Monday, November 29, 2010

Introducing... Felafel!

Felafel the Aloe Plant
I know it's been a while since I've posted anything on here, so let me rewind and fill you in on the goings-on of the past 10 days:  We visited with family and it was lovely.  I reunited with a childhood friend.  My first nephew was born a week ago!  I dyed my "hair" this morning with some Henna-based dye from WF and Dan says I look like Peter Pan.  Aside from a batch of ugly green boogies (that required a z-pack) before Thanksgiving, I've been feeling okay.  My energy still comes and goes, but I am able to do market shopping, errands, knit, laundry, etc.  This morning I even took the dog for a walk!  We got to spend some time away from the (still unfinished) kitchen and had a minute to relax before radiation began today. 

Somewhere inbetween the germs and the turkey (not all in the same place, luckily), our darling son decided that the nap is no more.  After spending quite a few days in a row crying for almost an hour upon waking, we decided that if one requires a "recovery" period from a nap, the nap simply isn't meant to be.  The past few days we have been auditioning the early bedtime/late sleep-in combo.  It went well last night, but tonight not so much.  We should have started the bedtime routine earlier than 7 (which is, apparently, when the tears come rolling in) to avoid name calling (from his time out spot, "You're stinky!"), limb flailing and screeching.  In the end, J-Mac is fast asleep wearing a diaper (I pat myself on the back for getting that on), pajama bottoms and his orange guitar shirt that he refused to remove.

Earlier this afternoon, I came face to face with the IMRT (Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy) machine at AMH.  Since I'll be visiting the hospital daily for the next 4 weeks, the nurses took me through the daily procedure which begins by checking in with a barcode ID (kind of like I'm being checked out in the grocery store).  I then continue through the double doors (for patients and staff only) where I select my 2 lovely blue gowns from the clean gown cabinet.  I take these fine specimens to the locker room where I change into them both (one opens in the back, one opens in the front) and lock up my belongings, taking with me the key on a little gummy bracelet that reminds me of 5th grade accessories.

After I'm changed (only from the waist up), I mosey on over to the ladies' waiting room, where I can read a magazine (or, as the case may be, compare notes/get asked personal questions by whomever is also waiting there for treatment) until I hear my name get called over the PA system to come back to the zapper room.  I'm on the green machine (each one is labeled a different color, and each patient is assigned to a specific machine), so I walk back to the door with the big green dot taped overhead, enter, and hang my first gown on the hook.

I tell the nurse my birthday (just another few months until we get to celebrate!!), then assume the position on the bench.  I lay on my back, peeling down the top of gown #2 so that my tattoos are revealed, to be lined up with the red lazer level lights.  I nestle into the bizarre blue mold they made of my upper body a few weeks ago while the nurses zoom the bench up/down/left/right to find the exact location for my body.

A sample IMRT machine.  My green machine looks a bit different - not so bulky.
After I asked a few questions this afternoon, I learned that the 0,0,0 (or very center) of all of the axes in the room is my tumor.  And it's only when the tumor is moved into the exact correct position that the high dose radiation begins.  There is an arm, moving in a circular motion around the bench (different from a CT scan machine) that whirrs and buzzes, these noises being the only indication that anything is happening.  Inside the arm there is a layer (visible only when the arm is above your head) that contains the radiation beam.  There are leaves made out of lead that form the shape of the beam (invisible) - in the shape of my tumor!  Once the nurses set you up, they leave the room and control the machine from the computers in the hallway.  I asked the nurse about covering up my very important reproductive parts, but she said that you get much more scattering with a lead cover than without, since the dose being delivered is so powerful and focused.

It's all very surreal and it's hard to know what's best to think about while you're laying on the table, waiting for the beams to do their job.  I will publish a list of my own thought choices at the end of treatment (and I'd better find something better than what I thought about today - somehow, envisioning your own death doesn't make for easy breathing), but I'm open to suggestions since so far all I can hear is the lousy Christmas music playing in the green machine room.  After 20 days of this, chances are holiday music will probably never sound quite the same to me again.

