day in the life
the everyday life of a couple living well with a slow-growing
always easy, and there will certainly be sorrows and losses
along the way. But being alive is good. It is very good.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Clinical trial prep
in Seattle. Beautiful, gray-skied, green-treed, rainy, cold
Seattle. (How is it that rain is colder than snow?)
Olympic Mountains across from the seaport
Hubby is in the process of getting registered for a clinical
trial. Yesterday involved meeting with the trial coordinator,
paperwork, signing consents, an EKG, blood work and meeting
with Dr. Chatta, the oncologist overseeing the trial.
Today, we go back to the medical center for bone and CT scans. A
new phase of our cancer journey. A whole new team of people interested in
keeping Hubby alive. I love that thought!
appointments, Hubby talked me into celebrating his half-birthday
instead of waiting for March 22. (For those of you
unfamiliar with Hubbys
self-acclaimed birthday and half-birthday rules: He gets to eat
whatever he wants, which inevitably means a juicy steak and
something chocolate-y for dessert.)
am sorry to say that we ordered a slice of cheesecake. Chocolate
cookie crumb crust, chocolate ganache, real whipped cream. It
get more decadent than this.
have to report here that we shared one slicetwo
left half of it on the plate. Seriously. Thats
how rich it was.
note: You cant come to Seattle and not have fish
and chips at Ivars on the waterfront and not save most of
your chips for the sea gulls. It just wouldnt be right.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
In the eyes of the beholder
We invited friends over for dinner and games. They came bearing
an amazing arrangement of spring color.
And then we woke up to a couple inches of snow, which meant
Hubby and I played outdoors with our *his and hers* snow
hard to say which is more beautiful
spring roses on a wintry day ...
... waking up to winter white ...
We purchased a blend
of nuts and seed and suet,
but apparently the
... or this.
into the back room, and then
I heard the musical
whir of the vacuum cleaner
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Today we spoke to this fine-looking group of first-year nursing
Nursing students are our favorite audience because they get our
humor; they laugh in all the right places; theyre
so full of energy.
And look at how much fun they are.
this not look like a fun group?
Speaking of nurses:
Q. How many doctors does it take to change a light bulb?
A. One. But only if you call him God first.
Q. How many medical students does it take to change a light
A. One to change the bulb under supervision, and three more to
have their logbook signed stating they saw one changed.
Q. How many nurses does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Dude, they changed it while you were asking the question.
Just think of
all this youthful energy and passion that will soon be unleashed
onto our hospital floors and clinics!
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Since we couldnt find a last-minute
vacation rental at the coast, we headed east over the Cascade
Range from Portland for a mini-vacation in the destination
resort town of Bend.
Friday evening dinner.
I asked about outdoor dining at the historic Pine Tavern. The
waiter looked perplexed, as if hed
never heard of dining outdoors in 30-something
No outdoor dining at the
Pine Tavern this time of year ...
with two tall pine trees growing
in the dining room, you
might as well be outdoors
Saturday stroll. We
wandered leisurely through downtown Bend, beginning
at Mirror Pond in Drake Park where Middle and North Sisters loom
in the distance.
North Sisters above Mirror Pond
Downtown Bend is thriving, despite outlying malls. Probably
because tourism is one of the main industries here.
If Hubby had to
choose a favorite downtown store, Goodys Chocolates would win,
I like the looks of Trιs Jolie, although Ive never actually
purchased anything there. But Im a repurposing sort of girl, and
the aspen branches shaped in an archway over the old-fashioned
double screen doors always catches my eye.
Theres a homeless guy who sits year-round on a bench downtown.
It appears that some kind-hearted knitter made a blue winter cap
for the duck perched on his shoulder. Nice.
snowshoeing. We stretch our legs on a snow-covered flat with
360-degree mountain views.
With my cell phone, I catch the photographer
busy at work photographing Broken Top and the three Sisters across a
misty Dutchman Flat.
Broken Top and the three
Sisters to the north ...
... and Mt.
Bachelor to the south
One of these days, Ill
remember that you cant
walk backwards in snowshoes.
Notice how quick Hubby is to catch
me on film (film?) while Im
down. And I was just trying to ready my cell phone for more
photos of him.
are not designed for backing up
Have to say: Its
been rather fun seeing our hometown and snowy playground through the
eyes of tourists.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Not exactly as planned
We had an appointment yesterday with a cancer researcher at Oregon Health
& Science University.
