The Cruise, part 2

Our itinerary included four stops:  Roatan in the Honduras, Harvest Caye in Belize, Costa Maya in Mexico and Cozumel, Mexico.  We had the first day at sea and each of the four following days we stopped at a port, ending with another at sea day.  Three of the four ports were fairly pasteurized, ports created for the cruising industry.  Beautiful spots that did allow for excursions and sightseeing but nothing quite like the port in Cozumel.  This was at the city centre, you walked off the ship into the real lifestyle of the community.  For those who wanted authentic, then this was their stop.  Lots to see and do.

For those who didn’t care to sightsee, that was me this trip, the ship offered plenty to do onboard.  We even found a bowling alley.  There was something for everyone, movies everyday, live action game shows, dance lessons, yoga lessons, the whole gamut.  So if you were disappointed you had no one to blame but yourself!

For this vacation, I had decided to throw caution to the wind and live a little.  To try and break out of the humdrum that I have become and make my own fun.  I figured what better place to do it than on a ship with strangers you never have to see again!  I had packed my suitcase for just about any eventuality, took way too much stuff, and sadly needed little of it.  Unfortunately getting sick undermined my whole plan.  I think there is at least one lesson here – don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today, life is unpredictable, nothing’s guaranteed, and so on.

Regardless, the sunshine was awesome.  Add some heat to that and it was super awesome.  As we settle into winter weather here in Canada it can be quite overcast and gloomy and the sunshine scarce.  It was a nice treat to spend a week with brilliant sunshine and the warmth of the sun’s rays on my skin.

The First Appointment

Another day, another frustration.  We get a call on Friday to be at the hospital for blood work and an appointment with the oncologist.  The appointment is set for Monday.  It’s Friday, be here Monday says the appointment booking clerk.  Monday?  Yes, Monday.  She says 8 a.m., I request 8:30 a.m.  It’s just too hard to get up, dressed, fed, and in the car for the half hour drive to the hospital.  She agrees to the 8:30 a.m. appointment and that’s that.

Well, today is Monday.  We went to the hospital for our appointment.  No one, I mean, no one was there.  The Cancer Care Clinic was locked up tight, everything was closed.  It is a civic holiday in Ontario and nobody is working.  I talk to the volunteer on the Front Desk, who takes me to Emerg to see if blood work may have been booked there, we go to the Lab to see if blood work has been booked there.  He’s a sweet man who has to deal with a very irate me.  The volunteer tells me that incorrect bookings happen all the time.  ALL THE TIME!  In some cases people travel much further than we have only to be turned away because the clerk mixed up the dates, or meant to cancel the appointment. 

My first observation is this, cancer gets a holiday?  So the civic holiday trumps the treatment of ill people.  I personally believe that with the money invested in cancer treatment and care, the Care Clinics should be required to run 7 days a week.  It’s just a prudent use of resources and investment.  My second observation is, where is the quality control?  This might have been a simple mistake, but when the volunteer on the desk tells me that this is a significant problem, then why isn’t it addressed?  My third and most important concern is, then when the heck is my husband actually scheduled for his appointment?  If it is Tuesday, then guess what, we are missing it through no fault of our own and may be deferred for an indefinite period of time because some individual was careless, or disinterested, or feels underpaid or just doesn’t care enough to get it right. 

My frustration level is high right now, because in the case of cancer, every second of every day counts.