Sunday, December 28, 2014

December and The Holidays

We've been at Copano Bay RV Resort since December 20th.  Had a Happy Hour most afternoons with our friends here.

Connie has had two treatments since our last blog.  She seems to be tolerating them very well.  Her oncologist sees most of the cancer being stable and not worthy of being too aggressive, so that's what we've done.

Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas.  We had a snacks and carols on Christmas Eve, then an afternoon potluck Christmas dinner here at the park.  All very good food, fun to be a part of.

Christmas Day we had a FaceTime conversation with our daughter, Bethany, and her husband, James (and dogs).  With the announcement that she's expecting in June, we'll probably be doing a lot more of this in the coming months and years.

We took our Christmas decorations down yesterday, the day after Christmas which is earlier than either of us can remember..  Its amazing how much space we donate to our Christmas decorations, but its something both of us enjoy.

Weather has been terrific (until today where its rainy and in the 40's) with the highs in the 60's-70's and the lows in the 50's-60's.  Going to be a bit of a roller coaster for the next couple of weeks.

We'll be following the Buckeyes to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.  Meeting our daughter at the airport in Houston, then on to Baton Rouge for New Year's Eve, then NOLA for New Year's Day and the game vs. Alabama.  Shortly after we return (with Bethany) to Rockport, we'll head back with her to Dallas where she's working the National Championship game (and hopefully to continue to follow the Buckeyes!)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Vacation is Over

It's been a while since our last post.  We have been busy enjoying my vacation from treatments.

As noted in our previous blog, we had a great time making our way to Texas.  It took us 7 weeks to get here!

Time to get back on the treatments.  The diagnostic scans were done in early November.  For the most part, they show that most areas are stable.  There are a few new areas in the lungs and minor progession.  However, the doctor feels they are not very concerning.

So, with that news, we are going to continue on the hormone pill that we started back in August and combine it with Herceptin infusion.  This is a drug that I had received previously and tolerated it with minimal side effects.

Going to get this started tomorrow.  Treatments will be every 3 weeks.

Hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday.  We had a good time and good food here at the park.  Met some really nice folks!

Had a couple of days of cooler weather.  It inspired us to get out the Christmas decorations.  We will be moving to our normal winter spot in Rockport on the 20th.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Recap of a few days on the road...

We left Lake Cumberland on Wednesday around 9:30a and arrived at the Chattanooga Holiday Trav-L-Park.  Hadn't been to Chattanooga for probably 15 years.

Thursday, we went up Lookout Mountain just to see the view, which was awesome.  The drive up and the drive down were horrifying.  Hate that kind of driving (two lane road, twisty, straight up or straight down).  Ugh.  Saw two Class A motorhomes and could only imagine the drive.  Yikes.

We looked for a place to have a cocktail with a view and found the Boathouse Chattanooga which overlooked the Tennessee River.  Not much boat traffic, but the crewing teams were working out which was cool.

Decided while we were at the Boathouse to bite the bullet and put new tires on the truck, so we did that.  Why can't those guys tell time?  Said it would be "an hour, maybe an hour and a half".  We got there at 4:30p, left there at 6:50p.  Had a couple of beers across the street at a little neighborhood bar.  Had to leave once the locals got there, they were all smokers.  In Tennessee, if you make the place 21 and over, you can dictate the smoking laws.

Friday, we made the short run to Stone Mountain Family Park Campground.  Not our candy bar of a campground.  Total tree shade.  The sites were OK, but getting into them was a challenge (and one that I was up for).  After two aborts, we got the big spud in there.  Another thing, when it rained EVERYTHING was mud (no sunlight, no grass).  Liked its location, wasn't crazy about the sites.

Saturday, we went to the Yellow Daisy Festival.  Fantastic.  Over 400 craft vendors, but the ONE thing we were looking for (a flag holder with a light on top), nobody had.  Talked to a guy on Monday before we left (the campground was pretty much filled with vendors rig's) and he said he'd been doing this festival for 20 years and this one was about 2/3 of what it had been in the past.  Rained on Thursday, Friday and Sunday made it a bad one.  We were pretty wide eyed, but we went there on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Saturday night, we went to the Hudson Grille in Shady Springs to party with the Ohio State Alumni Club of Atlanta.  Great folks.  Shared a table with a Buckeye Alum and his girlfriend who was from Atlanta.  We had a great time, even though game didn't end up as we would have hoped.

