I’m so focused on writing about cancer and multiple myeloma that it’s sometimes difficult for me to “let loose and let go!” So this should be good therapy for me; although I plan to cut-back, settle-in and run my Fun Fridays! feature every other week.
Before I begin, one of our readers, Jeff from Florida, is anxious about his doctors adding oral Cytoxan to his Velcade and dexamethasone therapy mix. Apparently Revlimid was too hard on Jeff’s white counts and bone marrow, causing a similar reaction to the one I had: his doctors suspected he may have developed MDS. Looks like it isn’t MDS (Thank God!) but Jeff did experience an adverse reaction to Cytoxan given by IV. Has anyone out there used, or is taking oral Cytoxan now? What are your side effects and what might Jeff expect when he takes it?
I would like to start my second Fun Fridays! post by taking a short walk back-in-time and share some fun pictures from our end-of-the-year trip to Southern California to see the Rose Bowl and Rose Bowl Parade. I hope you think about this like the neighbor that invites you over to see pictures from their trip to Akron, Ohio. I won’t spend every other Friday sharing pictures from our family album–promise!
We spent time in San Diego and L.A. to celebrate the new year. You know us–any excuse to celebrate! It was a whirlwind trip and a bit tough on my body. But I was running on adrenaline for most of the trip, and able to pick my spots and rest some in-between frantic burst of tourist activity!
A perfect example of how I become distracted and all roads lead back to myeloma; I looked-back to share links to posts where I wrote about our trip. This was the only one dedicated exclusively to fun and travel on the West Coast:
It turned-out to be the first and only post I wrote about the trip! We stayed with a fellow UW grad and myeloma survivor, Ed Wolfman, and his gracious wife, Susan in their lovely Manhattan Beach home.
The Rose Bowl Parade was Amazing! We were up at 6 am for the 40 minute drive from Manhattan Beach to Pasadena. Who knows how long it would have taken in traffic, but that early on a holiday; smooth sailing! Since the Badgers had been to the Rose Bowl three years in a row, these transplanted Californians had a good idea where to go. We parked in a nice neighborhood a short six blocks from the parade. We didn’t pay to sit in the grandstands. Instead, we found a perfect spot with a clear view of the parade, right next to some other University of Wisconsin fans. Pattie and I are both UW alumni and follow Wisconsin football, basketball and hockey religiously. But we had never made the trip west to the Rose Bowl, so I traded-in a bundle of frequent flyer miles and stayed with friends to try and keep cost down.
I don’t want to turn this into a narrated travelogue. I only had an inexpensive camera, but I think some of these shots turned-out looking pretty good. Let’s start with one of our favorites, since are dog and cats are all adopted:
Now on to some of the more impressive floats we saw that day:
Everything exposed on the floats are made of flowers. Amazing! We were suprised by how many people attend this event. Check-out the throngs as they try and leave the parade route.
Some head down the hill to the Rose Bowl game. Others simply head home. Still others follow the floats to a holding area at the end of the parade route. I read that over 100,000 people payed $10 to get an up-close-and-personal look at the floats. Amazing! That’s more people than go to the game. The newly remodeled Rose Bowl seats just over 90,000:
A kind passerby took this picture of us leaving the parade. Nice shot! But the day was only getting started. It was cold as the sun came-up. But by the time this picture was shot, it had warmed into the sunny 60’s.
Weather for the game was perfect and sunny. It was an easy downhill walk from the parade to the Rose Bowl:
The game was close, but as Wisconsin drove down for what could have been the winning touchdown, our quarterback’s pass was tipped and intercepted. Another close loss in Pasadena. UW had won three consecutive Big Ten Football Championships and been chosen to play in the Rose Bowl three consecutive years, only to lose three very close games to TCU, Oregon and now Stanford.
The Stanford fans were great and very appreciative. This was their first Rose Bowl win–maybe ever. At least the Badgers won three Rose Bowls a decade or so ago; 1994, 1999 and 2000. But it wasn’t to be again today.
The stark reality of living with multiple myeloma has helped me put things in perspective I think–losses in sports aren’t a big deal when compared to the tough hand so many of our new friends have been dealt. But losing still stings! I just try and be philosophical about it all.
By the time the game ended the sun had set over the beautiful mountains. But we stuck around for a University of Wisconsin football game tradition: the 5th Quarter. That’s when the UW marching stays and plays traditional, fun favorites for our fans after each game–win or lose.
At home games half of the 80,000+ spectators stay for the 5th Quarter. This night I would guess 10,000 or more were there to hear the band. Pattie was a high school band member and loves this part of the game experience. She felt bad the team lost, but you wouldn’t know it to watch her jump and dance along with her post-game favorites:
Look at that smile! A perfect way to end my second Fun Fridays! post.
Don’t forget tomorrow we re-visit the IMF’s exciting and controversial Black Swan Initiative. Feel good and keep smiling! Pat