Friday, April 30, 2010

Italy, the Final Chapter

It is 6.26 a.m. on Friday morning. I finally decided to get out of bed after waking at 5:00, the usual time I rise the day after chemo. It is a good time to begin my blog, there is nothing to distract me and I can watch the sun rise over the Ben Franklin bridge.

During our final week in Italy we managed to see a few of the local attractions and other towns in Tuscany and Umbria.

Thierry and I went to the Gothic church of Santa Croce which was built in 1294. One guide book compared this church to Westminster Abbey in London, as it is filled with tombs and grave stones of the dead. There are some elaborate tombs including those of Galileo (Thierry wondered why he was here as at one time he was almost excommunicated), Michelangelo and Machiavelli, among others. There was some restoration going on but we did manage to see these important tombs.

We then walked to the Palazzo Pitti, built in 1457 for the banker Luca Pitti. It was later bought and expanded by the Medici family and became their main residence in 1550. Later all Florentine rulers lived here. There are many galleries, and we decided to limit our tour to a few and then tour the Boboli Gardens which are an extension of the property. As it happened, our tour of the residences was quite extensive. When we found the entrance to the gardens, we were faced with a huge climb including many steps. After our long walk from the apartment to Santa Croce and then to the Palace, and facing a fairly long walk back, I was too tired to attempt this. We decided to return another day, unfortunately, that day was Monday and they were closed.

We had a wonderful evening at the local wine bar with our friends from Holland, Roely and Hans. Happy hour started at 7:00, which means a buffet of various appetizers served until 10:00. Our bartender for the first part of the evening had spent five years in San Francisco and brought out a terrific Chianti from the shelves. A new bartender came on later in the evening and laid out shot glasses for all of us! Whew, had a really great vodka that we never heard of – 42 Below from New Zealand, I think. Went down real smooth!

We had our first formal tour on Friday. We were picked up at 9:00 by Carlotta, a native of Sienna who speaks very good English. This was our first really rainy day, but the weather did not dampen our experience. We went to the lovely town of San Gimignano which became very popular in medieval times as it was on the main pilgrim route from northern Europe to Rome. At one time the town had 76 towers built to serve as both private fortresses and by symbols of wealth by the rich. Of these, 17 remain. The palazzo remains much the same as it did in the 13th and 14th centuries.
We then went on a wine tour of the Verrazzano Vineyards. Part of the tour included a five course lunch and a selection of four wines, a dessert wine served with biscotti, and grappa. The food was very good, and included wild boar prepared in various ways – all of which were wonderful. Wild boars are plentiful in this region and are raised at the vineyard.

Our second tour was on Saturday. Our first stop was the monastery founded by the followers of St. Francis, Hermitage (Santuario) of Le Celle and the Cell of Saint Francis. St. Francis came and prayed here. It was a lovely, serene place and is open to those wishing to go away for a peaceful retreat.

We then went onto Cortona, one of the oldest cities in Tuscany, founded by the Etruscans. Here two movies were filmed: Under the Tuscan Sun and one of the Twilight films. We left there for Montepulciano, a walled town - it is also one of the highest hilltop towns in Tuscany at 1,950’. We had lunch at a local restaurant, then went for a wine tasting. Of course we purchased a few bottles as well as some olive oil to bring home for the family.

Sunday was a national holiday dedicated to celebrating the liberation of Italy from the Germans. There was a market set up in the Piazza della Repubblica selling local specialties such as cheese and olive oil, which we discovered on our way to the Market at San Lorenzo. The prices at San Lorenzo were much better than at the New Market – where I shopped before. We made a few purchases, had lunch, then finally toured the Duomo. The Duomo or cathedral is huge and does dominate the city with its enormous dome. The dome was built by Brunelleschi without scaffolding. The interior was also quite impressive, although much of the artwork was removed to another building.

Monday we toured the Medici Chapel, the first floor of which was filled with magnificent vessels containing relics of 40 or 50 saints. Thierry was a little taken aback as he could not understand the significance of the bones. The chapel is on the second floor and is quite magnificent, even though it was under repair. Six grand dukes are buried here in elaborate tombs. Another room contains tombs designed by Michelangelo, considered to be among his most famous works.

