2012 Vacation (anniversary) celebration fail :/
July 2010: 2 years ago I was pitifully and painfully languishing in isolation at City of Hope Hospital battling for my life... not knowing the outcome of my high dose Melphalan chemo and Autologous stem cell transplant.
Rereading my postings from July 2010 is a very powerful reminder to self of my "then"...
How challenged beyond challenged I was then-
How I felt more awful than awful then-
And how then, I was a changed girl mentally, confronting and processing serious life and death issues.
So fast forward the healing clock 2 years-
Time has passed and I have healed in many ways and remain in remission per recent blood tests!
Hence our 2012 "Bucket list" planning begins...
First stop: Hawaii !
I saw this trip as a wonderfully symbolic way to celebrate life, my 2 year Myeloma remission and mark my July 5 Autologous stem cell transplant:
Hawaii here we come :)
July 4, 2012 we landed in Hawaii, ready for daily doses of salt water therapy, sandy relaxation and liquid refreshment!
I was so looking forward to more than a week of NO challenges, ALL fun and frivolity, DAILY soaking in the amazing turquoise water, floating with an occasional sea turtle, and laughing and playing carefree non stop!
Well Hello Reality-
Suddenly, before I even hit the beach, drank an island drink or even had a chance to get sunburned... I had a rude and all too familiar July 2010 reenactment!
I suddenly started not feeling well!!!
It crept in with killer headaches; and I mean super intense headaches (which I rarely get even mildly), so I knew something bad was up.
Then came the scratchy throat-
Then came the ouchy-achy skin and all over lethargy...
And BOOM, as if the cancer-gods were laughing at me... sending me back to July 2010, I was isolated in my Hawaiian hotel room sicker than sick with a fever higher than high.
Seriously, I could not believe this was happening to me!
I know my body's signals.
And I knew something bad was brewing... I tried to mentally will it away, Tylenol - Advil it away, turquoise blue water it away, lounge chair on the beach it away... to no avail.
In the middle of all this everyone else is having an absolute blast. Tanning, swimming, floating in tubes with turtles, inhaling tropical drinks, lounging by the pool, sunning on the sand, reading, playing, shopping, snorkeling, parasailing, touring around, eating, drinking, partying, meeting fun people from all over the world... and me, I'm feeling more awful by the moment.
And so... there went my July 2012 anniversary celebration in paradise, ironically feeling like I was right back at City of Hope Hospital 5th floor, inside looking out...
I was able to semi enjoy a day or two in the water, a drink or two by the pool, Duke's famous buffet, Duke's sunset serenade concerts, and a brief walk around town before I collapsed back in the room, while my crew partied and played without me :(
If being so sick wasn't enough-
On our last day before before our flight,
the last day I could have enjoyed the beach since my fever had finally subsided...
And here I am, headed back to work, and I am still not feeling fully well.
I forgot to mention... my fever was so high I grew this crazy little tumor on my inside cheek that I had to have surgically removed last week on the advice of my oncologist.
Biopsy results due in a week...
JULY 28 UPDATE BIOPSY RESULTS ARE IN:
FINAL PATHOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS
- ULCERATED SQUAMOUS MUCOSA WITH UNDERLYING SPINDLE CELL PROLIFERATION, MOST COMPATIBLE WITH FIBROMA.
- SPECIAL STAIN S100 ONLY SHOWS FOCAL NON-SPECIFIC STAINING AND IS INTERPRETED TO BE NEGATIVE AND NON-DIAGNOSTIC OF NEURAL TUMOR.
Julie, my heart is racing just reading this. How frightened were you? Did you hit the Emergency Room? Do you think you brought the virus with you or caught something on the plane? I'm so sorry your vacation was ruined.ReplyDelete
Oh no...so very sorry! Nothing is more miserable than feeling miserable on a vacation away from home. Brings back memories of a trip my hubby planned for us to fly to St. Kitts for my 50th birthday. The day we were leaving I started running a fever, got an earache, and a suspected sinus infection. I left the doctor's office in an unexpected snowstorm in late February, after receiving an injection in each "hip". Thought my head would explode from the pressure as we descended, couldn't even taste anything of the delicious food being offered, and slept on the beach under an umbrella. However, I did get my first massage which definitely helped me feel better. I think you deserve one after what you've been through! Praying your biopsy is negative and that you can go back to Hawaii one day when you are feeling better. At least you had a nice view! We love Maui and Kauai! Just paradise...ReplyDelete
Oh that is awful. I'm so sorry to hear this. Nothing to do but plan a do-over somewhere. Need to be careful with high fevers, Julie. Sepsis is always a threat when you're immunocompromised. Feel better!ReplyDelete
Julie,Glad it was benign.I know exactly where you were inReplyDelete
hawaii and sorry you were so sick>I have never seen jelly-fish there!When you say talk to people from all over the
world,I can`t think of anyone better at bringing them out than you.Hope you can go back soon and make up for this trip.
But golly it is so much better than two years ago!
Hi Julie! I read your comment on Cassie's blogpost. So are you now OFF chemo?!?! I totally relate to this post. My first Chrismas post tandem-SCT I found myself taking a two hour ambulance ride which left me to watch my kids open up their presents via Skype.ReplyDelete
Keep dominating your journey and keep me posted how things go from here on out! I still have 22 months of maintenance to go!! :P