Update 29

February 21 - In to Vegas, flight okay, port scar fine except when hauling around the suitcases, no problem with my arm, no sign whatsoever of lymphedema. Delta lost one of my bags, will deliver it later to the hotel. Knew I was in trouble when I was waiting for my bags and I hear my name called on the loud speaker to go to the Delta baggage office! The hotel did not have a double room so gave me a king until Monday. Got up to the room and found that the two part bar that keeps the door from opening all the way was missing one of its parts! Had to change rooms. Napped for three hours. Can't unpack since I have to move.

Bag was supposed to be here at 8 p.m., didn't get here until 1:30 a.m.! Of course, my good clothes, coat and toiletries were in the bag that was late so I pulled together an outfit and met my friends for dinner and we went to Wolfgang Puck's at the Venetian for dinner. Delicious dinner and great company. Did have a bit of a cry when I went to bed, I guess due to stress about my room problem and the late bag.

February 22 - Didn't sleep well at all, bed is hard as a rock! However, I do have my luggage so that is a definite plus. Met my high school friend, Jan, for lunch. How fun! She is a nail technician and her daughter works for the mayor of Las Vegas so she brought me a goody bag with wonderful nail products (wouldn't you know - I have the worst nails of anyone I know since I like to dig in the dirt and always have my hands in some paint related stuff!) and an engraved glass dish with the Las Vegas seal and a pen from the mayor's office! I was Sassy Simone for today. We had a lovely lunch, some other friends came over to our table in the restaurant so I introduced Jan and then we all hugged, they were very glad to see me looking well! Went out with Jan to met her family, we will now meet for lunch every year since I go there every February! She is also a survivor - eleven years if I remember correctly!

Went back to my room and did some work, then went down to my first class of the convention. Sassy Simone again. My part tonight was just helping out, but after four hours I was tired and ready for bed.

February 23 - What a day! Up early, didn't sleep well - again! Romantic Rose today! My part of the class went very well, I was full of energy (always happens when I teach even with no sleep!) and the class responded well. I was energized during class but just sat there for awhile when I got back to the room. Called the front desk to get my room changed to two double beds instead of a king (we are a close family but not that close!) and had a hassle with the desk clerk. Was getting very angry when she said to hang on and then she came back with the info that they were upgrading me to a suite at no extra charge for my inconvenience! Off I went again, to the twenty-first floor (top floor) and was most pleasantly surprised to find I not only had the extra bed for Jen, but a guest bathroom, a living area with a couch, TV, end tables and large coffee table, a dining table that seats four, a bar with a sink and fridge that seats three in the first room! Through sliding doors to the bedroom that has a huge Jacuzzi tub, another TV, bed and mirrors everywhere (it is Vegas after all!) then……….on to the bathroom. Floor is green marble tiles, first doors were the huge closet, next door was to the sauna room (yes, room!!!) next door was for the potty room (complete with phone!), next door was to the shower - all the same green marble as the floor - so big it needed its own light! Then there were two huge mirrors back to back with their own sinks and then a long make-up counter area and chair with, of course, another mirror! No increase in price mind you. I went from a normal one room, bed, couch, dresser, bathroom, closet to…………paradise! Was going to wait and surprise Harold and Jen but then thought they would come here and leave thinking they had the wrong room! Finally unpacked, had a nice dinner all by myself (switched back to Sassy Simone) and went to bed early. This bed is much softer but I still didn't sleep well. The "girls", Rose and Sophia hang in the closet by their tags and Simone hangs on a robe hook! Wonder what the maid thinks? Well, it is Vegas after all, I'm sure she has seen more startling things than wigs!

February 24 - Another "What a day!" Sassy Simone today. Started off with having no paint in class (36 students!) at 8 a.m. Not a good thing when you are teaching a painting class! Project was a basket lid and there were no basket bottoms either! Stress level was way up there I can tell you! Did find some paint, basket bottoms will be located or mailed to students so all was fine, finally! Students were great! Rested a bit, walked the trade floor as companies were setting up, delivered "Bag 'o Bras" to my friend who had requested just one. (Remember I offered them all to anyone who wanted them???? Now I do not even own a bra!) Then had lunch with a friend and my PaintWorks editor, Linda and she liked my ideas for future columns so that was great. Finished there and went to teach my part at the PaintWorks Painting Party for 100! Changed to Romantic Rose. Left after my part was over as exhaustion was beginning to set in and I have class at 8 a.m. in the morning! Nice to go back to my "fancy" room and relax!

February 25 - Slept better last night, thank heavens. Taught from 8-12 and then 1-5, thirty-six students per class in Sassy Simone. Different projects, again great students! So wonderful when classes go well. Went to a meeting at 6 p.m., then to dinner with friends and then back to a party for an artist list I belong to and sat with my webmaster Marian and her husband, John! How fun that was to have a face to put with a name! She even won the item I donated for the raffle! Romantic Rose was in attendance. Long day, getting pretty tired so off to bed.

