Birthday Trip 2020

Mood: Exhausted 😴

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were finally able to get away and take our annual birthday trip. This particular trip had been rescheduled a few times due to my chemo treatments last year, and the resort we wanted to go to, not opening when scheduled due to the pandemic.

It wasn’t easy to travel internationally during the pandemic, but it was well worth it. We had to get a COVID test within ten days of arriving in Jamaica, and within three days of arriving, we had to go online, fill out a form for each of us, and send our COVID results in for approval. So, time was short, especially to get the test results back and sent in. We didn’t hear anything back after a little over a day, and we started to panic, so we called our travel agent to see if she could help. It just so happens that she has a contact at the Jamaica Tourist Board, so she got in touch with her, had us send some information to her via email, and we had our approvals the day before we were scheduled to leave by 6:30 am the next morning. Whew!!

I am not going to go over all of the details of our trip because this isn’t a travel blog; it’s a blog concerning everything related to and revolving around my breast cancer. So, something happened while on our trip, and to say that my reaction shocked me is an understatement.

A few days before we left, I let my husband know that I was not ready for the trip as far as my energy level was concerned. I had been battling fatigue, and I still am to this day, so I was concerned that the trip was going to wear on me far more than it did back when I was healthy. But I needed the break as I had recently been under a lot of stress, and it felt like everything I was dealing with was becoming far too much for me. We all have our breaking point, right? Well I was very much on edge, and I knew that I was headed for a mental breakdown if I didn’t get away to relax and destress. As it turns out, I was right; about halfway through our trip, I was already physically exhausted even though I kept my activity level much lower than I usually do while on vacation. But I powered through because we had some wonderful surprises during our trip that made everything we had to go through to get there, worth it!

So two amazing things happened during our trip! The first was getting to see and spend time with a few employees from the resort we were supposed to go to. Because the original resort didn’t open on time, there are several people from the entertainment department that are traveling around and performing at some of the resorts that are open in Jamaica. We have been friends with these amazingly talented people for years and years, and they are like family to us. We hadn’t been able to see any of them in two years, so I was super excited when I found out that they would be at the resort we were going to. So we had a family reunion of sorts, and we were able to have lunch together quite a few times and find a little bit of time to spend together on the nights they were at the resort to perform.

It was amazing to get to spend with our friends, and it made me so happy! But, at some point during the trip, I don’t remember precisely when, out of nowhere, I had a complete breakdown. Sadness suddenly overcame me, and at first, I didn’t understand why. I was embarrassed because an employee saw me start to cry and walk away from where we were seated, and she followed us out of concern for me. It was very kind of her to check on me, but I was overcome with grief and sadness, not a good moment for me, especially while on vacation in my favorite place in the world. I remember feeling like I did when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I asked, “why did this have to happen to me? why me?” while crying my eyes out. It was painful because I remembered how things were two years ago when I saw my friends. Life was normal two years ago; life was good, or so I thought. The reality is that I already had breast cancer in September 2018, but I didn’t know I had it; there were no signs of it at that time. I eventually calmed down and enjoyed the rest of our trip, but my breakdown was a harsh reminder that it had not been that long since I found the first tumor and started down the long road of fighting cancer.

Our friends & family in Jamaica

The second amazing thing that happened was getting to see two more of our friends from the scuba diving department. My husband is a Master Diver, and a considerable part of our trips involve him diving twice a day, every day. As with our friends from the entertainment department, we have known most of the dive crew at our favorite resort for years, so they are also like family. My husband received a curious message from a friend the day we arrived in Jamaica, and we didn’t understand what he meant until a few days later when he arrived at the resort to dive with my husband! It was an incredible surprise to see our friend and find out that he was staying for the week to dive specifically with my husband. Our friend lives in Ocho Rios, where our favorite resort is located, and that is one and a half hours from where we were. The next day our friend’s boss arrived at the resort and had lunch with us! So we had another friend of ours came to see us, and that was another wonderful surprise! It was great to see my husband so happy and enjoying his week with a dear friend and having a few surprises along the way; it absolutely made his trip!

