Saturday, June 30, 2007

Help for the Packing Challenged

Today is my day to pack for the trip, Jamie is with Sofie all day. It should take less than two hours, right? It is one week, casual, and I am trying not to overpack. I have had a list for nearly a month now. But I can feel items sneaking on to the list....the cool Frameline T-shirt Alan just sent to me. The "extra" pair of slides that look nice with black pants. I am going to lay all the stuff out on the bed, and really try hard NOT to overpack. I need a 12-step group, but too late for this trip.

Last night, since Jamie had Sofie then too, I went out to Squids (my favorite after Friday work day place) with Betty Prioux and although their claim to fame (especially at happy hour on Fridays) is a peck of raw oysters, we sat at the regular tables and shared an amazing dinner of calamari followed by lobster. It has been at least ten years since I have eaten a lobster. Since that time, they have gone way up in price, but I still loved the taste. And half was plenty, it is filling. Then, since it was only a bit before 7 when we finished, we decided to see Evening, which had just opened. I heard the reviewers were so so, but the cast alone was worth seeing. I rarely let a reviewer, especially a male who reviews a "women's film", guide my choices.

The 7:30 show was totally sold out, the first time this has happened to me in this area. So we took a deep breath and got tickets to the 10 PM show, and sat at Starbucks for a long time, chatting and drinking coffee to help us stay awake. We left the theater at about 12:20 AM. The film was exquisite. That is about the best one word I can come up with. Not perfect, but lovely both visually and for the performances. I am always amazed at actors who are British or Australian who speak with American accents.

OK, no more procrastination, it is upstairs for me, to do the packing. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Pesky Little White Blood Count

So, we are in pre-vacation mode, with packing lists galore, and trying to make sure we don't forget anything, yet still pack light. This past week was supposed to be chemo number 12 of the six cycle, two treatments per cycle regimen.

So Monday I feel totally punk. I get to the lab and have the blood drawn, leaving the port accessed for Tuesday's chemotherapy. We have a nice system, so I don't have to be stuck twice. Anyway, the new person sticks me and the blood doesn't flow back into the syringe. Never happened before, but she is training (Duke is a teaching hospital, so you just know this stuff happens). After a couple of exercise like moves (right hand up in the air, head turned to the left, cough, etc), the blood flows out and all is well. I am lightheaded by now.

I get to the parking deck and kind of sit there, wondering whether or not to go to Chapel Hill or back home. I finally call work and say I am not coming in. I get home and immediately crash into a deep sleep, which only the phone ringing an hour or so later can wake me.

I felt kind of punk all day, just tired, queasy and out of sorts.....then I got "the call" from Teri. White counts too low to treat me on Tuesday!! Did that stop me from getting my nails done the next day? Of course not.

On Wednesday I had yet another clinic appointment, at the coagulation clinic this time. Lots of hurry up and wait, but I was there for a full check up and discussion of the blood levels. Suffice to say I am on that injectable stuff for a while more, we might move to the pills (first to see how they work, which means frequent blood draws again while they are regulating me).

Thursday and Friday (today) I have been at work. The good things about the missed chemo are less nausea and more time to feel better *before* getting on the ship!!! And the chemo I have had has left me with little hair to shave pre-cruise on my legs or arms. A nice bonus, that.

Packing light. Packing light. My mantra. Tomorrow, we will see how it works (or if it does!!!). So excited about this vacation. Cannot wait to take off for NYC, where we will go see the gay penguins in the Central Park Zoo and eat Ukranian food (two examples of our plans) while pacing ourselves, not too much to do since we are on vacation, not "real life".

I procrastinated until the last possible moment then went ahead and ordered a beach cover-up. That is what they call them, but more like a tent for my body. But the bathing suit in public issue looms only a week away and I chickened out from just wearing it with shorts to the pool. I want cover!!!

Sofie is getting quite excited as well, and is doing a lot of drawing at her camp. Snakes mostly. We are so not surprised. She likes camp.

When we get home, we have to move quickly into gear to get her 7th birthday party going on, a pool party at the condo. Rain date and all (it is that time of the year).