If you have to go over the hill
and through the woods for a cancer appointment, it might as well
be these beautiful woods and hills. (Well, actually mountains
since the pass stands at over 4,800 feet.)
to Portland from Bend
were disappointed to learn that there are only two men in
the prostate cancer trial at OHSU, even though its
in Phase II and began in 2010.
consists of the chemo Hubby was on with an additive drug. I
hate the thought of Hubby going back on chemo, now that food
tastes good again and hes
regaining his energy.
all our question-asking, we forgot to ask a very important oneHow
is the trial working for these two men?
get the question answered next week when they call. But
meanwhile, a dinner date at McCormick and Schmicks
on the waterfront as the lights of the nearby bridges blink on.
Crab Louie for Hubby; grilled fish tacos for me.
McCormick & Schmicks
after cancer appointment
While in Portland, we were hoping to hear back about a rather
promising clinical trial in Seattle that is beginning to enroll
patients for Phase II
this one involving targeted therapy with some good early
The tentative plan was to hang out at the Oregon coast
over the weekend and then drive to Seattle for a consultation with the researchers there.
Hubby just talked with the trial coordinator. His
medical records havent
arrived yet. And there is no room at the Oregon coast inn
Oregon coast inn/ hotel/ motel/ cottage between Florence and
in our price range . (Of course, it would have helped if we hadnt
waited until this morning to try and book.)
then one of usher
initials are MJgot a brilliant idea. Lets
go to the mountain resort town of Bend. I know of a really cute,
fully-furnished duplex. We can eat at the Pine Tavern
(a historic restaurant that once was a
stagecoach stop). And we can go snow-shoeing. Waddya think?
So, a weekend
date out of a cancer appointment in our own hometown. And
probably be more fun than a cancer patient and caregiver ought
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Lost and found
Look what I found today.
Six days late.
Stashed away where Hubby couldnt
find it. And apparently where I couldnt
find it either.
Day came and went. We celebrated with one card (mine from Hubby),
dinner out and dark chocolates.
Turns out, misplacing the Valentine wasnt
so much a memory issue, but a brilliant plan. We had talked of
going to the coast for the weekend, so I put the card with my
overnight bag. Of course.
the thought that counts, right?
Day, my love.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
I had a blog nearly written earlier this week
about our snowshoe trek through Drake Park.
sledding hill had been fashioned and the young offspring of
local families were careening downhill, some out of control as
they headed toward a row of metal park benches that faced the
Luckily, a dad
stood there to catch every child
who was about to make a trip to the ER.
was going to write how Hubby was pretty exhausted from shoveling
snow, and how he didnt
think he could go very far on snowshoes.
I was going to report that Hubby had more energy than he thought
he would as we wandered up and down gentle hills in the park and
followed the twisting path belonging to the river.
Monday came and went in a busy blur and then Tuesday was
supposed to have been the start of Hubbys
fifth round of chemo.
Except a CT scan showed a significant tumor (their words)
in the bladder. And not just setting there doing no damage, but
explanation of placing stints took up the majority of the
next-day appointment with Hubbys
Home exhausted. No heart to post a light and easy blog about
enjoying the great outdoors in this beautiful, cold land.
then today. A little more energy. A little more hope. Which
means this blog needs to go to press.
Up and down gentle hills on
a twisting path along the river
what I have to say: Not every day will bring good news. But
there are some things Im
going to try and do every day, anyway.
Be still and know that God is God.
Live gratefully in the present.
Express love and gratitude.
Laugh (a belly laugh
would be best here).
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Sixteen inches on our side of town. And still snowing.
live on a corner, which means after shoveling the driveway,
Hubby tackles the front sidewalk and then he turns the corner
and takes on the long side street.
Seems that chemo has made Hubby a little smarter. He did the
math, and figured out that two people shoveling snow would cut
the time by half.
Hubby purchased an early Valentines
Day gift for me.
household now boasts *his and hers* snow shovels.
just wish he had put a little more thought and consideration
into my gift
and please dont
say anything to Hubby
but I wanted pink.
Hubby, just now looking out the side glass door, announced,
coming down fast. Well
give it another hour and tackle it again.
really knows how to win a girls
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Nineteen degrees out and snowing. Hubby is sitting comfortably
by the fire, feet up, probably hoping Ill
start dinner soon.
I need a photo of this scarf.
(Lately, my knitting has branched out from making flat
next week sometime.
almost always get what I want ...
My first infinity
scarf in a popcorn stitch. It can be worn as a vest/shawl ... or
double looped around the neck for an extra-warm cowl.
better go start dinner.
Not that were
having popcorn for dinner, but once, as a young married couple
we did. I made popcorn to go with burgers, and my father-in-law
stopped by for an expected visit.
