The day that I was expecting anxiously was here at last. Finally, the last dosage of my chemo treatment. It had been an exhausting journey and I was happy to have completed this phase of my treatment plan. My oncologist let me know that before we move forward to a couple of low dose radiation treatments, we needed to find out if I still had cancer or if I had reached the stage of remission, aka cancer-free. He sent me out of town to get a PET scan done in order to find out my cancer status. Spoiler alert: I still had cancer, but more on that on another blog. On this trip, all I knew was that I was regaining my energy and was going for a test that was going to give me the results that I had been praying for. I asked my oncologist if I could go out somewhere after my test and he told me that my levels were good therefore I could, have an outing just to take it easy. Of course, all I heard was YES! I stopped listening after that therefore I ignored the “TAKE IT EASY PART.” My heart was literally pounding out of my chest with excitement as I started thinking of places to visit. For example, a theme park, ice skating, window shopping, visit an aquarium or go see a play/musical to name a few. With so many options, my mind wandered off to all the possibilities.
Out of all the endless possibilities, I chose to go to the Zoo. In retrospect, I don’t know what I was thinking but at the time, I was so excited because I had not been to a zoo in a long time. My mom and I started touring the zoo and my mom asked me, “Which areas do you want to visit?” Puzzled, I looked back at her and responded, “all areas.” To that my mom replied,”you are barely regaining your energy, I am not sure if you will be able to visit this entire sizeable zoo.” My enthusiasm was too vast for my own good and I responded with an affirmative “YES! I can see the entire zoo.” Due to the excitement in my voice and my expression, she responded with “ok” and we started walking through the zoo. I saw the lions, tigers, elephants, giraffe’s oh my. Then I decided to move on to the area of birds. As we were reaching the end part of the birds, I recall feeling drained, thirsty and simply miserable. My mom told me “You don’t look good, let’s go to the shade, sit at one of the benches and buy some water.” I sat down and my mom went to get some water bottles. I opened my water bottle and chugged the entire 20oz bottle like if I was in chugging contest. My thirst was so great that I felt my stomach was a bottomless pit that would never get full of water. After a while of sitting down I could feel the nice cool air on my back from some of the fans that were pointed in our direction. It felt glorious cooling down my overheated body. After what seemed like an eternity the combination of the cool air and the water made me feel better. I then realized that all the activity had made me dehydrated. My body was giving me a rude awakening reminder that I was going through a cancer battle. After this incident, I decided to go to the cool indoor exhibits and then end my trip to the zoo and go back to the hotel. My mom was so gracious and didn’t tell me, “I told you so.” That day like so many others I once again learned that I needed to listen to words of wisdom and not rely simply on my accord.