Elise has decided to postpone any additional treatments until after her trip to Yellowstone, mid-June. This vacation is important for Elise as a time to make happy memories with her family, a time to enjoy the outdoors, wildlife, and nature's wonders at our country's first national park. Elise has thought long and hard about this decision to postpone treatment, weighing the pros and cons. She knows that she risks additional tumor growth while traveling. But, she also knows that if she were to have either chemotherapy or stereotactic radiation that she'd be dealing with some likely side effects while on the road – extreme tiredness, nausea, worsening right-side weakness, and more difficulty thinking ... along with having to stop at hospitals along the way to monitor blood counts. She wants to be as strong and as clear-headed as possible for this trip that she has been wanting to take since she was very sick in the hospital. So, when she returns
mid-June, she'll have another MRI and discuss with her doctors about the best courses of action at that time.
The Yellowstone Road Trip will be about 3 weeks long, camping in the van for 4 nights along the way to Yellowstone Lodge which is just west of the national park. Thanks to the generosity of the Fairygodmother Foundation*, Elise was gifted 5 nights at a hotel, with some fuel and food money to boot! Elise will be using that time to explore the west side of Yellowstone and hike the many accessible boardwalks near the geysers and hotsprings. Next Elise will be visiting her twin aunts and families who live in Cody, about 50 miles east of the park ... staying in rooms provided by her aunt at the Super 8 Motel they manage (thanks Connie!). In Cody, Elise will visit with family, explore some cool Wild West museums, go to a rodeo, and maybe do some fishing. Then, the next 4 days will be spent back in the National Park, camping next to Yellowstone Lake on the east side of the park. There Elise plans to continue enjoying the sights, wildlife, and some family time
around the campfire. Finally, as she camps her way back home, Elise hopes to stop in Bozeman to visit face-to-face with some of her long-time online friends.
We are busy getting ready for this trip in order to leave on May 28th. The van has been thoroughly checked out mechanically. A hitch has been installed to pull a small trailer. Reservations have been made, making sure that all places accommodate Elise's wheelchair. The route has been plotted out on a GPS on a laptop, which will also be used to play DVD movies for long hours on the road. And Jasper will bring his DS to play video games. In addition, Cameron hopes to connect to the Internet along the way to provide blog updates and pictures.
*The Fairygodmother Foundation is like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, only it's for adults. Elise was referred to this organization by her doctor when he heard of Elise's desire to visit Yellowstone with her family. Go to www.fairygodmother.org to learn more about this wonderful organization.
I know this is a very long post, but I couldn't really talk about Elise's decision to postpone treatment without also sharing about her plans for Yellowstone.
Suanne (Elise's Mom)