I suppose I should cut any surprise anyone might have and admit that I used a wheelchair. It’s going to be visible in this post. I hate wheelchairs passionately. The last time I was stuck in one, I was so weak and in so much pain that I had trouble speaking. They evoke memories that I don’t like to revisit.
Now that I got the hate on wheelchairs out of the way, I will explain it.
Somewhere around November, I started having horrible back pain. I started limping and there were more than a few times when my right leg decided it was done being a leg. It happened once while I was going downstairs. About scared the pee out of me. But I didn’t spill my coffee.
My next scans showed that I had two compressed discs in my back. No idea when or why they happened. It explained the pain and the leg suddenly crapping out on me. My oncologist, Dr. C, actually happened to be around when it did its thing.
“Does this happen often?”
I had to admit that it did. He had an office assistant get a cane for me. It was one with four feet. I tripped over it instantly, cuz that is how I roll. My husband got me one with just one foot for Christmas. It is beautiful, with a raven as the handle.
When I filled out more paperwork in November/December for the retreat, I was asked if I would like to use a wheelchair. I chose to use a wheelchair just at the parks.
I started a new chemo in December. By early January, I was no longer limping. I gave up using my lovely cane. I still had an appointment with a pain doctor and kept it to ask him about this.
With my new chemo, I take a lot of steroids. The steroids took care of the back pain. I don’t need a steroid shot at the moment, I ingest enough to help. I am happy to take the pills if I don’t have to get that injection.
There were two things that I did not think of.
I get Zometa injections with my chemo. Zometa helps to keep my bones from falling apart. It has the scary side effect of necrosis of the jaw. I have to let my oncologist know if I will need any sort of jaw, tooth, or gum surgery. I take very good care of my mouth. I have never flossed so much in my life and I see my dentist twice a year.
Another side effect of Zometa is acute bone pain. This can be helped with Claritin. Yes, the allergy med. It has an ingredient that honestly helps with bone pain. Most of the time.
The second thing I did not consider were the Granix injections I take after my chemo. I get the Granix sent to my house and I inject myself for five days after my chemo. The Granix helps to plump up my white blood cells and keeps my immune system working decently. Chemo is really rough on the cells. Guess what one of the side effects can be. Yep. Bone pain.
When we left for Orlando, I had gotten an infusion two days prior. By the time we had arrived, I was having trouble standing up and some trouble walking. I was glad that I had asked for the wheelchair ahead of time.
Now that I have the long, drawn out version of the explanation taken care of, let’s get into February 1, Day 2 of the Retreat.
To start the day off right, we shook ourselves out of bed at 6:30 am. We had tickets for the breakfast buffet at Tradewinds. I have never had a buffet like this in my life. The cook made a custom omelet right in front of you. You could get fresh squeezed orange juice. If you wanted honey, you scraped it off of the honeycomb. It was amazing. I never did get an omelet, but I had scrambled eggs and oatmeal every morning. I am still trying to figure out how they made the eggs. They were the fluffiest, most delicious scrambled eggs I have ever had. I have tried many different styles of scrambling eggs since I got home and none of them are the same.
After breakfast, we went to our sessions. I wish I had written down the topics, but I won’t be writing about anything that was spoken in our groups, anyway. That is private.
After we got the boys from their groups, we headed out to the buses and loaded up. My mom was able to ride the bus with us. I wasn’t sure if she would be allowed. We were given our lunches that had been ordered in December. I couldn’t remember what I had ordered for everyone. It was kind of like Christmas.
Our first park was Magic Kingdom at DisneyWorld. I grew up going here pretty often. It still makes me smile.
We had five volunteers with us. They were awesome. Rob had the whole Fastpass thing down pat. I was in awe of his skills. The Fastpass is not something that I grew up with and I haven’t been to DW often enough in recent years to figure it out. We went on more rides than I think I have been able to go on since the ’90’s. The boys had fun. Gabriel had fun. I had a blast.
I didn’t go on all of the rides. There were some where I just wanted to watch my boys smile. It was a perfect day.
By the time 8pm rolled around, along with the first bus back to the hotel, we were ready to leave.
The hotel housekeeping had left us a few surprises. Milk and cookies and origami towels. The boys had a swan in their bathroom. It was no longer a swan when I tried to take a picture. Gabriel and I had Baby Yoda. Squee!
A funny bit of trivia to end this post: I found out that one of my volunteers has a daughter who has my brother as a teacher. It is a small world after all.