Wednesday, July 25, 2007

B to the A to the R A C K

we all need a theme song.

if health care reform makes YOU warm, check this out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New Wednesday Afternoon Hot Spot!

Hey there, everybody! This is Erin Moneymaker, and I am pleased and honored to be the guest speaker for Erica's blog this week. Bear with me as this is my first blog attempt, and I am rather uncertain as to the protocol and etiquette of the cyber world.
I arrived in Boston on Monday, and was greeted by a rather chipper Erica who picked me up from the airport. She looks amazing, and it is so so good to see the sparkle in her eyes alive and well. Since then, we've filled our days with shopping, reading, napping and hammocking. Let me tell you from first hand experience that there is no better way to spend a summer afternoon in Boston than curled up on a large hammock with a good book, a great friend and a pitcherful of virgin peach sangria! Our spirits restored, we then headed off for to tour Harvard Square before we being "Potterized" by Jaci. (def: dragged to see the Order of the Phoenix, though I've never read any of the books or seen any of the movies and have no interest in wizardry whatsoever :). We've also spent two lovely evenings out with Jaci and Dr. Sirulnik, eating and drinking and enjoying time with a healthier Erica. Though I know her journey is far from over, it is so encouraging to see her light up a room again.
Quick update for those who I haven't met: I've known Erica since we were underclassmen at St. Joseph High School: since the day a popular sophomore took a chance on a brace-faced freshman from her JV volleyball team. The friendship was quickly cemented through bonding afternoons at Olive Garden (breadsticks and dipping sauce for the teenagers on a budget), double dating, movie marathons (Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion, anyone?), spirited debates conducted over bowls of Java Chip ice cream, and mutual support through the various trials and tribulations that high school presented. Against the odds, we kept in touch throughout college- meeting in Pasadena for shopping and beach time, or convening up north for Giants games and BART adventures (seriously, who designed that system!). We rang in the new millenium together in Mexico, ("please make that little man with the whistle and tequila go away!") Through travels, breakups, job hunts, deaths in the family, relocations and countless personal hardships, she was always there for me. I figured that would be as tough as things got. Then came the real world, and the really hard stuff. Like what she's going through now. I will never be able to wrap my head around how and why this happened to her. If there was ever a girl who lived life, it was this one, and so this seems to me to be the cruelest act possible. I could probably try to put a silver lining on this cloud, talk about how Erica will come out of this experience stronger and with a new zest for life, and I'm sure there is truth to that but the greater truth is that she didn't need leukemia to give her strength or perspective. Since the day I met her, she has had both in spades. I guess the bottom line is, though I have no idea why cancer chose Erica, I know that I have never been prouder to call her my friend than I am today. Watching her struggle with and overcome this disease on a daily basis with a bravery and grace I cannot imagine possessing makes my heart physically hurt with love and pride.
Today is Wednesday (hospital day), and as I write this, Erica is sleeping, awaiting her next chemo treatment. I feel lucky to be able to be here for this but it's hard to imagine she does this (usually) alone every single wednesday. It's comforting to demystify what is happening to her and it's impossible to watch her and Kecia (her awesome nurse-- pictured here) cut up without joining in. Anyone reading this who happens to find themselves with a free Wed. afternoon should definitely consider catching their show! And I'm sure Erica would really welcome the company!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

speed limits

i love:

-frequent flier points

-my friend, Gioia

-week threes of chemo treatment

-learning languages

-countries where fruit is sold on every corner


-driving a stick shift

-poolside reading

i don't love:

-multiple connections & flight delays that lead to nights spent in memphis

-bribing central american police officers


-having to curtail activities due to being neutropenic (lowered immune system)

and last week, all of those things were in my clutches as i decided to go on a last-minute trip to costa rica and meet up with a dozen of my friends from fletcher. diana stockwell (from costa rica) got married in san jose on 07/07/07 and we were all in attendance. i was originally planning to go, but then was dissuaded by concerned doctors and family that the jungles and mountains there are just too rich in potentially funky molds, germs, fungi; that TB exists in the villages, not to mention malaria and other stuff that would knock my heretofore excellent cancer recovery off its ass. So, I backed out.

but then, i woke up and realized that life can be lived within speed limits. i can be careful and smart about what i do and still be myself- aka- a spontaneous adventurous travelover. it's just not in my nature to wait until tomorrow to experience what you can today. some call that impatience and impetuousness, i opt for carpe diem. i joked with my mom that it was the hundredth time she'd tried to talk me out of it with the usual "Costa Rica will be there tomorrow" that finally made me snap. so with a few clicks and a few points from my credit card (capital one is truly no hassles!), i was on a southbound flight the next day.

it's so hard for me to be as careful as i should be. i sometimes feel like a rebellious teenager, feeling constrained and bitter about restrictions placed upon me, even when those limitations are set with only my best interests at heart. i think this difficulty is seeded in a blessing, however. because i am one of the very few participants in my particular ALL study who have not had to be re-hospitalized ever, i have really not experienced the dangerous ramifications of my noncompliance. from taking my pills to taking it easy, from avoiding gardening to sick people to crowds to the sun to raw foods, i have a hard time being a good girl. therefore, i am truly appreciative to my friends and fam who keep me in check and apologize that you have to. (blush)

on other fun news-- visitors!

leslie and crew have been visiting boston since thursday. here's us at the red sox game last night. yes, yes, i know- crowds. but who can deny the communal effervescence of fenway??