Sometimes the Heavens smile and give you the light you sought…


Wouldn’t it be lovely to find some oars and take one of these for a little row on the lagoon on a late summer’s eve? With permission of course.


You’d have to be a lot stronger than I am right now…..or probably ever was…maybe I could have a rower?


Ah, there’s one my color….numero tre.

This past week was interesting to say the least. I had chemo on Monday (last Monday a week ago) and had a double dose that I get every third week. I had a good day on Tuesday, what I call my steroid high day. I’m given a steroid cocktail to counteract some of the side effects of the chemo. And they work….I have not been nauseous at all during my course of treatment. But maybe I should wait (but that story comes later). I had an acupuncture appointment. The acupuncture has helped with the pain of the neuropathy and I’m not needing pain meds. And then I  picked up some things at the drug store (Bartell’s is so much more than a drug store) and came home. That evening it became an even better day when I got email from Delta Airlines asking if I didn’t want to complete my purchase. I have been tracking the price of my flights for March for sometime and on Monday they had been at a high of $1483. I mumbled “not at that price ” but thought I would check anyway. I’m a Delta Skymiles member (without enough miles to actually use for anything other than a magazine subscription) and logged in, clicked search saved and there, low and behold were the flights I wanted for $1191. I had already stored my credit card with them so all I had to do was hit the buy button and I did. Now my only real decision is if I want to plunk out the $99 for the extra legroom of “economy comfort”. I don’t drink alcohol so their lure of free drinks (you know “if” I drank I could drink a lot of booze for $99….they’d have to carry me off the plane but..) does not impress me. There are enough of those seats available so I have time to think about that.  Ticket to Venice….check; apartment in Venice….check!!

But on Wednesday the steroid crash kicked in and I was sick through the weekend spending way too much time in the bathroom (details not forthcoming….you don’t want to know) and as usual it didn’t get really bad till the weekend. I googled home-care and used only more reputable sites…ones that have doctors and nurses.  On Thursday I had a house cleaner coming. I mentioned that I had qualified and finally been matched after a three month wait-list for free housecleaning through an organization called “Cleaning for a Reason”: which offers free cleaning services for women cancer patients. I get a three hour clean once a month for four months. This was my first clean and I had hoped to have some of the clutter picked up so she could actually clean. But I was too weak. Although I had no pain or cramping and not stomach issues at all I just didn’t feel like eating. I was keeping up my fluid intake because I knew I didn’t dare become dehydrated. I just could not lift a finger so when my cleaner arrived at 8am (right on time) besides normal cleaning she faced a sink full of dirty dishes. She was cheerful and efficient and I stayed out of her way and apologized for the dishes which she cheerfully did. I had asked her to leave them air dry and I would put them away (really they are almost done) and the few things she did put away I am still looking for although I did find my black handled paring knife this evening. Wow, like having a husband do the dishes. I still remember standing in my kitchen saying “if I were Jimmie Vaden where would I put…(insert name of item)”.  She did make friends with Diavolo….until she turned on the vacuum cleaner. Within an hour of the cleaner’s departure the Safeway delivery arrived. Some of the non perishable items are still sitting where he left them.  The good news on Thursday was that my apartment is cleaner than it has been in a very long time, I went to bed in lovely fresh sheets and it won’t be quite so bad next month. But Friday I spent a little more time in the bathroom, took Imodium (the Safeway version that stuff is pricey and their version comes in a bottle, not those little blister packs that are a pain even without numb fingers) per the directions on the bottle drank lots of water, made myself eat but spent the better part of the day in bed. This is the first time since this started that I actually spent a day in bed….and slept a lot. My son Keith who only lives five minutes away checks on me. If he hasn’t had a text by around 9am he texts me. I asked him to get me some kind of sports drink and some saltines (per the articles I was reading…when I wasn’t sleeping I was reading…mostly fiction though). But then I read you can make your own drink by mixing a teaspoon of salt in a quart of apple juice. Since I hate Gatorade and its ilk that was perfect. I got apple juice. The salt doesn’t change the taste much…just cuts a bit of the sweetness. Sipping that helped a lot. On Monday morning I was a lot better…not great but not spending as much time you know where. I called and talked to the nurse at my doctor’s office and she checked with the Doc and said I was doing everything right. They wanted me to come in so they could do a culture but I had no way to get there. Definitely not up to driving. Guess I could have taken a cab but just didn’t feel like going anywhere. I had chemo appointment Tuesday (today) anyway. Also I was much better. And I was hungry which was a good sign. All I have to say about this experience…I do not recommend it as a way to lose five pounds!

We shall see what tomorrow and the rest of the week brings.

And just when you think you’ve seen everything these little boats (and life) have to offer,  you turn around and the heavens open and grant you the most beautiful light.



Only one more chemo…next Monday! If it weren’t for the neuropathy I’d be doing a happy dance….you can do one for me.

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, Chemo, Diavolo, fotografia, friends, House cleaning, me, Memories, Photography, Rowing, Sailing, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Sometimes the Heavens smile and give you the light you sought…

  1. Shelley says:

    I’m absolutely honoured to do a happy dance on your behalf, bella. Woohoo for the airfare and woohoo for only one chemo to go. Wow ~ nearly there !!! You are amazing. I’m sorry you had to be so well acquainted with your bathroom and very glad you’re feeling chirpier now. And as for that last photo … glorious. March will be here before you know it. Hugs to you and Diavolo from Ella and me. x0

  2. GoodDayRome says:

    Brava! Last chemo ahead followed by VENEZIA! Such a great thing to look forward to! Un abbraccio molto forte!!

  3. Julie Stone says:

    Happy dancing for you and hoping you are feeling up to dancing soon. What beautiful photos and so delighted for you that there is so much “light” shining on the other side of all of this for you.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Grazie Julie. I think I’ll be doing a little dancing once the neuropathy dissipates. That will take a while. Hmm, maybe the orchestras in San Marco will be playing that final week in March and I can dance around the Piazza.

  4. I will more than happily do a happy dance for you! 🙂 You are so amazing for staying strong all the way no matter what. And after next Monday you will be able to think only of the best thing imaginable – La Serenissima. Good thoughts, positive energy and beauty can heal, so you are guaranteed the best recovery. 🙂

  5. Susie L says:

    I’m doing the happy dance for you! I’m thrilled that not only did you buy your ticket, but you saved a lot of money! I’m sorry you’ve been so ill, but you are close to the finish line now! You’ve been a real warrior, so brave and gracious through it all. Sending you lots of hugs.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      Grazie, Susie. Yes, this trip is ending up being less than either of the last two. The apartment is working out to 50 Euros a night plus a 60 Euro final cleaning.
      Hope you two are doing well.

  6. Happy dance done! Bet you can’t wait till Martedi!

  7. Lulu says:

    Oh, Misha, you are a trooper even when you don’t want to be! I’m keeping you in my thoughts as you wind your way through this most difficult journey. So happy you only have to endure one more treatment and that Venice awaits!!

  8. barbary says:

    resilience be your name……………………….xxoo

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