On this day last year, I was headed to surgery for my double mastectomy. It was a day of fear and hope mixed together. It was exciting to be moving towards a life that was anticipated to be cancer free and the halfway point for my treatment at the time.
This year things are quite different and I am preparing for a different surgery (not today) that will hopefully be my last despite this fight with cancer never actually ending for me.
Joe’s birthday, the 4th, was spent caring for me last year. Knowing that surgery is looming in the the future, I was determined for him to celebrate his day without dealing with anything cancer recovery related. Unsure when surgery would be, I booked an early birthday celebration.
All that being said, today we are headed in a different direction – literally. I asked Joe to take the day off and told him that it was filled with preoperative appointments. I waited until he showered yesterday to pack and hide Jacob’s suitcase (to stay at Grandma’s last night) along with a small birthday gift. We went through the work day and as we were leaving, I asked if we could stop at his parents house to discuss the surgery plan. When we pulled up, I pretended to leave my phone in the car and had him go in ahead of me. I grabbed Jacob’s suitcase and snuck it inside. Then I grabbed the box and a card. Once inside, I asked Jacob to bring the box and card to Daddy.
He ran up excitedly, yelling “Daddy, is for you! Is your birthday! A package. A card!” Joe looked surprised and opened the box to find two matching fishing hats. I smiled widely and he opened the card.
The gift of Thursday. Thanks to our incredible family, we were all able to contribute towards a day of fun for Joe. Instead of heading to surgery or appointments, we are headed to our happy place! We will spend the day on a fishing boat, surrounded by the amazing ocean of New Smyrna Beach. We will fish, enjoy this incredible day and each other.
I couldn’t be more excited to spend this day celebrating my love’s birthday!! 🐟🐠🐡🐙🐬⛴🌊
On Tuesday morning we awoke to the boat approaching Georgetown in the Grand Cayman Islands. Cayman is a new experience for all of us so we were all anxious to visit the town. We had to tender into this port, which was an extra opportunity to experience the amazing waves.
Once on land, we grabbed a taxi to take us to Hell – a small, local place named after their limestone rock formation and with its own post office. Jacob helped to send ourselves post cards and we are anxious to see what the post mark is. They also stamped passports, which worked out well since the office for the port authority was closed each time we tried. It was a neat little place to stop by.
The taxi then took us to visit the tortuga rum store, a quick stop by the 7 mile beach and, to Jacob’s delight, the dolphin discovery center. Though we did not actually interact with the dolphins, Jacob loved watching them swim and jump about. Ms Welcome was a wonderful driver and host, taking us around to different parts of the island and sharing fun facts with us.
Shortly after our tour, we ventured over to take the Seaworld Observatory boat. It’s the only excursion we booked ahead of time and were excited to see how much Jacob enjoyed it. We hopped on a boat and immediately headed down the stairs. About 6 feet under the water, we sat on a bench looking out into the water around us through big windows. The whole tour was about an hour. The boat took us out a little way and told us what to look for under the water. We saw dozens of fish, two separate shipwrecks, a stingray, lots of that beautiful sand along the bottom and a gorgeous coral reef. We saw a group of scuba divers and the Captain of our boat jumped in to scuba dive while feeding the fish around our boat. The entire experience was magnificent and Jacob completely loved it!
Though we had a few more hours left, Jacob was tired and it was time to go relax. We ventured back to the boat, snuggled up on the bed in front of our window and took a nap before dinner.
Our night ended with Jacob standing on the balcony with me & Joe, pointing out the twinkling stars filling up the sky high above us. He then serenaded us with “twinkle twinkle little star”, his pointer fingers dancing up and down to the lyrics.