Power on

My every-six-week chest CT scan in Boston was scheduled for 2 pm on Monday, the day Sandy was coming ashore. As luck would have it, the MBTA  had announced that they would be shutting down at exactly the same time, and many of the hospital staff rely on public transportation. So I gambled on going in early, which turned out to be a very good thing. Yawkey was running on a skeleton crew, but many patients had also cancelled, so I was able to get my scan and be on the road again by about 1:30 pm. The storm was really starting to pick up as I headed north and there were a few dicey moments when the wind would come blasting over a ridge and hit my car with enough force to shove the vehicle sideways.

I made it safely home shortly before three. David was baking cookies (for cheer and courage in the days to come). Generator, candles and bottled water at the ready, we watched the weather channel as the storm howled outside. After flickering on and off for hours, our lights went out for good at 7 pm.

In anticipation of the storm, school had been cancelled on Monday and remained closed on Tuesday. That afternoon Peter and I needed to go back to Boston, as he had an appointment in the city. There was little traffic, but otherwise no apparent ill effects from Sandy. We enjoyed a warm meal and after checking on the status of the power at home (still out), camped out at a Starbucks for several hours so that Pete could work on homework.

Wednesday brought lower temperatures and a return to school for Peter but still no power. Our small (and noisy!) generator took turns heating the aquariums and cooling the fridge, but the lack of heat and running water were becoming more problematic. Peter and I decided to spend Wednesday night at the Comfort Inn. David came over for a shower, but returned home to tend the generator (as well as the dog and aquatic life!).

After dropping Peter off at school on Thursday morning, I returned to the hotel for a nap and then after check out, stopped in yet another Starbucks to suck up some wifi (and suck down a mocha while I was at it). At 2pm I got the call I had been waiting for:  power on!

On the outer edges of Sandy’s reach, we experienced only a few days of inconvenience; temporarily deprived of creature comforts that we have come to take for granted.

My heart goes out to those for whom the storm’s impact has been far greater.

9 responses to “Power on

  1. Cristina Thorson

    So good to hear from you in the aftermath of Sandy. We were concerned it would affect your medical schedules, and your overall health if you had no power.
    Don’t know if any of the folks who read or post to your blog were affected by Hurricane Sandy — here’s hoping everyone is safe and sound.


    • Thanks Cristina–it didn’t turn out to be the extended misery that last years storm was (there’s a big difference between three days without power and six, and the relatively mild temperatures outside helped too). Obviously, there are some who really got hit hard and are hurting.


      ps: we had an earthquake a few weeks ago too–actually it was in Maine but things were shaking here. Thought for a moment that I was back in California!

  2. My scan adventures this week did not fare so well…though little to do with the storm. I had an MRI of my spine on the day of the storm. I did ask what would happen if the power went out in the midst (or worse, toward the end) of my full spinal scan, and though the answer was that we’d have to start any interrupted segment over, my fears weren’t realized, and everything went very smoothly with the scan. I didn’t realize until later how very lucky I was to have such a competent and caring technician. Just after I left, bearing the disc they had burned for me to take, a call was made directly to my Dana Farber physician detailing some “spots” that had been seen in my (until now) clear brain, and they immediately forwarded a fax of the scans. This was noteworthy because the scans, in fact all of my radiology scans and treatments have been done

    Now I’m waiting for a planning appointment with the Radiological Oncologist to have the spots radiated. That will delay the scheduled second round of chemo necessitated by the “minimal” growth of my lung tumor. Yesterday I finally got to read the report on my CT scans done last week at Dana, only to find that there is also a sizable, brand new tumor in my liver. I’ve been lucky so far, a bit over two years since diagnosis at stage IV, I’ve been stable, and “healthy” and active. They never were able to identify a specific mutation (with a known targeted therapy) in my cells, so the only treatment I received was the first round of carboplatin and alimta, I’ve had a couple of rounds of radiation to eliminate pesky bone symptoms, and then every few months CT scans which showed no progression of the disease in my lung….until now.

    So far a helpful walk/talk with my minister, and lots of supportive phone calls and messages have helped to keep me relatively functional…but I can’t help delving into the pit of fear. I’m trying to maintain the positive attitude and brave front that have gotten me this far, but any advice for how to keep positive in the face of challenging results would be most welcome.


    • Marj, I am so sorry that you got this news–it is never easy. I think it is only natural to feel overcome on all fronts, and there is no necessity in keeping up the brave front. Be gentle on yourself, and as you begin to formulate a treatment plan I think you will find it easier to get back on track. Know that I am here if you would like to talk.


  3. Linnea, so glad your power is back. My daughter Phoebe lives in upper Manhattan and has been fortunate to stay dry & the electricity on. She said it has been very surreal in the city with so much devastation. My mom lives in PA and is fighting colon cancer; she has been without electricity since Monday ~ she has a coal stove and generator so she can watch a little television, but it has been a nightmare for her.
    I have been thinking of you daily and waiting to hear your scan results. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
    Marj, I am sorry to hear your news here. You will be in my thoughts as you look toward your next plan of treatment.
    sending love,Lorraine

    • Glad Phoebe is okay but sorry to hear about your Mom’s challenges. It was a hell of a storm and harder for some. Hope your mom gets power soon.

      love, linnea

  4. I loved the title of this blog post — makes me realize that I think of you with “Power On” all the time, regardless of the status of the electricity. Hoping the best for your scan results and to Marj, too, for the path moving forward.

    • I can always visualize power on, but sometimes it’s hard to get there. but I’m glad you think of me that way (makes me feel more powerful). And thanks for the good wishes; my heart is aching for Marj.


  5. I am glad Sandy didn’t affect you too badly Linnea. It was a monster storm. Keep hearing such sad stories. Within an hour of Sandy making landfall in NJ, here in Toronto about 15,000 were without power because of downed power lines due to trees falling. Can you imagine the size of that storm……Did the cookies David baked last until the power came back on?

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