Gray days; blue skies

It seems that we do not write much during the first week or so of Ellen’s chemotherapy cycle. She tends to be very tired, and not feeling well. And Luke is busy trying to help her and take care of all the many things that need to be done from house work and yard work to shopping. We are both tired and have little time away from the most basic issues to be writing and in touch with friends.

That is one reason  why all the help from friends is so welcome. There are times when it feels overwhelming and hard to keep up with even the most basic things. And the help with meals, cleaning, gardening and so many other things is so appreciated and such a lovely demonstration of how much the community of friends and family is really the center of our lives.

We have had an unusually cold Spring. Days of lowering and very dark clouds; great squalls of snow driven by blasts of icy wind, freezing rain, cold nights, more snow, more rain, more wind. After her most recent treatment on May 15, Ellen had some hard days, feeling unwell, very tired, not able to get out of bed much. This time around it seems the down days lasted a bit longer and were accompanied by changes in taste buds that made most food unappetizing and hard for her to eat.

Ellen’s appetite is back now, but she again lost weight. And it seems that she is not gaining back the weight during the better days toward the end of her cycle that she loses during the hard days. So the tendency is weight loss.

So there were some hard days if not feeling well and trying to stay warm as the wind howled and the snow fell outside. And on those hard cold days, it meant so much to have the support and help of so many of you. A warm meal is a cold night is such a demonstration of the ties of friendship and mutual support and love that sustain us. Ellen is fully occupied in getting well. And Luke is fully occupied in supporting Ellen, dealing with housework, shopping, yard work, paper work

Yesterday the sky was blue and the sunshine was warm. We took a lovely walk in the hills. The sage is brilliant green and blue and there is new snow on the peaks.


Ellen wound up walking 10.3 kilometers. And enjoying a couple of visits from friends. And taking some superb naps in the sunshine.


The flowers are out; it promises to be a stunning year for wildflowers.


We cannot say enough about all of you who are staying engaged and helping to support Ellen week after week. Tusind tak, a thousand thanks, as they say in Danish.

We are sorry to be missing the soccer games that are so exciting and enjoyable for our godson Gregory Blanco. But we will start going when things allow us to.

Gregory’s sister Maria Jose is going to Europe with her school trip in two weeks and she and Ellen have been poring over guide books and maps and the internet and learning about the places she is going. How exciting!



5 Replies to “Gray days; blue skies”

  1. Luke and Ellen- greetings from your Manila-based friends, currently in New York for our daughter Julia’s graduation from NYU film school! We think of and pray for you guys often and are grateful to Chet for passing on this blog site so we can understand a small part of what you are going through. Reading the past entries has amazed us with the strength you are showing in facing this head on. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help (our world famous Manila mangoes come to mind, but Customs unfortunately won’t cooperate…) Love, Jim & Cecile

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ellen & Sr Luke… You two are amazing as well as—I’m sure—stretched out very thin. Such an impressive feat: your 10 km hike! I know that being in the sunshine and fresh, crisp Gunnison air in a beautiful setting gives you strength and helps recharge your batteries. Especially accompanied by Luke and your two sweet doggies. I draw strength and determination from your fierce love of life—as ever—Ellen. I pray that I will find nearly equal strength if and when I get to chemo. Each time Betty & I make a “road trip” to MD Anderson, we toast life with a pint of “chemo light”—good Texas craft brew. (Then we have a few more.) You and Luke might think of your cups of matte in bed as “chemo lite.” I know every day with someone you love who is loyal and supportive deserves to be celebrated. And so do youall. Ben & Betty

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Ellen and Luke, so nice to hear from you. We cannot help you out, as we are so far away, but we have you both in our thoughts every day. We hope weather gets better and warmer so it gives you some natural strength. Besos y abrazo, kæmpe knus, Jens and Rita

    Liked by 1 person

  3. querida Ellen y Luke. Verlos y escucharlos es un regalo!!!!!! Gozadores de la Vida! De esa vida que asoma en cada pequeño detalle cotidiano. Esa mirada contemplativa nos hace detenernos y mirar con mas cuidado y cariño cada paso que damos y cada brote de la naturaleza que acontece en el camino. Como también cada gesto de cariño que recibimos y damos a cada paso.
    Los acompaño con mi cariño, valoración y energía desde esta tierra peruana maravillosa. Un abrazo fuerte para los dos!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Ellen & Luke, it’s so nice to be near you through your so alive stories. Here in Copenhagen I am still waiting for the nice and warm weather to arrive. I think of you every day and look forward to Ellen s complete healing . Lots of love to both of you. Stela

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: