Back and forward
Saturday January 02nd 2010, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Crohn's flare,Family,Friends

January 2.  New Year’s will probably always now remind me of January 2.

There’s a whole lot I didn’t write in that post a year ago today.  I didn’t say it was an emergency colonoscopy.  I didn’t say how the doctor wanted me to get some blood tests run, too, but after he saw what he saw he made a point of telling Richard to take me straight home afterwards and not put me through going to the lab that day. He was hoping all that bleeding he’d wanted so much not to see would quiet down enough to make it easier to go in the next day.

It was all downhill from there.

We got a letter in the mail, that, fittingly, arrived today of all days: announcing the new company that would be handling our by-mail meds, which, were I still on it, would have applied to supplying my Humira–you cannot just walk into a pharmacy and buy a biological Rx off the shelf.

So now we know.  Caremark has been kicked out.  YES!! (I tell myself I’m not bitter.  And yet.  It is still true that had they done their job I might still have a colon. Had Blue Cross honored their commitments on time I might still have a colon, not to mention points south requiring that second operation.  They did not.)

But a year later, looking back… All of that is honestly a very small part of the whole.

There is this sense that I can handle anything now.

There is this sense that I can be there for anyone else now.

There is the knowledge that there were people who were there for me through anything and everything, including, to the best of your abilities, so many of you from wherever you were.  You let me know I was not alone and not bereft in that hospital room all those weeks with needles in my arms and itchy plastic anti-blood-clot machines working on my legs day and night, that my mom and my husband keeping watch there and my children who were away weren’t facing this alone either.  I cannot tell you how important your presence in the comments and by your prayers were during those days, the squares that were knit, the afghans that were assembled, the cards that were sent, the Thinking Good Thoughts that got thought. Thank you.

There were doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, even that housekeeper, who made me feel it was important to them that I had passed through their lives and thereby gave meaning to what I was having to go through.  In the process, they, too, strengthened my then-tenuous hold on my own.  How close I came–not that there was any doubt–was brought home to me when I got word two months ago that someone my little brother had grown up with had just had the same liver-inflammation complication of his own Crohn’s; he had not made it.  My heart goes out to his family.

I am intensely grateful to be here with my own family still.  Amazed at the things I can do now.  Intensely grateful at having had our kids home for the holidays.  Celebrate? Oh, honey, there are no words to say how much.  And it’s a whole new year!

27 Comments so far
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you will never know how much you are truly loved and treasured. but maybe last year was a teeny tiny hint! here is to a wonderful 2010.

Comment by marti 01.03.10 @ 12:51 am

Thank you God!

Comment by Jody M 01.03.10 @ 7:48 am

I pray that 2010 is much better. You will never know how scared we all were. There were those moments when I was afraid the blocks afghan would not get done in time. Thank you for hanging in there.

Comment by sherry in idaho 01.03.10 @ 7:48 am

Bravo Alison!

Comment by Michelle 01.03.10 @ 7:56 am

Marti said it perfectly. Here’s to a very happy and very, very healthy 2010 (and beyond)!

Comment by (formerly) no-blog-rachel 01.03.10 @ 8:00 am

So glad you weren’t frogged, only tinked.

Comment by Barbara-Kay 01.03.10 @ 8:24 am

Celebrate! And may 2010 be filled with health and joy.

Comment by Channon 01.03.10 @ 8:49 am

I am so glad that you are doing so much better. I remember those weeks when you were so brave. Here’s to a better year!!

Comment by Joansie 01.03.10 @ 9:15 am

We’re all glad you continue to be a WIP, and not moved to the “Finished” list!

Comment by Serena 01.03.10 @ 9:33 am

Happy and (especially) healthy 2010 to you, Alison!

Comment by Julie 01.03.10 @ 10:20 am

We are all intensely grateful you are still here too! We need your humor, moral compass, gentle spirit, generosity, and love.

Comment by Jayleen 01.03.10 @ 10:24 am

Indeed you had us scared! And I know what you mean by being so grateful despite missing some parts. I might have become despondent over my condition, but I saw so many others (as at the therapy pool) who were much worse off than I. I thank God daily for what I CAN accomplish.

Bless you, Alison, for your generous spirit, your humor, and certainly not least of all, your friendship.

Fun –

What song did Cinderella sing as she waited four months for her photos to come back from the pharmacy? (Boy, you can sure tell that joke is pre-digital camera.)

Some day my prints will come.

Comment by Don Meyer 01.03.10 @ 11:32 am

“…All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”
Julian of Norwich

Comment by Diana Troldahl 01.03.10 @ 11:44 am

Happy New Year, Alison — so glad you’re around to celebrate it with us! Here’s to many more…

Comment by Anniebee 01.03.10 @ 12:21 pm

Happy New Year to you! I discovered your blog long after the major excitement, and I am so glad I got the chance to be inspired by you in your actions, large and small. The large are obvious to most, I’m sure, but the small, like choosing inclusive language for those whose spirituality may differ in type if not in goodwill, are certainly noticed by me. Thank you!

