Thursday, March 24, 2011


I have been on the road again. This time to Italy and the UK.

While it was brilliant to be traveling, it is deeply comforting to be back home

My labs today on my first day home showed very healthy platelets again (387,000), but my red blood cells have drifted lower than ever with hgb. of 12.7. This convinces me of the need to go ahead with my bone marrow biopsy.

While I was gone, I never thought about CLL, until my penultimate day when I had a lovely tea at the home of Dr. Hamblin. More about that in my next post.

About Italy first.

It was a wonder filled trip full of new and old friends, great feasts, and colossal sights covering an amazing span of few millenniums of art, refreshed by an emergence in history, culture, and of course, food.

I paused often as we walked through the preserved large town of Pompeii to contemplate the homes and gardens and shops and temples and forum and theaters and gymnasiums and brothels where thousands of lives were snuffed out so suddenly 2000 years ago. Some villas show the plaster body casts of the preserved desperate souls who died trying to escape from the toxic fumes. Tsunamis today, volcanoes then. Life can take horrific turns, and we have no control. None.

Rome was so deep and full and overwhelming in a jostling but friendly way. Layer on layer of city on top of city. The architecturally perfect Pantheon and the confectionery perfect gelatos.

The Vatican , where Raphael and Michelangelo painted the walls of the Pope's bedroom and office and chapel- that is a transformative experience.

The colors in Venice, and in the nearby island of Burano are magical. Every postcard and painting you have seen of this unique city, they are all true, but only tell half the truth. It is more beautiful, more subtle, more magical.

Toured the world’s first ghetto and was reminded of the intolerant dangers of the "certain knowing" the only truth and the power of oppression.

I was totally at home in walking trough a city where there are no cars, no bikes, only feet and boats. Will Project Moses hold the water back? Will Venice become a museum rather than a living city? Only 45,000 people leave there now and thousands leave every year.

See Venice and live.

Ah, Florence- the Botticellis, the Da Vincis, the Michelangelos, the Galileos. When the mind is opened up to reach beyond the contemporary, to grab the best from the past and forge a new now- to stand next to such genius is a treat to be savored. That was the renaissance. We could use a new one.

I am constantly hit over the head with the simple reality that life is to be lived.

But I am glad to be done with travel for now. It has not been easy and I am sore and tired and miss my raw green veggies.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done, cobber, sport and mate! Alison.

March 27, 2011 at 9:14 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wish I had known you were over here, it would have been nice to meet up.
Hope you recover from your trip.

Do you have any travel jabs for your trips? I was thinking about when you went to Japan.
I have the opportunity to go to India and my haem. says I can't have any jabs although I can take malaria tablets.


March 28, 2011 at 12:03 AM  

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