Saturday, March 09, 2013

Celebrating in spirit today ...

... with my friend, Gail, who has completed "16 surgeries, 18 weeks of chemotherapy, 28 rounds of radiation, 20 hyperbaric treatments, 8 months of being bald, and 1235 days of treatment to be cured." (calculated by her son).

I'm currently reading The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee.  Tonight I read these words:
"...the story of cancer ... is the story of patients who struggle and survive, moving from one embankment of illness to another.  Resilience, inventiveness, survivorship - qualities often ascribed to great physicians - are reflected qualities, emanating first from those who struggle with illness and only then mirrored by those who treat them.  If the history of medicine is told through the stories of doctors, it is because their contributions stand in place of the more substantive heroism of their patients."
Gail is one of those "substantive heroes."  Her perseverance and unfailing confidence in the goodness of God, even in the worst days of her cancer, have encouraged and inspired all of us who know her.  She is a fighter, an artist, a beautiful, beautiful woman. I am privileged to know her and rejoice that she's reached the light at the end of a very long cancer battle tunnel.

(This photo taken about a year ago with our daughters, Laura and Erin, and Clara)

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