Monthly Archives

March 2014

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Pure Delight

I’m starting to grow out of my daze from all of the travel and excitement from the previous week. Since Monday night it has been like living with a perpetual hangover. Ironic since I don’t drink.   This past week has been so much fun! My head is still spinning – in the most happy way. To do the Manhattan thing with Dan, then jump over to Friday Harbor for the weekend for the race and barn thing was so much fun. I got to see so many friends, and met a bunch more. I was embraced, literally, hundreds of times. It was healing, and energizing, and all the laughter and rediculousness was pure and I loved it. Here’s some pictures of our group for the race, we took a photo at each mile.  Between the Run Ladies Run race and the community barn dance, we raised enough for half of a shot, which is GLORIOUS. Thank you!! These treatments are crazy expensive, but I believe they are helping. Of course, I get nervous and scared that my tumor will grow again, I talk about it all the time, but I’m hopeful as well. Mostly just hopeful, and really, really happy to be here.  Visiting with friends this past Saturday, I would listen to what they were saying, then my heart would interrupt, and she would swell, and I would mentally pinch myself, always surprised by how lucky I am to be alive, and how lucky I am to be so deeply loved. My treatments will take another 2.5-3 years to complete, and I probably sound nuts, but who knows, maybe these crazy things will work! Maybe some day Dan and I will have bigger more fun things to focus on than treatments, like buying a home, or starting a…

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Join Us At Brickworks

Dan and I made it back home from NYC late last night. It was a whirlwind of dinners with friends (Steph, John & Octavia and Nate, Miriam & baby bump). We toured ground zero, then ran around the greenway, waving at Miss Liberty, hit the High Line, zoomed through Time Square, wandered down 5th Ave, jogged Central Park, stopping through Grand Central Station, we sweated all over the city – it was a dream trip. You can cover so much ground by running. Somewhere in the controlled chaos was the NDV shot, but for the first time it wasn’t the center, not the focus, of the trip. I felt free, and confident, laughing with Dan as beads of sweat rolled down our temples and we dodged the madness that is Manhattan. The dinners we spent with friends were intoxicating. To be alive, and free, and capable, and curious, and happy, and strong, makes my soul dance and warms my spirit until I can’t help but smile, to the point where I have to veil my teeth because they’re cold. It’s a powerful feeling. (John, Steph, Octavia, me & Dan) (Miriam, baby bump, Nate, me & Dan) (tiny Statue of Liberty beside my head) (Freedom Tower) (Rockefeller Center) (Found a statue in Central Park commemorating a Polish king – hi Polish family!!) (Grand Central Station) Today, we head to Friday Harbor for the Run Ladies Run race that takes place in the morning. I’d been planning on walking the 10k with a group of girl friends, and I’m sure I still will, but my legs are intching, almost trembling with excitement, with the idea of a run. It is so hard to force myself to walk when my quads love the burn. If you’re in Friday Harbor tomorrow night, please stop by…

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Dan’s NYC Adventure

Good Morning! Busy week ahead, and my mind is already happily spinning. I’ve been buzzing around the house doing final laundry so that Dan and I have all the clothes available to pack. Yep, you read correctly, Dan’s joining me in New York for my immunotherapy shot. We fly out in the morning. It’s his first trip to meet my doctor, his first trip to New York, and I am giddy. We have always kept Dan home, working, to off-set the cost of travel, and the treatments, but it turns out Dan’s job actually wanted him to take it off. The best part is that it was only $350 to include him! What a cheap date (as far as travel goes). We have dinners planned with friends, and hope to check out ground zero and are packing running shoes to explore Central Park. It’s going to be unforgettable. I’m hoping this can be a way to celebrate our anniversaries that we forgot in 2013. We’re often so caught up with work, MRI’s, treatments, supplements, venom applications, and the daily grind of paperwork, bills, laundry, groceries, cooking, etc. that we forget big moments, big celebrations. You know how it is – we all get busy. We do a great job of celebrating, and laughing, and loving each other daily, but sometimes it’s nice to enjoy big moments like our first date (the most romantic day of my life), or when Dan and I shared our vows underneath the Eiffel Tower, diagnosis day, or when we signed our marriage certificate. We certainly have a lot of monumental dates, days that forever changed our lives, and I think this trip will be a great reminder of those moments and the deep love that we share. On another note, have you happened to notice…

