100th Post

This is an exciting and special day not only because it marks one year since my liver resection surgery, but also because this post number 100 on my blog! Double yippee!

What started out as a way to keep in touch when my husband and I moved to China has turned into a resource for cancer survivors and illness sufferers. Oh and in-between, I chronicled six months of living in France. What a ride!

To commemorate the moment, I wanted to share a few of my favorite and most popular posts. It was really fun to look back. I love how this blog has served as a history of my life.

Thank you for reading.  Here’s to the next 100!

Most popular posts:
Waiting for Hair: The Toll of Chemotherapy and Cancer
For me, losing my hair wasn’t hard — it was the waiting for it to grow back that has been the most challenging.  And for the hair update, click here.


2014, 2015 & 2016

Living Universal Truths on My Cancerversy
September 1st is my cancerversy and the universe conspired for some incredible things to happen.

Testing My Confidence
My terrifying debut to the french language.

Belgium: More Than Beer and Chocolate
Christmas in Brussels, Bruges and Ghent.

My Night in a Brothel
Spending the night in a 24-hour Asian spa – sketchy or awesome? Both.


Favorite posts:


At the End of the World on Cancer Survivor’s Day

The Ordinary World
My journey through cancer and to the Camino de Santiago.

Lessons Learned in Advocating
Your life depends on not letting your guard down for a moment. Here are some of the important advocating lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Why I’m Kicking Italy to the Curb
Where my obsession with the Camino de Santiago all began.  To read all my Camino posts, click here.


Holly visits China

Hol(l)y Crap
When one of my best friends visited me in China.

The Adventures of Henri & Moi
Driving a manual car in a foreign country is terrifying.


The Adventures of Henri & Moi

It’s not even the middle of January and I can already check something off my 2012 goal list. Driving a manual car…in France…on little roads…by myself.

Yes, I have a car. Well, it’s not technically mine, but it belongs to Fabien’s Grandfather, Rene. It’s a Clio and they are everywhere in France along with the brands Renault and Peugeot. I’ve decided he (the car) must have a name, so, meet Henri (pronounced the French way: On-re). Why Henri? Well, in the USA, Henri is an older name. And since the car is a quite old and belongs to Grandpa Rene, I felt it should have a distinguished name. Plus, when you say Henri with the french accent, it’s kind of fun.


I thought there would be a funny tale to tell about my first days of driving, but it was rather uneventful. The first day, I stalled a lot. The second day, less. The third day, I drove in the village. Easy breezy. And all the while, Fabien patiently held my hand.

Stalling in the round-about was kind of like this...

However, my hand was empty after January 1st. This meant that going forward I had to find the school and manage driving on my own. The first solo day, I stalled a few times. The second, I stalled a lot, got lost and was a ball of stress by the time I made it to the University. The third day, I got confused and stalled in a round-about causing other drivers to honk and tell me I was number one. To add to my embarrassment, the neighbor drove past me laughing hysterically. Totally mean, but I probably would have done the same.

And most recently, when I was driving home, I got stuck in the village downtown, on a hill, behind a bus, with a car behind me. If your familiar with driving stick, this can be a complex situation because the car rolls back the moment the brake is released.  So, when the bus took off, I floored it and quickly removed my foot from the clutch. My tires skid and a group of little old ladies leaving the church gave me the most horrified look. This made me L-O-L. Whatever, I bet that guy behind me is happy Henri didn’t go slamming into his Mercedes.

Everyday, I seriously consider taking the bus. I feel like other drivers are constantly screaming, “WHAT IS SHE DOING?” but over the past 3 days, I have seen improvement. Meaning, I have only stalled once.

But, for your viewing pleasure, I recorded clips of some of the greatest moments of our adventures to date. Enjoy! (P.S. It’s set to music, so you might want to mute your sound.)