Sunday was a good recovery day.  Sunday night, we went out with one of Connie's Wilmington HS friends that she hadn't seen for almost 30 years.  Ate at a place called Summit's Wayside Tavern and enjoyed the company of Nancy, Craig and Evan.  Food was good, company was terrific catching up on old friends and news from the Wil City.

Today (Monday) we made the short drive to Columbus, GA (actually Midland) and Lake Pines RV Campground.  Nice park, much more our style.  We can hear the shooting from the range at Camp Benning.  Check in guy said there might be artillery fire, but that didn't happen.  Nor did any paratroopers (that we could see from our site) which usually practice on Mondays.  Oh well.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Couple of Days on the Road

We got on the road Monday (the 1st) about 9:30a.  Pretty uneventful ride, not much construction to deal with, little or no traffic through Cleveland and Columbus.  Got into Caesar Creek State Park around 3p.

Pretty quick set up since there's no water or sewage and we weren't going to set up the dish.  We got cleaned up and went into Wilmington (our hometown) to see Connie's Dad and his wife for dinner at Damon's.  (I'm dieting so I had a salad.  Hated smelling those ribs and that BBQ everywhere, but I found the strength.)  Had a wonderful time with Marion and Betty.

After dinner, we ran out to Kroger (diesel was $3.51/gallon) and Wal Mart before meeting my lifelong friend Rich and his wife Kim at Buffalo Wild Wings.  Great time catching up, beating Rich at trivia, and enjoying each other's company.

On the way back to the campground about 0.3 miles from the entrance I double thumped a skunk.  Here it is Wednesday morning and the truck still smells.

Overnight it rained hard.  Carmen didn't get much sleep, so we didn't either.  Waited out the morning rain and got on the road about 10:00a.  About 5 miles from our destination (Renfro Valley, KY) we see a sign that says left land closed 5 miles ahead.  Things started slowing down in about a mile to a crawl.  There was a truck with a fifth wheel still attached that had broken down in the left hand lane.  We're still crawling after we get by him.  About a mile past him, there's a sign that the RIGHT lane is closed in 1 mile.  Now, its a mess and as I look in the rear view mirror there's a storm coming.  Long story short, it took us about an hour to go that last 5 miles and just as we got in the storm lets loose.

We took the 35 mile run over to Somerset and Burnside.  We first started coming down here with Connie's parents when we were dating in the late 70's.  Its where we both fell in love with boating and camping.  From that first time till now the road in from I-75 has become marvelous.  What once was a twisty, turning, up and down two lane road is now a great ride with 3 and four lanes gently going over the landscape.

If someone would have wanted to prospect on property since the 80's, Somerset, Kentucky would have been a great choice.  We rode with amazement what used to be a two lane highway and is now a booming commerce center with 5 lanes.  Nothing (except the 'floating Arby's' and Sonny's BBQ) was like we remembered it.  It was amazing.

Dennis, Craig and Don will be sad to know that "the bus" gave way to corporate America and is now where a strip mall sits.

We crossed the bridge out of Somerset into Burnside and our hearts sank.  That poor little town has almost completely dried up.  As much as Somerset has prospered, Burnside has collapsed.  The 7 Gables hotel and restaurant where we first stayed was closed down.  The little grocery store sat vacant.  Was kind of sad.

Connie's Mom and Dad prospected on a lot in Burnside back in the early 70's.  They still own it.  My friend Craig and I once went down and cleared it off.  The whole development is still not developed.  The lot is all grown over again, and probably fewer people live in the allotment now than before.  Again, it was depressing.

General Burnside Island State Park was our boat ramp, our campground, our golf course.  So many memories.  Other than the pool shutting down, it was in great shape.  The golf course was closed during the season of 2007 and completely renovated by the spring of 2008.  It looked fantastic.  The boat ramp that launched so many memorable trips had been renovated.  That was great to see.

