Slurpees Past, Present and Future?

In this post I reflect back to what occured exactly 1 year ago today.

It was this very day last year that Terry officially decided to enroll into hospice. Terry realized that since his treatments for cancer via chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy were not providing any tangible benefit and since Terry’s health status and quality of life were rapidly diminishing, he felt that to put himself thru any more evasive medical care would be just too trying on his body. Also it was becomming near to impossible for Terry to move about on his own anymore as he had become too weak and frail. Any care that Moffitt could provide from this point forward (per candid consultation with his physician) revealed that it might only extend his life for a short while but would not result in stopping the spread of his cancer. The cancer had spread so rapidly and aggressively throughout Terry entire body. At this point Terry just wanted to live out the remaining time that he had by receiving supportative care and comfort through hospice and to be as comfortable as he could while in the privacy of our little home (our RV) on MacDill Airforce Base until his final day.

On this very day last year Terry was discharged from Moffitt Hospital after a 12 day stay while they tried to get his bowel obstruction (his latest medical challenge) under control. After being transported via ambulance back to our RV, the hospice team simultaneously arrived bringing all necessary medical equipment and from that day forward they would provide daily visits to our RV.

At that point Terry still had his urostomy bag in place because of his previous bladder removal. He also had a pain pump and IV line attached to his upper right clavical thru his port. A G-tube was also in place directly thru his stomach so that his gastric fluid buildup could be manually drained because of his inoperable bowel obstruction. In addition, an IV line had been placed in his left arm so that he could get total parenteral nutrition as he could no longer eat anything by mouth, except for ice chips and clear juices. He also had a respirator so that he could breath pure oxygen and I could give him nebulizer treatments as needed.

Terry was now totally confined to his recliner, except when I had to lift him on to the portable toilet (as required) and when I needed to move him to give him a sponge bath and to change his linens on a daily basis.

For the next 17 days until Terry took his last breath on September 1, I would drive out the main gate of the air base each day at around 6 PM and wait in an adjacent parking lot for the hospice courier to arrive with replacement IV’s and other supplies needed so that I could adjust Terry’s pain pump and to replace the IV bag and tubing for his 24 hour continuous total parenteral nutrition. Luckily (due to my former medical background) I was able to do these procedures.

Each day from that point foward, after getting the medical supplies, while on the way back to the RV, I would stop by the shopette on base and purchase a large slurpee. This was really the only treat that Terry could have by mouth and something he could look forward to each evening. The slurpee as Terry would eat it, would just drain right thru his G-tube and go directly into his drainage bag. Although the slurpee really didn’t provide Terry any beneficial nutrition at least it provided Terry with something to look forward to each evening.

Terry actually had the chance to consume 16 of these slurpees over the last days of his life, except for the very last day when Terry was fading in and out of conciousness.

Now one year later, I still make it a point to stop by that same shopette each evening at around 6 PM on my way home from my daily bike ride. I go there now to treat myself to a daily slurpee and to keep hydrated after my long bike ride home. Just like Terry did in the past, I look forward to this daily evening treat!

The shopette recently started a promotion on these slurpees. They cost only 69 cents from July 15 through Sept 16. To date, since the start of thispromotion, I have already enjoyed 23 of these slurpees on each afternoon that I have gone biking (see my Slurpee Pyramid photo)

I know that I will be leaving MacDill AFB O/A August 29th and will put my RV in storage for one month and go visit my mother and brothers before returning back here in late September. I will have a chance to enjoy just a few more slurpees after my bike rides before I leave.

I wonder just how many slurpees I will get to enjoy during the rest of my lifetime?

Each day at the tail end of my bike ride. as I enjoy my slurpee, I often think about Terry’s final days and how such a simple thing as a slurpee (which most of us take for granted) was just one of a very few things that Terry was able to look forward to and to enjoy in some way in his last days.

Luv,

Gary

Check Out This Meetup Event I Attended on Sunday Afternoon

Hey All,

For the most part I had a fairly quiet weekend and only attended one meetup event on Sunday afternoon which you might find very interesting. It’s all about social diversity. I am trying to mix and mingle these days with all kinds of different social groups and people as I believe it makes life more interesting.

Although I signed up for several other events that I was going to attend over the weekend, I canceled out of most of them. This is because first I had the panic of my cell phone breaking and my worries that I would lose all my historical data. Luckily I was able to purchase a new cell and get most of my data recovered. Secondly, the weather this weekend was somewhat inclement, making my motivation to attend outdoor activities a bit limited. Third, my Tuesday and Thursday urology procedures took a toll on me this week and I was experiencing a lot of pain. So Friday and Saturday I pretty much stayed around the airbase going to the gym (although my workouts were a bit limited)and then returning home (my RV) watching DVDs in the evening.

