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Trip 14

My Summary

Wow, another trip has come and gone.  I've settled right into this 4 week schedule and the trips seem to come so quickly.  But that's good.  It means we are aggressively attacking the AVM, hopefully staying ahead of the game, and getting closer to the light at the end of the tunnel and closer to my "AVM FREE Party."  :)

Pam, my step mom in law, took her second Denver trip with me.  We enjoyed a nice dinner Tuesday night at Bistro 33 and picked up some last minute items at Target.  I found some cute little Spring time/Easter socks that have grippy on the bottom that I thought would be a good replacement for the hospital issued ones.  That was a good find! 

Up the next morning way too early in order to be at the airport for the 6 am flight.  Poor Josh was trying not to freak out about the "late" drop off time as we were in route.  However I could clearly see the Rain Man impression starting as he became more and more nervous about the time.  He dropped us at the curb just about 5:00, quick kiss goodbye, checked in with the sky cap, and then...holy crap there was a long line for security.  That never happens!  So we made it through fine, but no time to stop at Starbucks.  Got front row seats and settled in for the two hour flight with no drama.  Picked up the rental car and off to the condo.

This was the first time Pam had been to Jenn's condo.  Last trip she accompanied me on we were still staying at the Marriott.  So it was nice to show off just how nice the condo is and of course how nice and generous Jenn is to let us stay there each trip!  We relaxed for a little bit and then decided we needed to do something so we could wake up!  And what better than to do a little walking tour of the model condos!  So we chatted with the sales guy for a few minutes and then wandered through the 7 or 8 models they had and figured all the stairs counted as exercise!

We then headed out to meet up with Camellia and family.  Camellia had been in for treatment on Tuesday and was back at the hotel resting up.  Margie and I had talked about trying to squeeze in a visit since we would both be in Denver at the same time.  And of course, the visit meant that we needed some Gelato!  We stopped at Whole Foods, found Margie actually there, grabbed our treat (I tasted mint basil gelato before leaving... intriguingly good but weird) and then drove back across to their hotel.  Camellia was looking good, albeit swollen and tired.  She was pretty quiet during the visit and spent most of the time coloring and laughing at her silly daddy!  She had a little bit of a rough trip and it is always so hard to see the little ones go through this.  You can read all of Margie's updates at their Caring Bridge site.  Big sister Serene and Pam found they had a love of horses in common and Serene even demonstrated some riding techniques!  We stayed for about an hour before needing to head off to see Dr. Reed.

Birthday Twin Doug greeted us upon arrival and took us back for the appointment.  I had been a bad girl and accidentally got a "slight" sunburn the previous weekend.  So I had to fess up to that, and allow for the good natured lecture about sunscreen!  I know...but everyone forgets the first nice spring day, right?  I did however get to report that I was drinking more water and got a smile and a "good job" from that.  Dr. Reed came in and first words out of his mouth were "So I hear we need to talk about sunscreen!"  They were both pretty pleased with their little joke!  Quick check, not much has changed.  Everything still looks good.  We both agreed there was a little spot inside my mouth that appeared to be swelling slightly, but not a big deal.  We chatted more about my progress and lack of "updates" from Dr. Yakes.  All good signs though.  Dr. Reed said to ask for an update this time and tell Yakes that "Dr. Reed told me too!"  (I have to admit I still didn't...)  Saw Shanna Banana on our way out and said a quick hello.

We weren't quite ready for dinner after our Gelato with the Schaners, and so we found ourselves with time to kill...and a DSW just up the street.  We quickly decided that shoe shopping was in order.  Pam was able to find some cozy little flats, but I struck out on all accounts!  I looked at heels, tennis shoes for the upcoming walk, even flouncy hats to help prevent more sunburns.  No luck, and I left empty handed.  Sigh...

We decided to eat at a big restaurant at the mall.  I forget the name, but it must have been owned by Cheesecake Factory.  Very similiar in feel and menu, although almost an "egyptian" atmosphere.  We had some yummy edamame as an appetizer and huge dinner's with doggie bags to go.  On the way out we saw someone with the most wonderful looking strawberry shortcake dessert and were both so sad that we had no room for that!

Back to the condo, get things ready for the next day, and pretty much just crashed for the night.

I had a 7:00 check in the next morning, which typically means that I am in the middle of the group for the day.  Darlene checked us in and told us that she had been talking about me and my website with a little girl Katie who was already in for the day for treatment.  Up to the 3rd floor and as we walked in I heard "Shalon!" and turned to See Brad (Alaska Allison's dad) hanging out at a little table.  Allison was already in getting set up and he was waiting to be shown back.  We sat around and chatted for a little while, and I opened the gift that Jodi had sent along with him.  She had picked up some of my absolute favorite Cadbury Mini Eggs, a chocolate fishy, AND little Alaska sockies with cute Moose on the bottom for grippy!!!  They totally even matched my new hospital gown for the day so my ensemble was complete!  Later Allison and I got a picture with our matching socks (her's were purple with bears on the bottom!)

