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I always expect that we’re going to have a good time. Maybe that’s my problem.

This week I had treatment down in Atlanta. Before I got it, however, I had to get an echocardiogram.

You see, while the treatment might save my life, it could also screw up my heart. So every three months I’ve got to get that ultrasound goo rubbed all over my chest and lie there like Kate Winslet getting her picture drawn in the Titanic so they can take a look into the recesses of my heart.

That was on Tuesday, and since my treatment was Wednesday morning we got a hotel. We’ve actually been getting hotels the night before treatments this whole time. Not because we can afford it, but because the clinical trial gives us a $500 travel reimbursement.

Well, in theory. We’ve been going down since the middle of October and have yet to see a dime. I talked to my coordinator about it yesterday and she said they just recently submitted all of my receipts. Two and half months late. “So it’s another four weeks before we get the money,” I asked defeatedly. “Yes, four weeks from now.” That was the third time I had heard that. But it’s a weird position to be in. I have a 20% reduction of the tumor in my left lung and here I am quibbling over $1500? I handed my coordinator a new envelope of receipts, thanked her for submitting them, and headed downstairs. My birthday is in July. Perhaps we’ll get the money by then.

So every time we head down to Atlanta, a part of me looks forward to it. Even at 41 years old getting a hotel room seems so fancy. And a Marriott Courtyard nonetheless. They have a plastic tub of strawberry lemon water when you walk in the door. What could be nicer than that?

Those dreams were quickly blown to pieces when our first room reeked of cigarette smoke and the second one had a toilet seat off the hinges and a towel rack that collapsed under the weight of a single cloth.

The hotel was seven miles from Emory, so of course it took me over an hour each way. We were right next door to a movie theatre and my plan was to take Jaimie to see Star Wars, but considering we were counting quarters to get a burrito at Chipotle, a movie seemed out of our budget.

When we got back to the hotel, the key to our room wouldn’t work. I walked down the long hallway to the front desk. A walk that a year and a half ago would have seemed so easy. Now it made me short of breath. They gave me a set of new keys. I walked back to the room and guess what- they didn’t work either. Jaimie offered to go to the desk this time but my pride wouldn’t allow it. The guy said that the battery to the lock had probably died. We walked back to the room, charged the lock, and gave us 15,000 Marriott points for our trouble.

So my lofty expectations turned into Chipotle, waiting to be let into our room, an unhinged toilet seat and a towel rack that couldn’t support a wash cloth!

But that’s the thing about love. It’s magic. It can turn the most mundane Tuesday evening into, well, fun.

We changed into our PJs. Jaimie took a shower. We watched the Jeopardy Greatest of All Time Finale and then pulled out my computer and watched The Bachelor. And when I woke up the next morning and realized that they had only stocked our room with Decaf coffee, I looked and Jaimie and didn’t burn the room to the ground.

And my heart was fine and the treatment was easy. The drive back sucked and we were both in pain when we got home, but I took a nap and cooked some salmon and magic happened again. A nondescript Wednesday night in January turned fun.

Maybe that’s why I expect to have a good time. Because we do.

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