Personally, I love those summer storms. They soak the garden so I don't have to, and make life easier of course, eliminating a watering or two. And they are heavy enough sometimes to rinse off the dusty car.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Some Musings About Target

You know, you can tell a lot about the world from Target. Everyone goes there, right? Fess up, you know you love it. Today, while I was watching the world go by for a while at Starbucks, right inside our SuperTarget, I kind of crystallized some observations I have been able to make lately.

If you go to Target about 10 AM on a weekday, you are there with young mothers with small infants or toddlers in the carts, and older people. By older I mean much older than me, with the white hair and quad canes. Target is sparsely populated in these early shopping hours, but it is easy to get in and out quickly. Not that I feel I have to do that, but you could.

In the later afternoon, the moms of preschoolers and some grade schoolers are there, kids in tow, as well as high schoolers and others who are out and about after 3 PM. The little snack bar area is much more full of folks indulging in an emergency bag of popcorn or other snack food. People are more likely to impulse buy, either for the kids or themselves, then, I think. You know, you have been at work part of the day, you are more distracted, etc.

When I have been on leave, these are the times I am most likely to be there, browsing or shopping (or just having a grande iced coffee). Shopping at Target is much more peaceful in the "off" hours. Before the food store rush right after work, the Saturday errand madness or the later in the evening, cranky kids, parents trying to squeeze in a few errands before feeding their brood from the nearby McDonalds kind of time. And the sales associates are more rushed, less warm and fuzzy, you know, like the rest of us!

My time as a "stay at home" sick person has led me to these random thoughts, blame it on that. The "advantages" of medical leave, I guess. That and being able to have a leisurely mani/pedi in the middle of an afternoon.

Not too high a price to pay for queasy stomach and lightheadedness, right? Oh yeah.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Out of Nowhere

The weekend went well, no nausea to speak of and just the general fatigue. Nothing too busy, we did a swim play date yesterday, like many we did last summer. It was hot but not unbearable.

Today (Monday) was labs in the AM, then I planned to go to work until my acupuncture appointment. But no, my body was having none of that.

I got nauseous this AM and kind of puked a bit in the kitchen sink as I was preparing Sofie's lunch. I switched plans and did a simple lunch (I keep those "Lunchables" on hand for just this purpose), avoiding the tuna smells I would have made a bit earlier. That seemed to work. I dropped Sofie off at camp and turned the car around to go back to Durham to Duke and the lab.

At the lab, the new person Kathie could not quite get the blood to draw back (flow) out of the syringe at first, so that took some acrobatics, I ended up raising my right arm and looking to the left (this was the third or fourth "position" suggested by Connie who is training Kathie). Anyway, finally it worked just fine, only the one stick, but when I sat up, I was lightheaded. The smell of the antiseptic had done a number on me and all that pushing and tweaking too, I guess.

So I sat in the parking deck trying to figure out what to do....I ended up calling work and just saying that I could not come in. I hate feeling out of control, and after a more or less non dramatic weekend, this came from nowhere.

Ah, but later in the day, Teri (nurse specialist on the oncology team) called. So there was a reason! My white count is tanking. My bone marrow must finally be pissed off and is low. Too low for treatment tomorrow. My neutrophils (?) are low too, under the standard for treatment. So I get a break, a week "off" without all this. Good for the vacation! My red counts perked up after the transfusions of last week, and that is good, because if I had the fatigue on top of the sickness feeling from the white counts, I would be a total mess. Will rest more tomorrow and then see how the week goes.

Sofie started tutoring today, with Ms. Ewald (aka Susan or Susi) her assistant teacher from Morehead Montessori. She totally "gets" Sofie and is excited about working with her. Goals are simple, to keep the gains she made and get her totally ready to enter the second grade. If this goes well, we could even do a bit of tutoring in the fall, perhaps once a week instead of twice like summer. We will see. I would kind of like to see if Sofie was interested in Brownies (the Girl Scout kind, not the eating kind) for fall. Or some sport, perhaps basketball. But don't want to over-schedule her either. She does better with a clear routine and that means (especially if I am back working more) that she comes home, hangs out a bit, then does homework either right before or right after dinner.

But I jump ahead. It is summer, we are off from school and that means both of us. It is a pleasure to just read together, not have to do homework each night. But she needs the practice and better with Ms. Ewald than with me, she really works hard to please her.

