Vicarious Travels

Hello September!
Yep, life marches forward.
2016 is just around the corner! Can you believe it?!

For me… Same story… Different day..

I’ll be brief this time, and post more pictures than words…. Well, I’ll try :)

This amazing singular sunflower suddenly grew from where we have a seed dish for the resident (wild) sparrows. It’s so giant and so vibrant! My computer faces the window looking out to our backyard, so I’ve been watching it’s miraculous growth minute by minute. Although I don’t leave the house much, I am so very fortunate to have such spectacular natural beauty surrounding me all the time. Yes, myeloma completely limits my life, but my life is certainly not limited!

When I do go out, people are always so surprised how much hair I have now.
My response: “it’s hair on steroids”!! Since it’s growing out so successfully, I would be kinda sad if switching chemos thinned it again, but actually I found a shaved head very freeing!

Speaking of going out, I did finally make it into my office once last week. Wow, what an accomplishment. Ugh not only is the unpredictable volcanic activity so limiting, so is the EXTREME FATIGUE from my super low WBCs, ANC, etc. But once I’m out, I pep myself up and try to be a bit of who I used to be. I also stopped by my local pharmacy, and picked up a little rainbow of anti-volcanic-poop potions. Lol, who knew it came in so many flavors! I should have snapped a pic of all the cheery options available, as I only bought a few. (Ah, the things that excite a cancer patient!) The clerk smiled and asked if I found everything I was looking for, and I smiled back and said yes, and in almost every color of the rainbow!

Speaking of going out, after corking myself up on Imodium to make it into my office for a few meetings, I was able to enjoy another few hours out of my house the next day. Sometimes, I am so successful at corking myself up, I actually get a day or two relief, before the angry volcano get really angry and visits me again. I’ll spare you the angry “backfire” backlash descriptors!

My sweet artist friend Kathy has been inviting me for a year or more to come to one of her creative painting/collaging workshops. I haven’t been able to, due to my completely unpredictable GI situation and debilitating fatigue, but also I just haven’t felt very inspired or creative. (Crazy how cancer sucks the life out of me! Duh!) But surprisingly, it finally worked out, and look at these cool creations with these sweet ladies!

Can you guess which one is mine?

And another milestone for me here? Can you guess what it is??
Yep, my hair is long enough to toss it up in a clip, 
just like I used to wear it 
before Cytoxan and Melphalan scalped me Summer 2010. 
And speaking of going out and about, our lucky kids are doing the family traveling for me/us. Yes of course Jim and I “could” have gone, but heck NO to the total NO, I wouldn’t risk all the public cooties and contamination with my almost neutropenic immune system! (Current Stats below)…not to mention the GI trauma of trying to make a flight on time! Ha! I panic at the thought!
So Scott and Ashley went to Kauai without us…
 

Am I jealous? YES!

Wish we had gone? YES!
Willing to take that chance of illness disaster like 2012? NO!!
And Alissa and family are off to Western Europe… without us…

Am I jealous? Kinda!

Wish we had gone? Kinda!
Willing to take that chance of illness disaster like 2012? NO!!
And here’s why I don’t travel, don’t take risks with the public, avoid germs and human contact and I feel so yucky most of the time: 
WBC’s = 2.3 (low= why I feel so fatigued, with volcanic GI) 4 – 11 = normal range
M-Protein = 1.01 (down a bit!) but- normal/remission = Zero
IgA = 1530 = (down a bit, but still almost 4x high normal) 70 – 400 = normal range
ANC = 1.3 (low = bad) normal range = 1.8 – 7.7 
Platelets = 121 (low = bad) normal range = 130 – 400
So that’s my early September update. Other than my bi-polar GI, extreme fatigue, neuropathy’s burning and tingling sensations, bone aches, headaches and weird random body aches, life is good. Home is lovely, and I’m still a bit useful to my students online, even though I don’t go into my lovely office much anymore. Our animals keep us continually entertained, and Binkx the senior kitty is doing great in diapers, and I love love love the kitty’s pee-free living quarters! We buy human baby diapers, and I cut a hole out for Binkx’s tail. What do you do for entertainment??? ahahahaa :)) 
Happy ol boy, feeling much better now!
 Stupid cancer! 
You really are so stupid, and such a waste of time and life!
Go away and mutate somewhere else!
These beautiful love doves visited the shade of our amazing sunflower
as the wild sparrows enjoyed the seeds scattered below.
Doesn’t the sunflower look like a perfect birdie umbrella?!
Nature… how I love and adore you!
You refresh, inspire and energize me!
  
Live happy, live well, and make a difference somewhere, somehow, with someone or something as often as you can!