Week in Review: Weeks 64-67

Wow, I’ve essentially lost the month of May. May was the bulk of my radiation treatments – I still have seven left to go so they’re reaching a little into June as well, but hopefully I’ll be able to reclaim some of June for myself. I’ve been too tired to do much of anything, but here’s what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks.

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I photographed our 5k Jack’s Run for Autism up in Port Washington. It was like The Windiest Day EVER. We couldn’t hang signs or put out balloons to mark the course or anything. But the runners didn’t seem to mind. Those athletic types don’t let *anything* stop them. Respect.

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And then I went for my first chemo treatment. Scary. They kept referring to it as an “all day treatment.” SCARY. But in reality, it was a lot of prep, counseling, two hours of IV hydration and anti-nausea meds before and another two hours after…and the actual chemo was only one hour. But it *was* a long day of not really knowing what to expect so I had my bag well-stocked with activities, snacks, water, super soft kitty blanket, book, etc.

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I was anxious all day waiting to feel awful…but that really never happened. I felt *queasy* for the next week or so but never really nauseous. I will be repeating this procedure on Monday. Hopeful for same outcome.

Ugh. This dress. Not good. It went back to Gwynnie Bee immediately. You win some, you lose some.

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I brought some lilacs in from outside our office door. They smelled so so so so good. And I haven’t killed my succulent terrarium plants yet! Yay Me!

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Caleb is such a sneaky-peeker.

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I found a rock on the beach that looks like a heart. Or a butt. You choose.

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Ahhhhh. I need more of these.

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Don’t work too hard, Caleb.

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Sunrise outside my door.

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How fun is this beachy cake? I just looked, I did not touch.

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A family from the school brought me this card. They’re having their own struggles and yet they took their time to do this for me. HUGS TO YOU.

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My kooky kid.

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Her kooky mom.

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Sunrise out my girlfriend’s door.

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I dog-sat last weekend. They’re a tough pair to handle. Not.

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We had lots of lovely porch time.

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Some things never change.

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Ruh-roh. I killed one of the succulents. It rotted away. I think I overwatered. I put a turtle in its place. That will be harder to kill.

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Here is a pic of me at 10. It was part of a video I just saw for the first time, so I apologize for poor quality due to screen grab. I guess my father filmed this back in 1970? Isn’t it weird to see pictures of yourself from the past (well, duh, all pictures are from the past but you know what I mean) that you have No Recollection of? You know it’s you cuz you can SEE you, but. I have no memory of this day or this dress or even my father having a movie camera! And this is funny, in 1970 girls were not yet allowed to wear pants to school. But we were wearing dresses this short (you can’t see the groovy white Jan Brady knee socks I had on but they’re there). How did THAT make sense??

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For some reason this “I Am the Champion” muscle man bicep pose was my go-to photo pose around that age. Who knows. That’s my sister, cheery in yellow.

And there you have it. This month was a LOT of laying around, staying close to home. Hopefully I’ll be able to venture out a little more this month. Fingers crossed!

On another note, I have STILL not switched out my winter clothes for summer! It’s been just cool enough that I haven’t needed to. Maybe this weekend. I kind of think that was the same last sentence from my LAST Week in Review post!

xoxo Bettye

Week in Review: Week 59

It is a sunny but still windy and cool day here on Long Island. I have a day filled with running errands, cleaning out my disgusting car, taking the dog (and me) somewhere for a walk and change of scenery, then a quiet evening with a movie and early to bed. The best news this week, I doubt I’ve ever mentioned my ^&%#! insomnia here, but it’s been EVEN worse since the surgery – as though things have shifted around and when I lay down something presses on my bladder and makes the worst ache if I do not wake up immediately to get up and pee. And getting in and out of bed is still enough of a process that it wakes me up even more, UGH. But the GOOD NEWS part is that just two nights ago I was actually able to lay for a little bit on my side again! I’m a side sleeper, but I’ve only been able to be on my back since the surgery 3½ weeks ago, so WHAT a relief to finally have a little bit of normalcy and comfort. In Medical-Land, so many things seem to take so much longer to return to normal than you think they should. So Yay.

