Friday, February 29, 2008

Feb 2008 status

This week I met with Dr Einhorn. Xrays and tests show that my cancer is stable - which means that I am still in remission. I continue to receive infusions of Avastin every 3 weeks and will continue to do so until May. I am feeling pretty good.

My feet still hurt - peripheral neuropathy - but I am becoming accustomed to it. I certainly wouldn't want to walk great distances; but, I seem to be able to get around as I need to.

I continue to have headaches just about every morning. Dr Einhorn says not to worry at this time and to just keep taking Advil since it takes care of the headache pretty quickly. Since the headaches don't reoccur much during the day and since I don't have headaches waking me up at night, he says not to worry about it.

I continue to have a good appetite and certainly haven't lost any more wait since my summer on chemo. I lost about 25 lbs during the summer and have put about 10 back on. Weight has been stable since Sept - including during and after our cruises.

Work is fine - the usual stuff. I am pretty much working full-time - though I often start the day slow and don't get in until 9:30ish. But, once I get my body going, I seem to have the energy and be OK for the rest of the day. I will admit to an occassional short nap in my office chair!!

So...that's about it. Same old, same old for now.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Indiana University Simon Cancer Center

The Indiana University Melvin & Bren Simon Cancer Center will have a "Faces of Cancer" ribbon campaign for the grand opening this summer. Please consider going to the website at to request a ribbon to honor or remember those whose lives have been touched by cancer.

Each name provided will be displayed on ribbons that will blanket the IUPUI campus during the grand opening festivities. Please consider any family, friends or co-workers. You may request as many ribbons as you would like and there is no cost to do so.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

IU Simon Cancer Center poster & postcard

about the same

So far things have been about status quo since we returned from the cruise. Still have the typical aches and pains - feet hurt when I walk alot and my left shoulder is pretty funky. I will need to mention the shoulder to Dr. Einhorn when I see him tomorrow before my Avastin infusion. Today, I got an email with two of the print pieces being used for the Grand Opening of the IU Simon Cancer Center this summer. I figure out how to upload them so you can "admire" the great photos!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Carib day 14

Day at sea. Slow day. Slept in. Late breakfast on the verandah. Read one more book. Once again, second in trivia - by just one point.

In retrospect, this back-to-back Caribbean cruise was a nice change from Hawaii in February - but, we'll probably go back to Hawaii next year. For someone wanting warm weather, lots of sun, plenty of beach/island time and typical island watersports, this would be a great vacation choice.

The second week included the private island, Grand Turk, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. Total cruising distance this week was 2095 nautical miles or 1822 statute miles. Once again, we got lots of use of the big verandah.

We only got off the ship in Grand Cayman for an excursion. Otherwise, we basically treated this as a week at sea. It felt good to sleep in and relax all day.

Tomorrow will be the usual hectic travel day to return home. So...that's all for the vacation updates. Next trip is Alaska in May.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Carib day 13 we wind down, we are taking every chance to relax. Ship docked in Cozumel, Mexico today - but we didn't get off the ship. Once again, we had beautiful weather. Ate breakfast and relaxed out on the verandah. Kinds cloudy much of the morning but warm. We both finished another book.

Unfortunately, tomorrow we make our preparations to return home. We never look forward to packing.

Happily, we heard from our travel agent, Brenda, and learned that we got a suite for the May cruise to Alaska. We had been in a normal verandah cabin and were waitlisted for the suite. We've been spoiled - so we're glad we got the bigger cabin. is midship which will be much more convenient. As many of you know, we don't like to finish a cruise withou having the next one booked.

Now...we just need to book something for the Fall. Brenda - how about that Barcelona to NJ crossing on Celebrity?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Carib day 12

We anchored at Grand Cayman today and we actually got off the ship. We did a glass-bottom boat. Even though it wasn't terribly sunny, we saw lots of fish and coral. It rained a bit; but, not a big deal. Since our excursion was at noon, we made it back to the ship in time to have ice cream for lunch.

In general, it was way, way too busy for us on shore in George Town. There were 5 ships at anchor today - including a Royal Caribbean ship with somewhere around 4000 passengers. Wall-to-wall people. On the walk to the glass-bottom boat, we passed Margaritaville and a couple other "drinking" places. At about 11:30, there were already people drinking heavily and being loud. I told Jill they were probably from the 2 Carnival cruise ships.

The rest of the day was our usual - breakfast on the verandah, reading in the Crow's Nest, snack in the Neptune Lounge, nap in the afternoon, and trivia just before dinner - second again.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Carib day 11

Today we did escentially nothing. Beautiful morning - breakfast on the verandah. Sunny. Around high 70s or low 80s. Very calm seas.

For the rest of the morning, we went to the Crow's Nest on the level 10 observation level and read books. We read until lunchtime. After lunch, back up to the Crow's Nest to read more and wait for trivia at 2:15. We tied for first in trivia but lost the tie-breaker.

After trivia, back to the cabin to read on the verandah. Then a short nap before dinner. Is it sounding boring yet?

We will go to the entertainment tonight - a very entertaining piano duo. And, after that...let's see...I wonder...oh, we'll probably read and Jill will go to bed and I'll read some more. How's that for livin' la vida loca?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Carib day 10

OMG...we finally lost at trivia today. We are so devastated! Oh well. Jill won a little today at the slots - she is up around $750.

We docked at Grand Turk today. We didn't bother to get off the ship since it is just the same shops that we saw last week. So...we just relaxed, ate and read. I had a massage this afternoon. My left shoulder has been bothering me and the massage has helped some.

Since I haven't commented on health for a while, Jill and I are both doing well. The chest congestion that Jill had before we left is all cleared up. And, I am also doing pretty well.

My feet are a bit numb - especially when I walk a lot - which is everyday since our cabin is at the very back of the ship. We don't have to go far for dining but the shows, trivia and just about everything else is quite a walk. But, with a few minutes rest, my feet are ready to go again.

We are both getting plenty of sleep. Having breakfast delivered each morning and eating on the verandah most mornings with the great weather helps us to start each day off very well. Oddly, I have eaten more ice cream this cruise than during the entire past year.

They are doing a good job of preparing Jill's special low sodium dinners each day - but they always serve her way too much food and are surprised when she doesn't eat lots of it. They always ask "Is there something wrong with your dinner?". She always tells them that there is just too much food for her.

So...that's what's up right now. We hear that the weather back home has been crummy. So sorry about that. It is absolutely beautiful here - wish you were all here with us ;-)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Carib day 9

What a beautiful morning for breakfast on the verandah! Sunny. Only a very light breeze. Warm temp. It was a great start for the day.

Today we are at the private island - meaning a pseudo-sea day for us. Jill booked herself for a facial. We played trivia - tied for 1st. I napped. Jill won $180. I read a James Patterson book. And...I napped. Tonight, we watched the movie Elizabeth. Basically...a nice slow day.

We have new tablemates for dinner - a couple from Ashville, SC. He grew up in Jacksonville, IL and she grew up in Carbondale, IL. They seem like good people and should be nice to spend dinners with them this week.

Tomorrow should be slow again. We dock at the fake Princess-built "town" on Grand Turk. We plan to stay on the ship. I am scheduled for a massage. So...another day in paradise!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

End of 1st week

We docked this morning in Ft Lauderdale for the end of the first week. It was interesting to be able to ignore packing luggage and all the stuff to get ready to get off the ship. Instead, we relaxed last night and went on an Everglades excursion this AM. We rode an airboat and saw an alligator in the wild. Upon returning to the ship, lots of people going through all the initial boarding stuff.

Little else will be new today. So...I thought I would share a few tidbits from our first week Cruise Log from HAL. For those of you in the cold, our noon temps last week were all between 79 and 83. We traveled 2217 nautical miles or 2550 statute miles. Our ports were Ft Lauderdale to Grand Turk to Tortolla to St Maarten to Half Moon Cay and back to Ft Lauderdale. Our ports this week are Ft Lauderdale to Half Moon Cay to Grand Turk to Grand Cayman to Cozumel and back to Ft Lauderdale.

With a some ports repeating, we plan to get in plenty of relaxing. Won't go on the private island and don't need to go back to Grand Turk. We may even get in an extra spa day.

For now, time for a nap.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Carib day 7

Today was a day at the HAL private island - which means day at the spa for us. Great weather for breakfast on the verandah - around 80, very sunny and only light wind.

We scheduled our massages for late AM. As usual, I really enjoyed my massage and Jill says she'll get a facial next time. She doesn't seem to like massages as much as me. I've been having some stiffness in my shoulder and the massage therapist helped with that.

After our treatments, lunch and trivia - ho-hum we won again. We have won all but about two trivia contests. Don't know how we'll do next week when half our team is gone. Hopefully, we'll pick up people who know useless info.

We spent the afternoon doing absolutely nothing. Jill went to the casino and come back up about $75 or so. I napped since I don't have a book. Finished two James Patterson books from the library so far and won't check out another until tomorrow - would have to turn in the book tonight and recheck it our tomorrow - so I decided to wait.

I can't imagine if we had to get off tomorrow like about 1650 of the 2000 passengers. One week would simply be way too short. It will be odd when almost everyone is putting out their luggage and leaving while we stay on.

We will get off for a while in Ft Lauderdale for the Everglades airboat tour. We've never been able to do that tour because there weren't enough people. It was great when we heard yesterday that there are enough for the excursion this year.

So...we sure have had great weather for the first week. Only had a bit of rain for the one day while on excursion in Tortolla. A few morning breakfasts on the verandah were a bit breezy. But, otherwise, the weather couldn't have been better. Most temps in the high 70's and low 80's.

The eastern Caribbean was a good location for a warm-up cruise. We left behind cold, ice and snow. And we thawed out nicely down here. St Maarten and the butterfly farm were clearly the highlight on this half of our cruise.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Carib day 6

Well...we really are that team this week that people seem to dislike. Even though last night, we only finished second on Rat Pack music trivia with 19 out of 20, we came back this afternoon and won misc trivia. Then, we tied for first on name that tune Motown trivia. And...Jill won on the 2-penny slots today - so she is now up $500.