Dan came with me today (even though he couldn't come back with me, nor did we see the doctor) and after I was finished, we went to pick up the newest member of our home, Felafel the Aloe Plant!  A wonderful friend (experienced in cancer treatment) advised me to make my radiation appointments for late in the day, go home and put some aloe on my treatment areas (mediastinal! also known as my chest), a clean tshirt on top and then relax/pass out.  So we went to a local gardening store and purchased the lovely plant pictured above to assist with the healing process.  We struggled with the name for a few hours.  Prickly Pete? No, my dad names all of the mice he catches Petey.  Cactus Carl?  Nah, it's lacking warmth... Judah suggested Henry, Giraffe, and Flower, but in the end, I went with Dan's suggestion:  Felafel - it has a nice ring (not to mention it's one food that holds happy memories).

While Felafel is my radiation plant, I hope to keep him alive more than 20 days (let's just say I don't have a green thumb).  I like the idea that we are bringing life into the house - even if it's not quite what we were hoping this year would bring. 


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wax On, Wax Off

A sight for sore eyes: the waxing pot.
I realize I haven't been posting as regularly in the past few weeks and I have received requests to pick up the pace (from my most loyal readers - thanks guys).  I have been writing, but not posting, due to the venting nature of my content.  I want to be honest, but not totally complain-y (I save that for immediate family members and therapists only) on this blog and the past few weeks have been on the sucky side.  The kitchen is still not finished (but I will post pics as soon as blogspot stops rejecting them), we continue to have car troubles, my head is cold, the house is dusty, and I haven't even started radiation yet.  Is it just a coincidence that the "f" key on my laptop is especially sensitive?  Argh.

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, I can get back to more important topics such as hair.  Today was a momentous day in the life of this cancer patient.  I had my eyebrows waxed.  This would be the appropriate time to ask yourself, "Am I supposed to laugh?  Or is she being serious?" At least that's how Dan responded when I told him I was going to have it done.

I think I mentioned a few posts ago that my hair is starting to grow back, ever so sloooooowly, one freaking follicle at a time.  And upon close inspection (and reflection) in the mirror, I can see that many more hairs are trying to get out in the open, to the warming point.  However, apparently these hairs went undercover and have managed to get ahold of an invisibility cloak.  They are so light in color, they're almost clear.  Yes, it's true, I have clear hair.  And not just on my head, but above my eyes, too. 

Any woman out there knows how it feels to deal with hair - any color, anywhere on your body - that you believe got someone else's DNA.  To maintain a clean feeling, a feminine feeling, if you will, it is imperative that any and all of those misbehaving, wrongful hairs suffer a painful death.

Now that I've been through months of losing all of the hairs I so casually complained about for two thirds of my life, I should be more appreciative of them all - no matter where they want to grow, right?  WRONG.  My eyebrows (however difficult to detect with the naked eye) deserve to have a shape, an arch, a uniform presentation (and I'm not talking about Burt's unibrow here).  I can't let the brows turn into a jungle, just because I'm so happy to have them back.  That's like letting the grass in your front yard grow as high as your knees after recovering from a period of drought.  You still need to mow, for heaven's sake.  What will the neighbors think?

So today, after my monthly energizing port flush, I visited the lovely Rebecca, a neighbor of a fabulous friend who knows all about healthy skincare, and she did the waxing for me (and she didn't laugh!).  She was careful to shape the prickly hairs without trimming them (which we agreed would make me look like I shaved them), thus giving me the perfectly-sized, partially-blank canvas to add my own makeup to.  She also gave my thoroughly parched skin a drink via a lovely facial massage.  Good stuff.

10 days until radiation begins.  I am preparing myself now, with my complementary medicine (acupuncture and massage), a small tub of body butter (I think it's actually edible) and the will to keep myself clean, as I've been warned this is the most important tip to keep in mind during treatment.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day Gone Wrong

Woulda been better off in here (or under here)
Yesterday was a day I should've stayed in bed.  Only (like most parents) I didn't have that option.  Living at my parents' house and sharing a bedroom with Judah made actual sleeping difficult.  J has been waking up in the middle off the night (which he probably does in our house too, but then goes back to sleep) and getting out of "bed" (aka air mattress on the floor next to my bed) to come over to me.  Or, he has been wetting through his diapers (which he only wears at night) and waking up soaked so we have to change his pj's at 3 am. 

So yesterday started off wrong - I was woken up twice during the night, once by the alarm clock that Judah likes to play with, and once, a few hours later, by a wet child. After cleaning him off and suggesting he go back to sleep in his bed, I was forced to invite him to sleep with me (Dan's been staying at our house because it's closer to work in the morning), so as to avoid waking the rest of the house.  I NEVER co-slept with Judah.  When he was an infant, I would wake at the slightest sigh or snort or hiccup, and while we've shared a room on more than one occasion, having our own space within that room is essential to ensure sleeping takes place.

Yes, essential.  I regretted my invite soon after I offer the option to him.  His head was on my back, his fingers all up in my sleeping cap (remember, I'm still quite scalpy and it gets cold at night).  Not a whole lot of quality sleep was happening.  Needless to say, I woke up pretty grumpy.

I went to see my therapist at PAH, who is wonderful and totally gets me (after only 4 sessions).  It often feels like she's the only one who does - and she's not a survivor, but specializes in working with cancer patients, so my emotions aren't unfamiliar to her.  It was a helpful session and I left (albeit puffy-eyed) feeling reassured that needing to maintain a constant positive attitude was not a requirement for beating cancer.

Once again, I headed to Chapterhouse (my favorite coffeeshop in our old neighborhood) and met a friend for a quick drink and bite.  It was nice to talk like real adults, even if only for a short time, before I had to get back to our neck of the woods to pick up Judah from school.  On my way there, I got into a fender bender and totally lost my mind.  When I called the police to report the accident, I was so upset the officer said (in an effort to calm me down), "Ma'am, haven't you heard about the no-crying-on-76 law?"

Luckily no children were in either cars and the damage was minimal to none.  Today I can see how things could've been worse.  But yesterday all I could think was how nothing has been going right - cancer, fertility struggles, Judah's renal scan, recovery from treatment.  At every turn there's a car that needs to be replaced, or a kitchen that's taking FOREVER and a day to get done, insensitive comments, a bill that got buried under the mess in our house and is going to incur a late fee... You name it, we've had to deal with it in the past 6 months.  I'm now ready for the black cloud to move on.

Today has been a bit better and less traumatizing.  I had a relaxing massage this morning and my whole body still smells like shea butter and honey.  Judah is napping and I am waiting for the arrival of our new over-the-range microwave (to be hopefully installed next week).  The sun is shining and we're back in our house.  Although my appetite is still not normal (after all, what is?), I am going to go have a snack of spicy tuna roll, a mini pumpkin cupcake, and maybe a potato chip or two. 


Friday, November 5, 2010

Kitchen Impossible

The update you've all been waiting for:  what's doing with the kitchen??  Below, find some of the "during demo" photos we took last week (and the week before...).
Isn't she lovely?

Isn't she won-der-ful?

Thank goodness we still have the enormous fridge.

Love those appliances
Where are we in the process now?  Well, the floor has been leveled and the new flooring along with the base cabinets will be installed next.  Monday morning, the granite people are coming to template the countertops (and also the windowsills, which are being replaced with the slab leftovers).  Hopefully, by Wednesday, the floors will be done, all cabinets (frames, anyway) in and our old sink will be re-installed so that we can move back into the house, just waiting (for a change) for the granite and new sink to arrive.

The current state of affairs actually looks worse than this today.  The radiator has been torn out and now there is a big hole in the wall there.  Most of the electric blue paint is covered by tinted primer (thanks to Dan and my mom) and we've discovered a layer of dark red behind the fridge.  It is not pretty.

We are staying at my parents' house until we have the sink back in working condition.  Sharing quarters with my family is proving to be eventful and exciting - even my grandma (Judah's GG) has flown in from Oregon to join in on the fun!
warm head, fake wisps

Pictured here is today's attempt at the new bangs.  It allows me to wear snuggly hats (being bald is awfully cold) without looking too sickly.  There are hairs growing in (both on my head and above my eyes), but they have no color, so they're difficult to see.  My tricks are to use mineral pressed powder (thank you to Kaley for introducing me to Jane Iredale makeup), moonglow bronzer and the itty bitty brow kit to pretend my eyebrows are detectable.  The lady at the Penn Abramson Cancer Center's Faith & Hope Boutique said that when her hair first started to grow back after chemo, it also had no color.  I'm counting down the days for another month from now, when hopefully I will have enough growth for a vegetable-based hair dye.  I always wanted to be a redhead.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tissue Is The Issue

Pre-hair halo, in line for desserts
Tonight, my mom came with me to a Forum held at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center and sponsored by LLS (Lymphoma and Leukemia Society) to learn more about different types of lymphomas, the latest treatments available and of course, to shop at their cancery boutique.

