Positive Influences

Brace yourself kids, this is going to be a long one. I am home now and things are starting to get back to normal. Viviane has been with me and I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have her in my life again. She is doing awesome and is happy to be back to her routine. The month of December was very hard. Not only with my first bone marrow transplant, but having the added stress of things going on in my personal life did not create a positive emotional recovery. I know that there are certain things that are beyond my control, but rest assured that I would never wish the things that have happened to me to anyone. Its especially hard when you are fighting for survival to have moments when you are vulnerable and weak. You seek love and support, but that is also the time that you reach out and find the people that make a difference in your life. Everyone who has called me, emailed me, visited me, and texted me have all contributed to my recovery. Viviane and all of you are my lifeline. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you.

Viviane – You are the love and light of my life. You are the reason that I will beat this. I love you with everything that I have and that will never change.

Andrew and Martine – You both are wonderful parents. You have shown and taught me the meaning of unconditional love.

Malcom – You are my foundation of strength. You are always there to help me pick up the pieces and rebuild me.

Harvey – I feel the love and support that you continue to send even being miles away. Thank you for everything that you have done for me.

Allie, Katie, Risa, Sara, Brooke, Amy, and Courtney – You are my sisters. Thank you for comforting my broken soul and helping me heal. All of you inspire me to be better. I am so grateful for all of your friendships.

Kim and Candis – “my circle sisters” 🙂 – You fill my life with humor, laughter, and sugar. You are both amazing women and I am lucky to have you. Thank you for sharing your life with me.

Pete and Ron – what would I do without the both of you? Thank you for your love. You both are a part of my heart.

Nick and Sha – You are my husband and wife 🙂 – You bring me joy and warm my soul.

Mary – You are the voice of reason and an incredible mother. Thank you for being so nuturing.

Megan – You are so brave. You give me strength and hope that everything will get better.

Gwen – little brother – you amaze me. I have such fond memories of my childhood with you. Thank you for being part of my family.

Drew – You drive me crazy, but I have love for you. Thank you for being so giving.

Diana – my PPU – You are so loving. Thank you for always reaching out to me.

Chrissy – You are the disturbed in my life. Thank you for checking in on me and giving me some much needed comic relief. God bless you.

Katina – You are my gangsta. I love you dearly and miss you. Don’t let Malcom talk you into anything and remember that you got that killa P.

Crystal A – Where do I begin? Thank you for your weird sense of humor and your husband (who is not a good boyfriend).

Emily – ” I am a doctor, so…..” – You rock! I could not have made it through this transplant without you. Thank you for being awesome.

Cat – You are my supermodel P****. I want to grow up and be just like you! Thank you for everything that you have done for me.

Darren – My snuggle. Thank you for visiting me and giving me such emotional comfort.

Boris – Thank you for all of your emails. Its so nice to hear from you especially after all of these years.

Craig K – You are straight up silly, but I love it. Thank you for all of your texts.

Libby, Sara W,Emily H, and Sabine – I can’t even describe how much it means to me that we were able to reconnect. Thank you for your emails and words of encouragement.

Ann Lee – You are a remarkable woman. Thank you for your visit and all of your cards. I love you.

Neil, Brenda, and Lois – You are a wonderful family. Thank you for all of the love that you have shown me.

Susanne – Thank you for the bond that we share. Its nice to know that we have each other and that we are not alone in our dark times.

There are many more people that I would like to thank. More to come soon. Thank you to everyone. I feel such amazing love from each of you.

17 Responses to “Positive Influences”

  1. 1 Diana January 8, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Yeah Geraldine – welcome back to this side of the water! I am so excited that you are home recovering. I said a little prayer for you when the ball dropped that 2009 would be your comeback year. Cheers to a great start for 2009 – keep fighting and stay strong. Scooby and Sasha send meows and hairballs your way. Love, PPU.

  2. 2 Boris Maitre January 8, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Ca me fait bien plaisir que tu puisses retrouver un rythme de vie comme avant!
    Je ne sais pas si j’ai été d’un grand soutien, mais je suis content que cette petite contribution ait pu t’aider, ne serait-ce qu’un tout petit peu.
    Mais comme le disent si bien tes amis, ton rétablissement est avant tout grâce à ta force de charactère, à cette volonté de s’en sortir, comme un brise-glace qui écarte tous les obstacles sur son chemin.
    On est tous admiratif devant ce courage!

    Je te souhaite tout le bonheur possible avec ta famille et ta petite fille de retour à la maison.


