Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I know - I'm a day late in wishing everyone Merry Christmas. Better late than never. It seems like this holiday season has raced by so quickly. Troy and I are definitely looking forward to a new year and a new start.

We will have the new boat survey done on Friday and that will probably be the deciding factor in whether we buy her or not. We are both really excited about owning a bigger boat.

We had a wonderful Christmas at my mom's house and then, later in the day we had dinner at Jessica and David's house with all of our kids. It was so much fun to get to have all the girls and their families together in one place.

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through! ~Author Unknown

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.” (Luke 2:13-14, NLT)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Signed Contract

We did it! We signed on the dotted line and now the fun begins. Next week we will have the new boat surveyed and go on a sea trial. Hopefully it will all work out and we will own a new boat in the next few weeks. We are both really excited. 2008 is starting out so much better than 2007 did!

Remember - all my sailing friends - Different Drummer will be for sale soon. We sure do hate to part with her, she's a great boat - so don't forget to spread the word!

"I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving - we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it - but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor."-- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! (Luke 2:8-10 NLT)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Anticipation!!!!!

We did it! We finally made a decision to make an offer on a new boat. She's a 1982 Morgan Out Island 416. We are in negotiations now and are hoping to have a deal hashed out today. We have been agonizing over this decision for weeks now and it feels good to finally decide (one way or the other). Now - we just need to wait and see. If it works out then I guess it was meant to be, if not, we still love Different Drummer!

Here's a picture of the "hopefully soon to be purchased" new boat. Her name is s/v Escape, but we will most likely rename her.

If this all works out then we will have a boat for sale pretty soon. Spread the word!!!!!!

"The ocean has always been a salve to my soul...the best thing for a cut or abrasion was to go swimming in salt water. Later down the road of life, I made the discovery that salt water was also good for the mental abrasions one inevitably acquires on land."
-Jimmy Buffett

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What a Week!



Wow - It's been quite a week for the Jones Family. First, Troy got his great news from the PET Scan. Now we can relax a little and try to get back to normal (whatever that means). We are just so happy to have that behind us for now. He won't need to go back for another scan until March.
We had a great time at the TMCA Commodore's Ball. Troy looked so handsome in his tux! We had a great time and really enjoyed seeing everyone looking their best. We were very honored and surprised to receive the Don Smith Memorial Award of Mariners of the Year. We definitely didn't expect that. We had made so many great friends through the TMCA and are looking forward to lots of sailing with them in the coming year.

We are still agonizing over making an offer on a new boat. I think we will probably make a decision one way or the other in the next day or so. Right now we are leaning toward making the offer. It would be nice to have more room, but we sure would miss Different Drummer. It's been a much harder decision that I thought it would be. Stay tuned!

Now - bring me that horizon. (The last line from Pirates of the Caribbean)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Woo Hooo - Yippeee

Dr. Jac just called Troy with his PET Scan results. NO CANCER! Wonderful news. I think this is the best Christmas present ever.

We have big plans this weekend. We are going to the Texas Mariners Crusing Association's Commodore's Ball. We get to get all dressed up and go to a party. I can't tell you how excited Troy is about wearing a tux. This will be the first time I've ever seen him in one in the 11 years I've known him (sorry Jessica). I'll be sure to take lots of pictures.

A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work. ~John Lubbock

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:36

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Overdue Update


I know, I know. It's been way too long. Everyone who normally reads our blog has probably given up on ever seeing anything different! Really, no news is good news - so they say, whoever "they" are! We are doing great. Troy is feeling better and stronger every day. He still has issues with eating and dumping syndrome, but that is to be expected. He went back to work last week! That was a milestone for us, especially for Troy. He says it felt good to get back to work.

Check out the article I wrote for an online news paper with news about boating around the Galveston/Clear Lake Area. I think it's on page 7 on - http://www.waterfrontbeatonline.com/ - Byron is doing a great job keeping us educated and informed with The Water Front Beat!

We had a great Thanksgiving with my family. We didn't get to sail to Double Bayou for the annual French Picnic because the weather was really cold and windy, not to mention rainy. A few brave souls did make the trip and we hear that they had a great time. I hate that we missed out, but we sure were warm and cozy!

Troy has his PET Scan next week and we are a little nervous about that. I try not to worry and I am usually successful in that endeavour, but when it's time for the actual testing I just can't help but to worry a little more. After we get the "all clear" that we expect, we will be happy for another 3 months or so until the next test.

Check our our video of John's boat s/v Buddha sailing over to Double Bayou:

video

"Not all who wander are lost." - JRR Tolkien

Monday, November 19, 2007

Double Bayou Sailing

We had an awesome sail over to our favorite sailing destination (Double Bayou) a couple of weeks ago. The weather was perfect and the sailing was great. We took our new friends John and Cheryl (s/v Buddha) with us. It was their first time to sail over and of course they had a great time. You have to try really hard to have a bad time over there. More new friends, Trey, Kat and Anne on s/v Dawn Treader also sailed over. We spent the weekend playing in the dingy and kayaks and trying everything on Ernestine's menu!

It was also a weekend cruise for several of the area sailing clubs so there were several sail boats that went up the bayou. The game warden was also really active that weekend. They were checking boats for registration and for proper safety equipment.

We did have a little adventure Saturday night. We had heard that there was a woman who broke her ankle on one of the boats that were up the bayou. They brought her back down on a small boat and she was taken to Anahuac by ambulance. Apparently they were not able to treat her at the Anahuac hospital so she was taken by life flight (seems a little drastic for a broken ankle) to Houston. The police brought her husband back to Channel Marker 17, but he needed a ride back up the bayou a couple of miles back to his boat. His name is Andrew and I really wish I could find out what happened with his wife. I'm sure everything turned our fine. Anyway - Troy, Andrew and I headed up the bayou - boy was it dark! The really cool part of the journey was the phosphorescence in the water. There was lots of bright green glowing "stuff" in the water. The prop on our dingy churned up the water and it looked like we had a light under there lighting up the water. Really cool looking.

We have plans to spend Thanksgiving at Double Bayou with the TMCA, but the weather is looking so bad that we are re-thinking those plans. We are really disappointed, but, on the bright side, I will get the spend the day with my family.

"The only way to get a good crew is to marry one."
~ Eric Hiscock

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Photos

I know, I know - it's been way too long between posts. We had a blast on Isla Mujeres and as soon as we got home Troy took off on a Morgan 41' sailboat with some friends to help them get to Pensacola. He went as far as Houma, Louisiana and rented a car for the drive home. It took them about 7 days to make it to Houma in the ICW and about 5 hours for Troy to drive back home!

Troy is doing great these days. He had a visit with Dr. Jac (his oncologist) a couple of days ago. His bloodwork looks great the he will have a PET Scan before the end of the year. We are anticipating that he will get a NED (No Evidence of Disease) result from the PET Scan.

I will try to get caught up and start posting again. Hopefully everyone is still looking in every now and then.

