Session 3, Week 1, Day 5

Things are on track. Which is an understated way of saying things are really not good at all. I guess the hopeful news is that since she is on track, tonight things will start to improve…but in the meantime…not a lot of fun for her right now.

Kelsey stayed with her all day yesterday; I took a brief break to run out to Oxon Hill Cove Park and Farm. My artist friends had been there earlier in the week and I am trying to keep up. Except for the wind, the day was gorgeous. Of course, since I’m from South Dakota, wind is the norm so I barely noticed the vibrating leaves. I found the textures, angles, and context of this building perfectly matched my mood for the day.

Oxon Hill Farm Shed Door

Oxon Hill Farm Shed Door

 

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Week 1, Day 3

Well, things are low today; Diane is still sleeping and hopefully that will continue for quite a while. She was mostly good yesterday. Kirsten and Paul headed back south. Kelsey and I were in school for a while. Kyle is somewhere down by Myrtle Beach playing baseball. Well, playing baseball 2 hours a day. Diane’s day got worse in the evening as the Neulasta robo-injector blasted her with bone marrow stimulants to increase the white blood cells that were killed by the chemo. The bone pain is excruciating…she just smiles. Then I broke a tooth in half, a rear molar. I just smile. I can’t have it pulled because of the weird medicine I’m on for the stent (which I cannot stop until August). Can’t do a crown. I’m wondering about super glue.

A friend asked why I didn’t do color images in the springtime when everything is discovering winter-hidden glories of color. I actually do color when I’m trying to express my memory of motion, ambience, and place. This image is from Green Spring Park in Fairfax County and I’m hoping the viewer is momentarily transported to the sights and sounds and smells of this peaceful setting and wants to visit in person.

Green Spring Park Pond and fountain

Green Spring Park Pond and fountain

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Half Way Through Milestone

Well, sort of halfway. The real chemo halfway point is in three weeks when she is through with this cycle. Then three more cycles, 9 weeks, to go until chemo is complete! We are wonderfully comforted by all the support, prayers, well wishes, visits, flowers, magic bunnies, sunshine boxes, and more that have been directed our way.

Last weekend was Diane’s birthday! Kirsten and her fiance, Paul, came for a long weekend which was a complete surprise for Diane. Sadly, Kyle is off on a week long high school baseball trip to South Carolina. Well, sadly for us since he wasn’t here, but we’re guessing he’s having fun on a beach somewhere! Kelsey, Kirsten, Paul, Diane and I played many card and board games, and all of them I failed to prevail. Like none. I believe there must have been a secret conspiracy against me.

Our basement is finally coming together after the freeze damage in January. We still have a mess which perhaps is the norm and not the new, but…things are better. The walls are up, the floors are in, and parts of the cabinets have been replaced.

Kirsten and I sat with Diane during her chemo session yesterday. Although they are “shorter” now, they still last 5 hours. There was a power failure in the building and considering how big the building is (11 floors), that’s a big deal. Fortunately, all of the chemo machines have immediate battery failovers so the only impact was no air conditioning/ventilation.  Isn’t life interesting?

I find myself suffering writer’s/creator’s block. I haven’t really been out thinking writing, photographing much lately. I vow to change that over the next few weeks. The downside for me is that the snakes are coming out of their dens and I am not a snake fan! A few weeks ago, Kelsey and I went to a bookstore next to the Eastern Market. We stopped by the market and much of it was closing. These counter stools were stacked upside down on the counters and begged me to tell their story.

Eastern Market Bar Stools

Eastern Market Bar Stools at closing time.

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The “Third Week”

The chemo cycles are three weeks long. The first week is awful, the second week is recovery, the third week is “normal.” Now, as many of you know, “normal” is not the way life used to be, “normal” is the new normal, an adjusted life. This first cycle, Diane’s third week started a couple of days early! Which is a good thing because a baseball game was scheduled that Friday and Diane must go to Kyle’s baseball! But, now that I think of it, her first chemo session was on a Friday so the third week was on time after all. Most of the rest of the sessions are on a Monday which is what threw me off. Diane’s eyes have  recovered…sort of. (dangling preposition alert)  Most of the infection has receded but the tears continue! We hope they clear up, too, or the salt will cause problems again.

Our friends have been truly awesome, they bring over food and comfort and company. We are overwhelmed with their kindness, caring, prayers, and great food! Even friends that live thousands of miles away send cards, gifts, and prayers. We are so thankful to be so truly blessed.

I went out before dawn yesterday with the thought of finding a sunrise image at Green Springs Gardens. I was standing with friends at the edge of the Green Spring meadow when unexpectedly, swirls of small white flakes appeared. Without even thinking, and actually paying them little attention, I mentally identified the flakes as tiny petals from springtime trees that were blowing in the new morning wind. Hah! My friend said that it was snow! I demurred. They had to be flower petals. Or maybe the dust from some close-by apocalyptic village. Definitely set my mood. This image is shortly after “sunrise.” The dreary skies camouflaged any actual view of the rising sun but the light intermittently broke through to make its mark on our little piece of the planet.

House at Green Spring Gardens

House at Green Spring Gardens

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Oh. Those Canadians!

Secret Stash

Secret Stash

As part of the fix for our frozen pipes, they had to remove the 1970-era paneling from the walls of our basement. I was downstairs when they pulled the wall from the area that is “under the steps.” The area “under the steps” is like a secret room, accessible only from a bedroom closet and then through a 3/4 height door. We use area for storage but this one particular part of the room we didn’t use. Someone had installed a makeshift shelf in a nook under the steps in an area that was 6′ high but only about 4 feet by 5 feet wide. On that shelf was this Canadian bottle of Smirnoff Vodka and a single cut glass stemware!! How do I know it’s Canadian? Well, the label is half English, half French and reads, “Made in Canada,” all clues. Our house was built in 1970 and one of the first occupants, we are told by original owner neighbors, was a Canadian diplomat. Not the ambassador type of diplomat but a diplomat nonetheless. Supposedly they had epic parties in this house and this Vodka bottle may have been the leftovers of a secret rendezvous for serial partygoers! Or, it could have been the hideout for the diplomat’s children! My imagination runs wild!! This stuff has been there for at least 40 years! A fun to think about when sometimes fun isn’t happening.

 

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