Guess what? I just got back to my “normal” life (with brain cancer), after enjoying a four week vacation (in which I still had brain cancer).

Before the vacation Brett and I were met with a variety of reactions from friends and family members about taking a exorbitant amount of time away from work. Some were excited. Some seemed jealous. European friends balked that Americans could even entertain the idea of a vacation lasting longer than two weeks. But we survived.

Brain tumor friends at Head to the Hill. May 2014
Brain tumor friends at Head to the Hill. May 2014

Advocating, again

The first few days of my vacation were spent in Washington, D.C., advocating with the National Brain Tumor Society for their annual lobbying day, i.e., Head to the Hill. This was my third year in D.C. with NBTS, and what made this year different was THE PEOPLE.

There were so many more people this year than in previous years, and I guess I finally convinced some of you guys–either through this blog, Twitter, the Internet, whatever–to join me. I met many people who I have only interacted with through this computer of mine and I have to say, I am impressed with all of you.

Read about Head to the Hill in 2014 on the NBTS website.

私は日本に行ってきました。

The remaining three weeks of my vacation were spent with Brett in Japan. Yes, three weeks in Japan!

Brett with the floating Shinto shrine off the island of Miyajima, Japan. May 2014
Brett with the floating Shinto shrine off the island of Miyajima, Japan. May 2014

Japan has been on my list of places to go since I was 20. I took a semester of Japanese in college and I fell in love with language, culture, and the differentness of the county.

We visited Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Hakone, Hiroshima, Kyoto and Okinawa. I could dedicate an entire new blog to posts about Japan, so I will just be short and sweet and say it was worth it.

Moral of the story

This may sound dark… or maybe beautiful?… but lately I have been seeing my life as time that needs to be filled with as much awesomeness as possible.

And if my next MRI shows tumor growth I can say, “Well, I am sure glad I took that crazy trip to Japan.”