Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What Cancer Cannot Do...

This is my dear husband, Jud, who climbed Little Devil's Tower, in the the Black Hills last week.

Several days later, he climbed to the top of this cliff...

...then took a long hike along beautiful Sand Creek just over the Wyoming border. 

Most of you know that Jud was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer last November. Throughout our marriage, I have been the wimpy one! I could count the times Jud has been sick on one hand. We were shocked at his diagnosis. Jud has been active, social, and involved in a million activities. Even now, he  can still wear me out! 

Jud had a Pet Scan yesterday and we got the results today. We knew from the last Scan that the cancer had spread to his liver, resulting in five lesions. Today three of those were gone.  The not good news was that another tumor appeared. Pancreatic Cancer is tricky, in that it can mutate and create genetically new types of tumors. In essence, there isn't one Pancreatic Cancer but several kinds in one person. At this point, cancer researchers and oncologists do not have a way of knowing exactly how to treat these mutations. 

Jud has been through a new type of radiation and many types of chemotherapy in this nine months. His doctor's decision was to keep him on the current one for two more months. If it is still not working, Jud will be trying one of two experimental treatments, one that attempts to interfere with this DNA change at the Mayo Clinic or a new cancer vaccine at John's Hopkins.

We still hold on to Hope. This is a bracelet that our family and friends wear in support of Jud. The other bracelet is for our friend, Iver, who has had Multiple Myeloma for five years. We hold him in Hope, as well. 

I googled this quote that I have seen on many a blanket and tee-shirt over the last several years. I must admit, I have found it a little "schmaltzy" in years past. Today it spoke to me...

Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.

This is my dear Jud and I, going to a Park Nicollet Hospital benefit a month before his diagnosis. We have a very special relationship. This month, we celebrate our thirty-eighth year of marriage and will spend our anniversary in Quebec City and Montreal, places we have wanted to visit for a long, long time. Jud is a very special person. He keeps plugging away each day, doing whatever he can to be helpful, being kind and loving to all his friends and family and rarely complaining about his lot. No, he's not a saint, but he is honestly one very fine person. 

Cancer has not crippled our love. It has not corroded our faith. It has not shattered our hope. If anything, it has made us stronger. 

Cancer is so limited. 


  1. "One fine person" - an incredible description of Jud, but also a perfect description of you, Sue. I am so impressed and inspired by how you both have dealt with these last few months. Your strength is astounding! You are truly a phenomenal woman and Jud is lucky to have you!

    I can't wait to hear about Quebec! That's my dream vacation!

  2. Go Jud, Go!!!!!!
    Still keeping you in my prayers!

  3. Sweet Jud is amazing at all that he can do! YIPPEE that he climbed the cliff!! Miracles do happen and I will pray Jud has a miracle. I admire you both so much for living with such strong hearts.


  4. I am so inspired by the positive spirit and "can do" attitude of both Jud and you. You are living and treasuring every single moment of your lives which is really what we should all do. It's not until we are faced with a life-changing event do we stop and re-examine our priorities. Hooray for Jud and his climb! Hooray for Suz for being an amazing cheerleader! Blessing to you both as you continue this journey. Happy, Happy Anniversay and I hope you have a wonderful trip!
    PS-you find the most interesting things on Pinterest Suz...thanks for sharing them!

  5. Amen! Thank you for the update and he is a real inspiration to all!
    That is a great picture of the two of you. Happy Anniversary!

  6. Go Judd!!! Inspiring at his best! I hope his continuing treatment provides the miracles that you are looking for.


  7. Love you more than words can say! I'm so glad you've had a nice get away! Shoot, I didn't MEAN to rhyme! LOL
    You are always in my thoughts and prayers! My best to you both!!

    Hugs and Love,

  8. HI Suz! wow What a great post! I truely admire you and jud. You have the best ever outlooks on your situation. I also admire your relationship! I hope you have an awesome anniversary. I know you will. But I also have to say, that I hate that you have to go through this. Cancer is a mean disease. I wish someone would find a way to kick its butt!
    LOVE ya!!!

