(Stolen without permission from my Dad's Picasa page.)
In addition to the chiles, my folks brought with them more rain. In contrast, my inlaws came to visit last weekend and brought blueberries and sunshine. When push comes to shove, I like chiles better than berries, but sun better than rain. So, we will call it a wash and say C and I had a nice visit with both families.
The sun was actually a very welcome treat. To those of you who have not been living Anchorage's weather on a daily basis, we have set records this summer for crap. So having made it through the worst parts of my third round of treatment and with sunny skies beckoning, we headed to the hills last weekend. On Saturday we walked for four miles or so on the Prospect Heights trials.
We forgot the hand made sign, but I'm holding up a 53 to signify 53 days of chemo. While those of you in warmer climes may not think it, fall is actually approaching fast:
Having decided that the warm weather and exercise were doing us good, we returned to the mountains on Sunday and made 3.5 miles and 2000 vertical feet up Wolverine peak before I turned us around. Unsurprisingly, it was turning to fall in the higher elevations too:
Near our high point, with Denali, Foraker, and the whole of the Alaska Range visible in the background:
At our high point, with vibrant yellow tundra countering the glare from my scalp:
And finally, over looking Anchorage with the airport, Mt. Spur, and another hiker all making an appearance:
The warm (meaning 60 degrees; warm is a relative concept) temperatures continued into Monday, but yesterday the fog rolled in. My best guess is that the sun continues to shine somewhere above the clouds, but visibility in our neighborhood has been cut to a couple of hundred feet. Its like a balmy January out there. But as they say, it is better to have sunned and lost than to have never sunned at all. And the way this summer had been going, we were squarely in the never sunned at all camped a few days ago. I'm glad the break in the weather came at the right time in my treatment cycle.
As far as I know, I know everyone who has ever laid eyes on this blog. But this being the information age, and information wanting to be free and all, there is the (slim) possibility that someone out there stumbled upon this page through the power of Google or by dumb luck. As a newly diagnosed NHL patient, I scoured the web for what information I could glean, and read other's experiences in blogs and forums as a way of getting a handle on what I was facing. If someone similar is reading this, I should note that notwithstanding pictures of sunny mountains and smiling Scotts, R-CHOP is not all daffodils and Belgian beer. I feel good this week, but chemo has had its fair share of "This Sucks" moments, perhaps captured by the following picture taken at my second treatment:
And yes, the picture is sideways. I like to think it is an artistic way of capturing the sideways feeling of bright orange liquid pumping into a valve on your chest, but really it is just that I'm too lazy to open the file in an editor and rotate it.
To wrap up this post (and get myself to bed), I'll just toss out a hello and thanks to T&A in Olivet, France for a CD that just arrived in the mail. Several years ago, C and I traveled through Europe and spent time with T&A in France and Switzerland. We spent a night (or two?) with A's family in a small town outside of Geneva. We spent the nights with A's grandparents with a window overlooking vineyards, and the days at A's parents house, a traditional looking alpine chalet, watching chickens run through the yard. One sunny, comfortable afternoon, C and I were sitting on the back porch. Upstairs, A's brother and a friend had picked up some instruments. The air smells clean, there was probably raclette in the oven, and guitar and accordion music spilling over the balcony. It is a nice memory, and the playing was very good. A's brother and band mates have now finished what is being referred to as a "pre-pre-production" version of a CD, and we just got a copy. Many thanks. The music is cheerful and will remind us of relaxing days in Switzerland.