Wednesday, 4 July 2018

And the Results of This Last CT Scan Is.....

Today was a day full of appointments. It started off with a regular appointment to have my feet looked at and make sure that they are healthy because of the neuropathy that I now have in both feet. The appointment went well and my feet were looking great. Then I was off to the local hospital to have my first hair appointment since it has been growing in. My hair was growing in unevenly and so this appointment just trimmed it all up to give my hair a tidy look. Immediately after that appointment, I made my way to the Cancer Centre to have my blood taken and tested in advance of my appointment with my oncologist. I took the opportunity to visit with former co-workers on my way to the Cancer Centre.

I saw my oncologist to get the results from the abdominal CT scan that was taken on June 22. A friend of mine volunteers in the Cancer Centre and my time waiting for my appointment went by very quickly as we chatted and visited. This was good as I had mixed emotions going into this appointment. I was afraid that the scan results would show that the 2 spots in my abdomen had grown again. I was afraid that my summer was going to be spent with more doctor appointments in order to get more scans and results. And then, I was expecting that my summer would be spent having a biopsy done and awaiting results from it at the same time as I would be recovering from having the biopsy procedure done. To be honest, I am tired of all the appointments. I'm tired of putting my life on hold. I would like to have a normal summer and be able to go away on holidays for at least a couple of weeks. When my name was called to go in for my appointment, I went and had my regular weigh-in as the nurse checked my weight. There was no change in weight from 2 weeks ago. This was good news. The nurse led me and Hubby to the appointment room. I tried to read my book while we waited. I couldn't concentrate. I was nervous. I was anxious. I was afraid of the worse case scenario.

Finally, my doctor entered the room. He normally carries my big, thick file with him. All he had was a piece of paper. Oh no.....this is not good. That was my thought. As always, my doctor finished rubbing the hand sanitizer into his hands and then he shook my hand. He asked how I was doing.  Then he said he was shocked by my CT scan result. The radiologist was shocked by my CT scan result. The CT scan from June 22 showed that my 2 spots had shrunk in size from the previous abdominal CT scan taken on April 25. The spots are still there but they are smaller. My doctor asked if I had changed my eating habits. My answer was no. He then asked me if I was taking anything to combat any pain. My answer was extra strength Tylenol. He asked if I was taking anything else. My answer was no. There is no logical explanation for these spots to have shrunk. My doctor is baffled. I don't care! I will take these results!! I do not need to see my doctor again until September in preparation for my next Rituxan maintenance chemo session. I asked my doctor, "Would the Rituxan have caused these to shrink?" His answer was no. I had no Rituxan between April 25 and June 21. The Rituxan I had on June 21 would not have had time to cause the spots to shrink in less than 24 hours (the CT scan was done on June 22). There doesn't seem to be any reason for me to be having my abodominal aches. I now put these pains down to stress. It has been a full year of worry.

So there is no logical reason for today's results. Perhaps the reason the spots have shrunk is due to all the prayers that have been said consistently for me. I have been praying regularly. Many friends and family have been praying for me. Many friends and family have had various prayer chains praying for me. Perhaps....maybe?.....God has decided to show His existence and answer some prayers. So I offer my very sincere thanks from the whole of my being to all of you for your prayers and positive thoughts.

Regardless, I am now able to have a "normal" summer! Hubby and I can now plan to have a 2 or 3 week vacation on the motorcycle. I haven't even looked this far ahead in the last several months. I can now stop worrying and start planning. I will take this reprieve and enjoy it fully. I know the spots are still there. We will see what they look like sometime in the future when my doctor decides to take a scan. But for now? I'm grabbing life with both hands and both feet. I'm going to enjoy!!!! So stay tuned and I will try to take you all on the ride with me.

Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!

Friday, 29 June 2018

Lymphoma and the Importance of Listening to Your Body

This past week has gone by very quickly. I know my body has been very tired as it has been a very busy and active last 6 weeks. The tiredness is also a symptom of the lymphoma. Tiredness refers to a bone deep exhausted feeling that never really goes away.

