Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Inadvertent Week Off

I totally did not mean to be off the airwaves (fiber optic cables?) for so long. I'll give a quick run-down of what I've been up to though, since last Wednesday. Okay—Wednesday we signed a new mortgage, which makes us feel like we have a lot of extra cash. You know there's the grace period of one month before you start paying, and then, since we refinanced in October, our property taxes had to be paid by the mortgage company, which we rolled into the loan amount, so we don't have to pay those out of pocket, either. That's a total of close to $2500 not going out—plus, somehow, we got $100 back after closing. So all in all, last Wednesday was a good day.

Thursday I cooked my first roast beef, and we had three dear and dorky friends (you all can decide if you're one or the other or both) join us. We made purple mashed potatoes (mashed potatoes out of purple potatoes that is, no dye involved), which looked kind of like Muppet food, and I couldn't really decide if that meant Muppets ate it or it was made out of Muppets. At any rate, VERY purple. I highly recommend them. Oh, and they were tasty, too—a feast for the palate as well as the eye. We also had sautéed Brussels sprouts and mushrooms, and a salad. I made a pear and raspberry pie for dessert, but E&J brought cupcakes, so we just had tiny slivers of pie and I sent home big pieces with the guests. And Ian and I finished it when we arrived back home Sunday night. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

At some point Thursday morning it occurred to me to wonder why I had decided to throw a small dinner party the night before we went on a trip . . . but there is no reasonable explanation. Anyway, Friday morning we drove down to SeaTac and left our car, and flew to Oakland and picked up a different car, filled it with our friend S and her two daughters P&A and all the accoutrements of travel with toddlers, and our one shared bag, and we drove to the Anderson Valley (home of an excellent organic brewery) for a wedding weekend extravaganza of a dear college friend. The weekend included a barbeque Friday night, the ceremony on Saturday afternoon and reception following (and Ian turned 34 woot!), and a brunch Sunday morning before we drove back to Oakland, stopping briefly for milkshakes, and returned home. All events were fabulous and romantic and heartfelt and just what they should be.

Monday I had my riding lesson then took the back roads through Duvall, Carnation and Fall City to Mom's to pick up Hoover and Spackle and help Mom and Marsh with some computer and cell phone issues, then Ian took the bus out from Seattle (the novelty didn't quite wear off by the time he arrived in the booming metropolis of Maple Valley 1 ½ hours after getting off work), we ate a tasty dinner and came home.

Yesterday I had my chemo and got my blood test results and my new tumor markers and then I came home and slept off my Benadryl; the dex kicked in then around 11:30pm when I turned off my light and after an hour I got up and voted, then cleaned the dining room and read some Harper's; this morning we met with Dr. Specht to discuss the test results.

They were very good. My markers made another precipitous drop, from 196 to 118 (out of 37), and we found out that when I started last May, I was at a stellar 1,008! I don't know what the clinic record is, but I feel that I must have been pretty close, because at that level it seems like my blood must have been mostly cancer.

My oxygen levels, when I remember to check them now (which isn't often), are at 99, so that's good too.

And now my hours of awakeness last night have caught up with me, and I am tired.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Birthday Boy at the Start of the Big Adventure

Posted by Picasa

Seattle From the Other Side

On Sunday Ian and I took the day, and our boat, and L&S (I told you S and I were still friends—I truly have recovered from the 8th-grade-underpants-as-a-birthday-gift-in-algebra debacle) and went through the locks and into Elliot Bay. Ian had asked to go through the locks and up the Duwamish River for his birthday, and as it is next weekend and we're attending the wedding of some dear friends in central California, we had our adventure this last weekend instead.

It was spectacular from start to finish. First of all, it was a misty morning, with thick gray clouds hanging just over the surface of the water. Hints of buildings and other boats, the bridges, and golden fall trees showed through the mist from time to time, somehow making us feel even more alone. L kept saying it all looked post-apocalyptic. It really did, except the mist smelled of saltwater and not burning buildings and other disturbing things.

S had been through the locks a few times with my family when we were kids; she remembered my dad saying that locks time was "no nonsense" time. Don't joke with him, don't play around, and jump to obey if he issues an order. Locks time was no nonsense time for us, too, but with much less stress. We went through the big lock, as the small lock is still under repair from some damage that happened to one of the doors this summer, but as we were almost the smallest boat, we rafted on to other larger boats and didn't have to be in charge of minding the lines as we floated up or down. On our way out to sea, the smallest boat in the lock was a dinghy about 10 feet long with a 9 horse engine. The guy could almost have just portaged it around.

