BC/AC

I told my dad I feel like our lives are divided: BC (before cancer) and AC (after cancer). He totally got it.

Today is mom’s first round of chemo. As luck would have it, I am here in NJ so I’ll be able to accompany her. It takes 3 hours – she said, “You don’t have to sit with me,” but I’ll bring my laptop and work from the hospital. It isn’t like I haven’t done it before. Again, grateful to my amazing boss and job that I have this flexibility.

This was today’s FB post:

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Sharing it here in case you missed it. Mom is barely eating – she is enjoying protein shakes, eggs, and a few other favorite foods. But I doubt she is even consuming 500 calories a day. But Dad is enjoying the food deliveries, although he said he has lost 10 pounds too (which delights him).

Speaking of weight loss, dad and I had a big heart-to-heart on Saturday night about my bariatric surgery, which is still full steam ahead. He and mom said they want me to hire someone to help me post-surgery since they can’t be there to help me. I said I would consider it but I’m not really sure what help I’ll need. Maybe laundry – but my cleaners do it for me – and errands – Amazon, anyone? I have Mr T, Ken, and Marina, and some friends who can help, so we’ll see if it is needed. I’m hoping to have the surgery towards the end of October, after my 2 big work events. #priorities

More later about the chemo.

So, it’s 10:22 pm. Chemo day #1 went very smoothly!

We arrived at the doctor’s office at 12:45, and mom’s chemo went from about 1:30-5:30pm. It was an extended day but it should run about 3 hours now on Mondays.

I worked through most of the chemo as mom & dad chatted with the nurses and other patients. Of course, they knew other people getting treatment. Small town.

Mom had energy and more of an appetite tonight. Amazing what some drugs can do! I ran out and got her pills, more snacks, etc. We all settled into College Jeopardy. I killed it tonight. I’m seriously the smartest 43 year old college student. Ok, I’m obviously kidding but it’s always nice to win in fake Jeopardy.

We then watched the most painful show to watch – it’s called “escape to the continent” or something like that. Brits go to their favorite places in Europe, look at tons of homes, and never end up purchasing one! So frustrating. Bring on House Hunters International – in 30 minutes, they’ve sold all of their earthy possessions, looked at tons of houses, rented one, and moved in. Yes, all in 30 minutes. Bring me that instant gratification, please and thank you.

But I digress.

Mom did great today.

I’m off tomorrow for a work event in NYC. Ciao!

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#2018

woman-girl-freedom-happy-39853.jpegI haven’t written in ages. Here’s the life update in hashtags:

  1. I have a new job that I really, really like! #enoughsaid
  2. I turned 43 years old a few weeks ago. #yikes
  3. It’s now 2018. My resolution: drink more H20. #snazzynewwaterbottle
  4. I am still sans boyfriend, but I don’t really care very much because my life is pretty fulfilling. #singlesassy
  5. I have a fantastic vacation on the books for December 2018 which includes a trip to Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands. #singlescruise
  6. I finally was diagnosed with sleep apnea and I am working on getting used to a CPAP. When I use it, I feel way more rested so I am incredibly motivated to make that happen. #sleepisgood
  7. I’ve started to care less about what other people think of me. In the words of Alec Baldwin impersonating Donald Trump on SNL: #huuuuuggggge
  8. I’ve taken significant social media breaks. #cathartic
  9. I am not currently living paycheck-to-paycheck. I am saving money. #incrediblemilestone
  10. I really need to visit Rome again. #romeishome

Patterns

Have you ever taken the time to look for patterns in your life? You know what I mean. We all do things by habitually and the reality is, sometimes you don’t notice the patterns unless you write about them on a blog. When I’ve gone back and looked at posts from SingleSassy.com, my old dating blog, I’ve noticed a downward spiral in my mood sometime in early January each year. This is definitely due to the weather, the lack of natural sunlight, the depreciation of vitamin D, and anything else that is negatively related to the New England winter. Because I’ve noticed these trends, I’ve worked really hard to try to battle some of these challenges that I face year after year. 

A few years ago, I went to visit my parents in March, who were staying in Florida, and I was ready to pack my bags and move there after a few days of sun and relaxation. But a few hours after I landed back in Boston, I called my mom and said that I did not want to leave my home. As much as I enjoyed being in the sun, I didn’t want to leave my life back in Boston. But it was good for me to have a short break and to get some sunshine. This winter and spring are very busy at work. Unfortunately, because of the timing of our annual gala, I am not able to go visit my parents in Florida. So this afternoon, after spending a significant amount of time looking for good prices, I booked an excursion to the happiest place on earth…for me… Rome, Italy!

Listen, I got an amazing deal, but it isn’t as if I’m rolling in the dough. I rationalized booking this trip as an investment in my mental health. I think I may have written in an earlier post that I said to a few people in the last six months, that I truly believe that if I keep going the way I am in my life that I will die young from a heart attack or stress. I don’t want that to happen. So I am really trying to be more mindful and take care of myself. I’ve chosen a line of work that doesn’t allow for any moment of pause or relaxation when you’re in the throes of it, so it’s up to me to carve out time where I can focus on the things that I love. And for me, since 1996, the one thing that gives me absolute joy is spending time in Rome. Throw in a Caravaggio painting or sculpture by Bernini, and I’m in heaven.

