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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Our Cancer Journey - Week 11

Tomorrow, Kathy starts her next round of chemotherapy - 12 weeks of Taxol administered every Friday at noon.

As with Adriamycin/Cytoxan (AC), we fear the unknown - what symptoms will it bring, how will it affect day to day and long term physical well being (since Taxol causes numbness that can be permanent).      Kathy reacted very well to AC so we're hopeful that she'll tolerate Taxol.

The process of treating breast cancer - 20 weeks of chemotherapy followed by surgery and radiation, can be wearing.   Of course, we are focused on optimizing the therapy, but at the same time we've needed a long term goal that brings joy and passion for the future, minimizing the day to day challenges of treatment.

Together we've been looking for a farm property, discussing the plans/projects ahead, and preparing for our next stage of life.   We moved to Massachusetts 16 years ago and raised our daughter in a family neighborhood, nearby to great public schools and a local library.   We believe that we have at least 2 more phases in our lives.  Phase 1 - 15 years as empty nesters at the peak of our mental and physical capabilities, ensuring the health of our parents, and supporting our daughter's early career.   Phase 2 - 15 years as retirees (and possible grandparents), continuing to write, lecture, and consult but without a "9 to 5" office schedule.

In Phase 1,  we're eager to take on the physical labor and mental creativity needed to expand our production of organic vegetables and raise a few chickens/alpaca/llama/goats/sheep.

The quest for a farm property has provided us with enough positive activity to energize our nights and weekends.

Plans and projects for the future are important to sustain optimism, but they're also essential to grow and develop our 30+ year relationship.

As noted in the recent New York Times article Love and Death, having plans and projects for the future is what sustains love beyond the physical attraction, infatuation, and novelty of the initial relationship.

Our farm vision has provided that.   To keep patients and families psychologically healthy during cancer treatment it's really important to focus on life after cancer and not let the cancer rule your life.    As you'll hear in the new few weeks, we found our farm and now we're planning our move there by May, ensuring that the end of chemotherapy marks the beginning of our new life chapter together.

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