I Don’t Get Out Enough


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If you’ve ever gone through chemo and/or radiation, you know you barely have enough energy to breathe, let alone get out much or take a vacation. I marvel at cancer patients who continue to work while going through treatment. You are my heroes! I realize many of you have no choice, but where do you find the strength? I know paying the rent is a huge motivating factor, but for me, just going to the grocery store was more than I could handle. Now that I’ve recovered from 10 surgeries and eight rounds of chemo, James and I are traveling a bit more, but on this trip, I’ve decided I don’t get out enough.

Once again we’re in Las Vegas while James plays in the World Series of Poker, and I stay in the room and work on my laptop. Mind you, that’s not a complaint. Since I’m not much of a shopper, I don’t gamble, and it’s beastly hot outside, I’m quite content to occasionally go downstairs and people watch as I walk through the Esplanade, the shopping arcade that connects the Wynn and the Encore hotels. Also, last night I went to a Sting concert at the MGM Grand.

While Las Vegas has always been an adult Disney land, the adults seem to be getting younger—or maybe I’m just getting older—and their choice of clothes, or lack there of, is rather surprising. Men wear flip flops, shorts and no shirts at all, and women look like they’ve piled out of bed and put on the first thing they found on the closet floor. The real people watching, however, comes when the midnight crowd emerges from their rooms. Young carbon copies, jockeying for entrance to A-list clubs walled off by velvet ropes and burly bodyguards.

This is a different crowd than the ones you see in the daylight. The locals refer to them as the “Vampires.” These guys wear jeans, straw fedoras and enough bling to open their own jewelry store. The chippies appear to be drunk and/or high and wear vacuum-packed strapless dresses, which barely cover their butts, and six-inch gladiator shoes in which they can barely walk. The girls are all self-conscious, constantly tugging at their outfits, pulling them up to cover their boobs, pulling them down to cover everything else while the guys treat them like they’re steak on a plate. Sometimes I think today’s young people are following Britney Spears, Milely Cyrus and the rapper d’jour straight off the edge of the cliff and into their hotel rooms with nary a thought to the consequences.

The world may still be spinning on its axis, but we seem to be going in a direction I don’t understand. Many of those directions are counter intuitive to having a healthy society. Sometimes I think we need better roles models, for males and females of every age, who will forge a more self-respecting path for all of us to emulate. I realize this isn’t my typical blog about surviving breast cancer, but perhaps it’s because I’m overwhelmed with the razzle dazzle of sin city. It’s a lot to take in for a girl who lives in the middle of nowhere.

Like most of you, I’ve had to make a lot of physical and emotional changes and have come to terms with life the way it is, not the way it was, and that’s OK. It’s more than OK. I’m still here, and I’m blessed beyond reason. Like Dorothy, in the Wizard of Oz, I’ve battled my way through terror and enlightenment, and I realize there’s no place like home. While I’m not sure Las Vegas is part of my new normal, I am sure the bleary-eyed guy wearing the “Party Till You’re Homeless” shirt is not.