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So glad to be back!

Hello, all -

When I last wrote - nine months ago to the day - I was still trying to wrap my head around a rather terrifying diagnosis and the prospect of some brutal treatment. I had no choice but to make a big leap of faith that I'd get to the other side. So I launched myself over the abyss, grabbed a hardy little grass tuft on the far cliff face... and got pulled to safety by a terrific medical team and a small but mighty crowd of family, friends, and one-time strangers (including many of you who might be reading this).

Thanks to all of them (you), I've emerged more or less intact, with a precious new "leash" on life. (Sorry, old Muppet joke.) My doctors and I are guardedly but reasonably hopeful that I am now cancer-free, with a long future stretching out ahead of me.

As some of you already know, my mom died of breast cancer when she was only forty-eight, and we learned after my diagnosis that her lousy luck and mine can be traced back to a mutation of the BRCA1 gene. Long story short, I feel incredibly fortunate simply to be alive, and I'm more determined than ever to savor whatever time I have and make it meaningful.

Teaching plays a big part in that, so I'm very happy to say that I'm headed back into the classroom in just a few weeks. Our own three canine mischief-makers have been doing their obliging best to test my wits and speed my recovery from chemo brain, while games of tug with Pazzo have got my biceps nearly back to their bionic best. Training classes resume on Saturday, October 11th, with Sunday sessions to be added in November. I'm so looking forward to being useful again, and mixing it up with all the unruly people and pups of SW Portland!

I won't deny that it's been a rough ride of late - I shouldn't be surprised that my hair has come back white! But I've never been more intensely aware of my great good fortune, as I've had lifelines thrown to me from every direction. To all of you who let me know through a bleak time that I mattered, that you were rooting for me, that you had my back: Thank you. You kept me afloat. I'm really looking forward to reconnecting in these much brighter days.

Most gratefully,

Reader Comments (1)

So glad to have you back! However, I can find nowhere on your site nor on the Healthy Pets Northwest any info about the class that's starting this Saturday, Oct. 11. Can you please share that info- what class, what time, how long does it run, etc.? Thanks.

October 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJen

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