Departure

December of last year had Gary and myself on a cruise ship in the Eastern Caribbean.

Our last port before returning to Port Canaveral, Florida was Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.

There were 5 cruise ships docked that day and within minutes of each other, it was time to depart.

Here is a quick video of that Departure.

a walnut-sized gland

Several weeks ago in my video post ‘Results‘, I revealed to you my health status and what is next with regards to my care.  I indicated in that video I would undergo the Radical Cystectomy surgery scheduled for January 5th, 2017.

Prior to leaving on our cruise December 11th, I already had a scheduled appointment with my Urologist Dr. P. to discuss the details of my upcoming surgery – more about that appointment later in this post.

After returning from my Thanksgiving trip to Texas and prior to leaving on our cruise, I started having pains in my abdominal region that I had not experienced before.  I also was feeling more discomfort from the ureteral stent that currently is inserted from my right kidney to my bladder.  I felt the pains I experienced to be tolerable and left for the cruise ready for some fun in the sun and sea.  I currently take medications for several different reasons, but have not been taking pain medications for quite some time.  Gary, the proactive person he is did bring my pain medication ‘just in case’ – thank you Gary!

The pain and discomfort increased to the point I began having problems walking, sitting, standing and laying.  I had to start taking the pain pills, several of them a day and tried my best to enjoy the cruise.  Upon the cruise returning to port, we made an overnight stop at Gary’s brother in Orlando and preceded to his younger brother’s home near Pensacola.  All during this time the pain continued as did the pain medication.

Also upon our return, I had a voicemail waiting for me indicating my surgery date is moved to January 16th, 2017.

Yesterday, I had my scheduled appointment with my Urologist Dr. P. to discuss my upcoming surgery.  The appointment instead was to deal with my current abdominal pains I have experienced the past couple of weeks.  Dr. P. ordered blood work and a CT Scan which came back with good results and nothing new with regards to my cancer.  It was determined that the abdominal pains could be related to a prostate infection.

From mayoclinic.org

Prostatitis is swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland, a walnut-sized gland situated directly below the bladder in men. The prostate gland produces fluid (semen) that nourishes and transports sperm.

Prostatitis often causes painful or difficult urination. Other symptoms include pain in the groin, pelvic area or genitals and sometimes flu-like symptoms.

Prostatitis affects men of all ages but tends to be more common in men 50 or younger. The condition has a number of causes. Sometimes the cause isn’t identified. If prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection, it can usually be treated with antibiotics.

Depending on the cause, prostatitis can come on gradually or suddenly. It might improve quickly, either on its own or with treatment. Some types of prostatitis last for months or keep recurring (chronic prostatitis).

I received an injection yesterday of antibiotics and 10 days of pills to treat this infection.  I also received a higher dose of pain medication to help with the discomfort I am currently experiencing.

I have a follow-up appointment with my Urologist Dr. P. next Tuesday to discuss the details of my upcoming surgery.

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Sailing

In my post ‘Welcome Aboard!‘, I wrote the following words –

Gary and I are setting sail on our cruise today.

I plan to take many pictures, some videos and hopefully will have a brain full of ideas for future posts.

In today’s post, I write the following words –

As promised, I took many pictures; here are a few of them.

Words from the song ‘Sailing’ by Christopher Cross.

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Well, it’s not far down to paradise, at least it’s not for me

And if the wind is right you can sail away and find tranquility

Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see

Believe me

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It’s not far to never-never land, no reason to pretend

And if the wind is right you can find the joy of innocence again

Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see

Believe me

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Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be

Just a dream and the wind to carry me

And soon I will be free

Fantasy, it gets the best of me

When I’m sailing

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All caught up in the reverie, every word is a symphony

Won’t you believe me?

Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be

Just a dream and the wind to carry me

And soon I will be free

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Well it’s not far back to sanity, at least it’s not for me

And if the wind is right you can sail away and find serenity

Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see

Believe me

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Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be

Just a dream and the wind to carry me

And soon I will be free

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Celebrate each other

In two days, Gary and I will travel to West Texas to spend Thanksgiving with my family.  We will travel by plane for the Thanksgiving holiday and return to Florida next Monday.

From theweek.com article; 6 Thanksgiving celebrations around the world

Thanksgiving, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, originated in the fall of 1621, when Pilgrims celebrated their first successful wheat crop. The holiday has since evolved into a day in which bickering families and drunken friends gather to consume massive amounts of turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, before lounging for hours in front of the TV or battling strangers during midnight Black Friday sales. But while all of that revelry seems uniquely American, we are not the only culture to celebrate a bountiful harvest.

