How’s that for a title? I wonder what kind of hits it will get. heehee
Some friends of mine are coming to the Philadelphia area in October. They’re only going to have less than a full day in the city and one of them asked about what they should plan on doing. She mentioned they want to at least see the Liberty Bell. I concur. It just seems wrong to be in Philly and not see the Liberty Bell.
So I sketched out a plausible itinerary and told her that, contrary to National Treasure, the Liberty Bell is not in Independence Hall anymore. I also mentioned it’s free, but you have to go through a security line which rivals that of airport security. And then I remembered…
July of 2005. Todd had been living and working in Pennsylvania for two months by this time. Wanting to take the kids to Pennsylvania so they could see where we would eventually be living, I had asked my oncologist if I could fly. “Not just no, but absolutely no,” was her reply. To say I was disappointed is a huge understatement. If I’m not mistaken, I cried to my mom when I told her. It was definitely one of those “I hate cancer” moments, which is pretty silly when you think I wouldn’t have been in that predicament to begin with if it hadn’t been for the stupid disease.
Either later that day or the next my mom called me back and said she and my dad had been talking and if it was okay with my doctor they would drive me and the kids the 1200 miles to hang out with Todd for a week. My oncologist thought that was a brilliant idea. So plans were made for us to drive to Pennsylvania the day after my third treatment.
The week before number three my white count was low, as usual. I received the Neupagen shots and the doctor told me whether I got treatment the next week or not, I was to go visit my husband and have a grand time. Wednesday, July 13 my counts were perfect, I received my chemo, and the next morning we were off on our adventure.
A 1200 mile road trip the day after a chemo treatment is probably not the best time to travel. Then again, it wasn’t so bad. The worst part was all the water I was drinking to flush my system which meant frequent stops. But we made it and it was wonderful! Here are my calendar entries:
Thursday, July 14: Drove all day!!! slept and stopped a lot!
Friday, July 15: Arrived PA! Yay!
Saturday, July 16: Tour of control room w/ Tom – very interesting. Drove around and looked @ waytoo big houses. LOL Filly [sic] Cheesesteak from Pudgies.
Sunday, July 17: Went into Philly. Took City Trolley tour. Can’t wait to explore the city further. Italian from Bertucci’s.
Monday, July 18: KOP Mall – Big lunch @ Rock Bottom Breweries.
Tuesday, July 19: Leave for home. I drove mostly.
Wednesday, July 20: Drove the rest of the way home. Whooped by that time!!
Thursday, July 21 is a list of my blood counts, each one followed by a frownie face because each one was low, and the notation Felt crappy all day! Between my full calendar and my blood work it’s obvious I overdid it. But I didn’t care in the least because it was so well worth it!
And now we get to the reason for the title. As the Sunday entry states, we went into Philadelphia for the day and took in the Liberty Bell while we were there. The whole time I was bald I never wore a wig, preferring either hats or bandanas. This particular day I sported a navy blue ball cap with a pink ribbon on the front, thinking it would make the reason for my baldness obvious. When it was my turn to go through the metal detector the security guard told me to take off my hat and put it on the x-ray belt. At first I didn’t understand what he was telling me. I knew he couldn’t be telling me to expose my baldness to the masses. That would be so insensitive. Besides, what in the world could I be hiding under my hat?
Turns out he WAS telling me to expose my baldness. Todd started to argue with him, but I figured that would just make a bigger scene. So I took off the hat, tossed it on the belt and walked through. I remember looking down as I walked through so I wouldn’t have to see anyone staring at me. I may have been red with embarrassment, but Todd was red with anger.
The ball cap was so light it couldn’t push through the plastic curtain so Todd reached in, snatched the hat and said something to put the security guard in his place. I didn’t hear it, but the dude had the good grace to look chagrinned. And I have to say, seeing my husband go all cave man on my account was kind of exciting. Just like the Alpha males in the romance novels I like to read some times.