I often write about myeloma related anniversary’s: another year of survival, key dates from stem cell transplants present and past. Today’s anniversary has nothing to do with cancer. My wife and I were married in Madison, Wisconsin, 28 years ago.

Cumberland Island 2It’s already raining hard here, remnants of former tropical storm Erika. Are we doing something special? Plans were to head downtown and play tourist. Amelia Island is surrounded by water. 13 miles of beach to the east, the Amelia River on north and  west. World Famous Cumberland Island faces downtown across the river. Now a National Park and part of Georgia, Cumberland Island is known as the former home of the wealthy Carnegie family–and for a heard of wild horses that still thrive there.

I’ve seen the island close up by boat, but never set foot there. Cumberland Island 1Tourists are limited to several hundred a day.  No convenience stores or restaurants, visitors are exposed to the elements and picked up by boat late afternoon. We’ll head over this fall when it isn’t so busy and hot; it’s at the top of my bucket list.

Maybe a movie? If we’re in a theater that isn’t too crowded, we can sit off by ourselves and I can take off my mask.

The transplant team doesn’t recommend it, but we eat out a lot. I’m not supposed to eat anything uncooked. If we’re at home, I’ve been instructed to soak produce in a mixture of vinegar and water before I eat it. Last night I picked up take out from a local restaurant. I ordered a hamburger, asking for my lettuce, tomato and onion (the best part) in a container on the side. I got home, rinsed it in the vinegar solution and enjoyed the total burger experience.

Pattie in RockfordI still drink my “sludge” vegetable smoothies throughout the day. Staying compliant, I soak the spinach, kale, celery, carrots and other odds ‘n ends, then blend ’em with filtered water. Not for the feint of heart. I don’t mind; no surprises, tastes like raw vegetables. No seasoning, just gulp it down. Mmmm.

I feel pretty good today. Looking forward to spending time with my caregiver and love of my life. She didn’t sign up for any of this. But she’s been here for me every step of the way. I love you, Trish!

Feel good and keep smiling! Pat