Saturday, April 30, 2016


Back from my rather lengthy break here! I think that usually more than a week of radio silence here means I am off having tons of fun somewhere neat, with limited access to doohickeys. This time was a little different, the 7 days following my last post were one of the most intensely scheduled non-vacation-type periods I can ever remember having, but I made it through and yes I did manage to squeeze QUITE a good bit of fun in there!

So here's what I've been up to:

Thursday the 19th was the big budget presentation at work. Plus packing for the big departmental move. I ended up packing a lot of my boss's office that day - people didn't think that was right but my boss had 2 things that had to get done that day - give the budget presentation, and pack his office. I wasn't about to offer to give the budget presentation, I infinitely preferred to help with the other thing! :D

Friday the 20th was more packing, my cubicle this time.

The weekend was all planned out with a combination of water fun and preparation for Wednesday's surgery. 

Saturday had been slated for a good paddle, weather permitting, for about as long as I knew I was going under the knife again the following week - TQ works on Sundays so I always like to plan my paddling so he can come when I can. This weekend was great, I didn't even have to do the planning this time as Cindy at the club was also up for a trip and she got together a very nice small crew for another lovely day on Jamaica Bay. Wasn't quite as long as some of my other recent paddles because it was a bit breezy and this was the first paddle of the season, but I did a lot of zigzagging, pretending I was a Sunfish and tacking around buoys and stuff, and I think I did about 6 miles. First non-drysuit paddle of the year - I was totally on the fence about what to wear so I took both a drysuit and a wetsuit; it was cool enough at the club that at first I was leaning towards the drysuit, rolling to cool off as needed, but after moving a couple of boats and getting very warm very fast, I decided to go with the wetsuit instead. That ended up being fine, and it felt so good to lose some of that bulky winter paddling gear! 

Weather cleared up beautifully by the time we got back to the club so we had a fine session with beer and cookies and oranges and conversation all at a picnic table in the sun afterwards. I also stuck some old seeds in my garden on the way out, just to see if they'd grow, since I won't be able to do much actual gardening for a couple of weeks here. I'm so glad I got the heavy lifting of getting the bed ready for the season the week before. If my seeds go, great, if they don't, I'll get some seedlings to put in once I'm a little more recuperated. 

Flowers at the club are looking fine!

Sunday was originally slated entirely for cleaning and cooking to prepare for being laid up for a few days, but I changed that in favor of going for a swim with the Coney Island Polar Bears and then doing my cooking and cleaning afterwards. It was another GORGEOUS day and the nice thing about going for a swim with the Polar Bears is that that does still allow time to get things done afterwards. So I swam - 

And then I did some grocery shopping on the way home and then I cooked pernil and black beans, planning to cook rice the following night and have that to cover a couple of meals while TQ was staying with me after the surgery. 

Monday, I unpacked into my new cubicle. I wish I'd taken a picture at the end of the day because the new cubicle is literally half the size of the old one, which I'd been in for over a decade - it didn't look good at all when I left work on Monday, but I had something I really wanted to do at home! Partway through the day, I'd a fantastic surprise delivery from my lovely Aunt Kathy. She'd seen that I had a new cast-iron wedge pan and she sent me two pounds of stone-ground self-rising cornmeal from the Nora Mill, founded in 1876 in the town of Helen, Georgia. As soon as I opened the package at the end of the day, all I wanted to do was run home right away and make cornbread!

My rice and beans plan immediately went out the window in favor of beans over round 2 of Susan Williams' buttermilk cornbread. This didn't come out of the pan as nicely as the first one did (I re-seasoned) but oh boy, was it pretty, and oh boy was it GOOD. 
Tuesday was my last day at work for the month of April. I did actually manage to get my new space in order (YAY, that's why I'd wished I had a camera on Monday, the Monday night vs. Tuesday night shots would've been dramatic), then helped my boss out with his for the rest of the afternoon. Turned off my out-of-office messages at the end of the day, did another grocery trip, ran home, did laundry and more cleaning - it felt EXACTLY like getting ready for vacation, except it wasn't really vacation!

I had my surgery early in the day on Wednesday, and here was my Facebook update from that evening:

"Today I had reconstruction surgery. It went well, I'm a little bit uncomfortable but it's not too bad, and Quint has taken a couple of days off to help me out, starting with picking me up after the surgery today -- it was an outpatient procedure, I checked in at 7 am, operation was at 8:30, and then they had me there for a few more hours for recovery. Quint brought me home a little after 1. We made one stop at the pharmacy for painkillers and then came home. Did a lot more sleeping today and I think tomorrow will be a sleeping/reading day too. There are a couple more "finishing touches" to be done on Left Girl, and I'll be starting on anti-hormone pills soon, but today's procedure should (knock wood, cross fingers) mark the end of the main events of my fall/winter/spring cancer treatment run. WOOHOO! Thanks again so much for all the moral support, especially to those who shared their own experiences with me! I really appreciate all the love and kind words from all of you! 

