Summer in Florida


That works for me.  I remember when half of my suitcase would be books. It was ridiculous.  Now, between my Kindle and my iPod, I can have tons of books and still stay under the weight limit for the airlines.

Things are good.  No matter how much I believed that the CT scan and bloodwork would be fine, it was still scary.  I am so aware of how surprises can come right out of left field (It’s not just avid reflux; it’s esophageal cancer; clear your calendar and get ready for a bumpy ride)  and so, until Kevin, Dr. Ho’s PA,walked through that door grinning, I was (slightly) tense.  When he (and Dr. Ho later) told us the there were no better results than mine, we could both feel a huge weight being lifted from our shoulders.  I imagine our trips back there will always be a little bit scary (reminds me of my first mammogram after having breast cancer) but I think they won’t be as terrifying as this first one.  ‘t was so nice to have my brother, John, around to make it more of a fun trip than just a medical visit.  And, of course, we loved our time with the kids in Flower Mound.

I was thinking about why I went all the way out to MD Anderson instead of just staying here in Venice for treatment.  The outcome might have been the same.  The side effects of treatment (or lack of them) might have been the same.  I’ll never know.  All I knew was that IF the end result hadn’t been good, I would have always wondered if it could have been better if I had been willing to turn my life (and Jerry’s upside down) and moved to Texas for seven months.  Would I recommend that everyone do it?  Not really.  People need to do whatever feels right to them.  For some, being so far away from home and in such a huge place, might not be the best thing.  I was lucky.  We had family out there.  Many people don’t.

We are loving having Sean and Carly around.  Carly hides out most of the day studying for the California bar exam that she’ll be taking at the end of the month.  Sean hides out in the other guest room tutoring online.  They run early in the morning and take a breather for lunch and some pool time but honestly, the two of them are working hard (especially Carly)  They came to yoga with me this morning and then we went to the Upper Crust for breakfast. (Jerry, too)   And Sean is planning to go on turtle patrol with me on Tuesday.  He went out golfing with Jerry on Saturday and did really well…especially considering he hasn’t played in a couple years.  They’ll go a couple more times, hopefully, before they leave us next Saturday.

It will be hard to see them go.  California is really far away (worse than Texas).  We’re planning to go out to see them in November and then fly back for another MD Anderson checkup and then to Erin’s for Thanksgiving but November is a long time away.  We’re planning a trip to Massachusetts (finally).  I’m heading up on September 5–hoping to connect with friends in the Springfield area before Jerry comes up on September 11 and we see family and friends together.  We’ll fly back together on September 16.  We haven’t been up north since last October…lots of catching up to do!

I’m definitely getting better.  I was out on turtle patrol for three hours yesterday and didn’t fall apart.  10336617_705829252787530_6854017742526412432_nIt was a gorgeous day, pretty much like it is in the photo here (without that dolphin–that was another day when a patroller was walking)  Since an hour has been my limit until now, I figure I’m doing well.  I’m still coughing and still get backaches if I do too much (like turtle patrol for three hours) and the brilliant minds at MD Anderson have no clue why either one of those things are still happening except “stuff happens” when you have major surgery and it can take a year to get back to normal.  I’m going to a chiropractor about my back  (covered by insurance) and if that doesn’t help, I’m going to check out acupuncture (not covered by insurance)  For now, though, it’s livable…Advil and rest work just fine when I need it.

Another summer day in Florida..sunny, HOT and HUMID, and it will probably rain this afternoon about the time I decide to take a break and get in the pool!

Here are a couple photos…Don’t love the one of me but it does show what a nice job the hairdresser at MD Anderson did on my hair.


New haircut. Waiting for CT scan.

John and I having a beer before dinner at Anne's.

John and I having a beer before dinner at Anne’s.



12 thoughts on “Summer in Florida

  1. All such wonderful news! Keep living the good life Mary- you and your family deserves it 💗

  2. So glad you are getting some quality time with your kids. (And your brother) I bet Jerry is enjoying the time with Sean. He deserves some carefree golf. Your pictures are great as usual.

  3. All sounds great. Wonderful! Time will do its magic.

  4. Great report, Mary. Sensitive and informative, as they all are. Thinking of you – love the hair cut! Love, Barb G.

  5. Enjoy every moment, Mary. Can’t wait to see you!

  6. Your words make my heart smile. I feel like I’ve lost ten pounds!

  7. I so love this! Turtle patrol, haircuts, brothers, books , family , smiling doctors , and a trip to MA! Amazing grace

  8. Prayers answered. So glad that your return visit went great and is now behind you. Hoping you’ll have time when in MA to visit with Pat and I. We would love to see you!

  9. Your journey has been nothing less than miraculous! We are all so happy for you. Any chances of taking a side trip to Cape Cod in September? You and Jerry are most welcome and the Cape is beautiful in the fall.

  10. Wendie Highsmith

    Summertime, and the living is easy and pretty wonderful. Enjoy! That hair am gorgeous! Is it getting curly? Wendie


  11. Mary, thank you for the updates and the pictures. Glad that you are out and about, especially having
    a beer. To be honest; I’ve never tried the stuff. I’ve had acupuncture many times, and so did my
    mother when she had horrible back pain. The treatments helped me tremendously. It did help her,
    also, but not to the same extent. She tried it in her “90’s”. Well, enjoy Florida with its beautiful sunshine, sunsets and beaches. My best to Jerry.
    Carole Cohen

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