Anna’s Journey – Travel Log (Part 1)
Hello to all Wellness 101 participants,
This “Anna’s Journey – Travel Log” will be an ongoing story about Anna Renault (me), a metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patient. I have a long and complicated cancer history which has culminated in a diagnosis of MBC in March 2015. With the cancer raging at that time, my end-of-life seemed quite near. The doctors thought, as I did, that I had only a few months or less to live. The cancer seemed to be rather aggressive. The pain level was extremely high. My usually high level of hope for success was hitting rock bottom.
The Lord had other plans. Through my strong faith in the Lord and with the assistance of a fantastic oncologist who had treated me through other bouts of cancer, the correct combination of prayer and chemotherapy battled back against the rapid reproduction of cancer cells. The tide slowly turned. Instead of Christmas 2015 being the end, my present that year was a new beginning.
>The drugs were working.
>The body was rebounding.
>Hope began to flourish.
>Prayer chains around the world increased.
>My productivity also improved.
With the chemotherapy working, I made a bucket list – a wish list of things I wanted to do before the chemo stopped working, before the body gave up the fight and my life would in fact end. With renewed energy, I took on the challenge of my life!
At the top of that bucket list is a wish to see more of the beauty God has given us through Mother Nature all around the country (USA). I had the awesome opportunity to do a little traveling throughout my life to get a glimmer of what was available.
As a child, my family took summer vacations – camping up and down the east coast from Florida to New England with a little stop over into Canada. I had the opportunity to see beaches as well as mountains. There were small towns and huge cities – everyone unique. I developed a love of nature and a goal to see as many of the 50 US states that I could possibly see.
As an adult, I continued to do some traveling (still doing some camping). I joined a single parent organization, the union at work as well as the professional development organization at work. Each group hosted local, regional and national conferences. I did more traveling. Just before retiring, as the president of a division of my professional organization, I attended eight conferences. I went a day early and stayed a day after so I could see something of the places I was visiting. I promised myself I would do more traveling and see the places I had never been after I retired… but life got in the way… cancers came and went… a heart episode occurred… and thus not much traveling!
NOW, in 2017, with things looking “stable,” I’ve consulted my primary care physician (PCP) and my oncologist along with a couple of specialists that I see. The word is “I AM FIT TO TRAVEL!” And so, bucket list item #1 is in progress. I will be traveling by Amtrak train to see several states that I have not yet seen. I will be enjoying some of the most beautiful scenery (some of which I have seen) the USA has to offer. With this unique trip, I will have visited 46 of the lower 48 (and maybe 47)! To help insure this happens, I’ve asked family and friends and lots of others to support me by buying one or more of the books I’ve written (all are on Amazon). However, some family and friends said we already have your books why don’t you start a gofundme page. Taking their advice I did that… www.gofundme.com/Renault-Rail-FUNtasia.
So if you are a mind to support my efforts to travel around the country… and yes, I mean all the way around… from the Mid-Atlantic to the south to Texas… up the Pacific/West Coast… and across the far north (Montana and North Dakota)… before coming down to Chicago with a side trip to Kalamazoo, Michigan… all before returning the state of Maryland… please visit the gofundme page. I doubt that I have years to pay off a large credit card debt and so every little bit will help insure I don’t have to use a credit card at every stop along this route.
Now, this blog will also be asking you to follow this journey as I take hours looking at the train route, planning out stops along the way (I’m allowed 12); and, all the little nitty-gritty planning efforts I’ve made or will be making to insure this trip runs smoothly despite the fact I have MBC.
If you have questions, feel free to ask. If I get lots of the same questions, I’ll respond in a blog post. If it is something more personal, perhaps I’ll simply return your message.
Does this sound like a crazy plan? Some days I think I may be totally crazy to try this, but the train ticket is bought and paid for. “I AM GOING!”