Day -20, Wednesday

My Image of the day. I mustered up the courage to bring my DSLR camera into the clinical center, determined to take a picture or two of my appointment experience. I spent about 5 minutes setting up, took probably 25 shots getting the angle that I wanted, and even had an audience of two fellow patients, a nurse, and a receptionist by the end. With enough tinkering I found my angle, sat down to take a picture or two, aaaand – was immediately called for my bone density scan. This was the only self portrait that I got – because sometimes that’s just all you can do. It’s life, and I laughed. For the record, so too did everyone else.

After three full solid days of appointments, labs, scans, tests, meetings, more labs, fasting, more appointments, and quite a bit of waiting between appointments, I had to escape. First, I dropped my ballot off at the post office down the block, then beelined to a very empty cafe, where found myself sipping a light Chardonnay and waiting for some yummy Korean Salmon Noodle Bowl. For the record, both were delicious.

Note the lack of people. It was great.

Today was good, my favorite part stumbling upon Dr. Hickstein, my main Bone Marrow Transplant Doctor in the hallway next to phlebotomy. I said I wanted to hug him, but knew that I couldn’t. He said he was only in the building to get his weekly COVID Test, but that I was looking good. What I didn’t share was that my backpack contained my 24 hour “pee jugs” – basically I had to collect my, um, pee for the past day. Don’t worry, I’ll spare you the details.

Seriously, if YOU had to carry this around, you would stash it in a backpack too. I saw a few other sorry souls lugging the “Patient Belongings” bags around. My was just in Stealth Mode.

I was supposed to get a Lupron shot to start my day – nope, not a fun after hours drink, but a 3-month shot that stops my menstural cycle. This is important because when I start chemo, my platelets will drop and my Team doesn’t want additional blood loss. I’m not one to argue; that being said, the NIH was out of the 3-month shots, so we’ll do a 1-month version closer to Transplant. Later there was the bone density scan, and CT Scans of my entire body. I cheered on my nurse when she gave me the least painful IV ever. And I rounded out my day with a 3-hour hematology appointment.

Yeah. 3 hours is a lot of time. 3 hours when you’ve been fasting and the coffee bar line is half way around the atrium and they need you in the clinic right now because your CT Scan took forever , well that was rough. I think that’s when I decided to escape under the guise of casting my ballot.


And I bookmarked my day with two workouts – a nice run this morning where I got completely turned around in the neighborhoods around Walter Reed and the NIH, and some yoga and a core workout this afternoon. I’m participating in my friend and former coach’s “Coretober” Challenge; I’m determined to complete my core work, even while going through Chemo. What can I say? I’m stubborn and goal oriented and doing small things every day that are good for me, well, that make me feel good.


  1. I’m loving this blog! I also love that I hear voice in my head while reading. Lol. I’m in on the core challenge! I mean it’s swim suit season somewhere!


  2. Awesome! Keep doing those small things every day that are good for you. And you’ve got a bottle of Chardonnay with your name on it here in Asheville.


  3. You are brave and funny and a very good writer! I love reading your blog. But please don’t go too hard at exercise. Physical stress? Well, your body already has that. Be careful Sweetie.
    Marge, Lucy’s friend


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