When the time came for my daughter, Michaela, to turn 21, I knew I wanted to take her to Las Vegas. She caught a bit of the gambling bug from the time she spent in the casinos on the cruise ships we sailed on (gambling age is 18).
Michaela turned 21 at the end of December. I suggested the trip to her in front of Mark. He did not say no. Hmmm….I thought, this is really going to happen! He thought it was a great idea. A fun mother/daughter trip to make fun memories.
Michaela would be on her college spring break in March, which is when we would take our trip. I booked the trip in January and chose a beautiful, contemporary resort smack dab in the middle of the Vegas strip. Michaela would fly home from GW, spend a couple of days with the family, and then she and I would fly to Las Vegas together.
About a week before Michaela arrived home, I started to become extremely fatigued. I was also feeling like I was coming down with a sinus infection. I saw my nurse practitioner at my primary care office, and she put me on an antibiotic because I did indeed have a sinus infection. The following day I was due to get blood work because since going on Ibrance, I receive blood work every two weeks.
In speaking with my nurse practitioner at Dana-Farber, after receiving my lab work results, I explained to her how tired I had been. She told me it was the Ibrance. The Ibrance has also been lowering my white blood counts, and this week was no different. I would receive another week off from Ibrance, which would be nice while I was on the antibiotic, and on vacation.
Because I was not feeling myself, I was becoming a bit nervous about traveling. It would be my first trip without Mark since I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Mark told me all would be fine, and that Michaela would take care of me. He would be right.
Michaela and I had an early flight, and only got 3 hours of sleep before our flight left, in part because it was daylight savings and we lost an hour. We did manage to get a good amount of sleep on the plane. Getting to Vegas was uneventful and with a quick Uber ride, we were at our resort. It was beautiful and super modern. All the controls in the room are controlled by an iPad. Michaela figured it out quite quickly, me, not so much. I accidentally shut off all of the lighting one evening at 3:30, I guess that really is the morning, while Michaela was showering…..I couldn’t stop laughing as I heard her screaming, and scrambled to figure out how to get the bathroom lights back on.
I won’t get into all the details, because what happens in Vegas….well, you know, but we played slots, black jack and roulette. We ate at some very nice restaurants, visited other hotels, and met some nice people. We stayed up very late! By our last day, we were both exhausted. We were ready to go home.
At this point I was not only tired, but feeling a bit weak. Michaela rolled both our suitcases through the airport. Our plane ride home was not the best. We got out of Las Vegas fine, but on the connecting flight to Boston, we were on the plane for 45 minutes before we were told to gather our belongings. It would be another 3 hours before we would depart again.
We arrived home very late. The following day I needed to go for blood work. My white blood counts had rebounded nicely, and I was able to begin the Ibrance, but at a lower dose. I think the reason I am starting to feel weak is because my red blood counts are now dipping. Sometimes, I feel like I just can’t get ahead.
In two weeks I receive scans to see how the Ibrance and Letrozole are working. Obviously, we’re hoping to hear good news. I usually have some inclination on how the scans results will be, but truthfully, this time I do not. We’ll know soon enough.
Meanwhile, my beautiful daughter and I had an awesome trip spending time with one another, creating wonderful memories. It’s those memories that help get me through the sad times of having metastatic breast cancer.
When I’m not feeling well, or frustrated with treatment side effects, or just want to burst into tears, I will remember shutting off the lights while Michaela was showering. I will remember Stephen, our kind black jack dealer. I will remember the woman with the vulgar language. I will remember the man who approached us, and asked if I had cancer, and then did something so special for me. I’ll remember the folks who thought Michaela and I were sisters, and I will remember the guys, who I thought were making fun of my bald head,……Oops, I better stop. I’ve said too much.