"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" Not in this case. I am bringing so much more home with me. Recently, my mom and I set out on our first mother/daughter trip together to the bright lights, big city of Las Vegas. It was a trip we planned to celebrate my finishing cancer treatment and getting ready to return to "a new normal". As I explained in an earlier post, my bucket list has taken on a whole new meaning. Adventures that I have spoken or dreamed of doing for many years are becoming reality for me. Cancer can do that to a person. As we are reminded everyday, life is short, things can change in an instant.
It was my second time ever in a casino, I have never been a gambler, and don't expect that I will be. However for four days, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, the thrill of the penny slots, being up a few dollars and taking a chance to win the jackpot. I need to take more chances, take more risks, maybe not play things so safe. Cancer will do that for you. Mom and I had a blast, laughing at the free drinks, people watching, winning big, losing some, hitting the Triple 7's, getting lost in the casino and not finding our way to our room,
laughing in elevators, meeting new friends, adventures to Treasure Island and finding our way back to our favourite machines by the Stack restaurant. We ate amazing dinners and drank free wine and expensive coffee. We searched out the highlights of Vegas, walked way more than my sore feet could manage. Browsed in expensive, "out of our league" shopping malls. And we checked some items off on the bucket list.
Mom treated us to a Cirque de Soleil show called Michael Jackson "One". What an amazing show. Loved the music, danced in our seats and marvelled at the acrobatics. We also went on a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. Quite amazing. Three for one bucket list items, check check, check!
And above all I realized how much fun my Mom and I can have together. It really should not have taken a cancer diagnosis to plan this trip. But it did and for that I am thankful. I continue to find so many silver linings to the darkness of the past two years. I have won far more than I have lost. I have been given the gift of time and the gift of the realization that we should not let so many years and things we dream of doing take a back seat to the rush of our busy lives. Life is not all about work, "to-do lists, cleaning, organizing, filling our home with items. Life should also be about experiences and spending time with those who love us. Money can't always buy that.
Cancer has given me the gift of realizing how loved our family is. Cancer has reminded me how important it is to make the time. Cancer has revealed just how much we have to be grateful for. I have won far more than I have lost.