Monday, 30 July 2012

The Scooter Ride

Yesterday was so hot that my three loads of laundry dried within three hours on the line outside.  In fact, some of the lighter materials dried within 30 minutes!  The reason for the big push on laundry is "I've packed my bags and I'm ready to go.  Just standing here outside your door......Leaving on the jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again."  Sorry, I couldn't resist those lyrics from the song entitled "Jet Plane" from years ago.  So I spent most of my day getting laundry done, clothes organized and started to pack up the suitcases.  I'm getting ready to strike off a major trip on my bucket list although my husband likes to call it my "living list".

I'm going to visit my really close friend in California who is like a sister to me.  Although she lives so far away, she has been right beside me from the time I went to my first appointment with my family doctor, through all the diagnostic testing and the referrals to other doctors and through the whole time I've had chemo.  When I was feeling sorry for myself in my blog as the side effects of the chemo got to me, she would put things in perspective in the right way that I would laugh or come up short with the realization that the awful chemo was going to make me better.  She understood when I could hardly talk and she wasn't offended when I wouldn't call her on the telephone.  We switched to emailing and communicating using the computer.  We're back to calling each other just whenever we feel like it.  I'm going to visit my friend!!!!  I can't wait!!!

So after I'd done what I could do with the packing for now, I watched the Olympics from London, England while my husband was outside barbecuing some ribs for an early dinner.  He had an early evening softball game to play.  While he was cooking the ribs, he was also downloading the pictures off our camera so it will be ready for our trip.  I joined him at the computer and we scrolled through the pictures.  Throughout my treatment, he tried to take a picture each day to document the ordeal.  As we went through the pictures, you could definitely see the toll that the chemo took on me.  I eventually had to leave my husband at the computer because I couldn't handle seeing those awful pictures.  It's still too fresh in my memory and it was making me feel ill.

After supper, as my husband was getting ready to play ball, he invited me to come and watch which meant riding on the back of his scooter.  I've gained too much weight and the ride wouldn't be very far so we thought that the poor scooter could handle both of us without bottoming out as it went over the bumps in the road.  Unfortunately, my husband's team didn't have enough players show up to play the game and they had to forfeit the game.  So we hopped back on the scooter to go home.  As my husband was pulling out of the diamond, he said "Do you want to take the long way home?"  Well, sure!  I have no plans.  It's a beautiful evening.  Why not take the long way home.  I thought it would be a scenic route through the back suburban streets.  Nope. Wrong.  He went down to the water and hooked a left.  The night was warm and you could smell the lake long before we were beside it.  The poor little scooter was whining away as it transported the two of us.  We drove along the lake and then past the grocery store.  I was enjoying watching the scenery go by when I realized that my husband's friend was waving at us from somebody else's front porch.  You see my husband's scooter is bright red with a windscreen.  He, himself, is very distinctive as he sits tall with a white "ping pong" helmet.  He's very easy to recognize on the scooter.  Anyway, we waved as we went by.  We continued along the water and past another subdivision.  This time I could smell steaks, hamburgers, wood smoke (I wonder if someone was smoking their meat or if it was a chimerea?), and in behind those wonderful aromas was the faint smell of the lake.  This really was a very "long way home"!  We followed the lake and went past the hospital where the Cancer Centre is and also where I had my chemo treatments.

As I saw the hospital coming up on my left, I immediately was feeling the phantom effects of nausea and that awful taste that was always in my mouth after treatment.  EWWWWW!!!!!  I remember my oncologist telling me that these phantom effects will eventually pass.  It's been three months since my last treatment and it is still there!

