Posted on March 14, 2018
Good day to you, Ladies and Gentlemen.
The news I have to convey to all of you today is that I just went in for my one year anniversary check-up yesterday... and that everything looks great!
After going through a battery of tests last week, including a meeting with my surgeon, a colonoscopy, some blood tests and a CT scan, Dr. Andorsky, my oncologist, has indicated that it appears that there is no longer any cancer in my body!
The anxiety that preceded this most important of meetings in my life, had been a quiet simmer of anxiousness that had immersed into a full blown boil in the past month. Upon hearing the doctor's interpretations of the data gained through these last tests, I was, to say the least, elated!
The feelings I have, regarding my new found status, I often refer to as being emancipated from dragging around an anchor behind me for the past year. I can finally breathe and it sure feels good!
Once someone has had cancer, the possibly that they will have a recurrence is slightly elevated more so than someone who has always been healthy. Also, the first few years after one has had cancer is one of the most vulnerable times to getting it again. I am determined to stay cancer free for the rest of my life!
What I wanted to do here was to thank each and every person out there who assisted in my recovery. To all of those that either contributed to my financial well being, offered comfort on the phone, through email or in person, or simply said a quiet prayer for me; your efforts were successful! There is no other way to express my sincere gratitude other than to say thank you!
To Kurt Heidinger, Wendy Ruppenthal, Suzanne Bohan, Shawn Mulligan, Kristen Donaldson, Gail Meyer, John Gitchell, Jade McAloon, Addie Troup, Mildred Taylor, Marianne Martin, Samantha Weston, Brian Holloman, my dear friend Murray, Matthew and Aeron Cox, Claudia Auget, Jim Birchfield, Diane Boyers, Molly Brown, Lee Buric, Allison Church, Linda Cooper, Karen and John Dickson, Peter Dolan, Dave Fairty, Anne Franco, Jonathan Falk, Steve Homsher, John Hulleberg, Berkeley Johnson, Bill Merikallio, Dwight Holmes, Sue, Dan and Cal Kehoe, Tom Keyes, Hollis Brooks, David Leith, Brian Peterson, Tom Maloney, Christine Martinez, Jennifer McCord, EJ Meade, Daniel Nunez, Steve Phillips, Stone Roberts, Carolyne Rideg, Mark Routhier, Julie Markes, Geoff Sigg, Paul Stern, Bill Taylor, Rob Cooper, Robert Jones, Susan Tobias, Susan Wheeler, Lexy Lovell, Joni Simon, and anyone else who's name is not listed, thank you all. I hope I have thanked each and every one of you. If I didn't, it probably just means that things really got a bit foggy during the time I was doing chemotherapy and it was all kind of a blur for a bit there. I would also particularly like to thank Elizabeth Burrows for being so bold as to ask the questions about what I was experiencing during that recovery time and for taking care of me when I was somewhat helpless.Yes, I do remember the night we were camping and one of the dogs came back in the tent, after running around, and they had rolled in something dead. Since the site upon which we were camped was deluged with mosquitoes, there was no option just to have them sleep outside. So, you went down to the cold river and washed that dog in the dark, in the middle of the night. I know, I owe you for that one.
The depths to which one's mind and spirit can sink when one has a potentially life threatening illness is quite scary. There were many nights when I was awake at four in the morning when hope seemed very distant. I am not too proud to say that watching all of the reruns of the 1960's television series, "Combat" on YouTube during those sleepless hours was critical to my survival.
I would also like to say that the amazing support and energy from all of you has been crucial in this healing and recovery process. I absolutely believe that positive energy can be used to influence a situation's outcome. Having all of you behind me always enabled me to face a critical test or enter a doctor's meeting with a good attitude. Together, we beat this thing!
As for my future; I have a very enthusiastic outlook with this new lease on life. I know that we can help to shape the world we live in by taking little steps to be good to one another. Opening a door for someone, saying "hello," or taking time to find out how someone is really doing are all valuable tools that we should employ in our daily lives. I plan on building on my skills in photography, possibly starting a business selling textiles and setting out to do a host of things that I haven't done before. Since I have worked very little during this past year, I need to begin to rebuild my finances. I plan on getting outside as much as possible and going to see great music, films, art and performances. I want to read good books and run around like crazy with my beloved dogs. I'd also like to meet up with all of you at some point and, as my dad used to say, "shoot the shit."
So, if you are out on a trail sometime and you hear someone's voice singing some bad 1970's song at the top of their lungs, it's just me. If a pack of Border Collies comes running up to greet you, I won't be far behind. Let's pause for a short while and take a break together. I'd be honored to spend some time with you.
I love you all.