Saturday, September 22, 2007

Super Saturday (2 days pre-op)

Today was absolutely magnificent! It was one of the best birthdays I think I ever had. Again the weather was gorgeous at the beach so much so that it was sad for us to leave. All good vacations come to an end and it is always good for them to end on a good note so there is an excuse to go back.

The ride to Portland from the coast is so pretty! The road meanders along a pleasant country creek with twists and turns and moss clad deciduous trees clustered on the road side and along the bed of the creek. In between the tree shaded sections all of sudden pops out rolling pastures and hills with quaint little farms and cozy country cabins. Every once in a while you will see a cute little country church as if it stepped out of a Little House on the prarie episode. Gosh I love that romantic nostalgia! It is like being in a storybook. Both the countryside farms and rural churches are a dying breed that I truly appreciate being able to still witness in the era of modernism.

Our countryside drive could not have been better on the opening day of fall. Even down in Oregon we had some nice color gracing the leaves which glistened beautifully in the sunlight.

Around 4 pm we met up with my family to celebrate my 36th birthday. Just as we have been blessed with the most amazing September weather on the coast, the same was for Portland. I don't why I have been so fortunate and blessed! It has been such a great week down here that I don't want it to end or the vacation to come to a close.

At my brother and his wife's where we also met up with my sister and mom and dad, we started out the celebration with an apartment full of balloons and a beautiful floral bouquet. After visiting we decided to try out something new and to explore the culinary tastes of Lebanon at the Karma Lebanese restaurant. We were not sure what would be on the menu but as soon as I saw couscous, chicken, spinach, and hummus I knew we picked a good spot. The food and decor shared a similarity to Greek which we really like. The dinner, ambience, and company made for a wonderful birthday celebration. It has been a couple years since my whole family has been able to be together all at the same time so it was even more special.

After dinner headed back to my brother's where we enjoyed our traditional dairy queen ice cream cake (does not last long in our is almost gone already), wearing funky and silly halloween embelishments and taking photos, and opening my presents. I got some great books and also a very nice zipper hoody and fleece pants from REI to wear home after the surgery. It was a very fun evening and thank you Harley, Michelle, Scott, Denise, and mom and dad for helping me celebrate and make it special!

We are now at the Comfort Suites where they offer discounts to OHSU patients and families. The rooms are very nice (much nicer than what was available and the price when we went to Stanford in 2004 and stayed in Palo Alto, CA). Mom and dad and Harley and I are staying here. Michelle is staying with Scott and Denise.

Tomorrow our friend KC (who came with us and his wife Dianne to my cyberknife treatment in 2004) will meet us in Portland. He is taking the Amtrak and we will pick him up from the train station at 6 pm. Tomorrow is the last day for us all to spend together before the brain surgery. It will be an early evening as I have to be at the hospital at 5:30 am on Monday. I am scheduled for 6 am but that means I will be sent to put on the gown and get ready. I need to get there a half hour earlier to first know where we need to go and then to spend some moments with my family.

Tomorrow will probably be pretty busy so this is most likely the last I will write until I am recovered. Thanks again everyone for your love, encouragement, help, prayers, humor, and belief in me! I could not have reached this point without all of you. Thank you for being by my
side! I feel very comforted and very prepared. I'll see you on the other end!

Love, Beck

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