Sunday, December 22, 2013

Health & Moving

One sweltering day last August when the portable air conditioner we stuck in the window of our 17-foot-ceilinged apartment was struggling to keep the place below 82, I flippantly said to Steve, "I can't bear the thought of one more summer in this apartment."  My romance with the river had faded. I saw it for what it actually is, a dammed (damned) polluted river with a hydroelectric plant, with a bridge crossing it that allowed cars to shine their lights in our windows and wake us when ambulances passed over on their way to the university medical center. Along with the trendy new restaurants and bars around the corner came loud drunken people walking below our windows at night smoking cigarettes. I loved the spaciousness of the loft and the big view of the waterfalls and the sky, but I was tired of the noise, the relentless artificial light, the F-16s roaring by (you Vermonters know that sad story), and the rest of the urban vibe. I kept trying, but it felt less and less like home.

I think it is a sign of health that I could think of not only getting out of bed each day, but actually  moving again. As often happens when I let the universe clearly know what I want, the wheels start rolling. Within a few days we realized we knew exactly where we wanted to live and decided we needed a condominium, not a house.

To make a long story short, we found the place and moved in the week before Thanksgiving. We found one of the only condos in Burlington that are all on 1 floor, without anyone upstairs or down. It has a 12-foot peaked ceiling, a fireplace, bamboo floors, and a fabulous kitchen. Other parts of it are in need of attention, but that gives us a chance to fix it up the way we want it. Perhaps its greatest attribute is that it doesn't share any walls with another unit. It's like a little cottage. Here's how it looked in September when we first saw it:
We look out from the back into a little patch of woods, and can't see any other units from the porch, bedroom, and living room (which you can't see in this picture because they face the back). We are wedged between 2 parks, around the corner from Lake Champlain, and on the Burlington Bike Path (miles and miles of paths along the Lake and through the city). And last week when it snowed, they came and plowed and shoveled right up to my front door three times in one day!

We moved the week of Thanksgiving and are now seriously settling in. Steve is a master painter and has done an amazing job of transforming our walls and bringing some fabulous color into our home. I'm exhausted and trying to recover from the push that I was miraculously able to pull off. Good news; there's a cure for exhaustion!

When we moved here 2 years ago, I never imagined we'd be moving yet again, and that I'd be well enough to begin imagining a whole new life. I thought I was coming back east to nest in my death bed. Moving to a new place helps me feel like I have a new beginning, and not just the beginning of the end. I can't imagine what will unfold next.

In early December I had another PET scan that looked good. All the places I have bone mets are still filled with lumps, bumps, and holes, but they aren't metabolically active. We can't say that the cancer is gone, but it isn't growing. The only place that continues to light up on the scan is where my third rib meets my sternum. It is so "wonky" that the activity there is probably a chronic irritation due to the abnormal movement caused by the distortion in the joint from where the cancer had previously spread.

I have agonized about how much to report to you all, and I fear that if I continue the internal debate that I will never get this blog entry out to you all. I seem to be getting all my mail forwarded and I've even gotten some packages that some of you have sent to the old address. Make sure you have my new address if you plan on contacting me by mail: 80 Austin Drive #261, Burlington, VT 05401. My phone numbers haven't changed.

I hope you all have a great "whatever you celebrate" and especially enjoy the return of the light. Welcome Home to us all.