Chapter 8


(Email from Paul)

My Blog

Monday, March 28, 2011 6:04 PM

I joined a cancer support group and you can see my blogs at My name is pfhenry, and my first blog is (First treatment )

(This is an email from me- to my Reiki Master Teacher/Friend along with her response back to me)



 Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 6:12 AM,

Good Morning Benita,

Thanks for the email address change- I hope you are doing well!

I spent my first night by myself last night- as Paul had to go to Ann Arbor for some appointments yesterday and begins treatment today… Mixed feelings all the way around.

My friend told me it may be a good thing… because he needs to find his own path- he needs to make his own peace with this. I didn’t completely understand at every level… until I went to a meeting that night. I haven’t been attending many meetings lately… a guy there said something to me that made sense. He said- I have missed you being here so much Denise. I have missed talking to you and running things by you… you’re always such a presence… but what it has forced me to do is to take my stuff right to God, because you haven’t been here to talk to about it!

Bamm… Okay- thank you- now I get it.

I think the hardest thing is to see the pain in his eyes. To see his hurt- to see his helplessness. He is such a protector… such a good provider… he is a Marine… a man’s man… I say this all in jest to make my point… he is also human. I have seen more in him in the past few weeks, than I have ever seen of his insides. I love this man- and I can’t wait for him to get better so we can get on with forever…

I am sitting sipping my morning coffee- and there is still a huge pile of snow out my back door… I am sure you don’t miss this time of the year in Michigan! Paul and I are planning a trip to visit his sister in NY, when this is all done- we need a trip! I know it’s not a tranquil place…. maybe the desert would be more suiting… but that is where two of his sisters live- and I have never been… so I am excited to go. Our trip was supposed to happen last week- but things change… and I am kind of glad it will be warmer when we go!

Well- thanks for letting me ramble with my morning coffee- I think maybe I’ll try to do some quiet meditation now! Bless you- and thanks so much for your support!





 Tuesday, March 29, 2011 10:29 AM

Dearest Denise,

Thank you for the update on your lives. I see that enlightenment, according to Chopra, has entered your life, i.e. finding the cues in the details in everyday experiences to show you the way. I can sense how scared you are and how difficult this journey is for your heart. It is one of those life events that have to resolve from the inside out, with a lot of help, both spiritually and practically, from the outside in. But the Peace has to come from within.

Read some Chopra books on healing or get his tapes. I have found them to be profoundly helpful…

As far as NYC is concerned, it is the greatest city in the world. I will go beyond that and say it’s the greatest any place in the world. I lived there for some 6 years and I long to go back and have gone back.

Each time, the first thing I do is start walking all over the city, for hours. The energy is such that it feels like if I spread my arms, I will take off in flight. New Yorkers are the friendliest people in my experience, as long as you are friendly to them. If you are rude, you sure get it back. They are fun and helpful and most interesting. When I think of the city, I always experience it as the arms of a Jewish-Italian mother. It is also the safest city to wander, but you need to know where not to go, as in any town. I’m sure your local relatives will know all that…. In the meantime, take care, ask your Angels for help and listen to their “feather touches”.

Peace and Healing be with you and Paul,



(Email from Paul)PFH2




Tuesday, March 29, 2011 4:25 PM

Lunch during chemo. What the hell, why not.





(Email from Paul)




Wednesday, March 30, 2011 7:57 PM

My monkey Mellissa sent me.





Wednesday, March 30, 2011 9:55 PM

Hey all,

Paul left Monday morning for Ann Arbor and began his treatments on Tuesday.

Monday he had a follow up with the dental department, then an appointment with the ENT dept. All went well… they actually did tell him that the cancer is stage two. (News to us… we thought that this “type” didn’t have a particular stage… well- now we know.) It’s amazing what we have learned.

They hadn’t plan on Paul coming to stay at the Hoptel until Tuesday… so when he was done on Monday- they didn’t have any rooms. Tuesday after treatment- they were still full- and that deptartment was closed… so he stayed the first two nights at the Fairfield Inn… real nice place- we have stayed there a couple of times when he has had early appointments.

Today after treatments- he checked back with the hoptel and they are still full… so they sent him to a long term stay hotel. I don’t remember what the name of it is… just know they are paying for room and he is comfortable! (Quite sure it’s the American Inn… or some little chain place…)

Okay so day one of treatments began early in the chemo dept. He said they were super busy- so even though he got there plenty early- they got started late… it ended up being about a 5 1/2 hour ordeal.

He got to the radiation department and because it was his first treatment there- they had to do x-rays too… that was about 1 1/2 hours… It ended up being a long day for him. He felt good- didn’t have any side effects- and even sent us a picture of his lunch! (Praise God! Not just for the no side effects… but also for the great lunch… he was pretty excited!)

Day two was not as long for him – things rolled right along- but he did say that he felt a little tired today. I honestly think that it’s the emotional piece of it… he is really coming to grips with the reality of what he is facing.

