Thursday, January 18, 2018

I'm NOT Ready

I’m not ready to say good bye to another animal already. My cat is very sick and I had to rush her to the emergency room yesterday morning. Last year we lost 2 dogs and my dad. I’m not ready for more death.

My life has not been perfect but it has been pretty good the last few years. I met Kevin when I was 39. That is a long time to wait for love but I’m so glad we found each other. Things have been going well with some pretty bad bumps but always moving forward.  I think I'm stalling because I am not ready to write these next words.

OK, here goes… in Dec I was diagnosed with a meningioma, aka a brain tumor. It's small and not really affecting me yet. However, I'm 46 and when my mom was 48 she died of a brain tumor the size of a baseball. Again, mine is more like a marble so I should feel blessed, right?  Then why do I always feel like I'm on the edge of going insane.  I want people who know to stop asking me how I'm doing. What do you think I'm going to say, the truth? Hell no, I suck it up and smile and say, "I'm great".

But guess what, I'm not great. I don't want you to feel my pain though. Seriously, I know there is nothing you can do to make me feel better so I don't want to drag you down with me. You are probably wondering what my next step is. I'm still waiting to here what it will be too.

I have 3 options according to my neuro surgeon. The good, the bad, and the ugly:

  1. Do Nothing
    1. Good: No immediate side effects
    2. Bad: Have annual MRI's and always wonder what's going on in my brain
    3. Ugly: It grows larger and treatment gets more invasive
  2. Radiation
    1. Good: Minimal side effects
    2. Bad: My face has to be clamped down for 30 min while laser beam is aimed at my head.
    3. Ugly: I could lose my sense of smell
  3. Craniotomy
    1. Good: It's gone for sure
    2. Bad: I will have a scar in my hairline.
    3. Ugly: I will lose my sense of smell

What does all this mean? It means I will be fine. The waiting is the hardest part. The surgeon recommended the radiation treatment and I said Yes. So that was January 4th. He said he had to present it to the panel and would get back to me. They meet every other Thursday and today is the 3rd Thursday. I am waiting eagerly by my cell in hopes that I receive a call saying we are good to go. Then a new form of waiting will take its place. I will need more MRI’s and to have that face mask made. Then actually schedule the radiation. That’s a lot of waiting. I keep looking at my calendar to see if there is a weekend I can just run away but there isn’t. I have to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.  Speaking of moving forward, tomorrow I’m supposed to take the Supervisor exam. You guessed it, I’m not ready.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Round the world trip

I wanted to see if I could create a RTW trip for under $2000 USD to places I actually wanted to visit. I wanted as close to a week at each stop as I could get. I live in Sacramento but for most International flights I drive to San Francisco.  So that’s where my trip begins.

San Francisco (SFO) to Montreal (YUL) — Wed, Mar 30
San Francisco (SFO) to Detroit (DTW) — Wed, Mar 30
Delta 1148
Dep: 10:25 pm
Arr: 6:02 am
4h 37m
Boeing 757
Economy (V)
Layover in DTW
Thu, Mar 31
1h 23m
Detroit (DTW) to Montreal (YUL) — Thu, Mar 31
Delta 4127
Dep: 7:25 am
Arr: 9:13 am
1h 48m
Canadair RJ 900
Economy (V)
Total cost for 1 passenger


 After a week visiting Canada and learning a little French I travel over to France for 6 days.
Montreal (YUL) to Paris (CDG) — Wed, Apr 6
Air Transat 396
Dep: 7:25 pm
Arr: 8:15 am
6h 50m
Airbus A330
Economy (X)
Thu, Apr 7
Total cost for 1 passenger

This is $364.94 USD

My husband is Italian and off we go to visit his family for 6 days because honestly who can spend more than a week with family?

