My daughter Mateja lived in Austin, Texas at the time I was diagnosed with cancer. It was really hard on her being so far away and removed from everything that was happening. She did come home about a month after I started chemo in August when I decided to buzz my hair short as it started to fall out. It was a shock to her as she was not ready for it. In October after my third chemo, I decided to go visit her. Of course, I was tired, and traveling on a plane with all the germs when your immune system is greatly compromised was of a concern. I traveled armed with surgical masks, scarves, and essential oils to guard me against possible infections. I wanted to show her though, that I can still function and even though I was bald as a cucumber, I am still the same person, still the same old mom. We had a blast. Went to the movies, went to see the first Clinton/Trump debate in a comedy club - very fitting except that the comedy turned into tragedy. We went on light hikes. I myself, for the first time, was able to relax. While she was at work I could actually sleep in for the first time without feeling guilty that I should be doing something productive. It's difficult to just say to yourself:" Give it a brake! You are sick! You need to rest!" But at the same time, you feel the need to keep on going and to show people around me, that life and all the activities go on. I've also started to plan our trip to Costa Rica. My son Tilen was there on study abroad program and I had a break for a month between chemo and radiation. Better to be somewhere new and distracted then sitting at home and feeling sorry for yourself.
Mateja and I had such a special time. Everything about Texas is different. The minute you step off the plane, there is a different vibe. People are super nice and yes, they are very proud to be Texans. Food in Austin is amazing. Too bad, I didn't taste much on that trip and my throat was constantly sore from having sores in my mouth and throat from chemo. The wine was wasted on me as well. It made our food bills much lower though. I'll be back in Austin but I am also happy now to have Mateja live closer to me. She had moved back to Reno. It's so awesome to have my kids live close by. At least for now.