Partaking of the forbidden fruit

Whole grapefruit and cut into parts

Were I a more diligent Jew, I’d be depriving myself of leavened bread through the 8 days of Passover, along with my fellow tribe members. But I haven’t been diligent. Apologies, Almighty, I have failed you in so many ways. Bread is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Yesterday, J. and I dropped by the specialty grocer and were inundated with generous samples. Cubes of roasted maple ham, bacon and avocado panini bites, need I say more? Then we enjoyed a delicious Easter dinner with friends. The menu? Pancetta-wrapped pork roast. I could have refused it all, but I didn’t. Leavened bread aside, I’ve also broken the no-pork-over-Passover rule. I am a sinner, not a saint.

This is not the subject of my post, however. I wanted to write about the real forbidden fruit. I’m speaking of grapefruit. For 5-1/2 long years, I have been on CML-busting medication that interacts with a compound found in grapefruit. For those 5-1/2 years, I have been grapefruit free, barring the occasional grapefruit Jelly Belly or wine gum. I lapsed once, relishing one piece of J.’s freshly peeled grapefruit, but otherwise, I have heeded orders of complete abstention.

Through the many recent changes to my medications, I wondered whether I had eliminated all the drugs that made grapefruit my forbidden fruit. I stopped by the pharmacy to inquire, and my trusty pharmacist reassured me that I could again safely consume grapefruit. Hallelujah! Grapefruit, here I come.

Do you know what happens when I’m told there’s something I cannot eat? I want it more. I crave it desperately. I can’t imagine my life without it. Until, eventually, my preoccupation wanes and I move on. I understand a smoker can feel this way years after quitting, as can an alcoholic who has long stopped boozing.

When the pharmacist confirmed that grapefruit was off my no-eat list, I headed directly to the produce section of the supermarket and assessed every single grapefruit until I found the best one there. Unfortunately, prime grapefruit season has passed, so the pickings were slim. Most of the remaining fruit were shrivelled and old, but there was one perfect specimen with a nice thin shiny skin. So I bought myself this gift of grapefruit, brought it home, and snarfed it down.

This first grapefruit was almost perfect. It was delicious and sweet, but sadly it was overripe and mushy. Grapefruit needs a bit of texture, don’t you think? If I’d wanted juice, I could have bought juice. I tried to focus on the taste rather than the texture, but I admit it was a letdown. Truth is, my prohibition has lifted as grapefruit season is ending, and that grapefruit is probably the best I’m going to find over the next several months.

And so I must ask you a small favour: next time you’re at the grocery store, would you look for the freshest, shiniest, tastiest grapefruit you can find? If you love me, you’ll buy it and drop it off at my house. I’ll be forever grateful.

As far as I know, there are no prohibitions against eating grapefruit over Passover. So eat it I will, with no fear of reprisal. Who knows? Maybe it will curb my craving for pork.

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Even a realist believes in miracles

Israelites leaving Egypt through parting of Red Sea

Tonight Jews the world over will be eating matzah, bitter herbs, and greens dipped in salt water and retelling the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt. How did that Red Sea magically part? And how is it that in 54 years, I’ve never noticed the hiding the afikomen, that special piece of matzah, for the kids to find?

While we Jews celebrate our freedom, Christians will be celebrating the miracle of the abundance of chocolate eggs. (That is what Easter is all about, isn’t it? The annual chocolate egg hunt?) The kids will be wondering whether the Easter bunny stole the eggs from an unknowing chicken (rabbits lay bunnies, not eggs), how they too were hidden without anybody noticing, and, this year in Calgary, whether they’ll be able to locate them underneath several inches of fresh snow. Dress well for the hunt, wee ones, it’s cold out there.

I will admit I am somewhat distracted from the holiday festivities this year. Rather than focussing on the miracles of the season, I am focussed on the miracle that I am alive and feeling fairly well. I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge, a loving partner, a dog who adores me when I feed her, and friends surrounding me. I couldn’t ask for more.

But I am also a realist. I don’t believe a miracle will alter what happens to me over the next year. No magic potions, no oddball interventions, no flying down to Mexico for the unvalidated treatment that preys on those who are betting on life. I also don’t believe a doctor will discover a cure for my condition just in time for me. If that were going to happen, it would have already.