  3. 3 Courtney January 8, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    I love you too sister. So nice hearing your voice on the phone. You are always close to my heart.

  4. 4 Pensees January 9, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Here are some words of Helen Keller from her childhood

    “Love is something like the clouds that were in the sky before the sun came out,” she replied. Then in simpler words than these, which at that time I could not have understood, she explained: “You cannot touch the clouds, you know; but you feel the rain and know how glad the flowers and thirsty earth are to have it after a hot day. You cannot touch love either; but you feel the sweetness that it pours into everything. Without love you would not be happy or want to play.”
    The beautiful truth burst upon my mind–I felt that these were invisible lines stretched between my spirit and the spirits of others.


  5. 5 Leslie January 10, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Woot! This is sooo good to hear.

  6. 6 emily January 10, 2009 at 10:44 am

    thanks for the shout out. Lunch was great. Glad you’re doing better. I’ll see you for the 2nd round.

  7. 7 Mary Wilborn January 11, 2009 at 9:52 am

    I am so glad you are feeling better and have Viviane back in your arms. I know that warms your heart! I cannot wait to see you! 🙂

  8. 8 Rachael Hendrickson January 12, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    I am glad to heat that you are feeling better! You are an inspiration to us all! Keep it up girly!

  9. 9 June Rich January 14, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Hi Geraldine, I too am so glad to hear that you’re home and recovering. There’s nothing like having your little girl close to you to make you feel happy. Your accepting everyone’s love will go a long way in helping you heal.

  10. 10 Katina January 16, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Hey Gigi!! I love you and miss you to pieces. No matter what you go through, you always ask about me and my family and how things are going with me in NY. You are the most unselfish person on this planet!! Not to mention the sexiest!!

    Went to another one of those special places we visited, you know the one where I kept going to the atm, and let me just say things are very different in NY. lol

    when you visit I will get you in the front row!

    Love you baby G!

  11. 11 Brooke January 17, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Hi honey, So sweet of you to give a shout out! It was so good to visit with you and see your smiling face. Thinking of you as you head to your next transplant.

  12. 12 Malcom January 18, 2009 at 1:42 am

    I should have replied to this sooner. I’m so used to being a poster, not a commenter 🙂 Thank you for listing me as a positive influence, love. As I’ve told you before, you’re one on my life too.

    I tend to measure people by how much they impact my life. Most people don’t affect me, and are easily forgotten. Some have an effect, but it may neither enrich nor detract from my life. Unfortunately, a fair share of people affect me negatively, and I usually distance myself as quickly as I can.

    A very small number of people that we meet in our lifetime ever have a lasting positive impact. Being your friend has improved my life, and I will always be a better man for it.

    For those of you who might read these comments or any of the contents of this site too deeply – this next part is for you.

    I have a lot of love for Geraldine. She’s helped me so much that no matter how much I may appear to be helping her through this difficult time, I could still not come close to repaying her. I know that the cynical nature of some make it easier to pin ulterior motives to good deeds, but… well… it’s just one of those things that unless you’ve experienced having your life changed by the presence of another person, you might not understand. That’s okay. Maybe you will someday. For now, take my word on it.

    When you boil it all down to the basics, strip any drama and innuendo away from this story, you are left with a person fighting a very aggressive form of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for close to a year and a half. Let’s not ever lose sight of that, or of the very real possibility of where this struggle could have ended up at any given time along the way, and to a certain extent, still can.

    Shortly after Geraldine was diagnosed, she asked a few friends to help her document this battle. Her reasons were dark, yet realistic. If she didn’t win this fight, she wanted Viviane to have a record of everything that went down. Talks of a video documentary, photo journal, and other formats were mentioned, but soon after the initial call to action, those promises faded. The only ones left standing were Pete, Nick and I. We made a promise to record as much of every detail about this struggle as possible, and we intend on keeping it. I’ll never let a single person or their drama get in my way of chronicling the complex story with a simple plot: the cancer patient fighting for her life. No custody case, divorce, job, legal battle, or amount of tacky or passive-aggressive behavior from others will derail me from recording this story. Nor will it keep Geraldine’s friends from sending love and support her way. It’s been snidely called a cheering section. Damn right it is, because cancer patients need as many cheerleaders as they can get.

    Save the drama for your mama, as they say. The transplant patient has enough to worry about, like making it through the next one.

    I’ve learned many things about watching Geraldine go through this. It’s a long fight, longer than I’d ever imagined. Along the way, I’ve also seen others with even harder, longer fights. And its painful. You lose things – friends, freedom, jobs, hair, weight, looks, skin tone, energy, your memory, your happiness, your ability to control simple things about your life, the ability to walk for more than 10 feet without being out of breath. The list goes on, and often gets added to, all while we go on about our day to day lives. Most people are looking for a quick update, followed by a positive message “oh but she IS getting better, RIGHT?” Well, there have been many times that the answer to that question was a solid NO.

    She is in fact doing better these days, but this is a slow disease with a slow treatment process. There will be ups and downs, but our girl will pull through.

    This will be the only time I intend on addressing the drama and innuendo created by others who would use the contents of this site for anything other than support of our brave friend.

    To recap for those of you who might not/aren’t able to read big fancy paragraphs:

    This site’s purpose is to record the story of a woman fighting a long, painful battle with Cancer. It also allows her friends to show their love and support. And let me tell you, it really does help her.

    If you spend your time reading into things on this site you should get a hobby. I hear knitting is good. (*wink, emily*)

    I love you Geraldine, and I know that you will win this fight! Focus only on this fight! The other stuff is trivial, and truly doesn’t matter. In fact, aside from your daughter, and fighting this disease, you don’t have time to focus on any other petty issues.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! ❤

    P.S. No, I can't believe that I'd have to spell out this stuff either, but as I said earlier, it is a long road and easy to lose focus. As your lives all progress, hers does something quite different. Sometimes people need to be reminded that she's still fighting the big C, and their self-centered, vapid little problems are quite trivial. Everyone has a sob story, everyone feels justified in their actions, everyone has Oprah moments. Want a real Oprah moment? Watch someone go through this, watch it closely, not sure of the outcome. Walk through a cancer ward. Talk to the children fighting this that are stuck in some gloomy hospital room on a beautiful day. Realize that they've been there a month. Then come talk to me about how your fragile ego has been hurt over some perceived slight, or how things aren't going your way at work…

  13. 13 Harvey Lynch January 18, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Geraldine and Malcom,

    I have no way of knowing about the problems that Malcom mentioned, and I don’t want this beautiful web site to turn into an unconstructive blog. I fully support Malcom’s point that one of the purposes of the web site is to provide emotional support to Geraldine and her family. Let’s keep our minds on the real goal: Geraldine’s recovery so she can rejoin us to laugh, to tease, and rejoice in life.

    Take to heart Schiller’s words that Beethoven used in the fourth movement of his Symphony #9, sung by the opening baritone:

    O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!
    Sondern lasst uns angenehmere anstimmen, und freudenvollere.

    O friends, not these sounds!
    Rather let us begin singing more pleasantly and full of joy.


  14. 14 Pensees January 18, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Here are some thoughts expressed by a thirteenth century Persian poet:

    Love is fearless in the midst of the sea of fear.

    Reason is powerless in the expression of love,
    For love alone is capable of revealing the truth.

    Jalaluddin Rumi

  15. 15 Candis January 19, 2009 at 8:41 am

    I realized very quickly during my Mother’s fight with cancer that her battle brought out the best in some of the people in her life and in some it brought out the worst. This kind of life event seems to shed light on the true nature of the people close to it. I don’t think I’ve seen my theory demonstrated more obviously then it has been with your battle. However, as a member of your “cheering section” I say we focus on the fight and celebrate the heroes that are born from it and as Nick would say “You just got to love your haters”, after all they have to live with themselves.

    G-Bug, I love you dearly. I am proud and humbled at the same time just by the courage you have shown during this entire journey.

    Malcom, thank you so much for being you. There have been times that I’ve wanted to choke you just for being you but right now I want nothing more than to hug you until you get all bajiggity. You are the type of friend I can only aspire to be.

  16. 16 Jim January 19, 2009 at 10:48 am

    It seems there are mostly two groups of people in the world – those who Do, and those who Observe Others Do. So unless you Do, OBSERVE QUIETLY! The grown-ups are busy…

  17. 17 Malcom January 19, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Thanks everyone for their comments so far on this post. Everything has been really positive and encouraging, but, in the interest of staying on task with the site and its purpose, I’m locking this particular post from further comments. As I said, I feel that everyone here has been positive, I just don’t want to let this thread start a discussion that will detract the site from its focus. In particular, thanks to Candis, Harvey and Jim for their comments after my long “rant.” 🙂

    If anyone has any questions, please contact me at malcommc@gmail.com

    Moving on…

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