Hi dear friends/family,
Gabrielle here. I wanted to check in and say "hello" as I finish up my final day of "life before chemo." It has been a good day. Daniel and I awoke to reasonably nice weather so we ate Mike and Colleen's homemade yogurt and granola (yum!) and headed outside for our "not so power" walk around the block. It was so good to get outside, as most of my waking hours over the last two weeks have been indoors.
Around 11 AM my good friend Erin-Joy came over and brought me--reader discretion advised here--"Naked" juices, filled with lots of healthy fruits and veggies. She also had mail ordered away to one of my favorite stores on earth--Bruce's Candy Kitchen in Cannon Beach--for one pound of dark chocolate sea foam candies. You should have seen my face light up when I saw the pink and white striped box. We have spent many wonderful summers at the Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center with the Bjorge Family and daily trips to Bruce's were mandatory. By the way--would some of you on my prayer team please pray for Erin's niece Kierstin tomorrow at 1 PM? She is three years old and was burned in an accident and has to have another trip to Harborview tomorrow to have her wound debrided. I am not the only one in the world who is facing hardship right now and in need of our prayers!!
At 1 PM Daniel and I took a drive to pick up some meds and went down to Richmond Beach to gaze at the perfectly clear, snow-capped Olympic mountains. We had our prayer time together gazing at the handiwork of God. We then felt a small burst of energy and went to Central Market to get some lunch. I am having trouble with appetite and not much sounds good right now. Have lost 10 pounds since Jan. 1 (New Year's resolution accomplished for the first time in history). Daniel said "I'll make you anything in this store that sounds good." So guess what? I had a CRAB cake for lunch...followed by a Naked juice chaser and a piece of sea foam. While eating this delectable meal, we watched one of my favorite movies, "About a Boy." The theme of the movie is about how people need each other and that you need more than just one other person "on your team." You need "back up!" If you haven't seen this movie, watch it!
Around 4 PM my dear friend Loretta came over. She is a cancer survivor--six years now! She gave me lots of great chemo tips and encouragement that I WILL make it through the next 18 weeks. She brought me a little "angel of prayer." The little tag with it said "for those who believe in the power of prayer." I put it on my dresser and she said "every time you look at it, remember how many people are praying for you." Perfect!
I almost forgot to mention that getting the mail is a highlight of any day. Today, like most days, there were cards from friends that brought me great joy to read. I love your cards and notes. Thank you all SO much! And then there was a SPECIAL DELIVERY at the door--a card and homemade fuzzy, warm, cozy blanket from my great friend Dean's AWESOME Aunt Evie in San Francisco! I love it! I have snuggled with it today and it is going in my chemo day bag for tomorrow!
And the last act of supreme kindness and love in this day was from our dear friends and neighbors, Jerry and Laura, who just brought us clam spaghetti, salad with strawberries and blueberries, bread, chocolate cake, appetizer, beverages, and a ton of gorgeous long-stemmed pink roses. There can't be better neighbors anywhere in the world (or at least anywhere in Shoreline)!
I am bathed in and overwhelmed by LOVE. God's love, manifest through all of you, is covering me daily and bringing strength and hope for this tough journey. Thank you all for coming alongside us and shoring us up for the 18 weeks ahead. Tomorrow, when I arrive for my five-hour first chemo session, I will close my eyes and say a prayer for all of you, who are praying for and loving me. Blessings to you all.
P.S. Many thanks to my wonderful friend Maribeth for organizing the meals and the great conversation on the phone today!