Another week, a week off chemo, flew by! If the response of the fast growing hair cells is evidence, the chemo is definitely working. I trust other fast growing cells, the cancer ones, are responding at the same rate! The cancer markers were definitely down at the last reading and the shedding of my hair is more evidence of things going in the right direction. I have always loved hats and find that scarves work fine. I purchased some extra hair that twice fooled my friend, Elizabeth; maybe it will fool you too.
The time in Ann Arbor was productive. My mother is less and less able to make conversation, but knows me and we know we love each other. She is in a living situation with kind people making life as stimulating and satisfying as it can be for those whose minds fail.
Clearing the things left from my parents extraordinary lifetimes is daunting, but I have been working through the memories and things with care and determination for some time. My friend Elizabeth met me in Ann Arbor and for four days helped me go through several more layers. A potluck dinner for eight wonderful friends at my home capped by singing highlighted our visit.
My friend David arrived at the end of the week to help me by driving me back to New York. We loaded his car with things to save, give to my daughters and dispose of here in New York and headed back. I love car trips. We took scenic highways that showed the true easy beauty of this land. On the way we stopped at the Chautauqua Institute, a beautiful resort area dating from the Victorian era. Eight hundred acres houses an Institute for the visual and performing arts, philosophy and religions in a Victorian town. Performance and meeting spaces punctuate the winding streets and gardens. Victorian homes welcome all comers with wrap around porches, cupolas, and fanciful gingerbread, an abundance of flowers, streaming bicycles, and good will. Winding walking roads, arching trees, and a beautiful lake brought delight at every prospect and turn.
Now I am looking forward to going to the Institute to be with my colleagues and to seeing my daughter and grandson this week...and to starting another round of Chemo this Friday. Chris Saudek will come and stay with me to visit and help.
I am thinking of all my friends at Feathered Pipe Ranch. It causes some pangs not to be there as the week which has anchored my year for so many summers. There is no place on earth I love more than its hallowed earth, hills forests, bringing unexpected sightings of enchanting wildlife. Prayers for me, for all of us, and for the earth are in the Lodge and teepees. Delight is in the air and on the wildflowered walks, ways, and byways.
I love hearing your news, poems, and observations.
And now on with the day!