Today I sit in the chemo suite watching the drip-drip-drip of chemo, my monoclonal antibody (bevacizumab), my antiemetics (anti-nausea drugs), etc. This will be the shortest lemonade post to date so that you can prepare for the New Year and recover from the holidays.
Short story, I’m feeling great. My son Jason and his wife Lindsey have been up from DC with two of my angelic grandchildren, and I’m happy to report their smiling faces will be there when I get home today. Their intent was to be in Scotland for the holidays, but the risk of COVID kept them in the States. So, pretty much, a few days before Christmas, we were thrilled to hear they were visiting, but ill prepared for a festive Christmas since we traditionally celebrate Hanukkah. Additionally, our local crew and their little angel were planning to sleep at our home overnight.
So, what the heck… We do in fact live in the Town of Bethlehem, so what better incentive could there be to purchase our first Christmas tree in the 40 years we lived here. Although we were clueless, off we went to find a tree. Thankfully our neighbors were lining up to provide ornaments and help with the decorations. Becky G beat them all to the house and showed up with all sorts of festive adornments as you can see in the photo.
Reflecting on 2021, there are a few short messages I wish to share.
- I am thankful for everyone in my life, especially all the people who have reached out to me with memories, stories, ways that I influenced their lives, and the outpouring of love.
- My family has made an amazing effort to spend more time with me and Robin ever since June. I know people get wrapped up in life, with their kids, and work. But this was the biggest blessing of the year – I plan to live a long time with a hint of death in the background, so that I can hug my kids and my grandchildren as frequently as possible. Finding the silver lining in terminal illness is not that difficult if you have a positive attitude and a loving family. For those of you who do not have a terminal illness, think about who is most important in your life, and treat each other like yours or their days on earth are limited, or at least unpredictable. The fact is that we are all dying from the time we are born – don’t wait until you regret time away from your family or friends.
- I owe an overwhelming debt of gratitude to all those from various religious faiths that have prayed for me (hence the featured photo on top) – you have kept me healthy emotionally and physically. We are in fact all one, and regardless of your religion, the general concepts are the same. Be a good person, be honest, help people in need, don’t be selfish, do onto others…, etc.
I will wrap things up with just one update. For those of you who have been following my blogs, you pretty much know the trials and tribulations my family and I have endured since June 2021 when I was first diagnosed with cancer. You also know that my one gnawing hurdle is that I want the opportunity for disconnecting my disposable ambulatory pump, flushing my central line, and removing my needle each two weeks (if out of town). I am otherwise literally tethered to my home geographical location for 56 days per year for really no good reason as outlined in my blog post, DOCing at the Port versus Strong Waves of Resistance in a Sea of Lemonade, and several others. So, I decided to make a plea to the Executive Director of this very large oncology practice in a CERTIFIED LETTER, which is worth the read, as it is also a lesson in self-advocacy and a reasonable approach. I believe it was informative and fair, and it nicely summarized my journey (with less detail than my blogs) in a few short pages – so you could use this to catch up if you missed some posts. 😉 It was a nice end-of-year synopsis that also outlined the highlights, milestones, and positive outcomes I have enjoyed during the last seven months. Stay tuned for the reaction to this letter which will appear in the first post of 2022!
So, with that, I wish all my blog followers a healthy and Happy New Year, restful nights, and ongoing love and appreciation for friends and family. I promise to toast all of you on New Years Eve with a delicious lemon-based liqueur. Cheers!
Comments are enthusiastically welcomed. I love receiving comments of various social media sites (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter), but please also paste those comments on here if you have time! Many thanks and congratulations (and thank you) if you made it through this entire post!
26 thoughts on “Lemon-based New Year’s toast in sight, a letter in flight, and to all a good night (SHORT POST)”
Happy New Year Jeff! Your ability to relate these experiences clearly and concisely is as impressive as your progress in treatment. Here’s to hoping the new year brings new hope and few surprises!
Beautiful! One of my favorite posts yet. Happy new year to you and the whole family.
You are truly an inspiration to all, Jeff!! Thank you for the blogs and outlining your journey so that we all can pray and know updates. That being said, I will only leave you with the REAL question we all are wanting to know…..did you bust out the kilt to celebrate since your family wasn’t able to make it to Scotland?!?! LOL Happy holidays and cheers to another year!!! STAY HEALTHY!
