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What haven't we been up too?

I bumped into my friend Loren at TJ's.  As usual, he greeted me with a radiant smile and a big hug.  "Michelle," he said, "where have you been and what have you been up to?  Your last blog post was months ago- months!  'Old & Broke' way back in March."  So indeed, it has been 3 months and I have been so busy working on "Broke" I haven't sat down to write.  Here is the cliff notes version. 

In late March, Bruce and I celebrated our 10th anniversary with a huge party.  Thanks to Julie and Dave for hosting.  Thanks to my parents for the lovely homemade quilt.  And thanks to all our friends who came together to celebrate.  Pictures  Lets do it again for our 20th!  Next time you're at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History cross the creek and visit the anniversary bench we donated.  

A few days after the party we kicked off our overpacked summer of travel with 2 weeks in Oxford.  Thanks, Allison, for offering up Queens College kitchen for a reunion dinner.  Thanks everybody for all those pub meals, toe path walks, museum wanders and reminiscing.  I was welcomed back with such love, I felt more important than the Queen.  We ended our trip with a few days in London visiting Kew Gardens, Greenwich and Churchill's War Rooms with Lara, Tom and their girls. It was a great reunion.  Pictures

After a brief and busy three weeks at home, preparing for remodeling our bathroom, we headed to Japan -- my first trip to Asia and the top spot on my travel wish list.  We donned Henro (pilgrim) attire and hiked 120 miles while visiting 17 temples on the island of Shikoku.  At every temple we lit a candles and incense, said prayers, and tried to master the perfect bow.  The full route of this 1,200 year old Buddhist pilgrimage visits 88 Temples along 700 miles of urban, rural, and mountain trails.  It is magnificent!  The Pilgrimage is nominated for World Heritage status.  We were the only western tourists, but that will change -- if you're tempted to visit, go now.   Video from our tour company.   Our Pictures

The aforementioned fun was all planned well in advance, but then last week this happened.....     We had to squeeze it in before we head off to Eastern Europe on Thursday!  Thank you, Jane, for so graciously hosting us on the set of Grace & Frankie.  Jane is an inspiration: I hope to be as old, fabulous, and making the world a bit better decades from now.  (Jane,- please take the 'old' comment as it is intended, someone fighting hard to make her 50th birthday)   And thanks, Martin, for chasing us down as we left the lot to give us rosaries.  And not to be overshadowed!  We also had a lovely visit with Rosa while strolling through Huntington Gardens.  

I am thrilled to have my health news as a short inconsequential little PS.  All winter I was complaining about hot, acidic pain in my lower left abdomen, where the tumors were.  As chemo progressed the pain was gradually getting worse, but my CA markers were falling and my post chemo scan was clean, so it was perplexing.  Dr. S kept saying, "it can't be Porlock, there is nothing there."  We finally figured out- it's an ulcer!  I'll take it, beats the alternative.  I am healing slowly; after a month on prescriptions it's finally improving.    

I have my Avastin infusion tomorrow.  The infusions set the rhythm of our life:  every three weeks I am confronted with Porlock lurking in the dark shadows.  Some days feel like a pressure cooker, trying to pack 40 years into a few.  So far I'm keeping up with my ambitious plan. In between treatments I will continue to slingshot myself across the globe or around SB into as much adventure, community, and joy as I can.  I refuse to suffer -- a day I spend in worry or sorrow is a day Porlock wins.  Thank you, Bruce, for hanging on with me.  I am grateful every day for feeling healthy.   

Find joy in today and take care of each other.


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