Once again, I feel lucky to have this person in our lives.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bad Haircut

I have been meaning to blog a bit about this, for the past two weeks. But the life issues have gotten in the way. About two weeks ago, I went to get color back in my fading back to grey hair and since it needed a trim, went ahead (with a new person) to get it cut. It was a disaster! I was wearing glasses so they were off and I could not see what she was doing. By the time it was done, it was too short, and when it dried, almost looked like a (dread the thought) mullet in the back. I went back to have it "fixed" in the back, which helped some, but it is just not the nice, curly top of hair I had last month. I know it will grow, but I feel like a shorn poodle sometimes.

To try to take other's minds off the bad haircut (which most don't seem to even notice, but I know), I have been dressing a bit more for work, I got several new skirts (yes, skirts, which I never, ever wear in the fall/winter), and have been wearing them to stay summery cool. And I have to admit, I kind of like them. Kind of girlie, I know, but what can I say? It is working for me right now.

I have made a total packing list for the upcoming cruise, to help me keep from my usual over packing obsession. I am really trying this time, not to overdo it. The cruise is more casual than some, and there is "freestyle dining" so no formal dinners with a particular group of folks. Should be quite fun, I think.

Sofie is easy to pack, her whole list will fit in such a small space, since her clothing is so little. Bringing a lot of bathing suits for her, since this little fish girl will want to be in the water a lot, we bet.

Only two weeks to go! Very exciting, I am finding it hard to stay focused (at work, at home on projects, whatever), and I know that I am really looking forward to this vacation. It has been since 2004, fall, that I have been on a vacation that is not visiting friends and family (not that those haven't been fun, but not as relaxing as being on an upper deck with a cool drink and a good book). I have had tons of time off, but that simply isn't the same, not the same mindset, anyway. And honestly, having cancer is a half time job in itself, it takes time for all the appointments, managing the drugs, etc. So I am very ready and getting excited about having to actually pack this stuff up.

Deb McSmith will be arriving right before we leave, so we should have a nice visit for a few days. She has been in Thailand and Cambodia, among other locales, and will have great tales to tell. And after those climates, our weather won't seem all that hot and humid, perhaps.

OK, two weeks to encourage my hair to grow. I think I will go back to the herbs I took when I was bald, to encourage the hair growth!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Heart to Heart

Yesterday at my clinic appointment, I participated in a new study group about how doctors communicate with cancer patients. They began by asking a series of questions about where I am mentally, emotionally, etc. I was actually surprised at all the positive answers I gave, but truly, mostly I am fine and grounded and such. Unless I am in such denial that I don't even know that I am lying through my teeth, but seriously, I don't think so.

Then I had my appointment, first with Dr. Amy Bland, a second year fellow. She has only a year left, good for me, and then she will leave, and wants to go to possibly N. California. So you lucky left coasters will get to have her, she is terrific.

Excellent news on the CA-125 front. It dropped from 88 to 64. They are going down more slowly than when they were in the 500+ levels but that is to be expected. Down is still good!

Dr. Valea and Terri came in and we had a discussion about "managing the cancer". Managing the cancer is code for this is not curable. It will come back, they cannot say when, and then we will keep trying with the chemo combo that seems to be working until it doesn't. Drug resistance is what happens to many and I am sure to be on the top of that list, since my body rejects a lot of the toxic chemicals they try to treat me with.

So we might move on to adding Avastin, a biologic that is made by Genentech. It is very expensive, but fortunately for me,it is covered by my insurance. And I have friends at Genentech if I need to score some for free from the inside.


The next couple of paragraphs deal with tough issues, so if you are wanting to believe I will live forever, don't read any further!!!!

And then, after Dr. Valea left, Teri and I had the heart to heart about time. So, I asked, I don't have say 15 years? No, not 15. How about ten? No, well most have between 2 and 5 years at this point (we are talking time between now and dying). I said, "well, this is me we are talking about, so let's add two more years for feisty-ness and call it 7." Which would take me to 2014, Sofie would be in middle school (hopefully DSA) and we would have had seven more wonderful years. I would have a sense of what type of grown up she might turn out to be. And she will be better equipped to deal with her mom dying, I hope. Not that it will be easy, but better than at 8 or 9 years old. It is hard to think about but on the other hand, it makes things more clear in terms of what to focus on and put time into.

