The Buddy System



A beautiful rhododendron outside our window at the treatment center.  Nice.
A beautiful rhododendron outside our window at the treatment center. Nice.

Well, we tried it out yesterday for our chemo treatment day at Swedish Cancer Institute.   We as in Jennifer and myself.  We are both here on Vashon Island and it was just a matter of time before the island grapevine got us together.  And we do what Islanders do when faced with the big city, we car pool.  And actually it is beyond that to a budding buddy system relationship.  We found that we had the same docs and treatment pathway but she was being treated one week and I was on the next week.  Anyway with a little help from folks at the hospital I changed my schedule to hers and now we can team up on it.

Also what is important about this is that I am been doing this for going on four years and have grappled with many things that I can hopefully coach her on.  And visa versa she is seeing the situation with new eyes and coming up with some new angles.   ( just listening to my Soul music and Laura Lee just had a line that might be apropos, “I’m going to slap him in the face with the unexpected!”  Putting cancer in it’s place!). Jennifer is just starting  with chemo and this is a totally freaky prospect.  It’s all so foreign and difficult.  I am happy that I have some extra energy at this point  to help out in some small or large way, who knows.

And with me at this point the endeavor of keeping the cancer to a dull roar is an endurance race at best.   Being able to keep my health in other areas to give me a strong base to work from is important.  And then to be able to keep one step ahead of the chemo side effects and carry on is important.   Then to keep the whole person, me, intacted with the help of prayer and advisors and strong family.  This blog is part of it also.  I have a mission with the Camino and you the Caminoheads to help keep things burning that gives me a focus and helps keep me alive.  Thanks for reading and being here for me and Jennifer.

Yes, but the world is chock full of different realities.  This was just a little glimpse into this little backwater.  Good luck with your struggle where you are.  Buddy system loves, Felipe.

6 thoughts on “The Buddy System”

  1. Thought of you lots today. Happy to see the swallows over Wax. Hope they came to your fields too.
    Catherine and I are inspired to figure out where we stayed when and get our brains around the whole trip.

    So love your blog.
    xoxox dana

    1. Dana ~ it is so fun for us to have you both back. Neighborhood fun, Felipe.

  2. Hola el granjero Philipe!

    Your posts are like the kernels of corn we both plant every spring. All wrapped in that cocoon of sustaining starch is a germ that springs to life if you give it just the right conditions. That’s our job, giving it just the right conditions to sprout and making sure it has all the other elements it needs to keep growing. I thought of that as I read your post today re: “The Buddy System”. That’s what you’ll be doing for Jennifer, providing the elements she needs to keep her body and her faith sustained as she fights the good fight for as long as it takes. She has already provided the “germ” and it has sprouted. Blessings on the both of you.

    Thought I’d also add that everybody needs a “Sister Joyce”. My “Sister Joyce” is Sister Agnes. You two would hit if off like Forrest Gump’s famous “go together like peas and carrots”. She was raised in a home in Chicago by her dad and her uncle after the death of her mother as she was being brought to life. They each worked a 12 hours shift so that one of them would always be home to care for her, both as a baby and all thru her growing up. Her Irish humor and charm snared me in the first 10 minutes of our meeting. She can give you a hug that will take your breath away. How could you not love a Nun like that. She has been our Spiritual Director as the CEW’s for the last half dozen years or so. Do you have that program out there? Christian Experience Weekend? If there is one anywhere near you, check it out. Knock you socks off kind of stuff there.

    We’ve been blessed with just the right amount of rain and sun here to get the crops off to a running start. The first planted corn is well over a foot tall now.

    Keep on keeping on,

    1. PFJuan ~ so great to hear from you again. You bring a certain Iowa spice to the situation that we totally lack. I was freaking out with your long spell of writer’s cramp. I really appreciate your enthusiasm for what we are attempting to do here at Caminoheads. Thank you. Felipe of the North.

  3. Hi Jennifer is a dear friend of mine from Canada. She sent me your buddy blog. I am so happy to know that Jennifer has you as her buddy. Thank you for caring for her and showing her the ropes. She told me today how content she was with her decision to do the chemo and you probably know that in the beginning she was undecided. So thank you for being there for her. She is very special. Hopefully I will meet you when I come out in July to spend a short time on your wonderful island. Be well. Heather

    1. Heather ~ thanks for checking in with us. Yes, Jennifer is a special person and we are happy that she has come into our lives. This project of trying to be positive and have fun with the chemo process is daunting but full of potential. It is good to have her onboard to see what we can do with it. Alperfect, Felipe.

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