Sunday, March 2, 2008

Finding the Path

This is a trail that I have never been down. I have read stories and talked to others that have been here but the bottom line is that the cancer journey is a unique for each individual and family that goes down it. Last night Jen gave the chickenhawk and I something to help us on our way.

Jen and Randy were up in Whistler B.C. for a ski trip while we were in the diagnosis phase. We are really close with them but chose not to tell them about what was going on because we did not want to impact their trip. While Jen was up there she was consistently drawn to a set of earrings that are little inukshuks. She wasn't sure who she was buying them for but she bought them and brought them home. When she got home, of course we gave her the news about the cancer. She knew then that the inukshuks were for the chickenhawk and I.

The inukshuk is a significant symbol four us. Click this link to learn about the inukshuk. Here is a quote from that site.

The Inukshuk (pronounced IN-OOK-SHOOK) meaning "in the image of man", are magnificent lifelike figures of stone which were erected by the Inuit people and are unique to the Canadian Arctic. Standing along Canada's most northern shores, they endure as eternal symbols of leadership, encouraging the importance of friendship and reminding us of our dependence upon one another. In the Baffin region of Canada's Arctic, the traditional meaning of an Inukshuk was to act as a compass or guide for a safe journey. The Inukshuk, like ancient trackers, helped guide people seeking their way through the wilderness. An Inukshuk on land with two arms and legs means there is a valley. At the end of this valley, you will be able to go in two directions. Today, this serves as a reminder that we always have a choice in the direction we choose to take in our lives. Erected to make the way easier and safer for those who follow, an Inukshuk represents safety and nourishment, trust and reassurance. The Inukshuk guided people across the frozen tundra and gave them hope in barren places to handle hardships they encountered. These primitive, stone images showed the way ahead... pointing you in the direction you wanted to go. Had they been able to speak, I am certain they would have said... "Here is the road. It is safe. You can meet the demands that this path holds. You can reach your goals and attain your vision of where you want to be."

Jen took the two earrings and separated them into individual necklaces for both of us. A very thoughtful gift.

I am doing mostly OK I am very tired most of the time. It is a side effect of the thalidomide. I am experiencing a lot of pain. My left clavicle seems to be losing structural integrity. My back and shoulder are reshaping around the noodley bone and it is quite painful. My attitude is still good but I am just plain sleepy most of the time.

I know that many of you are wanting to know as much as you can about what is going on. If you have questions for me, please leave them in the comments section of this post and I will either answer them in the comments or in my next post.

Tommy came over this morning and hung out with me while the family went out. It was great to hang with him.

I also want to say thanks to Randy for coming over last week and hanging a new door on the girls room. There he is in the dark after a long day at work, helping a buddy out. I truly am a lucky guy.

Thanks for reading.


katie liz said...

Hi Spence,
We've been reading your blog--we really appreciate the opportunity to keep up to date with your processes and your thoughts. I check it regularly during my day to see how things are going, and I always appreciate the new posts. Thank you for keeping us in the loop. Love,

Anonymous said...

Dude, we are with you, think of you everyday and we will ride this big one with you.We know you got what it takes to kick it.

Aloha , Macedo's.

bikesgonewild said...

...sarah & spencer...w/ you both learning about & wearing inukshuk's, you, as do the inuit, will always have something to guide your hearts home if this journey leaves you feeling a little lost in it's vast unfamiliarity... a child i grew up in a remote northern ontario town called foleyet & all through the years i lived at home, even when we moved south, we always had native inuit carvings throughout our house, carvings in soapstone & walrus tusk...some very simple, some quite elaborate but always fascinating... see you both w/ your inukshuks is touching... a point of interest & a chuckle, foleyet in the 50 years since i left, has grown in leaps & of maybe 6 years ago the population was up to about 350 folks...that happens when you put a road in...

Judi said...

Very cool necklaces. You guys are very very lucky to have such good friends. You, your wife and your buddys all look like such nice, genuine people.

Still sending many healing thoughts to you.


Sorelegs said...

Now you know can see why I spend so much of my time in gratitude. My community is truly amazing Jen and Randy are just two of many many folks thast are stepping up and helping out in significant and meaningful ways.... You just gave me an idea for the next post. Stay tuned.

BGW...350 is getting pretty huge. thing you know they put in a traffic light and ruin it all.
I reckon Coloma has been on a downhill slide since they put a road in here. Still no traffic light tho'