Tuesday, our last day in Italy, we went on our final tour to Deruta where the famous majolica is made and Perugia, famous for its chocolate. We toured the U. Grazia factory in Deruta where we were shown the manufacturing process from start to finish – all done by hand. It was a real treat to watch the potters, stencilers and painters at work creating these magnificent pieces. The owner has sold his products to Tiffany’s, William Sonoma and Neiman Marcus, as well as to George Clooney and a famous Italian director, and now to us. He was quite a character – we had a really good time. From there we went to Perugia, which combines the old with the new. We toured the old town and saw some magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.

Our trip home took us through Frankfurt via Lufthansa, where we were to pick up a US Airways flight. We arrived with about an hour to spare; however, the Frankfurt airport is sprawling and full of large, low buildings that are not connected. A bus met our plane and drove for about 15-20 minutes to the hangar. We then had a 15 minute walk to the gate, where we had to re-ticket our flight. We were the next to the last to board the plane. When we arrived in Philadelphia, we were shy one suitcase, Thierry’s. This was quite disturbing as it contained 3 bottles of wine and a bottle of Dutch jenever by our friends from Holland.

We had a wonderful trip. Tuscany is absolutely beautiful and unlike anything I have ever seen. But as Thierry said, it was nice to be back in our bright condo, with our big windows and large shower.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Italy, Capitolo Duo

As I write this the washing machine is humming in the background (just like home). Thierry had to help with this one, as he has experience with European models. Speeds and cycles are grouped by temperature, not by regular, heavy, delicate, like we are used to in the US.

We have been taking our time exploring Florence, and took an overnight trip to Venice. I have good days and not too good days, so we haven’t been pushing. On Saturday, we walked around the Duomo and onto the Accademia Gallery to see Michelangelo’s statue of David which he created at the age of 29. The statue is quite magnificent. The Accademia also has an exhibit of musical instruments from the late renaissance, some of which were built by Stradivarius, and were part of the Medici collection. This also was very interesting and an exhibit that Thierry thoroughly enjoyed.

On our way back to our apartment we found the second of two open air markets where they sell leather goods, scarves, gloves, etc. The vendors were packed in very tightly and the stalls were quite crowded. Thierry felt uncomfortably claustrophobic and wanted to leave. We’ll have to go back and look again so I can buy something. So far, other than books, food and one scarf, that I purchased at the New Market, but found cheaper at the second market even after my negotiations, I have purchased nothing.

Thierry found a few walking tours detailed in his favorite travel guide, DK (Dorling Kindersley). One was billed as a two-hour (two mile) walk to the Church of San Miniato al Monte, starting at the Ponte Vecchio which is about a half-mile from our apartment. I failed to notice that the trip to San Miniato is uphill. I mean, really uphill complete with steps – lot’s of steps. But we made it, and it was worth every step. The views of Florence were breathtaking.

The church itself, which was built in 1018, is said to be one of the most unspoiled of all the Romanesque churches in Tuscany. We heard some beautiful singing and we were trying to determine where it was coming from. Thierry thought perhaps it came from the crypt. We then happened to walk past a closet and inside was a wifi router and a sophisticated amplifier system. Thierry also noticed little Bose speakers around the church. Well, it certainly added to the ambiance.

We treated ourselves to a birra when we arrived back in our neighborhood. We managed to find a great bar a few streets away and had a nice conversation with the bartender. We haven’t noticed any bars or places to go and sit on a barstool and hang out and drink beer. There are wine bars which have a bar with no stools, and may have tables in the back or out on the street, but this was the first one that we noticed that had a few seats at the bar. The bartender told us of another place not too far away that has a big bar, “just like you see in American TV shows, with a long bar and many stools”. We haven’t explored it yet.

We left for Venice on Monday morning. The train terminal was quite crowded and a sign was posted indicating that all trains heading north were booked until the end of the week (due to the airline situation). We arrived in Venice around noon and found our way to the hotel. Ca’ Le Vele was located on a quiet street and canal in the Cannaregio section of Venice. It is owned by two brothers, Max and Ivan. The hotel only received one star in Frommers, but was listed as a “find”. And it was. Quite charming, beautifully decorated, quiet, and they served a nice breakfast. It was very close to a Vaporetti (water-bus) stop and was also within short walking distance from the Rialto Bridge and the Piazza San Marco, both of which we visited.

Venice is wonderful and unique, charming but crowded with tourists. The decay that we saw everywhere was amazing. You would expect some day that the entire city will collapse. Add to this that the water levels are rising, and that the city itself is sinking by one inch per decade, and the recipe of disaster is complete. We’re glad that we saw it in its current state. We decided to walk as much of the neighborhoods as we could and get a feeling of the place, without the tourists. We visited the Ca’ D Oro Galleria Giorgio Francetti and saw an exhibit of Italian renaissance art as well as an exhibit of Dutch and Flemish drawings and 17th century art, including a Rembrandt.

We took advantage of the Vaporetti to spare me some walking. Our first stop was the Lido, where we walked around the neighborhoods nearest to the Lagoon. We left again back to Venice and got off at Giardini and walked in the garden and had lunch. We then got back on the Vaporetti and stopped to see the Jewish Ghetto, which was not far from our hotel. Thierry got a bit of a water/boat fix, and we both enjoyed the quieter side of Venice.

We arrived back in Florence to learn that L&M’s plane was cancelled (just that day), so they will not be joining us. My disappointment is palpable. Friends of Thierry’s from Holland (Hans and Roely) visited with us today and we’ll see them again at dinner. We have six very busy days remaining, and hopefully our flights will be able to leave the continent without any difficulty.

Since my last blog, we have found grocery stores. Now it seems they are almost everywhere. Very hard to see, they are much more subtle in their advertising here than in the States. Generally they are small, but carry a sufficient amount of fresh and packaged goods.

I have learned to walk down the street without having to jump out of everyone’s way. You must not look the opposing foot traffic in the eye (especially males!) Once you do, you are lost. You must walk with your head down or tuned sideways and with purpose. You don’t always make it without being forced aside, but it works more often than not.

Arrivederci, it has been a beautiful week in Italy.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Firenze, Capitolo Uno

Our trip over to Italy generally went well. Thierry finally forgot to take his Swiss Army knife out of his pocket and had to give it up at the airport, quite traumatic. I then left my cell phone in the “bin” after I got myself and stuff back together from the security check, but was able to retrieve it before departing.

The flight was pretty smooth. We were able to upgrade to first class which made a huge difference. At least we were able to stretch out and get a few hours sleep. We made our connection in Frankfurt, but I was frisked pretty thoroughly – I had taken my water bottle off the earlier plane and put it in the outer pocket of my backpack. It was over 3 oz, a major offense.

When we arrived in Florence, we telephoned our landlord to let him know we had arrived. We rented an apartment in Florence Centro (near the Palazzo Strozzi), just a few blocks from the Arno River. He told us he would meet us within an hour. We took a cab and arrived at our destination in about 20 minutes, and waited almost an hour for Federico to arrive. He was all flustered, and commented that the cleaning lady hadn’t finished preparing our apartment. I was a little shocked at first to see that the place looked so “rustic”, but have since become quite used to it.

The apartment is on a busy, expensive shopping street, with high ceilings and long windows facing the street. There are two bedrooms which are in the back. One with twin beds has a window overlooking the alley; ours has no windows other than a small one that opens to the stairwell. Needless to say, with no noise and no natural light, we have been sleeping pretty late (or maybe it’s getting used to the time difference?). There are two bathrooms, a big dining area and kitchenette, and large living room with two sofas.

It took us some time, but we finally found grocery stores. I guess I am so used to Amsterdam, with fresh markets, bakeries and grocers within a few blocks of each other, I find it a bit hard to acclimate. You know I always think of food first! There are stores that sell fresh parma and cheese; however, the cheese selection is very limited, mostly to parmesan and gorgonzola. Perhaps this is regional, or perhaps our view is limited to where we are staying. The bread here is not very good. As a matter of fact, it is very bland, and it is the same everywhere you go. Even the bakeries sell the same thing you get in a restaurant. It is white, with a fairly hard crust, but just not very tasty. Thierry thinks it lacks salt.

We have eaten in a good restaurant, a not-so-good restaurant, and a great restaurant. All of these we have found by walking the streets and just popping in. Tonight was the topper. The owner/host/manager was very friendly and engaging – spoke great English – and, like all good hosts, made a slew of recommendations which we could not say no to. So, we had a great Chianti, a wonderful, thick tomato soup, a dish of pasta with fresh clams and shrimp, ossobucco and veal scaloppini. Finally, we had a strawberry tart for dessert. I am stuffed as I write this. For those in the family reading this, before the meal they brought a plate of fried dough. I don’t know what they called it, but it reminded me of pitzadells (sp?) – without the powder sugar.

