Monday, August 11, 2014

Better than Xanax

Somehow, three months have passed and it is time for another scan. And, miraculously, I have not been completely hijacked by anxiety this time around (only occasionally held in its grips over the past couple of weeks). I'm not saying I've been a free-spirited, deep-breathing, always-patient monk about it, but remember: this is me we're talking about. Was I ever going to be that person?

My secret to staying sane? Lots of wine.

I'm only slightly joking.

We spent the last week in Portland, Oregon -- Chris at a workshop on volcanic ash, Quinn and I exploring summer in the Pacific Northwest with one of my best friends from college, J.T., and her two girls. We took our three preschoolers to the zoo, the park, a fountain they could splash around in for hours, a farm to pick berries, another park, out for ice cream a couple of times, and to the Oregon coast to explore the beach. We stayed busy.

My friend took me to her -- how do I say it? intense? sweaty? insane? -- spin/dance class where I almost fell off the bike. Her husband had asked me the night before if I had much rhythm even though he's known me since we were 21 and has probably seen me on the dance floor. When I said, "Not really," he replied, "You're going to hate it." Hate is a strong word, but I probably bore a strong resemblance to Elaine in her infamous "Seinfeld" dance. Since I didn't pass out, though, I figured it was a good indication I'd do okay on the echocardiogram of my heart this week. I hope.

Between the blackberries and the misty coastline, I was homesick for that corner of the country where I spent a good part of my childhood. I was ready to find Chris a job studying the soil of the region's winemakers. That's a good job for a geologist, right?

It's not like Chris didn't love the inexpensive microbrews or the lack of pretension or the fact that the only things that will get you judged are putting your recycling in the wrong container or driving too aggressively.


This morning I woke up before Chris and Quinn to drive across town for my CT scan, then across the street to the hospital for the ultrasound of my heart. I grabbed coffee between my tests, and a sandwich afterward, before heading a couple of miles south to my infusion center for chemo.

My nurses all asked if I'd had a rough weekend thinking about my scan (results of which I'll get Wednesday afternoon). The truthful answer is no, because it's hard to think about an upcoming scan when you're chasing toddlers and marveling at perfect summer weather and attempting to stay upright while dancing on a spin bike.

I wonder if I can get a prescription for a trip to Portland every three months?


  1. That sounds like the perfect preparation. I loved reading about your trip.

    1. I sometimes feel like we -- as a family -- wear ourselves out with all the trips we take, but I am determined to live the heck out of this time, even if I'm tired. And Portland really was wonderful.