MERRY Christmas & travel time warp

img_4109We celebrated Christmas in SF for the first time ever and enjoyed a walk at beautiful Chrissy Field above. Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA on all technology. I zoned out a bit during the holidays. Minus what have been some horrifically painful chemo driven blisters, I’m doing really well. Sleeping well, napping, and as my feet heal getting back to walks slowly. My hilarious sparkly Uggs have served me well. I will have an MRI around Feb 1 to see how my brain is faring. Hopefully the radiation does its work and Xeloda continues to do its work in the bone.

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I got nostalgic taking down the Christmas tree today. There is something about saying goodbye to the ornaments for another year, hoping you will see the next season. I think I will see many many more thanks to the ever evolving drugs. Even if the side effects aren’t easy there is much life to be lived.

img_4040As you know I travel rather a lot when I’m feeling good as I hit the bucket list and create memories. I’ve found that travel gives the illusion of a time warp stretching it out with each new adventure so that days feel like weeks.   I like that. I felt very spoiled on two recent trips: one to Calistoga Ranch with my friend Melissa to celebrate her starting a new company for cancer and other disease trials, and then me and the kids in Tahiti with our dear friend Eliza. Creighon was consulting and then back East with his sister so we missed him. Calistoga Ranch is serene, tucked up against the trees and mountains at the top of Napa Valley. The spa has a huge hot tub under the trees as well as mineral baths. We enjoyed the quiet and the hikes on the property. I even managed to bike into Calistoga. Ultimately it was a special and relaxing time with my dear college roommate who rarely gets time for herself.

The Brando was a world away via Southwest, Air France, and an exhilarating helicopter ride. Set in a 3 mile lagoon it often feels like a private resort. We had rain 2 days and stunning sun 3 days. It is very very shallow so the highlight was paddle boarding rather than swimming. A short walk though took us around to the snorkeling section of the beach with gorgeous turquoise, black and white striped, and elegant angel fish. Also the ugliest sea cucumbers we have ever seen that looked like giant eel-octopus combined.

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Calistoga Ranch morning

The Brando’s food was a sure standout. PARIS quality food at every meal. Best croissants ever. A menu that somehow elegantly ranged from foie gras to sashimi to vegan and a cocktail list that catered to kids and adults and cancer patients who want to have cocktails but can’t have as many as before. We slept well, enjoyed leisurely meals, read, hit the plunge pool, the big pool, and the lagoon. 5 days flew by. I loved that the meals set the stage for fun conservations with the kids and gave us a chance to laugh hard with Eliza. The trip back was a beast with an overnight in Papeete, but I’m so glad we went.

It is hard to believe I’m a solid 18 months into this cancer journey. It has brought much joy and learning along with the obvious sadness. I’m blessed to have so many dear friends and such loving family and this crazy disease has in a weird way given me more time with you. We are more intentional in our actions, more honest in our words, and more purposeful in our lives. I plan to live 2017 in that spirit and will work through each drug that extends my time here. I feel very lucky to be surrounded with so much love. I wish you all good health and much joy in the new year.

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