This morning we head to Chattanooga for a couple of days before we're on to Atlanta.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fall Schedule Back to Texas Finalized

Have gotten pretty settled on our schedule back to Texas.  Leaving a little play at the end in case we want to wander around before settling back at Copano Bay RV Resort in Rockport.

09/01 – 09/02           Caesar Creek
09/02 - 09/03           Lake Cumberland, KY
09/03 – 09/05          Chattanooga, TN
09/05 – 09/08         Atlanta, GA
09/08 – 09/09         Columbus, GA
09/09 – 09/16         Panama City Beach, FL (Music Festival)
09/16 – 10/07         Gulf Shores, AL
10/07 – 10/08         Hattiesburg, MS
10/08 – 10/09         Vicksburg, MS
10/09 – 10/10         Shreveport, LA
10/10 – 10/14         Bullard, TX (Heartland Rally #1)
10/14 – 10/20         Montgomery, TX  (Heartland Rally #2)

10/20         Arrive in Rockport, TX (Copano Bay)
Will try to keep the blog updated on the travels south.  Hope to see some of you along the way!
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Connie gets a 2nd month vacation!

Got the call yesterday from our Ashtabula Doctor, that Connie isn't going to have to be seen until late October and can keep on the same pill regimen for a treatment.  Whoo-hoo!

That means we don't HAVE to be anywhere medical for almost two months!

So we looked at a bunch of different options and have come up with the following itinerary (you can click the links to see where we're staying):

Monday, September 1st:  Leaving Ashtabula and heading to Wilmington
Tuesday, September 2nd:  Leaving Wilmington and heading to Lake Cumberland.
Wednesday, September 3rd:  Leaving Lake Cumberland and heading to Chattanooga
Friday, September 5th:  Leaving Chattanooga and heading to Atlanta
Monday, September 8th:  Leaving Atlanta and heading to Columbus, GA
Tuesday, September 9th:  Leaving Columbus, GA and heading to Panama City Beach, FL
Tuesday, September 16th:  Leaving Panama City Beach and heading to Foley, AL (Gulf Shores).

Its college football season, so we have a "no travel Saturday" rule in effect.  We'll be able to visit with the Ohio State Alumni of Atlanta at their game watch on the 6th for the night game against Virginia Tech.  Stoked about that.

Secondly, we were looking at some of our favorite performers and started seeing "Panama Beach" show up a bunch.  Turns out there's a "Chasing the Sun Music Festival" there starting on Friday the 12th.  Uber cool!  You can read about it by clicking this link.  Going to be a blast!

Connie and I are super excited!  Check back often as we'll be updating along the way.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Taking a break.......

No, not from blogging.  We've already done that.  Wow, last post was June 16th?  I'm sure all of you have been concerned.  No need to be, we've just been hanging in Ashtabula.

Connie met with her oncologist today who said that because there's no progression that's concerning him from her most recent scans.  Her treatment today was postponed and he's going to give her a month off from chemo.  We're very happy to say the least.

Which, of course, leads to our exit from Ohio back to Texas.  Dr. Aponte, who we had been seeing since the onset of her diagnosis in 2013, has left Corpus Christi and moved to San Antonio.  She's out.  We had been considering moving to a doctor who had a branch in Rockport, so now he's in.

Right now, we're in the process of sending him all the documents from the Cleveland Clinic so that he can make an informed decision as far as moving forward since he'll be calling the ball.  When to do that is the big question!  Do we travel now to Corpus knowing that we don't have anything here for a month?  Do we wait here until we meet with her Ashtabula Oncologist in a month?

Stay tuned!

Monday, June 16, 2014

It was either the tests or laughing too hard....

Just had a memorable weekend.

On Thursday, Connie got X-rays on the hole in her lung (pneumo thorax) then Friday met with the Pulmonary Doctor.  We both thought it was odd that she did a breathing test, where you exhale as hard as you can, inhale large, then exhale hard again.  She probably did that 5-6 repetitions.