Relaxing day today. Day at sea. Just played games and read.

A late addition before I send, we won 50's & 60's music trivia tonight. The guy in the piano bar is very good. We have really enjoyed listening to him. Of course, most people around us are drinking as they sing along - but we can have fun without the drinking. Maybe we don't sing as well, but...

Day on the ship tomorrow since we are at the private island - which is mainly a beach day. We'll probably do something at the spa.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Carib day 5

This morning we went on an excursion in St Maarten. We learned during the bus ride that the island is only 37 sq miles - 16 are Dutch and 21 are French. We first visited a butterfly farm. It was quite interesting. We learned about the life cycle of the butterfly and saw lots of different kinds. This was one of the cooler excursions we have done. Then, we visited Marigot in the French part of the island for a little shopping opportunity. Jill got a tote bag and a summer purse. I got tired. Upon returning to the ship, we had lunch and played trivia again - we are becoming "that team" since we won again. Time for a nap.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

More day 4

Well...besides winning misc trivia this morning, we also won movie & show music trivia tonight. Perfect score tonight.

This afternoon, we took a tour of Tortolla by open-air bus. Rained a little - I got a bit wet - but we managed OK. Stopped a couple times to shop - nothing much.

We were pretty tired and both took naps after dinner - before trivia and the comedian show. Nothing particularly interesting otherwise. We are enjoying doing nothing as much as we can.

Carib day 3

Tuesday was a day at Grand Turk. It was a little unusual because it seems that this area was built by Carnival specifically for its various cruise ships.

We docked, walked along a long pier and the beach and shopping were right there. I don't think that non-cruise visitors can get to this area of the island. There was transport to other areas - but we just did the port.

Typical Carib island shopping with the normal stores you see on most islands plus what appeared to be a little local retail flavor. There was a Margaritaville - with all the Jimmy Buffet music and souvenirs. Was about 45 minutes worth of walking around shops and we returned to the ship.

Full afternoon of trivia - so-so on TV theme song trivia, tied for first on one normal trivia and won one trivia. So...not a bad afternoon for us.

There are lots of passengers who are not frequent cruisers. About 300 of the 2000 passengers are doing the two weeks - basically, the frequent cruisers. It is funny to hear the newbies talking about the rocking of the boat - it is actually quite calm compared to what we have experienced in the past.

We just got back this morning from trivia - we won again. We have a pretty good team now.

We anchor soon in Tortolla and have a short afternoon excursion. More later...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Carib day 2

It sure is nice to just relax. Today was a day at sea. We are on our way to Grand Turk. Breakfast on the verandah, reading in the Neptune Lounge, trivia - second place, nap while Jill went to the casino - broke even from yesterday... Basically, a non-stress day. We port in Grand Turk tomorrow but we don't have an excursion. We'll just see what happens and what we feel like. For now, Jill is in bed already - she didn't get a nap - and I'll probably just watch a movie or read.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


We made it to the Westerdam today. Boarded about 12:30. Was only about 15 minutes before a lido cafe worker recognized and came up to welcome is back. We saw our dining room waiter from Oct later in the day.

Our cabin is quite nice. Slightly smaller than our suites the past few cruises - but, we have a huge verandah. I would guess the verandah might be twice as big as we have ever had. I expect that we will enjoy using the verandah for breakfast and a lot of just lounging around.

Didn't get to see much of the Super Bowl - but what a great end. We are very happy for Eli and the Giants.

So...nothing very unusual today. But, with luck and good weather, should be a great trip.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Caribbean we began our "warm up" vacation. This morning we flew on AirTran for the first time. I don't know much about them other than they offered the best deal for a non-stop 1st class flight to Ft Lauderdale. They were very punctual - we left the gate about 10 minutes early. The flight was good - I assume since I slept most of it. And, we landed about 15 minutes early. We checked into the Renaissance Hotel in Plantation, FL. It is a Marriott chain and is about 15 minutes from where we will board the HAL Westerdam tomorrow. We did pretty much nothing once we got here - feeling lazy. So...that's it we are on our way. And...we have warmed up already!

Friday, February 1, 2008

snow today, Caribbean tomorrow

We got snow today - making our trip to Floriday tommorow and the Caribbean Sunday very good timing. We are returning to the HAL Westerdam for two weeks - one week in the Eastern Carib and one week in the Western Carib. This is the same ship we took for the Rome to Ft Lauderdale crossing back in October.

I rec'd an Avastin infusion on Wednesday of this week. Everything remains pretty stable. When I get back from the trip, I will get an X-ray and bloodwork. So...we'll see what Dr Einhorn says. I feel pretty, I expect that he will be happy.

I continue to have a small irritating issue with headaches - just in the AM and Advil handles it pretty quickly. Don't know for sure what is causing them; but, Dr Einhorn is monitoring and isn't concerned at this time. The peripheral neuropathy in my feet is not totally gone; but, is considerably less that during the last few months. I don't even notice it much of the day - only when I think about it and realize that it is still there.

So...tonight we pack. Tomorrow we fly to Ft Lauderdale. Sunday we board the Westerdam and sail for two weeks. Maybe the snow will be gone by the time we get back!!