The first thing we noticed once getting through to salt water was that the mist over the salt water was much rawer and colder. We gassed up at Shilshole, then ran around the point of Discovery Park and through the middle of Elliot Bay to the Duwamish. It was pretty neat to see all the industry up and down the Duwamish—marinas and ship builders/repairers (a small ferry in a dry dock); tug boat companies; cranes hovering over docks where container ships come in; the (now pretty ramshackle) building that used to house the marina office of the now non-existent dry dock where we stored a childhood boat; a barge on its way to Alaska stacked high with containers and a couple trucks on top including a cement truck; a metal scrap yard; a cement factory; a couple of dilapidated houses and some cute ones; two or three bald eagles; several riverside pocket parks. We went up past the South Park Marina to an unknown marina, then decided without a depth finder we'd best turn back around and see sea again.

We then had lunch in West Seattle, then sped over to Blake Island, where we circumnavigated the island (saw a couple sea lions), then moored for a pit stop. While we were there, the daily Argosy tour boat departed, then returned 10 minutes later to pick up two last stragglers, then departed again. In the summer, if you miss your boat it usually doesn't matter, as there are several sailings a day. But in the off season, the next sailing is a week away. And Ian, poor guy, was shat upon by a cormorant high up in a tree.

The fog had burned off by lunchtime, and the wind was mostly calm, so we sped pretty much directly back to Shilshole and the locks on our way home. We did encounter an interesting (read: would've been bad to go over on a plane at 35mph) wave formation: a section of water that looked like it was full of big boxes, from the juxtaposition of a ferry wake crossing a container ship wake.

My overall impressions were these: The lakes are very safe, and very domestic. Seattle and the neighborhoods surrounding Lake Washington and Lake Union look tamed and posh. But immediately upon arriving in salt water, the whole tenor of the city changes. There's a wildness, a grittiness to Seattle as seen from sea. It's connected to the rest of the world—there is nothing but your own good sense keeping you from heading straight across the Pacific to Japan. The water felt different, too. I can't say I could tell a difference in the buoyancy of the boat, but it did respond to a lot more kinetic energy than will even be in Lake Washington. Lake Washington is either turbulent from boat traffic or from wind; Elliot Bay has both those things (and the wind can be quite bad over such a wide expanse of even inland water), but it also has currents. Currents affect the way you dock, the way you drive, the way wakes and wind waves come at you. It's very exciting, and we were thrilled with our day. To see some pictures (Ian took about 500 but he's culled quite a bit so don't worry), go to Ian's photo page. Did I mention it was cold?

All in all, it was a relatively inexpensive birthday present, costing us only about $60 in fuel for the day (L bought the lunch) . . . until today, when the price doubled after Ian replaced the bed that Hoover ate—evidently all over the back yard—while we were gone for 9 ½ hours. Sigh.

It Seems the Drugs Do Deserve Some of the Credit

So here it is, 2:37 in the morning, and I'm wide awake. This week Ian is here, and we went to bed at a reasonable time (about 11:30). I turned off my light a little after midnight, then lay there in bed, getting awaker and awaker, until I finally gave up around 1:30 and just got out of bed. I made a list of things to do and people to call, ate a couple slices of bread and butter and two pieces of really, really stale licorice, and now I'm blogging. I'm not tired or sleepy at all, so I think I can forgive myself for what appeared to be total self-indulgence last week in the matter of 30 Rock and the 3:20 am finishing time, and just assume that even a mere 2 mg of dexamethazone is 2 too many for me to sleep.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I was walking around Fred Meyer this afternoon, carrying three pairs of underpants and on my way to search for Lexol and malted milk, when a middle-aged man came up and spoke to me. I've stopped wearing thong underwear for the most part, since I've found these Maidenform hipsters which are comfortable for riding as well as day-to-day wear, so it wasn't that embarrassing. They weren't fancy colors, either, just two beiges and a black, so he may not have even noticed. It's not the first time in my life that I've had new underwear in public anyway (and the lingerie department doesn't count, although the produce section of Fred Meyer does), and by far the least humiliating. The most humiliating was in 8th grade when my best friend, S (of S&L—yes, we're still friends—I've recovered somewhat since this harrowing experience) called to ask my mother what I wanted for my birthday, and my mother told her I needed underpants, and S BOUGHT THEM FOR ME. AND THEN GAVE ME THE BOX IN ALGEBRA CLASS. WHERE I SAT IN FRONT OF A BOY I HAD A CRUSH ON. And then, even though S said "Maybe you don't want to open this box here . . ." I OPENED THE BOX. I tell you, for a short time, I was in beet red, agonizing, 13-year-old hell.

