It Doesn't Always Have to be Hard

Friends and Family,

Sometimes things are complicated, and sometimes we just make them that way.

Take back pain, for example. Mine wouldn’t go away with physical therapy and a cortisone shot to the disc. Since the first shot didn’t work, I had a SECOND cortisone shot, which also didn’t help. Meanwhile, my physical therapist politely fired me, because nothing was working. My pain doctor ordered an MRI to see what we might be missing. He thought it could be something random, perhaps. Like maybe cancer, since there’s a bit in the spine already.

Genevieve was still putting my socks and shoes on every day, because I couldn’t even bend enough to touch my knees. I can’t believe I’m telling you this, but here it is: So that I don’t have to bend, I have been using a hand grabber to help me put on my underwear every day.

 Sorry - There are limits to the images I'm going to show.

Sorry - There are limits to the images I'm going to show.

Here’s where the not-so-complicated part comes in. Genevieve and I went on our annual Spring trip to Hawaii. It turns out that long walks on the beach, swimming in the ocean, and glasses of wine at sunset with a tropical breeze work better than shots in the back and carefully prescribed exercise. Who knew?

Back pain, on a scale of 1-10, before Hawaii: 3 to 7.

Back pain after Hawaii: Zero.

Which got me thinking about cancer, like just about everything does. If this worked for back pain, maybe it would help with cancer, too.

So I thought relaxing, healing thoughts, and almost didn’t worry at all before the latest CT scan and trip to San Diego to see my oncologist. I was feeling good enough to start climbing stairs again, and go back to the gym. Of course, exercise lifted my mood even more.

As you may have guessed by the tone of this email, my latest CT results are fantastic! Again defying the odds, my cancer has remained completely stable. Yessssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Each time we return from our trips to Hawaii, my goal is the same. I try to have that relaxed feeling last longer than the tan. I have never succeed, but it’s always worth trying, don’t you think? Maybe these images will help you and me both get a little closer to relaxed.

 How could this NOT help?

How could this NOT help?

 Genevieve found a glass ball!

Genevieve found a glass ball!

 Kevin and Heidi brought us smiles every day.

Kevin and Heidi brought us smiles every day.

 It helps to bring a professional photographer with you. Thank you, Heidi!

It helps to bring a professional photographer with you. Thank you, Heidi!

UPDATE ON LUNGEVITY FUNDRAISING:

A special thanks to each of you who contributed to the LUNGevity HOPE Summit Survivor Challenge. I needed to raise $1,000 for my trip to Washington, D.C. Together, we raised $2,010. But wait - There's more! With Macadam Forbes’ matching grant of $500, we raised a total of $2,510! These funds will be used for research, as well as education and support for all who are affected by lung cancer. Thank you!

Love,

Dann