Day 41, Year 7: Mark Meets Dr. Sylla
Date: Monday, December 19, 2011
Weather: Freezing Overnight, Weather Warming During the Day
Location: Brewer Fiddler’s Cove Marina, North Falmouth, Massachusetts

Before I get to the update on Mark’s visit with the surgeon today, I’ll just say that it was a very cold night and this morning at low tide, the knotted wrack and rockweed that grows on the rocks by the shore were frozen stiff and covered with ice. But by the end of the day, the winds had blown in much warmer weather. Later in the week it will be back in the 50’s-a little too warm for late December. But since we are leaving Windbird all alone for a couple of weeks, we welcome the unseasonably warm weather. John, the head of maintenance here at Fiddler’s Cove, will be checking on Windbird each day, which is a great relief, but still it is always a worry to be away.

Now to Mark’s day in Boston. Overall, we are feeling more positive about things at the end of the day than we did in the beginning. Mark’s surgeon, a young woman named Dr. Sylla, has a matter-of-fact manner with a bit of humor mixed in, and she exudes both confidence and expertise. Mark and I really like her and feel she is a perfect match for us. She has set the surgery date for January 6. Pre-op testing has to be done on the afternoon of January 4th and that means we have to return from New Mexico a little sooner than planned. But we’ll work that out with Greyhound. After looking at the results of the CT Scan, Dr. Sylla could tell us that there is no obvious evidence that the cancer has spread to other organs or to the lymph nodes. But as she explained, there is really no way to tell until the surgery. So we are going to be cautiously optimistic and hope that the “no obvious evidence” turns into “no evidence.” It will actually be a week to ten days after surgery before we get the complete report, so patience is the name of the game. We had second thoughts tonight about our decision to take off tomorrow cross country on a Greyhound bus, but after great deliberation, we have decided to go ahead with the trip. If Mark should start to have signs of stress, we will just get off the bus and head home on the next flight possible from wherever we may be. And we are seriously considering flying home. We will see how the trip is going on the way out before we actually make flight reservations, but we have checked out the possibilities and are ready to do that. Our hesitation is that the flights that we can afford would leave New Mexico on the 3rd of January and get us back to Boston on the 4th just in time for the pre-op testing. If there should be a delay due to weather, we wouldn’t make it. If we stick with the bus, we will leave New Mexico a few days earlier than planned and give ourselves a two-day cushion in case of weather-related issues.

When we returned from Boston, we stopped by Dick and Claire Wiklund’s to thank Dick for all he has done for us in terms of referrals to doctors at Mass General. We then went to Heather and Jed’s to do a little pre-Christmas celebration with Heather, Jed, Sam, and Jonah. After having a hellacious day where she had to change a flat tire with no help, Heather prepared an absolutely scrumptious dinner for us. She knows that scallops are one of her dad’s favorites, she we had the most gigantic scallops I have ever seen, and they were as delicious as they were big. It was a great dinner and afterwards we opened a few presents that were just too big for any of us to take with us for our Christmas destinations. I got the pressure canner that I have been wanting from both Heather and Justin, Jed got an organizing cabinet for his clothes and Heather got a Home Depot 5-gallon bucket with a tool organizer for her gardening from Mark and I, and the boys got a few Cars 2 Matchbox-sized cars and Cars 2 books from Oma and Granddad. It was a wonderful evening. Thank you to Heather, Jed, Sam and Jonah.

We leave early in the morning for Boston on a bus and there we will connect with our Greyhound bus headed west. We’re hoping to be able to send logs as we travel, so hopefully you will get the first “on the road” log.

111219 Day 41 Cape Cod, USA–Pre-Christmas Dinner at H & J's