While I had my chemotherapy at Pennsylvania Hospital's Joan Karnell Cancer Center and it's part of Penn Medicine, I had never ventured up to Penn (my alma mater) to see what it had to offer.  This was my very first visit to the place. 

It was roomy and seemed brand new - lots of big windows everywhere and you could see down below to the ground level from the second floor.  Kind of like a giant great room.  Up on the second floor, tables were set up with small eats (spanikopita, some risotto and shitake cakes, a bread with a slice of roasted meat and jelly), hot and cold beverages, and desserts for the noshing while the registrants were encouraged to "Ask the Experts" seated around the big room.  There were experts on coping with emotion (ha h-ha ha ha), survivorship, complementary medicine (I forgot to sign up for a free massage - doh!), and other topics, but no one on fertility (as advertised in the brochure). 
Big plate of small eats

After grazing (mini-pumpkin tarts were the highlight for me) and browsing some of the experts' literature, we decided to meander over to the Center's wig/hat/scarf/bra extraordinaire boutique (Faith and Hope).  There, I selected a car magnet (purple! and labeled, "cancer sucks" since I think it would be limiting to just pick lime green for lymphoma - all cancer sucks), a lime green wristband (gotta show some support, right?), a super cute tweed-ish hat and some bangs. 

You read correctly.  I bought me some bangs.  They fit around your head like a halo (this is how the woman described them) and then you can fix your scarf or hat right on top so it appears that your hair is peeking out from underneath.  Who would know that you have a very large bald spot hiding under the scarf??  It was surprisingly cute and I wore it right out of the shop (Like when you were six years old and you went shoe shopping?  Way too excited to put those kicks back in the box!  You had to wear them home!).  The sales lady kindly cut the tag off for me while I signed the receipt.

We listened to some opening remarks, clapped for some honorees, hugged my college roommate's parents (who had not been previously informed of my situation...) and then found our way to the conference room where we would hear a presentation on the topic of Large B and T Cell, Mantle Cell and Other Agressive Lymphomas (they really getcha right from the start, right?).

See the bangs?  Cute, huh?
Man, did this lady ever know her stuff.  She had this lovely power point to blow through and she kept spouting words like proliferate and cyclic and number/letter combinations (3qP) and coordinates (11,14)???  There is a very good reason I did not go to medical school.  I just don't have the memory for this nonsensical information (and especially now that I have a brain turned to mush from chemo).  I asked questions like What is a germinal center? (I cannot replicate her answer here - it seems it is a part of a cell from which cancerous cells can form) and Are all Large Cell Lymphomas aggressive? (answer: yes).  I felt like I was back in college, giggling at how ridiculous this specific information seemed to me (and also how essential that someone else understand it all).  Blood Cancers For Dummies, anyone?

While our lecturer/doctor was extremely knowledgeable, I needed her to present the 3rd Grade version of Diffuse Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Stage II, Intermediate (that would be my full diagnosis).  And how it came to be here, in my body, having started from a single pisspoor reject cell that mutated and then proliferated (see?  I learned what it meant).

Damn, there's a whole lot of science involved in cancer, and still, they don't have the answers.  How can we know (not me, we, but the collective we) so much and it's not enough to prevent it or cure it? 

I learned about autologous stem cell transplants being a possibility in case of relapse.  There is also the  potential for more - MORE!! - chemo or even another biopsy in the future, since no doctor will treat you (again) just on the basis of a PET scan (hence, Tissue is the Issue).  And while that's all so daunting, I realize it's so much better than the alternative:  to have a cancer (such as Mantle Cell, or the most aggressive, Burkitt's Lymphoma) that has zero cure rates and high likelihood of recurrence, if you can get to remission.  While I don't love the idea of more chemo or even of a transplant, the numbers we left with ringing in our ears were that for my type of cancer and treatment, 75-80% of patients never see it again.  Rock on!  Those are high numbers.

Life's still not exactly perfect.  Having radiation puts me at a higher risk of a second malignancy later on down the road (even decades from now).  Any healthy tissue that is exposed to high doses of radiation is at risk (neck, thyroid, breast, lung...).  So there's always that to worry about, even if I can recognize that my chances are high of coming away from this lymphoma for good.  Never fear, I will not run out of possibilities to worry about.