We continued following the lake and I admired the old, colonial homes that still look so stately and well-kept.  As my husband made the different turns to continue following the lakeshore, we ended up in the downtown with all the restaurants and patios.  Oh, the mouth-watering aromas that assaulted my nose!  There were definitely steaks, french fries, hamburgers...oh..oh...!  Definitely riding on the back of the scooter gives you a much different perspective than riding in the car!  My husband continued on past City Hall and the park across the street.  There was a Salvation Army church service happening in the park as we went by.  They were praying and give thanksgiving for the music.  Oh.  My husband made a left and found a small parking spot.  He suggested getting off and stretching our legs.  So we wandered down to the waterfront and just as we were about to cross the street to go watch the boating activity on the water, he suggested "Why don't we go get some ice cream first?".  Well, when am I ever one to refuse ice cream!  So we visited the White Mountain Ice Cream store.  I love their ice cream and all their different flavours.  I had a waffle cone with one scoop of caramel crunch ice cream.  We wandered down to the park and sat on the bench to people watch and also watch the boats coming in after a day on the water as we enjoyed each and every lick of our ice cream.  There were tourists taking pictures by the water fountain.  There were couples with young families who had been at the church service.  It must have just been finishing when we drove by.  There was a very fit, young man with no shirt, carrying a big gas can.  I thought perhaps he worked for the tour boat company or maybe his own boat was moored and he needed to fill the gas can.  That's what I like about people watching.  I like to guess where they've been, where they're going and what they're doing.  There were young children running around and enjoying the warm, summer evening.  All this while we enjoyed our ice cream cones.

After our ice cream was done and we had relaxed for a little bit, we walked back to the scooter and climbed aboard.  I thought "Well now we'll head home."  I was thinking that we would take the quick route home now.  Nope.  We bipassed the restaurants and patios.  We drove down the original main road which then becomes the main street along the water again.  This time as we went by the hospital, I didn't have any reaction.  That was good.  Maybe it's going to be a thing of the past.  As we drove, a few times I thought to myself, "He's going to turn here and take us home".  Nope.  Each time I thought that, he went straight through and continued along beside the water.  At the last interection, I thought for sure he was turning towards home as the scooter slowed down.  But nope.  He turned left instead of right and we were following the water again.  Although we could still smell the lake, we were in an old area of what used to be cottages but are now huge, beautiful homes set down through the trees on the lakeshore.  Most of the houses you can see glimpses of through the trees.  Some houses are fully concealed by the mature trees.  In amongst all these large homes, was one orginal small cottage.  I loved it!!  As we passed by, the trees opened up and there was the lake!  My husband continued on and took me to the little parking area across from the airport.  This is the spot he has taken me to throughout my illness to help get me out of the house.  He would bundle me up and drive me here when I was very weak and ill.  We would just park and watch the water roll in on the shore.  This is the spot where he took my picture at the beginning of January for this blog.  That picture was taken before I started any of the treatments. When my aunt, uncle and cousin visited in March, we took them here to see the sunset and the view.  Now...we climbed off the scooter and all those memories disappeared as wisps into the air.

We took off our helmets and put them on the scooter.  Then we climbed down the steep bank to the rocky, pebble-filled beach.  It was so nice to stand there.  The smell of the lake was not the most pleasant but I think that was because it has been such a very hot, dry summer and a lot of seaweed and vegetation is rotting under all the pebbles and rocks.  My husband took some pictures and then we made the climb back up.  We had been at this spot once before in May just after my last treatment.  I remember I could hardly climb up the steep embankment after having got down to the water's edge.  Yesterday, I was able to climb up the bank fairly easily.  I'm getting stronger.  It is these little comparisons that help me see the differences and notice that I'm still getting stronger.  This time when we climbed on the scooter, we made our way home.  We did go past the large homes and I think I even saw a former piano student walking his dog.  I didn't realize that until we were passed or else I may have waved at him.  Oh well.  When we got home, my daughter wondered how the game went.  I filled her in on our little adventure and then asked it there were any phone calls.  My mother had called, so I called her back and had a very nice visit with her. Then it was off to bed.

What a great day it ended up being!

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful day you had! I imagined both of you riding along and it was such a lovely image. Don't you just love days like that? Spending the time together doing simple things while enjoying each other's company. It doesn't get any better. You sound so content, and I'm so happy to see that. Your trip to California will be amazing! Good friends stay close to us no matter the distance.