The article goes on to describe the following agriculturally-based festivals around the world: Canadian Thanksgiving, China’s Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, Korea’s Chuseok, Liberian Thanksgiving, Ghana’s Homowo Festival and The Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles

All the previous mentioned festivals around the world are about celebrating.  Neighbors, friends and families gather together to celebrate by sharing food & stories, dancing, singing and giving thanks.

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Last year around this time I wrote a post ‘This year will be different‘; and I started with the following –

Later this week, my partner and I will spend Thanksgiving with my family in another city about 5 hours away.  Every year on Thanksgiving my siblings, parents, nephews, nieces, and their kids, my sons, and grandkids gather at my sister’s home.  I have not spent Thanksgiving with my family in over 10 years!

This year will be different; I will be there to spend time with my family.

In today’s post, I will conclude with the following –

This year will be the same: I will be there again to spend time with my family.

This year will be the same: Thanksgiving again with my siblings, parents, nephews, nieces and their kids, my sons, and grandkids will gather at my sister’s home.

This year will be different: this year, my spouse and I will spend Thanksgiving with my family in another state about 15 hours away.

This year will be different: this year, I have cancer.

This year my family will gather and have a festival to celebrate Thanksgiving.  We will gather to share food & stories, maybe a little dancing & singing and unquestionably giving thanks.

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Image Provided by: Unveiled Wife

We again will spend another Thanksgiving together and celebrate each other.

My hope for you reading this post, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or any of the above-mentioned festivals around the world, let us keep one thing in mind.

We are diverse in many ways, but then again we are similar in so many more.

Let us celebrate each other.

at the right time.

In my post last month ‘a no go!‘, I wrote the following –

I will not have a chemotherapy treatment for 2 weeks and unsure at this time how this will affect my schedule.  You see next week would have been my week off and then followed by 2 final weeks of chemotherapy for my 4th and final cycle.  Now that I am not finishing the final week of my 3rd cycle I will not know when the 4th cycle will end.

You may remember I am making uncertain plans to travel back to Texas to spend Thanksgiving with my family.  With this latest development in my treatment, these uncertain plans become closer to a certainty that the visit will not take place.

Thanksgiving with my family – it may be a no go!

In today’s post, I write the following –

Thanksgiving with my family – it looks like it may be a go!  Yes, it looks like Gary and I may go to Texas for Thanksgiving!

In last Friday’s post, I wrote it was my last chemotherapy treatment.  This important segment of my journey to a better life has ended and the next steps are in the very near future.

Between today and Thanksgiving, there will be several appointments taking place to determine my future with regards to my healthcare.  Next week, the week before Thanksgiving I will have a CT Scan to determine the results of the chemotherapy I have received for the past 12 weeks.  My CT Scan will then be followed by appointments with my Oncologist Dr. D. and Urologist Dr. P.

The CT Scan and these visits with my doctors should determine what will be coming next in my life.  Some unknowns for the immediate future should be revealed this upcoming week.

I think the timing of the end of my chemotherapy treatment and the future expectations are at the right time.  I should know what the future holds for me when and if I visit my family in Texas for Thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving will be important for me and I believe also for my family.  There are immediate family members who have had health issues with some surgeries and others who continue to struggle with diseases.  But no one in my immediate family has had cancer; I am the first.  And yes, I know cancer is not necessarily my death sentence, but it certainly is an important and dangerous disease that has affected my family and me.

No matter what is revealed next week – the decision will be made if the visit to Texas for Thanksgiving will take place or not.

Today, I do believe I will spend this Thanksgiving with my family.

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98 Degrees

In my post ‘Vacation Week‘, I wrote the following –

I am on vacation this week.

Taking a vacation from hospitals, doctors, procedures and chemo.

In today’s post I write the following –

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Image Provided by: en.wikipedia.org

The title of this post may be a little deceiving; this post is not about the boy band, but so I cover all my bases, here are some facts about the boy band singing group 98 Degrees.  Wikipedia.org has the following –

After rejecting a series of names (including Just Us and Next Issue), the group decided on “98 Degrees” describing body temperature and their music.

Okay, enough about them, this post is about me.

