Hello!!! It’s been awhile. I was so looking forward to returning to the blogosphere after a month long absence to tell you what I’ve been up to! Usually, okay, all the time, I talk about myself. I was planning on telling you all about my epic three-week journey across Scotland and Ireland back to my roots. I am going to have to save that for a separate blog post. I have BIG news to report.
However, I can’t talk about any of that without expressing my great sadness and anger at the state of this great country and our supposed leader. To be clear: there is no space in my life for hate, the kkk, the alt right, the Nazi’s and whoever else identifies with those racist monsters. There is only one side–the side of love and justice, inclusiveness and humanity. Our lives depend on it. What has happened in the last week since I returned home from Europe, sickens and saddens me. I so miss a president that could lead us out of this mess and inspire us together toward greatness. These haters have no place and must be not be given a forum. People are taught to hate. They can be taught to love. End of soapbox.
Back to ME! The really big news? I spent a pretty anxious weekend anticipating yesterday’s PET SCAN which I had postponed until after our big trip. I have been experiencing increasing lower back pain the last couple of months and figured cancer had found a new home in my spine. I am beyond ecstatic to report that the PET SCAN found NO CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!. It is invisible at this point. I am NED–no evidence of disease!!!! This means I get another “get out of jail” pass until January when Dr. Rachel returns from childbirth. You have no idea what this means to us–Blanket and the coconuts are over the moon with happiness. I am still trying to wrap my head around it–I’ve gone 17 months without any treatment. What?! Dr. Rachel said they are writing a paper about me that she will share when it is published. Yippeee!!!!!!! We left Dana Farber after a long day to head to dinner at a local restaurant. I texted my crew and several of them were able to join us for a spontaneous celebration. It was wonderful.
On another front, I am reporting, with great sadness that I will be retiring in October. I had hoped to share this with my colleagues after the summer, in person, but the local newspaper preempted me and reported on it without my knowledge. Oh well. I am retiring early because I felt I could no longer work full-time and the high school deserves a full-time psychologist. I couldn’t hold up my end of the bargain and be effective. Working with adolescents is hard work no matter how rewarding it is. Keeping up with all my cancer appointments in itself is a full-time job. So rather than half bake it, I made the decision to retire at the urging of my family and Dr. Rachel. She felt strongly about it given my ongoing side effects from treatment and the need to live a less exhausting and stressful life. Weirdly I thought I would be happy when I reached retirement age but I am not quite at that age, hence the need to retire on my birthday in October. Instead I feel really sad. I love the people I work with and the kids. It will be hard to say goodbye to something so fun. Enough “crying in my beer”.
Other personal news–this is about me after all. My beloved cat, Ivy, passed away at home. She has been with me since the beginning, back to that time I can barely remember “before cancer” in 2002. It was hard to watch her pass but she gave it her all and will be missed. I still have Lola, Nala and Scout for company but every cat is unique. Tim buried her out behind the barn in a quiet spot beneath a blanket of trees.
On to more positive news–Kelsey and Evan bought a lake house! They renovated it pretty quickly and moved in a few weeks ago. It is a like a little vacation cottage on a pretty lake with a big deck and the dog loves it too. Hurray for head coconut and pina colada! Much happiness ahead for them.
Little coconut continues to juggle two jobs and a beach volley ball team. She is hoping to go camping with her gang in a few weeks. I’m sure much shenanigans will ensue.
I am off to another celebration dinner tonight with Bill and Carla, Jack is coming this weekend and then it’s back to work time. Bittersweet.
May all your dreams and hopes come true too. Celebrate life, always! Continue to speak up against hate and injustice. We cannot sit out this one, it is too important and too dangerous. I truly believe love will endure and rout the darkness but we have to be loud and vocal about this. Write your congressmen and senators!