This is a request for your financial support to Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network.
A personal update first: The good news is that this year marks 20 years that I have survived this relentless disease of prostate cancer. Last summer I underwent Cyberknife treatment. My PSA dropped with each subsequent measurement for several months until June of this year when it spiked again. And then after confirming it was not a lab measurement anomaly we began the process of trying to find out where it is in my body. My doctor in New York is part of a cutting edge clinical trial for imaging so we remain optimistic that we will be able to locate and treat it somehow, some way.
But lying between the realization that the fight is back on and the place of becoming truly optimistic about what comes next is a rickety bridge back into the wilderness experience of vulnerability and disappointment that we have been forced to visit many times before. I have been more emotional than usual this summer.
Whether they are tears of sadness or tears of joy is not always clear to me. There is so much to be joyful about. I have a new lens where a cataract once was. I have a new right knee and a new granddaughter. And I have a published book (Lost But Not Forgotten). So the year that Cyberknife treatment bought me has been very fulfilling. And the future holds much promise for opportunities to live love and help impact the lives of others who are being thrust into the wilderness experiences of life.
One of the most rewarding things I do is volunteer with Us TOO International. This organization sponsors over 200 prostate cancer support groups around the world. When I hear the stories about how men and their loved ones are being educated and given hope by those of us who have the lived experience with this disease it thrills my heart.
I know it’s not hard for most of you reading this to imagine what a relief it is to find someone in the wilderness who says to you, “Follow me I know how to get you through this experience of vulnerability and fear.” Because if we live long enough we all learn that the wilderness experiences of life are much closer than we think and we can be thrust into this disturbing place in a heartbeat.
So whatever our trial or tragedy we need wilderness walkers in our life. People who show up unexpectedly to point the way and say to us with confidence “If I can find my way through a mess like this then you can too.”
That is the essence of Us TOO and why I am asking you to support me in September for the Sea Blue Walk in Chicago. I will not be walking this year due to the need to recuperate from knee surgery and a detached retina but I ask you to contribute nonetheless.
Thank you in advance for any contribution you are able to make.