June, 2009

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The Great Mariano Rivera

Monday, June 29th, 2009

This will be a short one.  Mariano Rivera just got his 500th save…WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!!  AND, he got his first RBI!  :)  That part was pretty funny to watch…he was walked when the bases were loaded.  I think most of you know his central role in my treatment.  For four and a half years now, he’s been my go-to guy for visualization, throwing out all the cancer cells that come up to bat.  Here’s to ya, Mo!!  I’m looking forward to the day when I can come up to Yankee Stadium and rock out with the rest of the crowd when “Enter Sandman” starts blaring on the speakers…if you remember, I adopted his song as my main leukemia-fighting song.  It’s pretty darn intimidating, just what those cancer cells need to know they better get out the way!  Here he is on his final night at the old Yankee Stadium…does it give you goosebumps too?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vOr82QepH0.  Congrats, Mo!  If you count me, you now have 501 saves!  :)

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

First of all, I need to admit that after writing my previous post, I feel asleep on the couch with Jameson cuddled up next to me.  :)  I only slept ’til 9:30 AM though, so I was still able to enjoy the morning.  We took another nap this afternoon since I got up at 5 AM!  I got downtown around 6:45 this morning, and waited until 8 AM with some other volunteers, ready to cheer on the Houston Police Department Bike Relay Team.  Unfortunately, we never got to see them because they were running late.  Apparently, the last time anyone spoke with them was yesterday, and they were somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  We could have been waiting for hours.  I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see them, but I really enjoyed the drive down to Georgetown, and I had a good time talking with the other members of our little cheerleading squad.  :)  There were four of us, three volunteers and one Leukemia and Lymphoma Society employee.  Everyone was a survivor of either leukemia and lymphoma, and one even got her transplant out in Seattle!

Again, it felt great to be up early.  It’s always fun to watch a city wake up:  walkers and runners crisscrossed the streets, dogs welcomed the day with jaunts around the block, commuters filed into the bus stops.  I drove home across the Key Bridge, thinking about the day when I would join all those early risers to head off to a job.  It excites and scares me at the same time.  I’m looking forward to finding something I really like, but I feel overwhelmed by my options, especially because I don’t know how to narrow my search.  I wish I knew what I wanted to be when I grow up.  :)  I started thinking about work last week after Dr. Orloff gave me the green light to hang out with children, because I know I’ll be able to work soon.  I always thought I would have to wait until after my one-year visit to Seattle, so I was living in the moment, enjoying my early retirement, so to speak.  I found myself stressing out whenever the thought of working crossed my mind, until I reminded myself that the fact that I have to look for a job is wonderful, considering the alternative of being sick or well, not here.  I’m still overwhelmed, but I’m glad.  I keep telling myself, “I kicked cancer’s a*@ twice!!  I can definitely find a job”.  :)  I will make this my new mantra.

So I went and saw “The Proposal” with my mom, Laura, and her friend Viva last night.  It is hillllllarious!!  It’s definitely one to get for the DVD library.  I don’t think it’s just a chic flick either–I think you guys out there would find it pretty entertaining!  Also, check this out: http://www.fark.com/cgi/vidplayer.pl?IDLink=4365716…I love how they smack each other on the butt when they switch places.  :)

Katie did some research on the last video I posted…the dancing one.  Apparently, the guy originally made a video of himself dancing in Vietnam, and it was really popular on the internet.  Stride Gum approached him, asking him to take a trip around the world, dancing his special dance in various countries.  They paid for his travel, and from my brief reading, it looks like he’s traveled ’round the world twice executing those moves in places far and wide.  Also, Katie read that the song the dancing is set to (my new favorite, if you remember), is sung in a dying language.  So now you know all the details about dancing Matt…be sure to share this info at your next summer BBQ…it’s important stuff to know.  :)

Well, it’s 5:26, and I better get showered!  Lori and I are having a Border’s night tonight.  This has been a tradition since UVA, when we would go to Barnes and Noble to “study”.  I put that in quotes because sometimes Lori just couldn’t stop talking, and I didn’t get my work done.  hahahahaha  Yah, it was most often the other way around.  :)  You can’t beat the atmosphere though…there’s coffee, snacks if you get a hankering, a nice buzz of noise, and you’re inspired by all the books surrounding you.  Tonight I plan on working on some more of my photos, so hopefully Lori will let me get some work done!  :)

Enjoy the many photos!!

