Life…the Long and Winding Road

IMG_0232The meaning behind Paul McCartney’s song The Long and Winding Road has been open to many interpretations; e.g. an unrequited love, the Beatles breakup, the unattainable, etc., but can also be a pretty darn good metaphor for life.  Our personal journey will carry us along on some of the most delightful adventures but will most assuredly present us with struggles, challenging us to learn the lessons within the pain.  It is the manner in which we embrace these struggles that not only defines who we are but who we will become.

Some of you may have noticed that I have stepped away from blogging for a time.  Perhaps you have wondered if I have lost my way on this long and winding road or have been too busy with caregiving and gardening to spend time at the computer.

The truth is that both have been somewhat tiring, presenting both challenges and rewards.  But what has kept me away is something of an even more personal nature, something that has caused us to take pause, to reflect, and to spend many of our waking hours reading, hoping to educate ourselves on impending decisions needing to be made.  The subject of our distraction was a recent elevated PSA test score given to Terry, one which took us back to the surgeon who had originally performed his radical prostatectomy 5.5 years ago as a result of a diagnosis of prostate cancer.

For those who have heard the words “you have cancer”, there can be few words spoken by a doctor that bring fear into one’s being so swiftly or completely.  To be given this news a second time as my beloved husband has recently is a numbing experience.  Yes, Terry has had a recurrence of prostate cancer.  Many visits to doctors, bone scans, CT scans, chest x-rays, and an almost unbearable wait to hear the results of these tests have consumed much of our time.  Thankfully all test results were negative, indicating no metastases.  And after much discussion and researching, Terry has decided on a course of treatment, one which will include radiation, as well as a greater emphasis on nutrition and supplements, to maintain a strong immune system.

We strongly believe a key component to this mix lies in maintaining a positive attitude, visualizing good health, accepting nothing less.  Although a strong immune system can fight off many illnesses, it is equally important that the emotional part of our being be in alignment with our physical side, making for an impenetrable mind-body connection.  Terry is going into this phase being very fit and with the attitude that this is just a small blip on his ‘life screen’ before we once again resume our travels.  He is my rock and I am his and together we will walk this journey side-by-side.

Our hearts are filled with gratitude and love for our family and friends, including those in the blogging community, who have called and sent us messages of encouragement.  Your heartfelt words, being carried across the miles, have wrapped us in a comforting blanket of hope.  We thank you from the deepest part of our being.  You are giving us the strength to walk this journey, and we feel your presence every step of the way.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.  ~  Eleanor Roosevelt

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116 thoughts on “Life…the Long and Winding Road

  • I am so glad you are sharing this with all of your friends. I think it relieves the mind when you don’t have to keep it a secret. There is no shame, but hope and good wishes for your “community” to get you both through this. Love you both!

  • Dearest Terry and Lou,

    Thoughts, prayers and encouragement are being sent your way always – even more so now.

    I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what is going to happen next. Sometimes the greatest courage is facing a new day with hope, optimism and the strength it takes to do that is fortified by those we love and who love us back. I am a three-time cancer survivor and I do believe. I am sending my thoughts your way.

    You are both loved, cherished and travel in our hearts always and forever.

    • Thank you so much for this beautifully written comment. I totally agree with you and believe Terry will get beyond this. He has a great attitude and so many supporting him in this journey.

  • The only reason I like this post was to know you have not disappeared completely… having sat with my wife 3 times to hear that cursed word, for 3 different un related cancers, I can in all honesty say I know what you went through… I know that it is easy to feel sorry for one with cancer but I think it is more beneficial to rather talk about it and give encouragement.. Linda is in remission at present, for how long? who knows, this curse might return again a different place… but what I can say is, fight on to your husband, get on out there and kick the butt of this curse… you can win and the words “cancer can be beaten” is true and he will beat it…
    One thing that I think has helped Linda is getting her body pH properly balanced… she was extreme acidic when tested and with a healthy diet we have turned that around… cancer cannot exist in an alkaline state so get that checked and get a good balanced pH, then keep an eye on it… good luck Buddy, we are all shouting for you… you will win the battle I know that….

    • Bulldog, I am sorry I have been away but hope to catch up soon and continue with my blogging, if at a slower pace. Believe it or not, my mind was on you as I wrote this piece as I knew Linda’s story through you. I believe it is important to share these stories as those going through this health scare, and their family, need comfort and support. I am very much into alternative methods of healing, as I believe our bodies can do that so often. A strong immune system is so important and I have studied the acid/alkaline balance for many years. We have adjusted Terry’s diet to get him into a more alkaline state. I am all about nutrition so this is the area where I can be of most help to him I think. He is very fit and has a positive attitude, so we believe he will beat this thing. Thank you for your encouragement Bulldog. It means more than you can know.

  • Wow…..this wasn’t a post I was expecting. To say your plate is full, is an understatement. Pls know I’m here and feel free to shoot me an email anytime you need to vent. Sending warm thoughts your way!

    • Thanks Ingrid, and suffice to say, this wasn’t a post I was expecting to write. Yes, our plates seem to be quite full right now, and ironically, the day Terry was going to visit the radiation oncologist, I was going that morning back to the mammography clinic to have my mammogram redone as they had seen ‘something’ on one of the films. I had to have additional films done and then an ultrasound. All is good and I never gave it a second thought at the time because I was sure we both could not be dealing with this insidious disease at the same time. We are just getting all of our stresses out of the way in one fell swoop. 😉

  • Oh LuAnn I’m so sorry you both had to go through such a stressful time! My mother has had on and off thyroid cancer over the years and I know how stressful it can be. So glad to hear that the news is good for Terry but feel bad you both had to go through so much. Hoping the next phase of treatment runs smoothly.

    • How can we go wrong with you two in our corner, particularly as you are taking us into your home once again during Terry’s treatment? Words cannot describe how blessed we feel to have you both in our lives. Love you both so much!

  • Your earlier decision to leave the daily grind of your jobs and travel the country together was so wise and helped you to enjoy life more fully. That is a blessing. And now you have the strength and mental fortitude to undergo your preventive therapy. Such grace is amazing. Prayers of your friends are with you.

    • Thank you so much Gale for your heartwarming message. We do feel blessed to have had the time to see some of this beautiful country and plan to do so again once Terry’s treatments are finished. All prayers are welcome. 🙂

  • You are both in our thoughts everyday. I have no doubt that with your support and the dedication to a positive outlook that Terry will beat this thing once and for all. We’ll be here for you anytime babe!
    Nina

    • Nina, your words of encouragement have been the voice of reason I needed since I called to tell you the news. We feel so fortunate to have crossed your path and for the friendship of you and Paul.

  • I so totally agree with you…a positive attitude and visually seeing good health is a key component. I connected to your blog because, like you, Joe and I gave 15 years of our lives to care for his mom. God Bless you both in this next journey and I pray Terry will fully recover.

    • Thank you so much Gay. We are thankful that we were able to get so much accomplished at his parents’ home before we received this latest news. We will be dividing our week between here and Columbus while Terry undergoes treatment. I so appreciate your prayers.

  • Your header photo is gorgeous.

    The photo of you two side-by-side is lovely!

    Please know that you are both in our daily thoughts and prayers for healing, comfort, and peace.

  • I don’t think I could have written such a beautiful and lovely post sharing such an unpleasant message. However, you LuAnn did it beautifully. The very best news other than there is no cancer is to hear it has not spread. knowing there are options and the success rate is excellent is extrememly wonderful news to hear. Ya’ll have together decided on a method to go forward and that is also wonderful. Standing together as one to fight this disease is forecful! I just know ya’ll will win this battle. My heartfelt thoughts are with you both for a full recovery.

    • Thank you so much Sheila for these heartwarming words. Sorry to be absent for a time but I hope to catch up on my emails soon. We remain positive that all will be well as I hope it is with you. 🙂

  • LuAnn/Terry: You’re walking that road once more for a purpose and facing it head on again… You will have a victory in this one, you two… and your life message to the rest of the world will be used to help carry and lift up someone else along that same road some day. Keep us in the loop and you are very much in our thoughts and prayers.

    Maynard

    • Maynard, thank you so much for the encouragement. We believe there is a purpose to everything in life and lessons to be learned. Your prayers are much appreciated.

  • Thoughts and lots of prayers are being sent your way. You two definitely have the right mental state to beat this. Being physically in good shape is an added bonus.

