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reflection


day in the life

Highlighting the everyday life of a couple living well with a slow-growing cancer. Life isn’t always easy, and there will certainly be sorrows and losses along the way. But being alive is good. It is very good.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Walking Hubby

There is this fine line that the cancer caregiver walks. Do I nag encourage Hubby to get outdoors with me? Or leave him in peace?

There is no such thing as leaving him in peace in our household, so I’ve been walking Hubby regularly.

One of our favorite trails is along the Deschutes River that winds lazily through town. Here the locals and tourists line up for swimming, tubing and stand-up paddle boarding.

   
 

Before the Deschutes hits the tourist areas, though, there is a southern stretch that’s very wildernessy, although still within city limits.

We hiked a little more than two miles. I believe it’s the furthest Hubby has walked since the start of radiation.

Radiation zaps the last shreds of energy from a patient. And when you consider that Hubby was low energy before starting radiation, well then, you can see what an accomplishment.

   
 

A variety of flowers colors the trail if you take the time to look for them.

   
 

And there’s an overlook on the east side of the river that is a gentle climb from the water’s edge.

   
 

Maybe it’s the sound of river rushing over large boulders. Or the cooling breeze from this vantage point. Maybe it was the picnic lunch. Or quite possibly all of the above.

Whatever it is, it’s incredibly therapeutic.

Those things that sneak in to cloud my brain with worries tend to scatter when I’m here. Or anywhere outdoors. With Hubby.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

This cancer community

Do you know how difficult it is to return to work after the loveliest of weeks off with family and surprise friends? Ah, well. If one has to return to work, it might as well be this work, this place, these people.

I serve as Survivorship Coordinator at St. Charles Cancer Center. If you’ll remember from the hard-hat-wearing blog, construction has been an ongoing thing for quite some time now. Remodeling in the radiation oncology wing. Adding on a medical oncology wing.

So, I’m pleased to report that we settled into our new digs three weeks ago.

Patients can now receive radiation and chemo under the same roof. Along with all the other fabulous support services we offer. (Have I mentioned oncology massage, grocery assistance, a monthly educational dinner meeting? Soaring Spirits camp?)

   

St. Charles Cancer Center medical oncology wing

Earlier this week—on the new deck of the new wing with the new windows reflecting Pilot Butte—my boss did some hair-cutting. A skill none of us knew she had.

   

My boss cutting off pony tails in preparation for shaved heads

A St. Charles employee from the Community Education Dept was diagnosed with cancer. Chemo took her hair, so two of her co-workers participated in a fundraiser that required the shaving of their heads.

Brave women, these.

   

Professional shaver at work

Beautiful women, these.

If I ever have cancer and chemo, God forbid, I would expect my office roomies to shave their heads in solidarity. Lizzi? Alycia? Jessica?

And actually, support comes in all forms. Since cancer, Hubby and I have been recipients of so much kindness and compassion. Which is rather humbling. But with the background sounds of our daughter lecturing—don’t you hate it when your kids lecture you? and when they’re right?—we are learning to receive.

I couldn’t even begin to add up the value of all the flowers, cards, books, meals, airline tickets, Starbux gift cards, Whole Foods gift cards, Barnes & Noble gift cards. And more.

It’s about entering into community, isn’t it? Because we all need each other. And because every prayer, every gift, every act of kindness says, You’re facing some tough things. I care. Here, let my help you carry the load.

New buildings funded by a generous community. Awesome survivorship programs that encourage/assist/educate patients and caregivers on living well with and beyond cancer. Head-shaving co-workers. Kindness and compassion.

This is where I work. This is our central Oregon cancer community.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Return to the real world

Even though it’s early, and we don’t have to be out of this vacation home until 10:30, Hubby will soon begin packing. And loading his things into the car.

And he won’t say anything to me about when I’m going to be ready to go, but he’ll be restless and pacing. Because we need to get going. And we’ve got a full twelve miles to drive home. And we need to get going. And who knows how long it will take to drive twelve miles.

I have lived with this man forty-plus years. I know the routine.

I, on the other hand, want to relish every last minute in this forested retreat. Because there’s a mama deer and her twin fawns feeding just off the back deck.

   

Morning guests

There’s the clatter of noisy birds.

