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.
- 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!
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