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Starting the BUCKET LIST

It’s been a while since I’ve added to my blog.  A lot has happened.  I’ve been on a couple trips, one of which was to Kauai with my kids and their families.  The scan before going to Kauai came out clear, but we had all decided that if the scan was not good we were still gonna go on the special trip anyway.  So, it was a big relief that it came out clear. 

In Kauai we did many fun things.  We snorkeled, zip-lined, saw many sea turtles and some whales.  We rode on an ATV.  We swam in the ocean.  We went to a luau.  We rode in a helicopter around the island (which was fabulous – we saw a couple of whales from up above).  And we stayed in a beautiful house.  It was paradise.  Para, para, paradise!  (by Chris Martin, Coldplay).  It was fun watching the little ones playing on the beach together and swimming in the ocean.  The water was waaay too cold for me.  Going to Kauai – CHECKED OFF BUCKET LIST!

Next up – was going to Washington DC with my sisters to see the cherry blossoms.  Cherry blossoms don’t last very long, with an average of maybe about 10 days, and the day we landed they had already bloomed.  So, after we landed we went right out to see the cherry blossoms.  If there had been a storm before we got there the cherry blossoms would have been gone.  The day we left, there were very few blossoms left.  They are a beautiful sight to see.  See cherry blossoms in DC – CHECKED OFF BUCKET LIST!

Susan and David greeted us at the airport in DC with signs that said “2019 Middle Aged Pole Dancers Convention”.  And of course, Sherry and I were the last ones off the plane…  So, we were the last ones to see the signs, and the only ones to join the convention.  If you have ever been to DC you know there is a LOT of walking involved.  I am always trailing behind even before I was diagnosed.  I guess I just assume I have legs like my dad.  Short, short, short.  So my sisters talked me into bringing my wheelchair, which I am soooo thankful that I had it with me.  I was exhausted at the end of each day just from RIDING IN THE WHEELCHAIR because we did so many things and stayed up so late.  That is a given at Susan and David’s house. 

We got to tour the Capitol building and the Pentagon.  At the Pentagon we got to see exactly where the plane hit on 9/11.  It was a special tour from one of Sherry’s friends in the military.  I did not realize how huge it is in there.  It is like a city!  It has everything you need to live there if need be. 

The Capitol tour was also very special because I wanted to see where Senator John McCain’s office was, since he had glioblastoma, too.  I was surprised to find out, as I was waiting for the tour to begin, I was sitting right in John McCain’s old office!  I wish I could have met him.  We probably wouldn’t have talked politics. We probably would have compared brain tumors, that is my guess. 

My favorite place in DC is the Holocaust Museum.  I usually spend a whole day there.  But on this trip I gave it up for sleeping in one morning!  The list of things we DID do in DC is so long I wouldn’t want you to stop reading my blog, so I won’t mention everything.  😊    Going back to DC to visit Susan and David – CHECKED OFF BUCKET LIST!

My most recent scan in April looked stable and clear.  My neuro-oncologist, who is a woman, has never seen me without a HAT.  And on the day I was getting results I went in without a hat.  My hair is getting longer and curlier, even as we speak.  So…  I thought for SURE when the doctor walked in the room, she would say something about my HAIR.  And she said SOMETHING to me, which I misinterpreted.  She SAID, “Your scan looks good”.  I replied, “My skin looks good??”.  Because, I was waiting for her to say something about my HAIR, not my SKIN!  And she repeated herself, and I repeated myself…  Finally, Ashlee and Nathan, giggling off to the side, said, “MOM – your SCAN is good!!”.  Then Ashlee proceeded to tell the doctor that she thinks my hearing is going bad.  We all got the giggles about that.  The kids couldn’t wait to tell my sisters sitting in the waiting room what had just happened.  They said, “That’s a classic!”.  My oncologist said, “You might not believe this, BUT radiation has been known to cause build-up in the ears”.    So, my next appointment is with my general practitioner who is gonna check my hearing…  By the time I walked out of the office I said to my sisters, “Did you hear what happened?” and they told me what beautiful SKIN I HAVE! 

As I mentioned before, my hair is coming back curly and wavy.  I saw a little cousin of mine, who is only 7 years old, this past week.  He was sitting next to me, looking up at me, and told me that I look like GEORGE WASHINGTON.  That is something no one’s ever said to me!  I guess, only being 7, he was unaware of how sensitive I am about my hair at the moment.  😊

I CAN:

-          Get through the short hair stage/George Washington look

-          Do some remarkable things, like zip-line

-          Drive safely – want a ride?? 

-          Still laugh and have fun, even though my prognosis is unclear

-          Get through the next rounds of chemo as successfully as I have the first 8

I CAN’T:

-          Believe I only have 4 more rounds of chemo to do!  (I still CAN’T LIKE chemo)

-          Carry heavy bags downstairs, especially if they are books

-          Believe I forgot to tell you that I had a port installed!  I will tell you about that next time.

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Comments (7)

  • Kristi MIskimins
    Kristi MIskimins

    Oh my sweet friend. I love your blog updates. You are the most amazing and inspiring friend ever. I love you.

    one month ago · Reply
  • Susan cupps
    Susan cupps

    Oh the power of prayers from all us, your cheerleaders really do work! And the positive thoughts! I'm so so happy to read such an uplifting blog where I had tears of joy for you Nettie. You are a true fighter and an inspiration to so many! Love you so much ❤

    one month ago · Reply
  • Joan Fletcher
    Joan Fletcher

    Your adventures sound amazing!!! So glad you spent time with your kids and grands doing something fun and unforgettable. Love you Nettie!

    one month ago · Reply
  • Nancy Thompson
    Nancy Thompson

    Nettie, Thanks for taking all of us through your trips and your journey day by day. You write in a very picture making way. We are praying for you often. And you are much cuter than George Washington! Love you, Aunt Nancy and Uncle Bill

    one month ago · Reply
    • Nettie Benak
      Nettie Benak

      Susan here - Aunt Nancy did you know it was your grandson who called her that?? CRACKED US UP. We are still calling her GEORGE.

      one month ago · Reply
  • Jody Gubalke
    Jody Gubalke

    Beautiful Blog. So happy for you that you got to make these wonderful memories!! You truly are an inspiration!! Here’s to making many more memories, for many years to come❣️ Love U Annie!!

    one month ago · Reply
  • Julie Tweedy
    Julie Tweedy

    So strong, so talented, so beautiful. Thank you for taking us all along on your journeys of such strength, inspirations, encouragements, humor, and endurance! You are loved, dear friend! Love all past and present you've ever written! May God richly and continuously bless you! <3

    one month ago · Reply

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