As I’m sitting on the airplane back to Arizona from a perfect weekend spent in Colorado, I’m trying to bottle up into words all the feelings I have. Not going to lie — I’m even holding back a few tears (mainly for the guy sitting next to me so he doesn’t think I’m a weirdo).
Traveling while actively going through cancer treatment is scary as hell. I know I’m physically fine and completely capable, but I still feel like so many of my side effects are surprises and being far away from my family and hospital is scary. Not to mention, surprise barfs on the airplane sounds like the worst thing ever (even though it’d be a great spot on the barf bingo card — yes that’s a real thing).
I flew into Colorado Springs early Saturday morning and spent Memorial Day weekend there. Colorado felt like a safe choice and it was close enough that I could drive back if something bad happened. Dan’s Dad lives there, and Dan went to college there and lived there before moving to Phoenix, so he was excited to show me some of his stomping grounds. I know it’s the end of May, but this place is seriously perfect and I don’t really understand why anyone would want to live anywhere else. I guess the winters suck, but I’ll need to see it for myself cause I am certainly not convinced yet.
Saturday we went to the top of Pike’s Peak - one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It was so cold up there, though! As an Arizona girl, I’ve never seen so much snow in my life. We were literally in the clouds. We then drove around town a bit and went to Dan’s school and ended the evening at this bizarre pizza place. We headed back to Dan’s Dad’s house and I was excited to finally meet him.
Unfortunately, the surprise barfs had other plans. We got to the house and I immediately spent the next hour and a half barfing my guts out. Didn’t even get to introduce myself to his Dad. But, I quickly became very close with his toilet 😉. Go ahead and add “Dan’s Dad’s House in Colorado Springs” to the barf bingo card (my first out of state one — how exciting). Throwing up is pretty routine for me, but I was super bummed this time around. This was the first time in a long time that I was taking a vacation and I really wanted a vacation from all my Cancer things too. I kept apologizing to Dan as if I had any control over the situation. About 6 barf sessions later, I felt like a new person. We ended the night talking with his Dad and mapping out the next day’s adventures.
We spent Sunday, Monday and Tuesday exploring a decent portion of Colorado. We went to Denver to see an old friend of mine (which was so fun!) drove from Golden to Breckenridge (one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever been on!!) and down to Woodland Park to see one of Dan’s friends. We also did a Gold Mine tour in Cripple Creek, drove down to Canyon City, had a fancy steak dinner at The Broadmoor, and spent a good chunk of time in Garden of the Gods. And I’m happy to say the barfs (and all other side effects) stayed away for the rest of the weekend. I even had a glass of wine!
As cliché as it sounds, the perspective that comes from having cancer is unreal. I had a mission to be as present as I could possibly be this weekend and soak it all in. About 90% of my vacation time this year is reserved for cancer treatment and scans and this trip was for none of that. As silly as it sounds, for the first time in a long time, I felt free. And my short-lived freedom was so refreshing and so good. I documented the hell out of my trip (if you follow me on Instagram, sorry not sorry for all the photos) and had such a genuinely good time. Maybe I’m just a desert girl, but this scenery in Colorado is absolutely breathtaking.
So, this trip was more than a weekend trip to Colorado for me. I proved to myself that I can travel and be completely fine. Sure, people might give me looks for wearing a mask on the airplane, but jokes on them — my immune system is in overdrive and I’m arguably the healthiest person on this flight! This trip also reminded me to just enjoy my surroundings, as much as possible, in the moment. This world is a beautiful place and worth giving your undivided attention to from time to time. To top it off, I got to see the Colorado side of Dan this weekend too — which was fun! Thanks for being the best tour guide 😊I’ll throw some of my favorite pictures below (I’m pretending you haven’t seen them yet).
Back to reality this week and another round of my good friend, Nivo on Thursday. Meanwhile, I’m gonna spend the rest of my flight looking at my pictures to hold onto this freedom feeling for a tad bit longer.