Thursday, April 5, 2012

Our Cancer Journey Week 16

Kathy returns to chemotherapy tomorrow although the numbness in her hands and feet has not changed and she now has a probable tear of a ligament in her right knee, which gives new meaning to limping through her treatments.

Many people responded to my March 29 post with concern that Kathy and I might lose our optimism, given all the events happening in our lives simultaneously.

We have two responses to the events that life throws at us

1.  First, we have the support of each other.  We have not been apart more than a few days for past 32 years and have the same passion, infatuation, and mutual respect for each other we had on day 1.
2.  Second, we believe that everything happens for a reason.

We do not follow any formal religion, although I was baptized a Catholic and Kathy was raised in a Methodist household.    We have great respect for the world's religions and feel a special affinity to the Japanese Shinto believe that there is spirituality in every rock, tree, and mountain.

However, we do have a sense that some karmic force guides us on the path of life.  We've had many high highs and an equal number of low lows.  At the time, we had no idea why the bad things happened, only to discover later that they changed our path to enable an even greater positive event.

Before Kathy's cancer diagnosis, we were looking at Vermont farm property, realizing that it would be challenging to juggle our full time careers in Boston and life in Vermont.  We were willing to consider a Boston apartment during the week and rural Vermont on weekends.

The cancer diagnosis made us realize that we needed to be close to Boston for treatment and stay together in a single location all week long.

Our attention turned to property in Sherborn and Harvard, MA.    We bid on one property in Sherborn and the seller decided not to sell.  We were disappointed at the time, but the challenge enabled us to find an even better, more suitable property that we've agreed to purchase.  We move April 27.

Our Wellesley home was the subject of many inquiries even before it was listed.  We accepted one offer, but they buyers had bid on two properties and decided to purchase another home.   Again, we were disappointed but we kept preparing our home for the best open house possible.   We received several offers on the first day and we believe that following the standard listing process, instead of a pre-sale, will be a better outcome for everyone.

It seems odd that cancer would lead us to a farm in Sherborn and a good sale of our existing Wellesley home, but it did.

Kathy will be cured, I'm confident of that, so this series of events, however painful and stressful, will make us stronger and even better poised for the future.

So tomorrow, we'll continue with the chemotherapy, documenting the numbness and the side  effects.   Next week, Kathy will see an orthopedist for a probable medial collateral ligament tear.   And we'll finish the inspections and contingencies that are part of selling our home.

Everything happens for a reason.   By Summer, we'll be transitioned to our new life and will finally appreciate the reasons behind the path that we're traversing.


Adrian O'Connor said...

I find it fascinating and beautiful that you haven't been apart from Kathy for more than a few days in 32 years! What a companion.

Anyway, I really just wanted to hit a "Like" button but seeing as you don't have one. Thank you for sharing, you made me smile today.

Roll on the Summer!

Gary "Lumpy" Austin said...

Our thoughts remain with you for a quick recovery, a wonderful transition to "The Farm", and many, many more years of health and happiness. It's all about the journey
Lumpy & Kathy

Anonymous said...

I love your faith, strength and optimism. I hope the farm is an adventure for both of you. I'm sure it will be filled with flowers, love and sunshine.

Nancy P. said...

Dear Kathy and John:

I have been following your cancer journey since week 3. Back in December I had a breast biopsy that came back negative. Before I got the results I was told that four out of five of these types of biopsies in the U.S. come back negative. The words sounded so clinical and mathematical. I couldn’t help from thinking about these statistics in human terms: I imagined my statistical group of five women, preparing for the holidays, juggling doctor’s appointments with family commitments, while silently waiting for our results. And although I am not a religious person, I felt a kinship on some higher level with my four other nameless sisters.

Between the date of my biopsy and the receipt of my results I spent a great deal of time researching on the Internet what the journey ahead may hold. When I received the phone call with my biopsy results, I recognized a complexity to my sigh: Although I was one of the four, I understood that my unknown sister out there was beginning her journey with cancer. During the next few weeks I reflected deeply on what I had researched and learned about breast cancer. It was during this time that I came across John’s blog. I read weeks 1-3 and learned that I found out my test results within days of you finding out yours.

I’ve followed your journey over the months. I want you to know that I am inspired by your continued courage and openness. I am forever moved by your love for one another and the pursuit of your shared dreams. Yours is the love that touches all of us. You are the spouses and parents we all aspire to be.

Please remember there are many sisters like me who think of you often. Stay hopeful, as we are hopeful for you. Stay inspired, as we are inspired by you.

Love from Dallas,

Nancy P.

Anonymous said...

I wish you and your family a very best of luck. God speed.