Comment by twinsetellen 01.03.10 @ 2:06 pm

Dearest Alison, though I’m not known to you, in following your blog the past 2 years I feel that you are a friend. Many tears have flowed for you in the past. Today the tears were for me: self pity. I have a colon, but not one I can take for granted. It’s missing a cancerous section (9 years cancer free!) scarred, radiation damaged, nerve disrupted, and from time to time lets me feel its pain. This month has been bad. Then I read your blog – oh yes! More tears. Then: start a shawl! I got out your book and, paying no never mind to the many other projects on needles, wheels, loom, got going on the water turtles shawl, sending you the love you’ve inspired in me, and in so many, with every stitch. Bless you.

Comment by Melissa 01.03.10 @ 5:52 pm

I am so very thankful that you are here today, writing that.

Comment by karin maag-tanchak 01.03.10 @ 5:58 pm

Alison, again, you’ve so touched my heart. Last year at this time, my husband and I were so worried about you and praying for you and Richard both and this year, I’m thankful you’re feeling so much better…and I’m touched by your post today. With all you’ve been through, you still have such a sweet spirit. It isn’t possible to go back to what was before – regardless of whose fault it is, we can only go forward…but, I agree with you – insurance needs some serious looking into…they’re very quick to take our money but, very reluctant to return any of the service for which we’ve paid…and your situation is a perfect example of the wrongs companies are commiting on a daily basis…maybe you could go before Congress?…I’m sure everyone there would like to hang onto their colons if at all possible…
Thank you for sharing and wishing you a very Happy New year!

Comment by Abby 01.03.10 @ 6:47 pm

It may sound corny, but you are a blessing in the world with your unfailing kindness and love for those around you. I feel so fortunate to have found your blog, to be reminded of how to keep a loving, full heart no matter what life throws in our path.
So thanks for all the effort involved in keeping up the blog, and thanks so much for fighting to live. The world needs more like you. Inadequate words, really. 😉

Comment by Beckett 01.04.10 @ 12:37 am

I adore you. That is all. Well, not entirely all — I would like to report that Lucy is terrified of snow, but I am choosing to believe that the current terror is invoked because if I plopped her in a snowbank feet first, it would be up to her hair. 33″ over three days. !! Biggest Vermont snowstorm ever !! I’ll pitch a snowball for you, when I stop shivering!

Comment by Kristine 01.04.10 @ 4:08 am

Interesting what retrospect gives us, huh?

I guess Mother Nature had lots to celebrate with you as well then, because we got 2/3 of a foot of snow over the weekend… I’m so glad we don’t have a vehicle! lol

Here’s to more good thoughts send your way (for you, your family and the ones you care for) so that you know more healthy, peaceful and puntfilled days! 🙂

Comment by Suzanne in Mtl 01.04.10 @ 7:47 am

I’m so glad it all came out the way it did!

Comment by Bev 01.04.10 @ 9:38 am

You are a joy to know a wonderful friend to all and wishing you and yours health and happiness in 2010.((((Hugging You))))Happy New Year Darcy

Comment by Darcy 01.04.10 @ 9:56 am

I’m so glad you made it and that 2009 is behind us; may it rest in peace in a hermetically sealed container. Good wishes for good health, happiness and security for you and yours.

Comment by Leslie 01.04.10 @ 12:13 pm

Happy anniversary! It really does give as well as take away. So glad you’re still with us.

And I wish I could be more gracious, but I cackle out loud and went YIPPIE! when I read about Caremark. Hopefully, the new company will focus on helping people instead of facilitating death. (yes, I’m still angry, does it show??).

Comment by Lene 01.04.10 @ 6:05 pm

Dear Alison, I cannot thank you enough for having the determination (I wanted to write “guts” 😉 to still be here through repeated assaults, and remaining Alison through it all. I appreciate your willingness to share your path, “warts and all” because I know that’s not an easy thing to do. So many times this past year I’ve said to myself (sometimes through gritted teeth and tears), “If Alison can get through what she has, surely I can get through this cancer treatment.” You’ve not only gotten through it, you’ve done it with great grace! With gratitude and gentle hugs, Carol in MA

Comment by Carol Telsey 01.05.10 @ 1:53 pm


I am so glad to learn of your healing. God does answer prayer. I have had a very emotional draining year so have not been there to give you the encouragement you needed regularly. I did want to tell you we have a grandson who has just started his missionary trip and is at Duke University. I wonder what special need he will be able to fill after hearing about your son. He has taken 4 years of Chinese in High School. Thank you for sharing this, I will be looking for Ben’s special mission.

Take Care,


Comment by Pam 01.15.10 @ 7:27 am

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