Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mackinac Island 2016

Mom and dad on the plane on the way to MI
About 7 years ago, we went to Mackinac Island as a last minute trip over Memorial Day weekend. The weather was nice and unusually warm, causing the lilac trees to bloom about two weeks to soon. The workers were telling us how upset the regulars would be in two weeks at the lilac festival since all of the trees were blooming early, there wouldn't be any left for the festival.

Overall, it was a great trip. despite driving 20+ hours to get there, a lot of fun was had along the way. Based on that trip, I went with memories of dad and mom and Mia and the things that we did there before. Mark, Katherine, James, the little girls, and Paula came this time. So there were more people and opportunities than before.

That being said, this trip was completely different. Dad and mom stayed behind quite a bit because dad was so tired. The things we had previously done with them were done without them and we made new memories with the girls. [side note: Patoskey, Traverse, and Mackinac Island are BEAUTIFUL! If you have never been to that part of Michigan in the summer, put it on your bucket list!] 

Everyone at the lavender fields
We stayed in Patoskey for two nights and absolutely loved it. The owner of the Hampton Inn we stayed in was there and is a pediatric anesthesiologist. He happened to know Dr. Weir because of a Christian doctors fellowship with which they work. Small world! 
Nearby was a beautiful lake front town, a small beach, and yacht dock. We took the girls down and they played in the water, and Mark, Katherine, and Mia went swimming. 
Everything about the area was beautiful. The houses, the view, the quaint nature of the town. It was nice to be amidst such simplicity with comforts of modern day. 
We all went to a lavender farm one day.  James found it for us and it was amazing. Our tour guide was a 13 year old local boy named Will who blew us away with his personality and knowledge. The area smelled beautiful and the pictures turned out well. Not to mention there was some amazing lavender ice cream and lemonade which we all enjoyed! 

For the most part, there was only one major hiccup in the trip. While getting ready to load the ferry, dad stepped out of the golf cart and managed to lose his footing. He fell back and hit his head on the pavement. He had his Optune cap on and one of the discs in the arrays busted his head open. Dad, mom, and Mark made a short (really!) trip to the ER nearby. Dad got 4 stitches in his head and they were back on track about 2 hours behind us. 
Adelyn loved the flowers

Dr. Weir was amazing and called the ER to make sure they had all of the information they needed and the ER doctor took good care of everyone. The good part about the fall is that dad didn't have to wear his Optune for the rest of the trip. He gets to keep it off until the wound completely heals. 

Annabelle loved the swing
While at the ER I got information from Dr. Weir regarding dad's MRI from the Friday before we left. The scans showed a reduction in enhancement and that the midline shift is gone! Praise God on high!! This means that the swelling has reduced greatly but also that the tumor size has gone down. 
Now you know I've done my research in the area of Avastin, which is the drug dad is currently on for swelling. It's common for it to give misleading scans and show reduction when there really isn't any. So, I asked Dr. Weir about it. He confirmed that it's often the case, but because the midline shift is gone, he feels confident that the enhancement reduction  (decrease in actual tumor area) is actually
that. A reduction in the size of the tumor. 

The ferry on the way to Mackinac Island
Once dad, mom, and Mark made it to Mackinac, we were ready for the experience that dad wanted. We stayed at the Grand Hotel while we were there. It's a high fancy place where you have to wear a dress or coat and tie to be served after 6:00 pm. Dad loves to dress up and loved being dressed up and sitting on the huge porch. He wanted a locally brewed beer, but I don't think they found one.

The Grand Hotel
It was a little difficult to fully enjoy the island alongside dad because there are no motorized vehicles allowed on the island, and its pretty hilly terrain. We took a horse drawn carriage once and walked, rode bikes, or rode horses the rest of the time. Overall, the trip was great, and rather than going in to tons of detail, I'll just blast you with photos!!


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