Monday, November 25, 2013

Two Down, One To Go!

Little River Trail - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
November 19, 2013

I don't know what it's like in your neck of the woods, but the frigid winter air with a stiff north wind accompanying it arrived in East Tennessee with a vengeance!  We went from mild, autumn like temps with calm breezes (perfect walking weather) to low 20s with wind chills in the teens OVERNIGHT!!  Yesterday was clear with brilliant sunshine, but somehow you could just tell by looking out the windows that the sunshine was deceiving!  

We had the most wonderful weekend!  Bill has had an excellent "recovery" week following round two of his chemotherapy treatments.  His appetite and taste buds returned, he regained some weight and his energy level, although obviously compromised, has allowed him to do some things he enjoyed.  One of which was decorating our home for Christmas.  We traditionally decorate on the Friday following Thanksgiving (which should tell you exactly how we feel about Black Friday), but given this year will be totally different, we decided to go ahead and decorate while Bill was feeling good.  Since we have a whole new place to decorate, we wanted the time to be really special.  And it was.  We got started Friday evening, took a break on Saturday and finished up on Sunday afternoon.  The condo looks beautiful and it is amazing how lovely our decorations look and fit in the new spaces.  The only thing we had to buy was a wreath for the front door.  The only thing we can't use are the giant wreaths which we always placed on the front windows of our 70-year old Cape Cod we moved out of!  I am so glad we got this done.  It will bring Bill a great deal of comfort next week when he is feeling so miserable!

On Saturday, we enjoyed our traditional Thanksgiving feast with our families!  Who says it HAS to be on Thursday?  The only "tradition" we didn't get to do was watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!  Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday and we have followed traditions established 36 years ago when we first got married.  When his treatment plan was set, Bill almost immediately recognized that Thanksgiving Day would fall during his lowest part of round three and he'd be unable to go anywhere, see anyone or do anything!  It was a tough pill to swallow, but after making it through round one and seeing that there truly is a "recovery" period, it was his idea to celebrate our Thanksgiving on the Saturday before when he would feel his best.  It was a wonderful day of thanksgiving and celebration.  Yes, Thursday will still be tough, but we'll be o.k.

Thanks to dear friends, Gene and Judi Curp, I was able to hike in my beloved mountains last Tuesday.  On a spectacular autumn day in the Smokies, we did the five mile Cucumber Gap Loop, and as always, I was reminded that there is no better therapy than doing what you love with friends who love you!  How eternally grateful I will always be for the friends I have met through writing this blog!  

Yes, Round Three is tomorrow and yes, we wish it were behind us.  Because of the holiday, this round is a tiny bit different.  The med which is continuously infused through a pump will come off on Wednesday instead of Friday shortening it by 48 hours and halving the amount of the drug he will receive.  His oncologist has been very pleased with Bill's progress and says this will be "enough."  We believe this is the med that has made him the sickest over the longest period of time, so we are in hopes that the shorter infusion time might make a difference in how sick he is and might allow him to "recover" a bit earlier!  However, we are also a bit nervous as the holiday weekend also means we will be without the "lifeline" of our doctor's office from Wednesday evening through Monday morning.  Yes, they are available and a doctor is on call, but it still isn't the same as being able to reach them immediately.  Should Bill become dehydrated, he'd have to go to ER rather than to the office for fluids!  So please keep us in your thoughts this week and specifically, that he will be able to drink enough fluids on his own to stay hydrated and the shortened infusion period will allow him to recover quicker!

I wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving.  Please, PLEASE take time to celebrate every blessing you've been given.  Live every moment to its fullest potential never forgetting that everything can change in an instant!  And in the midst of your Thanksgiving, find someone who might NOT be feeling "blessed" right now and using the resources you have, see if you can't make a difference in their day.  

Thank You for the Blessing of Your Friendship!


  1. What a beautiful post Sharon. These sorts of crises do make us even more mindful of and grateful for our blessings. Hope you'll post some pictures of your beautiful decorations. We are thinking of you both today and keeping you in our hearts.

  2. Same weather here on the western end of the state. One day it's shirtsleeve weather, the next day I'm considering doubling up on my thermal layer. Brrr!

    So happy you and Bill were able to celebrate the holiday with family! Schedules and traditions were meant to be tinkered with for freshness!

  3. Rock on Bill you will come through this like others have. Afraid I don't count as a friend in the States but if you move a little To the right you have on the UK willing you on

  4. Good to hear you both had a good respite beginning round three. Hiking is good for your soul! Yes, we all have a great deal to be thankful for. Take care and I hope round three is behind you both soon.

  5. Good luck with round 3; thinking of you.

  6. I am SO happy to hear that you had a marvelous weekend, and got to have a joyful Thanksgiving! I pray for you both every single day Sharon, and that will continue. May God be with both of you this coming week, in particular.

  7. What a great idea to celebrate Thanksgiving early. No rule that says your celebration has to be on the day. Glad to hear Bill made it through round two. Sending good thoughts to you and Bill for this next round. Hope all goes well.

  8. Sharon,
    I am glad you are able to put a positive spin on a terrible situation. You remain in my prayers.

  9. I hope round three goes easier! I'm thrilled you decorated early and had a fun weekend! My trees are all up too, so yay for the festive! :)

  10. So glad your family was flexible and you could have a nice Thanksgiving celebration! And great idea to get the Christmas decorations up early. You almost encourage me to decorate LOL!

  11. Love that you celebrated when it was right for you! It's the getting together that makes the holiday, not the actual date.

    We are *really* cold here right now. I wish we had put up the outdoor lights earlier in November because neither of us is inclined to get on the roof to hang lights.

  12. Hi Sharon, Glad you had such a wonderful weekend --and are all decorated for Christmas. Glad also that you enjoyed an early Thanksgiving. Hopefully, this week will go better --and the good news is that it is the last treatment like this. I'm sure it will all be worth it in the long-run… God Bless You both---and yes, I'll keep you both in my prayers.

  13. thinking of you both, and hope the worst is past you. :)