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The Blessing in the Journey

Dale Zurawski | April 21st, 2005

As Geoff and I sat in the oncologist office being faced with the fact that his cancer had come back just two months after surgery, I saw a banner in the doctor's office that read, "Every journey brings blessings".  The first time we entered the Cancer Center in Santa Barbara I felt really sorry for the people that were there but not us.  That was when I thought we had found Geoff's prostate cancer early and that surely the UCLA surgeon would rid him of it completely.  After surgery we got the news the tumor was much larger and more cancerous than they first thought followed by the news that his PSA, the cancer signal, had doubled in just one month.  The next time I went to the Cancer Center, I felt much more at home and read the magazines for useful information while we waited for the oncologist.


That was 6 months ago.  If any of you has had to face cancer with a loved one then perhaps some of this will ring true to you, but to me Geoff's cancer had many, many blessings.  For one it made me appreciate him a whole lot more.  I have always known he was a nice guy that is why I married him 21 years ago.  But the thought of actually living without him, made me realize just how precious our relationship was and how precious he was to me and the kids.  I instantly loved him ten times more.


Next came the blessing of family and friends.  I am ashamed to say how much I had taken my family and friends for granted.  But when we found out Geoff would be in San Francisco for two months, you called, offered support, brought dinner, stayed with the kids, came to visit Geoff in San Francisco, got us airline passes, wrote letters, worried with us, sent cards, sent gifts, picked him up at the airport, and prayed for us. To know people are behind you is a very great thing and I now appreciate my family and friends, every one of you, much more.

And then there was the blessing of loving life.  To live life like there is no tomorrow.  To really feel those words is a blessing.  To be mindful of the moment is a great gift to be given.  Geoff's cancer has finally woken me up to that.  


Of course the challenge will be to stay in this enlightened state now that the drama of the treatments are over.  I hope I have learned the lesson well enough that my life will be changed forever.  It feels like it.  If you see me being the same old jerky person I have always been you can remind me of this note and maybe I will snap out of it.


One of the blessings in the journey was the appreciation of family and friends.  And this is meant to be a thank you note to you for being there for us during Geoff's treatment. Another blessing in this journey was for me is to appreciate life. I would have to thank Geoff for that.   I also want to thank him for doing so well through his treatment, for making it his number one priority, so I can enjoy my new found appreciation of life with him.  Thank you all.  Thank you Geoff.

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