And Jamie will have had a lot more practice at being a mom, she keeps rising to the occasion, so that is good. And Sofie is fully comfortable with her in that role. Probably she would move from this house to another house to have a fresh start. But that is too far away to think about.

We have talked about this house, which is affordable (good) even if I go on half pay due to short term disability. And we have discussed moving to a house with either a first floor master OR a one story ranch style house, because doing the stairs some nights even now is too hard. But mostly I can do that fine in the AM, and so I do things that way. Anyway, the housing thing is hard to make a call out on. If I stay here, I can create a master suite downstairs, and enter via the outside steps, which are less steep, or perhaps even create a ramp (but it would be steep). OR I can continue upstairs, the house is wireless access now, and I could get a laptop, far less construction needed for that. Moving always makes me anxious, because of all the packing and unpacking. And I love this house, mostly, except for the never-ending lack of storage for all the clothes she has to grow into and stuff like that.

I am pondering on what having two to seven years to live means. First, it could mean that I exceed the expectations. I have insurance (Term Life) that is good until I think Sofie is 22. Then if I am still alive, that ends. So living until she is say 19-21 means she is covered for the future. And that is important to me.

It does mean that saving for retirement is not a high priority anymore, I will continue the % I do on a monthly basis, but that is all. The rest should be for living well now, so that we continue to create memories, and I can travel with her each summer, until I cannot anymore. I want her to love travel the way I do, and to see Africa, because that was such an amazing trip for me.

We also have plans, made in 2002, to take her to Paris with her Godmother Barbara when she is twelve (2012) and possibly to Ukraine. I did a birth mother search for her recently, and unfortunately, it did not lead to finding her birth mother, who may have used a fake name (she for certain made up the address) and there don't seem to be any leads. But I tried, that matters.

I want quality of life, which to me means that I continue the treatments as far as they go, but when they start to fail, I stop, so I can enjoy the life left to me without nausea! I don't want to leave her too soon, she is delightfully changing so much right now. But I also want to be realistic, and that means knowing that my life is not going to be as long as I might have planned (coming from that Dannon yogurt eating Russian stock that lives past 100).

So the next few years will be interesting. I will work as much as I am able, then see what I need to do to make it work for me to live but not work all the time, since living seems more of a priority. And we will take the summer to travel some, and enjoy our time together.

Mortality. It is a gift to know that it is limited. It cuts out some or a lot of the bullshit. And makes it even more important to tell people, like those reading this blog, that I love them and I thank them for loving me so well.

This will be tough news for my family, I think we were all hoping for a cure. But life has it's weird pathways. So mine is taking a turn that I had not expected 18 months or so ago. I am glad I will be on this journey with folks I love and trust. And of course, I will keep you all posted.

Because it is my nature to make lists and plan things, I took some time to outline the travel plans through 2012. Here you go:

2007 R Families Cruise

2008 Playa del Carmen, Mexico (Mom is turning 80 this year and it is her choice of where to celebrate)

2009 London

2010 Hawaii? Or maybe a Grand Canyon road trip.

2011 Africa (she will have graduated fifth grade this year)

2012 Paris and possibly Ukraine

2013 and beyond....I am not sure, I have always wanted to go to Greece and Australia/NZ.

So I will be needing a lot of miles!! (smile). I actually have been saving up miles for a long trip, on British Airways, either to Africa or the Ukraine one. I probably will use them for Africa, just to be sure I get to use them.

And in between this lovely itinerary, we also have lots of regular time to make special and ordinary, but fill with love. That is the most important part.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Visits from Friends

Did I not just write about how lovely and relatively cool our weather has been? OK, not anymore!

It rose to the 90's today so the air is blasting in the can change so fast, you just have to adapt.

This past week, I visited with two friends on separate evenings (what? Two evenings of adult time in the same week? Amazing!!!!). Kandy Ferree was in from DC and we had a great visit in Greensboro, (about an hour from Durham for those of you who are geographically challenged). Kandy and I caught up on some gossip, and had a great dinner (wonderful restaurant and no crayons were even offered to us, my new standard for adult dining).

