A Blogger’s Travels

Surprise! I’m blogging on a Saturday. Truth is I just have the time this morning to sit down and write. Weekends are typically my favourite time to catch up on blogs, e-mails, and various other things. While listening to CBC radio and drinking coffee out of the largest mug I own… of course.

Anyways, I wanted to note that today, January 21st marks one month since my last chemo!! Officially the longest I’ve gone without chemo since beginning in July 2011. Before this, it was common to wait three weeks in between treatments.

A lot of people ask me how I’m feeling now that it’s been so long. The answer, as always, is complicated. I feel great and yet I don’t feel great all at the same time.

With each week that passes, I find I have more energy than the week before. I’m getting out of the house more, exercising more, I’m even doing a few more chores. But with the bouts of energy, still come the crashes. While my “ups” are much better and longer than they used to be, they are still much more short-lived than that of a normal person. And my “down” energy times are still borderline crippling.

The best way to explain it is to use the spoon theory. I’m not sure if I really have any more spoons, but instead it just takes a little more to use one up. When I run out of spoons, the feeling is no different than before. I’m stuck to lying in bed so fatigued I can barely move. This first month without chemo has made me realize what a long process recovering from the poisons is going to be. Now I really understand how people can say it takes months to get any semblance of normalcy back.

With that said however, I’m bound and determined to get some things done in these months as I recover. Namely, TRAVEL!

I would have never labelled myself as an avid traveller before, but having to go a year without going anywhere made me realize how much I really do travel and how much I rely on it! I have a few things on the horizon that I am super stoked on.

1. Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Okay, so Halifax is only a 2.5 hour drive from Moncton. But my friend gave me a Garrison growler (ie. jug o’ beer) and we made plans to go to Halifax to get it filled to celebrate when I’m cancer-free. If I get a clear scan next week, the trip could be very soon! I love Halifax (my mom grew up there) and have a handful of friends there, so I think it will make for a perfect first trip.

2. Toronto, Ontario.

View from the CN Tower!

Ideally, I’d like to take a long weekend trip to my old stomping grounds in March/April depending on how I’m feeling and how work is going. I’d have taken a trip back a looooong time ago had I not gotten sick. I miss my friends there! And the food!

3. Boulder, Colorado. 

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Ever since travelling to the Canadian Rockies with Holly and Karen, I’ve had an itch to go south and see what the Rockies are like in the U.S. Coincidentally, when a group of bloggers decided to arrange a weekend of hanging out, they chose Colorado as the location! The BLEND Retreat is May 4-6 and will basically be one big blogger party. No sessions or conferences to get to, just spending time together and tackling some mountains! Some of my best blog friends are already signed up to go, but I know there are spots left. I encourage any bloggers out there to check it out! As Lindsay says, you can always make more money, you’ll never be able to replicate this kind of weekend. If you’re worried about not knowing anyone, you’ll know ME. And we can be awkward together.

4. Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.

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Ever since being diagnosed with cancer, I’ve been reading about these survivor retreats and wishing I could be a survivor already and go take part. Well, by July I should hopefully still be in remission so I signed up to take part in the Young Adult Cancer Canada “Retreat Yourself” on the East Coast. Registration was free and I’m lucky that it’s close enough I can drive. I’ve never been to Cape Breton, so I’m excited to check out its beauty, get some outdoor activity in, and of course connect with other cancer patients/survivors my age who will get my cancer jokes. If you’re a Canadian young adult cancer survivor, you should check this one out!

Well, I wanted to share some of the treats that have been coming out of my kitchen, but I feel like I’ve written enough, so I will save that for another post. Instead, here is a picture of Buster carrying around his much-too-big-for-him teddy bear.

Have a great weekend!

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Posted on January 21, 2012, in Fun. Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. Think of this as a tribute from all your blog fans as they welcomed the news that you’ve been a month without chemo. And take it to the infinite power when you come back from your scan cancer-free!

  2. Sounds like some fabulous travel. If you’re looking for a good place to eat in Halifax, I absolutely adore Chives (http://www.chives.ca/). It’s a nice place for a celebration, and there are lots of nearby bars for getting your Garrison growler filled.

  3. Glad to hear you’re ready to hit the road! And fingers crossed for you for next week :)

    Also, two things. Where’s the west coast love on that list?! And, if you’re feeling it, sometime this spring I feel like a Mother-daughter (Dads? Boyfriends?) trip to Vegas would be awfully fun, and really well deserved after beating cancer. Not sure how that would tie in with Colorado and such, but keep that idea in your head :)

    • I know! I reeeeally want to do a Vancouver/Seattle trip. I was planning on doing it this summer, and may still, but other things are slowly popping up. I have a chance to go to Newfoundland in August which I may do instead. It depends on my financial/work situation (it’s about $1000 in flights to go to BC). Vegas would be FUN.

  4. Congratulations on the month of Chemo Free!

    Can’t wait to meet you and lots of other bloggers at the Blend Retreat. I actually live/work in Boulder so it was an easy decision for me!

