this picture is from our sheehan family reunion this summer. yours truly in the top row, fourth over from the left with the hat on. that very handsome man standing next to me in the red shirt is rabi, who is barrett's uncle but who now very much feels like my uncle as well. rabi has had more than his share of medical issues previously, and has just recently been diagnosed with carcinoid syndrome which is a form of cancer. luckily, his treatment will be better than anticipated and will require only (the word only is relative to what could be more intense forms of treatment --- not meant to imply in any way that "only" is in any way insignificant when talking about cancer treatment) one shot a month. even better, the shot can be done locally and will not require him to travel to the mayo clinic. i am loving that his treatment keeps him close to home. so please send your mojo, prayers, and good vibes to rabi and his family as they take on this new challenge - i know he will tackle it head on, so the syndrome better watch its back.
after this group picture, rabi and i stayed up on that top deck and talked for awhile about some of the things that we have in common. the kinds of things that you wish you didn't have in common with anyone - not only because you wish that they weren't part of your life but because you also wish that didn't have to be part of anyone else's either. we talked about scans, the endless doctor appointments, the neverending needle pricks, the iv's, drinking the contrast, how each of us had been doing and feeling lately. but what i will always remember the most about that conversation is how rabi and i agreed that we go through it all for our families. i don't think that i will ever forget the moment that he looked over at his family who were in front of us and noted how we do it all for them. that look and those words will be a moment that will forever stay with me. yes, we do it from. but, we also do it for us. to see babies born (for him to see grandbabies born). to see kids grow. to be at weddings. to give hugs. to give kisses. to be there for all of the moments, the big and the small ones - they are all so important. i thought about rabi when i had my scans in august, as the needle went into my arm, i thought of that moment on the deck with him and remembered that i am not alone in knowing how it feels to go through scans one more time. one more time, hoping that you get the results you and everyone else is so hoping for.
i try hard to remind myself about the good things that come from my diagnosis since the list of the bad things often feels never ending and overwhelming. one good thing has been this blog and finding this venue to write. this blog has allowed me to share other's stories (which by the way, i only share stories with the permission of those i write about), and i think that sharing stories is a critical part of life. i think that there is a lot of good that can come from sharing stories. sharing stories can bring those "yes, me too, me too" moments, the "i have so much to be thankful for" moments, or those "damn, it feels good (and necessary) to be reminded that we are all human and can and should care for each other the best way we can" moments. i often wish that there were not so many stories to share about those that are affected by cancer. but i can't change that, no matter how hard i wish (trust me, i have done a lot of wishing). so i show up for them however i can, and if ok, i share their stories here to ask you to send your mojo. having more love and mojo circulate around those that need can obviously only be a good thing. last week i know that there were prayers from ohio that were coming to patty and my friend that had surgery on friday. pretty amazing to think that without this blog, those ohio prayers would never have made their on the winds across the country to them.
tonight, as i think about rabi and i send him good vibes into this warm pacific northwest night, i am thankful for the ability to share his story and have some extra love coming his way from all of you. i count that as one of the good things that cancer has brought. i count that as one good thing that outnumbers many of the bad things that cancer has brought. on the days when life is pretty tough for me because of all that i carry due to cancer and i have a hard time reminding myself to be brave and face the day, i remind myself of the good things and the other warriors - like rabi.
so rabi, you keep doing it for them, and we will keep doing it for you.
love and good vibes are on their way to you my friend. xo