Last Friday was the Relay for Life event in the evening. The event ran from 6 p.m. to Midnight. I intended to take it easy that day but at 8 a.m. I received a phone call booking my abdominal CT scan for that morning at 10:45. So off I went to get that done. I must have been on a cancellation list. I was told not to eat before the appointment. Thank goodness I had been slow that day to get my breakfast and was able to fast until the appointment. Hubby rewarded me with lunch at our favourite Vietnamese restaurant. At the Relay for Life opening ceremonies, my Survivors' Speech was well received. I managed to walk the Survivors' Lap and then only one more regular lap with my Hubby. I wanted to stay at the Relay through to the end.  After my one regular lap with Hubby, I was feeling weak, tired and shaky. We went to our team's campsite and I sat to rest. I hoped that the shakiness and weakness would pass. It didn't. We went home around 8:30 p.m. I was disappointed but I also know that I need to listen to my body. My Rituxan chemo maintenance treatment had been the day before and I could feel my body sinking into a dark pit of "flu-like" symptoms. So home we went.

I struggled with exhaustion up until Wednesday morning (June 27) when I awoke feeling refreshed. I cleaned some of the house as it hadn't been cleaned for a couple of weeks. Yesterday, I ran errands all day. It was too much. By the time I brought my groceries home and got them put away, I was really feeling ill....achy muscles, exhausted, sore abdomen and even a little nauseous. So I laid down and rested. Then I was up and going to finish the last bit of shopping.

The exhaustion stayed with me. I felt like going to bed at 6:30 p.m. but I forced myself to stay up until 9 p.m.  I slept through the night last night but was wide awake by 4:30 this morning. I've had a restful morning but I'm still feeling a little tired. I intend to finish cleaning the house and pick up some pork side ribs for Hubby's birthday BBQ on Monday. If I don't get the ribs today, then I'll make a run tomorrow to pick them up. I really don't like fighting the crowds in the stores or on the roads while driving to the stores. Yesterday was already very busy and I expect today to be more so. I want to get it all done today because tomorrow will be an absolute zoo. But....I will listen to my body. If it continues to tell me that it's too tired, then I won't be going out until tomorrow.

This coming week will be another busy week. I have a chiropractor appointment on Tuesday, 4 appointments on Wednesday and a good friend coming to visit on Thursday. I will see my oncologist on Wednesday when I will get the results from the CT scan. My hope is that I will get at least 2 (hopefully 3?) weeks free of medical appointments and Hubby and I can go away on the motorcycle for a holiday. We have not been able to think ahead more than 2 or 3 weeks to make plans. There is always the possibility that I go to my oncologist appointment and he tells me that it's now time for the biopsy. Hubby and I feel this hangs over our head all the time. The next step after a biopsy would be making a decision about treatments. In a perfect world, we would like to be able to escape the medical world for a few weeks. So we'll see what next week brings.

In the meantime, Hubby's birthday is a time to celebrate life with a few good friends. I know that I have the support of my hubby and my son. I know that if I need them to help with cleaning, I just need to ask. I also know that our friends are also willing to help out. I continue to evolve as a person and ask for help when I need it. I've delegated some aspects of the meal to my friends. If my body continues to say (maybe yell) that it's too tired, I will be delegating chores to my son or hubby.

I'm still learning to listen to my body.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Lymphoma, Making a Difference and Living Fully

What a full week this has been! I had a really nice visit with my father-in-law and we had to say good bye as he returned home. Monday started out with my second in a series of vaccinations. Tuesday was going to be my "day off" in a busy week. On Monday afternoon, I received an email regarding my role as Community Champion for the Kingston Relay for Life 2018. I was scheduled for an interview with our local paper in preparation for our Relay for Life event which is tomorrow. Here's the link to the article which ended up being on the front page.

