You’re off to great places,

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting,

So … get on your way!

– Dr. Zeuss


Oh … it’s happening. It was bound to happen. I knew it would happen. I was afraid it would happen. And here we go. It’s happening.

I’m just warning you. Click away from the site if you don’t want to witness it. Because …

I’m gettin’ all Oprah on your asses.

Here’s the dealio. ProCure (aka “Little Chernobyl,” which I have to stop saying because there’s nothing negative about a place that valiantly fights the dark powers) hosts a “graduation” for patients who have completed their radiation treatment.

And as I noted in an earlier update, a living creature can only take so much nuclear blasting before they grow a second head. Therefore, when you leave Little Chernobyl, you generally don’t get to go back. It’s kind of a one-time pass.

And so ProCure hosts an actual graduation party for patients when they’re finished (Garrett had his last week).

Guy – a Desert Storm vet, ProCure’s head of operations, and a teddy bear of a man – delivered a tear-filled speech about the battles we fight. Now, we all fight battles. I have my current very obvious one. But you reading this … you have yours. Your loved ones have theirs. Your enemies have theirs. We all have them. Some we win. Some we lose. Some just fizzle out.

But for me, this graduation represented one battle down in a much grander war. As I looked around the room of staff, cancer patients, family and friends, tears rolled down my cheeks. I felt a deep affection for my cancer comrades in crime. Swords drawn, this small group of men and I have been peering into the eye of the dragon. As the beast belched fire from its gaping maw, we prepared for each session, discussing our fatigue, our loved ones, our appetites, our mental fog, the uncertainty of life, the weather – and discussing other stuff too, the Oprah stuff – like how we NEVER take a day for granted, or how much love we’ve found in the world that was there all along but we never really saw, or just how totally connected we all are to each other and how those connections now hold so much value.

So as Renee, ProCure Hostess With The Mostess, called out the graduates’ names and handed us our medals (I’m number 47) and “degrees,” it was with overwhelming emotion that I hugged her and truly felt like this might have been the most important graduation of my life – as I run with the wolf at my heels.

Pictured from top left clockwise: Clif, Brittany, Renee, Nikki, Melissa, Elise, moiselles, Chris. Photo by paulanow.

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