I’m going to Disney World!
Is the way I SHOULD have responded while throwing my hands up over my head hooting and hollering when my brother proposed we go to the happiest place on earth this summer to celebrate cancer treatments behind us and the fact that he and his wife just paid off their mortgage (a fact that kind of makes me want to throat punch him a little).
How I ACTUALLY responded, was to burst into tears in front of my trusted travel agent and announce to her blank expression, “I just can’t do this!”
I frantically fixated on the ticker tape of questions flying through my head in a Dr. Seuss like fashion.
Can I, should I on a plane?
Can I, should I with heart under strain?
Will they have to carry me here or there?
Will they have to carry me everywhere?
Seriously, I’m still in heart failure! What about insurance? What about my medications, my blood clotting issues, my lack of energy, zip and physical strength? Visions of my family members taking turns between pushing my wheelchair and Gracie’s stroller went through my head, to which I gave myself a mental Cher Moonstuck slap to the head and told myself to “snap out of it!”
It was clear that I needed to go on a safari through my feelings in an attempt to explain why the idea of a ‘lovely fun in the sun much needed vacation’ didn’t instantly tickle me to my core. What surprised me was that the answer wasn’t a grand profound realization accompanied by celebratory fireworks, it was simply the fact that this was the first official plan being made that fell after the last sit in the chemo chair.
Up until this point, my plans have revolved around each chemo-suite visit and deciding what shoes to wear to each appointment (there’s no surprise, that this is no small decision for me!) Yes, I’m excited about starting a new life, inviting change into my world with a big sloppy wet kiss, but it wasn’t a reality until that moment.
I just needed to let go and write myself some good old fashioned permission slips. I needed to give myself permission to:
Let someone else do the planning.
To take it as it comes.
Look beyond that final chair sitting.
To feel how I needed to feel as I was feeling it.
To just be.
Although I’m always grateful for the lessons I get from my outlandish experiences, this time I’m thankful for being given a heads up that the last day in the chair may be an emotional one and for once I can be prepare for it. Because although I will be glad to be done, I will still experience the loss of the amazing person in that ward who I have grown quite fond of and will be moving forward into yet another unknown. A welcome unknown, but an unfamiliar one none-the-less.
I will have all my permission slips in hand when I ring that bell on June 11 and as the paparazzi shove their microphones in front of me begging the question, “Lori, you’ve beaten cancer, now what?” I will respond with a triumphant , “I’m going to Disney World!”