Thursday, July 20, 2017

Yeee!!!! Haww!!!!

DeBary, FL.

73 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast today = Cloudy early with scattered thunderstorms developing this afternoon. High near 95F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

Jim was still having the side effects from the Opdivo treatments when he went in to see the chemo doctor on the 7th of July, so he didn't get another treatment. The doctor did decided to raise the dose of the medicine that he was receiving to counter-act the side effects and since then, that has done the trick. ::-) 

Last Thursday, (the 13th),Jim had another PET Scan and then this Monday, (the 17th), he and Linda went to see the Radiation Doctor to get the results. Again, the weekend was stress filled, waiting to get the results, but it seems like that's just part of this whole process. 

So,  ,  ,  ,  , , what did the doctor say??? 

Well, it's all good news!!!!! The spot in the left lung has dissipated and there''s just a little "fogginess" which he thinks is just some scar tissue from previous and latest radiation treatments. and the very small spot in the right lung has all but disappeared. There is just a minute spot that may or may not be something, but at this time he doesn't recommend any treatments. The PET Scan was for Jim's whole body and there is no indication of any spreading of the cancer!!!!

Yeee!!!!! Haww!!!!

Tuesday, Jim had an appointment with the Chemo doctor and after seeing the PET Scan results, she agreed with what the Radiation Doctor had said!!!!

Yeee!!!! Haww!!!!  (Sorry about all the "Yee Hawing", but I couldn't help myself) ;-) 

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  What comes next???  Well, Jim and Linda have already started to make plans to head up to Illinois. Jim has made some reservations at an "extended stay hotel" near Rantoul, and Linda has already set up doctor's appointments with most of the doctors that will need to be seen up there. Jim had already made a "trip plan" that he refined yesterday and it looks like we'll be leaving here on or about the 31st if July!!!!     

Traveling by car instead of RV is going to be a big change, but both Jim and Linda seem to have pretty much figured out what they can and can not take along. The extended stay hotel has a refrigerator, microwave and a 2 burner stove, so once we get up there, Linda will be able to make some meals. She has an electric skillet that she'll take along and can make quite a bit in it, even while we're traveling, and I'm sure, some meals they'll eat out at restaurants. 

Jim doesn't know how much energy he'll have, so he's figured 5 days to get up to Illinois, (about 4 hours a day, traveling). The little trip to Cedar Key helped them get an idea of how to pack the car to get everything in, and staying in that motel helped with learning to cook some food in just a microwave. 

Years ago, Jim and Linda went on "vacations" and managed OK, so it's just a matter of relearning the process. I;m sure that there'll be a few "bumps" but they'll deal with them and I'm sure it'll all work out in the end. 

I can't wait ot get on the road again!!!!!

Yeee!!!! Haww!!!!

Did you know that on this date in 1969 - Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. became the first men to walk on the moon?


Woof!!!!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Long Overdue Update

DeBary, FL.

95 deg. Mostly cloudy, SE Wind @ 3 mph.

Forecast = Partly to mostly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low near 75F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.


Sorry about the length of time that has gone by since I've last updated this blog. :-(

Mike, Gina and the kids did stop by on their way down to the attractions, and in fact, they stopped by on the way back also!! Jim and Linda had good visits with them even though they only stayed for a couple of hours each time.

Jim's last Opdivo treatment was to be on the 23rd of June, but because of some digestive side effects from the treatments, the last treatment still hasn't happened!!! :-(  First of all it was rescheduled for the 30th of June and now it's been rescheduled for the 7th of July. Hopefully, the side effect will have disappeared by then so he can get that last treatment.

He does have a PET Scan scheduled for the 13th of July and a visit with the radiation Dr. (Dr. Graham), on the 14th. Hopefully that will not have to be rescheduled.

On the 26th of June, Jim and Linda took Lily and headed over to Cedar Key, FL. where they rented a motel room for 3 nights. The motel was located right on the gulf and they had an excellent view of the Gulf of Mexico from their 2nd story balcony.



They even had a real pretty sunset one night while they were there. ;-) 

It was a good get-a-way for a change. They really hadn't been anywhere since they returned here to DeBary last fall. 

They went out to eat a a couple local restaurants and had seafood, (it's the big thing in Cedar Key). Drove around the island some and basically just "kicked back" for the 3 days they were there. It was about 135 miles over there and it took them just under 3 hours to travel the distance. 

