Getting Started

This summer I am going on a journey, literally, in my RV. I am traveling for an undefined amount of time. I am on a journey of thankfulness and healing and gratitude. This is something I feel very compelled to do.

The last 3 plus years of my life have been quite a struggle on many levels. I don’t want to harp on what has been but for readers of this blog it might help to know a brief history of what has happened to move me into this journey.

A little over 3 years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The words I would never like to hear again are “rare”, “we don’t know much about this kind of cancer”. “chemo” and “radiation”. I quickly became my own advocate for my health care and with much support from my husband, Jim, and many good doctors, I skipped the chemo and went to radiation. After finishing with all of this I thought I was good to go. At my 6 month check-up they thought they saw more cancer in the same breast so back into the medical system I went. More biopsies, and another lumpectomy did the trick and as of right now I am cancer free. Yes!!!

Just as I got the all clear, my husband, Jim, was diagnosed with cancer of the salivary gland. Again all the above words were repeated. Now before any of you think he was a smoker, he was not, nor did he chew tobacco. He had surgery done followed by a summer of radiation and chemo. It was a long summer. We thought we had beat it. Nine months later the cancer metastasized and in October of 2012, Jim died.

I have lost my best friend of 21 years.  I have lost my partner and my love and nothing I do can bring him back. So what do I do next? Where do I live? Who helps me (no children)? How do I arrange my life as a single person once again? What I have chosen to do is to try to move as positively as I can towards a very unknown future.

Both Jim and I have had amazing support over the past years of cancer…and more. Much of this support came from  people I know and some are total strangers that I have come to know through the social media. I am taking my Roadtrek and my cat and I am going on the road this summer to thank each person that has loved and supported us through these turbulent years. It feels so important for me to meet each person and let them know how much their caring has meant and continues to mean to me. Without all of these people I would have been very alone. Instead I have felt so loved and so supported.

The journey begins right after July 4th and with many good wishes from my local friends, I go on-the-road. I plan to share the journey along the way. Maybe I will have some insights that will benefit myself and others or maybe this will just be a good story. For me this will certainly be a grand adventure in growth and caring.

Jim’s and my relationship was very special and I hope to share some of that with you as well. Right now I am preparing for departure and am excited, apprehensive, joyful and scared all at the same time. The first step sometimes feels more like a leap of faith and I must remember to breath as I step forward into my Journey of Thankfulness.

Won’t you please join me in my adventure? All are welcome.

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23 thoughts on “Getting Started

  1. What a fabulous idea. I hope it brings northeast. You are ALWAYS welcome here. Or if you get close, I’s be glad to go meet you! Take care!!

  2. When I graduated college, Marieke and I went on an open ended road-trip. We had no plan. No particular destination in mind. No time we had to be back. We made our decisions day by day and ended up where-ever the wind took us. We saw many things and visited any relatives that happened to be along our meandering path. It was a journey that we remember fondly decades later.

    In my own experience that this sort of trip is the perfect way to transition from one part of life to the next. We look forward to vicariously sharing your experiences. Bon Voyage!

  3. I applaud you for both thinking up this adventure and following through with it! There are lots of older women, single and attached, who long to set out alone (although a cat or dog is fine) on a journey of self contemplation and discovery. Maybe you will be a trailblazer for others.

  4. Good for you! David and I love you and wish you a safe and insightful journey. We would love to be on your itinerary – so what if you just visited us. Your smiling face is always welcome. xxoo Sharon & David

  5. You are an amazing lady setting out on an amazing journey and I can’t wait to read all about it! I look forward with great anticipation to your visit to my neck of the woods. (((hugs)))

  6. This sounds like a wonderful and appropriate journey for you. Many of us look forward to sharing the adventure with you. I wish you surprises, joy, peace, and healing.

  7. Always remember that the journey of a lifetime starts with the first step. Take one step at a time and choose your trail wisely. The easy way may not always lead to the goal. March to your own drum. boom, boom, boom.

  8. I knew you would do it. Hope you make it to Vermont or perhaps we could meet somewhere-like
    old times. Have a great trip.
    Diane

  9. Oh I so hope you have safe and happy travels! I will be looking forward to hearing all about it!!! I would love for my husband and I to be able to do this one day!!!

  10. Janet I am so thankful you posted on the Roadtreking FB page. I too am a breast cancer survivor (celebrating 10 years last month!!) and very glad I will be able to follow your journey thru your blog. There is a roadtrek gathering September 13th in Oregon. Hope you are one of the attendees. Happy and safe travels. BTW I travel by myself with my 3 dogs. At 65 years young I will do this as long as I am able!!

  11. Janet, this is Elaine from Arizona. I am still living at Inscription House. same place. I often wonder if you will ever drop by again. Think of me during your travels. Reservation life has not changed much. Sister in sprirt Elaine Goodman Manheimer.

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