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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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