Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Late Summer Vacation - The Quicker Picker Upper

As Featured in Fig Lancaster


I am leaving for vacation tomorrow.  It is the same vacation I have been going on for 10+ years.  When I was diagnosed with cancer and forced to cancel our other summer getaways, this was the line I would not cross.

I marched into the Oncologist, calendar in hand, threw my finger down on the date and said “I am going away, here”.  I expected an argument.  I expected, well, something.  Instead he simply said “that’s great, we’ll push that treatment back a week.” And just like that I let out the breath that I had been holding.  I had finally won one.  

Cancer 3,635  Me: 1

 It may have only been one victory but it was a big one.

 I am a lazy vacationer.  I go full speed ahead all day, every day, so on vacation,  I do not want to go sightseeing,  I do not want dinner reservations,  I do not even want to wear shoes. In fact, one of my favorite beach getaways ever, I forgot to wear shoes and did not even realize until 2 days later. (I think I am a dirty hippie on the inside...just dying to bust out of my cardigan and loafers)

 Last Monday as we drove to chemo, I just kept telling myself “last chemo before vacation, last chemo before vacation”
 As the week progressed and chemo really,  really kicked my butt; I was sleep whispering “last chemo before vacation,  last chemo before vacation”

 When I had to cancel on a party with friends on Friday because I STILL felt like a big pile of horse poop, well there was no mantra that night, it sounded more like F*&$*&@!!!!!!!!!

 This week, vacation is all I can think about.  With chemo pushed back 1 week, I should be feeling better than I have felt since, well,  June and that is something to celebrate.

 Now with this long anticipated vacation at my fingertips, I am giddy with excitement.  I am going to eat (and taste) way too much food, I am going to drink ice-cold margarita’s (without my throat exploding in stinging tingles),  I am going to read a bucket full of books and take thousands of pictures and build sandcastles and go for beach runs and body surf (or sit in the surf) and I am not going to think about cancer. 

 I am going to sneak into my daughters’ bedroom before sunrise and carry her out on the beach and we are going to continue our 3 year tradition of watching the sunrise, wrapped in blankets, whispering and giggling together.

I am going to snuggle my brand new nephew to pieces and I am going to figure out a way to get my sister drunk enough so that she too can just breathe in the oceans calm and forget all about cancer and radiation masks.

I am going to make out with my husband in the sand dunes and I am going to tipsily toast my dear friends as the suns starts to set.  I am going to hug and cry and laugh.   I am going to live every moment like I am in my favorite place on this planet, because in the end, my world is brightest when my toes are in the sand and I am with the people I love the most.

 I am going to feel as normal as I have felt in months and I am going to soak in every last micro second of it so that when I come home and head to my next chemo treatment, just as the chemo sleepies are taking over, I can close my eyes, smear on a bit of coconut chapstick and for just a minute go back to the week where cancer was the footnote and not the headline. 


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