Friday, February 12, 2010

The greatest compliment and the person never even knew it

So, I’ve been mentioning these past few blogs about my trip to San Diego by myself, where I tried to do something physically and emotionally satisfying each day, things that I cannot do when I am with my three kids.

All week I had this plan to go kayaking in the Pacific Ocean to look for grey whales that are currently migrating from the Bering Strait to the Baja Penninsula. I figured if my TV debut was off, I was going to make the most out of this trip, come hell or highwater!

I became very discouraged earlier in the week when I was told I might not have a kayak tour because I was only one person, and it wasn’t cost-effective for the shop to send out one guide with one person, and no one else had signed up for a kayaking tour. But, they kindly acquiesced the morning of my scheduled journey and said they would take me alone (La Jolla Kayak was the shops’ name and they were great. Highly recommend using their shop for all types of adventuring out in San Diego, CA).

By the time I was supposed to go out on my tour, a family of four (mom, dad and two teenagers) signed up as well! I was pretty psyched. Family was from Canada and the parents were really nice and very friendly. The mom and I both got sea sick on our trip. She actually voiced it to the guide first, and during the journey, when we had paddled out farther to search for whales, I joined the barf-bandwagon.

When we got back to shore, she told me how brave she thought I was for kayaking by myself. She said she didn’t think that she would have chosen this activity if she had been by herself. I wanted to cry. I wanted to tell her about my cancer diagnosis a year ago. I wanted to tell her that I have fake boobs and sometimes I am still worried about doing physical activity with my upper body, and how proud I was of myself for kayaking for two hours straight, but I didn’t. I am trying not to broadcast to the entire world that I am a cancer survivor of just a year. I don’t want that to define me; yet, I feel like it is still an all-encompassing thought in my head these days.

I hold out hope that after a few years I won’t think about it every day as my defining moment in life, but right now, it is what it is, so I will continue to write about that.

I could not will the plane fast enough…

I just finished a week of being away from my husband and my kids.  I’ve had two mimosas, and could have another, but I only want them to get some sleep on the plane…but I cannot sleep.  I am so excited to go home and see my three kids.  I cannot wait to feel their arms wrap around me.

Yesterday, I was kayaking in the Pacific Ocean. It was an absolutely glorious experience, both physically and mentally.  A year ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It changed my life, literally.  I never thought about the fact that this tumor could kill me, I just thought about how to get rid of it and make my life normal again.  And there I was, a year later, kayaking for two plus hours, battling waves, searching for grey whales and sea lions, and fighting off the sea sick nausea that kept nagging me.  While I was feeling ill, I kept saying to myself, “C’mon, Paula, you’ve fought worse things than this.  Just shake out a burp and you’ll be okay…”  Okay, I know, too much information, but that was all I kept thinking, “You fought chemotherapy, you can handle sea sickness!” 

The good news is that I didn’t barf, much to my guide’s chagrin (he told us if we were going to barf, to let everyone know so they could watch…).  But I am telling you, as I was working my way back to shore, paddling and feeling quite exhausted and queasy, I felt like I was never going to get back to shore.  I thought, for sure, the waves would propel me faster to shore, but they didn't and I just could not get to the shore fast enough!  I just wanted to have my Fred Flinstone car to use my legs to help run me back onto the beach…it felt like forever.  Just like this plane flight to get home to my little ones, and my husband.  I wish I could flap my wings and get us home faster, but I cannot.  I will just sit here and write and not sleep and think about all of the fun things I want to do with my kids when I get home.  And I cannot wait!

Not a TV Star Today...

My friend who is a TV producer invited me out to San Diego for the week to be an extra on one of her TV programs.  I was only going to be used for dramatizations, you weren't actually going to see my face, but still, it was going to be cool.  Oh, but show biz is a tricky lady...the interview was on again, off again, on again and finally off completely, so I was out.  There's the downer of the week.

The uppers are quite cool.  While I spent alot of time by myself out in San Diego, I was away from my kids and my husband and, pretty much, did what I wanted to!  I haven't been away from my whole family for over 5 years (though I have gone on many trips with just my husband).  My husband has been begging me to go away, so when this opportunity presented itself, he was the first to say, "yes!"

I went to a museum by myself and didn't have to rush.  I had a leisurely lunch and read an entire book during the middle of the day (The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane).  I had a special tour at the San Diego Zoo where I fed and pet Galapagos Tortoises, Akapis and camels...I saw grey whales spouting water out of their blowholes (from afar), I went kayaking in the Pacific Ocean and saw seals and sea lions in the cool!

While I was here for some of San Diego's coldest and rainiest weather, I still missed the blizzard in New Jersey and dealing with the kids out of school for two days.  I thought my husband was going to lose his mind for two days!

I am ready to see my kids.  I miss them terribly.  I miss my husband terribly too.