It's about 10pm here in Wisconsin. I am pooped...but in a good way.
We had a pretty good day. I got a call this morning about 7am, which is 5am Arizona time so I was still in bed. CTCA calling to tell me that my schedule for the day won't start until about 11:30am. THANK YOU LORD! I needed the extra sleep and I needed to not be getting out of bed in a panic and hurry. I fell back asleep and was up a few times between then and about 9:50am. When Scott woke me saying we had to go NOW, since we scheduled ourselves for the 10am shuttle. I said "what time is it?" When he told me I said "nope call her back and tell her we are going at 11am instead" I didn't want to spend the whole day at the cancer center again!
We got to first connection and they gave me my schedule. 11:30am Meet with Nurse Navigator. and 12:00pm was Mind and Body Consult. THAT WAS IT FOR THE DAY...umm...
So we met with the RN and she said they did get authorizations for the scans Dr. Williams was wanting to do on me, however they were full for the day today, so I will have them on my schedule for tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a busy day for sure...We have to be up and on the shuttle by 7am. First appointment is MRI prep at 8:15am, I am not sure the order nor the times for the following appointment but they will all go down at some point tomorrow. (she told me the schedule, but I however didn't write it down so I will get it tomorrow when I check in.) So we have MRI, New Patient Orientation, Pastoral Care, Acupuncture, CT and that is it. Our schedule will conclude around 1:30pm.
Since our schedule was so light today due to not being able to get schedule for my scans we got a free day to go into the city. We finished up with our Mind and Body consultation and headed to the Bistro for lunch. We had lunch which MINE was better than it has been the last few days. From there we got the limo to take us to the train station. We took the train into the city and spent a few hours just checking things out. We wanted so badly to go to the Shedd Aquarium (thanks Michael for the tip) but we didn't get to the city until about 4pm and it closed at 5pm. So we didn't have time to make the whole aquarium. We weren't sure what the night life was like on the train so we didn't want to get back too late. Here are a few pictures I took on the train...First one:: our limo to and from anywhere we need to go. Second one:: Getting on the train...This was my first train ride on a real train and I loved every minute of it. I am pretty sure Scott thought I was crazy!
This one I took cuz it was just funny!!! HA HA We made stops often from the time we left Kenosha Train Station until we go to Chicago. This was one of the stops! :) INDIAN HILL...I sent it to Ashley and she LOL. I knew she would get my humor! :)
The train ride was about an hour...Not to bad, lots of interesting people ride trains I have come to realize. Once we got to the city I was just a picture taking freak! I will share some of my favorites of the day...
Here is the Willis Tower...It's a VERY large building so this is just the bottom portion. I did take pictures of the whole thing, but I am not going to share those.
This is just a shot of some random building in the city on our walk around the city. Nothing too crazy or interesting, but I love sky scrapers! They just fascinate me.
These next few are the view from the Sky Deck at Willis Tower in Chicago.Once we got inside and found where we were going, this was the site we saw...IT'S SO AMAZING...You can just see forever up here! Lake Michigan is MASSIVE...and just so beautiful.
**SKY DECK!** We are about 130 stories above ground and in a GLASS BOX! It's just crazy! I wasn't sure I was getting in the box until I saw this little 2 year old hop in there like it was no big deal. SO I thought I can do it! Ha ha every trip some little kid shows me up and I have to prove myself. I am sure glad that little kid is always on our trips, or I wouldn't do some of these crazy things Scott always finds in each city. I got in the box and I am glad I did! I had Scott take pictures of me laying flat on my back...making funny faces...but they didn't turn out like I wanted...SOOO...
I am NOT going to post those pictures he took of me in this GLASS BOX...as I HATE my hair and I think I look fat with my GUT and DOUBLE chin...so you have to get the idea with this one! :) It was SO hot in there! Sun shining and clear it was a perfect day to be in Chicago.
After the Sky Deck we found a sea food place to eat at that came HIGHLY recommended by Scott's friend Mike. (he is from Chicago) So we grabbed a cab and headed for dinner. We arrived just a few short minutes later and walked into this place. Talk about being UNDER DRESSED! I am sure everyone looked at us like we were homeless bums needing a hand out. Oh well...we stayed and enjoyed dinner in the bar. Dinner was delicious and just what we both needed. We went big...and even ordered Apple Pie and Ice Cream. It was THE BEST APPLE PIE I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE...just fantastic. I was floating on a cloud of sugar, spice and all things nice. :) I am glad cheating today was just apple pie and one scoop of ice cream. I am even more thankful it was as delicious as it was. :)
Grabbing a cab we headed back to the train station. It was just a few short hours of being in the city, but I think a few too many for Scott! ha ha he kept saying "I am not a big city guy" ha ha or "I like the burbs". Took the cab to the wrong train station but was only 2 blocks away from the right one so we rushed over. Got our seats with 3 minutes to spare before it left! Talk about calling it CLOSE! It was a LONG train ride back. My bladder was FULL to say the least! They have bathrooms on the trains, but if you know me at all you know I would rather hold it, than use public restrooms. I was in luck, our CTCA limo was there at the train station to pick us up and take us to the hotel. My luck quickly changed when we got the chatty 70 year old vegan that wanted to tell us all about his lifestyle change 20+ years ago and since we hadn't really seen Zion, he took the scenic route! Thank you! I guess I need to get over my fear or public restrooms and I would have enjoyed the ride a little more.
