Sunday, October 26, 2014

Plugging away day by day

Postural Hypotension- sounds like something interesting, right?
That's what my oncologist suggested I have after Sheli and I talked with him about my episode on Monday... he said in the future if I begin to feel dizzy, sit down, drink water, cool off. And to not push so hard... Hmm. I looked it up and it doesn't look like what I have but I'll follow directions.

Had an ok chemo session, snoozed, read, hung out with Sheli. We came home right after and ate lunch. Oh, and I gained weight! Last week I'd lost weight and I wasn't too thrilled about that but this week I'm back much better... my oncologist is surprised and has told me more than once that I'm looking better than the beginning of the chemo treatment... Hmm.

Sheli and I randomly came across a lady holding a sign about a place you could get your feet/legs in a steam thing (healthy with Chinese herbs) and then get a reflexology massage. We indicated interest and suddenly we were being directed through the streets (and closer to my apartment). I realized that we were going to get this steam/reflexology/massage treatment right that minute... Sheli was a little thrown to be brought along... We ended up in a tiny elevator going up to the fourth floor of this apartment building less than a block from my apartment.
We entered a lovely oasis of peaceful beauty. Seriously. We were immediately given clothes to change into, slippers, and went to our own rooms. Then we were given a locker to settle all our stuff but our phones. Then we went to the luxurious chairs and were given wonderful warm sacks of heaven around our necks. The woman suggested we go with the "Beauty" herbal selection since it was our first time at the place. Ok, no problem. We watched as they started up a steamer that was hooked up to this bamboo tub. There was this platform for your feet and under it was where the herbal treatment went. You popped your legs in and were covered up with a towel that went up your legs to enclose the steam. What a hot yet healthy experience! I loved it! So did Sheli. She kept threatening that she wasn't going to be able to leave. After 30 minutes of steaming, getting treats and interesting water, we received 50 minutes of massage/reflexology treatment, wow.
What a lovely surprise choice for us... I've been meaning to get reflexology done to help with the chemo treatment and also had been reading/watching how steam is a healthy treatment as well... talk about kismet.
Hong Kong Friends, interested in visiting? It is called HELA:
Located at 4/F, 15 Lan Fong Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.
*Best part? Mosquito bites seem to be resolved!! (Besides relaxation and peacefulness for a few friends.)

Hooray to lovely places to visit. Hooray to friendship time. Hooray for flexible situations. So grateful for the second half of the day be so positive since the first half just never even gets me to smile. Seriously. Even with my best friend, I'm in the worst of moods... but not towards others, just can't smile.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Many Hmmms but happy moments too

Happy day, visited favorite used bookstore yesterday.
Called- Flow Books- learned that it is closing/moving soon.
Hong Kong friends, get over there now!
Such a nice owner, hope he finds a new place to move to!
One of my new hats with an old scarf and a cute blue clip...
Thanks Mom!
It is incredible what a few days extra of recovery provide a body. Unfortunately, my stamina isn't completely there... I can still last for 3-4 hours but find myself getting pretty tired after that if I'm walking around. I haven't hit 10,000 steps again, my friend Sheli has each day though... we're wandering around Hong Kong between appointments and such.
Today provided us with a relaxed morning and an adventure out to Central for me to finally take the Satyananda yoga class that is provided through CancerLink. I really appreciated every minute of the class. The instructor was patient, knowledgeable, had a good sense of humor and introduced the yoga style in an easy fashion. I found that my range of motion isn't what it used to be. Five scars on my right side certainly have impacted me but I've healed a lot in the past months, the pain has resided so much. Giving myself time to heal and being patient, as much as I can...
I've talked with doctors and more than one mentioned that chemotherapy brings back up radiation treatment reactions, yep. At least it doesn't burn but the area where I had radiation in May certainly isn't happy skin. The scalp isn't quite healed but I've completed the antibiotics. #6 of 12 chemo treatments is tomorrow. It is a one drug day... not fun but quicker.
Saw my acupuncturist yesterday, appreciate his perspective... he lectured me on how to cook the eggs I'm eating and encouraged me to eat two a day. He also has been helping me focus on letting go of worries, etc during treatment, that's pretty wonderful and helpful...
Was chatting with Sheli today about my hair as I've noticed it growing out a tiny bit. Am wondering how much will be there by #12, hair still is falling out constantly but not sure... Also curious to see the state of my eyebrows and eyelashes by then, my oncologist thinks that they won't fall out. Hmm. Taking it day by day.
Sorted out my daily supplements and medicine today and there are a lot. I chatted with Sheli about how it would be nice to figure out how to cut back on them somehow... but I just keep adding. Hmm.
Was bit 8 times the other day by mosquitoes- even though I did put on bug repellant, hmm. Glaring at insects doesn't really work folks... but I have noticed that my coconut oil/slippery elm bark mix really does help my skin calm down and mostly heal! Happy that I tried it out... not quite perfect but darn lot better than it could be!

*Received the most thoughtful video created and made by my former school's staff from Ridgewood Elementary. So, so touched. At first I couldn't believe they did it all for me... but they did. They created a lip-sync sing along video with different grade level teams competing against one another... for me to choose a winner (impossible) to show their love and make me laugh... and laugh (and cry) I did. So touched. So grateful. I want to share it here but it is unlisted and I know there could be some copyright issues and I want to keep rewatching it in the future! Thank you to my Ridgewood friends... so grateful, feeling loved on this end...

Thanks for keeping up with the journey... really appreciate all the support through this time... can't believe I'm already on week 6 of chemo...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Quality time and new headgear

There's a lot to be said for taking it easy...
Stanley Market has a vast array of selections,
quite distracting and entertaining!
The day after the adventure ie. fainting, Sheli and I both hit 10,000 steps on our Fitbits but we paced things very carefully. It was fun to show Sheli Stanley Market and my favorite restaurant over there plus we rode the Star Ferry in the evening and met up with one of my favorite Hong Kong friends, shall share about that on my other blog though... days seem to be going by quickly. Now today I didn't hit that many steps, Sheli did, but we had quite the adventure locating a building in Admiralty so I could get to my chanting class. Found it and was only 20 minutes late (we gave ourselves 25 minutes to find it, we were really puzzled... I now know how to get there easily- phew.)