Paris (ORY) to Pisa (PSA) — Tue, Apr 12
Paris (ORY) to Copenhagen (CPH) — Tue, Apr 12
Norwegian Air Shuttle 3639
Dep: 9:35 pm
Arr: 11:30 pm
1h 55m
Boeing 737
Economy (Q)
Layover in CPH
6h 30m
Copenhagen (CPH) to Pisa (PSA) — Wed, Apr 13
Norwegian Air Shuttle 3736
Dep: 6:00 am
Arr: 8:20 am
2h 20m
Boeing 737
Economy (X)
Total cost for 1 passenger

This is $130.10 USD

I’ve seen movies and heard stories but let’s visit the ramparts of Morocco for ourselves. Bonus: We will overnight in London – Big Ben here I come. Crumpet’s and tea anyone?


Pisa (PSA) to Marrakech (RAK) — Mon, Apr 18
Pisa (PSA) to London (LGW) — Mon, Apr 18
British Airways 2601
Dep: 3:50 pm
Arr: 5:05 pm
2h 15m
Airbus A319
Economy (O)
Layover in LGW
21h 40m
London (LGW) to Marrakech (RAK) — Tue, Apr 19
British Airways 2666
Dep: 2:45 pm
Arr: 6:30 pm
3h 45m
Airbus A320
Economy (O)
Total cost for 1 passenger

This is $163.60 USD

From Morocco we travel on to Spain.
Marrakech (RAK) to Madrid (MAD) — Sat, Apr 23
Iberia 8379
Dep: 7:25 am
Arr: 10:15 am
1h 50m
Canadair RJ 1000
Economy (P)
Total cost for 1 passenger

This is $123.71 USD

I’m sure a week in Spain will only wet my appetite but off to Turkey I must go.  My mother spent time in Turkey when she was a teenager. She use to tell me stories of walking along the Bosphorus and how beautiful it was. According to her she even dated a prince for a while.  I love my dad; however, seriously, you went from a Turkish prince to him?

Madrid (MAD) to Istanbul (IST) — Sat, Apr 30
Madrid (MAD) to Athens (ATH) — Sat, Apr 30
Aegean Airlines 687
Dep: 12:55 pm
Arr: 5:35 pm
3h 40m
Airbus A320
Economy (P)
Layover in ATH
1h 35m
Athens (ATH) to Istanbul (IST) — Sat, Apr 30
Aegean Airlines 994
Dep: 7:10 pm
Arr: 8:30 pm
1h 20m
Airbus A319
Economy (P)
Total cost for 1 passenger

This is $115.30 USD


Two of my three staff grew up in China and I’m always hearing both good and bad stories about the country. Besides after I see the ramparts of Morocco I’m going to have to see the great Wall of China.

Istanbul (IST) to Shanghai (PVG) — Thu, May 5
Istanbul (IST) to Moscow (SVO) — Thu, May 5
Aeroflot 2137
Dep: 2:55 pm
Arr: 6:20 pm
3h 25m
Airbus A321 (Sharklets)
Economy (N)
Layover in SVO
2h 15m
Moscow (SVO) to Shanghai (PVG) — Thu, May 5
Aeroflot 208
Dep: 8:35 pm
Arr: 10:10 am
8h 35m
Boeing 777
Economy (N)
Total cost for 1 passenger

This is $322.44 USD

After a month and a half and 8 countries, I will be ready for my own bed again. I hope my dogs will remember who I am. I know my cat will pretend she doesn’t. 

Shanghai (PVG) to San Francisco (SFO) — Thu, May 12
Shanghai (PVG) to Guangzhou (CAN) — Thu, May 12
China Southern 3614
Dep: 8:45 pm
Arr: 11:20 pm
2h 35m
Airbus A320
Economy (K)
Layover in CAN
13h 10m
Guangzhou (CAN) to San Francisco (SFO) — Fri, May 13
China Southern 657
Dep: 12:30 pm
Arr: 10:10 am
12h 40m
Boeing 787
Economy (Z)
Total cost for 1 passenger

This is $550.36 USD

My total RTW flight cost for 8 countries (yes, I’m counting England) comes to $1929.58 USD
So I did it 8 countries for under $2000. AWESOME!