These two weeks have been a straight out of a horror film: 3 surgeries, poked and prodded by needles all day and night, tubes in my throat and nose, nausea, bloating you name it and I’ve probably been through it this week.
Words really can not explain the difficulties of just trying to get healthy in order to go home back to my family and loved ones.
Then today happened...a doctor who I’ve seen ONCE this entire time, comes into my room and says “Well! Looks like we have stage 3 Colon Cancer. Hasn’t spread very much. Could be 2 but we will call it a 3 and we will start chemo as fast as we can.” Not the most heart warming event and presentation by the doctor in the history of medical news but still chilled me to the bones.
Many times during this brief journey I have cried and doubted myself and often used the phrase “Why me?” First, I attack the physical side of what I could have possibly done different to not have an outcome like this? Should I have went to the doctor more? Should I have listened to my body more? Secondly, I attack my personal life: Am I a good person? Have I done all that I could to help others? Am I a good husband, dad, brother, son...?
To any family member, friend, colleague etc... they will just tell me that is nonsense to think like that, but when your mentally feeling this stress, I don’t care who you are, if you’re not questioning yourself, you are not human.
This is my time to figure out why Colon Cancer will be a blessing and something that altered my life for the better
But rest assure I do remind myself: I work out regularly, I have a healthy diet and for more than half my life now, I have dedicated myself to living to an ultra healthy lifestyle. As for being a good person, I do think I have gone out of my way to genuinely help others and do the right things. I know I am a good husband and I damn well know I am a great father and I am not ashamed to boast about that. I love my family and will do absolutely anything to protect them. They are my life!
My question now is how can I turn“why me?” into a positive. Why did this happen to me? What am I supposed to do with this to help better myself and the world around me? I have always wanted to do more and be something more, not in a famous way but more in an impactful way. Well, maybe this is my sign. This is my time to figure out why Colon Cancer will be a blessing and something that altered my life for the better.
I wish I could answer my own question but that is for me to live out.
I will stay strong and I will beat this! Until next time, say a prayer for me and let’s continue this journey to health together.
- Denis Noonan
On Wed. July 1st I was admitted to the hospital with severe stomach pains. By July 3rd, the pain had become excruciating, I had never felt such pain in my life. I had emergency surgery where they removed a mass of cells that was completely blocking my colon. After a tough day of recovery, I started to sweat and be nauseous for two straight days. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t even drink water and by Mon. July 6th I was rushed into my second surgery of the short week. I had a possible infection within my wounds that had to be addressed ASAP.
Now finally I can look back at the worst week of my life and begin to move forward in life. They have let me know that my cell mass was indeed cancerous and that although I am clear of infections, I have a long road ahead. So why am I writing all this detail? It’s not to complain but to speak about the good I have seen in people this week and how inspired I feel that I know I will beat this cancer!
Hearing “you have cancer” is the single most frightening thing that has ever happened to me. But what this week has to taught me, in order to begin my journey of beating this cancer, is to lean on people that truly care and love you. Is that a little cheesy? Sure but my amazing supporting wife, children, the notes from family members, co-workers, close friends and friends you haven’t seen in years, medical workers, and people I have met in the lacrosse industry have inspired me beyond belief.
My entire life I have lived with a sense of unrealized potential. I was a very good athlete but always felt I never achieved what I wanted to in any of the sports I played. I then began to feel the same way as an educator and a coach. I knew I could coach and have inspired many young people over the years as a teacher but sometimes it’s an internal struggle that we all battle. As the years start to go by, we all gain a sense of fear that we might not achieve what we had set out to achieve in our careers. But this internal struggle also led me to starting the best thing in my career and that’s US Club Lacrosse. I had a vision, inspiration and more importantly, now as I reflect on it over the last two years, a “love” for it. Being able to enhance the club lacrosse experience for boys and girls across the country has become one of my biggest driving forces and is our ultimate goal at US Club Lacrosse.
I know I am at the beginning of my journey to beat this horrible disease but with my new sense of “love and support” guiding me I know I will destroy it and will not live in fear of colon cancer.
Colon cancer will not define me. I will meet it head on and come out on the other end, knowing that this time I did everything I could to beat it.
This will be one tough road but my inspiration to helps others, continue to build this company and my love for others will keep my spirits and optimism an all time high.
Denis Noonan, Ceo & Founder of US Club Lax
There are many hats that founder of US Club Lacrosse Denis Noonan wears, which include father, husband, son, brother, coach, teacher and soon to be...colon cancer survivor. Faced with the toughest challenge in his life, Denis has chosen to share and document his battle with the world.