Once again I have been given control of the throttle here, and this time I thought I would detour from numbers for a tad bit and give some long overdue and heartfelt thanks. Of course there will be some numbers later as, after all, numbers bring a sense of sanity to my world.
To the two fine men we call our sons, thanks for doing your part to engage your Mom each and every day. One with humour, one with insight, both with love, care and respect. In my world that equals a hearty “ ‘nuff said.” To two incredible daughters in law, thank you for the caring and the sharing. Who knew how lucky we’d be when you walked into our lives? Tough old Army guys aren’t supposed to give into emotions, so suffice it to say I could not be more proud of the 4 of you.
To the folks in Vermont, thank you for being who you continue to be; extraordinary role models. Thank you also for a couple of very supportive shoulders when needed and thank you to the third who has a heart of amazing proportions. We all need safe havens and a place where we are accepted no matter what, you provide that and so much more. Knowing you are there has made such a huge difference.
To Kristy for the chickens, thank you. It seems trivial now, but Daleen having to get outside each and every day to tend to them was a huge help. To keep the record straight, I refer to them as Buzz and Ards individually, BuzzArds collectively, but I do appreciate their role in helping Daleen.
To (in no particular order) Miss Florida, Myla, Kathie, Lori, Julie, Carmen, Lisa, Chandra, Jan, Mary Ann, Ann and Joanne our new friend in Pennsylvania (and so many others) thank you. To Alyssa on the “other coast” your box of cheer was such a hit and so thoughtful. To Ashley close to home, thanks for the home-made goodness; it was delightful. Finally to everyone who sent a card or an email, your encouragement meant so much. To my colleagues thank you so much for giving me the space and time I needed to sort this stuff out and to one lady in particular thanks for your being there, it made a difference. To all of you, your friendship has been of immeasurable help, your wisdom much appreciated and your humour has been most welcome. We had no idea that when we chose a natural path, we’d lose so many “friends” as for whatever reason they cannot allow others to walk any path but the same path they choose. We made a value judgment about cancer, not about people. Thus, we cherish our friends who “came through” all the more.
Those of you that know us are aware of a gentle golden girl who lives in our house. Sweet Liberty has gone though more than her share of emotional unrest these past months. She’s been a source of constant help to Daleen (and to I) and honestly we’d have been lost without her. There exists a special bond between dogs and humans that care for them; Libby is a prime example of that bond. Thanks Dear Sweet Liberty for steadfastly having warm, hairy shoulders to hug and a soft head to pat. Were that humans could be as non-judgmental and unabashedly loving as dogs…..
Bill Henderson, www.beating-cancer-gently.com you gave us hope and you gave us encouragement. You shared your wisdom, your insight and your beliefs. Thank you. If anyone on earth wears wings, be they visible or not, I am sure you do. Bill lost his dear wife to ovarian cancer in 1994 and decided, after watching her suffer in the guise of “treatment” from the medical community, that there must be a better way. He offers those ways. He offers hope when those who wear white coats could not or would not. Who could do more?
Chris Wark has played such an important role in Daleen’s life over the past 20 months that he deserves recognition. He has a blog / website www.chrisbeatcancer.com and through his generous sharing of knowledge, we’ve learned so very much. Chris was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2003 and decided chemotherapy was not for him. Instead, he decided to do everything to be cured except put poison in his body. 11 years later he’s doing well and sharing what he’s learned. He is truly one of life’s kinder peoples.
Kris Carr has been such an inspiration to Daleen. She too was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and she also decided to turn to nutrition to get healthy and stay that way. She embraces grace and kindness and she too has a website www.crazysexylife.com and provides information, inspiration and gives hope to those who literally have none. She is another one of life’s kinder peoples.
A very sincere thank you to those who grow vegetables and fruits and who do so at a price we can afford. Our favorite local stand is Sterino’s http://sterinofarms.com They are open from April to December and feature more local wholesomeness under one roof than most other places we’ve found. Celery with the leaves still attached, local Kale, lettuce, cucumbers, berries – the list goes on and on. There is a quote on the wall of the stand (with apologies if I don’t get it exactly right) that goes like this : My grandfather used to say that once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher but every day, three times a day you need a farmer” . Truer words were never spoken and we appreciate them for their efforts.
