All thoughts are not rationale. I understand this. Yet, I feel strongly that because I have survived cancer; the rest of my life (accidents, viruses, surgery speaking) should be a cake walk. Every time I get a stomach ache, my first thought is that the cancer has returned. Certainly, it had nothing to do with the Chinese take-out I had for dinner? A finger cut that won’t heal as fast as I deem appropriate; of course, my platelet counts are off and again, the cancer is back. What a head game!
Along the same route, as a cancer survivor, the weather should always be perfect, rainbows and butterflies should be a daily sighting and family vacations should live up to every single expectation. How wrong! My brain knows my thought process is fantasy, but it can’t seem to move past it. Whoever originally stated that “family vacations should actually be called trips,” couldn’t be more accurate.
Our 2023 spring break was no different. Full of anticipation, excitement, planning and great fun had by everyone under the age of 17. They didn’t have to worry about executing the plan, plane delays, injuries, feeding a group and well, basically anything except having fun.
We had extra over-achiever plans this year. Take the kids out of school a day early, head to Utah for amazingly fresh powdered snow skiing, sledding and snowmobiling. Unfortunately, my foot and hand neuropathy hate the cold. Oh well, “it’s just money,” four hundred dollars later in heated socks, gloves and extra gloves that keep those working in the arctic cold – I was ready. My goal; ½ day of skiing before the cold and one lung breathing in high altitude got to me. I was so ready and pumped that we didn’t even take a group picture before we headed out (oops). Ten of us headed to a freshly powdered blue hill while Eric helped Ethan get ready for ski school. Second lift in and Addison was complaining about her boots hurting. We thought, “that’s not really possible, you haven’t really even skied.” We told her everything short of “suck it up.” Wait, we might have even said that. Turns out, after we removed her boots following the first run she had 4 blisters on each foot. Oops, poor kid!
Even more interesting, I get started on the first run and think, “hmm, I am really rusty.” This is hard. Addison, following the next lift started having some significant anxiety, but again we rolled our eyes … the darn boots! We made our way slowly down the hill, the first part of our group waiting every 5-10 minutes to let the rest of us catch up. So much powder! So many moguls! I Kept thinking, I am so rusty or we are on a super hard black. The answer … a super hard, powdered black. Addison was melting down at this point, but Garrett was being very patient with her and working her slowly down the mountain. I knew I was in over my head, but really couldn’t freak out too much as my kids were making it down. Then … one extra bad mis-step, I crossed my ski’s and knew it was the end. I heard my knee snap and somehow ended up head down on the hill. There was screaming and crying then an attempt to laugh so I wouldn’t freak out the kids. Then the cute ski patrol … where I took a hundred percent responsibility for being in over my head. One terrifying ride down in a toboggan, an x-ray and crutches and my skiing adventure was over about thirty minutes after they started.
Crutches and ice packs for three days while being stuck in our not overly amazing rental. I read a couple of books, enjoyed some quiet time and seeing the kids have a blast, but kind of a bust. Two pictures resulted; one of my ass on crutches and one leaving Utah at the airport.
Hold Those Feet Up Jan – RAT-MOUSE patrol!
24 hours later I was headed with Addison to Fort Meyers, Florida for some sun, water and to catch up with a dear friend. Garrett had FOMO at the last minute, so add on one very expensive plane ticket. I had had enough of the crutches so hobbled through the next airport with the kids being my sherpa. While the love and conversation from our host was amazing, Fort Meyers has yet to recover from last year’s hurricane and there was a “red algae tide” coming through the coast making it unsafe to swim in the ocean. Bummer ! So, of course Garrett got on the internet, found a cable wake boarding park at a non-ocean swamp lake (full of alligator’s I’m sure) and the kids lived their dream of wakeboarding literally as much as they wanted for two entire days. Teenager heaven. Followed by three days in a row of ice cream, one in which a rat-mouse crossed our ice cream path. While it was an unexpected vacation … so much fun thanks to our wonderful host. A seventeen hour flight delay on our way home and I was ready for my bed and to sleep for two days!
Such a reminder to keep living your best life, tackle those bucket list items, do the vacations or staycations but controlling the outcome, even though you have been through hell and back, probably isn’t go to happen. Soak up the sun (with your sunscreen,) enjoy the rat-mouse and alligator stories after the fact and pray that you have met your high deductible on your health insurance before you have to have your knee scoped. Or something like your version of that ….
Until next time…