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

Henry David Thoreau

Another BIG Bump in the Road

February 7-February 22, 2018                                                              Most Recent Posts:
Quail Run RV Park                                                                      Exciting Wildlife Encounter at Oscar Scherer
Wesley Chapel, Florida                                                              Birding and More at Oscar Scherer State Park

As you can see from my header, we are not spending two weeks at Koreshan State Historic Site where we had hoped to be and we will not be spending the following two weeks at Kissimmee Prairie State Park a designated dark sky park that I’ve been wanting to return to for the past 3 years.

Instead we are spending a month 32 miles North of Tampa in Wesley Chapel Florida at a private RV park in what for us is a very undesirable site.  But, all of a sudden, in the middle of the winter, in Florida, when you need, at the last minute, a place you can stay for a month or two, you have to take what you are lucky enough to find.   We are very grateful that Quail Run RV Park was able to find a spot for us.  The park appears to be completely full.

Yes we can nearly shake hands with our neighbors, yes we have the laundramat and dog park right in front of us.  Yes we have Interstate 75 right behind the wall which means we don’t have to see it but we have to listen to it all day and all night.




What would make us give up two beautiful Florida State Parks for this?  Well an emergency of course.


Those of you who have been following us since the beginning, and how I love you for it, know that David was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in our second year of full timing.  We’ve been dealing with that on the road since then.  The drugs to treat the myeloma have caused him increasing heart problems that have been treated with, of course, more drugs.

On Sunday January 12 in the afternoon while doing absolutely nothing at Hillsborough River State Park,  David had a totally unprovoked and sustained episode of angina.  Longer than anything he’d ever had before and long enough that he should have, but refused to, go to the emergency room.

He says he didn’t want to miss his appointment with his Myeloma Specialist which was at 10:00 the next day.  After 90 or so minutes the angina finally subsided and he did make his appointment the following day.   His Myeloma specialist of course insisted that he see a cardiologist and the cardiologist insisted that he have a cardiac cathetorization and the results showed that his heart condition had worsened to the point where something had to be done.  It was no longer being controlled by medicines.

After much testing and consultations with his myeloma specialist here, his cardiac doctors in Virginia it was determined that this condition was so serious he would go off all his myeloma treatment in order for Dr. Calderia at Tampa General to perform coronary bypass surgery.

So on Wednesday February 7th we check out of Oscar Scherer and move north to Quail Run.

On Sunday February 11th, he visits The Nook Restaurant for a send off breakfast.  Just what a man going in for by pass surgery should be eating don’t you think?



When we arrived back home, in the mail he found two more books in the Lonesome Dove Series.   Carrie sent them to him to take to the hospital as he was finishing Lonesome Dove which she got him as a Christmas gift.  Way to go Carrie!!  Receiving packages is one of the benefits of a long term stay.


On Monday February 12th, one month from the angina attack he went into the hospital for the surgery. His brother Roger had flown in at a moment’s notice from Texas to be with him both before and after the surgery.   I caught them chatting as we waited for his appointment to get preped for the surgery.

This is the last we saw of him before they took him in for surgery at noon.

David had a triple by pass in which his heart was not stopped or put on a machine during the surgery.  I find this absolutely amazing.  We were told the surgery normally takes 3 to 4 hours.  David’s was done in 2 hours.  Apparently all the hype about Dr. Calderia was true.  He’s fast and he’s good.

By 4:00, David was in his room in the ICU.  He spent one night there was released to step down care the next day on Tuesday.  This too was amazing.  Everything just worked like clock work.  His heart was doing fine.  Roger came in on Sunday night before the surgery and planned to go home on Thursday since we expected David to be out of ICU by then.   When he was out on Tuesday, Roger changed his flight to Wednesday.  Best laid plans . . .

Then Wednesday morning David's heart rate soared into the 150s and his Blood Pressure plummeted.  Atrial Fibrillation they said and immediately ordered different medications with plans to return him to the ICU.  But within 2 hours of being on the medications they settled his heart back into rhythm.  We were told this is not an uncommon situation immediately after by pass surgery.  After 3 hours of perfect heart rate, the order to move him back was cancelled and things proceeded as we had hoped they would.   Boy were we all relieved.

Here are the boys chatting in David’s step down unit private room just before Roger had to leave to catch his plane.   Thanks Roger so much for coming.  It was great to have you here with us for this worrisome adventure.


By Wednesday late afternoon, David was back to business as usual checking medical labs and reports and email on line with his new reading book on his tray. 


20180215_135457Although he continued to get stronger and be able to get out of bed, walk down the hall and even up a few steps, all necessary accomplishments to being able to be discharge; still his heart went in and out of afib.  He also developed two small clots.  One in his left arm and one in his left leg.  Then his right arm swelled up from I can’t even remember what. 

It just seemed to be one thing after another keeping him in the hospital.


Finally today, 10 days after the surgery he’s dressed in his own clothes and ready to leave the hospital. 

