Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fun Times on Camano - UW Visit - Exhausting Drive Home

Eddie and I left for Camano Island after his swimming lesson on Tuesday.  We ran into some traffic in Seattle and a little through Everett, but other than smelling something around my right front tire, it was uneventful.  I'd been smelling the smell for a few days and would try to get other people to smell it, but they couldn't.  So, I figure it was my imagination.  But I smelled it again when we stopped to grab lunch in Portland, so I worried and fretted about it before deciding to stop at a Subaru Dealership in Longview.  Diagnosis?  A torn CV boot on the interior side of the tire.  The guys at the dealership said that the tear was throwing grease onto my catalytic converter, which then caused the smell.  They said that it would cost $350.  But they said it would probably be okay to drive it on to Camano Island, but that I should probably get it fixed while I was up there.

Great.  So we found the nearest dealership and luckily I could bring the car in on Thursday, when I had my appointment at UW.  Extra expenses with the car and my teeth.  It would sure be nice to spend money on something else for a change!

At any rate, we made it to Camano around 5pm and had a wonderful spaghetti rustica made by my high school friend, C., who owns her own Italian restaurant in Tehachipi.  We sat on her mom's and stepdad's deck.  It was gorgeous.  We faced east, across Puget Sound, to Mt. Baker.  Sunny and blue skies.  A glass of red wine.  Visiting and talking.  Eddie played the wii - they had Wii Fit Plus with an obstacle course that he liked to play. We played Mario Kart with C. and B.  Eddie and I slept in a tent in the back yard - it was a little chilly outside, but okay in the sleeping bags.  I got up at 4:30am to use the restroom - and saw a rim of pink lining the tops of the Cascade Mountains.  I was a little bit wired from the drive (and some caffeine about 3pm) so I didn't get to sleep until 1am. Eddie woke up at 7am and I kept him in the tent until 8am when people started stirring in the house.

Wednesday, after a lazy morning, we went out on C.'s boat. We left from Camano Island State Park and intended to eat a Langley on Whidbey Island, but there really wasn't a free place to moor the boat, so we boated all the way to Everett and had lunch at Anthony's.  Then, it was a choppy ride home.  Eddie loved it as we bumped across the water.  He would just sit with this sly grin on his face.  It was a beautiful sunny day again.  Another night in the tent.  But I slept longer - from 10:30pm to 7am. 

The next day, C. and I drove to Seattle - after dropping my car at the Subaru dealership in Marysville.  The good news is that they said the repair bill for the new CV boot should only be $200 plus tax.  Whew!  Then, off to UW.

I had a CT scan, then met with Dr. S.  She had a couple of girls who were college juniors (from underrepresented groups) tagging along with her who observed the exam.  C. sat with me and we visited about old times in high school.  I received another vaccination. Dr. S. said that they are changing their study protocol to give the CT scan at a later visit because they are starting to see that the t-cell infusions do not have an immediate response against the cancer - that it usually takes months.  She wasn't surprised that my lymph nodes were still swollen and inflamed (although I think the inflammation was back to where it was before the t-cell infusions).  She also felt the little nodules were little micrometastases.  They are inflamed now because of the t-cell infusions. 

So, I wait.  Give it another couple of months to see if the lymph nodes clear up.  I'll call on Monday for the CT scan results.

I was pretty tired Thursday night and ended up with a slight fever.  C. and I ate dinner in Seattle since we didn't finish with my appointment until about 4pm.  I was tired because they drew a lot of blood and because of the vaccination.  I hung out on the couch and C. waited on me hand and foot.  Don't I have great friends?  They also took care of Eddie.  L. and B. (C.'s mom and step dad) babysat Eddie all day.  They said he was really easy to take care of.  They took him raspberry picking (and we brought the berries home with us) and ran a couple of errands.  He played the wii and played on the computer.  L. (C.'s mom) later told me that we are raising a great kid - he was nice and polite and not high energy.  That's my boy!  Thank you, C., L., and B.!! 

On Friday, after another lazy morning, we went to garage sales, then had lunch at a local cafe, and more garage sales before a lazy evening and dinner on the deck.  Friday was a little chillier - the clouds didn't lift until afternoon.  I found a silk screen print on rice paper by C.B. Greul, a kind of fish (definitely not a salmon or trout - it's fatter) for $5.  There was a little bit of damage - like it had been rolled up in a closet and then a little bit of water damage kinda soaked up the paper since there is a faint tan ragged line along the bottom of the print.  I googled C.B. Greul and found that some of his prints are going at auction for $150-400.  Not too shabby!  I am trying to decide what to do - it's a nice print and I may keep it.  Or, I may try to get it restored and then try to sell it.  What do you think?

On Saturday, Eddie and I left our hosts about 9:45am, with the intention of meeting some friends in Portland.  I found out, however, that they were going to a mall, not the Hawthorne District, and i felt like I didn't really want to do that.  It depended on whether or not I got to Portland when they were still there.  But we hit traffic at Federal Way (just south of Seattle) and it took us well over an hour to get to Fort Lewis (just north of Tacoma) - a trip that should only take 30 min.  Gak! 

Then it was slow again from Olympia to Grand Mound because of road construction.

By the time we got to Portland, my friends were on their way home.  So, Eddie and I stopped at the Family Fun Center in Wilsonville for about an hour.  We got home about 7pm.  I was tired tired tired!

The other good news is that I found out that I don't owe my department as much money for the course buy outs from last year.  In fact, it will be a lot less.  So, when I finish my chapter for the Alaska Statehood project tomorrow or Tuesday, I'll have enough extra salary to pay down debt, put money into savings for property taxes and emergencies, and get a house at the coast next month.  That's a big relief.  Whew.  Now I just need to get to work! 

Okay, I have a Herceptin treatment tomorrow.  I leave on July 27th for an 11-day trip to Alaska.  Eddie's Wipeout Kids' Edition Birthday Party is on July 24th.  My birthday is July 21st.  So, a busy week ahead of me before taking off to Alaska! 

I am so thankful for friends.


Liz Kreger said...

Happy Birthday one day late, Dee.

Sounds like you had an absolutely wonderful trip to Seattle ... despite the treatments.

I was exhausted reading your post and seeing everything that you managed to squeeze into a short amount of time. Whew!

Dee said...

Thank you, Liz! It was fun, but busy! I think I need to go to Alaska in order to slow down for a few days! Holy cow!