Visiting Toronto in November

Visiting Toronto in November

Greetings from Bures-France! Last monday, we came back home after two weeks in Toronto, visiting our daughter and her family there. We enjoyed our time there with the family! We also expected to be able to watch the vivid colors of the trees in the fall there…

On arrival, we immediatly noticed that it was too late, and that most of the leaves had already falled down…Anyway, we were able to take some photos:

The weather at first was very nice, then , suddenly, winter made its entry, with snow! At first a small amount, then a good 10 cm! Welcome to Canada!

Soon, it was time for us to leave, going back home… rainy, grey days but “warm” weather! During our trip, leaves had fallen in my garden, but not completly, so more work is waiting for me in the near future :-)!

It was also time for me to start again my artistic activities, fusing glass and modeling:

As an old guy, if I can still enjoy traveling and work with my hands, it is due to the fantastic job doctors, nurses and in particular my wonderful graft doctor at saint Antoine Hospital did to save me! Seven years ago I was coming back from Boulder-Colorado to discover that my MDS disease had worsened, and that the only way to save me was by a stem cells graft. I will never forget those days! I had the chance to have a great team of doctors taking care of me, an anonymous stem cells donor, and a wonderful family: I love them all! Where ever I am and whatever I do, this fantastic group of people are within me, in my heart forever!

Colors of Automn

Colors of Automn

Greetings from Bures-France! We are almost in November, but the temperatures are still “spring-like! However, daytimes are shorter and shorter, and the Fall colors are there!

It is the time of the year I dislike the most, although I love the colors around me… It had always been the same since I was a child. Why: I don’t know!

Anyway, here are some photos taken in my garden. Because of the weather, we still have vegetables and some flowers, but less and less each day:

Last week end, we visited the “Château de Courson” not fare from home (https://www.domaine-de-courson.fr/). We like this domain very much, as it has something to offer during all the seasons… Here are some photos:

Georgous photos of the sky:

My thoughts are going to the team at St Antoine Hospital and in particular my fantastic graft doctor: if I can “enjoy” life those days it is because they saved me!( I don’t meet them very often and I miss them so much). Of course, I don’t forget my family and my donor! I love them all!

My artistic year!

My artistic year!

Greetings from Bures-France! Today, I would like to share with you what I have been doing during the year (June 2021- October 2022) as “an artist”…

I have been involved in a class of “modeling”, where we try to build, using clay, “objects” we can choose ourselves, as long as it is doable. Here it is a selection of what I made:

I have also been working in a stained glass class. Again, it was up to me to choose my subjects, which is cool! Over the year, I worked on classical stained glass (lead stained glass), on Tiffany style stained glass, and recently on “fusing”. Here is what I have done so fare:

My goal, in the long term, is to be able to make by modeling and stained glass, a Saint Antoine statue and a stained glass :-)! Of course, you are now aware of “my love ” for Saint Antoine ;-)! If I can do my “artistic projects”, it is because I was saved 6 years ago by the fantastic team of the Hematology Department at Saint Antoine Hospital, an in particular by my fantastic graft doctor! With my family, friends, and stem cells donor, they have given me the gift of “a second life”! I love them all!

Provence-Côte d’Azur

Provence-Côte d’Azur

Last week was the end of summer, and the begining of fall, a season I never liked… So, to make a smooth transition between the seasons, we decided to spend some time “in the South”, Provence and Côte d’Azur. We had a great weather for most of our stay, sunny and warm…

We spent two days in Provence (le Luberon), visiting a small village called Lourmarin. It is such a wonderful place, with narrow streets, old houses, a castel, and “the light of the South”. Here are some photos taken there:

On our way toward Saint Raphaël, we stopped by a very special garden/museum, where plants used as vegetable dyes are grown. We learned a lot!

We then visited Thoronet abbey: such a beautiful and quiet place…

On arriving to Saint Raphaël, we had our first dinner near a small harbour called Santa Lucia:

On our way back home, we stopped by Villeneuve les Avignon to visit another abbey:

It was time to go back home and find the rain and the cold of the North!

We enjoyed our visit to the South, and are looking forward to another visit, maybe in the Spring…

During the trip, each time we visited a church I looked for a Saint Antoine statue and lighted a candle. As you might be aware now if you read my previous posts, if I am still around those days it is because I had the chance to be hospitalized in the Dept of Hematology in the Saint Antoine Hospital in Paris. All the people there worked hard to save my life, and in particular my fantastic graft doctor. They were helped by my family and my stem cells donor, so I had the chance to have a second life. I love them all!