February 26 - Class from 8-12, another full class of great students! Was Sassy Simone. Met Jen in the room at 1 p.m. She was pleasantly surprised by the room, too. Harold was late so we grabbed a salad and ate in the room instead of going out to lunch. Off to the convention trade floor as Sophisticated Sophia to demonstrate my brush (Margot's Miracle Brush) for the company that makes it (Royal Brush) for an hour, then on to demo for another company I represent (Mayco Magic Metallics) from 4-6 p.m. Up to the room for a brief visit with Harold and Jen and then off to another Special Event for Mayco from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Whew! Really tired now! Harold and Jen were both sound asleep when I got back to the room. Harold was out in the living room on the rollaway bed and Jen was in the King bed! Wonder how she managed that!

February 27 - Jen managed to get the bed because Harold finally admitted that he snores! He was very tired as he worked all night on Wednesday, dropped Jen at the airport and then missed his own flight getting the truck parked! Caught a later flight but he was wiped out and when he gets really tired, he snores big time! Figured it would be better for all if he was in another room! I did sleep well last night. Probably because I was surrounded by my family!

Off to teach class, 8-12, 36 students one more time as Sassy Simone. Again, a great class! Cannot believe all my classes had such wonderful students! Up to the room changed my clothes and wig to Sophia and off to the trade floor to do demos until three when the trade floor closed. I will say by then I was feeling the long hours and my brain was beginning to feel a bit fuzzy. Hard to concentrate. However, I was done so that was okay! Off to the room, changed again, outfit and wig to Rose. Marian and John met us in the room at 5:30 and we all went to dinner. Back to the room around 9 p.m. We took pictures and I changed into Sassy Simone because that was the only persona Marian and John hadn't seen! Then everyone left and I crashed! I made it through the whole week of the convention!

Those were all the days as far as work went. What I didn't say was how many hugs and well wishes I received. I must admit it was fun being the center of attention! The Perky Twins were very well received - I did have to show off now and then how I can make them jump! They were just ever so slightly sore on the sides. Port scar only itched a couple of times so I guess that nasty steroid shot worked. It was so good to see everyone again and they all seemed relieved to see I really was okay. So many people came up to me, those I knew and many that I didn't, to tell me they had read the journals and that they passed them on to other friends. I truly am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to share my story with others.

February 28 - Slept in till 7 p.m. We had a leisurely breakfast then Jen and I headed to shop on the Las Vegas Strip. First went to the M&M store to show her all the colors in which you can buy M&M's. Amazing, how about mauve and lilac and beige???????? On to Walgreen's of all places - Jen wanted souvenirs and the airport shuttle driver told her that was the best place. On and on we walked. Our destination was Caesar's Palace to see the shops at the Forum and the moving statues. Found a shop there called Crazy Shirts and got one for Harold that had been dyed green with real, shredded, cancelled money and one for Jaime that had been dyed brown with real Ghiradelli chocolate! Jaime is of the opinion that if dessert does not contain chocolate - it is not real dessert! Left there, stopped by the Bellagio to pick up our tickets for tonight's performance of the Cirque de Soleil show "O." On to New York, New York for dinner. Went to Gonzales, Gonzalez (home of the original inside, outside, inside, outside, restaurant of my friend from Sweden, Bibbi). Back to the hotel to change (really thought I might give out, Jen was concerned I was "breathing funny" but did rally after a brief rest) and then back in a taxi to Bellagio for "O." Absolutely incredible performance. We were four rows back from the stage!!!!!!!!! Jen and I still have the tickets Harold gave us for Christmas to see the Cirque de Soleil show in Orlando called La Nouba and are very excited to see that one, too. Took a taxi back to the hotel, into bed as we have to get up at 4 a.m. to get to the airport!

February 29 - Home at last. I am exhausted but I did it! Not only did I do what I was supposed to, I did all of it plus some! Not bad! I had some times when I was breathing heavy and my brain was beginning to turn to mush but I did it! I never fumbled in class, was a bit worried about that part since I still don't feel I am operating mentally at full capacity but I guess that information is firmly in place! I was always full of energy in class - was very happy I could keep that up! I wander all over the room when I teach, never sit down unless it is to demonstrate something so use up a lot of energy in class. Was tired afterwards but not to the point I couldn't go on. Hardest day was Wednesday when I had back-to-back classes with only an hour in between. No time to rest, as you have to set up for the next class during that hour. But, I did it! Must have been all the prayers and well wishes I know come from all of you!

No photo again! Still unpacking! Next time for sure!

Love to you all,

Margot and the Perky Twins - If I have any new name now, it is Normal Norma!

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