Staying hydrated is huge… and he is drinking lots of Figi water- I sent him with a case of 24 – and he said it’s almost gone… next week- I will send two! He said they are giving him lots of meds. He feels like a walking pharmacy- one for this… one to prevent that… and it’s all working great. No nausea, no aches…. all is good and we are thankful.

Just for today…. it’s all good!

He started blogging! Yes- Mr. Private is telling his story! I am really excited for him… it’s good to see him write about what’s happening and asking questions from other cancer patients. Very informative site- anyone who wants more info- let me know… I will email you the details.

He had a nice visit with Karen today- thanks Karen! (Melissa’s boyfriend’s mom) She brought him a monkey- from his Missy! 🙂 Love love the monkey!

We are so very thankful for our friends right now. The people who have stopped at the gym- just to say hello… for the calls… the text messages that say- I don’t want anything… just want you to know I love you and am thinking of you both… the friends who have come to hang- so I am not alone… the prayers, love, great energy….

You honestly don’t know how much this has helped keep us in the moment… and to keep us grounded… even in the baby steps… we are blessed.

Love to all,



Update 3.31.11

Thursday, March 31, 2011 12:33 PM

Hey Everyone-

I thought of a couple of things- I hadn’t mentioned last night… and then some personal feelings from me…

First of all- Paul did not get the personal trainer- he started treatments too late. I am not sure if he is a part of the study at all- but for now… he is on his own with working out.

His Radiologist Oncologist, Dr. Jolly- spoke to him the other day and said- I am your primary Doctor through this whole process- listen to what I ask you to do… let me treat this… do not take advice from anyone else.

A couple of things come to mind… I think she is very qualified and I am thankful that she didn’t mince words and came right out and said what she wanted. I love that she is confident, assured and that she told him to basically ignore all the advice from everyone who has a second cousin who did this… and who heard that this will help.

With the internet being a huge tool of discovery- we all have become more educated and have learned a bit more about things that really aren’t in our scope. Let’s face it- we have all watched a YouTube video and now think we know all there is to know… I know I have! So basically- she wants him to communicate with her- any problems- any symptoms… because she is on top of it. She is the expert.

Last night- Paul experienced some heart burn. Woke him up at 4:00 in the morning. He said it was awful and he couldn’t go back to sleep. Normally all of us would say- hey try this… or you should get this…

If Dr. Jolly had not spoken to him in such a direct way- he may have just thought… oh- it will go away… or it’s nothing… but today- he has an expert in his corner and someone to discuss it with. I like that he has experts and Specialists!

Okay- some processing going on in my corner… I am thankful for the people who have realized this affects the whole family. It’s sort of like addiction- it affects the whole family. Recovery is a family deal… and this I know about.

So- here’s the difference… in my recovery- I have a spiritually based 12 step program. If I work the 12 steps- and am honest… follow the recipe- so to speak… then I have hope. I never have to use again. If I work the program… I get better.

I find comfort in rules. Security… If I know the rules and have boundaries… I feel safe.

The reality is that I don’t have the same assurances with Paul’s recovery.

Paul is facing his disease- knowing it is going to get worse before it gets better… he now has a group of people who will help him. His recovery now includes his blog site. Although I am grateful he has new friends to discuss this with… I am also experiencing some mixed feelings.

When I log into the blog site and read the posts from other people… I am drawn in.

It’s like a car accident that I drive by… I say- oh… I hope everyone is okay. Then I immediately look deeper… It’s human nature.

These people who post are real human beings. They are facing horrible stuff. I read the different stages… I read about all the side effects and how they lose their hair, can’t eat, lose weight, and about all the pain and medicine they have to take. I read about the tough journey… and then I read about how some of them die.

I feel their pain… I hurt with them. It’s sad… and it makes me sad… Really sad.

I can’t stop looking. It’s scary stuff… and I really don’t want to know about it… but also know I can’t live in the fairy tale world… In my mind- there is sunshine, love and pretty stuff… not pain. Not fear. So- I am torn today. How do I remain supportive and full of hope and love… and not be real? It’s going to get worse before it gets better… how do I balance the hope and the fear?

What I do know… is this. It’s okay to be confused. It’s okay to process as I go along. It’s okay… to just be okay. Love will prevail. I love my husband- I can be supportive and not buy into the fear. Today as always I have a choice- what will motivate me? Fear or Love? I choose Love.

I just talked to Paul… told him how I feel. We discussed how sometimes he doesn’t understand why my recovery works for me… and I don’t need to understand how his works for him. It’s his… and I can read his posts. I don’t have to read other people’s stories. He told me to stay out of their stuff… okay… now I have some rules again… I feel safe. 🙂

Thanks everybody for listening to me… I am okay… just needed to be real.



2 thoughts on “Chapter 8

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