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November, 2008:

Update On Dad – From Mom – 20081126

Hi Everyone….

We had a great time on our 50th anniversary cruise. It wasn’t as warm as we expected, in fact it was downright cool when we left Tampa and pretty chilly when we returned!! It’s cold today too. Because of the huge cold front across the US, we had some pretty rough weather. Just seemed like constant movement, but nothing that made us sick or anything. Did feel a strain on my ankles when we got home though; I guess from bracing myself and leaning to meet the roll of the ship. Made for nice sleeping though; just like being in a cradle.The ship was very nice but except for a few excursions when we were in port, we didn’t do a whole lot. The balcony in the room was so nice we spent a lot of time there. Went to a few shows, dropped $35 in the casino and did a LOT of walking. It was just nice everyone being together. DJ made the most use of the ship; he talked to everyone and had a great time. Reanna used a lot of her time catching up on sleeping and reading. We got a lot of good, professional photos on the trip & DJ, Reanna & Billy took lots of photos too. Babe & Billy had planned on doing this cruise for our anniversary, and she made him promise to go through with the plans.  We really enjoyed it and appreciate his lovely gift.

Before we left, we had three anniversary dinners!!  Two of Bill’s niece’s were in town and they each took us out to dinner while they were here.  We also went out to dinner with Billy, Reanna, DJ and his girlfriend, Maka the night before the cruise.  They surprised us with an anniversary cake, balloons, gifts and cards!!   We would also like to thank all of you who sent us congratulations for our anniversary; it’s great having such terrific family and friends.  You made our celebration very special.   

We got back to Tampa on Sunday and stayed overnight so we could meet with Bill’s doctor on Monday. He’s planning on starting Bill on chemotherapy. Since the lesions are very close together (in the right lobe of the liver), he’s asked the radiologist to study the films to decide if direct radiation to the site would be possible. He said it’s not the usual treatment but since they are so close together, he feels it could be more effective to do the radiation with chemo for five days a week, for about 3 to 5 weeks before going on the regular chemotherapy. They’ll be calling us sometime next week to let us know if this will be possible. If it is, we’re going to see if we can get a place at the American Cancer Society’s “Hope Lodge” which is located about a block away from Moffitt. Hopefully, we can, because there is no charge while undergoing treatment and we could stay up there all week and even on the weekends, unless we wanted to go home for the weekend. They have communal kitchens and dining areas, so we would save on food too.

In the meantime, Bill is scheduled to go into Moffitt on the 8th and 9th to have a port installed for the chemotherapy, so they won’t have to put an intravenous into his vein each time. I imagine as soon as that is healed, we will start the other chemo, which will be once a week for three weeks with one week off before the next set of treatments. So the plan is radiation with 5-FU chemo daily for 3 to 5 weeks (if approved) followed by weekly chemo (Gezmar), in three week segments, thereafter. As I know more, I’ll let you know.

We appreciate all the emails, cards and prayers we’ve received; thank you so much.  I anticipate that we’re going to be pretty busy, but I’ll try to post a notice on Bill’s care page to update everyone as things occur.  

Hard to believe that the year is coming to a close so quickly. I had hoped that with the passing of 2008, we’d be starting over again and leaving all our troubles behind us. Guess that was wishful thinking. We’re doing all right though. Bill is determined to do whatever treatment they think might help and is feeling pretty good physically and emotionally. Whatever is ahead, I know we can handle it! Just keep us all on your prayer lists!!

Love you all and hope you have a great thanksgiving and Christmas!!

Boating – Sunday October 19, 2008 – Lewis Smith Lake

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  The lake – which is HUGE – was deserted.  The water was like a sheet of glass.  The air was warm.  The water was not warm but it wasn’t cold either.  I saw an occassional jet skier and one or two people water skiing and even swiming in the lake.

Ivan got a new Malibu ski boat and it was the first time we put it into the water.  Man this is the BEST time of year to be at the lake. :)