Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Days Go By

Saturday February 26, 2012

We’ve been having our ups and downs.

Thursday morning was David’s 4th treatment of Velcade.  
We have moved his appointments out of the Tampa office to the Brandon office
which is much closer to where we are staying and thus much easier for us.
Color this UP.

The appointment began as always with a blood draw to determine his current counts. 
He was surprised that before they gave the velcade shot they gave him an injection of procrit. 

Procrit is a synthetic copy of Epoetin Alpha
produced in the kidney to stimulate hemoglobin
to produce red blood cells and avoid the necessity
of a blood transfusion in patients showing severe anemia. 
His blood work hemoglobin count had dropped below 10 necessitating the shot. 

He’s beginning to feel like a pin cushion
with all the blood taken and injections given twice a week. 
Within hours of this shot,
he felt more tired and run down than he has ever felt.
He had never felt anemic until now.
Color this DOWN.

Precision Auto in Brandon Florida is a Great Place
to get your car repaired.

On a more pleasant note,
Thursday afternoon was the day the car finally got fixed
thanks to David’s persistence in finding the part
and getting the Honda Dealership to order it. 
And thanks to Precision Automotive in Brandon, Florida
who had to drop our full gas tank to install it. 
We now have a leak free gas line. 
Color this UP.

Precision Auto  is terrific. 
They are honest,
VERY reasonably priced,
thorough and
very experienced
so they can charge you the minimum for labor to do your work.

We cannot recommend them highly enough. 
If you are anywhere in this area and need any auto work done,
do yourself a favor and have them do it. 
I’ll be putting out reviews of praise on all the internet sites
we used to find them including Car Talk’s Mechanics Files.

after weeks of being put on the back burner,
Ruby’s problems are fixed and that chore can be filed away.
Definitely UP

But, David found himself exhausted and went to bed early.
Color that DOWN.

We wanted to take a vacation during his “break”.

Friday we left Lithia Springs and drove across the state
166 miles to keep part of our previously made East Coast reservations. 
Since David’s treatments are two weeks on and one week off,
this was his “vacation” after round #1 and he wanted
to DO something. 

We arrived about 3:00 at Jonathan Dickinson State Park.
There are two campgrounds at Jonathan Dickinson.

To Jonathan Dickinson 011

Our site is in Pine Flatwoods just a short way into the park.  It is for sure flat but has very few pines in the campground.  It does have full hook ups but zero charm in my opinion.

What it does have is lots of grackles.
To Jonathan Dickinson 025

To Jonathan Dickinson 022

Here is a picture of our site #79.
Full hook ups but not much more to write home about.

To Jonathan Dickinson 042

I would much rather have been in the River campground
4 miles into the park near all of the facilities.

Sunday at Dickinson 058

It is a much smaller campground and designed for smaller RVs although there are at least 3 sites that Winnona could get in to.  But none for a rig any bigger than she is at 34’.  
It’s a lovely little campground though
with much more of a camping feel.

Again David was surprised to find he was very tired
after the drive.  Prior to the procrit injection,
although his numbers said he was anemic,
he hadn’t felt that way.  
Now, he was exhausted from what
in the past would have been a relatively easy drive.  
We got minimally set up, had dinner and he went to bed early.

Saturday dawned, I went out running about 7:45am,
came back, did my stretching and other exercises and found that
David had slept the entire time.  
Nearly 12 hours of sleep. Very unusual for him. 
But he said he felt better.

After breakfast we just noodled around until lunch
David took another nap after lunch.  When he woke
we drove the 4 miles down to
the visitor center rather than biking down
as we usually would.

We saw the film they were showing on the
Loxahatchee River which flows through the park.
It was Florida’s first wild and scenic designated river.
We’d love to kayak on it.   But that will depend
on David’s energy and the weather.

So far the weather has been a disappointment.
It has rained, been cloudy and windy both days.
Although in a way, that’s good since it
makes David less disappointed that he doesn’t
feel as good as usual.