My yearly visit to Saint Antoine Hospital

My yearly visit to Saint Antoine Hospital

Yesterday was my yearly visit to Saint Antoine Hospital. I met with my fantastic graft doctor. She discussed with me the results from my last blood analysis: perfect!

After I catched the Covid a short while ago, I asked her if I was still seen as “at risk”. She told me that after more than 3 years since being grafted, I am no more considered of “as risk”. Better, because I have the immune system of my young stem cells donor, I can be seen as being less at risk than people of the same age as me: a chimera with a young immune system in a crappy old body :-)!

5 years ago, I started my vaccination campaign. The time has now come to have the booster for the pneumococcal vaccine

We are almost entering in the Fall, the season I like the less… I like the colors of this season, but hate the shorter day light… I don’t have many flowers in my garden, but still a few vegetables are growing, like cuncumbers, zucchinis,…

September is the begining of the “academic year”, even for retired people ! I started again my “artistic life”, working with glass… I followed what I started last june, working on fusing. I made new knife olders.

Today was my first class of modeling. I worked on the project I started before the summer. It is not finish yet, but I like it!

Anyway, it is great to be able to enjoy life! Thank you people at Saint Antoine Hematology Dpt, and in particular my kind graft doctor, my anonymous stem cells donor, and my family and friends! I love you all!

One of my dreams is that, one day, my anonymous stem cells donor will read my blog…

Toward self-sufficiency…

Toward self-sufficiency…

Greetings from Bures-France! Today, I would like to share my experience as a gardener trying to be self-sufficient regarding “vegetables”. Of course, taking in account the size of my garden, and my limited knowledge in growing vegetables, I want to say that it is beyond reach :-)!

Here are some photos taken since spring… Up to now, I got zucchinis, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, red kuri squash, pumpkin, and a few strawberries too…

I am looking forward to more good results…

Today, August 8th, I got some new vegetables… There are not many flowers but I will post the last ones.

It is almost the end of the growing season…

Being an alien with a strong immune system (thanks to the team at St Antoine and in particular my wonderful graft doctor, also my very young stem cells donnor), and also thank to the very good Covid vaccine (4 shots 😉 ) I was able to avoid the Covid…. but at last I got it a few days ago! It did not last for too long, and I got mainly a running noze! It is over already!

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to visit Saint-Sulpice church in Saint Sulpice de Favières (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89glise_Saint-Sulpice_de_Saint-Sulpice-de-Favi%C3%A8res). My sister-in-law showed me this ex-voto:

So, now, beside my favorite Saint Antoine, I will have to thank Saint Sulpice and Sainte Marie :-)!

Of course, my favorites are and will remain forever people at Saint Antoine Hospital and in particular my kind graft doctor! Together with my family, my friends and my stem cells donnor they saved my life! I love them all!

A visit to Toronto

A visit to Toronto

Greetings from Bures-France! Recently we had the chance to visit our family living in Toronto. We had a wonderful time! We spent around 3 weeks there. During this time, we travelled in Ontario, mainly in the One Thousand Islands area: worst to be seen! It connects Lake Ontario to the Saint Laurence river. We walked over using the bridge leading to the US border., and made a cruise: by looking to the flags on the islands we could “travel” from the Canada to the US and back without leaving the boat…

The weather was OK, not like in France with its “heat wave”! When returning home, I discovered my garden in bad shape: no rain for 3 weeks, high temperatures… I was able to save most of the vegetables but some of the flowers, like the peonies, suffered a lot…not sure they will recover.

Anyway, we enjoyed our visit to our family and we are looking forward to meet them soon, in August :-)!

Of course, when traveling or on my day to day life, I never forget “my other family”: the people of the Saint Antoine Hospital Hematology Department, and in particular my kind graft doctor, and my stem cells donor….

With love!

Sixth anniversary!

6 years ago, on June 16th 2016, I entered The Hematology Department at Saint Antoine Hospital. It was the first day of a long journey, with the goal of being cured of the myelodysplasia I had since 2011 (at least). Here are some photos of “me”, taken at different times, from the fall of 2015 (before the stem cells transplant) to June 2022…

If I am here today it is because I had the chance to meet a fantastic team of doctors, nurses and caregivers at Saint Antoine. A special thanks to my wonderful graft doctor and to Marie, the nurse who performed on me her first stem cells transplant! Of course I cannot forget my stem cells donor, who gave me the chance to have a second birth! If I am still around, it is also because I have a great family and many friends who believed in me and supported me during this special experience… I really really love you all. How can I forget what you did for me!

Fall of 2015, Boulder-Colorado

June 2016: getting the hematopoietic stem cells transplant: