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Well, life definitely has been keeping me busy. Or maybe I have been keeping myself busy in an attempt to avoid dealing with life… Either way, I have been neglecting my journal entries.

My brother, John, was doing quite well after his first bout of chemo and agreed to start with the second round. Unfortunately, the second dose is kicking his butt. That, and I think the bad news that he has tumors in his liver and the cancer has spread to his lymph glands took its toll on his positive outlook that he might beat this thing. This morning he was admitted to the hospital due to the fact he is no longer able to swallow his food on his own. Perhaps I am odd, but I think him going to the hospital is the best news I heard in the last week as I think my sister-in-law needs the break and he needs the professional care. My sister-in-law still thinks she is super-woman and can take care of my brother on her own. But I doubt even superwoman could accomplish that impossible task… and although I tell her that is nothing to be ashamed of, she takes his admittance as a failure on her part to “fix” him. The doctors are mixed in their opinions… some saying that he should try to operate and remove the cancerous pieces of his liver… and other think that will only increase the cancer’s metathesis. At this point, I think he needs to fixate on gaining his strength back from his chemo treatments as they have literally brought him to the brink of life… and although the treatments have been stopped, they will continue to process in his body for another couple of weeks. More difficult weeks ahead I predict.

If it wasn’t for Joshua Radin, KT Tunstall, and Alexi Murdoch’s poetic melodies, I think I would have lost my sanity months ago. I highly recommend that you pick up their albums at your earliest convenience. Speaking of sanity, in a bout of retail therapy I made two important purchases: a fancy charcoal grill and a Pro-Form Treadmill. Talk about life changing events… my house has become grill central, which having good food and great friends around is great for chasing away the blues and reds… and more life changing, I have decided to train with Scarlet for a half-marathon in October. Starting June 1st, I began training literally two to three hours a day… which includes an hour on the treadmill, and hour of yoga and pilates, and an hour of cardio/weight training. Next week I will be adding water aerobics to that list. My new obsession, and I will admit it is an obsession, has been the only way I have been able to channel all the emotions from my family and work. I woke up one morning and realized that I don’t want to be unhealthy anymore… for if I am not going to be healthy at the age of 26, when will I stop making excuses and become healthy? Plus, to quote the great Lebanese council, it has the added benefit of helping me lose some weight… and become “hot.” I laughed a good fifteen minutes with that remark of the week:

“Leo, you do realize that this training will cause you to lose weight… and although you are almost the perfect woman except for the fact that you are overweight, once you lose a few pounds and shake lose of some of the drama in your life you will be irresistibly hot… and probably will be too good for the rest of us anymore due to your hottness.” - The Lebanese Council

At least most of my friends and family have been supporting and positive about my goal to run a marathon. The only two pessimistic buggers happen to my father and a certain Swede whose favorite hobby these days is to piss me off. My father is understandable (he has heard me make false promises about getting in shape too many times to count), but Solo’s remarks that the “only thing I will be running to is the bar to pick up more beer when I run out,” gave me more of a motivation to prove him wrong than any of the positive reinforcement I received so far. But like my brother, one can only deal with life one day at a time… one painful step in front of the other.

Other news: The next few months in Berkeley will be filled with many transitions. PB officially asked Pinky to become his wife last week in Panama! They will be moving in together when she returns in August. It looks like a summer wedding next year. Sparky and Oz turned in their Ph.D. thesis last month, as did my lovely German housemate, Viv. I feel like I am surrounded by “Dr.” these days. Viv starts her dream job in Germany in December. Sparky is moving to SF and will be working with a Chem. E startup trying to fix the world’s problems. The great Lebanese council will be leaving in August to work for the World Bank out of DC. But first he has “phinish” and hand in his thesis… if only I get him to sit down and write it. My parents and little brother, Peanut, might visit me for the first time in July, if we don’t go to Florida instead. Bea arrives back in Berkeley in August to prep for her quals… as does Scarlet. So we will see what the fall brings…in the meantime, I am trying to enjoy the arch street crew for our last summer all together and try not to mourn their loss before they are gone.



Leopoldina DeWinter

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