Stepping by Grace
Why We Walk
April 8, 2021 was the second anniversary of my emergency-room diagnosis of rapidly-metastasizing inoperable cancer. We are surprised and gratified to have made it this far. I have received fine care from several medical teams. Wellness House programs and staff have been an essential complement to the biochemical treatments, both for Julie and me.
Since June 2020, my journey has continued to lead us into the uncharted territory of patients who are surviving longer than expected thanks to treatments that are too new to have established track records. My cancer itself has been quiet, but treatments have presented challenges.
Last spring I was hospitalized for immunotherapy-caused adrenal insufficiency. Throughout summer and fall, over-enthusiastic immune cells inflamed my liver. We had to calm them down by prednisone, with its own side effect of muscle weakness. Winter brought a flare of vasculitis, and discovery of a malignant melanoma.
Particularly during the pandemic, with isolation compounding the stresses of cancer, Wellness House’s zoom sessions have been a lifeline—a valuable source of education, community, and perspective. Specific classes we’ve attended include Life Café, Death Café, “Gathering Around the Table” (nutrition), “Moving Through Cancer” (exercise as medicine), “Fall Prevention and Balance,” “Immunotherapy in the Treatment of Cancer,” and “Resilience in Survivorship.”
In counterpoint to topical classes is our week by week gathering of the support group for people living with recurrent or metastatic cancer. It creates space for mutual trust as we talk and listen to each other, giving and receiving understanding and inspiration. We find wholeness in spite of disease.
Wellness House programs are both complementary to treatment, and complimentary: offered free of charge. This is possible through generous gifts from individuals and organizations.
Each spring Wellness House holds its annual fundraising walk. On May 2, 2021, it will take place at various socially-safe-distanced times and locations. Registrants are asked to walk 1 mile, or 10 steps. I’d like to encourage you to take a walk of appreciation for Wellness House wherever and however you’d like.
You can also support the effort by making a financial contribution. I intend to walk a total of 10,000 steps on May 2. I hope that you will match my steps with a penny, a nickel, a dime, or even a dollar.
Will you join our team and take the next steps?