Lots of love,


Friday, June 19th, 2009

Good morning!! Yup, you read right…good morning!!  It’s 7:23 AM, and I’m up.  No, it’s not for any reason, I just felt wide awake.  I also thought you might want something to make you smile (no it’s not my post itself, but rather a video).  :)  Kristi, thanks for forwarding this along to me:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWUrj22pRD0&feature=fvst.  Dancing, yet another universal language!  You think he was really in all those places?  I hope so ’cause it was really cool, and the song is my new favorite song.  I put it on my phone, and I’ve listened to it five times already.  :)

It feels good to be up early!  I think I just might get done all the to-do items on my list…imagine that!  I’m looking forward to lunch with Paloma at Olive Garden (mmm…soup, salad and breadsticks, here I come!).  I’m also looking forward to a yummy dinner of gazpacho.  I slaved over the blender last night to make it!  Actually, it’s easy to make aside from seeding the tomatoes.  I dread that part.  Does anyone have any special tricks on how to do it?  I’ve tried squeezing them out, cutting them out…it’s never a pretty sight, and nothing seems to work perfectly.

Manchego, I missed you!

Manchego, I missed you!

Keeping on the whole food theme, since Dr. Orloff gave me the go-ahead to be around children, I gave myself the go-ahead to eat my favorite non-pasteurized cheese.  :)  I’m sure he wouldn’t mind!  I treated myself to some delicious manchego cheese yesterday, topping it off with oven-roasted tomatoes from the Whole Foods olive bar.  I missed that yummy flavor combination!!  I learned to love manchego when I studied in Spain, where I disgusted all Spaniards by pairing it with coffee.  Now that I think about it, that is pretty gross.

This time, I paired it with a little wine...much better than coffee.

This time, I paired it with a little wine...much better than coffee.

OK, well, I’m off to take a shower and start my day at a normal hour.  This feels good!  I don’t think I’ll be making a habit of it, but it feels good!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!!!



How Sweet It Is…

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

to be almost normal!!!  Check it out:  white count, 4.8; neutrophils, 2.0; hemoglobin, 12.8; hematocrit, 35.3; platelets, 150,000.  And to top that off, I’m allowed to be around children AND I can wear contacts!!!!  I’m not allowed to change diapers (hey, no objections here!), and I can’t be around children with cold symptoms, but I can’t be around anyone with cold symptoms so that’s no biggie.  Woooooooohooooooooooo!!!!  So remember this day, June 16th, one small step in my treatment, one giant leap toward feelings of normalcy.  :)  My mom, dad and I went out to dinner to celebrate, and we ran into a friend of theirs who surprised us and paid for our entire meal.  When we were leaving, we told him why we were celebrating, and exchanged hugs all around.  I was (and am) feeling pretty victorious!  I haven’t seen counts like these in over four and a half years…and I haven’t been able to hang out with all my little buddies for a little less than a year.  And I definitely won’t miss the marks my glasses leave on my nose.  Makeup, contacts, I’ll be the old Julie before I know it.   Well, actually, I’ll be the old Julie, only new and improved!

I wonder if all my celebrating this weekend helped boost my counts?!  From Laura’s promotion on Friday to the “Gipsy Kings”  Saturday night to a delicious steak dinner and Mom’s special angel food cake on Sunday, I felt pretty spoiled.  We had a gorgeous night for “Gipsy Kings”, and as always, I found myself looking around Wolf Trap and thinking how lucky we are to have it so close.  You just can’t beat that venue—it’s impossible!!!   The “Gipsy Kings” always put on a wonderful concert, and I was quite happy to dance the night away.  It definitely beat the dance parties Laura and I had in my hospital room last year at this time.  :)

After Laura, Tiso and Katie left on Sunday, I felt a little bit down.  I always feel sad when the weekend is over, and everyone returns to their own homes and their separate lives.  When I lay in bed waiting for sleep to come (since I no longer have the assistance of Ativan!), I shed some tears and thought about how far behind  I am in so many aspects of life.  I realized though that whenever I cry or feel down, I never feel desperate or totally defeated.  I asked myself what helped to keep up my positive attitude, and the answer was quite clear:  hope.  Even at my lowest points, I think about how I will move ahead and  have a career, a family, an entire life waiting to be lived.  Lately, many people have commented on how patient I’ve been with this whole process, and now that I really think about it, they’re right (not to pat myself on the back or anything!)!  What allowed me to be patient was hope.  Dictionary.com defines hope as “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best”.  I’m grateful to now be conscious of this feeling.  You always hear stories about how hope sustained someone during a difficult time, but to truly feel it is remarkable.  It’s emotionally refreshing…and perhaps physically too, considering those high blood counts!

My blood counts and I are sitting here enjoying some HGTV (big surprise, I know!).  I enjoy this time in the evening when I can work on items on my to-do list, relax with TV, write on the blog, catch up on my favorite magazines…you know, the usual.  I do miss the feeling of early morning though.  Not enough to wake up  and partake of it, but I miss it.  :)  There’s that special energy of morningtime, you know?  I’m looking forward to getting up superearly next Tuesday to go down to DC and cheer on members of the Houston Police Bike Relay Team who are cycling from Houston to Providence, RI to raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  They should pass through Georgetown between 7 and 9 AM, and I volunteered to go down and provide some encouragement, a great reason to wake up early!!!  Apparently, this year marks their 28th year.  Each time they cycle somewhere new, and they’ve raised over 3 million dollars for the Society.  Pretty amazing, don’t you think?  I’ll be sure to get some photos!!

Speaking of photos, there are a lot of them tonight!!  I hope you enjoy them.

I found this quote that I thought fit in perfectly with the post tonight considering my great health and my  many hopes:  “He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” - Arabian proverb

Lots of love to everyone.  Wishing you all lots of health and lots of hope,


Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Hey there, how’s it goin’?

It’s Saturday, around 1 PM, and I’m just gearing up for the “Gipsy Kings” concert tonight!!!!!!  I think it’s probably pretty easy to tell how excited I am.  If you walk in the house, you’ll see a freshly cleaned cooler, a bag full of cups, plates, chips, paper towels, my cowboy hat and my Crazy Creek chair all ready and sitting on the fireplace.  Open up the fridge and you’ll find apples soaking in wine for my sangria, fresh salsa, guacamole and something called muffaletta on a stick (1)pepperoncini peppers, 2)turkey, provolone and Genoa salami rolled up, 3)pimento stuffed olives, 4)roasted red peppers on a skewer (covered with Italian seasoning and oil and vinegar dressing).  I haven’t tried that last appetizer before, so we’ll see how it turns out!  I hope it’s good ’cause it was easy to make, but it looks complicated and impressive (at least I think so anyway!).

We started off the weekend celebrating at a promotion ceremony for Laura.  Congratulations, Laura!!!  I’m so proud of you.  You deserve to be recognized, and I’m so happy we were there with you.  Tonight we can REALLY party!  :)

The rest of my week was fruitful.  I ran many errands, worked on my photos, did some necessary paperwork, had the car washed.  I’m ashamed to say I didn’t really do any exercise except for playing frisbee and ball with the pups.  We went on one walk after dinner.  I just don’t want to be outside in the middle of the day walking and biking because it’s so nasty hot out there, and it seems we’ve had lots of storms at night.  I know I need to get up early and do it.  I think I’ll feel a lot healthier if I do.

I visited Chuck, my friend and former trainer, this week.  The last time I saw him, he was playing Wii in my hospital room!  He said I look healthy, and he doesn’t think the extra weight looks bad at all…always good to hear!  I know I need to start working out on a schedule…yoga, walking, biking, lifting some light weights.  It’s just a matter of making the time to do it.  You’d think I have all the time in the world, but it’s a matter of creating a schedule I know I’ll follow.  I feel pretty silly considering I know a regular work-out will make me feel good, both physically and emotionally, yet it’s been months and I still don’t have a routine.  Does everyone fall into this rut?  Is it even a rut or just laziness?  I’ve definitely realized that I’m motivated by work-out buddies.  A home gym would never work for me!  So if anyone ever wants to walk, do a work-out video, bike, lift some weights at home (I’m not about to head into a nasty, dirty gym yet), just let me know!

Another thing that makes me feel good about myself is makeup.  I think you know that already, considering all the whining I’ve done on this blog.  :)  I may not have the shaped brows yet, but I started wearing makeup on special occasions.  I notice such a difference in how I feel about myself!  I remember a girl who worked with me at the florist once implied that I wore too much makeup…so, here’s the thing:  I don’t care what she or anyone else thinks!  It’s about me!  It makes me feel good.  Same goes for perfume.  Even when I’m not going anywhere, I put on perfume because it makes me happy to smell nice.  Even if I shower right before bed, I’ll spritz some on.  I’m still looking forward to the days when I have my nice brows and a non-hairy face.  I’ll wear my makeup every day, I’ll spray a little perfume, and I’ll be ready to rejoin the ranks of the typical thirty-somethings.

