Weekly Update: Old Friends and Advent Calendars

Check out the view of the Mediterranean from one of my morning walks this week:

Takes the edge off your problems, right?

This week was filled with catch up meetings and conversations with old friends, some of which I hadn’t talked to in years. They’re all lovely people and it was really great talking to them, and it’s something that’s going into my “soft planning” for next year: spending more time talking to friends and family. More about soft planning when I have a better idea of what it looks like.

This week also marked the beginning of December and with it the opening of four out of five of my advent calendars (I’m saving one for the end of the month, to cheer me up in the interim between my last chemo treatment and my PET CT).
I’m making daily posts (so far) reviewing the inks in my Diamine Inkvent calendar, and I’m enjoying the process very much. It’s fun to get to sketch and write with a variety of pens and inks, even though on Sunday to Wednesday this week I barely felt my fingers and writing was painful (due to chemo related neuropathy).
I really enjoyed the Lego Star Wars advent calendar that I purchased last year, and this year’s calendar is Mandalorian themed, so I’m enjoying it even more. Lego has replaced running as my relaxation and reflection aid, at least until I can lace up again. This is what was behind door 1 in the calendar:

A tiny Razor Crest! Isn’t it adorable?

The third advent calendar is a Disney Pins one. I’m not a serious pin collector – I just buy them once in a while, if I like the design. I find some of them fantastic design objects, and the ones in this calendar have been perfection so far. Each one is designed like a Christmas stocking, but themed to a specific Disney movie. To see what I mean, check out the design on this Little Mermaid themed one:

Sebastian agrees that this pin is design perfection.

The fourth advent calendar is a Fancy Feast pet food one, and my cats love it.

Anyone else have cool or interesting advent calendars to share?


Neuropathy has been really pronounced for most of this week. Typing has been a pain, holding a pen and writing has been a pain, but it’s still manageable and its all for a good cause (getting rid of my cancer once and for all), so I’m rolling with the punches. Things started to improve on Wednesday evening, and even though I’m still suffering from neuropathy and I won’t get a break until well after the treatments end, at least it’s now less painful and I can feel more of my fingers as I use them. Next week is chemo 11 of 12, and I’m kind of looking forward to it, as I can see the end of the treatments looming near.
As for my mental health, I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough with my therapist that has been difficult but helpful and hopefully healing. Be kind to yourself this week, and in general. Life is tough enough without us adding any more pain and fear and hate to it.


I haven’t done as much reading as I would have liked this week, partly because I’m trying to stretch “Cibola Burn” to last me until my chemo next week. It’s an excellent piece of sci-fi writing, and I’m spacing my reading so that I get to read the final quarter of it as I’m getting my treatment.


A rough week for writing (see Health to see why), yet I’ve still gotten sample pages written for my Inkvent reviews, and I’ve journaled a lot. This is my current journal (a Moleskine Denim Skinny. Flared. Bookcut.), and so far the Inkvent inks have worked well in it. I write on just one side of the page when I’m using fountain pens in this notebook, to avoid dealing with the show-through, but there’s no feathering or spreading with these pens and inks (see Inkvent days 1-4 here to see which ones I’m using), and there’s very little bleed-through.
As per my psychologist, very few people journal, and journalling is a good thing, so get thee to thy notebook stash (I know you have one. We all do), and start writing away. It’s worth it.

Moleskine Denim Skinny. Flared. Bookcut.

Other Things

This is the time of year when I usually start planning next year (i.e. my yearly plan/resolutions). This year that’s not going to happen, at least not in the same way.
Yes, I’m finishing my treatments before the end of the year, but there’s still a chance that my cancer will return, and if it will, it usually comes back fast. I’m afraid to plan ahead the way I’ve planned ahead so far. So I’ve put my planning Baron Fig into a drawer and I’m working on “soft planning”. When I know what that is and how it looks like I’ll share it in a separate post.

Have a great week, everyone!

One thought on “Weekly Update: Old Friends and Advent Calendars

  1. C Dyson

    It’s so good to hear you’re managing to write and type despite your health difficulties. I’m so glad you’re doing the Invent Calender again this year, I thoroughly enjoyed it last year and the ability to read someone else’s reactions to each ink as the doors were opened was a big attraction for getting it again this year. It’s like sharing it with a friend, thank you. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

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