Beautiful Baldness

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Thank you loved ones for participating!

 

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Got Cap?

If you live in the Portland area and have not ordered your bald cap yet – no problemo.

Bald caps will be available to purchase at Greg’s Bold Bald Birthday Bash!

The Boldness takes place Saturday, October 11th from 6:00-8:00 at The Hop & Vine. Purchase a bald cap ($10 cash/check) to support LUNGevity.  Enjoy a tasty beverage while personalizing your cap.  Don’t forget to wish Greg a Happy Birthday!

How this came about…

Greg, Stephanie, and me at the beach

Greg, Stephanie, and me

My neighbor & friend, Greg, has shown interest in helping me plan a fundraiser for some time now. Honestly, I’ve been a tad reluctant.  I have visions of grandeur but know that my energy is not able to deliver that…just yet.  When I saw this already put-in-place fundraiser for all cancer types I was all in. Greg, being an awesome friend voluntarily decided to have his birthday also support the Be Bold, Be Bald event.  How cool is that?!

Greg and I have joined forces for team Bold Bald Birthday Bash.

Unable to make the gathering but want to support the cause?  You can make donations here.

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Be Bold With ME!

Days ago, while perusing through the cancer blog universe, I stumbled across an advertisement that caught my immediate attention.  Be Bold! Be Bald!  Wear a bald cap, decorated of course, and show your support for those fighting cancer.  I’m in!

2013-06-30 19.24.56The bigger question, who is in with me?  It takes a lot of gumption to commit to going bald for a day.  Yes, you will look a little funny wearing a bald cap.  Yes, strangers might confront you.  And YES, that is the point.

Voluntarily go bald for one day, Friday, October 17th.  To join me you can:

  1. Order your bald cap here.
  2. Sign up for your own account and beneficiary here.
  3. If you are already bald or really not up for the challenge you can show support by donating here.

The bald caps cost $10.  Standard 3-5 day shipping is free.

(If you are in Portland and interested in joining a cap decorating gathering, leave a comment or send me an email.)

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Feeling Beachy

IMG_0117-2Celebrated another wedding anniversary at the Oregon Coast a short time ago.  It was wonderful.  Really, wonderful.  Probably the best coast weather I have ever had in Oregon.

We stay at a lovely house in the small town of Manzanita.  The house is situated so that you feel like you are at a cabin in the woods.  Yet, a two block walk puts you on sand staring at the Pacific Ocean.

This trip we did not stray much from the town.  Visited my favorites like T-Spot and Big Wave Cafe.  We also added a new favorite for dinner, Blackbird.  The food and drinks were quite lovely.

I was able to get around pretty good thanks to the recent PR.  Still, the time away was focused on rest and relaxation not exerting myself.

Now at home the hustle and bustle of life is creeping in.  Thankfully I have learned how to schedule in the much needed down time.

 

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Physical Therapy for my Lungs

The Kim BC (before cancer) was quite the jock.  Hands down, that is the biggest change in my life from BC to AC (after cancer).  I know I will never be that old me; but the new me is starting to be a bit more active, which equals a happy Kim.

Switching to RO5424802 has been a bit of an adjustment.  I didn’t have side effects, then I did, now they seem to be leveled off again.  The lingering effect has been exhaustion.  Am I tired because of the drugs? Or used to being inactive for a few months?  Or because breathing is work?  Or is it simply because I am tired of being tired???

CameraBag_Photo_1000-19Well, I’m finally taking control of the parts I can control.  I started seeing a Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) Therapist.  It’s physical therapy for lungs.  I don’t sit around and practice breathing.  The visits are tailored to me and they kind of kick my butt. I spend my time on the treadmill then moving on to strength training exercises.  I love it.   It’s not at all what I expected; it’s like I have my own personal training coach!

I have learned through PR that my body, although it feels and sounds like hell, it is having a normal-healthy response to exercise.  This provides me with the comfort I need to put these exercises into practice at home.  I enjoy having physical activity back into my daily routine.  Being the kind of person who was mildly obsessed with exercise BC, I don’t see much of a problem sticking to this once my one-on-one sessions are over.  But, gosh, I will miss them!

 

 

 

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Play Day

photo 1-3SW and I have recently made some modifications to our life to make things easier. One in particular is a trailer for our kayaks.  It is awesome!

No more SW hoisting the boats on top of our already tall truck.  No more of me standing and watching because I’m too short to help in any capacity.  Now it is a simple, back-in, connect, and be on our way.

The first weekend, after all the insurance documents were completed, we went out on a nice 6-hour day trip. We headed to Trillium Lake on the southeast side of Mt. Hood National Forrest to kayak the lake. Ended up adding on a flat 2-mile hike around the lake. As we headed West towards home we stopped by a Huckleberry Festival and a feed store to look at baby chicks and bunnies.  The day was great.  It was so nice to be the Kim I want to be.

 

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Hint of Sadness

photo-111I prefer to water my garden in the mornings.  I stumble around with coffee in one hand and dripping hose in the other.

Observing my surroundings it occurred to me that I have so much to learn about gardening.  My shallots grew huge.  My garlic seemed to get smaller in size.  Potatoes…well…let’s not talk about them!  I want to be better at growing veggies.

I got a little sad when I thought, I wonder if I’ll be around next year to garden?  I feel great now but you never know what’s to come.

 

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Ready…. Reset!

Busy.  That is how I would describe the last few months of my life.  It has felt like I’ve had so many things demanding my time.  Not so many important things, just things….lots of little things.  I’m going to call it clutter.

It dawned on me the other day that I am really out of whack.  My number one priority is to be the healthiest person I can be.  My job is to take excellent care of myself.

Well, that’s not happening.

Some how I got off on a bizarre trajectory to clutter land.  I know it.  Now, it is time to get back to my center.  Rediscover yoga and meditation.  Build some muscle mass.  Plan healthy dinners.  Get a minimum of 30-minutes of cardio daily.  Communicate with my loved ones.

It’s slow going.  Almost painfully slow.  Eventually, I’ll be back to my happy, grounded, healthy self.  It will be nice to be that version of myself again.

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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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