x
First Impressions of Tokyo - Nextbiteoflife

MAN PLANS AND GOD LAUGHS. A ROMAN HOLIDAY

The last month or so has been a pretty nerve-wracking one. As you might have guessed from the post title, our simple plan to remain in Spain for the near future was definitely altered by some not-so-good news.


Federico’s mom had been having problems catching her breath for the past couple of months. She assumed it was because she had put on weight thanks to the lockdown. It didn’t sound like a big deal to us or her, as l think most of us, whether we like to believe it or not, did put on quarantine pounds. She became very concerned when she could barely walk.

Man Plans and God laughs:

Man plans, God laughs. Piazza Navona, Rome
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
It was kind of nice to see the city not so full.


She made an appointment to see the doctor and ask for a diet plan. Instead, after examining her, he told her to get to the hospital quickly, which she did. Long story short, she is battling advanced-stage cancer of major organs.

 Thanks to the covid situation in the hospital, it was a full six days in the general population area of the hospital before a doctor was able to see her. Six! Her regular doctor was kind enough to visit her on his own time. That’s how full they were, and just one more thing that makes me lose my patience with the people who refuse to get vaccinated.

The hospital is so overwhelmed and the staff is stretched thin. Once she was transferred to the oncology department, they were able to assess her situation. We, in the meantime, made arrangements to find a sitter for the dogs and hightail it to Rome.

Visiting the hospital was not fun. Gown, gloves, hair net, shoe covers…the whole nine yards. Needless to say, our visit was not a fun Roman holiday. It’s exactly as the saying goes. “Man plans, God laughs”.

We spent the time there, visiting her daily during allotted times until she was released, and trying to make the flat as comfortable as possible. Things we take for granted, like shower stalls and grips and those things in the commercials to help people stand up and stuff.

We still made time to get out a bit. The Spanish Steps as empty as they could be.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Even though he loves his birthplace, he says Valencia is home now. Go figure! 🙂

My MIL is super tough though and has taken it all in stride for the most part. She is back home now and we have finally been able to make her realize that she can not do it all by herself. The pride in her is alive and well. Boy, I know where Fede gets his stubbornness for real, him and his siblings :-). Everybody seems to be stoic about the situation.

It’s coming up on 15 years of marriage for us, and my MIL has always treated me like one of her own from the start. I have mentioned before how amazing she is and we seem to find a way of talking despite the language barrier.

For sure, I am not going to learn Italian, I can barely speak Spanish. It has been better now though. When she speaks in Italian, l reply to her in Spanish, and it kind of seems to work for the most part so Fede doesn’t have to translate nearly as much as he used to.

Bruschetta with beans and mushrooms on the man plans, god laughs post nextbiteoflife
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Bruschetta with cannellini beans, olives, tomato, and mushroom. So, so good.

All of this has made me appreciate life even, even more. It has me thinking about what ultimately triggered our desire to travel on this post about my sister. It also had me reminiscing about my father and his battle with colon cancer. Maybe reminiscing is not the proper word as you never forget enough for that to happen, no matter how long it’s been.

What happens now?

For now, we wait and see as no one can predict how long she has, not even the doctors. I wish l could have shown you pictures of Rome and all the fun stuff that we would have done normally. I, however, don’t think you care to see Amazon pages of grippers :-). Here’s food instead.

man plans, god laughs. A plate of tonarelli pasta with cherry tomatoes and mushrooms on silver platter.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Tonnarelli with mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.

One thing that l was glad about, a PCR or Antigen test was no longer needed to travel to Italy from here. The EU Covid certificate was enough, along with the passenger locator form so it was relatively pain-free to travel. As much as l love Rome, I hope not to see it in the near future because that would mean my MIL would still be fighting the good fight. 

 

For now, our plans will remain the same. Stay in Spain. How are your travel plans coming along?                                

10 thoughts on “MAN PLANS AND GOD LAUGHS. A ROMAN HOLIDAY”

  1. Sorry to hear about your MIL, Kem. Hopefully she beats the odds and continues to fight for a long time.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Kris for the good thoughts. We keep clinging and hoping.

      Reply
  2. Kemkem, I am so sorry about your MIL diagnosis. Cancer is a scary diagnosis and even more so when it takes a while to get treatment. My best friend is battling cancer at the moment and it has been as you have described with hospital delays because of Covid.
    Brian and I are currently in Spain walking the Camino de Santiago. It has been hard, but also amazing with so many inspiring stories.

    Reply
    • Thanks Gilda. Cancer totally sucks, and it’s just weird that even after all these years, there seems to be no noticeable advancement or eradication. Sorry to hear about your friend. The hospitals are just so busy.
      I have been keeping up with your walk, and your feet…haha! I think you are brave and crazy for tackling that!😂

      Reply
  3. Kemkem,

    As Kris and Gilda have already said, Steven and I extend our thought and prayers for you and Fede. How hard it must be right now not to be closer to your MIL. You sure lucked out having her treat you like a beloved daughter. Steven and I are one step nearer to Rome now than we were several days ago as we finally returned to Europe on Wednesday. In a few weeks, we’re heading to Italy for a full five weeks at the end of our vacation. The last time I was in Italy was eons ago and I never reached Rome. It’ll be great fun visiting the Eternal City with Steven for a week – your food photos whetted my appetite even more for that part of our trip!

    Be safe and take care,
    Annie

    Reply
    • I did luck out indeed. It could have been one of those horror stories we hear about frequently. Thanks for the good thoughts. I hope you enjoy Rome. I am looking forward to reading about your thoughts on the trip. I know you were really excited to visit Europe again after all the madness of the past year and a half. Make sure to eat lots of food and take loads of pictures. I’m glad you’re ready for all that food. Best part of traveling sometimes l think…haha! Safe journey!

      Reply
  4. I’m really sorry about this, Kemkem. There could’ve been more pleasant ways for plans to be changed, for sure. It’s a good thing that she’s a strong woman. During times like these, it’s mental strength that helps you go through this. And who knows – maybe her strength is high enough to allow her beat all the odds. Virtual hugs from our entire family!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the hugs C. Much appreciated. You’re right, during times like this, it is the mental strength that counts. At this point, this is what is doing it for her, and l hope she pushes through. There are definitely a million other ways that would have been pleasant for our plans to be changed, but we will all hang tough :-).

      Reply
  5. Sorry to hear about your MIL’s health. Hope she is able to manage any pain and accept help around the house and with her daily care.

    As for travel, nope I won’t get on a plane for awhile! Or a cruise ship either. I’m open to car road trips because I can self isolate and ready to drive down to Washington or Oregon. Unfortunately Biden has not opened the land border to Canadians to drive down to the states. However, in early August Canada opened the land border for Americans (with proof of vaccine, etc) to head North. So seeing more cars with Washington license plates on the roads.

    Reply
    • Thanks a lot Cheryl. She’s having worse than good days, but hanging in. It’s been quite a struggle having her accept help. I guess it’s normal before acceptance.

      We are back to no travel for now, except for if we can’t help it. It’s just too stressful for the most part. Definitely no cruise ship. I am only open to train trips. I’m surprised there is no reciprocation between the states and Canada. I had assumed that would be the case. The world is just so disjointed it seems :-(. I suspect it will be like this for quite a while. Hang in there.

      Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

SubscribeTo The Blog And Never Miss A Thing!

Thanks for subscribing.

SubscribeTo The Blog And Never Miss A Thing!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This