Share. Connect. Love.

Posted 2019-11-10T18:35:28Z

November 2019

Dear Friends,

Last August marked a year since I was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme. The daily effects of my “out of the blue” condition continue to mount, and as you might expect, there are often more questions than answers. I know that many of you want to know how I am, and as a start, here is something written by friends after they visited me in Maine at the end of June.

“How did we find Beth?  Characteristically indomitable is a good description.  She was so happy to see us and welcomed us with smiles and open arms.  Yet the heavy medicines are taking a toll.  The after-effect of last fall’s radiation is some loss of sight in her left eye, which is somewhat limiting her depth perception and, which in turn affects her balance.  This means she uses a cane or a walker when she feels the need. She is more tired than she would like to be, but recognizes she needs to pay attention and sleep when she is fatigued. The steroids induce puffiness, which she doesn’t like (who would!), but understands both that these are normal side effects and hopefully will be short-lived.”

So where am I now at the beginning of November?  It is likely that the side effects of the drugs I am taking, combined with whatever is going on in my brain, have made me more unsteady on my feet, more tired, and sometimes somewhat distractible-  none of which I like!  I am also seeing less well, which is disturbing. The good news is that, with each scan, there does not yet seem to be much change in the growth of the tumor. I am grateful for this, but every 2 months, when I have a new brain scan, there is a knot in my stomach as we await the results. Last week, I did have an MR! and am happy to report no new growth.

John and I have continued to fill our lives with family and friends. In September we went to the wedding of my brother George’s daughter, Katie, in San Francisco.  It was wonderful to be there and to share in their happiness.  Also in September, Stu, Tanya, Lexi, Sammy, Andrew and Jen visited us in Maine.  The joy that those little ones bring to all of us is immeasurable. Our plans for Thanksgiving are to be with our combined families in Fort Fairfield, Maine, where John grew up and his mother still lives.  Christmas will find us with family and friends in Jackson Hole.  So much to look forward to!

I will forever be grateful for the kindness and support of my family and friends during this time.  John remains steady, stoic, sensitive, sensible and amazingly funny as we negotiate this present reality and look at our lives together. We both rely on his sense of humor and kindness. John, Andrew, Stuart, Tanya, my beautiful grandkids, my sister Dorrit, my brother George and their families all bring me such happiness. It’s with a warm smile that I think about their bright futures.  Friend me on Facebook if you would like to be inundated with family pics.

As of today my right eye is experiencing some loss of vision.  I’m taking steroids to hopefully stop and possibly regain some of the vision loss in my good eye.  There are no guarantees it will help but we remain hopeful.

My eyes themselves are in perfect working order.  The problem is radiation exposure to the optic nerve.  The radiation therapy happened over a year ago but as is common with over exposure to the optic nerve, it can take a year to show these negative results.  

Thank you for your concern, your kind understanding, and for keeping me in your thoughts.  I think about you often.

Much love to all,

Beth

Stay in the know. Sign up to receive email notifications the moment new Journal entries are posted

Comments (46)

  • Julie Kaufman
    Julie Kaufman

    Beth, it seems you are remarkably resilient and understanding about your disease and the side effects. As one who knows, I appreciate that attitude and try to share it myself. I'm so glad you have the family, the trips, and the fun to look forward to.

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Kate McNay Koch
    Kate McNay Koch

    Love to you, Beth!

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Missy Falcey
    Missy Falcey

    Bethie, it will be wonderful to see you in Jackson over the holidays. Much love, Miss

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Maura McKnight
    Maura McKnight

    Dear Bethy, Thank you for the update. I learned from Becca that it's difficult to keep up with all the inquiries & well-wishes. As always, you are kind in letting us all know how you're doing. I love you.

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Rick & Debby Smith
    Rick & Debby Smith

    Wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing. We are greatly enthused about your last MRI. GO GIRL! We are very proud of you Beth, and pleased to have your dear friendship. At your 20th anniversary celebration, I will be serving your pizza to Larry Turner in his wheelchair. Until then Debby and I will relish every moment we have with you.......Hugs& kisses...rick & deb

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Christine Howe
    Christine Howe

    Bless you Beth, for your indomitable courage and positive attitude. Thanks for the update and know that you are being held in the light. Chris Howe

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Frieda Garcia
    Frieda Garcia

    What a fanstatic report! I am so happy that you continue to report good news. Send you lots of hugs and love. Frieda

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Art Worster
    Art Worster

    Lee's and my thoughts and prayers have been and are always with you, John and the families. Thank you so much for sharing your updates.

