Kathy and Terry, a love story and more.

Title Insurance with First American Title

I was at cross purposes when I started this post and my thoughts were bouncing everywhere. I couldn’t figure out what it was I was really trying to say. It started as a review about a wonderful dinner, no that wasn’t it... but as I wrote I moved things around the page like a puzzle when I realized I wasn't writing what I was thinking. The real story was in the background.

I was trying to articulate the noise.

Two things the distractions had in common were Kathy and Terry, my sister in law and brother.

This tale is no plea for sympathy, it’s a short little story about faith, determination, love, patience, and perseverance. We’ve all faced challenges, big one’s that come when least expected, when you’re not prepared. Once in awhile, when I find myself on the pity pot about my place in the big scheme, I think about Terry and Kathy. Not only then, but especially then.

About 3 ½ years ago Kathy suddenly became very ill. Almost overnight she couldn’t walk, talk, or function. She was diagnosed with an aggressive, spreading invasive cancer and over the next two years she had two brain surgeries, a kidney removed, chemoradiation, a tumor on her spine removed, and the CyberKnife. The prognosis wasn’t good and she lost memory, vision, speech, dropped to 85 pounds, and was totally incapacitated.

Each and everyday was about the next thing that had to happen.

It wasn’t about her recovering to get ready for the next procedure, it was about doing the next procedure before she got any worse.

It was a total gamble and the doctors were wonderful. The cancer was everywhere and coming on fast.

Through it all my brother’s been there everyday before work, after work, and every weekend. He takes care of the her laundry and brings her food to guarantee her dietary needs. With no immune system he's her front line defender and he takes a lot of time off work for all the doctor appointments, keeps the home fires burning, and does his best to manage the totally mind numbing BS dealing with the insurance company.

For over a year now, as Kathy puts it, “I’ve been in a fog and the dots in my brain don’t connect.” The miracle is she’s out of the fog and the dots are connecting. She learned how to talk again and she can walk a little with assistance. It’s wonderful to witness the progress.

This Christmas my brother and I were determined to do something to make the holidays special. We went totally secret ops candlestine and kidnapped her from the care center and threw her and her wheelchair into my Ford Explorer and took off!

We went to Spanaway Park just south of Tacoma to see the Fantasy Lights. It’s a wonderful 2 ½ mile drive through a holiday light show with deer jumping over your car, Santa on a motorcycle going over a jump, a giant blue space ship with aliens and a strobing light tunnel, just for starters...

Afterwards we went to the Homestead Restaurant for a feast of Prime Rib and steak dinners with all the trimmings.

Kathy loved it so much we had to take her back the next week for another dinner just after New Years.

Kathy Fabre, one tough cancer fighting sister having a great time and dinner at the Homestead Restaurant in South Tacoma.

Terry and Kathy are private, quiet, salt of the earth people, a little old school, and the social media world I live in is a mystery to them. Yet I have an agenda for this year and I’m up to making it happen. Kathy’s a teacher with a passion for writing. She’s curious about blogging, probably because I talk about it all the time.

I want her to blog. She needs to share this amazing story. She’s almost there and when we chat Kathy always talks about the future and how she’d like to do something to help those who find themselves on this path.

I think it’ll happen. Case in point, months ago I kept talking about texting. At first it was, “Oh no, I’ll never do anything like that. Why would I? What would I text?” Thanks to my son Jeff who spent some time to show her how.

Now guess who’s a texting maniac!

This new year looks so bright and hopeful and my heart is filled with joy to witness them emerging from that long dark tunnel.

As Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

And that they have!

I know the journey isn’t over, there’s no guarantees, but the signs are positive, the cancer is stopped and we see progress.

Kathy and Terry, let’s hope this year is about celebration and happiness and putting life back together again. Have a great 2013!

Posted by

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.

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MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Glad to hear this was a story with a good ending.

Jan 16, 2013 03:44 PM #1
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Thanks Michelle... the future is looking bright!

Jan 16, 2013 03:48 PM #2
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

What a great story, Rene.  I'm so glad the future is looking brighter and how fun to have those special meals together.  I do hope she decides to blog.  i'm sure she will inspire a lot of people.

Jan 16, 2013 06:10 PM #3
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Kathy and Terry are heroes that you never hear about. . .thanks to you now. .we know. .

Very inspiring Rene. . .

Jan 16, 2013 10:02 PM #4
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Kathy and Terry's story reaches my soul.  Reminding me much of one of my sister's story.  Never forget life is good and love is the answer...... Thanks Rene.

Jan 17, 2013 01:36 AM #5
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Hi Debbie... Thanks. Me too, I hope Kathy decides to blog. I know she'd be a natural once she got started.

Fernando: Yes indeed, I almost used heroes in the title! I totally think they are heroes.

John...Exactly right, never forget life is good and love is the answer! Thanks...


Jan 17, 2013 07:03 AM #6
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Rene, You are such an encourager. I like your little kidnap adventure and stay after her and get her to share her experiences through blogging.

Jan 17, 2013 12:03 PM #7
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi René, These are the life stories that grab your heart and become the ballasts to help keep you afloat. Wonderfully written Ren´and I am suggesting this for feature so other can share in the courage, the joy of every moment lived. 

Jan 17, 2013 02:57 PM #8
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Debbie: Thanks... the kidnap adventure was fun. Even the care center didn't know what was going on! I will stay after her about sharing her story... Having witnessed it, I know it's truly a miracle.

Thank you William... These life stories do grab our hearts because they're real and happen every day to people we know. Thanks for the feature suggest!

Jan 19, 2013 04:43 AM #9
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks so much for sharing this story.  It is a good reminder to appreciate every day of good health. 

Best wishes to Kathy for a recovery that will restore her quality of life.

Jan 25, 2013 02:31 AM #10
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