What It’s Like On The Other Side Of The World


May 30, 2018

Well, it’s 16 hours earlier… so it’s tomorrow, but sometimes it’s today.
Let’s see, I left Denver at 7:00 pm on Monday, April 16 and arrived in Sydney, Australia at 6:30 am on Wednesday, April 18. Then, I left Sydney at 10:15 am on Wednesday, May 2 and arrived in Denver at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, May 2.  How does that math even work?
April 16 – Lene and I hopped a plane to Sydney, a Mom and Daughter trip that was everything I’d hoped it would be and so much more. We walked and talked and ate some of the most beautiful food I have ever seen or tasted.
Lene treated me to ‘La Boheme’ at an outdoor theatre while we gazed at the incredible Sydney Opera House across the harbor. We skipped across the water on ferries and water taxi’s, traveled to and fro by train, shopped (of course), saw the sights of Sydney and had an amazing adventure before joining our friends the Elliott’s at their home for a couple more days. It was priceless..well, not ‘priceless’ as in ‘free’ but getting to share this experience with my girl.. PRICE-LESS. Sadly, Lene then headed back home, 5 pounds of souvenir TimTam’s safely stashed in her luggage, and I hopped another plane to Port Macquarie to visit friends Karen and Linda, two of my broken knee sisters.
We had a glorious time with lunches, walking the beaches, coffee’s, shopping, Koala hospital, Billabong Zoo, getting drenched by some incredible rain, rock painting and kangaroo spotting. We woke up to laughing (more like screaming) kookaburra and had an up close and personal visit from two tawny frogmouth owls. Karen and her husband Rob live on a farm and their sheep were lambing while Linda and I were there.  I will include pictures of little ‘Peggy’ and ‘Harris’, mine and Linda’s namesake’s. I do not want to know what happens to little Peggy and Harris, I choose to only remember their baby pictures.  Karen and family treated us to a glimpse of ‘real life’ Australia, and it was spectacular! Our last day together was spent driving to Brisbane and exploring South Beach before Linda flew back to Glasgow and I back to Sydney and the Elliott’s.
Jim, Hellie, Emma, Zoe and Oscar Elliott are as close to family as one can get without actually being related and my time with them was filled with walks, tea, the beach, school shopping, hair braiding, bird watching and long talks. I miss having them within hugging distance. Will I return? There’s much still to see and do as I didn’t make it to the Great Barrier Reef or to visit my other knee sister Barb in Cairns, a great excuse to go back.
Jim and Tess did quite well in the 16 days I was gone. The running joke was that Jim was eating pizza, drinking beer, and walking around the house in his underwear while I was away. There are no pictures or videos capturing his brush with bachelorhood that I am aware of, but he assures me that in the 3 hours between 5:00 and 8:00 while he was home and awake he took advantage of having the house all to himself. He dutifully did his best to eat all the frozen meals I had prepared for every day of the week, because you know, he could have starved of malnutrition without me. He assured me that pizza and beer contain all the IMPORTANT food groups but I chose to differ. Tess got lots of walks, hung out at the office, and helped Jim clean up any leftovers. I don’t think she missed me as much.
3 days before I left for Australia I had treatment. Vignesh and I decided to leave out the Taxotere and just have the Cyramza infusion to give my body a short break. 2 days after I got back I had another Cyramza infusion and yet another this past Friday. New scans are scheduled for June 14 (PET/CT and MRI) and we will see what they reveal, my last scan was in February and stable. I felt great while in Australia and I’ve felt great since being home. I expect to get another stable or better report on the 15th when I see Vignesh, then we discuss what to do next. As I’ve said before, lung cancer is tricky and once we find something that works, it’s hard to make changes if we don’t have to. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to more chemo after having this break but there could be other options. First scan, then talk.
That said, Australia – with Lene!!! Another incredible experience to add to my continuing lifetime of incredible experiences – how lucky am I !
I continue to be incredibly grateful for your continued prayers and love.

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