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  Dodie Orlando
Dodie Orlando
I'll beat cancer and have fun doing it!
  Dodie Orlando

Three-Month Cancer Check

Time flies! Before I give you a quick break-down of the last three-and-a-half months, you shall receive the most important piece immediately. Because of a laboratory mess up, it has taken 2 weeks to get my CA125 test result. IT WAS 14!!! Normal is 0-35 and my CA125 was 17 after my last chemo. My check-up went well and now we know I am clear with such a great CA125!

August 8 found us moving. What a hot exhausting day! Even with the movers doing most of the work, the grueling day nearly did us in. We plan to die in this apartment as we never plan to move again. One of the movers dropped some clothes covered with plastic bags in the middle of my closet floor. I discovered them, much to my detriment, when I headed into the closet to hang up clothes retrieved from the hall floor. I stumbled on the pile of clothes with the slick bags and ended up falling and bruising my right lower leg bone. Misery reigns occasionally and we did the settling with one crippled leg and two crippled hands. Dakota’s arthritis flared up from all the abuse with the packing, hauling of boxes, mashing of fingers, etc. We presented a pathetic pair of cripples as we tried to get settled before Nikki’s arrival on the 26th.


We had a wonderful celebratory week with Nikki. The three of us traveled to Walla Walla on September 2. I had several beneficial acupuncture treatments, visited with friends and finally participated in my Mother’s wedding on September 14. Nikki had planned to attend but with the changing wedding dates, she missed the wedding as she headed off for her trip to Japan on the 8th. Mom and Don are still deliriously happy after 2 months of wedded bliss.

We arrived back in Reno on September 16 and began preparing for our Florida trip. Dakota had lots of editing to do for the Royal Palm Literary Awards entries. We were relieved when that load of work was complete.

We left for Florida on October 14. Meeting Dakota’s family and friends was satisfying beyond all imaginings. His family is wonderful, and I am no longer confused by the names of the couples and who belongs with whom. I quickly came to love all of them. Dakota’s friends are also a stellar bunch, and I loved his enthusiasm as he greeted each of his friends and family members.

The Florida Writers Conference (FWA) provided the grand finale of our trip. Cancer prevented our attendance in 2013 so we had anticipated this year’s conference with great joy and enthusiasm. The conference measured up to every expectation! We learned much and ended our trip with utter exhaustion. It was good to get home on the 28th.


We hit Reno running. Dakota participated in a book signing on the 28th and my cancer follow-up with Dr. Lim handed me a clean bill of health! It took 2 weeks to get my CA125 results, but Dakota has me tethered so I don’t float away after receiving a call from the nurse with my test results this afternoon.

I waited to make this final blog entry until the full picture was in hand! We have so much to celebrate over the last year and so much to look forward to in the year ahead!

Nikki, my brother, Dan, and his wife, Lauren, will be arriving in mid December to celebrate Christmas. We get to have Nikki for 3 weeks! We are beyond excited to spend time with my brother as I haven’t seen him since early 2012. It has been even longer for Lauren. We plan to start the New Year right by traveling to Cayman Brac to spend a month with Dakota’s sister, Nina. Dakota and I didn’t get to spend much time with Joe and Alyce last month so we plan to visit all of his brothers for a few days before heading to the Caymans. On the 10th and 11th Dakota also plans to attend the FWA Conference Wrap-Up and Board meetings before launching into family fun! We are so excited about family visits over Christmas and in the New Year that I can hardly stand it.



You have been such a joyful part of this cancer journey! Thank you for your loving support of us. Now we can celebrate together. It is our plan to do everything possible to retain remission for another 25-30 years. You would think my diet was pretty controlled before but I am now eating a high alkaline diet to minimize the possibility of re-occurrence. We are also drinking purified, alkalized water.

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