Alaska here we come!!

Enjoying the LPGA at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg

Enjoying the LPGA tournament at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg

We arrived home safe and sound on May 20 after spending a few short, busy and FUN weeks with Jennifer and family in Williamsburg (and my sister from Virginia Beach and niece from DC). The weather was great–except for when it had to rain. We joke that if they need rain down there, just invite us to visit–the rain won’t be far behind! My Fitbit got a good workout with walking the three dogs and keeping up with Laurel and Alex.

I had thought I would work on my story, “The Intruder,” which is sort of set in Jennifer’s house and the surrounding area. I never got further than thinking about either the story or having Steve tie me up to the newel post in the garage to test out the lawn edger string. (See my Thursday Night Writes blog post Just Write It“!)

Love being back home. Oh, if you don’t count the weather. Hot one day, rainy and cold for the next three. Definitely have missed all of our friends and family. Sheffield and Elise have grown up so much since December!!

We are now embarking onto another countdown–preparing for our cruise and land tour in Alaska! (Is there a person who has done this who wouldn’t do it again? If so, I haven’t run into them.) We leave the end of next week and I am nowhere near ready. It’s all about the clothes–how do you pack for a region where the temperatures have been fluctuating between the 90’s (record highs) and the 30’s and snow?? (I’ve decided that fleece gloves and headband are a necessity and they won’t take up too much precious space in my suitcases.) “Layers” is the advice I get from those who have done this before.

I have submitted my story “Jamie” to my writing group several times since our return from Arizona. I chuckled when I read the comments after our session last night. On some areas there is a consensus on what works and what doesn’t–yet on others, one member might like something and another might not. It’s as though I had six editors reviewing my work. Oh, it’s not just me. Everyone in our writing group runs into the same thing. One of my biggest downfalls is that I know inside my head what is happening inside my characters’ heads but I am not adept at getting that onto paper. Yet.

Since our return we have been busy with doctors’ and dentist (no cavities!) appointments. I met with my endocrinologist yesterday at DHMC. Nothing new except my left adrenal gland is finally starting to shut down. After slightly over two years on mitotane! She was pleased with that–and so am I. I’d hate to think that all of the nausea and fatigue was for naught. As it was Thursday, we had turkey in the cafeteria. The allure is finally wearing off and I didn’t even finish my meal. Shocking.

My oncologist visit is the day after our return from Alaska–who thought that was a good idea? I see my primary care physician in July, when we will discuss scheduling the dreaded colonoscopy. (I’m on the five-year plan.) Haven’t I been through enough?

Can’t wait to tell you all about Alaska…but that will mean the trip of a lifetime is over…except we already are planning on a river cruise to Europe next year!!

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11 thoughts on “Alaska here we come!!

  1. andeygirl June 5, 2015 at 12:12 pm Reply

    So I had to read the sentence that included “having Steve tie me up to the newel post in the garage” a couple of times. hehe

    • Karen Whalen June 5, 2015 at 3:55 pm Reply

      We’ll discuss that at lunch this weekend–with Mom!! hehe yourself

  2. lavanya2198 June 5, 2015 at 12:14 pm Reply

    Humour and intellegence do mix together..u proved 🙂 ♥♥

  3. Regis Roy June 5, 2015 at 12:47 pm Reply

    Alaska is great! Fairbanks and Denali are the best!

    • Karen Whalen June 5, 2015 at 3:56 pm Reply

      Regis, didn’t know you had traveled to Alaska. We’ll have to compare notes!

  4. Donna June 5, 2015 at 2:24 pm Reply


    I am 18 months cancer free from adrenal ciortical cancer stage 3. Sloan Kettering hospital in New York protocol included 5 months on motitane. My right adrenal just came back after 15 months on steroids. Why is your endocrinologist ok that your remaining adrenal is finally shut down?

    • Karen Whalen June 5, 2015 at 3:53 pm Reply

      Donna, great to hear from you!! My understanding is that the point of mitotane is to stop the other adrenal gland from functioning to possibly prevent recurrence. I assume her concern was that the mitotane wasn’t doing anything if my adrenal gland was still functioning so what’s the point of going through the torture? Most articles about mitotane say that it isn’t really clear how it works, as you probably already know! Happy to hear that you are 18 months cancer free!! Congrats!!

  5. Heidi Wilson June 6, 2015 at 7:28 am Reply

    Hooray! You’ve adopted the “yet” philosophy of writing. And then we had such a great talk about “The Intruder” over lunch yesterday. Onward! You go, girl!

    On another point: if I had been writing the story of your visit to Williamsburg, someone would have come in unexpectedly while Steve was tying you up, someone who would have whipped out his phone camera while Steve was trying to explain and you were giggling.

  6. cinjapoe October 23, 2015 at 4:36 pm Reply

    Hi Karen,

    Very interesting blog.
    My mum just got diagnosed ACC and took her first Mitotane today. So it is interesting to hear from someone. Who went through This torture. It’s really very difficult To find much information as this sickness is just so rare.
    All the best to you though.

    • Karen Whalen October 29, 2015 at 6:02 pm Reply

      So sorry to hear this. Mitotane is quite the journey and definitely not the same for any one individual taking it. There are several ACC web sites that you and your mother might be interested in checking out. Just search for them under “adrenal cancer” and I think you’ll be directed to them. They have been very helpful for me!

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