First off, I’d like to post a comment my sister wrote as it beautifully thanks a bunch of people present in one way or another at my arrival in San Anselmo. As you can imagine, I was exhausted and a bit overwhelmed and did not get to personally thank everyone on that street corner, particularly because my kids were there, tired, and needing my attention too…..So here is a blanket thank you to anyone I have missed lately….THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING. I AM FORVER GRATEFUL AND HONORED BY ALL THAT IS COMING MY WAY! And here is my sister’s note:
“Loved the last stretch video….wish I saw if you snuck a bite of a honey bun at the Bovine, of course you likely drank your juice instead which is why you are doing soooooo awesome right now! I just have to say how floored I was when I had a last minute Saturday morning shower idea, sent one mass email to 20ish dynamic, loving people (some of who do not even know you!) and next thing I know plates of cookies and bags of lemons arrived at our house like you would not believe….well you can believe it because what other bake sale has ever raised almost $400….then there were the people who gave me money the day before saying “just put a cookie in my mailbox if I cant be there” and my neighbor down the street who handed me a 20 bill at the end of the day just because he heard about it. Thank you to all the children who made the signs, sales, cookies and lemonade and all the friends who donated cookies, plants, carrots, lemons, tangerines and who came to see you ride in…..and that band that just happened to be playing music (before the police asked them to leave) who donated all of their tips into the fund for the Center for Integrative Health and Wellness. So many kind and loving people! And we are all rooting for you Nicole!!!!! MAGICAL THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN THE WORLD! LOVE, MELINDA”
BTW no, I did not sneak a bite of a Bovine Bakery honey bun, but I did buy some sort of baked energy bar that was slightly out of my new and improved diet and a delicious cup of soup.
A few people have asked about the people in the video. This man in the blue shirt is not my dad as many people have asked. It is Dr. David Gullion, my friend of 20 years and oncologist. Many of you know that I worked for him as a nanny taking care of his daughter Kaela mostly before their second child Sean came along. A beautiful family. The ironic thing is that I was Kaela’s nanny when David and partners were initially setting up Marin Cancer Institute which is now working with Marin General Hospital through the Integrative Center for Health and Wellness. If anyone wants more information ask me–they gave me a handy flow chart to help me understand when I became a mini-spokesperson of sorts (Fortunately no one has asked me for details because I would likely fumble). It is a dynamic relationship and folks in Marin are so fortunate to have such a state of the art, cutting edge, and otherwise special facility. In addition to people like myself who choose to travel for their medical needs.
Which brings me to another point…..I love Eureka Internal Medicine and Dr. Mahoney…some of our local cancer care. We in Arcata/Eureka/Humboldt County are so fortunate too.
There are many reasons why I am choosing the hardship and expense of much travel and family relocation for the summer . One reason is Dr. Gullion. He has stake in me like no other doctor…I go with the person who knows me and wants to keep me alive more than someone who does not know me. Not that the other person would not give it her all, but I’m just sayin’. Also, through Marin Cancer Institute I am part of a very cool clinical trial that our local facility does not take part in currently (hot drug herceptin for HER2/neu+, for those who know the lingo. It is usually used only for HER2/neu -). Lastly, my extended family is in Marin. My awesome sister is a teacher with the summer off and her kids (ages 13 and 10) are my children’s favorite people in the world (and mine too!). My grandmother, my aunt and uncle, my mom and step mom.
I go to Eureka Internal Medicine for blood work and a post chemo white blood cell booster shot. They rock. Katherine is awesome with the needles. Sharon is like a mother with her care, organized, clear, and there for me even though I have chosen care elsewhere (everyone loves Sharon). They have always been great. If I have an issue while I am here, they will take care of me and that feels awesome. They are in communication with my doctor down south and we have a protocol for if an issue arises (fever, etc.). They have a fun tradition of a community puzzle in the waiting room that the “family” there is really into. I usually try to get one piece but they are always pretty hard puzzles and they usually don’t leave me in the waiting area long enough.
OK–I have been wanting to say that for a while as many of my “chemo amigos” go to EIM and I want everyone to know how awesome I think it is.
With that finally said…..
The other people in the video at the bake sale. A few kindergarden mom’s of Marin Waldorf School (where my sister Melinda works). Old friends who I went to Hawaii with and baby sat for in my late teens….my aunt and uncle, friends from San Anselmo through my sister. Quite a diversity and excellent cookie bakers, or so I hear.
So magical things ARE happening. Like the thorough box of “chemotherapy supplies” awaiting my arrival in Marin from my dear friend Tiffany (water bottle, lotion, lip salve, mouth rinse, the list goes on…every single side effect had a solution in that box). The adorable corduroy pants and skirt that an Arcata community member sewed for my children and dropped off at the Scoop. Or the gift bag put together by the staff at our world’s greatest local bank….card games and a sock monkey for the kids, and a gas card to help Garrett and I with frequent travel. Or the massage gift certificate gifted by a local masseuse. A free meal from my favorite indian food, Naan of the Above (I have been there almost daily for a week and fortunately the owner is not always there so I mostly get to support them, but what kindness!) The gift of time and skill from a local “organizer”….to help me stay organized with all of this, and the amazing fundraiser for my cause that Simply Macintosh is doing (64 GB ipod touch raffle). Click here for more info. Also, some very kind notes and comments from Scoop customers. Including some beautifully written excerpts form Kitchen table Wisdom, a book I highly recommend. Qigong with Zena (on the table and off). The random soup drop off from a friend last night. The flowers that show up on my porch. The friends and broader community signing up to help on lotsahelpinghands.com. The emails from new friends that also have cancer. The generous donations to the Center and the Breast Health Project in my name. The woman (also with cancer) who bought 15 tickets for the BHP raffle in MY name (Sayulita, Mexico here I come. Knock on wood)! The box of four fun hats that arrived likely just in the nick of time from my Aunt Laila (Garrett’s side) along with the awesome note (she is a survivor herself and you know how I love survivors!) And so much more.
Things like this do feel magical and make my day. Our family is honored, and we feel so fortunate during this difficult time to be among such spirited and warm hearted people. And thank you generous reader, I’m impressed if you waded through all of this.