This week marks 10 years of living cancer free for me. It also marks 2 1/2 months my husband John has been living with stage 4 lung cancer. For both of us, one of the biggest blessings was receiving top notch cancer care right here in Maine. I hope none of you ever have to hear the big C word, but I also hope you will all donate to help me pay it forward to any Mainers who do.
My cancer battle came when we had 6 children under the age of 10, expecting baby #7 and a routine Pap test revealed I had cervical cancer (I miscarried soon after my diagnosis). Fast forward 10 years and once again, our lives were upended when John went for an MRI for unexplained facial numbness that I was convinced was Lyme disease. Life changed that night with a 5pm phone call from his doctor urging him to go to straight to the ER. Wait, what?? The kids need to get to practice! I'm in the middle of cooking bacon for the football team dinner! Sean's big championship football game is in Orono tomorrow night!! WE DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS!!
But somehow you do have time for this. At the ER, the first of many caring doctors showed us the tumors in John's brain, and a CAT scan an hour later revealed the cancer was spreading from his lungs. WHAT?? How could John have lung cancer? We had just climbed Mt. Katahdin 2 months ago?? He has never smoked!! Of all the things I have worried about in my life, John getting lung cancer was not one of them.
But cancer doesn't discriminate. And just like that, we were putting one foot in front of the other, and John's often annoyingly optimistic attitude was shining brightly and filling us all with hope. And the tsunami of support from our community filled us with love. But it was the wonderful doctors at the New England Cancer Specialists right here in Maine who confidently showed us a path forward and the many new treatment options that weren't reflected in past survival statistics. And sitting in the waiting room that first day at New England Cancer Specialists I again put my name in the Tri for a Cure lottery because once again I was forever grateful to be able to drive the 6.9 miles to the same medical building where I was cured of cancer, and I wanted to once again pay it forward to anyone else in Maine who is facing cancer.
Every dollar counts! Please consider a donation. Cancer tries but we TRI harder!
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