Best wishes to you Bear. We are all pulling for you.
A few things have happened to me over the last several years that have given me a reality check.
The first one was my two boys coming into this world. I never felt much compassion for stories in the news about children who were sick, abused, etc. I felt bad, but the feeling left soon after it came. The momemt I held my oldest after he was born, the world changed for me forever. It breaks my heart to see or hear of children go through something terrible. Case in point - the girl who survived over a week on ramen and gatorade after her mom went over a cliff in their car in California. The mother dies but the girl survived. I see my boys and want to do everything I can to protect them.
The second was when my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Luckily it was found early enough and so far, everything checks out.
Finally, my brother is now in Kuwait, waiting to go into Iraq. I called him the day before he left. We did not say much, five minutes, maybe. But I remember what I said last to him. "Do you job and get home." The whole rest of the day all I could think of was if that was the last time I'd every speak to him.