Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cake for moi!

Some things have not been going so great lately (breast cancer diagnosis and money woes come to mind), but in the spirit of taking the bitter with the better - or in this case the bitter with the sweeter - a few things have been going well.

And they're things that money cannot buy.

In the past few years I've been fortunate to have met some wonderful people and to have made several friends.

One of them is Troy, a guy who always makes me smile. Actually he cracks me up.

I just met him in April when Ralph, Allegra, and I attended a viewing party to watch the
SyFy channel's "Ghost Hunters" episode that focused on an investigation at the Sterling Opera House in Derby, Ct.
I just happened to be interviewed for that episode, and my interview was on TV. ;-)
You can read about my 15 minutes of fame here.

Once you meet Troy you feel like you've known him for years. He's a friendly chap, that's for sure.

Yesterday he surprised me with a delicious chocolate
Bundt cake he baked (see above).

He already told me
Bundt cakes were his specialty and he'd bake me one for my birthday, but instead I got the cake yesterday ~ five months early. It was such a cool surprise!

Thanks so much, Troy, you made my weekend!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Almost doesn't "cut" it

I almost got my head shaved yesterday afternoon...but I got too busy to take the time to go to the salon at the hospital.

The service is free if you're undergoing treatment there. I must take advantage of it.

Next week. Yep. I'll do it next week.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Steroids and 'chemo light' ~ cancer journal continues

I had my first Taxol treatment/injection yesterday, but not before lots of steroids got pumped into me.
I had to take five tablets the night before then got more steroids through the IV, along with Benadryl to help a possible allergic reaction to prep me for the chemo drug.
They say this drug won't affect me as much as the previous "A and C" cocktail, so I've decided to call it "chemo light." haha

The steroids give me an appetite and today I have that Taxol glow. Pink cheeks. They also seemed to keep me awake last night. Not good. Time for some coffee.
When we were leaving the Griffin Hospital Center for Cancer Care I took a quick photo through a window of the healing garden built into a rock outcropping and situated between the chemotherapy side and the radiation side of the building.

It's a beautiful facility, that's for sure. I'm fortunate to live so close to such a wonderful place.
When it was dedicated in late 2008 I never thought I'd be making use of it.
It just goes to show you never do know what the future holds.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ignorance is bliss

I've not been keeping up lately with my online cancer journey journal thingy.
And it's truly counterproductive, since my goal is to compile parts of these blog posts into something more permanent.
The idea is to self-publish a book...I have the title and everything. ;-) Maybe by sprinkling some humor into a book about breast cancer I can help another woman with a similar diagnosis. That would be my hope.

So it's Monday..and I have more chemo coming up this morning. Woo hoo.

I was
blissfully ignorant a few weeks ago when everyone who has been caring for me in a medical professional way was saying "it's your last chemo"...turns out what they meant was the last treatment featuring that strong "A and C" cocktail. I thought they meant the last chemo.

That's what I get for not reading all the literature given to me at the start of all this. I found it overwhelming, and decided I'd take one day, one week at a time.

That July 5 treatment really knocked me out for more than a week. All I wanted to do was nap.

(Cue the violins here) And it seems like once I started regaining my energy the HORRIBLE HEAT hit. I don't like the heat at all, because I get so sluggish. And with all this medical stuff I feel even more sluggish.

So, that's it from here. Hope everyone is keeping cool. We can try anyway.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

A toddler and his juice box on a summer day.

See lots more shadow shots at Hey Harriet, hosted by our awesome Aussie friend Tracy!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

I took these photos of two Protestant churches that grace the Derby, Ct. Green at the same time I took the third shadow shot in last week's post, during a free concert we attended. It was a beautiful evening. The photo above is of Immanuel-St. James Church.

Alert readers will get the idea that I have posted photos of both of these churches before. Can you tell I rarely go anywhere? Haha.

But I do love local history and old buildings. As a matter of fact, in case you were wondering how the historic Sterling Opera House fits into this scenario, it is just a few feet away from the Second Congregational Church seen below!
And alert readers will remember I love that old (and haunted) Sterling Opera House.

