You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2018.

Wow, that was a long postless spell, even for someone who was a sporadic blogger to begin with! People (especially writers) who are able to keep up with blogging/social media astound me, and I’m envious of their abilities. The blog and social media presence are the first thing to go when things get (stay?) busy for me, and they’re the last things to be picked back up again because by that time I’m so far out of the habit that it’s easy to keep procrastinating. But it’s good to be back for the moment!

One big thing that’s changed of late is that my husband Ross was diagnosed with blood cancer in January of 2017. It’s a myeloproliferative neoplasm caused by an acquired mutation that makes his bone marrow produce too many platelets, and for the first year, it really didn’t affect our lives much at all. He didn’t even have to take medication other than a daily aspirin and some supplements, and while it wasn’t something that was likely to ever go away, he didn’t have any symptoms or discomfort. Fortunately, this type of cancer is something the patient can live with fairly easily, and unless it causes other complications, the patient can have a pretty normal lifespan.

We had a bit more of a scare over this past spring and summer, when his platelet numbers were through the roof and his hematologist recommended going on stronger medication. Ross had blood work every week, then every two weeks, and the first medication wasn’t ultimately effective. The hematologist recommended that Ross go on a chemo drug immediately. We had been hesitant about going that route for a variety of reasons, but it seemed like we no longer had a choice. We were planning on picking up the prescription when the doctor called back a day later and said that since Ross is so much younger and healthier than most people with this mutation, he thinks there is less urgency to reduce the platelet count. He said we could just wait to see if any other complications arose and wait to treat until then.

For the last three months, Ross hasn’t had to be on any medication other than aspirin, and he feels great. We’re happy to stay in the wait-and-see phase for as long as possible–years, ideally. I’m grateful for a flexible job that allows me to go with Ross to specialist visits. (And to spend hours on the phone with insurance companies. Good grief, the healthcare system is almost impossible to navigate!)

We haven’t had anything wildly blog-worthy happen this year (no trips to Europe), but we have had many meaningful experiences: we had lots of people over for dinner, visited friends, helped several people move, befriended our 94-year-old neighbor, and heard lots of amazing stories about his time in WWII. We got a new car at last (new to us, anyway), the Literary League met twice and was the scene of scintillating book conversation per usual, and there were many, many costumed events:

  1. Ross directed a Les Miserables-themed Purim musical telling the story of Esther. Naturally, we dressed up according to the time period.

2018-02-28 21.34.24

2. We attended an Anne of Green Gables party thrown by some friends.

28471502_10100603821888426_6301618123104594433_n

3. We dressed as Troi and Riker for a Star Trek party.

22007921_10159268240945702_1267887108588515507_n

4. As always, we participated in Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A (SuperCow and the ExeCowtive).

36890696_10160465369850702_711600566832201728_n

5. We attended the Raleigh Supercon dressed as Captain America and American Dream. I was really proud of how the costumes turned out! These took the most work.

37997486_10100686362032316_1642035648745439232_n37959512_10100686360535316_4739817133523861504_n

6. And then of course we found ways to reuse the costumes for a Superhero Rejects party that we threw. Ross was Captain Panama and I was the Isth-Miss of Panama.

39086542_897307659436_2053358378851237888_n

And while we didn’t do any international globe-trotting this year, we did take a wonderful trip to the mountains of Asheville with my family. My brother put together a breath-takingly beautiful video of the experience–sometimes it really pays to have a professional videographer in the family!

We also took a road trip to Illinois for a family reunion for Ross, and on the way we stopped in Indiana where I used to live. I hadn’t been back in 15 years, so that was a crazy experience! We stayed at the Potawatomi Inn, which is where I had my first job, bussing tables as a 14-year-old. We stopped at the house in which I grew up and chatted with neighbors I hadn’t seen in a decade and a half. Surreal!

Last bit of big news: we got a new dog in January! Calvin is a German Shepherd/hound mix, we think, and he’s the sweetest thing on four legs. He loves to wrestle with Ross, but he’s content to sleep quietly next to me while I work all day, and he’s very well behaved. He’s terrified of umbrellas, but nobody’s perfect.

There, now you’re all caught up! I daren’t make any promises about posting regularly, but I’ll bet I can do better than once every 10 months. 😉

 

You seem to have stumbled upon a storytelling of ravens. Watch for falling collective nouns; you may find a wing of dragons or a charm of hummingbirds caught in your hair. Hardhats are recommended.

Follow me on Twitter

my read shelf:
Stephanie Ricker's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

A Storytelling