Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Cancer Sucks

But y'all knew that already, didn't you. Several items have come to our attention in the past few days to cause the Rev and I to pause and reflect on our long, strange trip through cancer treatment.

First, there was a story on NPR Monday about a man with an incurable brain tumor who kept an audio diary of his journey through treatment. Along with his taped comments, we heard his wife describe how he changed dramatically, sometimes into a bit of a monster. We thought about how lucky we both were in our own cancer battle. We had it relatively easy by comparison.

Then today, we learned that our friend (and fellow clergy person) Kelly has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is now beginning a journey through treatment with her life partner Steve. We will be with them in spirit every step of the way and in person when we can.

But we occasionally get to be a resource for others, too. It feels good to help. Over the weekend I corresponded with a fellow with TC who is about to undergo the same surgical procedure I had last May. I've been able to pass on my experiences and suggestions to many different people and hopefully in some small way I can make a very frightening journey a little bit less daunting for them. Until a cure is found for all cancers, that may be the best I can do to help.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Farewell, Andrew

Andrew Molenda, fellow testicular cancer survivor, died yesterday, after several years of fighting TC and its related complications. He will be remembered fondly and missed terribly by his wife Amy, his children Liam, Alena (Lanie) and Evan, as well as scores of family, friends, and fellow TC survivors. He was 30 years old.

I never had the pleasure of meeting Andrew in person, but in this digital age, we made contact through the internet. We started our blogs at about the same time; mine as I was beginning chemo, his as he was enduring treatment for his relapse that occurred in late 2004. He was an inspiration to me, a never-ending example of the Livestrong philosophy.

As I said in the blog a while back, I feared that Andrew's time with us was limited. Nevertheless, I was saddened to see this weekend that he had entered end of life care, and felt like I had been punched in the stomach when I read this morning about his passing. Like most major life changes, even when you expect it, you never really expect it when it actually happens.

My prayer today is that the Molenda family will continue to Livestrong, and that they will have comfort and peace.