Thursday, December 29, 2016

Quelle année 1

2016 was a year filled with catastrophes, natural and man-made, political upsets, vitriol, deaths of icons and hatred.

In contrast to that I've lived in a cocoon of happiness, bolstered by a loving husband and friends. It is not just that I give to my friends and they give to me, but they give to each other.

It doesn't mean the year was problem free for me or some of my friends, but it does make it possible to get thru negative.

I will be doing a month by month summary today, tomorrow and Saturday.

January 2016
My last chemo. People think I am crazy when I said much of it was fun. The staff at HUG made each session almost like a tea party with discussions of kids, pets, recipes and more. I was never sick, just terribly, terribly weak.

And my Helicopter Husband was there when the after chemo-weakness struck. Before we married, he had been warned against limiting my independence, but I learned that there are times when it is okay to be dependent, I am so grateful to Rick for all that he did. I am lucky he is in my life.

February 2016

Julia and I went for sushi. I could eat it again now that I wasn't worried about bacteria and low blood accounts. Between her broken arm and my continued weakness we needed to tea up to have the strength to open a bottle of Coke. The normalcy of lunch with a good friend was a real, real treat.

I was able to get back to Argelès for a few days before starting radiation. Learning it wouldn't be five weeks of five treatments daily, but one treatment a week in Bern for five weeks was great. A piece of cake.

March 2016

I had the strength to attend the Geneva Writers Conference, intellectually stimulating. A chance to get reacquainted with two special writers and friends, Mohamed and Sylvia, who no longer live in the area, and several others whose work I respect.

The weekly trips to Bern allowed us to explore that city a bit. The train was the better alternative. The one day we drove, it took us longer to get thru Geneva traffic than it did to go from Bern to Geneva.

I'd worried about speaking German--mine is of the shopping variety, not medical, and as for my Swiss German? Forget it.

My doctor spoke seven languages fluently. While he heated my skin (part of the treatment) we chatted about history, medicine, books and so many topics that the 45 minutes seem like seconds. What a delight he was.

April 2016 

Back in ASM, I was strong enough for Rick to go a business trip, although many friends were on standby if I needed help, which I didn't.

Doing normal things like baking bread and cookies became gifts.

We started going to Sunday vide greniers to search for a picnic basket and all its contents such as dishes, glasses, knives, etc. Our first find, however, was a magazine rack for the bathroom. Sometimes that room can be called the New Yorker or Reading Room.

The one downside, or maybe not because it was a bit of an adventure, was being helicoptered to the hospital in Perpignan after an esophagus attack. They match the pain of a heart attack but after having them for decades, the results of follow up tests are always I'm fine. The tests are precautions. I was sorry Rick couldn't go with me because I had a lovely view of Canigou, the mountain he loves. He did meet me at the hospital.

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