Here's a couple of great pictures from our Isla vacation:







Friday, October 19, 2007

Life Is Good Here on Isla

We are still having a great time - just hanging out and enjoying the beautiful scenery and the wonderful culture of Isla. Here's picture of our view from Jax as we eat breakfast, check email and post to the blog. Not much news to post, just day after day of enjoying each others company. This has been a perfect vacation after the year that we have had.



Check out the sunset from the roof of the dive shop!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Troy's Birthday!

Today is Troy's birthday and we are spending it on beautiful Isla Mujeres! We're having a wonderful time. The weather has been great. It rains almost everyday, but usually for no more than 20-45 minutes. The humidity has been pretty low and there is a continuous breeze that keeps everything just right.

We are just taking it easy - our motto - "Plans? What Plans?" Most days we head for the beach right after breakfast, then, when we get tired of lazing around on the beach we head for the room and a nice siesta. Then, later on we walk into town for a stroll and dinner. What a life. I could get used to this!

We rented a gilf cart yesterday and spent most of the day crusing around and taking in the wonderful views. Life is good!

We have noticed lots of changes to our quiet little island. Mostly construction of condos everywhere. These condos are expensive and are marketed to foreigners. I can only imagine what this will mean to Isla. It makes me sad, but I guess nothing stays the same forever. I can only hope that it will be good for the economy and for the people who live here.

Another sad development is the erosion of Playa Norte. The beach here changes continually, but we have never seen it like this. I hate to see the beautiful palm trees falling into the sea. The local government and beachfront property owners are busy filling sandbags and doing what they can to stop the erosion. Hopefully it will not be a futile effort. The spot where this photo was taken was a large beautiful beach just a few short weeks ago. Luckily there are still portions of the beach that are bigger than ever.

Gotta run - the sun is out and the water is just right!




Sunday, October 14, 2007

We're Here!

We are having a great time here on Isla. The weather has been sunny/rainy/cloudy. We've never been here at this time of year, most of the time we are here in the summer. It's kinda nice that it's not blazing hot. Lots of things have changed since our last visit, but it feels really great to be back. Especially with our new found appreciation of life!

We're sitting in a sports bar (Jax) and drinking a bucket of beer while we use the wireless inernet. Life is good and i'm so glad to be here istead of a hospital somewhere.. the Texans lost today but it's not the end of the season for them.... we are watching the Cowboys right now..


This is our test of posting in Spanish - all of the blogspot instructions and posts are in Spanish here. Hopefully we will have success!


This guy visits our patio each morning hoping Troy will throw him a peanut!

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Countdown Has Begun!


We are counting down to Mexico! We're both ready to get there and spend some time with just each other, relaxing and having fun and trying to forget all the worries of the past year. I will try to update the blog while we are there so check back often.

I'm hoping to see a few sunsets just like the one in the picture

Troy is getting better every day. He still has some problems after he eats, but that is to be expected. I figure some beach time will work wonders for him!

If you're lucky enough to be at the beach...then you're lucky enough! -- Author:?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Kayaks!

Troy finally got to paddle his kayak yesterday afternoon! He hasn't been able to paddle since before his surgery (because of the recovery and the PICC line). We went for a nice long paddle when I got home from work. The weather was perfect and Troy got to work on strengthening his arms and shoulders. It felt great.

This weekend is the "In The Water Boat Show" at Watergate Marina. Check it out at: http://houstonboatshow.com/ If anyone is interested it is a great chance to see some awesome yachts.

"If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most."
-E. B. White

Update

Not much new going on, but I wanted to post and let everyone know that Troy is feeling a little better every day. He still tires pretty easily, but we are hoping he will be getting a little stronger with each passing day. He was happy when he could finally dive into the deep end of the pool and not worry about his PICC line. He was not happy to find out how difficult it is to swim since they cut his muscle (the one across you back and under your arm) in half during his surgery.

We went to see the Texans play on Sunday. We had great seats (thanks Kenneth!) and really enjoyed the game. Troy started feeling kinda bad and we had to leave toward the end of the 3rd quarter, but it was good to get out and root for our team.

We are planning to go to Isla Mujeres in mid October to celebrate Troy's recovery and his birthday. We can't wait to get there! We are really looking forward to spending some time together and enjoying our favorite place. I know just the palm tree that I plan on spending plenty of afternoons under with a good book.


We are really enjoying living on our boat. It's a great community and I love getting home and being on the water.

Thanks for the comments. It's great to see who's reading the blog. John A - you were my next guess!

We hit the sunny beaches where we occupy ourselves keeping the sun off our skin, the saltwater off our bodies, and the sand out of our belongings. ~Erma Bombeck

Friday, September 21, 2007

NO MORE CHEMO!!!!

This is it - it's over and done! Troy saw Dr. Jac yesterday and the chemo pump and PICC line were removed. He doesn't even have to go back to see the doctor for a whole month. That's a milestone considering that all year he's been to the doctor or hospital almost weekly (at least several times each month). No more tubes, lines or chemicals!!!!!

It feels good to know that now his job is just to feel better and get stronger. There will be another PET Scan in December, but right now that seems like forever away.

We are looking forward to sailing, enjoying our boat and taking a nice long vacation for Troy's birthday coming up in October.

By the way - I like to get comments from everyone reading our blog, so don't forget that you can post comments to us and we love to hear from you!

Cancer is a word, not a sentence. ~John Diamond

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Double Bayou Weekend

We got a chance to sail to our favorite destination Saturday morning. Our friend Joe went with us and we left really early. It was a pretty rough ride over as the bay was very choppy that morning. I was really glad to get there and get tied up to the dock!

We had a wonderful weekend we were also joined by a couple of other TMCA boats - Ed and Marion Herndon on s/v Remedy and Kent and Joellen Davis on s/v Charisma, plus several other "Channel Marker Regular Boats". We took a short dinghy ride up the bayou on Saturday. After the leisurely ride Ed challenged me to a dinghy race - of course I accepted. We dropped off our passengers and headed back up the bayou to find a suitable racing spot. After I beat him soundly twice in a row his motor died - then I had to tow him back home. Sorry Ed - I just had to tell the story!

Sunday morning was beautiful. Low humidity, blue skies. We couldn't ask for a better day. It almost makes me look forward to fall (I will miss summer though). Ernestine cooked us a fabulous Channel Marker Breakfast and we headed out for a motor sail home.

Troy is feeling OK these days, but he still battles nausea and he can't wait to get some of his energy and stamina back, but we can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. His last day of chemo is Thursday!!!!

Here's a great shot of s/v Remedy on the way back across Trinity Bay:

Who is staring at the sea is already sailing a little. ~Paul Carvel

Fun Friday Night

As soon as I arrived home Friday night I noticed that our air conditioner return (where the water that cools the a/c runs out of the boat) was dripping out at half it's normal rate. Usually that means we need to clean the filter, so Troy got busy with that right away. He soon noticed that there was no water running into the filter. We messed with it for quite a while and finally Troy got a wire coat hanger and pushed it into the hose. We soon discovered that we had sucked a small fish (about 3-4 inches) into the intake. Needless to say he wasn't feeling to good when we pulled him out. Kind of reminded me of Nemo - bet he wished he would have never touched the butt!!!!!


