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Tom’s Story

I haven't edited this for more than two years. Now in 2015, our thoughts from 2013 resonate

With a cancer-free declaration from Doc Kahl, we are exploring life after cancer and counting the many miracles in our lives.

We are filled with gratitude. Tom was declared cancer-free from brain cancer just days after Ellen started an awesome job as sr. vice president of corporate communication at WPS. Tom is still disabled by the headaches and fixing golf clubs in the basement until he can get back to the courses.

 Kait is a nanny for a family now in Madison and Maura works as a data scientist in Chicago. I am still at WPS, now rebranding WPS Health Solutions.

The journal is searchable using your control F function. We hope this website is useful for family and friends. Fellow cancer patients can search for tips on hospitalizations, magic mouth wash, Vanicream, nausea and other words to get tips.

The content on this site is copyrighted by Ellen Foley.

Latest Journal Update

7th Stem cell birthday!

Tom celebrates his seventh stem cell birthday today. He is 2 1/2 years cancer free.

We had a very difficult week with all of life's big issues: work, family, our house that will not sell, our new house that needs massive remodeling, two house payments, such horrible anxiety that Tom and I could not eat today, not enough time to exercise, the brutal work/life balance, the continuing frustration of Tom's headaches.

Then we remember where we were seven years ago and we know we are incredibly lucky to be here in Madison with friends like the Smiths. who came over last week and helped clean up our yard for the open house, and Jan Schaefer, our former yoga teacher at MATC, who spent yesterday with Tom cleaning out the hidden places of our house filled with so many things that don't matter.

Why do we forget that what really matters is friendship, health, love and kindness to others? Why did I even spend one second worrying about tile vs hardwood floors? There are no bigger issues than being able to greet each other each morning before he tries to poison me with coffee from his Chemex. The stuff is so strong I shake until 10 a.m.

On this birthday that brought Tom back from the near dead, we celebrate once again everyone on Caringbridge and the many blessings in our life.

We will someday live in the condo when the money becomes available to actually move there. We will find time to exercise and the appetite to eat. My mother used to say, "It will all work out."

Smooches to all!
4 people hearted this



Maureen Brady
By Maureen Brady
Yes!!! Thank you so much for this essential reminder. And it's all true. Breathe deeply, and keep the faith.

Smooches right back!!
Tim Mullaney
By Tim Mullaney
Ellen, this was a great way to start my Saturday. Thanks for the update and the reminder to stick to the basics of gratitude for family, friends, love, and health. Also, I would definitely go with wood instead of tile, but that's me.
Carol Riordan
By Carol Ann
Beautifully written, Ellen. Congratulations to Tom and the entire family on this special anniversary.

Your Mom was right: It will all work out.

Love and hugs to you and the entire family.
Virginia Huber
By Virginia Huber — last edited
Ellen, this Is my favorite post of yours. It illustrates how all of that that your family went through really did make you stronger and so perceptive. The tenderness in your words.
Nancy Young
By Nancy Young two are such a team - always have been and always will be - and how great to have 2 ½ years of cancer free to one time your hopes were dismal and now you still have each other, along with lots of life challenges and I do sincerely pray that they also ease very soon.
My best, Nancy Young