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.