something to look forward to

Halfway through the 8 weeks of hell (the last stretch of chemo), I was pretty discouraged. While everyone was cheering, “You’re already halfway there!”, I was despairing that I was not done. And then what was the next stop in life? Surgery. Stupid surgery. My tendency to escape was in full effect as I looked for flights online. Much to my delight, flights to Nipples, Florida were on the cheap. Hey, this fantasy could be a reality. Reality is good! Visiting Naples is pretty easy because I have family down there. Did I ever tell you that I was born there? No? I was. And so was my sister, Neely. I have myself convinced we are the only ones ever to be born in this retirement vacationland. Don’t ruin it for me. 

Back to the story: I summoned Molly, Michele and my sister Neely to join me on a trip. I needed something to look forward to. I needed to look at beauty with some dear friends. And who can really say no to a girl with cancer? If I had my druthers, I would invite all of you and we would caravan to the ocean and we would stay there a good three weeks until we had seen enough sunsets and released all the japanese lanterns and we were weary of fresh seafood. But a small, girls’ retreat is actually more my speed if I’m going to be completely honest. 

I planned the trip to be around the halfway point between chemo’s end and the surgery. I did not ask permission from a doctor. I knew this medicine would sustain my soul during the hardest times. And it did. I would randomly text the girls’ “FLORIDA. That is all.” And I would remind myself that the next stop would be a happy place. 

And we made it here. I’m writing to you with palm trees framing my view. I have been brought to tears looking at the Gulf of Mexico and an incredible sunset shared with friends. I’ve never seen dolphins so playful and showy-offy. The thick, salty air is a welcome friend. 

Here is a peek into the blessing that has been the past few days. One more day, then I come home to the kids and husband I miss. Back to preparing for Christmas, back to getting an infusion on Monday (not the kind that makes me sick), back to trying to squeeze a bunch of love and life into a few more weeks before the big surgery.

   
 

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4 thoughts on “something to look forward to

  1. Jenna! I am weeping with tears of Joy as I read this and scroll through your spectacular pictures!! You look so beautiful and happy and relaxed. I am so grateful God blessed you with this ultra special and much needed reprieve with your dear sister Neely and amazing friends Molly and Michelle! Soak it up, my friend! I am praying for safety on your return trip from Nipples 😉 and for a happy reunion with your family! Also, I continue to pray for your upcoming surgery. Love you to the moon and back, Jenna!!! Love, Joy

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  2. Dearest Jenna, I’m truly grateful that you were able to get away with Neely and girl friends to soak up beauty and warmth. Everyone deserves a break from Life with friends….a Girls night or vacation and some deserve it even more! It is good to see you filled with joy and relaxation. And I believe you were given that time for recuperation…of your beautiful spirit. I’m glad you have a sister like Neely. She’s an incredible person so full of caring and love. Love you from KC….and I can attest that you were born in Naples. I remember holding your precious newborn body and rejoicing that I had another beautiful sister! Those big blue eyes. …you’ve always had them!!

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