Sunday, December 18, 2011

Santa Claus is coming to town!

Living intensely

The following is a slightly more expanded version of my last update to Katie's Karma Corps.

Can you recall a time when to escape and re-create your self for a moment that you lit a few candles, turned out the lights and just listened to the sounds of silence?  I am sure you can.  You may also recall that the candles would suddenly gutter and almost extinguish themselves from some sourceless zephyr of breeze.  
That is rather what December 15 was like for Katie and our family.  With the power of our angels supporting us, we approached the post-surgery consult with Dr. Reedijk with hope and a belief that the worst was surely behind us.  We expected that our movement forward might not be as swift and without obstacle as we would wish, but that the road would be relatively smooth.  
Regardless, you’re probably tired of this preamble and wondering what the hell happened.  In a nutshell here it is:  The appointment was not quite what we were expecting, cancer found in 1 lymph node, and we did not get 1cm clear margins around breast tissue (0.3mm clearance). So now Katie  will undergo CT scans and bone scans on December 23 at Mt. Sinai and PMH  then meet with chemo and radiation teams probably at Credit Valley Hospital.
I have written to you before that as you experience this you become familiar with an entirely new and previously foreign vocabulary.  One of the most frequent terms encountered is that this is all just a journey.  Well, I am here to tell you that this journey makes the rape of Nanking look like a slightly raucous Sadie Hawkins dance.  It makes Masada appear as a somewhat difficult to access picnic spot.  This is no journey folks.  A journey is something with romantic overtones that you pursue voluntarily.  This my friends is a forced march to an uncertain future where shock and anger become daily realities.  Where the candle flame of hope does indeed gutter relentlessly.  Where the will to persist is challenged on almost every front.
I noted with sadness the passing last week of Christopher Hitchens.  Whether you agree with some, all or none of his stupendously contrarian views, no one can deny the brilliance of his writing.  I came upon the following quote and it seemed more apt than anything for this period of our life.
“Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.”
Christopher Hitchens
With your help and continued support we will live intensely.  We will cling to the belief that the collective power you provide and the super feisty attitude of Katie will some day lead us to a point where the flames never gutter.  Where the light shines brightly and we feel the warmth of the sun.
Thank you from Katie, Gabriel, Samuel and one very tired old man.   We appreciate you and continue to honour you.  We send you great blessings for Christmas and whatever else you choose to celebrate.