Saturday, March 9, 2013

Surgery follow-up and miscellaneous

While waiting between various doctor appointments in January we got away from Houston for a few days and visited Bill's brother and sister-in-law, Theo and Teresa, for a few days.  They live in College Station, less than 2 hours drive away from where we had been staying in Houston.  We have numerous close family members living in Houston and spread our time here being hosted by one after another.  Saves us from hotel expense and we are very grateful.  Since this visit is so extended (rather than our usual 4 weeks home annually), we were beginning to feel like we were over-staying our welcome with the Houston family members.  So when the opportunity presented itself to visit Theo and Teresa for a few days, we jumped on it.  It was really nice to have quiet time to visit with them.  Usually we only see them on Christmas Day at our large family gathering and rarely have time to quietly visit and catch up on each other's lives.

Design layout for Kristin's tee-shirt quilt.  Thanks, mom!
Teresa's latest DIY project is making a tee-shirt quilt for their daughter.  I had not seen one of these before, but apparently these are becoming popular with young female adults.  They use tee-shirts from high school and college and make a quilt preserving memories of drill teams, yell teams, sororities  orchestra or band or whatever activities they participated in during high school and college.  What a cute idea.  One can simply ship all the tee-shirts to a company to design and make a quilt -- for what I think is a very high price.  But Teresa enjoys projects so she was doing this job herself.  This is a photo of the layout she decided would be the best design.  I'm sure the finished product looked great.  And probably has more sentimental value to their daughter since mom made it.

How I wish our current President
 understood the concept of team
One day while there we toured the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station.  Theo had been in charge of the building of this beautiful library.  We had visited Theo at the construction site several times but this was the first opportunity we had to visit the completed library.   
'Nuff Said!

We thoroughly enjoyed our day leisurely reading all the plaques on the displays.  Found several quotes of President Bush that particularly impressed us.  

Note the reversed colors.  Red used to be the color for
Democrats and blue for Republicans.  And Texas was
very much a Democrat state back when there were
Conservative Democrats.  How times change!

Taking responsibility rather than blaming others

Every country has the right to retaliate against terrorists.
Good for Bush for standing for what was right rather than
bowing to pressure from the UN countries of that time.

Terrorism started a long time ago.  We should have paid more attention
instead of considering attacks as separate instances with separate reasons.

Bill and I each greatly admire President George H.W. Bush.  Our country needs more men like him.

We returned to Houston for Bill to have his final diagnostic tests prior to surgery and got the surgery scheduled.  Lucky for us, our son and daughter-in-law (Aaron & Lynn) purchased a home close to the medical center.  This home has 2 master bedrooms suites and they generously offered us the use of the downstairs master suite while we are in Houston for months.  We re-possessed our old guest room furniture that we had loaned to Bill's sister near Dallas when we first moved aboard S/V BeBe and began cruising back in 2006.  Found a bunch of framed photos and paintings that previously decorated the home where we lived prior to moving aboard S/V BeBe and used those to make our new space feel like home. 

Elisabeth watching our "TV" while Bill rests and
recuperates the first week after surgery.  Love
having our old blue leather wing back chair and
our own custom-built mattress once again.
It is so fabulous to have our own space with our own furniture.  This makes a difficult situation much more tolerable.  Hope we don't interfere with the kids' family life too much over the next few months.

We moved into Aaron & Lynn's house about 10 days prior to Bill's surgery.  I spent days cleaning the house preparing it for them to move in.  Gave us something to do besides worry about the upcoming surgery.  The kids moved in during the weekend Bill was in the hospital and I was there with him.  Bill came home to our nice suite and didn't get involved with the moving at all.


Aaron & Lynn have chosen not to have TV in their home because they never have time to watch it anyway.  But with Bill recuperating and stuck in the house so much, we wanted something to occupy his time.  So we connected a Slingbox from our other son's house and a WD Live Hub in our temporary bedroom and can watch TV that way.  Trey had an older large monitor that no longer worked.  Bill got on Ebay and ordered capacitors.  Our grandson Zachary was assigned the job of replacing the capacitors in the monitor.  And for a whopping $10 we now again have a functioning nice monitor which can be used as a television.  Just think, most people would just toss that monitor when it could be repaired for basically nothing with just a tiny bit of DIY know-how.  And by a 12-yr-old kid, at that.  Glad our grandson is learning basic repair and that everything does not need to be disposable.

We had to visit MD Anderson Cancer Center to pick up something a couple of days ago so the doctor did Bill's 6-week post-op check-up 2 weeks early rather than make us come back again on 28 March.  So glad the doctor did this early because the pathology results of the removed prostate and the latest PSA test put our minds at ease.  Turns out that Bill had 3 tumors in the prostate gland.  Two tumors were aggressive high-grade cancer in a region of the prostate where tumors are not usually located, and 1 aggressive medium-grade cancer in a region where tumors are commonly found.  One of the high-grade tumors was what is called a Focally Positive Margin, which means it was less than 1mm from the edge of the prostate.  There was some concern that the cancer might have invaded the urethra.  However, the post-op PSA test was so low that the doctor's believe that they got all the cancer.  

Bill's next follow-up visit is scheduled for 27 June.  If the PSA test remains at basically zero as expected, then we will be on flights back to Turkey on 1 July to resume cruising.  While in the hospital the few days after surgery, Bill ate a Chinese meal.  His fortune cookie: