Days +137 & +138, The Weekend

Photo of the Day (Sunday): Wheezy-Bear giving me a look. This usually means she wants to be petted while eating her food. And that I’m a terrible human if I don’t. Cats. Oh, and I also just really love this photo and the lighting.
Photo of the Day (Saturday): The outside scene at Turgua Brewing, Fairview NC. It was lovely sitting next to Cane Creek, listening to the water and people watching from afar.

Even though we only lost an hour, the weekend went by much faster than I would have otherwise thought. It was rainy for half of it, overcast for the other bit – perfect for curling up with a good book, if you ask me. On Saturday we ventured out to Turgua Brewing, to watch my friend Cynthia perform live. Cynthia is an incredible musician – vocals and mandolin primarily, but knowing her she likely does more. Andy and I have always enjoyed her playful interpretation of music, gypsy jazz, bluegrass, and wide vocal range; the other day, her Pimps of Pompe band’s cover of “Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dogg played in my car – Andy and I just listened in awe. (Pardon the inappropriate language and references).

Unfortunately, the rainy weather cancelled her Saturday show at Tagura, but we’ll catch her soon, either at another outdoor venue OR one of these Sunday’s at the Battery Park Book Exchange once it’s safer for me in the COVID world we live. That being said, it was still lovely to drive along the rainy back roads, passing green fields and mountains shrouded in mist.

Saturday evening, we enjoyed a fireplace date downstairs, while splitting an Amy’s Pizza. Andy calls it Flatbread, and I’ll indulge him. But it’s still a pizza to me. The fire was warm and I appreciated connecting the way we did. Sunday morning came early, but that’s just what happens when one Springs forward. I mostly stayed home, and at one point, fell asleep watching “Men In Kilts” – the Scottish travel show featuring Outlander stars Sam Heughan & Graham McTavish. It’s the fatigue – what can I say?

The other exciting thing about Sunday was giving Andy a proper haircut. Well….perhaps “proper” isn’t the correct word for it – but it involved clippers, and I didn’t shave his head. As my hair is beginning to grow back in, he’s let his go as well. It’s been very sweet, actually, to have him bald with me – something that was deeply touching and I’ll never forget.

I started giving him haircuts in April 2020, a few weeks after North Carolina shut down. I had never given a haircut to anyone, except for the awful bang trim/cut I gave my sister when I was 8; honestly, I think Mom was more upset than KK. Anyway, I was hesitant, like so many, but willing to learn. Plus, whatever I screwed up 1) Andy wouldn’t be able to see anyway and 2) It’s not like we were going anywhere. Today’s haircut had the added element of a beard trim – another first for me. I think it went well!

The before. I started with 5 mm clippers – way too long. In the end, I used the 2 & 3 mm. For the beard, it was a comb, scissors and my ability to keep a good poker face. Monster, as always, wanted to help.
The after. He seemed happy with it, and unsurprised at seeing my camera.

Physically, not much has changed. My cheeks are more rashy and sensitive, with bits of rosacea acne popping up. I’ve been consistently applying my metronidazole gel for rosacea, so let’s hope it kicks in against this flare asap. I’ve noticed with my skin – when its more sensitive, my face skin itself feels a tad more clammy and bumpy to the touch (as opposed to soft and smooth). There were a few glorious days last week & the week before when I had soft and smooth….I need to keep reminding myself that a Stem Cell Transplant recovery is not up up up all the time, but that there are lots of ups & downs along the way (skin included).

To that affect, my lips, eyes, nose and mouth are dry and one of my Angular Chelitis/mouth corner scabs actually cracked when I went to eat an apple earlier. I whimpered, and then cut said apple into 8 pieces. I’m still dealing with a bit of lymphedema, so compression socks have been constant. I also ate a sleeve of frozen thin mints; that may or may not be transplant related.

On the upside – my hair continues to grow in, and in the shower I actually had a bit of a lather going! During Friday’s virtual appointment with Jennifer, she mentioned that other transplant folks will strategically cut their hair when it first starts growing in – just because it won’t always grow evenly. I confirmed this was the case with me & my male-pattern-balding and we both laughed. I don’t feel like I need a haircut just yet – I’ll look forward to the day that I do!

And I think that’s it! Happy weekend and have a great week everyone!

  1. Your weekend sounds like the perfect weekend!! Some going out, some driving around, some sitting around a fire, some listening to rain and some reading. Our weekend wasn’t so perfect – mostly stayed in, but we finished our book. We were sad as I closed the book. Firefly Lane is a must read. Dad started his walking around the lake and I got boxes to send stuff in. Be prepared!❤️

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  2. Despite, not recovering from a stem cell transplant, reading your blog brings me connecting each day. So much of what you are writing about , seems to apply to the recovery process , I’m also going through. It’s nice , at a time, when everything feels so isolating. So many of the thoughts you share, I have in my head, and it’s nice to read that someone else thinks that way too. Your blog makes me feel a little more human and a little less isolated. While I attend my cardiac rehab, which puts me in the same space as other people who have had cardiac surgery, most of them are older, so a lot of what I’m having to deal with doesn’t apply to them. Long winded way to say thank you for sharing your journey. You are amazing! I’m so glad I was able to meet you and now follow you!

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    1. Hey there!

      How are you doing? Would you like to go for a walk or something? Yes…different circumstances, but both of us are still young and at a very unique point in our lives. Please text anytime and we can set something up!

      (252) 646-2581

      You are stronger than you know!

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