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October 15, 2003

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Five years ago today, cancer was removed from my body, and after chemo therapy and a few bumps in the road, I remain cancer free. I have changed, grown, and am, hopefully, a better, kinder, and more compassionate friend and person because of my experience.

Five years is a milestone in the world of cancer, but it has never been a destination. I want to celebrate surviving – not being a “survivor.” This will always be a continuing, never ending journey. You all know that. Stages, markers. treatment, remission, cure???..... all are a part of the terminology that defines each of our lives. Emotional highs and lows characterize each day.... joy and sadness. Yet each night we are grateful for surviving another day.

I thought long and hard on how to best celebrate my wellness. A party??? No, then it would be all about me, and it is now no longer about me. It is now about you...those of you who are in the ring fighting like I did so long ago...those of you advocating for a loved one... those of you who have lost someone dear to you and still come here to check on us and lend someone in need a kind word of comfort or support. The past five years may have been difficult, but by being a part of this extended family, I have found purpose and meaning in dealing with a disease that has taken far too many of our friends. The healing bags I create are an expression of hope and caring that I try to share with my friends. The concept started with one red heart a friend gave me while I was waiting on the gurney to be wheeled back to surgery. After my operation, I placed the heart into a bag and others added small inspirational keepsakes to it. My bag always accompanies me to each doctor’s visit and scan appointment. Each little token, each word, each angel has power, and combined they create a compelling symbol of hope.

I want to commemorate the five years of my journey by sending each of you a healing bag, (blessing bag, if you are the caretaker) created by me with love and in honest belief in its power. I want to celebrate my wellness by sharing this conviction with all of you. Since treatment plans and regimens have changed these last few years, I don’t have the experience or knowledge to add to some of your posts, but I can send you a tangible reminder of my hope and belief in the power of unity. Hopefully, the bag will let you know that I think of each of you and look forward to the day when you can share your five year anniversary with me.

If this happens to be something you would like, please send me your mailing address in a private email. I will spend the next few weeks mailing these out.

We are all surviving!

With love,

Kay

krystiesq's picture
krystiesq
Posts: 242
Joined: Jun 2008

What an inspiring post. Thank you for that and congratulations.

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hello dear sweet Kay!

Congratulations on your awesome achievement of surviving these 5 years!! Your post is beautiful--a reflection of you. Truly. I am so happy for you. Where you given the "cure" word? It took me awhile to claim it as mine. (I still have problems with that sometimes).

For all you newer Semi-colons, I have one of those bags Kay makes and it is wonderful. I love mine and keep it on my "special" table (dare I say altar?) to reflect on during meditation and prayer. You will be delighted, I assure you, when you get it.

On a personal note: my CT scans from last week are all clear and my colonoscopy from Monday was too. YIPPEE! That makes it 7 (!!!) years cancer free!

I hope you have many many more years of free and clear! Forever.

peace, emily

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Emily.....WOW! 7 years!!!!

I'm sitting almost at 4....

Hugs, Kathi

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Dear Emily,

Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you. Seven years is awesome, so I'll have to go home & do a happy naked dance for you!!!!

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

YEA YEA YEA YEA YEA YEA YEA!!!!!

Naked happy dance!!!!!!!

HUGE hugs to you, my sweet Kay!!!!! 5 YEARS!!!!!!

I keep your bag close, and my daughter does, as well.

I'm dancing until the police come.....THIS naked body is an eyesore!!!! ROFL

Hugs, Kathi

ldot123's picture
ldot123
Posts: 276
Joined: Apr 2008

What a lovely post. That gives inspiration to us all. I am about a year and a half out as NED. I still have my ups and downs in terms of how I actually feel but I have come to learn from this site that I am not the only one. I am having more better days than before so that is good. Congratulations on your milestone. Lance

sladich's picture
sladich
Posts: 430
Joined: May 2007

Kay,

What a beautiful post. You are an inspiration. I can't wait to see you again in SF!

Best,
Debbie

chynabear's picture
chynabear
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

It is so good to read this news! Celebrate!

*HUGS*

tricia

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

Kay, you're such a sweetheart. I love your spirit! Thank you for your post, and I will certainly send you my addy for a bag. How lovely!

*hugs*
Gail

betina61's picture
betina61
Posts: 644
Joined: Aug 2006

Congratulations Kay on this wonderful 5 years anniversary , your post is so inspirational I can tell that you are a very good person, this have been a gift to me because after the news about Jana I have been really sad. Thank you for sharing.

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Our Jana? Is something wrong?

peace, emily

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Kay - What a great post and I am so happy for you.

You make me feel at peace. Great news - I have heard about your healing bags and they sound wonderful. Meanwhile, happy "anniversary".

Betsy

crazylady
Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi Kay,
Congratulations on being cancer free for 5 years! I have heard how special your healing bags are. What a wonderful and inspirationsl way to celebrate. Thank You!
Jamie

CanadaSue's picture
CanadaSue
Posts: 340
Joined: Apr 2006

Kay,

This is the greatest news! celebrate, dance naked!

From what I have read in here, you deserve it.

An angel here on earth!

