From CancerLand to Disneyland


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I will never forget the shock, fear and dread that washed over me when my mom heard the words, "You have breast cancer." The heartbreak I felt was immediate yet quickly replaced with action. I watched admirably as, for the first time, my mom made the transition from caregiver to patient. She bravely trudged through surgery, stepped into the world of oncology and radiology, and courageously faced radiation. Hormone therapy has followed along with countless follow-up appointments; each one bringing new questions and along with them answers that shouted HOPE. The whirlwind of anxiety and apprehension slowly got replaced with the words "No signs of cancer." Triumph and gratitude firmly etched in our minds, we savored them by making a dream come true.As we boarded American Airlines Flight 247, I felt a sense of satisfaction at knowing that 14 of my family members were also on board. Scattered across a completely full flight, we began a week-long adventure into a fantasy long in the making. My heart was constantly singing "my mom beat cancer" the entire way! A friend loaned us his house at the beach, and we enjoyed the sights and sounds of the ocean each morning and evening; cousins playing in the waves, feeding rock squirrels and building castles in the sand. Mini makeovers, pillow fights and pajama parties will be among the favored memories. We trekked up to Griffith Observatory, visited Hollywood and Vine and walked among the stars on Hollywood Boulevard. We window shopped on Rodeo Drive and had milkshakes at a tiny cafe.Best of all, though, were the two full days of Disney. My mom worked hard for many years for this special trip. A year ago it seemed impossible; highly unlikely that time would be on our side. So this vacation was more magical than imagined with not a moment taken for granted. We walked until our feet hurt. We saw Mickey Mouse and Cinderella. We clapped through parades, watched as the kids danced with joy, and rode rides that brought laughter, cheers and even a few fears! We got drenched in the Wild Rapids. We screamed through the Tower of Terror. We posed for LOTS of pictures...together. And In this place where dreams are made, we celebrated a mom without cancer, our 27th wedding anniversary and Chloe day complete with corny dogs and fireworks. With time together that meant more than words can say, we traversed from CancerLand to Disneyland!

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