Not exactly as planned
Lost and found
Pilot Butte challenge
Meet the team
Must be present to win
New Years Eve news
Thoughts on gift receiving
Guest blog by Hubby
A little trim
A few of my favorite things
First in a series
The years are short
Cabin in the
Leaving on a jet plane
Things that matter
Return to civilization
Another day in paradise
Love of barns
The Tour Guide
This nice big thing
Celebrating a lot of stuff
Worst fears multiplied
This Friday night date
Mountains to climb
Hiking and oncology news
Out on the range
The boy who asks questions
Ten-year-old in tow
A happy birthday
Music by the river
Splash for Pink
Kids at Disney World
Happy Father's Day
Pacific Coast thoughts
MS Office 2010
Its just a number
Last trek, part two
Crunchy, sweet and savory
That time of year
Getting off the ground
Chunk of asphalt
Two Portlands - part 2
This Boston Marathon
Earlier than the TSA
Half birthday ... again
With each passing year
Keep the old
Not the hardest thing
How hard can it be?
Just what the doc ordered
Mini family reunion
There is today
Doing it up right
Happy Valentines Day
Speaking of beans
Simple winter fare
Flat Stanley on snow-shoes
Flat Stanley visits again
Take that, cancer
Bringing in the New Year
Random acts of kindness
Good, bad and ugly
Peace on earth
Those darn numbers
Back to reality
Favorite things, part IV
Even more favorite things
More favorite things
Swans in pairs
A great fall
Back in the groove
Reconnaissance in Jackson
The power of tenacity
Winnie the Pooh wisdom
Five dollar bill
Out in public
Guest blogger, Steffany
Camp this weekend
Living in a wonderland
Locks of Love
Average, ordinary weekend
Close of birthday week
Night sky display
Journey with a mission
In our possession
Over the hills
In search of wildflowers
Building a cancer center
Reason to celebrate
The Space Noodle
Powered by optimism
Heart tug moment
Happiest place on earth
Baby geese season
Not found out west
Guess what state were
Bean soup day
Sharing the experience
Second day of spring
Simple pleasures are best
Best to live your own life
Words With Friends
Got your back
The entire snow-shoe team
Arizona in February
Super Bowl Sunday
Something in common
In such a community
Headed for OHSU
Checklist for the coast
Snow in town
Filling Christmas weekend
Coolest date night ever
Dressed in pink
Butternut squash day
Beauty from junk
Taking nothing for granted
Gratitude - part 4
Gratitude - part 3
The child in all of us
Gratitude - part 2
Gratitude - part 1
My orthidontical twin
Last wilderness hike?
The view from 7,800 feet
Colonoscopies and fall colors
To make a life count
On our way to the Poconos
Autumn day in the city
A few numbers
Country girl signing off
Off the grid
What are sisters for?!
Try something new
For a limited time only
On the NCI web site
make this stuff up
Not as it appears
On my list of heroes
The more you have
Happy birthday, America
Have a nice trip
Turtle and Maple Nut
Walking the butte
Notorious list maker
The happiness project
Rain or shine
Pink tennis shoes
I am an orphan
Playing it safe is risky
Skid marks on the runway
Nothing could be finer
Tough day at the office
Snowy April day
Thai food and amazing grace
Cabin in the woods
Any excuse to celebrate
Drum roll, please
Ordinary blessed weekend
Mean guys like Mike
Texas = What a country
Just to be on the safe side
Mudpies and lullabies
Getting plugged in
Blurring the lines
What goes around
Might as well dance
For the birds
Small town America
Off to a great start
Sharing your story
The night before Christmas
Another black eye
Feeling healthier already
Heart wide open
Private marathon tour guide
Choosing quality of life
Geese and GPS units
Knitting up a snow storm
not a charm
The verdict is in
High school audience
Pepsi ... or not
Hundreds of quilts later
Teach a girl to fish
Rainy day chili
No drop in the bucket
Family of elk
Red rocks and blue falcons
A big little life
Once in a lifetime
Twenty years from now
Beauty in the high desert
Another shot at life
Enjoying the journey
Birthday week kick-off
become my mother
Bobby McFerrin + OBF
50 things to do
Like what you do
Rocky Mountain high
My kind of town
feed the bears
Heaven Can Wait
Because nice matters
Dont get to pick your family
Its in the bag
Only in Hawaii
Gearing up for Hawaii
Hitting a rock wall
Extraordinary ordinary life
Technology and pedicures
Idaho ranch hands
Being in community
Florida in April
Welcome to spring
Most romantic bridge
Upgrading into the 21st