    4 months ago · Reply
  • MELISSA Ludtke
    MELISSA Ludtke

    A day doesn't pass when you and John are not in my thoughts, and so I am glad you've shared where you find yourself on this tough, tough journey. That the treatments offer hope yet can steal much from you is a bitter trade-off, I know, and so I am overjoyed to hear of frequent visits from those who bring gobs of joy into your life, especially these upcoming ones during the holiday season. Your indomitable spirit is evidenced in your words, as is the bounty of love and devotion that embrace you from all directions. I miss you, and hope there will be a time when a visit by me will feel comforting. When that time comes, I'll be with you. Sending hugs and love, Melissa

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Dorrit Castle
    Dorrit Castle

    Dearest Bethy, Keep shining and stay strong! We are all here to support and love you every step of the way. Love you to the farthest planet and back! 💖💚💙❤️💛💜

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Tim Rieser
    Tim Rieser

    Beth, I’m glad to hear it is not progressing. And I hope for a reversal of this wretched ailment. I’m so happy you have John in your life and at your side. Tim

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Karen Sawyer O'Brien
    Karen Sawyer O'Brien

    Dearest Beth, thank you so much for your wonderful update..... I think if you often and pray for miracles. I know the challenges are ever present for you and I'm amazed at your strength and positive energy. The test results are such welcome news and I pray there are many more of those!! Lots of love and hugs, Karen

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Helene Tuchman
    Helene Tuchman

    So glad to hear you are here and enjoying with John your family and friends and all the good things that life brings. Could sense your presence every time we drove through Manset and thought of you experiencing the peace and beauty.. with all our love Helene and Murray

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Kathryn Porterfield
    Kathryn Porterfield

    I was so happy to see your name on the email and to read your update. When I see you post on FaceBook, I am always so pleased to know that you have the energy to read and comment, but I wonder how you re doing. It is so good to hear that your tumor isn’t growing and that you are feeling well enough to travel a bit and spend time in great places with your beautiful family. Thank you for taking the time to share your journey and update all the friends who are out here loving and supporting you. Kathryn

    4 months ago · Reply
  • donna webster
    donna webster

    Thank you for these beautiful pictures! And. For your positive report. All sounds steady and I send you much love and hugs. I think of you often. Enjoy the holidays with your family and those scrumptious grandkids! Xo

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Stephanie Hessler
    Stephanie Hessler

    Dear Beth, It's wonderful to hear from you and thanks for the update. It sounds like your life continues very full, and many blessings with your family! Your beauty sparkles through the photos. Thinking of you and sending much, much love! Stephanie

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Peg Darasz Hadzima
    Peg Darasz Hadzima

    You are an inspiration Beth. Thoughts, love and prayers for you and your wonderful family as this holiday season begins. Sounds like you have made some wonderful plans to enjoy it. My very best. Peg

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Nathan Emerson
    Nathan Emerson

    Beth Your friends and “family” in Wyoming cannot wait time see you! You remain the rock you have always been! Please let me know if any Putnam Pantry Candy will help with the healing! We love you! The Emerson’s of JH

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Barbara Cory
    Barbara Cory

    Beth- I am heartened to hear of the good MRI results and so glad you are having such good visits from grown kids and grandkids- grandparenthood, as I like to say, is not overrated! I can’t imagine the toll all the treatment had taken and so admire your spirit and resilience. Heartfelt wishes of hope from Vermont..

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Brooke Chamberlain Cook
    Brooke Chamberlain Cook

    You are a tower of strength. ❤️❤️❤️❤️💪

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Janet Beckwith
    Janet Beckwith

    Amazing! Such grace and resilience in the face of this terrible disease. And John's humor is truly a gift and has brought comfort to so many. God knew what he was doing when he brought you two together. Loved the pictures of your beautiful family. They might need their snowshoes if they're coming to Fort Fairfield for Thanksgiving. We're supposedly getting 6-10 inches on Tuesday. ;)

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Barbara Wolfe Nagle
    Barbara Wolfe Nagle

    I was just thinking of you earlier today! Sending you warmest wishes that your vision improves and that you and your family enjoy the holidays.

