It's been almost a month since my last post, which makes me a very slack blogger, but I've been busy enjoying being finished with chemo.
My last chemo was a breeze. My husband came with me and it seemed to go so quickly that we forgot to take a photo while we were there. The photo below was taken outside the lifts as we were leaving. I had a few side effects from the chemo, mainly loss of taste and that horrible taste in my mouth which lasted for over a week and nearly drove me crazy, but knowing I'd never have to experience it again did help.
Plenty of other things have happened too. I've had another heart scan which showed my medication is working and my heart improving, so I have also resumed my herceptin. I have started radiation and had seven treatments so far. My hair has started to grow back, admittedly very slowly, on my head at least. I was finally able to go to the dentist, which I have never been so excited about, as I lost two fillings just before starting and it felt as though chemo was eroding the rest of my teeth away. Two visits and six fillings later I was feeling much better and was most importantly ready for my surprise weekend away.
I've mentioned before that my husband was planning a weekend away to celebrate my birthday and also the end of chemo, and I knew we were going to the Blue Mountains, but I didn't know where we were staying. We headed off last Friday, after saying goodbye to our little birdie and my parents who were staying at our place to look after her, and after driving for two hours we pulled into Katoomba. As we drove down the main street the view of the mountains was so beautiful that I took a photo through the windscreen of the car. I imagined that we would be staying in a little cottage or Bed and Breakfast, and when we saw the sign for Lilianfels Resort, which is the most beautiful boutique five star hotel in the Blue Mountains, my first thought was 'Wow. That's Lilianfels.' Shortly followed by 'We couldn't be staying there, could we? There's no way he would have booked Lilianfels, is there?' and then we kept driving. But as we turned the corner I saw the main entrance to Lilianfels and my husband put the blinker on. As we pulled in to the drive way I couldn't stop my eyes from welling up, as they are now just thinking about it. I said to him 'you didn't and he just smiled and said 'well I wouldn't be driving in here if I hadn't.' We drove up the long drive way, past the beautiful gardens, the outdoor pool, and the hatted restaurant, to the hotel. I stayed in the car while my husband went inside to check us in as he didn't want me to hear any of the other surprises he had planned for me. When he returned to the car he took me up to our room, an executive suite with incredible views of the mountains (a billion times better than the view from the street coming into town), and then told me we were having dinner at Darleys, the hatted restaurant we had driven past on the way in.
Once we had settled in, we went for a walk down to the most famous spot in the Blue Mountains, The Three Sisters. It was late afternoon so the whole area had a beautiful golden glow. As the sun began to set and the temperature drop, we headed back to the hotel lounge for drinks before getting ready for dinner. Darleys was incredible! The restaurant is in the original Lilianfels house that was built in the late 1800's and was just beautiful. The food, the wine, the staff, everything was just perfect. It was the best meal either of us have ever had!
|The Three Sisters|
The next day started with an early (delicious) buffet breakfast in the hotel's Orangerie, followed by a rest in our hotel room, and then another surprise: a delux High Tea in the hotel lounge. Looking around at the incredible hotel and discussing how good our dinner was the night before, my husband said to me 'I mightn't say much or make a big deal of what you are going through, but I hope all this shows you how much I appreciate and admire you.'
|High Tea and my two glasses of champagne|
After high tea we walked into the town centre to have a look around and ended up 'bumping into' some friends, another surprise organised by my husband. That night we them met for dinner and I was surprised yet again when we walked into the restaurant to see another couple of our closest friends sitting at the table. Dinner was once again delicious, and the desert was especially wonderful.
|Dinner at Pins|
The next day was Sunday, our last day there, and it began with another lovely breakfast in the Orangerie where my husband told me that he had enjoyed our high tea the day before so much, that he had decided to book another one for that morning. We returned to our room to get our things packed and there was a feint knock at the door followed by a child's voice. My husband asked me what it was and I told him it must have been the room next door but he told me to check just incase. So I opened the door, only to see my mum and little birdie standing there, very excited. My husbands final surprise was to have my parents and our little birdie join us for high tea on our last morning away. Little birdie was extremely excited to see us both, as we were to see her, and I think she enjoyed her special children's high tea even more than we all enjoyed ours!
So, as you can hopefully tell, it was an absolutely wonderful and unforgettable weekend, something both my husband and I were in great need of, and I am a very lucky woman to have such a thoughtful, generous, loving husband.