Well hello there. Remember me? I’m baaaaaaaack. It’s been a rough couple of days for me. As it turns out, a cervical cancer support group I’m a member of is currently tearing itself apart. Turns out 2 very popular ladies with stage 4 cervical cancer, who got a large amount of attention from the rest of us, were frauds. One was simply looking to defraud actual cancer patients out of money (and the FBI is now involved) and one has serious mental issues. I am angry and disgusted. Luckily, I wasn’t extremely close to either of them unlike a lot of the girls. But it still infuriates me that someone would pretend to have this horrible disease. And the fact that they befriended a 3rd girl with actual stage 4 cancer and broke her heart…I want a bus to plow them both down right now. Or for karma to give them a swift cancer-kick in the crotch. So since I’m on the verge of losing all hope in humanity, I’m going to get back to writing about happy things. For a change.
Last I left off (yeah, yeah, I know…it’s been a while – quit nagging), I was reeling from my official cancer diagnosis. Rudy and I decided that since I was going to be laid up for heaven knows how long, that one last party trip was in order. There really wasn’t any debate about where since we only had one weekend available to go and only a few days to plan – Vegas was the perfect choice. We made a groveling phone call to our favorite casino host and asked if there were rooms available with our fingers crossed. Chances were slim since we only gave him 3 days notice, but he happily responded with a free room in our favorite tower for 3 nights, food and beverages comped, and a few hundred dollars to play with. Thank you Golden Nugget! So with that secured, we started trying to figure out what we wanted to do while we were there. Besides the obvious drink, gamble, eat, people watch and repeat. I decided on doing the Fremont Street zip-line, and talked my wonderful man (who is terrified of heights) into trying it. Victory! Then my wonderful man brought up what he wanted to do in Vegas. That’s right – mawwage. (Sorry, Princess Bride speak is the only way I can say it.) We’d batted the idea around for a while, but it was always later. Next year. Some other time. Suddenly we were facing the possibility that there wouldn’t be a next year. And it was sobering. It wasn’t just the idea that the cancer could be further along than we thought. There was also the very real possibility that something could go wrong in surgery, and Rudy would have zero say in life or death decisions for me. Then there was just the simple fact that we really, really love each other and it just seemed right.
So like a bad daughter, I called some Vegas chapels first to see if it was even a possibility. No sense in telling the family we were getting married if we simply couldn’t do it. Or at least that was the rationale at the time. Now I realize I’m just a big dork, and should have called them first. Luckily for us, after some googling, the exact chapel I wanted (and by wanted, I mean non-cheesy and pretty) was available for Saturday, July 21. But we only had 2 options – the first time slot of the day at noon, or 10:30pm. As much as I didn’t want to have to wake up early (and yes, being dressed up and driving somewhere before noon in Vegas IS early, dammit!), we were hoping some friends and family might be able to make it. So we went with noon. And THEN I called my parents and told them the good news. It felt really good to have something happy to tell them for a change. And they were perfectly, wonderfully excited for us. I told them that I picked a place that would let them watch the wedding on-line because I knew they (among others) would kick our butts if we didn’t. I told them I would call them before the wedding, and leave my phone on speaker if I was allowed so they could hear. I wanted them there so badly, but considering the wedding was now 4 days away, I knew there was absolutely no way they would be able to make it. And it meant the world to me that as much as they wanted to be there, they completely understood us going ahead with it without them.
So more friends and family were let in on our big plans, and the outpouring of love and support was lovely and touching. What came next was both unexpected and wonderful. First, a very good friend who lives in Vegas told us he would do his very best to take off work that day and come to the wedding. And he did. With the added bonus of his quietly charming husband coming with him. Second, Rudy has a very large and very incredible branch of his family who live in Vegas – and they were adamant about both coming to the wedding and putting together a reception. (Side note – they all told me in case of divorce, they’re keeping me. I’m awesome.) Third, Rudy’s best friend in the world who lives a ways from Vegas, dropped everything to drive the 500+ miles for the weekend. Fourth, my loving and very energetic future mother-in-law and her husband also dropped everything to drive up from LA for the weekend. As did Rudy’s lovely aunt and uncle. I was a little overwhelmed with the amount of folks who were willing to spend precious time and money to come up for our quickie ceremony. It was both touching and heartwarming. Little did I know the best surprise was yet to come.
Of course, focus next turned to what we would both wear. Neither of us had the time nor the desire to hunt down formal wedding attire. On our list of concerns, it was at the very bottom – we just aren’t those people. We both wanted something nice but casual, and comfortable. That was pretty much it. I pulled a little white summery dress out of my closet, and he found a pair of khaki dress slacks and a pale blue button down. Done. And damn if we didn’t look gooooood!
Fast forward a few days, and we were off to Vegas on an early Thursday morning. We dropped the pooch off at his favorite doggie day care in Vegas, and made it to the hotel. Everyone from out of town was arriving Friday or Saturday morning, so we had Thursday night to ourselves. We had some drinks, did some gambling, did some people watching, had a lovely dinner and generally just had a fantastic night. (Some details omitted to protect the innocent.)
The next day, we lazed about in bed and ordered room service and then napped some more. Late in the afternoon, Rudy told me I needed to get out of bed at some point. I knew he was right, but I still gave him a snarl. Then went back to sleep. Finally he couldn’t keep his secret to himself another second. He leaned over and told me we had to pick up my parents at the airport. I told him to stop being a jerk – he wasn’t funny. It took him a few minutes to convince me that he wasn’t joking. That my amazing, incredible, wonderful, sneaky parents had been plotting with him for days and were flying out for the wedding. From Ohio, on 3 days notice. I still don’t think I believed it until I saw them at the airport. After a few delays, they finally made it to Vegas (they spent more time traveling to and fro than they did in Vegas) and my heart was happy. Between the reality of them moving heaven and earth to be at our wedding and the simple fact that I hadn’t seen them since months before the cancer diagnosis, there were a lot of very long hugs and not a few tears at the airport that night.
As they were exhausted from a long day of travel, we dropped them off in their hotel room and let them get some rest. We zipped back to our hotel and met up with Rudy’s best friend, Kristen. I think. At this point, the weekend is a blur. Oops. But I’m fairly sure we had some drinks and gambled a bit with her before scooting off too bed entirely too late. All I know is that we had a lot of fun.
The next morning came entirely too quickly. We got ourselves all pretty and met up with Kris downstairs, then drove over to the chapel. My parents were waiting for us, having gotten there early enough to walk next door to the ‘Pawn Stars’ pawn shop and look around first. And no, they did not meet Chumley or any of the other dudes. By the time we got there, there was a line out the pawn shop door around the building, a DJ setting up in the parking lot, and a food tent getting set up. Apparently it’s quite the tourist destination now. Who knew? We had other things on our mind at the time, so we quickly got around to giving more hugs as more people showed up and started getting down to the business at hand.
And with that, I will leave you for tonight. But I’ll be back in a day or two to finish the tale of our wedding weekend. Honest. Typing this tale (oooooh kinda sorta alliteration!) has brightened my mood. I still want 2 particular people to be hit by a bus (ok, maybe two or three others as long as I’m wishing…), but at least I can still vaguely see a glimmer of hope for humanity again. And a glimmer is all I need for now.