Post-Brithday Birthday Celebration

Neil, Deb, David and Me

Originally uploaded by sdpalmer.

Because I spent my birthday in surgery an in recovery, we rescheduled a post-birthday birthday celebration yesterday. Champagne, and some of my favorite delicacies from Russ and Daughters: caviar cream cheese, whitefish salad, smoked salmon. Mom made tuna and egg salad, and we had cruditรฉ and a new find from Trader Joe’s: Italian Blood Orange soda. And while we were stocked with proseco, we downed he champagne Deb and Neil brought. Thank you, everyone! Full picture set at Flickr.

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Kisses for Daddy – Another joyous Voodoo visit

Kisses for Daddy – the best version

Originally uploaded by sdpalmer.

Lenna and Brian came to visit on Saturday with Voodoo. This time, there was no mistaking the daddy! Lots of kisses. I took Voodoo for a walk just the two of the us up the Skuykill River and we were both panting from the heat. A bottle of water and a quick walk back and we were both tired after about 45 minutes out in the heat and the sun, hence the resting pictures. Full set available at Flick.

Memorial Day weekend

It was a great weekend. I finally got away from Philadelphia for a little while and went down to the shore to visit friends. Angela, Paul, Marnie, their family and friends went out of their way to make me comfortable and it was so good to be out and about. The ride there and back – about 90 minutes from Philly – is a bit tiring on the body, but the pleasure of being around good friends was good medicine.

Of course, sun, drink and music lead to this embarrassing video.

Not to be out-done, Voodoo also had a good weekend with Lenna and Brian: (see the whole Flickr photoset)

Port side glance (2)

Guess who came to visit last night?

Deb! I completely forgot that Deb was going to be in town. She snapped this picture of mom and me last night. (Mind you – this is one of the few pix I will post with fuzzy head.) ๐Ÿ™‚

Mom and me

Look who came to visit?!

Alexandra on my mom’s face

Originally uploaded by sdpalmer.

Deb and Neil came down today for a visit with their daughter, Alexandra. It was so good having them all here, but I think, on Mother’s Day, my mom really enjoyed spending time with Alexandra. I think Deb had a good time too, as did we all … kitchen picnic, a little champagne (my first in months!) and a nice walk in the park afterwards.

Voodoo’s 2nd visit with daddy after chemo

Lotsa loving for the daddy

Originally uploaded by sdpalmer.

We had a good visit today with Voodoo and mamma Lenna. Voodoo just got back from 2 weeks of “boot camp” training for off-leash training and general obedience. She is a different dog: calm, confident and responsive! What an amazing transformation. No more leash pulling. She sits when told and when she doesn’t – because she does like to test – she gets corrected and she sits, realizing that we *are* in charge and not her.

Here are Voodoo and I on my bed before we went out. When she first got to the apartment, she jumped up on me to say hi and then ran around the place – jumped up onto the couch, ran up to the loft to the bed. She was soooo good and we had a lot of fun.

There are a few precious photos from today. Click on the photo above, or go right to the Flickr photoset.

As I understand it, right after I get the transplant, I have to be recontaminated by those I will be around regularly after I leave the hospital. I’m hoping to bring Voodoo home right after the transplant so I can get recontaminated with her. (Don’t be alarmed by this notion of “recontaminated” – it’s part of the recovery process after the transplant — I’ll explain more in a future posting about the procedure.)

Thank you, Lenna.

Good, Voodoo!

Still “free”

At least in the outside world! ๐Ÿ™‚

Saw the oncologist yesterday. I’m doing OK but the Leukemia has started to reappear in my blood – the 3% of anomalous cells the machine caught on Monday were, in fact, Leukemia blasts. However, I’m still well enough to be out of the hospital and we’re going to push off that return for as long as possible. I have noticed, however, that I am a little more sluggish than before and my knees are really hurting from walking on concrete outside. And I was quite surprised last night as I putting together a book case how much energy it sucked out of me. My blood numbers are otherwise pretty good, but I guess I just need to monitor how much physical exercise I do and pay attention to my body.

What I find so interesting is that, technically, I’m healthier now than when I entered the hospital back in February, but I am significantly weaker. Or maybe I’m just more attentive to the changes in my body. Whatever it is, it’s just another one of those signs that I’m not well and it sometimes makes me feel awful. But I’m dealing. Plus, yesterday, the oncologist referred me to a therapist who specializes in cancer patients.

On the brighter side, we got a very good report about Voodoo’s off-leash boot camp training. It’s funny, I made much of the trainers’ same observations after a year of having her, except one: while I thought Voodoo may have been a little slow on the up-take on certain things, the trainers actually think she may be older than we have previously assumed. Regardless, she did very well: sit, stay and heel she’s good with. “Come”, continues to be an issue – though not entirely a bad one: issuing the command and walking away, she comes; staring at her while issuing the command – she does nothing. I’m so excited and can’t wait to see her on Saturday — videos will be in order because stills just won’t be able to capture this! (Hmmmm … new toy to purchase? ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Finally, saw friends/colleagues this past weekend from Organic. Those crazy kids! Loved seeing them all. Need to schedule more regular visits – I think it helps to break up the monotony of sickness-loathing. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks everyone – be back blogging again soon.

Strength and love…

UPDATE: For the curious, I weighed in at 167lbs (75.9kg) – a 3lb (1.36kg) increase over last week; an 18lb (8.18kg) increase over my hospital low of 149lbs (67.72kg). Mom is to thank for fattening me up with her excellent and frequent cooking. ๐Ÿ™‚ Blood pressure was 122 over 86 and my temperature was 97.8ยบ F (36.5ยบ C, 309ยบ K … for all you geeks out there).