I have not consulted a naturopath or a witch doctor or an airy fairy shamanic healer. I don’t think chiropractic care or reiki can halt the progress of my illness in its tracks. Others may pursue those alternative interventions, and more power to them for so doing. I’m solidly a Western medicine girl. My Western-trained doctors have kept me alive this long, and I’m going to trust them to do whatever they can for as long as they can to keep me well.

Please don’t be offended if I politely decline the miracle intervention you suggest. You want me to try those magic mushrooms (not the psychedelic kind) that saved that guy with advanced cancer? They sound amazing, but I’ll pass. I don’t believe they’d help me.

Don’t cry for me, Argentina. I’m oddly at peace with what’s going to happen to me. Knowing I have no control over my impending death is freeing, and easier than hoping for a miracle cure. In the meantime, I plan to treat my body with respect, barring the list of unhealthy foods I plan to eat before I die (Big Mac anyone?), to move my body as much as I can, and to spend time doing things I enjoy with people I love. My goal is more happy than sad days. If I can keep Saddy on side, I’ll be fine.

Happy Holidays! May you all have many personal miracles to celebrate.

My drugs they are a changin’

Cartoon basset hound walking with frisbee in mouth

After my last post I was inundated with comforting comments, texts, and emails from far and wide. Have I mentioned how blessed I am to have such a warm community of support? I don’t know what I’d do without you guys. However hard it was to share my sadness, I don’t regret doing so.

I was a bit disappointed, though, that no one commented on my crying Saddy image. I was quite proud of my first GIPHY. It’s not too late to teach this old dog new tricks, so long as they’re easy ones.

Speaking of old, when I was out shopping today, the cashier spontaneously offered me a seniors’ discount. I wondered if I looked especially palliative to her. And I’d thought I was having a good day….

This brings us to yesterday’s appointment at the cancer centre, which was an improvement over the last few. I needn’t have fretted about what Dr. Blood Lite might find in this week’s blood work. There were even a few positives. My hemoglobin is holding steady, which I can tell–my energy has been much improved this past week–and my platelets are a smidgen higher than last tested. This means my brick-like spleen baby did not devour too many of my healthy blood cells this past week.

These findings warranted a number of medication changes. I am eliminating my steroids because they are not increasing my platelets as much as the doctor had hoped. This means that I can no longer blame my persistent crankiness on this medication. Time to start owning my irritability.

My performance-enhancing hormone, EPO, has been doing such a good job at eliminating my need for red-blood-cell transfusions that Dr. BL is trying to figure out whether I need it at all. He has suspended further injections for now. So much for a sustained increase in athletic stamina.

Dr. BL also suggested a vacation from my TKI, the targeted medication that destroys my CML cells. TKIs, like many chemotherapies, reduce all blood cell production, good cells and bad. When my platelets first started dropping a few months back, Dr. BL suggested a TKI break to see whether eliminating this drug might help increase my blood-cell counts.

The TKI has managed my CML effectively for so long that these mutant leukemia cells have been barely detectable in my blood for years now. Coming off the drug for a month or two is safe, from what I understand. Dr. BL reassured me that if my CML cell counts rise without the drug, I will get back on it and it will get back to work. Eliminating any potentially unnecessary medication is worth a try, especially if doing so will reduce my nosebleeds and bruising and the other annoyances of an inability to clot.

Next time you see me, you may be surprised to encounter an energetic, upbeat senior who, unfortunately, may not be able to keep pace with you on your next marathon. Still, feel free to hug me at the finish line, if I ever get there, taking care you don’t squeeze me too tight. Then we can go for coffee. But don’t even consider inviting me over to hang out on your white couch. Some days I’m still a bloody mess.

Saddy makes an appearance

Sadness doll crying

I have to be honest with you: last week’s posts were one big error of omission. I neglected to tell you how much time I was hanging out with Saddy. I realize I’ve been such a downer lately, and I didn’t want to drag you down with me. Also, I needed a bit of time to sort out how I was feeling before I shared it with y’all.

I’m afraid that if I don’t tell you about my down days, you’ll end up with a false impression of my coping skills. For years, I’ve looked around me and thought everyone dealing with cancer is functioning so much better than I am. All I could see were survivors who returned to work, or kept travelling afar, or simply lived a fuller life than mine despite the hindrances of their illness. I felt like a failure in comparison.