Doctor said she still had a small hole, but we wouldn't need to see him for a month unless she started having pains at which point we were to call 9-1-1 immediately.  Disappointed that the lung wasn't fully healed, but with him saying see you in a month, we could tell his lack of concern.

We went over to our friends Don and April in Russell Township (Geauga Co.) for dinner and a sleepover before going to head to Bethany and James' house for her birthday celebration on Saturday.  We've known the Green's for 30 years, Don was the head football coach where I got my first Band Director job in Jamestown, Ohio.  Been friends ever since.

After a few beverages, we started going over stories, remembering this, remembering that, correcting each other on what we all thought were the facts.  We did a lot of laughing.

About 4a the next morning, Connie sat up and said she was having some pains, but she was going to try and sleep a different way.  About 6:30a, the pain was still there and off we headed for Hillcrest hospital.  Did all the tests, X-Rays, Cat Scans, etc. and, though the hole was still there, it wasn't any different from the scans on Thursday.  After ruling everything out, and the pain subsiding, they released her from the E.R.  She was allowed to go to Bethany's as long as she didn't do anything.

We went back to Don and April's (who were watching the girls along with their 3 cockers), gathered up everything, and headed to Fairview Park (OH) where Bethany and James live.  Had another great time there, Connie's Dad and his friend surprised Bethany by driving up from Wilmington (OH).

We met lots of Bethany and James' friends and co-workers, even reconnected with one of Bethany's childhood friends from Ashtabula.  Carmen and Sloopy even met some new friends.  The morning took its toll and we retired earlier than others.

Sunday (Father's Day), Bethany and James took his Dad and I to Springvale Golf Course for 18 holes of fun and laughter while Connie and James' Mom stayed back at their house.  Perfect weather, great fun, and a nice course.  I really enjoyed it.

After another terrific dinner, we gathered up our stuff and the girls and headed back home to Ashtabula.  A memorable weekend in our rear view mirror.

Monday, June 2, 2014

And the blog turns back to medical updates

Been a while since we posted.  Really hasn't been much to update.  Until today.

At about 1:15p today (Monday, June the 2nd) Connie started having pretty severe pain around her left shoulder and difficulty breathing.  Brought her to the ER here in Ashtabula.

She had blood work taken and the ER doctor ordered a chest X-ray (which was done in the room) and she got a CT scan of her chest.

Her breathing improved with oxygen, but pain is still an issue.

After a couple of hours we got doctor talk.  Cancer has created small hole in left lung and it basically was leaking.  Going to keep her overnight (at least) for observation to see if it heals.  Normal healthy lungs would heal itself as the hole is small.  Because that's not the case is the reason for being vigilant.

Will use the blog to keep everyone updated.  Thanks for your prayers.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Alexander, AR to Shepherdsville, KY

I really don't like blogging about nothing.

The last few days, other than work things, I haven't done anything.

Stayed at Cherokee Lakes RV Park outside of Little Rock, which had a very peaceful setting, but had a lot of early risers with diesels.  Sites were really tight.

Moved on to one of our favorite non coastal parks in Tom Sawyer's RV Park.  There's nothing more peaceful, to me, than just watching the Mississippi roll.  Its so relaxing.  Again, I didn't do much, but I certainly enjoyed the surroundings.

On Monday, I motored to outside of Nashville in Dickson, TN at the Tanbark RV Park, another Passport America park.  Probably the dumpiest place I've stayed in awhile.  Definitely built when 8' wide, less than 30' trailers were in vogue.  There was nothing within 30 miles of the park to even leave for.  And the sites were tighter than anyplace I'd been to in a while.

Today, after the morning wakeup call of those who had to be at work early, I left for Singing Hills RV Park at Mammoth Cave, KY.  Funny how kharma works.  Since I was on the road so early, I thought about calling them and canceling.  I didn't, thought they would be in Eastern Time Zone (they weren't), and got there at 11 a.m.  Small talked a little bit, then came to the realization they didn't have me down.  No reservation.  Lady remember talking to me, I showed them my phone that I called (and that's probably the only reason I would have called), but nothing.  They had a 30 amp water/electric only site that I'd be "really tight to fit in".  Done.  See you.

