what she said

A dear friend sent me a link to this article from the New York Times yesterday. Written by a woman who has lived with stage 4 breast cancer for seventeen years, it makes me grin ear to ear. Perhaps you’ll enjoy it too.

And this quote from the end of the article? “One thing I don’t ever think to say: When I was told I had a year or two, I didn’t want anything one might expect: no blow-out trip to the Galápagos, no perfect meal at Alain Ducasse, no defiant red Maserati. All I wanted was ordinary life back, for ordinary life, it became utterly clear, is more valuable than anything else.”

All I can think is, “Yeah. What she said. Me too.” while I listen to the ordinary hum of my dishwasher and the ordinary murmur of Mark reading to Zoe upstairs. I kicked my ordinary walking shoes off at the door and hung up Daisy’s ordinary leash. And look forward to another gloriously decadent ordinary day tomorrow.

reprieve

When Mark and I met with Dr. Campbell last week, Dr. Campbell made the decision to take me off of chemotherapy for four weeks to see if my tumor marker blood counts go down. He suspects that, once the liver is used to having been ablated, my markers will go back to where they were last summer. If they do, this could mean a change to milder treatment or simply observation (no treatment at all). It’s also a good time to give my body a break from chemo since my heart and kidneys are being impacted by the treatment.

While, of course, I would love a summer without chemotherapy, I’m focusing on the four weeks I have now without treatment. In a word, I feel: present. Participatory. Here. (OK, that’s three words.) I feel like having people over for dinner. Like painting the furniture I’ve accrued in the garage. Like walking the dog.

It’s nice.

the one two punch

Liver lesion was radio-ablated on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I had my regular chemotherapy a few hours after discharge from the hospital. Thursday, my colleagues impressed upon me to stay home from work.

Today I’m having a latte and checking my e-mail having gotten Zoe off to school with a lunch packed and breakfast in her belly. I marvel that despite the deadly one-two punch we were able to deliver to the disease that threatens me, I’m still able to live my life. A bit more slowly than usual, but that’s not all bad!

neighborhood road trip

We spent the last week in Nashville with our dear friends and neighbors, the Grix family. We’ve intended to vacation together for years, but could we really manage a whole week of togetherness? A few photos from the trip…

threeThree happy hikers. Well, more like two happy hikers. Zoe started out with some early issues, but rallied to make it around the lake.

hiking photographer Vacationing with Emily meant I could forget my camera all I wanted (thus the scant photos, I intend to mooch off Emily for the good ones). We also re-lived our childhood vacations: eating lunch out of the back of the van, visiting historical sites (brown signs can be fun, Emily!), and generally making children walk long distances.

cooters Had no choice but to stop at the Cooters Dukes of Hazzard Museum.

girl band The girls got in the Nashville spirit, perhaps reviving their toddler band: Pooh Bear The Banjo.

restaurant Great eatin’ and of course we loaded up on free stuff.

four astronautsFour astronauts preparing for launch at the Adventure Science Center. The smaller astronauts had much more panache and did not make quite as much of a scene as yours truly. girls astronauts

chalk powdergoggle dining The girls found the goggles useful for more than just the many hours they spent in the pool.

hiking friends My favorite photo of the week.

crew of kidsThe Veals came up from Atlanta for a too-short visit. They brought giggle reinforcements. The families were a perfect fit.

group 2 Spontaneous group photo on our last night.

Other highlights were: a great night hearing amazing music with Mark, visiting the atriums of the Opryland Hotel, celebrating Easter, visiting The Hermitage, getting in a bit of thrifting with my seester and Emily, and doing Camp Tall Turf chants in the van with the kids on the long trip down .

Now we know we can take the neighborhood love on the road. Where to next, friends? The van is ready to go!!