My vacation week was nice, in that I felt good enough to take some short travel trips including exploring some surrounding locations.  Tuesday Gary and I drove to visit his mom who lives with his younger brother in a city near our location.  The drive is about an hour and to take time to visit his mom always makes her day.  The following days we took additional short trips to nearby Alabama and visited Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Fairhope.

Friday came quickly and another short travel trip was taken.  I went to bed my normal time and usually wake 6-7 hours later and move to a recliner for a change of position.  Remember I have tube in my back that restricts me from having many sleeping positions.  Friday night I awakened in 4 hours after going to bed for the night and thought this odd.  As usual I moved to the recliner to sleep the rest of the night away and a couple of hours later I wake to a shivering body; a freezing body.

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Image Provided by: en.wikipedia.org

I make my way back to the bedroom at which time I wake Gary and ask for a blanket.  Then another blanket is requested followed by a third one – I was freezing.  Now we keep our RV quite warm, and Gary was astonished I was freezing and needed all these blankets.

A couple of hours later, the dawn is breaking the horizon and the nausea begins followed by a hot body.  Okay, those may be a poor choice of words, everyone knows I do not have a hot body; I did at a younger age, but those days are certainly over – I digress.  The hot body pertains to my body temperature and Gary proceeds to take my temperature.  99 degrees, not too bad, but then later my temperature is taken again and this time it is 101.4 degrees.  The call is made to the oncology hotline and the doctor prescribes 2 antibiotics.

Sunday I felt better, therefore the final trip of my Vacation Week was taken and that evening the temperature reaches 101.6.  Monday my temperature spikes to 102.6 and I am now in the hospital.

That was the way my Vacation Week ended; no 98 Degrees, but 102.6 Degrees – not a catchy name for a boy band group!

Let’s buy a 5th Wheel

From my post ‘Exciting times ahead‘, I wrote the following –

Last Friday, we officially bought our RV for our future travel adventure.  Our plan is to take possession of the RV Friday of next week at which time we will move it from the current site which is where we bought it to a RV park owned by the RV Dealership.  We plan to stay in the RV for a couple of nights to become accustomed to our new living arrangement.

In today’s post, I write the following –

Today is the day we are taking possession of our RV and moving from the RV Dealership to an RV park for just tonight only.  This is the day I will drive and tow the RV for the first time.  Originally when Gary and I decided to embark on this travel adventure we had decided to buy a travel trailer.

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Image Provided by: http://www.ebay.com

A travel trailer was lighter and it could be hitched to the back of the truck without much effort involved.  Also no changes to the truck itself would be needed.  We searched several dealerships and found one we really liked.  We were waiting to buy it until we knew we had an offer on the house.

We decided to take one more look at a different dealership and then we would make our decision.  After additional thinking about our plans and our wants and needs, we decided the travel trailer may not be our most desired RV.  Upon further research, we decided we would buy a 5th wheel instead of a travel trailer.  The 5th wheel is larger, but is a light weight 5th wheel, meaning our truck can handle towing It.  We did have a 5th wheel hitch installed in the bed of the truck a couple of weeks ago and earlier this week we had one additional change to the truck to help make the towing easier and smoother.

Tomorrow morning, we will move the 5th wheel to our home for an overnight stay and then Sunday back to the RV Dealership storage facility.  During the time it is parked at our home, we will pack some items that we will be taking with us to our next temporary destination.

There are 25 days left before the new owners take possession of our current home.  Today, Gary and I take possession of our new home.

The last several weeks were busy with the surgery, recovery and the downsizing and packing.

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Image Provided by: http://www.ebay.com

The next several weeks will continue to be busy as we continue to downsize, pack and prepare for the big day.

I think back to a year ago, when about this time, Gary and I were coming back to Dallas from our first of several trips to Florida to look for a new location to start a new chapter in our lives.  Little did I know a year ago, our plans would be different, very different!

Fingers Crossed

In my post ‘IN 45 MINUTES‘, I concluded with the following –

Image9The showing came and stayed about 20 minutes and then left.

Did anything come out of the showing?

No offer, but the response from the realtor is the people did like the house and the neighborhood.

Will there be a call today?Image8

In today’s post, I begin with the following –

I received quite a few comments on that post that I would like to share –

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As you can see, I received some very optimistic and positive comments sending good luck my way.

