Boys In Red Pickup Trucks

Alison picked me up Sunday at 5 pm to head to her aunt and uncle’s house in Milton where we will be staying while my stem cells are harvested this week. 

We were driving along I-95 North, eating Fritos (best road trip food – and as I just learned yesterday, a pure food, just 3 ingredients: corn, oil and salt, lots of salt – who knew!?!) and chatting away. And I get one of my many hot flashes (oh to have cancer and be peri menopausal – good times)., so I take off my buff and whine a little about how hot I am and we keep on driving. 

A while later we’re in the left lane and I notice that a red pickup is next to us on the right, a young male driver, late twenties probably, dark hair, and he’s asking me to roll down my window. And I think “Crap, there must be something wrong with the car.” And then he yells to me, with a smile and a big ‘thumbs up’, “I’m a survivor! Bless you!”, and he drives off with his kayak in the bed of his truck. 

Alison and I both cried. 

I am held up by so much love and support, and it comes from so many places and in so many different forms. 

This week alone:

  • Cards of love and encouragement in the mail
  • A fun game from my aunt and uncle arrived, something for fun while I recuperate
  • A “Dr. Bernie Siegel gift bag” from friends at work with one of his books, an audio CD and. DVD and a beautiful card
  • A thumb drive filled with comedy routines from my brother
  • This YouTube video from a friend that really hit home
  • Tom Brokaw’s new book
  • Scot indulging my every food out whim I have as I get closer to my confinement
  • Alison’s aunt and uncle putting us up for what could be anywhere from 2-4 nights
  • And of course the calls, texts and loving offers to do something, anything for me (I am sure I will eventually take everyone up on all of the offers!!)

Sleep has been a little tougher to get these last few days. I looked up and blamed it on the first light being at 4 am and all the birds around our house. But this morning I beat that, up since 3:40 am. Well, I had to get up at 5:00 anyway to be at Dana Farber for the double lumen Hickman line placement at 6:30. And then it’s a full day of apheresis at the Kraft Blood Center in the Jimmy Fund Building. 

I’ll have plenty of time to nap. 


Ken used to use a fair amount of army vernacular, partially from the year he spent in Germany teaching on a military base, but I think mostly from his dad. Some of these terms have stuck with me and I still use them. So we come to “short”, typically I am not short, not in stature and I try not to be financially, but right now I am “short” in the military sense, or really in reverse of the military sense. Soldiers who are “short” are almost at the end of their tour of duty. I, on the other hand, am short and feel like I am going into the military, or perhaps prison.

And no, it is not that bad, nor that long, neither my hospital stay nor my limitations when I get discharged. But I am feeling like scrambling to do the last few things I can do now that I won’t be able to do later like eating now what I will have to avoid soon.

I am feeling much better than when I was feverish last weekend, but feeling the effects of last week’s chemotherapy – very tired and some occasional nausea. It took me three days to have both the energy and the appetite to go to Ashley’s for ice cream – oh the trials and tribulations! 🙂

I have just two more days of working (from home). One more photo shoot to edit. Dinner out with my kids. And I’m trying to use as many of our fresh herbs as I can when we cook!

At any rate, I’m counting down, but I’m still kickin’!