Thursday, March 5, 2009
One of the many things Seamus and I have in common is that we hate being told no. And of the two of us, he probably has the more mature response to the word. Tell Seamus "no" and he will howl at you. Up in your face howling. Many a conversation in our house goes like this:
Me: "Seamus, No!"
That can go on for a long time. Or until I crack up laughing and give in to whatever he was trying to do in the first place. So Seamus never actually "hears" no in any meaningful way. I'm not so lucky.
Today I realized that I had to call the doctor's office to ask if I could do two things I very much wanted to be able to do this weekend-- go in the jacuzzi, and go to Phoenix for Beaglefest '09. See, we have this wonderful spa tub on our back patio with a gorgeous city and mountain view. We're quite fond of sitting out there soaking in the tub, unwinding and sipping some "adult beverage." I miss it already. I've heard and read that we chemo folks should avoid jacuzzis. But then I was thinking (hoping) well, maybe they mean public ones. Like hotel pools and stuff. That would make sense. But I realized I'd have to ask.
And then I found out about this Beaglefest in Phoenix, Arizona that just sounds hysterical and for whatever reason Chris and I have both been feeling like we wanted to go on a road trip. Where we go, so goes Seamus--so Beaglefest was perfect. They have a "melodic voice" competition, along with a "first to come when called" and "last to come when called" competition. Seamus is a sure thing in two out of three of those. Eventually it dawned on me that Sunday, the day of the event, will be day 11 of chemo--and days 10 to 14 are when they expect my white blood cell counts to drop and thus my abilitiy to fight off infections is weakened. So could I be around a crowd of people and a bunch of dogs? Dang it. I was going to have to ask again. I can see this is going to get annoying. I've mentioned this before--the hard part is remembering that I'm sick.
So I called. I got a "yes" and a "maybe." Yes, I can go to Beaglefest. Woohoo!! I just need to be careful, take a thermometer with me and keep checking that I don't have a fever, not get run down, leave if I feel tired, and not kiss any dogs. Okay, I can do that. The maybe was over the jacuzzi. Basically, I can go in the spa--but only for 10 minutes max. What's the point of that? I won't have even warmed up. Sitting in the spa unwinding with a glass of wine becomes jumping in, downing a shot, and jumping out. Suddenly my life is a bad reality television show. Oh well. This weekend we'll be busy driving five hours to Phoenix, staying at a pet friendly hotel, eating at an outdoor restaurant (bet we aren't the only ones there with a beagle), going to a Beaglefest for a few hours on Sunday and then turning around and driving home. Who has time for a soak in the spa?
The "no" part of my day was self-imposed in part, but still cancer's fault. As some of you know, for the past three years Chris and I, together with our partner Rachel Pommier and her winemaker husband over in France, have run wine tasting tours in southern France (Rhone Valley twice and Burgunday/ Beaujolais once). These are either writing retreats with wine tasting or all wine all the time trips. We all agreed today that, all things considered, we weren't going to be able to do it this year. My role in this endeavor has mostly been the "marketing"--which is to say I "pick up" people at writer's conferences or convince my friends they really need to go wine tasting in France and stay on a gorgeous vineyard in Rachel & Raphael's B&B (tough, tough sell). Since I can't go this summer, that's a little harder to do. It's also hard to be working on planning the itineraries and all the "business" details on top of everything else now. Oh, and the economy sucks, you may have heard. Even if we could have waited until August to do the trip, I had to be realistic--I'm going to have to stay put and make up for all the lost time at work. Yeah, I had to tell myself no. And believe me the "no France this year" realization had me howling "Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!" Even Seamus was impressed. Or frightened. It was hard to tell.
But, Words & Wine will come back full strength in 2010. We're thinking 3 different trips--the writing retreat (Words & Wine), the "all wine all the time" trip (Vine & Wine) and a cooking/food & wine tour (Whisks & Wine).
Anyone want to join us in France in 2010 for a giant "I kicked Cancer's butt" celebration?
There will be wine.
Lots of wine.