According to my AAA Road Atlas of the United States, there are sixteen states with a town named New Hope: AL, AR, GA, IN, KY, MN, MS, MO, NY, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA. Georgia, Ohio, and Texas each have two towns named New Hope (one in Ohio is spelled Newhope), and North Carolina has three. There is not one in Colorado, but I'm starting one in my front yard.
It is a beautiful, spring morning in Ouray, Colorado. Our grass is green way earlier than usual. The daffodils are blooming. There's still snow on Whitehouse Mountian in the eastern end of the Sneffels Range which I can see across the valley from the window at this computer desk, and we could have a snow flurry in town tonight. But spring has come very early for us this year which I count as a blessing. Each date that I cross off on the calendar I wonder, "Will this be my last April 27th?" My doctors and many friends have given me some new hope.
After my last visit with my oncologist and now that I'm "almost tapered" off the steroids, I feel like my health has returned to some state of normalcy. I had been really bummed because I didn't think I'd get back to normal in any way as I'd known it before. We really won't know for two scans from now in July if the clinical trial drug is working, but I feel good knowing that I'm helping to figure that out. There may be another clinical trial in the works for me, if my tumors don't respond to the Sorafenib. And chemo is always an option and I've corresponded with some people for whom it has worked well.
My rash has pretty much cleared up. The Aquaphor cream they have had me use has done wonders for my dry skin. It is good s**t! Also, I got to meet a woman named Margaret in Denver through my good buddy Jody, herself a cancer survivor. Margaret has beat the odds on pancreatic cancer and used to have my oncologist, Dr. Bergen, when he was in Denver. (We both are big fans of Dr. B.) Margaret gives me lots of hope, too. She also turned me onto Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E skin cream. We showed each other our surgery scars and I could barely see hers. She gave me some to try, and already I think my scar is lighter.
I have this thing I call "Carolineland". In it are all the things I love to do like knitting, going to the movie, hanging out with my husband, my cats, friends, and family. Tap dancing, acting in the melodrama, volunteer work, the bookstore, my radio show, bowling, writing, travelling. All my favorite stuff. New Hope is now a little village in Carolineland where I have all my cancer friends living in my heart. Or friends facing other big challenges. If you don't have your own ______land (insert your name in the blank), you need to get one.
So I am going on with life. I'll be back on the radio show this Sunday afternoon. I may volunteer at the Humane Society Thrift Shop on Saturday afternoon. I'm going to the Chamber's retail committee meeting tomorrow morning. I'm doing the melodrama this summer, and our performances will be August 2nd - 4th. I'm taking two writing workshops this summer, one of which is in Taos and includes a screenwriting class. I'd like to do a documentary about my cancer experience and am hoping to work with the Ouray High School film class. I also have ideas for other short comedy films.
I have to scoot. I'm running the bookstore today and I have a sales rep coming first thing at 10am. I havet to go "fling" myself into life, as my ex-husband Lance used to say, like some social lemming.
So I'm just up here in New Hope, Carolineland, Colorado, trying to melt those tumors or at least get them to stand still, meanwhile flinging myself into life. Stay tuned. I have a lot more to say.