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Since Chemo Ended

By   /  June 16, 2014  /  10 Comments

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It’s been five months since chemo ended, and I don’t miss it one bit.

Since chemo ended:

I haven’t had to change a single diaper, because our youngest quit using them. Not missing them either.

Our son lost his first tooth. And then his second.

We planted our gardens, volunteered in the school garden, and harvested the first greens of spring.

I’ve traveled with the kids, the family, my best friend, and by myself.

I started rock climbing.

I made books from the hundred postcards my grandmother wrote me, and a book of favorite recipes for Kathy.

As for recipes, I learned to make biscotti. Thanks go to Andrea for the inspiration.

We put up a zip line. It’s really fun!

I learned to play Minecraft.

I realized I don’t need to play Minecraft.

The piano tuner came; it took some oddly large amount of energy to find a piano tuner and schedule a visit. The piano was half a pitch off.

Speaking of scheduling, now that there’s hair to cut, I scheduled a haircut for the first time in nearly a year.

It turns out that crappy things happen. What matters most is what you do next. Choosing to move forward, to smile, and to enjoy every minute of life I possibly can is what I want to do next, every day.


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  • Published: 5 years ago on June 16, 2014
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  • Last Modified: June 16, 2014 @ 4:55 pm
  • Filed Under: The Scoop

About the author

Author and editor emeritus

Rachel's interest in sustainable agriculture and grazing has deep roots in the soil. She's been following that passion around the world, working on an ancient Nabatean farm in the Negev, and with farmers in West Africa's Niger. After returning to the US, Rachel received her M.S. and Ph.D. in agronomy and soil science from the University of Maryland. For her doctoral research, Rachel spent 3 years working with Maryland dairy farmers using management intensive grazing. She then began her work with grass farmers, a source of joy and a journey of discovery.


  1. Carrie Robinson says:

    Thanks for helping me remember what’s important in life. Keep it coming, Amiga.

  2. Julie says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! Tomorrow I cover animal behavior in the JumpStart ASCI 001 class. Will be introducing them to low-energy handling concepts.

  3. SamG says:

    Your post has found me at one of my lowest and loneliest hours. You and this post are and will continue to be an inspiration to me as I navigate life’s challenges. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Thanks for sharing,

    • Rachel Gilker says:

      Hey, Sam, it’s good to hear from you. We all feel blue and down sometimes, and have bad things happen to us. We’re here to help each other; that’s one of the best parts of being human is being able to give and receive help. The On Pasture community is here for you. We hope you’ll stay in touch, and we’re sure lots of folks are giving you cheers of support. With warmth, Rachel and Kathy

  4. Chris Rossiter says:

    Rachel-Thank you for the reminding all days are for the making, by us. Your great energy will sustain you. And, on pasture is great, I need more rainy days to follow its paths. Thanks again for your passion. CRB

    • Rachel Gilker says:

      Thank YOU, Chris! We’re really glad to have you reading. We hope you get just the right amount of rainy days so you can read- and get outside. Rachel

  5. Solomon says:

    Thank you for writing and sharing this Rachel and for making On Pasture something I look forward to each week!

  6. jenn says:

    Great to hear from you RETG 🙂 – from your Peace Corps – soils sister.


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