Then Katherine Haynes-Sanstad (formerly from CAPS at UCSF) and I went to dinner in Chapel Hill, where she is for a two week intensive business oriented seminar. I took her to Mama Dips, a legendary southern style place, great for wonderful food (much of it fried, but it is southern cooking!). We also caught up on the comings and goings of old friends, the joys of parenting, and life in general.

Instead of making me sad, these visits brought me a lot of joy. The fun in reconnecting, the wonder of how life ebbs and flows, good things and not so good, that happen to us all.

Life is what happens when you are making other plans...I used to think there was something to that saying...but in fact, life can be enjoyed greatly in the moment, without making a lot of long range plans. Or making them, but knowing that they might change quite a lot!

This past week, I heard news of two couples, both men, that have broken up. That kind of news still makes me sad, I guess I still want to believe in "happily ever after" even if not for me. Love and relationships are so painfully hard it seems. I am not even thinking of that for myself these days, I have enough on my plate just scheduling treatments and follow up visits, trying to work and parent and having the energy to read a good book. A relationship would probably tip me over the edge! Or am I saying that to avoid one? Either way, I am not missing that too much these days. And I am learning to enjoy my own company on rare Sundays like this one, when Sofie is with Jamie and I have had the wonderful opportunity to spend two who consecutive hours reading the NY Times with Peet's coffee in my cup. Those sorts of little extravagances seem like total bliss sometimes. I have started taking the NY Times again on Sundays, usually it takes a full week for me to read through most of it (basketball is over, so I don't give the sports pages much attention). But on a day like this, it is wonderful to read as much as I care to without any interruptions.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Cool Breeze of Summer

It has been cool for the past couple of days, a lovely present. After a weekend that was hot and humid, the weather fell into the low to mid 70's during the day and we have had a couple of those wonderful summer rainstorms as well. Great for the garden plants which I often forget to water until they are drooping.

The other tooth came out at camp yesterday and now she has that great gap in her mouth. She is proud of her new teeth growing in and looks so darn cute with the little gap in her smile.

Summertime pacing seems to have set in and I have been lax in getting in touch with her tutor. We will be having her tutored this summer, so she retains all the stuff she learned in first grade and keeps her skills up. Another reason why year-round school would be better. But we are in the traditional system and so I hope the extra attention (which she is none too happy about) will help. Jamie just ordered her some books on snakes (eight to be precise) which should help with her reading. She loves her snakes.

Camp has a secondary benefit, which is that she gets really tired by the end of the day. So that means getting to sleep in the evenings is easier. And that means I get to have a bit more down time to myself, which is great too. I am reading a terrific book by Jodi Picoult called "Her Sister's Keeper" and I find myself wanting to get into it each night, until I cannot keep my eyes open. I love reading like that. And I want to do more! Thank goodness vacation time is coming.

We are three weeks from leaving for the cruise and that is so exciting. I made a packing list which I hope I can stick to, so I don't overpack. My tendency is to pack for all occasions and I want to hold back so I don't have a ton of stuff to lug onto the ship. I think this cruise is more of a casual thing, so not a cocktail dress up kind of evening. Oh sure, some will do that, but these days that someone is not me!

I have been at work all day, but it is nearly 3:30 and the energy left my body at least an hour ago. So I am simply hanging out for a bit, then I will leave. The whole re-entry thing has been hard, getting my brain to wrap around what I should be doing here. Lately, I have been trying to imagine what it would be like her "if it worked according to my master plan". That is actually a good exercise because it is opening me up to the possible again. It is all too easy to become discouraged. To feel like I have "been there, tried that" and it all is crap and doesn't work. But like the change in the weather this week, the climate here in the library is also changing and perhaps there is an opportunity to make it work better. I certainly hope so, since this is a terrific place and everyone who has reason to be involved with the Library knows it. It is just not what they think of first when they give money.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The First Visit from the Tooth Fairy

Note: for more on this topic, visit Jamie's blog

I won't go into the gory (for me) details, but this past weekend, while on a little beach trip to Ocean Isle, Sofie lost her first tooth, the one on the bottom. She has been slow to lose her baby teeth and I was thrilled that this one was out before she was seven. That night, we carefully placed the tiny tooth in a plastic bag and left it for the tooth fairy. Who left her two dollars! The going rate for teeth has certainly gone up since I was a kid and we got a quarter. Yeah, I know, inflation combined with several decades in between.

