Day 95, Year 10: Passage to Florida, Day 15–Meeting Mark’s Florida Oncologist
Date: Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Weather: Sunny, Temp in the High 70’s F
Location: Anchored Between the City Docks in West Palm Beach, FL
Our day started with Mark’s phone refusing to come on. And, of course, we couldn’t find the paperwork telling us what we should do if it wouldn’t work. Then, after being gone all day, our day ended with us coming back to boat after dark and hearing the high water alarm blaring non-stop. Thankfully both problems turned out to be minor and the rest of the day went great. More about the problems later, but first I will talk about the good parts of the day. We picked up Lynda and Lee at 8 am and went to shore to have breakfast together at ER Bradley’s on the waterfront. The servings were huge and the food was good. Mark and I then hurried down Clematis, the main street in West Palm’s waterfront area. Lynda and Lee told us about the little shop that fixed Lynda’s iPhone yesterday, so we wanted to stop there being catching the trolley to the train station. Our heart’s sunk when we saw it was just an iPhone shop, but we went in anyway. The young man was a charmer and in about two seconds he had Mark’s phone reset at no charge. The trolley runs about every 10 minutes, so we didn’t have to wait long to get to the train station. We were there early, so we sat in the sunshine and read our books. The Tri-Rail that runs from just north of here to Miami came right on time at 9:06 am and we were in Boynton Beach a minute or two early at 9:20 pm. Brad was there waiting for us and took us to his house. Brad and Sue had invited us to bring our dirty laundry, so we did and I got the first load in the dryer before we had to leave for Fort Lauderdale. They loaned us their car and we traveled down I-95 for about 30 miles. Mark had an appointment to meet his Florida oncologist at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale. We were early, which was a good thing, as the paper work took forever to fill out. But once that was done, we were taken in to see the doctor right away. As always, a nurse took Mark’s vitals and then put us in a room to wait. Soon a very young woman came in from the waiting room, walked by the door, backed up, and said, “Hello, Mr. Handley!” The nurse asked her how in the world she knew this was Mr. Handley and she said, “Well, he looks like he sailed here.” We chuckled and then she introduced herself as Dr. Gomez. She was just returning from lunch and needed a few minutes before meeting with us. When she returned, she spent a lot of time with us reviewing Mark’s medical history. She had never met anyone who had undergone nano knife surgery and she wanted to talk about that. She also reviewed the December CT scan that verified that the current treatment routine is working. Dr. Gomez is a ball of energy and very anxious to work with us and our unconventional cancer treatment regime. Sailing to the Bahamas is not usually on the prescription list, but she says it is obviously working and that we should keep doing what we are doing. Mark’s first treatment will be on Thursday of this week and then every two weeks until the end of February. He will have another CT scan then, and things will continue unless there is a drastic change. After that scan, we will head to the Bahamas. So everything is working out great to keep us on schedule. After the appointment, we drove to a tourist information center to get bus schedule information and then we headed back to Brad and Sue’s. Sue had finished my laundry for which we were both thankful, thankful, thankful, and then she fed us an early dinner before driving us back to West Palm. We feel so lucky to have a fantastic, welcoming doctor here and family that’s taking care of us.
Now back to bad start and end to our day. As you have already read, the early morning phone issue was quickly resolved. And after checking, Mark found that the problem was a back-flow valve on the small pump in the bilge. A small bit of something had lodged in it causing it to stick. It was still pumping water out, but then it was letting water continuously flow back in. The problem is solved for tonight, but tomorrow we are going to have to do a complete clean-out of the bilge using our little wet-dry shop vac. Over time, things fall into the bilge and it is obviously time to make sure it is completely clean. So that takes care of what we will be doing tomorrow. There’s always something. It’s a boat!