My wife, Heidi, and I welcomed our first child into the world in June of 2017. She arrived right on the 6/9 due date like clockwork. Nice.
Within seconds of holding my daughter, Penny, for the first time, I was pretty sure I wanted another. Maybe a few. Maybe as many as we could afford on the combined salaries of a fledgling TV writer and a middle-school teacher.
What I didn't know as I was diving headfirst into fatherhood—those sleep-when-you’re-dead, stains-on-your-favorite-shirt, somehow-no-fun-and-the-best-time-of-your-life days—was that my body was already riddled with cancer. It had started in my left testicle, spread to the lymph nodes in my abdomen and eventually formed a nine-centimeter mass about the size of a softball around my left kidney. In terms of testicular cancer, that's large. The doctors told me I’d been carrying it for years, and had we not caught it then, I wouldn’t have lasted much longer.