By Sunday, I was getting a bit stir crazy so after the gym in the morning I had to get out. Also, the weather seemed to be much better. So, I decided to drive to St Pete and to meetup with a new group that was having their first event which was a pool party at the Hollander Hotel, an iconic landmark in St Pete.

The group was made up primarily of Lesbians and OMG were they a hoot to hang out with! Where would you be able to watch women going crazy, like a bunch of Fraturnity Brothers (in this case Sisters!) Where would you be able to watch two girls having a heated discussion of there favorite football team. Were could you listen to such great music from 2 lesbians (see my video) that I found out are part of a very popular lesbian band out of Atlanta. Okay…enough here, the photos I’m including tell it all!

Girls having friendly discussion about whose favorite football team is the best.

Okay….close your eyes (if you find this part of the post offensive) as it is all about ” Girls just wanting to have some fun!”

Flamingo shorts….how Floridian!

Have a great week.

Luv,

Gary

Busch Gardens Visit with Beau and Mark

Hey All,

Last Saturday when Beau was visiting we went to Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fl for the day. My friend Mark came along with us. Beau and I met Mark last time that she had visited me here when we had gone sailing out of Davis Island. Mark was on the same sailboat as we were that evening back then and we all became friends.

There are so many roller coasters at Busch Gardens and the speed and steepness of the drops can be intense. There was also one that had seven inverted loops. Let’s just say that roller coasters and Beau don’t mix very well. The one with 7 loops really did a number on her, so for the most part Beau sat out these rides while Mark and I went on them.

We had a fun day, but for some reason, I didn’take many photos, but will attach the few I took to this blog.

Hope this post comes thru okay as my cell phone battery over-heated yesterday and caused my cell that I have been using that was originally Terry’s to break. Was not a good afternoon, especially since it was also one of my “T” days. I had to go to the Sprint store to get a new one and I was there pretty late last evening. I am a bit upset as there was so much that Terry had on the old phone that is now lost (I think).? Sprint was limited in assisting me so the new phone thus far only has the basics. As you know, I’m not tech savvy, so it will be a challenge for me to try to set up and navigate on this new cell, which will have some limitations as it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that Terry had on his old phone. Time will tell.

Have a great weekend!

Luv,

Gary

Hey TBA Members…Meet Beau !

Hey All,

On this past Friday evening after visiting the Aquariun in Tampa, Beau and I drove to Treasure Island where we hung around witb my Tampa Bay Adventurers (TBA) Meetup group friends at a place called Sloppy Joes, followed by hanging out on the beach with my friends to watch the sunset followed by late night dancing in St Petersburg at a place called Ringside. We had a great evening and Beau enjoyed meeting everyone.

Have a great Thursday. It’s a “T” day for me so off to the VA Hospital for my bi-weekly procedure.

Sorry. Video is pretty dark. Just wanted you to see the late sunset.

Luv,

Gary

A Visit From An Angel This Past Weekend

This past weekend I had a special visit from an Angel. This angel did not have any wings, but she did wear a very nice sun hat. This angel’s name is my good friend “Beau”!

As you know in one of my recent posts entitled, “Two Years Ago Today”, although it was my 62 nd birthday, it was also the 2 year anniversary of Terry and I selling our house in Dallas, Tx and departing on that very day to begin what we originally thought would be our great travel adventure. As you know…our original travel plans changed dramatically as a result of Terry’s failing health. As I reflected on my birthday about the 2 years that had just passed and all the life changing events that have occurred in that short time period… it made me sad. Knowing that Terry really never had that chance to live that adventure that we had been so excited about and now living alone and undergoing several medical challenges, it seems that my drive to do any extensive traveling right now has faded for me. Just don’t have the drive.

Beau sensing my recent depression, decided to get into her car this past Friday and to make the 4-hour hour drive from the Melbourne/Cocoa Beach area to Tampa to spend the weekend with me and to celebrate my 62nd birthday.

Just making this visit would have been enough, but Beau being the “giving” and “caring” person that she is came here bearing gifts.

She presented me wih a beautiful birthday card, a huge birthday cake (which I admit I ate 2/3rds of it myself in just 2 days), a beautiful gift basket with all kinds of assorted treats, and she even bought us a pass to hit several major attractions in the Tampa area to keep us on the go during her visit to include the Aquarium, Busch Gardens, etc.

