The cancer year

Marking the end of her breast cancer cure, the last of Jinni’s 35 radiation treatments will be administered this coming Thursday.  The day before, November 2nd, will mark the one year anniversary of her diagnosis. 

After a year and a day of bad news, chemo, surgery, meatloaf, more chemo, more surgery, good news, laughter, nausea, financial devastation, community support, radiation, prayers, tears and more meatloaf – the Hoggard clan is emerging triumphant.  There is no sign of cancer in Jinni’s body.

While there will be many years of medical monitoring as we remain vigilent for her cancer’s possible return, the hard part is almost behind us.

When I wrote the opening lines of our year-long cancer story the day after Jinni’s diagnosis, there was no way any of us, or any of you, could have anticipated the ride ahead.  But now, thanks to this medium and the kind offer from the N&R to publish Jinni’s Journal, our year of cancer is as well documented as anyone could wish for.  We hope our story will offer other cancer patients a glimpse at what to expect after their doctors have tried to gently utter the seemingly devestating ‘C word’ in the sterile examining room – the likes of which they will come to know all too well.

Know that a cancer diagnosis does not signal the end of your world.  Moreover, cancer does not necessarily signal the end of your life as it did for previous generations.  What it does signal is a time to hunker down and dig in for the long haul and do what needs to be done.  Gather your wits and your resources, your friends and your family – and fight like hell.  It works.

The final chapter of our cancer year is being written by the N&R’s most-excellent Maria C. Johnson.  In addition to putting together her expose’ on yours truly in the summer of 2004, Maria has helped with the editing of Jinni’s Journal over the past year (it was her idea).

It has been a pleasure again having her poking around our kitchen and front porch while ascertaining our take on Jinni’s cancer battle from all five Hoggards.  Needless to say she knows more about the workings of the Hoggard household than most anyone, so we are pleased that reporter-turned-friend Maria will be winding things up for us and you.  The upcoming “Maria Treatment” will be published at some future date.  As usual, I’ll keep you posted.


Maria wrote a very moving article for today’s N&R.  “ …They could be anybody’s kids.  But they’re not.“ 

Read “Portraits from the heart“.

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