Monday, March 9, 2009

The Lone Beagle and Chemo-sabe

We made it all the way out to Phoenix for Beaglefest '09 (this is Seamus and me at a rest stop on the way out; note the cute periwinkle wrap--that the wind is unwrapping--turns out to be great for not just chemo sessions, but traveling too!). No major catastrophes, but there's probably a few lessons to be learned. Lesson 1: you probably don't want to stay at any hotel that allows dogs.

We made it to Phoenix in just about 5 hours or so. Of course, we stopped for lunch in the little, teeny-tiny town of Chiriaco Summit (population 2; both named Chiriaco, and one of them is a cat; it's also home to the General Patton Museum. Seriously). Seamus did pretty good, although he was getting a little antsy after a couple of hours. We're pretty sure that's the longest car ride he's been on. We got to the La Quinta Inn on Thomas Road in Phoenix and let's just say we were underwhelmed. Yeah, we didn't really think this one through. Of course, they put people with pets on the first floor--the better for us to get the dog outside at, um, appropriate times. And in this case they put us on the very end. So, right, directly in front of our room was the parking lot. Straight across from that was a drive-thru Starbucks which seemed fantastic to me at first--but what time do people drive thru Starbucks needing a caffeine fix? ALL times. All. Times. Then on one side of us was the stairway to the second floor (more on that in a bit) and then the very, very busy Thomas Road.

Did I mention Seamus isn't so good at handling changes in routine? Oh, and that he barks at strange noises? Or when he's excited? Or frightened? Or anxious? Or breathing? Yeah, I was convinced we were going to be thrown out of the motel. (I'm never sure of the distinction between hotel and motel; I figure if your room door opens to the outside--it's a motel; if it opens to a nice aircondidtioned hallway--it's a hotel). But I was feeling fine--chemo day 10 was not a big deal at all. So we headed out to dinner.

Chris had carefully research to find dining options where Seamus could come with us (leaving him alone in the hotel was absolutely not an option; we would have come home to a crowd of pitch-fork carrying neighbors and a giant motel bill). We went to Sam's Cafe where I had a black and blue quesadilla (steak and bleu cheese....mmmmm). But "dog friendly" is a bit of a misnomer. That just meant they had a patio and we could sit out there with the cold and wind...where they frequently forgot we were stupid enough to be outside. Oh, and this being Phoenix, they don't have heat lamps. So we sat alone on the patio while some kids in the restaurant knocked on the window to get Seamus's attention, which worked--he howled at them repeatedly. Their parents were, of course, safe and warm and happily oblivious inside the restaurant while we sat outside alone, shivering, hoping our eardrums didn't start bleeding (and, in my case, become infected instantly...day10 you know). We also sat by the front door--so Seamus could howl at everyone who walked out carrying leftovers, and so we could hear everyone say "wow, it got really cold out." Ya think? On the brighter side, I did have a margarita and it turns out the metallic taste in my mouth is indeed subdued by tequila. So on our poll as to the correct pairing with chemo--it's apparently margaritas!

Sleeping at the motel was even more fun. Car lights, dog howling, ambulances (note the plural), dog howling, guys hanging out in the stairwell talking and banging on the railing until all hours of the night, dog howling, folks returning to their motel room at all hours, dog howling, crappy mattress, dog howling, Oh look it's morning and the dog needs to go outside. And with all that, Chris mis-timed McDonald's and we were too late for sausage McMuffins. And really, is it a road trip without McDonald's breakfast?? Jack in the Box Croissanwich had to pinch hit--it was that or Denny's take-out and really the Denny's experience only works if it involves diner booths, playing with sugar trays, dispensers of different syrups and a crowd of very large and not-very-pretty people.

We didn't exactly get to Beaglefest at the start of festivities. I had to get an Orange-Mango-Banana Vivano from Starbucks (the better to mix my Mega-Greens into); Chris had to get the car and Seamus loaded back up and we were off...somewhere just after noon.
[The above was typed early Monday morning; it's now 1:15 pm] And now this blog post is interrupted by the fact that....I'm sick. Day 12 is apparently the danger zone for me. I had night sweats all night, so didn't sleep. Now I've got chills so bad I can barely type. Despite the Tylenol, my fever has headed up past the dreaded 101. We are on our way to Quest Diagnostics to get my blood tests a day early. Chris will likely be the one to update you tonight. Along with giving his hair update. (I'm continuing to think positively).


  1. What a fast pace, fun trip. Glad you have fun at the beagle fest.

    There's one in Chicago that I may try to attend, it's about 5 hours from my place.

    I like you in dark hair, beautiful.

    Reiki sent to Seamus and you.

    Ice Pony Girl
    Happy Tails Beagle List

  2. Although I'm assuming this fever and stuff is to be expected, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you are going to get better quickly. I'm sure you feel absolutely like crap with a fever. Maybe a bit like being trampled over by all those beagles! Feel well, and hope to hear from you again soon on here. Like everyone else, I'll keep poking my head in here to see what the update is from Chris. Take care....


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