Sometimes I wonder about sharing my story. It really is no different than other cancer survivors and patients. I don't really consider myself anyone special except that I'm willing to be open about my experiences in an effort to help other people cope. This blog originally started out as a therapeutic tool and a way to let family and friends from afar know how I'm doing as I navigate through the health care system and this disease called lymphoma. Along the way, I have learned that it has helped strangers in their own journeys. I don't really feel like I'm a victim although sometimes in dark moments that label is worn. I really look at this whole experience as a trip....a journey. I have climbed aboard this train called lymphoma and I am travelling through to a destination which I hope will be a cure. Hope....that really is the reason for doing the Relay for Life. Hope for a cure. Hope that I live long enough for research to find a cure to Follicular Lymphoma. It's a journey. Sometimes it is an uphill journey. Right now, I seem to be travelling along a flat stretch of land that allows me to enjoy the scenery. I keep waiting for a steep hill down but so far the horizon is still just flat land. So let's enjoy the trip.

I'm enjoying having my son home and while Hubby was away this week, Son and I enjoyed seeing the movie "The Incredibles 2" on Tuesday night. What a great evening! I laughed and laughed as we enjoyed the movie together.

Yesterday I had an oncologist appointment. This appointment had two components to it. It was a check up in preparation for my Rituxan treatment which I will have this afternoon. The doctor's appointment was also to receive the results from some previous tests. My blood work was good so the treatment goes ahead as scheduled today. This is what was expected. The test results were for my Pulmonary Fitness Test (lung function test) and it came back with good news. My lungs continue to function well and there was no change from the one I had back in October. I do have a "mild abnormality" which is not a concern but just shows that my lungs are not as elastic as they should be. So the result from that test was good. The really good news is that my chest/throat CT scan was clear!! So as far as we know, they only "spots" are the two that have been found previously in my abdomen. In the last week, I have started to have some constant pain. However, it has not been acute enough for me to want to take extra-strength Tylenol. I think I have taken one pill 2 different nights to get me back to sleep when the pain interfered with my night's sleep. As a result of this development, my oncologist is sending me for another abdominal CT scan within the next couple of weeks. I will probably have another appointment to see him in 2 weeks. I expect to get the date for this appointment today when I go to the Chemo Lab in the Cancer Centre this afternoon.

After my morning appointment yesterday, I spent a wonderful afternoon with my best friend. We talked, we laughed and we visited our local farmer's market where we met up with another one of my friends who has a booth there. While at the market, 3 different strangers recognized me from the article in the paper. My best friend said "You're a celebrity!" The thing about "celebrity" is it is fleeting. I'm glad the article was written. I'm hoping it will help people to donate to the Relay for Life that will occur tomorrow. It's not too late to donate. You can donate to me on my Relay for Life page or to my team "The Cancer Honour Guard". Here's the link:

This morning I'm going to enjoy some singing with my friends as part of "The Grace Notes". Then I will make my way to the Cancer Centre for my treatment. Tomorrow night I will be part of the Relay for Life event and I will be making a survivor speech as part of the opening ceremonies. I'm already tired from the last few weeks of memory making. I can always rest later. Living fully is really important to me. Fame and recognition aren't what really counts. Spending time with my family and friends is important. Making lasting memories with them is truly the treasures of life in my opinion.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Happy Times While Waiting

I continue to wait for my next oncologist appointment where I will receive results of some of the various tests in the last 6 weeks. On June 4, I went for my chest/throat CT Scan just before going away to watch my son graduate from university. I now will get those results on June 20 when I see my oncologist.

In the meantime, I have thoroughly enjoyed being surrounded by family and celebrating life. Last week, my son graduated from university. We rented a house near the university for the 7 family members that were gathered to celebrate my son's achievement. What a great couple of days we had!! We travelled from our various home towns to gather and visit on the Tuesday. The special moments started when we met up with each other on the 401 OnRoute for lunch. Then we arrived at the house. The house overlooked a couple of ponds. What a peaceful and serene view we had from the living room and sitting room. We saw various birds at bird feeders and the sun reflecting on the ponds during the day. At dusk, the ponds reflected lovely pink and purple hues. On Wednesday, we awoke with great excitement and expectation. The morning was spent relaxing and reminiscing until it was time to get dressed up and go to the university for the graduation ceremony. Thankfully, the day was cool and the auditorium was not overly warm. The graduation ceremony started at 2:30 and went through to about 4:00. When I saw my son enter into the auditorium, I was choked up with emotion. When I saw him receive his hood and degree on stage, I had tears in my eyes. I am so very, very proud of my son. At the end, the graduates exited through side doors to the grounds outside. Once the academic party left the stage, the audience exited through the side doors to find our loved ones. When we found my son, I was the last one to get a hug. I was so proud and we just hugged and hugged for a long time. I was tearful as this was a milestone that I really wanted to reach. My son was also tearful as it was a celebration not only of his graduation but of life!  After many pictures taken outside, we went to the alumni sponsored reception. My son went to find his girlfriend to introduce her to us, the family, en masse. Poor girl. She seemed very lovely.

We left the university and returned to the house for about an hour while we relaxed before going out for a celebratory dinner. I had made the reservations back in March. It was a restaurant that we have passed for the last 5 years on our way to visit our son while he was in university. Our reservation was for 7:00 p.m. When we arrived, we were shown to a dining area that overlooked Lake Ontario. We had a lovely view of the lake at dusk. In the distance, we could see three ships waiting for their turn to go through the Welland Canal. My son recognized that his girlfriend and her family were at the table behind us. This was not planned! What a coincidence. My son also recognized one of his roommates from the last couple of years and her family as they also were dining in the restaurant. My family enjoyed a lovely meal full of laughter, pride and love. Pictures of Lake Ontario at dusk were taken as we exited the restaurant after our meal. I found the view stunning and so very relaxing. This was the end of a perfect day filled with love of family, pride and celebration with our son.

We returned to our rental home. I have never seen 7 people change out of suits and back into casual clothes so quickly. We sat around, chatted and fully enjoyed our family time. On Thursday morning we tidied up, packed up and went our separate ways to return home to our various destinations.

Life has continued to be full and enjoyable. On Friday, I did have a routine mammogram just because I have reached a certain age this year. After that appointment, I was involved with a taping of a preview show for the Relay for Life here in Kingston. Saturday, we had my husband's cousin and husband over for dinner (ribs, potato salad, coleslaw, cake and pie) and a lovely visit as my father-in-law is visiting. It was nice for him to see his niece and us to visit with friends who are also family. Sunday we had more friends over who always enjoy seeing my father-in-law.

Over the weekend and this week, I have enjoyed tending my gardens. I did some weeding and some much needed watering. Then there is the time spent on the patio watching the birds, squirrels, rabbits and chipmunks play and frolic in our back yard. The fledglings are just leaving their nests under the watchful eye of their parents. It is fun to watch them attempt to flutter and fly. Sometimes, the little baby birds are staggering to and fro as they hop around the back yard and make their way to the safety of our hedge. All lots of fun.

Last night I enjoyed a little boat cruise on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. It was around dusk and the colours were pastels and subdued to create a serene voyage. The scenery and water reflected at beautiful, soft pink glow. So life has been full and wonderful as I await the appointments next week. I have started to have a little of pain in my abdomen which signifies to me that things might be growing in there. Oh well.....I find our more next week. In the meantime, life is grand.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

The Myriad of Emotions

Usually my frame of mind is pretty good while I wait for appointments, CT scans, results, spots to grow bigger, etc. My life is full of waiting at the moment. Although I'm looking forward to the milestone of my son's university graduation this week, I have had some negative emotions the last couple of days. I think it is because I just want to be healthy and be finished with the uncertainty of where my health is going to go. Anyway, I'm very grumpy today. I can't even stand myself! This is the kind of day that I just want to be on a deserted island and be left alone. My emotions started to head this way yesterday. I don't know why.

I've enjoyed working in my garden and there's still lots to do. I'm liking having my son home for the summer. I like going out on the motorcycle. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family....until I get in a funk like this. Is this anger due to me being bored? Is this anger due to the unfairness of an incurable type of lymphoma? Is it frustration that I'm not able to work? Is it the rut of no matter how often you clean and tidy, there's always more to do? I don't know.