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  , for now, we wait and see what is going to happen with Jim's treatments. The plan is still to try to get up to Illinois yet this summer, (or fall), to see doctors, friends and relatives, but as usual, all Jim's plans are in pencil. 

Jim's feeling pretty well, except for the digestive issues, and Linda is doing well. If we can just get past this bump in the road, we'll be on our way North and possibly up to NC and VA to see the boys yet this year. 

Did you know that 7% of Americans believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows?

Mooooo!!!! (I meant Woof!!!!) 






Saturday, June 3, 2017

A Little "Road Trip", Some Sad News but A Very Nice Visit

DeBary, FL.

80 deg. partly cloudy, SW wind @ 5 mph.

Forecast tonight = Mostly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 71F. Winds ESE at 10 to 15 mph.


Tuesday, Jim had his last Radiation Treatment. He's very happy to have them over with. Going in every weekday was really the worst part of it. 

Tuesday was also the day that Jim suggested that he and Linda go on a "Road Trip" and take Lily and head over to Wildwood, FL to go to the Russel Stover's Candy Co. Store and stop and see Donna and Monte, (Rving friends since way back in 2001). 

So, Jim called Donna and asked if they'd be home on Wednesday? Well, then came the surprise. Donna told Jim that Monte had passed away!!!!!! :-(  Yep, you read that right!!! Donna told Jim that Monte had passed away last November the 20th!!!! 

Donna apologized for not letting Jim and Linda know, but she's been very busy trying to get everything straightened up since his passing. Well, Jim told her that they'd still like to come to see her for a few hours in the afternoon, if that would be alright. 

She said it would and that she'd really like to see them. 

So,  ,  ,  ,  , about 10:30 Wednesday morning, Jim and Linda took Lily and drove the close to 60 miles over to Wildwood. First they went to Stovers and then went out to eat at a Wendy's Restaurant. After that, (about 1:00 by this time), they headed over to see Donna. Parts of this visit were very sad as Donna told about Monte, but other parts of the visit were very nice and I'm sure Jim and Linda will be going back to see Donna again. 

It was late afternoon by the time they returned here to the house and by the time they came into the house, Jim was pretty beat! For supper, they just had sandwiches and then Jim took a nap. 

Both Jim and Linda said that Donna seemed to be doing pretty well.  She's strong and has a good attitude about the future.

Oh, and by the way, Lily did very well and provided a very comfortable ride for both Jim and Linda. ;-)  

Now, Jim and Linda are starting to get ready for a visit from Mike and his family, this coming Saturday!! They will be heading down to the "attractions area" for a 1 week vacation and are planning on stopping by both on the way down and the way back to North Carolina.

I sure hope they'll be able to stop for a few hours, It seems like ages since we've last seen them.


A Quote to Ponder : "The Language of friendship is not words but meanings."
                                   Henry David Thoreau


Woof!!!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

First It Was Nora, Then Lila and Now Big RED!!!!

DeBary, FL.

83 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast tonight = Clear. Lows overnight in the mid 60s.

Forecast tomorrow = Sunny, High 96F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.


First, Nora left us when Jim and Linda took Big RED and pulled her down to Palm Beach where Laura and Lindsey traded her in on a brand new, smaller trailer. (which is really nice, by the way),  I thought that would be the end of it, but then, all of a sudden, this last Thursday, Jim and Linda went car shopping!!!!!


 When they returned, they were driving a different car and Lila had been traded in on it!!!

Friday, Jim had an Opdivo treatment in the morning and a Radiation treatment in the afternoon. Then, Friday evening, Laura and Lindsey stopped by and Lindsey helped Jim clean out the back of Big RED!! That made me wonder what was going on, but I didn't have to wait too long to find out!!


This morning, Linda took the car they had brought back from the dealer on Thursday and Jim got into Big RED. Then, they both drove away!!!

Well, come to find out, they had traded Lila and Big RED in on a brand new car!!!!

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  say hello to Lily!!!!  She's a brand new Toyota Camry LE and she only had 8 miles on her speedometer when Jim and Linda pulled out of the dealer's lot on Thursday!!

I guess you're wondering why they did this and why they named the new car Lily. Well. Jim decided that Lila wasn't suitable for any kind of longer distance traveling. She was great around town and was just what they needed before Jim decided that he really couldn't handle RVing any longer. But, out on the road, she wasn't very comfortable to drive for longer distances and she was quite small.

