Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Happy Birthday Kevin

We will not be celebrating together this year. Kevin is celebrating in Wisconsin where it is quite cold. The reason for this all started almost a year ago.

During the early months of 2017, Kevin noticed some blood in his urine every few weeks. He thought it would go away; but when it was still happening in spring, he visited our primary care doctor when we arrived back in Wisconsin. He was referred to a urologist who ordered a CT scan. That was the start of a long and stressful summer.

He was diagnosed with a bladder tumor which was most likely cancerous. He had a surgery in August to have it scraped out. After the surgery, they put chemo drugs in the bladder to kill any cancer cells that may be floating around. He was passing a great deal of blood through the catheter, which required a second surgery on the same day to cauterize the bleeders. That meant two surgeries with full anesthesia in one day. Needless to say, after the second surgery he wasn't in the best of shape. He had lost a lot of blood, his blood pressure was doing crazy stuff, so they kept him over night.

At the office appointment a week later to get the pathology results, he found out the type of cancer cells he had were the worst of two types. The doctor recommended another surgery to scrape even further down to make sure all cancer was removed. In September, Kevin had that second surgery with the chemo drugs in the bladder again. This time things went much better, and he was able to come home the same day.

The follow up of that surgery was excellent. He has been declared cancer free!!! However, he must go in for a scope test every three to four months to make sure it doesn't come back. There is a chance it will return within three to five years.

Because of the lousy insurance choices in this country, it was cheaper for him to fly back to Wisconsin to see his doctor in the HMO we are in for that test, than to go to a doctor in Yuma. Once he is old enough for Medicare, he will be able to see a doctor anywhere in the country.

I did not post about Kevin's health scare before now because I wanted to see how it all played out, and I just wasn't ready to do so. One thing I really would like everyone to take away from this experience is that over 90% of bladder cancer occurs in smokers or former smokers. Please let this be a wake up call to anyone who still smokes.

He is staying with our son Eric while he is there. They have plans every day until he returns on Wednesday. I think it will be a great guys visit. Today they are going to a friend's house to watch the Packer Game and play cards with a group of guys they have been playing cards with for years.

Since Thanksgiving we have been enjoying ourselves in Yuma. We continue to golf, play bocce ball and lots of other activities. One day we went to Mexico with friends Brad and Martha. I bought a nice small leather back pack and a new ankle bracelet. We also stocked up on some booze, and enjoyed a delicious lunch with tasty margaritas. My shrimp tacos were very good.

On December 3rd there was a full moon. The night before it rose while still light outside. Here are a few pictures of it coming over the foothills.

On Sunday, the actual full moon night, the resort hosted a "Howl at the Moon" party. There was a bonfire and a band playing. Lots of people attended, and it looked like everyone had a great time.

Unfortunately, right before the moon rose over the foothills, a large cloud moved in. There was still plenty of howling going on. The moon rose between two palm trees. The picture isn't the best, but it was still an amazing site. The event was such a success, the resort is already planning for the next full moon party.

Several times since we've been here three or four ultralights have flown over the resort. They are sure interesting to see. I don't think I'd have the guts to do that!

Yesterday the Yuma Orchestra String Ambassadors put on a Christmas concert at the resort. They are a group of young people who enjoy sharing their musical talents with others. I went by myself, and really enjoyed the show.

Tomorrow I'm going hiking with the hiking group. The rest of the time Kevin is gone, I plan to do lots of sewing. We've been so busy, I haven't had much time for that. There is a quilting group in the park, and I have been trying to get down there once a week and sew with the group. They are a fun group of people, and I enjoy sewing with them and sharing ideas.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!