Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Great Vacation but No Chemo:(

Hello All

I know it has been a few weeks since my last posting but you will understand why very shortly. On October 2nd (my birthday - 59) we were scheduled for starting my second round of two treatments out of 3 rounds total (or 6 treatments in total). Well my blood work done right before we meet with the doctors was not good. Both my white blood cell count and my platelets were too low and not safe for giving chemo. The doctor said lets put it off for a week and let my counts rebound. We were scheduled to go on to Elizabeth City that day (where I was stationed in 1973-74) and visit the area before we headed to the Outer Banks of North Carolina (OBX for those of you that know).

We arrived in E-City Friday afternoon and stayed the night there as we couldn't check in out at our timeshare at OBX until Saturday late afternoon. We cruised the area and I showed Annette the Air Station I used to work at, toured the helos and C-130s, saw the house that Linda and I used to live in, the school where she taught, and went to a new museum there that featured a lot of the Coast Guard as that is the biggest employer in the area. A very nice display.

On to OBX where we checked into our timeshare. It was nice, old, but clean with lots of room. We were close to the beach. We stayed busy doing lots of fun things like, walks on the beach, reading our books and relaxing on the beach, buying and flying kites on the beach for over 4 hours (I also bought a controllable kite and it is fun). We took a couple of driving tours down to Cape Hatteras in the south and some other place to the north that I forget the name of the town. We saw or visited 3 lighthouses including the famous Cape Hatteras (picture attached). We played golf one day and Annette had her best round ever (52-45=97). It was the first time she broke 100 - way to go babe!

The last two days we really had fun, we did pier fishing at the Nags Head pier for about 7 hours and caught around 15 blues - it was a blast when they were hitting. Then on Friday (we got our next scheduled treatment delayed until yesterday) we went deep sea fishing on a great charter boat - 52 footer. There were 5 of us, not counting the Captain and Mate, and we had an all day charter. Left the dock at 6 am and returned near 4 pm. The weather was fabulous, the seas were relatively calm (3-4 feet), the boat and crew were 1st class, and the fishing was GREAT. We ended up catching 12 yellow fin tuna, near our limit of 15 (3 each), and they weighed in at 250 gross and 120+ net. Our largest one was 31 lbs. Annette and I got 2/5s or almost 48 lbs. of tuna steaks. We rushed home Saturday morning and got them all cut up and packaged and in the freezer by Saturday afternoon. Annette even canned 12 pints of the smaller pieces to use for tuna fish salads. It is fabulous. We ended up with 80 steaks and I love tuna. It was a great experience for me as it was my first time. Annette is an old hand at off shore fishing. We will do it again maybe in the spring.

Back to my health thing - I started feeling "out of sorts" Saturday afternoon. I layed low and lost most of my appetite. Sunday we went to church but I couldn't wait to get home and back to bed where I stayed the rest of the day. One upchuck and just a general lousy feeling overall. Went back to Duke yesterday, and, after more blood work, my counts are still way too low to get my treatments (white cell counts even lower but platelets were a little better). My doctor put me on a oral antibiotic and we go back this Friday to see if I can get my chemo. This 3rd round of treatments is really not going very well, not nearly as originally planned, and this white blood cell count is a problem. As that is needed to help fight off illnesses. I probably had a bug over the weekend but still don't feel very good and still have a poor appetite. This is starting to suck but what are you going to do? Just have to hang in there and take it when I can. I will be staying home a lot so as to reduce my changes of catching something from someone else.

Our weather is turning much cooler now and so I don't miss my golf quite as bad just now. Well, I guess that is enough for this update. I will attach some new pics too. Till next time, keep those prayers coming my way. Trust me I need them.

Drew & Annette


  1. what great pics - that pier fishing looks really relaxing. sounds like it was a great trip. the hatteras pic reminds me of my ceramic lighthouse that i painted while visiting jackie in havelock. do you remember that? i had it all packaged carefully in a bag to carry on the plane. the flight attendant took it from me to put up front and as she turned around she slammed it into the bathroom wall and shattered the top.

  2. Looks like great time fishing and enjoying the coast. We live here on the Pacific coast in Newport Oregon and love the coast lifestyle too. Drew, we will be praying for your quick recovery.

  3. Happy to hear your trip to the banks was fun. Never caught a tuna but heard they are prime sport.
    May God bless you, we are praying for your recovery. Steve & Anne

  4. We love tuna too so I'm sure it must be wonderful to catch your own! You both look like real professionals. I enjoyed seeing your terrific photos. I haven't been to the Outer Banks but have heard it's beautiful. I hope you recover this week and are well enough to have your next treatment soon. May God hold you in the palm of His hand!

  5. Great pictures Dad, those tuna are cool, I didn't know what they look like outside of the can:) I think I might have enjoyed the pier fishing better than the boat. Just relaxing out in the cool fall air. Where are pictures of you guys kite flying? Hopefully the week gets better and your helath improves so you can get your treatment. Love you lots Dad

  6. Hey Drew! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm, tuna! Once way to keep from vomiting so much - quite watching the Bills play! Let's start to get well. It will make everyone who reads this blog or knows of your situation feel better!

  7. Hey that tuna fishing looks like a lot of fun. Glad to see it was productive as well. Which one was Charlie?

    I did some landlock salmon fishing when we were back in NY. Who knew there was that much fun to be had on a fly rod that close to Newfield? I was fishing the hole at the base of Ithaca Falls. Actually had to take turns casting with some yahoo who was surfing in the pool. Damn college kids!