Todd and I received an unexpected card today from the woman who bought our home. Let’s call her C.

Happy Holidays! I hope enjoying your adventure and are having fun in each new city! Thank you so much for all the thought and little things you left around the house. Coming from a condo, I didn’t have a shovel or a tall ladder 🙂 You both truly made this an amazing transition for me. May you find exactly what you seek.

Safe travels,


We noticed she didn’t mention the bottle of Cointreau we left because we couldn’t fit it in our car.

After I read the card, I looked at the address and noted she had mailed it to us at our old address—where she is now living. Given the greeting, the post office had taken its sweet time about forwarding it. And no one had bothered to postmark the envelope. It’s a bit of a mystery how it got to us.

I can’t decide how, or if, I should respond to the letter. On the one hand, it’s very sweet of her to write to us. On the other, it makes me want to cry.

“Oh, yeah, that trip we were planning—well, we made it through 4 months! Then we had to return to Denver for cancer treatment. That wasn’t exactly what we sought. Come to think of it, can we come live with you for free?”

That wouldn’t be appropriate, now, would it?

Her card also made me think of timing, and planning. How it’s really a bad idea to schedule medical tests for a week before you leave on a long trip. So what if the last 9 mammograms have been normal! And how the timing for my diagnosis could have been worse than late November.

What if my gynecologist had thought to schedule an ultrasound for that swollen lymph node that showed up on the mammogram in June? What if those results had come in 2 days before we were supposed to close on the house? Would we then have canceled the home sale? Even if we could have done that without repercussions, we wouldn’t have had company-paid health insurance any more because Todd had already quit his job.

Yes, getting the diagnosis in June, when we were prepared to leave but hadn’t actually been anywhere, would have been worse than getting it in November. At least we got to travel to 4 cities.

Getting the diagnosis in March 2011—now that might have been better. Todd would still have had his job, with the excellent health insurance paid for mostly by the company, and we would have had our house. We could have done the treatment, kept downsizing slowly, and started 12 Cities in 2012.

I suppose. But I can’t really bring myself to regret the way things turned out—though every now and then I wonder, “How much difference did those 6 months make in my survival chances?”

Which is not really a helpful line of thinking.

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  1. Catherine February 22, 2012 at 10:25 am - Reply

    As I am often in need of reminding: you made the best choices you could with the information you had at the time. That’s all any of us can do. It’s hard though, when were given more information at a later time that would have been helpful back when.

    I wish you well on your journey – you’re strong. You’ll beat this. And be back on the road. You never know what new opportunities this detour might afford.