Where to begin?
First, the snaps are good, even when dunked in tea. I’ve tested two other kinds of ginger cookies – there’s a bag in the freezer and another in the pantry. Why the freezer? No clue, but there they are. Nothing tasted the way that I wanted it to, not crispy enough, not gingery enough – just not what I wanted. And in retrospect, I need to acknowledge that with chemo, my taste buds have changed; what I once thought amazing may no longer be so. And short of ordering Swedish ginger snaps from half-way around the world, well – these will do.
Next, we only slightly violated The List.
This morning, Mom and I put together two different menus for the holiday, based on whether or not Andy is here. Traditionally, I grew up with a Norwegian Christmas Eve (lutefisk and all), and a wonderful Czech meal on Christmas Day. Currently, Lutefisk is just not possible – can’t get it, don’t know how I feel about ingesting it – but a lovely Czech meal of pork roast, dumplings and cabbage sounds OK. As Andy is sensitive to all-things-vinegar, and the cabbage has a fair amount of the stuff added during the reduction process (think sauerkraut) – for him, a Czech meal is out.
Instead, given my recent reawakening to All Things Carbs and Cheese, I thought for Christmas Eve, I might try a baked Mac & Cheese. For Christmas Day, well, nothing screams delicious like Beef Bourguignon in the slow cooker. So we shopped. And I did my best to not knock anyone over with my cart.
Later, I had a session with my therapist – one of the best things I can do to invest in myself – and then Mom and I popped up to the roof, in an effort to see Saturn and Jupiter. The cooler temps had us up there for less than three minutes, but the night sky was nice. Nothing like a moonless night in the middle of the Sierra Nevada range, Western Carolina or remote Colorado – but still beautiful in its own city way. Then I ate pasta. And cheese. And we Zoomed with Dad and Andy.
Half-way through our session, Andy received a text from where his COVID test was administered. We collectively held our breath. And then we all cheered when he announced he was negative! Because he’s been in quarantine, has no symptoms, and now has a negative test result, my Team (after conferring with the Infectious Disease Folks) gave the green light for him to drive up over the Christmas holiday. He will be here tomorrow, he announced. We cheered again.
In my mind I did cartwheels across the apartment and jumped up and down wildly for joy. To everyone else I looked calm in my seat – but inside, I was alight with happiness.
Tomorrow I’ve got an early appointment in the Clinical Center. OBGYN’s only opening was 7:30 am, so I’ll leave the apartment a tad before 7 am. Then it’s more lab work for a Tacrolimus check and a quick meeting with Daniele up in the Clinic on OP12 for results and follow-up. It’s hard to believe that 8 weeks have passed since my Stem Cell Transplant. There were some rough moments, challenging times – I’m grateful that I’m here now, in this moment, moving forward each day.