The man today, who looked like a really nice man—short gray hair, no beard or moustache, clean-smelling clothes—asked if I was sporting a "chemo cut".

I was wearing one of my homemade calico headscarves (note: scarves? don't hide the fact that I'm bald.) "Yes, I am," I replied.

"Can I give you a hug?" the man asked.

"Sure," I said. As he hugged me, I felt care, and yes, love in his energy.

"How far along in your treatments are you?" he asked, stepping back.

"Um," I said, "that's a little complicated." I gave him a 30-second run down of my summer, and ended with "I'm doing really well, but I have no idea how much longer this will be going on."

"Do you need any help, any help at all?" he asked. "Someone to mow the lawn or walk dogs or anything?"

"I don't," I said, smiling at him, "nothing at all. I've got a really great support system and everything is well taken care of. Why do you ask?"

"Well," he said, "I lost someone very dear to me."

I said I was very sorry, and thanked him for his offer and kindness, and we parted ways. And then I spent the next ten minutes misty-eyed, carrying my underpants around Fred Meyer. I eventually remembered what I was looking for, but I didn't find either item.

Graduated . . . Sort Of.

Hoover, who is outside on the porch banging the empty food bowls around because I heard a crunch earlier and found him perched under the dining room table chewing on a strip of oak from the heater's air-intake grate in the dining room, graduated from Intermediate Training Class last night. We were late to class because we got stuck behind the Fremont Bridge, which did not open on the ½ hour but rather five minutes later, and then stayed open for 10 minutes, and so everyone (the other three dogs, that is) had done the graduation course already by the time we arrived. I hadn't seen the course last week because I was on the phone with Dell, but Hoover had seen it and so we made it through pretty well. It went something like this: A sit-stay on one end of the room, I walk across the room and release him and have him come. He does something called a finish which ends with him sitting by my side. He then heels through a right-angled course of about a dozen orange cones, does an automatic sit at the end, goes to his rug, heels up and over a 2X12 bridge, sit-stays and then releases through a hoop, then does a stand-stay, then a down-stay, then I go back to my seat and release him and he comes to me, all off-leash. This actually does sound like quite a bit of stuff—however, since he's entirely food-motivated, it's pretty easy, with a treat in hand, to get him to do pretty much anything. What gets tedious is getting him to do pretty much anything without a treat in hand. Anyway, we made it through the course successfully, the dogs were all released from their leashes to play, and Hoover immediately went over to the counter where the "Big Cookie Certificates" were, put his paws up and helped himself to his cookie.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Today the resolution to my DVD problems arrived in the mail in the form of a program called PowerDVD. Yes, at long last, I can watch Baby Mama! Of course, after last night's marathon session of 30Rock, I feel like I'm related to Tina Fey. It turns out I'm not so good at self-regulating. Without Ian here, I didn't even try to go to bed—just watched episode after episode until I finished season 1—at 3:20am. Spackle slept pretty soundly through it all, there on Torpid in the basement; Hoover lay by my feet next to the couch and periodically stretched and looked up at me as if to say "are you [bleeping] crazy?!? Why are we still down here???" And, since I can't watch even good TV without doing something, I finished knitting two hats, too!

I tell you, even 2mg of Dex is a lot.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

All Alone

The dogs and I dropped Ian off at the airport this evening so that he could fly down to San Diego for a conference. On fish, of course. And math. He's going to be presenting something, and so he spent most of the weekend and a couple evenings last week working on it.

I'm not scared to be here in the house alone, although when I arrived home I discovered that the back door not only hadn't been locked, it hadn't even been closed all the way. If we'd had a strong wind (as evidently happened last weekend when we were in Idaho), it would've just swung open—an invitation to all the crooks and baddies in our neighborhood. But the house looked completely undisturbed.

It has actually been broken into before, maybe five years ago. We had left around noon to drive to Kamloops for a ski week at Sun Peaks (fantastic resort! Highly recommended!), and our housesitters, who arrived after dark around 9:00pm, found glass on the floor in the guest bedroom. There's an exterior door into that room (which is now my office), mullioned from top to bottom, which opens into the backyard. The glass was from the pane next to the handle (of course), and was the only sign of disturbance, and as evidently no one had opened the door, the alarm hadn't been tripped. If only the would-be thief had known, he or she could've saved themselves the trouble and noise of breaking glass. At the time, the handle and lock system on the door was simply broken, and they could've taken it apart with a Q-Tip.

