All Dressed Up With No Place to Go


Heather
I finished work on May 3, a month before our scheduled departure date, lots of time to get everything ready, right? Wrong!
How do we have so much stuff? Stuff in the basement.

How do we have so much stuff? Stuff in the basement. (Don’t worry, we didn’t bring our nephews baby seat thing)

Stuff in the garage

Stuff in the garage

Stuff in the living room

Stuff in the living room

more stuff in the basement. HOW???

more stuff in the basement. HOW???

My “retirement” started off with a 10 day cold (a baby gave it to me, it was lethal), that was followed by Dan having the flu, then me.  And not some wussy 24hr bug, the 72hr one that brings you to your knees bug.  Somewhere in between there I helped move my grandparents into a home, and spent time cleaning/de cluttering their house to go up for sale.  To add to all of that I found a mark on my leg, I get little marks (actinic keratosis) on my legs, my Dr burns them off so I wasn’t worried, but when I saw her she felt this one looked different and gave me a steroid cream thinking it was something fungal (that sounds gross but is not life threatening). Ten days into my treatment I felt the mark looked no different so I went back to the Dr and she agreed, no change and sent me to a dermatologist.  The dermatologist assured me that it was an inflamed seborrheic keratosis (which I’m also prone to-my skin is aging much faster than I am) but decided to take a biopsy since I have a relatively strong history of skin cancer.  This is where our scheduled departure date went out the window, results would take up to 2 weeks and this was 10 days before we were to leave.
Fighting to get the new mattress protector on the new "snug" mattress

Fighting to get the new mattress protector on the new “snug” mattress

still fighting

still fighting

Dan found a posh Fred Perry bag for our shovel in our "stuff"

Dan found a posh Fred Perry bag for our shovel in our “stuff”

We put our heads down and plugged away to still be ready for June 1 even though my first follow-up (to remove the stitch from the biopsy) wasn’t until June 2.  Despite our best efforts we got close but not quite ready to go, my parents despaired as they watched more stuff arrive from Toronto for them to store and pile up around their home (thanks guys!) but still threw us a lovely sending off BBQ even though we weren’t sure exactly when that would be. We got a new mattress and spent a long time organizing piles of stuff.
Everyone loves a good BBQ

Everyone loves a good BBQ

The awesome cake my cousin Krista made, I felt guilty cutting it up, but it was soooo good!

The awesome cake my cousin Krista made, I felt guilty cutting it up, but it was soooo good!

Even the sides were decorated.

Even the sides were decorated.

We are two lucky kids

We are two lucky kids

On June 1 instead of hitting the road we had a family day, watching the Blue Jays win, and spent our last night in our condo for a while.  June 2 we made a point to go and vote (advanced polls are great) and then off to the dermatologists.  Lucky for me I was seeing one of the top dermatologists in the city, once he heard how I was supposed to have left yesterday on my “once in a lifetime” trip, he personally phoned the lab to see if he could get my results ASAP.  It worked, he returned 20 mins later to let me know the results were being faxed.  Half hour after that he walked in and told me I had skin cancer.  Not going to lie here, I thought he was kidding, I started to laugh.  He looked at me and said “this is not what I expected”. Huh!?!? Dr was serious.  I started to freak out a little but thankfully my medical professional brain took over while he explained it was a Basal Cell Carcinoma-relief, that’s quite literally the best cancer to get (if you have to get cancer).  BCC does not metastasize, and it won’t kill you (unless you leave for 50+ years), slowly it dawned on me that I was gonna just fine.  Of course, I then had to have an excision that left 5 stitches in my leg, but the Dr was happy for us to leave (he will phone me with the excision results just so I know it’s all gone).  The worst part was having to tell Dan (who had been in the waiting room the whole time probably wondering what was going on).  It took a few minutes for him to process the news, but he understood as he had been googling about skin cancer after I hadn’t returned in 10 minutes.
The only thing left was to go to the pub and decompress.  We talked about leaving the next day but we still had a long list of items to do and decided that we should take the next day to get as much sorted as we could and then leave.
Scars are bad ass, cancer is not.

Scars are bad ass, cancer is not.

This little experience of mine has really reinforced for my why I’m so happy (and lucky) that we are doing this now.  Life is short and you will only get out of it what you put in, so get out there and start living, I know I am.
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Categories: Canada, PlanningTags: , , ,

16 comments

  1. You guys are an inspiration to many. We look forward to following your adventures (but you must stay safe and healthy) as well as being a part of them…California here we come! xoxo

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  2. P.S. We cannot even tell you were here. xoxo

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  3. I guess we all experience scary things in life, know my stomach dropped when you told us results,thankfully you were quick to reassure us, not that I didn’t go away and check it out for myself , just to make sure! but, as I always say to you both, I am so proud of you both and the way you choose to live your lives, remember words from poem I saved because it encapsulated how I feel you think about life ? They die slowly,those who do not travel,they die slowly, those who do not read,listen to music,host no tolerance in their conscience. Those that walk on the same roads every day,those that do not change or add to their horizons, those that evade excitement, unwilling to make their dreams come true, you both do all of that and more! More of us should try to follow your example and live a richer life ! Enjoy your adventure, take care of yourselves , love you loads xxxx

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  4. PS looks like all those yoga classes came in handy when struggling with that mattress !!!! xxxx

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  5. Glad your scare turned out so well, and I know you’ll keep an eye on it to be sure all heals up well. Hope you’re continuing to practice those Spanish skills as they’ll come in handy soon! Looking forward to your frequent updates so we can all travel vicariously with you!

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  6. I too am prone to having nasty things cut off my skin, my friend jokes I am like a patchwork quilt! Who needs friends like that! It’s a good thing I know her well. You will be fine, just look after one another.

    Xxxxxx

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  7. Hi Dan and Heather liked post how far are you now .nice leg Heather love Nanna x

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  8. Mike and I just read your news and we were shocked but soo happy that is treatable and that you can continue with your crazy plans, you are such a brave girl,good luck in your journey,take care and we love you both. Mike Irma Sarah and Alex x x

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  9. Awesome take away message…that is why I have done a lot of the things I have done so far in my life. I know I physically won’t be able to later because of past injuries to my ankles and knees so lots of hiking and active activities are what I did in my 20s. I am already slowing down a lot and only 35. I am so excited for you guys and can’t wait to follow all of your adventures and probably a few misadventures on this trip!

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