Knew of a place short of Louisville that we'd stayed at before, but couldn't remember the name.  Thankfully, it was in our GPS.  Headed there (Grandma's RV Park), here for a night, then moving on to Caesar's Creek outside of our hometown of Wilmington, OH.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Treatment Day

The new treatment day arrived.  Started by getting up at 5:30AM!  I didn't even get up that Early when I had a"real" job.

Bethany was my ride to the Cleveland Clinic.  Had to be there by 7:15.  For those of you that know our daughter and how she is not a morning person, would have been surprised at how nice the ride was.  And, she hadn't had her coffee, latte, or whatever the caffeine of the day is.

She dropped me off at the Tassig Cancer Center, took Tucker to doggy daycare and headed on to work.

My day at center began with the standard lab work.  Was glad they were prepared to access the port for this meaning only getting stuck once.

After labs was the visit with Dr. Andresen.  We reviewed the new drugs that would be used.  They are:  Docetaxel (taxetere) and Perjeta (pertuzumab).  The third drug in the treatment is the same Herceptin that was used previously. He also revealed that the heart echogram showed a healthy heart, which allows us to continue with the new treatment.

Back downstairs to the treatment rooms.  Many of the rooms at the clinic are private.  Complete with regular TVs, and a bathroom that is shared with the next door room.  With the additional demand for treatments, they have also added 3 community treatment areas.  They try to use these mainly for short treatments which allows the to keep the private rooms available for those of us in for the long haul.

Premeds are required for this new regime.  First up - Benedryl.  Not sure what they do to this stuff when they push it thru the IV, but it sure messes me up.  Dizzy, leg twitches, drowsiness.  Don't like it, but guess it keeps the more severe side effects and discomforts of the bigger drugs at bay.

That was followed up by infusions of Pepcid and dexamethasone.

My nurse was excellent today.  She took the time to answer questions.  She also was very good to make casual conversation even though she had a busy day full of other patients.  Never felt rushed and that created a much calmer environment for me.

Since this was the first time for the Perjeta, it required an observation time to see if I would have any reactions.  Passed with flying colors.

We won't need the observation next time, so the treatment will not be as long (whew).

To summarize, all went well today.  Feeling good tonight and have been able to eat all day.

Hoping the next couple days are just as good or better.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming show of support and affection.  My room was filled with a full house of virtual guests.  It was so much appreciated by both of us!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mt. Pleasant to Alexander, AR

Didn't really do much in Mt. Pleasant.  Was awoken night #1 to the sound of my fridge beeping and saying there was no flame.  That was weird, because it should have been running on electric.  Instead, for however long, it didn't flip over to AC and sucked out all of my propane.  I wasn't happy, especially knowing that the temps were going to be dropping like a rock in the next few days and the fireplace wouldn't keep up with it.  Ran over to the Mt. Pleasant KOA (looked like a dump, too) and got propane in one bottle, then Monday en route to Alexander, Arkansas (which is just south of Little Rock) I got the 2nd bottle filled at the Flying J.

I left a little earlier than planned on Monday because some Jack Wagon NEEDED to get on the road early (like started at 6:30a) and had to make sure his diesel was warmed up.  The ride here up I-30 was miserable.  Drove into a north wind and a driving rain the whole day.

Got to Cherokee Lakes RV Park around 2:30p after a leisurely stop at the Flying J since the guy didn't know how to run the propane machine and a lunch stop at a rest area with the girls.  Was a little bit of an issue because there was no signage where the GPS brought me, only a locked gate and No Trespassing.  I drove a little further, pulled off into a Volunteer Fire Station and called the joint after seeing on the Passport America site that, yes, it was gated and in a nature preserve.

The guy said he "didn't expect me so early."  I told him about the Jack Wagon, and I'll be damned if in walks Mrs. Jack Wagon!  They had come to the same park.  After we exchanged hello's, I told the owner "I'll bet they got here before me, didn't they?"  Sure enough, next morning, I'm up at 7:30a mainly because the sun comes up here at 6:30a, and they were already gone.  I don't get it.

I've gotten a little of chippy stuff done here for work, fixed some website things, updated our phone system, etc.

