It's hard to believe that one short week ago I was stepping off the Solstice. It's not really fair for me to write a review. Because I was doing a Dialysis cruise, I had a very different experience than the average guest.
I do have to say that I was truly awed at what a beautiful ship she is. Loaded with quiet intimate places. It reminded me of the living rooms the kids aren't allowed in.
I mostly just wanted to take the opportunity to share my amazement over a brave, dynamic group of people. In my everyday job on land, I see many people who view their dialysis treatment as a death sentence. They are literally dying from kidney failure.
I spent my week on the Solstice with a group who are living with kidney failure.
One woman has been in training since November. She did the Rainforest zipline canopy tour in San Juan and did a snuba excursion on St. Thomas.
Another man, who uses a wheelchair to get around, found the strength to go parasailing.
Another man had his treatment scheduled later in the day because he runs three miles every morning.
Still another was almost in tears because he thought his cruising days were over and he felt like he'd been liberated.
One gentleman was very ill, but his life's dream was to bring his whole family on a cruise. He thought that he had missed that chance. And bring his family he did. There were sons, daughters, grandkids, fiances. They were laughing and dancing and having a great time.
People say it's wonderful that nurses can combine their passion for cruising with their compassion for healing, but I'm the one who gets the gift. It always renews my belief in the strength of the human spirit.
If you're ever on a ship and see the Dialysis at Sea signs down by the medical center, know that you are traveling with a group of dynamic people who won't get caught up in thinking of themselves as ill!
What a wonderful post! My uncle has required dialysis for many years, and also loves to travel. He hasn't cruised in a long time (personal preference), yet he was able to enjoy many trips to China and other countries due to the availability of this life-saving service.
I know you're not seeking thanks, yet I do thank you and other nurses for making this possible. The examples you provided are wonderful and inspirational.
Thank you for such an inspirational post, Marsha. Thank you for all of your work! Nurses do the majority of the work, the doctor's take the bows. I know without my chemo nurses, I wouldn't have made it!