Day 365, Year 10: Saturday with Mary Ellen and Lee
Date: Saturday, October 10, 2015
Weather: Windy and Cool but Sunny
Location: Quissett Harbor, Falmouth, MA
Today was soccer day for Sam and Jonah. Heather was in Boston attending a conference, so Mark, Mary Ellen, Lee, and I went to the games. Jed is an assistant coach for Sam’s team and the only coach for Jonah’s team, so his attention has to be on the games. We helped out by playing with Ollie. It was a beautiful morning, albeit just a tad cool and windy. Sam’s game was in a protected park, but Jonah’s game was on the recreational soccer fields by the ocean. It is a gorgeous spot, but was windier, thus cooler, than the earlier game. But by cool, I mean a high in the upper 50’s. With the sunshine, that is just fine, so after Jonah’s game we all went down to the beach to let the boys take off their shoes and run in the sand. We then came back to Heather and Jed’s for lunch. Lee and Mary Ellen went to Mass at 4 pm and Mark and I continued to hang out with the boys. Jed left for a birthday party for a good friend around 5 pm and at 5:30 pm we gathered in the living room with the boys and Molly and Joey from next door to watch the Chicago Cubs play the St. Louis Cardinals. Lee is a die-hard Cubs fan of many years and the boys really enjoyed watching the game with him and listening to his commentary. The day gave Lee and Mary Ellen a chance to really get to know Sam, Jonah, and Ollie and that was very special. Heather was driving home from Boston to meet Jed at the birthday party and they should be home soon. We will then head back to Windbird. In the morning we will meet Heather and family in Woods Hole for breakfast and then Heather will be on her way to back to Boston and we are thinking we might take the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.
Day 364, Year 10: Trip to the New England Aquarium & Lee and ME Arrive
Date: Friday, October 9, 2015
Weather: Mostly Cloudy with Rain in the Evening
Location: Back Home on Windbird in Quissett Harbor, Falmouth, MA
Big Day! Mark and I met Heather and boys at the New England Aquarium early in the day and by evening we were back in Falmouth having dinner at Heather and Jed’s with Mary Ellen and Lee (Mark’s sister and brother-in-law). And tonight Mary Ellen and Lee are here aboard Windbird with us. They will be with us through the long holiday weekend and we are really looking forward to the visit.
As always we loved visiting the Aquarium. Mark couldn’t stay long as he had to get to Mass General for another round of double whammy radiation sessions. But I stayed with Heather, Sam, Jonah, and Ollie. I handed my camera over to Sam who took some great photos and videos. Unfortunately it’s just too late and I’m too tired to get those posted tonight, but they will be coming soon. As much as we all love the Aquarium, by 3 pm the boys were starting to lose it, so we headed home. Heather and boys parked at the Quincy Adams T station in Braintree so that at the end of the day they could ride the T instead of fighting Friday evening inner-city traffic. Very smart. Unfortunately Mark and I were already in the city and couldn’t do the same thing. Mark’s treatment wasn’t over until close to 4 pm and we didn’t get home until after 7 pm. That’s the longest it has ever taken us to drive home from Boston. The traffic was horrific. But it was Friday evening of a 3-day weekend and it was pouring rain. With a great deal of patience, we made it and will now start enjoying our time with Lee and Mary Ellen.
Day 363, Year 10: Proud Grandparents
Date: Thursday, October 8, 2015
Weather: Yet Another Gorgeous Fall Day, Temp in the 60’s F
Location: AstraZeneca Hope Lodge, Jamaica Plan Neighborhood, Boston, MA
I’ll get to the ‘Proud Grandparents’ part of this log after going through a few details from today. First, I want to wish two special women in my life a very happy birthday—my walking partner Jane Woodin and Molly, the little girl that lives next door to Heather and Jed. Molly is like a sister to Sam, Jonah, and Ollie. Happy Birthday to Jane and Molly.
I’m back in Boston tonight with Mark. He had his first double whammy today—one general radiation treatment in the abdominal area and one very specific liver treatment. It is the liver radiation that is new and will continue through next week. So far, so good. He is doing fine. And the really good news from today is that a space opened up and Mark will be able to stay here at the Hope Lodge through next week, his last week of treatment. Hurray, hurray! That certainly makes life a lot easier. And the other really good news is that Mark’s sister Mary Ellen and her husband Lee arrive on the Cape tomorrow to spend the long weekend with us. They left Bonita Beach in Florida on October 1st on a road trip that thankfully included a trip to the Cape. We’re looking forward to the weekend.
And now to the proud grandparent part of today. I picked Sam up from school (Jonah was home sick) and he started telling me about a story he had written at school. He was obviously very proud. All the students in his third grade class were asked to write a story about the beach and they were allowed to type the story on a computer instead of writing it by hand. Well, Sam who doesn’t love writing evidently found his medium. He wrote a great story which I have copied below. It is entitled ‘The Reef’ and there is a photo included. I’ve never tried to paste a photo into a log before, so it might not come through. If it doesn’t, just imagine colorful reef fish in very blue water. Then enjoy a little side trip to a beach in Hawaii.
by Sam Goldstone
“Come on,” I yelled to my brother as I ran with my flippers and mask to the water. I wondered what was in the water. I jumped into the water of the Pacific Ocean with a big splash.
The sky was a light blue with no clouds at all. I cupped my ear and heard a big wave crash against the sand and wash shells onto the beach. I squinted my eyes and noticed a dolphin with its pod. The beach seemed suny and warm.