I pick him up, he has no trouble getting in the car and it’s clear from his smile that even a ride in the car is a great thing.



And now begins the rest of his recovery which will include home health care and eventually cardiac rehab.  He’s doing amazingly well.  No problem getting in and out of the car.  Walked right up the 5 steps into the motor home and after a couple of naps and a big dinner walked 300 steps around the block. 

He’s got a long way to go and we have no idea how much advantage his Myeloma has taken of these weeks off of treatment or when he will be able to begin it again but we’re grateful for the amazing surgical talents of Dr. Christiano Calderia.

He’s very happy to be relaxing with his feet up checking his email and reading his reams of discharge instructions back in his own home.


We don’t know if we will have to cancel any more of our reservations to accomodate his rehab although I’d really like to and move North. This has been the hottest February in Florida we’ve ever experienced.  It’s like July with temperatures in the mid to upper 80’s all month long.  The last 4 days are the hottest since records have been kept for this area.  Feels like a hot and humid summer not the last week of February.

One day at a time from here but we think we’re over the worst part of this Bump in the Road.


  1. Whew, Sherry, whew. Been thinking I hadn't seen a post in awhile but had no idea of course it was this big a bump. Whew. So happy to see David's smiling face. The Energizer Bunny just keeps going thanks to modern medicine, great doctors, and his great attitude! Hugs to both of you. And hopefully you can get to a more relaxing and lovely northern Florida spot before before long. whew.

  2. We are thrilled to see David looking so incredibly well after going through open heart surgery! (David, you are one tough dude!) It was such a shock when we talked a couple of weeks ago to find out that you two were having to face this very serious surgery, but we're so happy to know that you're on the other side of it. The best part about this is that David will be able to get back to the hiking/biking/and kayaking that you both love, without any restrictions.
    You two are an inspiration. Hugs to you both, and we're hoping to see you at the end of March!

  3. Eldy and I send wishes for a fast recovery. It’s a long haul Eldy says, but David is quite the fighter. It’s almost two years to the same date that Eldy had his triple bypass. Blessings to you both,we understand what you went through. If we can answer any questions, let us know.

  4. I was afraid there was a medical emergency when you mentioned at the end of your last post that you had to change plans. Glad this one is behind you and and that things went well. David sure seems to have a great attitude and looks healthy in spite of everything.
    Hope your life gets back to "normal" soon!

  5. Dad is a true fighter!! So glad to see him home and looking healthy. Thank you for being his tireless companion; you are a fighter too! So glad you found Dr. Calderia-he sounds very good at his job! Hoping the recovery is smooth and you can go somewhere cooler as soon as is feasible. Love you both!!

  6. A friend survived breast cancer only to find MM as the next battle. She's a couple years behind David, glad to hear he has made passed another milestone providing inspiration to all of us. For you as the caregiver - you're awesome!

  7. So happy David is doing so well, but sure sorry this happened. Sounds like a wonderful Dr.. But you know I have never seen David without a huge smile on his face. Continued good healing and Sherry your a trooper too, and you get some rest now also.

  8. What an ordeal! Glad to see David looking so good. Hope you continue a rapid recovery. Isn't modern medicine amazing! You must also be exhausted Sherry. Both of you, take it easy.
    Lots of love!

  9. Oh my goodness, that is quite a bump! Glad you got it all behind you. Wishing you both strength to carry on!

  10. That is quite a bump in the road. Sorry to read this all happened to David and happy to read he is back in your home and starting his recovery. Hoping his recovery goes smoothly and he improves every day. Take care of yourself, also.

  11. That's just too many challenges. So glad to know all these difficulties are behind you both. It is very hard to be the spouse of one with serious struggles. Although I could not be there, i hung on Roger's every word, always hoping for good news. Glad these brothers have each other. So hopeful that both of you can breathe a little sigh of relief. That David is one strong man. Sending love and hugs to both!!!

  12. Thanks so much for the update...we have been worried and hoping he was improving. What a great smile. David is a fighter and now, as you said, "One day at a time!!" Just thrilled to see he is out of the hospital and back to Winonna:o))

  13. I was afraid of something like this when you went so long without a post, but am very happy you had a happy ending to the setback. Keep giving the good fight David!

  14. You guys are "troopers." So many "curve balls" to deal with but your attitudes are commendable. Best to you both.

  15. Been thinking about you two. David is a true fighter and you're a trooper. Sure glad his brother could be there for this.

  16. Thought something might be up because of your last post and time since you've posted. Glad to hear David's surgery was successful and hope he continues to heal at home. How nice of Roger to come be with you both during surgery time. Hope you are taking care of yourself too. While it might not be "your kind of place" thankful you found one on such short notice. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other, hoping you're out of there before too long.