All in all, we had a wonderful trip, and it was great to get away and relax somewhere besides home. The next time we can travel and see some of the people we love, I will not be surprised if I have the same reaction; in fact, I will be expecting it. I am human, after all, and I have a very different outlook on life after everything I have been through.

Cherish your family and friends, and stop taking people for granted because someday, they might not be there anymore.

πŸŽ€ Breast Cancer Awareness Month πŸŽ€

I can’t believe that it is already October 1st! Up until now, it seemed like 2020 was going by as slowly as possible, tormenting everyone with endless challenges and sacrifices. But it is finally October; Fall has begun, and the end of the year is around the corner.

I have to admit that October never really held any special significance for me in the past, but after going through my journey with breast cancer, it has a new meaning for me. October is a time to reflect on everything that I went through last year, to help newly diagnosed women in any way I can through a breast cancer app that I am active on, to support those going through treatments and surgeries, to chat with other survivors and see how they are coping, and to remember those that we have lost to this horrible disease.

I received a free eBook today that I want to share with everyone because, as I have learned over the last 19 months, knowledge is power! I share information that I trust with you, my readers, because I have been there. I know how scary the words “you have breast cancer” are and the thoughts that flood your brain after hearing it.

If you have any questions for me or if you just want someone to talk to, please contact me at any time. I have a Contact Me page on this website, or you can contact me through one of my Social Network links at the bottom of each page on this website.

Your free eBook,Β Breast Problems That Aren’t Breast Cancer,Β is here! We are thrilled to provide this helpful guide for you.

Click this link to get your free copy

Did you know National Breast Cancer Foundation is committed to helping people (including you!) with their breast health? NBCF is helping people at every step of the journey by providing breast health education, delivering access to vital early detection screenings and breast health services to those who could not otherwise afford them, and helping those diagnosed with breast cancerβ€”and their familiesβ€”navigate the complex cancer care system.

I hope you enjoy this free resource!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Some people have asked me if I am done with my journey now that my chemotherapy treatments are over, and the answer is “No”. I will not be done until I have been through my 3rd surgery, radiation and follow-up imaging showing that there is no sign of cancer anywhere in my body. With that said, the piece I have shared below is so true…I have already been through some of these with more to come….πŸ˜”

πŸŽ€ Breast cancer awareness month is NOT all pretty pink bows πŸŽ€

Please consider the following women this month:

πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ🏻 The woman being diagnosed right now scared out of her mind wondering how long she has to live.
πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ🏻 The woman about to undergo surgery to have a part or all of her breasts amputated.
πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ🏻 The woman undergoing her first chemo treatment wearing an ice cap on her head in an attempt to save her hair and therefore her identity.
πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ🏻 The woman who cries herself to sleep from the agony of the pain in her bones from the medication she has to take to combat the low blood cell counts.
πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ🏻 The woman trying to comb her hair as gently as possible as to not have too many clumps come out at once.
πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ🏻 The woman who has radiation burns so badly she can barely lift her arms.
πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ🏻 The woman who’s trying to choke down soup or water but mouth sores, throat, and esophagus make it painful.
πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ🏻 The woman in the beautiful scarf covering her newly bald head.
πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ🏻 The woman hovering over the toilet trying not to throw up from the stomach pains and nausea.
πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ🏻 The woman who’s stuck at home because the diarrhea makes it difficult to be away from a bathroom for too long.
πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ🏻 The woman who financially can not afford to miss another day of work for yet another treatment session.
πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ🏻 The woman who has to take maintenance medication that changes her and makes her feel like a different person.
πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ🏻 The woman lying in bed at night unable to sleep wondering if she’s done all she can to prevent it from coming back to kill her.
πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ🏻 The woman lying in bed at night unable to sleep because she knows it’s already come back and wants more than anything to live to fight another day.
πŸŽ€πŸ’ͺ🏻 The woman who’s lost her fight and family mourns her loss in this world.

~Written by Bethany Young, Cancer Survivor~

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