I went back to work this week for a full week. My wonderful officemates Tori and Jen had decorated my desk with balloons and banners and there was a little “nest” of goodies on my desk – they are just the sweetest. I’m so fortunate to get to spend my work days with them.

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While I’m not feeling especially energetic, I’m powering through and trying to walk every other day. My baby step regimen is:

Week 1: Walk 5 minutes out and 5 minutes back for a total of 10 minutes

Week 2: Walk 6 minutes out and 6 minutes back for a total of 12 minutes

Week 3: Walk 7 minutes out and 7 minutes back for a total of 14 minutes

You get the picture. Monday will start Week 3. I’m very slowly working up to walks of 20 then 30 minutes. I may back-slide during chemo, I’ll just have to wait and see how I feel then. But at least it’s a schedule that I’m adhering to. And I am walking S-L-O-O-O-W. My heel still hurts and that keeps me slowed down as well. Caleb likes the walks when we’re somewhere he can be offlead and sniff around at his leisure. In his old age he’s gone pretty deaf so I can’t let him offlead when we’re anywhere near anything, like a road or people or other dogs, cuz he just doesn’t hear me calling him. And I think there’s a little senility as he just sort of wanders off and then loses track of where I am. Because it doesn’t seem to occur to him to turn his head to the right or left to look for me. It’s sad to watch someone you love get old.

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A dear friend did this cross-stitch for me, “What Cancer Cannot Do.” That was a lovely surprise to get in the mail this week.

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Caleb: Master of His Domain. He needs a good bath and haircut. But he loves the big tuffet that his Uncle Russell got for him.

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And just to keep this at least a LITTLE fashiony…here is a try-on of an outfit I ordered from Old Navy…that sadly will be going back. Old Navy plus size sizing is so all-over-the-place. Sometimes things are ginormous on me and sometimes they’re way too snug. These are really soft rayon blush cropped pants in a 3x and I couldn’t even zip them up. Part of that could be a little vestigial swelling still left around my abdomen and hips, though they’re feeling pretty normal again. And the top was also snug around the same area, while too loose in the bust. I’m really short on warm weather outfits and the flurry of ordering and returning continues until I hit on a couple wins.

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My niece sent me this book by Sarah Addison Allen – has anyone read it?

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This is a pic my daughter just sent me from while she was here and walked down a bit of beach to see the sunset. It’s just a nice memory of being with her and being OUTSIDE after being cooped up in the hospital for so long.

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So, in other news, I have had both the radiation and chemo consults with my “original” team – the doctors associated with my surgeon’s office. On Monday I have a consult scheduled with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to see what, if anything, they would do differently…and then I have to make the decision of who to go with so we can get this show on the road. It’s hard to make the decision because I can already see that I will not necessarily be comparing apples to apples. So wish me luck!

And Great News – I’m actually doing a photoshoot tomorrow! Yippee. Will feel good to be “blog productive” again. So you can look forward to a springy outfit post later this week.

Thanks for all your comments, emails, and kind words – I really appreciate them.

Weeks in Review: 54-58

Yeah, one of these days I’ll get back on track with regular weekly Week in Reviews. This year continues to just be Crazytown. I can’t believe it is April 1…and yet it is. February and March are dead to me. But let’s get caught up and hope for a better week!

I spent 15 days in the hospital between February & March. This was surreal and not so much fun…

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Except for…gifties and flowers and balloons and visits…

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…and a daughter who snuck in special treats…

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so we could have a little St. Patrick’s Day fun.

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When I was FINALLY released I discovered she (daughter) had gotten me a nice new bed set…what a pleasure to sleep in after the scratchy hospital sheets.

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I had some packages waiting at home for me – things I’d ordered before all this nonsense began. I’d been excited for this cute grey and white striped tee dress from Lane Bryant but it was kind of gigundo and I’ve returned it. Still on the lookout for soft comfy clothes for spring and summer.

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As soon as I was up to a little outing we drove to a nearby beach for a short sunset stroll. I’d missed seeing this.