 This being my last "leisurely" stop before I start a run of "in day 1, stay day 2, out day 3", I decided to do a little cooking.  Smoked a Boston Butt and two chicken fryers on Tuesday, along with using my blueberries for a Blueberry Bread.  Freezer is full, everything came out wonderfully.
4 bags of pulled pork, 5 bags of cut up
chicken ready for the freezer.

Sloopy has been absolutely miserable.  First, its been cold.  Never a good thing for her.  Second they don't allow X-pens here.  So, she's constantly wanting out to lay in the sunshine, and doesn't understand the sentence, "they don't allow X-pens here."

Here for one more day, then we take off for West Memphis, AR (where I KNOW they allow X-pens.]

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Doctors, Drugs and Dogs

With the news from the latest CT scan, I made arrangements to fly back to Ohio to get things going.  I arrived late evening on April 5.

Being "homeless" can be quite scary - unless you have awesome friends!  Don & April picked me up from the airport and put me up for the evening.  Their 3 cockers were my welcoming committee.  Cassie must have known I was missing my girls since she kept watch and slept with me for a while.  Amazing how dogs just know how you feel.

On Sunday, our friend (my new landlord), Lenny came to get me.  Again, so thankful for such great friends!  Once back in Ashtabula, I was shown my room and I got unpacked.  Lenny's German Shepherd, Odessa, was very welcoming too.

My first doctor appointment was set for April 8.  The Ashtabula doctor had mentioned that they would need to order one of my drugs and it could take a week to get in.  <sigh>   That would just put me a week behind my normal schedule.

The following day, I received the call from the doctor that they would not be able to get the drug in until much later.  They recommended that I contact the doctor in Cleveland.

After going back and forth for two frustrating days, I finally was approved for a treatment in Cleveland.

So, I have now moved in with Bethany and James (and granddog, Tucker) for the week.  I will start out having an echogram on Monday.  Treatment day will be all day Thursday.

It was a frustrating week, but with everyone supporting me, I was able to stay calm.  Ready to get this new treatment started.

Thanks to all for the love and prayers!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sanger to Mount Pleasant

I had a great time in Sanger, TX at the Wagon Master RV Park.  Was a little bothered when I arrived and none of my non protected outlets were working.  Turns out there was something wrong in the pedestal that the park couldn't fix on their own with the 50 amp outlets, so I ran on 30 amps for the week.  Not a biggie.

Tuesday was another father/daughter day as Bethany had the day off so I went into Arlington to pick up her and a co-worker and we were off to Fort Worth.  Connie and I had been there before, so had some local knowledge.  Bethany was like "Finally!  I've been here almost a week and THIS is what I was expecting!" as we went to the Stockyards.  Had to stop at the Stockyards Hotel and have a Buffalo Butt Beer <link> while Bethany and Matt (or maybe it was Dan?) sat in saddles at the bar.

We stayed for the 4p cattle drive which I had a movie of, but something happened that I can't view it now.  <sigh>.

After the Stockyards, we headed down to Sundance Square and Riscky's BBQ which was fantastic eats.  Amazingly, it was started by two immigrants.  If you like good BBQ at a good price ($9.99 AUCE ribs???) and you're in Fort Worth, have to give it a big thumbs up.
Wednesday & Thursday were "work nights" as I was happy to go to Miguelito's to have dinner and a beverage with some cruise clients.  All great folks, and we certainly appreciate their business.  Connie and I used to do a "Client Appreciation Tour" every summer as we tried to figure out whether this full time RV'ing and keeping a business going was able to work.  This really brought me back to those good days.
After my Thursday night dinner (which was pretty early), I came back to the rig to share my last evening in Sanger with the two best card players in Texas (just ask them....), Fred and Vickie.  Played, drank and giggled through about 6 games of 3 handed hearts.  Fred killed us, both in the game and with his remarks.

Got away early (for me) Friday morning and put about 150 miles behind me.  Planned stop here in Mt. Pleasant, Texas at the Ramblin Fever RV Park.  Instantly got in trouble as I put up the dog pen for the girls and was told by "the guy" that I couldn't do that.  Didn't matter that it wasn't in the rules, he said.  So I took it down.  Just as I'm finishing setting up, the owner comes by and says "Mr. Sams (sic), I don't care if you put up your little dog pen."  So I put it up again.  That was fun in 80 degree heat.

I'm here till Monday, when we move again.  Thanks for visiting!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Some time in North Texas

Connie and I left Copano Bay RV Resort last Friday the 28th of March.  Our friend Karen had come down and she rode with up to San Antonio with us.  We stayed at the Stone Creek RV Park.

Friday night we saw the Alamo and walked the Riverwalk.  Always enjoyable, especially when its good and warm!

Saturday morning I took Karen to SAT for an early morning flight, then Connie and I went to the Valero Texas Open.

Got an itsy bitty bit of TV time behind Matt Kuchar on 16th green.  (That's me in the red hat!)

Texas State Capitol
Governor's Mansion
On Sunday, we rolled on to Austin, TX and stayed at Oak Forest River RV Park. We spent the day going to the State Capitol, the Governor's Mansion, Franklin's BBQ (it was closed), SoCo and 6th Street.  Austin's an incredibly different town.  They've passed a law making it illegal for stores to use throw away bags, regardless of paper or plastic.  Horrible for me.  Went to the store twice, forgot to take bags twice.  Ugh.

Our site at Oak Forest River
Wednesday, we made the rather uneventful trip to Santo, TX and Coffee Creek Resort for the North Texas Heartland Owner's Club rally.  Knew many of the people, met some more great owners.

Went out Wednesday night to the Natty Flat Smokehouse, that also had the largest rocking chair in Texas.

 Thursday, I went out with a couple of guys for some golf, then just hung around the rig.  Friday, the official opening day of the Rally, we went out to dinner at a Catfish Diner.

Saturday was the beginning of splitsville.  Opened the morning by helping cook bacon for the Rally's breakfast.  Around 10:30a, I took Connie to Dallas Love Field for her afternoon flight back to Ohio.  When I returned, we had a potluck dinner and I returned to the rig to watch the Final Four.

Our daughter, Bethany, was working at AT&T Stadium for the Final Four, and Sunday was her day off.  I drove back over to Arlington, and we had an enjoyable afternoon seeing some sights of Dallas (Texas Book Depository, downtown, etc.), then went to the NCAA's Fan Fest called "Bracket Town.".  Had lunch at a rather eclectic little diner, then headed back to the rig after dropping her back at the hotel.

Today (Monday) was getaway day from Santo and on to Sanger, TX and the Wagon Master RV Park. <link>  Pretty short ride, but I held off leaving to miss the traffic from the Texas Motor Speedway who had their race delayed.  Never touched the brakes the whole time.  Looked like there were PLENTY of good seats still available.

Was my first solo tear down, drive and set up.  Things went very well, and I felt very prepared.

Till next time!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Beginning to get some structure

All the doctors have gotten together, and we've got some clarity.

We will keep on plan and head to Santo, TX Wednesday where we'll join a Heartland Rally with 28 other RV's.

Connie will fly out to Cleveland from Dallas on Saturday, then have her Cleveland Clinic consultation in Ashtabula on Tuesday morning.  Our friends Don and April are going to pick her up and keep her overnight on Saturday, then our good friend Lenny is going to keep her for most of the month of April.

Park where we stay isn't open until May 1st, and I'm not going to pay $351 for a week or $1053 for a month at Indian Creek at Geneva on the Lake.  (I paid $300 A MONTH in Texas).  So, I'll hang around Dallas for a week, then make a slow trek north.  Here's a link to my framework map.  Everything is a "soft plan".

I've had a 26' boat in 6'-8' waves by myself from Eastlake to Fairport Harbor.  I was with others, but keeping a hand on the throttle and a hand on the wheel, I couldn't answer them on the radio when they kept asking me if "I was OK?"  That was scary.  This shouldn't be a big deal.  Already had a few offers to ride shotgun which I appreciate.  I've scheduled no overnights and go.  I'll do at least two nights at each stop.

