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I own the last Wauquiez Centurion 42  (hull#55).

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

I thought I was done with this...

Well...I thought I was kinda done blogging and such. I might be still. I have to see how much energy I have. Lemme back up a bit.
Yesterday, the 11th of February, I had my routine CT of my abdomen and pelvis. Cancer screening. Did the scan and the blood work early and then had one hour till the doctor came and got from the waiting room, telling it is all clear. I decided to go to my office in the next building over and change out of my scrubs. Got back to the waiting room and found out they were looking for me. Forty minutes early and they were looking for me...that is not good. Got into the exam room and couldn't even take off my coat before Dr Gold came in.
When you doctor holds your hand or grabs your shoulder or ,God forbid, hugs you...that also, is not good. Dr Gold did all three. Seems I have a new growth that is choking the tube that drains my left kidney. This growth is down in my pelvic area near the bladder right about where we took out my old tumor. Seems we didn't get it all. Also seems like the scorched earth policy I allowed to ravage my body in the form of chemotherapy didn't really help either.
Had a PET scan today. They only give you these, if you have cancer, when they want to find other growths that aren't yet wrecking havoc on your body.  Results tomorrow. Regardless of the result of the PET scan, I have an appointment Thursday morning early to have a silicone tube placed in the tube (ureter) that connects to my kidney. This will help drain urine from the kidney to the bladder because right now, my kidney is swollen and can't drain well.  They go in through the penis and place it. Cytoscopic stent placement.  Metal hollow tubes placed in me to place a flexible tube that stays. I will be knocked out for this.
Dr Gold says I will probably lose the left kidney because the cancer is wrapped tightly around the ureter and it is usually impossible to separate them. I might not but he didn't sound optimistic. I will also have more radiation and chemotherapy.
So same drill.  Big surgery, big radiation, big chemo.  Except my survival rate is now in the 20% range. That's doesn't mean I won't fight though.
Let's see what tomorrow brings...

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Here is the latest Appa video. We took the boat up to Desolation Sound up in British Columbia Canada. You can see how hazy it was during the beginning of the video. This was from the forest fires that have ravaged our area this summer. Once we had a spot of rain, it cleared the skies up and you could finally see the mountains.
I shot the video with my DJI Mavic Drone, old ass HTC phone camera, GoPro 4 Silver and a Panasonic camcorder.  Edited everything in Cyberlink Director studio.
Opening photo is courtesy of Lee Youngblood. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

BiState Regatta Labor Day weekend

This is the 2017 Bi-State regatta.  Chicago to St. Joseph Michigan and back.  Fifty miles as the bird flies each way.  Held over Labor Day weekend and my brother's birthday.  Arne and Gordon have done this race many times.  Now that they are both gone, my brother and I use this race as a memorial of sorts to our dad and uncle.  God we miss you two!

While racing back from St. Joe, we had some hitchhikers.  Two little birds landed on board and proceeded to get into everything.  One landed on my beer-can, went in the cabin, ate a spider, and in general was hanging out, I named him Arne after my dad.  The other was on Kristopher, the steering wheel, the spinnaker sheets, the jib sheets, everything.  That is Gordon.  Funny little birds.

We came in last for the race to St. Joe.  I'd like to think that we did so poorly because of the rigging slowly loosening itself as we raced.  The port side turnbuckle had two more spins and it would have come out resulting in a lost of the mast possibly.  We caught this once in St. Joe.  The Bi-State is a night race there on a Friday and a day race back on Sunday.  It was so dark and windy that we didn't notice anything amiss other than it getting increasing harder to make the boat sail close to the wind.  Dummy me should have checked the shroud tension when that started to happen.  Stupid.

But basically, I think my tactics might have been suspect.  The other boats went close to the Michigan shore and then tacked north.  The wind was right out of the direction that we wanted to go, meaning we had to tack back and forth to get to St. Joe.  In retrospect, we should have gone into the shore more and then tacked.  This would have alleviated some of the waves that were causing the boat to almost come to a dead stop at times.  That tactic of banging the shore and tacking goes against J24 racing where you never hit the corners of a race course.  The difference between long distance racing and buoy racing I guess.  I am more of a driver than a tactician but we had fun.  Next time...

