17 July

1. Swapping cancer treatment stories with a total stranger
2. Not one, not two, but THREE lunch dates with my hubby
3. Hugs from a doctor

Yep, I did it again. I lost track of time and let another three days go sailing by without a blog post. Maybe it’s because right now there just isn’t a whole lot to write about other than the day-to-day minutiae that really doesn’t make for good story-telling. I’ll try to be more mindful of this but I’m not making any promises!😄

Yesterday Rory and I drove up to Austin to pick up his car and the trip turned into a nice little solo outing for the both of us. The critters didn’t want to come along so after we tracked down the Chevy Cruze in the monstrous airport parking garage we popped over to a Games Workshop store to geek out over the painted models and also had lunch at a Free Birds a few doors down. We ended up parking ourselves at a table on the covered patio and just sat enjoying the nice breeze and the feeling of relative freedom. Going anywhere with our kids is an exercise in patience – they have agendas and no tolerance of anything that strays beyond those perceived boundaries – so when we’re by ourselves it’s almost exhilarating. We separated coming home because we were in two cars and due to a wrong turn, I ended up going the back way, which resulted in a very pretty drive. The hills southwest of Austin must have gotten more rain in the last week because it was a LOT more green than the New Braunfels area and I almost felt like I was driving through northern San Diego County. I so wish we lived closer to Austin. It’s such a fun, vibrant, diverse, funky area, not to mention it’s far more hilly than it is here and I love that.❤️

So, today while Rory and I were (once again) out to lunch, this time in Gruene, I was approached for the very first time by another woman who had also gone through cancer treatment. I suddenly heard someone ask, “Are you going through chemo?” Well, it’s a bit obvious that I’m going through SOMETHING, what with trailing IV tubing and carrying a little black bag that periodically mutters to itself. Anyway, I looked up to see this attractive lady with the most kick-ass hair ever. Seriously, it was closely cropped on the sides and spiky on the top, and slightly salt-and-pepper. We got to chatting and it turned out that she had gone through a double mastectomy (f**k you, cancer. You suck). She told me that she, too, had had a relapse but that she had beaten back the Beast a second time and was now clear. I described my first rounds of chemo and that after my own relapse I was now on track for a bone marrow transplant. She called me badass for going through all that! Weird… I really don’t think of myself as badass but I suppose I am, or at least I’m resilient. Thank goodness my body is still strong despite all the pummeling it’s received. Anyway, we exchanged compliments about the other’s hair/head coverings. I told her that I LOVED her look and she said that my carefully tied-and-tucked bandana was really cute and that she could never figure out how to do it on her own. I was struck by how young she was, and she had two littles who I’m sure were under eight years old. Cancer isn’t choosy. It doesn’t care how young or old you are, or how healthy you may think you are. It will take young, old, rich, middle income, dirt poor, all skin colors, all genders. It’s an equal-opportunity killer.😡

Oh, yeah, the doctor hugs… I forgot to mention this, but when I went to see Dr. Bachiere on Thursday I got not one but TWO big hugs from him! (Warm fuzzies!❤️) I’m always a bit flummoxed by hugs from near-total strangers and won’t usually give or willingly receive a hug on the first or second meeting, but this guy is an exception to that rule. And no, it wasn’t at all creepy, the hairs on the back of my neck didn’t stand on end or anything like that. (Trust me, I’ve met people who have wanted to give me a hug and all I’ve wanted to do is bolt in the opposite direction. Fast.) Dr. Bachiere seems to be a genuinely warm, caring person, the perfect medical professional to have on your team when you’re facing a big step like a transplant.