Sunday, February 20, 2011

Livin' on a Prayer (by Susan)

It has been a while since I've added to this blog.  A lot has happened since my last post, as George has described in great detail.  After our Fabulous Fall, we were very disappointed to learn that the cancer had come back in two tumors in George's neck.  So, now we are on round 2 of treatment.   It was really hard to have to go back to the infusion center after we thought we'd never see it again.  But, the good news is that it is treatable and so we have every hope of a good outcome.  George remains incredibly strong and positive, which is really the best prognosis of all.    He just finished up his second round of chemo with flying colors, and we will wait until March for the stem cell transplant that will get rid of the cells that are creating the cancer cells.   And now we are, as Bon Jovi sings, "Livin' on a Prayer".

On February 16th is was one year since George's original diagnosis - so he is officially a one year survivor.  I remember last year on Valentine's Day it was bittersweet, because George didn't tell me about the lump in his neck, which he suspected was cancer, until we were done celebrating, and then, boom, two days later the whole ball started rolling.  It took me a while for me to believe what he already knew in his heart.   I have been writing poetry my whole life, and every year for Valentine's Day I write George a poem.  I though I'd share the Valentine's poem I wrote this year because it's the best way I know how to express what I'm feeling.

If Not Love

If not love then what
can break the long bands of despair
that bind our hearts?

If not song then what
can still the howls of coyotes
under full moon beside the highway?

If not laughter then what
can lift our hearts above the pain
so that we float, as light as thistles?

Reach out to me -
with hand to wrist and wrist to hand
we will hold tight
and not let go
until we cross this canyon.

And so we are holding tight, sharing love, song, and laughter to get us through this.  Many thanks to all of our dear friends and family for your support, your prayers, and your love.


  1. "Livin' on a Prayer." Yes, that is the winning formula. And then you come to the realization that prayer unfolds an entire universe filled with love, beauty, gratitude, hope, consolation, and ultimately eternity with God.

    Lent begins on March 9, 2011. Lent is a season of "desert spirituality," culminating in Holy Week. We will therefore all hold you both in prayer through this Lenten journey, and "not let go until we cross this canyon."

    May you both enjoy much love, song, and laughter in these next few weeks! Peace and Blessings.

  2. Susan, I am so happy to know that Dad has such a soulful partner with him through this journey and all the other journeys of life. Your poem is gorgeous; we all WILL hang on until we cross this canyon!