A cool breeze blowing in through the open doors.

   
 

Sun spilling golden on the evergreen. Clouds drawing pictures in the water below.

   
 

And back home is unpacking and laundry and getting ready to go back to work and returning all the items that we borrowed to turn our garage into a grandkids’ play/sleep room.

Hubby just now spoke those ten magical words that made my heart beat faster. “You want to stop for a Chai tea in town?”

That does it. I’m outta here.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rah-rahs in town

Turning sixty isn’t quite as painful as one might imagine. Especially if you’re surprised by these lovely young women.

Hubby affectionately referred to them as rah-rahs. And when one came back to visit campus as an alum, he called them ex-rah-rahs. Or has-beens. And still they loved him and put up with him.

In a former life, I was a cheerleading coach. Competitive squads, these girls. Trophies and trips around the world.

   
 

Hours spent fundraising and practicing. Lifting weights. Cheering at games. Throwing stunts. Dancing. Tumbling. Learning the importance of teamwork. Of conflict resolution. Of commitment.

I’ve taken cheerleaders to Hawaii and Florida. To Australia. To France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and England.

And I’m happy to report that I never once lost a teenager. Although I came close a couple times. (Sarah, in Paris when you left your insulin in the hotel room. Adriana, in Frankfurt when they didn’t let you back on the plane to America.) But those are stories for a different time.

These beautiful young women—all mothers, now—came from Arizona, BC, Washington, Oregon and California. To Bend. To have lunch together and help ease me into this next decade.

Add in kids and grandkids celebrating my birthday before they returned to the east coast; Hubby and I still in this lovely resort village of SunRiver; and well wishes from family and friends.

Best birthday ever.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Counting gifts

We are with the New Jerseyites—Daughter Summer, SIL Josh and grandkidlets—in the beautiful forested village of SunRiver.

I’m re-reading Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. And counting gifts.

   
 

1. Journaling on a sun-drenched, tree-top deck.

2. Hubby right here. One more day with Hubby.

3. Hot, honeyed tea.

4. A sassy squirrel playing on a nearby limb.

5. Cheering on miniature golfers.

   
 

6. Still able to keep up with the grandkids (this will not always be the case).

   
 

7. Rest stop along a lazy river.

   
 

8. Wildlife in a neighbor’s yard.

   

 

9. Card games with the little people.

10. Frozen princesses on the big screen with my own 6-year-old princess singing along.

11. Our personal chef for the past month. Tonight: Grilled apple chicken sausages. Homemade mac ’n cheese with smoked gouda, cheddar and mozzarella. Uhmmnhn.

   
 

On paper, all may not seem well in our world. Hubby’s cancer is spreading. To hard places.

Children and grandchildren live an entire continent away.

Hubby was unemployed for two years just before the cancer diagnosis, which greatly affected our finances.

On paper, not so good. But here’s the truth: All is well in our world. For we are held in the strong and capable hands of a loving Father God who sees the bigger picture.

It doesn’t matter that I can’t see around the bend in the road up ahead, that I don’t understand why these hard things. 

It matters that I count all the ways God loves me.

This day of life, of freedom.

This day of sunny decks and wildlife and lazy rivers. 

This day with these incredibly precious people.

All is well in our world.

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Differences

The kids and grandkids from New Jersey are here. The most densely populated state in the U.S. (Oregon being 39th most densely populated).

Not only population, but there are other major differences between these two states, and between our hometown and theirs.

For starters, Bend hosts a pet parade. Has been doing this for 65 years. Not sure that Hamilton, NJ, can make that same boast.

And we’re not just talking dogs here.

   
 

If you don’t have a dog, bring your pet lion.

   
 

Your chickens and lizards and ponies pulling carts. Your flying dogs (which I suspect Jersey doesn’t have many of).

   
 

And if you have no ponies or chickens or flying dogs, bring your goat and walk in the parade.

   
 

They’ll let just about anyone in. Including these New Jerseyites (New Jerseyians?).

   

SIL Josh pulling his pet Lydia in a wagon

Fifth of July picnic at Todd Lake. I’m also pretty sure Jersey doesn’t have wild birds that eat off the top of grandkids’ hats.

   
 
   
 

Or even out of their hands.

