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

Henry David Thoreau

Moffitt, Whole Foods & Friends

Tuesday July 3, 2012
Quail Run Lot 15
Wesley Chapel Florida


Yesterday was a pretty full day of doctor visits beginning at 7:30 in the morning.  We leave Winnona at 7:00 and are there right on time.  Moffitt is between 18 and 20 miles from us now.  There are two ways to get there and we will try them both before deciding which is easiest.  Today we drive two miles down Old Pasco Road to Rt 54 and then 1 mile to the entrance ramp for I 75 South.  Twelve miles down I-75 to the Fletcher Avenue Exit and then about 5 miles to the Cancer Center entrance. 


We are right on time and waiting in the room at 7:30 for an appointment with Dr. Ken Shain, David’s hematologist.  He is a Multiple Myeloma doctor who sees only myeloma patients one day a week and does Myeloma research the other 4 days.  He is a genuinely friendly and knowledgeable physician whom we enjoy and have confidence in.   He says David has done very well with his induction therapy, that his organ test numbers look good and he has every expectation that David will do well in transplant. 

They talk a while about David’s current problems, upper back pain rather than lower, numbness in his feet and the continued sleeping problems.  Though his sleeping is better, he is still waking 2-5 times each night.  They discuss the specifics of the organ tests and their results and then we are on our way to a 9:00  appointment with Dr. Booth Jones.

This appointment is in another building so the folks at the ground floor welcome desk call a tram which picks us up and delivers us across the road.  As usual, David fills out forms.  This time they are questionnaires on his state of mind, attitudes and expectations.  This is a called a Psycho-Social assessment.  HA!   I could tell them a few things here. 


An assistant comes out to get him and they  discuss his medical history AGAIN.  She has to make sure they have everything correct including what medications he is now taking.  She explains that Dr. Booth-Jones will be doing some cognitive testing as  baseline “before transplant” information.  Thus if something unusual happens they will have something for comparison.  

I wait about an hour while they do all this.  Dr Booth-Jones comes out with David and tells me what a good memory he has.  I roll  my eyes.


Yes she says, the game is up. 
No more claiming he can’t remember. 

He smiles sheepishly.

We walk back across the street.  No need to wait for a tram he says and he’s the one with fatigue so he gets to decide.   We have the lunch we’ve brought in an area with tables and proceed up to the BMT Clinic to meet with the Transplant Director Dr. Alsina for the go ahead for the transplant.  So far everything seems in order so we expect she will say he is a good candidate and she does.  

She answers his questions and leaves us with her assistant who goes over the schedule of visits we need to make before hospital admission along with instructions for which drugs to take and which not to take.
The transplant process begins this Saturday with the first of the daily hospital visits pre-transplant.   He will be admitted to the hospital the following Saturday.   So he has 4 days before the process starts in earnest.


David says he is feeling well enough to go to Whole Foods which we do.   It is an easy drive from Moffitt to Whole Foods nearly all on I 275.  Whole Foods has all kinds of things to taste so he does.
Don’t you just LOVE fresh produce??  I just looks beautiful sitting there waiting for me to put it in the cart.


Whole foods


Whole foods3 


As usual it takes an hour to wander around and pick up the things we need and some we don’t.  It only takes 4 of our string bags to carry the $100 worth of groceries to the car.  Seems like it should take a lot more than that doesn’t it??   I-275 takes us straight up to I 75 and we retrace our steps to the park.


On these long testing and doctor visit days we have taken to having something quick for dinner.   Since today was Whole Foods day and Amy’s Spinach Pizza with Rice Crust was on sale for $5.45, I picked one up for dinner.  It is gluten and dairy free and although a “processed” food product, which I prefer to avoid, was just the thing for two tired vegans.  It was very good. 


Annie's Pizza

This is the first time we’ve tried anything with “soy cheese”.  I was impressed although I doubt I’ll make a habit of using the cheese or eating the pizza since there are just too many ingredients on the list.

I’m in agreement with Michael Pollan’s Food Rules. 


Here are a couple more I like:

Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
Don’t eat anything containing ingredients that are
b) unpronounceable
c) more than 5 in number
d) contain high fructose corns syrup

If you aren’t familiar with Pollan or his work here are a couple of links.
First  Second
I’ve read all of his books and have enjoyed every one. 




We stop by to see Karen and Al on our after dinner walk and talk with them about books and libraries, kindles and laser eye surgery, medical staff and RV ladder clothes lines.  It is becoming dark and a gorgeous nearly full moon rises in the sky as we leave to walk home.  A nice end to a long day. 

Jody's moonPhoto by J. Himebaugh


  1. The produce section looks beautiful! I've been a Michael Pollan fan for a long time. Half my shopping time is reading labels, even though most of the foods I buy are produce and they don't have labels, but you still should check and see where they come from.

    I'm reading Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" which I think you would enjoy.

    I'm sending good vibes for David (and you).

