Three Years

Yoga on the Beach

Yoga on the Beach

Next Friday will be an anniversary of sorts.  Three years ago, on October 28, I got that phone call from my doctor that turned our lives upside down for almost a year.  I think it took awhile for it all to sink in. I had had trouble swallowing but then so had my dad and my sister…a simple stretch of the esophagus and they were off and running again.  Why would mine be any different?

Sometimes I laugh when I look back.  Never once, not once, did it occur to me that it might be something serious….Me who has been known to wonder if a headache is signaling a brain tumor or a weird pap smear means cervical cancer or a sharp pain means breast cancer…I had not one thought that I might have esophageal cancer.  Not one.

So that was three years ago…and three years year later I’m just fine.  God bless those doctors at M D Anderson.  They saved my life.  This morning at the end of yoga, as I sat quietly looking out at the Gulf, I thought about how lucky I was.

Do you know I only cried twice?  This is the woman who cries at Hallmark commercials.  Only twice for cancer.  The first time was the day we were leaving home to go to Texas.  We had packed the car and were looking around to make sure we had locked up and shut off lights etc and all of a sudden I got so scared.

What if I never come home again? I said to Jerry, tears rolling down my cheeks.  What if this is it?

We’ll be back, he said.  And we were.  And we are.

The second time I cried (we both cried) was the day Dr. Mehran, my surgeon, took out my feeding tube and told us to go home and live a good life.  We just looked each other and cried.  It was over.  And we were going home.

That was three years ago.  And during these three years I have seen other people get that same kind of unwelcome news.   Some are gone…dear Kate, whom I’ll never stop missing, and Kathy’s husband, Tom, who was on the mend from kidney cancer until he took a turn for the worst.  And others I didn’t know but knew of them from friends.  And some are doing amazingly well, like Mary Anne. who has managed to keep her lung cancer under control for two years now. And then there’s my favorite story…Kate’s sister, Fran, who, according to the doctors, was supposed to be long gone last spring and is still doing fine and planning to spend a month or so in Venice this winter.  Doctors don’t know everything, do they?

I’m just glad…glad to be still around, glad to be still able to meet friends for breakfast, go to yoga, walk the beach, see grandchildren, laugh at funny stories, cry at sad movies, exercise in the pool while I read my Kindle (safe in a ziplock bag)   It’s a gift and I’m well aware of that.  It helps me to stop sweating the small stuff (and it’s ALL small stuff, right?)

And Jerry continues to get better.  We are very lucky people and we know it.

Love to all…

(If you’re on Facebook, you’ve seen both pictures…if not, enjoy!)

Favorite baseball player..Declan Ross

Favorite baseball player..Declan Ross


23 thoughts on “Three Years

  1. Congratulations on your three year anniversary, Mary! I can just imagine how good it must feel. Wishing you and Jerry all the best.

  2. Can’t imagine being down here without you.

  3. God bless you .see you tomorrow and much love to you

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Deirdre Christman

    It’s amazing what’s transpired in three years. Sure am glad to have you here with us – actually, can’t imagine being here without you!!! Glad Jerry’s doing so well too! What’s in your drinking water?

  5. Congratulations! I am so glad you are healthy now and Jerry continues to get better. It’s been five years for me battling the Big C but I refuse to give in and am doing well. You are my inspiration, my friend. Love to both of you, G.

  6. And I am so lucky too….what would I ever do without my turtle buddy?! Love you Mary!❤️

  7. So happy for you. Prayers, a positive attitude and great doctors are a great combo!


    Wow. Three years. I am so, more than I can say, glad that you are both doing well. During the night, Kathy Moriarty, my cousin, died. Having someone go is always such a shock.

  9. Your journey has given us all so much to be grateful for and taught us the power of love & hope. So happy you are both staying strong.

  10. Susie Zavodnyik

    Amen to an appreciation of the good life!

  11. Thankful, thankful, thankful. Open your window I’m blowing you kisses.

  12. Beautiful news! Beautiful boy!

  13. Wendie Highsmith

    Mary-How thrilling to be able to look back in good health at the last 3 years. It’s been a cliff hanger at times, but you reached the top over and over!!

    Bravo Mary! Bravo Jerry!


  14. Oh Mary, what a journey and so much to be thankful for! Thank for sharing the ups and downs and ins and outs, and isn’t today a beautiful day?!
    Sending abiding love…

  15. Beautiful post, Mary! You appreciate life more than ever, and your post makes me do the same.



  17. Stephani Charette

    I love your positive outlook and grateful voice. Even though we we only got to spend a brief time together in Ireland I feel like we are kindred spirits. Thank you for your inspirational words. We are so glad you and Jerry are doing better.

  18. You continue to inspire my husband who has begun this journey.

  19. Mary, so wonderful! I am sure your three year journey has been so overwhelming and difficult, but such a joy to have it behind you, and so glad Jerry is getting better day by day. Life is such a huge challenge, and your strength and honesty and sense of humor are truly inspiring.

  20. It is always a blessing to hear from you Mary. I thank God with you that you both are doing well now.
    Miss you and until we meet again may He hold you in the palm of his hand.

  21. Nuff said, my friend, nuff said. On the coast of Maine in a painting workshop…what?

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