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Leslie Mattson
    Leslie Mattson

    Dear Beth, I am so pleased you will be in Jackson Hole for the holidays. Hopefully we can do another fun brunch with Katharine, Laurie and Missy. Lots of love to you and the family. I love seeing the photos of your family. Love, Leslie Mattson

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Barb Springer
    Barb Springer

    Beth, thank you for the update. I think of you often so it is so nice to get your updates. I am thrilled your tumor hasn't grown. Lots of prayers that your vision returns to normal. Lots of love to you, John and your family! Barb

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Lia Poorvu
    Lia Poorvu

    Bill and I have been thinking about you so often but didn't want to impose on either John or you to learn of your condition. Occasionally we get a tidbit from a friend and learn that your team is united in love. From afar, we reach out to you . You are such an important part of our lives. We are with you every step of the way. Love. Lia and Bill

    4 months ago · Reply
  • SUSAN COVINO BUELL
    SUSAN COVINO BUELL

    Hi Beth, Know you are always in my thoughts. I was happy to talk to you and John the other night at Red Sky. I am hopeful that the steroids will help your sight! You are surrounded by healing love. I'm holding you in the light, my friend... love, Susan Buell

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Mary Kloppenberg
    Mary Kloppenberg

    Loved seeing you and John yesterday. Love the photos too!

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Nancy Homer
    Nancy Homer

    Hi Beth, I saw Becky and Grant at the Polls this week and asked how you were. Perhaps they gave you a little prodding to send an update since some of us haven't seen you all summer and were not even aware you were here. So glad you did get to enjoy summer in your beautiful house and maybe even some winter here too. You are the "warrior" and you have weathered the storm. With your strong positive outlook and tough resilience, you will beat this dreaded disease. Have a wonderful time with your family and friends over the holidays. Love, Nancy & Steve

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Nancy Homer
    Nancy Homer

    Hi Beth: I saw Becky and Grant at the Polls this week and asked about you. Perhaps they prodded you to give us all an update which we are happy to hear. You are truly the "warrior" who has weathered the storm and with such a strong, positive attitude and amazing resilience, you will knock this down. Keep fighting and enjoy your trips to see family and friends over the winter. Maybe we will catch a glimpse of you in Southwest Harbor this winter. Love, Nancy

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Laura Roy Daniel
    Laura Roy Daniel

    Beth, we have never really known each other. I'm sure you greeted me at the start of the Class of '73 reunion in 2018. Random thought: you did a wonderful job! I wanted to write that I think of you often, good thoughts. What you're going through is horrendous. I hope John keeps being supportive, and that you can spend as much time around your children and grand-children as possible. Best wishes for a (hopefully) happy holiday season! Hugs, Laura Roy (Daniel)

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Nancy Beren
    Nancy Beren

    Stay strong and of great courage!!! Positive attitude goes a long way! Sending you positive thoughts and best wishes for the holidays with those who love you and you love the most!! xoxoxxo Nancy Beren

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Jean Forbes
    Jean Forbes

    Dear Beth: Mike and I think about you every day. We were delighted to see the summer and fall photos. Thank you for sharing. We wish you continued good reports and hope the steroids do their job. Love, peace and strength to you both, Jean and Mike

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Martha Hinchman
    Martha Hinchman

    Thank you so much for sharing this update Beth. I recently read an article that included the title of a country song "You Can't Make New Old Friends" and it really resonated with me, and I have been thinking fondly of many of my "old" friends of which you and the PRESS are prominent ones. I am happy that you are spending time with family and friends (new and old) and that the tumor growth continues to be retarded. I pray for continued good reports, that no further after effects surface and that the steroids help your eyesight. With love, Martha

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Mary Anne Hinckley
    Mary Anne Hinckley

    Dear Beth, I am thinking of you all the time. Thank you for sharing your update. What good news on the MRI! You are so amazing and are loved by so many. Love to you both, Mary Anne

    4 months ago · Reply
  • Michael S. McCarthy
    Michael S. McCarthy

    Michael McCarthy Dear Beth: Thank you for sharing your journal update and please know that you and your family have been and will continue be in our prayers. We will always remember the joy and fun that our children had with your board games many years ago and now with our grandchildren. Great to hear about your family interactions, the Grand Kids and your plans for the Holidays. Mike and Ellen McCarthy

    3 months ago · Reply
  • Michael S. McCarthy
    Michael S. McCarthy

    Beth: Just found the Post Hope website and wanted to thank you for sharing your updates with us. My wife Ellen and I have had you in our prayers and will continue to do so. We always cherish our memories of our children playing with your board games many years ago and hopefully soon with our grandchildren as they grow up. Great to hear of your family interactions, the Grand Kids and of your plans for the Holidays. Warm and spiritual wishes from Mike and Ellen McCarthy

    3 months ago · Reply
  • Rebecca Yturregui
    Rebecca Yturregui

    Beth -- loved seeing the pictures of you and your beautiful family! I love that you were in The County for Thanksgiving -- are you considered a "real Mainer" now?? You are one tough cookie.....buoyed, I know, by your dear friends and family. You are in my thoughts and I am sending you love.

