It's been a week since the LiveStrong Challenge. And the weather that blasted into the valley that weekend has ushered in the full Fall experience in the Willamette Valley, with brisk winds, leaves quickly shifting colors (from green to brilliant red and orange) before flying off the tree and turning brown, and the sound of the furnace kicking on at 6:55 AM each day. Fall has definitely fallen.
Last year at this time, I was planning for and looking forward to another yearly reunion at the Tree Farm. College buddies of mine have been congregating each year about this time to eat salty peanuts (in the shell), drink small amounts of beer and wine (in comparison with the more copious quantities that we think we remember drinking as mere twenty-somethings), and wander through the trees - contemplating our small individual roles in the universe while celebrating the joys and pains suffered by our little group over the year. Spouses have been invited each time we plan one of these "events", and each time we are declined. I guess they have a hard time imagining the fun in listening to us re-tell Monty Python movies all weekend, while (a) playing with the bulldozer, (b) arguing about who remembered what correctly about that time we did that thing - you know, over by Drumhoeller Fountain on campus, or (c) trudging to the two-holer outhouse in the darkness and rain. I really really look forward to and enjoy these outings/reunions.
This year, becoming known locally as "Ed's Cancer Year", it does not appear likely that the group will be able to make the Tree Farm trip. We had a great time attending Spamalot (see Sept. 2 blog posting), and our intrepid long-distance attendee cannot make too many journeys north each fall (you know who you are!) Maybe we can try in the "spring", but then we end up fighting with the snow... And we are planning to come together at my house, post-Thanksgiving, to watch the Apple Cup football game. This year, it may be the ONLY source of pride for the Huskies and Cougars. But let me say this - I love this group of people and they are yet another source of strength for me as I struggle through the final third of my chemo.
Which, once again, was delayed last Wednesday. ANC was low again, and I have to admit that my frustration is/was higher this time than the last time I was delayed. For these chemo-treatments, I have to get myself mentally and physically prepared. And the last delay means that (optimistically) the last day of treatment is now the day before Thanksgiving. Whoopee, wouldn't you say? Nothing like eating turkey, yams, potatoes, and pumpkin pie while listening to the 5FU pump whirr every 90 seconds or so. The doctor seems to think that we can modify the oxaliplatin dose so that these bloodwork delays might be removed. I hope so. I am tired...
Thanks for reading, and caring, and supporting us through this particular form of hell. I feel like I am a better person for being on this journey, but sometimes I feel a need to complain. Sorry about that part! :)