On Thursday, Feb. 8th, I hosted a special party. It was 10 years to the day that I was first diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Although I have had a recurrence, I felt living 10 years after being diagnosed was something to celebrate. It was my way of thanking those who touched me in a special way during my last ten years. 21 people were invited and 1 dog. 15 were able to come and the dog, Grace, made it too.
I had the event catered and asked everyone to just come and enjoy the night. Many people only knew one or two others, as these are special people in my life who again made an impression on me during my journey with cancer. I wrote a limerick to thank them all and have included it here. So remember to allow others to support you, help you, care for you and you will be able to thank them when you are well!
All of You
Today I gather my own special crew
Who helped me combat a cruel brew
To hurt me it aimed
Ovarian cancer it was named
But it didn’t know I had all of you.
One by one, day to day, you arrived
With a plan so uniquely contrived
Helping in your own way
So I’d be here today
10 years so far I’ve survived.
There are so many stories to share
But one will contain extra flare
Something that reminds me of you
Through this journey come true
There is no one here now that I’ll spare
Mother Theresa was there everyday
Through the drama & pain she would stay
Together we would fight
Making our relationship tight
There is so much I can never repay.
My sister Dawn stepped up to the plate
That second dose was nearly my fate
She ran for the nurse
While I started to curse
An allergic reaction that wasn’t so great.
Now Tracy had sent me a chart
A countdown of treatments, how smart
I ripped off each date
And boy it felt great
After 18 a new life I’d start.
Joan witnessed a very tough day
My veins wouldn’t cooperate and play
The nurses would plan
While Joan held my hand
Eventually the needle would stay.
Now Mary Jean came forth to say hi
At the hospital she would look and then sigh
I was greyer and ill
My guts I would spill
She said “I‘ll see you” …”how bout in July?”
Then Denise has so often been scared
About my health she has always cared
She prays for me I know
It helps my strength grow
And I love the great times that we’ve shared.
Jeanne Denalsky is fabulous with food
She’s supportive with great attitude
She fed me the dishes
Containing all my fine wishes
And her yummy buffet we just chewed.
With Meg, it was walks on the beach
Conversations with your dad, how he did teach
Us to always stay strong
And to always belong
Standing together and stretching our reach.
When Lynn Lefler came into my room
My head spun so I asked her to move
I had vertigo they said
While I was lying in bed
Not being drunk would be so hard to prove.
In golf, Cindy and I are like peers
We compete with each other without cheers
But when I show up bald
Cindy sure was appalled
And she let me win without any tears.
Jeanne Balawajder is medically adept
A cancer nurse – a secret well kept
She surveyed my infusions
Offering positive conclusions
The outcome she willingly would accept.
Donna and Suzanne I was soon to meet
In New Hampshire on the lake – it’s so sweet
They are giving and kind
My humor they don’t mind
No better people that you want to meet.
Their dog Grace is a wonder you see
Our first meeting I would soon decree
She sensed I was sick
And I thought she would lick
But instead .. a big hug she gave me.
Now Dana is such a good friend
So proud and she doesn’t pretend
Wears my cap everyday
At work and at play
My honor she’s sure to defend.
Who to call when you’re stuck at the docs
When the car, it won’t start and just knocks
Call Cindy to help
My name she did yelp
Got me home and her driving just rocks.
While Reiki and acupuncture were fine
And nothing beats a fine glass of wine
But Rebecca’s talented hands
Became critical to my plans
Her medical massage is just downright divine.
Nancy and I are so fond of those eggs
A breakfast sandwich before treatment she begs
She drives safe and steady
With jokes at the ready
From friendship duty she never renegs
When I lost it at treatment you see
I had a friend with me, Pam B
I was fed up that day
I didn’t want to stay
I yelled “we’re out’a here”, Pam and me
Becca was there through it all
“Put on your wig” she would call
Her hugs made me think
That I’d never sink
It’s for her that it’s worth the long haul.
My last treatment was up in the air
My white count too high too share
Chemo or the links
Treatment just stinks
Ultimately, Linda witnessed my last dose of care
So now as this poetry ends
Underlining the message it sends
You’ve all done your part
To give from the heart
So tonight is for you, my dear friends.