Or at least, he was for the week after my fourth treatment.
This time, Hsuan arrived in the early morning after my treatment, after I had spent the night unable to sleep, balancing between drinking water to quench the chemo thirst (two full bottles in one night) and going to pee.
My sister had also arrived the day before to stay just until Hsuan’s arrival. While I had moments of discomfort up until Hsuan left a week later, I felt fine.
I mean, how could I not? This man had just endured another long-haul flight to come see and spend time with me. To say he makes me happy is the understatement of the year.
We took things a bit slower this time around during the first few days in Maryland, going to the movie theater to watch Ready Player One, exploring Historic Ellicott City, getting to know each other more through playing Uncommon Questions, eating #AmericanFood such as pizza and Five Guys, chilling at home and seeing the deer come out in our backyard, before finally spending three days in Boston. He even went to the hospital with me because the device that I need to attach to my arm (or belly) for 27 hours after each treatment stopped working. The device, which costs nearly $10k, injects pegfilgrastim to help the body make white blood cells. Before this device existed, patients would have to return to the hospital the next day to receive a shot. Because of convenience, my insurance now has to pay almost $60k so that my body can properly fight infections after each treatment.
As with his last trip last time, the weather conditions were far from stellar, adding to his impression that the United States is just cold and gloomy.
LUCKILY HE BRINGS ALL THE SUNSHINE ❤
In Boston, I found a cute little Airbnb for us to stay at for the two nights. Technically in Cambridge, the Airbnb’s location made it convenient for us to tour nearby colleges (including my alma mater!) and cross the bridge for the Red Sox’s Opening Day!
Despite the blue skies, the ice-cold wind made sitting for what ended up being a four-hour long game made it nearly unbearable. I am just grateful neither of us caught a cold, but for the dinner afterward at the go-to Wing’s Kitchen, to the delight of my everyone, my cheeks were red from windburn.
On his last day, we made the necessary stop by Richardson’s Ice Cream in Middleton, right after it started snowing. The sun and blue skies managed to make its appearance again right before he left that night.
Unlike last time, we do not yet know exactly when we’ll see each other next, because I am still waiting for a confirmation of my summer plans. What I do know is that I will be back in Taiwan either in mid-late June or early July, at the latest.
We are both so lucky to have been able to meet as many times as we have this year alone, especially given that there are no direct flights from Taiwan to Baltimore or D.C. (yet), and the trips themselves are pretty xinku, sunfu, or PLAIN HARD.
But the precious time we do have together, we cherish like no other. I made Hsuan take the Love Language Quiz (in Chinese), and we both scored highest in Quality Time 精心的時刻 and Physical Touch 身體的接觸, which makes total sense especially given our situation. I do wonder if and how it will change as our relationship progresses and when we don’t have oceans separating us.
In other news, the weather today is a GORGEOUS 80-something, and I am blogging from my parents’ bedroom with the windows open and warm breeze. A sunny, warm day really lifts one’s spirits—which only makes me that much more excited for the summer and Taiwan (though, how to show off my head will be another issue).