My Blog

I do not start this journey lightly. The idea of writing and sharing my thoughts and experiences is a powerful one. I'm doing this for several reasons, the first has to be for my own therapy. With such an immense loss in my life, I need to give myself every chance to feel a purpose.

Last summer I told Kirsten that, despite her ongoing fight with refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma, I was happy. I was deeply sad, depressed, and struggled with the meaning of it all. But, I was happy. Being with Kirsten made me content. Not having her with me leaves me with a void of true happiness. As I've mentioned to many, I can laugh, have fun, enjoy the moment, even look forward to something, however, that satisfaction of inner happiness is not there.

I am so grateful for the people and dogs in my life. My son, mother, family, Kirsten's family (including the four-legged variety), our friends, and, of course, our Lab Finnegan. Many of you will hear your own voices echoed in my writing. I needed and will continue to need the tremendous support that has been offered to me. Thank you.

I also write for Kirsten. In life, Kirsten, let's say, guided me. She still does and always will. Having said that, I can not guarantee that any future clothing purchases will be entirely fashionable.

As Kirsten was a champion of the healing power of writing, I hope to pay tribute to her. Kirsten has a tremendous legacy because of who she was and how she lived. I wouldn't speak for her, although if I tried, there would be a strong chance of a visitation, but I hope to add to her story.

If my sharing helps anyone who may relate to some of what I'm going through, that would be the best tribute to Kirsten I could give.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Kirsten's Blog

So, I resisted just adding my entries to Kirsten's blog even though It would have meant an immediate 42 something thousand hits. However, that voice inside my head was very clear that I needed to leave Cancersmancer the hell alone. I do love that Kirsten's voice is still there to guide me ever so gently.
Something that is very comforting is knowing that Kirsten lives on in the hearts and minds of so many. Her legacy as a friend, poet, journalist, animal rights activist, outspoken critic, cancer combatant, patient advocate, and loved one is undeniable. Her presence touched many, both in person and through her writing. One of the most amazing examples of this was the impact of her blog on a group of scientists, doctors, and administrators at Seattle Genetics.
I received an incredibly moving email from one of the lead chemists soon after Kirsten's passing that offered condolences and an invitation to visit when the time was right. Seattle Genetics developed and manufactured a drug, SGN 35 (Adcetris), that Kirsten was on as a part of a trial. She did very well on the drug for many months. This gave us an opportunity to enjoy renovations (enjoy?) to the upstairs of our house and have a great summer in 2010. Invaluable.
Kirsten's blog had found its way to Seattle Genetics which, as we learned, was very motivating and inspiring to a company dedicated to finding a cure. As I, Kirsten's mom and step-dad were introduced as Kirsten Not Kristen's family, the power of Kirsten's writing was evident. I'd think that it's safe to say all present were very moved by the visit. The idea that Kirsten is in the collective conscience of these caring people who are doing such important work is very comforting. As we were leaving we received hugs and best wishes. One of the scientists told us through tears that she will be even more driven to find the drug that would have saved Kirsten. Amazing. We have thanked the people at Seattle Genetics many times and I will again, now.
One last note about the visit. Obviously, what was missing was Kirsten. She would have loved them and been so appreciative of their work. Also, I can only imagine how good her blog entry would have been considering the trial drug was developed from the chemistry of a variety of sea slug. 
Kirsten and Finn at one of their favorite places, Point Roberts