I still have a little discomfort, but I've still been enjoying my short break from work. TQ stayed with me until this evening, and we just had a nice lazy time reading and hanging out. He's been doing all the cooking for us, he made some great meals with the groceries I'd picked up, and I've just been able to take it very, very easy. We went for a pleasant walk around the neighborhood on Thursday, on Friday he drove me over to the Brooklyn Bridge Park offices to take a look at a room they'd offered for a screening of Sam Low's The Navigators (the room is lovely, we're doing it, it's next Friday, May 6th, details on the events page).

Today we had a little excitement as a fire started in some trash just outside the building, which filled up the place with smoke and brought four or five fire trucks, but they got the fire out very quickly and we were able to go back in after a little airing-out time. We were afraid my place was going to reek because the hallways were really bad and we'd decided to clear out when we started to smell the smoke inside my apartment, but it ended up not being all that bad - I'd shut the windows and the door on the way out, the weather was pleasant and a couple of hours with all the windows opened and a fan running took care of it.

And today I actually got in a little more painting on Araner! Almost done, hooray for an otherwise quiet day at home. Been about the craziest April I can remember - here's hoping for a relatively peaceful May. 


Nasreen Iqbal said...

You had an eventful month. It reminds me of the Chinese curse (which actually might never have been a real Chinese curse), "May you live in interesting times."

Congratulations on getting through so well!

Mary Burris said...

Well, it seems I'm a bit late to the party. I don't often associate kayaking with New York, as that's something that we see quite a bit of here in the pacific northwest. And, I'm just reading about your surgery. Was it for your cancer? Can I ask what type of cancer you had/have? I'm always curious about that, as I'm a survivor of uterine cancer. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I hope to see you around.

#AtoZChallenge Z is for Zenda

bonnie said...

Thank you Nasreen! Must stop by the Groves to see what wonderments you've shared since I last checked in (there was this terrible teasing Thread, and then I had to go work work work). Yes, it has been an interesting fall winter and spring, I think I'm through the worst of it now and I'm glad!

Hi Mary - yes, people don't think of NYC as a watersports paradise in the same way as your lovely Puget Sound (check this out, one of my all-time favorite pictures someone else took of me was actually in Deception Pass - I'm in trouble there but I'm with the awesome Shawna and Leon of Body Boat Blade so everything came out OK! :D ) but four of NYC's boroughs are on islands (Manhattan Island, Staten Island, and then Brooklyn and Queens are both on Long Island - only the Bronx is on the mainland) with tidal waterways connecting everything (my good friend Will at the Tugster, a really great waterblog, calls the waterways "the sixth borough" and that's kind of caught on among those of us who frequent them) and with the water getting cleaner and cleaner, recreational boating's made a great comeback here. We even have whalewatching here now! Being able to get out on the water regularly makes a great difference in my citybound quality of life - not sure I would've stayed here as long as I have without that ability to get outside on the water to breathe.

Wednesday's surgery was reconstruction in the wake of a mastectomy last October. I had invasive ductal carcinoma, a mammogram last Spring missed it but I'd noticed a strange asymmetry developing over the summer and then found a lump in August. Fortunately it was pretty slow-moving, it was stage 2A at the time of the mastectomy, I did not need radiation and although they did recommend chemo, I was actually offered a choice between the traditional one and a gentler kind that took twice as long but was likely to spare me the hair loss, nausea, lizard skin and "basically feeling like you got hit by a truck" (as my oncologist's nurse summed it up after running through the side effects). Chose the longer one that let me basically carry on with everything I like doing except eating sushi (there weren't a lot of restrictions but they did say no raw seafood or rare meat during treatement) and I'm glad I did that, I was able to paddle and swim all winter and I think that was key to not getting too down in the dumps over all the medical stuff I was going through.

Thanks for stopping by. I don't think I've commented on your blog before but I do enjoy your musical reviews! :D

Alana said...

Gee, thanks for making me feel cold and for giving me a craving for cornbread. (Instead, beef stew is in the slow cooker). I wanted to thank you for some of your links - I clicked on the Bronx River Alliance. I grew up in the Bronx, in walking distance of the Bronx River where it runs near Gun Hill Road. I was so happy to read about some of the river restoration work that has been done. Thank you for stopping by my blog.