We are Blessed

When Megan was diagnosed in November with stomach cancer, we were shocked. She is 22 years old and has a two year old baby. My first gut reaction was to blame the chemicals and vaccines that our soldiers had/have been exposed to in Iraq, but the reality is, she is sick, needs the best medical care possible, and HAS TO get better. Right now what caused this is inconsequential.

It is a fast growing tumor in a spot that was a surgical high risk according to Sloan Kettering, and was best left alone unless chemo did not work. After two months of chemo, both oral and drip, the tumor has shrunk. Megan has worked through most of it, recently losing a possibility for a full time job. She has been sick through this time, but is a strong girl with guts.

While I was struggling with the enormity of the illness and its implications and needs, the art community was banding together to do a fundraiser for Megan and show the film The Ground Truth. This stemmed from the passion of 21 year old Mark Wixom, a Purchase music student who had seen the movie, heard about Megan (he is my friend's son) and decided that he wanted to do a fundraiser to raise the awareness of the problems of our returning soldiers and show what community is about-helping others in need. The fund raiser is this Friday the 19th at 8 PM--get there EARLY as it will be very crowded!) Thank you Mark for your passion and your dedication to this. You are amazing.

During this same time period Jonathan Talbot and Loel Barr, two wonderful loving and giving artists, designed a website called Meganaid.com which provides a venue to read Megan's story and the ability to donate money, food, clothing for the baby, prayers and meditations. Another local community group which meets for a party once a month, (thanks Carl!) passed the hat at last night's party.

The website has been traveling around. The generosity of people range from Natalie Merchant, the Kvistad Foundation, Laughing Bear Batik, the folks at the Arts Society of Kingston, and friends and strangers alike who have been angels in our lives. People have made donations of money, food, gifts, given me support more than they can ever know with emails of hope, empathy,encouragement. Mothers of all ages have called me to ask what they can do.

I am honored and thankful for the love and generosity of the world. I have been truly blessed in my life with so many good things, that even in a time where I feel like I am in the black hole, I am given a light, a strong beam of love.

Megan sends her thanks to all of you, she is looking for another job, has applied to the VA for Disability (let's see how long this takes..) and we have legal contacts as well as political ones should we need them. She still has months of chemotherapy left and is constantly monitored every few weeks with x-rays and blood tests. She is on Medicaid and her oncologist and the hospital that has been working with her has given her the best of care. She is overwhelmed by the outreach of everyone in our lives, which I am sure has kept her spirits up with hope that she will make it through this very difficult time in her and her daughter's life. It is very poignant when a two year old looks at you to tell you "mommy's sick" and at one point called the hospital "mommy's home".

Thank you all, and like the card says, I will kiss you all.....

xxxpatti

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