The whole beach trip was fun, albeit HOT. The temperatures were in the high 90's both days and although it cooled down some at night, the daytime was a sweaty mess. Sofie did not seem to mind, however, and wanted to spend as much time on the beach and in the pool as possible. We met another kid from the Durham area, so perhaps her friendship circle is widening yet.

If you have read Jamie's blog, you know we also had a late Friday night/early Saturday morning incident with one of those painful earaches. The kind that you know will respond to the pink bubblegum flavored medicine (amoxicillin) but you have to see a doctor to get that. So off we went, to the emergency room at a tiny local hospital. Well, let me tell you, they rocked compared with Duke's ER. We were the only other folks there, so we were triaged pretty fast, the doctor on call looked like he was from central casting and they could not have been nicer, no surly folks in that place. I figured with the less than one hour wait, the next time I need an ER I might be better off driving the 3.5 hours to the beach than going to Duke where it took 9 hours to be seen. Probably not realistic, but still.

A dose or two of the pink medicine (which she loves for some disgusting reason), and the ear felt better and Sofie was all about the beach and the pool again. And today she started her first week of camp, at Hillsborough Sportsplex, where she will ice skate and swim daily. The packing list for her bag to take on a daily basis is daunting, but she came home today all full of energy and excitement, having had a great day. And you cannot really ask for more than that!

I worked a full 8 hour day today, as we had a small event at work. I came home and promptly fell asleep for an hour, until Sofie and Jamie arrived. I was totally tired. I plan to work at home tomorrow, just to conserve energy.

And another tooth is loose so the tooth fairy might be making another visit here, and soon. I love that toothy grin that kids get at Sofie's age. And then those big teeth that look too big for a while, until they kind of grow into them.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The L Word

No, not the hot Showtime drama (comedy?) but *Lice*. Head lice. The school gave the call yesterday. Three of Sofie's friends, not classmates, are infested. Infested, doesn't that just say it all? I have lived in dread fear of this for years, since she began childcare. She managed to get through one family day care and two preschools without so much as a nit, but today, three girls were positively ID'ed. Our friend Susan's daughter Emma's classroom is evidently ground zero for this attack.

Sofie did not complain of any itching yesterday or today, but we also did not wash hair last night. Ashely her sitter is coming this evening and will be in charge of the bathing. I guess I had better alert her too, but I hope she doesn't bail.

And of course, tomorrow we are to leave for two days at the beach, to celebrate the official beginning of summer, camp, etc. Oh joy, do we have to first do a round of Rid to make sure that we don't infest the entire motel? Eeeeeeeewwwwww.

I have toughed out vomit, bloody knees and this week, her trials and tribulations as she is about to loose her first tooth. But head lice, that is another story. On a normal day I guess I would just deal with it, but today is hardly normal, I have spent most of the day trying not to feel nauseous. I woke up this way, did not throw up but could not quite chase the very tired/very queasy feelings. And when I drove Sue to Raleigh to catch a bus to Wilmington so she can connect with her sister who is there, I felt like I was driving kind of in slow motion, not very clear. I ate something and that helped a bit, but still I feel spacey and it is not fun.

Next week, I hope that I will feel fine enough to go to work Monday and all week. I am eager to move forward, but this stopping and starting for treatment challenges is getting in the way. Carol (my boss) is being saint-like, but I am sure she is frustrated too. And time is slipping away.

Sofie starts camp on Monday, which is another challenge of packing the right foods, the right snacks and an assortment of clothing changes: bathing suits, flip flops for pool, long pants, socks and a shirt for ice skating, not to mention the very cool skates that Uncle Alan got for her on e-Bay. They are way cool, very girl skater-ish and she loved them. And I must not forget the towel, evidently the camp fee does not include one dry towel a day.

This packing and unpacking ritual is repeated daily for all the weeks of camp. Lather, rinse, repeat. Lather, rinse, repeat.

And this is why I get up early most days, so I don't forget a snack or a towel or whatever I am supposed to pack.

I guess I am just in whine mode this afternoon. Lice will do that to a person.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Just Tired

Not in a terrible way, but this weekend, I just felt draggy. Betty and Jamie and I went out Friday PM to see Waitress, a sweet Indie film that actually has been getting good reviews pretty much all around. It was (no pun intended) well, sweet. And sad to know the very talented director had been murdered. Life isn't fair.

