Run for Amy Trail Race

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Please come join the boys and me on September 23rd for the first annual Run for Amy Memorial Trail Race!  The race will be held at Appleton Farms, in Ipswich MA, with both 5K & 10K distances.  It is intended to be a casual and fun afternoon, with food, music and libations to follow the race!  For information on the race, and to register, please go to runforAmy.com.

A big thank you to Alice Winthrop of Gatehouse Design for creating the website, to Jen Romans for logo/graphic designs like the one above, and to Jen Daniels and Bill Boardman for their help in planning the race.

Look forward to seeing you this fall!

 

 

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Six Months

Amy passed away six months ago today.  With the passage of these months, the immediate trauma of her death has subsided slightly, replaced by happier memories of her beaming smile and infectious laugh.  That said, we miss her more each day, as we fully comprehend what it means to not have her in our lives, but to still see her everywhere around us – in the faces of family and friends, in the traditions we continue in her memory and the adventures that she would have cherished.

I am blessed to have boys that relish life, much like Amy.  They want to laugh, to be active, to be boys.  Though their sorrow is visible in their eyes, their resiliency and strength have been remarkable – qualities that Amy instilled in them for years.  We love to tell stories about her.  Henry and I recently met with a counselor, who during the meeting tried to gauge Henry’s willingness to engage and talk about Mom, so he asked Henry to tell a story.  A smile emerged from ear-to-ear as Henry retold a story heard over the dinner table – how on our honeymoon, scuba diving miles offshore, Mom got left alone, surrounded by sharks, hundreds of yards away from the boat.  Crazy Mom (not-happy Mom at the time!).

We are grateful to all of you who keep her and us in your thoughts, and for the many notes reflecting on how Amy continues to impact your lives.  For us, it’s been a busy winter, just like prior winters – skiing, travel, over-committing ourselves and then collapsing periodically into a good book in front of the fire.  We have not been able to carve out time to see everyone that we’d like, but being in constant motion is how our family has always lived.

Looking down the road, we are hoping to gather friends together to remember Amy this fall.  Details to be confirmed, but we are targeting September 23rd to do a trail run in the Hamilton area, likely starting and ending at Appleton Farms.  The rough idea would be to do an afternoon race, offering multiple distances, and then have food and beverages afterwards.  Recognize this is a busy time of year, but racing, eating and drinking are all things she enjoyed, so hopefully an appropriate way to acknowledge the anniversary of her passing and to celebrate her life.

Thank you again for all the love and support.

P.S. here is the link to Henry’s speech at the Memorial Service for those who missed it:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiAu1qC1YEE

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Friday

We look forward to seeing everyone on Friday – weather forecast looks good for the moment, let’s hope!  Please see below for directions to Appleton Farms, note that the entrance to the Farms is off Route 1A (the main entrance), not off of Waldingfield or Highland (entrances for walking trails).  You will see a sign noting the celebration at the main entrance.

As a reminder, the service will be held on grass (uneven in some spots), so fancy dress shoes are not recommended.  Also though the forecast looks like it will be pleasant, please remember to bring layers as it will likely cool quickly.

Following the celebration, everyone is invited to stay for the reception.  There will be food and beverages to enjoy what will hopefully be a lovely fall afternoon.

Lastly, if you haven’t had a chance to RSVP here is the link again:  http://amydfoster13.rsvpify.com.

Directions to Appleton Farm:

From Rt. 128, take Exit 20A, Rt. 1A North. Travel about 6.5 miles north on Rt. 1A and turn left at the Appleton Farms entrance sign (just after entering Ipswich sign). Inside stone gates, follow signs to the right, towards visitor center. Address is 219 County Road, Ipswich.

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/north-shore/appleton-farms.html

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Memorial for Amy

Thank you for the tremendous outpouring of love and support over these past weeks.  Our family has taken great strength from the myriad of people that have run, hiked, biked and countless other activities in Amy’s memory, and the many touching letters and emails received.

To honor and celebrate Amy’s life, we are planning to hold a memorial at Appleton Farms at 1 p.m. on Friday, October 7th.  We anticipate the service will last approximately an hour, and then we will have a reception immediately thereafter, at the same location, which all are welcome to attend.  Appleton Farms is located at 219 County Road in Ipswich, MA – this is Route 1A, and it is on the left as you go north from Hamilton into Ipswich.  Appleton Farms, for those not familiar with it, is the country’s oldest continuously operating farm.  We have spent countless hours there as a family, enjoying the food from their farm, as well as running and walking on the extensive network of trails.  It is a beautiful spot that Amy enjoyed immensely.

In order for us to gauge numbers for the celebration, we’d ask that you RSVP using this link:  http://amydfoster13.rsvpify.com.  We recognize that plans may change after you have replied, please don’t worry about it, we are just trying to get a directional sense for attendance.