Later that evening Troy got to break out his guitar and play. Some of our new friends in the marina are getting a band together and they set up to practice and everyone gathered around and had a wonderful evening listening to the music. They were great and they even let Troy play and sing. His voice is really coming back - not 100% yet, but enough that he can sing a few songs. It really felt good to hear him singing and playing guitar and enjoying himself. Everyone had so much fun that we are trying to make it a weekly event! The picture is kinda dark but I wanted to post it anyway.


And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the ArabsA
nd as silently steal away.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Day Is Done

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Humberto

We survived our fist "named storm" on Different Drummer! We spent Wednesday afternoon/evening making the boat ready for a visit from Humberto with a couple of extra lines and we tied the kayaks down and adjusted fenders in preparation of the tidal surge. Most of that was totally unnecessary as we received some rain and wind, but nothing to cause concern. Even the tides cooperated. Oh well - it's good practice for storm preparation.

Troy got his last infusion pump of 5FU today. Dr. Jac told him today that he will remove the PICC line next week and Troy will be done with chemo! Wooo - hoooo!!!!!! Yippeeeeee! Then he will only see the oncologist every 3 months, then eventually every 6 months, then every year and some day - never again!

Troy wasn't feeling so great this afternoon, but he is staying positive and looking forward to the great weather and our sail this weekend.

I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future. ~Author Unknown

Monday, September 10, 2007

Update

Troy is still hangin' in there. The last couple of days have been a little difficult because he has been nauseous and just feeling bad in general. He says that he can feel the chemicals in him. He is so ready to feel better. I sure am glad that we are nearing the end of chemo, I really can't wait to see him feeling better.

We're planning to sail to Double Bayou this weekend. It's our favorite sailing destination and Troy is ready to get out there on the water. We can't wait to see our friends on Oak Island (Double Bayou). I just hope he's feeling better so that he can enjoy the weekend (funny how it's Monday and I'm already looking forward to the weekend).

To feel keenly the poetry of a morning's roses, one has to have just escaped from the claws of this vulture which we call sickness. ~Henri Frederic Amiel

Friday, September 7, 2007

We've Been Released!

We're back home to Different Drummer. Troy was released from the hospital at about 2:00 today. He had his last round of epirubin and cisplatin (the "bad" chemos) and has two more weeks of the 5FU (the "not so bad" chemo). Hopefully after that he will be able to concentrate on feeling better and getting stronger. Needless to say - we are both thrilled to have this part of the treatment behind us.

We got home this afternoon and immediately had to take the boat over to the pump out station because our holding tank was full. Troy felt well enough to get that done even though we had to battle a brisk wind getting the boat back into the slip. He's quite the captain though and of course he handled the boat beautifully. I can't begin to put down in words how impressed I have been with him through this whole ordeal (and I don't mean the pump out). He has been so strong and so positive and such an inspiration to me. I am so fortunate to be married to such a wonderful man.

Troy is feeling OK considering. He has moments of feeling nauseous and he has no appetite right now. It will take him about a week to a week and a half to get enough of the bad chemo out of his system so that he can start feeling better most of the time.

This should be a beautiful weekend and we plan to do our best to enjoy it!!!!!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you" declares the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11-14 NIV

Thursday, September 6, 2007

One Last Time!

We're back at Methodist Hospital for the last time! I was counting this morning and this is Troy's seventh stay here this year. What a year it's been. It's impossible to explain how happy we are that this is the last one. It's a great place to be if you're sick, of course that's why we hope to leave tomorrow and never return.

We're getting settled in and waiting for the epirubicin (chemo) to show up from the hospital pharmacy. The sooner they start the sooner we can get out of here! We are expecting to be released tomorrow afternoon.

Troy will also have an X-ray done today or tomorrow because Dr. Jac wants to see if there is still fluid in his lung, we suspect that there is because Troy has been having some pretty bad coughing episodes lately. If the fluid is still there they will drain it by inserting a needle into his lung. The doctor says that it's "no big deal" but Troy believes that's because they aren't sticking the needle in his lung!

I promise to post an update tomorrow.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

We're Home!

But now "home" is Different Drummer. We made the official move on Friday and we spent most of the weekend making room for our "stuff". So far so good! I have the rest of the week off of work, so, of course, it's gonna rain every day! At least it will give us time to adjust to the new living arrangements and get settled in.

Troy is doing OK - he had a good day on Saturday. We went sailing with Kenny and Ronda. It was a great sail with just enough wind and plenty of good company. After the sail we took a dinghy ride, then Kenny and Troy brought out the guitars and entertained us at the Table of Knowledge. It was a great day.

Troy didn't feel so good on Sunday. He was nauseous and his leg and ankle where the blood clot are have really swollen up this weekend. I guess maybe he's been on his feet a little more than usual. He is wearing his sexy TED hose and trying to keep his leg elevated.

So far today has been great. We woke up this morning and took a dingy ride out into the lake and past the Kemah Boardwalk. It sure looks deserted on a Tuesday morning! Then back to the pool for some swimming and sun. Yes, the sun came out today! Of course we are now getting the afternoon showers that make the 40% chance of rain into a reality.

The plan is for Troy to be back in the hospital on Thursday for the last round of the "bad" chemo! Even though we are dreading it, it will be good to get it over and done!"

Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." ~Kenneth Grahame (Wind in The Willows)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dr. Visit

Troy had blood work done and saw Dr. Jac today. Basically, the doctor took him off of the chemo for this week to let his body rest and recuperate. Next Thursday he will go back into the hospital for the last round of the "bad" chemo. Then he will have another 2-3 weeks of the "not so bad" chemo. Then - God willing, he will be done with chemo forever! It feels pretty good to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

He's feeling about the same these days, mostly just tired. We are still packing up for the big move and this weekend we will spend at the boat trying to make sure that everything that we "can't live without" will fit into our little space. I have a feeling that you start figuring out that you can live without lots of the stuff that you think you need. That's part of the beauty of living on the boat.

Gotta run - I have packing to do!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Weekend Report

We had a nice quiet weekend at the boat. Troy felt pretty good on Saturday. We went out to lunch with some friends at Joe Lee's Seafood and Troy ate a whole shrimp po boy - and he didn't even get sick. That's the most he's eaten since before his surgery! Saturday was a pretty good day for him. Sunday was another story - he just didn't feel well all day. I guess it's normal to have some good days and some bad days.

We are contemplating making a move to live on the boat for a while. We are excited about it because we are always there and of course, we love being on the water. We figure we have the perfect opportunity to try it out since Jessica and David (and of course, Tori) will stay at the house. This way we can test drive being "live aboards" without completely committing ourselves and leasing our house to strangers. I'm a little anxious about how to fit all my shoes and purseson the boat and still have room for us! Guess I'll just have to give up most of those for now.

