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  • Writer's pictureAli

Pausing at the ocean


My friend Amy's brother and his wife live in Massachusetts. We are staying in their downstairs apartment by the ocean, while we have appointments at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and await tests and bloodwork. This photo is not of their ocean, but of our last ocean visit, in Ecuador. Jason ewneorks in cancer research, so we have the opportunity to learn quite a bit from him about the western medical model. Typically, I have found any conversations about cancer to be scary and nauseating. Today it was fascinating. Today, like any day since diagnosis, there have been many ups, downs and dizzying curves. I woke, did some QiGong with George, headed to the rocks by the ocean and enjoyed a moment of pause. Late morning, I received an email I thought was from Dr Stephen Juenke, our longtime Chinese Medicine Physician from years ago, who retired and moved to Alaska. I had recently reached out to him for support. Instead, it was Janet, his wife, who answered the email with the sad news that Stephen died this past July. The news came to me like a blow to the chest. I spent the morning feeling the beauty of this man's life, his gifts to our family, and my sadness at the sudden, surprising loss. Stephen and Janet have been very dear to us. He died of endstage cancer.

Tomorrow we have an apt with a medical oncologist. Then we will spend a day in Boston. I'll keep you posted.

So many of you are reaching out consistently. THis is a very interior time for me, and I dont respond much (in case you havent noticed) but please keep the prayers and hellos coming. They make me smile and remind me that we belong to one another.


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Martin Evan
Martin Evan
Oct 02, 2021

Thanks for postingg this

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Dearest Ali, we grieve with you over Stephen Juenke's passing. He and Janet were so very important to our lives as well. In the midst of all you are going through, so glad there are moments of "fascinating" insights, smiles, and yes, togetherness. We truly belong to and are lovingly connected to each other. We miss you so much, and walk with you each day.

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Michele McMahon
Michele McMahon
Oct 08, 2018

Hi beautiful old friend, it has been a long, long time. I'm here thinking of you, your beautiful heart, and will be....

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Robin Dunn
Robin Dunn
Oct 07, 2018

Ali, we think about you, George, and your girls so many times each day. Sometimes it is with heaviness and sometimes a place of trust and hope, but you are never far from our hearts. I came across a picture today of you singing at our commitment ceremony. It made me smile. Love, love, love, love, Robin

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ordinary_person
ordinary_person
Oct 05, 2018

Hi Ali and George! Just arrived in Connecticut last night and I'll be by the ocean in Massachusetts (on Cape Ann) in a few days. We'll be about 30 miles away from each other if you're still in Boston. I'll wave to you from the beach! Big love, Connie

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