So, today was the beginning of two classes that I've registered for through CancerLink... Chanting. It was something I had very little knowledge about. The chanting class was almost like a sing along for part of it, almost like a yoga beginning pose for a while, and also lovely chanting for another portion... I have quite the packet of papers from the class and will look them over during the week. I think I honestly appreciate Qigong more. Might be because I'm familiar with it and more comfortable... The most interesting part of the class for me was the closing chant we did because I noticed it was recorded/played from Zen Master Thich Naht Hanh whom I just finished reading his book You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment. Funny how things are interrelated sometimes. I appreciated the instructor's sentiment, perspective, and style, shall see how next week's class goes. The other class I'm going to attend is yoga on Friday. Shall see how that goes. I love yoga, just hoping it is a style that works for me. I really miss the Iyengar yoga form that I did for years...

My mom sent me a birthday present a while ago and it took over three weeks to arrive... but arrive it did today! Was wonderful. I now have numerous new headwraps that work well with scarves and also pretty flower clips as well... what a lovely treat. It is nice to have new options, feeling a little styling... I do love my pink hat but now have many more choices and all so breathable.  THANK YOU MOM, I LOVE YOU!!! Also, thank you to Claudia for the lovely scarf I wore today with it, received many kind compliments from fellow cancer patients at the Chanting class...

For those who want to know more about the head wrap, it is a wonderful creator who makes them and sells at Etsy- Suzanne Petrosino-Goldstein, you can wear the wrap many ways, I'm wearing it as a turban but it can also be a head covering, wide headband, or skullcap. My mom also ordered for me this cooling strip for me to wear under the head wrap if I'm feeling hot... it has little microbeads that keep it cool for a while... very nice gifts to have.

Thanks for keeping up on the journey, a little quicker share this time but... just appreciating quality time with Sheli, this is quite the gift.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fainting ie increasing stress

Just love orchids... nature's beautiful art.
So I was taking it easy the three days after treatment as usual... been warned to pace myself and that things were cumulative. Well, learned about that today. Fourth day after treatment... Thought I was doing well and for a normal person I guess what my friend Sheli and I did for the day was tiring and I didn't read my signs...

I hit that exhaustion level after 4.5 hours of wonderful adventuring around Hong Kong's Peak, the Gardens (Zoo/Plants) in Mid-Levels and then walking down... We were waiting at the bank and I was happy to finally bring Sheli there after days of missing the bank's open hours... standing in line did me in.
Sheli's gone over my triggers and we've talked about how I need to trust her and her intuition since I'm not reading myself well... she could tell it was time to go home but I was being stubborn after standing in the line at the bank, when I admitted that I was fading we were only three people before it was our turn to be taken care of... by the time I was in front of the teller I was asking for a chair, putting my head down on the counter and then Sheli and a nice guy next to me were catching me as I fell. Ech. Can't believe it happened again. Fainting... Just pushed too long and didn't read the signs. I honestly do black out. Lose a few moments of time. And then when I revive I'm normal, wanting to finish what I was doing and get on with the day. Can't explain better... I certainly needed to go home and take a nap (which we did) and taking a taxi was the order, not choice, which was good since by the time we were going up the elevator to the apartment, I was rapidly fading again.

But besides that, it was wonderful to watch how Sheli experienced riding a double decker bus up to the Peak, tried out a new restaurant, enjoyed beautiful views, rode the Peak Tram down to Central, explored and looked at gorgeous flowers at the gardens, and then walked down for a while... really great company and walking time. Just need to watch and pace things much better. Draining myself and overtaxing the body is not the way to heal. Trust me, I know this. And if I forget, I have many that are reminding me.

Enjoyed Qigong class tonight and chatting with my life coach as well. My life coach pointed out that the antibiotic I'm on for my scalp may also make me susceptable to becoming dizzy... so to be extra careful since that had to be added in this week. On top of getting three drugs this week, earlier treatment, etc...
Still appreciating the videos shared at -tonight I learned more about natural practices for cancer treatment... some really curious/interesting practices going on around the world...
One glimpse of Hong Kong up at the Peak...

Patient friend Sheli, we were almost at the bank...
Another glimpse of Hong Kong on the Peak.... love the green...

Thanks for journeying with me... still appreciating life's journey, taking it day by day...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Friendship Boost

Been a little quiet but that's never bad.
Still watching the daily episodes of The Truth about Cancer - they're just fascinating. Good watch each day, my favorite was today- Nature's Pharmacy. Taking notes and reflecting on what is popping up on my radar. For example, I want to learn a lot more about iodine and why it might be good for anyone to add to their supplements but especially for cancer patients. I also think I need to add more watercress, seaweed, arugula, beets, wheatgrass, and kale into my diet... I also feel like I'm understanding a little more about treatments, therapies, diets and more. One thing I'm thrilled that has become a practice for me is that I'm drinking a tea made of mint/green tea/tumeric/ginger throughout the day. I think it really is helping with nausea and many other issues that pop up with cancer patients. I'm also grateful I began oil pulling with a teaspoon of coconut oil in the morning and at night. I was pretty tired of it last week but I guess I got over the "hump" and am in the routine now again without feeling frustrated about being stuck with oil in my mouth for 10-20 minutes. Anything to avoid mouth sores and keep my gums and teeth healthy. My scalp isn't healed. But I think it is starting to get a little better with an antibiotic my oncologist put me on and his liquid treatment. For now, I'm sticking with his plan because I do see a little progress. Hair is continually coming out more... but it doesn't freak me out, just part of life. I also find it funny that what hair there is on my head is growing out a tiny bit. My nose isn't terrific but is still under control with bleeding, etc... I won't mention my stomach much right now except to say I lost a little weight, sigh, but am still trying to eat well and keep balanced with food intake. I'm wearing a face mask in public and I'm being super careful. I glare at mosquitoes that buzz by me... (seriously, I do)
Sleep isn't perfect but popping my feet up the wall each night is an appreciated routine and my body seems to be getting accustomed to it.
I am feeling quite boosted by my best friend Sheli's visit. She arrived yesterday afternoon. Today is normally my "bad" day. I was grateful that I woke up crazy early and was able to say goodbye to my loves before they ran off to catch a plane. Thank goodness Sheli is a completely relaxed person who doesn't put any pressure on us to accomplish anything. Instead, I was able to get back to sleep and get moving after a few hours... I still wasn't up to tip-top form but I was surprised to realize that I only took one anti-nausea pill instead of my normal one every four hours... naps are regular and accepted, my dog is sweet and snuggly, and being able to laugh, chat, and walk with Sheli around my neighborhood was just lovely.
Missing my boys... hoping they're well and having a blast right now in Beijing. I know that there will be days where there is no wifi connections so will chill and look forward to an update soon.
My determined look I guess, can't get a smile out at treatment...
This was Thursday- three drug day...