That's the start of the adventure.  Hope you'll keep Connie in your prayers.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

They Will Tell The Good News Over The Phone......

The "not good news" requires a visit to the office.

On March 24th, I went in for a follow up CT Scan of the chest and pelvic area.  Doctor wanted to see how the new treatment was working.  Was to get the results on April 9th at my scheduled visit.  Blood work was all coming back good, so we were only going to be required to go every 2 weeks instead of every week.  Great since we were getting ready to make a mini road trip to see more of Texas.

Was able to enjoy a nice dinner (March 25) at Moby Dicks in Port Aransas with our Heartland Owners Coastal Bend group.  While there, I received a call from the doctor wanting us to come in the next day.

As we expected, the news was not good.  The cancer has progressed in the lungs (larger and more) and a new area was found on the liver.  The doctor is recommending changing the treatment again to be even more aggressive.

Options are to start the treatment here in TX on April 9th (and stay until June for monitoring ) or head back to OH for the new treatment there.  We chose the second option.

At this time, I am waiting for the doctors in OH to get the information and schedule the necessary visits and treatments.  I will fly back as soon as we have more details from the Cleveland Clinic.  Bob will be heading back solo with the rig.

We will be passing along information as it becomes available.

Thanks again to all our friends and family.  We certainly appreciate all the love , support and prayers!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Setting up to Get Away

Met with Connie's oncologist today.  As has been the case, we got the second best news that the tumor in her brain was stable -- not growing, not decreasing.  Got similar news about the tumor on her spine.
While it's not the best news, it's not the worst news, either.
We also started making arrangements for the transition to going back to Ohio.  The new treatment means she has to have blood work every week.  Not hard while here, but actually easier than you would think when we are on the road.  She is affiliated with Quest and LabCorp and we found each of them along our plotted travels, so no biggie.
We have CT scans scheduled for the chest and abdomen for the last week of March which will be our last set of tests here and the beginning of the baseline for our doctors at the Cleveland Clinic.
Thanks to everyone for their support.  Next entries will hopefully be less medical and more travel.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Long Day in Corpus

Connie had MRI's on her brain and spine this morning.  We will get those results back on Monday when we meet with the Oncologist.  Dropped her off at 8:30, picked her up at 11:30a

After chowing at Golden Corral, we got in early to her infusion treatment.  Pretty happy because we were stretching the girls crate time.  Had talked about daycare for them, but it was really cold today, so in the house with heater was a better option.

Sat for almost 90 minutes, then realized we were victims of a nursing shift change.  Connie's meds were sitting for about 45 minutes as we sat.  Connie was her normal beautiful self.  I didn't say a word, but brought out the look.  My students know the look.  The nurses there do now.

Got out of there at 4p and home by 5p.  Girls were OK.  Must not of rested much because they had a quick snack then under the covers for some sleep.  (Connie did the same!)

Will blog again with the results from Monday.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

And.....we're back

Sorry we haven't posted for a while.  Not for lack of news or Connie updates.  I'm going to give you the cliff notes in reverse order.

Connie's changing treatments as of last Monday (2/3/14), going to a TDM1 treatment which we hope will be as effective, but not have the side effects of the terrible hand-foot syndrome.  Horrible stuff.  She had some nausea and was overall just tired after this past Monday's treatment, but her hands and feet are almost back to being her age, rather than those of a 120 year old.

We returned from a cruise aboard the Carnival Magic with our daughter and Connie's Dad who's staying here through the 11th.  Way too much fun.  Hope you can click this link to see all the pictures.

Our daughter Bethany and our son in law James were here for the week between Christmas and New Year's.  Weather wasn't the best, as it has been currently for Connie's Dad's visit.

Now to the future.  Spent most of the day today coming up with my first draft for our getaway from Texas.  We'll actually leave Copano Bay RV Resort on the 28th of March when our monthly rate is up and head up to Santo, TX for a Heartland Rally.  Back to Copano Bay for a few days while Connie has a treatment on the 9th of April, then heading back to Ohio.  Hoping to be in Ashtabula by April 29th.

Our map is located here.

Will try to be back before another two months elapse.