Summer Daze

Where We Stayed in Chicago

Where We Stayed in Chicago

Soon after posting here in August, my wife and I flew to Chicago. There we attended a three-day symposium advocating for the spinal cord injured community. My wife is Executive Director for the organization that hosted the event. I acted as staff photographer. I powered through the busy weekend and the flights all the while adding further testimony to my improving health. Here is a link to a short photo essay created from the experience.

Wildflower in my garden

Wildflower in my garden

Back home, I worked hard on my golf game as I have since April. I prepped myself to participate in a competitive event, the first in nearly four years. I didn’t achieve all my goals. However, I walked both rounds in 80-90 degree temperatures, which is the equivalent of twelve miles. Last summer, while undergoing my stem cell transplant in Seattle, my goal each day was to climb the 99 steps to our apartment.  I’ve learned that success is relative and, as to the golf, it’s always good to have excuses. So, I’ll blame my mental errors on lingering chemo brain.

Harvesting  my tomatoes

Harvesting my tomatoes

It’s been a busy summer for the Smith family. Both of our wonderful sons continue to thrive in their chosen activities. Today, Isaac is attending the movie premier of Contrast, a film on which he is one of the principal videographers. His brother, Noah, continues to plug away with Law School at the University of California, Berkeley. Meanwhile, I enjoy the simple delights of my gardens, happy to be alive, and full of energy.

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5 responses to “Summer Daze

  1. You must have married a great woman 😉

    I can’t tell you how rewarding it is for me to pick tomatoes after work with my 3 year old son who gobbles them up like they are candy. This disease and working the earth in my small little garden has given me so much appreciation and awareness for all the beauty that surrounds us! It just took a little cancer to slow me down to actually notice these things… Keep kickin’ it. -Phil

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  2. I just found your blog and was surprised at how much we have in common–I was diagnosed with MM in 2005 and also received an autologous stem cell transplant from SCCA. I lived in Seattle at the time and adore the pacific northwest. Your photos and descriptions of Oregon’s beauty make me homesick.

    I thank you for keeping a blog–especially a hopeful blog, about your life with myeloma. After I was diagnosed and even after I was in remission I felt like cancer was what defined me, and I stubbornly fought against that and against those who seemed to focus solely on that portion of my life. Now, nearly 4 years since my “2nd birthday” I am confident in who I am again. I am not defined by my illness. I have moved on to new (and much more fun) adventures, but MM is and will continue to be a part of my life. And that is finally ok with me.

    Reading your blog I feel a kinship to the feelings you share–life continues, new adventures, new challenges, new stories to tell. Cancer will remain apart of our stories, and hopefully we can find a way to make this experience a positive one. To that end you have your inspirational blog, and in another way my family has created a nonprofit organization to promote MM research and to provide support and community to those with MM. I would like to share our efforts with you, as you have shared your blog with the world. I hope that someday we will celebrate a cure.

    MMORE: Multiple Myeloma Opportunities for Research and Education
    http://www.mmore.org

    Sincerely,
    Sarah

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