Brad got called back to be with Allison, and Pam and I spent a little longer just hanging out in the waiting room before they were ready for me.  I ended up in the room next door to Allison, but we only got to chat for a few minutes before they were ready to take her off for treatment.  Didn't see them after but heard that she had a successful treatment and successful shopping trip!  I had a new gown and matching cap for this trip, and of course had to show them off to everyone.  And somehow I think I turned into the talk of the 3rd floor as I kept having nurses stop by as they passed in the hallway to see my new threads.  Even the anesthesiology crew had heard about it!  I think Allison mentioned to them that she was putting in her order!  ha!

I had a new nurse this time and she was wonderful!  IV in on the first poke, and she was very attentive and listened to all of my high maintenance warnings with a smile.  We got set up, and did all the paperwork and regular chatting with Eric about how I have been since the last trip.  No big changes, no drama, no wounds... I'm good!  Dr. Yakes also stopped by as he was making the rounds.  I pushed a "little" by saying "It seems like we are making some good progress, right?"  Not quite the demand for an updated that Dr. Reed tried to get me to make, but still...  I did of course only get the vague answer of "yes we are, things are looking good" a quick patt on the hand and an "I'll see you soon."  Good enough for me!  As long as I don't get any "bad" updates, I'm just going to be happy with the "making progress" kind.

Soon after Nurse Rick came to hang out with us for a while.  He came in on his day off to be able to watch my procedure!  How cool is that?  It was a good opportunity for him to know what actually happens with the Yakes patients that he always takes care of.   I haven't seen Rick for quite a few treatments now cause he never works Thursdays.  So it was great to be able to hang out for a while before he was off to prep for the "show!"  The rest was pretty uneventful, wheeled into the cold room (beach room this time) showed off my cool new gown and cap, did a quick wave to Rick, felt the happy juice taking affect, called "lights out!" and according to Rick, I was out just after that!

Post op was easy.  I'm never high maintenance for this part.  Although I'm pretty sure I was snoring!  Back into my little room and Pam came in with stories about all the activity she had done while I was out!  Seems she was able to squeeze in a quick massage at Massage Envy down the street.  We spotted it in the Whole Food parking lot the day before and they were able to get her in and out with a half hour little treat while she waited for me.  I'm going to start sending all of my travel partners down there while they wait for me!  How cool is that?

Rhonda came in to do the post-op routine and told me I was in trouble!!  Why?!?!?  Me???  I'm never in trouble!  What did I do?!?!?  "You don't think I read your blogs, do you?"  She said.  Well...actually I do think they sometimes catch up on my webstie and blog, and in my post-op dizziness I couldn't for the life of me come up with a reason that my blogs would get me in trouble.  But apparently that time back in November...back when my throat was swelling shut and I had to crush up my medicine into water...ya...oops...  Next time something like that happens, I'm on strict orders to TELL them and to make sure that I don't put myself in the situation where I actually can't breath.  Ok, I gotta give her this one.  That was probably not my best move to pretend it was no big deal.  So I'll accept my punishment!  No punishment...they all llike me too much!

As I was waiting to be able to leave, I saw Katie and her mom walk by.  Her face looked pretty swollen of course, and I did a quick little wave to her.  They kept walking but I think I heard her mom say "See, there is Shalon!"  When Pam went to get my perscriptions, she ran into Katie and her mom and was able to chat for a little bit and pass along my information.  I hope it might help her, and maybe on one of the upcoming trips we will get to meet.

Back to the condo, phone calls to Josh and Dave, a little relaxing on the couch, and I think that was it!  The next morning I was feeling good, and there really wasn't too much swelling.  It's always nice when my lips don't swell cause then the drooling stays at bay!  My neck and under my chin were a little swollen, but still not too bad.  We had hoped to hook up with Jody and Arie in the afternoon and maybe a tour of Celestial Seasonings, but Jody wasn't feeling well and we had to take a rain check.  But with an extra day in town, we still decided to take a little trip and explore.  So we drove up to Boulder, parked downtown and started to walk through the cute downtown/outdoor mall area.  Lots of cute shops and restaurants along both sides of Pearl Street.  We did a bunch of "looking" and spent some time in a fun little shope looking at antique jewelry.  Decided to have lunch at a Crepe Restaurant and had some yummy tea to go along with it.  Pam managed to pick up some gifts for the grandkids and we also stopped for smoothies before making our way back to the car.  It was a nice day to walk around.  Sunny, slightly windy and chilly.  But great to be out in the fresh air.  We had a nice time but still want to take that Tea Tour!

Our flight left Saturday, and somehow Pam had much more to bring home than she came with!  Oops...I'm not sure I'm a good one to ever remind people not to buy things.  It somehow goes against my very nature.  Our flight was uneventful and we made it home a little early even.  Josh & Dave were waiting for us at the bottom of the escalator to take us home! 

Timeline pics have been updated as always!

Thanks for coming with me Pam!  xoxo

Continue to Trip 15