Hi. My name is Garth Callaghan. I am also known as the Napkin Notes Dad. I have metastatic kidney cancer and prostate cancer.
But our story is so much more than my four year battle with cancer.
I am re-introducing myself because I have had some community members taken aback when I mention getting sick or doctor appointments. They didn't know. All they knew was that I write Napkin Notes to my daughter, Emma, each school day.
Also, I had an MRI last Sunday and received the results today. It seems like a good idea to catch everyone up!
The scans came back good. The cancer has not grown or spread. I still have to have daily chemo treatment, but it is working!
My next scan and follow-up will be in 90 days.
Living with cancer is tough, but it's a heck of a lot better than one of the alternatives, right?
There is a distinct possibility that I'll live for the rest of my life with cancer in my body. Again, it's better than one of the alternatives!
I wear Star Wars shirts to each and every single medical appointment I have, no matter how small. You'll see me post a photo and make a comment like, "It's a Star Wars shirt kind of day."
When I was first diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago, I decided then to only wear Star Wars shirts for any medical appointment and made sure that the people treating me understood why I did so. It wasn’t for my love of Star Wars, although that was an added benefit. I wore outlandish Star Wars shirts so that some part of them might recognize me from appointment to appointment.
I am also know as a prolific Napkin Note writer. When my daughter Emma was in kindergarten, I started to write an inspirational note on a napkin and tuck it away in her lunch box. When I was diagnosed with cancer a third time, I worried I may not live to see Emma graduate from high school. But I wanted to continue the napkin note tradition. So I set out to write all of the notes Emma would need to see her through to graduation, just in case. I wrote 826 napkin notes in all. Today they’re stored in a special box for safe keeping.
I still write a new note each morning.
Today has been a good day with welcome medical news.
We have a lot of wonderful people walking with us along this crazy journey. Thank you so much for lifting my family up during this time. We couldn't do this without you.
Pack. Write. Connect.