Friday, February 28, 2014

Should I Play? Or Should I Stay?

I have to confess that I'm getting just a bit nervous as the date for my next rituximab infusion gets closer. Yep. On Tuesday I'll be rolling up my sleeve and asking to be poked with a large IV needle, if you can believe that.

I really do want to get this therapy started again, really I do. I just am hoping that my body cooperates and responds similarly to the way it did a year ago; I'd just rather not repeat the whole unpleasant low neutrophil blood count episode. So I'm thinking positive thoughts, exercising (kind of) regularly, eating (kind of) healthily by munching on all the fresh organic veggies and fruits that I can get my hands on and avoiding (kind of) wheat and sugar.

It always seems as though I'm more fatigued than usual for a week after the infusion; then two weeks later I lose another week after the second infusion before the sproing and spring in my step returns which lasts for the whole summer long. I sincerely hope. So yesterday I made a list of things that I wanted to do before the expected post-ritux tiredness sets in.

As I looked at the list, I realized that it was comprised of all very sensible items: cook some meals and then freeze them for my tired weeks, tidy the house, stock up on groceries, take down my Valentine's day stuff and drag out all of my Easter decorations.

I was sipping my morning coffee with Lulu on my lap. I don't think any of this stuff on my list looks like much fun, Lu, I sighed.

Lulu agreed. She told me she thought we should go to her favorite doggie park instead since it was a sunny day.

Well, if I thought we were going to play hooky from the to-do list today, girl, I'd.......well....... Ah. I'd grab Canon and head for the mountains. Wanna come? 
She agreed enthusiastically. So I grabbed my coat, Canon, and Lulu's leash and we headed out to the car. And yes, it happened just about that fast. Once I decide to avoid doing practical things, I waste no time in commencing the goofing off activities.

It's pretty easy to head for the mountains from my house. We live in the foothills of the Cascades so technically all I had to do was back my SUV out of the garage and I was there. But Lulu and I wanted to escape the city completely so we drove East along the Columbia river. It was a breezy day and we had some hazy sunshine. I looked West and could see that the next round of rain was moving our way right on schedule. We had no time to lose.

Let's take our pictures while the sun shines, right, my woogie?

After about a meandering hour-long drive, we were standing in one of my favorite spots of all in the Columbia River Gorge: where the river cuts a path through the Cascade mountains. Lulu and I could have arrived there much more quickly had we taken the freeway, but who wants to spend a beautiful day driving on a dumb stupid freeway? We take the back roads.

It was windy. Which is a gross understatement.

I stood face into the wind while Lulu sniffed excitedly around. Ahhhh. It was freezing cold, I could scarcely stand upright in the blast of wind, but golly. THIS was exactly what I wanted to do.

Yeeeaaahhhh. I snapped pictures until my ears and nose felt numb from the cold.

Lulu and I turned around and headed for home here at this beautiful marble rest stop built during the depression era WPA years.

The sun began to disappear behind the clouds as we started for home.

Lulu said that she was a bit peckish after her unexpected outing. I asked if she would like to split a small ice cream and she agreed. How fortuitous that we were passing an ice cream place just as we were having our discussion.

You eat from your side and I'll eat from mine. No slobbering.

Notice that I said earlier that I was KIND OF eating healthily.....

We pulled into our driveway just a couple hours after we left. Such a short trip but what a delicious day.

We'll be back. Probably as soon as I can concoct a reason to play hooky again.


sue said...

Hi Julia. Really lovely pictures. Hope all goes well next week.

Amy Junod said...

Beautiful photos. That last one is breathtaking! Lulu looks like she had fun too!

mcspires said...

Loved the pictures - my favorite was the rear view mirror one! I feel like went on a little vacation just looking at your pictures!

ShEiLa said...

I would love to have been along on this outing of yours.... I love the beauty of your neck of the woods. Thanks for sharing your photos!

annie said...

Absolutely love the last picture of the mountains and the river. Glad you enjoyed your day. I'm rooting for your big day next week, and hoping all will go well.

LM said...

Great pics and sounds like a lovely day. I've been pretty worn down the last few weeks and wishing for some energy. Loved seeing your pics and they brightened my day.
I don't know about you...but I find I am far more grateful for those kinds of days than I ever was before I became sick. If anything positive has come out of all of this illness, it has been I am far more grateful and humble than I was. Good luck next week!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the goofing off bits really are the most important parts of our lives. Lulu is a cutie. Good luck with your infusions- and thanks for all your great posts; especially the ones breaking down the scientific stuff so that a non-scientist can understand it!