Saturday, June 5, 2010


Graduation is a time of tremendous joy and excitement - a time to celebrate the accomplishment and to look forward to the next chapter in life. My daughter, Kelly, along with a whole cohort of her friends (who I count as my own friends as well!) have graduated (or will any day now..) from college this year. Since my last post, watched Kelly "walk" in Grinnell, Iowa from my desk here at home - I was still under travel restrictions from my Doctors - but got to watch it real time through a streaming video.

Although with somewhat less "ceremony", I have also had my graduation. I have been released from the supervision of OHSU (goodbye Pill Hill!), met with my original Kaiser oncologist (hello again Dr. Rarick!), had my PICC line removed (hello hot showers!).

So, along with my colleagues from the class of 2010, it is time to move on from the institutions - the processes and procedures - that were our focus and reality for the last months and years.

It is a little unsettling is it not friends? To set your own schedule, make your own plans, decide what to think about and concentrate on...nobody telling you what to do next - no requirements, no prerequisites... no plan!

Some of you have landed interesting and rewarding situations around the country - teaching, researching, photographing, farming. And some of you are at loose ends this summer, the best laid prospects and plans fallen through. But it will be a good summer - and good to have you all home.

I have a job to return to - a work already in progress. (I'm very grateful for that, to Paul Couey, and all the support from Metro, and especially for the health insurance it provides!). I'm already dipping into some interesting projects (did my first PowerPoint presentation in months last week!) and I look forward to being fully engaged again soon.

So. In conclusion (how did this turn out to be a commencement speech?), I think we all should follow some simple guidelines as we move onto the next chapter in our life:


  1. Congratulations to both you and Kelly. Hope as a present you and Julie and family (if they want)will trek east to soak up the vitamin D and smell the ocean of the Atlantic at chez Nicoll. Your room is ready and dinner will be served at 7 or 8 or whenever. Such great news!!!!!xoxohelen

  2. congratulations Mark on your's and Kelly's graduation!!!!
    I am just checking in say hell0...and wishing you all good this summer (??) time....

    blessings, and continual healing!!
    sue and choir

  3. Congratulations Mark and Kelly (and Julie!)! We were all so young when we all first met. It's about time the kids (Kelly for example)caught up! I am excited to here what lies ahead for all of us this year. Thinking of you all and looking forward to seeing you. xo jessica

  4. Mark! Yahoo! Congratulations on Kelly's graduation and yours. Sarah graduated on June 11 and we travelled to Greece June16-July 1. Fabulous trip, but blessed to be home in Oregon. Mary Anne

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