Thursday, June 21, 2012

Our Cancer Journey Week 27

Although radiation therapy is the easiest part of the journey thus far (except for the daily drives into Boston for treatment), we're awaiting the symptoms that will develop 2 to 3 weeks into the process.     Although Kathy has not yet experienced any skin changes, she is beginning to feel the transient shooting breast pain we were warned about.  Overall it's a small price to pay for preventative value of radiation therapy.

It's been a good week for Kathy and for Unity Farm (our property was the site of Unity Meeting House in the 1700's).    All twelve chickens are old enough to live in the coop and we've moved our house rabbits into the pen, so that our paddock looks like a Cadbury Easter egg commercial - clucking chickens and rabbits running around together.   We readied an acre of pasture for a new fence and redesigned the area around the barn to accommodate the herd of alpaca and llama which arrive this Summer.   We rebuilt the hayloft, added electrical and water systems to the barnyard, and cleaned out the woodlot.  Despite the persistent numbness and foot pain, Kathy has been keeping up with the farm activities and I devote my nights and weekends to heavy lifting.   We're both sleeping a bit more and I've lost 5 pounds via the  "farm workout" program.

One aspect of the cancer journey worth highlighting is the community of former patients, current patients, and future patients that connect in support of each other.   Every week I receive a call from a friend or colleague explaining that they, their sister, or their spouse has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer.   To me it seems like an epidemic.  There is truly one degree of separation among everyone I know and breast cancer.

Thus, the journey continues and we are actively helping others with advice, encouragement,  and prayers.  Radiation Therapy feels like the last step in a long process, but we know the relief at the end of the journey will be complicated by the emotional and physical strain accumulated along the way.   Watching the chickens chase the fireflies at dusk makes every day a bit better.
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