Getting my exercise

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 My husband took me and the dogs for a walk. LOL

 It was his idea which I thought was so sweet, he knows how much I love walking the dogs and for him to offer to take us was a very lovely gesture. It was a great idea because we haven’t walked Stanley on a leash since before Christmas and I don’t think Lulu or Jack have been either, so those two were chomping on the bit, but Stanley was his usual mope yo- bope yo self, walking up ahead and sitting down to wait for us. He is such a mellow dog, Lulu and Jack were on sniff patrol, they acted as if they hadn’t sniffed anything in the park for a thousand years while Stanley lumbered after them, mildly curious. 

It felt good to get out into the fresh air and it was such a mild day in Blandford, a real pleasure to stroll in the park. I had so much fun with my husband and the dogs. It gave me the boost I needed today.

Soups will soon be my lifeline

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Soups are one of my favorite foods to eat and thank goodness for that because as soon as this week passes, my irradiated esophagus will probably only welcome soups and maybe other softer items as well. Over the years of writing, I have shared many recipes of my go to soups such as butternut squash, broccoli soup, cauliflower and broccoli soup and cauliflower and leek soups. These soups are my favorite because I love the texture, the creaminess and the heartiness provided by a simple marriage of vegetables, chicken stock, aromatic and spices. You just can’t go wrong, I puree them because it means you don’t have to worry about dicing everything uniformly and I love thick soup, but without the cream, so either potatoes or vegetables stalks provide the added fiber to give the impression of creaminess, an easy enough trick to pull off.

I am going to spend some time in the kitchen showing my son and my daughter how to make these soups, not just to feed me, but to feed themselves when they decide to leave the nest and go out on their own. They know how to make main course meals, but soup is in another class by itself and they need that skill in their repertoire.

Beauty in paper

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My very dear friends Claudine and Marc sent me this lovely card for the First of the Year, in France holiday cards are meant for wishing friends and family a happy New Year, Christmas is more of a religious holiday, the festivities are really reserved for the New Year. They also sent me an absolutely lovely film of an evening boat ride along the Seine in Paris, my husband and I felt as if we were on the actual boat, sitting back and drinking in the gorgeous nighttime scenery of Paris, the City of Light. My husband turned to me and said “this is what we will do the next time we find ourselves together in Paris” I can’t wait, I have never taken a boat ride along the Seine, so I have something new to look forward to and my husband knows how to make things like this happen and make it a lot of fun as well.

Sunrise in Boston

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My husband took these amazing shots from our “second home” in Boston, I may be prejudiced, but I think he has a great eye and an excellent technique when it comes to photography. I’m fairly sure I’m repeating myself, but when the shoe fits…. I don’t think I have ever gotten as much detail on the waterway when I have taken similar pictures and I have taken quite a few, I also love the gradation of the hues in the sky, its subtlety is quite lovely.

With pictures such as these to look at, I will be getting impatient to be done with my treatments and to get back on the road again with my husband, visiting, eating out and taking pictures of both old and new places during our travels together.  

Two new gifts

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Yesterday I was blessed by the two young ladies in my life, my daughter and my son’s girlfriend, they both gifted me with notebooks designed to distract me and inspire me. My son’s girlfriend’s book is the one titled Inspiration and that I will keep by my side to use whenever literary inspiration hits me, ideas come to me or if I need to vent my fears and frustrations.

My daughter gifted me with the most aptly titled book Cancer Sucks,  I laughed when I saw it, it suits the both of us to a tee, my daughter thought and rightly so that I could use it to get back to doodling, scribbling and drawing. So today I didn’t let any grass grow underneath my scratch pad and I doodled for the first time in a very long time. It might not seem like much, but I like this free flow type of doodling, no rhyme no reason, just the flow of the pen following my mood across the paper.

   
I got some great gifts. My son’s girlfriend made me a care package with not only the notebook, but a whole bunch of other items that I will need later on during my recovery; warm socks, black tea, lip balm and fragrant soap with an Eiffel Tower on the box, she made such a thoughtful gift box, I am very honored.

My daughter’s gift touched my heart because she was so excited to give it to me, saying that she wanted me to get back to drawing, I had no idea that she thought my doodling so worthwhile. I made a point to christen my drawing scratch pad immediately to show her how much her gift means to me. 

