Tuesday, July 23, 2013

More Doctors Join the Team & More Planning

Again, hard to believe it has been over a week since we posted.  Would love to say we have been busy running around, but just not the case.  Bob has been busy with our travel agency (that's a good thing).

I had lab work done on Tuesday in preparation for the recurring 3 week Wednesday treatment.  All went well.  Even felt good on the days after this time.

Friday had us off to Cleveland again to visit yet another doctor (Spine specialist - Dr. Krishnany).  He was concerned with the pain I have been experiencing and ordered a standing x-ray to gather more information.

The weekend came and went with nothing exciting to report.

A new week brought about new appointments (and even more doctors).   Started the day with another brain MRI.  Since we met with the brain doctor in the afternoon, we received the results same day. Word is that it looks good as there was no new growth.  So, time to move on to the spine.  All indications are that I will be a good candidate for radiation to the spine.

The procedure for the spine sounds very similar to the CyberKnife that was used for the brain.  But, with new procedures, comes new doctors.  This radiation (Stereotactic Spine Radiosurgery) requires not one, but TWO doctors.  Welcome to the team Drs. Angelov and Chao.

Both doctors "worked us in" on Monday so we would not have to return another day.  Even if it made the day extremely long (11 AM to 5:30PM), it was nice that they did that for us.

Each doctor had to explain the radiosurgery procedure at great length.  Next step is to have the mold made (again, similar to the mask that was needed for the brain).  That is currently scheduled for July 31. Once that is done, they will work on the "mapping" to pinpoint the radiation.  Probably will not get rolling for another week or so.

That's the latest.  The really good part of Monday was getting to go see Bethany's new office.  Then later heading back to the Davis house for the evening.  The dogs sure enjoyed playing together and we enjoyed visiting.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

One week and 1618 miles: miles 916 - 1618

We arrived back to Bethany's Friday evening (mile 1329) to find out that she had a flat tire and we needed to have her car in to the shop by 7a Saturday morning.

Got that accomplished, then it was time to take Connie's parents back to SW Ohio while Connie stayed with Bethany and James.

Got the car hooked up and about the time we should have had lunch, we were going to be at my Mom's house (mile 1435) so we arranged to pick her up.  We went out to Edison's Depot, which was kind of fascinating.  Apparently, during Edison's time, the village decided to rename itself after the inventor.  He wasn't born there, didn't live there and didn't die there, but the little village just took it upon themselves to honor him.

Connie's parents decided to head on to Wilmington by themselves, I spent a little more time with my Mom, then headed back to Cleveland.  Got back to Cleveland (mile 1541) around 4p and we spent the evening with Bethany, James and the kids.

Pretty neat the way our two girls and Bethany and James' dog Tucker get along, play, romp, wear each other out.

We had dinner out at a local tavern (Stamper's) close to the kids house in Fairview Park.  Food was decent.

Afterward, we watched our first two episodes of Duck Dynasty.  Not sure what the buzz is about, but at least we can say we've seen it.  Spent the night in the spare bedroom (different bed #5), had some pancakes in the morning and off we went for Ashtabula.

Arrived back to the rig almost 7 days and 1 hour after we left (mile 1618).  Drove about one way to Billings, MT.  Everything was good here, took about an hour to unpack and we were back to semi normal.

One week and 1618 miles: miles 487 - 916

We left Bethany's house fairly early on Wednesday morning (mile 487) and headed for Baltimore MD.

You've 'arrived' when you have
your own, personalized
timpani stool
I had contacted one of my former students (James Wyman) who had recently been appointed principal timpanist for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  James met us outside Meyerhoff Hall when we arrived into town and gave us a tour.  What a beautiful facility.

Very proud of James.  Taught a lot of talented students, some of whom wanted to make music a profession.  Was worried James was never going to leave NE Ohio area and his talents wouldn't be truly appreciated.  He looks to be in a terrific place.

Stayed the night at the Holiday Inn Columbia in Jessup, MD (different bed #3).  Lots of Munzees around, capped quite a few of them, put out a few.  Had dinner at T.G.I. Friday's which was a bit of a disappointment, but we still enjoyed ourselves.

Thursday, we did some morning business at the hotel, had a great breakfast (for a hotel) then headed to the Inner Harbor.  We'd been there before, but we decided to do a different corner than we had been to before.  Afterward, we headed to Fort McHenry.

Oh, say can you see
(this flag?)
As a band director, I had told the story of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner many times.  I had seen the actual banner quite a few years ago at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.  However, I had never been to Fort McHenry.  Its different when you tell a story vs. you're standing where the story actually happened.  Love that part of history.

Our purpose for our trip to Baltimore was at hand as we boarded the Grandeur of the Seas.  She had a fire in late May which had kept her out of service until Thursday.  We did a 1 night cruise to nowhere and saw most all of her staterooms and public rooms.

They've done a pretty good job of modernizing her.  Neither of us were overly impressed with the way they chopped up the Viking Crown Lounge, but otherwise,  we liked everything about her.  Was excited to see the new aerial display in the centrum but walked away a little disappointed.  Its possible I set the bar too high.

Also had the pleasure to meet face to face one of our newest outside agents (Janelle) and her husband (Jeff).  She's 'Nancy Newbie' (her term) in the travel business, but she reminded us of us.  Gathering every insight, trying to get ideas, learning about the industry, etc.  She's going to do very well in the business.

Spent the night in an oceanview room (different bed #4), had a decent (although too early!) breakfast the next morning and off we headed (mile 916) for Cleveland on Friday.

One week and 1618 miles: miles 0 - 487

We left Sunday (mile 0) at 10a and headed to our hometown of Wilmington (OH).

When we stopped for fuel (mile 102), we saw a dually from South Dakota also fueling.  "You're not from South Dakota, either, are you?", I asked.  "Nope.  We're full time RV'ers."  The club is large.

While I was a senior (and Connie was a sophomore), our high school had a Rotary Exchange student from Australia named Rob McKerras.  He and his two children were going to be back in town to visit, so Connie and I headed there to meet him and some other old friends (mile 256) that were having a picnic for him at J.W. Denver Williams, Jr. Memorial Park.

Bye, Bye Birdie from
my senior year in high school

Rob was 'Conrad Birdie' in Bye, Bye, Birdie that year.  Was supposed to have been "my role", but he moved in and was really terrific.  That's Rob in the foreground, me in the back in a choir robe.

Had a great time, saw some people we hadn't seen in almost 35 years.  Lots of catching up.

The Murphy Theater
We stayed the night at Connie's parents who still live in Wilmington (different bed #1 of the week).  Monday, I went downtown for some nostalgia and to put out some munzees.  It was a treat to be given a tour of the Murphy Theatre.  Hadn't been in there for quite a few years.  Great video about her here.  Monday was also Connie's Mom's birthday and we celebrated by taking her out to Bob Evans.

Tuesday, we had decided to hook up her parents car to their car caddy and drag it to Cleveland and our daughter's house.  They were going to dog sit our girls and Bethany's dog while we were off to Baltimore.

We had all kinds of problems that could have been alleviated if I'd have worked at it Monday.  Oz (Connie's dad) had a different light adapter than we thought, and we couldn't find the light bar for the tow vehicle.  His RV is out for repairs, so we had to make a couple of trips out there.  Alas, it was buried in his shed.  We hooked it up, realized he was missing a couple of pins also.  So, off we went to Tractor Supply.

We worked on the lights while Connie and her mother (Dorothy) ate in Arby's.  It was a lost cause.  Too many problems, bad wires/connections.  After about two hours of messing around, we decided to just run the flashers and get on the road.

We arrived at Bethany's house (mile 487) around 5p on Tuesday, had some pizza and settled in for the night (different bed #2).

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friends, friends, everywhere....

Monday we greeted our friend Karen from Bellevue (OH).  Karen is married to our good friend from tOSU, Dennis.  We've always enjoyed their company.  She's so much fun.  We spent most of the (rainy, crappy) day catching each other up (she's not a Facebooker) since Bethany's wedding.  Laughed.  A lot.  Wish we could have imported someone to be our fourth to play Euchre, that was the only thing missing.  Lenny also came over and joined in the festivities.

Tuesday, was a better day and we took a raft ride on the Ashtabula River.  Followed it by a delish lunch at Briquettes Smokehouse on Bridge Street after a little ride around showing Karen our old house, Lenny's place and the Elks Club.  We both had the pulled pork sandwich, it was excellent!

Wednesday night, Lenny came over and helped us break in the new blue rope lights on the awning.  Also found out it will take a pretty good rainstorm and not flinch.  (Good news as I've had serious bad luck with awnings).

Thursday (July 4th) we had a surprise visit from a couple of our boating friends from the past (Dave & Carolyn).  They both looked spectacular.  Then, our friends Don and April came over.  We've been friends for almost 30 years.  Ate a bunch, drank too much.  Laughed a lot.  Got a river raft in.  Finally didn't have rain until late at night.

No treatments or Doctor's appointments this coming week and we got an offer from Royal Caribbean for a free 1 night cruise on the Grandeur of the Seas redeployment after her fire.  Going to do some serious driving, see Connie's parents, our hometown of Wilmington, our daughter and son-in-law, Baltimore, and much more.  Will be blogging quite a bit next week.