Today is my wife’s birthday. I shouldn’t tell you how old she is at this point, but I can rightfully brag about the fact that I’ve been in love with her for 44 years.
A year ago today, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. She was with me when we heard the news. It was not a happy birthday.
It’s been a tough year. I retired, we moved away from a state where we’d lived happily for 34 years, and I began a three-phase therapy regimen that was, as best, fatiguing: six weeks of chemo, nine weeks of radiation, and eleven months, so far, of hormone therapy. I also had a book published, contracted for a second book with the same publisher, and, as of last week, finished that manuscript. By “finished,” I mean that it was submitted, peer reviewed, revised, edited, and copy edited, all by June 6th. It’s currently being composited, and will be released on March 15th.
Exhausting. If a reviewer claims that “Farnsworth must have been dizzy or nauseous the entire time he worked on this book,” I will be hard-pressed not to deny it.
Tonight, we will go out to our favorite Seattle restaurant, a boathouse near where we moor our sailboat. Today, I want the world to know how much I love this woman. My prognosis, which they tell me is excellent, is all the better because of a helpmate who has been going through this process with me. She literally held my hand during the biopsies, was there when we discussed treatment options with half a dozen physicians, mixed her tears with mine when we fretted about an uncertain future together.
Cancer patients, and their caregivers, learn to celebrate small victories. Tonight, my love, let’s just celebrate that this year’s birthday is turning out better than last year’s.
Journal of Natural Hist. Ed.
Natural History Institute
Center for Humans & Nature