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:

A visit to the Courson Castel, near home

A visit to the Courson Castel, near home

Yesterday, we went to the Courson Castel, which is located near our home. It was a sunny and cool day.

This place is known for its camellias collection. As I love camellias, we decided to pay a visit to this place.

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%A2teau_de_Courson

Although it was somehow the end of the season for camellias, we enjoyed a magnificent show!

Here are some photos taken for you to enjoy!

Take care and enjoy life!

With love!

Venise, Venice, Venezia

Venise, Venice, Venezia

Last week, we fulfilled a dream we had for years: to visit Venice. We were fortunate, as the weather was ok, sunny but a little cold. Moreover, it was not crowded, well outside the Rialto ;-)!

Coming from the airport, we used a boat, which travelled through the Grand Canal up to our bed and breakfast…

We visited the Doge’s palace:

Saint Mark’s basilica:

Saint Mark square:

The bridge of Sighs:

Other views of Venice and Murano:

Murano glass museum:

We visited so many churches….looking for statues of my good friend Saint Antoine! Saint Antoine has become somebody special for me after people at Saint Antoine hospital saved my life in june 2016: I will never thank them enough for what they did for me, and in particular my great graft doctor: they are my heroes :-)! Of course, I lighted candles for each ;-)!

With love!

Spring in my garden!

Spring in my garden!

After being buried in snow in Canada for a few days, I came back to find that the Spring was already there at home! So many beautiful flowers!

It first started with crocus, yellow then blue, the first flowers of camellia, and the primroses…

Then came the forsythias, the quince trees of Japan, the hyacints, the violets…

But at this time of the spring, the most beautiful flowers are the camillas! I have four different camellias, but only two are already in flower… So more will come soon!

The apricot tree…

Soon we will have the tulips and later the rhododendrons and the apple and cherry trees… stay tuned!

Here are coming the tulips…and some new camellias too: enjoy!

The red camellia, my favorite, is there! With the cherry tree too…

More photos of the camellias, of our cherry tree, of a small azalea… they all survived the freezing temperatures and the snow we had on April 1st…

The last of our camellia, a pink one, is now showing its flowers…

We have also more tulips, some forget-me-not, and my friend cherry tree, a one with a long story, dating back almost one hundred years ago: it is sour cherry tree , whose “mother” was born 100 years ago in my parents garden…

A tour in my garden this morning, April 15th: