More Than Half Way

I have decided this post to share some of my favorites from several trips to Venice. As many of you know I have a passion for doors (and windows, gates, door knobs, bells and knockers). So I’m sharing some of the ones I have found particularly interesting. And of course we have to include i gatti. The picture shown as the featured image is the Dingo cat shelters at the deconsecrated church of San Lorenzo where I visited the cats on my first trip in 2008. I have been back to visit each trip since and although it has changed a bit the gattare (cat ladies and a few men) are still caring for the feral cats who live here.


You can get great pictures of doors just by wandering the calles or even from the vaporetto as it carries you down the Grand Canal.



The weathered shutters are another favorite of mine.


I would have thought it would have been better to have the gate to keep you from going in the water….or maybe that’s the point for unwelcome visitors. But note the life ring…just in case.


The choppy water in the canal demonstrates this last couple of weeks.

And now for my update. Wednesday for my visit with Dr. X. he was very concerned about my neuropathy and if it is progressing. He also gave me a prescription for dealing with the rash on my hands (they look like I’ve been doing dishes with harsh chemicals). He says it is an allergic reaction probably to the Taxol that sometimes, like the neuropathy, doesn’t show up till about halfway through. He also suggested I start taking a supplement called L-glutamine for help with the neuropathy. I started taking both and so far no results but it is early days. He said if my numbers (CA-125) remain good …the last one was 8 which is well within the normal range of 0-35, we may be able to stop chemo earlier than planned. Most normal people (people who don’t have cancer) score about a 5-7. We would do another Pet Scan to be sure and I may or may not need radiation. My current plan is the recommended dosage for people with my type of cancer. He would not stop it if there was any chance the cancer was still there.  His plan is to give me many happy years and get me to Venice.  So we shall see in the next few weeks what happens.

The neuropathy has been really getting me down. So far it is numb and sometimes tingly toes and fingertips …try typing with fingers that feel strange. It throws off my balance and limits my mobility and independence. I am taking the L-glutamine powder (15 grams twice a day) stirred into apple juice although it dissolves better in my green tea I’m not sure putting it in a hot beverage is okay. So I’ll continue with juice. A friend is picking up my favorite today…Oceanspray’s Cran Mango. If you haven’t tried it…it’s delicious….even without the L-glutamine.

Thursday continues to be my best day of the week when I have the steroid high from the treatments on Wednesday although not as good with the neuropathy. Fridays and now Saturdays I feel like I have the flu and don’t want to try to move.  I do get up and get dressed. There is no TV in my bedroom.  I try to read, listen to music, sleep a lot. Absolutely nothing gets done. I have stopped even going to the lobby to check my mail on those days. I was warned by both my doctor and the nurses that the fatigue would increase and it has. I never believed the simple act of taking a shower would be so tiring. I just allow myself to rest when I need it and listen to what my body tells me. And I keep reminding myself that it will be over soon…or maybe “sooner’.


Diavolo continues to do well and shows no outward signs of distress.  He is enjoying spending lots of time out on what has become known as the catio. Since we have had a recent raccoon sighting he makes sure our patio remains a “raccoon free” zone.

About mvaden1948

I love to travel to Venice (and probably other parts of Italy and beyond) and my camera leads me where she wants without any consideration as to whatever plans I may have. I enjoy photographing nature, my cat and anything that strikes my fancy. I have a "thing" for interesting doors and architectural details.
This entry was posted in Cancer, Cats, Chemo, City of My Dreams, Diavolo, fotografia, me, Memories, Photography, Venezia, Venice and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to More Than Half Way

  1. The doors and other worldly trinkets pale in comparison with the eyes of this dark and handsome charmer… 🙂 Its great to know that the doctor is taking such good care of you! My wish is that all those nasty side-effects become long forgotten past as soon as possible, so my fingers are crossed for things to go the best way possible during the next few weeks.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Grazie my friend. I’m going to be working hard on getting my strength and energy back before March.
      Diavolo did get his name because he is such a handsome devil.

  2. furbiziahs says:

    I wish time will pass quickly and you will be fine, to see the doors and windows again and take many new pictures! Diavolo is so beautiful, very expressive eyes !

  3. Lulu says:

    The pictures are lovely (as always) and I send good wishes & positive thoughts for a speedy recovery back to good health!

  4. Hello, handsome and gorgeous Diavolo !! Thank you for lighting up your mum’s life and taking such good care of her. Her doctor sounds very caring, too.

    Bella, those are Venetian beauties, that’s for sure !! I love looking at them and I’m looking forward to the new ones from your upcoming trip which will be here in no time at all. Baci ed abbracci, dear Misha!!

  5. His plan is to give me many happy years and get me to Venice. …………. a care-giver, extraordinaire.

    i love the very first door, green, and would have it for my very own.

    Diavolo’s eyes tell a story.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      I am sad to say that Dr. X will be moving away in August. He told me this last week. But as he says…he’ll be there long enough to see me through.

      That green door photo was taken on my very first visit to Venice in 2008 when I was on a photographic tour with Mike Henderson. He and his wife Karen have become my good friends. One of the things he taught me was to get closer than you think you need to be. I could have taken a shot of the entire side of that building…or included more of the canal but it would not have been as interesting. That’s called a water door and it is how you park your private gondola in the “garage”….or at least people did at one time. There are usually stairs inside up to the living floors.

  6. Susie L says:

    Thank you for sharing all of these lovely images, including the image of the handsome Diavolo! I’m sorry to hear about the neuropathy, we think L Glutamine has really helped Marco. He also puts his in juice, but he uses low sodium V8. We have just recently discovered stirring it very well into a dish of applesauce and sometimes I sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top. Your care team sounds wonderful and I continue to be impressed with your amazing attitude!

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Grazie, Susie.
      Putting the L Glutamine in my cran mango juice (I use the diet one…only 5 calories per 8 oz) is working for me but I will get some applesauce too. It did dissolve very well in my green tea but I’m concerned the heat may affect its properties. I’m sure it is too soon to tell if it is helping yet.
      I was at a special make up class for cancer patients this afternoon. They give you a makeup kit to practice with and take home. I had to have the presenter open the wrappings for me because you don’t realize how much you use the tips of your thumbs…..even at home opening pull top cat food cans.
      Besides the make up kit which has about $400 worth of high end cosmetics that I’m going to fall in love with and won’t be able to replace them when I run out, I got a gorgeous red (think the color of an Irish setter)wig for free. All of this was sponsored by the American Cancer Society. The wig looks great and I will try to post a picture next time.
      I continue to keep you and Marco in my prayers.

      • Susie L says:

        I just read this to Marco and he said “Go Girl!” I have just been asked to get some Cran Mango juice at the store tomorrow, diet, just like you. Marco said you just inspired him to get more L Glutamine down the hatch! You are in our prayers as well, Cara. Xoxoxoxo

  7. lizbethraab says:

    Ciao, Michelle,

    good luck with everything and it sounds like you’re doing really well, in spite of the neuropathy.

    I will keep this short today, but wish you really well.

    abbracci, Liz

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