I made my semi-annual trip to Target today

Do I go so infrequently because I hate it? Au contraire, mon frere. I absolutely love it there. Why? Because it has everything! Things I didn’t even know I “needed!” So I have to pace myself.

Cylindrical Kleenex dispensers that fit in my car’s center console drink holders? Yes! I’ll take four! The 2016 Rand McNally Road Atlas! Yes! Please! I love me some navigation. Organization? Yes! Fill ‘er up!

At the register, the cashier asked me if I was moving. I wanted to say, “Um, no. Do people buy 16 sleeves of cotton rounds just to pack and move them???” But instead I just said no and kept piling my stuff on the belt.

A mere $272 later, I was out the door with my bargains. I say that somewhat tongue-in-cheek because I know that I end up buying things that I didn’t have on my list. But, I will say that when they have a “Buy four, get one free” sale on Seventh Generation cleaning products, I am getting a deal because I will buy five bottles of different cleaners sooner rather than later, so why not get one for free? See? I’m SAVING money. 🙂

I remember when buying things like lightbulbs used to be easy. Now I don’t know what kind I’m supposed to get and still be a good steward of the Earth. There are so many choices. There’s one kind that gives me migraines. And I always forget which one it is until I bring it home and screw it in.

And then there’s the book department. Today, I bought four books. They hadn’t been on any of my lists, but I view books like I do fruits and vegetables. If my kids say, “Can we get these armfuls of peaches?”, I’ll never say no to that. Same with books.

As much fun as shopping was, I was at a foreign Target, and that’s somewhat disconcerting to me. You know the feeling? To me, it feels like if someone were to rearrange my bedroom without my knowledge. Everything looks familiar, I like all of the things, but it’s all in weird places and I must immediately put it all in the right place. I wanted to tell everyone in the store that they’re doing it wrong.

What a jewell!

Today I met with Dr. Jewell. He said that my skin is reacting “appropriately” for the level and stage of treatment I’m at. He said he’d even say I’m on the milder end of the spectrum. Good to know. To me it feels like a sunburn, but in weird places. Like my armpit and one boob. Luckily, tomorrow is my last day of regular radiation. What that means is that they’re done radiating my chest wall, my axillary lymph nodes, my intramammary lymph nodes and my supraclavicular lymph nodes. After tomorrow, the next five days will focus specifically on the incision area of the mastectomy surgery. That’s the place where a high number of recurrences happen. So they do what’s known as a “boost” focused directly there. After tomorrow, my skin on my chest, back, armpit and ribcage can begin to heal. And on Thursday, I can continue the tissue expansion of my right breast. Finally! As an old friend of mine would’ve said, “I can see the tunnel.”

I will be finished with all of the radiation next Tuesday, Aug. 4. Once radiation is done and the healing begins, it will become extra important for me to care for my skin and help prevent scar tissue from forming. That process takes place over the next few months. Dr. Jewell said that he knows he doesn’t have to worry about me being compliant with that. At last! A doctor who gets me!

The sisterhood of the traveling pants

Way back “when” (pre-cancer diagnosis), we were supposed to go to Croatia this summer. Once we knew that wasn’t happening, we booked the lake house in Couer D’Alene. And once that didn’t happen, we started looking at all sorts of options. We’ve thought about going somewhere warm over Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s no surprise that they jack up the prices of everything at that time of year and that just makes me not have a very merry Christmas. So instead, we’re going to Georgia to check out some new ‘hoods over the holidays. And probably visit a college or two while we’re there.

Croatia isn’t out of the picture, though. We have decided to take a two-week trip there next summer. (KA sorry to tell you like this, but you can’t be that shocked; and we are still intending to “feature” you.)

Now I must begin learning some preliminary Croatian. I would like to be able to at least exchange pleasantries, read menus and understand directions. Oh, and most importantly, read labels. I really need to just move to a foreign country already so I can quit dabbling in all of these languages and actually LEARN one — really immerse myself in the language and culture and become so well versed that I think in the other language. I shall someday.

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