Up next? The good folks at the Plastaket Manufacturing Company. Who are they you are wondering? They make the Champion juicers! www.championjuicer.com We had a champion juicer before the dreaded diagnosis was in, but it’s been a lifesaver ever since. Every day, every single day, it gets used and abused (kale and parsley are tough to juice after all) and it keeps on going. What an incredible product and such an amazing value for the money. These guys do it right, they do it consistently and best of all, Champion juicers are made right here in America; Lodi, California to be precise. Had Creedence Clearwater Revival known about the Plastaket Manufacturing Company I doubt they’d have sung “Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again” and rather written something singing praises about the place! Thank you to them for their dedication at being the best.
To Paul Stamets http://hostdefense.com thank you for showing us the incredible power of mushrooms.
To Phyllis Pipkin www.ancient5.com thank you for making Beta Glucan financially possible.
To Dr. Johanna Budwig www.budwigcenter.com may you continue to rest in peace dear lady. She was nominated 7 times for a Nobel Prize – yes, seven – a genuinely brilliant lady.
There are others who have seen us at our lowest and given strength and encouragement. We give you all thanks. Finally, we live in an age when the collective knowledge of all mankind is readily available with a few keystrokes. I doubt we could have gone on this journey without the wonders of the internet.
Ok – for a few digits now so I can satiate the numbers thing. To be honest, I seem to have this fondness for numbers. I use the word fondness in lieu of the dreaded word compulsion, or even worse obsession. I’ve kept meticulous records over the past 365 days for the vegetables and fruits we purchase and I am happy to say I won’t keep track next year – I’ve earned some time off. I was curious to see how much goodness came into our kitchen. I don’t count the time it takes to buy and weigh the fruits and veggies as we’d go to the stands and stores regardless of making juice or not. That stated, it takes about 45 minutes start to finish in the making two jars of breakfast juice and three jars of green juice a day. Over the course of a year, that equals 273 hours or almost 11.5 days. 11.5 days of focus, determination and happiness that the efforts will equal health and goodness. It’s that goodness that we are betting a life on. That equals about 171 gallons of juice (there are 42 gallons in a barrel of oil by comparison). Picture if you will 171 gallon jugs in your mind…
As to the stars of the show? Enter the more than 70 varieties of vegetables and fruits. It’s a hall of fame lineup of goodness. We come in at pretty close to 60,000 ounces for the past year or 10+ pounds each and every day. That’s just a whisker shy of two tons yearly of nature’s bounty. Even I was surprised at the grand total. When we give thanks, and we do each and every day, we are thankful we have the capability to be able to obtain all this goodness; we’re acutely aware not everyone is as fortunate.
I promised that I’d make juice each and every day for five years. Thus, I’ve got four years left on my contract. After that, negotiations commence on the next term. Don’t let on to Daleen, but I’m a pushover in negotiations. All she has to do is smile that incredibly, wonderfully cute smile of hers and my powers of persuasion somehow begin to diminish. A hug pretty much ends negotiations and a smooch or two seals the deal! The best part? We both win…
Oh – the biggest and best number out of all this? 580. That is the number of days since our lives changed forever. 580 days of beating the odds, 580 days of learning to survive naturally and 580 days of continually improving health. 580 days of learning, 580 days of change, 580 days of living.
Finally, I’ve never had a more important job, nor one I was as ill-prepared for as that of a support person. So to you Daleen Marie, thank you for the vote of confidence and the faith. I trust I did not falter, know that I will not in the future. I now understand truly well the phrase “A Labor of Love”, and I know how blessed and lucky I am. Simply put, you are the best part of me.
Kudos to the Big Guy upstairs, but He already knows how I feel…
May you all be blessed with grace and goodness, and may you have the opportunity to see that grace and goodness at work, it’s an enlightening experience.
In gratitude, Bruce