The Happy and Serious Sides of Life

The Happy and Serious Sides of Life

Time has a way of rolling away, going slowly or with lightning speed. All we can do is hold on to each hour and minute. First, the happy side, which is to introduce my first great-grandchild, Hope. She arrived on July 11th, twelve days after her official due date, weighing in at 9 pounds, 4 ounces, 21 inches long. The only sad spot was that her maternal grandfather, Carleton Harlow, who had passed away in early January, wasn’t there to greet her. Our comfort is the belief that he was present in spirit to share in the joy. What a ray of sunshine she brings with her into a very hard year. Welcome Hope!

On the serious side of life, I’m almost at the end of my chemotherapy for a rather aggressive form of breast cancer. I have one more treatment left and although I’ve had some unpleasant side effects, hope things will improve. My doctor lowered my two main drugs by 20% as he was concerned for my safety and has put me on an antibiotic regimen for the next eight days. This is to prevent any intestinal or bowel infection that could prove fatal. Another test is scheduled for today to check on heart function and again labs on Wednesday to monitor whether dropping hemoglobin, red cell count, or immune system readings will require action. I’ve had three blood transfusions over the past five treatments, so hope I won’t need anymore. However, I feel so much better after them that I won’t complain.

After my final chemo treatment in August, I will continue with my every third week herceptin infusions (a gene targeted medication delivered through my port) until the end of April next year. Radiation treatments will probably begin about mid-September. That requires daily trips across town to the Kaiser Oncology location for at least a month with only weekends off!

It seems like a long haul at times, but it’s worth the trips, tests, and record keeping of medications and symptoms to know that life is still beautiful.

I’m slowly continuing work on my latest book. Emaline is a child musical prodigy (circa early 1900’s) whose life is complicated by psychological twists and unexpected obstacles. My original working title was Through a Glass Darkly but am considering alternatives, such as Emaline. I’m at the 47 thousand-word count. Since one never quite knows how a story will stretch out in first draft, or conversely, how much will be condensed or cut, the length is still uncertain.

The arrival of Hope in my world, the sustaining support system of family, friends, and colleagues, coupled with the excitement of writing continues to beckon me to the future.

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Published in: on July 24, 2012 at 10:02 am  Comments (17)  
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17 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What a sweetie pie, Alice. I’m so glad you shared this picture and update with us. Keep your chin (and all other body parts) up.

    • Thanks to you, Barb. Without your help I’d have never gotten that picture into the post. You’re the best!

  2. You’ve been through so much, Alice, and you’re facing it all with courage and poise. I think Hope is well-named as far as your whole family is concerned.

    • Thank you, Lisa, for your kind words. I will always appreciate how you have mentored me in blogging, Facebooking, and a dozen other things. I too think that Hope is well named and that her presence in the family will bring love and joy to us.

  3. As Lisa says, Hope is aptly named. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Sooner or later some of us will be taking the same trip, either personally, or with a family member. You are a trail-blazer, showing us how a classy lady handles a tough job.

    • It’s a sobering thought that illness can come to us all, but having friends like you makes the journey so much easier. Thanks for checking in and as soon I’m a little more energetic, I want to catch up on your blogs. You always write such entertaining things.

  4. Alice, Beautiful post. Your courage is inspirational, and your sense of humor and sheer classiness a joy. What a great picture of hope little Hope is. And what a blessing to your family.
    Can’t wait to hear more about Emaline.
    Continued best wishes for your recovery.

    • So good to hear your kind words, Beth. And have to agree that little Hope is a great blessing in our lives. Hope to continue writing and reading on Emaline. It will feel so good to be a regular again at Chrysalis. Thank you.

  5. What a sweet picture of Hope. Alice, you are an inspiration to all of us in so many ways. I salute your courage in the fight against cancer, and I pray that your recovery will be complete with no setbacks. We need to hear more about Emaline.

    • Moma, love hearing from you. I don’t know about courage. I just know you have to soldier on. 🙂 Hope to be back at group before too long and also to hear the revised edition of your book.

  6. She’s gorgeous!!! Definitely a ray of sunshine for your life right now. I’ll continue to pray that you’ll stay strong and get through this tough time in your life. Keep that chin up as you have for some time now. As another commenter said, you are truly an inspiration Alice!

    • Laura, it is always a good day to hear from you. Thank you for your encouraging remarks. I know your prayers are working. 🙂

  7. Hi Alice, Hope is a beautiful baby! What a joy to all of you! Hope the Doctors can help meaintain the balance you need to feel better. This has been such a long haul for you;you are a very brave person. As always;my thoughts and prayers are with you, Love, Janice

    • So good to read your comment, Jan, on this sunny morning. 🙂 There are so many things to off-set the downers, like you, my friends, my family, and dear little Hope. I don’t know if I’m brave at all but keep those good thoughts and prayers coming.

  8. Hope is adorable! I am sure you will enjoy giving hugs and kisses! Children always revive a spirit in us we sometimes let go dormant.
    I am always keeping you in my prayers.

    • I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment; children do revive our youthful spirits and remind us of our own youthful dreams and energies. Thank you for your prayers and know they are reciprocated. 🙂

  9. You are so very very fortunate to have supporting family and friends. This is beautiful. Love the name Hope too.


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