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Old 24-05-2011, 10:18   #1
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Sailing With Cancer

I started a thread some time ago titled ARE YOU ON THE FENCE? I started it with a goal, and that goal was to inspire folks to go cruising if that's their dream. Some think I will go when I have this, or we need that. What you really need is the deepest desire to explore the beauty of cruising.

My friends would ask if I am afraid at times, and I would answer, yes. What scares me most would be to miss out on what cruising has to offer. When you are with people who share the same dream you will find tons of help, and friendliness.

Last year we had to leave Imagine in Panama. I was physically fit, and looking so forward to the sail to Hawaii. The day we left I started to get a pain behind my ear. Like any pain I have always pushed through it, and eventually the body would take care of itself. This was different for 3 days without sleep it grew worse, and began to wrap around my brain. On the fourth day I could not stay awake, and I confessed to Melanie my situation. We turned back for Panama, and flew to the states.

I have never been shy about who I am, where I am, and what I am doing. This has been a difficult decision to make, but I have made it for multiple reasons. I have made some promises to myself, and to others. Also I want to pound into those on the fence to get it together, and go. Enjoy life while you have your health. That doesn't mean to just up, and leave. Get your sailing skills together, your finances , boat, and do as Zee types in her signature. Life is an adventure meant to be lived! You don't need the biggest boat out there just the heart to go!

I was told 6 weeks of treatment, and a month of healing, and I could return to Imagine. It did not turn out that way. After nearly 8 months of treatment being probed, cooked alive, poisoned, and losing nearly 60lbs of mostly muscle. I refused anymore treatment until it was modified. Eventually the last treatment I took I was told if I did not respond then I need to think about where I want to take my last breath. I didn't respond, and I was not going to be a science project. I made the decision I would live my life, and not let science wither me away until my last breath.

So, Melanie, my little brown love, and I have returned to Imagine. I refuse to let her sit here, and rot while I myself rot in S.F. Ca. We will sail to Hawaii where I can place my father's ashes as I promised to him. Then we will sail home to the S.F. Bay Area where we will eventually sell Imagine. She is our home, and when we sell her will depend on the timing of my life. I promised her family to return her to her country, and to care for her. The sale of Imagine will insure our return to the Phils, and to be finacially ok. The economy was not good to us. That's not a complaint, but a fact.

Imagine has had some issues from sitting in the tropics, but we are sorting those out. We had Spot tracker when we left Florida last year for S.F., and we will continue to have it. It is mostly by Mel, and her thoughts about our past life with Imagine, and our current situation. I have also added a blog titled SAILING with CANCER, ONE MAN's race against TIME! I am not a writer, but I will drift around describiing our past, our current, and our future adventures with Imagine. There will be some beautiful pics, and a few grizzly photos of my health early this year in both sites.

I know this is kind of depressing, but there is some good news. Since I have quit treatment I have put on about 20lbs. I could not hold a pencil in Feb, and now I am carrying water jugs, batteries, and what ever is needed to make Imagine fit. I don't have a lot of stamina, and all my strength. What I do have is a wonderful friend, mentor to sailing, who is flying in for the sail to Hawaii.

There will be updates while we prepare Imagine with photos of our progress. Hopefully we will get our hands on a sat phone of somekind to have updates across the Pacific. Hopefully you will find my writing entertaining, and you will follow us on our race against time.......i2f

Spot Adventures

Yacht Imagine via Panama to Hawaii - Sailing trip - Spot
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Old 24-05-2011, 10:22   #2
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Re: SAILING with CANCER

sad news, indeed.

fair winds.
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Old 24-05-2011, 10:47   #3
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Re: SAILING with CANCER

I'm truly sorry to hear of your predicament but I think you are wise. I've had friends with cancer that refused to spend their last days tied to a hospital bed. They went on doing the things they enjoyed until the end.

I can only hope that I will have the same sort of courage when my time comes.

