10 hrs…until Cycle 6, Day 1. I’ve tried to take advantage of my decent days, but I’ve also been somewhat depressed and resigned to the fact that I am going to feel yucky again for the next 10 days. The first 5 are the worst, so I suppose that’s less terrible than 10 days of feeling the same as days 1-5.

Things that brought me joy over my decent days 10-14:

  1. Lando Norris’ first F1 Grand Prix win. I loved seeing his reaction, but also all the other drivers and teams celebrating him. With Max Verstappen’s dominance, we haven’t really gotten that feeling of joy seeing someone accomplish a lifelong dream. Not to diminish Max’s records and approaching GOAT status, but I just haven’t experienced the joy that I had on Sunday. I’m ignoring the fact that some of that was spoiled by a certain visitor to the McLaren paddock.

  2. Making calls and sending emails to government officials. I’ve made several calls and sent several emails to advocate for protecting the right to protest and to plead for a red line for Israel’s bombardment and occupation of Gaza. It has broken my heart to see the images and listen to the stories of the plight of children in Gaza. I’d love to look away, but I can’t. It’s similar to when I visited concentration camps during a high school Europe trip. You don’t want to go. Why would you want to be in such a place where so many atrocities were committed? But it was necessary. It changed me. I cried, a lot. But for me, it is important to know history so we can try to stop the cycle of repeating it. It doesn’t seem to be going so well right now, but I have been encouraged to see people gathering for causes to prevent and end the current backslide.

  3. My magic vein! I have to get bloodwork done every other week to make sure my body can handle the next infusion. Originally, I had planned to go to the infusion center to get my blood draws from my port, because I have very tricky veins. Typically, at a regular labcorp I have to say “My veins are almost impossible to find. I usually just have people use my hand.” That is often met by, “Oh well, let me check your arms first.” Then after lots of squeezing my hand on my part and slapping my arm on their part, they give up and go for the hand or they try in the arm only to fail and use my hand. However, about 3 weeks ago, I was at my primary care doctor, and they needed blood for other reasons. I gave my typical warning to the nurse, but she was persistent. She worked with my arms using more touch, less sight, trying to find a good veing in my arm. She was hesitant to use my hand bc I needed 5 vials taken, and she felt like my hand vein wouldn’t hold up to that. Anyway, after about 20min, she found my magic vein. I knew there was one deep in my left arm, but I couldn’t pinpoint where for her. She noted that I have a tiny mole just about a millimeter above my magic vein. So…for the last two blood draws, I have been able to walk into labcorp and tell them to look for the mole and search there. I am in and out within 5 minutes, whereas it used to take 15-30min. Thank goodness for the nurse who was determined to find that vein!

  4. I’d like to say the fact that I am halfway done with treatment is bringing me joy. But it is not yet. It still feels like a lot. I’m not quite sure how I would celebrate that if I were to. A special dessert, can’t taste it. A special meal, can’t taste it. An adventure, don’t have the energy. I guess I’ll have to stick with Lando Norris’ first F1 GP win being my own little celebration. Or maybe a loud primal scream will do the trick.