Thursday, June 01, 2006

In which I ponder the use of anti-nausea drugs for Disneyworld

Last weekend, deferring ever so slightly my third chemo appointment, I took my nearly six year old daughter to Disneyworld. Yep, on Memorial Day weekend. But wait, before you shake your head in disbelief, know that the trip was planned ages ago, with friends Joanna and Naomi in Oakland. They were there for family function, and thought it would be fun to join them. It was. Hot (90 plus, oh yeah), and humid, check. But the girls seemed totally oblivious to heat and humidity. Only the two grown ups were constantly sweating and looking for air conditioned places!

The first day we went to Animal Kingdom, the one with the real animals, not the Disney faux ones. We took the Safari ride and saw the Lion King show. We walked all over the place (well, Joanna and I did, the girls rode in style in the double wide stroller).

But it was fun, of a sort. We ended the evening with a promise of playing in the pool at the motel at night, but alas, we were pre-empted by a storm. So the next day, we let them splash themselves into a happy oblivion and then headed out to Sea World. With promises of Shamu dancing in her head, Sofie was happy to go. Again, the logistics of the theme park experience took a sit down meeting and pencil and paper. “OK, so if you (Joanna) take them to the Dolphin show, I will head over to the Shamu stadium and wait in the line”. Sounded like a great plan. And it was, despite the huge torrential rainstorm on the way. It melted my Seaworld map, but I persevered. I got there, drenched literally to my underwear, and spent the next hour and fifteen minutes awaiting the perfect seats.

Out of the “soak zone” (Shamu packs a wallop with his/her tail). We had front row balcony seating, perfect. Then coordinates were called into Joanna’s cell phone. Section B, 3-5. I gave her the coordinates. Unfortunately, she entered the stadium on the wrong side, and called back. I stood up, clear on the opposite side and waved wildly, holding my cell phone. Finally, she waved back and soon the whole lot of them were seated and waiting for the show to begin. So, just exactly how did people function before cell phones, I wonder? Would we still be looking for each other in that vast man-made ocean?

The show was wonderful, the girls were exhausted. We circled by the food station and after the feeding was over, headed out.

Joanna and Naomi dropped us off to head back to her brother’s home in Orlando. We were on our own for the last day. Sofie and I headed out to Magic Kingdom on the free bus, knowing the return to the motel had only one option: 7 PM. Not a drop of flexibility there, no sireeee. Once there, we went straight to Tomorrowland, which I think is now more Buzz Lightyear and less Jetsons, and got a FastPass for the Buzz ride. She loved it and wanted to go again. Another FastPass, for about an hour later. We went (twice again) on another more lame ride around Tomorrowland and then back to Buzz. Then FastPass for Space Mountain. A brief break for a popsicle and away we went. I kept reassuring her that the ride would be fun. She was in the middle of a three person car with me right behind her, hands on her little shoulders for comfort. Then WHAM! that thing blasted away and hurtled us through the ride. I had forgotten the roller coaster part I guess, or something. She was squealing in delight, I was about to toss my cookies. I wondered if I should have taken one of my anti-nausea pills from Chemo. Too late. I barely made it off the ride, literally staggering in the heat and with my head spinning. “Let’s do it again, mom”. No way, we were only allowed to go once, it was a rule, I lied. I would never have made it.

We headed to the TeaCup ride, and I realized that there was no way I would be able to handle it. I recruited another parent from the line and she took Sofie with her two twin boys. Sofie was happy to go, she loves those “dizzy rides”. I was dizzy just watching!

But we survived Disneyworld, without sunburn, and got home to RDU in time to meet up with my friend Sue, in from LA to watch over me as I went into round three of the chemo the next day.

More about that, later.

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