  5. Oh I am so happy for you! No more chemo! That is fantastic. I love your travel ideas as well. I have two blog ‘friends’ that live in your town (I Used to Have Hair – on my blogroll) and Halifax (Sunshine on my Shoulder) and they are long distance and travel to and from every week or two, so I always see how fun Halifax looks, it just looks gorgeous in the pics I have seen! Enjoy the travels! I have travels on the mind too, might post about it too!

  6. You go girl! You are, as always, such an inspiration to me. One month without chemo! Yay!! Right now I’m waiting on my surgery for a hysterectomy, all the tests and the waiting…and waiting…ugh….it’s the worst. So far it’s “pre-cancer”…but they say 25% of the time they find cancer when they open you up….I hate statistics….I just have to focus on the fact that 75% of the time they don’t! I love following your blog, when I get an email that you have a new post, I am so excited to head on over! I started my blog because I’m on medical leave and I would love for you to come and check it out sometime! (and say hi!) I’m Cath and my blogs name is Home is Where my Heart is @ http://cathhasablog.blogspot.com/

    • Oh, I get you. I was told my cancer would be 75-80% curable. Which like yours, is a good statistic to have. But can’t the bad side of the statistic be a little smaller? I can’t even burden my brain worrying about it anymore, or I could just worry myself to death. And I already know about your blog! Haha. These days I’m more of a lurker, but I first saw it when you made the marshmallow squares :)

  7. Loving all of this!! I’m so hopeful for you! What day next week do you go?

    • Believe it or not I STILL don’t have the appointment date yet. They usually only call with the time a day or two in advance (which sucks, because it’s out of town). All I know now is that it won’t be on my birthday :) But I’m starting to get nervous that maybe they couldn’t get me in next week and I’ll have to wait even LONGER. That would be very typical.

  8. I love that you’re getting your life back! And that you’re making plans to travel again!!!!

    I would love to go to the retreat in Colorado but it’s definitely not going to work out with my schedule. But like I said on Twitter, if you find a cheap ticket to Seattle or Bellingham go ahead and book it and I’ll pick you up! :)

  9. Sending you good vibes girl!!!! Im glad you are doing so much better!

    I am SO excited I am going to meet you! Will be an awesome weekend!!

  10. It’s great to hear you’re feeling better. Thanks for posting pictures of Buster – he’s a button!

  11. I wanna go to Boulder, Colorado just cause it reminds me of The Stand!

    Man, I can’t wait to show you all the new TO eats I’ve discovered since you left!

  12. I am a long time reader…but don’t know if I’ve ever commented?!
    Anywho…I live in BC, feel free to come out here! I’d lure you out here with all the amazing things we have, but my mind is foggy with the snow and freezing rain we have right now..

  13. i can’t wait to cuddle.

  14. Glad to hear your looking forward to travelling again. I love exploring new destinations and really hope to organise an overseas exchange for college. Keep well and have a good weekend :)

  15. I’m so excited you’ll be coming to Boulder! I live about an hour from there so of course I had to sign up! I’m a total introvert so hopefully I can come out of my shell. :)

    Can’t wait to meet you! You’ll love Colorado.

    • I was really happy to see your name on the list too!! I’m usually shy around people I don’t know, but I’ve been to a few of these big blogger things now and it’s really easy to meet people and come out of your shell. Can’t wait to hang out!

  16. Sounds like you have a lot of fun plans coming up! Have fun on all your travels!

    Happy Birthday by the way! :)

  17. Congrats on the one month without chemo Susan!! Cheers to all future months being chemo free too and your energy returning to normal. YAY for the upcoming travels. That’ll be the BEST medicine. And OMG…could that picture of buster and the giant teddy be ANY cuter? I’ll answer that….no, it couldn’t! Have a wonderful week.

  18. Ahh! I wish I could meet you in Colorado or Nova Scotia (even though I’m not Canadian – that retreat is so cool!!!). And YAY for one month free!! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that streak is many, many months long :)

  19. Have you heard of First Descents? It’s a nonprofit that provides week-long adventure camps, free of charge, to young adult cancer fighters/survivors. I’m going on a kayaking trip with them in June-July! :) They are in the US (my trip is in Oregon, but they have them in various states) but I think you can also participate if you are Canadian. Something to think about if you’re not too busy! Your travel plans sound awesome and I hope you get to do all of them this year! :)

  20. I just took my first “trip” since chemo this past weekend. We drove 5 hours to Savannah, Georgia and it was SO nice to be so busy enjoying everything to NOT think about cancer. I didn’t realize how much I had missed traveling, either. I’m glad that you have some things to look forward to! Have a great week, Susan!!

    • Oh I know, now that I’m getting out more I get distracted enough that I can go for long periods of time without thinking about cancer. It’s great!! (but strange when I’m reminded about it again)

  21. Keep me in mind when you’re in Halifax. Would love to help celebrate the great “cancer free” news over a coffee of lunch if you’re around long enough :-)

    • Yesyes! I’m hoping to go for a whole weekend so I should have time. I’m waiting till I get the “cancer-free” words so I can celebrate with the trip. Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later, but I’ll let you know as soon as we make the plans!

  22. You should definitely come down to TO! The weather has been surprisingly mild so far this winter…weird, but I’m not complaining.

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