Day +163, Thursday

Photo of the Day: Fuzzy duckling hair is growing more!

I can’t recall the last time I beat Andy out the door in the morning, but in order to make my 7 am HEW (Hard Exercise Works) class, I left by 6:45. Apparently, I can be on time when properly motivated, a fact not lost on either of us. It was a nice change!

My workout went well, was tough – of course – but I loved, absolutely LOVED watching the sunrise, the sky lightening behind the ridge east of the gym. During my final 400 meter run, the sun fully peeked above the mountain, and I was bathed in the warmth of early morning light. It was such a beautiful moment, and I felt grateful.

And hungry!

I stretched, cooled down – not in that order – and enjoyed chatting with the coaches for a bit. Then I splurged with some monstrosity of a veggie bowl, minus the rice, from Green Sage cafe along with 2 lattes and made my way to Lake Julian.

Lake Julian power plant.

The view reminded me of living in Czechoslovakia, when I was 5 & 6 – there was a power plant across the field from the house my parents rented in Dolni Mecholupy (apologies for the lack of accents). Neighborhood kids, along with my sister and myself used to play & explore in the large field, as children circa the 1980s tended to do – occasionally, the plant would fire up or make large noises and we would sprint at breakneck speed back to the safety of our respective homes. This was communist East Europe in the era of Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster; that wasn’t really on our minds, though. We were just kids, doing kid things. Months later, while still living in Czechoslovakia, I almost died from Chicken Pox, my then-unknown GATA2 Deficiency playing a pivotal role in the rapid decline of my health.

I thought about this as I ate and sipped my latte – how long it’s been that I’ve fought this genetic deficiency to the best of my ability, some of the challenges and also obstacles I’ve overcome, and why I am the way I am. It wasn’t really grim, per se, more contemplative. Sometimes that’s just what happens when you sit alone and stare out at the water.

And then I ate an amazing breakfast!

Breakfast was amazing amazing!
Small inlet, Lake Julian

Before returning home, I stopped off to get Andy’s non-work car inspected. While at the garage, Daniele reached out to me about the state of Wilma.

“Can you send more pictures?” she asked.

I paused, conflicted. Normally whatever the NIH needs, I’ll get it done ASAP. But standing in the middle of a busy service store (outside) on the corner of Longshoalls & The 25, even busier roads, I didn’t really feel like taking selfies of my stomach.

I waited until reaching the safety of my home.

Wilma! One of about 45, give or take, photos I took for the NIH.

The return texts had lots of questions and in the end, it was decided that I should have Wilma drained, biopsied, sampled and possibly removed. Thankfully, my AVL dermatologist is amazing and her office scheduled me for Friday. At some point in all the flurry of activity, I ate an incredible toasted PB & apricot jam sandwich and nabbed a 45 minute nap.

Later, it was a 5-mile hike with my actual backpacking pack at Bent Creek. I wore extra sun protection – clothing, sunscreen & floppy hat – and huffed up the hills. Within a mile or so, the old familiarity of my pack returned, like putting on a beloved garment you haven’t worn in a while. And I just hiked, one step at a time.

Headed back to my car, Bent Creek

Dinner was later than I had expected, but I ran a few errands and managed to make it home not too late. As a splurge to go with our pulled chicken salad, I picked up mineral water. I know, I know – living on the edge! I didn’t explode from the carbonation and it tasted great. We ended the night by watching 50 First Dates, a classic and old favorite of mine, likely brought on by listening to 311’s song “Amber” earlier in the day.

Feeling good – tired and sore. My skin remains sensitive, and for the first time in 4 days, I didn’t apply hydrocortisone (which helps to calm whatever flare, rosacea or otherwise, that’s happening with my skin). I was a bit thirstier and did my best to push the fluids. And then push more. I had a bit of lymphedema, but movement & compression socks continue to help with that. Andy is suggesting that I take the morning off from HEW, and I figure that when I get up – I’ll let my body decide. Mood is good, and I’m looking forward to a few projects over the weekend! Have a good one, wherever you are!

Last sip of my latte, Lake Julian

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