It is a rainy dark morning here in New England. I skipped out of my morning run today so I could bake a pumpkin apple bread and finally do some writing. It is starting to smell yummy! I have so much to write about, as it has been a pretty busy and exciting last couple of weeks.
My mom and dad flew in from Florida to visit. We all had missed them so much. Our relationship with them is so tight. A blessing that has come out of my illness has been the incredible relationship we all have. My parents were so supportive over the last year and continue to be. Mike and I would not have gotten through the last year, was it not for my parents. They literally left their lives in Florida to come and take care of my children. They have become so intimate with the kids schedules and routines. In fact, even when they are back at home in Florida their daily calls are to check in to get an update on the kids’ days. Watching their relationship blossom into this incredible bond has been such a gift. They have also been so strong and supportive of me. They listen to me during my dark moments, as well as embrace all the happy times. I never understood what people meant when they discussed the gifts that come from cancer. Now I get it.
On the 17th of September we all participated in the MMRF Race for Research in Boston, MA. It was a beautiful morning. We had about 60 members of our team Cancer Sucks But Jeanie You Rock! Together, we raised over $12,000. And the donations are still coming in! We had a big presence at this years’ race. Our team had a tent where we all met. There we had hats in rainbow colors for everyone to wear. My Uncle John, being the fun guy he is who will do just about anything, agreed to wear the rainbow costume.
|My Lovable Uncle John!
It was so wonderful to see everyone who have been so supportive of us during the last year. This was a celebration of how far we have come. I say “we”, because we have all had to go through this cancer diagnosis together. My family, friends we all went through the many emotions together during this journey. Last year we were all terrified of this Big “C”. Scared of the year ahead. Now, 10 months later, I have fully recovered from my stem cell transplant and I am in a complete response, zero M-Spike (ie: no Myeloma detected!) Prior to the race, I spent time talking with fellow Myeloma patients as well as families who have lost loved ones to this disease. Their stories were beautiful and truly inspirational. Some families continue to participate in the MMRF Race as a way to honor their loved ones and to be encouraged by people like me who are benefiting from all the advances in treatment.
This year I was honored with the Spirit of Hope Award. It truly was an incredible moment to listen to my story being told in front of all the people gathered that morning. And then to step on stage with Mike and the kids to accept the award, I was speechless. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed. How did someone like me get here? I can still feel the fear and sadness I felt when I first got diagnosed. I remember how weak and beaten down I felt those first few months. And now I was on stage feeling strong and healthy looking out at the crowd of people many who had been my shoulders to cry on and sources of strength over the last year. Tears rolled down many of their cheeks. It really was a moment I will never forget.
|Receiving the Spirit of Hope Award
My beautiful kids were selected to start the race. They were so excited to do the countdown and blow the air horn. During the race I had the privilege to personally meet Dr. Kenneth Anderson. and Dr. Paul Richardson, both whom are leaders in the Myeloma Community for their research. For the first half mile, Dr. Richardson, Suzi and I chatted about running and my treatment. This was real treat to speak have this awesome opportunity to talk with a man I am so grateful for.
|Mike and I with Dr. Richardson and Dr. Anderson! What an honor!|