The last time I went to Disney was as a child. I am now 31, but I feel we (hubs and I) are young at heart, so we dove right in with all our expectations and headed to Disney as soon as we were up and planned to spend our entire day there. Sounds fun, right? Holy crapola we quickly learnt we are old...like not denture old, but old as in our ability to tolerate some of these rides!! Firstly, I LOVE the heat, sunshine, etc... However, I typically lay on a beach or by a pool, hence how I tolerate and love it. When we were down there they had a heat wave, which would normally excite me, but not so much when you are on the grounds of Disney, with herds of exhausted, hot, screaming children and crowds galore. I HATE crowds. I like my space...at least my arms length as that's my personal comfort bubble. My bubble burst quickly...actually a bubble never existed as people would literally rub up on me as we stood in 100degree + heat, sometimes for hours to get on a ride! I kept telling myself "this is the happiest place on earth...this is the happiest place on earth.." But there's so much rubbing up I could take from strangers. Firstly, it's not necessary as there's more then plenty of room but add the heat to it and it is pretty unbearable. I also realized that the heat combined with many 3D rides made me feel not so good...like at all. I really thought I would be fine as I was off of chemo during this time period due to toxicity but my "ideal" health scenario was a bit less then ideal:/. At one point, while standing in line, I felt super unwell. You know when you get a feeling of complete doom and gloom and you are simply trying to tell yourself mentally that you won't pass out, while your head feels like it is being crushed in a vice, while standing in a line for hours for a ride that proves to be anticlimactic, and you eventually end up on the floor voluntarily to prevent an involuntary collapse on the floor? Ya, that was me! The headaches I got from the 3D rides were pretty close to unbearable and I quickly realized that I had limitations. I refused to ever stop, so instead I stood in lines for hours with the hubs man while he would ask incessantly; "are you ok...are you still ok?" To which I always responded; "I'm great." Between Disney and Universal we were kept busy but I have no regrets and we did have fun. With the hot flashes and the heat wave I'm surprised I didn't spontaneously combust into a raging inferno...i'd be a one woman show! We purchased those misting fans which I used constantly to the point that it ran out of batteries...there just wasn't any other way to get through the heat!!
We also went to the Comedy Store one evening because we absolutely love stand up comedy, and to say we laughed our heads off would be an understatement. It was vulgar but sooooo good!! I think we both actually liked this better then Disney (likely because we were in an air conditioned room, sitting, eating, and laughing our heads off). My other favourite day was our beach day. If you are that close to the ocean then you MUST go to the ocean. We went to Newport and Laguna Beach, and the day we sat on the beach was just perfect. The sound of the ocean...the sun...the vastness of the water is truly one of my favourite things. It's as if everything else in my life, such as the dark cancer cloud that looms over my head everyday was kind of an afterthought because in that very moment my life was perfect, and I mean just completely calm and wonderful. The ocean water proved to also be beneficial for my toxic, Xeloda feet. I honestly couldn't remember the last time my feet looked so good...this was a plus as I can use this as a very convenient excuse to go on more ocean vacations:). I felt so good and refreshed and that's probably why this was one of my fave days.
Overall, I'd say we had a fun packed, busy, relaxing, and wonderful vacation. We did everything we wanted to and saw everything we wanted.
Once we were back I caught up with friends, including my cancer peep who is also stage IV and in her early 30s. It's funny how my conversations are so different with my healthy peeps because I only have a handful of non-cancer friends that truly understand this life and what it entails. One of the things we discussed, as she has a toddler, were people in society and how clueless many are who have never experienced a real life traumatic event, such as cancer. My heart broke because the mundane, relatively easy things we do in life become monumentally hard when you have cancer. She mentioned watching other mothers pick up their children with ease. This was something that she would love to be able to do without a second thought, but thanks to cancer it becomes a task that needs to be thought out. When you hear healthy people go abouts their days we agreed that they seem to take everything for granted. We discussed how we can plan for one thing a day, otherwise we suffer and require double that amount of time to recover. Who else in their early 30s needs to deal with this??!! Recently I Saw someone post an article about how "hard" it was to be a parent, and then others commented by complaining about their own children, and I just wondered...seriously?? I've come to realize that life is a series of choices, intertwined with some random shit that we don't choose (ie: diseases, accidents, etc...). The random shit that intertwines is just plain crappy, and the only choices we are left with are how we choose to deal with it. Children to me have always been viewed as the ultimate gift, and the best choice someone could make in life would be to have their own little miniatures running around, happy, loved, and healthy. At this point we all know I wasn't privileged enough to be able to have children, but my friend who has cancer does have a child and she stated that after getting stage IV cancer she realized how incredibly easy it was to have a child when HEALTHY. When I browse Facebook and realize my many beautiful young mama friends, and realize they are dying or deteriorating due to cancer I see their desperate pleas to have more time, not for themselves but for their children. They don't complain about their babies as they get it: having children is a privilege and the things healthy mothers would view as complaints they view as another day and another moment they got to experience, not as a burden, but rather as a gift. Then I watch these beautiful kids grow another year older, without their mothers by their side, and wonder how proud their moms would be if they were still alive to see it...reaching milestones that I remember their very own mothers pleaded to be able to live to see, but life had other plans and the randomness of disease took them from getting to be able to live to see the things that others continue to complain about.
I suppose when your life is stripped to the core, and you have a disease that slowly, or abruptly, changes and the simplest tasks require thinking about then my views of "hardship" are very different. Sure, children can be challenging, but I don't care to hear about how hard something is when you CHOOSE to have children...the last I checked there was only one Virgin Mary and I have yet to meet another, so let's just admit that there is no such thing as a "surprise" pregnancy. I can't tolerate parents who don't realize how truly blessed and lucky they are and I'm at that point in my life that I may actually call you out if you choose to bitch and whine about the very life you chose to bring into this world. I know many will not agree, but until you have a terminal disease please don't mention how "hard" your little blessings may be. It's odd to live in this parallel universe where you remember being well and how carefree and easy life was and then to recognize that that life is over and never coming back. Now it's all about living strictly in the moment...the moment is all I am guaranteed, so I choose to embrace and enjoy this moment, and whatever tomorrow brings will still remain as that; tomorrow and not a reflection of my today.
Apologies in advance for the loads of pics...
Laguna Beach with the hubs..my happy place:)
A pic of our big ole heads with the castle in the background and some random with Minnie ears (this is the best we could do, but the pic below will explain why)
We were happy in this pic and the background was visible!! However, right after we took this pic with our selfie stick some not so friendly Disney employee came to kick us out as selfie sticks are considered prohibited items!! Seriously, they wanted to escort us out. I honestly wanted to take the selfie stick and use it for other means as this young guy was insanely rude!!! Note to self: Don't bring selfie sticks to Disney!!
This was one way to beat the hot flashes but my hands couldn't waft this fan quick enough to cool down. As well, by the end of our trip I had broken this fan too. If anyone knows of a good place to purchase some cute fans, both battery powered and ones without please let me know!! I'm hot as hell!!
Driving to our beach:)
It's hard to see in the pic but this was some massive ahi tuna that was sooooooooo good!!
There's really nothing like a sunset over the ocean
Cars ride...we bailed out of this line not long after this pic. We chose our sanity on this one
This sign made me laugh. Hmm any of those parents who complain about their kids want to drop them off...we will happily find and keep them:)
We really are so tiny in the grand scheme of things
Harry Potter Land!! I'm not even into Harry Potter, but this was pretty darn cool and fun!!
Who doesn't love minions??!!!
When we got home I had scans and this just shows our pure elation to have received some more good news: STABLE. Now onto the next adventure...