I realize now that we all have our tough days, and that we don’t tend to share those on Instagram. My life is no picnic right now, and some days all I can see is death looming. I am trying to live every day to its fullest, but last week I failed. I was obsessed with loss and dying. Don’t let my lighthearted posts suggest otherwise.

It started last Monday, when I received a call from a potential new client. At this point, it would be irresponsible of me to be anyone’s therapist. My health is unstable, my availability is unpredictable, and my mind is elsewhere. That, and my psychology registration officially ends this weekend. The office is closed, forever. I returned this lovely woman’s call, told her my practice was closing, and sent her on to someone else. Then I hung up the phone and I cried. At another time in my life, I could have helped her, but not now.

That day, and the rest of the week, I was completely overwhelmed with sadness. The long day at the cancer centre, and the troubling news from the doctor, didn’t help. I’ve been stewing about whether I’m going to survive the year the doctor initially predicted, and what my quality of life will be like if I do.

Cancer is crummy and dying is hard, and maybe I should stop trying to make light of what I’m going through. I don’t know if I’m trying to protect you or me from my reality, but it’s not working. Sometimes the upset and the fear and the depression take over.

But I can’t stay in any dark place indefinitely, because I’d be wasting whatever time I do have left. That’s where my wonderful support system steps in. I continue to receive frequent supportive texts and emails. Jelly and I enjoyed two wonderful PALS visits, where I could focus on bringing others joy. On Friday, I came home to a gorgeous hand-sewn dog quilt at my doorstep, my long-distance friend’s way of hugging me from afar. Saturday I loved every minute of my danish baking class, and we enjoyed a play with friends on Sunday.

Death may be looming, but I am reminded that I must not stop living yet. I’ve told Saddy she has the week off. Sometimes even the closest friends need a break from one another.

Saddy on couch with dog quilt

The moment I learned I’m solely the hand that feeds her

Dog curled up fast asleep on her dog bed.

I’ll be with you in a while.

We adopted Jelly over 7 years ago. The little waif was found wandering, abandoned by her human family. Peanut Butter welcomed Jelly warmly into our home–more accurately, over time they developed an understanding–and J. and I embraced her. Now Jelly is our one and only and the focus of our excessive attention.

J. has always been Jelly’s Mother Superior, as you know. J. is the fun parent, and I’m all discipline. Jelly and I have our special times but I’m clearly not as loveable as J. Sadly, I can’t walk Jelly as much as I used to. Our special mother-daughter outings are now primarily our PALS visits.

This brings me to my sad awakening this week. We have an unspoken rule in our house: whosoever is coughing her guts out relocates to the basement bedroom at night. Currently, that would be me.

When she was younger, Jelly did not like to have her pack separated at night. She’d pace in the wee hours of the morning searching for the missing parent, alert for sounds of movement downstairs, and she’d rush to the basement door when she heard the absentee parent climbing the stairs in the morning.

Now that she is getting older, she takes these separations in stride. She does not react excitedly when the banished one resurfaces from the basement. By this I mean she’s too busy sleeping to say hello.

Last Tuesday morning, however, when we needed to arise early to get to the cancer centre, Jelly did not get kibbled immediately upon awakening as she normally does; she had to wait half an hour for her repast. While she was waiting, I arrived upstairs from my seclusion. The dog who is usually fast asleep when I resurface was wagging her tail furiously at the basement door. She greeted me effusively for the first time in the three mornings I’d been absent. I asked J., “Has she been fed?” (Consider this an excellent example of a rhetorical question.)

Petless people, don’t pretend you can’t relate to this scenario. I’m sure your teenager has never ignored you for days, only to be all lovey dovey when he wants something, like a lift across town or a later curfew that night or cold hard cash. And when you indulge him, I’m sure he remains sweet as pie for weeks afterward. Or maybe not, until he needs something again, that is.

The only difference for me is that food is my only bargaining chip. Jelly has never seemed interested in the car keys or a later curfew. And have I mentioned she’s started putting herself to bed early in recent weeks? Around 9 p.m., she saunters down the hall and looks back to see if we’re following. When we don’t budge, she shrugs and continues on to the bedroom. Of course her earlier bedtime is unrelated to her wanting her nighttime treat.

I told you, Jelly loves me for my capacity to feed her and that’s all. I’m hurt but I accept that parenting is often a thankless job. Except for the occasional tail wag and snuggle, and the unbridled adoration when she hears the treat bag crinkle.

