and physical burden of taking care of them. Lorrina has shouldered all of that responsibility and has done it with more grace than should be humanly possible, and that is just one of the many reasons I know I have found a soul mate for life.
With Christmas coming tomorrow, I want to remind everyone to not take this time of year for granted. I know you hear this from everyone and it is cliché’, but it is true. I am not a religious person, but I have always celebrated Christmas. Christmas reminds me of great times with my family. It reminds me of my Dad playing Santa on Christmas morning with a stocking on his head. It reminds me of getting extremely bloated from eating way more than a human should be able to tolerate! It reminds me of the good times I had with family members I see far too little of today. And now it reminds me of my engagement and marriage to my beautiful wife. So no matter what holiday you celebrate or for what reason you celebrate it, remember that there will be a handful of kids staying the night at my hospital tonight. Kids that can’t go home for Christmas and spend it with their big, annoying, extended family that we often complain so much about this time of year. I also can’t help but think of the many families that will have newly empty chairs at their Christmas dinner this year. I have had the unfortunate task of caring of several patients that lost their battle with cancer this year. I can’t help but think of their families this week. With that said, please enjoy the holidays. Enjoy all the stress they bring and all the good memories they make and always remember that we are all fortunate in some way, no matter what struggles we are facing.
If I haven’t thanked you personally over the past few days, please accept my apology, it has been a little crazy and the support Lorrina and I have gotten for the wedding and for the Team Madonia page has been nothing short of amazing. I am so grateful for everything everyone has done for us, we truly have the best support system anyone could ask for! I also can’t believe how many people have bought shirts to help support Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Please remember that the money raised goes straight to Roswell Park and the search for cures to this awful disease.