Hey there Heather! You have stage IV colon cancer and you’ve just been told you only have a few months to live. What are you going to do now?
I’m going to Disneyland!
I took that day and I went to Disneyland. By myself.
It was on a Wednesday with nothing else going on so the park was pretty bare. I had to wait more than 10 minutes only twice. Pretty awesome day.
But seriously, who goes to Disneyland by themselves? I mean, that is kinda weird, right?
Well, I can tell you that I was not the only person there solo. *side note – found out one of my friends was there (by herself) on the same day. Crazy that we didn’t run into each other! Anyway…
I honestly had a really great day! You saw the picture above. Do I look at all sad?
But I can also honestly say that I’m not so sure I would’ve done this pre cancer. I would’ve been too hung up about being alone and wondering what the other people in line would think about me standing there by myself.
My mom called while I was waiting for the new Cars ride. It was too loud to talk so we texted. At one point she asked me to send her a selfie. Huh. um, OK!
I didn’t expect this request from my mom, but we were having so much fun texting and I was just having fun all around, why not? How about another?
Which turned into this:
And so on:
I think there were a few others too. It was simple fun.
Also something I don’t think I would’ve done pre cancer. At least not so freely. Especially now… with my cancer riddled body and all the physical effects it creates. The worst for me are my chipped teeth that get worse and worse because I can’t get them fixed while in treatment. They used to really make me wanna hide. But it doesn’t bother me anymore. And I had this great moment with my mom because I didn’t let it get to me.
The whole reason I went to Disneyland was to just get away for a day. I needed to get out of the house and out of town even to try and process some of this heavy shit that has been building and building and building all the way up to the moment of that phone call with my oncologist. How do you process that kind of information? I can’t ignore it. It was put into my brain. So if I have to try and deal with this, why not at “the happiest place on earth”?
What did I think about? I’m not so sure I can really put it all in words and tell you exactly what it was like. Of course I wasn’t all heavy contemplating life all day. Obviously I took time to let loose, be amused and have a pretzel.
I don’t think I came to any conclusions really either. Except maybe this…
I need to lighten up on people who I don’t think are appreciating life. I realize I’m a little bitter about not getting to have a long one and I can’t take it out on people.
I think we all judge people this way to an extent. For example:
“Dude spends all his time and money on cars” Well? What’s his story? Did he and his old man work on cars together when he was a kid?
There’s plenty of people who are materialistic and put a lot of time and money into things that don’t matter, but I think there can be more to it sometimes that we need to think about. Don’t be so quick to judge.
Another thing I thought about? Time. Of course.
The day went by soooo fast. It scared me. Every day whizzing by frightens me on some level. Yeah, I know, none of us know when our time is up. But I have shittier odds than most of you reading this. I’m struggling more then ever on making future plans. I feel like I can barely do what I need to do.
When I got to the park I had this big plan for the day. I knew exactly where I was going and what rides I was going to get on. When I got there I started out just as I planned it and about 2 rides into my plan I already deviated and went on a ride twice because there was no line and it was fun! It only took a few more rides after that before my plan was completely gone. Except, that I had planned on staying until 8 to see The World of Color” show. At about 6:15 I get a text from Mary Jo asking if I was coming home soon because she wanted to watch the episode of Amazing Race we were behind on. Arghh!
I sat for a minute to think about it. I had 2 more hours of line-free rides to hit. Even the Toy Story ride only had a 15 minute wait.
I texted her back “If you ever have any doubt about how much I love you…”
And I left a crowd-free Disneyland to be home with the love of my life.
So maybe sometimes leaving the party early might not be so bad after all.