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About Me Meredith Foster

An Intro to Meredith Rose
as told by her husband

It took three meetings, two years apart before my wife Meredith and I finally ‘clicked’. The first two didn’t take because, well, I was an idiot. The third one stuck because she took the lead and inquired, “Are you finally going to ask me out this time?” I did and we lasted seven months before I behaved like a donkey (I was afraid of what I was feeling) and she broke up with me. After a four-month hiatus, I came crawling back, begging for another chance. She gave me one, but I needed to meet certain conditions – the list of which took up two full legal pad pages. We’ve been together ever since. Meredith hasn’t had to pull the list out, but I’m sure she’s saved it…   just in case.

Here's what I’ve learned during our 18 years together. My wife is a planner. She makes lists, not just to make them so she can cross stuff off, but to stay organized and focused. They help her set and achieve goals; and I’ve witnessed her succeed in reaching a lot of them. Like deciding to finish her degree in Leadership and Organization Behavior at Northwestern University part-time, over three years (including summers) while holding down several jobs as an independent contractor. Like choosing to leave a thriving esthetics practice to pursue a career in pharmaceutical sales where she’s wowed clients with her product knowledge and ability to operate as a strategic business partner. And like building our home here in Chicago. She is an avid decorator with a discerning eye who has overseen the renovations of our kitchen and upstairs bathrooms – picking everything from fixtures to paint colors. My Meredith knows what she wants and she’s not afraid to commit the energy, or effort required to get it.

It's the same approach she’s used to tackle cancer. Last July, the diagnosis exploded our world. I was hitting my stride at my job, and she was excelling, working in a territory close to home – one she had coveted and was finally awarded at the start of last year. Then cancer. The word just stops you cold and for a moment, we were frozen. But not for long, thanks to Meredith. Out came the lists and so started the planning. She got a mentor through Imerman Angels, contacted a naturopath and prepared for the 28 straight days of radiation by ordering supplies and clipping recipes – which I became adept at preparing. Same thing for the chemotherapy that began in October and lasted through February of this year. Another list, more supplies and a folder of recipes. And it’s been the same approach regarding surgery to remove the remaining tumor and adjusting to her temporary ostomy. Meredith jokes that she wants to get the “gold star” for fighting cancer. I’d say she’s done that and more. Her courage is infectious, and it’s fortified me to provide the support and care she’s needed. After the initial shock of the diagnosis, she has vowed not to be caught off guard again. And she hasn’t been.

Another thing I’ve learned during our time together and over the course of this experience is that love is powerful. It’s the mightiest arrow in the cancer-fighting quiver, that and faith. The unconditional love we have for each other has enabled us to face this challenge head on, together. Meredith believes fiercely in the power of spirit and the strength of the Divine. And she has reminded me and herself that placing yourself in line with both promotes healing. Meditation, exercise and setting intentions are part of her routine; and I’m working on trying to follow her example. Last week, post-surgery pathology results showed that her margins were clear and that her prognosis is excellent. Cancer free after 258 days. Full Stop.

As her husband, she asked me to write her biography for the blog she’s creating – “Just share the things you want people to know,” she said. I’m not sure if this qualifies, but this is what I think people should know. My Meredith is a wonderful person and she’s a fighter. She didn’t deserve this diagnosis (no one does!), and she is my hero. I adore her and she adores me back. I would walk through a brick wall for her, and this journey has only made us stronger. I’m just thankful she saw fit to ask me out 18 years ago.

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