The two things about that experience that gave me the willies were that it seemed like someone had been watching us pack up our car, because we were clearly going on a trip and not going to be around for awhile, and that maybe the housesitters scared him or her away. I don't like the idea of people we care about surprising crooks who might be violent.

Anyway, contrary to the tenor of this post up 'til now, I'm not actually worried about anyone breaking in or otherwise disturbing my sense of security. What I'm worried about is the fact that Ian, for a few months now, has been getting up every morning at 7:30 and feeding the dogs, then himself, then taking the dogs on a walk and putting them outside, and leaving me in peace to sleep for another 2 hours. Dogs have uncannily reliable internal clocks, and I am not—I repeat I AM NOT—intending to take over Ian's schedule with them, even though I will be taking over their feeding and exercise.

They seemed to be aware after we'd returned home and they'd eaten dinner tonight that one of their parents was missing. They'll be really aware tomorrow morning at 7:30 when I growl at them and go back to sleep until 9:30, ignoring their bladders and hunger pangs. Friday evening when Ian comes home, they'll be in raptures. And so will I.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dell Update

Because this is of course the topic most compelling to everyone reading this blog, I thought I'd let you know what happened during my phone call with Dell last night.

Not much.

I was on the phone 112 minutes this time (still longer than the movie), and even the Level Two Resolution Specialist was unable to help. On Monday afternoon I will be called by his supervisor, a Lever Three Resolution Specialist, who will maybe send me some software.

The most interesting part of the phone call—which started at 9:30pm—was when my technician, presumably to check other multimedia hardware on my computer, briefly turned on the webcam. Of course, maybe he just wanted to see who he was talking to once every 17 minutes, and breathing into the ear of the rest of the time. It was pretty uncomfortable, actually, to see my bald self in half-silhouette because of the light slightly behind and slightly above my head, knitting, right there in the middle of my screen.

At least I had already closed down the Us Weekly windows.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I would like to watch the movie "Baby Mama," starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. It looks like it will be very funny, from what I have seen of the scenes that slideshow through the main menu. In part I want to watch it because Tina Fey, with her uncanny resemblance to Sarah Palin, is so sought after right now, but mostly it just looks like it'll make me laugh, and laughter is supposed to be the best medicine, as they say.

I cannot currently watch "Baby Mama," however, even though I am currently in possession of two copies, because both copies are Blu Ray format and neither one of them plays on my new computer with the Blu Ray player. That is to say, neither one of them plays past the blue screen with the film ratings information (this movie is PG-13: Parents, be aware that there may be strong language and adult jokes), where my computer locks up and everything stops. Thank you, Netflix, for sending me a replacement disk so immediately when the first one didn't play—it has come in handy already, to verify that it is not the problem of the disk itself. Even though I have to say, as of yet it hasn't been very entertaining as a movie.

I realize that technology changes rapidly, but I'm having a hard time believing that a movie released on DVD last week has already outstripped the abilities of the computer I purchased at the end of June. However, having spent a total of 208 minutes (158 of those this evening, the rest yesterday) on the phone with Dell Technical Support and having reached no resolution, I'm finding my belief system starting to deteriorate.

It's interesting to spend two hours and 38 minutes in a row on the phone with someone in India—or rather it's not interesting at all. Using some new system called "Dell Connect," my technician was able to see my desktop and manipulate my computer from afar—that was interesting for about three minutes, then embarrassing for about five, because he could see what I could see: Us Weekly's daily newsletter, and two other windows of Us "news" showing items of interest I'd clicked on; a mah jongg game in progress; a picture of Ian and Spackle, wet and miserable, camping outside Bellingham next to train tracks one May.

You might imagine that having someone in tech support for a major computer company controlling your computer would mean that windows would pop open and closed and things would be uploaded and downloaded and installed and uninstalled at break-neck speed. You would be wrong. Tech support may have more ideas of where to look for solutions than you, but that's it. It's still not a fast process.

Fortunately Ian came home soon after the beginning of my call and delivered the mail including—wait for it—the current paper issue of Us Weekly (jeez—don't I read anything else???). I was able to update myself of the goings on of Taylor Swift and that Jonas brother (split!), Miley Cyrus (sweet 16 at Disneyland! Two months before she turns 16! New Maltipoo pup!), Halle Berry (sexiest woman! at 40! and after having a kid!), and many other important people in my life. Then I had to pee, so I handed Ian the phone during one of the brief times that my technician had put me on hold, instead of just breathing endlessly in my ear the way I was breathing endlessly into his. I got the phone back before the hold music ended. Then Ian had to leave for Hoover's second-to-last puppy training class without me (at the time, it seemed better to see this through to the end); then I went downstairs and got my knitting.

