Okay, pals, I know it’s been a while, but it feels like holding patterns dominate my life right now.
David has started immunotherapy this week and it’s our last hope for a curative result to beat his cancer.
It’s a once-every-three-week treatment with few side effects but it’s a long shot that it will get us the complete cure we want, and various doctors have said that this cancer will more than likely will return. If it does return, we will cross that bridge when we need to but I expect that we are looking at experimental trials aimed at trying to slow it down.
So David will do his treatments as he’s tackled everything up to this point. With courage. Determination. And a burning desire to survive this dreadful disease. I’m so proud of his resolve and attitude.
I, in the meantime, will continue to bake for the people we meet at the hospital and the doctor’s office
and leave little treats for those who’ve supported us so well over the past couple months.
I will bring along my Love Box
and make a point to try to brighten someone else’s day during a very dispiriting and soul-crushing time.
I’m finding though that the uncertainty of our lives — and what lies ahead for us– is such an oppressive weight to carry that I do best by trying to keep busy as much as possible.
I’ve taken the advice of friends to try to do nice things for myself as much as I can.
I’m buying myself fresh flowers twice weekly and this helps add a cheery vibe to a distinctly somber home.
I’m spending time with my gorgeous pup.
There’ve been a handful of meet ups with girlfriends that I’ve barely seen of late.
One of my favorite places to go is either Tea Bar
or Ken’s Artisan Bakery on NW 21st.
The pastries and breads are so French and exquisitely rendered (look at this caramelized peach pastry with goat cheese and basil)
and I always take home their lovely breads for later usage.
Lunches with girlfriends are wonderful because I can’t tell you how dispiriting it is to be someone who’s so often sick after eating — and now despises mealtimes because it’s so fraught with pain, nausea and stress.
When I’m elsewhere, I can indulge wholeheartedly without guilt or anxiety
and my girlfriends are an amazingly compassionate and attentive bunch. I’m so so grateful for them.
Speaking of friends, here’s another thing I’ve delighted in of late. BINS TRIPS!
Now that Oliver is launched and Charlotte is back at school, I’ve had time for a little leisurely vintage shopping with pals.
Sheila is a California-based blog reader/Instagram friend with whom I struck up a friendship, and every time she comes into town we meet up and eat and go on the junk hunt together at the Goodwill Bins.
She was here last week and the first thing I did was take her to the aforementioned Ken’s so that she could bring home some of that wonderful bread
and then afterwards we hit the Bins on Ochoco and for an hour plus we scavenged, talking and catching up all the while.
What fun finds we came home with!
Right off the batch Sheila spotted (and I nabbed for her) a Baggalini purse and then so many interesting things crossed our path.
Here’s a pic she sent me of her respective haul
and take a gander at some of the vintage Christmas I hauled in.
Lots of small items were found — some vintage Japanese and some American and all curiously intact.
All these items were scattered throughout multiple bins brought out at different times despite the fact that I sense they all came from the same home.
Sheila is a wonderful gal and now a dear friend, and I loved every minute we had together.
Right before I left I looked at the ornaments I collected and I insisted she also take along one of the two tiny vintage wreaths I found, and I told her that now every Christmas when we put up that ornament we will feel connected (she took the green and I the red.)
Another Bins outing included a friend of Oliver’s who once told me she wanted to go binning with me sometime, so I brought her there this week in advance of a college departure.
I found all kinds of things for Oliver’s next care packages (more on that later) and she was rewarded with a Hydroflask, a vintage ruler and a flower pot to match one she already had.
Isn’t Devon darling with that gorgeous head of hair?
Oliver is thriving at GW and Facetimes us daily so this has helped so much with the separation pangs.
He’s such a sweet kid, and I’ve loved planning, preparing and sending care packages to him.
Full disclosure: there have been two giant boxes I’ve already sent him in the last two weeks! The first two included stuff he needed from home (textbooks, papers, things from his room) but now that he’s settled I anticipate the frequency of packages will drop off soon.
Any future packages will just be for fun, to send along favorite treats or to show him that we’re thinking of him.
I love it when I can also follow along with a theme.
One was wood — and it included those textbooks, his favorite homemade item (a gorgeous cutting board he made in Woodshop last year)
and because he voiced a request for just a few pieces of nice flatware, I sent along some of my favorite vintage cutlery, part of an old French set with a significant heft and beautifully polished wood handles.
The other package was inspired by his new location, and so in addition to some of his favorite edible treats there were a number of patriotic inspired treats as well.
The trading cards are something I picked up at the Bins last year; I found 32 unopened packs and he loves reading about historical figures.
I told him if I sent one care package every month for his college career, he should get a pack in every one of them.
(I’ve since numbered them to track our progress).
There were more items with a flag theme.
And here are some other things Devon helped me find at the Bins, fodder for past and future care packages (football game, vintage stickers, dorm sized strainer AND Trump toilet paper? Yes please!).
And how about this cool vintage box for his desk (he can put his laundry quarters in it)?
So pals that’s my life right now.
Trying to support my hubby the best way I know how.
Even if he can only eat a few bites of homemade Bolognese, it’s worth it.
Spending time with my lovely daughter, even though it’s considerably less than we’ve become accustomed to.
Catching up with pals, even if it means that it’s not as leisurely or as frequent as I like, and I don’t have as much good news as I’d like to share.
Like I said holding patterns, circling seemingly endlessly, awaiting word that it’s safe to land.
I was talking yesterday to a friend I hadn’t talked to in ages, and I struggled to explain what it’s like around here.
The closest I can compare it to is imagine you’re looking at a giant box, and you have no idea if an angry snake or a luminous pearl is inside. You keep staring at the box, trying to imagine what you’ll see when the lid is removed, but you don’t know when that will be.
In the meantime, just when you think that you’ve found terra firma, a trapdoor in the floor suddenly opens up and whoosh! Down you fall. Sometimes you just fall inches but other times it feels like the drop is near-endless.
Cancer feels like that — and I’m just on the sidelines for this sad show. My poor hubby.
The good news in all of this we are all coming into this feeling bubble-wrapped with love; support and love and friendship and guidance shows up constantly and often from unexpected sources. So many people are doing this alone or with minimal support or it’s ravaging them financially as well, and luckily that’s not the case here.
So life right now… is the glass half-empty or is it half-full?
Or, as my walk yesterday also revealed to me, it’s more like the combo; some of life presents itself as fully ripe, others a bit past its peak, and the rest, no small amount, has us waiting to see if it will come to fruition.
Sigh. Hugs. Weekend well wishes.