Thursday, April 12, 2012

A little North of San Francisco....

So, I've now been living in the, what do they call it...oh yeah, the "Bay Area" for almost 3 weeks.  This is my temporary home while my husband, David, waits for a liver transplant.  To go into detail of how this has come about....and to explain what we have been through for the past year, would take a I will just write the basics.  David has liver cancer...Hepatocellular Carcinoma.  The Dr.'s believe the cancer is there as a result of all his chemo and radiation treatments as a child.  He had a form of liver cancer as a child, and underwent excessive amounts of treatment in order to save his life.  Well, after being in remission for almost 24 years...he has cancer again.  The doctors call his liver a "fertile field" for tumors due to the side affects of his treatments.  The tumors will just keep coming back....unless he receives a liver transplant.  Needless to say, he's been on the transplant list at UCSF (San Francisco) for a little over 6 months now.  It was tough finding a hospital that would take his very unique case and we are very pleased that this is the hospital that did.  The transplant program is among the best in the nation.   He is currently #1 on the list for his bloodtype, for this hospital.  There are, however, 5 districts in the US and several hospitals in each district.  But #1 on any list is still a great place to be while waiting to be transplanted.

I intended this post to be about my experiences, thus far, in the "Bay Area", but I realized a little background info was definitely necessary.  Speaking of "Bay Area..."  I can't really stand it when people refer to San Francisco that way.  So, I don't know why I've referenced it that way twice already.  Probably to be a smart ass.  I guess I need to re-think my opinion of it, since I will probably find myself saying it now that I basically live here.  No,'s so stupid.  It's like when you are on vacation and you say to your husband or friend....well, it's time to get back home to "Southeast Arizona."  Like, why say Southeast Arizona?  Just say Sierra Vista.  It's where you live and it's so annoying to say Southeast Arizona when the people you are speaking to either know what Sierra Vista is, or they live there, too.  And....the for that matter....if you're talking about living or going to Oregon...just say Oregon, stop saying "The Pacific Northwest."  Seriously.  Also, the term "back east" applies here too, come to think of it.  Just name the state you are referring to.  Geez.  I could go on and on, but I think I'm just grouchy and homesick and extra annoyed. 

Sausalito, California is where I am residing at this point in time.  It's about 11 miles North of UCSF (David's hospital) and just across the Golden Gate Bridge.  David and I are living with his Aunt and Uncle, who have a home here.  They have really stepped up big time, in our time of need, disrupting their own lives to accomodate us.  They are both retired, but still lead very busy lives.  Having 2 people move in with you for an unknown amount of time isn't easy...and I will never be able to thank them enough. 

Since my job has arranged for me to still be able to work from a laptop out here, it's really nice to be able to keep somewhat of the same routine that I have at home.  I am working from an adorable little library here in Suasalito, where there is free Wi-Fi and plenty of tables and space for my temporary workstation.  I still work from 8 to 5, M-F...and I've never been more appreciative of my job.  David hasn't worked in almost a year, so having 1 income has been very challenging for us.  Unfortunately, it's hard to look to the future with such a life-changing road ahead with this transplant.  I can honestly say that I can't remember the last time I looked forward to anything. 

We have tried to make the best of our situation and have done a little exploring.  We've been to the city, San Francisco, a few times for his doctor's appointments, etc. We have gone to a couple artsy bookstores and tried a few restaurants.  We have also done some driving on this side of the Golden Gate Bridge, which we are finding quite a bit less overwhelming.  But, I do have to say that San Francisco is a very intriguing and, sort of, artistic city that I really want to have the chance to experience more.  The things that I like aren't necessarily the "touristy" parts of the city.  I would love to find little cafe's that have live, local music....or maybe go into little charming shops and bookstores that hold vintage and unusual things.  I would love to take an entire day just to take pictures.  I'm not a photographer at all...but I would really enjoy a day in the city with my camera and nothing or no one rushing me or bothering me.  That would be an experience to remember.

David's cousin, Amelia, lives in the city.  She's a scientist and an incredible girl.  She could be president if she wanted to and I'm not just saying that...,.I truly mean it.  There's only a few people like her that come along in your life that will amaze you in such an effortless way...and she is definitely one of them.  Everything about her is interesting.  She's a very passionate person, without being aggressive or assertive at all.  She is super intellegent and unique.  She is the sweetest girl you will ever meet and is always a wealth of information in the humblest of ways.  David adores her, too.  She will always be his "little cousin," but his little cousin is one amazing young lady.

Most of all, I miss my family terribly.  When bad things happen and hard times occur in your life, it's great to have those people in your life that love you unconditionally.  Someone once told me that unconditional love only exists between a parent and a child...well I disagree. I absolutely do agree that it exists between a parent and child, but I also 100% know that it also exists in other relationships. 

When tradgedy strikes, you do find out who truly cares about you.  It's just a fact.  It's nobody's responsibilty to's just natural.... and if it feels unatural to lend support or care...then that's the moment you know what your relationship really is.  I know now, more than ever, that I should believe what's in my heart and that the admiration and ultra-high regard that I hold some people to, aren't always right.  I had to learn that the hard way.  But, actually, while I had been second guessing my feelings and my decisions lately....I'm not anymore.  The most hurtful and outlandish things can come from the most unexpected of people...and that is what gave me the confidence and confirmation that I needed to know that I should always trust my feelings...and know that what I believe in my heart is right and true.  And after all is said and will be so clear and make so much sense to you.  It might still hurt...but simple clarity is what it will be.

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