Daily Archives: December 6, 2009

A chance acquaintance, first snow, and a return to routine

Yesterday our first real snow fell.  Pete had a friend spend the night, and as soon as they finished breakfast I rummaged through our winter gear to outfit them both with boots, mittens and snow pants.  They’ve now been outside for a couple of hours; romping and tossing snowballs at each other and at David, who is shoveling the driveway.  I tromped through the snow as well in order to take a few pictures of the snow on the ground.  Undoubtedly there will be plenty more of this where that came from, but the first snow is always an occasion for celebration.

David and Jemesii made it back from Texas late Friday night, after a hectic day of delays and missed flights due to the unusually wintry weather they were having in Texas.  I had asked David to take some photos of our house and the snow in Marfa, and he brought back some great ones.  Some day I would like to be there during such an event.

Here at home we are finally returning to a semblance of routine.  We really had to hit the ground running upon our arrival, but after a hectic few days, we are sorting it all out.

On Thursday I drove to Boston for my monthly appointment with Dr. Shaw and to pick up my supply of PF-02341066.  She told me that Phase III of the trial would be officially starting this week.  We discussed the fact that the hospital (MGH) has once again been inundated with requests for information as well as testing for the ALK mutation. And of course, we marveled at my continuing good health.  It is all very exciting: to know that others are discovering that they have the ALK mutation and that they may be eligible for the trial.  And that these individuals, just as I have, will likely regain both a period of better health and greater hope.

After my appointment, I went to Whole Foods to grab some lunch.  It was high noon and quite crowded.  When I attempted to sit in what appeared to be an empty seat, I was told by a woman and her friend that they were saving it.  I sat on the other side of the table, and when a young girl approached the seat I had just been turned away from, I told her that I thought it was taken.  That seemed silly of me, and I turned to the woman to my right and said “I guess that isn’t my job, is it?”  She concurred, and when the next person came to the table, I said nothing.

Well, it turned out to be a rather lucky turn of several events.  After perhaps five minutes, the woman who had just sat down across from me made an offhand comment that we were the two quietest people in the very noisy store.  I agreed, and we began to converse (quietly).  Somehow this conversation led to the fact that we had both been diagnosed with lung cancer.  Remarkably, it had been 24 years since her diagnosis.  I was elated, as I am always “looking” for long term survivors, and frankly I had never heard of anyone who was 24 years out.  I told her how inspiring this fact was to me, and then we exchanged contact info and agreed to meet for lunch on one of my trips to Boston.

So you see, never say never.  It does snow in Marfa on occasion, and there are long term survivors of lung cancer.  I feel honored to have made the acquaintance of one.