Getting on the final roller coaster

When I got diagnosed in late March/early April, this day was hard to imagine. And now that it is here, it seems a little bit anti-climatic. Perhaps it is because I just got chemo and I know that for the next two weeks, I will be riding the chemo roller coaster. My guess is that I will feel like there is some closure in 2 weeks, when I don’t go for chemo. In the meantime, I still have bloodwork, more scans and doctor’s appointments, restful days and sleepless nights, and acupuncture ahead.

What I do know is that I have been loved by my friends and family in the past six months. I have felt your love, received your prayers, enjoyed your brownies, fudge, meals, and other gifts, relished in your company, and be grateful and thankful for all of it. I have been think of all the kindness that you have bestowed upon us all day today. It has gotten me through. Thank you!

September 27, 2011 - Final chemo treatment. Living Proof again! This t-shirt is given to all PMC riders who are cancer survivors at the end of day 1 of the ride and worn during the annual Living Proof (aka Survivors) photo. I received my shirt a few weeks ago, thanks to the folks at the PMC, and wore it for the first time today, the day I stopped being a cancer patient and returned to being a cancer survivor.

There has been one person who has had a front row seat to this more than anyone else. My dear wife Michele. We have had a few good days and many bad days in the past six months. We are looking ahead now, trying to figure out what our new life is going to be life, what the ‘new normal’ for me will be, and hoping that we can have some normalcy back to our life. She has been amazing – taking care of me, being a wonderful mother to Shannon, and making a difference at her job every day. I am just in awe, while I was going through chemo, she has basically potty-trained Shannon (little more work left to do, but for a 23 month old, it seems like we are ahead of the curve). I could not have gotten through this summer without her and I am looking forward to giving her the chance, in a few weeks, to sleep in.

One final note, this week is your last chance to make a donation to the 2011 Pan Mass Challenge to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Without the generosity of millions of people in the past, I would not be writing this note now. Please take a moment to make a donation, however large or small, to pay this forward and help save more lives.

Thank you!



9 thoughts on “Getting on the final roller coaster

  1. Andy – this is amazing and moving as always. Wish I could see you to give you a congrats hug and a high five. You and Michele continue to be in our thoughts and I’m just so pysched for you and proud of you (though that feels a little weird to write). Way to go man – you are truly inspiring.

  2. I feel ridiculously grateful that this is the last one and it is DONE. Next time you are in town I owe you a beer. Or several. In the meantime, as my grandmother (that would be Aunt Edna to you!) likes to say , “Consider yourself [and Michelle, and Shannon, and your parents, and everyone else who has loved and supported you throughout) hugged!!!!” I have a friend who is in the middle of treatment for a fairly advanced case of breast cancer whom I will finally get to see tomorrow night for the first time since her diagnosis — if it’s OK with you, I will pass along your good news and pray her outcome is as positive and full of hope!

    1. thanks for all the hugs. please tell your friend that she is already a survivor and that she can do this. hugs and prayers for her from baltimore.

  3. Hooray for the final treatment. Hooray for you. Hooray for survival. You and Michele are amazing and we love you so very much. Continued prayers. Catherine of Quail and John

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