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 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