I have already related to you the mess we had with insurance over medical problems.
We came back to Colorado, and then after getting that straightened out, we saw JoAnne’s oncologist, and dates were scheduled.
As luck, or perhaps fine tuning, would have it, we had a three week hiatus in which to make another trip across country. We wound up traveling back from Colorado to Southport. We stopped (as usual) to visit our friends, Mike and Cindy, as Cindy is preparing for her starring role in “A Bad Year for Tomatoes” in November. (As of this writing, she did opening night and the second night’s play. This Friday night and Saturday should be their final curtain.)
We stopped around Tennessee and we wound up at Southport late on the evening of our arrival.
The boat was pretty much a mess. Books and other things not nailed down flew around during the hurricane. A solar panel pulled loose from the top and fell to the deck, ripping wires from the connectors. Fortunately, it wasn’t much of a mess, the books were cleaned up, the batteries checked, and we stayed with our friend at her apartment for a couple of night until I could clean the interior of the boat up.
We spend the next week doing minor repairs, and prepping the boat for the winter, dumping our water tanks and removing any remaining food stuffs to the car, to return that with us to Colorado. Why not use it there?
I repaired and tested the solar charging system. We had a major water gusher under the sink where our Seagull Water filter system resided, and had worked itself loose, releasing pressure when turning on the pressure water system. We move a few things to storage, removed a few winter clothes and after about a week on the ground there, set out again for Colorado.
This time, we took a few extra days, as there was no rush. We stopped again with Mike and Cindy and spent a full day assisting in the set build for the play at the local VFW Hall in Richmond, MO. I helped Cindy with her lines and we had a good time hanging out with them. The day we left, we both had colds, and were kind of miserable.
So, we stopped in Kansas for the night instead of making the long, eleven hour run from Richmond back to Colorado Springs. We spent the night got up late, traveled and arrived back here.
Over the course of the last week, we’ve been to multiple doctor’s appointments, been in and out of two hospitals and visited most of our kids.
A couple of days ago, our fourteenth grand child was born. His name is Lincoln Alan Dale Donaldson, and he was 5lbs & 15oz. He’s have a few breathing issues apparently though, and is still in the hospital until they can get him breathing correctly, even perhaps giving him some red blood cells to help as he seemed slightly anemic. Otherwise, he seemed healthy. His mom and dad (Lana and Patrick) are quite proud!
Yesterday was the beginning of JoAnne’s chemo. She has six sessions. They are 21 days long (scheduling, not that many days in a row!.)
The first day is a lot of chemicals, drugs to prevent nausea. etc. The second set in the first session, will be 7 days out from the first day, and will be a short session to give her another dose of one of the chemicals. Then it starts over again on Day 21. This will go on for six total sessions, or about 18 weeks, interspersed with doctor’s appointments, blood work and other tests as needed.
We are hoping this particular chemotherapy doesn’t make her lose her hair like the first one did, but we’re prepared that it will, just in case. She has some hats and scarves, like last time. The chemicals are somewhat different this time as well, and her doctor said that people do not lose their hair “as much” with this type.
JoAnne is a tough cookie. She fought this last time and managed to beat it back for four full years, she never really even got ill as some do, through chemo, and she worked the whole time last time. This time, we’re completely retired and have nothing to keep us from fighting this all the way through. She’s going to get plenty of rest in spite of herself! ha!
JoAnne, the First Mate of the Sailing Ketch, Adventure!
We both want to tell you folks, those who are already out there and follow us, and those thinking about it, as well as our friends who are comfortable in their homes, snuggled up by the fireplaces, drinking their hot chocolates, or martinis by the fire:
Stop living life the easy way. Don’t pass the opportunities that come your way. Don’t live day-to-day and Check-to-Check.
Do NOT let life pass you by while you’re “waiting for retirement”. Don’t sit on your butts, thinking about all the things you’re going to do “When I don’t have to work again”. Do NOT wait for “enough money” (because you will NEVER HAVE ENOUGH MONEY!) to do the “RV Thing”, “buy a boat”, “go horse back riding”, “Mountain Climbing”, “Paragliding or skydiving”.
Just don’t wait. Do it. Sit down and make that list of things you want to do, and then check them off, one at a time. Save some money, go do one, pick a date, do another.
Life isn’t lived while you’re “waiting on it to catch you”. Life is lived when you grab that bull by the horns and wrestle his big ass down into the mud and hog tie him, then jump up and win that trophy.
The day JoAnne gets her walking papers from chemo, we’re headed back to Southport without meager belongings, and we’re going to empty out the Vee Berth, put everything we don’t need in storage (winter clothing, parts, junk pieces, extra crap that we “might need one day” and all the stuff that weigh us down, collect a couple of friends as crew and we’re setting sail for the Bahamas. Yes, it will be near the beginning of Hurricane Season. Yes, it might be the BEST sailing time. Yes, it will be relatively spur of the moment, pretty much “unplanned” and absolutely not the “right season”, but you know what? It’s well past time to do it.
We made a decision awhile back that we were going to live our lives, and do the “medical stuff” around life, not live our lives around the “medical stuff”. I’ll keep JoAnne safe, and healthy, and make sure she sees the doctors when it’t time, but we’re not sitting on our asses waiting for a “day, date, season or proper time” any longer.
To our friends Kevin and Debi – skippers of their own ships, be prepared, we’re coming for you, we need a crew! (Don’t be surprised if you get shanghaied!!!!!!!!!