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!!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Finally Something To Report

DeBary, FL.

Wednesday 10;00 pm EDT - 72 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast Thursday = Mostly sunny skies. High near 85F. Winds E at 10 to 15 mph.


Well, I finally have something to report. 

In my last post, I told you that Jim had had a CT Scan and the doctors had found a spot in his right lung. Since then, he has had a PET Scan on the 13th of April, and it was determined that in addition to the spot in that lung, there was also evidence of something in the same place that had been treated before in his left lung. He has since been to see the Chemo doctor, and now is waiting for an appointment to have a biopsy on the spot in the right lung preformed at the hospital in Orange City.

There is some evidence that the spot in the right lung looks different than the spot in the left lung. That is actually good because if it is, that would possibly mean that the original cancer has not spread to a different part of his body, but is in fact, a different cancer. If that's the case, it would mean that the original cancer is not in his blood stream and going to other parts of his body.

So, we wait for the biopsy and then the diagnosis. After that, there will be radiation and chemo very similar to what he had a little over a year ago. :-(  If that's the case, we won't be traveling at all this summer. 

Jim's not doing too bad. He's "down" at times, but for the most part, he trying to keep a good attitude about all of this. He's very disappointed and is dreading having to go through the chemo treatments again, especially since he still has some side effects from the last treatments he had, just over a year ago.  

Linda is very worried about Jim but is also trying to keep her spirits up. She knows that she'll have to try to stay strong and be there for moral support for Jim. 

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  that's about all I know for now. As soon as the results from the biopsy come in, I imagine they'll start treatments. At that time, we should find out more about how long the treatments will last and possibly get some idea of what the summer will bring as far as any plans Jim and Linda can make.

Please keep Jim and Linda in your thoughts and prayers. I'll post update here as often as I can to try to keep all of you up-to-date.

Woof!!!

  

Saturday, April 8, 2017

New Tires For Big RED, Good News and Some Not So Good News

DeBary, FL.

45 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Plentiful sunshine. High 76F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.


When I last posted, I mentioned that Big RED needed new tires. Well, Ray, (a man who used to live across the street from us here in the park), e-mailed Jim and told him about a local tire shop (Big T. Tires), a little North of here. Jim took Big RED and headed over there and really liked the place. And, on top of that, they had a good price on a set of tires!!! 

So, now, Big RED has a set of nice new tires that should last a good long time. :-) 

This past Monday, Jim went in to Dr. Graham's office, (Jim's radiation doctor), for that CT Scan that I told you about a while back. He had the scan and then on Wednesday, he and Linda went back to see Dr. Graham and get the results of the scan. So, what's the results? you ask????  Well, there's good news and some not so good news. 

First of all, the scan showed that the left lung that was treated before was clear and looked good. But, , , , , the scan showed a very small spot in the right lung!!!  :-( 

Now, this spot may be nothing at all, but now, Jim is scheduled for a PET Scan this coming Thursday, April 13th, to find out for sure. Then on Monday, the 17th, he and Linda will go back to get the results.

If it is malignant, it will have to be treated. If it is only that one small spot, Dr. Graham says that he's sure he can treat it with radiation and that because of where it is and how small it is, the treatments should not take long and we should still be able to travel this summer, possibly still leaving during the first part of May.  

So,  ,  ,  ,  , things have kind of been put on "hold" until we find out more. 

On the other hand, Linda had a visit with her surgeon yesterday, and everything looked real good, so there's good news there. 

I'll post again as soon as Jim and Linda get the results on the 17th. Jim seems to be doing pretty well with this disturbing news, but as you can imagine is pretty worried. Hopefully everything will come back negative and we can resume out summer plans.


A Quote to Ponder. "He who enjoys good health is rich, though he knows it not".

Woof!!!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Did You "Spring Ahead" and Water, Water Everywhere!

DeBary, FL.

61 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Becoming cloudy with occasional rain during the afternoon. High 79F. SSE winds shifting to NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70%.


Did you remember to "spring ahead" last night? Jim set most of the clocks here in the double-wide last night, but still has a few to do this morning. 

We had a little excitement here a week ago. Jim went out the back door and into the screen room and found water running across the floor!!! :-(  After a little inspection, it was determined that the house water heater had sprung a leak and was doing it's best to completely soak the floor and everything that was setting on it! Luckily most things were not down on the cement floor so just a few boxes got wet. 

After getting a few items up off of the floor, Jim called Kevin, (our local handyman). He came over and confirmed that it was indeed the water heater that was leaking. He told Jim that he was pretty sure that the local Lows had new water heaters like we needed in stock, so after Kevin left, Jim took Big RED and headed over there to purchase one. 

Anyway, Jim got the heater, Kevin came back in the afternoon and installed it, and now everything is good again! ;-) 

Not much else to report. Jim took Big RED in for an oil change the other day. He's been over to the CG to do a little work on Nora. He still needs to take Big RED someplace to get new tires for him, ( the old ones are pretty much worn out and the sidewalls are starting to crack), but hasn't decided on where to purchase them yet. Those tires are going to be a pretty big expense, so he wants to try to get the best deal possible. 

Both Linda and Jim seem to be doing fine. The tree pollen has been pretty bad lately, so they've both had some problems with that. No test or anything until next month, so nothing to report there. 

Did you know that  DST was established in 1918?

Woof!!!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I'm In BIG Trouble!!!

DeBary, FL.

84 deg. clear, SW wind @ 5 mph.

Forecast = Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 87F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.


I'm in BIG trouble now!!!! I guess Jim thought I had been posting lately, but when Roland, (one of Jim and Linda's best friends), called last evening and told him that I had not posted since way back at the beginning of last month. Jim wasn't too happy with me!!! :-( 

You see, I have trouble coming up with things to post about when there's really nothing special going on around here, so I just didn't post. I knew that I should be posting something, but I just didn't!!

So, here goes with the latest from DeBary.

Back on the 15th of Feb. Jim had a doctor's appointment with his chemo doctor. (During the summer, she got married, so now she's Dr. Gupta instead of Dr. Saferali.)  Anyway, Jim had a blood test and Dr. Gupta told him that everything on the test looked good and that she didn't seen any indication of cancer.

On the 3rd of April, Jim will have a CT scan and if that doesn't show anything, we'll be "good to go" for our summer travels.

Monday, Jim fired up Big RED and took him over to the O'Reilly Auto Parts Store to have Big RED's batteries checked. As Jim thought, one of the batteries was bad and since they were both the same age, (about 6 years old), Jim bought 2 new batteries. The salesman at the auto parts store replaced them right out in the parking lot. Jim still has a list of things that need to be done to Big RED, most important are getting his oil changed and then purchasing new tires for him, which will be pretty expensive.

Other than that, I really can't think of anything else to post about, except that as of now, it looks like if everything goes well with the CT Scan, we'll be leaving here right around the beginning of May.

Oh!!! I almost forgot!!!

Did you know that today is Jim and Linda's 32nd wedding anniversary?

Woof!!!