Originally I always wanted to look pretty for others.  I mean, how else will I get that hot, hilarious, thoughtful guy to notice me?  :)  Once I got sick, I realized it was more important to do for myself.  Remember how I curled my hair everyday in the hospital last year?  I had my perfume and lotion with me then too.  I don’t consider myself high maintenance at all, but these little things can do such magic for self esteem.

I plan on wearing my makeup and perfume tonight (and I’ll throw a little bug spray in the mix too!).  Laura and I made the “Gipsy Kings” a tradition, and last year I couldn’t go to the concert (damn that cancer—it really is inconvenient).  If you remember, she and her friend Lisa sold their tickets because they said they wouldn’t go without me.  This year, I’m back and I’m ready to dance, eat, drink and be merry!  It will really be a special night for me, and I look forward to telling you all about it in the next post.  Of course, there’ll be pictures as well!!

Speaking of pictures, I hope you enjoy the ones I have to share with you today.  I hope everyone has a beautiful weekend!!  Have you been out catching fireflies yet?

Lots of love,


Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Hey there everyone!  How’s it going?  I’m happy to report that I spotted my first firefly tonight!  I guess that means summer is really here.  Although I don’t love the heat, I do enjoy the pleasant hum of the air conditioner, the sound of tractors and weed whackers, the loud croaks of frogs from a neighbors’ pond, the beauty of a thunderstorm.  Yes, I may be one of the only NoVa residents who relishes all this rain.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the sun also, but there will always be something special about the rain.  Its sound relaxes me, but the sight of it also gets me excited to go out and play with the dogs or go for a walk (not in a thunderstorm, mind you).  Even getting caught in the rain can be fun!  I got pretty soaked last week after doing some shopping at Wegman’s, and I think I was one of the very few driving out of the parking lot with a smile on my face.  It seems I just can’t get enough!  Whoops…hope that doesn’t jinx us.  :)

I was happy it didn’t rain Saturday, because we had Relay for Life over at Oakton High School.  From the pictures below, you’ll see that, once again, I really enjoyed myself.  My mom stopped by for the survivors’ lap, Laura visited a couple times with some of her friends, and Rachel came with her dad and stepmom.  Several friends from my support group were also there.  Although it wasn’t as large or as well organized as other years, I enjoyed myself, and I know together the teams raised a lot of money for the American Cancer Society.

I got home around 1 AM to find several of my neighbors’ mailboxes had been knocked down….I mean, seriously, people still do that?  How much fun can it really be?  I was pretty exhausted, so it was easy to fall asleep.  Starting last week, I stopped taking my Ativan at night to try and train my body to fall asleep naturally.  The doctor didn’t say that I needed to do this, but I figured I might as well give it a go.  Needless to say, I haven’t been sleeping too well at night.  I’ve also had some very weird dreams.  If it gets to the point where I’m not functioning well during the day without taking it at night to sleep, I’ll go back on, but for the meantime everything seems OK.  Even when I take it, I wake up several times a night.  Does anybody have any tricks for how to get a better night’s sleep?

Speaking of sleep, I can’t stop yawning, so I’m off.  Before going though, I just wanted to mention another friend who lost her fight with cancer.  My dentist’s wife died last week.  Throughout her treatment, she never lost hope, and I will always admire her strength and positive outlook.  Sending lots of love to the Outten family.

And lots of love for all of you too!

Julie :)

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

I’d like to start this post with a big HAAAAAPPY BIRTHDAY for my dad!  We (my mom, dad, Laura and I) just got back from dinner at “Chez Francois”…what a treat!  It was delicious, of course, and Francois was there when we arrived.  I’m pretty sure he’s a legend in these parts, as he should be.  It was a wonderful evening, until Laura stood up to leave and knocked her chair on the ground.  Geesh…you just can’t take her anywhere!  hahahaha  No, what really happened was that her purse that was hanging on the chair was so heavy, the chair fell over when she got up.  I’m sure the guy behind her probably just assumed she was a little tipsy.  ;)

When you look at the photos below, you’ll notice an orange flower.  Remember all that painting I was doing?  I finished it about a month ago, and I decided to give it to my dad for his birthday.  It seemed the perfect gift because today also marks one year since my relapse.  Dorothy calls it my “victory flower”, and I think it’s the perfect title considering the fact that it’s orange (the color of leukemia awareness), it’s a Seattle flower (Laura and I found it by Lake Union), and here we are a year out and I’m doing so well!  My dad was really excited to see it, and he’s contemplating the perfect spot to show it off.  Thank you so much for everything, Dorothy!!  You helped me make his birthday extra special.  I’m looking forward to starting a new painting tomorrow.