I cannot not sail. - E.B. White

Friday, August 24, 2007

Finally Friday

It's Friday! I'm ready for the weekend. Troy's still not feeling too well. I guess chemo has that effect on a person. We are both trying to keep a good attitude about it all and looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.

The PET Scan gave us the great results of NED (No Evidence of Disease). So we feel good about that. Now if we can just get through this chemo and Troy can start eating/digesting food better. He still has the effects of the rearrangement of his stomach and the removal of his esophagus to deal with on top of the chemo, so if he feels like eating (rarely) he will usually have the dumping syndrome and be sick for an hour or more. Still - he will tell you "life is good". We know that he is going through all of this so that the cancer will stay away.

We are looking forward to enjoying the weekend as best we can. We have our Small Group friends coming down tomorrow morning and if we are lucky we will get to go sailing on s/v Kallisto (Greg and Jean's boat). They are planning to sell her so this might be our last chance to take her out on the bay. Hopefully Troy will feel up to that, it always makes him feel better to get out on the water.

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. ~H. Melville, Opening Line from Moby Dick

Monday, August 20, 2007

Weekend Report


We had a great weekend. Troy felt pretty lousy, but at least he had a great place to feel bad in! We sailed to Double Bayou on s/v Remedy. Our hosts, Ed and Marion made us both feel right at home and made sure Troy always had a cool, comfortable place to rest.

We sailed over to Double Bayou with about 10-12 other boats for a TMCA "Gilligan's Island" party. The party was at Channel Marker 17, the bar that our good friends own. Jimbo and Ernestine did a great job feeding everyone a wonderful fried fish dinner. Jamie and Linda kept everyone happy with cold beer and drinks. The band, Tropical Depression, had everyone dancing all night. Everyone had lots of fun. I wish Troy would have been able to join in, unfortunately he spent most of the evening resting on Remedy.

We had a wonderful sail back home. It sure felt good to be back out on the bay under sail! The wind and the company were perfect, we even saw a pod of dolphins. Thanks again to Ed and Marion for taking us along!

Troy had blood work done this morning and an appointment with Dr. Jac. His blood work looks good and he will be continuing with the blood thinners and go back on Thursday for more blood work and to change out his infusion pump. Believe it or not, he forgot to ask the doctor about his PET Scan results, but we figure that we would definitely have been told if they found anything to worry about.


"For me, my craft is sailing on,
Through mists to-day, clear seas anon.
Whate'er the final harbor be
'Tis good to sail upon the sea!"
John Kendrick Bangs

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We're Home!

Home at last! We made it through all the water that Tropical Depression Erin dumped on Houston. Troy's tired, but glad to be home. We won't have the PET Scan results until next week, but we're not gonna worry about that. We are just hoping the Troy will feel good enough to make our sail that we have planned this weekend.

Looking forward to the weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)

We saw Dr. Jac this afternoon and he has decided that Troy will need to stay in the hospital for the next couple of days. We will probably go home tomorrow or Friday. He has ordered a PET Scan for tomorrow because he wants to see how everything looks because of the blood clot (DVT). He also plans for Troy to be on long term medication (at least a year) to thin his blood and prevent further clots.

After some additional research we found out that DVT is pretty common in cancer patients. Both because of the cancer and because of the chemotherapy used to treat it. Troy's mom also has Factor V Leiden which is the most common hereditary blood coagulation disorder in the U.S., and it causes blood clots, so that may also have something to do with this.

Dr. Jac has basically told us that since Troy has developed two clots since being diagnosed with cancer, the cancer and chemotherapy treatment are the most likely causes of the blood clots. He has ordered a PET Scan for tomorrow and even though he expects everything to be fine since Troy just had a CT Scan a month ago, we (at least this part of "we") are really nervous. I know that there are many of these scans and tests in our future, but it is pretty nerve wracking because if there are any cancer cells in his body this should show them. We are praying for (and expect) a clean scan tomorrow.

Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere. ~Glenn Turner

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Methodist Hospital - Here We Are Again

Troy's hair has been really coming out lately and even though it isn't coming out in batches, it was getting really thin so we decided to get a jump on the chemo and cut it all off! I think he's quite handsome, but he keeps laughing every time he sees himself in the mirror. It does take some time getting used to seeing him with no hair!

Troy's blood work was good enough to get him back on chemo, so we are back in the hospital again for another round. The plan is to spend the night here and get another round of epirubicin and cisplatin (those are the "bad" chemos). Then they will send him home with the 4FU infusion pump again (that's the "good" chemo). There really is no "good" chemo, I only use "good" and "bad" to describe the ones that have the worst side effects and make him sickest. He will probably feel pretty lousy for at least the next week.

Unfortunately, he started noticing some pain in his left leg yesterday and it was worse this morning. A doppler ultrasound confirmed this afternoon that he has another blood clot in his leg. He will be going back on the Lovenox (daily shots in the stomach) until they can get him on Coumadin, an oral blood thinner. He will probably be on that long term, we are guessing six months, but we are never right when we try to second guess these things.

We are still hoping to make our cruise to Double Bayou this weekend. We are planning to sail over with our friends Ed and Marion Herndon on their boat s/v Remedy. Their boat is wonderful and has a generator which means we can keep Troy cool and comfortable. We are hoping that he feels up to making the trip. Only time will tell.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Change of Plans

Troy had blood work done this morning and an appointment with Dr. Jac. We thought he would get the go ahead to be checked into the hospital tomorrow morning, but his white blood count was too low so Dr. Jac decided to stop all chemo, including the infusion pump for the next week. This wasn't totally unexpected, we had been prepared for this to happen, but we have mixed feelings about it all. We weren't looking forward to the hospital stay and the chemo that we know will make him sick for the next week, but we want to get this all over with and behind us and this will delay that. I think the plan is to stop the chemo just long enough for Troy to start feeling better and get his blood count up - build him up and knock him back down.

We are also disappointed because we are scheduled to lead a cruise for the TMCA on August 18th and if Troy has the chemo next week I doubt that he will be up to cruising across the bay. We had been looking forward to this cruise all year long. We will just have to wait and see what happens next week.

One thing we are beginning to realize is that this is no year to make plans. It seems like every time we plan something those plans are shot down. We are definitely looking forward to brighter days ahead.

"The cabin of a small yacht is truly a wonderful thing; not only will it shelter you from a tempest, but from the other troubles in life, it is a safe retreat."
-L. Francist Herreshoff

Monday, August 6, 2007

Smith Point!


We finally made it out of the marina! We sailed to Smith Point with the TMCA. We left out Saturday morning. What a feeling to be back out on the bay. It was great! We didn't get to sail much because there wasn't much wind. What little wind we could find was right on our nose. So we motor sailed and enjoyed the beautiful weather. We made it into Smith Point with no problems, got tied up safely and started cooling down the boat. TMCA had 20 boats and everyone had a great time. It's always a fun time at a TMCA event.

Check out the boats:




Here is Different Drummer ---------->


Check out the people!

So much fun - great company and great food. You just can't beat it.

On the way back Sunday morning Troy started feeling bad and had to go below and lay down for about an hour. I only mention this because it was the first time I had the cross the Houston Ship Channel by myself. It seems kinda scary when you see a ship like this coming at you:


But we've done it enough times together that it was no big deal. It just seemed like a milestone so I thought I would mention it.


Overall we had a great weekend and we are loving Watergate Marina more and more. There was a shrimp boil Sunday afternoon and that pool sure was inviting when we made it back from a long hot sail across the bay.


The bad news of the week is that Troy has to go back into the hospital on Wednesday for some more of the "bad" chemo. You know - as opposed to the "good" chemo that he's getting 24/7 through the infusion pump. The "bad" chemo (cisplatin and epirubicin) are the ones that make him sick for a week after he receives it. The "good" chemo (5FU) doesn't make him too sick on a daily basis, earning it the term "good". We really aren't looking forward to the "bad" chemo ordeal that we know is ahead of us - so please keep praying for Troy, that he won't get too sick and that he will feel better soon.


The other bad news is that he is starting to lose his hair. The next time y'all see him he will most likely be bald. He shaved his beard off today and I think his head is next. More fun with cancer treatment!!!!!!


"One ship drives east and another drives west,
With the selfsame winds that blow.
'Tis the set of the sails, and not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.


"Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through life:
'Tis the set of the soul which decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife."


-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox (Poet, 1850-1919)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Weekend at Watergate

I think it's rained so much in the last month that the meteorologists just decided to predict lots of rain - chances are they will be right. There was a 60% chance of rain this weekend so we scrubbed our sail to Double Bayou. It did rain on us this weekend, but only for about 30 minutes this afternoon. The weekend was beautiful! Sunshine with a few clouds. Thundershowers passed within several miles a couple of times, but they just cooled us off with the wind.
We are really enjoying our new marina. Everyone is so nice here and it's great to make new friends. We are really close to the pool and to the "Table of Knowledge" - more about that later!

Troy felt better than he has felt in months yesterday. He ate really well and spent time motoring around in the dinghy. We were thrilled that he did so well. He even played a little guitar for us at the poolside party that one of our new dock mates threw for his wife's birthday. Saturday was a wonderful day! Life is good.
Too bad today wasn't so good. Troy didn't feel good all day. After he ate lunch he had dumping problems and never really felt good after that. We are hoping that he will start feeling better as he gets the 2 bad chemos (cisplatin and epirubin) out of his system. He won't have to get those again until he goes back in the hospital, probably around August 8th so maybe he will have a couple more weeks of feeling good.
Next weekend, if Troy feels up to it and the weather cooperates, we are planning a sail to Smith Point with the TMCA (Texas Mariners Cruising Association). Check out the web site at http://www.tmca.nu/ lots of great people that love boats and love being out on the water. Here's picture of Different Drummer at Smith Point last year. It's an RV park with a bulkhead that can accommodate several boats complete with power hook ups. It's lots of fun to kayak and dinghy around and it's an easy sail from Clear Lake. You can usually spot some spoonbills - birds that are pink like flamingos but they have a bill with a spoon shape on the end.
Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~Henry James

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tueday Night

Troy here, it's Tuesday night and I thought I'd post on the blog.. Not too much to report, I'm eating a little better, not quite as sick as yesterday so it must be getting better.. just tired, but that's another side effect we expected. On another subject, we really like the new marina, we're right next to the pool,(that I can't get in ) we park just behind the boat so we don't have to walk far to the boat and we have great neighbors around us. Drawbacks are more money and I can't have my trailer on site, we always have it loaded with toys and tools and I'll miss the convenience of that but that's the rules. We're wanting to take a cruise this weekend to Double Bayou but the weather is looking iffy, I guess we'll see when the time comes to leave. Hey, life is good and thanks to all our friends for helping us out lately, I can't wait to repay some of the favors I've had to call in lately and I appreciate all of y'all. Thanks, Thanks, Thanks...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Moving Day

We spent the weekend at the boat and moved to another marina. We got notice last week that our piers will be demolished and we have until the end of August to find another home for Different Drummer. Luckily we knew that was coming so we had already made arrangements and we moved on Saturday since we had plenty of friends to help. We really like our new home - Watergate Yachting Center - and everyone is very friendly. We hated to break up our community at our old marina, we have been there almost 3 years and made so many great friends. I know that we will keep in touch with everyone, but it's just not the same as driving up on Friday afternoon and everyone is just there.

Troy is feeling pretty lousy these days. It's difficult to get him to eat anything. I try to get him to eat, but food just has no appeal to him. He told me today that the last time he weighed this amount was high school. The doctor tells us, and our own research confirms, that the chemo that he received in the hospital (cisplatin - which is a form of platinum, and epirubicin) are the ones that are making him feel so bad. The 5FU that he is receiving now shouldn't make him sick. We are hoping that he will start feeling better in the next day or so.

If Troy feels up to it we are planning to sail to Double Bayou next weekend. It's a full moon and a meteor shower so we may try to sail over on Friday night. We'll see how things go this week.

Well - if it's not one thing it's another. As I am sitting here typing our TV just had some kind of freak out and it won't come back on. It made really loud screeching sound and died. Oh well - I think it's bed time anyway.

Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine. ~Robert C. Gallagher

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Home From The Hospital

We finally made it home today at about 4:00 pm. Troy is feeling OK, he's a little nauseous and tired, he didn't sleep too well last night. He has a PICC line with a continuous infusion of 5FU (a type of chemotherapy). The long white tube in the picture is the tube of 5FU.

He has to be really careful not to get the site of the PICC line infected and it has to be flushed out every day. He also has to try to stay healthy and avoid people who are sick. Everyone who is around him is supposed to wash their hands and he has to follow a "bacteria free diet" which means no salad, fresh fruits or vegetables, unless they have a thick skin and can be peeled.

We had a wonderful nurse today. Her name is Pat and she has worked at Methodist Hospital for 36 years! She's a great lady and spent quite a bit of time with us helping us learn to take care of Troy's PICC line and visiting with us. Once again, I can't say enough about how great Methodist Hospital has been thoughout Troy's treatment. They really have quality people working there.

Just as we were ready to leave the hospital this afternoon four men from the Harbor Light Choir came to our room to sing for us. They sing at the hospital every Thursday. What a treat! They sang You Are My Sunshine and This Little Light of Mine. Then they prayed with us. It was just one of those wonderful moments that can really make a difference when things seem so tough.

We're glad to be home and hopefully Troy can get a good nights sleep tonight.

Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple love,
It cannot shatter hope,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot eat away peace,
It cannot destroy confidence,
It cannot kill friendship,
It cannot shut out memories,
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot invade the soul,
It cannot reduce eternal life,
It cannot quench the Spirit.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Back in the Hospital

Since we knew that it would take several hours for anything to get started I dropped Troy off at the hospital this morning and went work for a few hours. When I got back at 3:00 pm they were finally sending him down to get his PICC line in place, that took about 20 minutes and we were sent back to his room.