  17. Oh my! Everything you describe sounds so similar to what we went through ... except it was a heart murmur that sent Mui to the cardiologist. So happy to hear that all’s well and you’re back at home. Wishing David a speedy recovery ... but he needs to take it easy and not push it. Mui started his cardiac rehab two weeks ago ... typically patients go three times a week for about an hour ... at least here. We were told for three months ... but that most patients bail after two months. Once we reach 2-mos post surgery, they will add upper body exercises as well. The rehab can be done anywhere, but being close to where his cardiologist/surgeon is optimum for follow-up. Wish you both good luck and sending you healing thoughts.

  18. Wow, Sherry! So sorry to hear all that's gone on but so relieved that David has come through with flying colors. The picture of him smiling shows you can't keep a good man down. With the rehab, before we know it we'll be seeing him on Dancing With The Stars!

  19. So sorry to hear about David's medical emergency. It's great to see David looking well. Love that smile of his. How luck that you were able to find a spot in an RV park for his recovery. Having David healthy again is most important:)

  20. It's fortunate that you've been close to medical care. I hope recovery goes smoothly.

  21. I'm glad to hear David got home. He looks very well, especially considering what he went through. You definitely have the worst site in the rv park. Here's hoping you won't have to be here too long. You are welcome to come sit on our patio anytime you want, whether we are home or not. We have afternoon shade, wildlife and plenty of chairs. It's a much better view than what you have.

  22. Well that was more excitement than one needs in a month! So sweet of his brother to join you through the worst of it. I hope David was able to keep those bright yellow socks! I'm sure they contributed to his quick recovery time. I know this was much easier to share with it behind you, and I hope you're taking care of yourself as well as your patient.Your spot is definitely outside your comfort zone, but the security of full hookups and easy access to medical help is worth it I'm sure. Tessa would love that big grassy yard :-) Holding you and David in the light as he continues to get better. Hugs!

  23. So thankful. Thank you for this update.

  24. Despite all the smiles, the CABG was no fun, and I hopeful the multiple myeloma has not gotten too out of control. It is really great to be home again.

  25. Your smiles seem to be even brighter when you are entering or exiting a restaurant! I'd say keep on eating well and you'll live forever!

  26. Those are bumps in the road many don't survice... glad to see all is well. Guess we won't be meeting up with you again at Koreshan SP but I am sure ours paths will cross one day. Happy healing...

  27. Thankful for so many things. . .angina, rather than a heart attack, so no muscle damage hopefully. . .at least that's what they told my Dad when he had a quadruple. . .

    David's great attitude, and a top notch cardiologist.

    Being in a yucky, "commercial" park is a worthwhile trade off for great results.

    Prayers for continued recovery and positive outcomes!

  28. After the comment in your previous post, I thought there may have been a medical problem that detoured life's plans. Triple bypass... just the thought of it makes my chest hurt! Keep looking out for each other and find beauty in the ordinary.

  29. Wow, you both are so amazing in dealing with these very difficult problems. So happy to hear David has come thru these procedures and is back home. All the best for a quick complete recovery!

  30. Your positive attitudes and David's smiles are inspiring! Sending best wishes that the follow-up care goes well. Thanks for the update!

  31. So sorry for David , but so glad he is doing better. I was just reading one of my very old blogs in which you had commented and left your blog address so I checked in. I may have been near you in Florida last weekend. I was between Jacksonville and Homasassa and remember Hwy 75. Best wishes for a full recovery for David.

  32. So happy for David's recovery. This was a BIG surgery even though it is treated as almost routine these days. I am so happy David came through it so well and I was very happy I was able to be there. Will never forget David post surgery with the myriad of tubes attached all over his body and then watching each day as one or more of those tubes was removed. It was also a good opportunity to spend time with both you and David. Rock on dear brother!!!

  33. I don't know how David can smile so much after all his issues. Glad he's back home in Winnona, where he can recoup better. Thinking about you two.

  34. Wow, I'm so sorry David (and you) had to go through this. I love the smile he always has on his face -- a true fighter and a wonderful inspiration. Hugs to you both.

  35. Oh wow. So glad to hear he is recovering. Sending healing energy and keeping you in my prayers.

  36. Can't believe how much you both have been through. Really hoping David is getting stronger each day, and that the Larry McMurtry is a great escape for him and doesn't get devoured too fast! And hope you have some equivalent great escape material, for enduring the RV park, hospitals, waaaaaaiiiiiiiitttttttiiiiiinnnnnnnnngggggg in doc offices, and being chief cook/bottle washer. <3

  37. As alwasy Im late to the recent events. Having been in almost the same road that you just took, I know fully well what you and David had been going through. Seeing David's pic in the ICU brought back my own stressfull moments. All the best laid out plans are thrown out of the window and the least you can do is make the best of what you got. Both of you are troopers and fighters, just look at David's smile! For sure, in due time you will be moving on, but for now healing and recovery is top priority. Hang in there, all of these will soon pass. Sending you hugs, prayers and positive vibes!

  38. Oh dear, so glad things are going better for you both... love that BIG smile of his!!!


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