The bright side of this evening's ventures is that I left thinking (and saying), "It could be worse."  And I hadn't felt that way in a while.  Of course, I'm off to collect my chemical intake for tonight, thus helping myself to a solid night's sleep, but me and my 80% (stick to the high side) chance are cozying up with the facts.  Tonight, they appear to be in my favor.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tattoo Parlor

That's the size of my tattoo.  Is there a Philly Ink?  Sign me up.
Yesterday was a day of doctor appointments.  First of the day was with the official dr. for the school district of *****.  After braving the suddenly freezing cold temps early on a Monday morning, I managed to find a place to park near an intersection which shall not be named, but which is known for having a bad parking situation. 

Of course not having the "updated" paperwork they wanted me to have brought with me (without telling me as such), the patient care coordinator at Dr. Henry's office faxed it right over and I was ushered back into an exam room.  Who knew that the district had exam rooms??

Eventually the doctor came in, and I told her an abbreviated version of my story (which she would've already known had anyone cared to check into my medical records - which I had already given them full access to).  She was (surprisingly) sympathetic and said she wouldn't need to see me until February, unless I felt up to going back to work before then.

I thought I would feel vindicated after having shown these officials my scars and pale scalp.  But there was nothing even remotely physical about the exam, aside from the fact that I was there in person to tell highlights of the past 6 months.  I left almost feeling depressed.  A tiny piece of me wanted them to call me a fraud and say someone had gotten this all wrong.  Go back to work, Lady!  You're not sick!  But she didn't.  She looked at me with these sad eyes and said I was just a baby, the same age as her son.  Yeah.

Later in the day, I had my radiation planning session at Abington.  I arrived a few minutes before 1 pm and discovered a former co-worker was also there for her own appointment.  Wonderful to see her, but how annoying that it had to be there, of all places.  After we started to catch up, I was called back to go in (they stay on schedule here, dude) and a warm, smiley technician led me to the locker room area.  Permitted to keep on my new (and warm) boots, I changed into a double gown (one open in the back, one open in the front) and waited in the women's waiting area for her to come back and get me.

I chatted it up with a few other women there (and bragged about seeing LZ on the cover of one of the magazines laid out), but then was quickly retrieved and brought back to a treatment room.  The 2 women who worked there introduced themselves while they busily prepared all of the materials they would need for the session.  One asked me my full name and birthdate (as they always do) and then took my picture.  "Smile!" she said, as she clicked, then turned the screen around to show me.

"That's me," I replied, "At least for today."  Since after all, it was the me with no hair, barely-there eyebrows and a rather pale complexion.  They instructed me kindly on where to sit and eventually, how to lay atop this weird blue plastic-covered mat, which was going to make a mold of my upper body.  The mold would help to ensure I was in the same position for each treatment.

So how does a blue mat become a mold?  That is a question I can't answer.  However, I can tell you it smelled strongly of dead fish as the inside of the mat heated and bubbled up around my arms and neck.  I spent the next few minutes maintaining this position (arms held over my head) while the ladies mushed and pushed the mat to make sure all the innards worked correctly.

Next was time for scans.  If I remember the order of events correctly, the technicians put some stickers on my chest, then left the room to watch the images of the scans as they were taken.  Now this scanner had a much bigger donut than the CT scanners I've been in before - I think it's more of a multi-tasker, seeing as how it doses radiation treatments PLUS takes pictures (again, I think).  I lay there for 10 minutes or so as I was zoomed in and out, until the ladies came back, marked me with 3 magic marker x's and then pricked me with a very sharp needle in three spots, to make (black, not blue) tiny new freckles permanent.  These 3 marks are done for leveling purposes, again, to help ensure that your body is in exactly the same position for every treatment.  They will have to program the machine to dose radiation out to specific coordinates that correspond to however your body is positioned the very first time.

I was surprised at how much the 3 tiny needle pricks hurt (do tattoos hurt this much?  People are c-razy!).  I got up from my blue mold, the ladies wrote all of my essential info on it in black sharpie, handed me an appointment reminder card, and they wished me a happy holiday (I won't be back until after Thanksgiving).

