Day Trip: Bellevue

kw + sw + seahawksWednesday, SW and I headed North to Bellevue.  Barely awake we stumbled into local haunt Posies for some breakfast sandwiches and coffee minutes after they opened their doors for the day.  Waiting for the mambo-20-ouncer of latte I came to the conclusion that all I was getting was more milk.  The ‘all beverages made as doubles’ sign did not register at 6:40am.  Eventually, sammies, milk with a splash of expresso, and SW were passengers in my vehicle and I was headed north!

photo-109We made it to our first destination at the meet up time of 9:40.  Chris Draft offered SW and I two Seahawks Training Camp day passes.  I was totally impressed from the get go.  The facility was great looking, location was ideal, music was blasting, food and beverages were free, and we got access to just about everything!  We received what I refer to as the Draft Special….better than VIP access.  It was impressive to watch the athletes.  Strong.  Tall.  Thick.  Manlyness galore.  I should have expected nothing less from last year’s Super Bowl champions.

Around the time of my diagnosis I was told about the business Glassybaby.  I’ve spent lots of time eyeing the lovely candle holders online.  Now, I was a few miles away from their Bellevue store.  I decided it was time to get to know these beauties up-close and personal.  I walked away with some gems and made a great connection with store manager Pam Jenness.  (I see a possible connection for a fundraiser in my crystal ball!)

Now, starving, we took a hard turn towards the Purple Cafe in Bellevue.  Purple did not disappoint with my tasty falafel sandwich and crisp flight of white wine.  I was very full, a tad sunburnt, and slightly buzzed from the wine.

My last stop in Washington was me plopping in my passenger seat.  I took a good solid nap while SW took us most of the way home.  It was just what I needed; then I could swap positions with SW so he could get in his nap so we’d both have enough energy to make dinner after we got home.

Thank you Chris for making my day fantastic! 

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Death Over Pizza

Some time ago I learned about the website Let’s Have Dinner and Talk About Death.  I thought it seemed rather daring.  Who sits around and talks about dying (crazy people) over a home cooked meal?  I sat with the idea for a long period of time; letting the idea grow on me a bit.  Living in NSCLC land I discuss dying often but really only felt comfortable talking to my husband about the subject and often talking in circles.

I needed to branch out, talk to a professional.  I contacted a woman I knew, Holly Pruett, a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant.  I asked Holly for some help on planning my death and dying process.  She accepted the job.

I got mixed feedback from people when I told them what I was doing.  The most common response was, “do you think you are going to die soon?”  Truth is, I feel pretty darn great. No better time to address things that need addressing.  Anything to relieve some of the burden from my husband when I do die needs to happen while I can still make it happen.

Holly and I have decided that for the time being meeting monthly is reasonable.  For our July meeting I was to review some questions she sent me just after our June encounter. I’m a project manager by training but I am a bit out of practice when it comes to nailing a deadline.  So, 2-days before our meeting I started to dive into the multi page questionnaire.  Wow.  I was in way over my head.

What will people remember most about me?  (Is that a trick question?)

I decided to do what you are supposed to do when you need help.  I asked for it!  I sent out a email Monday afternoon inviting my dearest dozen girlfriends over for Friday night pizza, wine, dessert, and uh…death.

I was comfortable hosting the evphoto-108ent for the 10-friends that could make it.  Having confidence in facilitating a meeting with your friends does not mean you don’t semi-dread the conversation.  I admit the thought of canceling the function Friday afternoon did cross my mind.  Do I really want to talk about this??? Yes!!!

We laughed.  We cried.  For 90-minutes a group of young women (36-43) talked about death and dying; specifically my death and dying.  I was zapped emotionally for the next few days.

The event was a huge success.

You can read about things from Holly’s point of view here.

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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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