August 23, 2022 was the day we started our two day journey back home from Europe. The photo below was taken by Joyce in the Nice airport. I believe Joyce was reluctant until she understood my reasoning.
Have you ever been sick, really sick, while traveling? I’m a big whiner when I am sick. We flew home first class the whole way. We had Black Tie Limousine take us from San Jose Airport to home. And I pretty much whined my whole way through the two days. Joyce somehow found a way to get away from me at times and mostly ignore my whining.
I had an abundance of time to myself over the last few weeks in Europe. My health got progressively worse and my weight kept dropping. My mind did anything but see the possibility that I could get appreciably better. I imagined chronic pain and ever dwindling strength.
I love the photo below. Not because it is in any way endearing. Heck, the look in my eyes is a bit pathetic. I’m emaciated. So, why do I love the photo? No, I am not that emotionally twisted. It helps me remember. My biggest regret from my journey with cancer in 2008 is not creating more of a photo journal. I have so few photo reminders of those days. I wish I had more. Why? To have a reminder of one of the best parts of myself. The part that weathered the storm. The part that endured. The part that spent the next ten plus years rebuilding my body and my self into a version that was so much better than the version before cancer.
So, when I asked Joyce to take photos of me, it was my way of hoping that I would be able to look back and reflect.
Yesterday I went out and walked in the Walnut Creek open space for the first time in nearly two years. I walked for 33 minutes of mostly flat with a bit of up and down. I reflected on my late 2008 walks there. It is a place I treasure. I was tired and full of hope.