This line hurt. I still feel where I'm bruised in my vein in my hand.
It is odd but I'm just monitoring. 

Cheese! Sheli is a fabulous walking companion...
So grateful she's here...

Recent art I did...
I am enjoying creating something once in a while that I can color in...
coloring is so soothing for me presently!

Thanks for keeping up on the journey. One day at a time, grateful each time I wake up... even if it isn't the greatest day...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Learning more

I've been quietly learning more these past few days.
Learned about green smoothies and mindfulness from a few books I'm reading.
Learning more about Qigong and really appreciating the practice. Something I'm trying to do daily versus just once a week during the class session.
I attended a workshop today about the Yuen method today, thought it was fascinating, shall be contemplating the practice over the next week. Seems like something I can do naturally- when having a negative thought, redirect to positive, spin it, connect with energy and let go of past issues that might be holding back growth and healing. There's much more to it than that... Here's a website that explains a little bit:

I've also been watching a video series called "The Truth about Cancer"- every day another hour is released and has some interesting research and information shared. After each day's showing, the videos are pulled off and the next video is available, so I'm learning while available. The big things I've already understood but appreciated hearing again- immune system is what must be supported, drinking green tea and eating raspberries/blueberries are good for fighting cancer, sugar is pretty much poison to cancer patients... it feeds the cancer cells, so starve them.... I find it fascinating that at my oncologist's office there's candy out ready for patients, yikes. But I'm not of the mindset that natural fruit is a bad thing or that fresh vegetable/fruit juice combination could be bad... Focus on the liver and gut are the first things to resolve. This is what my nutritionist told me I needed to do months ago. I've been trying... Chemotherapy doesn't help things for sure with my immune system but I'm going to believe that what I'm doing is going to help, the combination of modern medicine and all the alternative supplements, dietary, mental, physical approaches I'm trying will help me survive and thrive...
I appreciated that there were time-stamps for listening to specific people vs the whole hour- although I certainly watched the whole thing...
1 minute 58 seconds - Dr. Rashid Buttar
19 minutes 39 seconds - Bob Wright
36 minutes 15 seconds - Bob Wright again

Still drawing/coloring each day, really is cathartic to be honest, so happy I'm back to making this a habit. Also enjoying the gratitude journaling. I also love poetry, I receive a couple doses of poetry every day in my email inbox, this one today caught my attention... (I also received some poems from beautiful friends lately, appreciated them as well...)
Poem of the Day from the Poetry Foundation- Chemo Side Effects- Memory
Was a little more focused on quiet time and walking out an about than on writing these past few days. Enjoyed visiting a new bookstore with my husband. Trying out hats and scarves lately, haven't worn my wig for a week, but honestly, I want to get my scalp issues cleared up first...
My scalp is still driving me bananas and I do not believe that my oncologist knows what to prescribe for it... have tried his method for 4 days, will probably switch back to natural methods after I see him tomorrow. Tried to be respectful for a while but having a teen acne breakout on your scalp kinda sucks big time.
I'm back to chemo tomorrow and then my wonderful friend arrives the next day, so excited to see her and have quality time together. My husband and son are ready for their China adventure, they have their visas and they're reading to go, oh boy for them! I'm looking forward to the pictures and stories they'll have. Here's hoping some of the Mandarin my kiddo is learning at school might help them while on adventures.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Unproductive, can't really move days

I am really, really tired of sick leave.
I was tired of sick leave last year.
Twice. It was already torture I was happy to put into my past...

I am tired of feeling unproductive.
I am tired of being stuck in bed.
I am tired of side effects bringing me down.
Tired, tired, tired.

Today, Monday, was a not-so-fun day. I took anti-nausea medicine. It throws me off.
Sundays confuse me- I have energy and a little ambition. I put together to-do lists for Monday and then laugh at myself (and honestly get a little frustrated at myself) when Monday rolls around and I can't do anything on the list. Especially when the list includes things I find really important. My husband just looks at me when I mention to him about my frustration and says "Monday, Debbie, Monday you need rest." He's right. I'm just frustrated is all.

I enjoyed watching tv shows and reading a magazine. 
My brain wouldn't concentrate on reading beyond that. It wouldn't even give me focus time for writing.
I somehow cleared out my emails by the evening though.
I enjoyed a few picture books that my wonderful assistant sent home with my son. Snuggle reading with the kiddo is always a good pick-me-up.
I actually worked on my other blog a little bit.
I Skyped with my friend who is coming to visit and help me out this Friday.
So I did actually do 'stuff' but man am I sick of sick leave. 
I love work. I love teaching. It is my passion. I'm living vicariously through my blogging friend's posts and conversations about inspiring things they're doing with their students. Can't wait to get back to work when I have energy/am allowed.

I think when I don't leave the apartment it is worse but I'm just not up for adventuring on my own on Mondays after chemo, too paranoid now. Don't want to misjudge my energy and collapse somewhere random.

I found out that my oncologist is off for a one day work trip to the US on Saturday. This means I had to change my chemotherapy day. So I'm having it early, this Thursday instead.
Ruffled my feathers at first to be honest because I was just starting to understand and read what was going on with my body... and I didn't want to break the routine. I do consider it a mixed blessing because when my wonderful friend arrives, she'll be dealing with some terrible jet lag and my worst days will be days she'll need for rest/recovery anyways. We've already planned to watch many movies together. Looking forward to friend time. 

One good friend wrote me and I loved what she said: "I wish you moments of forgetting, even briefly, that you are sick." 

Isn't that lovely? I agree, those moments of forgetting will be cherished. It is hard to forget, especially when I'm curled up in bed unable to move. But, I will try tomorrow- if my body allows- to get the heck out of the apartment for at least a few minutes to walk around. Getting out and about does help me sometimes forget for a moment and just enjoy the day. Hong Kong weather is H-O-T but so beautiful right now. I hope to enjoy it a smidgen...

Qigong in the evening will be a welcome distraction to refocus my mind, breathing, and energy. So grateful I learned about it and that I have friends willing to come to my apartment and take the class with me... Being surrounded with friendly smiles, hugs, and support is simply a blessing.