  9. it can not take away your dignity either...best wishes on your beautiful anniversary and i'm so glad you had a good trip to the black hills...i will continue to send healing thoughts your way, suz

  10. What a wonderful post! Jud is amazing. So are you. You both remain in my prayers, Suz!

  11. I'm cheering you both. Well, maybe a teeny bit more for Jud for his climbing and hiking and constant cheeky smile!
    Love you both. xoxo

  12. Oh Suz,
    You and Jud inspire me so....I pray for blessings on both of you and hope that this cancer just evaporates and goes away....I hope you had such a good time on your trip. Love to you both,

  13. What a beautiful post, Suz! Jud is a very inspiring person! You are a special couple and the photo of the two of you is wonderful! I am praying that the treatments will work~ so glad to hear three tumors were gone! How wonderful you can take your special anniversary trip!

  14. Wow about the climbing and hiking and the 38th anniversary!!! You two rock!

    Glad you got some good news, and praying that they are able to treat the latest tumor that popped up. Are you in here during our latest heat wave? I can't remember a summer like this. Great for the kids to swim though.

    Have a great week!

  15. Dear Suz, such a beautiful post,-filled with hope and love- AND power- what a powerful thing to do for Jud- in the middle of all this -I admire him very much. And you ,too, for your smiling spirit, and beautiful way of being here, even your life is so filled with anciety.

  16. This is so special....I love reading about Jud. Congratulations for climbing the cliff. You are in my prayers and thoughts daily. Love the BRACELET!

  17. Suz- You and Jud are incredible and inspiring- and nothing can take that away!. Thinking of you. Hugs, Beth

  18. You and Jud are both beautiful people. You're in my prayers every day. Hugs!

  19. you are an inspiring couple suz.... miracles happen everyday and someone as wonderful and giving as you should surely be in the receiving line for one.
    I keep Jud in my prayers and hope you will have a wonderful 38th anniversary.....

  20. What an amazing man Jud is Suz!! He is so strong and quite a fighter!!! You are so blessed to have such a love- it will sustain you when things are difficult. Hope- it's what keeps us moving forward everyday. I consider Hope to be "my word" and I even have it tattooed on my back! I love you Suz and continue to keep you in my heart.

  21. Suz, you blessed me today. Reading this post and feeling of your spirit was an experience that I will remember all day (all my life really).
    Your courage is amazing and Jud's strength makes me ponder what kind of strength would I show in his situation.
    I hope Jud handles his procedures well and I can tell that the are not keeping him from doing the things he loves.
    sending BIG hugs your way...

  22. You and Jud are two very fine and courageous people. Prayers have not faltered one day for Jud and his health. It is so heartwarming to see him active and conquering nature. Happy Anniversary and enjoy your time away. Blessings dear...

  23. what a beautiful post Suz! and I just love how you started it off with Jud's climb! It made me happy just seeing the photo! way to go Jud! xox

  24. Jud and you continue to amaze me... Your strength and faith are an inspiration even more now as we progress through Ken's health issues. Thank you dear friend for just being "here", sending kind words, hugs and love through the computer. It means so much.

    Continued prayers being lifted up for you both.

    Hugs, Sheila

  25. Montreal is a very romantic city, a perfect choice for your special anniversary celebration. Wishing you both a lovely, wonderful time together.

  26. (Tears of joy and pain for you.) I hope you have a wonderful trip to celebrate your marriage! I've never been to Canada, and can't wait to hear about it.

  27. You are both amazing...
    together and apart dear Suz...
    I Love the photos and could not help but notice your beautiful wings in the photo of you and Jud all gussied up for the gala

    Holding you and yours ever close to my heart and always in my prayers...keeping Hope alive

    p.s. your trip to Montreal/Quebec is one my sweetie and I have always wanted to take too...Enjoy * Enjoy Dear Ones!

  28. Oh, Suz!!! What wonderful pictures. Congratulations to Jud. And an extra, extra special Happy Anniversary to you both. Hope your trip is full of memories you will both treasure for a long time.
    lots of love,

  29. Dear Suz,
    you two are just an amazing couple!! Happy Anniversary to the two of you and a wonderful time in Cannada.Keeping you in my prayers.
    Sending hugs and love,

  30. What an awe-inpsiring Post. Thank you for sharing all of this with us.
    That first photo of your husband looking so happy and so triumphant just makes me smile. : )

  31. I will hold on to that photo of Jud holding the walking stick above his head in victory..that is how I will be thinking about him and this rugged journey he and you are on. Victory.

    Much love xo Rella

  32. What a lovely post! I am rooting for you Jud!!Kick that Cancer in the butt!!!

  33. I always think of you guys. When you come to John's Hopkins, will you email me, because that's only about an hour from me.