Thursday, July 26, 2012

Our Cancer Journey Week 31

Today marks the end of our cancer journey for now, although the followup will be life long.   In 2012,

*Kathy completed chemotherapy with Adriamycin/Cytoxan and Taxol
*Kathy underwent a lumpectomy of her left breast where the tumor was growing
*Kathy received 33 doses of radiation therapy over 42 days
*We sold our home in Wellesley (it closes today), purchased a farm in Sherborn and moved all our belongings, the contents of Kathy's studio, and her father's belongings to a single location.
*We acquired 8 alpaca, 2 llama (if you count our pregnant guard llama), 12 hens, 1 rooster, and 22 guinea fowl

So now, it's time for a breather.   The month of August has no travel, no visiting family/friends, and a little less chaos in our lives.

We will use our August 8 anniversary (32 years together, married 28) to reflect on where we've been and where we're going.    We'll celebrate the trajectory of the past year.   There was good and bad, but we're on a very positive path.

Although Kathy still has numbness in her feet and hands, the rest of her body and her mind is in good shape.   She's designing our blueberry patch and apple orchard.    She's putting the finishing touches on our barn, paddocks, and fences.   Her new beginning as a cancer survivor is mirrored with by a new lifestyle for our entire family.

I'm a strong believer in the karmic notion that everything happens for a reason.   Life is anything but a linear path and you never know what you'll find around the next turn or how one turn will affect another.  

To me success is not measured in fame or fortune, but in relationships you nuture and the difference you make.  Our cancer journey has been all about relationships - spouses supporting each other, family supporting family, clinicians supporting patients, my employer supporting its employee, and the broad community (Massachusetts colleagues,  acquaintances, and fellow cancer patients) offering unconditional optimism.  

So thank you to everyone who has supported Kathy and me since our diagnosis in December of 2011.   By all measure, you've made a difference and strengthened every relationship  while opening new doors for the future.   We are truly blessed to have you around us.  We look forward to the day we can invite all of you to our farm for blueberry picking, apple picking and alpaca watching in celebration of surviving cancer.


Mattpenning said...

Thank you for sharing this journey with all. Your chronicle has been enlightening and helpful.

Your new phase of life sounds enjoyable and challenging.

I hope you continue to share your journey as well as your insights into healthcare IT.

Claudia said...

Best wishes and good luck to the both of you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to both of you. You so deserve your August breather.

And congratulations on your anniversary.

As you said, "Life is anything but a linear path and you never know what you'll find around the next turn or how one turn will affect another." May your next turn be all about serenity, good health, and laughter.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and many thanks for sharing this journey.

I especially wish you luck with the menagerie!

bev M.D.

Anonymous said...

John - congratulations and all best wishes to you and Kathy for your life together. Thank you so much for sharing your cancer journey. I am so glad the destination is as wonderful as it is.

GreenLeaves said...

Thank you Kathy and John for sharing personal and clinical information. I will use the narrative you provided to assist my friends who have to go through a similar experience.

Wishing you both a wonderful time in your new home on the next leg of journey together.