One whole wall is floor-to-ceiling windows, with a pretty french door that leads to a second level deck. The arc of the sun at this time of year makes it the brightest room in the house.
This sanctuary will be where I fight this cancer fight. The physical symptoms of radiation and chemotherapy are kicking in, bringing with them the mental part of this battle.
Up until mid-week last week, I felt pretty good. My throat was getting more sore - both from the radiation and from an outbreak of thrush brought on by the steroids - but my energy was good, I was sleeping better, and able to eat most soft foods.
This has changed, and quickly. The thrush has gotten worse, making any type of solid food nearly impossible. Even liquid shakes burn on the way down. I have been given a numbing solution - something I can drink before I try to eat that numbs my palate and throat - and I have to sip this continuously to get any food down at all.
The radiation causes chronic dry mouth, which means I wake up frequently during the night totally parched and needing to sip water.
And I'm tired. Yesterday Steve and I went to an afternoon movie as a date, and it totally wiped me out. It's a bone-tired weariness, like I have the flu. Except it's cancer. And I'm not even a third of the way through. It's only going to get tougher.
I spend most of my time in my Caribbean sanctuary, sleeping, reading and playing hours of Mah Jong on my Kindle Fire. Except for when I have to get to the city for treatment every afternoon, I am mostly resting.
There are bright moments, for sure. This morning the kids piled into bed with me, bubbling with stories and questions and snuggles. We lolled around in bed, a tangle of limbs, for over an hour.
Finn gave me a squeeze, told me he loved me and that he's glad that I have "the lucky cancer" and that I will be okay.
Tears sprung to my eyes as I gave him a bear hug and told him I'm glad I have the lucky cancer, too.
I have come to terms with the fact that the feeding tube needs to go in this week. I am hungry all the time, but because I can't eat much the weight is coming off fast.
It's like a triathlon - each leg of the race brings new challenges. And to train for my race I have to keep surrendering, keep letting go. Instead of running harder, my training regimen is to flop back and lie still. Staying in bed most of the day is harder for me than running a half-marathon would be.
So I sit in my sun splashed room - me and my lucky cancer - and I breathe through the tough moments. I try not to think about bacon double-cheeseburgers while I sip my protein shake. I try not to cry as Steve and the kids head out for a nature walk on a beautiful January morning and I settle in for a nap.
I try not to feel sorry for myself. But sometimes I do.
And sometimes I feel like the luckiest cancer patient in the world. Especially at the infusion center, where I receive chemotherapy treatments once a week, and I see what unlucky cancer looks like.
I don't like writing about the tougher bits; it feels like complaining, or like I'm begging for sympathy.
It is simply my truth of the moment from my Caribbean sanctuary on a sunny Sunday afternoon.