Of Unsuccessful Celebrations

Seriously…………… !!!!
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:

Inside and hospitalized then,
Outside and free to play now!
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.

Sadly, I was getting something and getting something big :(
Thumbs up, faking it lol

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 after trying to pretend I would be ok, I bit the dust, 
rather bit the sand,
rather fell into the hotel room bed and stayed there… 
for a day or two or three…
At least it was a room with a fairly nice view, 
15th floor with a torturously beautiful view 

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…

Seriously, I still cannot believe how sick I got, how high my fever was and how much I was not able to do while in Hawaii. But to be fair, periodically I was able to drag my sorry self out of the room every other day, fever, headache, sneezing, coughing and all, achy skin, and all.
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 :(

(Don’t get excited for me,
 it’s only a non-alcoholic fruit smoothie)

City of Hope look-alike with palm trees!

And for the final ironic torture- 
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…

Waikiki Beach is invaded with stinkn Jelly Fish!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously… all I can do is laugh at the ridiculous ironies in my life

Until next time…
Paradise lost on me 

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…




WHOLLY COW!!!  what in the world is going on with my system!!!
From what I read about ULCERATED SQUAMOUS MUCOSA WITH UNDERLYING SPINDLE CELL PROLIFERATION…. that’s not exactly a good thing… 

WhatEver……. at least it was BENIGN !!!