We just got back this evening from a great family camping vacation.
We had so much fun! We went to the Smoky Mountains. If you know me you know I'm not much of a risk taker. I like to feel safe and secure. We did something as a family that I never thought I would do...white water rafting. It was a 6 mile guided rafting experience with class 1-5 rapids. Wow!!! I did almost back out before we left the campground. Our guide was awesome -- Sergeant Norton! We were going through a rapid called "Lost Guide". We asked Norton if he had ever gotten lost in it, he said, "no". The rapid had two levels, Jakob and I fell into the boat and Joey started falling out -- Sergeant Norton grabbed him and the next thing I see is Jim's face in front of me and he's saying, "where'd he go?" I looked back because I thought Joey fell out. Then I realized our guide was missing and we were in a class 4 rapid in a raft. We really couldn't see him. All of the sudden Norton popped up on one side of the raft, then he was gone again and then he popped up on the other side and finally he was able to get in. Sergeant Norton saved Joey's life!! Jim and I were talking on the way back to the campground wondering what Sergeant Norton told his next rafting tour when they got to "Lost Guide".
We also went to the The Great Smoky Mountain National Park and hiked up a 2.2 mile trail to Hen Wallow Falls. We also went to the highest point in the Smokies, Clingmans Dome. There's a beautiful drive up the mountain, you park and walk up a .5 mile path. That was hard. A couple of times I told Jim and the kids to go ahead and I would wait but then I would think to myself, "you went through chemo -- you can do this". I'm so glad I continued.
Once at the top the elevation was 6643 feet. A view of God's magnificent creation!!
We also went to Asheville, North Carolina and got to visit the amazingly beautiful Biltmore Estate. We toured the house and the grounds as well as the winery. Jim and I did some wine tasting, which was also a first for me. After the Biltmore we went to one of the Travel Channel's top McDonald's. Jakob noticed it and remembered it from a show we watched a couple of years ago. The "Most Elegant" McDonald's in the top ten McDonald's. Next we went and listened to some Bluegrass at "The Fiddlin' Pig". What a fun day!
Other things we did were Hard Rock Cafe in Gatlinburg, gokart racing at Nascar Speedpark, Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, car tour of Cades Cove, Chattanooga Choo-Choo, ate at some great restaurants, made smores, went swimming, stayed in a hotel in downtown Memphis and we made some new friends from Ontario, Canada!
It's always nice to go on vacation and it's always nice to be home sweet home!
This weekend will be spent getting stuff put up from our trip. Lot's of laundry -- you know how it is when you come back from vacation.
On Monday and Tuesday my days are filled with pre-op appointments at MD Anderson. Wednesday is the day of my mastectomy.
Please praise God for our safe travels and enjoyable vacation. Please also pray for the Doctors, Nurses and other medical staff whose care I will be in next week for my pre-op appointments as well as my surgery.
My wonderful in-laws (Mom and Dad) are coming to help take care of us next week. I have such a wonderful support group. Thank you to all of you who pray for us and think about us.
I am a little nervous about the surgery but I know that I am in great hands and that God will be directing everything. I just realized tonight that Wednesday is only 5 days away!! The battle continues to get rid of this cancer. Thank you for being by my side!!!
I love you all!!!
Love and Blessings from the top of my heart,