Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ditto New Vigor of the Mind

This is the post from my other blog too old to die young. I wanted to share it here since it is about my trip. I will start blogging here about the specifics of the trip, about the wild White Continent, incredible Antarctica, about glorious Chile which I love and about exciting Peru which was all new to me.


"I just got back from a terrific 6+ week travel/vacation to South America and Antarctica. How wonderful it was to focus on nature- seeing new and exciting sites, meeting people from all over the world, experiencing things new everyday, learning about flora, fauna and history, culture and life style, getting out of my comfort zone and living in the moment. It was an adventure everyday!

We saw mountains- the Andes in Chile and Peru! We saw deserts in northern Peru and the Atacama in Chile. We saw beautiful scenery in Chiloe, Chile and the Sacred Valley in Peru. We saw magic in Machu Picchu and the Amazon River in Peru. We lolled on beaches in Punta del Estes, Uruguay and Mancora, Peru at the beginning and end of our trip- perfect bookends for this long vacation.

And the crowing glory of our trip was the 10 day cruise to Antarctica where we took zodiacs out to the great White Continent to visit the penguins, seals and whales who inhabit it. We visited them, learning about where they live, observing the beauty and stillness of ice, sculpted by nature.

It was a pleasure to get away from doctors, treatments, and appointments- from the past and future and just be in the moment! To enjoy each day which was new, filled with new adventures- new places to go, new people to met and often, new places to stay. We stayed in incredible hotels in some awesome places.  I am already dreaming about going back- once is not enough to visit Chiloe, Chile, for example. Refugia is so special. It must be visited again! Same for DCO Suites in Macora, Peru or tierra atacama in the Atacama Desert in Chile. The places and the hotel stays were exceptional!! I felt so relaxed and in tune with the places and times there.

Not that cancer doesn't always come with me. It does. I am always aware. I take a pill every day to keep the cancer away!! I notice the different texture of the right breast. I notice the ache and pull of the muscle under my arm from the scar from the lymph nodes  and the still discolored skin, but getting paler and less noticeable. But being away made such a difference and gave me such a break from the whole cancer experience- diagnosis- biopsy, surgery, radiation treatment. I did not see or think about doctors for over 6 weeks.

Now that I am back, I have to schedule my first mammogram since surgery for April and then see the surgeon, Dr Dahlia Sataloff. I am overdue for my next appointment with the medical oncologist, Dr David Mintzer, which was supposed to be in January but I was away. I am calling today for an appointment soon. I also will see my radio-oncologist, Dr Marisa Weiss, early this summer. My cancer team consists of these 3 doctors. Luckily,  I have a crackerjack team! Cannot say that I missed them while I was away though. But I come back, ready to deal refreshed and renewed.

      Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.  ~Seneca"

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