Day +47, Sunday

Photo of the Day: Sunset from the rooftop terrace of our apartment building. The past few days have been long, and we’ve made it home from our adventures after dark. Today, though, was different. With a quick stop to the apartment to drop off a few things, Mom and I made it to the rooftop terrace just in time to watch the sun sink below the horizon.

It was easy to avoid toll roads today, as we generally remained in the state of Maryland. That being said, it was another beautiful weather day, and we made the best of it with a return trip to Sugarloaf Mountain. Trails were busy, the parking lots full, but we stuck to the less-travelled “North Peaks Trail” route and saw (presumably) fewer people. Overall we were out for an hour and forty five minutes, with a quick side trip to the unnamed peak “1071”. Any day that you climb a mountain, regardless of its name status, is a good day.

Mom and I, heading up towards Peak 1,071. I set my camera on a log, and then propped it up with rocks, having not brought my tripod. Then I backtracked to Mom and used a shutter release thingy to take a few shots of us hiking the trail. I’ve been doing this for years on trails and for various photography projects. Mom mentioned that she’s always wondered how I get “those kinds of pictures”. Welcome to my non-transplant world Mom!
Trail was in good condition, a mix of rocks, leaves and roots. Screw that. The trail was rough in places, but Mom did awesome.
Mom, doing awesome on the return trip, North Peaks Trail.
Occasionally I would take an artsy shot. I love texture and lines and seeing how trees bend and warp. Always have and I don’t suspect transplant will change that.
Whenever I see a “pop of color”, I think of my friend Kurt. He texted it to me once when I was doing laps during my inpatient stay, and it’s stuck. Well Kurt – this one is for you!
We stuck to the Blue Blazes for pretty much the entire time.
Texture, light, and lines. In Black & White. Happy!

Post-hike, we hit up Target. In an effort to avoid the Bethesda crowds, I picked a Target that was far far away. I don’t know if it actually made a difference, but I’d like to think that it did. I was appreciative of everyone wearing masks and the hand sanitizer stations. Mom got ribbon. Me, well a few boxes for gifts, but more importantly, gingerbread cookies. The last ones are too thick and don’t have a good “snap” to them. After this post, I’m going to sample and will get back to you tomorrow.

And yes, I realize that I’ve been watching waaaay too much British Baking Show. And no, I am not ashamed.


We stopped at Starbucks – an eggnog latte for me, Irish Cold Brew for Mom, and then it was smooth sailing for 25 minutes on the 270 back to Bethesda, just in time for sunset.

Painted winter sky

Last but not least, noodles + Parmesan cheese! Followed by Zooming with Andy, Dad and Lucy. I miss and love them all, and I try not to worry about their health, but it’s 2020. I really miss Andy. I’ve been gone for 9-ish weeks; I think about him and the kitties every day, also. I feel very fortunate to have someone like him in my life.

I’m feeling good, tired, but overall good. I’m grateful for days like today – being outside and trying to do supportive things for my body. The Whack-a-Mole with the small red patches on the back of my head, neck & back are – according to my Mom – getting smaller. We will keep applying the hydrocortisone just like my Team wants. I definitely felt more fatigue in my legs and lungs today, but this is the third day in a row of driving out of Bethesda and undertaking some sort of 2-hour-ish hike. Generally my mood is OK – I try to remain upbeat as much as I can, as I know the mental/emotional component of transplant is just as important as the physical bits. I try to acknowledge the fears that I have, or anything else that pops up, and then let it go. It doesn’t serve me to dwell, so I do my best not to.

Tomorrow I’m in the Clinical Center, and the Outpatient Day Hospital, with a stop at Phlebotomy for labs first. It’s supposed to rain all day, the first of two systems we’re supposed to get. I’m OK with rain, excited about snow, curious about how the state will respond if a lot of snow falls on Wednesday. To be determined! For now, I think this post is complete! I hope that wherever you are, you had a terrific weekend!

Pasta. And Cheese. It makes everything better.

  1. It’s been good to hear you’re feeling well enough to get out and do life a bit each day. The permission you give yourself for feelings, cravings, adventures and faults seems like just the right combination! I’ll be reading your posts and looking forward to seeing you in person at some point in 2021!


  2. Great pictures! You and Mom are doing great with those tremendous hikes. Very inspiring.
    Hope all goes well today with your out patient checkups and testing.
    Thank you for yesterday’s Zoom. It was fun to see Andy, Lucy, Mom and you. Almost like a party.


  3. It seemed like we partied all day!! Everything was good – from the fresh air and brisk walking to coffee and checking out at Target. The day was topped off by a gorgeous sunset on Floor # 10. Often I forget I’m here to take care of my daughter, whose just had a stem cell transplant. Usually, it’s as though I’m a mom with her kid having a good time on the East Coast!


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