So today is a day that is written off. I'll wallow in my funk for today. I'll go for my chest CT scan tomorrow and get ready for the graduation this week.

Cancer causes a mix of highs and lows. High and positive emotion when you realize that a treatment worked. The deep disappointment of finding out a treatment didn't work. The anger and sadness of the incessant worry of what is growing inside your body. Normally I can deal with this and live life in the moment and enjoy life. Today is not one of those days. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Still Waiting, Watching, Living

I have been waiting for an appointment for my chest CT scan. The hospital called the other day and I'm scheduled to have it on June 4 (Monday). Then I will continue to wait for my oncologist appointment to get the results and also at the same appointment have blood work done and a check up in preparation for my upcoming Rituxan maintenance chemo.

Since my last post, I enjoyed a celebratory evening out with my fellow "Grace Notes". These are a couple of friends that I make music with. We performed together back in April and had decided that we would have an evening out together to celebrate our performance. We went out for dinner and then to The Thousand Islands Playhouse see Shakespeare's "The Tempest" which was performed by a local theatre group called The Kings Town Players. A mutual friend of "The Grace Notes" played the lead role. We thoroughly enjoyed our evening.

I have continued to take advantage of the warm, sunny weather to play in my gardens. I have planted my beans, beets and tomato plants in the vegetable garden. I have also planted some kale in containers on my patio. I weeded another section of my flower garden by the patio and transplanted 2 cucumber plants and another tomato plant in that area. I have a garden area that I have kept as a herb garden and also I have asparagus growing in that section. Unfortunately, my sage did not weather the winter well this year. So the other day, I went at it and cut it back. I have hope that it will grow again as there were some green live spots in it.

My asparagus and my rhubarb have been growing well. I am the only one in the house to like asparagus but I do try to cook it differently in an effort to tempt my hubby's (and son's) taste buds. They seemed to like last night's creation which was very simply asparagus laid across the grill on the BBQ. Then I served it with butter, salt and pepper. My rhubarb is very prolific this year and I have made more concentrate to add to my water as well as rhubarb loaf, rhubarb cake and rhubarb crisp. Hubby's preferences so far is my rhubarb custard pie, the rhubarb moon cake, rhubarb crisp and then the rhubarb loaf.

I am looking forward to my son's graduation from university next week and also a visit with my father-in-law. In the midst of all this, there will be the CT scan, a regularly scheduled mammogram and my continued vaccinations.

Hubby and I continue to get out on the motorcycle as much as we can. I am not losing weight and I am feeling good. I love listening to the birds while I sit on my patio in the early mornings and after supper. It is so peaceful and also entertaining to watch the mother birds teach and feed the fledglings that have just left the nest. We have a pair of cardinals that regularly visit our bird feeder. This year we also have a couple of house finches that have been regular visitors so far.

Do I worry about my health? Yes. It is always there in the back of my mind but it is no longer in the forefront. I am now at a point where I am enjoying my yard, my family and my friends. I'm off now to go for a walk with my best friend. Then I will help her divide some hostas and move them around. I also intend to visit another friend's booth at the local farmer's market. If there is time in the late afternoon or this evening, I will cut the grass. If not, I will do it tomorrow. My energy is good. If I do too much, then it takes me a couple of days to recover. So I just try to pace myself.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Living Life to the Fullest

After weeks of uncertainty and continued waiting and watching, I have finally managed to put the uncertainty to the side and enjoy living again. It probably helps that Spring seems to finally have arrived. I've always enjoyed the simple act of hanging my laundry outside on my laundry line. The morning sun warms up my patio which is sheltered and faces east. When I hang my laundry outside in the mornings, the sun feels absolutely wonderful as it warms me up. As I pin the laundry on the line, I see and hear the yellow finches, blue jays, cardinals, chickadees and grackles. I find the bird songs very soothing and they bring a smile to my face. Some mornings I even hear the local chipmunk scold me as I work on my patio.

