Monday, March 23, 2009

Four Years

Yes, four years ago today I received the diagnosis of multiple myeloma. Faint memories are all that remain of the life before cancer treatment. I have replayed the words my doctor told me in March 2005, "it's incurable, but treatable," a thousand times in my mind and all I can do is smile with disdain. "Treatable?" Infections and broken bones are treatable. The past four years of "treatment" gives new meaning to the word. But here I am, the journey having now placed me in Little Rock, Arkansas. If nothing else we are learning to live with the unexpected. It seems we plan our lives so carefully, work so hard to get somewhere, whether financially, professionally, socially, but our efforts at control are illusory at best. So we learn to accept what life brings us and to seek the joy of each moment, rather than dwell in the fear of what the future might bring. Oh, we have our moments when we look upon others whose lives seem to go along without a hitch; whose plans in fact come to fruition; whose lives seem to work. But amazingly, there is no resentment, no self pity. When dealt this hand, at least for us, it came with acceptance. And so we move forward.

As much as we have learned about ourselves over these past four years, we have learned more about the compassion within so many of you. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support for our family from so many people, all over the world. I've never seen myself as someone who was there for people during their times of struggle, because I was mostly too wrapped up in pursuing my goals. Yet, without regard for whether I was there for others or not, it seems the world has reached out and taken us under its wing to nuture us through this struggle. You have made us much better people through your compassion and support. You have taught us what a simple phone call, email, or card can do. You have taught us that we can make a difference in the quality of other's lives, and it takes very little effort, only thoughtfulness. So, those are my thoughts on this 4th anniversary. We are so grateful for everyone who has stood by us, carried us, and cared for us. Our little world is a better place because of you. Thank you.




Big Frank Dickinson said...

You may not remember - but you were there! I remember!



Brother Ted said...

One could not ask for a a better friend. It has been 32 years. You have been there for me, as a friend, and unfortunately as a lawyer for my boys on a couple of occasions. The last four years have given even deeper meaning to our friendship. I find it ironic that you left teaching only to become a teacher 30 some years later. You are teaching all of us how to confront and overcome. You are teaching us how to live with grace and peace even when it involves have your hip bones turned into a swiss cheese landscape. I can't wait until you and Susan are back in Denver, cooking up squirrel and greens. In the meantime know that you are both in my thoughts each and every day. ps the verification word for my posting has the word moxy . That is what you have, moxy. Hope to see you soon.

Kate said...

People reach out to you because of who you are and because they like being around “up and at ‘em” Dan. You make us feel good, and we want to return that feeling.



tim's wife said...

I think that is one reason my husband has never felt self-pity or anger since being dx'ed 2 years ago at 43. The outpouring from
folks just warms his heart. Everyone has shown him such love and support. Tim and I were always givers and dropped everything for others and now it's coming back to us. Even all the nurses he's come in contact with could not be nicer.
Secretly, I have to wonder if it has anything to do with him being pretty darn cute though! :o)
Sending you best wishes for success from Jersey.