Sunday, July 1, 2012

Remember the long, hot days of summer when you were a kid?  Harper Lee describes them best.  "People moved slowly then. They ambled across the square, shuffled in and out of the stores around it, took their time about everything. A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County." (To Kill a Mockingbird)  While our days are hot, they don't seem to be as long as they used to.  How did it get to be July?! 

It's been over a month since receiving word of Cindy's cancer returning.  While I want the world and time to stop and grieve with us, it seems that the "longest" days of the year are whizzing by.  There is little regard to what I want. 

One of the side effects of either the tumors themselves or the radiation / steroid treatments, is that Cindy is unable to sleep for more than 5 hours at any one given time.  The lack of sleep does not help with her feelings of being "disconnected" and generally foggy in the brain, but it does help address the dilemma of not having enough hours in the day to get everything done that needs to be done.  She finds that evenings and late night hours are her best functioning hours.  She often can be found burning the midnight oil.

This past Wednesday was her last radation treatment for awhile.  Yippee! We won't know for a few more months how well the radiation worked in reducing the tumors.  The swelling and radation activity is still too great to determine the rate of success.  It will quiet down in a month or two at which time another scan will be conducted and I feel positive that the size of the tumors will be drastically reduced.  The fact that she can curl her toes so much is an excellent indication of some success. 

Now that radiation is complete, she can also begin tapering off the steroids.  While these drugs have been good in reducing symptoms and increasing motor skills, they carry other side effects, which are not altogether comfortable.  It will be good to have her body cleared of these.  As expected, her hair has been lost and the neuropathy in her feet and fingertips has returned.  The neuropathy is a result of the last chemo treatments and the Taxol drug.  It's not as bad as it had been a few years ago, but has now flared up again.  What hasn't been lost is Cindy's spirit.  She remains strong, determined, motivated, faithful and at peace. 

Today the entire Reed and Cindy Gardner gang joined the rest of the Gardner Clan for a family reunion at Aspen Grove.  They will be gone for over a week.  What a glorious time to have a reunion!  Cell service is sporadic up in the mountains, so for those who might try to text, call or email Cindy, don't be alarmed if you recieve no answer for about another week and a half.  Know that she is well and spending valuable time with loved ones.  She will also be busy defending her title as champion Rook player.  Notes left on her blog are greatly appreciated.  Cindy also has loved getting cards, letters and text messages.

Chemotherapy will start soon enough, but for now her body will have a bit of time to recover.  For a while she will be in "no hurry", have "nowhere to go", and just spend a few long summer days with family.


  1. Cindy we love you and continue to pray for you and your family.

    Doug and Linda Bernard

  2. Cindy, I am steroid dependent so I know how it goes with the side affects. I am happy you are going to be able to get off of them. See if they can try some neurontin or requip for your neuro pain. I have tried both and the requip seems to work better.

    LeGrand and I are praying for the gift of time for you. Hopefully I can stay well enough to come visit next month. We shall see. Love you. Susan

  3. Libby, thanks for the updates and Cindy thanks for the spirit I feel as Libby describes your battle and attitude. It is amazing to watch how we all get through this thing we call mortality. You are truly an inspiration to me and every time I read something about you I am strengthened. I don't know how you do it, but you just exude beauty in handling trials and tribulations. You are loved by so many and I pray that this precious time spent with family will place special memories in each heart you touch. You are truly incredible. I love you and hope to visit when your summer hectic times slow up just a bit. I really admire your WILL. It is one I try to emulate and practice. Keep that spirit and smile and know that I love you!

  4. Thank youmy friend Libby for your amazing writing and for keeping up the Gardner compost blog. I must clarify though....this is super important. I am NOT the reigning Rook champ so there is no title for me to defend. That would be my nephew David Gardner and he has the pressure to defend his title this time.

  5. What fun for them, Utah in the summer is so dreamy. It was 110 degrees here today! Ohhh Arizona:) Love you Aunt Cindy, have fun with that wonderful family of yours! xoxoxox

  6. Cindy - I hope you had a lovely time with your family! Aspen Grove is so beautiful. Sending lots of love and positive thoughts :) Much Love, Danae

  7. I hope you had a great week at Aspen Grove. "Keep Calm and Carry On" items are everywhere in London and I think of you every time I see these words. Your faith, generosity and positive attitude are a true inspiration. Lots of love & prayers! SueAnn