This is a photo I took from a neighbor’s yard a few years ago. This will be the 3rd time I have used it to mark today….my 3rd crapaversary of having stage IV cancer. There were a lot of people who didn’t think I would be here today. I was one of them, to be quite honest. I would love to give you an update as to how things are going, but I honestly don’t know. Thus far, the cancer has not caused me any signs or symptoms….just the side effects of the drugs I have been and am on currently. I am staying very active…going to anywhere from 10-13 YMCA classes per week. I am also back to 5 miles walks with Tallinn (and he is loving that!) My medications I am on make me tired and moody, give me very realistic dreams EVERY NIGHT, and make my joints hurt…especially my feet by nighttime. All in all, very tolerable. I have scans on Thursday morning and hope to hear the results soon afterwards. If all is good, I can feel free to plan out my life for the next four months. Interestingly enough, I had a chronic cancer meeting today at A Time to Heal. I had been meeting with these other stage IV folks throughout the last 2.5 years during COVID on zoom. This was the first time I had met many of them in person. I am the youngster of the group, but I have such a wonderful time with them all. It was a wonderful 90 minutes of time together.
When I came home, I had a package waiting for me from one of Joe’s fireman brothers….someone he went through the Olathe Firefighting Academy with. A couple of months ago (June 11th) some of the OFD firefighters did a Flight for Air Climb there in Kansas City to benefit cancer. A few of Joe’s classmates and coworkers did this climb…wearing Joe’s memorial t-shirts and their full bunker gear. This is NOT easy. They sent me a message and a photo before they started and then after they finished. I know that Joe would have been there with them if he had been alive…doing his small part to raise money for cancer because of me. They were doing this for me in his stead. Today, I received some photos from that day….along with some other OFD photos, one with Joe in it. Gold in the form of photos…I treasure them. James also sent me his bib, bracelet, and medal for the climb, because he felt Joe would have given me his. The back of the bib was signed by all the OFD firefighters who were there along with their badge numbers. All of this was explained in a wonderful letter from Joe’s classmate and firefighting friend, James. It was one of the most thoughtful things I have ever received. My heart is full. My Joe surrounded himself with the best people….and they are missing him still. Thanks, OFD….and James, especially, for making this momma’s heart a little less broken on this yucky crapaversary.