Our apartment is in a great location; easy to walk everywhere. We bought our tickets for Venice yesterday at the train station. We saw a marvelous art exhibit at the Palazzo Strozzo which included artworks by Giorgio De Chirico, Max Ernst, Rene Magritte and Balthus. I know we will not be spending a lot of time viewing Renaissance art, and this was really a treat. We walked across the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence, and walked to the Pitti Palace, but did not go in; we may go back.

Generally, we have spent the last two days getting acclimated. Oh, and waiting for Federico. Our internet connection went down on our first full day here and we actually believed him when he said he’d be here in an hour. When the internet still didn’t work this morning and Thierry called him from the pay phone, he told us he forgot! I guess we are on Italian time.

Today we finally bought an Italian phrase book. While sitting in the restaurant tonight we started to browse through the book. The first page that opened contained the following statement: “I suffer from coeliac disease, which is a gluten intolerance leading to serious digestive problems.” Ok, I realize this is a problem for some people, but even if a gluten-challenged individual was able to spit this out – would they understand the answer? And what would the answer be? And what would be the next statement? Perhaps it would be easier to just skip the pasta course.

Some observations:
  • The streets are very clean. Little litter.
  • The shops are very clean – the windows sparkle as do the display cases.
  • You actually see shopkeepers (women in their very nice outfits and high-heels) who work in these high-priced stores outside sweeping the sidewalks in front of the store and cleaning windows before they open for the day.
  • You see lots of young people (as well as old), but very few totting little dogs. It seems the cutsie little dog obsession has not hit Florence, or at least where we are. Thierry thinks it’s because there are a lot of tourists here, but there are many residents as well.
  • Instead of hundreds of bikes (like in Amsterdam), you see motor scooters and little electric cars.
  • People on the sidewalks move for no-one. The streets and sidewalks are narrow. But no-one will move for you. We thought this was bad during tourist season in Philly – well Philly is a cake walk compared to Firenze.
We are having fun learning the neighborhood and are looking forward to seeing more of the better-known sites. Monday we go to Venice for two days and then Lauren and Mike join us for a week.

It has been a great adventure and a wonderful day!

NOTE: Thierry added a link to our pictures from Italy (see right)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I am worried that I am becoming a bore. You know the kind of person that always knows better, or has to interject words of wisdom when all you really want to do is rag a bit?

We celebrated my sister Ann’s 60th birthday the other day. It was really nice; a lovely, four-star restaurant overlooking Rittenhouse Square; it was a beautiful day, everyone was in a good celebratory mood. Ann really is not dwelling on turning 60, but comments were made when the waiter brought over a petit four on a plate with Happy 60th written in chocolate. We got into a discussion about age and once again I had to chime in…. celebrate 60! You are so lucky to be 60! I hope I live to be 60.

There aren’t many things people say about their health, their situations, their trials and tribulations that upset me. Often times my friends will apologize and say they shouldn’t complain (“Look at what you’re going through”). However, this doesn’t bother me. I never think about how their situation relates to mine. When someone is in chronic pain, whether physical or emotional, it hurts and you suffer. No one should feel badly about sharing their pain with a friend. There is always someone who has it worse than you!

But when one of our friends hits a milestone age and comments on the number I open my mouth. I consider significant milestones to be 50, 55, 60, etc. I understand that when you reach one of these ages it causes you to reflect a bit on the past, makes you realize the clock is ticking and the future is looming and daunting. But what wouldn’t I give to celebrate another birthday! I have to admit, I truly don’t want to die in my 50’s. It is just too frigging young! I’ve really set my sights on 60.

And yes, there are people who have it worse than me. There are women walking around with the same disease and symptoms who are younger than I am. Some with new husbands and small children that they won’t get to see grow and develop. Although I have pretty much stopped reading the obits, it is sad to see so many young (younger than me) people die from all causes. I try to tell myself that in many ways I am lucky, and I do believe that – but it doesn’t quell my frustration when I hear someone dread their upcoming birthday.

CELEBRATE! Every year… every day.

