I’m way behind in posting our winter Airstream adventures and thought I’d better catch up. We really enjoy having this visual record of our mini trips to look back on!
Our goal last year was to take the Bambi out at least once a month…and we did…and we loved every minute of it. With my diagnosis of breast cancer this fall, we thought for a time that we’d be putting our Airstream adventures on hold, but that didn’t really turn out to be the case. It slowed us down a bit, but we’re still trying to make it out as often as we can. In fact, the rainy northwest weather has been our biggest deterrent so far.
Our first little trip out was a return visit to Silver Falls State Park. Only a handful of Oregon State Parks stay open during the winter months…unfortunate, since the weather here isn’t especially cold or hard to tolerate… if you can deal with a little rain. I presume it has more to do with budget cuts and lack of funding than much else. Silver Falls is always a favorite for us. It’s just an hour out of town, but far enough away to feel like we’re not camping in the city. It’s a beautiful park with mile upon mile of hiking trails, more waterfalls than you can count and nice facilities. Best of all, you don’t need reservations and you practically have the park to yourself.
This particular trip was our first trip out after I began chemotherapy. I was diagnosed with an aggressive Her2+ tumor in late September, spent the month of October undergoing biopsies and scans and on Halloween I finally started treatment. I had no idea what to expect from chemotherapy other than I’d lose my hair and be tired. My treatment plan called for dose dense (every other week) infusions in contrast to the usual three week schedule most breast cancer patients receive. The hope was that by starting an aggressive chemo before surgery and hitting it hard with a powerful combination of drugs every two weeks, we’d have a better chance of keeping the cancer from spreading beyond the breast. Luckily I tolerated chemo quite well and had very few side effects. There were times that I was tired but I learned to adjust by listening to my body and resting when I needed to. I was able to keep teaching and we learned quickly that keeping life as normal as possible was “good medicine” in and of itself. Being able to take the Bambi out on weekend trips was every bit as enjoyable actually as it was when I was healthy. Having to deal with something that can take your life makes you stop and take note of just how beautiful life really is. Although I didn’t have the stamina for long hikes, I still enjoyed short walks, watching movies together (two seasons of Downton Abbey!), reading books around the fire, and taking photos.
As I write this, I have finished my eight rounds of chemotherapy and am moving to the next stage of treatment, surgery and radiation. I look back at the last four months with a lot of gratitude for the life that I have and the people that I get to spend it with. I’m glad we continued doing what makes us happy 🙂