Well, here we are. 6 years from the date of the diagnosis. What a year!
Last year at this time things we had just come out of the bleakest of times with a drug that literally was a life saver - giving my wife about 6 weeks of time backing away from the abyss. Then, as the abyss began to creep forward once more, another drug - this one even better and restoring so much and lasting 8 months. But now this one has stopped working and we go to another treatment, with one or two we may still have on hold.
And what a year! As my wife's health improved, we had nowhere to go! So we have been spending lots of quality time together not going much of anywhere! But now we once more pray with fervant hope that there will be a 7 year update next year, as we try to ride the wave of combinations of older treatments and new drugs. And today for reasons unrelated to the history of the diagnosis, we had the joy and blessing of having both our children together for the first time in over a year! Each with children of their own (one a grandchild and the other with their partner's children).
But somehow having come so close to my wife's death, and then having the blessing of more time, I am different now. Seeing the result of a society in lockdown - with physical separation of loved ones from each other. I have seen the hurt from families trying to grieve in the time of COVID when they are separated from the traditional physical support of others. I know now, more than ever, the blessings of each day and the cherished joys of spending time with those you love.
I now see light at the end of the tunnel of the pandemic, but for cancer - I see no real light, only the miles of track of a hopefully long journey. My wife remains an incredible source of inspiration to me. Even as her cough, a symptom not seen for several years, has reappeared, she maintains her strength, humor, courage and compassion for others. I continue to pray for a rapid decrease in COVID cases worldwide so that we may begin to return to a world that is hopefully filled with more love and respect for each other, more realizing of the need we have for each other, than the world we left behind.
And, as always, this past year has been filled with such deep gratitude for everyone here at CancerGrace, and all the friends and support people we have met here and in other cancer communities. This year, more than any other, I have come to appreciate the power of caring communities. May you all be blessed with a coming year filled with all the love you show to others, and may you never forget how very deeply your work is appreciated.