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Janey has been thoroughly enjoying my surgery recovery time. For many days in a row I was just horizontal on the sofa from morning til night. Having sofa company pleased her no end.

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I had some more unpleasant news from the doctor this past week when they got the pathology report from my surgery. In a nutshell, they did *not* get all the cancer out with the hysterectomy. I have now been diagnosed with Stage 3 Uterine cancer and they’re recommending radiation and then chemotherapy. I’m getting a second opinion but I’m not expecting to hear anything radically different from the original recommendation. This doesn’t feel like my life. And yet….

Work sent me these flowers that day. And yes, Work Family, I COULD use a drink.

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The doctor cleared me for work and driving so I went and got a haircut. I went to a nutritionist to hear about things to eat and/or avoid during chemo.

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And yesterday I had the nicest day I’ve had in ages…just being NORMAL…a wonderful friend picked me up for a drive to the ocean…and in spite of the wind and rain, it was just so nice to be out of the apartment, not doing anything health related. I really value a day like that.

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So. I go back to work Monday. I think I worked 9 days in February (between snow days, the Maine adventure, winter break and being in the hospital) and like 2 days in March. I’ll have a couple normalish weeks now and then I start my treatments. So I’ll be here when I can. I miss the blog. I miss planning outfit posts. But against my will (ha) other things are pushing their way to the top of the list.

Hope you all have a great week.

PS – I just realized it’s April Fool’s Day. I wish this post was an April Fool’s joke…but it’s not.

xoxo Bettye

Weeks in Review: 45-53

I promised you a Week(s!) in Review, and here it is! Don’t worry that it’s 8 weeks long – I really mostly hibernate in Jan/Feb every year. It’s cold, it’s dark, bleh. Most days I’m home from work by 4:30, I take off my bra (OH, THE JOY), put on comfy clothes and just relax alone at home.

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In yesterday’s Catching Up  post I mentioned my highly technical “tipsy tripod.” I forgot I had a pull-back shot of it, so this is what I’ve been using when I shoot in the apartment. Fortunately Caleb usually naps  supervises from his sofa vantage point or I’d be afraid of him just touching these tables and toppling everything over. They’re very lightweight.

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A sample shot from “the studio.”

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I just thought this was a good message to be driving around in the world. Sometimes I can use a reminder. I was actually on the way to a friend’s birthday meetup that day and it *was* a good day.

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And then we went to Maine. It was supposed to be a 2-night stay, but due to WINTER it became a 4-night stay. So I wore this outfit A LOT. I had my long silk underwear on underneath so I was super sweaty cozy on the flight, but I was grateful when we got to 9-degree Maine.

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We discovered an awesome vegan restaurant called Green Elephant right around the corner from the hotel and we ate there two nights. You have no idea How Nice it is to actually have MULTIPLE OPTIONS in a restaurant. I had the Chocolate Orange Mousse Pie. It was UH-mazing. If you’re ever in Portland, even if you’re not vegan, you should have a meal there. My traveling companion is a confirmed carnivore AND amazing cook and she really raved about the food.

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The view out our hotel window. It was ALWAYS snowing. Sometimes harder, sometimes softer, but snow was falling from the sky the entire time we were there. Which is why our flights kept being cancelled.

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Good thing I brought activities!

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There was a cute lil park right outside our hotel with these fun lighted trees.

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Caleb (the tiny one) was hanging with his cousins back on also snowy Long Island while I was away. The ex sent lots of pictures so I could see how he was doing.

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And FINALLY there was a non-snow day on Tuesday and we hightailed it out of Maine by rental car. Just in time because they commenced having snow-storms again the very next day.

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I was happy to be home AND HAVE SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO WEAR. I had a Gwynnie Bee package waiting for me with this and another sweater in it.

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The kids were happy to be home as well.

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And yesterday, I finally got to a sunset for the first time in ages. It was windy and freezing and we only stayed long enough to take a couple pictures…but it was nice to see the sky again.

