MIT

Saturday was a day of extreme ups and downs. The bad/sad news about my friend Guillermo. A disturbing dream the night before; in which I had been attempting to climb to higher ground as a giant wave washed in, only to have it sweep me out to sea. I survived the tsunami, but as I back-stroked toward shore, what I feared to be sharks would bump against my legs and I wondered what it would feel like when they struck.

We were also scurrying to get out the door to Boston, where we would be attending an information session in regard to a camp Peter will be attending, and then dropping David off at Logan for a flight to England. We’ve yet to sort everything out from our move, and initially David couldn’t find his stash of business cards. As we got in the car, I asked him to check for his passport; he did, only to discover that it was an older document that had now expired.

Well, after momentary panic and a quick search of the house, the current passport was found tucked in another compartment in David’s briefcase.

Three deep breaths and an hour and a half later, we were at MIT; The Massachusetts Institute for Technology.

What a place. Sort of hallowed ground for those in love with sciences…Peter was indeed in heaven. I got a kick out of all of the bright young minds roving the halls; it made me feel smarter (kind of like osmosis) just being proximal to all that brilliance.

The reason for our visit was orientation for Camp Kesem, a wonderful opportunity for children who have a parent with cancer. Should you follow the link, you will see that it is geared for children ages 6-13. In reality, they accept teens up to age 18 and I’m not sure why that is misstated on their website; upon initially checking them out (after being alerted to their existence by my friend Diane), I assumed Pete would not be eligible, as he is 14. Further investigation at a later date corrected my assumption, but our application was turned in just before closing and Pete was wait-listed. Happily, two weeks ago we found out a spot had opened for him.

The counselors are all MIT students who donate their time to this cause, and their enthusiasm was contagious. It was all I could do to not start weeping; it is such a glorious concept (there is no charge, therefore making it available to families regardless of income) and addresses the unmet needs of a group that is so often disregarded:  our children.

At the end of August, Peter will have a chance to interact with other young people dealing with a parent’s illness in an unstructured environment where the emphasis is on fun; a much needed respite from cancer.

Afterward we took a short walk along Massachusetts Avenue, before deciding on a cafe called Flour for dinner. It was sooo good, and a lovely way to top off a day that had begun so painfully.

4 responses to “MIT

  1. Gail Nicholson

    I am delighted to have found your blog and have now spent many hours playing catch up! I actually found it at 4 am the other morning when doing an internet search oncrizotinib. And why would I be doing o search on yet another unpronouncable drug name? Short answer is that it may be my next treatment. I have stage 4 lung cancer, diagnosed in March 2009 following failed surgery and failed chemo. Have spent the last 2 years on a clinical trial of tarceva and pertuzumab but am now showing signs of gentle but convincing progression – probably because of aquired resistance associated with T790. So a new trial is being contemplated but first we are probably going back to 150 mg tarceva to see if there is a hammer effect. I am currently on 50mg having had to reduce from150 due to the severity of the side effects. So going back to 150 is a touch daunting. Loved your comment about Not Dead Yet. A friend and I decided at the start of the ‘journey (don’t you just hate that word!) that we were going to get Not Dead Yet t-shirts printed! At the moment I have great quality of life: lots of holidays, jog 35ks a week and work full time. I live in Melbourne Australia and luckily we have an excellent health care system plus I have private insurance so I get well supported. I look forward to continuing to read your blog.

    • gn,
      Meet Linnea. I know the two of will love each other! (ts)

    • Gail, I am delighted you have found the blog as well. Even without Stephanie’s introduction (how do you two know each other?) I have a feeling we will get on just fine. Cheers!

      Linnea

      • CancerGrace. I know you are an occasional participant, but not sure if you were aware of Gail’s adventures. Oh, and Gail, I did the same thing when I found Linnea’s blog – read the entire thing in one long sitting.

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