The race back to Chicago, I shut my mouth and just had fun.  We tacked right at the right time and the wind started to back to the SE from the E.  The wind backed a bit more and we were able to hoist the chute.  We also put the finish line coordinates in Garmin correctly.  Some boats had the old coordinates in and they paid dearly for that.  We took a bullet (meaning first place) for the race home.  Kristopher and Peter did the driving.  I was kinda sulking about my poor performance on Friday night.  I am good at sulking.

Here is a link that mentions Kristopher and us.  Also mentions my old J24 boat Tremendous Slouch. We are down near the bottom.

The songs used in the video are Eric Clapton Sweet Home Chicago (YouTube didn't allow the Blues Brothers version), Van Morrison Into the Mystic, John Hiatt Gone, and Nickel Creek Ode to a Butterfly.

Hope you enjoy the video.  I am still learning how to photograph interesting stuff and trying to find my way.  I think finding the right music is almost as hard.

On the cancer front, I had my 6 month checkup and am clear.  The spot on the right lung has shrunk considerably after radiation and that means it was cancerous.  We will check it again in 4 months to make sure.  So far so good.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Next week is my CT scan and then the following day is with Dr Pollock the colo-rectal surgeon.  Pretty nervous about this I must admit.  I haven't slept well for about a week and my jaw hurts from clenching it all the time.  Teeth ache as well.  Hopefully it will be all good and I can wait for the next 6 months and do it all over again.
Going sailing to Poulsbo tomorrow.  Parents, kids and friends.  Cooking mahi-mahi on the boat and doing a bit of tequila/margarita tasting.
Here is the link to the BVI video I made about our trip in February.

It is a bit long and I decided against doing small short vids.  But the kids enjoy watching it and that is all that matters to me.  
I'll post more later.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Blog or Vlog?

Snow in Seattle.  What a winter.  This is my buddy's boat after our most recent snow"storm".  Schools closed and then next day, even though all the streets were clear, we had a two hour delay for all schools.
I have all but given up on blogs.  I used to follow almost thirty blogs and now that number is down to two.  I watch vlogs almost exclusively and I imagine that the viewership of this blog has dropped off dramatically especially as I hardly post anything here anymore.  I never did this blog for the viewers though, it was and is my personal record of my life that is whizzing by.  Will my kids read it?  Maybe.  I doubt it though.  But at least I won't saddle them with a ton of photo albums and stacks of papers that they will have to dispose of when I die.  And people say I'm self-centered...
Tomorrow (Feb 9th) we go to the British Virgin Islands for a bit more than a week.  At 2200 tomorrow we will be wheels up to JFK and then to St. Thomas.  The flight to JFK is overnight and then, hopefully, with the kids in a sleep-deprived stupor, we can catch the flight to STT.  Catching this  flight depends almost exclusively on the snowstorm (not the kids) that is barreling towards NYC as I type this.
Airports.  I love them.  When I am at work and talk travel, I get the usual backlash about wait times and all that stuff.  I am old enough to remember when you could RUN through airports to catch your flight!  No security lines.  Nothing.  Get out of your car and run to the gate.  It really wasn't that long ago.  Thinking of travel as a privilege helps.  Pay your fare ( it is cheap as hell compared to what it was), be nice to the stewardess or steward and sit in a chair that eventually reaches 36.000 feet into the sky and wait till you land.  I mean it is damn near magical!  You are sitting in a chair, in the sky!!! 
Not that I ever showed up prepared.  Winged flight and I have had a rocky relationship.  It wan't that long ago that I had almost a 50/50 chance of making my destination back in my wild and woolly days.  Berlin?  Passport with no wallet.  Galapagos...well, I only talk about that when I'm face-to-face.  Generally though I was better at international flights than domestic.  Las Vegas was particularly hard for me to fly into and then out of.  No idea why.
Had my three month checkup last week.  Just me.  I think I swore that I would never do another checkup without someone there with me but things change.  It is a weird place that I am in right now.  Family here, friends here but yet...well, everything is fine so far as cancer goes.  So far.  Gold says CT scan in three months and we will see about that "spot on your liver and lung."  Both of which have grown in between scans.  Nothing to be done about that though.
So I will post a youtube link to the videos that the kids and I make during our trip here.  I think I might make three or four small videos about 4 minutes each rather than one large one.  My son Ben seems to want to do some video taping and I'll encourage that.  He asks me about me editing software and I'll include him on that as well.  Not sure if we will do voiceover, "live" voice or just music with subtitles.  We will see.  What the kids want and what they help with are two different things.
Here is our video channel

Friday, April 29, 2016

Bad news?

