Today I woke up and it felt like Christmas morning which is suiting because this all began last Christmas 2016. I was half way through my treatment and surgeries, things were seeming to be on the right path and what I was once told would be an incurable cancer diagnosis was now being talk about as a curable out come. I started seeing a less urgent look on my doctors faces, I started to have a very strong sense that there will be an after treatment life. I had also put my Ass Army Girls through hell and back with the two larger surgeries being very hard to handle. Long sleepless nights in the hospital and a week of needing a lot of help at home once I was discharged. I watch these amazing woman juggle their own careers, families and time to be with me and help my kids, they were exhausted but always had a smile on their face for me. A group chat was started, that I thank god wasn't on, that kept them all in the loop of who was with me, what needed to be done and how I was doing. Now with my health returning and the brain fog of the last year clearing I truly understand how much they did.
As the Christmas season was approaching I thought and thought about what could I do to even start to show my gratitude for all they were doing? How do I even start to say thank you to people that for a year literally held me up, cleaned me up and gave me a reason to keep going. The idea of going away popped into my head and I was so excited, but then I had the fleeting thought of, wait, what if I can't go, what if I am not here? NO, I thought I will be there and I am going. I called my friend Trina who lives in Grand Cayman and bounced the idea off her, she agreed that is was just what every one would need. Tamara and I had been down the previous February and I knew as soon as I got home it was a place I needed to go back to. It felt like my second home and a place I fit in. I met great people through Trina when I was there and made great connections with some fabulous women. Using a small portion of my critical illness insurance I gave Trina a budget to find me a beach side cottage to have a girls week in. I sent her some links of some modest homes that would be in my price range and I started planning a Christmas surprised for Amy's Ass Army Girls.
I got a call a week or so before Christmas from Trina that she had a house I could rent. "I got you Point of View" which was a high end home on one of the rental sites. My initial reaction was panic as I knew there was no way I could afford this beautiful home. "No you don't understand Ann and I got you Point of View!" Ann is Trina's friend that I got to know when I was there who works for the company and looks after the rental properties. I was in shock as I listen on, "Ann and I talk to the owner and told them your story, what you have been through and what you are doing for your amazing girls and we are going to work within your budget during off season and help you give them a trip of a life time." Tears came to my eyes and I was so taken back and grateful that I could have the chance to give these wonderful woman what they absolutely deserved.
The next week and half I just couldn't wait to give them this wonderful gift! On boxing day I invited them for a morning coffee saying that I had a little something I would like to give each of them for Christmas, it was a freezing rain kind of morning but the Melinda, Suzanne and Becca joined via Skype so we were all together. Megan and Sarah expressed their wariness of what it could be, knowing me and my twisted sense of humor. I had written a poem explaining how much they meant to me and that the word puzzle I provided would explain the gift I had gotten them. I got to watch their faces as it became clear that the letters spelt out Grand Cayman Island. They all just stared at me. Rendering this group of women speechless is a feat in its self! Then I got to tell them that after treatment we were all going away and showed them the amazing place we are staying on the beach! The reaction of excitement was priceless, I don't think I can put into words how happy it made me, that memory will stay with me forever.
What I didn't realise was what it would mentally do for me, since that moment I have been able to talk, plan and be excited for my future! I could picture myself there and there was no damn way I was going to miss out being there with them. It was what I meditated with, what I thought about when I drifted off to the unknown when going under for my last two surgeries. It took away the day to day thoughts of hardship to excited fun thoughts.
And not it is here! The moment that I am so grateful that I am still here to have. I remember only asking Ann once when I would confirming my booking, what happens if I can't go, she assured me not to worry she would handle it and from that moment on I let that thought go and never questioned it again. This will be a trip of a life time but it is just so much more, I am so excited to see these wonderful amazing woman smile, relax, have fun, and create memories that have nothing to do with anything we have all been through in the last year. So to Sydney, Suzanne, Mom (Fay), Becca, Tamara, Melinda, Megan, Sarah, Trina, Ann and Blythe I thank you for giving me my life and watch out Grand Cayman cause here we come!