In his defense, he was SUPER nice! Gave us a lot of infromation and book suggestions. I am becoming a believer in God putting people in your path, to see if you pick up on the hint or direction God wants you taking. I think this gentleman was put in our path for a reason. He had a lot of information to share and we had a lot of information to take in. Once we arrived at the hotel he got out and asked if it was ok for him to hug me. Oh this made the long scenic route worth it. It's people like him that just make this fight so much easier. People that don't know what your going through but know what your going through. That person that just has to know a simple HUG goes a LONG way.
We remembered walking into the lobby that they had called around 8am to tell us we had a package at the front desk. So we stopped by to get it. At this point it was about 9pm. Since we were running late this morning and didn't know what the package was, and we didn't know what our day would hold at the cancer center. We didn't want to have to carry a box around all day. So we just left the package at the desk. Well that was probably a mistake. My amazing, wonderful, beautiful, lovely, supportive family members sent me flowers saying WE LOVE YOU! When I got to the hotel room and opened the flowers they still were just as beautiful as I'm sure they were at 8am this morning! :) It brought tears to my eyes knowing that even being so far way my family is still so close! It just what I needed. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Grammie, Mom, Dad, Katrina, Brinley, Bannon, Ashley, Dustin, Breckin and Ella...You all are my backbone, my life line, my EVERYTHING. Without you all I can not fight this fight. I thank each of you for everything you do, have done and continue to do for me from the bottom of my heart to the whole of my being.
I was asked today in my mind and body consultation "what kind of support system do you have back home?" I said "A VERY LARGE SUPPORTIVE ONE" she said "well some times patients come here and find the support here is better than back home and some even get anxiety leaving to go home, knowing this support system can't go with them" I just simply smiled. She doesn't know what kind of support system I have. She doens't know the type of folks I keep my company with. She doesn't know the family members I have, the strong willed, loud and crazy family members I have. It slightly irritated me. I let it go. Because, she was trying to help, not make me irritated. She did let me know that they have therapist on staff here to help in anyway they can. Support for me as a cancer patient, fighting this fight. If I am having a hard day and like to talk about it, I can call them or make an appointment if I am here at the facility. They have those same theapists for anyone in my support system that is having a hard time and needs to just talk to someone, you can call them and they do phone call appointments.
She told me a lot of people come out here to do treatment are alone, as the treatment center doesn't pay for the loved ones to fly out, just the patient and not everyone can afford to fly back and forth as often. This has become a big issue for Scott and I these last few days being out here. Like I told him today we can't keep focusing all our attention on this one detail. We don't even know what the treatment plan will be yet. What if I am here 3 days and home for 27? The fact is, any treamtment done away from home, Scott, Sophia, Bailey, my family, life in Arizona is going to be HARD. As much as I put it out of my head and try not to think about it, it's still there. I have gotten use to having Ashley just up the road, and seeing her daily. Those darn crazy kiddos she has running around all day making me crazy and keeping me sane. It won't be easy, nothing in life worth fighting for is ever EASY. I am a strong willed individual and I will make this EASY...I have no other choice.
Our housekeeping staff is amazing...They leave us little notes on our note pad with a different little saying each day...today it said "May God be with you -House Keeping-" I smiled and said I believe he was! :) Thank you housekeeping for the little touches. This place is nothing like I expected and was really wanting it to be in the big city of Chicago. I am glad it isn't. This treament center wouldn't be the treatment center it is, if it was IN Chicago. Its the little town of Zion that makes the whole experience that much better. The whole town in the treatment center.
On that note, tomorrow starts early and I don't seem to be sleeping much lately. I think it's the seperate beds we are sleeping in, (we have full size beds in the hotel) the fact that I don't have Bailey at my feet, Sophia next to my bed snoring her life away...so I better sign off and get to bed so I can get a few hours of shut eye, if I am lucky.
Five days in a row of going to bed after midnight and up at 5am.
I'll leave you with this quote...