What do the songs Running with the Devil by Van Halen and Tom Petty's I won't back down have in common?  Heard them in my MRI last night.  Let's back up a bit. 
I thought that I could give the cancer aspect of my blog a rest but what fun is that? Wednesday the 27th I had my 6 month checkup. CT scan, blood work and rectal exam. I went alone.  Some offered to go with, others stayed silent and waited for me to invite, but I denied them all. How hard could it be?
The lead up to the appointment had me a bit nervous but really, what was there to worry about.  I had been run through the wringer chemotherapy, radiation and surgery wise. What could withstand that?
Arrived at 0700 at the Swedish Cancer Institute and started to drink my contrast for the CT scan. Banana flavored. While doing that I also had blood drawn and my port accessed. I thought ruefully that this might be my last time with my port as the plan was to get this test series done and have it removed. 
0700 in the morning!
Banana CT contrast.  All the better to see you my dear...
Alright enough setup. Had the CT scan and waited for my results.  Had about an hour till my appointment with Dr Gold.  Vitals, weight taken and charted, and then he walked in. Sorry was the first thing he said. You don't want to hear that from your oncologist unless he hits your car in the parking garage. Spot on your liver. Sorry he said again. I start to think what does that mean.  Liver cancer races across my mind. Death chases it. Familiar feeling creeps across me, touching areas I thought I'd buried. Fear. Deep fear. The not seeing my kids grow up fear.  I hope you never have that feeling.  This is twice for me.
I remember making the appointment for the MRI. Dr Gold telling them to make it for today.  I made some phone calls and then had to stop. I was coming unglued. For sure they will never ever let me go to my checkups alone. Ever. I was a wreck.
I had 45 minutes till my rectal surgeon appointment so I sat in his office waiting room. Quiet reflection I think they call it. My head felt like a bunch of monkeys fighting over a bucket of marbles. Jen calls and says she is coming. No is not an option.
Get called into the back to see Dr Pollock and he is on me. Immediately opens my chart and looks at my results. He goes over everything with me. Not optimal he says but treatable. And...one step at a time. Get the MRI. You can worry after that he says. This is why you have a good team treating you. Gold is one type of doctor and Pollock is another. I need Gold sometimes and others I need Pollock.  Rectal exam happens. I tell Dr Pollock "Either I am getting better at this or you are."  We all laugh and I feel much better. Jen walks in then. All is well.
My mom and dad come over for the MRI that night. 7pm. I have my port accessed in the cancer treatment area. There I run into two people who have given me chemo last year. Like old friends we chat and have fun joking around. I almost miss that chemo routine. Almost.
MRI done. Home to kiss the kids goodnight and then wait. 
This is waiting for me at Jen's house when I got back from MRI!  I also asked the 8 ball if everything was going to be OK.   It said Yes...
Had Chinese food after the MRI.  My fortune. 
Got up after fitful sleep and went to the boat to check on progress. Just marking time till 1:30 pm. I'm getting better at waiting although I'm still no good at it. 
Just prior to leaving for the MRI results.  I have my cancer shirt on.  For luck.
My mother and I met Jen at Dr Gold's office.  Dr. Gold, Alice the RN and Peggy the scheduler are waiting for me. With smiles. MRI shows nothing. Nada.  CT was wrong. I am cancer free. Disbelief just about shuts me down. I have no words for how I felt. Elation and relief with a hint of mistrust maybe. Stunned into silence. You have to understand that I am worse case scenario boy. I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me.
Hugs, handshakes and we are out the door. Visit was so brief, we didn't have to pay for parking!
Thanks and love to those of you that had to deal with my panicked first reaction. 
Next checkup in three months.  But first a colonscopy.  I'll get that every year now.  Easy peasy.

The two main reasons I'm fighting this goddamn disease.  Cancer!  Back the hell up!