This is our fourth time in this hospital and the first time we didn't get a private room. We are in an older part of the hospital and I was surprised at how much equipment and beds and stuff were jamming the halls. It was shift change and Troy was on a stretcher so it was quite a feat getting him down the hall to his room.

The other patient in his room was a 99 year old man who wears diapers and knows how to use them!! The second we walked through the door a horrible odor hit us. Troy had the "b" bed, farthest from the door so we had to make our way past the other patient, his wife and his daughter. I think they were mistaken, this was a private room and they just shoved two beds into it. There wasn't room to turn around. It was just crazy, I wanted to cry. It smelled horrible, our neighbor was not only incontinent, he was hard of hearing. His wife was telling him all kinds of stories about friends and neighbors and cats and such, all in the loudest voice possible. Troy and I were just huddled together on his bed with the curtain drawn, wondering how we were gonna make it through the night.

As soon as our new nurse walked in she looked at me and whispered "it smells really bad in here". Needless to say, I agreed. She asked if we wanted to change rooms. I told her yes, we did. Troy didn't even know what had taken place - he missed the whole thing. Of course, he was happy to move into the private room next door.

We are finally settled in for the night and the chemo has started. This one is a pretty reddish orange. Interesting, it goes in that color and comes out that color too!















In the book of life, the answers aren't in the back. ~Charlie Brown

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Here we go again

Troy had an appointment with his oncologist this morning and there was good news and there was bad news.

First the good news - his blood work was good and they also did a CT Scan. Everything looks great. There is no evidence of any cancer anywhere in his body!

Now the bad news - he starts 9 weeks of chemo tomorrow morning. We were both shocked to find out that this was the tumor boards recommendation. This cancer carries a "significant risk of recurrence" according to Dr. Jac. The chemo will help ensure that if there is any minute cancer cells left in his body then hopefully they will be killed / annihilated / murdered / gone for good.

This chemo will be a little different than the last time. He will stay in the hospital for 24 hours and receive two kinds of chemo (epirubicin and cisplatin) then he will be started on flourouracil or 5FU which will go through a PICC line (in a vein in his arm) continuously for the next 9 weeks. He will be hospitalized every 3 weeks for additional epirubicin and cisplatin.

While we were prepared (sort of) for another week of chemo, this news came out of left field, but apparently it is standard treatment for esophageal and stomach cancers. We are both pretty bummed by this new development, but we agree that if it can help prevent a recurrence of the cancer then it will be well worth the temporary discomfort. Troy is not looking forward to having another device attached to him, I know he has been looking forward to feeling better and getting back to a normal life. Keep praying everyone!

There is time for everything. ~Thomas A. Edison

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Sunday, July 15, 2007

This One's for King Castleberry!













We had a great weekend at the boat. We didn't get to go sailing but we enjoyed the weekend anyway.

On Friday night we drove over to Channel Marker, our friends Debbie and Larry got married and we had a great time. It was good to see all of our friends and we can't wait to get back over there with our boat for a longer visit.



On Saturday night Patrick cooked a great dinner for everyone - steaks, boiled shrimp with corn on the cob and potatoes. What a feast! Everyone had a great time - plenty of good food, drink and conversation!


The big topic of conversation at the marina this weekend is the pending demolition of our pier. We all are wondering how much time we have left there and everyone is pretty much looking around at other marinas and making plans to move. We are all sad to break up our little group. We really will miss having everyone around. We've made such good friendships there at Blue Dolphin. We decided to move to Watergate Yachting Center and will probably go in the next month or so.


Troy has really been improving lately. It's great to see him becoming more and more active and doing more things. He still has trouble with nausea sometimes after he eats but he is learning how to deal with that and hopefully it will get better with time. He has a couple of doctor appointments this week. The big one is seeing the oncologist on Tuesday. We will finally find out whether he has to do another week of chemo. We are optimistic that he won't because the tumor board met a couple of weeks ago and we think we would have heard from Dr. Jac already if they thought he should have another round. We are just praying that he wont need anymore chemo and that he can just continue to heal and get back to a "normal" life.


On July 28th there will be a full moon and the Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower. We are hoping to sail to Double Bayou leaving Friday afternoon. We're trying to get other boats to sail over with us. Stay tuned for more info.


Is it so small a thing To have enjoy'd the sun, To have lived light in the spring, To have loved, to have thought, to have done... ~Matthew Arnold

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It runs!!

Finally, the motor runs again. I have to thank all my friends, most of all Big Dave!! He figured out what was going on and corrected it for me, he also rewired my battery bank and showed me how to put a starter on, I've learned way too much about diesel engines this week. Thanks go out to Dave, Patrick, Sean, Chris, Richard, Kenny, and anyone else who stuck his hands and head into my engine. We hope to go out this weekend and test it with a run to the bay and a nice sail around.. It was a long wet week last week , Deana and I spent all week hunkered down trying to stay dry, oh well, it happens. Not much else to report, I feel o.k. most of the time, I'm looking forward to getting back to work in the near future and feeling more like my old self. I'm grateful to be alive and getting stronger everyday!

A wet sheet and a flowing sea, / A wind that follows fast / And fills the white and rustling sail / And bends the gallant mast.” ~Allan Cunningham

Saturday, July 7, 2007

You Call This a Vacation?

Well - the rain managed to continue all week long. We didn't get one single day without some rain and most days it rained all day long (non-stop). We still haven't gotten the boat engine to run. We have managed to spend a lot of money in trying to get her started. You know - B.O.A.T. - Break Out Another Thousand. Seems like it this week. Maybe I can get Troy to post with the details later, in case anyone is interested.

Some of our girls came down to send some time with us - Tori, Sam, Zada and Kayla. With the boat engine not running and the constant rain, you can only imagine how crowded it is in the boat with 6 people. We are still managing to enjoy ourselves. If the current rain storm lets up we have shrimp to boil. I am watching the radar intently.

The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, July 2, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

It rained non stop all day . . . well at least until about 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon. We did manage to get caught up on our sleep. That's a good thing, at least for me since I seem to be needing some extra beauty rest lately! The sun finally made an appearance in the late afternoon and we took a nice dinghy ride. The lake was smooth and the ride was really enjoyable since Troy was feeling good and we were wanting to get out of the boat that enjoy some of the day. The forecast is not looking too promising for the week. I guess we will just take it as it comes!

Troy still has his good times and his bad times. Usually all in the same day. He will feel good for a few hours then, usually after he eats, he will start to feel really bad and need to lay down and rest for a while.

Even with the rain, it's good to be here on the boat with him and spend some time together that doesn't involve hospitals and doctor appointments. Tuesday will be our tenth wedding anniversary. It's been a wonderful 10 years and we are looking forward to many more to come. We are usually in Isla Mujeres Mexico for our anniversary, but we knew that Troy wouldn't be up to making the trip yet. Maybe later this year - we'll have to see.

Our wedding was many years ago. The celebration continues to this day. ~Gene Perret

Saturday, June 30, 2007

It's the weekend!!

Friday finally came and Deana and I are at our boat, It's stuck at the dock right now, I replaced a lift pump and tried to get the fuel system bled of air but then my battery bank died so now I have to replace them!! There's always something to fix. We watched fireworks last night and hung out at the dock with friends until bedtime. It looks like a rainy weekend, but we will be here all week so maybe we can get the boat engine running, get the batteries relaced and have time for a little fun too! Tuesday is our 10th anniversary!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Back Home

We made it back from Fort Worth after a great visit with Troy's family - his mom, sister and brother in law. They had not seen him since his cancer treatments and surgery. They had seen pictures and followed the blog, but I don't think that really prepared them for how much weight he has lost and how different he looks. We don't get to seen them as often as we would like to and we really enjoyed visiting with them and spending time catching up.

Troy did really well this weekend. He even drove all the way to Fort Worth and back. I have a feeling that's because he couldn't stand the thought of riding in the truck with me in the driver's seat for 4 hours at a time!

Troy and I just shared some Chinese take out for dinner. He ate his portion without any trouble. He opened the fortune cookie and his fortune said (are you ready for this?) - "Good health will be yours for a long time."

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fort Worth or Bust

We're headed to Cow Town this weekend to visit Troy's family, his mom, sister (Tammy), brother-in-law (Dan) and hopefully we will get to see Samantha too. Tori will be going with us and we are looking forward to visiting with everyone. We haven't been able to visit since Troy got sick so we are definitely past due and I think his mommy is missing her little boy!

Troy is still getting just a little better every day. He seems to do pretty well in the mornings, but he doesn't feel too well in the afternoon and evening. I wonder if it's me? I'm gone to work in the mornings and get home just in time for him to start feeling bad! Hopefully he hasn't developed an allergy to me!

I think the hardest part right now is figuring out how/what to eat. Some things he can eat fine one time and it will make him sick the next time he eats the same thing. I sure hope that will get better with time. I think his body needs to get used to the new size and shape of his stomach, not the mention the position it's in now.

To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. ~Clara Ortega

Monday, June 18, 2007

Medical Update

We spent all day - 9:00 am until 4:30 pm - at the medical center. Blood work and doctor appointments and waiting and more waiting. Troys blood work was all pretty good considering the radiation, chemo and surgery that he has been through.

We thought that we would find out whether the oncologist wanted Troy to have another round of chemo. While we were dreading what we would hear at least we would know what is in store in the next month or so. Unfortunately, he still hasn't decided whether he wants another round. Dr. Jac will take Troy's case back to the tumor board in the next week or so and they will decide there whether another round of chemo would be beneficial. The other not so great news from the oncologist was to continue with the daily blood thinner shots for at least another month. Those are no fun! The doctor will schedule a CT Scan next month and scans every 3 months for the next year.

The appointment with the surgeon went a little better. He removed the feeding tube! This is the first time since March that Troy hasn't had some sort of tube attached to him. What a relief that is - to be completely tube free!

A Short History of Medicine
2000 B.C. - "Here, eat this root."
1000 B.C. - "That root is heathen, say this prayer."
1850 A.D. - "That prayer is superstition, drink this potion."
1940 A.D. - "That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill."
1985 A.D. - "That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic."
2000 A.D. - "That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root."
~Author Unknown

The appearance of a disease is swift as an arrow; its disappearance slow, like a thread. ~Chinese Proverb

Weekend Report

We had a great weekend. Troy is definitely feeling better everyday. He had a good day on Saturday (with the exception of our boat motor breaking down). We had our friends Robert and Carolyn spend the weekend with us on the boat and we all went to the Latitudes and Attitudes First Annual Gulf Coast Cruisers Party. What a long name for a party! Troy had a great time listening to the live music (Eric Stone Band) and we stayed at the party until 11:00 pm! Everyone had a good time.

I was happy that Troy stayed out of bed for most of the day on Saturday. I think that's the day I was looking for. The first one where he is out of bed more than he is in bed. That shows definite improvement. He is still having trouble sometimes when he eats - he feels sick afterwards. But it's good to see him feeling better.

We are spending all day Monday at the Medical Center with several doctor appointments. I will be sure to post again later tonight with the latest news.

Don't dream your life, live your dream. ~Bob Bitchin

The Wedding

May I present: Josh and Shawn Tennyson:



Everything went as planned. Even the weather cooperated and the rain held off until the afternoon. Congratulations to the Bride and Groom!











































The highest happiness on earth is marriage. ~William Lyon Phelps

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's Still Not Friday

But it's getting closer! It's been a crazy-busy week at work, but I'm off work tomorrow and we are heading down to the boat. I think it's supposed to rain most of the weekend, but we're hoping most of it passes us by. I'm glad to have a day off and we are looking forward to the weekend and relaxing tomorrow. We have a busy weekend planned, so hopefully tomorrow will be relaxing.

Troy is doing better every day. I'm starting to be able to see the difference day by day. He even worked in his shop for a little bit this evening. It's good to see him with sawdust on his shirt again!

For Shawn & Josh:
Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that. ~Michael Leunig

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Is It Friday Yet?

Well a little good news for a change, Troy went two days without pain medication! Still, every time I think he is doing better he will start to feel bad again. His scars are healing nicely, but he still has quite a bit of pain. Most of his problems now seem to be fatigue and nausea. It's good to see a little bit of improvement. We'll take what we can get.

He has appointments with the oncologist and surgeon on Monday. We are hoping that the surgeon will remove the feeding tube. It would be wonderful to get rid of that one last tube! We think we will also find out if the oncologist wants to have Troy undergo one more round of chemo. It depends on what all the doctors on the Tumor Board decide. We really dread the thought of more chemo, but whatever it takes to make sure the cancer doesn't come back.

We have big plans this weekend. My oldest daughter, Shawn is getting married, just a simple ceremony at a park. We will be gaining a son in law, Josh. We are happy for both of them. We are also planning a big weekend at the boat. Saturday night is a Gulf Coast Cruiser's Party for Latitudes and Attitudes (a sailing/cruising magazine that we love to read) and we are moving our boat over to the marina where the party is taking place. We have our friends Robert and Carolyn coming to spend the weekend with us. I sure hope Troy will feel well enough to enjoy some of the activities. At least if he feels bad he will be able to rest on the boat.

I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
~Dr. Seuss

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Weekend!

It's been an uneventful weekend. We stayed on the boat all weekend and Troy rested and worked on feeling better. I managed to install our brand new macerator pump. (We are back to flushing - that's a relief!) Troy spent most of the days resting. He seems to be making some progress. His voice is getting better everyday, but he still has coughing spells every now and then and it's not only painful, it affects his voice too. He's also having a little bit of difficulty eating. Sometimes he feels really sick after eating and unfortunately the feeling lasts for quite a while. We knew to expect this, but knowing about something doesn't necessarily make it easier to deal with.