If you wish to share a treasured memory, laugh or shared experience with Amy that we have each been reflecting upon so fondly over these last days, it is our hope that we can compile these many cherished moments into one place for our kids to savor for years to come.  Please feel free to email any messages/stories or photographs to ADF.tribute@gmail.com for inclusion into this collection (prior to October 15).

In lieu of flowers or other gifts, we would welcome donations in Amy’s memory be made to the Jimmy Fund / Dana Farber Cancer Institute.   Easiest way to do so would be to via this link:  http://www.myjimmyfundpage.org/give/amydiadamofoster

A few other thoughts / considerations:

  • Please keep in mind the rustic nature of the farm setting when choosing attire – both the service and reception will be held on the lawn, and some walking will be required from the parking to the service. We will be under a tent, so will proceed rain or shine, but you may want an umbrella if the weather is looking questionable…
  • While there will be ample parking at Appleton, we’d ask that you consolidate cars if feasible
  • Please feel free to email us with either questions about the memorial or about the memories collection above, best two contacts would be me at franklinhfoster@hotmail.com or Jen Daniels (our close friend) at jennifer.daniels@comcast.net

We look forward to seeing you all in a few weeks to celebrate Amy’s life.

Much love,

Franklin

 

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Celebrating Amy

Long before Amy’s illness we both openly recognized how blessed were are for the deep fortunes of friendship and family. We celebrated these friendships with parties, trips, visits, hikes or sometimes just a phone call or text to distant friends. Through this tragedy I know those relationships will grow stronger. The Foster boys (all 4 of us) will be relying on you for all the continued love, affection, and sometimes quiet space as we learn to navigate the unthinkable. We lived the last several months as if she were the exception to her diagnosis. It is how Amy chose to live…to that end her passing was sudden and shocking to our family.

Our family will get through these next weeks, months and years anyway possible as we have learned to be strong from the best. We have chosen to do an intimate family only service this Friday with a burial close to our home in Hamilton. These are tough decisions to make, yet simple when considering the state and capacity of the boys and our extended family. I would ask you to celebrate your life, and that of Amy’s this Friday or weekend by going for a beach run, climb a mountain, eat exotic foods, happily watch your kids play sports, call your parents or siblings niece or nephew and tell them you love them, play an intense competitive round of golf or listen to public radio. Amy loved each of these activities and it would make her happy to hear we honored her in this way.

In the upcoming weeks we will hold a Celebration of Amy that I am expecting will be a more inclusive event allowing all that loved Amy to hopefully attend,  give us all bit of time to reflect and give her the beautiful tribute she deserves. The raw emotions of this week for all of us, would diminish a beautiful life we want to celebrate with laughter, stories and heart felt moments.

We would ask that, in lieu of flowers, we celebrate her life through gifts to further cancer research.  Gifts may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of Amy DiAdamo Foster via http://www.jimmyfund.org/gift or at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284.

The picture below is the one of Amy that keeps coming into my mind – metastatic cancer, on chemo, car sick from the snow cat, skiing snows and steeps she’s never tried before, but her smile and indomitable spirit light up the world.

Franklin

Matt Kuhn Wedding and Lifestyle Photography / Island Lake Catski

 

 

 

Amy

Amy DiAdamo Foster passed away early this morning.  She fought Bertha to the end, beyond limits that any normal person could withstand, but ultimately we could not find a way to stem the cancer’s progression.

We have not yet made plans to celebrate her life, but will post the arrangements when set.

Thank you for all your love and support at this tragic time.

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And the hits just keep on coming…

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Hi all,

I wanted to share a quick update on Amy’s status, sorry for not being able to do so earlier.  Unfortunately Amy is currently in the hospital with a severe lung infection.  She came in on Saturday, and though she is doing much better now than when she was first admitted, it is going to take some time for the infection to be addressed.  Because of her cancer, the doctors don’t have the same arsenal of tools they might otherwise have, and the hormones being generated by her cancer exacerbate the situation / complexity.  She is fortunately now alert and conversant, though obviously tired.

Stepping back before this most recent event, in the weeks prior we had seen continued progression of her cancer.   We had made the decision to switch off the immunotherapy she had been taking, and onto a phase I trial.  Her current infection may inhibit her ability to join the trial, so we will need to assess her options once the infection is addressed and assuming her liver function also continues to improve.

The next several days will likely be very fluid, and I am not intending to update throughout.  Her condition, and the corresponding prognosis from doctors, is ever changing so I don’t think it’s appropriate to publish a play by play.

We are fortunate to be supported by family and friends.  Our kids are well cared for as we try to maintain normalcy in their lives.  Unfortunately the doctors have asked us to keep the number of visitors to a minimum to help her recover, as much as I’m sure she’d otherwise love to see folks.  Thank you for all of the outreach with thoughts and prayers, obviously please understand if I do not reply in a timely fashion.