  2. I was going to ask how you had a pizza with cheese that was dairy free, but you answered it. I love spinach pizza and plan to have one when I get to the OBX. Of course, I'm not vegan so it will have mozzarella on it. :)

  3. Also, perhaps you could explain to me the difference between vegan and vegetarian?

  4. The fruits and veggies at Whole Foods look very yummy! Warm thoughts are being sent your way as you go down this next path!

  5. You are on your way! Hopefully soon David will be on the road to recovery. Pollan's rules are the same as Hyman's in the book I read. I miss having cheese :-)

  6. I'll put Pollan on my library list. I've never read him. I like Kingsolver, but I don't want to leave Arizona yet.

    We like at least one of Amy's pizzas that don't bother with cheese subs - maybe "roasted vegetable"? We haven't bought one in a long time, just because of the processed thing. It always has to be what we eat next, anyway, because it doesn't fit in our freezer.

  7. I shop at a "Fresh Market" (similar to Whole Foods) nearby thought I'm not a vegan or a vegetarian. Their produce is so much superior than any of the other super markets that it's worth the extra money.

    Sounds like David is clicking right along, and soon you'll be through all this, Sherry. I can never get over how logically you and David go about everything--I think that's one strength that will make things easier.

    You know I am thinking of you, as so many are. I have no idea how I would handle what you are handling, but taking us along on your journey of courage surely will help many people.

    I hope they can relieve David's back pain--you didn't say if they can relieve it or what is causing it. I am still left with my mouth open at times as I contemplate how you and David move through life in perfect unison.

  8. Another exhausting day put to bed and another deserving trip to Whole Foods for David. You guys are doing great, and we're still here cheering you on.

  9. Like your rules for food. Wish i were there or u here as would 'pick your brain' for vegan ideas, am interested in that, know there are lots of places to go online, just seems easier to ASK or TALK to some one. Worried about the protein, haha, "Good Luck Duck" had on their blog once about people not being worried about that normally but become vegan and everyone worried about their protein.....

  10. So you got some of the first appointments out of the way. Hope David is able to get some relief and sleep good.

  11. Good news that David is good to go and a good transplant candidate! We'll all be waiting for your updates as the process unfolds.
    I'm proud of you for taking David to Whole Foods, Sherry! I bet he enjoyed himself too :) Won't it be wonderful to take him to Whole Foods AFTER the transplant? It will mean everything.

  12. Too bad there's not a Trader Joe's in Tampa. We like Whole Foods but it sure is pricey. We use a little soy mozzarella on homemade pizza (just makes it a bit more pizza-like) but since I make my own whole grain crust I think it's okay.
    Hope all goes well this week.

  13. Glad to hear you are set to go!! You two will be in our thoughts everyday. Enjoy the next few days!!!

    We love Whole Foods and Michael Pollan. I've read his books and hated to part with them when we moved into the motorhome. I loved his rule about never eating anything you get through the driver's window;o)))

    That Vegan pizza looks great. Have to check that out!!!

  14. so glad to read you are good to go....we will be following close to see all your updates..and praying hard for you both!!

  15. So glad to hear everything is on track for the transplant. Also glad you are staying in the same park as Karen and Al. They are both such nice people and will be there to help if you need anything. About Dave's memory .. When we were in high school I was always amazed at how much he remembered fr grade school that I had already forgotten. God bless you both thru this transplant.

    1. yeah, but we both know how your memory is!

    2. Have you ever been to the Fresh Market? I think it is similar to Whole Foods. There are a few around town and we used to love the place.

      We are home today and Al will be glad to help David with the pvc clothesline if he is up to it. Al has a tool to easily cut the pipe. Let me know...you know where we live. :)

  16. Maybe it's a good thing you didn't get the Psycho-Social Assessment... ;c)

    We are glad to see everything is going well and according to plan. We wish it was all behind you, but not as much as you do. Hang tough!

  17. Your produce section of Whole Foods Market looks very inviting...No wonder you spent a hundred bucks. Did the Dr. give you any idea why the upper back pain? Praying for the both of you.
    Betty from Milwaukie

  18. Great news that David's numbers are where they should be. I really like Amy's products always have good flavor. Pollan was on NPR one time telling about "getting busted" buying "fruiti pebbles" for his kid. It was very funny. Enjoy these next 4 days. You are in our thoughts.

  19. Well I do have to read the blog to get updated. Still have not said the date for David's procedure. I am glad he is going to be able to have it. Whole foods is a fun place to go, we have a two story one in Lakewood.

  20. Sounds like Moffitt is indeed a good place for all this to be happening. It is a good thing that they are gathering all sorts of information - probably, the more they know about the patient, the better -- but, how would they know if his memory is good (he wouldn't tell what he can't remember so no one would ever know!)? :) I don't have a Whole Foods very close - Trader Joe's is good too, but not quite as 'exciting' in terms of tasting. Beautiful moon picture!!!


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