What’s a Vacation?

Thursday  was an easy dinner night.  Mostly, I did not want to wake the cat who was sound asleep on the recipe I had flagged for dinner.  (Thanks Dyno for reading my mind!)

We picked up pizza and salad for two at our favorite neighborhood joint, Pizza Fino.  We were welcomed by one of our favorite staff ladies that we had not seen in a while.

She briefly talked about her month long road trip through the western states.  I was in awe of her tale.  I automatically responded with, “I’ve never been off for a month long vacation, how wonderful for you!”

SW quickly changed gears; placed his hand on my shoulder, saying, “Honey, you are retired.  For how long now?”

Wow.  Is retirement classified as a vacation?  I suppose so.  Geesh!  For the most part I get to do whatever I want every day (except cure cancer).  That is being on vacation in a nut shell, right?

About kimmywink

I'm Kim. I've got advanced lung cancer. It sucks.
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14 Responses to What’s a Vacation?

  1. linnea11 says:

    Hmmm. That is one way of looking at it, but I’m not entirely convinced. Were we freed from worry and the physical constraints of disease, then it might be a hell of an extended vacation. However, the idea of a bucket list is generally relegated to the movies and other flights of fancy…In truth, I think we learn to make the best of a not so great situation, but most of us would just as soon pass on the early retirement.

    xo Linnea

    • kimmywink says:

      I’m fascinated by how people define vacation. Is it time away from a job/career or time away from one’s typical routine? I’m not all that sure I’ve got it defined myself. I fly to Hawaii tomorrow, maybe that will help me sort it all out. Or, perhaps I’ll travel further down the rabbit hole. 🙂

  2. Diane Fink says:

    Poor SW, should family & friends from N.C. come out to help get his foot dislodged from his mouth !
    Diane Fink

  3. spencerpdx says:

    For the record – I didn’t put my foot in my mouth at all. I just reminded Kim that while she didn’t ever take a month off while she was working, she is currently in a retired state and that situation gives her some flexibility to her days that not everyone else has.

    Luckily, we are in a place in our lives that allows Kim to be “retired”. Not everyone is as fortunate and if we had found ourselves in a similar situation 10 or so years ago, then the choices in front of us would have been even harder than the ones we’ve already made.

    As far as vacations go – they are primarily an escape from one physical space/routine to another. Cancer/serious illness, etc. or not, I’m not sure that a vacation ever really gets us away from ourselves and the internal struggles we deal with personally everyday. We go to work, on vacation, to the bar, to a concert, for a walk in the park, shopping at the grocery store to meet some basic needs and also to distract us from the things that we’d rather not deal with – a spouse at home, a coworker, a silent apartment, a busy city, whatever.

    We’re about to go on vacation for a couple of weeks. I’ll get a physical break from work and I hope a bit of a mental one as well, but I won’t be able to totally not have thoughts about work from popping into my head. But the space in between the thoughts of thinking about work are why I’m going on vacation. It provides a different distraction. Kim has cancer and she has only recently gotten to where she has noticed that she has some small spaces between thinking about it. Are the spaces more than a few minutes long – I don’t think so. Is our vacation going to give us a chance at bigger spaces between cancer thoughts – I hope so, but I actually doubt it.

    Going on vacation to do the things we did before cancer usually just points out how cancer has changed/affected/corrupted every activity. At least by being on vacation we get to think about things with a change of scenery.

  4. Beth says:

    You sound like a wonderful, supportive husband. I have just started reading this blog, and I have read every single post. I also live in Oregon (in a small town near Salem) and also have lung cancer. I am 59, have always been in great health, very active and busy with a career in education. I retired in June, and feel very fortunate to have good health care, abeit I am paying for it out of pocket now. I was diagnosed a year ago, stage 2b, and it looked like the lobectomy and follow-up chemo treatments (only 4) would take care of it. Unfortunately, my 6 month check-up and follow up biopsy shows that the cancer is back (bronchoaveloar cell carcinoma). I have been following Linnea’s blog, and that directed me to Kim! What a wonderful person Kim is! Although I am much, much older, and I have a strong faith and great support system, I don’t really want to die any time soon! I will be checking into the mutations to see if I qualify for any of the new treatments. I just had a PET scan today to see if the cancer has spread. Anyhoo, just wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your posts, and I am so glad that Kim has such a great husband! Beth

    • kimmywink says:

      Hello Beth,
      I wish you the ability to deal with the results positively no matter what they are. It’s great to hear that you have a wonderful support system as it is needed to deal with this ugly thing called cancer.
      I too am glad that i have a great husband. A bad one plus cancer would be a doozy of a situation to be in.
      Stay in touch…

  5. Karen Goettler says:

    Last year, before I was diagnosed with Stage V NSCLC, I used to wish I was retired (I am 50 now). It is ironic that my wish was fulfilled – I am collecting my social security and have quit working so hard.

    I love your blogs about Therapy. What a great name for a bike. My doctor tells me to keep riding my bike uphill. I can’t agree more. There is nothing llike biking up hills (or at least trying) to really push the lungs.

    How can I get a baby on board bumper sticker? I love them. I want to put one on my stand up paddle board.. Karen

  6. Karen Goettler says:

    Oops. I really meant stage iv cancer. One of the positives of cancer is that you always fall back on “chemo brain” or brain tumors when you mix something up. Sad but good to know I don’t have to try to be perfect anymore.

    • kimmywink says:

      Having cancer teaches us a lot, like giving up being a perfectionist. It’s nice to get to this spot but I would have preferred having a subtle hint versus a whack upside the head!

      Take good care, Karen.

  7. Gail says:

    Hi Kim. I have only recently discovered your blog so thank you for the effort you take. The subject of holidays always sparks my I interest. I was diagnosed stage 4 in February 2009 and have had chemo, tarceva alone and as part of a clinical trial, and am now on another trial of PF299804 and crizotinib. And I’m still hear. Until last week. Worked but doubled the holiday quota! I. Have done lots of local Australian trips (I head off for far North Queensland in 2 days for the 3rd time in 3 months) plus have been to Bali, Cambodia, Vitenam, Thailand, Russia, Ireland, And France in the past 3 years. And in another week I head to Burma for 2 weeks (my oncologist is horrified!). So I am certainly doing the bucket list and highly recommend it. As we know only 2 well we only live once, and live we should! Holiday on, and party on!

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