Wishing everyone a wonderful day, thanks for journeying with me, even on the lower, weaker days...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

That question: What are good things about cancer? Chemotherapy?

Just can not fully smile at chemotherapy...
Every week I take a picture and look like this.
Friends told me it was my "determined" look... I'll take that.
Sounds better than grouchy, right?
Around 11 months ago, I was recovering from my radical hysterectomy and preparing for radiation. Look at me now. Darn cervical cancer leaped into my lung and lymph nodes. Crazy. I'm staying positive, adopting even more healthy practices, and appreciating life... I do consider myself a breast cancer survivor. Funny (not so much so) that my breast cancer March-May '14 feels more like a blip now that I'm dealing with chemo, etc.

A little bit ago a good friend asked me to reflect on cancer and what the positives were of having it. Honestly, cancer totally sucks. But I can try to find the 'silver linings' of cancer... I certainly appreciate life more. I've learned many new things. I learned about how to be a better friend, wife, mom and person. I learned how to prioritize my needs and celebrate success before I move to the next project. I learned how to give myself a break and appreciate myself. I learned about Qigong, mindfulness, pulling, and more healthy practices. I learned to be responsible for myself by creating an id tag with contact numbers and chemotherapy drugs listed on it so that if there is an emergency, I have it there ready to point at. I hope I'll continue growing as a person and survive for many many years to come without the need for my body to add any more cancer crisis situations in.

Last year in November when I was finishing my first experience with radiation treatment I began a list of positives dealing with radiation. I continued adding to that list of positives in May when I was getting radiation treatment for breast cancer. I tried to have a little humor and looked for the positives... I like looking over this list even though I dread dealing with radiation again after chemotherapy finishes this time. Shall see...

I went in for my fourth chemotherapy session in the morning. 1/3 of the way through. I gained weight, again! Was so exciting, did a happy dance. My oncologist told me he liked my facial color and thought I was doing well, besides the side effects. But, I'm not enjoying chemotherapy, all three drugs go in again next week and I know that I've had a harder reaction with the three combined and that this week was really the peak of my recovery from that first round. I'm not thrilled to see how my body is freaking out with bloody noses, scalp shedding hair, nausea, crap immune system, and fatigue/weakness slowing me down. I do appreciate that I'm learning how to better listen to my body. That's a really good thing but honestly, I don't feel like I ever abused my body. I enjoyed exercise- especially dancing, ate mostly healthy (chocolate and sweets admitted), and have always been a pretty positive person... Hmm. Just not so lucky with TWO cancers that wreak havoc on my body.

Here's the beginning list of what are mostly positives about chemotherapy:
1. You can see an oncologist frequently and receive instant answers to questions.
2. You get 1:1 attention with nurses and more.
3. There are mostly good anti-nausea medications that help.
4. Sometimes you don't lose your appetite throughout the whole week.
5. You certainly have a chance to lose weight depending on medication and reactions...
6. New routines are adopted such as gargling, pulling, etc.
7. You become keenly self aware of your body and organized logging your medicine intake and reactions to chemotherapy.
8. You get new social resouces such as CancerLink here in Hong Kong.
9. Short hair revelations- can live with it and probably handle being bald.
10. You can play a guessing game about where the chemo will go into your hand each week. Sometimes there are some angles and different veins chosen!
11. You are forced to slow down, not a terrible thing to be given that time.
12. Sitting quietly can be peaceful.
13. You might find more interesting reading material and learn quite a bit about chemotherapy, drugs you're getting, and more.
14. There is an end in sight, it is possible to get through this, day by day.
15. Learn that you can ask for help and get it even from strangers if you faint on the MTR.
16. People in the chemotherapy room can empathize with your situation.
17. You can see yourself like a science experiment and try out multiple experiments to help heal yourself.
18. Learn about different friends strengths who can help out... and learn how to ask for help.
19. You value time with friends and family and learn again about prioritizing.
20. You feel no guilt when eating and prioritizing weight gain. *Funny to be excited about gaining weight!

That's the random mix I have so far on chemotherapy, it is possible to find positives, even if I'd never in a million years want anyone to deal with it themselves.
I'm grateful, growing, learning, and appreciating life... one day at a time. Thanks for journeying with me...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hope, Future thinking, and contemplation

So, I'm grateful for life... every day. I don't struggle when I write in my gratitude journal... I can even dig deeper than the grateful for family, happy healthy child, good marriage, etc. most days...
I don't quite get what completely picks me up some days and then brings me down other days... seriously, it shouldn't be hard to distinguish but suddenly I'm feeling positive after a slump. Or suddenly I'm feeling like slime for a while. I try not to fixate on things... just sorting thru emotions. Moving on.
Came across this article that made me appreciate having the chance to speak up and communicate how you're feeling, good reflection.
Then I read an article on how scientists discovered that cancer grows faster when you sleep... sweet googly moogly... not pleased with that but they look at it as an opportunity to think about when chemotherapy drugs are administrated, etc. Hmm. Anything to help future patients:

I think some days I deal with a little jealousy. For example, chatting with friends about the future... that is hard sometimes. Simple future plans like travel is mostly fun to chat and think about and living here in Hong Kong there are so many incredible opportunities for people to enjoy exploring. My husband is quite the planner. I'm a little sad to miss our well planned trip to China to visit the Great Wall, Xi'an, Shanghai, and more... I read aloud a few novels to my son that introduced him to things I wanted him to anticipate. He's really excited. So the boys are going without me. That's ok. My best friend is coming to spend time together while they're gone. I'm thrilled to anticipate her visit and it will certainly lessen the 'blow' of missing family vacation time since she and I will adventure depending on my energy levels. We also have two other family trips preplanned and paid for. Hope I don't miss them. My oncologist won't give us a definitive answer about the December trip but flat out said 'everyone needs a holiday'... so shall see. We also have tickets to visit home over spring break. I am having a hard time thinking further into the future. Summer plans? Let's see how this chemotherapy treatment goes. I have hope and I'll cling to it, but reality also looms.

Chatted about retirement with a friend the other day. Where do you want to end up, etc. I certainly had imagined retirement in the past. But now, not to be morbid or anything, I'm just unsure about the future and am focused on survival, day by day.

