2004 Year In Review
Our year-in-review letter, written by Aimee this year.
FeedbackBy Aimee Green, 23 December 2004

Happy new year everyone!

This past year started with one very important mission for us -- getting Preston well. By mid-March, he finished cancer treatments feeling awfully worn out but elated to be done. He completely shocked me when on a sunny day two weeks later he bicycled to the top of Council Crest, a five-mile, 800-foot-elevation-gain ride. In other words, a real huffer. We admired views of the Cascade Mountains and cherished our good health. Preston returned to work in May. Intel was great about giving him time off to regain his day-to-day strength.

Since January, Preston has been hard at work establishing what he calls his "chemo tank," a 40-gallon saltwater aquarium that kept him busy while he was at home. We mourned the loss of some beautiful (and expensive -- including one that cost $50!) fish. Today, our tank is home to a yellow maroon clown fish, a longhorn cow fish, a brilliant yellow tang, two anemones and a blenny, a cute little guy whose belly bulges out after every meal.

This June, our condo became home to another resident: Jill, an orange and white tabby cat. Although she constantly scratches at the acrylic of our fish tank; has destroyed a giant jade plant by tipping it onto the living room carpet (leaving a huge mountain of dirt for me to discover when I returned home from work); rips apart posters, bills and any other paper she can get her teeth on; and crushes my trachea each morning as she walks across my neck -- we adore her in her calmer moments.

We took it easy this summer. There were no 50-mile cycling or overnight backpacking trips. But we did take up surfing during a trip to Santa Cruz and a few outings on the Oregon Coast (in thick wet suits, gloves, booties and hoods, of course). We walked a lot, too. We bought Stepometers[tm] at McDonald's and have worn them faithfully. Preston created the website www.trainster.net, which tracks our steps and the steps of anyone who wants to join. ;) 10,000 steps a day to better health! I enjoyed documenting the pedometer craze for the newspaper's Living section.

In September, we got wonderful news -- Preston's oncologist could detect no traces of active cancer in his CT scan. Of course, with cancer, there is no definitive "I'm cured!" There's always the worry that it could come back, or that the side effects of chemo or radiation will ignite other cancers down the road. But we're trying to live life as it should be lived -- to the fullest.

We vacationed on the Big Island of Hawaii (story, pictures) in late September, where I'd say the highlight was snorkeling among hundreds of yellow tangs, the same kind of fish we have in our aquarium. I'd say the low point was my fear of encountering sharks as we swam about a mile to the snorkeling spot with all the yellow tangs.

We spent two weeks in Italy in October and November. Neither of us had been there, and I'd never been to Europe. We grumbled about the weakness of the dollar when compared to the euro, and after about a week I refused to eat another slice of pizza (drenching pizza in olive oil is all too common in Italy -- ick)! But Preston never tired of all the carbs that were so abundant. He also indulged in the gelato daily, sometimes twice daily!

Our favorite city was Venice because of all the old buildings, the narrow winding streets and the fact that your feet and boats are the only way to get around. Our hotel was 800 years old, which I guess is no big deal there. We also delighted in hiking along the Mediterranean coast, where the scents of lemons and olive groves filled the air.

Best wishes in 2005!

Aimee and Preston

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