About Amanda B.
Hi Kristen, Although I am writing to you under poor circumstances, I am honored to tell you the story of my step dad’s courageous fight against Prostate Cancer. Please take the role ‘step’ dad lightly. He was not your average step dad. He was my best friend, shopping buddy, dancing buddy and most importantly my biggest cheerleader. My step dad, Joey, came into my life when I was 13 (yes, he loved me even during those ugly teenage years). He embraced my brother and I like we were his blood. My step dad was the most courageous, strong, and selfless man, but we all know that cancer does not discriminate. He was a full time Somerville firefighter AND Foxboro police officer. He loved serving his community. He took such pride in putting on those uniforms everyday. I watched him feel so fulfilled by serving his community. I knew that I needed to follow in his foot steps. I decided to become a elementary school teacher. Fast forward 4 years, I graduated with my Bachelor degree in Elementary Education. When I arrived back from my college graduation trip I walked into my dad curled over on the couch. I knew something was wrong. Two days later we were told that he had stage 4 Prostate Cancer. The cancer was very aggressive and advanced, We were told it had metastasized to his bones. From then on my main focus was to fight along his side. I went to every chemo, radiation and doctors appointment. As a 23 year old it is hard to pivot to caring for your dad, but every moment spent with him was worth it. Fast forward 3 years and many treatments later, we were told that the cancer had mutated to Single Cell Lung Cancer. The doctors told us there was nothing they could do. At this point, I was a first grade teacher juggling remote teaching (Thank you COVID) and losing my dad. The last 3 months of my dad’s life were tough. I spent every hour that I was not working by his hospital bed. I did everything I could to make the time he had left meaningful. During COVID we had to get very creative to make my dad’s final month memorable. I packed up my Boston apartment and my boyfriend and I moved in with my mom and dad. We had many dance parties in the kitchen. We had too many zoom birthday parties. We even organized a 450 car parade (yes, he knew EVERY person in each car). At the end of the summer he was even able to see my fiance propose to me. On October 2, 2020 my dad left us peacefully and surrounded by his loved ones. The last 4 years are a blur. I often look back wonder how our family did it, but we did it for Joey. Thank you for listening to our family’s story.