Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What a difference a year makes!

One of the blogs I read, Laurie at Not Just About Cancer, had a post last week about the passing of Sara, at Moving Right Along. Her partner wrote about her passing yesterday on her blog. There were a lot of other bloggers who posted about her and how sorry they are for her death. She had had cancer for many years, I believe, and it was the cancer that prompted the doctors to amputate her right leg several years ago. I don't know the whole story. She also posted about disablism. I've linked to her blog before; what I appreciated the most about what she had to say was how important it is to live a normal life even with a terminal or life-threatening disease, and to find joy and happiness even though all this other health-related crap is occurring. I remembered Sara this past week-end, as I trimmed my lilac bush, because I remembered that she was looking forward to lilacs blooming in the Boston area last spring. Last spring, I posted a picture of my blooming lilac for Sara and she commented and said, "thanks!".

So, today, as I searched for that post from last year, I skimmed through my entries from that time.

Boy, what a difference a year makes! I was facing the prospect of doing radiation again, dealing with side effects from Xeloda and Tykerb, and yet also trying to model the outlook Sara and Laurie and Carver have about enjoying life as much as possible and learning to appreciate what you have instead of always bemoaning what you've lost. A few weeks after the blooming of the lilacs, I entered into a depression that I struggled against and with the help and the support of a lot of my readers and my colleagues, I got through it.

And, now a year later, my tumor markers have been well within the normal range for months. My sleep is improving, slowly, Scott and I are back together, work is busy but very satisfying, and I am looking forward to another trip to Norway in a few weeks, my family and I will be in Seaside enjoying the Oregon coast this week-end, and I have the support of many friends and family and colleagues, still. I'm happy. Life is full and mostly fun. My son is doing well. I don't really have any complaints (well, except against these silly bureaucratic duties that come with my job, and, obviously for the fact that I've had to deal with cancer). But, life is good.

Also, Scott received the news on Saturday evening that a long-time family friend (the father of a bunch of boys he grew up with) died the night before (April 3). I only met Orville once, at a party for his son's 50th birthday two years ago. He and I sat talking for a good long time; he just had interests in a lot of different things, particularly archaeology and anthropology. I think he was an engineer and he and his sons worked on cars a lot. He had a lot of hobbies and seemed to enjoy life and to enjoy learning. He was full of life, I guess. Scott was shocked at his passing and then felt bad that he's been so wrapped up with things happening with his daughter and getting laid off from his job in January that he hadn't seen him in awhile. Orville Sayre died of cancer, too, that he'd been struggling against for the last year or so.

Rest in peace, Sara. Rest in peace, Orville. God (or whatever power you believe in) knows that you both deserve it.

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