I hope my doodling gets better with practice. Lol 

Friends and family outreach helps so much

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My family and friends have been amazing in their outpouring of love, support and affection. It brings tears to my eyes whenever I get a card, an e-mail, a picture, a message or a text. I have been tearing up a lot lately, that makes me tear up even more, knowing that I have people who are in my corner cheering for me. I am so lucky.

  
  

Movie therapy : American Ultra

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When in doubt, watch movies. My husband and I rented a bunch of movies from RedBox and American Ultra is one of them, not bad of a movie, but we are happy we didn’t spend 12.00 each at the movie theater, because it isn’t that good, though Kristen Stewart is showing a lot more emotion in this movie than I have ever seen from her before. The roster of actors is a good one, there is Topher Grace, Connie Britton, Jesse Eisenberg, John Luigezama and of course Kristen Stewart, plus a bunch of wonderful character actors.

I think that the story is a little short on believability, good for laughs however, we are suspending our belief for the next few hours and enjoying our little trip into fantasy land. 

Ted 2 is up next. LOL 

The gang is quite adorable

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It is bitterly cold outside, that’s why Lulu and Jack are wearing their sweaters, I tried to put Stanley’s sweater on him and it got stuck halfway though, it seems he outgrew his sweater weeks ago.

  
It has only been a few weeks since this picture and that sweater was fairly loose back then, now I can’t even put his second front leg into the sleeve. 

I’m not quite sure when to start buying sweaters for Stanley, he is growing exponentially for a dog. Lol

How can anyone feel blue when you have pets around.

My ode to nurses everywhere

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I appreciate my doctors, but as my wonderful medical oncologist said to me, he writes the orders and talks to the patients, but it is the nurses who do all of the heavy lifting and today it was all about the nurses taking care of me, holding my hand and checking in on me to make sure that I was okay on all fronts.

My nurses made sure that I understood every single step of my chemo, made sure that I was hydrated, comfortable and reassured. When it was time for me to head down to radiation, the nurses greeted me to explain what I could look forward to with my radiation treatment, they also told me about certain creams that will be helpful to ease my radiated skin, I had three nurses with me the entire time I was going through the toughest day, I had to go through my trial run and my actual treatment together because with the verdict handed down from the surgeon, no surgery, the need for rapid treatment and cocombinant treatments made it vital that my first chemo and my first radiation treatment go hand in hand. 

I spent an hour and a half in my tight mask on a steel table and it was so, so hard. I didn’t know it was so long which was good because if I had known it was going to be that long, I may not have made it. When it was done, I told the nurses how hard it had been for me and they told me I had been a trooper and they promised me that tomorrow it will be so much shorter. When I went into the waiting room I walked passed my husband and ran to the ladies room and cried by myself. My husband knew I was upset and he took care of me by getting me signed out and taking me to the car so I could cry on his shoulder. I felt better after that. I think I cried because at one point I didn’t think that I could get through the radiation treatments because I didn’t quite realize how much time the trial run and the calculations had actually taken, once I understood how short the treatments are in comparison, it made all of the difference. I know I’ll be fine, tomorrow will be a walk in the park compared to today and that helps me feel so much better.

I am so lucky to have such great nurses taking care of me.

Tomorrow is day one

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Pictures like this one are giving me the intestinal fortitude to deal with tomorrow. Today, even if on the outside I’m smiling and laughing, on the inside my stomach is clenched in nervous uncertainty because though my time table for tomorrow is certain, I haven’t the slightest idea how my body is going to feel afterwards.

It starts tomorrow morning at 8:45 a.m at the cancer center at Cooley Dickinson, about 3 hours later I go downstairs to the basement to radiation and a half hour later I emerge from radiation, where we could perhaps get a bite to eat and at 3:00 p.m, we go to the psychologist to talk, which is nice, I’m sure I will have things to say and then we go home.

I’ll be going home with a box from chemo which will continue infusing me with chemo medication for 46 hours and on Wednesday I get to be disengaged from the box after my radiation session. From what I have gathered, the chemo won’t be that bad since I will be getting my treatment every two weeks, a week off will give me some time to recover, but radiation five times a week for six solid weeks, that will be the real challenge.

 We are watching the movie “The Martian” with Matt Damon and I thought I had problems lol. But seriously, the movie is wonderfully done and very well acted by Matt Damon, I’m glad we are watching it together. Our daughter is not with us, she is working but she will be with me tomorrow which is what counts.

  

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