Our recent plans for a vacation… a vacation from work and from all things medical… was to go on a rafting trip. We’d originally thought of visiting the Florida Keys. But, Ken’s daughter, Tammy, advised us that summer there means hot, humid weather and a high hurricane risk.

So, we looked for other options. Rafting was one of those things we’d always talked about doing. The trip we booked for northern California included hiking, biking, and stays at bed-and-breakfasts. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep up, but wanted to try, and I could opt out at certain points. But, we were the only ones signed up and the trip was cancelled. Instead we planned a visit to Santa Barbara and then to Catalina Island. Ken did all the planning for our first “car trip.” We had a great time. Ken found some great places to stay, made all the reservations, and organized everything. We were glad we were finally able to travel. It’s been a very long time.

I did not completely escape the cancer center. On day two, Monday, I got a call on while we were in Santa Barbara. There was a problem with the results of my bi-weekly blood tests (done Friday morning). I was to discontinue one of my medications for two days then go in for another blood test on the third day to see – hopefully – if my blood counts would bounce back. We looked for a place to get a blood test, coordinated the lab work, and worried. My counts improved – at least well enough – to allow me to take start the medication again, but at a lower dose. It is so difficult to get my illness off our minds for more than a few hours and this interruption made it worse.

The fact that my blood counts are being adversely affected mean I am getting the real thing – not the placebo. This is not a side effect of my other medication, Tarceva. It’s good to know I have two working for me instead of just one.

I still occasionally feel lymph nodes near my collarbone aching. It’s at least becoming much less frequent – only once today for a few minutes. The aching is always an unwelcome reminder.