Betty and I went for decaf and dessert (really just an excuse to talk more) and I got home around 11:30!!! Not bad for this chemo gal.

Jamie took Sofie home from childcare that night, and whooo hooo, I slept in on Saturday until nearly 8:30 AM, which for me is plenty late. I got going on the first "project" on my list, the cleaning out of the fridge. I usually keep up with it pretty well, but lately had fallen behind, what with guests and all, so I purged things, wiped it all down, you know, pretty much got in in shape as if I were selling the house. I *detail* a refrigerator, when I clean it. I was kind of tired after, so I rested a bit, then began on project number two: finally getting the fall/winter clothing out of my closet so there is room for the paltry collection of summer clothing! This took a while, and I attempted to watch The Last King of Scotland while doing it, but that film required more attention, so I gave that up for the typical home show as background (not to mention inspiration). I made great progress, until about time to get Sofie back, and then I stopped short of getting all the wintery stuff downstairs to the guest room closet where I keep it during the "off" season.

Today, it was raining when we woke up (pouring down hard) and I still made her get going and get dressed to go to ERUUF. We had Children's Chapel first, then I joined the grown ups and she went to a "make your own Chalice" workshop. We reunited after and went to pick up the makings of chocolate cupcakes, as Sofie had decided to throw a birthday bash for one of her animals this evening. We had fun making cupcakes and then settled down (since I was so sleepy) to watch a few episodes of Scooby Doo while awaiting her playdate. Then off to Lucie's for a few hours. Blessedly, they fed her dinner, I finished watching my film (I am not good at violent films, but it was good) and then she came home in time to shower and decorate the cupcakes for the party. It is amazing how this showering thing has evolved in the past two weeks.

From needing to be coaxed into the shower, she is now all about "I need my privacy, I can do it myself". Except I was needed to make the water warmer. And to find more shampoo. And more body soap. But after that, she came out smelling sweet, all clean and with hair needing combing.

Finally after the chocolate cupcake fest, we were snuggled in bed and I had her read to me, then I read two books to her. And before 9, I was done for the night. I am just tired today, I think it is mostly post chemo, I was barfy this AM too. And that was none too pleasant. But I made it through another day, albeit a kind of boring one. But sometimes boring is not all that bad. I am finally at this ripe old age, learning that I can have a lazy weekend and I don't have to feel guilty!

So another week is approaching, with Sue H arriving (yipppeeee) tomorrow PM and chemo on Tuesday again. But it will all be fine, I think, this week. I just have to pace myself. It is cumulative they say, the side effects, so I should not be surprised to feel kind of sick from it all. But I will get through this next one and then there is only one more set of treatments in the month of June. So there. Even if they continue into the summer, I have gotten almost to that milestone.

Friday, June 01, 2007

A Lot of Miles on Her

80,008 as of right now, to be precise. My trusty Subaru "Mom" wagon just turned over 80K miles. Where did we go, putting on these miles? A lot of commuting around the Triangle to be sure, but wow, it is a lot of mileage....

I wonder if perhaps, not for the IRS, it would be good to start and keep logging the daily miles of our lives. It would be an interesting, if sometimes tedious record of the daily and mundane travels of our existence. These days, I feel like my body needs some sort of mileage recorder, to keep track of my comings and goings, to and from Duke, UNC and child centric things.

I have been thinking lately of Hybrid vehicles, how that would be the "right" thing to do. But this will have to wait, I am not the sort of person who buys a car before I need to. The Subaru is a great car, it just did our little road trip to Washington DC and next week, we are taking a short sweet trip to the beach, to celebrate the end of the first grade! And the beginning of summer vacation!!!

Today is a good day. It is warm here now, no denying that summer has arrived. I am usually in denial, until the day the temperature in the Subaru is over 90, then I know it is here. But nothing an iced coffee (shaken if possible) cannot cure. At least temporarily.

OK, Sofie and I are heading out for the supermarket run, to pick up some fruit and to get more meds. I spend all too much time at Harris Teeter, the Safeway in these parts. I know everyone in the pharmacy by first name.

So back I go into the car, we both have a lot of miles on us these days.