We’re getting ready to leave for our trip. We’re both looking forward to having an absolutely incredible time… I am determined to make my 56th year the best it can be. BUT everyday is now a milestone and I am thankful for each one!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Yet Another Food Fest

Our Easter week was a busy one. I managed to go grocery shopping on Wednesday anticipating crowds as the weekend approached – I think that was a good idea, although as usual, needed to make several trips to the local market for things I overlooked. Thank goodness Thierry is such a good sport – he made one trip to the store for me.

Chemo was on Thursday. My nurse, Jackie, was terrific and got us out by 2:00. Friday I managed to get to the gym. Made a pizza out of whole wheat pita which fell upside down in the oven, well mainly on the oven door, which I had just cleaned two days prior because I had done exactly the same thing the week before. Follow? Then I began making the lemon squares for Sunday. Things were humming along until I added the baking soda to the egg/sugar, lemon juice mixture. The recipe did not warn me that this was also a science project. The liquid started to fizz and rise to the top of the bowl, eventually spilling over the edge and onto the counter. I began to scream for help, along with a few other choice words. Thierry rushed in and actually looked somewhat stunned. I managed to lay out some aluminum foil and moved the bowl on top enabling me to save some of the liquid. What fun!

Saturday I picked up my sister Jean and Joan and we trucked out to Lauren’s and Mike’s (L&M's) to get our part of Easter dinner ready. It is so wonderful to have a “team” to work on the preparations, and after having done so many dinners together it is like a well rehearsed performance. We made stuffed shells, basically from scratch meaning we boiled the pasta shells, mixed the cheeses and stuffed the little buggers. We also made our own sauce from canned tomatoes. We cooked 4 boxes of shells (don’t ask me what WE were thinking, but they made good leftovers). While this was going on, preparations for Italian wedding soup were also underway.

We had ordered (on Pop’s recommendation) two 10 lb pork shoulders, so we could prepare Joan’s pulled pork dish. Don’t ask me what HE was thinking! We made a group decision that that was too much and cut a hunk off one of the legs. Joan showed Lauren how to prepare the pork, which was once again, wonderful. We helped put Easter baskets together for the kids, stuffed plastic eggs for the egg hunt and got the tables ready. When we left at 3:00 things were in good shape.

Thierry and I took our bikes out Easter Sunday and rode up to Fairmount (near the Art Museum) for breakfast, then up and down the West River Drive along the Schuylkill River. It was a beautiful day and the Cherry Blossoms were in bloom. We rode a bit slow as I have little power pushing me these days, but it was a great relaxing ride just the same.

Later we picked up Lisa and Kirk and their 20 lb. Easter Bunny Cake and headed to L&M’s. Due to the precarious nature of the cake “plate” one of our passengers had to lean over the back of the seat to hold the cake in place on what turned out be almost an hour long trip. We arrived to find the house bustling with kids and food prep. Lauren’s brother-in-law, Ed, loves to cook. He prepared a chicken dish, veal marsala, linguini, rice pilaf, a ham, and roasted peppers. Of course, there were appetizers to start – cheeses, dips and Koniko made Sushi! We were all thrilled as her Sushi is wonderful. For desert there was another bunny cake prepared by Lauren’s sister-in-law (Kathy) and Michael’s Aunt Bernie brought an amazing strawberry cheesecake, and then there were my lemon squares and all kinds of chocolate candy. I am sure there is something I have left out (Oh mom’s broccoli-rabe), but you can only focus on so much food at one time.

I should mention that Lauren expected about 35 people, not counting the four under 16. I believe she did have that many over the course of the afternoon. Yet, as you can imagine, there was a ton of food left over.

Growing up, Easter was one of those holidays celebrated with the “families”, my two aunts/uncles who lived about 20 miles away in Newtown Square. They each had children close to our ages (for a combined total of 5-add our 4), it was always a bit chaotic. My grandmother lived with my one aunt/uncle which is why we usually went there. Holiday dinners generally consisted of soup, often pasta, meat as the main course, fruit and nuts, dessert and of course, after dinner drinks. Afterward everyone sat around the living room dozing in front of the TV.

Holidays always carry a certain amount of angst when it comes time to decide where you are going to spend it. Some families celebrate with both sets of parents, others alternate holidays – Thanksgiving with one, Christmas with another, e.g.. Others spend Christmas one year with the wife’s side, the other with the husband’s side. It seems that adjusting to these arrangements is always most difficult for the wife and the set of parent’s that are left on their own.

