Dearest Yang, Pt. 5

I have so many pictures of our kids, but this is the only one I have of us together…IMG_0610Remember when I stopped by to visit you on my way back from the doctor’s office, after I had gotten my cancer diagnosis? I knew you’d just had surgery, but we didn’t realize until then that we both had cancer. It was so terrible to discover that we were both going through the same thing, but it was also a comfort to have a friend who truly understood.

Remember how we texted back and forth comparing appointment schedules, biopsies, and scans, and how we tried to fit in visits in between? Remember the time we spent together as you were undergoing chemo treatments? Sometimes we chatted, sometimes I just sat next to you while you slept. Sometimes we continued our conversations over lunch after your infusion was finished.

Remember when you had your son drive you to my house to visit me after my surgery? You were still weak from undergoing treatment, but you wanted to bring food to me. Remember how you asked, “Are you ok with pig feet?” Yang! Could you tell I was having a bit of a panic attack trying to figure out how to politely say that I didn’t think I’d be able to eat pig feet?! (I’m so sorry)! Remember how when I was worrying about what was going to happen to me you texted me: “I am together with you“? Yang, even though we can’t see each other right now, I am together with you too. Thank you for being such a good friend to me. When we see each other again, let’s take another picture together, OK?

xoxoxo,
Adrienne

 

 

Dearest Yang, Pt. 4

Just a quick note today…Remember the Lunar New Year party you had at your house a couple years ago? It was both exhilarating and terrifying! I wrote about it here…

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If I had a lantern to light this evening, my wish would be for good health: for you, for my own family, and for everyone around the world who is suffering right now.

Thank you for being a light in this exhilarating and terrifying life, my dear friend. We’ll get through this dark night together.

“Though we are far, our hearts our near.”

Love,
Adrienne

#Goals

img_7351Yesterday I had my scheduled “Be Well” visit, one of the many annoying assaults to my dignity that I must endure, like a pigeon pecking a button for a pellet, to earn a lousy (taxable) $600.

A slim, bright-eyed doctor strode into the room. He looked all of twelve years old.

“So! Let’s talk about your Be Well goals for the year!”

I was taken aback. “Oh! I actually have been thinking about those all week, but I’m still working on them. I promise I’ll have them by my next phone appointment with my Be Well Advocate though.”

“Mmmhmmm,” he said with his fingers poised over the keyboard, “But I have to put them into the system, so let’s go ahead and work on those now.”

“NOW?!” I said in a mild panic, “Well, OK. I will…ummm…try to exercise four days a week.”

“Good one!” he said with an encouraging smile, “One more.”

“I’m blanking. Do you have any suggestions for me?” I asked.

“How about…I will meditate three times a week for five minutes. That seems easy enough, right?”

“Yes, but…shouldn’t it be something that I would realistically do?”

I continued to muse out loud, “I know I should lose some weight, but I also feel like the goal should be something that would actually be achievable…”

“Drink less?” he proposed.

“I don’t drink.”

“Eat less sweets at work?”

“I don’t eat a lot of sweets.”

“Eat a greater proportion of vegetables at meals?”

“I don’t eat meat.”

“Well! You’re just perfect.”

Exasperating medical health professionals is one of my special talents.

Until this year, it used to be the case that instead of going to a doctor, the Be Well program would require you to move through stations set up around a large conference room. At one station you would get weighed and measured. At another station you would get your blood drawn. At the final station, a nurse would interpret your results and give you recommendations to improve your health.

One year, a well-meaning nurse tried to get to the bottom of my high cholesterol numbers.

“Do you eat a lot of sugar?”

“No, I really don’t.”

“Do you eat a lot of fried foods?”

“No.”

He started to look at me with suspicion.

“Red meat?”

“I don’t eat meat, just fish occasionally.”

His eyes narrowed and he asked, “Fatty foods?”

“Not really, although…I do eat cheese,” I conceded.

The nurse pounced: “You MUST. EAT. LESS. CHEESE.”

Now, under pressure to come up with something, anything, I blurted out to the doctor: “OK, I have my second goal!” Forgetting all my scruples about setting a goal that was both realistic and achievable I announced: “I will eat less cheese.” I cringed as the words spilled from my lips, fully confident that no stupider-sounding goal had ever been set in the history of the universe.

Doogie Howser exacted his revenge on me.

“Hah! That’s the exact opposite of MY goal. My goal is to eat MORE cheese. I fantasize about quitting medicine and becoming a cheesemaker! But my wife says I have to pay off all my med school loans first.”

Well, I suppose we all have our crosses to bear.

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Ten years ago

Shutterfly has jumped on the “Memory” wagon and I love it…Last week they emailed me these photos from a Christmas card photo shoot ten years ago!

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We’re going to see that no-longer-little-sprite-on-the-right very soon…I just bought his train ticket. He’ll be home for the holidays from his first semester of college by the end of the week!

Thanksgiving Weekend

Waiting for the rest of the family to arrive…

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What a joy to see our college boy…

So thankful for my sis.

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Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life…

Skyping with our niece in Edinburgh…

Showing her my mom’s inexplicable “Man Lady” purse.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Big cousins appreciating their little cousin’s creative efforts…

Sad to say goodbye to this boy until Christmas.

After we dropped Grandma & Grandpa off in Arlington, this guy drove us almost all the way to Charlottesville.

…and home, sweet home.