Day 16 – A Little Chicago Selfcare

After a pretty heavy session with my therapist yesterday fighting the fears I share only with her, I decided I needed time with my sister to regain some balance in this new normal we are all living. Sis isn’t strong enough for lunch out right now, so I brought a veggie filled salad lunch to her apartment. She told me how the fatigue from the chemo was increasing. We had a very low key lunch before she went to lay down and rest.

I finished my lunch, cleaned up our mess, and went into her room to tell her I was leaving. We have this thing we do in our family, “Kiss a head.” It started when my nephew was about three and didn’t want to be kissed on the lips or cheek anymore. He would bow his head and say, “Kiss a head.” It stuck with us. I leaned in to kiss my sister’s head and felt the fever in her body that registered 101.4 on the thermometer.

A call was made to her oncologist. We then made our way to the er. Ten hours later, they said Sis has pneumonia. We caught it early, and she will be fine. She’s healing at Mom and Dad’s for a couple days before going home.

I am on the South Shore commuter train headed to Chicago. I get on the train at the airport in South Bend and ride the train to Millenium Park. It takes 2 1/2 hours and costs just $27 round trip. Easy cheesy!

Going into the city has become one of my favorite ways to cope with the difficulty of my new normal since cancer stole John. I get absorbed in the moment and meandering through Millenium Park I can forget the difficulty of my life for a bit. I love watching people interact with the giant silver bean, the Cloudgate. It makes me laugh to watch kids play with the funhouse mirror effect.

Sometimes my escape in Chicago includes flamboyant and indulgent shopping. Sometimes the focus is a fabulous meal. Shedd’s Aquarium is always a brain engaging place to unwind. For sure, there is a stop at TonI Patisserie for French macarons on the way back to the train. The patisserie is just a block and a half from the train, and it’s always good to support local businesses, right? 🙂

I haven’t decided what I will do in the city today. Maybe a musical matinee in the theater district. Maybe lunch at Fago de Chao. I might ride the shuttle to Navy Pier and catch a dinner cruise on the lake or see what is happening at the Shakespeare theater. I do know that by the time I take the late train home and wake up in South Bend about 1 a.m. I will be ready to continue fighting for my sister’s health… in whatever ways necessary.



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