Friday, January 05, 2007

The holidays were sweet and calm, marked by integral family members (mom was here for a few days) and some new family members... It seemed like gifts were especially thoughtful; maybe with less moola and more time, we were able to get that really special gift or make something from scratch that means more.

New year's eve was a little too sedate. Jaci couldn't make it past 11:15, so i rang in the new one solo. We had decided that the trip to Mexico would be the true celebration, but 11:15?? honestly?? oh well, it WAS damn cold outside and First Night seemed to require way too much organization.

M E X I C O. My brain is consumed by this upcoming vacation. I can't believe seven of us are able to meet down on the yucatan in less than a week: Leslie, Jonathan, Anita, Jamie, Anna, Jaci, and me. Bess is trying to work it still and Josh (Anita's husband) is a last minute possibility too. We're staying in Playa del Carmen, south of Cancun. We hear stunning reports on the locale and were lucky enough to find a beautiful condo that we can all share for a pittance. Ahhhh, why doesn't time tick by faster!

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Yesterday, I went to Fletcher to talk with the registrar, dean, and financial aid director about me returning to grad school in a couple weeks. Everyone was extremely flexible and kind and it looks like I'll be taking two courses beginning on January 17! I'm nervous for failure and feel guilty for getting my family in San Francisco excited about me moving back this spring, but I know that this is the right thing for me to do. With most of the "fog" lifted from my chemo brain, I need some serious stimulation and sense of productivity. Also, if it weren't for the fact that I still have to be at the hospital once a week, I might be more inclined to travel or do something less stressful, like move to SF, until I'm really don't with chemo. As it is though, I figure I might as well get to work on this degree and learn about subject matter that I love- international relations, politics, economics, development, history, blah blah blah- since I'm pretty tied to the US 'till March 08. (Except for the 5-6 day jaunts to Mexico, Cali, Oregon, British Columbia, Nashville or wherever else ya'll want to go!)

I also visited the Tufts Medical Center to bring them a gift for, well there's no way to be less dramatic, saving my life a year ago. Amazingly, the staff remembered me and were so touched by me coming by. With a black 5-o'clock shadow on my head, sprouting eyebrows and eyelashes, and a few more pounds on my frame, they were also so ecstatic to see a rather healthy me (since some of them actually have been following this blog!). I also ran into several friends around campus and continue to be amazed at what an amazing community Fletcher is and to be grateful at everyone's kindness and the fact that people still remember me.

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Two weeks ago, because I am what the nurses call an 'enigma', I was feeling great but my blood counts looked terrible and I was released sans treatment. So, having undergone Week One this week, I am all high on my last dose of full-intensity steroids, having difficulty sleeping- a stark change from the 14-hour nights I was imprisoned by the month before. I'm a little nervous for the expected 'coming down off the steroids' aches and pains when we're in Playa del Carmen, but am eager, at the end of this cycle to officially say that I am through with Intensification and am beginning MAINTENANCE!

Sorry such a boring blog. But that's the latest from Beantown.

5 comments:

katsuya said...

Erica,

It was nice to see you at the Registrar Office! I was so excited to meet you because I do remember you and have followed your blog regularly since our classmates told me. I will be out of town soon, but I need to go back and forth for next two to three years. I am looking forward to seeing you again either at school or in Tokyo!

JamesO74 said...

I want to see 5 O'Clock Shadow pics. Have fun in Mexico, dont drink the water

Susan said...

Hello my dear! Happy new year. Thank you for the holiday card, it brightened up my office. I thought of you yesterday at my Oxy Young Alumni committee meeting...2 words...oy vey. I am thinking of you, have a tiempo muy divertido en Mexico, y no debes hacer lo que no hago! xoxo Susan

Kathleen said...

Erica,

I think I speak for all of us at Health Service when I say it was truly heartwarming to see you that day when you stopped by Health Service.
You are a beautiful and courageous woman.

Best Wishes for a Healthy and Successful semester at Fletcher!
Kathleen

Carisa said...

Hi Erica,

How great that you are going to Mexico! You will love Playa del Carmen: great scenery, lots to do and good food and spirits. We went for our honeymoon in 2003 and keep wanting to go back!

Carisa