   

Surprised-looking mom

And I’m pretty sure Jersey doesn’t have mountains with snow on them in July.

   

Photo bomber at Todd Lake

But here’s what Jersey has that Oregon doesn’t have. These particular grandkids.

   

These particular grandkids

Sigh.

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Japanese daughter

In addition to our American daughter and son, Hubby and I have two Japanese daughters.

Shihoko lived with us during her eleventh and twelfth grades of high school. And Yuki lived with us her freshman year of college.

According to Yuki—who is visiting this weekend from Dubai where she is stationed as a flight attendant for Emirates Airlines—Hubby taught her two important things.

How to drive. And sarcasm.

She says that her family wonders what happened to her after she came to America. “I was never sarcastic until I met Gary,” she claims.  

   

 

Yuki was pleased to learn that Summer and Lilly were going to be here. Even though Lilly was three years old at the time, she remembers Yuki who appears in family videos.

So, Summer has a Japanese sister, and Lilly has a Japanese aunt. And we couldn’t be more pleased that our Japanese daughter came for a visit while Hubby slipped effortlessly back into his picking-on-Yuki mode.

More good medicine.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Who’s counting?

Every morning for the past few weeks a rather handsome man has been coming to see me at work. And some mornings he brings Chai tea.

I rather like this mid-morning interruption.

   
 

Well, except my co-workers can’t seem to keep their hands off him.

And really, you can’t blame them because the rather handsome man’s hair is growing back in after chemo. And it’s incredibly soft.

And to rub your hands across the top of his head is like petting a puppy. Seriously.

   
 

Twenty radiation treatments completed. Five more to go.

But who’s counting?

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Overwhelming evidence

Hubby has been badgering Granddaughter Lilly to bake a German Chocolate Cake for him. He finally wore her and her mother out. Sort of like Chinese Water Torture – one drip at a time.

Daughter Summer brought home one piece of GC cake, but as it turned out, one of Hubby’s neph tubes fell out, and they squeezed him in for replacement surgery late yesterday afternoon, which meant he couldn’t eat anything from that point on.

Both tubes were replaced, and I brought him home several hours later and tucked him into bed.

This morning, though, I found a suspicious-looking plate in the sink. You’re noticing what I’m noticing, right?

   

Suspicious dark crumbs

Upon further investigation, I found this container in the fridge. Hidden under the blueberries. As if I wouldn’t notice.

   

A corner missing

And this in the garbage. Smeared with something chocolate-y.

   

Chocolate-smeared garbage

I have fabulous Hubby-sitters during the day while I’m at work—the girls have been such good medicine—but it seems I’m going to need to hire a night-time sitter.

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Monday, June 21, 2014

A day at Camp Sherman

I’m taking a chance here and handing over my laptop to a 13-year-old. I know, I know ... not very smart of me.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hey! My name is Lilly and I am writing a guest blog for Cancer Adventures. (I guess my Grandma asked because people were bored of her. Don’t you think?)

Anyways, after some thinking I decided to write about my visit to Camp Sherman today. Filled with fish, geese, chipmunks and so much more! So... here we go!

First stop was at Trader Joe’s because Grandpa wanted some snacks (like we don’t have enough in the fridge). And what Grandpa wants, Grandpa gets!

After driving through Camp Sherman, this tiny resort town in the mountains, we stopped at the fish hatchery with all sorts of fish - salmon, Rainbow trout, krill, etc.

We bought fish food for 25 cents a handful (a bit pricey, don’t you think?). As we threw the 25 cents in the water, the fish all scrambled like mad men as if a million dollars were just lying there. Kind of funny.

   

Hungry fish

My Grandpa spotted a bald eagle at the fish hatchery. Not bad discovery for an old man. Ha-ha!

It was very majestic. In fact, that eagle could eat as much as he wanted considering how many fish were inside the fish hatchery! Heaven for an eagle... don’t you think?

   

Bald eagle

We ate our snacks at some picnic tables. As we were eating, we looked across and saw some geese headed our way. And you know my sensitive Grandma, she just had to feed the geese. We fed them some peanuts from our trail mix and they loved it!

After my grandma was done feeding them. I gave it a go. They loved me (probably better than my grandma)! In fact, these geese were not completely adults but more teenager geese. I guess we teens just connect like that.

