Day +132, Monday

Photo of the Day: Andy bidding me farewell before Sunday’s 8-Ball Finals Match. I don’t ever think I’ve had a photo of the day that I haven’t taken that day, but when I saw this picture – a few things went through my head. 1) Andy is adorable, and makes me smile 2) I processed this picture today and 3) This photo is actually very symbolic of what it means to both have a recent Stem Cell Transplant and to be alive during a global pandemic. Andy went off to play a pool match – wearing a mask the entire time, I must add – while I stayed at our Air B&B down the street. Sometimes I miss just doing things and being out in public places…coffee shops, my gym, or cheering Andy during a pool tournament. But I did the safe thing for my body – I stayed home and watched the FB LiveStream instead. And drank a lot of tea, hot water and coffee.

Today was more of a recovery day, meaning that in spite of the beautiful weather, I remained indoors and caught up with myself a bit. Sleeping in was nice, but so too was sitting with a kitty in my lap in the recliner and doing a combination of reading, napping and watching old seasons of Outlander. What can I say, but sometimes you just need a bit of Jaime&Claire?

The weekend was good, but also rough. I appreciated the opportunity to learn about how my body responds in various situations – but I also took for granted my level of fatigue. But, it was nice to put my energy into something else that was 100% non-transplant related, and had nothing to do with me. I was happy to be there for Andy, supporting him to the best of my ability from afar, but there was also a bittersweetness about it. And I suppose, there was a bit of anger, too. I had hoped the APA tournament would be played following COVID guidelines and protocols – but it wasn’t.

I don’t want to waste my energy on that – on the mask issues. But wearing a mask means showing a concern for general health, the well-being of others and is an act of kindness. Bottom line – none of that happened and no one wore masks except for Andy. I was grateful to him for making that choice – but he lives with me and understands what the consequences of my contracting COVID could be. So I stayed at the Air B&B for most of the weekend –

On Sunday, I was so tired after my walk at Ijams Nature Center, that I ended up taking a 50 minute power nap in the car. My bladder – remember “aggressive hydration” – woke me up, and I knew it was a matter of minutes before I reached the Point Of No Return. In front of me was the pool hall – filled with maskless, semi-sober folks whose devotion to general health I questioned. Behind me was a McDonald’s – less crowded, but further away (and it’s McDonald’s). It was one of those cartoonish choices – which is the lesser of the evils? I thought about squatting next to the car, but didn’t want to be arrested. My bladder quickly decided for me and geographical proximity won out.

The River Walk at Ijams

In the end, my bladder was OK and Andy won the 8-Ball Tournament, qualifying for a spot at the August 2021 APA World Championships in Las Vegas (I told you he was good). But even if he wouldn’t have won, it would have been OK – as long as he was happy with how he played.

Our drive home was nice – me in my car, he in his, 2-3 car lengths behind. But we chatted the entire time, just talking as we would had we shared a vehicle. At first, I commented on the Alpine Glow – the beautiful pink and orange hues of the setting sun against the Western flank of the Smokies, and he talked about his matches. Later, talk turned to dinner and food – I was hangry and so was he, but he did a better job of hiding it. Pasta was delicious when we got home and I slept hard and remained tired through the next day.

And that’s all I’ve got – along from a few more photos from the weekend.

I drank more coffee than I should have over the weekend. My GI system was not happy.
Field, across the Holston River from Ijams. And lots of cows…I don’t like cows. And why is this? Mostly because they look very menacing when I’m backpacking and walk past them. Then there was something called “Cowgate” on my final night of the 500-mile Colorado Trail, where a herd of cattle walked through the little patch of space that me and several other backpackers had pitched our weary tents. I ended moving and wedging myself uncomfortably between two fallen tree trunks and hoping against all odds that cows couldn’t suddenly jump over large trees. Then there were all the cows through the Cochetopa Hills and between, miles 2-499. Clearly, I was fine.
Spring is just around the corner!

  1. That last picture is lovely and promising! I’m glad you made it through the weekend and are taking time to recover.


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