Baby Come Back Thick as a Brick

Hand holding brick

My visits to the cancer centre are full of surprises these days. I never know what I’m going to find out and how it’s going to affect my palliative plan, i.e., that plan my medical team has to keep me feeling as well as I can for as long as I can. I can count on being surprised, elated, frustrated, confused, and overwhelmed over the course of an appointment. My body is so very complicated.

It is three weeks now that I have been injecting myself with EPO, that miraculous hormone intended to help my body produce more red blood cells. The injections were to start taking effect after about 6 weeks. Imagine my surprise when I learned that my hemoglobin had risen over the past 2 weeks. I was elated! I had noticed that my fatigue had been lifting somewhat, despite my nasty cold. My nurse practitioner explained that exhaustion from lack of sleep is qualitatively different than anemia-related exhaustion. Yes, siree.

My elation didn’t last for long. After months of barely noticing the size of my belly, I’d recently felt like I had ballooned to the second-trimester pregnancy of my past. I was confused. What was causing my baby to grow at such a rapid pace? When the body has no space to create blood cells in the marrow, it contracts the spleen to do the work. With more work to do, the spleen expands to manage the production site.

In addition to my ballooning belly, I’d noticed I was short of breath and I wasn’t hungry. (I know, the lack of appetite is hard for you to believe.) This is because my stomach and lungs are being compressed by my humungous spleen. Dr. Blood Lite ordered an urgent ultrasound. Yes, I was overwhelmed.

The ultrasonographer confirmed that the problem was my ginormous spleen. Whereas a normal spleen is the size of a fist, mine is the size of a brick. No wonder I feel like I’m going to explode.

I could accept being thick as a brick but my doctor can’t. When the spleen grows, it also gets hungrier, with a particular appetite for platelets. So while my hemoglobin has risen, my platelet count remains very very very low. While I was awaiting my ultrasound, I underwent a platelet transfusion–maybe my spleen could eat somebody else’s platelets instead of my own. The team also decided I should forgo this week’s EPO injection. The intervention is working but I have to slow it down even before I get to compete in the Olympics? I was confused and frustrated and overwhelmed all at once.

We return next week to see where I’m at. I’ll bring the baby along; I don’t have much choice. If my platelets aren’t any higher, I may have to quit the EPO altogether, let my spleen shrink back to its lesser but still enlarged size and rely solely on red blood cell transfusions, which would not be the end of the world. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep me above ground. You would too, wouldn’t you?

Is it time to change my outdated blog title?

twisted cord with beginning and end untwisted, muddling in middle twisted

Dear Powers That Be:

In addition to the death sentence you handed me a few months back, you had the gall to give me a post-vacation cold? Do you really think I want to spend any of my remaining time blowing my nose and coughing through the night? I’ve accepted the deadly illness. Least you could do is give the cold to someone healthy.

With heartfelt irritation,

Annie

Now that that’s off my chest, we can return to the matter at hand. My blog was first published under its current name, Muddling Through Leukemia. The name came to me in a dream (not really) and it’s worked. I’ve had no desire to alter it in any way for four years. But times have changed, as you know.

I’m not really muddling through leukemia anymore. CML is the least of my worries. Nor am I muddling through polycythemia. In fact, what I’m dealing with is a rare bone marrow disorder known as myelofibrosis. Ever heard of that?

Myelofibrosis and polycythemia fall in the category of bone-marrow disorders known as myeloproliferative neoplasms. (Try saying that quickly three times.) Polycythemia may transform into myelofibrosis over time. Myeloproliferative disorders are a subtype of blood cancers treated by hematologists using the cancer-fighting arsenal. More internet research might help me better define this category of disorders for you, but you know how much I abhor internet health research, especially since everything I’d look up now would be dire. I do know that people with these disorders all have wonky bone marrow, so that’s enough for me.

I have described myelofibrosis to you previously; I simply neglected to name it. Remember that day I received my one-year notice, when Dr. Blood Lite confirmed the increase in fibrous tissue in my bone marrow? He was telling me that my polycythemia had transformed into myelofibrosis.

I must say that Muddling Through Myelofibrosis has a nice alliterative ring to it, and you know how I love my alliteration. Muddling Through Myeloproliferative Neoplasms almost rolls off the tongue, but no one would have any idea what I was talking about. Also, there are several disorders that fall in this category so it’s a bit broad.

