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.