If you have been following my blog or are a friend or family member who knows how impulsive we are, you will not be surprised by this blog.
As long as I could process what a human being was at the age of 3 I’ve always believed I could do anything and usually rather fast. When I was a bartender at 23 years old one of my mentors Kate told me, “make money, save it and buy something for your future then quit bartending” so I did, Six months later after long nights I bought my condo. Same with our house. Same with college. It’s just who I am so now my cancer should follow the same pattern in some way! I am a big believer of attracting what I want. I didn’t want to attract cancer but maybe this was my door to keep doing things I’ve always wanted. There is no reason to try to figure out why things happen other than how I plan to do what's next.
I was reading other thrivers’ stories and how they spent their retirement money after hearing their prognoses for Stage 4 breast cancer. Did you know the chance of survival past 5 years is only about 30%? So, some thrivers who have kids choose to spend their retirement money on family vacations or to make sure they leave their family stable after their time. The trend for a childless woman like me is to live it up &/or pay bills. You see, most younger woman like me don’t have huge retirement savings but we are allowed to withdraw ours without penality because we are labeled terminal and the odds of us living until retirement isn’t likely. Cancer hasn’t left much in the bank anyway, may as well spend such a windfall on something to make whatever time I’ve got left fulfilling for me and my husband so he will have happy memories forever.
About a year ago my cousin and his now wife bought a RV, fixed it up and moved to Texas. Then I got cancer and started wanting to traveling more before my time and I said, “we should get a RV.” A few months later I’m excited to share we got one! Everything I’ve strived for in my life didn’t come without bumps.
After searching on-line, visiting RV dealers and learning quickly as much as we could. We stumbled upon a Volkswagen RV. If you know us, we are HUGE Volkswagen & Audi enthusiasts. After some debate on whether my husband will have time to repair the RV, whether or not this decision is responsible (which I’m sure it’s not, as I have a growing pile of medical bills), we ended up jumping both feet in and used every penny from my 401K to purchase this RV.
The RV we were able to afford needed lots of work but thankfully Martin is great with his hands. While we were in Cancun at my cousin’s wedding (the ones with the RV), we got a call that it passed inspection and we are good to go! WAY TO GO MARTIN!!! You are impressive! So. ladies, nagging doesn’t go unrewarded. Martin got it fixed and ready for inspection in less than 2 months!
Our first big trip will be to Waterfest a Volkswagen & Audi show in New Jersey then our road trip around United States of America! I figure that, no matter how awful I feel as life eventually gets sucked out of me and my body truly starts failing, I’ll still be able to see great views and watch beautiful sunrises and sunsets lying down inside with the door open.
Why do I have a bucket list?
I always had a list of places I would love to see. Who doesn’t?!?!? A list I thought to have all the time in the world to get to:
(lol I of course still want to go to all these places)
After a few months of processing a life with a terminal illness, it changed my perspective. Time doesn’t wait for you. One day you wake up and your life can be completely changed. I know my time will speed by; just like before we know it we will be wishing everyone a happy new years!
After months of traveling and thanking life for another amazing memory, my bucket list has changed:
A few items I want to do are:
Outside of the fact I want to experience as many memories while I physically can but getting away is sometimes the only time i’m forced to stop stressing about everything on my mind. I always have a lot rushing through my mind between my health, typical life struggles (bills, cleaning, cooking, life…), work and now making time to live. Balancing all aspects of life was manageable before cancer but its much harder now trying to balance MBC and all its lovely side effects.
Vacations are the time I can truly be free. Exploring new experiences is what keeps me reaching forward!
Caitlyn Sheridan is an artist born in New Haven, CT. Her photography focus is street photography, portraiture and abstract architectural scenery. Themes explored within her art include day to day struggle, contrasts in wealth inequality, and moments of vulnerability induced by daily human survival. She produced these videos in an effort to bring awareness to metastatic breast cancer in honor of Larissa Podermanski.