In many ways, it’s hard to imagine an entire year went by since my relapse.  Last year on June 3rd, I was terrified.  Not only was the cancer back, but treatment for it would most likely result in sterility, a seemingly unfair blow to attach to a cancer diagnosis.  I didn’t know whether I would make it to 2009, I was overwhelmed by the months ahead of me: a month-long hospital stay, multiple infusions, another catheter, chemo, shots, radiation, a modified diet, a transplant, relative seclusion, and daily doctor appointments.  Would it work?  Where would I have the transplant done?  How could I possibly get by without my friends and family (which of course includes my pups and Bella!) close?

Although many days brought challenges, time passed quickly, and I know each day I’m closer to healing fully.  It seems fitting that tonight ended in a big storm because last year at this time we also had some crazy weather.  I remember feeling like the whole world was ending given my diagnosis and the creepy color of the sky.  On the way home from the doctor’s office, my mom and I picked up Dairy Queen, and somehow it seemed to help, you know, the way a lollipop lessens the pain a child feels after a vaccination.  I watched the storm while I ate my blizzard and pondered the months ahead.  Somehow with the Dairy Queen, things didn’t seem so bad.  After all, I could still eat blizzards, right?  :)  It was time to focus on the little joys in life, and I downshifted my plans and my dreams, forcing myself to get into patient (as in “a person under a doctor’s care”, not “tolerant and understanding”) mode again.

I feel as though I’m slowly reclaiming my plans and thinking about my dreams, and it’s a wonderful place to be.  It’s far removed from sitting in my hospital room, crying over my reduced-sugar Frosted Flakes.  Do you remember that?  I mean, honestly…reduced sugar Frosted Flakes?  There’s just something inherently wrong with that.  But seriously, the healing continues and I sense that there’s a future bright with possibility.  Day by day, it’s the best way to handle things right now.

And each day brings new discoveries.  Switching gears now from my health to the strange creatures around my house…I was out with the pups the other night, and I was kneeling down, petting Bella before going in to bed.  I noticed an earthworm nearby, and I watched him make his way inch by inch over to the edge of the grass (thank goodness!!  At least he’s smart enough to get in the grass before the sun comes up and he dries up into the driveway!).  I was just admiring how he moved his head first, and then his body kind of rippled up behind him, a painfully slow process just to move a little ways.  Just then, a toad approached.  I watched in fascination as he attacked the poor little earthworm.  I ran inside to get my camera, but alas my flash wasn’t on!  Then Jameson walked over to smell the toad and the toad took off.  I tried to get you a picture, but you’ll just have to imagine it.  Poor little earthworm…he traveled all the way to the grass only to be bitten (and probably now he’s been eaten) by a toad.  Gross, sad and fascinating all at the same time!

OK, it’s getting very late, and I can’t stop yawning, so it’s off to bed for me!  Happy Birthday, Dad (although technically, now it’s Thursday :) )!!  It was a wonderful day.

Lots of love,


Monday, June 1st, 2009

Hi there!

Well, it was another good week! I hung out with family and friends, relaxed with some movies, walked around Burke Lake with Katie, Jameson, Guinness and Indie, enjoyed the weather, and went with Aunt Nancy on a beautiful drive through Virginia’s countryside. Oh, and I also learned about these beatboxers that you have to check out. It totally looks fake to me, what do you think? Ronnie used to do this when he was little, but he was never quite this good–amazing, isn’t it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZsML4uWoiw&feature=related and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U66tYpzQTE&feature=channel. “Ronnie! Stop making them noises!!!!” :) Remember that, Ronnie? That’s what our bus driver used to say to him when he broke out the beatboxing on the bus. Seems like just yesterday!! :)

Lately I feel as though I’m keenly aware of time. I know, I know, you’re thinking “OK, Julie…you appreciate time more, you have a better perspective of life, blah, blah blah…we’ve heard it all before!!”. I don’t know whether it’s the old pictures that sparked this new and heightened awareness, or perhaps it’s how fast the weeks seem to pass. Maybe this is how you feel once you’re in your thirties. :) Who knows? Whatever the reason, as with perspective, which is inherently tied with time, I’m happy I can realize its limitations. I keep thinking, OK, I only have about 60-65 years left (if I’m really lucky!)…that’s it!!! That doesn’t seem like very long to me. My life’s still stuck on pause in many ways, and I’ve got quite a lot of catching up to do.

