Thursday, April 28, 2011

We are fine after the storms - thanks for asking

I, too, spent last evening glued to the TV watching incredible storms moving closer and listening to the warnings. I even tried to call my collegue in Rome, GA when the storm looked especially threatening and the weather people augmented the warnings to immediately seek shelter they had been issuing steadily for an hour by asking the audience to call any friends and family in the direct path by cell phone and warn them to seek shelter if they had not already done so.

Unfortunately I forgot that having developed the habit of TIVOing everything I want to watch during my chemo days - I was watching the warnings close to an hour after they had been urgently issued.

So I went to bed. The worst of the storms bypassed Atlanta. Except for Balsam (the Plott Hound) inexplicably deciding to join me in my bed in the middle of the night, nothing too dangerous happened. And my collegue in Rome GA? He is fine, too. His family was watching the warnings in real time and responding appropriately.

Growing up in Arkansas I learned to respect tornado season. But I never remember anything like this. Last estimate I hear was more than 150 tornadoes in Alabama alone yesterday and more than 200 deaths counted to date. Alabama is our neighbor to the west for those of you a tad weak on geography.

But on other topics:

Finished my last Avastin (investigational drug) injection in late March. Celebrated with a weekend visit from college girlfriends from Omaha (Susan Thomas) and St Paul (Sherri Buss). Their visit gave me an incredible energy boost and we spent the weekend walking through the Botanical Gardens in full bloom, the Atlanta History Center, taking the Oakland Cemetery Civil War focused walking tour at twilight, and enjoying dining outside at various sites. Then they went back to the Midwest snow and I took a long nap.

Celebrations continued with a visit to Arkansas for cousin Nathan Walker's wedding on Palm Sunday weekend - visited with lots of Walker side relatives and my childhood friend Kathy Wilson took me to the best Palm Sunday service ever!! Drums, dancing, Hawaiian shirts, and the Pastor dancing behind the burro with a shovel and broom in his hands. A bit of a contrast with Easter Sunday pre-dawn great vigil with the bonfire, candle light, and Dean marching sedately with ceremonial candles and silver chalices in hand. Followed by a large Easter pot luck meal with friends from CDC and my Aunt Marian Sprinkle Graves here in Atlanta. 93 years old but she could beat me in a foot race. My friends thought she could not be a day over 75. Great food, great company, great celebration.

And this coming weekend I go to Nashville to see niece Louisa M Chapman perform in Carmina Burano with the Nashville Ballet. Those of you who have access to my Facebook page may have noticed postings a few days ago of Nashville Ballet members breaking into dance in a public building in Nashville. Louisa M is the one in front being lifted with the single blond braid.

That pretty much completes the month of official celebration. I am delighted to have the whole treatment thing over. I am really benefiting from the physical trainer's help, and my neuropathy is nearly gone. And I have nearly a month to catch up on some work around here before my next celebratory event, a trip to Minnesota for a week in early June (June 11-19) when I hope to see lots of friends from college and residency days.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A quote worth sharing

I found the following, written by Joan Borysenko, an MD and psychologist, on my friend Gina's blog today and wanted to share:

“You are at my side, dear friends, and God is everywhere. Yet ultimately we are alone, making our way home by the candle of the heart. The light is steady and sure but extends only far enough to see the next step. That there are steps beyond is a matter of faith. That we have the faith to endure and walk our own journey-even when we think that we are lost- is a gift of grace, and of friendship. Many times our light seems to go out. But another light, one held by a stranger or a friend, a book or a song, a blackbird or a wildflower, comes close enough so that we can see our path by its light. And in time we realize that the light we have borrowed was always also our own. ”