So, I am home from my cruise. It’s been a while since I have had time to sit and share my thoughts so, here goes.

The trip was wonderful, and it was great to get away. I am constantly reminded, however, of just how much my experiences continue to affect me.

Sometimes, when I go through metal detectors, I beep. There are apparently clips inside me, holding something or other together, and depending on the sensitivity of the machine, I sometimes beep. Now, I did not beep on the various metal detectors I had to go through to get on the ship, off the ship, through customs, etc. I did, however, get nervous and sweaty every time I had to go through anticipating that I MIGHT beep.

My body is definitely not as strong as it used to be and I tire more easily. I will feel like I want to keep going but, my body just can’t do it. It is still difficult for me to admit this but, it is true. There were many days that I might have wanted to do more or stay someplace longer but, just couldn’t. I used to fight this but, now just accept it and try to relax.

My arms are another issue. I bought myself a couple of “hip” bags so that I don’t have to actually carry things on my shoulders but, honestly, just walking around causes my arms to ache terribly. It is so frustrating but, again, I try to just accept what is.

My boobs are definitely crooked. I was just so damaged by plastic surgeon number one that no amount of follow-up surgery could correct this. It’s usually not an issue. I wear a bra that kinds of masks it but, tough in a swim suit.  At least my belly button is in the right place now!

I went on the “lazy river rapids” at Atlantis. It was wonderful. You get in a tube and just float around. The surroundings are beautiful. It is a “rapids” ride, though, and every now and then, you would hit the rapids. It was exhilarating however, I had to worry the entire way that my arms might get cut from the sides of the walls (it’s pretty rough). Even a small cut on my arms or hands could mean a lifetime of lymphadema for me.

I had the same issue when we swam with the dolphins. What an experience. It is up there with the top ten of my life. Only thing is, they make you wear a wet suit. If you have ever worn one you will know that a: they are NOT flattering and b: they are very tight. Try as I might, I was concerned the entire time that the arms of my suit were too tight and they might swell up.

Of course, we had to hit Universal Studios. I did everything  I could but, God knows that I was dying to go on the Hulk Rollercoaster. I just can’t.

Doesn’t that suck? I can’t.  It is such a foreign idea to me. I was raised to believe that anything is possible. I was raised to believe that the word “can’t” shouldn’t be in my vocabulary. We’ve all heard it. “You can do everything you set your mind to.” “There’s nothing you can’t do!”

And, again, it’s like my prior post regarding having more babies. I can physically do it, I just shouldn’t. I can’t because it will hurt me. It’s almost worse. The temptation to do some of these things is sometimes too much. Sometimes I don’t listen to my body and I do overdo it. But, I am taking a big chance with my health. It’s not worth it.

I know this sounds like a pity party but, quite the contrary. What I realized is that despite all of these things, I had a wonderful time! I did not allow these things to get in the way of my happiness.

I also had people there to remind me that my circumstances are not that bad. I ate lunch next to a blind woman on the ship, there was a lady with one leg on the beach at the Bahamas. A burned woman (terribly burned) was in front of me on line at the gift shop. I sat next to a man in a wheelchair at the pool and there was a little girl, probably around nine or ten, in a stroller. Clearly extremely disabled. I think it was muscular dystrophy or something of that nature. She wore no shoes or socks and had a Mickey Mouse hat on every time I saw her. I don’t think she could speak and am pretty sure she was in a diaper.

I am proud of myself. Sure, sometimes I beep but, I am making big strides in my quest for unadulterated happiness!