I hate the feeling of jealousy, but I can’t help but compare myselves to others. It’s not so much the material things I wish I had, but rather all that other stuff that shapes your future: a boyfriend/husband (OK…I wouldn’t be ready to get married any time soon, but eventually!), children, a career (this is a big one!!). These are things I assumed I would have at this juncture in my life, and most people my age seem to have at least two, if not all of them. I am jealous, I admit it. I really am happy for everyone else, but sad for myself.

It seems almost greedy to complain about what I don’t have in my life, when I count off what I do: a wonderful family, loyal friends, health, a beautiful place to live, opportunities to travel. I decided it’s OK though–I’ll allow myself to wallow in a little self pity when necessary. :) What I’m trying not to do anymore is beat myself down. It’s a very dangerous thing, jealousy. If I perceive someone else as having more of something than I do, be it beauty, sense of humor, intelligence, I automatically feel bad about myself. For a little while, I think, “What can I do to make myself prettier?, “How can I be more outgoing?”, “What will my contribution be to the world in terms of a career?”. Finally, I remind myself what I’ve beaten, how I’ve grown and how everyone’s story needs to be different in order to make the world interesting. I mean, I still wish I were a brilliant supermodel, but I feel a little better after reminding myself of those things. :)

So I was a little down last night, thinking all these deep thoughts (it’ll be nice once I’m working so I don’t have to think so much!! hahahaha ). I brought out the relaxation CD you gave me, Margaret (does everyone remember when I wrote about it way back when I was in isolation out in Seattle?–the first night, I was hopped up on some meds and I lay there in bed cracking up at certain parts–mainly when she mentions how you shouldn’t listen to the CD while driving). Anywayyyyy, I was lying there last night, and my mind was wandering to more unpleasant places—worries about relapse, to do lists, etc.  I heard the lady asking us to pick a special place that we could think of to make us feel happy. Unfortunately, I simply couldn’t focus. In a couple minutes, I heard loud snoring coming from one of the couches. Apparently, the CD was doing the trick for Jameson!! Then Guinness stretched out and let out a long, relaxed sigh from the other couch. I started cracking up, which is just as helpful as relaxing, I think. My mind was in a happier place, and I fell asleep before the CD ended.

I don’t go see my doctor again until mid-June (Happy June, by the way!!!!). I have a long list of questions to ask him. I mean, I’m feeling well other than an annoying head/neck-ache I get every day. Although, last night was a little strange. I was sitting on the couch, starting this blog and watching TV in the background. All of the sudden, I felt my heart thudding in my chest, and my pulse was racing. Lucky for me, I have a pretty good cardiologist on hand! It’s nice to run up the stairs and ask your dad to take your pulse and give you a quick diagnosis! My heart rate was between 140-160 beats per minute (I think my normal resting rate is around 70 BPM), but it went back to normal quickly. Apparently this happens to lots of people, especially women. I’m not too concerned about it, especially since I added it to my list of questions for Dr. Orloff…somehow that act of writing helps to erase it from my mind…it’s like a direct transfer from my brain to the paper. =)

Well, I’m sitting here typing this from Laura and Tiso’s house now, ’cause I came out to watch Indie for a couple hours. We walked to the entrance of the neighborhood, and now she’s sleeping at my feet while I type. I have to get going soon though, so I better tie this up! First, I want to recommend a wonderful movie we watched this weekend: “Bottle Shock” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0914797/). It is based on a true story, and I’m looking forward to watching it again…I mean, it’s a terrific movie! It’s about wine and Napa Valley. Watch it.

Finally, I want to wish Paloma a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!! I hope it was perfect–you certainly had a gorgeous day for it! And speaking of a gorgeous day, CONGRATULATIONS to Theresa and Jeff, who got married on Saturday! I was worried with all the rain we got on Friday, but Saturday was absolutely beautiful, and it sounds like it was a really wonderful celebration.

I hope everyone enjoyed this weekend.

Sending everyone lots of love,


PS Sometimes it feels like I write the same blog posts over and over again!!!  Sorry for the repetition, but hey, you can’t say you don’t know what I’m thinking!!  :)  I don’t think I’ll ever be someone people worry about for holding their feelings in.  hahaha