Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The 3-Day approaches

It's nearly here, and all of the fundraising, organizing and (lack of) training comes to a head now: Carolyn arrives this evening, and on Friday we begin our walk.

I am looking forward to the relaxation of it, strangely enough...I really need to take a breather, and the 3-Day sounds immensely relaxing to me. Walking in the sunshine (highs of 70, much cooler than last year), talking to friends, and taking time to just 'be' sounds pretty fantastic.

I'm at a strange place in my breast cancer journey. My hair is past my shoulders, I have two (weird, nipple-less) breasts, and I look relatively normal. I ache like never before and I'm facing the fact that one of my side-effects from Femara might be arthritis. I finish Herceptin on September 27, and then I hope to never enter a chemo ward again. I am not in the fighting mode I was in not that long ago, but I'm not done, either. I'm in a state of limbo, and trying to figure out where I fit in in all of that. The 3-Day will be a good place to think of these things, and to hopefully move forward.

Many, many, many thanks to the donors who have contributed to the 3-Day this year, supporting me and the cause in so many ways. I really couldn't do it without you. Walking is fun, but the donations will save lives. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Smiling in the rain

Last night I woke up to the sounds of thunder and a downpour. I lay in my warm, cozy bed, and smiled. Not a drop of water landed on me or my tent, because we escaped the rain by at least 12 hours.

I love the sound of the rain under most circumstances; when I am cozy indoors and the rain beats on the windows I feel a strong desire to drink mint tea, to curl up in a chair with a blanket and a good book. These days the good book might be "Sally Jean the Bicycle Queen" and Tessa might be under the blanket with me, but I revel in that, too.

This morning, Tessa was up early in anticipation of her playdate at the zoo with her cousins Caleb & Joshua and Auntie Krystal. The rain was no deterrant in her eyes: as a matter of fact, it added to her delight, because she recently acquired a dog umbrella complete with pop up ears, and she was over the moon that she could use it today. We donned our waterproof boots, rain coats, and umbrellas, and set off for the zoo to be there when it opened. We had a fantastic time with the kiddos, and enjoyed watching them zoom about at Zoomazium (indoors). The rain let up, too, so we walked all over, with Tessa stomping in the puddles. The cousins were having so much fun interacting, and Krystal and I had fun, too, although we didn't get much time to discuss much other than "oh look there's the bear" and "which exhibit is next?" and "don't get your pants wet, kids!"

This afternoon Tessa and I are both tired, as it's been non-stop busy with camping, unpacking, and this, that and the other, and the zoo involved lots of walking and running. We're having a quiet afternoon (does laundry count as "quiet?" because I have about 6 loads to fold when I hit the "post" button) and then we're having dinner with Adrienne while Ryan gets a night to himself. Carolyn arrives tomorrow evening, and on Friday it's the 3-Day.

Today it struck me that it is exactly one year until Tessa starts kindergarten; this begins the countdown. The zoo was particularly sweet in that context. My little girl is still little, and I relish her smallness as much as I relish her growth. At the end of our zoo visit, she was tired, and I carried her, and she rested her head on my shoulder. These days are getting shorter, and I will try to remember to live them fully, and to carry them with me once they have passed.

So much more to say, but that will suffice for now.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Home from camping

We returned late this afternoon from our trip to Newhalem (North Cascades National Park) with the Hissongs. The whole thing was great, and I'm so glad that we went. The company was fabulous, the weather was great (sprinkles as we set up the tent, but then not a drop after that), the scenery beyond compare. We ate well, sat around the campfire telling stories and laughing, attended evening programs put on by the park rangers, and did a couple of little hikes. We saw various small wildlife (including Douglas squirrels, stellar jays, chipmunks, little brown bats, woodpeckers, and more; we saw bear skat but not the bear it came from) and countless wildflowers. The kids learned a bit about the life cycles of the forest; the adults smiled as the kids got dirtier and dirtier in the best ways possible, including making mud cakes, drawing with sticks in the dirt, roasting marshmallows, and skipping showers.

More later, as chores (much unpacking and the inevitable laundry that comes with this kind of trip) beckon, and my bed isn't far from that. An air mattress is a luxury while camping, but I will be glad to sleep in my own bed tonight.

So many thoughts about my own return to wilderness and the trip, but they will have to wait. Good night.