Within a couple of hours of the last comment, guess what?  Yes, you are correct – we received another call!  It is Friday evening and the call comes in for a showing on Saturday from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM.  This gave us plenty of time to have the home ‘show-ready’.  Image7We were up bright and early with a few preparations to take care of and 11:15 AM we had the house ready to show.  There is a knock on the door and it is the realtor showing the house and indicates they are early, no problem; we grab our cell phones and Roxy (our dog) and get into the truck and leave.  The realtor and her clients are standing on the sidewalk and we wave as we drive by.  Nice younger couple with a young daughter; they wave back and smile.

Image5Gary and I drive around a bit and then park in our usually spot across the main street from our small cul-de-sac.  20 minutes pass, that is a good sign – 30 minutes pass, they must like the house; 40 minutes, then 50 minutes, then 1 hour passes.  Image6The cars then leave the cul-de-sac and we proceed back to our house.  1 hour; they must really like the house.

The anticipation grows as Gary and I talk about the possible outcome of this most recent showing.  We are hopeful they liked the home and an offer will soon follow.  Later in the evening we receive feedback from the showing agent –

‘My clients are considering their options in Lake Highlands and Richardson over the Memorial Day weekend. They are interested in this lovely home.’

Yes, this is very good feedback!  Now the waiting begins.  What will their decision be?  When will Image4the decision be made?  Will we receive an offer?

We will have to wait a few days.

I wrote this post on Sunday morning and am publishing today.  It has been a few days now Image3since that very good feedback.

The waiting continues.

 

Fingers Crossed.

Are we there yet?

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Image Provided by: dynastyfootballwarehouse.com

I feel like I am on a journey to ‘The Kingdom of Far, Far Away’.

In my post ‘The planning continues‘, I wrote the following –

There is still a house to sell and possessions to rid of and other activities that must be dealt with before the travel begins.  Gary and I are ready to begin, but other activities must first take place before hand.  The truck is bought and an RV has been picked out.  We are waiting to purchase the RV until the house is sold.

As we continue to plan, I will keep you posted on the progress.

In my post ‘show-ready‘, I wrote the following –

The additional activities that will take place once a solid offer is in place and the results of my next Dr. F. visit are on hold until the time comes.  In the meantime, we continue to clean windows, dust furniture, wipe countertops, pickup leaves from the yard and wait for that next call and the next showing.

In today’s post, I write the following –

We have made plans as to where we would like to travel to, the locations & stops and the amount of time for each location.  These plans will change as at this point in time we do not have a date when the travel adventure will start.  I am holding off on revealing the travel plans with you at this time because, they will change and I want to make sure we have concrete plans before revealing to you.  Upon receiving an offer on the house and depending on the results of my doctor visit; we then will finalize our plans.

Stay tuned my friends and be patient as I have enough frustration for all of us.

I am like a child (or donkey) sitting in the backseat and continually asking the question “Are we there yet?”

I respond to myself “The Kingdom of Far, Far Away, that’s where we are going – far, far away!”

The journey is partially planned, but yet to start.

And in the meantime Gary and I continue to have the house ‘show-ready’ and remain optimistic.

Are we there yet?

The planning continues

In my post ‘Plan B; your curveball‘, I concluded with the following –

If you are interested in meeting in person, some day in the future, let me know.  You can send an email to garyberrylights@gmail.com and let me know you are interested.  Also let me know your location, I do not need your address, just the city and state would be fine.  This way I can try to fit in a meeting up with you into our trip we are planning and who knows – maybe we can meet in person!

This journey on wheels Gary and I are taking is very exciting and new to us.  We feel it is something we want and need to do.

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Image Provided by: ww2.kqed.org

Where will we eventually end up, we do not know.  But in the process, if I could meet some of you who follow my blog – that would be awesome.  Let me know.

Batter up – this is your curveball!

In today’s post, I write the following –

I have received emails from several of you and look forward to starting our travels soon.  If anyone else is interested, you are welcome to send me an email at the above email address.  Our planning continues as we plot our course and plan the details of travel adventure.  Where are we going?  What part of the United States will we travel?  Where are our stops?  These and other questions will be answered soon and hopefully the adventure will begin soon as well.

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There is still a house to sell and possessions to rid of and other activities that must be dealt with before the travel begins.  Gary and I are ready to begin, but other activities must first take place before hand.  The truck is bought and an RV has been picked out.  We are waiting to purchase the RV until the house is sold.

As we continue to plan, I will keep you posted on the progress.