Friday, May 25, 2007

More traveling, now for resting

I had a wonderful time at the Medical Library Association meeting in Philadelphia, but I think the bags under my eyes have bags, so no more traveling for a while. Nice to have a good, long weekend to go through the memories of events that just took place, and process just how far I have come in the 8 months since my last radiation treatment.
I had few issues come up during the latest trip that were due to aftereffects of cancer treatment. My experience flying was even easier than the October 2006 trip, with the exception of the early hours I had to be at the airport both leaving and coming home (my own fault - I went for the cheapest flight, not realizing I would be at the airport before the desk personnel and TSA.) Food was not an issue - in Philadelphia, the Marriott that I stayed at was next door to the wonderful Reading Terminal Market, a haven for someone like me looking for fresh cucumbers, colored sweet peppers, and hummas. The hotel gift shop had milk (that for some reason was not the same price each time I bought it during the 4 days), and there was a 7-11 right across the street for more milk if the gift shop ran out. I went out to eat 3 nights, and found acceptable fish dishes each time (passed on the $46 lobster - figured it would be a waste, since I couldn't taste it properly). I looked up an old friend I hadn't seen in person since 1983, and we had a great time catching up on our lives, how our dreams have held up, and finding out that we were pretty much the same people as way back then (like finding tiny time capsules of ourselves). I walked all over town with my hat on (and regretted it the next day when I didn't wear it because of clouds - yes, UV still hits you on cloudy days), exploring in all types of weather. Even walked up the steps of the Art Museum (a la Rocky Balboa) with no trouble - walked, not ran! I was able to see many of those that supported me during my treatment and recovery, and thank them (still have many names to go - Omaha has run out of tiger eye stars!). And on the day of my 8 month anniversary of the last radiation treatment, I was on a speaker's podium with a great friend, reporting on research that we did regarding expert patients and their blogs. I could not have imagined such a feat taking place when I was sent home to heal my radiation burns back in September.
The only bad thing that happened was when I went with friends to a vendor party, and the band was way too loud - we're talking kidney-stone-shattering loud. (For some reason, loud noises just tear through my ears these days.) My friends knew I was in trouble, and shoved me in the ladies room while they scouted out a good exit away from the music. They fished me back out of the ladies, hauled me down a staircase, and after about two flights of stairs, I could drop my hands from my ears and relax. (Friends are great!) Guess rock concerts and jobs with jackhammers are out for me now.
I have several photos of me with friends, so I know the Philly trip wasn't a dream, but it sure was the answer to my prayers.

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