Paddling for Praise, Hope and Adventure
WHY I PADDLE:
Most of your know the story. My amazing husband of 20 years had testicular cancer in 2008, it recurred in 2014 and now we start year 3 cancer free! If you want mmore details of the story I share it below. Since 2015 we have always declared a theme word for our marriage to embrace each year. This year that word is ADVENTURE and I thought that joining a Dragon Boat race would be the perfect way to try something new and most importantly give back.
I'm paddling because its my way to give back somehow to this massive community of cancer survivors, fighters, and people who fought yet did not survive. Although Trey is the most up close and personal story I have with cancer.. there are so many stories. My data was a heart transplant recipient at the age of 53, it would not be his heart that failed him, but the effects of battling cancer while immune suppressed that led to his death. (Miss you daddy). I could name so many very personal ones who I have lifted up in prayer...two friends who encountered Ovarian cancer, 2 more that battled breast cancer, A coworker fighting for his life currently with colon cancer. And all these people are MY AGE! And as you share stories, you just see the need is so large and cancer is not a respector of any boundaries. It just enters your life and changes you.
So I paddle for Praise of the joy of life and the hope that a support system can bring in such a tough time. On May 5, I will be on team RELEASE THE KRAKEN to paddle with my heart full of all sorts of emotions. All dollars raise stay very local to our area. I cannot say enough about the support system here. Please donate what you can in celebration, honor, or memory of someone you know could .
CANCER ENTERS THE KUHNE HOUSEHOLD:
In 2008, right around Valentines Day my husband would call to deliver the news. A doctors appointment to check out a concerned turned into "Hi Honey, I have Testicular Cancer and must have immediate surgery". Wow the heart drops, the mind spins, the questions start and suddenly the "C" word becomes a real and live part of your life.
There were many positives to be had... it had not spread, it was very responsive to chemo, and recurrence rate was in our favor. After surgery and some additional scans and test, it was decided not to do chemo and just wait and see.
LIFE AFTER SURGERY STILL IN THE SHADOW OF CANCER:
So for the next 6 years there were scans, many many CT scans and blood work and follow ups. Every 3 months, holding our breath, sending up pray and sigh of relief. Then we progressed to every 6 months. The 5 year mark came! Always a huge milestone post cancer world. Hooray! We were pretty much in the clear.. however still scanning once a year!
REALLY AGAIN??? THIS CAN"T BE!
Then year 7, boom it was back. Something in one of the lymph nodes. Caught by a scan, our advice was just to wait and see and we hoped it was only illness or inflammation, 3 months waiting and another scan.. and NOPE it was growing. Hello Cancer!
TIME FOR THE BIG HAMMER
2014 was the year of brining out the big guns. Surgery to remove the lymph node and then many rounds of Chemo. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New years were a very quiet and solemn time in our home. Trey had so many ups and downs and his sweet and positive attitude gave me hope and encouragement. How could someone so ill still give? It is the hope and joy of our spirit in Christ that I know saw us through.
So life now is full of much joy, adventure, fun and sheer bliss. We make the most of each day. Mostly we make use of the mundane routines and take joy in being together. However, the effects of Chemo still linger on (neuropathy, hearing loss), There are still many CT scans as we basically start at year zero and work our way back up the "cancer free" ladder. So once Cancers enters the household... you are never the same. It is always there in some form... but there is hope in each survivors story, there are prayers and hopes in every person amidst the cancer battle, and there is pain,grief and yet still a special bond in our hear with those who life is ended by this disease. So join me please and donate to help support so many in our area.
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