Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

A Trip 4 Years In the Making

Sorry I have not written in a while. Dave and I have been really busy with getting ready for Spin4Survival #2. We also FINALLY took a long-awaited trip to Acadia National Park in Maine. I say finally because this trip has been 4 years in the making! About 5 years ago, we bought an absolutely beautiful photograph of the fall foliage at Acadia Park in Maine. The picture hangs in our living room and it is stunning. I have always said that "One day, I'd really like to get there and see the leaves myself". We planned it for 2004 and we had to cancel because I was going through chemotherapy. We planned it for 2005 and had to cancel because I had medical tests I needed to attend to. We planned it for 2006 and had to cancel because of a wedding. The hotel reservations department always said "OK, we'll just book it for the same weekend next year!". Being the geek that I am, I found a fall foliage calendar online and was tracking the season week by week. I had figured out the perfect weekend to see the peak foliage. We were not disappointed at all. It was truly beautiful. I was THRILLED to finally get there in 2007. It was a bit symbolic for me to finally have our trip. In a way, it confirmed to me that "Dave and I can handle this." Cancer is just becoming a part of our lives and we will not let it hold us back from anything. Although I had my tough chemo just a few days before, I managed to shuffle my way through a beautiful hike. We had to stop every few minutes but I was happy that I was able to complete it. Once in a while, I look back on the last few years and realize how far we have come. When I was first diagnosed, a trip like this would not have seemed possible. We were way too concerned with my immunity being low...flying on a plane anywhere (to visit our Chicago family, to go to a friend's wedding etc.), would have seemed dangerous and in poor judgment. Now, 3 years into this battle, I am happy to report that we have told cancer where to fit into OUR lives versus the other way around. As we speak, we are packing for a trip to Chicago for Thanksgiving and we are booking tickets to witness a dear friend's wedding in Mexico. All of this despite the fact that the chemo treatments have not let up at all. In fact, I am feeling a bit more tired from them with every cycle. I guess you learn to live with what you are given. When people ask me "how do you do it?", I just shrug and say "my choices are to live the life I want or let cancer get the better of me". I refuse to give in to this disease, I refuse to let it win.