Day +42, Tuesday

Photo of the Day: I’ll be honest, this isn’t my favorite picture, far from it. But it represents a big part of what Mom & I worked on. A few days ago, Mom left her prescription sunglasses somewhere along a trail in Seneca Creek State Park. Today we returned, in an effort to find said glasses. How hard could it be? They were BRIGHT RED in a sea full of barren trees and fallen leaves. Um, yeah….. it didn’t happen. Had we found the glasses, that would have been my photo of the day. Instead this is just a picture of what I spent two hours looking at while hiking on trail.

Today marks 6 weeks – 6 weeks! – since my Stem Cell Transplant. It’s hard to believe all of what has transpired. I spent a few moments reading some of the posts from when I was in the hospital. Wow. I can tell you one thing – I really REALLY never want to do that again, or feel that sort of pain. Don’t even get me started on the fear bit.

Moving forward, I want to continue celebrating, and living life to the fullest. I mean, having struggled with my health for most of my life, I deeply understand the importance of that. This holiday season feels extra special – a gift, if you may. I thank my donor every day, and am just so incredibly grateful. I guess that’s also why Mom ordered a few extra beautiful ornaments for the tree. The front desk guy offered to help, but I just requested to cart to take packages up to our room. I may have used The Power of The Bald.

I brought the cart back right away. Scout’s honor.
Trying to unravel a garland of bells. They are beautiful, sound lovely, but &%#*!!!!. I may have rubbernecked my eyebrows and head in frustration, which is not something I normally do, but hey? I’m bald, so it’s cool. Seriously though, I worked SO HARD once my hair started falling out, to NOT loose my eyebrows and eye lashes – I basically did not touch them at all, and hoped they would remain. I’m still sort of wigged out by it, but there you go. The glasses can serve as a deterrent to face touching and then we open an entirely new can of worms. Moral of the story: Crate & Barrel “Bell Garland” and lovely but challenging to unfurl.

After we updated the tree, Mom and I headed back to Seneca Creek State Park. Retracing our hike from the other day, we both searched and searched (and searched) – but to no avail. Somewhere at the half-way mark (when we were the furthest away from the car), Mom came up with the brilliant idea of calling the park’s Visitor’s Center and inquiring about Lost and Found. It took 45 minutes to return to the car – sans glasses – but we did just that. Nothing turned in (yet), but the nice attendant took our names and phone number, so we feel better. Mom may want to return, but I kind of think it’s pointless. And chilly. I’ve lost stuff or left stuff on trail while backpacking – finding it (unless you know EXACTLY where you left it) is tricky at best, nearly impossible at worst. I fear this may have been one of those impossible scenarios. But we still had a great hike and I enjoyed some photography with my non iPhone camera.

Mom, about to greet me at the road
I love the woods in winter! The other day, we heard an owl; I love the long shadows, crisp air, the promise of snow (well, maybe not here, but somewhere).
I love light and color and atmospheric conditioning when I practice photography. Mostly I’ve stuck with B&W throughout this blog, chronicling my health. And I’ve done that because I want a sort of uniformity, but also I don’t want colors to detract from the story of my transplant. But then I see a photo like this, and all I can think of is how beautiful the colors are, how much they add. I love art!

The drive home wasn’t bad – I’m getting more familiar with The 270 corridor (yes, I lived in California for 7 years, so the interstate will always have a “The” in front of it), and managed to not get too turned around when I switched off my GPS and navigated back through the winding streets of downtown Bethesda. Then it was a hot bath with salts and bubbles, followed by a Zoom date with Andy, Dad and Lucy, and wrapping up Season 5 of Outlander with Mom.

Tomorrow is another day, and I’m hoping to get an early start and explore something new – there are multiple possibilities. So we’ll look at the weather, see how we feel and go from there. Hot damn, I still can’t believe it’s been 6 weeks. Wow, just – wow. Thank you for ALL of your support! I don’t always get a chance to write back or respond – and sometimes it takes way way too long, but I very much appreciate the kind thoughts, texts, messages and notes. It makes me feel like I’m not going through this alone, which in 2020, is pretty remarkable. So thank you ❤ .

Also, thank you to my Anonymous Donor – I am grateful.

Bringing a bit of warmth and aromatherapy into my life…

  1. I’m sorry you weren’t able to find the glasses, but perhaps some other sharp-eyed visitor will spot them and return them to Lost and Found. Congratulations on the 6 week mark! That is an anniversary worth celebrating, and I hope you and your mom have a great day exploring your area.


  2. Looking for a pair of bright red sun glasses in a forest is a kind of crazy thing. I know – but nothing ventured nothing gained as in said sun glasses. Walking with my daughter in the forest is magical. Her observations about the pine trees, the sun light hitting a stream or the hooting of an owl, make every hike we take an adventure. Her recovery continues to amaze me, and her spirit is infectious and I love it!


  3. A walk in the woods beats sitting in a hospital room. That South American mountain is waiting for you. Continue with the exercise.


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