In this post, I will only concentrate on the brief trip we made on Friday afternoon to the Tampa aquarium and do a couple follow-on posts later this week on some of our other adventures while Beau visited with me.

I am including a selfi video that I did while at the Aquarium, but I must apologize for my gum chewing while doing it, so parts of the video might be a bit distracting ….sorry. No gum chewing next time!

All in all….A wonderful weekend visit from one of God’s living angels named “Beau”!

Have a great rest of your week

Luv,

Gary

Don’t Worry….Be Happy

Thought I’d start of the week by sending you this impromptu video I took at a place called Sloppy Joes in Treasure Island this past Friday.

The kids were so cute just dancing away to the music. Pay particular attention to the dance moves of the little girl to the right especially after her Mom turns her arround about 1/3 rd of the way thru the short video. Is this little girl’s dancing cute or what?

Have a great week!

Gary

Two Years Ago Today

It was 2 years ago today that I turned 60 years old. It was also the day that we officially sold our home in Dallas, Texas. After our closing appointment that morning, Terry, Roxy and I got into our brand new truck with attached RV and departed for Pensacola, Florida.

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We were all so excited and ready to begin our new adventures of living off the grid in our brand new RV really not knowing for sure what the future would hold. We knew that our original travel plans would have a temporary setback so that we could focus first and foremost on obtaining medical care for Terry’s cancer. We had hoped that Terry’s medical condition would eventually be resolved and that his cancer would be eradicated and that we would be able to live out our dreams and to do some extensive traveling throughout the country in our new RV and to just enjoy life and to grow old together.

What a difference just 2 years makes. Today I am 62 years old and both Terry (my spouse) and Roxy (our doggie) have departed this earth much too early and inthe prime of their lives. So, now I sit here alone in my RV in Tampa, Florida with really no definitive plans for the future. I just try each day to just cope with life and to embrace it in the best way that I can. What else can I do. I wonder what the next two years has in store for me? Time will tell.

Have a great day.

Gary

Friday Night Movies On The Beach !

On Friday evening I drove to Maidera Beach (near St Petersburg) to meet up with members of the Tampa Bay Adventures to watch an open air movie right on the beach.

The Maidera Beach community does this complimentary movie event on the beach once a month.

The TBA members of the group arrived about 1 1/2 hours early to socialize and to share light snacks. The evening was just perfect with a great sunset over the beach and a full moon to light up the sky afterwards.

Including a few photos below that I took during the event.

Had an interesting conversation that evening with the girl in the photo above. Her name is Martina and she moved to the United States from Hamburg Germany about 1 and 1/2 years ago. She currently resides in Clearwater. Since I had previously lived in Germany for about 5 years back in the mid to late 80’s, I enjoyed speakimg with her and discussing my previous experiences in Germany. Martina was originally from Dresdin, Germany and defected across the Iron Curtain about 2 years before the wall actually came down. Interestingly, back in the mid 80’s I got special visas to drove my car across the Iron Curtain. I had the unique experience to witness first hand what communist life was like on the other side. One of the cities I visited back then was Dresdin, Germany while I was enroute to visit Poland and the former country of Checkoslovakia. I even remembered some of the key areas and special places in and around Dresdin. Martina was amazed that I knew and that I remembered places of where she grew up at. What a small world we live in ! Nice to be able to relate to someone else’s surroundings.

Patriotic Doggie

Hey All,

Here at the Veteran’s Hospital this morning awaiting a CT Scan to be done followed by several other medical appointments.

While sitting in the waiting room with an IV prep in my left arm, along came by this patriotic dog to great me and wish me well and to let me know he is proud to be “An American Doggie!”

Have A Great Day!

Gary

The Fault In Our Stars | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX

Went to the base library on Tuesday afternoon on the way back from finishing my procedure at the Veteran’s Hospital. I usually stop by there weekly to turn in the DVD movies I signed out the week prior and to pick out 10 new ones to hopefully watch throughout the week. When I picked up the new set of moves today, I did this rather quickly and without much thought.

On Tuesday evening, I decided to watch one of these movies. Again without really looking at what I picked out, the one I ended up watching was called “The Fault In Our Stars” and it was about 2 young teenagers who fell in love, each confronted with terminal cancer. The movie came out in 2014 and WoW it was was a great movie and needless to say it brought out alot of emotions in me. I will admit it made me teary- eyed thinking back about my life with Terry and the deep love we had for one another right to the very end.

If you have a chance to pick up this DVD somewhere, I highly encourage you to watch it. You won’t be disappointed.

Luv,

Gary