Saturday, October 20, 2018

Boston; I LOVE this City!

After a short night in the hotel, we picked up our rental car and headed into Boston. On our way to my aunt and uncle's house in Boxford, we decided to play tourist, for just a little while, as the weather was amazing!

We had a delicious lunch, at an Italian resaurant, jaunted through Paul Revere's house, took a short walk along the Freedom Trail path, grabbed a rustic loaf of bread, and bottle of wine and headed north!

The day was lovely, and the temperature was perfect; not what we had expected, yet So very welcome!

We weren't in the city long, but it was so worth the stop. We both love the quaintness and charm of old cities, and the history that has been preserved, in so many ways. I am looking forward to spending a bit more time in Boston, at the end of our trip.

It didn't take long to arrive at my favorite place on the planet; my aunt and uncle's home! Not only are the people living there fabulous, the tree canopied road and red house, make my heart sing; it was just as I remembered it, from my last trip, many, many, years ago!

We have been promising/threatening to visit them for ages,  and I am so glad to have finally made good on our word. Being there with them, just feels like coming home. The peace and calm that I find in their home is like no other.

And just when I thought life could not get any better, I hear a familiar voice; my most awesome cousin drove down from Maine, just to see us!! And in typical "Kathy" fashion, she did not come empy handed, she brought two homemade pies, and lobster appetizers; a taste of Maine!

Sitting on the screened in porch, we all enjoyed visiting, eating and relaxing. We even had the good fortune to hear an owl Whooo, Whooooo in the woods. I am so grateful to be here, and so grateful to have this valuable time to spend with family.

#lovemylife #leukemia #thrivingwithchronicillness #cancersucks #cancer

Friday, October 19, 2018

Another Adventure?

Well, we are once again headed on an adventure! This adventure began with a week at my daughter's, in Orange County:

Visiting my daughter and grandson are the highlights of this leg, but this trip I had the added bonus of seeing my youngest son, Kevin, who drove over just for the day to hang out, and a few days later, my other son, his family and my other four grandchildren! What a treat and great surprise to realize Michael and his family were in Huntington Beach at the same time. Seeing all of my kids and grandkids is better than Christmas!

I only wish it could have been all at the same time, as I would love to have a photo of all of us together; it has been six years since that last happened! Nonetheless, my heart is full!

This leg of the trip also included a visit to my oncologist, with high hopes for a drop in my all important BCR/ABL, measured by a PCR test, which is a fairly simple blood test. Seeing my oncologist is always filled with mixed emotions, anxious to receive confirmation that I remain stable, while anxious that There is a possibility that I have not.

This visit, I gave my oncologist a crocheted replica of himself! It was priceless!
I will report when I get my pcr results.

Onward, and upward!

The next leg of our trip is the flight to Boston; mostly uneventful, yet getting in at midnight will be the beginning of a very tired, wiped out few days for me!

Since I am fearful of taking my Bosulif and then getting on a plane, I didn't take my pills until we finally reached the hotel a little after midnight, I ate a snack-pak of tuna and crackers and forced down three of my four pills of Bosulif; I typically take 200mg with my first meal, and then 200mg with my second meal, but on travel days, I am so afraid of being miserable, in a car, or on a plane, that I wait until I get where I am going and try to get in a full dose before bed; this did not happen, so I tried 300 mg, all at once and was miserable all night long, which meant little sleep; not a great way to start our "vacation" but what are you gonna do?

Tomorrow's is another day, one that I have been wating for, for years!

Praying for a good night's sleep!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

When Your "Normal" Isn't "Normal!"

Most of the time I feel like I am "normal"; I do my very best to keep up with life in general. You know, things like getting up in the morning and getting dressed (even if that doesn't happen until afternoon), keeping the house in a relatively clean and tidy state, making sure there are always clean undies to put on, and food to eat at mealtime; which is typically sporadic, depending upon my nausea.

Fortunately, my husband has adjusted to what I consider and accept as "normal" and is able to go on about his "normal" day, without being resentful. For this, I am grateful and appreciative.
But the cold, hard truth of the matter is that my "normal" is sub-standard to those around me. I am slower and have less stamina than most. I do not start my day at full steam ahead, as it takes me forever to get moving, and my most productive hours are between the hours of two and six, which does not fit well into most people's everyday life.

I am also unpredictable and wishy-washy. I hate to make definitive plans because I hate cancelling plans; I just never know how I am going to feel. This is not easy for most to understand. So, I ask myself, is this really normal?

And if I am honest and kind, I will answer that it is "normal" for me; and if I am brutally honest and truthful, I will recognize that I am most certainly NOT "normal" in comparison to my peers. This is difficult to accept, deal with, and increasingly frustrating.

My limitations become so much more apparent when I am around other normal, healthy people. For example, when I am out and about with uncompromised friends, I am usually walking at least a half-block behind them; huffing and puffing, trying to keep up. I am the one who requests indoor seating at the cafe' because there is either, too much sun, or it is too hot or both. And on boat rides, I must sit indoors due to heat, sun and exhaust from the boat. All of these things are not just preferences, but necessities, if I don't want to end up miserable, sick and in bed.

"Normally" these limitations do not bother me, as I do not wish to be the anchor around anyone's neck, but every now and then, they shine a beacon on just how limited I really am. On those occasions, I can easily become melancholy, and my mind begins to wander. I begin to analyze life.

You have all heard the adage, "What Would Jesus Do?" right? Well, on those feeling sorry for myself sort of occasions, I ask myself, "What Would I Do?" How would I treat the situation? Would I treat it differently now, than I would have prior to being diagnosed with cancer? Am I more or less tolerant than I used to be? How do my limitations make others feel? How do my limitations affect others? Am I more of a burden than a pleasure? Should I simply quit accepting invitations from others who are not limited? Or should I make my limitations and expectations known? Do I apologize for my limitations?

I often find myself vacillating between trying to keep up with the "normal" people and throwing in the towel and giving in to my limitations. I suppose that the majority of the time I hover right smack dab in the middle; participating to the best of my ability. And instead of feeling sorry for myself, I enjoy my own experience, often meeting others, who are just like me!

The ones that can't keep up, the ones that are slow and steady, the ones that see things differently than those who have yet met with physical challenges, which are out of their control.

Sometimes it is lonely, and it is always frustrating, but at least for now I am still able to enjoy my life, even if it is at a snail's pace!

And for that I am grateful!

Now there is food for thought.....
#lovemylife #thrivingwithcancer #leukemia #chronicmylogenousleukemia #livingwithchronicillness

Bricks for the Brave!!