The One With The Happy Dance Or How A Port Flush Makes Me Dance…

This is the story of my morning’s happy dance…or this morning’s port flush. I’ve been posting on Instagram using the hashtag: #OurDecemberMornings started by Corinne Cunningham.

I was thinking of posting a picture of the cancer center waiting area but when I got out, I saw this tree and the “Home of the Brave” sign and yep, it is definitely “Home of the Brave”.

I am so grateful for the nurses and doctors and technicians and receptionists and custodian staff of the University Of Maryland who have been giving even more than before.

For a while, due to the pandemic, cancer patients couldn’t have anyone with them in the cancer center. And that meant, people just starting treatment didn’t have their support system physically with them. And I can’t imagine how much harder it must have been to enter that center or the transplant unit and not knowing what to expect…alone. And the entire medical staff stepped up even more to be that support system for the patient, showing up in so many ways.

So yep, definitely “Home of the Brave.”

This morning, I got my port flushed. My port needs to be flushed every six weeks or so, since I’m out of treatment.

I love my port. It feels weird to say that because the only reason I have a port is because I needed it for treatment. I’ve had my port now for almost 3 years. I started chemo without one. One day, it took hours (in another cancer center) to find a vein after the first one collapsed because the first chemo drug was administered too quickly. I still had three chemo drugs to go that day. This was a hard day.

The day after I got my port (in January 2018), I started treatment at the Greenebaum Cancer Center. And this little port has saved me hours of anxiety and pain and tears.

So, every single time I see the blood return and the port flush working, I do a happy dance. Literally. I do a little dance in the chair.

And I did my happy dance this morning. 💃

Crossing my fingers you do a happy dance this morning too. For whatever reason. 💃

cancer awareness, personal

The One With The Many Thanks For Supporting Our #LightTheNight Team…

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thank you for donating. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for your support!

Not only did our team reach its goal, we also were named #LightTheNight’s Greater Maryland’s “Rookie Team of The Year”.

Thank you to our friend and teammate, Sam, who not only raised money for our team but also recorded the video live as it was announced on Saturday evening. You may hear her very adorable baby in the background.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzNYSDwcMDQ&feature=youtu.be

You can ask The Chemical Engineer, I was pretty emotional when it was announced, as I had no idea…

As per LLS: Your fundraising for LLS make a difference in the lives of blood cancer patients by supporting:

Research – Since our founding in 1949, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has invested nearly $1.3 billion funding nearly all of today’s most promising advances, and bringing us closer to cures.

Patient Access – LLS is the leading source of free, highly specialized blood cancer information, education and support for patients, survivors, families and healthcare professionals.

Policy and Advocacy – Our nationwide grassroots network of more than 100,000 volunteers advocate for state and federal policies that benefit patients .


You can watch the entire event here: http://ltn.virtualeventsite.com/greater-maryland/ And the virtual team village which included the Rookie Team of the Year announcement here: https://llsdata.app.box.com/…/eaux56hpz4wqlq2mp9vxp5utl…


I turned one yesterday!

I turned one yesterday.

Well, I turned one in a way yesterday. I celebrated my second birthday. A year ago, on October 7th 2019, I received my stem cells back as part of the autologous stem cell transplant.

I wrote a much longer update on my CaringBridge journal in English, French and German: https://www.caringbridge.org/…/…/id/5f7f593bd73a099f728b4928

We celebrated that day yesterday. October 7th. It is my second birthday. And every day, I am grateful. Fine, maybe not all day every day but at least three times a day. 😉
And celebrating those milestones is important to me, to us. So, yesterday, we took a stroll in the park with Plato the Dog. I had a pumpkin spice latte with the creamer I had gotten from Target in curbside pick-up. Alex picked up food at our favorite restaurant. And I even had a candle on my cake.

If you want to help me celebrate, don’t hesitate to share my LIGHT THE NIGHT fundraiser or Alex’s LIGHT THE NIGHT Fundraiser (on the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society platform for Alex – on Facebook for Alex – on the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society platform for me – on Facebook for me). You can give from all around the world. And/Or register to BeTheMatch.

And/Or register to BeTheMatch in the US. If you’re in France: https://www.dondemoelleosseuse.fr/ or in Germany: https://www.dkms.de/de/spender-werden

And if you can, enjoy the sunshine outside your window, or the rain pattering, or just take a moment to breathe or check in on someone you haven’t checked in a while, or ask for help if you need it, or take some time to enjoy your favorite dish, and be kind to yourself…

I turned one yesterday—in a way.
And I have plans. And pumpkin spice latte.

Motivation Monday

A picture to make you smile on Monday…or a little bit of Monday motivation.

Pictures of Plato the Dog always make me smile. He’s silly and cuddly and stubborn and loving and so sweet.

I took this picture last week. He had taken a long nap during the afternoon and was just waking up, stretching, clearly not entirely ready to get up.

Kind of me like me some mornings…

Hope this picture makes you smile too and that your Monday is going well!


Motivation Wednesday…

Yes, those are my feet and my Bombas‘ socks 🙂 A little motivation Wednesday mainly as a reminder to myself. But also as a way to ask you: what made you smile today?

⁣And full disclaimer: a lot of those thought-processes are easier for me because of years of therapy and a lot of work 😉 And it doesn’t mean I don’t have moments where I focus on the fact that this used to be much easier. Just putting that out there. 

⁣A few days ago, I did a few relevés and elevés from first position. They were far from perfect. And I can’t stand on the balls of my feet for very long or all the way because I still experience neuropathy and cramping in my feet (and hands) in addition to needing to re-build (or build – ha) muscles.

⁣But as I did those exercises, I smiled. Because it felt like progress. 

⁣Kind of like when you’re writing a sentence that stays with you or when you finally understand your character’s motivation or simply when you write a few words in-between busy times or hard times.

⁣I enjoyed this moment when it happened. I smiled like I said. I think I even laughed I was so happy. And I smile as I post it even if my feet and hands are currently cramping. I know I’ll do this exercise again today. And I am revising my first chapters feeling grateful. A reminder to keep going, to keep swimming, to keep writing.