I've also been enjoying the warmer weather by digging in my flower garden around my patio. There used to be grape vines around the patio which gave us privacy. I used to pick the grapes in the Fall and make juice and jam with them. However, I pulled the grape vines out several years ago because I wasn't using the grapes and it was a bit of a mess.  On the east side of the patio (front of the patio), there was still ground cover (periwinkle/vinca) and an aggressive plant that has purple bell-like flowers. Last Fall I decided that I wanted to pull out all of those plants and put in some hydrangea bushes. I started at the beginning of May to dig out and rip out the roots of these various plants that I no longer wanted. I wanted a fresh slate to work with in that flower bed. It has been hard work and very tiring. I can only work at it for about 20-30 minutes and then I need to rest for about 30 minutes. Early this week, I transplanted a couple of small hydrangea from another area of my garden into this east bed by my patio. I hope they take and thrive but if not, I'll dig them up and buy a couple of hydrangea to put in their place. Also earlier this week, I planted some beets and green beans in my vegetable garden. Timing for that was perfect as the next day we had a soaking rain that will help the seeds grow. On Thursday, I bought a new hydrangea bush to put in the last spot of my garden when I have finished ripping out the old plants. Yesterday morning, I finished ripping out the last bit of plants and roots. The new hydrangea went in and my hope is that the rain today will help it to take root.

The act of ripping out the plants and roots in my garden has been very therapeutic. There's such an irony and parallel to my health situation. How I wish that I could just go in and rip out the enlarged and growing spots that we all believe are some lymph nodes. If only I could dig them out, rip out the roots and keep it from growing back. At this point in time, this can't happen. The doctors have deemed it too risky for me. So there I have been, ripping and digging in my garden in the same manner I wish I could do to myself. Like I said, this has been very satisfying and therapeutic. Working with the sun on my back and listening to the birds while I work has been enjoyable. It was very satisfying yesterday to dig out and pull out the last of the roots. I'm very happy with how my flower bed is now looking. Let's hope the two small hydrangeas will take and grow. As of yesterday afternoon, there were a couple of green little leaves at the base of each plant so I'm hopeful.

For the last couple of weeks, I have been thoroughly enjoying my asparagus and my rhubarb that grow in my gardens. I love this time of year when the new growth appears and I can hardly contain myself as I wait to get the first taste of my garden. I love both asparagus and rhubarb. Last week, I made my rhubarb cake which didn't last long in our house. This may explain why I have been gaining weight as I have not denied myself the pleasure of my rhubarb in its various forms. I've been eating stewed rhubarb, rhubarb infused water and my first rhubarb custard pie of the season. The rhubarb custard pie is Hubby's favourite. Unfortunately, with me being at home, I was tempted and indulged that temptation by eating his pie. I'll just have to make another one in this coming week.

This is my birthday weekend and Hubby always takes me away on the motorcycle for the weekend. On Thursday night, he had cut the grass in the front yard. I know his plan was to cut the grass in the back yard on Monday when we arrive back home. He has been such a huge support and rock for me throughout this last year. So I decided to make his life a little easier and cut the grass in the back yard yesterday morning after working in the garden. I really struggled to finish cutting the grass. I was to meet Hubby for lunch and when he saw me, he knew that I was exhausted. I must admit that I did too much yesterday morning. I was very sore and slow moving for the rest of the day.

I must back up and mention a birthday celebration I had with my best friend on Wednesday night. For several years, we have been celebrating our birthdays together as they are within a week of each other. She hosted our birthday celebration and I supplied the dessert. I made my grandmother's pecan pie which served topped with a scoop of butterscotch ice cream with a drizzle of Cabot Trail (a maple cream liqueur). My best friend created a lovely menu with a Hawaiian theme. We had a great time!