Big RED was quite large and hard to get around with. especially in towns and cities. He also didn't get real great mileage and the cost of diesel fuel is always higher than regular gas.

So, by doing some "trading", Jim and Linda traded both of them in on Lily and even got some "cash back" because Lila and Big RED were worth more than the price of the new Camry! ;-)

Now, there is only one insurance bill,  one license fee and for the first time in a long time, we now have plenty of room in the driveway!!! And Lily should get pretty decent gas mileage on trips.

Now, why was she named Lily, you ask??? Well, Linda thinks her color looks just like that of an Easter Lily. Hence, the name.

On the way back from the dealer today, they stopped at a Longhorn Steakhouse for lunch and had a great meal. It was the first time they went out to eat, anywhere special, for a long time.

Jim and Linda are both doing fine. Jim is experiencing  quite a bit of fatigue but is still able to do most things, just at a slower pace or by resting from time to time. He hasn't had any serious side effects from the Opdivo as of yet and so that's going well. This coming Tuesday he will have his last Radiation treatment, and I'm sure he won't mind not having to go to have them every weekday.

When Jim takes more photos of Lily, I'll post them here.

A Quote to Ponder = "You  will never change your life until you change something you do daily"
                                   Mike Murdock

Woof!!!!
I hope Jim and Linda take me for a ride in that new car soon. :-)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Treatments and She's Gone

DeBary, FL.

69 deg. clear no wind.

Forecast = Mainly sunny. High 89F. Winds E at 10 to 20 mph.


Jim started his Opdivo treatments Friday and so far, the side effects have not been too bad. He's been having some aching in his legs, a slight headache at times and some fatigue which may be from the radiation or the Opdivo. (Probably both)

He's half way through his radiation treatments now. and the last one will be the day after Memorial Day.

Laura and Lindsey have been meeting Jim and Linda out at the CG where Nora was parked to help clean her out. It's amazing how much "stuff" you can accumulate in such a small space! :-)  Then, on Saturday, Jim and Linda took Big RED out to the CG, hooked Nora up to the back of him and took her all the way down to Palm Beach where Lindsey and Laura had made a deal on a brand new 19' travel trailer. It was about 185 miles down there, so it ended up being a long day of driving for Jim.

Even though Jim and Linda just dropped Nora off at Palm Beach and then came right back, it took them about 7 hours which included a stop for "brunch" at a Bob Evans Restaurant on the way back.

So,  ,  ,  ,  , for the first time in almost 30 years, Jim and Linda don't have an RV. How do they feel about that, You ask???? Well there's mixed emotions. It was hard to drive away from that dealer's lot, down in Palm Beach, but in a way, it felt good to not have to worry about Nora sitting at the CG for months at a time without anyone really looking after her.

But, it was time. Neither Jim or Linda can see the time when we'll be traveling near as much as we have, even in the past few years, so having an RV for such limited travel just didn't make sense. Jim figures that the money saved by not having to pay CG fees, insurance and license fees alone, will more than make up for the Motel/Hotel fees we'll have to pay for our limited travels.

What are our plans for this summer? Well, they're all on hold for now. When Jim's done with his treatments, (sometime in July), and he has a scan, we'll find out what travel plans can be made. Jim and Linda would really like to get up to Illinois to see doctors, family and friends and they really would like to get up to N. Carolina and Virginia to see Mike and Joe and their families, but only time will tell if that's going to be possible.

A Quote to Ponder;  Dream the impossible dream, Fight the unbeatable foe, Strive with your last ounce of courage, to reach the unreachable star.
Joe Darion

Woof!!!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

More On Jim's Treatments and A "Kicker"

DeBary, FL.

53 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Abundant sunshine. High 88F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.


On Tuesday, the 2nd of May, Jim had his first radiation treatment. He will have a treatment every weekday for a total of 20 treatments. He did not however. start the Opdivo treatments on the 5th as we had thought because he had some major concerns about the frequency and the total length of time the whole series of treatments would take. (Possibly taking a whole year)!!!!  So instead of a treatment on the 5th, he and Linda had another meeting with Dr. Gupta which lasted for a better part of an hour.

She went into much more detail as to what to expect and also explained what the options were as far as treatment frequency, how some summer travel could be accommodated during the time Jim was having the treatments and  how a treatment or two could be handled, even while we would be traveling.

All of this put both Jim and Linda's minds much more at ease and gave them a more positive outlook for Jim's future.

