A New One – NMD

cheers

NMD = No Measurable Disease

Yup.

That be me!

Happy,

Happy!

Joy,

Joy!

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Hindsight

Contrary to popular belief, having a root beer float and popcorn for dinner is not a wise choice while taking RO5424802.  This morning has been a bit rough.

And, yes.  I wrote the truth in my daily food dairy that I turn into Nurse Andi.

And, I know…  It was a dumb decision, but after my big lunch I just….nevermind.

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Kayaking and Humor

The weekend away from my comfy-comfy bed was worth it!  I had a great time kayaking on my FDi Adventure.  This event, co-hosted by OHSU and First Descents, included one day of kayaking the Klickitat River and one day of rafting the White Salmon River. Kayaking was hands down my favorite.

I am eager to participate in an action packed, full-fledged FD1 adventure – a week-long First Descents camp.  Of course, I’d choose kayaking again.  Hopefully this will happen next year…pretty please?  If it is something you might be interested in I encourage you to sign up now; I’m pretty certain I’ve been wait-listed for 6-months or so.  They do have programs now for 40-49 year olds…could be because the wait list is that long?

Over the weekend, I’m not sure why, but I started to pay close attention to an individual’s sense-of-humor.  I wonder if a correlation exists between seriousness of chronic condition and ability to crack jokes about one’s chronic condition?  What other contributing factors are there…age, particular condition, gender, time living with condition, shoe size?  People are so interesting to me.

I wonder if Jessica Hagy over at Indexed has given it any though.

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Savannah…. Home… Sleep… Go….

Savannah, Georgia was a success.  I’ve never had a destination family vacation but that is the way to go!  Half of us had never been to the City of Savannah.  That translated to lots of  exploring, walking, shopping, site seeing, laughing, getting turned around, and dining.

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My favorite parts, in no particular order: Kehoe House Bed and Breakfast, Schnitzel Shack, sailing on the Savannah, Chamoozies from District CafeSavannah Bee Company, Forsyth Park (& cafe with air conditioning near the park!), seeing Spanish moss droop from trees, and Planters Tavern at The Olde Pink House.

Like the saying goes, there is no place like home!  

I finally feel like I am caught up on sleep.  Good thing as I am headed out of town for a short adventure over-nighter.  I’m going white water kayaking.  A trip hosted jointly by First Descents and OHSU.  Me and 7 other young adult (age 18-40) survivors will be kayaking and/or rafting the White Salmon.  In a perfect world the weather forecast would look better but we all know the world is not perfect.

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Savannah Part 1

Visiting the other side of the family in Georgia. Loving the warmth, food, and family.
Thanks for das boot Doug!

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More Therapy!

therapy 2Now that the weather is better and I’ve committed to trying to exercise daily, Therapy is back into action.  I am determined that Therapy, my beautiful white bicycle is going to be my mode of local transportation.

In July, I’ll be more adventurous with my riding.  Not that I’ll be in that much better shape 30-days out.  July, I’ll be covered on Medicare Part A.  Having the Medicare Card will allow me to hop on public transportation and get a lift home, for me and Therapy, for $1.  Not a bad insurance program if you ask me!

To date, after each ride I fill my belly with food and water, then sleep.  That’s a good thing, right???

Pull out that bike in your garage and go for a ride…you never know where it will take you.

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Watch you go!

As this May 2014 comes to an end I feel relief.  It’s been a mentally exhausting one.

This month marks my 3-year cancer diagnosis.  I did not think that much of it.  Except, I’m glad I’m no longer in the shit-storm of the first 6-months.  Now that was exhausting!

My energy level has been hit or miss.  It seems to fluctuate, similar to the May Portland weather.  Sunny/warm one moment; rain/chilly the next.  My go-to mood changer exercise is a challenge when my energy level is so inconsistent.  I have not been to yoga in, goodness, months.  (Local Pals- Will someone drag my butt to a Daya yoga class?)

I’ve been surrounded by lots of death as of late.  My cancer posse has been hit hard.  Some young, some old; some with lung cancer, some without.  All sad.  Around the beginning of the month a special friend reminded me that it is better to have the loss than to never had made the connection.  Often her reminder has replayed in my head the last few weeks.

My scans last week (or was it the week before?)  showed more shrinkage of the brain tumors.  What is left are only a few itty bitty spots or so I’ve been told.  I have yet to find the desire to read my MRI report.  The details seem unimportant.

The day I found out about the favorable results I learned that a friend is showing signs of resistance to my same drug.  Me at 12-weeks in and the friend at slightly less.  Damn.

Last week (I’m pretty sure it was last week), a sweet friend reminded me of something I said to her regarding my cancer and it made me chuckle.  Profound Kim said, “One day everything was fine and then it wasn’t.”  Pretty basic stuff.  You see why I chuckled now.

May funk, good riddance.

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My favorite place to have morning coffee.

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4:00 am Date

I often have difficulty sleeping.  I’m not sure why.  If I did, I’d quickly eliminate the cause. I miss getting a great night of sleep.  Oh, and the vivid dreams.

At 4am something in my body goes off.  I’m awake.  I’m not at all ready to get up and start my day.  How do I get my brain to let me go back to sleep?  One of my go-to’s is listening to Belleruth Naparstek on my iPod.  I’ve written about this before in this previous post.

Recently, I learned where dozens of Belleruth’s meditation podcasts are available for free download.  Yup, FREE.  The topics I have listened to include: Introduction (track 1), Guided Imagery (track 2), and Affirmations (track 3).  You’ll find meditation guidance on topics ranging from allergies to weight loss.  I prefer the Cancer: Coping set.

You can find all of the free podcasts I’m referring to, here.  Thank you Kaiser Permainente for letting all of us have unlimited, free access to these.

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Summited

LUNGevity National Hope Summit 2014 was memorable.

Meeting people in person that I’ve connected with online was a treat.  It felt like I was meeting famous people!  Actually, much more important than famous people.  These people have provided me guidance, support, comfort, etc., through the greatest obstacle in my life.  Wonderful to see you Linnea, Diane, Dusty, Katie, Matt, and Randy to name a few.

My favorite discussion topics included Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Immunotherapies. I’ll post about those topics later.

The hands down best moment was making an impromptu decision to visit Lincoln Memorial after dinner on Saturday night.  Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful! The view was awe-inspiring.  The bonds created with our small group of women was incredible.  The pedi-cab ride back to the hotel priceless!

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Jessica, Kimberly, me, Anne

Now, back home in Portland I’ve made a decision to incorporate two things I learned at the Summit.  I’m going to investigate Pulmonary Rehabilitation.  I’m also going to create some space in my life for spontaneity.  Practically polar opposites.  Both significant.

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Hope Summit 2014

photo-102In a few days I’ll be catching a flight to DC.  I’m heading to the LUNGevity DC Hope Summit.

This will be my second year for the event.  I had a nice time in 2013, but I was still suffering the effects of WBR.  I’m looking forward to going this year with a healthier body and hair on my head!

I’m most excited to connect with others living with lung cancer, hearing Dr Julie Brahmer speak, and see the fantastic Ms Katie Brown.

I’m a little nervous about getting through security with a cooler since my drugs require refrigeration.  But, I’m very excited to use my TSA friendly backpack so I no longer need to pull out my laptop.

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