Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cancelled the Greenland trip

In two weeks, I was supposed to be attending the International Arctic Social Science Associatioon conference in Nuuk, Greenland. But for two big reasons, I ended up canceling the trip on Monday. I woke up almost giddy on Tuesday morning, which told me that that was the right decision.

First, my travel agent has been trying to get our flights booked, but there were apparently no flights available from Reykjavik, Iceland to Nuuk. The conference website said to contact these two individuals in case there were travel difficulties, so she emailed them, but no response. I think she contacted the airlines, but no response. So, we were "waitlisted" for those flights but we were never able to get on them. I remember my undergrad student trying to figure out how to get there several months and at that point, she kept running into road blocks, too. I tried once or twice, but found it difficult - the websites for the airlines would freeze up. It just seemed too difficult and then my student attempted to then fly to Copenhagen, but those flights take her to two other towns (not Nuuk) and then she'd have to get to Nuuk on small planes, but those flights were booked.

Second, on Monday, I was still pretty fatigued and frustrated about the fatigue, fever, and the cough/chest congestion. It just didn't seem that I'd be ready to travel in two weeks. I've been feeling better (no fever at least, and better sleep), but there is still some fatigue, probably due to both post-radiation effects as well as not getting a full 7-8 hours sleep.

Anyway, I think part of my mood on Monday was realizing that, while I would really like to see Greenland someday, this year wasn't going to be the year to do that. It was tough to admit that my body is just not ready for such arduous travel. That's when I realized that I am a cancer patient at the moment and I just have to remember that I need to take care of that first and not try to do too much. It's disappointing because I don't want to be reminded that I need to keep paying attention to my health.

Most of the time, I don't think of myself as a cancer patient or a survivor or whatever. I'm just someone who also happens to have cancer. I'm just me. Cancer doesn't define me.

But someday, soon, I feel it in my bones (literally), I will be able to say that I am someone who USED to have cancer. Believe me, there's gonna be a big celebration when that happens!! And, you're all invited!


Carver said...

I will be celebrating loud and clear for you Dee. I can see that this wouldn't be a great time to go on the Greenland trip. I hope it's not too disappointing that it didn't work out.

Dee said...

Hey Carver,
Cool - glad you'll celebrate with me!

I'm not to disappointed about Greenland ... there will be another opportunity. The two people who were chairing sessions I was to present in both commented on how poorly organized the travel seems to be to get to Greenland for this conference, so they understood my frustration and my decision to cancel. I can get some other work done and do some more localized travel. Hope all is well!