Off We Go, Into the Wild Blue Yonder

25 01 2012
The Disney Dream Cruise Ship. Photo courtesy of Disney.

All this planning and waiting and waiting and planning and it’s finally HERE! We are packing the last of our bags and then we are off to our very first Disney Cruise, just us three — Don, me, and Theo. It is fitting that the ship’s name is the Disney Dream, because being able to sail aboard it is a dream come true for all of us.

We began planning this get-away back in October. Even then, two months before we found the cancer had spread to my bones and I broke my pelvis, I had the wherewithall to purchase trip insurance that would reimburse us 100 percent should I not be able to board the boat. I’m glad we had that to lean on, because in the days following last week’s radiation, I really wondered if I could make the trip. Last weekend is a fog, and Monday and Tuesday were only slightly better. Last night, just before bed, long after Theo had fallen asleep, Don said to me, “You know, if this trip is too much for you right now, we can cancel. It’s OK honey. We can do it another time.”

Thank God today I woke up feeling sooooooooooo much better than I have in a very long time. I am blessed and very grateful. My sister Julie, who knew I was really struggling yesterday, said she woke up at 4 a.m. and prayed and prayed that I’d be OK. God heard and answered her prayers.

We are off to the Disney Dream, which is the newest in the fleet of Disney Cruise Ships. Our room has a balcony and I envision myself sitting out on it, soaking up some much needed Vitamin D, reading a great book. The second night’s theme is Pirates of the Carribean and Disney lights off a fireworks display over the water. The ship has lots of firsts — including a water roller coaster with a clear tube that shoots out over the water and back. I won’t be doing that one, as I’m sure it’s not safe for my body right now, but I’ll sure enjoy watching Don and Theo!

We are off to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. We will learn about the Stingrays and have an opportunity to pet the dolphins. The kids’ club aboard is absolutely amazing — a total wonderland of everything Disney. And Don and I are looking forward to lots of sunning and sitting, repeat.

After 11 months of hard-core IV chemo, including an experimental agent, and now, radiation and oral chemotherapy for the past two months, it’s time for Don, Theo and I to get away from it all and enjoy lots of fun in the sun together. So, that’s what we’ll be doing for the next several days.

I will be taking lots of pictures and I’ll return to blogging when we get back. For now, though, it’s Bon Voyage as we head for sea, sun and sand.

Copyright 2012, Amy Rauch Neilson




34 responses

25 01 2012

Have fun! fun! fun! Can’t wait to see the pics!

25 01 2012
Maija Kibens


25 01 2012
Mia H.

Have a safe and marvelous trip.

25 01 2012
Marie Petrides

Amy I am truly estatic for you and your beautiful family. Have a wonderful time on your dream vacation. May all of your wishes come true. Love and light and most of all Happy Healing……ENJOY!!!!!!!!

25 01 2012
Chelsea L.

Bon voyage, Amy. So nice to hear about this.

25 01 2012

And the weather is BEAUTIFUL here in sunny Florida! Have a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time!

25 01 2012
Kristi Rugh Kahl

YEAH off you go!! Have a WONDERFUL time! I’m so happy for the 3 of you and excited for you to experience a well deserving fun in the sun trip. See you when you get back! xoxoxo

25 01 2012
Melinda Beattie

Have a wonderful Disney time!

25 01 2012
Kathy Fecher

Bon Voyage Amy, Don and Theo! May all your dreams come true on this MUCH deserved vacation. Soak up the sun and bask in the love…praying that you have safe and happy, happy travels.

25 01 2012


I am so happy that you are able to go. My thoughts and prayers have been wih you always. You all need this getaway together. Have some fun and enjoy your family. I am looking forawrd to hearing about your experience.

Take care and God Bless you all….

25 01 2012

So very excited and happy for you, Don and Theo! Wishing you a fabulous trip 🙂

25 01 2012
Scott Orwig

We’ll be watching for pictures! In your picture it looks like the Disney Dream was just hit by three torpedoes, but I’m sure they’ll have it all fixed up by the time you get there.

25 01 2012
kerri daugherty

Have fun u so deserve it. See you when u guys get back. 🙂

25 01 2012

Have a great time on your trip!

25 01 2012
Julie Sturgeon

Smooth sailing to you, Amy.

25 01 2012

Enjoy every moment of your trip. You all deserve it so much! Have a great time!
Bon voyage to the three of you!
A bientot!

25 01 2012
John Eckardt

You and your family have fun, enjoy soaking up that D, miss you and your family.

25 01 2012
Deb Peters

Have fun. Enjoy your time with the men in your life. I thank the Lord that you felt good enough to go on this amazing trip. Can’t wait to see pictures.

25 01 2012
brian Murphy


25 01 2012
Lori McGuire

Have a magical time with your family Amy. It is an understatement to say you and your family deserve this more than anyone I could think of. Have fun in the sun!!!! We saw the stingrays once and it was quite an overwhelming experience. Guess I am a bit whimpy…Have the time of your lives!!!xoxoxoxo

25 01 2012
Laura Kasischke

God bless you!!!! Will be thinking of you every day!!!

25 01 2012


25 01 2012

Have a wonderful awesome time with Don and Theo. If anyone deserves this wonderful vacation, you certainly do! Can’t wait to see a pic of you reading on your balcony and just enjoying the sunshine! Does a heart good just thinking of it. Love ya!

25 01 2012
Debbie V

Have a great time with your family. Debbie V.

25 01 2012
Kimberly Brown

Yay Amy!!! Disney is where dreams come true…..and I hope all your dreams come true. Take lots of pics, and take some time to journal about the trip, the time up to the trip. You have so much insight….
My husband and I subscribe to a photo site that we can have out pics put into a hard cover book, and add our own commentary. We can arrange the pics on the pages, pick the background….it’s a lot of fun. We did our wedding pics on it….I hope you will think of doing something like that with all of the memories that you create while on this so very deserved vacation. I will look forward to your pics, and hearing how very wonderful this whole trip will be. Blessed Be my dear……

25 01 2012

All your fans (and that’s what we are!) wish you an amazing dream vacation…….and that you come back fully recharged and abounding with good health!

25 01 2012
Teresa Phillips

Hope you feel great and can enjoy this with your son and husband! God Bless

26 01 2012

Hi Amy,
It’s a dream come true for you and your family. I have never been on any of their cruises, but I know Disney is a land of make believe for adults and kids and you can put yourself in another world. Have a terrific time and will look forward to seeing the pictures and hearing about all your adventures.
Stay well.

26 01 2012
Helene Rabinowitz

Off you go Amy, Don and Theo….enjoy every moment!!!!

26 01 2012
Cathy Carey

I’m so happy you get to make your trip. Rest well, enjoy the sun and some wonderful family time.

27 01 2012

Have a safe and relaxing time with those two special men in your life! You certainly have earned a vacation!! Looking forward to hearing about your adventure. Soak up some sun, sand, and enjoy looking at the stars at night from your balcony. Dream big on that dream cruise!

27 01 2012
Val R.

Have a wonderful trip!

28 01 2012
Sandy Sherman-Sarlund

SO happy that you get to go on this well needed trip with your “boys.” Disney is the perfect place for the three of you, wishes & dreams do come true!

Happy sailing, take lots of pictures & relax & enjoy being a family 🙂

30 01 2012

Enjoy the cruise, you three!!
Juerge n

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