Then, eventually, after much installing and uninstalling and restarting and reconnecting with India my technician spoke again: "I am sorry, I have no more ideas. I think right now we should end, and tomorrow night we should begin again. It will probably not be me, however, it will probably be a Level Two Resolution Specialist, who can give you a call back at the time of your choosing, after 8 o'clock or 9 o'clock at night."

"Uh, okay, how about 9 o'clock." What better way to spend a Friday night (after dinner with friends, that is), then sitting at home, patently not watching a movie I really want to see?

At least I'll be working with a Resolution Specialist, though, and not the Dragging-Out-The-Process specialist I was evidently working with today. It gives me hope, that one day at last I will get to enjoy "Baby Mama".

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Puppy energy
Posted by Picasa
Proof positive. Me, Shadow and Sadie in the Maple Creek (pronounced "crick") meadow.
Posted by Picasa

Please throw this stick for me!
Gross. I am not touching that stick.
Posted by Picasa


My temporary handicapped parking pass (red, rather than blue, to mark its temporariness) expires in January, six months after I received it. I no longer feel particularly handicapped—I'm not short of breath walking across a parking lot anymore—and since I rode horses for two hours Sunday and had a ½ hour lesson yesterday, I'm pretty sure not many other people would think I am handicapped anymore either. But because of all that horsing around (ha ha), I was stiff enough today before my infusion that I quite gladly took the last handicapped parking space on level A of the garage at the SCCA. I have to say, with my gimpy, stiff-legged gait, I looked pretty much like I needed it.

Lost and Found

We were in Idaho over the weekend, visiting K&A, who happen to be the parents of Dr. Jason. It was actually a little funny in my appointment a couple weeks ago with Jason, when, after much official, formal doctor discussion with him and with a resident, he asked if I had any other questions and I said "Yes, actually, we're thinking of visiting your parents in a couple weeks—will that be okay?" I didn't look at the resident's face, but I assume he was at least bemused.

Anyway, where K&A live, outside Harvard, Idaho, and pretty much just past the eastern edge of the Palouse, is a forested and fielded paradise for humans, horses, and dogs alike. For the first several years when we (and occasionally just I) went over, Spackle (our 7-year-old Lab) would always come on horse rides with us and Kit, their Australian shepherd. It's great fun for the dogs—they tear around the woods, following scent trails for elk and deer, bear and wild turkeys, but alas it turned out to be too much fun for Spackle's weak leg joints. One year he tore his ACL, and after the $3,000 to repair that (and we'd already spent twice that on repairing his two dysplasia-ed hips), we decide leaping and racing around through the woods after horses for several miles and several hours at a time was too much for him (and our pocketbooks).

Kit died late last winter (the first of Spackle's close friends to go, and he missed him when we were out this weekend), and K&A's new dog, Sadie, is about 2 years old now. She and Hoover get along great with their puppy energy, so we decided they would both accompany me, Ian and K on our Sunday ride (Saturday it poured rain), and A would stay at home and keep Spackle company.

The first thing that happened was that Sadie ran to the front of the line of horses, and Hoover, afraid to pass too close to them, stayed at the back of the line, distressed. "Ar, ar, ar, ar, ar, ar, ar, ar, ar," he hooted, in time with his running. We finally figured out what was wrong—he wanted to be with Sadie but was afraid to get to her—and I, on the lead horse (Shadow hates to be behind anyone), called back that it was okay, and he could come up. He girded his loins, put on a burst of speed, and raced past us to catch up with Sadie. He immediately shut up. The horses, of course, took no notice of him at all.

We continued on our ride, and the two dogs took off into the woods. After about five minutes, Sadie came back. No Hoover, and even after we paused to discuss, still no Hoover. K was of the opinion that Hoover would either catch up with us (we were going to be taking a big loop, around the bit of forest that the dogs had gone into) or go back home; it seemed reasonable to me that that was the case, and Ian reluctantly agreed to go on instead of going back. We periodically shouted for Hoover, but he didn't show up at all.

Finally, just as we arrived in the yard at home, K and Sikem (A's horse, which means "horse" in Nez Perce) saw Hoover behind us. A and Spackle had come out of the house to greet us, and as Hoover approached the driveway from the other side of the Jerome Creek Road, we all started yelling for him. He came tearing down to the cattle grate crossing Jerome Creek and stopped, afraid to walk across and too tired to jump (which he'd done on the way out—at least a 4-ft lateral jump, from practically a stand-still), and unaware of the board placed across the cattle grate for humans and dogs to use. We all turned our horses toward the grate so that we could go help him, and he took one look at us and leaped away into the woods up the road. The dog was, it seems, completely wigged out. Here he'd been lost in the woods, now he was at a place he recognized but he couldn't quite get to, and he heard voices he recognized but they seemed to be coming from these weird Giant Dogs and he couldn't take it. I quickly dismounted so I looked more familiar and ran down to the grate. He came back pretty quickly when he saw that I was, in fact, still human, and that I had a dog treat in my hand. He was too jittery to learn how to walk the plank, however, and I was starting to wonder what to do (I knew I couldn't carry a 55-lb wriggling mass across the plank myself—my legs felt pretty tired from the ride as it was), when Spackle rushed in and saved the day.

For Spackle, any excuse to enter water serves, and so he forded the creek below the bridge and showed Hoover how to get home that way. Let me tell you—that was one relieved puppy, and four relieved adults. K then suggested a bit more riding, this around their property (84 acres), and we all, including Spackle, obliged. Hoover stuck pretty close to his older brother, and looked back frequently at the horses, for about the first half of that ride. Then he saw elk and had to chase them (that's his "job" out at Mom's—no matter how hard we try we can't get him to stop badgering the herd that wanders around her place) and he disappeared again. I took it upon myself to stay in one place until he returned. He'd gone through a barbed wire fence in chasing the elk and pretended to not be able to figure out how to get back through, but he rejoined us quickly enough and stuck more or less around for the remainder of the excursion. We're all pretty sure he's figured it out now, and he'll be the fine trail dog whenever we're there.

In all, a good weekend.

I started my official riding lessons yesterday, and I was glad to only go for 30 minutes. My legs (and crotch) were already stiff and sore from the couple hours of riding the day before; fortunately, I think they're a little less so today. And I'm sure I'll be completely recovered by next Monday. So now, for the foreseeable future, my infusions will be on Tuesdays.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

All’s Well That Ends Well

Yesterday friends L and T and I went out for a glorious early fall afternoon on the boat. We were able to pull into one of the slips at Agua Verde and get take out (two Tacos de Bagre and one Burrito Puerco), which we then took out to the middle of Lake Washington between the two floating bridges. The water was glassy calm, so we went really fast. We stopped at Luther Burbank park to use the toilets. I've been several times since we got the boat, and each time it's easier to climb up the steep hill to the facilities. Yesterday I was hardly breathing hard at all.

After we returned the boat, T drove me to Ballard to pick up my car, poor dear 4-Runner, at the body shop, where L had helped me drop it off the day before.

Yes, it's true, I smashed up, very, very slightly (but oh, it felt painful to me!) the panels in both the driver's door and the passenger door on the left side of my car. This happened in the SCCA garage about ten days ago, after my infusion, when I was pulling out (of a handicapped spot no less) to go home. I didn't see the pillar behind me, and as I backed and turned, I slid right into it, scraping white paint in about a 6-inch oval on the two doors of the car. I also scraped the running board, but as that didn't involve a large spot of white paint on a red car, but just some almost invisible scratching, I decided to let it go.

I was embarrassed about the whole thing, because I'd just written such a glowing account of my own abilities as a driver. The truth is, though, that this is only the 3rd time in my life as a driver that I've driven into anything, the first time being when I was 15 and driving our '63 Galaxie convertible and I ran (slowly) into an alder sapling as I turned into a driveway (Mom: "You're going to hit that tree!" Me: "No I'm not!" CRASH!); the second being when I pulled a borrowed car into the garage of the house I was housesitting and crunched part of its doorframe against a boulder (note—there was an identical crunch two inches away on the same door frame).

Anyway, before I could decide whether or not to tell anyone aside from immediate family, Ian outed me to Dr. Jason in my appointment with him. Now, Dr. Jason had only just granted me permission to drive anyway, so I was a little hesitant to let him know that maybe he'd been hasty. But he just laughed and said that that accident wasn't my fault—it was entirely the fault of the engineering of the parking garage. And really, it is a very difficult garage.

Fortunately, it didn't cost much to get the blemishes repaired, however, and the car came home last night looking like new.

And now no one else will ever have to know.