With only a few days left in our almost 8 month stay here, the roses have gone wild with hundreds of huge blooms. What a tease Mother Nature can be. Last night, we went outside at 3 am to look at the sky. We sat in silence for an hour. Watching for the occasional shooting star or satellite to cross the sky. We could identify constellations with the help of an app called “Sky Guide:” look it up if you are interested. Overall, the night made me feel small, but special.
Early Tuesday morning, we hit the road for two (very long) days of driving to Cordoba. We arrive the eve of Christmas Eve. I will probably spend Christmas unloading all of our stuff for our 1 to 2 month stay in Cordoba. We are struggling to finalize plans for getting our car, our stuff, the dogs, and us back to the US.
So . . . . MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!
I guess on Christmas, you are supposed to say all the things you are grateful for. My list would probably look much like many others. Right now, I am grateful for this experience. Only a short time ago, I felt like this was possibly an ending. Now, it has evolved to a new beginning. Surprising how just a few words can change your life . . . “you have cancer” . . . “two years” . . . . . . . . “ cured.“ I have been given the gift of life and living.
Off on a tangent . . . I just finished a book called “The Right to Try” by Darcy Olsen. The author talks about individuals having the right to try a drug even if it has not passed the FDA. I learned that it takes on average 15 years to bring a new drug to market. The Right to Try legislation would allow those individuals with a terminal diagnosis to try a drug before it has been OK’ed. A few states have already passed this legislation. I am definitely a supporter.
I was incredibly lucky. There was an ongoing breast cancer trial in Jan 2008. This particular trial was evaluating dosages of chemo. It was a 4 part trial. One part gave more chemo for a longer period of time. Studies for various cancers has shown that the outcome can, in some cases, be enhanced with more chemo (not just ending when the tumor is no longer visible, your numbers have dropped, or the designated time is up). I fortunately got into the most intense part. Without the trial, I would have been done with chemo in 3 months (instead of 6), and I would have received much less chemo. My trial was brutal, but I am still here – against the odds.
From the book, I learned that only 40% of the people with cancer apply to get into a trial. Out of that 40%, only 3% actually get into a trial. Now, add to that the odds in my trial. Like I said, my trial had 4 parts. I had a 25% chance of getting into the part I desperately wanted. You do not get to choose and your doctor has no sway in the decision: it is random. So . . . . 25% of 3% means I had less than a 1% chance to get into the part I wanted. I was lucky. I truly feel that the extra chemo played a part in my still being here. It bought me the chance. Of course, we also chose to drastically change our lifestyle . . . travel has been a part of it.
I passed the 8-year mark. It has been a wild ride. I am grateful to have a companion who is “my kind of crazy” (and curious). I could not wish for a better travel/life partner.
We have had some incredible experiences. The hippo incident in Africa was the scariest (another day, I’ll tell that one). Our current travel has been the longest. Once again, it is time for a change. It is with a somewhat heavy heart we leave this beautiful place. But, the future now stretches ahead.
When we get settled in Cordoba, I will continue my travel tales. Not every day, but once (or twice) a week.
Thanks to all of you who have expressed enjoyment from reading my blog. It means a lot to me. I have absolutely loved reconnecting with friends.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERONE!
Live life to the max.
“The trouble is, you think you have time.”