Dear family and friends,
Gabrielle here. I'm home after two glorious weeks of vacation! First, Daniel and I went on an Alaska cruise. Highlights included a rainy hike at the Mendenhall Glacier past many waterfalls and creeks, watching the glaciers calving in Glacier Bay National Park, soaring from treetop to treetop in a zip lining adventure in a forest overlooking the sea, and boating close to rafts of female otters, floating on their backs with their little babies on their stomachs! And, of course, eating nonstop! Oh--there was one other fun challenge. When we bought our cruise tickets we were given $100 of free drink credit on the ship. This is pretty hysterical since neither Daniel nor I care much about alcohol. We were actually quite stressed figuring out how to use it up! How many lattes, hot chocolates, and virgin foo foo drinks can you get through in a week anyway?! I ended up spending much of my share on bottled water to bring with me on shore excursions and to drink throughout the day, which tasted much better than the ship tap water.
When we landed at the dock back in Seattle, Steve and Renee met us and had me dump all my dresses, make-up, and nice shoes on our boat next door at Elliott Bay Marina. Then we hopped on I-5 south and headed straight for our week at Cannon Beach! We were blessed with an amazing week there--sunshine every day. With one exception. We went on a 5.5 mile hike from Seaside to Ecola State Park on a beautiful forest trail that runs parallel to the ocean cliffs. On that particular day, it was socked in with fog and rained. And it must rain often in that forest because two-thirds of the hike was in ankle deep mud! Steve fell twice. My sneakers kept wanting to get stuck and come off in the mud. We were quite a muddy mess when we arrived at Ecola. But what a joy that I had the energy and blood counts to complete the hike! Other highlights of the week included Renee's girlfriend, Riley, joining us for four nights, long beach walks and bike rides, reading good books (no TV where we stay), great talks, huge ice cream cones pretty much daily, canasta wars, puzzles, mini golf, and REAL golf! Daniel and I played our first short nine "post golf lessons" at the Gearhart golf course. Let me just say, we are much better at our short game--pitching, chipping, and putting--than we are at our long game! More time at the driving range is definitely called for. Lastly, perhaps one of the greatest surprises was seeing, for the first time in over 40 years of going to Cannon Beach, the arrival of thousands of beautiful little blue and clear velella jelly fish on the beach! They are also called blue sails as they look like little sail boats and they float atop the ocean instead of swimming in the ocean. You must google them if you haven't seen them. They were a stunning reminder of God's creativity in designing our world!
It was so great to have time away enjoying nature with family to forget about cancer for awhile. Now it's back to reality. Tomorrow (Tuesday the 26th) is my scan. I drink two large bottles of contrast solution at 7:00 AM, go in at 8:15 for the scan, get a blood draw, then meet with my oncologist at 11:30 for the scan results. If the scan is clear, I will get an infusion of just one of my drugs--Avastin. It will be a maintenance drug every three weeks, as it's the drug that prevents the little blood vessels from forming that can feed cancer cells. If the scan is not clear, I will get my normal two-drug chemo--Carboplatin and Avastin.
Please pray with us for a clear scan! We hope and pray it will show no evidence of disease. But if not, we know God will give us the grace to continue on with chemo as needed.
Also, will you please pray for my friend, Jeanie, and her sweet family? She has had a rough battle with breast and pancreatic cancer and is having a very serious surgery for her pancreatic cancer on Sept. 3. Thank you so much!!
With love and gratitude for all of you walking this journey with us,
"The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you." Psalm 9:9-10