More energy and less pain

I just got back from my 3 month check up at Mayo Clinic, with good and encouraging results. The doctors found no signs of the cancer’s return, and I don’t need any further treatments at this time. There was some clotting in the graft they put in the iliac vein, so we’ll try to get the blood a little thinner and monitor that over the next few weeks from home.  They now recommend some physical therapy to see if I can strengthen my foot and increase mobility. But overall they’re very happy with the progress I’ve made. I go back in another 3 months.

 I got back home from the Tennessee trip on Monday, and hit the road again Tuesday – barely enough time to do laundry and check on mail and messages. Our provincial superior, Fr. Tom, is making his annual visitation, so I also squeezed time with him in as well. He and my whole community have been most supportive through the whole illness. The cancer has truly colored and shaped my life in ways that are dramatic and ongoing. I don’t know yet how it will affect the way I pray or look at life or live each day. I do know that I am grateful to God for seeing me through the rough patches, and hope I can be of help to others along their way.

Yesterday I started with a blood test at 7 am, and had two other tests and four consultations with different doctors. I finished around 5, but did have a break for lunch. They cram a lot into each day, but it beats having to wait around for results or seeing specialists. The quality of the care and their patience with my questions has been outstanding.

Because I’ve been feeling more energy and less pain as the weeks have gone by, I hoped for, prayed for, and actually expected good results. But there is still that element of worry, what if??? Now it feels like I can go on with life without thinking about the cancer so much. Now I can focus on things like the upcoming Powwow.

Speaking of our Powwow, when I stopped in after school today the younger girls were practicing their dance steps in the gym. I was heartened to see some of our seasoned dancers showing the younger ones some of their moves.

 I ate supper tonight in the Summerlee home, with our 4th and 5th grade girls. A couple of the girls whose families aren’t able to provide them with dance Regalia were issued some of the St. Joseph’s Regalia that we’ve made or bought over the years. They were proud to show off what they’ll be wearing in two weeks.

 After supper the night was pleasant and everyone went outside to play before homework time. I grabbed a soccer ball out of the bin and 6 of us started kicking and passing it back and forth. My motion is still limited, but I’ll try to do those gentle games and activities as I’m able. It’s just a fun way to hang out with the students and build rapport.

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 90 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

9 thoughts on “More energy and less pain”

  1. Father Steve, I’m so happy to hear of the good medical reports. Long may they continue. The “What if” does fade as time passes. I am going into my 3rd year of being a “survivor” and although “what if” pops up here and there, it doesn’t dominate. One day at a time and enjoying the present seems to be the best way of living. Wish I had known that in my youthful days!!! God bless you. And, here’s to another beautiful powwow this year!

  2. So happy to hear of your good news. You pray for the news to be good but until you hear it from the Doctors it is so much better. From our experience we are so comforted by the wonderful place of Mayo. You are in our daily prayers.

    Kim and Jim Butler

  3. As Mia Archer has often commented: God still has work for you here Fr.Steve. The news you bring us today is wonderful. You’ve had excellent care and with your faith, your optimism and the encouragement of all those who love you, the outcome was more or less assured, I think. You are loved by God and by many here on this earthly plane. We rejoice in your good reports and your progress. Now you can really relax and enjoy this coming school year. The children will help keep you young and the Lord will help keep you well and increasing in strength. God Bless you all there at St. Joseph’s!

  4. oh the what if’s……..I know the stress well. Praise God for his many blessing. Your news made me smile today. I am now 15 mts past my last treatments and everyday continues to improve my overall health. I was at the gym this morning. I go three days a week. I hate it – but, like the results, so I endure. Be assured of our prayers! Tell Fr. Tom hello for me!

  5. Dear Fr. Steve,

    We’re so happy to hear that things are looking up for you.

    Kicking that soccer ball around wasn’t just fun, but, believe it or not, it was theraputic for you as well.

    The girls must’ve been so happy and proud to be able to play with you like that again.

    Sounds like the powwow will be extra specia this year. Wish we could come to it, but, money and health stand in the way. Good luck to everyone who partcipates this year. If you can, would you please post some videos of the powwow for us or send us some via e-mail? Would really love to see it.

    You are and always will be in our prayers Fr. Steve. Happy to hear the kids are doing so well too.

    God Bless,

    Nancy & Kenny

  6. In today’s world..good news is a very special thing..It makes you want to look behind you and say, Who ? Me..? But now you know for sure it IS you..sooo..HOOray for that ! And HOOray for the Pow wow..It’s going to be The Super Pow wow..!
    We wish we could be there..and we will be there in Spirit. You better be betcha ! We will look forward to pictures..
    We are so proud of everyone there..You are all priceless, and after seeing the young students speak on the video..we know even more for sure how effective St. Jo’s is…!
    We are happy to hear that you are losing the Junipero Serra limp…but you know, when it’s all gone, you might even miss it..! OR..You could make a dance of it..!
    Hugs and Prayers to All of You..
    Mia and Bob

  7. I am so happy to hear the good news! Soccer today – a waltz tomorrow! 🙂 You are in my prayers.

    Veronica Fernandez

  8. Dear Father:

    So very glad to read the good news you sent.

    Every day is another day of victory and one of trust in the Lord that He will continue to heal you.

    We continue to keep you in our daily prayers.

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