I’ve decided, despite what I’m dealing with, that I’m too attached to my blog title to change it now. Muddling is what I’ve been doing for years, through life and anxiety and health crises and now even through dying. If I change the blog’s name, I’ll be abandoning all those people who search the blog by title. If they can’t locate me, they’ll think I’ve died already, and I’m not dead yet. Plus no one will have any idea what myelofibrosis is, except for you, my faithful readers, so who’d want to read about something they’d never heard of?

That’s why I’ve decided to stick with my inaccurate blog title for the duration, trusting you can make the leap to my current reality. Sadly, it’s also possible that my title will regain its accuracy some day, if I am one of the 12% of patients with myelofibrosis whose illness becomes Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). I’m told AML is no party, so let’s not even go there yet. One step at a time.

Twenty-four hours in the life of a medically fragile patient

Shot inside infinity room, lots of mirrored glowing lights, by Yayoi Kusama

Did I happen to mention that we almost didn’t make it to Toronto? After a month of planning, scheduling doctors’ appointments and transfusions, and corralling the whole family together in one place, we almost bailed.

Last Friday morning, a few hours before our flight, my nose started bleeding, which is not unusual given my critically low platelets. It wasn’t a gusher, but a slow leak that I couldn’t seem to stop, despite my best efforts. I wasn’t worried about the little blood I was losing (although it seemed a waste of the precious transfusion I’d received the previous day), but I was worried about the impact the pressure change on the plane might have. Over the course of the morning, I was becoming increasingly panicked, which I’m sure wasn’t helping.

As the time for our departure neared, J. called on our on-call nurse friend Karen, who wisely suggested ice. The ice added glamour to my appearance and slowed my leak significantly, until I removed it for fear of frostbite, only to restart the bleeding. Tick tock tick tock.

We were at a loss, so J. called the cancer centre for advice. Dr. Blood Lite responded to our 9-1-1 call, confirming that we were safe to fly if: a) I kept icing; b) I used a nasal decongestant to shrink the vessels in my nasal passages (why didn’t I think of that?); c)  I lowered my head during take off and landing. With his okay, J. haphazardly threw our clothes into a suitcase so our dear friend Triple D could whisk us to the airport.

Once we finally arrived at our departure gate, who greeted us but two PALS dogs. Of course I cried when I saw them. I wasn’t expecting to see any PALS because we were at the airport outside their usual visiting times. Their kind humans had arranged a special visit especially for us, although we reluctantly shared the dogs with those around us. Boy did I need a little doggy calming by then. They were the perfect antidote to my frenzied morning.

Finally we boarded the plane and I set myself up in my window seat with ice and tissues, trying to hide my bloodiness as best I could. The stewards were attentive to us throughout the flight, replenishing my ice as needed, and even offering me free potato chips as if that would help. Ah, the unexpected perks granted a dying person.

We arrived and my bleeding tapered off so we could carry on with our weekend. I needed this trip, not only to see family, but also to attend a special visit to an art exhibit I’d expressed interest in. Free chips are one thing, but a highly coveted entry to an art exhibit? My sis contacted someone she knew at the gallery and explained my situation, whereupon he granted her two golden tickets to the show. Because of these tickets, we were treated like royalty. What a spectacular experience.

People have shown no end of unexpected kindnesses when they’ve learned I am dying. Given all the challenges I am up against daily, I am so appreciative of their generosity. Their gestures are the perfect distraction from my daily challenges.

Room of big pink spotted spheres by yayoi kusama

The Five-Year Rule: Absence makes the heart grow indifferent

If you know anything about me, you know that I love structure. I crave rules and boundaries and knowing where I (and others) stand. Structure allows me to get through my day and my month and my life. In some ways, dying has helped me let go of some boundaries, while other boundaries I have firmed up.

For example, because my medical needs are so high of late, some days I have to skip yoga. In the past, skipping yoga would have been a near-death experience for me, but I am getting better at letting such intrusions roll off my back. That may be a slight overstatement. Maybe they’re rolling off my back, but my back is like a washboard: each bump, I say, “I wish I could go. I resent being sick. I hate losing control over my day-to-day life.” By the time the annoyance reaches the drop off point at my tailbone, I am resigned to my mediocre home yoga practice.

