Explore My World Passionate Traveller Blog


This Little Travel Bug Has Just Had Her Wings Clipped


Odd how my last blog, the first one of 2014, carried with it such an uncharacteristic flavor of caution, suspicion even, about how the year would unfold. While I trusted my instincts and posted the blog anyway, I couldn’t shake the disquiet in my gut, nor could I write another blog after that. That is, until now.

You see, it’s travel time once again, fellow travel bugs. On a journey of a different kind. I’m off to the hospital this week, as a patient. The diagnosis: a rare condition called pheochromocytoma, a catecholamine-secreting tumor that may precipitate life-threatening hypertension. The tumor was detected in my right adrenal during a CT Scan taken for an unrelated condition late last year. The possibility of it being malignant is 10%. The only cure is the the surgical removal of the whole gland. Thankfully in my case, keyhole. 

“You sound like you’re taking this very well,” a dear friend commented after I shared the news with her over the phone. I guess what they say about courage is true, that it’s the art of being the only one who knows that you’re scared to death. Indeed, the thought of cancer was the sort of thing that happened to “other” people. In a heart beat, I could be joining their ranks.

My surgery prep came as pretty little Indian-sari-pink capsules that packed a heavyweight’s punch. Effectively blocking the receptors that secrete the toxic hormones into my system, the side-effects of my medication harnessed a collection of symptoms that included extreme low blood pressure, a racing pulse, lightheadedness and a drug induced haze. Navigating my movements like I was playing tag with Moses, our blood pressure machine became my new best friend. Confronting cannot even begin to describe the three weeks leading to surgery, when I felt that my fit and vibrant body had betrayed me. 

Despite my limited capabilities, I was still able to manage some tasks - thank God for small mercies - one of which was hosting the Wednesday morning conference calls for my other business, Isagenix. Masking a mini-depression over my debilitated state as I hosted the call, a certain guest speaker forever changed my perspective on my current life journey. 

Hailing from North Carolina (USA) and managing a thriving Isagenix business with wife, Rachel, our guest’s name was Johnnie Davis. Due to an unknown, weak heart muscle, Johnnie suffered a massive cardiac arrest on Xmas Eve of the year before. Awaking to her husband’s convulsive movements and seeing his eyes roll back in their sockets, Rachel called 911. By the time the ambulance arrived, Johnnie had been clinically dead for 15 minutes - no pulse, no oxygen to the brain. 

Answering the questions on everyone’s lips before it was asked, Johnnie said, “The voice of God told me to go back down. It wasn’t my time yet."  After I asked Johnnie how this incident changed his approach to life, he answered, "Massively." He went on to share with us the lessons that he learnt from his life-changing experience. They were the following: 

* Don't waste your life being angry over things that you can't control
* Spend more time with those you love
* Remove doubt and fear; you don't have the time to be afraid
* Seize the moment

Food for thought indeed, Johnnie Davis, and just what I needed to hear at that very moment. After the call, I realised that I could howl at the moon all I liked, but the moonlight wouldn’t be changing its color for me any time soon. Yes, life can at times seem so absurd. Considering that observation, I may as well slap on some rouge and lipstick, pull on my big girl panties, and get on with it.

Armed with hope and valuable life lessons, here’s what I’m packing for this journey:

* Toiletries
* Skin Care
* Hair Care + blow dryer & brushes -  ‘cause you never know who’ll be popping over to visit.
* Eye Mask - those fluorescent globes can be so harsh.
* Aqua pashmina - A “must” for those days when they crank up the AC and to wear over those dreary hospital gowns.
* Aqua Havaianas - beats the heck out of going barefoot and to match my Aqua pashmina. 
* Make-up - ‘cause you never know who’ll be popping over to visit.
* Nice Undies - those darned hospital gowns have slits everywhere.
* Laptop + charger - for listening to my David Wood CDs and for harassing you all on Facebook.
* Kindle + charger - oodles to read for all those sleepless nights.
* iPod, charger + earphones - for my music, which feeds my soul.
* My angel cards - Oh, stop it, I love them!
* Isagenix blender + sachets of IsaLean Pro - hospital food has as much nutrition as a cardboard box.
* Isagenix vitamins - gotta keep the strength up!

Have I missed anything? I’d love to read some of your suggestions, so do leave me a comment in the comment box below. Remember to keep it clean!

Find out 8 Tips on How To Pack For 2 Different Seasons by clicking here


Posted by Victoria Ugarte on 24th March, 2014 | Trackbacks
Categories: Opinions
Tags: travel

Bookmark and Share

The trackback URL for this page is http://www.exploremyworldtravel.com/trackback?post=28650265


comments powered by Disqus

Share in Victoria Ugarte's experiences as she travels abroad. Enjoy her stories of exploration and a richer, deeper experience of the places you have come to love or would love to come to know.

Learn more about me and my travels