As we all know, Amy is incredibly strong both mentally and physically, if anyone can make it through to the other side of these challenges it will be her.  You can do anything for 20 seconds…

Franklin

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Fridays….

I’m usually in Boston on Fridays and appreciate people reaching out but thought I would go with a short blog update rather than individual comments back to people.

First of all, our trip to Italy and France was incredible. It was a wonderful getaway with our family and Tina and Herb. We were so lucky with beautiful weather, no major hiccups and simply watching the boys eat their way around the European countryside—it made their foodie mom very proud. I’m not sure I will be making Henry frog legs regularly at home but love that he has a new food obsession….

On the health front….My health has been up and down. You can actually literally notice it just by looking at me these days. The tumors have put my cortisol levels back on rapid fire so, unfortunately, my Cushings Syndrome is back in full force. It makes your face round and red and messes with your blood pressure so your joints are swollen. These are not things most people hope for in the middle of the summer…That said, I have two new power doctors in Boston who are working hard to get all of these things under control. They noticed yesterday that the same cortisol imbalance has caused Type 2 Diabetes so more poking and prodding to make sure that we get those issues under control as well. It is a little discouraging being a healthy person by nature and fighting symptoms/ issues that I wouldn’t normally bring upon myself but these are all manageable and should just take a few weeks to balance out again. So if you see me walking slowly or with a little uncertainty, it’s just some joint issues and the baby berthas pushing around on my midsection. My plan is for joint issues  to be gone by Labor Day and we will know more imaging at that point so that imagemost of you local folks will be seeing me get myself back on the running/walking trails once that magical place called school starts again……

ENJOY THIS WEEKEND. This summer has been nothing but a reminder that we should all be soaking up every minute of the outdoors.

 

 

 

The Good and the Bad…

Hey all-

I am going to make this brief as, thankfully, I am still running around getting ready for our trip. Anyone else curious how Jack Jack is going to do on a trip across the ocean tonight? So the good news is that I am a born traveler, something that makes me happy to the utter core, and we are leaving tonight for a family trip to Italy. I haven’t been to Italy since I was younger and couldn’t be more excited to go back. It should be an amazing adventure. The boys can’t wait and we are going to eat and drink our way around the country.

Unfortunately, we are not leaving on the best terms. I had scans yesterday and because I am short on time this blog will be honest: they were crappy. It seems all the pain I have felt in my side is because the tumors have grown a lot and there are signs of new growth. We don’t have an action plan yet of what this means or how to handle next steps and that is a bit daunting….Luckily, in the short term it doesn’t matter. We are all about enjoying family and life right now and that is exactly what we are going to do. We will have a lot to face when we get home to figure out how to tackle Bertha and come at this at a new direction, but that will come later. For right now, the medical stuff is going to take a back burner to my spectacular family.

I say this in all of these posts but it is because I mean it—again, not a lot of time for bs these days. I am constantly surrounded by a collective support network from all of you that means the world to me. This has become an extremely hard experience—radiation was miserable–and not something I would wish others to go through. I am surrounded by such an amazing group that is there to help with me, my kids, to make me laugh, to allow me to cry (not a strength) or older brothers who remind me in all of this that you are still just their pain in the ass kid sister…imageThank you for all of it. Bertha will be no match for homemade pasta, wine and gelato this week. Bring it…..

Fireworks

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Hope everyone had a good 4th of July weekend.  Hard to beat a beautiful summer weekend on the North Shore; we enjoyed a good mix of summer activities and family time.

For Amy, week one of radiation proved to be pretty tough.  Severe nausea on Monday, followed by intense pain in her side and back starting on Tuesday night.  She ended up spending Wednesday – Friday at the hospital, to allow for managing of her pain level and to ensure that there weren’t broader issues / side effects resulting from the radiation.  It appears that the pain is being driven by a tumor in her abdomen pressing against the diaphragm / pancreas, and exacerbated by inflammation of those areas from the radiation.  The hope is that the radiation will shrink this tumor, such that in a few weeks once radiation is done she will have much less discomfort.  Unfortunately in the interim she has to continue with her treatments – five down and five more to go, ending next Monday.  She is soldering on, with the same determination and positive attitude she has shown throughout.

As part of this process, we did also get a new set of scans done to gauge the impact of her immunotherapy treatment.  On the positive side, we are seeing some shrinkage in her lungs and liver areas – not gone, but at least smaller.  The abdomen region, where she is having the greatest pain, is a bit more mixed with growth in some areas and shrinkage in others.  Hopefully the combo of immunotherapy and radiation will reverse direction in that area – next set of scans to gauge the progress will be in a month or so.

On a separate note, I wanted to make folks aware that they can “Follow” this blog in order to be notified of when we post updates – just click on the call out box at the bottom right corner of the page and enter your email.

Thank you for all the continued love and support – it has given us tremendous strength throughout this process.

Franklin