   

Hungry teenaged geese

We were getting a bit tired, so  we headed home over the bridge and the beautiful turquoise blue Metolius River. Try saying that five times fast!

   

Metolius River, Metolius River, Metolius River, Metolius Riv ...

After we stopped to gawk at the river, we saw some Ponderosa pines, which had a gentle scent of pineapple. Very calming, if you ask me. See how tall these beautiful trees are.

   

Ponderosa pine

We headed over to exactly where the headwaters of the Metolius River come out of the side of a mountain. As we walked along the trail, these cute and adorable chipmunks greeted us. We fed them some peanuts and took a lot of pictures. And when I say a lot of pictures, I mean A LOT. 

   

 

   

Grandma calls me the chipmunk whisperer

On the way home, my Grandma said that it would be un-American to not stop for ice cream when your granddaughter is in the car.

I had a root beer float and Grandma dropped her ice cream on the ground. (I can’t take her anywhere, can I?)

   

Sad Cascade Blackberry ice cream

I overall had a fun and enjoyable day.

As you know, my Grandpa has cancer. I am worried for him but also very inspired about it. He has lived a lot longer than we expected and doesn’t let himself worry about it. He lives his life to the fullest. Life is short but we can’t live it in fear.

Thanks for reading my guest blog! hope you enjoyed it!

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Friday, June 20, 2014

True love’s kiss

Fantasy isn’t a favorite genre of mine, but when you have a 13-year-old granddaughter in town, you take her to see Maleficent. And what would a fairy tale be without fairies and dragons and a faithful crow named Diaval?

Maleficent isn’t so much about Sleeping Beauty as it is about the villains and how they got that way. Which could really be any one of us if we start hankering after castles and princesses’ hands at any cost.

   
 

Top two reasons why I liked this movie: 1) I was with Lilly; and 2) the ending wasn’t predictable.

   
 

My absolute favorite part of the movie, though, happened on the ride home listening to Lilly’s insights and observations. “It had a more dark premise,” she said.

She liked the twist in the end, and she liked that it wasn’t your typical Disney princess movie. In fact, nowhere in this movie do animals or fairies break out into song and dance. Darn.

The message was about redemption and love, says Lilly. I’m going to add loyalty to that list. And this: True love’s kiss was truly what it was.

A good book or movie is even better if there’s discussion afterward, right? Especially with a 13-year-old.

So if you don’t have a 13-, 14- or 15-year-old handy, borrow one.

And then take her to see Maleficent.

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father’s Day fun

Mountain lakes, snowball-throwing and cupcakes. I think we wore Hubby/Dad/Grandpa out today. But we girls sure had fun in the process.

Elk Lake. 4,900 feet in elevation.

 Elk Lake, Bend, Oregon  
 

You got your elk chili at the lodge ...

 Elk Lake Lodge, Bend, Oregon  
 

... and this rather crazed girl out front.

 Elk Lake Lodge, Bend, Oregon  
 

Sparks Lake. 5,433 feet in elevation.

 Sparks Lake, Bend, Oregon  
 

You got your grandmother/daughter selfie, which has absolutely nothing to do with Father’s Day ...

 

... except that the father captured the daughter shooting the grandma and granddaughter taking a selfie.

And then you got your snowball throwing. Just so it could be said that she played in the snow in June.

   
 

And, as if that wasn’t enough fun for one day, you got your cupcakes from Ida’s.

 Ida's Cupcakes - Bend, Oregon  

Peanut butter for Hubby, strawberry for the girls,

salted caramel for me

Happy Father’s Day to the love of my life, wise father of our children, adored grandpa to our grandkidlets.

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Stuffed shells

Il Divo is singing from the kitchen even as we speak. In Italian. Because everyone knows you can’t make a really great pasta dish without Il Divo providing vocal back-up.

   

Photo not taken by Hubby

Daughter Summer shooed us all out of the kitchen. “Too many cooks,” she said ... or something like that.

Can you say, Stuffed shells with arrabbiata sauce?

Chef Summer

Pasta shells stuffed with pancetta, garlic, ricotta,

Parmesan, fresh parsley, basil and mint;

slathered in arrabbiata sauce and topped with  mozzarella

We are being treated like royalty in our own home.