    What a wonderful picture of you and Terry:)

    • Thanks so much for your prayers. We believe it takes a positive attitude to get through something like this and being fit is definitely an added bonus. Hope you two are enjoying your time with family.

  • Reading the comments above, there is nothing I could add except to agree with them all. We will keep you both in our thoughts every day. Hope that sharing your story here will bring you some comfort, in some small way even. Your positive outlooks are sure an inspiration to us all. Take good care of each other!!

    • Thanks so much Janet. Roadblocks are placed into our paths for a reason and we will learn from this I’m sure. Hope all is well with the two of you.

  • You are both so very much in my thoughts as your travel down this particular road. Wishing you faith and courage for any of those hairy moments you’re bound to encounter! Hugs….

    • Gunta, my kindred spirit, I cannot thank you enough for your emails and words of comfort and encouragement. There are reasons these obstacles have been placed in our paths and hopefully we will learn the lessons presented and grow from them. Have a beautiful weekend. 🙂

  • Dear Lu & Terry,
    You are both so loved by your many friends. A wonderful testament to the two of you and your love and concern for others. May I add what an inspiration the two of you are to all of us.
    Sending my best wishes, love, concern, and healing prayers to both of you.
    May God bless you both on this journey.

    • Dear Geri, thank you so much for these touching words. We never know what lies before us on our personal journey so best to make the most of each day. We will get through this together and with the love and support of family and friends. Hope you are doing well.

  • Dear LuAnn and Terry,
    Sorry for our delayed response – we’ve been incommunicado and camping out in the middle of the woods.

    We’ve been talking about you two for weeks, missing you and wondering how and where you were. Now we know the answer. Your wonderful attitudes are so positive and a real testament to your love and dedication to each other. James and I are sending our love and healing thoughts your way … and great big bear hugs, too. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this and letting all of us support you. All the very best, Terri & James

    • I cannot tell you what your support means to us. With all the warm wishes and encouragement we have been receiving, we know all will be fine. Terry is very fit and we have positive attitudes as well, which we believe is essential.

  • We are always here for you, any support you need, anything at all, do not hesitate to ‘holler’, to use your American parlance. It goes without saying that you will both be in my thoughts conastantly. xx

    • There are those who come along in our lives that for some inexplicable reason grab ahold of our hearts and settle in. You are one of those people for me Ste J and your words of comfort and encouragement touch me deeply. Thank you so much. Keep those lovely poems coming, ok? They put a smile on my face.

      • Oh aye, I’ve settled in and will claim squatters rights in a few weeks, make no mistake abut that! I will do my best to put a smile on your face because that means so much to me! xx

  • A well written and insightful post LuAnn, don’t know how I missed this one. You are well loved and missed when gone from your caring blogger pals, you know. And Bulldog is right about the acidic nature of the body. It’s majorly huge in the whole scheme of things! Huge!!!!! Still researching some of the lesser sources (holistically) for your perusal! 🙂 xx

    • I have been studying the acid/alkaline balance for many years as I know most of us are acidic due to the SAD that we consume. I have read that cancer cannot thrive in an alkaline state. Terry has always said that my cookbook collection looks like it should be in a chemistry lab instead of a kitchen. Terry’s mother thinks my cooking is the strangest thing she has ever seen and probably secretly wonders how much I am harming her son.

      I cannot begin to express in words what your counsel, your support, your words of encouragement, and your love have meant to us both. We will carry all of this with us as we walk this journey. You are a woman like no other (and I mean that in the most beautiful of ways) and one day I hope to stand in front of you and give you the biggest, bestest (love this word) hug ever! Thank you from the bottom of my being Penny. 🙂

  • I am VERY sorry to hear this news!! I just love the two of you and know the strength you both have to beat this!! Thank goodness you are retired and can enjoy each day to the fullest and not stuck behind some cubby hole during this time. Blessings on you my friend.

  • I am so very sorry LuAnn.
    Have no doubt in my mind though, that with your positive attitudes, you will beat it yet again. Sending healing thoughts and prayers. Stay strong and take care. Hugs 🙂 (Wish I was closer or I would have delivered those in person xx)

    • Your healing thoughts and prayers are welcomed Madhu. We will stay strong and believe that a positive attitude and the proper fuel for our bodies can cure much. I feel your hug as I am writing this. 🙂

  • I am so sorry for the news but glad that you are feeling strong and finding ways to have a positive spirit too. We will be praying for both of you in all of this. Thanks for allowing us to know!

