It was very surprising to learn that I had breast cancer, and this meant I was going to be down for the count for at least six months. I would lose my whole summer, fall and winter. Between several surgeries, reconstruction and four months of chemo, I wasn’t going anywhere! For a person like me who is always on the go and loves to travel, I was stopped in my tracks. While I might not be traveling with breast cancer, I did have something to look forward to.
It would be my first trip after finishing my treatments. One of my best friends was turning 50, and we had been discussing plans for her birthday celebration since the summer. It would be a girlfriend getaway in Florida. I would be finished with chemo in December and would have a couple of weeks to get my strength up to go. I would stay clear of anyone sick or who had even a sniffle. I even quarantined myself from my daughter when she had a cold. This sounds terrible but, I was determined to go! I needed a party, a drink and many laughs. I had been trapped in my bed for soooo…. long and wanted to get out! I was getting to that spa!
I know I sound bold and I was, but I was also a little sheepish… just a little. I would be leaving my daughter for a couple of days and that always made me feel a little guilty. I also wondered if I would be able to keep up with the other ladies, and if I would be able to stay awake and have the strength for the party I so badly wanted to be a part of. Also, still majorly bald, I would have to navigate my wigs and scarves in secret. I felt a little awkward, and I didn’t want to scare anyone by them seeing me that way.
“That’s what I call my wigs, my girls. I have names for each of them.”
Traveling after cancer treatments takes planning! I packed a separate carry-on bag filled with all my girls. That’s what I call my wigs, my girls. I have names for each of them. There is Shania which is my sexy country rock star wig, Nicole which is me and my everyday wig, my fortune teller wig which is a hair piece that I wear a scarf over for a more exotic look with tons of make-up and funky earings, and my baseball caps with hair. Amazing creations! I thought, If I’m going to lose my hair, I thought I might as well get some new looks! I didn’t want to look sick or down. I decided to be glamorous and fabulous instead.
So, finally the long awaited day had come, and I got on the plane, wearing a mask just to be extra cautious not to get sick. People probably thought I was weird but I had to do what I had to do. As I was walking down the aisle, I noticed another woman with a mask; we looked at each other and our eyes told it all. I went over to her and we started exchanging stories. She too had breast cancer, was going through chemo, and was being careful. As we continued talking, we discovered we were from the same town! How amazing and crazy was that? She gave me comforting words saying “keep your mask on, don’t worry what anyone else thinks.” It was great. It gave me a feeling of normalcy. I felt strong that I had decided to follow through with my plans. I had to keep the attitude that the worst was behind me, go on with my life, have fun, and live!
Now my mind was on more important things like the Cosmopolitans I would be drinking (I needed a drink!), the spa treatments I would be indulging in, the delicious meals I would be eating and could finally taste, and just being with great girls, having fun, laughing and living life!
Nicole Markson is a graduate of The National Automobile Dealers Association NADA Dealer Candidate Academy and has 15 years of experience in the auto world. Nicole trained in all areas of the dealership including New Car Sales, Service, Parts, Finance, and Customer service. And so, now with fifteen years under her belt, Auto Empowerment was born; a company dedicated to educating, inspiring and empowering women to learn about the auto buying process. She can be heard giving auto advice as an expert on the Radio Show “The Auto Lab“, in NYC on 570AM on Saturday mornings.
When Nicole isn’t working, she loves spending time with her daughter, husband Jed and their Shitzu-Poodle Goldie. Nicole loves taking spin classes, going out to dinner, working on real estate projects, reading business books, singing in her rock band, traveling, attending self improvement educational seminars, can be found checking in at Weight Watchers, and is a Breast Cancer survivor.