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Friday, June 13, 2014

About town

We made a quick trip downtown with Daughter Summer and Granddaughter Lilly where Summer made Lilly pose with the Guy-on-a-Bench. A very touristy thing to do.

   
 

So of course I had to take a picture of Daughter and Granddaughter being tourists.

   
 

And of course, Summer had to take a picture of me taking a picture of her taking a picture of Lilly. (Did you follow all that?)

   
 

And of course we had fun acting like tourists in our own hometown.

Speaking of our hometown: Notice the drinking fountains. One for adults. One for children. One for dogs.

Standard issue in this dog-loving town.

   

Hubby drinking out of correct water fountain –

notice cute runner in background

 

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dinner guests

Look who came to dinner this evening. All the way from New Jersey.

   

Hint: Daughter and granddaughter

We get this call. “Airline prices are reasonable.” They said they’d clean house, grocery shop, cook meals, make sure their Dad/Grandpa behaved himself while I’m at work.

You think I’m not one to let Hubby get away with much; wait until you meet these girls. Their first assignment is to find the 10 lbs Hubby lost.

And actually, I shouldn’t say Look who came to dinner, but rather, Look who made dinner.

Shepherd’s Pie. New Jersey-style and delicious. I could get used to this.

   

Shepherd’s Pie

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Minutes ticking away

Lovely, lazy weekend. The most work I did yesterday was clean bathrooms and plant a couple of outdoor flower bowls.

   

Freshly-planted flower bowls

Oh, and I fed Hubby. Although he had a hard time keeping food down. Poor guy. And unfortunately the anti-nausea meds make him extremely drowsy.

Today, the washing machine is humming and I made a run to our local grocer. Hubby said that quick oats, eaten like a bowl of cold cereal, sounds good. And what Hubby says sounds good, Hubby gets – this man who has lost 10 pounds in the last few weeks.

This afternoon, I coaxed him out to Drake Park with homemade fruit smoothies – strawberries, bananas, apple juice and a little bit of ice cream for added calories (he declined the protein powder, which I’m letting him get away with until his stomach settles ... but there’s not much I let him get away with).

   

A Drake Park, camera-around-the-neck-like-a-tourist,

lawn-chair-sitting self-photo

And so this lovely, lazy weekend is going by in an enjoyment of life: reading and writing and family phone calls and Skyping with the grandkids and knitting – I’m working on Christmas gifts because Christmas will be here in exactly 200 days and one can never be too prepared.

Fingerless mittens in a creamy, mellow

yellow shade that makes me happy

How many years of days have Hubby and I had together, many of them sliding past unnoticed as we lived them?

For those of us who are dreamers—and my hand is raised—a lot of think time has been spent in the future: Someday, wouldn’t it be great to (fill in the blank) and this is what it would look like ... and I’m off in the future while the present minutes quietly tick away.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t envision and plan for our tomorrows. But if you’re like me, there can be a tendency to live there.

So, today. Pull out your knitting needles or your garden gloves, your cookbooks or your water colors, your hiking boots or your hula hoop. Or your lawn chairs. And plan to do something that nourishes your soul. With the people you love. While you have them.

And while you’re at it, intentionally notice the incredible scenery, the good pain of muscles being worked, the mix of garden colors that never seem to clash, the smell of spices blending with food over a fire.

This from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.

Yes, today. Duly noted.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Move over, Walter Mitty

We finally watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty this past weekend.

  

Ben Stiller as Walter Mitty

It carries a great message: Do something about your dreams. Take a few chances. Live full out.

Oh, and by the way, living fully doesn’t include an empty travel journal.

We’ve had some incredible opportunities to travel more during these cancer years than the rest of the years of our marriage combined. We established a 501(c)(3) non-profit and set about the country sharing what we’re doing to live well with a metastatic disease.

And then – because we were having so much fun exploring new places – we booked some trips just for the pure fun of it.

One of my favorites: A road trip last fall to the Tetons, through Yellowstone, over to Cody, south through Steamboat Springs and down to Arches, Canyonlands and Moab.

Just for the fun of it.

And the beauty of it.

And the great wildlife photos.

And to be together making memories.