I returned to my locker, changed back into my non-hospital attire, and went back to the valet to pick up my car (I paid more for parking than I did for the appointment).  I left dazed and a bit nauseated.  After having a wonderful weekend, distracted by being away from home and pretending my life was normal, I had a rude awakening back in Cancer Land.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rallying for Sanity (including my own)

a wee bit of Rally traffic on I-95
The past few days have been jam packed with sleepovers, cupcakes, and sunshine (enough for multiple blog posts, so stay tuned).  Dan, Judah and I left on Friday afternoon for a visit with some lovely relatives in Bethesda/Washington DC.  The plan was to celebrate Shabbat with them on Friday night (dinner was delish!), participate in the Rally to Restore Sanity on Saturday and then relax together on Sunday morning, returning home/my parents' house on Sunday evening.  Surprisingly everything mostly went according to plan (barring some major I-95 traffic on the way there and back).

I was really looking forward to this weekend for a number of reasons.  First and foremost, we hadn't seen our sweet relatives since Passover (yikes!), and also because I'd been saving the Rally as a date I was hoping to have energy enough to pack a suitcase for.  We'd reserved this weekend for a visit a while ago, but were unsure of the location until this week (no kitchen=no visitors), when I thought I felt up to traveling a few hours from home.

The Rally was unbelievable.  First, we walked to the nearest Metro station (along with a few hundred thousand other people coming from the DC burbs), where the ladies (and Judah) waited while the men stood in line to buy us MetroCards.

darn, we shudda bought our metrocards yesterday
The amount of people that piled into the Metro (Judah's first time on any subway - quite an initiation) was a sight to behold.  Luckily, a younger girl saw me carrying (read: clinging to) Judah and gave her seat up to us.  Everyone else was squished like sardines, and while I could sense a cool breeze of the a/c once in a while, it was getting H-O-T.  I was tempted to take off my sweatier-by-the-second hat, but decided against it, better not to give my up close and personal neighbors an up close and personal view of my head.

We finally made it off of the Metro and out of the station (not as easy as you'd think, what with broken escalators and a half a million people and all), only to be stunned by the number of people in the streets surrounding the National Mall.  I was totally energized by the fresh air (okay, maybe because it wasn't recycled air) and the energy up on the street.  Organized groups of people dressed in the same shirts (I Heart Reasonable People), and signs that broadcast funny, clever, political, pithy, noteworthy (and not) slogans were everywhere we looked. 

After a potty stop at my sister-in-law's conveniently located office building, we made it down to the mall and finally found a picnic spot (2 hours after we'd left the house that morning).  We could neither see nor hear anything happening on the main stage, but it was enough just to be a part of the whole event.  We took off our shoes, relaxed on a pink bedsheet/picnic blanket and enjoyed our PB&J sandwiches. 

our view of the capitol bldg.
The official rally ended, but we were in no rush to leave.  The sun was shining, we had a comfy spot in the grass and we knew the Metro would be pretty crowded on the way out of the city, too.  But, once it was clear that Judah (now past his usual naptime) should have been at home, in bed, (and after Dan took him on a slightly scary potty-seeking adventure) we packed everything up and called it a day.

We stopped at the office again for clean potties, cold drinks and (more PB) snacks before "hopping" the Metro back to Bethesda.  When the train pulled into the Gallery station, everyone cheered (it had been more than 10 minutes since the last one drove through PLUS this one was completely empty)!  We all scrambled for seats (and got them), and we held on tightly as more sardines packed into the car for the next eight stops.

Judah's first Metro ride
Exhausted, we arrived back at the comfy apartment, changed into sweats and started to plan for dinner.  All in all, it was a day to remember in DC - and even if the rest of the national media paid no attention to the Rally (and it's overwhelming mobs of sane people), it made the cover of the Washington Post.

Forget the fact that Judah had a total meltdown around 7 pm that night (a bit too much activity for one napless day), focus on the great company and yummy takeout. 

Sunday morning, we were up bright and early.  We took Judah to a cute little park in the neighborhood and then walked over to the famed Georgetown Cupcakes to choose some treats to take home.

a few cupcakes never made it home
Hugs were shared, car was packed and we belted in, ready for the drive back home.  Judah took a nice nap, we enjoyed some gourmet sandwiches (made on Philadelphia bread!) and made it back in time for dinner at my parents' house a.k.a. our temporary home base.  Thanks to A and R for a wonderful weekend!  Good luck to my parents for the days ahead.

Everyone better get out and vote!! 


ps. I will add more pics from the rally later tonight.  Check back for excellent signage.