Malia is a full-time RVer and was recently diagnosed with cancer. She is graciously sharing her journey with us. See her previous post HERE.
by Malia Lane, Malia’s Miles Blog
No, unfortunately, I haven’t found a new cancer cure using psychedelics. But when this acronym crossed my mind to describe what I’ve been doing the last few days to treat my weary self after finally getting to Oregon, I couldn’t resist.
The LSD I’ve been indulging in stands for Lazy Slug Days. It’s exactly what I decided I needed once I slowed down enough to realize what a toll the last few months have taken on me.
After I got the formal terminal diagnosis on May 24, I was still thinking I could continue on my merry way for at least a while since I wasn’t feeling sick or anything. But when I had to skip Mesa Verde because my energy level just wasn’t up for it and breathing was getting more difficult without coughing fits, an element of fear crept in and I figured I’d better get to Medford as quickly as possible. It just wasn’t feeling safe or wise to be out in the middle of nowhere at times.
Being so anxious to get there, my mind went back to the very first doctor I saw at the Tucson walk-in clinic on March 19 after I found the lump in my neck. When she said the swollen lymph nodes could be anything from allergies to cancer, I laughed at the broad range of possibilities but never seriously considered it could be the worst. When she said I needed to see my primary care physician to start testing immediately and I said I didn’t have one, she didn’t think that was so funny. When I told her I was a fulltime RVer and didn’t plan my travels around being close to a regular doctor, she seriously told me I’d better rethink that at my age. Yikes! (The New Adventures of Old Malia has that story).
Anyway, once I made the decision to head to Medford immediately, I still knew I had to travel safely. Even from the beginning when I was feeling my best, I always tried to keep it at about 200 miles a day, but I quickly found out even that goal was a bit too much. And I needed a couple of days rest between travel days. But along the way, when I found myself in places with nearby neat things to see, I couldn’t resist and indulged myself as best I could.
I hadn’t been through Arches National Park since 2002. Here’s my rolling home posing at Wilson Arch on the way.
I didn’t have time or energy for hikes, but Arches lets you drive along scenic roads with easy access to viewpoints that are breathtaking.
But I finally made it “home!” I arrived in Phoenix, OR (near Medford/Ashland) on June 26. I had been making my “to do” list to start on as soon as I got here. I was so glad I could come back to Holiday RV Park where my front yard is Bear Creek. Joyce and Maralee feel like family to me and gave me a very warm welcome (and homemade cookies!)
After starting to get mail, my wonderful friend April, who I met in Tucson, sent me this incredibly lovely prayer shawl. I had heard of the concept before, but just looked up more info online and saw this: “Prayer shawl. Peace shawl. Comfort shawl. Mantle. Whatever name you give them, they serve the same purpose. These are a wearable hug crafted with love and intent from maker to recipient. Whether it be personal words, verse, song, prayer, mantra, or something else, it is these thoughts imbued in the shawl with each stitch that make them what they are.” It’s soft and comforting and the thought behind it is wonderful and meaningful and I just love it!
But my first order of business was to get my Oregon residency established and the first step for that was getting my driver’s license. I looked at the requirements, got all my documents together and understood from what I saw see online that if you had a valid license from another state, testing wouldn’t be necessary. It wasn’t until I had waited over an hour for the first part of the process that I was informed I didn’t have to do the driving test, but I did indeed have to take the written test. I told the guy I hadn’t studied, but he said if I knew what the signs meant and basic rules, I’d have no problem. I didn’t want to wait in line again, so I went ahead – and flunked it! Oh, I know the signs alright – and I’ve never had an accident of any kind while I was driving either the car or the motorhome. But give me questions about distances and numbers and how far back I should be, I have no clue. I erred on the side of caution and always guessed too much, but it was still a fail.
That’s when I decided to take the weekend off and have a couple of LSDs. I gave myself a big break and just pretty much laid in bed and binge watched TV. Then, after getting the study material, taking a sample test online, I went back in a couple of days and passed with flying colors.
So one major hurdle down and I’m just so incredibly relieved to be here. Major progress!