So, hmmm ... future travel plans? Well, we’re hanging close to home while Hubby has daily radiation treatments (three days down; twenty-one to go).

And then kids and grandkidlets are coming to town.

And then we’re doing a *siblings escape* at SunRiver the end of August with Hubby’s mom, four sibs and their spouses.

And then ... maybe some gentle hiking in the Swiss Alps?

If Hubby can get those darn nephrostomy tubes removed, and if he’s feeling up to it this fall, Swiss Alps hiking is definitely on the dance card.

Move over, Walter Mitty ... here we come.

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Heaven Can Wait for sure

Heaven Can Wait 5K. Last year, more than 4,200 participants, with proceeds going to the St. Charles Cancer Center to assist local families dealing with breast cancer.

After the week we just had, my office roomies made it very clear about my coming to work the Heaven Can Wait event: “We don’t want to see your face down at the park on Sunday. We got this covered.”

Meanwhile, news from Drake Park and a friend who is at this very moment running in honor of Hubby.

One of those lovely made-my-day posts.

 Heaven Can Wait - Bend, Oregon  

Heaven Can Wait ... for sure

Side thought: The fact that my office roomies didn’t want to see my face at Drake Park – do you think I should read anything into that?

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June 2014

 Japanese daughter

Who’s counting

Overwhelming evidence

Guest blogger: Lilly

True love’s kiss

Father’s Day fun

Stuffed shells

About town

Dinner guests

Minutes ticking away

Move over, Walter Mitty

Heaven Can Wait for sure

May 2014

 Survival classes

Slinging ink

Theory on hospital stays

Baseball and BBQ

This is my job

Thoughts on this date night

Cranberry peonies

This Mother’s Day

We will remember

Unwanted news

Celebrating Matt

Me without you

April 2014

 One sick puppy

Quern

Invisible well wishes

Easter color

Walking 4 Wellness - part 6

For the birds

Wilderness therapy

And we believed her

Clinical trial round three

The home crowd

Beautiful tree

Best Bran Muffin recipe

Best April Fool’s joke

March 2014

 That’s just swell

Welcome back celebration

Succinct conversational skills

Walking for Wellness

First clinical trial treatment

Popcorn Lovers Day

Pacific Ocean ambience

Clinical trial prep

In the eyes of the beholder

February 2014

Green scrubs

Hometown tourists

Not exactly as planned

Lost and found

Get outdoors

Early Valentine’s Day gift

Popcorn stitch

January 2014

Three-part date

Weekend forecast

Winter’s art

Spa Chemo day

Seeing beauty

Pilot Butte challenge

Award rescinded

Ambition restored

Annual award

Meet the team

Must be present to win

December 2013

New Year's Eve news

Thoughts on gift receiving

Secret cure-all

Guest blog by Hubby

Non-compliant patient

Caught. Red-handed.

Tree-hugging

November 2013

A little trim

Giving thanks

A few of my favorite things

First in a series

Focus

The years are short

Travel

Cabin in the woods

October 2013

Leaving on a jet plane

Color

Knitting season

Pumpkin season

Things that matter

Fallin' and flying'

September 2013

Return to civilization

Another day in paradise

Happy birthday and anniversary

Love of barns

Leaving Wyoming

The Tour Guide

This nice big thing

Celebrating a lot of stuff

Fishing expedition

August 2013

Worst fears multiplied

This Friday night date

Mountains to climb

Hiking & oncology news

Out on the range

Cancer camp

Instead

July 2013

The boy who asks questions

Ten-year-old in tow

Tourists

A happy birthday

Music by the river

Mondays off

June 2013

Splash for Pink

Kids at Disney World

Male designed

Happy Father's Day

Pacific Coast thoughts

On track

May 2013

Aware. Appreciative.

MS Office 2010

Family get-togethers

It's just a number

Last trek, part two

Hardy gardeners

Mother's Day

Crunchy, sweet and savory

That time of year

April 2013

Swimming lessons

Getting off the ground

Chunk of asphalt

Stress-free zone

Two Portlands - part 2

This Boston Marathon

Earlier than the TSA

Shopping woes

March 2013

Half birthday ... again

Last trek

With each passing year

Keep the old

Tech nerd

Not the hardest thing

How hard can it be?