Heading out for the day yesterday...
Had a great time visiting with lovely coworkers yesterday, had a late birthday tea and loved chatting with them all. Also tried out my new wig in a social setting- they were all extremely supportive. I'm still a little unsure about wearing it and honestly enjoy being bald at the moment with the scalp annoyances I'm having (using tea tree oil, seems to be helping)... I think I prefer wearing a scarf and honestly don't give a hoot at the looks people give me. As an expat, I'm quite used to being looked over anyways or simply ignored most of the time. So walking around with a scarf and a face mask isn't that odd. I can appreciate not standing out.

Enjoyed using one of my prepaid massages yesterday. You buy discounted packages at some places, works for me... It was the first time I'd seen my massage therapist since before I had the operation. So, she was a little shocked and asked a few questions but also was gentle and firm as needed. So grateful.

Last night I was surprised to have energy but took advantage of it and headed to a CancerLink workshop on stretching exercises, appreciated it overall, nice to be around people who know what I'm dealing with (mostly) and are so kind. I've committed to a few other workshops, too bad they're always way far out in Kowloon- energy plays a factor in whether I show up then. As it was I was late last night but enjoyed. I came across a good healthy recovery video for breast cancer patients recovering from surgery. Think I'll try to watch/look into it later more... will try exercises from the instructor yesterday a little bit in the next week.
Went to my acupunturist today and told him flat out that I couldn't drink that Chinese herbal medicine more than twice a day (I consider it a feat to get thru two of them) and he was mellow, gave me more, and told me he was happy I gained weight. He also lectured me about eating eggs, adding them into my food plan. Explained about how in Chinese practice eggs represent life and they should be eaten twice a day. Shall see. I had a salmon quiche yesterday at the tea and it was delicious that was one of my first egg-back-in-diet additions. I'll try to get at least one egg in me each day. Still a little freaked out about the estrogen factor of it though. I'm also still eating chicken and added in oatmeal. Shall see about that rice water... Stomach has lessened its issues at the moment. Sleeping isn't perfect but is a heck of a lot better than past weeks.
Finding that I'm avoiding some projects/responsibilities for a while and then when I finally address them it feels like such a successful thing... I miss being the one to tackle and instantly take care of stuff left and right but am realizing that this approach to life can be acceptable as well.
Thank you to all who donated to the fundraising campaign, so grateful, overwhelmed, appreciative. It was perfect timing as I just received the first of many "shortfall" bills yesterday from my insurance. No fun but approachable.
Enjoying art, excited about my friend (and sister soon after) visits, and appreciating little things...
Thank you so much for keeping up with me... grateful...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Not so muddled thoughts

Taking breaks actually creating a little art has been nurturing. Glad I'm trying #Inktober where you create art with ink, doesn't have to be something complicated, each day in October. I like daily challenges like this, gives me a little focus and let's face it folks, I like focus... if you hadn't noticed that about me already.

So grateful for Give Forward fundraiser, relief is palpable. Thank you x 1000 to my friend Erika for pushing me to be open to gifts and to all who have gifted with words, support, and financially. Overwhelmed but appreciative....

Chemo effects from 3rd session of 12. I'm not sure how I feel about things at the moment. A little different than last two session reactions which I'll accept, it was a two medicine session so each week will be a little different. I was surprised to have not so much nausea. Instead I'm dealing with upset stomach, scalp freaking out, three crazy itchy mosquito bites from 4 days ago- they're easing up a little bit thank goodness for calamine lotion I'd forgotten I bought- normally I get welts with every mosquito bite but with my healing being inhibited by drugs the biggest welt actually got a blister... crazy, and a dry bloody nose - not bleeding- learned that I should... not blow my nose! Fabulous....

Honestly I'm also dealing with a little anger. My best friend was relieved that when we Skyped I wasn't as positive and happy as usual. I won't go into what made me angry but it is justified and I'm figuring out how to manage addressing the conflict so that it won't hang over my head. Not worth my worry a few years from now, so just trying to address and deal. As many who know me well I do have a few control issues and have worked to learn how to let go a little... sometimes that backfires.

Chatted with my wonderful life coach and got the BEST advice from her, besides figuring out how to get my bottom into the chemotherapy chair every week, how to calm myself at night... this is something I already have done in the past but I just hadn't done it in the evening! Are you ready for what gave me a good night's sleep for the first time in almost two months? Drumroll... Legs up the wall. Yep. Place a yoga mat on the floor next to the wall, put your legs up the wall with your bottom against the wall... hooray. Deep breathing, meditation, and a little quiet thinking helped me relax. 20 minutes later I quietly climbed into bed and actually fell asleep. Amazing. Much better to try this vs. resorting to sleep medication! Learned that if you have high blood pressure you can't do this though, careful my friends...

Enjoying qi gong still... appreciating the energy focus, health focus, and friends who attend...
One friend told me tonight that I should investigate answers to some of my health issues online... so grateful for the reminder. Found that my scalp issues occur with so many people who are dealing with chemo. I know I'm not the only one but wow to the resources once you start looking. After sorting thru many, I appreciated the tips for scalp issues here:
But of course will check in with my oncologist on Saturday about new not-so-fun symptoms as well...
Also trying out drinking brown rice water to help my stomach calm down a little. Shall see how that goes now that I'm going to drink it three times a day. I do so love drinking horchatas but this certainly wasn't. No added sugar and a little cinnamon does not a horchata make... but shall accept shortcomings if I can feel a little better.

Here are a few of my little #Inktober sketches, makes me happy to pick up a sketch pad again. Funny that I was never far from one all through my life until I was around 22... found a similar sketch pad to one I used to scribble in all the time, nice to have a different outlet for expressing thoughts. Just having fun with pen/markers... haven't felt like drawing on my iPad, etc... a drawing pad is enough for me!

I love my dog... watching her peacefully sleep is a new way for me to pass the time, always so grateful for her companionship...

I used to have a hedgehog... still slightly obsessed about them but I'll NEVER own one again. They are disgusting creatures... *I loved my little one and treated him very well... but NEVER again. There's a kid's story there, I'm working on sorting it out in my mind presently...

A special friend requested that I try out drawing a horse in honor of her birthday... used to draw unicorns all the time as a kid, I was one of those unicorn daydreamers, but this was... ok.

I love "Dot Day" each year and a friend asked me if I'd created my dot for this year yet... no I hadn't... grateful she suggested it, was fun to think about what represented me presently but also it was odd because the picture reminded me of my school's logo...