I snorkeled out to the end of the jetty. It was high tide at the beach in Hawaii. The sandbar was still nice and shallow. The sand was thin and there were almost no shells in sight! There were a few beyond the sandbar but not many. At that moment I saw a friend. I asked him to snorkel with me to the coral reef. He said, “Yes.” So we snorkeled out to where it was far over our heads and looked down. There we saw colorful fish and huge mounds of colorful coral. When we looked up, there was a huge green sea turtle. It was coming straight at us! We quickly turned and swam for about a minute before it swam away. Then we swam back to our parents to tell them what we had seen.
I won’t forget that day at the beach! I hope we go back to that beach the next time we go to Hawaii. If we go there I will go back to the reef. When I got home I got on the computer and looked up the name of the beach we went to.
Day 361, Year 10: Mark Out of the ER and Doing Great
Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Weather: Gorgeous, Gorgeous Fall Day, Temp in the High 60’s
Location: (Judy) Back Home on Windbird, Quissett Harbor, Falmouth, MA
Mark was released from the ER this morning at 5 am and he is doing great. The blood work and CT scans found no problems—no arterial embolisms (blood clots) and no blood clots in the lungs. There is nothing to explain his shortness of breath in certain situations except that he is undergoing chemo and radiation, but it is a great relief to have all of the dangerous causes eliminated. The 12 hours in the emergency room were no fun, but I picked him up shortly after 5 am and we were both able to go back to sleep until almost 10 am. I took him back to Mass General for a 1 pm routine appointment with his oncologist and by 2:30 pm he was headed to radiation and I was headed home. I took a shopping route home going to an outlet mall to buy some necessaries and stopping again at an L.L. Bean outlet to buy SmartWool socks. I had checked the price of things online and it was worth the stops to purchase them at outlet prices. Mark is back at the Hope Lodge this evening and I am aboard Windbird. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, so life is good.
Day 360, Year 10: Unexpected Visit to the ER
Date: Monday, October 5, 2015
Weather: Partly Sunny and Warmer
Location: AstraZeneca Hope Lodge, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood, Boston, MA
We made an unexpected visit to Mass General’s ER tonight and Mark is still there. The visit is probably just precautionary, at least that is our hope, but his oncologists insisted that he go to the ER for a CT scan looking for a possible blood clot in his lung. Evidently this can happen as a result of the chemo and radiation. We still don’t have the results of the CT scan, so Mark is still in ER and I am back at the Hope Lodge.
I’ll back up for a minute and explain how this came about. I drove Mark to Boston today for his late afternoon radiation treatment and weekly appointment with his radiation oncologist following the appointment. I was with him because I had made a last minute decision to stay with him tonight instead of heading back to the Cape. It’s a good thing I did. When he meets with his radiation oncologist, he first meets with a nurse, and then today he met with a resident that will be present for the liver radiation treatments that begin on Thursday, and then he met with Dr. Hong. By the time Dr. Hong came in, the nurse and resident had already grilled him about his report that when he eats, climbs steps, or bends over, he has a hard time catching his breath and his heart rate soars. He can walk on flat ground all day long with no problem, but if he just barely bends over, he has the problem. This started shortly after the radiation treatments. Dr. Hong had the nurse hook him up and go walking with him—no change in heart rate or oxygen level, but when he bent over, his heart rate soared. So they sent a text message to his primary oncologist, Dr. Kwak. After a bit of a wait, we were told that a visit to ER would be the prudent thing to do. So we headed there immediately. And we waited. And we waited. And we waited. It took only minutes to get registered and sent back to an examination room where he was told that he would have to have blood work done and wait on the results of that before the CT scan could be done. He was also forewarned that he might have to spend the night. He was sent from the exam room to another waiting room and that is where we waited for hours for the blood test and then the scan. After the scan, they took more blood and then wheeled him to another area called Urgent Care. A doctor and a resident met with him and explained that he would probably be in this area most of the night. I was getting ready to leave when a nurse came in to make sure he was comfortable and told me wait a bit longer while they made a decision on whether to keep him in Urgent Care or send him home as there were no beds in the hospital. Once it became clear that he had to have a repeat blood test at 4 am, I left and came back to the Hope Lodge. He will get the results of the scan sometime during the night and that will determine whether or not he has to be admitted to the hospital. If we are very lucky, I’ll get a call after the 4 am blood test telling me to come get him. It will be the first time in my life that I look forward to a call at that hour of the morning!
Day 359, Year 10: Sunshine Returns Earlier Than Expected
Date: Sunday, October 4, 2015
Weather: Some Sun, Some Clouds, Wind NE 20+ Early, Settling by Afternoon
Location: Quissett Harbor, Falmouth, MA
The big surprise this morning was waking up to sunshine. It returned earlier than expected, but by afternoon the skies were overcast once again. But the early morning was glorious. I love sunshine!
This was one of those “Where did my day go?” kind of days. I made chili for dinner and to freeze for our upcoming passage. Otherwise I didn’t get much done. I am reading Irving Stone’s The Agony and the Ecstasy about Michelangelo. Maybe that’s where the day went!
We did get an interesting email today. In October of 2005 when we left for our sail around the world, we were diverted into Lewes, Delaware with bad weather and transmission troubles. On the dock in Lewes we met Carl Stein and his 14 year-old son Alex. At the time, Alex was racing Hobie’s and had grand plans for boats in his future. Well, today we got an email from Alex saying that he is starting his first long passage on S/V Hafvalla going from Delaware to Key West. Having been introduced to our blog at age 14, he and his sailing partner are posting logs at knotworkingblog.wordpress.com. We’ll certainly be following their blog and might even catch up with them at some point on our trip south. Fair winds to Alex and his partner.