I could never give up Christmas with my family, but was willing to alternate Thanksgiving – which worked well especially when Lauren was in West Virginia during her college years. Easter was one holiday I really had no feelings for – I mean what is Easter anyway (I get the religious significance, but this is subject matter for another time). Doug and I handled the Christmas issue by having it at our house. That way we never had to make a decision as to where to go. This may not always have been the best decision for those attending, but it worked great for us.

My sister, who lived in New Hampshire, would come home for Thanksgiving (I think sometimes for Easter), but stayed home for Christmas. A few times my parents would go up to NH to spend it with them, and once or twice I went when I was single. I always missed having my parents around at Christmas, but can imagine what it was like for Ann not to have any family around.

When we started cruising on Curlew, we were away for Thanksgiving and Easter. I was able to adapt at Thanksgiving, missing only the time spent with family that I hadn’t seen for several months. We always flew home for Christmas. My sister went away with her husband this Easter. I know deep down it was probably a little hard for her to not be there with all the activity. But I think it is good sometimes to just do your own thing, especially during a holiday that has a very deep spiritual meaning for many, and a highly commercialized component focused on distributing and eating massive amounts of colorful junk food. We frequently have family meals together, we shouldn’t need to attach such significance to “holiday” meals, but traditions are hard to break. I can imagine for those who see so little family, that these occasions are important times. Any time spent with family is important to me, and I truly enjoy each opportunity – even when I have to cook (and complain to myself about it).

It was a wonderful week!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Battling Cancer

A friend sent me a link to an article written by a guy who recently went through chemo and radiation for prostate cancer. His article discussed phrases that are used to describe one's journey with cancer, in particular, about battling cancer. You’ve seen them or heard them, terms used when someone passes, the obits that begin “So and So died after a long battle with cancer;” or “So and So died after a long, hard fight with cancer.”

For some time I have thought about my obit and how I did NOT want it to make any reference to a fight or battle with cancer.  I agree with this author, you don’t fight cancer; you learn to live with it.  When you are first diagnosed and you recover from having the floor drop from under you, you make a choice.  You’ll choose to deal with the disease, its treatments and the outcome and make the best of things, or you’ll choose to go through the treatments, etc., feeling sorry for yourself and bemoaning your circumstances for the rest of you life – no matter how limited that may be.

You look in the mirror each morning and try to focus on your face, not on the lack of hair on your head.  You learn how to draw on your eyebrows and complement yourself on your artistic ability, and make a commitment to looking your best each day no matter how lousy you feel.  And on those lousy days you tell yourself to keep moving, go to the gym, walk to the store, find something in the house to do so you’re not curled up on the sofa, and you try to focus on positive thoughts instead of the death scenarios.  The trips to the infusion center become part of your routine – like going to the office – and you tell yourself you are going there to kill cancer cells and buy yourself some time.  You look for ways to lessen the side effects of the treatments and you try not to complain too much and drag everyone down around you. You don't think about the travelling you can't do (like back to the Bahamas on Curlew), and figure out how you can fit in a long weekend in NY or to the West Coast, and how you can skip a treatment to take two weeks to go to Italy or maybe Maine in the summer.

There are also those people that say cancer is a blessing.  I certainly don’t buy that one!  Although I still don’t really know how much time I have (the proverbial bus could be on its way up Arch Street), I do know my time is very limited.  So having the disease does put a new urgency on truly living each day and spending time with all those close to me. But I do not feel lucky or have a sense that any spiritual deity has done me a favor.

I have generally (on good days) accepted that cancer is part of my life; that I have to live and deal with it.  And yes, I have instructed Thierry to make sure that in my obituary, words like struggle and battle are not to be used. Maybe he could say “she loved life, family, friends and food.” Mmmm, maybe I should work on this!?

On Tuesday I had my first acupuncture treatment.  It went fine I guess.  Today is my second, almost right after my chemo treatment.  We’ll see how it goes.  I spoke to the Doctor about getting a Tens-unit for my feet – she said she hasn’t heard that it is helpful for neuropathy. She suggested exercise and walking, which I am doing.

It has been a great week!  Now we’ll get ready for Easter dinner at Lauren’s.  It promises to be quite a feast – with 35+ people and kids.  I’ll be sure to post pictures – the food is going to be incredible.