Good Day readers.
I was invited to travel from North Dakota to Toronto, Canada to testify in a lawsuit. My plans included me flying to Buffalo, NY on Sunday and driving to Toronto. I arrived in Buffalo to pick up my vehicle and was quickly told that my debit card was denied. My banks fraud department denied it and called me to verify that I wanted to rent a vehicle. The drive to Toronto included a stop along the way to have dinner with my son and his fiance. I hadn't seen him since 2002.
I arrived in Toronto and was somehow comfortable with the size even though Minot is but a drop in the bucket compared to the size of Toronto. I liked my room but to be completely honest I thought I should expect more considering the hotel was indicating it was rated 4 star. Tell you what - the only thing different was that the bed was more comfortable. It had a coffee pot and a safe. There was actually a closet not just hangers in the open...whoopie do.
Anyway I was able to vist my aunts, dad, sister and several friends. I met briefly with an Attorney on Tuesday and planned to meet again on Thursday and then testify on Friday. Thursday morning I checked my email and found that I was no longer needed to testify. Instead of waiting until Saturday I decided to leave on Friday and the plans were quickly put in place both on paper and in my mind. I would need to leave the hotel by 8:30am for my drive back to the Buffalo Airport. The drive went well but then everything started to fall apart.
My first flight was delayed... then when the plane arrived in Newark further delays just getting off to the plane and into the terminal. I dashed to my next gate as this was going to be really close. Turns out it wasn't close at all - I missed the flight. The airline put me up in a hotel and gave me $20 for meals. I went to bed at 9:30pm and was up and moving at 2:00am so I could get to the airport.
Off I go to Denver - a 3 hour 45 minute flight. I find my next gate and while I am sitting there the flight information changes to Cancelled. The flights were modified to leave later in the day. However, I start looking at what was provided to me and realize I don't have a boarding pass. I speak to the person at the gate and she can't even find me in on the flight info. I head back to Customer Service and then change my flight plans to leave Denver and fly to Minneapolis and then Minot.
The flight to Minneapolis was good but then once again - the flights were cancelled to Minot. I was told this time that the airline doesn't put people in hotels when it is weather related. Oh great I think to myself. My bed this night was the airport floor. The airline did provide some mats about two inches thick to soften the floor. I did get some sleep and at about 4am I noticed more people walking past. I decided to get up and head to the Mc D's.
I ordered my food and found a place to eat. The hashbrowns which I have always found to be a little crunchy were so oil soaked that they were droopy. Yuck. I wasn't eating those so I enjoyed my Mc Griddle and Orange juice.
After all this travel mixed with some iffy spots caused by radiation treatments it hit. My body let me know very clearly that I needed a restroom now. All of my travels I had been keen to keep an eye open for the closest restrooms but not this morning. I got up and looked to my right - no indication of a nearby restroom that way. Looked to my left and luckily a restroom was maybe 125ft away. I did my best to walk fast while clenching my butt muscles. I made it. Now, I appeared to be facing another situation it was more like I was prepping for a colonoscopy than anything else and time was ticking. My thoughts were of missing my plane due to something out of my control and attempting to explain it to customer service and not wanting to pay for another flight.
I was finally able to rise to the occassion and headed to the gate. This should be a simple thing I thought -- wait a few minutes as the flight time had been to an earlier time. I should be home in no time now.
Stupid me... My name is called and asked to come to the desk at the gate. Now what, they don't call your name to say hello - not what the heck is wrong. I was told they have a seat for me - but no reservation. They would not be able to allow me to fly. The man at the desk said he would need to speak to a supervisor to get things cleared up. A Supervisor actually showed up and within minutes he is speaking with me letting me know the bad news. He leaves me and returns to the desk with the advice that I should call the airline.
I picked up my stuff and went over to the desk. The Supervisor finished what he was working on and asked me if I had called the Airline yet. I simply said no. He then called and although I know he didn't want to - was able to clear up the mess. I was able to get on the flight and was back in Minot by 9am.
Due to the radiation treatment except for the last day the thought that ran through my head all the time while away from home - was map out the restrooms. What a crazy new life I obviously have. I will forever need to know where the restrooms are or be in search of them just so I don't have issues. I had a nurse suggest Depends - Yes, they work but my experience with those quite frankly is yes they help. But, have you ever changed a baby diaper and seen the mess - and why they might be crying. Now walk with me for a moment into a hypothetical situation... You are walking through a large city headed to see an Attorney. You have a blow out and although your clothes are saved ... you know the Attorney is going ask you to sit. Of course you probably also don't want to be in a small room for fear of the odour that is now coming from you. Depends are great... as long as you have the ability to clean up. I know - no public restroom that is adequately equipped for this type of situation.
Now back to my last appointment with my Oncologist. I reported blood BM's. A colonoscopy was scheduled. Several days before the procedure - the blood stopped. Nothing was found during the procedure. Now about a month later - I am once again experiencing the blood.
This is what it is like to be a Cancer Warrior.
Now my hormone treatments have also kicked in to high gear this month (October). I can and do frequently go from a state of comfort to a temperature hot enough that I could probably heat five homes. Every inch of me is very quickly covered in sweat. This continues to happen 24/7. I can literally soak my jammie pants with sweat. I don't wear anything on the top half so the sheets in the bed get wet. Oh hang on I must not forget that this heat can and does to change to massive cold. My cold chills are probably most effective as a small freezer.
Oh being a Cancer Warrior is an experience. If the Cancer doesn't kill me - maybe I will just end up a puddle on the floor. Of course, I could end up as a statue somewhere frozen for all eternity.
Funny enough today is the day I get another shot. I also have to go in to the Cancer Center to be set up for five more radiation treatments. These treatments will be on my right lower rib where my cancer had spread.