I’d meant to write again before now, but the last several days have been absolute wall-to-wall busyness trying to get every single thing done that needed to be done before leaving the country for six-and-a half weeks. The last big thing that had to be done before we could leave was this:
My 32nd infusion, 18th chemo cycle, and 10th cycle of this particular chemo (dacarbazine). Now I get a 7-week chemo break, the longest I’ve been between infusions since I started chemo February 13, 2018. I’m thrilled!!
By the time I got home from the hospital, I had six hours left to finish getting everything done, while feeling not particularly great (thanks to chemo and ongoing insomnia – I’d only gotten 3 hours of sleep the night before – ugh!). At the exact moment I began to despair of being able to actually get out of the house on time, I got a text that our flight had been delayed! That was actually perfect. From there on out, everything seemed to come together, and we were able to walk out the door right on time, leaving the house and pets (mostly) ready for our house-sitter.
Though we dealt with more delays at the Detroit airport, we also dealt with the most pleasant set of TSA agents we had ever had – just above-and-beyond in the way they handled each and every person going through security. And then, a little before midnight, we were off, with the nearly-full moon spilling its golden reflection into the waters of Lake Ontario. I felt myself finally starting to relax!
I wasn’t able to sleep as much on the plane as I’d hoped (thanks to my pre-chemo steroids). I did, however get to enjoy three documentaries (a genre I love and that the rest of my family seems to only tolerate). I would recommend all three of these, especially the last one:
- Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit (Netflix) – follows a single season of the Canadian cat show competitions with a behind-the-scenes look at the drama between the people out to win it all – seriously, y’all, this is a really fun and enjoyable movie
- The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (HBO) – a fascinating look at the rise and fall of Theranos, the health tech company founded by Elizabeth Holmes, whose two biggest gifts seem to be marketing herself and her ideas to rich and influential people, and straight-up lying about every facet of her tech company’s work.
- Free Solo (National Geographic) – the story of professional rock climber Alex Honnold, as he attempts the first ever free solo climb of Yosemite’s El Capitan. This movie, which grapples with the risks of this high-casualty extreme sport, also takes an intimate look at what drives Alex towards his obsessive goal, exploring his background, his atypical mind and personality, and his closest relationships. It was absolutely captivating.
I did manage to get about two hours of sleep, just not all at the same time. And then, we landed in London, at 7:00am to our bodies, but noon here. We rented a car and I enjoyed my first experience driving on the wrong side of the road in the rain for two hours.
It actually wasn’t as difficult as I’d expected (I should point out that we aren’t driving in London). We made things simpler by renting an automatic. I much prefer driving stick-shift (thanks to my dad getting me started in his truck at the age of 13 on backcountry dirt roads), and those are a much cheaper rental option here, but I was worried about making the switch to shifting with my left hand, especially on such little sleep. Our drive was smooth and uneventful, and our lodging here is lovely – more on that another time.
This is just to say we made it from there to here, and now it’s time to sleep!