I was *supposed* to be blog photo-shooting this morning but I woke up to dense fog and misty skies…so we’ve rescheduled for tomorrow. So I *will* have some outfit posts up soon – one top I am IN LOVE with…and it’s even a TREND item and that’s not usually my thing, but. I’m excited to share with you.

Hope you’re all having a nice weekend.

xoxo Bettye

My Week in Review: Week 38

This week was so quiet (thank goodness!) that in retrospect it almost seemed like a short week, but it wasn’t.

I’d started getting sick the night before Thanksgiving the week before, but I kept pushing on…so finally by the weekend I was exhausted enough to just stay home and rest. The child stopped by with a treat for her old Mom…a lovely vegan lemon blueberry raspberry cake she’d whipped up. Yum.

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I really didn’t leave the apartment all weekend til end-of-day Sunday just in time to take a quick sunset walk with the dog by the water…

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I didn’t do much in the evening this week…we had two very rainy nights so I opted out of plans to stay home instead. I did go to the chiropractor one evening to see if he could help with my painful heel…and I started an Adobe InDesign class, which was very exciting. I’ve wanted to learn the program for ages but the ones I sign up for always get cancelled at the last minute for lack of interest. The teacher seems good and I’m liking the other people in the class, there’s even another blogger!

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Yesterday some friends and I made a quick trip into Brooklyn to visit the Bushwick Collective which is a several block area of “allowed” street art, that is always changing. We hadn’t been in awhile so it was nice to see some new artwork. These were some of my favorites.

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This yogi was randomly stopping along the road and going into positions along the interesting backdrops for selfies.

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I made it home from Brooklyn just in time to stop by the beach for a quick cold sunset.

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And arrived home to find a package, yay, a dress I’d ordered from Amazon…TOO SMALL, boo. It will go back in tomorrow’s mail. Sadly, this was the largest size. The search continues. Shoulda swept up the dog hair before taking pictures. OH WELL.

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And that was my week. JUST THREE MORE WEEKS TIL CHRISTMAS, can you believe it?? And VACATION, yay!!! I’ve done some Amazon book ordering so I’m sure to have reading material over the break. And I certainly have a lot of home projects and even some blog projects in the works, so it will be good to have the extra time.

Have a good week, y’all. xoxo

My Week in Review: Week 34

Okay, THIS was a quiet week. I knew it was going to be a short/hard weekend for me so I took it easy during the week.

Caleb and I are being pretty good about walking 2-3 times a week between half-a-mile and a mile. It’s getting easier to get out the door…but with today’s time change it will be more challenging. If I don’t have interesting/pretty/varied scenery for my walks I get bored REALLY fast and don’t feel inspired to get out. So…we shall see.

It’s good for him as well. He lost so much muscle tone with his most recent bout of lyme disease that he’s been a wobbly mess 😦  Hopefully the walking will help him get stronger.

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In preparation for Halloween, my daughter and I did a spookyish photo shoot. It wasn’t quite what we aimed for but I still think it’s a cool pic.

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Halloween 2016! The front office dressed as Alice in Wonderland – how cute are they as Alice and The White Rabbit? Can you guess who I am??

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Annnnnnd, it’s November! Time to take down the October bulletin board and start fresh with pics and things from the month ahead.

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It’s been getting harder and harder to see the sunsets…but at least we got to walk under this pretty sky one evening.

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Yay! I’ve been wanting to read this book The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees ever since it was published…and I finally ordered it with some Amazon gift cards. It’s certainly lovely…and I hope there’s some helpful tips…cuz my wardrobe and closet are a hot mess!

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And then it was Friday and I slept. Ha.

The end. Can you believe it’s November already? And we’ve set the clocks back and sunset was 4:42pm today? Ugh.

Now REALLY The End.

My Week in Review: Week 28

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Yacht Club. I was just a visitor.

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My baby did the week’s photoshoot. Isn’t she pretty ??

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We stayed for the sunset.

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In theory this black knit tunic was going to be very sleek and chic. Ha. Not so much.I look like a big black blob with a head. It went back.

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Yup. Happy Fall.

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Weekend getaway in the mountains.

Another week down.