Saturday, July 23, 2011

Round 4

Now I know why people leave the City in the summer. Boy, it gets hot! Mom and I left  on Wednesday to meet our Canadian friends Lindsey and Susan for a couple days of fun in the City. The trip up there was simple enough. There was oddly quite a bit of traffic but nothing too terrible. We decided to stay at The Westin again in Newport because it is our favorite hotel in Jersey City. Everyone who works there is overly friendly, the rooms are comfortable and clean, and there's a reason why they call their beds heavenly...

During the ride I received the most interesting email from someone who works with The Skin Cancer Foundation. She complimented me on my blog, and after a few back and forth emails, she asked if I would be interested in sharing my story through an interaction on Skype. This conversation would then be posted on the website they are relaunching in September. Awesome, huh? I am so flattered. I started this blog in the beginning for 3 reasons 1) because Mom told me I should...(She knows her daughter well.) 2) For my own therapy (and to keep myself sane from the questions from family members.) and 3) to show that melanoma is not just skin cancer. I had no idea the amount of support I would receive from strangers all over the world. Every single time I hear "I will never use the tanning bed again" I know that sharing my personal struggles has been worth it.

Anyway, back to my NYC adventures.

Wednesday evening once the ladies got into town, we headed over to Hoboken in hopes of taking Susan to see the Cake Boss. Unfortunately everyone else in New Jersey decided to pick that day to see him as well. We jumped onto the path train and headed into the City instead. We ended up at Rockefeller Center for drinks at The Rink Bar. It is such a cool little place where locals tend to meet up. Lindsey and I sat bat, sipped our drinks, and people watched while Mom & Susan got caught up. You truly never know what you will see in New York...

The random stretch Rolls Royce that 
was parked casually on the side 
of the road.
They are coming along on the tower...

Thursday morning we woke up with the intention of taking the Sex & the City tour. Unfortunately--again--everyone else planned to do the same thing. Instead we took the big red tourist bus tour! Here is what I have learned from that tour: 1) it really can be a great thing ONLY if your tour guide is informative and interesting. Otherwise, it is boring...very boring. Because the temperatures were outrageous on Thursday, we knew that the bus would be a good idea instead of walking all over the City. After we did the downtown tour, we decided to see what Brooklyn is all about.

Brooklyn's not the place you want to visit on one of those big red buses. Not only did we have a horrible tour guide, it was hot, there was a bike race going on so we had to move slowly, and we could not get off to explore when we felt like it. I guess I should have read that it was not "hop on/hop off" before taking the tour. Oops. I think Brooklyn could be a neat place to visit with people who live there now. Maybe one day!

After we got back from that tour, cooled off, and did some shopping, we were walking towards Central Park when we saw The Plaza. Next thing I knew, we were walking into the famous hotel for wine. (Yeah, yeah. I know people like to have tea at The Plaza, but hello, do we look like tea people? Wine all the way.) It was a fun experience with wonderful ladies.

All in all my two days of play time with 3 fabulous ladies was a lot of fun...even if we did all sweat a ridiculous amount!

Friday morning the fun was over. Mom & I got ourselves ready for the last day in the chemo suite for 3 months! I saw my vampire friends in the lab to let them take my blood, had an uneventful appointment with my oncologist (I like uneventful appointments...) and began to wait for my last session to begin. Treatment was scheduled to begin at 10:30; however, it was 12:30 before we were called, and it was 1:00 before the nurse got the IV in my arm. My veins were not cooperating at all on Friday. She warmed my arm, she tried 3 different veins, and then she finally got one that screamed "Just use me!"

Treatment itself was simple enough...Blood pressure decreased some over the 90 minutes, but that's pretty normal now. The only eventful thing about the entire day was the man in the suite next to us. He was an older gentleman who simply did not want to live anymore. How do I know that? Well, he said it. He was begging to go back to his nursing home, he was becoming more and more upset as the nurse continued to postpone. He kept saying, "I am tired!" I believed him, too. It broke my heart....I wanted to take that poor man back to his nursing home, put him in bed with his pain medicine, and let him ride out his days. Hearing this poor fella say that he wanted to die nearly did me in for the day. There is no other way to put it, it hurt my heart.

I am so thankful for Mom's assistance in getting me through the last 12 weeks. I know that physically, financially, and emotionally it has been a rough 3 months, but we did it. And every single time, we made the most of it...She made sure that we always had some fun even when she knew I would have been content hanging in the hotel room feeling bummed. She has been my backbone. Love ya, Momma.

Once I was free to leave, we got back on the road to head back to Virginia. That is when I learned of Tina's passing. She fought against melanoma since 2006. I know she was tired...I keep praying for her family...

Anyway, Mom & I got back to Virginia a little before 10 pm. We were both exhausted. In fact, I did not move until after 11:00 this morning. I can't remember the last time I slept in that late. I have been extremely lazy today...I still feel too tired to think clearly, but I wanted to post a little something regarding the last week. It has been a busy one, that is for sure.

I will post more later...Maybe I will be more interesting once I get some rest. ;-)

Have a safe weekend, friends.

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