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  Jim will start the Opdivo treatments on the 12th of May. He'll have them every other week for 2 months and then will get a scan, (either CAT or PET). If the scan is good, he may not have to have any more treatments for at least 3 months. If the scan shows something, he will have to continue the treatments but more than likely, will be able to get a treatment or two at a facility up North during our travels.

It's not ideal, but at least we'll be able to head up to Illinois so that Linda and Jim can go to their doctors and financial adviser up there and possibly get together with some friends and family.

All in all, both Jim and Linda are feeling much better about these treatments and the outcome of them. There's always a great risk with cancer, but it sounds like they may have caught this round very early and it is hoped that the doctors will be able to knock it out. It may come back or spread in the future, but if Jim has scans frequently, they should be able to "control" it for quite some time.

OK now for the "kicker"..  Jim and Linda have decided to "hang up the keys" as far as RVing goes. Laura and Lindsey, (Linda and Jim's daughter and her husband), will get Nora. They may use her as a trade-in on a different trailer, (more to their liking and smaller, so they can pull it behind their smaller truck). Jim is thinking we'll keep Big RED for now, to use for travel this summer, and then sell him this fall.

The reason for this???? Well, it doesn't look like we'll be traveling a real lot anymore and the cost of insurance, maintenance and lot rent keeps going up while both vehicles are sitting around gathering dust and rust. Jim has done a lot of research and has concluded that because we won't be traveling as much, it would be less costly to stay in hotels/motels and also save a lot of fuel by traveling either with just Big RED or even more with Lila, (Linda's car). This will also make it much easier on Jim, as he won't have to be hooking and unhooking Nora and there's less stress traveling if you're not pulling a trailer or driving a large vehicle.

I'm planning on keeping this blog going as long as I can. It won't be about RVing any longer, but it will help friends and family keep up on what's happening with Jim and Linda as well as where and what we're doing while on "vacation".

So, keep checking back. I'm hoping to blog about some of our past RVing adventures on the road as well as our travels this summer. If everything goes according to plan, we should be leaving here sometime in July or early August to head up North. In the meantime, I'll be letting you know how treatments are going and on what's happening around here.

A Quote to Ponder:  "The trouble with the future is that it usually arrives before we're ready for it."
                                  Arnold Glasgow

Woof!!!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Finally Getting Started With Treatments!!!

DeBary, FL.

74 deg. Partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Partly cloudy. High 91F. Winds SE at 10 to 20 mph.


Yesterday, Jim had an appointment with the Chemo Doctor, (Dr. Gupta), and so he and Linda finally got some answers!!

You see, Jim took a disk of his PET Scan to the hospital and answered a bunch of questions way back on the 20th. He was told that the doctor would look at the scan and then they would call him and let him know when he should come in for the biopsy.

Well,  ,  ,  ,  ,  he waited and waited. Linda finally called the hospital but never could get an answer. She then called the chemo doctor, (who had ordered the biopsy), but got no answer there either. Both places said that "they'd get back to her", but never did! :-(  However, at one point, someone did say that they didn't know if Jim was a "good candidate" for the procedure as the left lung was "compromised" and he does have some emphysema.

Anyway, yesterday, he had an appointment with Dr. Gupta and he and Linda finally found out what was going on. The doctor at the hospital didn't think it was a good idea to do the procedure, but somewhere along the line, there was a lack of communication and that fact was never relayed to Jim and Linda. There was one more option, but it involved surgery and it would be risky as well, so it was decided to just go ahead and treat the new spot on the lung as though it was a worst case scenario.

This next Tuesday, Jim will go to the chemo doctor's office for "Patient Education" and then on Friday, he'll have his first treatment. They will be using the new drug, OPDIVO, and it will be given to him every other week for at least 9 weeks. At that time he will have a "scan" and any further treatment will depend on that.

There are some side effects of this drug, but he was told that most patients were able to tolerate the drug very well. Hopefully, the treatments won't be too bad.

Also, either sometime this next week, or possibly the first part of the next, Jim will start radiation treatments. It sounds like they will be scheduled just like they were the last time. 5 days a week, Monday through Friday.

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  , now you know just about all of what I know. These last few weeks have been very stressful, but now that we know when and what these treatments will be, it takes a lot of the stress out of it. Hopefully everything will go fairly smoothly and we can get back to a more normal life.

A Quote to Ponder :   "Look up to the sky. You'll never find rainbows if you're looking down"
                                        Charlie Chaplin

Woof!!!