After the movie, we spent some time in the
extremely well done visitor’s center learning the
history of the area that is now the park and
the history of the park itself.

Sunday at Dickinson 099 
There were two books that I would love to read but at 120 and 156 pages each, $15.95 per books is
too stiff for my wallet.
But they really looked interesting.
One was a journal by Jonathan Dickinson a Quaker merchant who was shipwrecked near here in 1669
with his family and slaves.  His accounts of the  Native Peoples would have been very interesting to read.  The other book was the story of Trapper Nelson a rather eccentric man who lived up river from the early 30’s to late 60’s.   More about him on another day.

David looked around some and then uncharacteristically sat on the bench
while I finished looking at the exhibits.

Sunday at Dickinson 109

His energy was flagging so we went back for a nap for him while I made dinner.  
After eating, he again went to bed early hoping he’d have more energy tomorrow
which luckily he did.
That’s an UP!!


  1. My ex used to be extremely exhausted after chemo. I think he took Procrit as well. I hope his energy levels pick up soon. He's really taking a helluva beating right now.

  2. Here's hoping some good long sleeps will make David feel better. I think what he is experiencing is common. Sure hope the sleep helps.

  3. Sorry that David is feeling tired. The Procrit should help, and having a week off will help even more.

    As a teenager I had a summer job babysitting. I lived in a house right on the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter. At that time, there was a a tabby road that was straight as an arrow to town which had a post office and a package store, and one other--forgot what it was. I wonder what it looks like, now.

  4. Glad that there were at least some up events in your week!

  5. Glad that David has a week off to get the rest he needs.

    He's doing very well for the rough road he's on.

    I think it was smart that you stayed in FL where you can recharge on the off weeks and not have to deal with a VA winter.

    We're pulling for you both!

  6. So glad you had a good experience in getting Ruby fixed and that item is now crossed off your list.

    I'm sure David's lack of energy is frustrating for him. Hopefully he continues to get the rest that he needs and his energy will return.

  7. Sorry David is feeling the effects of the treatment. Sleep when necessary and then enjoy the 'UP' times;o)) You need to listen to your body. It is hard work beating cancer!!

    So glad you were able to go on 'vacation' ;o)) Hope you get out on the river!!

  8. Keeping up the good thoughts for you. Don't let David overdo it.

  9. I'm glad to hear there were some "ups" and hopefully a week off will help him.

    We also noticed the lack of trees at Jonathan Dickinson SP. That is partly due to all the hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.

    We paddled on that river once and got a little lost. It's a tricky river. Hope you get to make a trip on it before you leave.

  10. Glad things got fixed and thanks for the recommendation on car repair place! It's good that David is getting rest that his body needs...there are sure gonna be lots of ups and downs but we're here, UP behind you....thanks for sharing..we want to know!

  11. Hopefully the DOWNS now will equate to many many UP days to come.

  12. At least the rain will give David some time to recharge. JDSP was completely rebuilt after severe hurricane damage. That probably contributes to the lack of ambiance. We never got down there -hope you guys get on the river soon.

  13. Thanks to all for your kind wishes, thoughts and encouragement. Sure is wonderful to have you "out there".

    Hobo, I doubt you would recognize the UPSCALE place now. I think I might have liked it better in those days you describe.

    Paul, we hope we're smart. It's all such a toss of the dice in the medical field given all the behind the scenes "incentives".

    Karen, we did get out on the river (next post) and can easily see how you could get lost and then some.
    But it's definitely beautiful.

  14. Life is sure a mixed bag of tricks. Continued good wishes for you both.

  15. I can see why they call it Pine Wood FLATS!

  16. Glad the car got fixed. Enjoy the week away.

  17. Hopefully the 'vacation' will allow David to recharge his batteries. Looks like you're about 50 miles from Arthur R Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge ... if David's up to it, you might want to drive there and check it out.

  18. Dad's a fighter!! I've read the last three post out of order abd know Dad's state of affairs improves!! That's an UP! :)


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