33 Weeks Post Chemo - Viva Las Cancer!!

The last year has been one filled with many different challenges, so what better way to celebrate the culmination of that then with a long weekend of bad decision making quality girl time in Vegas with a couple of the best friends a girl could ask for!  Ashley, Panama Jack Amanda, and I took the early flight out on Thursday morning, and JB  met us there later that night to kick off the trip we’ll forever call Viva Las Cancer!

Viva Las Cancer, often times used interchangeably with Viva Lost Cancer, is a new catch-phrase the girls and I coined after a long day of drinking relaxing at the pool (at the time, it was more likely pronounced Vivaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Las Cancer!).  The most common reaction we received when answering the question “Why are you guys in Vegas” was “you’re shitting me!”.  I don’t know why we (or who for that matter) would lie about being on a trip to celebrate surviving cancer.  Maybe they thought it was a ploy to get free drinks (coincidentally we did receive more free celebratory drinks then we could have ever imagined) or maybe it’s just because most people probably aren’t as open about cancer as I am.  Whatever the reason, it was always an interesting conversation starter!

Some may not see the humor or appreciate the light-heartedness of it, but we really felt that the trip truly was a celebration, and should be referenced as such.  I think we may get t-shirts made for our return trip next year….because yes girls, I’ve already made the decision there’ll be a Viva Las Cancer part duex trip next year :)

The girls and I stayed at a fairly new hotel called Aria located in Center City.  Big thanks to Billy and Belissa for helping us get hooked up with a great rate!  Here’s a short synopsis of our trip:

Day 1:  After checking into the hotel, Ashley, Amanda, and I headed down to the pool for a little sun, quick photo op (thank you Brandii for proofing or photos because the sun was so bright we couldn’t see them!), and our first few cocktails…a Remedy Lemonade, a Miami Vice, and a Mediation X.  They were all very tasty!!

After spending a few hours at the pool, we went back to the room in anticipation of JB’s arrival and took advantage of the downtime to sneak in a nap because 1) we all got up really early to make our 7:55am flight, and 2) we’re old(ish) and don’t go out until all hours of the night very regularly.  When JB finally made it to the hotel, we showered up and set out to take on the Vegas night!  We decided to try Haze nightclub (in Aria) and were very happy with our decision!  Pretty quickly after entering the club, we found ourselves at the table of our new friend Corey, the guy who runs the Wet Republic pool party.  Haze played great music, so we spent the majority of the night dancing and chatting with our new friends.  After the club closed, we made a quick stop at a house party in a MTV style mansion (just two seconds off the strip) and we made our way back to our hotel room.  Check in time:  approximately 4:30am.  Not bad for our first night!

Day 2:  Thanks to our new friend Corey, we had VIP access to the Wet Republic pool party on Friday.  AND he hooked us up by putting us in a cabana over-looking the entire pool area.  It was much less crowded and we were far removed from the jersey shore antics in the main pool, so we were pretty excited.  The free alcohol was nice too!  AND we had a prime seat for the Josh Strickland bikini contest that afternoon.  Apparently the new thing is to wear bikinis held together with fishing wire.  I was fully anticipating a wardrobe malfunction or two at some point throughout the contest….whether planned or unplanned….but everything held tight.  Who knew fishing wire was so durable!

After a long day at the pool, we headed back to our hotel to get ready for a highly anticipated dinner at Sushi Samba.  Unfortunately Sushi Samba isn’t located in Cesar’s Palace (good job Amanda!), so we ended up dining at an unmemorable sushi restaurant that served frozen edimame. Yum!

We finished our second rate sushi and headed over to the Cosmopolitan hotel, also in Center City.  We had heard that Marquis nightclub was a lot of fun and wanted to check it out.  There was a DJ from Sweden “spinning” that night, and house music isn’t really our favorite genre, so we were a bit disappointed with it.  The club itself was really nice, despite the 6 flights of stairs we had to walk up to actually get in, but the ambiance left much to be desired.  We stayed about an hour then left and went over to Jet nightclub for the remainder of the night.  Check in time:  approximately 3am.  We needed to conserve some energy for our last night.

 

Day 3:  The group was a little slower moving Saturday morning, so we didn’t make it out to the pool until after noon.  Shortly after finding our spot at the pool, we met our new favorite friends from Toronto (who were in town for a bachelor party).  What up Andrew and Brent!!  We spent the better part of the afternoon and evening with the Canucks.  After a few 32 oz cocktails at the pool, we were pretty tipsy tired and headed in to get some food.  It was at this point in the trip that we coined our catch-phrase “Viva Las Cancer”.  The sun, the cocktails, and the lack of food were all contributing factors in our new found creativity :)

Because we had such a great time at Haze on Thursday night, and because our friends from Canada were planning to head there, we ended up back at Haze again. Like I said….they played really great music!!  We danced the night away and had a great time on our final night in Vegas!  Check in time:  approximately 3:30am….just enough time to pack up all of the clothes we didn’t wear (because we’re all notorious over-packers) and get a few quick hours of sleep before our 8am wake-up call.

All in all it was one of the best trips I’ve taken in a long time…..and was exactly what I needed to celebrate surviving cancer and having my life back!!  Made some new friends and a lot of great memories!!  AND it really pays to be a girl (with hot friends) in Vegas I might add.  People literally chase you down the sidewalk, casino, pool area; you name it to get you to come to their establishments!

I’m not a fan of inside jokes, but this was such a great trip and there are so many things I want to remember…so I’m going to put down a few of my favorite quotes from the trip below.  More for my (and Ashley and Amanda and JB’s) memory than anything else.  If you care to know more about any of them, ask me!

  • “You guys didn’t tell me I looked like Panama Jack!”
  • “I’ll be sure to check my bag next time.”
  • “Good ole’ floppy jalopy.”
  • “2 seconds, just 2 seconds.”
  • “You’ve got a really nice shitter.”
  • “Raw-hide!”
  • “How’s that convention center coming along?”
  • “You’ve got really curly hair.”
  • “I’m keeping my body in the water so you guys will still be interested in me.”
  • “Quit talking to the girl that I like.”
  • “Good job Amanda!!”
  • “Where’s the facebook phone?”
  • “Don’t forget your bangles”
  • “VIP everywhere”
  • “It’s Tyler Christy from Liquid/Haze, can I add you to the VIP list?”
  • “It’s not Vegas until someone pukes twice!”
  • “Vivaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Las Cancer!!”

I had what should be my last post surgery check-up with Dr. Turk last Monday.  He said everything looked really good!  The ribs surrounding my right boob had been consistently sore for the last few months.  He assured me that was a common side effect of radiation and would slowly decrease over time.  He did want me to get another breast MRI to have a good baseline set of films to reference in the years to come….so I have one scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9:30am.  Not the biggest fan of the MRI because it requires getting an IV for the contrast needed to get good pictures…and we all know I have a huge fear of needles!  Hopefully it will be quick and painless and I’ll be out of there in under an hour.  Dr. Turk also confirmed that I could start talking to a plastic surgeon about making whatever cosmetic repairs to my right boob that I desired.  After setting me up with an appointment with the plastic surgeon he recommended, he gave me a hug and sent me on my way.

The only other thing really worthy of talking about…at least that I can remember right now…is that I have a new found obsession  with Words With Friends.  It’s a cell phone application that allows you to play online scrabble against your friends.  If you currently play, and would like to sign up to play, and want to challenge me to a game, my screen name is nbills511.  Be scared!!

 Photos from 33 weeks post chemo are will be posted at a later time...

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