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Outside The Bubble

This week has not been the best of weeks. And by that I mean I’ve kind of been an emotional wreck.

I don’t know what it is. Maybe because I’m now seven weeks from first hearing the C-Word and the news is really starting to sink in. Maybe it’s because my hair started falling out. Or maybe exhaustion is just getting the best of me.

I’ve kind of been a loose canon, anything can set me off crying. I’ve had to stop reading the obituaries in the paper every day. I walked passed a funeral home the other day and teared up at the sight of a full parking lot. I also broke down after trying, and miserably failing, at contacting Microsoft about a program I own. That one involved big messy sobs with lots of snot and tears. Stupid Microsoft.

There’s also chemo brain. Such a thing really does exist. Chemotherapy affects your cognitive function and ohboy am I ever losing it. Small chunks of my day sometimes go missing and I have absolutely no recollection of them, even after people fill me in. I mix up my words when speaking. I can’t follow long explanations. I have a really hard time deciding on things to do.

So when an opportunity to take a day trip to Saint John arose, I jumped on it. It sounded like just the small adventure I needed to boost my spirits and have some fun without the sickness getting in the way of it all.

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(Driving photo recreated from last week) My sister and I were able to see our grandparents who I haven’t seen in over a year! And I got to see some old friends!

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Tina and I met up at Relish, a specialty burger joint found throughout the Maritimes. She’s recovering from reconstructive surgery on her ankle so we had fun exchanging hospital war stories about everything from changing IV sites to coming out of anaesthesia. She always makes me laugh!

I finally got that Relish Burger I’ve been craving like a madwoman since being in the hospital. But it was hard to pick from their menu!

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The Greek Tycoon – crumbled feta cheese, marinated bell peppers and onions, kalamata olives, tzatziki sauce. So far this is my favourite Relish burger. The creamy tzatziki-feta mixture paired with the beef patty and signature soft poppyseed bun was perfection!

Saint John, New Brunswick is this stinky port city most well known for its oil refinery. The weather is always colder and without fail the fog rolls in at 6pm making it impossible to see. With all that said, it was quite pleasant wandering around the downtown and spotting some of the city’s finer points.

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We later hit up Britt’s Pub & Eatery for some of the best pub food I’ve had in a while. You can tell the people at Britt’s take pride in what they serve.

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I was still full from the burger, so just had half a club on a homemade grilled flatbread with thick chicken breast, thick sliced cheese, crispy bacon, and sweet mayo.

Also at the table was a tasty spinach salad with blueberries, apples, pecans, and fried goat cheese.

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And a spicy pulled pork quesadilla!

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All finished off with a few bites of homemade apple pie.

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Made in house by one of the owner’s mothers. Flaky crust, tart apples, yeah, it was good.

Now I am completely exhausted from my day trip, but the small escape was totally worth it. Sometimes as a cancer patient, I can feel like I’m living in a bubble. The kind of sterile bubble where things revolve around fast growing cells and their treatment. The kind of bubble where I can’t hug people, where my outings are to the hospital, and my dayplanner is filled with drug schedules. Even though I had to brush my teeth in restaurant washrooms, and give myself shots in the back of a (clean) parked car, it was still nice to take a step outside the bubble and be with those who see me as more than just a “sick person.”

And this time, with no tears.

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