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Leave of absence

July 15, 2011

It’s been almost a month since I last posted; keeping up a blog requires dedication. Here’s what I’ve been up to since June 16:

  • I’ve been to the hospital and back a few times. Mostly just for my regularly scheduled chemo, but once in hysterics, when I thought the needle had come unplugged from my mediport and that the chemo was leaking into my body. But that story warrants its own post.
  • I had my hair cut very short. I had been planning to do this for a long time, but wasn’t sure it was a good idea with the chemo. Even though I won’t lose all my hair, with the thinning I thought maybe I should keep what I had. When I asked the doctor, though, she thought it was a good idea for my mental health. Dealing with hair loss is easier if you don’t see long hairs all over the bathroom sink and floor. So pixie it is!
  • Operation Fatten Rachel Up was launched at work. Every morning when I go into the office, there’s a glazed donut waiting for me next to my keyboard. I’ve also enjoyed my boss’s mother’s neighbor’s peanut butter balls, my coworker’s flag cake, another coworker’s gingerbread, and another coworker’s chef husband’s steak and shrimp fajitas. Yum.
  • My youngest sister had her 19th birthday. She’s in China, so I had to celebrate at the beach without her.
  • As referenced above, I spent my sister’s birthday weekend at the beach in Delaware. My best friend and her husband, both friends from college, came down from New York to meet me; it was the first time I’d seen them since they got married (in Arkansas in April, in a ceremony that was missing one bridesmaid…Guess who?).
  • I moved my June 30 chemo appointment up a day so that I could be unhooked by July 1 and spend the holiday weekend back at the beach. The first week after chemo is the most difficult for me appetite-wise (both because I can’t eat anything that is cooler than room temperature and because everything, even water, tastes a little strange), but I had a house full of family and friends to make sure I was eating enough. I broke out my 4th of July dress and enjoyed fireworks on the beach.
  • Last weekend I traveled yet again, this time to Massachusetts to help pack up my aunt’s house. She lost her battle with non-smoker’s lung cancer in late April; her partner, my mom’s sister, lost her own struggle with breast cancer nearly eight years ago. The weekend was a whirl of emotions; I enjoyed spending time with my13-year-old cousin (my aunts’ daughter), her aunt and uncle, and her new family (all of whom I consider members of my new extended family), and I was happy to have three days to spend with my mom, who I hadn’t seen since March – but it was difficult to say goodbye to the house and its contents, and to see my cousin struggle with her decisions of what to keep, and what could be sold in tomorrow’s yard sale. I left DC with just a backpack and returned with my aunt’s suitcase, filled with one part memories and one part random items – a coffee mug, several books, lots of pictures, a letter I wrote my aunt when I was five, a recorder.

It’s been a long month.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Katie permalink
    July 18, 2011 3:53 am

    hey, good to hear from you again. i like the fatten rachel up operation–sounds like a good one! and you’re right: keeping up a blog is a lot of work. i’ll be in dc from about the 19th-27th, so i hope we can hang out then. besos

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