Hugs
Sue

jams67's picture
jams67
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

Five years! Wow! That is great Kay, and I know that you are here for a very good reason. Your message of looking forward helps all of us to cope with our "new normal" whatever it is and be grateful for just being alive. Be sure to do something for yourself too. You deserve to celebrate.
Jo Ann

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

Congratulations! I sent you an email, but my memory being what it is, i requested a red bag instead of a healing bag. I really am not particular about the color, I guess the red heart comment stuck in my brain. That's what I get for not making a note! As it was I finally had to add you as a friend to be able to remember the name i wanted to send email to! Anyhow, thank you so much for your ministry, it is an awesome way for you to reach out to other survivors! May God continue to bless you every day.
Mary

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Congratulations! (Or, as my then-young son wrote to me in a card after my surgery, "good-gratulations!")

I really enjoyed reading your reflections on reaching this amazing milestone. You expressed things so beautifully.

Love, Tara

Glv49
Posts: 206
Joined: May 2005

Kay,
what an inspiration you are to all of us! It was five years for me in July.. you are a wonderful person to make those healing bags.. how many people you must have given hope to. Sometimes we wonder why... and then we realize God never gives us more than we can handle.. and it is so true with your story..God bless you.

Gail

HowardJ
Posts: 484
Joined: Jan 2005

Hi Kay,

Very inspiring and kind of you to write.

Thank you for putting it all back in perspective!

Howard

Moesimo's picture
Moesimo
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

Kay,

What a great post!!! Congrats on reaching such a milestone. My 5 year was in June.

This site was such a godsend to me during treatment> I don't know how I would have handled everything without the people I met here.

I love the idea of the bags, It is at a perfect time, I was saddened to hear about Jana. She was such a sweetheart.

Go out and celebrate such an important day. You deserve it.

Maureen

StacyGleaso's picture
StacyGleaso
Posts: 1250
Joined: Mar 2003

Well, Kay,

As you know I am very rarely at a loss for words. But I will try to piece together some that pertain to you and what a remarkable person you are. I did not know you before cancer. However, I really cannot believe that cancer was the reason for the wonderful person you are today. You are one of those people who generates energy and warmth wherever you travel. Your outlook on life and what it has to offer is amazing and more people should see things through your perspective. I have shared laughter and sorrow with you, both usually resulting in tears. You are a strong, giving, and selfless person. I am SO proud of your 5 year achievement and know that there will be many many more "5 yr milestones" to come.

I am so happy for you on this joyous time in this journey. You deserve nothing but the best.

Now....about this "Mary Merlot" persona I've heard about.....lol

Kay, you are so loved by so many! Thank you for what you have brought to all of us--especially me!

Hugs,

Stacy

Lisa Rose's picture
Lisa Rose
Posts: 595
Joined: Mar 2003

Kay, aka Mary Merlot ~ Congratulation's on your 5 year milestone!

When we first met Kay in Las Vegas ( October 2005 ) her looks reminded us of Mary Tyler Moore. The below dedication was made after that trip, check it out.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=W_RK-BuVzfs

Since Las Vegas we have had the pleasure of spending time with Kay in Austin, Halifax and Nashville. Kay has become a very dear friend and I am so proud to have her as a semi colon sister.

Congratulation's Kay!

We hope to see you in San Francisco...

Love,
Lisa Rose

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

Awesome tribute! Thanks for the link!
Mary

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Dear Kay,

Thank you for your inspiration and beauty. People like you are angels for all of us and we bless you for it!

Hugs,
Kirsten

jenjerandkatesmom's picture
jenjerandkatesmom
Posts: 37
Joined: Sep 2008

Congratulations on your good news. I believe you are doing exactly what the good Lord wants us all to do with this journey and that is share your experience, strength and hope! I admire you!!!

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Thank each of you from the bottom of my heart for your well wishes. Your extra kind comments made my day. I will start mailing the bags out on Saturday. Oh, and they aren't just a "girlie" thing. I have pocket pouches for the men!

Hugs,

Kay

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

In all of our journeys
and all of our thoughts
it seems as though you
come right to the top
like a blue ribbon prize
your the best that can be
just by your kindness
and sweet sympathies..
although I don't know you
you bring us to tears
in loving gestures
for your NED 5 years
and to you I will say
as Im sure others will
God sent us an angel
and that role you fill........

Congratulations on your 5 year new birthday............

****Bless each and every one of us in the fight against this disease and may you Lord comfort us and lead us down the paths we need to travel and be with us to give us all strength and take us into your arms and carry us through this road and lead us to the end of the destination, stronger and better for it.....in Jesus name we pray,Amen...........******

and on that I bid everyone goodnight.......

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

Thank you!
Mary

Kanort's picture
Kanort
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Buzz,

Your words touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I will treasure the poem forever.
Thank you for your extra efforts in writing it.

Hugs,

Kay

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

You are more than welcome and it was well deserved from what I read about you and how you are to others here......congrats again on a milestone

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

I think you know how much I care for you and how much I attribute my continued health to your friendship, support, and love. Words aren't enough so you'll get a special happy in the mail soon.

FYI, I love my healing bag and just had to restitch the edges since they were pulling apart with the bag being so full. I have stuff in mine from dear friends and family, favorite vacations, wonderful memories and every time I hold it my heart warms up like a furnace. THAT has to be "healing". It goes with me to all doc appts!!!

Congrats on the CANCER FREE mark my dear and all my love to you. Here's to many many more Mary Merlot!!!!!!!!!

Lisa P.

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