But, really, it doesn’t matter what I’m doing. I can be sitting on the stoop in a random Piazza. Or, I can grab a piece of pizza at a local Italian bar. Or, I can be sipping espresso while watching people walk by. It doesn’t really matter. The pure joy of being in Rome is enough.

When I was in Rome earlier this year, I felt no depression or anxiety. I just walked and walked and walked throughout the city, and enjoyed every moment.

Is it April yet?

Photos from Europe, September 2016

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Espresso and Croissant at Paris Airport
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View from Barcelona apartment
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Positano, Italy
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Shoemaker in Sorrento, Italy
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Amalfi Coast, Italy
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Jimmy Choo window display in Rome
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Henri Matisse painted from the balcony above in Nice.
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View from Casa Batllo, Gaudi in Barcelona

Europe: September 2013

Oh, where do I begin?

The last time I wrote, I was embarking on a journey to Europe and was sipping on a cup of espresso in France, waiting for my connecting flight to Barcelona.

I’m going to share the tale of my adventures in Europe through words and pictures. The words are excerpts from emails I sent to my family and friends while abroad. I think it does a good job of capturing my feelings at those very moments.

Paris, September 9: Email to mom

img_5798Chilling at airport in Paris.  My flight doesn’t leave for 3 hours – slight delay – so having an espresso & croissant.  And yes, I could taste the butter!

I don’t think it has officially sunk in yet that I’m in Europe!  Looking forward to a nice shower tho!

 

 

 

Barcelona, September 9 (later that day): Email to parents and brother

IMG_5845.JPGAt my “apartment” that I rented for a couple days. It is really nice!

And the most random thing happened at the Paris airport. I was chatting with a girl from New York online – – she randomly got online behind me – – and we got to talking and it turns out that she is from Lincroft and went to Middletown South!   She is 32 so we wouldn’t of known each other, but we thought it was really funny that we had to go all the way to Paris to meet someone from the same hometown.

I am going to shower and get some food and rest. Today is my reading  day.  Will hit the town tomorrow!

 

Rome, September 14: Email to close friends and family
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Greetings from my happy place – Rome. I haven’t felt this content and at peace in years.  The people in my cruise group are fabulous & I’ve  made a lot of friends.

You guys are going to laugh but the first night, I got propositioned by a 67 year old man from north Carolina.  Yes, “propositioned.” Everyone keeps making fun of me for it!  No, I did not accept the offer.  He said “no strings attached.” He could be my father!

Yesterday we spent the day in Positano, Sorrento and Pompeii.  Since I’d seen Pompeii before, I sat and had a coffee with an 85-year-old man from my group.  I hope I’m on a European cruise when I’m his age!  He is an attorney – still working – and we talked politics (he’s a republican for Hillary), socialized medicine, you name it. The tour guide gave me a big kiss for taking care of John.  I enjoyed it!IMG_5888.JPG

Today I’m wandering Rome.  I walked my 10,000 steps in 2 hours!  Now I’m relaxing at a cafe near Piazza del Popolo on my way to St. Peter’s.

Tomorrow I’m going with the group to Pisa and Florence.  I haven’t been to Florence in a long time so it’ll be nice to see it again & experience it through my new friends’ eyes – many of the people in my group have never been.

After Italy we head to southern France.  I booked a trip to Nice & Eze upon the recommendation of my colleague.  Then onto Marseille and back to Barcelona.  Now I’ll have people to hang out with in Barcelona.

Somehow I got a free drink package on the cruise so I’ve been enjoying a lot of free wine!  There is a Cirque de Soleil tent on the ship so a group of us plan to do that one night.

That’s pretty much it.  Off to stroll some more!  Ciao.

 

Cannes, September 16: Email to close friends and family

Hello from France.  Traveled from port in Cannes to Nice & Eze today.

In the last few days I’ve walked about 30  miles!  Not looking forward to sitting behind a desk again. Ate a crepe with Nutella today.  Ok…maybe 2 of them 😄

 

Marseilles, September 17: Email to college friend Jen after spending the day with her longtime pen pal, Lucille

IMG_6120.JPGIt’s like we’ve known each other for years!!  I think Lucille & I both know you so well.  I filled her in on your life!
Lucille, please come visit us.

 

Barcelona, September 18: Email to mom

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Sad to come home (followed by many sad-face emoticons)

 

Pitstop in Paris

Well, who would have guessed that I’d be hanging out in the Paris airport for a few hours today?  I’m transferring to Barcelona from here, and my flight is a bit delayed. Thank goodness I found some wifi and a place to charge my phone. It doesn’t take much, really.

Truthfully, what I really need is sleep….and a shower.  Really hoping that my “48-hour” deodorant is kicking in about now. But hey.  I’m in France. It’s all relative really.  See you soon!

European Vacation

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I’ll admit it. It’s been really hard watching all of my friends go on vacation this summer while I worked long hours. But what kept me going was my “eyes on the prize” or the cherry on top: my upcoming trip to Europe. As a self-described Europhile, I love going overseas to Europe, namely Italy, France, & Spain. As luck would have it, a company called Vacations-to-Go was offering a reasonably priced fall cruise – and the bonus is that I was able to get a single cabin without paying extra. While I’m writing this post, I should be packing, but I’ve got my list ready to go! See you when I get back.