The Kennedy Package

I met my Medical Oncologist yesterday, to map out the rest of my treatment. He’d already met with the Cancer Board and gotten their recommendations. So he was able to show me what they all thought my path should be.

I interrupted him right there. Remember that JoCo Cruise that I’m gushed about before? (Google it if need be) This year, instead of being a (increasingly large) group on a ship with folks who don’t know who we are, we’ve got the WHOLE ship! And we’re cruising in an entirely different area. We’d already paid for a room. So I asked him if we could push chemo out until we got back from the cruise, because even if we could do chemo around the cruise, you’re not really supposed to drink while in chemo.

Anyone who knows me, knows that if it were any other event, drinking/not drinking would not matter. For 11.75 months out of the year, saying I had one drink a month would be pushing it. It just rarely occurs to me to even have a drink. But this is the cruise. On the cruise, I don’t have to cook or clean, and our daughter has her own room key and can eat whenever she wants. I have absolutely no responsibilities. We all check in every night, and hear what everybody plans each day. But it’s a ship; she’s not going anywhere that we couldn’t eventually catch up with her. So I can drink.

I laughingly explained that we’d already paid for the whole cruise, and on the cruise is the one place I feel comfortable getting the “Kennedy Package“. There isn’t any actual Kennedy Package, but I do get whatever drink package is available. And any time I feel like having a drink, I can get one; and I feel like it a lot more than I ever do when I’m home.

Trying to explain my drinking habits to Doctors/Nurses in the last 5 years has been very problematic.

Anyway, I explained it all, and the Doctor showed me that my cancer growth rate is slow. How slow you ask? During the testing, they examine cells from the tumor to see how many of them are reproducing within a set sample size. Mine was 4%. Four out of 100 tumor cells were showing cell division.

We decided that my cancer is slow growing enough that 3 weeks one way or another wouldn’t change anything. I start chemo two days after we return.

WooHoo! I get to go on my cruise, with my tribe, with no responsibilities, and with as many drinks as I want! I can not state how much I feared not being able to go.

 

ADDED BONUS: Finally got my sister to go! She expressed interest. We talked to The Home Office for the cruise. And we figured out a way to get her on-board. Even at this late date. It only took five years.

 

There and Back Again

We just got back from a rather unexpected vacation. We took a family road trip to see my sister in Texas. Yes, I know it was over 100°. We went anyway. And we visited some great sites along the way.

We stopped at Yosemite. Beautiful place.

El Capitan in Yosemite
El Capitan

Although I didn’t get a picture, there was a couple of FAT squirrels making the rounds at the outdoor cafe seating at the Visitor’s Center. They were literally making the rounds. They weren’t begging from people, but they scampered from one table to the next, just in case anyone had dropped anything. Apparently, a LOT of people drop things. Sometimes even accidentally.

One of our stops at Yosemite.
Bridal Falls

We went by Mono Lake. It was so weird to see the tufa.

Mono Lake
Mono Lake

We also saw the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest.

Painted Desert
Painted Desert
Petrified Forest
Petrified Forest

I loved all the colors in the trees. I saw what I thought was gravel, washed down from a hill. Turned out to be petrified wood chips.

That's not gravel. Those are petrified wood chips.
Petrified wood chips

We saw Carlsbad Caverns. I’m sure glad they had railings all along the path, because all 3 of us were wandering around with open mouths and our eyes on the ceiling.

The Chandelier in Carlsbad Caverns
The Chandelier in Carlsbad Caverns
Carlsbad Caverns
Carlsbad Caverns

And our last stop was that big hole in the ground: the Grand Canyon. This is where I discovered the panorama on my camera, and played around with it…a lot.

A panoramic shot at the Grand Canyon
A panoramic shot at the Grand Canyon
Selfie at the Grand Canyon
Selfie at the Grand Canyon

Then, right as we were leaving, about 5pm, we saw a mama elk and two fawns. They apparently knew that it was safe at the Visitor’s Center, so they came right up. The fawns were skittish, but mama just kept eatings and ignoring all of us.

Elk at the Visitor's Center at the Grand Canyon
Elk at the Visitor’s Center at the Grand Canyon

Then we got home, and the cats were so thrilled to see us.

He's so happy to see us.
He’s so happy to see us. You know, on the INSIDE.

There were, of course, many more pictures. And if you’re the kind of masochistic person who likes looking at other people’s vacation pictures, the rest can be found here: 2015 Texas Trip