Just what the doc ordered

Two Portlands

Mini family reunion

February 2013

Shout out

Marvelous

There is today

Doing it up right

Happy Valentine's Day

Speaking of beans

Snow angel

Simple winter fare

Moving west

January 2013

Flat Stanley on snow-shoes

Water colors

Happy chatter

Flat Stanley visits again

Extended hope

Take that, cancer

Compromise

The commonplace

Bringing in the New Year

December 2012

Making investments

Winter wonderland

Random acts of kindness

Gift giving

The good, the bad and the ugly

Peace on earth

Cancer Club

Mission accomplished

Culture

Fantasy football

November 2012

Those darn numbers

Dreaming of a white Christmas

Back to reality

Favorite things, part IV

Complaint department

Even more favorite things

More favorite things

Favorite things

October 2012

Happy Halloween

Baking weather

Graduation day

First snow

Swans in pairs

A great fall

Date night(s)

DEFEAT Cancer

Country girl

’Tis the season

September 2012

Back in the groove

Last hurrah

Teton hiking

Wow, Yellowstone

Reconnaissance in Jackson

Barn sightings

The power of tenacity

Winnie the Pooh wisdom

Long-time survivor

Perfect marriage

August 2012

Five dollar bill

Out in public

Guest blogger, Steffany

Think outside

Survivor camp

Camp this weekend

Living in a wonderland

Sacred space

High country

July 2012

High country

Simple cooking

Locks of Love

Attitude

Average, ordinary weekend

Close of birthday week

Day before

Get outdoors

Human beans

Mission: Accomplished

Night sky display

Journey with a mission

June 2012

Ain’t no sunshine

Favorite thing

In our possession

Over the hills

Camp Sherman on Father’s Day

In search of wildflowers

Building a cancer center

Southwestern surprises

Irrational fears

Reason to celebrate

Intention

The Space Noodle

May 2012

Reunions

Hiking posse

Powered by optimism

Mother’s Day weekend

Heart tug moment

Vermont hospitality

Happiest place on earth

Supermoon

Unlikely source

Baby geese season

April 2012

Not found out west

The rules

Guess what state we’re in

New Englanders

Jersey weekend

Beantown

Easter blessings

Milestones

Bean soup day

March 2012

Fashion statement

Sharing the experience

Second day of spring

Half-broke horses

Simple pleasures are the best

Best to live your own life

Words With Friends

February 2012

Got your back

The entire snow-shoe team

Grand Canyon

Perfect day

Arizona in February

Springtime?

Super Bowl Sunday

Favorite audience

January 2012

Something in common

Some system

In such a community

Coming home

Headed for OHSU

Checklist for the coast

Welcoming Twenty-Twelve

December 2011

Snow in town

Filling Christmas weekend

Socks

Coolest date night ever

Dressed in pink

Butternut squash day

Making connections

Painted hills

November 2011

Beauty from junk

Taking nothing for granted

Grateful for - part 4

Grateful for - part 3

The child in all of us

Shepherd's House

Grateful for - part 2

Marathon epidemic

Unconquered

Grateful for - part 1

October 2011

My orthidontical twin

Last wilderness hike?

The view from 7,800 feet

Colonoscopies and fall colors

Welcome back

To make a life count

On our way to the Poconos

The Parents

Autumn day in the city

A few numbers

September 2011

Country girl signing off

Off the grid

What are sisters for?!

Try something new

For a limited time only

On the NCI web site

August 2011

I don’t make this stuff up

Brothers

Addictions

A lifetime

Club membership

Detours

Date night can’t get much better

July 2010

Beauty in the high desert

Another shot at life

Happy Hour

Almost perfect

Enjoying the journey

Birthday week kick-off

I’ve become my mother

Bobby McFerrin + OBF

50 things to do – Part II

June 2010

Like what you do

Colorado wildlife

“Life is good” wisdom

Sad day

Rocky Mountain high

Cowboy sing-along

My kind of town

Please don’t feed the bears

Naming buildings

Low expectations

Heaven Can Wait

Because nice matters

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

August 2009

July 2009

June 2009

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

December 2008

November 2008

October 2008

September 2008

August 2008

July 2008

June 2008

May 2008

April 2008

 

 

 

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