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Old 08-08-2008, 05:38 PM   #1
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Our Last Minute CANCER SUCKS Trip

The cast:

Me (Tricia) - the planner of most vacations
My young sons (Joshua & Daniel)
My sister (Carol) - the one with cancer
Her significant other (Deb)
My oldest sister (Susan)
Her husband (Paul)
Their teenage kids (Melanie & Aaron)
My brother (Darryl)
His wife (Karen)
My mom (Mom or Grandmom, depending on which generation is talking)

Still with me? Confused yet? Hang in there. I'll sort it out eventually.

I rallied this group of 12 and tossed this trip together in less than a week. Why? My sister, Carol, had some really bad news delivered on her last visit with her oncologist and because of that she asked if we could take one big trip together to her favorite place before things get bad.

I'll try not to dwell on the medical stuff, but it is there and I won't ignore it either. Carol was diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma less than a year ago. She has been through surgery, chemo, etc, but it doesn't look good. She is facing more surgery and chemo to try and buy her some time, but they are anticipating that she has less than a year even with treatment.

So, she & I grabbed a calendar and looked at the longest stretch of days we had available between our various appointments and commitments and then let our other sister and our brother know. Mom just said to book whatever and she would be there. All of this took place Friday, July 25th. On Saturday, July 26th we called and booked our Grand Gathering to begin on Thursday, July 31st.

When I say last minute, I mean last minute.

We couldn't quite work out the same entire schedule for us all, so we weren't a group of 12 for all the days, but I'll get to that on the day by day report. We were booked in the All Star Sports, which was the only value resort that could accomodate all our rooms and nights. Doesn't matter. We aren't going to be spending that much time in the room anyway. Just give us a bed and and a bathroom and it's all good.

Let me take a minute to say that Vivian, the woman who took our call to book the reservations, was incredibly sweet. Carol started the call, but I took over when she tired out. Between us, we were on the phone for over 2 hours booking the 4 rooms we needed plus a couple of ADRs. I know it is her job and all, but still. That was a loooong call to book all those rooms last minute and she was never anything less than helpful and kind.

So, with reservations made and a plan in place, we all scattered to do laundry and pack since we only had 4 days to get ourselves ready to go. I should also mention that my husband was beside himself that he couldn't drop everything and go too. We own our own business and it just wasn't possible for us to both go last minute like this. He is the kind of guy that wanted to go, but didn't make me feel bad that we went without him. I could get real mushy about what a great guy he is, but I won't.

Most of us live in NE Georgia. Carol & Deb started the drive down early on Thursday morning. They wanted to be able to take their time, as the motion sometimes bothers Carol's shoulder and chest where the cancer is. Mom decided to tag along with me & the boys, which was fine because I needed the extra set of adult hands. I had to wait until after Joshua's (DS6) neurologist appointment to leave. He has epilepsy (yes, the medical drama never ends at my house) and I hate to reschedule his routine checkups because it usually means waiting 6-8 weeks for another appointment.

Susan, Paul, Melanie & Aaron live in south Georgia. They started the drive down Thursday afternoon after Aaron's football practice. Darryl & Karen live in New Jersey. They flew down on Friday morning.

Now, because Joshua's appt wasn't until 11:30am on Thursday and I was anticipating a 9 hour drive, I didn't know how far we would actually make it on that day. I expected us to stop part of the way down, spend the night, and finish the drive early on Friday. I didn't book the package room for me, the boys, and Mom until Friday. Guess what? We were out of the doctor's office at 12:15pm and pulled into the gates at All Stars at 9:15pm. Who knew? We took a room just for the night in Bldg 1 Surfs Up on the pool side.

I opened the door to this:

I guess that must be the standard greeting these days for check in because it was in the room we moved to for the next night. I was so glad we moved to the outside of the building for the remainder of our stay. That first night we were third floor right above the surfboard bay pool. Pool side on the main pool in July? Yeah, it was noisy. I couldn't sleep until they closed the pool at midnight, but that's the way it goes. I'm not complaining. Much.

The next morning I snapped a shot of the view from our room:

And a quick pic of my boys:

I always try to remember to get a picture first thing in the morning so I have one with them and the outfits they are in and all that. I don't want to think about what would happen if they got lost or worse, but I take the picture anyway just in case. I also dress them in similar very bright colors so I can see them easier. In this case, they had matching shirts. That is rare, but I can usually get them in the same color.

Next up: the check out/check in from hell, kissing our butt fast passes, and AK in the rain!
And my guys - DH DS12 DS9

The CANCER SUCKS trip report

Last edited by RVGal; 08-09-2008 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:59 PM   #2
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I am so sorry to hear about your sister. We took my husbands best friend to WDW when he was given 6 months to live. I will always remember and cherish the time we had together there. It truely was a magical trip!

I hope your vacation was all that you hoped for. Can't wait to hear more.

BTW your boys are very handsome.
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:53 PM   #3
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I'm so sorry to hear about your sister. I hope you had a great trip. I can't wait to hear more about it.
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:03 PM   #4
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Hey youse....

Now tell me about THE MAGIC..!!
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:07 PM   #5
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:07 PM   #6
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I am so sorry about your sister - I can't wait to hear how MAGICAL your trip was!

(DH) (Me) (DS 9) (DS 7) and (DBIL) who is crazy enough to join us for this trip!
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:32 PM   #7
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Oh Tricia....I'm so glad you were able to pull this together. My heart cries for you. I know how important this was to your sister. My prayers are with your family.
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:32 PM   #8
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I am so sorry about your sister. I am will be a here for you if you need anything.
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:59 PM   #9
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:06 PM   #10
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Wonderful start to the report.

I hope the trip was full of wonderful memories.
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:32 PM   #11
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i marvel as to how soon u were able to start ur report!

Carol's spirit dealing with this is an inspiration to me she must be a remarkable woman.
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:35 PM   #12
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Sorry to hear about your sister. Sounds like she has a wonderful support system. I hope your trip was a magical one. Also have to say that your boys are adorable. Can't wait to read more.

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Old 08-08-2008, 08:36 PM   #13
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I'm in for the trip report. I hope you had a magical time and hugs to you and your family.
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:48 PM   #14
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Great start Tricia! Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:04 PM   #15
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Sounds like the beginnings of an awesome trip! I am so happy for you that you are getting to spend this time with your sister, I am actually tearing up reading right now. My sister was diagnosed 2 years ago with cervical cancer, and died in less than a year. I wish she would have felt up to a trip to Orlando. Cherish every moment.

Thank you for sharing this with us all, I can't wait to read more about your trip!
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