It began on Thanksgiving week. It has ended, for now at least, on Father’s Day week.

In between were consultations with oncologists and surgeons, surgery, proton radiation treatments, and infusions of the drug Keytruda every six weeks.

And now. . . Stuart’s malignant melanoma is gone!

The doctor declared him to be “cancer free.”

Father’s Day 2023. Stuart holding one of his presents.

In his last Caring Bridge report, Stuart said,

My response is deep gratitude for this result, tinged with great empathy for other cancer patients whose results have not been so positive. I think of many beloved family members, dear friends, close high school and college classmates, and esteemed colleagues who have succumbed to cancer. I especially feel for those who currently endure rounds of chemotherapy and face uncertain futures.

And so, this day we both think of fathers and grandfathers who have died or are struggling against cancer.

May the family surrounding you, the doctors and nurses caring for you, and the great wide arms of your community enfold you and hold you close.

May you be at peace.

In truth, we are all just walking each other home. If you know someone wrestling with cancer, or someone grieving after having lost a loved one, here is a song for them.

Shirley Showalter


  1. Nadine Block on June 19, 2023 at 6:57 am

    God bless you in this happy pause in your journey! Nadine Block

    See my blog: NOT in the slow lane YET

    • Elfrieda Neufeld Schroeder on June 19, 2023 at 10:06 am

      So happy for you and your family for that verdict: cancer free! A cause for rejoicing!

      • Shirley Showalter on June 19, 2023 at 4:29 pm

        Elfrieda, you are so kind to share our happiness even as you walk the journey with your dear husband. Sending you love on a prayer.

    • Shirley Showalter on June 19, 2023 at 4:22 pm

      Thank you, Nadine. And you are looking very sassy in that picture on your blog!

  2. Norbert Krapf on June 19, 2023 at 7:06 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this good news, Shirley, And also for expressing compassion for those whose loved ones were not so fortunate. We are all in this together.

    • Shirley Showalter on June 19, 2023 at 4:23 pm

      Amen, brother.

  3. Marian Beaman on June 19, 2023 at 10:33 am

    I rejoice with you about the great news. Stuart looks jubilant and relieved after six arduous months. And so are you.

    Thank you for including the rendition of “We are All Just Walking Each Other Home.”
    At our wedding, when the minister intoned the words until “one shall lay the other into the arms of God,” our mortality seemed a long way off. Not so these days.

    • Shirley Showalter on June 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

      Marian, thank you. And I love that phrase “one shall lay the other into the arms of God.” Neither of us wants to be that one, but in a sense we all do that every day as we pray for each other.

  4. Marlena Fiol on June 19, 2023 at 11:17 am

    Thanks be to God!!!!
    Happy Father’s Day, Stuart!!

    • Shirley Showalter on June 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

      Amen, sister.

  5. Laurie Buchanan on June 19, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    Shirley — Oh, HAPPY day. I am THRILLED for you and yours!

    • Shirley Showalter on June 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

      Thank you, Laurie. (())

  6. Maren C. Tirabassi on June 19, 2023 at 2:54 pm

    I am so very happy that your news is so positive! And thank you so much for “We are always just walking each other home.” which is so very, very precious as I think about some of my beloveds.

    • Shirley Showalter on June 19, 2023 at 4:27 pm

      Singing that song with others is a profoundly spiritual experience. So glad it touched you. I share it often with loved ones.

  7. Karen Owens on June 19, 2023 at 8:42 pm

    A burden is lifted; a time for thanksgiving. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

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