    3 months ago · Reply
  • Abigail Barr
    Abigail Barr

    Thank you for sharing your world with those who care about your well-being.

    3 months ago · Reply
  • Nancy McKay
    Nancy McKay

    Beth, thank you for the update. I was delighted to see your family photos of Thanksgiving in Aroostook County! The snow is as I remember - deep, even in late November. Thinking of you and sending positive energy your way. Nancy McKay

    3 months ago · Reply
  • MELISSA Ludtke
    MELISSA Ludtke

    Loving your family photos from your Maine Thanksgiving. What's better than to be surrounded by your children and their children. Beautiful to see, and thanks for sharing. Never a day goes by when you are not in my thoughts, so it's extra fun when I get to see you infused with joy. Sending all positive thoughts and energy to you, and if there's a moment in the holiday season, when you are back in the South End, for a visit, you know I'll be there. Hugs, Melissa

    3 months ago · Reply
  • Helene Tuchman
    Helene Tuchman

    Glad to hear your life is full of family and friends and plans for the future. After Maine, Jackson Hole is my favorite place in the world.

    3 months ago · Reply
  • Cathy iberg
    Cathy iberg

    I’m so glad you are surrounded by so much love. I think of you often and that funny husband of yours. Have a wonderful Christmas!

    3 months ago · Reply
  • Norman Bartczak
    Norman Bartczak

    Hello Beth, Rita and I are thinking of you with immeasurable affection and we are happy that you have the love and warmth of your family surrounding you. Once the holiday season has calmed down it would be great to come and visit with you. Much love, Norman and Rita

    3 months ago · Reply
  • Hallie Stephenson Lee
    Hallie Stephenson Lee

    Hi, Beth: We have had a very busy period, so I am sorry that I have been out of touch. I did just get caught up on your journal entries and photos. Love those photos !! The best news I have gleaned about your treatment journey is that the tumor has not grown. The vision loss must be really concerning, but I will pray that it improves and is only temporary. We are working on our annual newsletter---better late than never, so you and John will get our update one of these days ! On this New Year's Eve Day, Happy New Year to you and John ! Hope Christmas in Jackson Hole was great ! We are at home for the 7th day of Christmas and New Year's Eve having spent Thanksgiving Week with my entire family (3 siblings and families---a total of 24 of us) on Captiva Island, FL where we had my mother's memorial service at The Chapel by the Sea and my parents' burial service at the Historic Captiva Cemetery. You both are in my prayers ! Love, Hallie

    3 months ago · Reply
  • Helene Tuchman
    Helene Tuchman

    Dear Beth, Hoping you are continuing “holding your own”. This past year that has been the mantra that Murray and I repeat when asked how we are. Murray is deep into dementia and I am in the process of preparing our Newton home for sale in the spring. It means reviewing 60 -83 years of archival accumulation of our lives and seeing the infinite become finite. Something you and your family must also be experiencing. Our plans are to either move into independent living at Birch Bay, or live in our Bass Harbor home all year round. We plan to move to MDI in March if you need any footwork done on the island please do not hesitate to ask. With all our hope that you are enjoying family time and feeling well. Love helene and Murray

    2 months ago · Reply
  • Bette Peterson
    Bette Peterson

    Dear Beth and John, I am so glad to learn about the OUT of the Blue post and see your pictures. You are in my thoughts so much and I am glad to know that you are tucked into your stunning home in Maine with John . You have always been a tower of strength and poise and gone through each challenge with grace. Your friendship with me has been a long one and I value it so much--- from first meeting you as a young girl becoming a Mother to 4 step children, serving dinner to many in a truly one fanny kitchen in Wareham, then seeing baby Stuart and then Andrew grow and go through the usual challenges that every Mother worries about..Sharing Thanksgivings and your family with you all and then meeting that incredible John at Lexi's baby shower. You are a beautiful ad creative woman that has touched so many peoples lives, but certainly mine , Dicks and Wendy's . Grab every minute that you can with John, Stu and his wonderful family and Andrew. Love you Grand Lady, Bette

    19 days ago · Reply