  • I love the photos! You are so very awesome and precious to so very many….as I scrolled down the comments I just smiled with all the love being poured forth to you and Terry from so many! It truly warmed my heart…I just wanted to stop by and give you a huge hug and let you know how very incredibly special you are to me…all ways. Sending so much love ♥♥♥!!!

  • I want to kick myself for not find your post until now… Terry is so fit, positive… , and he is surround by your love and friends’ support, I’m so positive that he will beat this thing completely this time. I think you and Terry made a good decision. Sending much love to both of you.

    • Thanks Mona and Steve. We believe a positive attitude is essential to the healing process. BTW, we will be in the Ft. Lauderdale area when the two of you are there this winter. We would very much like to meet you both.

  • Deepest blessings to you both as you continue on your journey together. Your hope and positive attitudes go a long way toward healing.

  • I LOVE that your back with a NEW LOOK!!!! I love how you travel it’s the ONLY WAY TO GO in my opinion! Keep positive Lulu!!!!

  • Be strong! It doesn’t sound too bad, and the treatment that has been prescribed will be sufficient. Praying for a sooner recovery and a painless treatment, and for silence in the mind.

  • Wishing you the best, strength and positive attitude. That is what is the best healer and togetherness will conquer it. With love and thoughts, bless you both! Ute

  • Wow !! What a shock post !! I really wish you both a positive result with the treatment and that you can hit the road again with renewed vigour. My love and big hugs to you both. Ralph xox 😀

    • Thanks so much Ralph. We believe this is just one of life’s little setbacks and all will be well. Since I have been away for awhile, how is the construction work coming?

      • I do hope that all will be well as you are a lovely couple 😀 My apartment is finished, a few minor issues but basically lovely and now liveable. I will do a slideshow next week. 😀

      • Thanks so much Ralph. Between juggling caring for elderly folks, Terry’s radiation treatments, running back and forth between Dayton and Columbus, and working on projects to put the folks’ house on the market, this summer has been a bit of a challenge. But we grow during the challenging times, and I suspect you know a thing or two about that! Your comment means so much to me and hopefully one day soon I will be back to posting. Hope all is well with you Ralph.

      • I’m being serious now LuAnn. Never ever forget to have some “me” time. Go away for a few hours and do something silly to take your mind off what’s back at home. You’ll come back refreshed. I didn’t/couldn’t have any “me” time when I cared for Judith 24/7 alone for 2 years before she died of cancer. I am still suffering the effects of not eating properly and very little sleep 18 months later. I wish I could help you. I can’t but my thoughts are with you all. xox

      • I know how important “me” time is, even if I don’t follow this advice often enough. The projects at the folks’ house are slowing down now so I believe I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it is not the train. 😉 Thanks so much Ralph. You are a dear, dear man. 🙂

  • Oh my lovely petal you are SO brave! Thank you for sharing. It’s just a setback you two are going to kick cancer’s ASS!!!

  • I’m so sorry to read your news, LuAnn. It must be a very worrying time for you both, as well as for Terry’s parents. May you be granted the strength and courage to get through this trying time, and come out the other end victorious. Sending much love and lots of tight hugs to you. xx

  • Lu & Terry….I just now have seen this post…don’t know how I missed it early in August. My heart hurts to know that you two are going through this again. You are both so very healthy and are physically fit, so I am trusting that this will be just another “bump” in the long and winding road you and Terry are walking. I love you guys and will be praying. Love the photos you continue to post. They are beautiful.

  • Hi LuAnn,

    Loved the poignancy of this personal story. To speak about a personal issue like cancer requires a wonderfully balanced and positive attitude and life perspective. To be able to do that needs self belief and uncluttering of our lives. Clearly Terry and you have these qualities and I wish to acknowledge you both for that.

    Blessings

    Shakti

  • Wow, wow, wow. Hugs and blessings to you both! Sounds like you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing. Enjoying life and each other and praising all the wonderful things around you. Wonderful images. Wishing much peace, love, and joy as you continue your adventures together. 🙂

  • LuAnn…you and Terry will be in my prayers. I apologize that I haven’t kept in touch. Just stepped away from blogging for awhile. Please know that you are both loved, thought of and prayed for often here. – Tammy

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