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)