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Madison, here we come!

Home/About Pat, Caregivers, Side effects/Madison, here we come!

Madison, here we come!

I’m sorry that I haven’t been more responsive to reader’s comments on the blog, Facebook and Email. Pattie and I just completed another “never a dull moment” series of flight delays on our way to Madison, Wisconsin to see the University of Wisconsin play the Iowa Hawkeyes Saturday.

Wisconsin      Cheerleeders

I’ve been having trouble getting Pattie to travel. She hates to leave our pet rescues at home alone. Recently her sister and brother-in-law have been kind enough to stay with the “kids” at our home while we’re gone. But they’ll be with us this weekend; Mary and Tom moved to Florida over 20 years ago.

They’re still cheeseheads at heart. Fortunately, we found someone else to house sit and take care of the dogs and cats. After hastily cleaning and prepping the house, yard and pool, we headed to the airport late in the afternoon.

Flying out of Jacksonville, we met what should have been our connecting flight in Atlanta at 9:30 PM Wednesday evening. I’ll spare you the frustrating details, but eventually we boarded a different plane and arrived in Milwaukee at 2 am our time. If the delay would have been weather related, I’m sure Delta would have cancelled the flight. But since this was a mechanical issue, the airline would have been responsible to put everyone up in a hotel and provide meal vouchers. They were determined to get us there, no matter how late it was.

We were alright with that, except I was exhausted. Wearing a mask all the time seems to limit my oxygen levels just enough that minor breathing issues (a side effect I blame on pomalidomide) are magnified.

RockysBut everything worked out. We went back to the airport this morning, picked up our rental car and drove to Madison, stopping to shop and enjoy lunch at one of the “world famous” Roccy Rococo’s Pizzerias.

Now for the selfish reason for this post. Saturday morning early, Pattie and I will be setting up an awesome tailgate before the game. It’s an early, 11 am Central start, so we’ll be set up by 9 am. Plenty of fun stuff to eat and drink. A group of 14 friends and family members will be going to the game together. Gary Petersen even flew up to meet her daughter and go to the game.

I’d like to invite any readers that may be part of the 80,000 plus at Camp Randall Stadium Saturday to stop by and say hello. Live in southern Wisconsin or northern Illinois and not going? Stop by anyway, introduce yourself and party before, or drop by afterwards, driving against traffic; we’ll be there for at least an hour and a half after the 5th quarter ends. 5th quarter? That’s when most everyone sticks around–win or lose–to hear the band, polka and chicken dance together. You can’t make this stuff up!

We don’t have a spot yet. Funny story. I ordered a parking pass for what I knew to be an outdoor lot five blocks from the stadium so everyone would know how to find us. I was unaware that two years ago, the University built a brand new medical ed building there; the pass was in the now basement parking lot! Guess I’ve got to get back up here more often; Pattie and I haven’t been to a game in Madison for 3 years.

So if you’d like to come, email me your phone number: and we’ll call or text you and identify our location; most likely on someone’s front lawn near the stadium

This brings back memories of the 2014 Capital One Bowl game that we dove over to in Orlando. It was raining, but we tailgated anyway. My good friend, fellow Millennium Patient Ambassador, Jim Byrd, his wife and family, drove down from Columbia, SC to see the game as friendly adversaries.

Jim ByrdThey went out of their way to stop by and join the party. I’m glad they did. That’s the last time I saw Jim; he passed away late the same year. Here’s a picture of Jim (far left) his wife and I believe his brother.

Not to worry. Our tailgates aren’t jinxed! And the weather is forecast to be perfect: 60 degrees and sunny by early afternoon.

If you can’t make it, you can bet I’ll be reporting on how it all played out on Sunday. A group of us usually travel to an away game each year, but I couldn’t resist pushing to see Iowa play; what with me practically living in Iowa City, my BMT unit room practically overlooking the stadium. Remember this picture from the cafeteria patio this summer?


The Badgers had better win; I’ll never live it down if they don’t. I return to Iowa City in a few weeks to complete my tandem. If we win, I’ll be sporting a lot of Badger gear. Lose and I’ll tone it down a bit. Then it’s time to break out the Packer garb.

One way or the other I’ll be bringing a lot of zip-up-the-front sweatshirts, so nurses can access the PICC line in my upper arm. I picked up two good ones to use for that today; one Badger, one Packer. I already have several from Amelia Island and Jacksonville. Got to fly the colors!

Can’t wait for the festivities tomorrow. Feel good and keep smiling! Pat