Last week, Adriaan, our son Maarten and I went to Yosemite National Park, which is south of Lake Tahoe and about a 4 hour drive from the Bay Area, where we live. Maarten and Adriaan went up the Vernon Falls and the Neveda Falls, which took them about 5 hours. It was a great exercise for them. I stayed on the valley floor of the park. I had some shortness of breath, but of course it was the altitude and I was anemic (what I didn’t know yet).

I took an open bus tour of 2 hours and saw the big rock formations from a far. We stayed in a lovely house and then we went to the Mariposa Grove with the gigantic Sequoia’s in the south part of the park.  We had a wonderful time. The park is just very beautiful.

Then on Monday, I had my last chemo. Friday was my worst day: feeling not good at all and very weak, sleeping a lot and easily exhausted. I am anemic, so, not enough iron. My red blood cell level is very low. Those cells are less quick replenished then the white ones. My white blood cell level is good and I don’t need extra injections to keep those right. For the red ones I try to eat spinach and beans to get stronger again.

Tomorrow, I have my second appointment with the radiation oncologist and will be fitted with a mold to stay in the same position every time. So, this phase is starting.

At the end of the week, Adriaan and I will escape to Carmel (the beach, sea and galleries) for some days to celebrate the end of the chemo therapy and then he will go off to Japan and I will go to my sister in Canada for a week. Wonderful!

A wonderful surprise

Last weekend, all my three boys were there.

I knew that my middle son Maarten would come from Stockholm on Sunday night, because of his travel, but then my oldest son Roland arrived from San Diego last Friday night and suddenly, my youngest son Arjan and his fiancee Katie from Chicago were standing in front of me. We had some good time together. Unfortunately, Maarten arrived at 7pm and Katie had to leave at that same time to be on time at work on Monday morning. We had a wonderful dinner together and then Roland left at 4am to be on time at his work in San Diego on Monday morning. What a travel all around and with working children, but they all made it work to be together for some time!!!

Roland                      Arjan                                  Maarten

Maarten is now still here and tomorrow we will go to Yosemite for some days. This is my third week after the chemo and always the best. Although a little bit more tired. Next Monday the 22nd will be my 4th and last chemo!!!

Flower of Life Engravings

Today, (Monday, August the 1st) I had my 3rd chemo. Everything went well. You are there the whole day, but they take good care of you. The medications also keeps you going. So, I quickly want to show you some pictures of the decorations I finished on 3 big plates. They are still green ware, not fired yet. The clay has a red color and on the 3rd plate you see it is still drying. The 1st and 2nd plate I already put the black slip on (a liquid paint able clay which you have to put on before the 1st firing).

19.75″ x 2.5″; 50cm x 6cm

It is already Friday. I didn’t succeed to put on the pictures. The chemo got to me, especially yesterday and today. Tomorrow, may be better.

21.25″ x 2.75″; 53,5cm x 7cm

The engravings on the plates are inspired by the Flower of Life symbol, which dates to at least 400AD, and is possibly much older that that. Throughout human history, philosophers, artists, and architects around the world have known the Flower of Life for its perfect form, proportion, and harmony. It is considered to be a symbol of sacred geometry, depicting the fundamental forms of space and time. It is the form beneath our being and points to a divine order in our reality. It is a visual expression of the connections life weaves through all mankind. A Flower of Life pattern can be constructed with a pen, compass and paper, by creating multiple series of interlinking circles. The Flower of Life can be found in the temples, art, and manuscripts of cultures all over the world.

21″ x 6,5″ ; 53cm x 16,5cm