A good friend and I shared a birthday, she brought me flowers when we spent our birthday afternoon together... loved them, good challenge to get on paper.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

'Bye hair, so grateful, kiddo sharing and Hong Kong update

Felt this morning that I was a science experiment with all the hair I was washing off my head... had dealt with it falling out constantly the day before and it was honestly upsetting... Sat and ran my fingers through my hair seeing more and more fall out with each light touch. I just didn't want to go to bed and find huge piles of hair in the morning. So, I contacted my hair stylist (who is out of town) who connected me to someone who was kind enough to shave off my hair. I contacted my friend Amy who attended the haircutting four weeks ago with such care, friendship and support. She dealt with the shaving with good conversation and distraction and took a few pictures too... Good to have her with me to go to a nearby wig shop to check on wig possibilities and helping me see the wig that made me feel like me... a little bit over many other overwhelming choices.  What a wonderful friend... What amazing friends I'm surrounded by around the world... feeling blessed.

I gave my son time to be a little in charge before getting it shaved... had him choose the scarf I'd tie around my pink hat after the cut... then when I got home I was wearing hat and scarf, he was happy and then started sniffling about not wanting my hair cut off... but then I asked him if he wanted to see my new wig or to see me bald. He chose the wig and LOVED it, said it was too long since he was now used to shorter hair (hah!) and was comfortable, could tell it helped him. Then at bedtime storytime he told me he was ready to see the baldness... and he was fine. He pet it and then did comparisons between my husband's scalp and mine. I'll be bald or have a fabric cap on at home and have fun with the wig, hats, and more for leaving the apartment... I like options. As I've mentioned before, I'm all about balance, not too much of one thing, just appreciate options. Really good to have a wig that looks like "me" now vs. one I borrowed from CancerLink that made me wince each time I tried it on...
My husband and I chatted as well. He's ridiculously supportive. I love him... so much. He began singing Randy Travis's song lyrics from one of our favorite wedding songs we danced to- Forever and Ever Amen - "But honey, I don't care, I ain't in love with your hair. And if it all fell out, well I'd love you anyway" - teared up but loved him more...
Here's that song for those who don't know it:

Thank you to all who donated to the Give Forward Donation page for me, so grateful and overwhelmed, really overwhelmed, in a good way.  Relieved as well to be honest...

My husband went with me to the chemo treatment today, two dose day, and it was good to chill with him (I love hanging out with my husband, a pick me up every day) and be distracted from the powerful poison that was pushed into my body. Also, having him at the quick oncology appointment was a godsend. He asks the questions I always forget to ask, like:
When is the next PET scan? Not til 12 weeks go by? Woah. I thought I was due for one in another week... was dreading the bill for it (and also the results)... All scans are out of pocket now, hit the limit on insurance three days after it was "refreshed" at the beginning of the school year. So, glad to have it at the end of chemo treatment... gives more time for the chemo to take action... kill those damn cancer cells, please!
What do you mean I possibly have to have more than 3 rounds of chemo in addition to radiation afterwards? All depends on my results... he might want to have one more round... then my oncologist slipped in that sometimes treatments go for 6 months (frickety frack!)... I will take a while to process these tidbits.
What is the plan with radiation? So radiation is worrisome since it is so close to my recent May radiation on my right breast, my oncologist thinks it is possible to do it... the local hospital oncologist at the hospital doesn't think it is necessary or safe... but he's known my case barely the amount of time that my oncologist has... not seeing local hospital oncologist again until November. (So begins conflicting information to think on between different doctors. Grateful to have the option and chance I suppose...)
**Hong Kong update, on the way to my treatment for chemo today, my husband and I took the MTR into the Admiralty station. It was tense there. Super tense and a little scary. There is always a huge load of people but then I noticed 8 security guards hovering in the main pathway near MTR shops around this loud group of people who were yelling at others, looking a little vicious, and worrisome. I quickly walked by and my husband thought they were just tourists. Me? No. Honestly, I know there's groups of people who have now been hired to be rabble rousers and create chaos and violence in a peaceful situation. It upsets me and disappoints me... I also know that there is a lot of information flying around that is purposefully being shared to confuse and worry others. Not much else to say about it. To-from treatment was safe for me and my husband was there if there was any risk- which there wasn't... but boy have police and security increased near the protest sites! For those who know nothing about this, sharing another video, this time from a favorite Vlogger- Hank Green, appreciate his information, simplified and not completely accurate about long history of trying to have democracy here in Hong Kong but insightful overall.

Was thinking about how grateful I am for advice I've read and tried...
I've received some good advice over the past year with my cancer experience.

1. If you have long hair, cut it short so that it isn't as upsetting when you go bald from chemo. ABSOLUTELY BEST ADVICE for me.
2. Save your eyebrows with contact paper in case yours fall out, the location of eyebrows is hard to remember once they're gone... my oncologist doesn't believe I'll lose my eyebrows- ok, wouldn't complain, shocked when he said this... but still.... anyone have contact paper?!?!
3. Dig deep and find what will bring you to the chemo treatment every week. For me? Honestly? People. I love people and really appreciate companionship, even if I fall asleep, I'm so grateful to have someone there... especially my special friends, husband and... ANTICIPATION my best friend Sheli from Alaska who is visiting in a few weeks and my sister Rachel who is visiting soon after her... so so grateful both will visit Hong Kong and support me and my family and excited... especially hopeful for a little energy during their visits but also will just enjoy quiet time with them as well... two people I've loved and adored for so long... coming here. There's huge anticipation there... huge.
4. Join CancerLink Hong Kong and appreciate the support, don't be deterred by the huge focus on Chinese members. CancerLink gave me a list of wig shops and then told me reasonably priced places... went to one today and appreciated having a friend with me for advice... thanks Amy.
5. Enjoy food and find more ways to get it in your system. I did a happy dance when the nurse told me today that I finally put on weight. Has been a long time- months- since I heard those words. Never knew I'd be so excited to put on the pounds. But honestly, phew. Even more compelled to eat that chocolate cake my friend lovingly made for me for my birthday and Happy Cow ice cream- balanced with vegies, chicken, fruit, fresh juices, etc... I know, all a balance.
6. Listen to what you want and manage other suggestions as you wish. For example, my oncologist thought I was NUTS when I said I was shaving my hair today. He said, "I wouldn't recommend that, you have so much hair, might not all fall out..." I flat out said, "It feels terrible to touch my head and have my hair falling out so much plus it is so itchy I need to free myself now. Why would I wait in hope that it might not all fall out?" He patted my shoulder. He's dealt with many stubborn patients. I follow his directions for medical rules, etc... but personal choices? My realm, respectively.
7. Bring art back into your life. - My beautiful sister brought this up and I thought about what I've enjoyed in the past... I do have an art background, endorsed in Art Ed. (along with Elem. Ed/Special Ed) way back when with more a focus on Art History to be honest... and my favorite things? sketching, fabric arts, origami, and crochet.  So... little by little adding them back in. I brought crochet back into my life- brought to treatment today and then realized that it was stupid to even hope, can't move my left hand during the infusions! So I worked a little on crochet this afternoon, happy day. Decided to follow the fantastic illustrator/author Debbie Ridpath Ohi (I interviewed her on my other blog, brilliant and talented woman) on her #Inktober challenge to sketch something each day and post on Instagram... really enjoying it as a new routine... random, low expectations, etc. November is PiBoIdMo- Picture Book Idea Month- another practice I've done for two years, some interesting writing ideas have come from this-- writing is an art in my opinion by the way...
8. Embracing the humor. Laughing with friends who've shared hilarious pictures, videos, and so much else, really grateful for the consistent support in bringing humor into my life. My mom is sending fun videos, my dad is too, and my sister is the neverending source of support, usually through fabulous Pinterest ideas. If I'm feeling down, I do honestly go to finding humor again. Sometimes enough people's frowns on the MTR path will drop me down, funny how I'm influenced by other's moods... so I've watched a few videos friends have shared many times to lighten my mood.

I have many others suggestions I'm grateful I tried... almost like writing my daily gratitude journal here... but seriously, I'm grateful, growing, supported, appreciative, and feeling loved and blessed. Thank you for ALL the support.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Alopecia Thoughts

Hair is starting to fall out more than I've noticed before. A friend warned me I was anticipating too quickly and that might be another week or so... but that perhaps I'd enjoy no shaving of legs, underarms, etc. as more hair falls out. In fact she pointed out how I'll soon realize how easy men have it when it comes to showers, etc... Ok, another silver lining to look for... Honestly, seeing my hair fall out is a sign that the chemo is working and my body isn't fighting it off... hopefully it is working to kill off the cancer. I'm probably going to get my hair shaved off soon. Annoying and slightly disturbing to have hair falling out rapidly.

Some have asked over the past month about our finances. This is a tough topic- quite awkward and uncomfortable for me personally. I have a few good friends who convinced me to be a little comfortable with asking... so this is for those who were wondering: Give Forward Fundraiser for Debbie *not necessary to participate, only for those who were thinking I needed to simply ask, wanted to do something for my family, etc...

Watched the show Red Band Society today. What bothered me? One boy getting chemo had these THICK eyebrows but now hair on his head... hmm. The patients all look so HEALTHY. They have such lovely rooms in the hospital... Hmm. But as my husband said, "Well Debbie, that apartment on Friends wasn't exactly realistic now was it?" Hmm. True. I did enjoy the simple storyline even though cancer sucks any way it is presented. Nice to see a few favorite actors and actresses in the show!
On to other stuff.

Eyebrows- so you lose them. I came across a video today that made me think, goodness I need to find transparency paper asap!! Not sure if I can with no school access but here's a generous blogger who has quite a strong opinion on cancer/life and her passions, inspiring...

Yes, a few friends thought I might escape the loss but I honestly can handle it either way. I know it will be hard. Even more so to lose my hair than cutting it short, going to thru surgeries, going thru radiation x 2, oh well. Part of life... what I'm concerned about is other reactions. Namely my son's... Others, they can get over it, get used to it. I'm human. I'm fighting a huge flaw right now and ready to survive as well as I can... but my kiddo... different matter. He made a beautiful birthday card for me and whispered when I received it, "Mommy, I put a secret message at the back for you." "Ok love"... Turn it over and he has written "I don't know what I would do without you." Sob. Choke. Sob. Hugs and thank yous for the pictures, refocus on the fun ideas he had to share and secret smiley faces he hid throughout the card for me... but seriously, did he read that somewhere? That's what my husband thinks. Seriously...  *Had a wonderful birthday which included family time, Skyping time with my wonderful parents, more family time, fun shopping time with a fellow birthday friend, new restaurant date night at Jamie Oliver's new restaurant nearby our apartment, home time with dog for a little bit and then viewing of the movie The Maze Runner. Not sure how I feel about that movie. Made me feel bad that I only read the first book... really enjoyed it but... will contemplate it for a while. In the midst of the day I also had a surprise chocolate cake delivery that had been carefully made by a beautiful friend who knew about all my food limits and was determined I'd have birthday cake... thank you for that surprise!! Delicious and good calories too! ;)

A few years ago I became obsessed about finding books for my library collection on loss, on cancer, and more... and then I ordered some brilliant picture books... and then read aloud a few to my son without completely remembering which one was which. I scarred him a little when I read aloud a few and I remember his look of reproach when I finished one and he said "Mommy, why in the world would you read this to me?" Couldn't just say "Empathy my darling..." but instead snuggled, talked about what upset him and moved on.

I had a few students really affected by cancer in the past, losing a loved one, classmate, and more. Heartwrenching for the community. I always received feedback from parents and special requests when they wanted the books about loss, cancer, and more. I was relieved to be able to accommodate requests. I've seen some brave authors in the past years write brilliant novels and picture books. But the one that stuck with me for years now was a book that inspired many of my students to grow their hair long and donate it to Locks of Love. I did it once myself...

So... books. That's what I LOVE talking about and I've barely mentioned them here... of course my Styling Librarian blog is where I pour out my soul on my love of books but.... here's thoughts about books...
Alopecia- why am I mentioning it? Because I noticed over and over this coming up as an "effect" of chemotherapy and before this I only equated it to the permanent situation some people live with... so...
The book that really stuck with me is a book by the brilliant author Margaret Peterson Haddix- I just love her books. Got to meet her around 10 years ago in a special visit and it was incredible, one of my author heroes. So... she wrote a book a while ago called Because of Anya. It is one of my favorite books to share. I would connect it to a number of other books that have touched me almost as deeply as Wonder by R.J. Palacio and it is about a girl who has alopecia- but more than that it is a gorgeous story wrapped up in empathy and caring for others.

