Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Having a cancer in which the initial treatment is nothing, just wait for the symptoms, can be daunting at times. Much time is spent on testing for diagnostic purposes and then time is often available to read, research, look into what might lie ahead as the disease progresses. Doctor appointments come and go, blood is drawn, stress levels rise and fall in anticipation and through all this, life must go on.

The balance of worry, the unknown, the stories you read and hear, the fact that "the timing of this just isn't good" and oh yeah, don't forget you have cancer and through all this, life must go on.

Ikigai, the sense of life worth living came to me today through listening to the radio while driving to work. Sometimes it seems that when one asks, the answer appears. What to make of all this time, between the doctor visits and the waiting...the purpose of life. This will mean different things to each of us, but just the thought to live each day with a purpose, to live with hope, live with happiness and just to live. What the purpose is remains unknown but just to be reminded that there is a purpose to life was all I needed to hear this day, at that time driving, to help make the day start off in a good direction. I guess I have something to be thankful for this season.


Friday, November 14, 2008


In every moment...Something sacred is at stake

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Nothing like a 5 hour plane ride across the country to have the time to clean out the email inbox. Came across this quote and it brought calmness to the flight. Having to leave family to work is tough. Missing time to rest, play, laugh and share times with my family often takes it's toll. But in every moment, something sacred is at stake. I cannot be anywhere else than here at this moment so I will make the best of what I am given. The opportunity to read, sit quietly(with the help of noise reduction headphones), watch a movie and write. I am reminded of something I wrote when I passed my 1 year mark from diagnosis. At the time, I was thinking about choices and what the previous year had meant. I wrote.

As I come to a year after being diagnosed (July 3rd), my mind is racing with thoughts of what the last year has brought and what lies ahead. I had the realization that I can make choices daily and that certain things are out of my control. I can choose what to put into my body as far as food and drink goes, I can choose what to put into my mind through thoughts, prayer, reading, music and quiet moments. I can choose to exercise to strengthen my body and mind, I can choose what to take on each day that gives me energy and choose to avoid those things that take energy away from me. All this and the hope that my journey will travel many miles before this dreadful disease takes it's toll. Each day IS a choice and I cherish the idea that I do have choices.

More to come.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. [1] To hope is to wish for something with the expectation of the wish being fulfilled, a key condition in unrequited love. [2] Hopefulness is somewhat different from optimism in that hope is an emotional state, whereas optimism is a conclusion reached through a deliberate thought pattern that leads to a positive attitude. "Wikipedia"

The following is a poem by Wendy Harpham, MD from her book,
Happiness In A Storm
Posted with permission of author

Hope is an image of goals
planted firmly in your mind.
When looking at life before you,
hope lines the paths you find.

Hope is a well of courage
nestled deep within your heart.
When faltering in fear and doubt,
hope pushes you to start.

Hope is an urge to keep going,
for limbs too tired too tired and weak.
When apathy stills all desire,
hope sparks the fuel you seek.

Hope is a promise of patience
as you wait for distress to wane.
When all you can do is nothing,
hope pulls you through the pain.

Hope is a spirit that lifts you,
should heaviness pull at your soul.
When torn apart by losses,
hope mends to keep you whole.

Many days, hope is what provides energy, hope is what provides strength, hope is what provides security and hope provides the belief that no matter what lies ahead, all will be well.

Some things I hope for...
The opportunity to laugh each day
A long joy filled life with my wife
A smile each day from my son
Chances to travel near and far
The strength to face the road ahead
The opportunity to make a difference
The ability to make positive health choices
Many chances to share a meal with friends and family
The day when my cancer no longer will be chronic

To live with hope is something I have adopted within my new "normal" life.