Kurt’s Story

Site created on February 25, 2019

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Newest Update

Journal entry by Kurt Gibson

It's been just over two months since we learned of my wife's breast cancer diagnosis.  When you learn of that, there's just so much that you think about, and it's very over-whelming, regardless of how 'with it' you want to seem.  Before I begin telling what amounts to being the very first steps of this journey, I want to introduce you to my wife.

Jennifer Gibson is a 52 year old mother of four boys.  Three of those are in college, while the youngest is a junior in high school.  Jennifer is an educator, and she currently serves as an elementary school math coach for teachers in grades K-5 in one of the largest school districts in downstate Illinois.  She's worked in a handful of school districts before coming into this position, dutifully following me around while I've tried to pursue my own professional journey.  She has been a great teacher and is flourishing in her present position, yet, she's been an even better mother to our children.   And without any hesitation, she has been the rock of our family for 25 years.

It was on December 20, 2018, that we learned of her diagnosis.  Jennifer has been getting regular mammograms for a few years, and in late July of 2018, she had one that came back without any concerns.  In early December, though, she felt something in her breast that she knew wasn't normal, and after some tests, the diagnosis was confirmed.

The holidays were different for sure, but everyone seemed to handle the news well, even our sons, once the initial shock wore off.  We were fortunate to make a connection with the Lynn Sage Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago in early January, and from the beginning, we have felt a confidence there with their entire staff.  (In a future post, I'll share more of their efforts.)  And although we're only a few treatments in, we truly believe this is where we're supposed to be and what we're supposed to be doing to rid Jennifer's body of this cancer.

What has been most overwhelming, though, has been the out-pouring of support from so many people for Jennifer and our family.  You quickly realize that dealing with cancer is not something you do alone or in isolation, but in recognizing that, you don't also assume that so many people will do so much to help you in your battle.  I guess, though, when I really think about it, this shouldn't surprise me.  The human spirit is a magnificent entity, and Jennifer is the kind of person people rally around because of her caring nature, her personality, and her ability to relate with people in all walks of life.  The support is also very humbling, and the gratitude you feel when others do something for you "just like that" forces you to reflect on how fortunate and lucky you are to know some many wonderful people, and it makes you want to make sure you're there for others when the moment arises.

In my next post, I'll share some more details of our treatment plan and how things have been progressing.
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