I'll make an attempt to find some shadows from another location for next week's meme. ;-)
Until then, happy shadow seeking.
See lots of interesting shadows by visiting our awesome Aussie friend Tracy, at Hey Harriet.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Don't let the cat out of the bag

I turned around a few minutes ago when I was working and this is what I saw: Linus checking out a bag that our new printer was packed in.
We think he likes it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

Shadows I spied at Derby Day, a street festival here in Connecticut, two weeks ago.
These lemons caught my eye as I was waiting out in the hot sun to buy some homemade lemonade. The woman at the booth was squeezing them all by hand. Ouch! She must have been sore at the end of the day.
I wrote about the festival here.
I helped at the Valley Arts Council booth, and below are shadows I saw when we were cleaning up at the end of the event.

Then this past Tuesday Ralph and I went to a free summer concert on the Derby Green.
I thought this was a cool shadow on the tree trunk.
The three-piece band you see at the Gazebo is Last Fair Deal, a group based in Litchfield County, Connecticut. The guys played a mix of bluegrass, folk, country, Grateful Dead and even two Beatles' songs. One of them told me they had been playing together since 1972!
The weather that evening was perfect for an outdoor concert. We plan on attending more of them this summer.

See lots more shadowy shots courtesy of our awesome Aussie friend, Tracy, over at Hey Harriet.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Not the daddy ... but isn't this sweet?

Here's the youngest reveler at sister Michele's Fourth of July picnic Saturday. She seems content being held by a cousin.

She didn't want to sleep. She was too busy watching everything around her all day. ;-)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

Oooh, aaah!

Had some fun with my point-and-shoot again this year. Love to get a fancy camera and a tripod, but whatever.
Went to two fireworks displays ~ one in an urban setting and one in a suburban setting.
The photo below is the urban if you couldn't tell.

Friday, July 1, 2011

25 years and counting ...

Well here we are ~ the old married folks, renewing our wedding vows Sunday. A totally unexpected event, and one Ralph and I will never forget.

I hinted about this here on Monday, but I was waiting for a photo to illustrate!

The occasion ended up being kind of a blur, but I'll share what I remember.

We were invited to the Baptism of seven-month old Noah, the first child of Ralph's boss and friend, Marc. We arrived early and found a spot on the aisle in the last pew.

The Rev. Thomas F. Lynch (above) came over and smiled and welcomed us to the church. He struck up a conversation and asked Ralph what his illness was; Ralph told him he has Muscular Dystrophy and then mentioned I have cancer.

Father Lynch, an incredibly friendly man, seemed taken aback.
He asked, "Are you two friends?"
We said something like, no, we're married (hahaha) and told him we had just marked our 25th wedding anniversary.

He asked us if we had celebrated or renewed our wedding vows. We said no we hadn't. He told us to see him after the Baptism and he would renew our vows. It was our turn to be taken aback!

After the Mass, Father Lynch announced to a crowd of about 200 people (there was also a First Communion that day in addition to the Baptism and the sanctuary was filled with proud parents) that there were two visitors from Ansonia who had just had their 25th wedding anniversary.

Ralph and I just looked at each other.
We thought he was going to renew our vows privately, after everyone had left. Nope. That was not to be.

He called us up to the altar, asked us to take each others' hands, and we recited our vows.

My voice got a bit shaky, as I saw Marc and his lovely wife in the first pew beaming at us.

After the brief exchange of vows, everyone applauded! I was overwhelmed, and I do believe Ralph was too.

We walked (and rolled) back down the aisle to lots of smiles, and one elderly man got up and shook my hand and said congratulations. Ralph's co-workers were beaming, and surprised, as were we.

Afterward more of the parishioners came up and congratulated us.

I told Marc (who fortunately has a great sense of humor) that we didn't mean to steal his thunder! It was his special day!

He told me, "I feel like I should get you a gift." I said jokingly, "Don't worry about it, we didn't get you one."

At the luncheon afterward we got more congrats and best wishes, from Ralph's co-workers as well as from people we didn't know.

I'm grateful to Ralph's colleague, Chris, who was quick with the camera and got a few photos of the moment for us.

Words escape me ~ I can just say it was wonderful. We went to the church Sunday not knowing we were going to get married again.

But we did.
And sealed it with a kiss.