One of the first things my physician told me on the day I was diagnosed was, “Gene, you’ll never work again. Our concentration is going to be completely on your treatment and recovery. I understand working is important to you, but don’t ever ask me about it again.”
But, in February 2011, I was feeling very good—well, ‘very good’ in comparison to what I had been feeling like over the last year or two. So I asked him if I could return to work, and he allowed me to go work a maximum 20 hours per week. I worked for about eight months, until the end of October 2011. I was always tired after working four hours a day, but there is something to be said for having some type of a normal routine. It is very good mentally, as well as physically, to have some type of normalcy in your life.
I have had to adjust my lifestyle because I just don’t have the physical capabilities to do the things I did before. My wife and children say I was never a bundle of energy before this happened, so they don’t see much difference, but it is very noticeable to me. I still do as many normal things as I possibly can, like get out and see friends, visit family and people I used to work with whenever possible. I went to Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend with my son and to Disney World in Orlando with my wife and two grandchildren. Fortunately my health was pretty good, and it was a lot of fun.