the only problem with vacation is eventually returning to work. ugh. so as i went right into four days of back to back meetings with no time to actually get caught up, i kept reminding myself of maui since it quickly seemed like it had been an eternity since i had been in paradise.
the favorite parts of our trip included...
+++ eating shaved ice every day. so good.
+++ eating gluten free california rolls that were amazing (and were the first gluten free california rolls we had found since i had been diagnosed with celiac disease - and i love california rolls - so it was heaven). hi doreen:)
+++ sleep. i slept for five nights in a row with no nightmares or crazy dreams. i did not wake up once during the night. i felt so rested. the nightmares returned our last night there and continue as they normally do. but five nights of actual restful sleep was complete bliss.
+++ watching the sunrise from the top of the haleakala volcano on the morning of our five year anniversary. it is really cold on the top of the volcano (and we had to leave at 4:15am to make it in time), but the view was worth the multiple layers of clothes (including the thermal gear we brought from home) and the early wake up time.
+++ the best gluten free banana bread i have ever had. like the shaved ice, the banana bread was a daily must do.
+++ time spent reading books. i finished p.s. what i didn't say (will begin rotating this one around) and read the happiness project (you will be hearing more about this one in an upcoming post). i am doing great on my resolution of reading books this year, i finished extremely loud and incredibly close, and just started bossypants which is hilarious so far.
+++ seeing humpback whales breach and swim, we could see them everyday as we were driving along the coast of the island and went on a great whale watching trip that supported the pacific whale foundation. so cool.
+++ completely relaxing.
+++ watching the sun go down each day.
+++ fresh fish. yum.
+++dark chocolate covered macadamia nuts. my mouth is watering just typing those words.
+++cold reisling to wind down each day.
+++stunning views across every inch of the island.
+++warm weather. everyday. so nice. i love wearing my flip flops.
it was interesting being back in hawaii for the first time after my diagnosis. the first night that we were there, we went into a little gourmet store at our resort and they had this tanning lotion that they only sell in hawaii and i had used it on a trip there years ago. seeing it literally made my stomach turn. when you know better, you do better.
it was a new experience to be looking for the chairs that had umbrellas over them so that i could sit in the shade instead of the sunshine. as you can probably imagine, i never had a problem finding a shady spot to be in as everyone else wanted to be in the sun. from the look of the skin of some people, i think that they spent a lot of time just sitting in the sun trying to get really tan. i used to be one of those people. when you know better, you do better.
everytime that we were going out i made sure that i had completely covered myself in my sunscreen. towards the end of the trip, we were heading out and i had put sunscreen everywhere except the top part of my back that i can't reach very well. when barrett came out of the room, i got distracted and forgot to have him put lotion on that part of my neck. i realized my mistake later in the day when i felt the burn on the back of my neck. it wasn't a really bad burn, but it was a burn and it hurt, and my skin has been peeling in that spot all week. i have been beating the hell out of myself emotionally due to that burn. i should not have got distracted. i should not have put myself in a position to have my skin burn. it makes me very anxious to have burned that part of my skin. it makes me sick that i made that mistake. but i am trying to take it is a lesson and i can tell you that i doubt that i will ever forget again to have the lotion put on the back of my neck for me. but it has been a hard lesson. i know better, i should have done better.
it also really bothers me because i try to hard to fly under the radar of cancer. that is the reason that i didn't have a big celebration when i finished treatment. that is the reason why i take a deep breath when i get good test results but i never make a big splash about them. i have felt like i should just quietly appreciate good news but not draw attention to myself so the cancer gods will forget about me. i just found a blog written by another melanoma survivor (thank you sasha for sharing the link with me), and in this update, i could totally relate to her words. i think is why the burn has bothered me so bad (besides all of the obvious reasons), i feel like i have drawn negative attention to myself from the cancer gods, and sooner or later, i will be penalized for it.
i would love to be proved wrong about that.