Thank you Nikki. Happy and Healthy New Year to you and your family! I will put on my kilt just for you!!!
Hey there Jeff,
Thanks for sharing your latest holiday lemonade post and certified letter to the oncology practice. First off I’m so glad to see that you’ve been able to get out & about for various wonderful family experiences and selected business engagements. Plus, I love/appreciate the way you’ve been applying your great clinical experience/expertise to teach and inform not just your lay non-clinical friends, but also to advocate to your healthcare providers regarding your situation. Your letter to the Executive Director was a great summary of the positives and the shortcomings related to your treatment – I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that their policies would not allow you to do catheter care with the appropriate training/certifications/signoffs! When I was working as a homecare infusion pharmacist back in the 1980s/90s, we had these policies & procedures in place to train & qualify patients & caregivers on aseptic technique to do catheter care, flush their lines and hook up their medications. I hope that your informative letter helps to educate & turn the tide with that organization to allow you & others to be able to provide self-care in the right circumstances. Keep up your informative lemonade posts and your positive attitude. I sincerely wish you & your family a wonderful new year!
All the best,
You are truly an inspiration, Jeff! Every time Johnny reads one, he calls you Snorkel Man! Hoping we can connect soon for a short visit! I love the reclining grandpa flanked by 2 little beauties!
LOL, “snorkel”. Robin and I would love to see you both!
Hope we will see you in Amelia sometime. Let us know of any plans. You are still the best Neighbour and we miss your enthusiasm, organization skills and well informed self about the latest and greatest sales and gadgets we should should acquire. Your skorpio friend. Alexandra – always sending thought and prayers for health
Nice seeing you here. We’ll be down on 1/12. 🙂
Reading your blog was a great way to close out my 2021. Thank you for your wisdom, leadership and strength. You are truly one of the happy few!
Jeff, wishing you and your beautiful family many blessings in the New Year!
Thank you Tammy. Back atchya!
Another ( albeit selfish) Silver lining from your terminal illness is that all of us have the immense pleasure of reading your blog posts which are informative, educational, empowering, and so beautifully written. I find myself checking Facebook constantly looking for the next post. Wishing you a happy and healthy new year and many more to come. Great Christmas tree by the way and I love the star at the top ✡️✡️
Thank you Lynda. I’m not sure too many people caught that Star of David. Happy New Year to you and your family!
For a Jewish guy, I love your Christmas decorations! You did a wonderful job! Enjoy your family time and those sweet grandchildren. A healthy and happy New Year to you and Robin and the entire Fudin gang! Love, Ann and Steve
Thank you Ann. Let’s try to get together after the first.
So good to hear that you are feeling good Jeff! Best of wishes to you to continue your positive progress. It must be wonderful having grandkids (and dogs) around to put a big smile on your face
It sure is Amie. Thank you and Happy New Year!
Many blessings this holiday season Jeff. I love reading your posts on your journey. You continue to remain in my thoughts and prayers …. So glad to see you enjoying the little ones!!! Looking forward to see the response and fingers crossed you achieve the goal!
A positive tone has been your guiding force since June. If love is part of the force that carries you, you are on a great indefinite journey!
Happy New Year
Stuff Shells too!
The love that your family shares for each other is truly remarkable and a reflection of the home that you and Robin created and continue to nourish. Looking forward to seeing you in a few more weeks.
thanks for your candor, honesty, and updates! We are behind all of you Enjoy family time! That’s what holidays are all about As the priest who married Howie & I said, Jews & Christians are the same until the New Testament when they branch off.. We learn tolerance by respecting each other
What a wonderful gesture of incorporating and enjoying that beautiful tree and those adorable grand daughters.
Looking forward to response to the certified letter. – In view of Omicron request is even more valid.
Much love to your entire family
Your citations were helpful!!! Sending love right back atchya and your family. 🙂
U are so inspirational, Jeff. and here’s to a blessed and healthy New Years!!
Happy New Year to you and Robin and all of the Fudin’s! Can’t wait to see the response to your certified letter!!! You really show how personal interactions can make a difference! Keep on fighting, Jeff! And thanks for the humor and wisdom!