As I read what I have written, I think that I have every reason to be tired this weekend. I must admit that as I climbed on the back of the motorcycle yesterday, my muscles were very sore. Hubby planned our weekend away and we rode for 2 hours straight to our destination. When we stopped at the park on the St. Lawrence River, I warned Hubby that this was not going to be a graceful dismount for me. Normally I can climb on and off the bike without making it wobble too much. I always keep my weight centered so it is easier for Hubby to hold the bike upright. Not early last night. I was stiff, sore and very unsteady as I climbed off the bike. Hubby really did feel the bike wobble back and forth. We both wandered around the park briefly as we stretched out our muscles. Hubby then told me to get back on the bike and off we went to our rental accommodations for the weekend. It is a lovely little home. Although it is in the village, we feel secluded by the fence, trees and shrubbery that surround the house. There are several bird houses around and lots of bird traffic.

I packed lightly for this trip due to lack of space in the bike. As a result, it did not take long to unpack and settle into our accommodations. Our hostess was so kind! She left a little container of home made cupcakes for our enjoyment. She also left us some fresh eggs and some milk for our use. After exploring our home for the weekend, we put together a small grocery list and went for a walk to the local inn for a pub dinner. On the way, we shared our memories of coming to this village for my obstetrician appointments 24 and 21 years ago. There has been some growth in the size of the local plaza in that time. At the inn, Hubby and I both had fish and chips. Hubby had a local craft beer called Rurban and I had a Guinness. After dinner, we walked to the plaza and Hubby bought some beer for the weekend and we bought some groceries for our weekend.

Last night, we expected today to be a very wet and rainy day. Our plans were to just hunker down in our "home" and read. This morning I awoke at 5:30 to see the sun shining and the birds singing. Of course, I had to turn on the television and watch the wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle. When Hubby woke up about an hour later, he joined me and we watched the wedding. Then Hubby made me a lovely breakfast. The sun was still shining so we decided to go hunt for some geocaches in the village. We walked about 2 to 3 miles by the time we arrived back to our "home". We found 3 of the 4 geocaches that we decided to look for. The village seemed to be having a "Garage Sale Day" throughout. There were many garage sales including one at the local Anglican church. Just as we approached the last of the geocaches, the rain drops started to fall sporadically. Our thoughts were that if we got soaked, we would just throw our clothes in the dryer that is at the house. We found the last geocache and then walked back to the park on the St. Lawrence River. We decided to have our lunch at the food truck there. The rain had stopped so we ate our lunch at the picnic tables that overlooked the river. The temperature dropped and the wind definitely was colder than when we started out this morning. Our first geocache that we found this morning was in this park. I found it somehow satisfying that we ended our long walk in this same park while we enjoyed our lunch. Just as we walked up the driveway to our accommodations, the rain drops started to fall again. The rest of the afternoon has had a steady rain. Hubby watched the Toronto Blue Jays game while I had an afternoon nap. As I write this, the Jays have lost their game 5-4. Hubby is now having a nap. We will have a steak dinner. Hubby will barbecue the steaks and the potatoes on the supplied propane barbecue and I will cook up the two cobs of corn that we bought at the local grocery store.

As I finish up this long post, I am enjoying a hot cup of earl grey tea. I mentioned to Hubby this morning that by digging in the garden and thoroughly enjoying the outdoors this past week, I have finally managed to put aside the uncertainty and fear of my health situation. Hubby and I are living life fully with no regrets. I did have a pulmonary function test on Tuesday. This was to test my breathing and lung function. I had one at the beginning of October 2017 in preparation for my stem cell transplant. This time, I did notice that I was coughing at the end of each phase of the test. I am still waiting for the chest CT scan appointment to be booked. My hope is that I will continue to enjoy each day and this beautiful warm weather. The all encompassing beauty of nature has always been a balm to my soul. Spending time with my friends and family is also a healing salve that helps me enjoy life fully each day. I have a busy social calendar again this coming week but in the meantime, I am enjoying my birthday weekend away. I believe tomorrow and Monday will be sunny days so I expect that we will hop on the bike and explore the surrounding area while we hunt for geocaches. Carpe Diem....truly.