Then there are those rules I’ve firmed up. Curiously, once word got out that I was dying, I started hearing from long-lost souls eager to meet. Perhaps they wanted to rekindle our friendship, or maybe they wanted to say their good byes. This phenomenon, the return of the disappeared, has led to some difficult interactions and tough decisions, but only for them, not me. I know where I stand in these cases.

At the risk of offending some, (or many, as I often do), I have no plans to make time for people who have already absented themselves from my life for a significant period of time. Your definition of this time period may differ from mine, but I arbitrarily picked 5 years, figuring that was more than fair. If I haven’t seen you in the past five years, I’m not hanging out with you in my final year. However hard you try, you won’t be able to score tickets to my Farewell Tour. The people I will spend time with are those who have been in my life through thick and thin; they’re the ones I didn’t have to tell I was dying for them to surface. I am blessed with many less-than-half-decaders in my life; they are my priority now.

Believe it or not, I feel absolutely no guilt applying this rule far and wide. At the risk of further offending you, I don’t care if I hurt your feelings by rejecting your eleventh-hour advances. You missed your chance, buddy. I’m a decent person and I’m fun to be around, despite my looming death. The people I want in my life have met and exceeded expectations thus far, even with my death approaching. If you didn’t appreciate my finer attributes before, I don’t care that you’ll never experience the pleasure of my company again.

All requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. That’s why some may be permitted a 10-year lapse, while others’ absenteeism cutoff is 2 years or 6 months or even yesterday. You’d have to have really messed up for the Yesterday Rule to apply, though. Thus far it has not been employed.

So no need to fret: if you’re on the A List now, you’ll most likely remain there for the duration. Unless you really blow it, but there’s not much time left for that.

Out of sight out of mind printed on top of picture of shoreline

Bowling is always the answer.

Glow in the dark bowling lanes

My first stop on the Farewell Tour was Toronto, where J. and I flew to visit with my family. Relatives bought tickets for the show, flying in from near and far so we could spend time together, despite the fact that we hadn’t been able to give them much lead time.

“Farewell Tour” may sound foreboding, but really it’s not. Despite what you might think, it does not involve sitting around and weeping about my impending death, although I can understand why your mind would go there. Rather, this tour provides an opportunity to catch up with the people that matter to me so I can tell them as much.

There has been a lot of Jewish brunch food involved. I made an advance request for cheese blintzes, whole smoked fish, and chopped liver, which awaited me upon my arrival. There were even a few other items that other relatives might enjoy eating. That’s when I learned this tour was not all about me, and I was okay with that.

Even I can’t spend a whole weekend eating Jewish brunch food. In fact, I’ve been oddly disinterested in food this past while. So we had to come up with a different plan. J.’s creative inspiration led us to the idea of bowling together. My local administrative assistant offered to book two lanes for an hour of 5-pin bowling, and everyone readily, sportingly, agreed to attend.

Bowler getting ready to let go of ballThe proprietors of the bowling alley were gruff initially but we let that go; nothing would interfere with our happy hour. It turns out that bowling is the great equalizer (unless you have friends who bowl in a competitive league). None of us had set foot in a bowling alley in years. Except for J.’s magnificent performance–once an athlete, always an athlete–the rest of us fumbled our way through one game. Even the grande dame (or is that la grand-mère) joined us and, although she chose not to shame anyone by outplaying us all, she closely monitored the scorekeeping to ensure there was no cheating.

I can’t speak for the others, but I had a great time, athletic humiliation aside. We all had a chance to be together and enjoy one another’s company for a full hour. Pictures were taken and there were no winners (maybe there was one, who shall remain nameless, as she always has) and no losers. Today my poor left buttock may be unexpectedly sore from all that lunging, but I consider that pain a good reminder of the special day too.

Any Farewell Tour is not all fun and games, however; it also has its sad moments. We enjoyed our hour of frivolity, but the reason for this get together was always on my mind. Over the weekend together, heartrending sentiments were shared, hugs were exchanged, and tears were shed. Because we are spread so far and wide, I may not see some of these lovely people again, except perhaps over Skype.

In the meantime, I will hold onto the memories of our time together when I am missing my people, and trust they will do the same when the time comes to miss me. Sometimes memories are all we have. Hopefully an afternoon of bowling has created some happy ones. That and those delicious blintzes.