The Secret Life of Bloggers #3 – Where I’ve Been

Secret Life of BloggersI’ve been away. Most of the time I was away I took a picture or two each day. Now that I am back, I’ve been forgetting to take pictures. 🙁

I’ve been away having a stem cell transplant. I had a nasty rare lymphoma that doesn’t like to stay away even after you have had chemo, so a stem cell transplant was the way to increase my chances of long term survival. It wasn’t as harrowing as I anticipated, thank goodness, but it wasn’t a day at the spa either.

Now that I am transplanted and home again, I hope to get my blogging mojo back. I’ll start by catching up with where I’ve been and what I’ve seen the past few weeks. So, as per The Secret Life of Bloggers, here are my daily photos. I was going to do all of them in one post, but I see that I am wearing out, so I’ll catch up one by one, I guess.


2014.01.24 transplant delay

I know it doesn’t look like much if you live where it really snows – but this is sleet and ice – and who can drive on ice, especially if there isn’t much in the way of equipment to handle it? Anyway, it was enough to make the roads very slick and cause lots of accidents and so we couldn’t make it to San Antonio for my pre-transplant appointment on time. Had to delay two days.


2014.01.25 gift box

In my last Secret Life of Bloggers post, this box was still wrapped in a big colorful plastic bag. Gifts from church family and ESL students for every day that I’ll be away/in treatment . I took out a few to take with me to San Antonio for my short stay for stem cell harvesting.



Arriving at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio for first shot.


Hmmm… exotic shoes

And this was posted on my Facebook page by a friend:

I found this prayer and wanted to share…

Let us pray to our Lord:

Lord, look upon Kathy with eyes of mercy,
may Your healing hand rest upon her,
may Your lifegiving powers flow into every cell of her body
and into the depths of her soul,
cleansing, purifying, restoring her
to wholeness and strength for service in Your Kingdom.





2014.01.29 waiting  2014.01.29 gifts


Waiting for Quinn’s Venous Catheter to be put in my neck. Not a fan. Back at the hotel – time for chocolate and opening my first gifts from church family.


2014.01.30 apheresis

Apheresis – otherwise known as harvesting stem cells. I was one of the lucky few who harvest enough cells in only one day. Yay! I am sure it was because of the persistent cheering by my friends and family, “Go stem cells go!”

The Secret Life of Bloggers #2

Secret Life of BloggersI’m back for my second installment. If you are new to The Secret Life of Bloggers, here’s the scoop as described at World Turned Upside Down:

All you have to do is take a photo of something you did or experienced each day of the week and post your photos each Friday. You can include captions about what was happening when the photo was taken or a short statement about your day.

It’s been fun – something to focus on each day. Here’s my week in photographs.

Friday 1-17-2014  

2014.01.17 Tina leaves

Daughter #2 leaves for college out of state. Tears in my eyes.

2014.01.17 gift2014.01.17 Merry brings gifts

Just what the doctor ordered. More tears.

Saturday 1-18-2014


Rusted trees. No, wait…. that’s pollen. Achoo!

Sunday 1-19-2014



Monday 1-20-2014

DSCN3344We will sit and look cute for the picture because you have treats in your hand.

Tuesday 1-21-2014

2014.01.22 cropWatching Gilmore Girls without my girl.

Wednesday 1-22-2014

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In the absence of Daughter #2, Dreamboat and I take in the view from her bed. A comfortable spot for my morning quiet time.

Thursday 1-23-2014

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My friend came over to teach me something simple that I can crochet in the coming days. As we began to work this potholder, I went to a drawer and pulled out one that my grandmother made. I am sure it is the same pattern.

The Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party #1

Secret Life of BloggersI’ve been letting things go around here…. chemo, daughter #1’s wedding, a cold, daughter #2 leaving for a new college experience out of state, preparations of mind and body for a stem cell transplant … just no time or energy for this little blog. So when I saw “The Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party”, I thought I’d give it a try.

Here is info about the blogging party as described at World Turned Upside Down:

All you have to do is take a photo of something you did or experienced each day of the week and post your photos each Friday. You can include captions about what was happening when the photo was taken or a short statement about your day.

As bloggers, photographs are a huge component to telling a story. Being forced to take one photo everyday also helps you get better at telling stories through pictures. It really makes you think about if you are telling the story in the best way you can. Plus, it will be great fun getting to see the secret background lives of our blogging friends. 🙂

I like the idea of taking a picture every day – even if I don’t party every week. So here is my first attempt (even though it is actually week 2).


2014.01.13 Glassware

We borrowed tons of glassware to use as candleholders at my daughter’s wedding on New Year’s Eve. This is the last of the glassware needing to be cleaned of wax and smoke. Whew! Glad that’s over!



The Christmas decorations were finally put away and it was time to return knick knacks to their pre-Christmas locations. These adorable birds (pitcher, cream and sugar, and one remaining salt shaker) belonged to my grandmother Abbie Smith Brender nee Webber. I love them! This time I put down some different linens for them to perch on. I haven’t decided if I like them on these linens or not.



Although I need to do this every day, I don’t. When I do, my life and my health and my attitude are better. This was a lovely warm day and I feel most like praying and meditating when I can be outside. On the table are the remains of a snack – popcorn and a chai latte. The books are One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, Illuminated Prayers by Marianne Williamson, Ten Thousand Ways to Listen by Mark Nepo, and the open book is The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. The index cards are my brief notecard version of How to Have a Good Day Every Day by Norman Vincent Peale.


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I call this my Altar of Encouragement. The table holds cards and gifts I have received from family and friends during cancer treatment. I had to take it down so the Christmas tree could go in this spot. Today I took care of the plants and set up the altar again. It is right where I can see it from my favorite spot on the couch.


2014.01.16 No cancer2Here I am holding the results of a bone marrow biopsy and a CT scan that indicate no evidence of cancer. We have kicked this lymphoma into remission. Now that I am in remission, I can go forward with a stem cell transplant.

Well, that’s my life this week. I like taking a picture every day, but some days I found it hard to take just one or at least to post just one. I’ll try to do this again next week.