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Dark Clouds Don’t Dance

Why are we so mean to ourselves? Especially women. I know I’m not the only one who does it. I have a little voice in my head that is really negative. I don’t know why he’s such a jerk, or why he seems to be male, but I don’t like it. I know Dan would tell him to buzz off, why can’t I? He pipes up when I look down at my thighs, when I pass my reflection. He always pipes up about what I eat, how much I eat, my activities, my life. He’s really getting on my nerves. Why do we allow that, those mean voices in our minds? To a certain extent, I guess it can be a good thing because it can encourage change, but that’s only if you’re motivated by punishment and fear. It gets worse when I research, when I find myself falling through the vortex of the tumor world. I watch the amazing lifestyles that some lead, full of perfect calorically restricted ketogenic diets, hundreds of pills a day, tonics, meditation, exercise, rest, these people are amazing – not cheating, just pure dedication. Some have gone well over a year without a single cheat. I read and I’m inspired, and yet reading about their journeys make me feel like I’m a lazy slouch, that I’m not trying hard enough, that I’m failing, that I’m killing myself because I’m not making smart enough decisions, like the green apple I had for breakfast this morning. In the restricted cancer diet, eating a green apple might as well be a cookie. It’s sugar. I know, because I’ve tried so very hard, that I am not cable of being completely regimented. It makes me feel crazy, and trapped, and snuffs my little light of happiness and hope….

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Cauterization & Kryptonite

Good morning world. Life has been busy, spent the last weekend in Wenatchee with family, holding a garage sale and as we’re back home it’s hitting me that it’s already time for another immunotherapy shot. How did three months go by so quickly? While we were gone Lemolo had his first bloom. It smells delicious, reminiscent of gardenias. Not the stinky synthetic cheap kind, but the most heavenly natural scent. Delightful. Before we left for Wenatchee I checked my little salad garden and behold, I have sprouts!! I had been watching, and waiting, even sticking my fingers into the soil on occasion to make sure the seeds weren’t planted too deep or to make sure they were keeping nice and damp. The latter, not too hard to do here in Seattle, of course. With my excitement from the growing plants, we headed out for our weekend. We’d loaded extra stuff for the garage sale into Dan’s car, the old 1982 Land Cruiser and went on our way. It was sunny, and gorgeous. We laughed as we made it up Steven’s pass, enjoying waterfall after waterfall along the highway as cars zoomed by. Our old goat is a slow girl. We hit the crest with a glance over at the spotty skiers meandering down the hill. As the nose of our old goat faced east, Dan leaned over and tickled my belly, and told me, “See, I told you she could do it!” But as things go, it was only a few miles before old goaty pooped out. We were driving down the two lane highway when the engine stopped running. I can not stress enough how grateful we were to find, within only 200 yards, a pullout. The mountains have been dumping snow off and on so there was snow…

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Oscar Island

How is it that it’s 7:03 pm and I can barely keep my eyes open. So tired. It’s Oscar night and there is the most amazing fundraiser going on in my hometown. I’m logged into my sister-in-law’s Facebook account (since I don’t have one of my own anymore) so that I can keep up with the live photo uploads. It’s so fun! The fundraiser is all about the Oscars, named Red Carpet Oscar Party and Fundraiser for Jessica Oldwyn. Watching all of the photos on the site, the smiles, the sparkles, the outfits, the swag, the decorations, the laughter I can feel in their faces, it’s very special. I am one of the lucky people that grew up in Friday Harbor, quite possibly the most picturesque place in the world, and as I watch this amazing fundraiser unfold I feel like I’m living a Nicholas Sparks novel. Actually, it’s more than that, I feel like I’m living a romantic comedy, an epic drama, and a documentary. When you grow up on a uniquely isolated island, your friends become brothers and sisters. Your parents friends become aunts and uncles. Your teachers, bus drivers, your coaches, your sheriff, your bosses, the guy who parks you in line for the ferry boat, the people who take your ticket at the movie theater, the paramedics, everyone – absolutely everyone – help raise you. They raise you as role models, as patient ambassadors, and peers. It’s the most beautiful family I could ever imagine. So many loving souls. I’m I afraid I can’t keep writing everything I want to say because my brain is throbbing, but I’m going to include the note I wrote for Courtney (my sister-in-law who worked tirelessly to put it together) to share at the event tonight.   I am snuggled…

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