Day 203, Year 9: Productive Day
Date: Monday, May 12, 2014
Weather: Another GORGEOUS DAY—High Near 80 degrees F
Location: Brewer Fiddler’s Cove Marina, North Falmouth, Massachusetts

What a productive day we had aboard Windbird. Mark and I were both at home and we started our day by getting the headsail and staysail up. The sails were in storage for the winter, so we hauled them out of the car and down to boat this morning. And even with a little wind, the process of getting them up went more smoothly than usual. We got off to a rocky start when, after using tremendous energy to get the head sail up, Mark realized that he had forgotten to attach the sail to a very important piece of equipment before having me wench the heavy sail up and up. So we had to bring it all the way back down and do it all over again. But things went smoothly despite the extra energy expended. Putting up the staysail was easy, so now we are ready to go sailing.

Next Mark helped me get my hanging planter, now known as my Mother’s Day Garden, hung from the arch on the back deck. And then we started on our next job—calling doctors. We now have our yearly appointments with the dentist, the dermatologist, the primary care physician, and the gynecologist for me. And more importantly, Mark was able to reach both his oncologist at Mass General to get the recommendations of the team that met last Thursday and his primary care physician here on the Cape to get the results of the recent pulmonary function test. The latter, the pulmonary function test, showed no issues, but the doctor is ordering another chest x-ray to follow up on the one done the end of April. The hope is that Mark’s lungs will look considerably clearer now than they did a couple of weeks ago. He is certainly feeling better and the cough is all but gone, so hopefully the lungs will reflect that. The news from Dr. Kwak, his oncologist at Mass General, offered a new approach that we weren’t expecting. A team met on Thursday without the surgeon as she was still not available. The team does not think surgery is possible but they are recommending cancer ablation, a minimally invasive surgical method used to treat solid cancer tumors. Special probes are used to “burn” or “freeze” cancers without the usual surgery. Computed Tomography (CT), Ultrasound (US) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is used to guide and position the needle probe into the tumor. This requires only a tiny hole, usually less than 3 mm via which the probe is introduced. When the probe is within the cancer it is attached to a generator which “burns” or “freezes” the cancer. If the tumor is not too large and is accessible to the probes, this procedure can completely kill the cancer cells. And evidently the team thinks this is the case for Mark. You go in one day and are out the next. So IF the oncologists can ever get together with Dr. Sylla, the surgeon, a final decision will be made. Hopefully we will hear back with a decision by the end of this week. But this new approach sounds hopeful to us. We’ll certainly pass on the decision once we hear. As Mark says, he is doing well and doesn’t find the waiting game to be an issue. He says he has too much interesting stuff to do to spend time wondering when the doctors will contact him. His very positive approach tells him they will call and that we’ll soon know what comes next. So he is more concerned with just enjoying each day and making plans for heading south this winter!

We ended the day with a trip to storage to take the framing that supports our winter cover and then we went to the supermarket for a massive shopping trip. I am slowly trying to change our diet to the vegetarian side. I recently ordered the ‘Forks Over Knives’ Cookbook and I had a list a mile long of ingredients that I needed to try out some of the recipes. We started tonight by having Chana Saag (chickpeas cooked with spinach in Indian spices). This is one of our favorite Indian dishes and the new recipe was great. Since it called for two pounds of spinach, I had to fix it tonight as I have absolutely no way of storing that much spinach in the refrigerator. Tomorrow night we’re going Mexican, the next night North African, and then on to Thai. Cooking vegetarian always takes more time because of the preparation of all the veggies, so we’ll not go totally vegetarian. But after my initial try-outs of some of the recipes that interest us most, we’ll try to do vegetarian five nights a week with fish and chicken-based meals on the other two nights. At least that’s the plan at this point.

140512 Day 203 Cape Cod, USA–Putting Up the Sails