I've been a little discouraged lately because it's hard to see if he's making any real progress. Fortunately all our friends here say that he is looking so much better than he was last weekend. I guess it's difficult to see the day by day progress, but it's good to have a different perspective from people who haven't seen him in a week.

We had a great dock party on Saturday night, lots of good friends and good fun, unfortunately Troy missed most of if. He just didn't feel well enough to participate. I can't wait to get my Troy back. I miss him alot!

I had to make a change to the "About Us" section of the blog. I was reading it this afternoon and I realized that I needed to change the part about Troy battling esophageal cancer. The truth now is that he is an esophageal cancer survivor! Of course, he's been a survivor of esophageal cancer since the very day that tumor started to grow. The good news now is the cancer is gone from his body. I praise the Lord for those answered prayers.

There are chapters in every life which are seldom read and certainly not aloud. ~Carol Shields

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Thursday!

We almost made it through the week! Troy's progress is still really slow. He has good days and not so good days. Today was a not so good day. He's not feeling good this evening, kinda nauseous. It's been a long week for both of us. We are looking forward to getting down to the boat tomorrow evening and relax for the weekend.

My macerator pump came in today. I'll be sure to report back on my success with the installation. It can only be success, no room for failure. I need to flush!!!!

A little good news - Troy's voice is getting a little better. Just a little, but it's good to see any kind of improvement. He still coughs if the talks too much and he sounds really hoarse and raspy but it's good to see any kind of improvement.

Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary. ~Mark Twain

Monday, June 4, 2007

Monday - Blah

Mondays - don't ya love 'em? Glad to have this one over. It was a busy day at work and Troy still isn't feeling very well. I think he made it through the whole day without pain medication so that is something good to report. Even though the pain is under some control he just feels kinda blah. I just asked him how he felt and the said "right this second, poorly but overall better today".

He just looks so sad. I can't wait for him to feel good again. I want my Troy back.

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Weekend's Over :(

We spent the weekend at our boat. I think it was good for Troy to get out of the house and to spend some time at the boat. He mostly napped and read books, but I do believe that being on the water and on the boat did him some good. It was good to visit with our friends - we miss y'all!

We are both discouraged by the amount of time the healing process is taking. We are impatient for him not to feel pain with every movement. His voice is still really raspy and it's difficult for him to talk too much. Sometimes when he talks it brings on a coughing spell and that spells agony for him.

I have to brag on myself a little. Last time we were on the boat we were just getting ready to leave and the macerator pump quit working. For all the landlubbers reading this post, that means no more flushing. Of course it's really important that everything you put in the head (toilet) goes away quickly - for obvious reasons. Well - Troy is definitely the "fix it" guy in our family. He can fix anything so I rarely need to worry myself with this kind of problem. Anyway, at the moment he can't even bend over, much less squat down into the small space behind the head and remove the broken pump. I managed to get the old pump off without too much trouble. I used tools and everything! It was a messy job, but somebody had to do it. Only problem was that we couldn't find a replacement pump at the boat supply store. I am ordering one online and looking forward to completing the project. If, that is, you can really look forward to working on a toilet!

By the way - when I checked the blog this afternoon we had 1,111 hits! That's cool! Thanks everyone - for your thoughts and prayers.

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. 1 Thessalonians 1:2

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Troy here

Hi Gang, Troy here, I thought I'd post a quick note to let y'all know we're good here, this is a longer process than I thought it would be, I was just sure I'd be up and running around by now, but it's not going to happen, I'll be fine I'm sure, but this may take a while!! Deana went back to work today and I sure missed having her around, She's my blessing!! We both look forward to getting back to boat stuff, there are all kind of events happening right now that we wanted to participate in with the TMCA, we'll just have to ease back into the active lifestyle. Thanks friends for all the thoughts, prayers and help. Y'all are the best!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful holiday and giving a little thought to why we celebrate this day. Thanks to all the wonderful heroes of our country!

Troy is still improving little by little. We both thought he would be further along in his recovery by now, but the pain has been lingering longer and more severely than we anticipated. It's a double edged sword. He needs to get up and move around, but it hurts to do so. The nights are difficult too. He is making progress though.

I was just thinking this morning about how we haven't had much time to let it sink in but - Troy is free of cancer! What a wonderful feeling. It seems like we have been living in a sort of dream world during his recovery from surgery. First in the hospital and now at home. Maybe it will sink in more as we resume our daily lives and get back to work and sailing and enjoying life. We are looking forward to a great summer on the water.

They are dead; but they live in each Patriot's breast,And their names are engraven on honor's bright crest.~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! ~Maya Angelou

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Congratulations Graduates!

Hey everyone! Happy Memorial Day Weekend and congratulations to all the graduates. My niece Amy is graduating today. Also, family friends Cassie, Amber and Allison. What a year!

Troy is doing better everyday but the nights are still difficult. The pain is difficult to manage at night. He is anxious to get some strength back and get back to doing some "normal" things.

Remember ladies: It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~e.e. cummings

You're awesome Amy - we love you! Way to go.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Life Is Good

We are both really glad to be home. Not much new to report. Troy had a difficult night last night. He is really in a lot of pain, especially during the night when he is trying to sleep. Hopefully that will start to get better soon.

He has been eating pretty well, so that is encouraging. He is a little disappointed that his recovery isn't going faster. The doctors said to give it about 2 months for recovery, but I think he secretly thought that he would be ready to go in a couple of weeks. He is amazed at how much his energy is zapped just to make it downstairs and walk out into his shop.

We are just trying to stay focused on the positive outcome that we know is right within our reach. Just remember -

Life is good. ~Jake

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We're Home!

Home at last! We got home at about 4:30 this afternoon. It's great to be here.

Troy isn't feeling very well this evening, but it's been a long day for him. He's dealing with quite a bit of pain and his stomach is upset. Hopefully he will get a good night of rest in his own bed and will feel better in the morning.

I am happy to report that Troy received his Coast Guard Certificate while we were in the hospital. Now I must refer to him as Cap'n Troy at all times!

There's no place like home! ~Dorothy (Judy Garland) in The Wizard of Oz

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Making Progress

Troy is still doing well and making good progress in the healing process. The chest tube and one other drain tube was removed today. The heart monitor was also removed. That leaves only the central IV line and of course the feeding tube. He is finally free to move around as nothing is attaching him to any machines or IV poles. He even got out of that hospital gown today!

He has been feeling quite a bit more pain since they removed the epidural yesterday. He had so much pain last night that the doctors finally agreed to give him morphine in order to help get control over it. He's doing better this morning, but we are definitely staying "on top" of the pain using several medications.

The surgeon came in and spent quite a bit of time going over the pathology reports. I don't think we could have asked for better results. No cancer in the lymph nodes and, according to Dr. Ramchandani, he removed lots of lymph nodes for biopsy. The tumor had shrunk considerably and, if I understood the medical terminology, it had shrunk to what they call pre cancer cells, meaning that the radiation and chemo killed all the cancer cells and the surgery removed the remaining tumor. Praise God!!!!!!

You're in pretty good shape for the shape you are in. ~Dr. Seuss