Last week we did labs again, the check-in on the first two weeks of the new chemo. So far my side effects have really only been a very hoarse voice, being tired, feeling weak (but I was also in bed for almost two and a half weeks straight so it will take a bit to regain some strength) and that food never tastes the way I remember it should and I can only eat a little bit at a time. I'm tired, and slowly learning what I can handle...a few tasks a day is plenty (which feels very strange to this uber productive woman who is not used to slowing down EVER - but I'm learning). Last week was also a tumor marker lab week...it's a way to monitor the tumor growth without constant CTs (we'll do another CT in a few months), but this week, my tumor marker is up again from 534 to 686. Seeing the number made my heart drop. It's still growing. But I have to remind myself that I have only been on the new chemo exactly two weeks today....like the Fairy Godmother said in Cinderella, "Even miracles take a little time." Needless to say, when my family gave me the opportunity to spend the weekend on the coast together, it couldn't have come at a better time.
Road trips, good food, laughter and photos usually sum up our family vacations and this one was my summer dream! I'm so thankful that it worked out for the family to escape to the beach for a few days and get some respite from the crazy cancer routine we have been on for months and just enjoy nature, each others company and so much laughter!!
|My incredible champions/family on Smelt Sands, in Yachats, OR...the beginning of the 401 Trail we have walked hundreds time over the years, this time, we sat and watched the view...|
My best friend Jessica, who I have known since high school, made her second trip to Bend for me this month from Boise, which selfishly gave us quality time together too, but as a nurse, she also gave my family and I peace of mind that we were able to travel with our very own private nurse and everyone was able to relax for the weekend. A much needed gift to the family! It was a real gift to have her with my family - we laughed SO much, took hundreds (literally) of photos and she captured lots of photos of my family together.
We stayed in a family friend's house in Waldport, but drove along the coast to all my favorite places from Florence to Newport, taking in the glorious sunshine, the warm weather and salty sea breeze and putzing through some of our usual favorite family haunts.
|My beautiful sister/bestie (yes, she's that awesome she gets both titles...),|
|My beautiful mama|
|Beth took this photo on her early morning walk when she actually went to find me a seashell since I couldn't go far enough yet (I'm gaining strength back slowly) but I LOVE the texture in this shot!!|
|Laughing with my dad|
|McMurray Family at our favorite whale watching place in Yachats...|
|At Heceta Head - a glorious little bit of beach and we actually got a good walk in...it was perfect!|
|My besties...We actually look like we could all be sisters here...love that!|
|Sunset in Waldport OR - Magical light and energy!|
This weekend was my dream summer vacation and came at just the right time! I needed the break from the usual schedule, to be outside, my toes in the sand, sea air on my skin and quality time with these amazing people who make my life so incredible every day! I came home tired, and with a sore throat, but absolutely filled with hope, energy and permission that I can rest and slow down and give myself what I need. I found a bit of my twinkle again. :)
Thank you all for sharing this journey with me. Sometimes the simple act of writing and knowing people are following the journey, sending good vibes and healing energy to my family makes for such incredible healing energy!
Here's to dreaming up NEXT summer's family beach vacation! ;-) I'm planning ahead.