Escaping the Shadow

The holiday season can be difficult for cancer patients and their loved ones. It’s tough to be merry while dealing with treatment side effects or wondering whether one will be alive this time next year.
By the end of November this year, I’d hit a low point. My energy had waned, oppressed by the shorter days and gray skies of Seattle and a general sense of ill health. My cough had increased, stirring fears of recurrence. My writing muse had burned out after weeks of intensive Lung Cancer Awareness Month activities.

Then, within one week, two lung cancer buddies died, and a third friend died of metastatic breast cancer days after being diagnosed. I kept vigil with her family as her lungs failed from obstructive pneumonia–a scenario that was far too familiar. The shadow of my own Ghost of Christmas Future loomed, and holiday lights did nothing to brighten it.

In a rare moment of prescience last summer, my family had planned the perfect remedy for me … read more on my Cure Today blog

Club Regina balcony view

Image credit:
Creative Commons License
JFD20141220-CancunClubRegina by Janet Freeman-Daily is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Lessons Learned on a Yucatán Vacation

Tulum ruins and beach

  • Arriving at the Cancun airport requires tolerance for chaos.  On the other hand, it’s a great place to meet persuasive people who want to take you places.
  • Treat all red octagonal “ALTO” road signs as recommendations.
  • Hearing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” simultaneously with the pounding of ocean surf on fine sand creates serious cognitive dissonance.
  •  (air conditioning)+(incomplete door seal)+(tropical thunderstorm) = damp musty bedding
  • 92% relative humidity leaves fascinating streaks in excess sunscreen.
  • Uncontrolled experiments prove UBF50 swimwear protects you longer in the ocean than the waterproof sunscreen you put on your face.
  • Standing in the surf provides a feast of sensory delights — if you keep your mouth shut.
  • White sand beaches migrate into hotel rooms.
  • A Spanish-English dictionary app radically reduces time spent ordering and shopping for food.
  • When boiling tap water for drinking the next morning, the kitchen timer is your friend.
  • Tropical tours that depart early in the morning will reduce exposure to heat and cheap souvenirs.
  • Lisa Simpson becomes an alto in Spanish. That’s just wrong.
  • According to my blistered toes, those newly-rediscovered sandals I packed were lost for a reason.
  • Every breakfast buffet should feature chocolate sauce for omelets.
  • Departing from the Cancun airport requires running an upscale shopping gauntlet.
  • Ending a tropical vacation with an aerial view of the Northern Lights is pure awesomeness.

Image credit: Creative Commons License
Tulum Ruins and Beach by Janet Freeman-Daily is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.