Now. cancer books. You can find loads with a simple search in Goodreads - Cancer picture books - What have I appreciated in the past?

Nowhere Hair by Sue Glader - simple and lighthearted... but explains about chemotherapy in an appropriate way for children.

The Lemonade Club by Patricia Polacco - touching and beautiful book... as is any book by one of my favorite authors... quite recommended...

Death books- tough topic... there are so many more books beyond The Fall of Freddy the Leaf which was all there was besides one other touching book about death when I arrived at my old school 16 years ago... so here's what I appreciated:

The Scar
by Charlotte Moundlic - this one made both my son and I weep. It is beautiful thoughts on loss but not blatant...

Missing Mommy by Rebecca Cobb - touching on loss but uplifting...

Saying Goodbye to Lulu by Corinne Demas - about the loss of a dog but can actually transition to other losses appropriately and sometimes the way a child would connect to the topic in the first place.

Good for bringing up loss:

The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers - some people say "weird, I don't get it" when they read this book but I read it and thought, here's an introduction to dealing with grief and loss...

I know there are many, many other books about cancer for children, chemotherapy, and more. These are just the ones I'd recommend for others and also ones I wouldn't hesitate picking up to share when it is the right time... Anyone have one they'd recommend?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Over the slump? Protests, scarf tying, food, and more.

Allowed myself down time. Felt good.
Simply rested and relaxed, read and watched shows...
It's been a bit tumultuous here in Hong Kong watching the newsfeeds, kiddo home (bonus), schools closed to students- many colleagues working from home because it isn't easy to get to work with road blocks, trams closed, MTR station closures, etc. My husband has gone into work each day but this week was odd anyways since there's Wednesday and Thursday public holidays and Friday staff training day. So, my son had no school Mon/Tues and won't have school again til next Monday... he isn't complaining. We're lucky to have some of his friends around for distraction and overnight fun.

If you don't know what is going on here, there are a few articles I found helpful about these pro-democracy protests (peaceful and organized, I'm not going out in them- too many germs but am in full support of Hong Kong citizens speaking up for their right to a democratic election instead of what has been decided in Beijing:

There are many videos and straightforward reporting pieces. Honestly, the tear gas really scared me that first night of protests, made me worry about escalations with rubber bullets, made me think about Tiananmen Square, etc. but it has been peaceful civil disobedience since... Some friends are collecting water, ice packs, umbrellas, and more for the students and adults protesting. Other friends joined in the protests last night and today. There is a beautiful, caring, hopeful community here in Hong Kong and I'm grateful to be a part of it, even though I'm sticking inside and protecting myself from germs, etc.

My sister continually has shared touching, inspirational, and thoughtful posts with me on a daily basis.... and also some yummy recipes! Here's one with multiple recipes that gave me hope for new yummy food solutions:

I also appreciated that she sent me two how-to tie a headscarf videos. Both are pretty reasonable and doable... Thank you so much...

So... besides protests, family/kiddo time... I've been really quiet the past two days. Sunday was a wonderful day where I was just packed with energy. Monday and Tuesday were both "take the anti-nausea medicine NOW" days... every 4 hours. In the evening on Monday I didn't think I "needed" it and then my body freaked out two hours after I was supposed to take it with shakiness/almost fainting- in my bathroom, not in the MTR thank goodness... so I'm still figuring this all out. I do so hate any kind of medication but as a friend said to me, the fear of throwing up will get you to take that medicine!
Wednesday has brought this public holiday, a wonderful lunch out with friends, no anti-nausea medicine, wonderful phone call with my sister, and family time. Grateful for every minute I have... happy to be doing ok. Not pushing myself.
Watching shows here and there and laughing my way thru things. Decided that going to the Laughter Yoga session today (would have been right when I'm writing this) was a poor decision since it would have me on the MTR for 45 minutes plus taking a mini-bus somewhere over on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong where I'm happy to venture sometimes but I also have a talent for misplacing myself.... so I am hoping that backing out 24 hours in advance was ok and I'm happy to laugh with a funny show instead. I'm also beginning to read and really enjoy a book by Thich Nhat Hanh called You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment... Nice to dive into an adult book about mindfulness. I'm balancing it with a YA fantasy book which has been fun to begin called Keeper of the Realms- Crow's Revenge by Marcus Alexander.... author visit in the spring.
Food-wise, I've added back chicken, still treating it as an appetizer but I can feel the protein hit much faster at times now. Makes me happy to be giving my body what it needed. I pray I don't lose weight this week but will accept whatever comes with this treatment and know I'm trying my best. Plus I'm not having as many upset stomach issues lately... the chinese herbal medicine from my acupuncturist might be working! (I'm trying to be consistent about drinking it...) Plus I'm drinking a tea made from fresh ginger, tumeric, and peppermint tea leaves... that's feeling healthy and balanced. Drinking that one accompanied by water throughout the day. Really keeping my fluid intake up up up.
Creative wise, I had fun with two things- one- I have an art pad to doodle in now... liking that outlet. Also, I picked up yarn and a crochet hook, will be trying that out on Saturday. My husband is coming with me to chemo treatment which will be helpful. He and I love watching movies and shows together. I have 2 drugs coming this week which means around 4 hours or so... as long as everything is fine.
I also tried out something that a friend/former parent at my old school suggested. Using slippery elm bark powder mixed with coconut oil for a lotion/cure-all for my skin. Her directions were: "Mix about 1/4 cup coconut oil with 2-3 tablespoons of slippery elm bark powder and use it as a lotion."
Done. Used. Appreciating physically and mentally.
Still doing that coconut oil pull and mouth rinse throughout the day... anything to protect my mouth and body...
Not sure what my 30 year old self would think about all these extra things I'm doing but I'm glad to have outlets for expressing myself, options for treating myself, and good doctors helping me through this experience. Here's to a better day. Tomorrow is my birthday, 41, oh boy. Many family and friends have asked me what we're doing... my answer was, depends on energy! But I do know the kiddo is going for an overnight fun time with a favorite friend in the afternoon, so I can have date night with my husband! Hoping to get into Jamie Oliver's new restaurant that opened up really close to our apartment and perhaps go see a movie like Mazerunner or something... Love time with my husband. Feel lucky to have these opportunities.