Best of luck,
Rich
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Old 24-05-2011, 10:48   #4
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Re: SAILING with CANCER

i2f-
-you made me cry like a wee small baby. please, may the gods of sea take good care of you and melanie-- to you goes much love from me and prayers that you be into a remittance unexpectedly and miraculously. if there is anything i can do for you please let me know. seriously.
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Old 24-05-2011, 10:56   #5
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Re: SAILING with CANCER

Godspeed x
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Old 24-05-2011, 11:08   #6
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Re: SAILING with CANCER

bash,

It's not sad it's life, and life is about celebrating every breath. Which to my Mother's disappointment I have done. A couple of years ago when was looking at my fridge with pics of me in RiO, Mexico, Phils, and all over. She looked at me with some pride, and said. " I would have never thought you would make it!" In April I had my 60th, and no one thought I would reach 18. With my new regiment, well wishes from folks, and their prayers I plan to reach 80, or more. I do appreciate your kind thought though

cabo,

I don't believe the doctors know everything, but I gave them a chance. They have dropped the ball, and I have picked it up, and I will be dribbling for a slam dunk

Zee I amm just living up to yoour signature.......i2f

For some reason I can't load the blog, but when I can I will ppost it too
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Old 24-05-2011, 11:12   #7
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Re: SAILING with CANCER

Hey John

I admire you, and am so pleased you are back on the boat doing what you know is right.

Many chuck the towel in and sit in a hospital and wait. You have decided that life waits for no person and to get out and live it to the full.

No doubt you will love every day and every new vista more than each of us who is lucky enough to think we are in good health. We all need to live days like you are doing.

Sail on! Landfall in Hawaii will be wonderful!


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Old 24-05-2011, 11:12   #8
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Re: SAILING with CANCER

Get out there for as long as you can, and you'll have memories to smile about when you have to slow down a bit. We faced it and the chemo seems to have worked but the one thing you don't get are promises. You have to make those to yourself.
Enjoy the good time, darling.
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Old 24-05-2011, 11:26   #9
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Re: SAILING with CANCER

Mark,

As usual you have hit the nail on the head. You little devil you.....i2f
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Old 24-05-2011, 11:29   #10
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Re: SAILING with CANCER

I find this post very positive, and I hope that should I ever face similar challenges, I would grasp the opportunity to finish my watch, so to speak, on similar terms.

Fair winds, and keep us posted. If attitude can cure, you have some powerful healing at work already.
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Old 24-05-2011, 11:32   #11
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Re: SAILING with CANCER

Never ever give up and live life to the fullest, you've given me courage to live the dream! May you be blessed with many enjoyable adventures!

Velma
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Old 24-05-2011, 12:02   #12
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Re: SAILING with CANCER

John, your courage and sharing are exemplary. Many thanks. You never know what's over the horizon. My heart goes with you and Mel. Fair winds. Jon
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Old 24-05-2011, 12:22   #13
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Re: SAILING with CANCER

Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post

Imagine has had some issues from sitting in the tropics, but we are sorting those out. We had Spot tracker when we left Florida last year for S.F., and we will continue to have it. It is mostly by Mel, and her thoughts about our past life with Imagine, and our current situation. I have also added a blog titled SAILING with CANCER, ONE MAN's race against TIME! I am not a writer, but I will drift around describiing our past, our current, and our future adventures with Imagine. There will be some beautiful pics, and a few grizzly photos of my health early this year in both sites.
My journey to start sailing is because of cancer. My wife and I had always dreamed of retiring to a motor home and touring the country. Then she got cancer (GBM-IV) 141 days after it "announced" she was gone. About half way through this we talked about it and I told her I would fulfill our dream if I could. It was always understood that I preferred a boat to an RV so that's the way I'm going. She will be going with me for a while, she's sitting on the mantle waiting for the house to sell. Then I will buy a boat, sail it to NY and she will be at rest with her mother.

My you last longer than you dreamed and my your dreams come to life.
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Old 24-05-2011, 12:24   #14
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Thank you my friend !!!
I have been sitting here feeling sorry for my self for way too long. I have not been flooded out of my home or hit by a tornado. And I sure have not been blindsided with anything such as you describe. The problems that have been kicking my &@$ are small compared to what others around me are having to deal with.

If it was your intent to encourage others, you have succeeded.

What I heard you say is "sure, life is not fair. No one said it would be. Life is only life, but it is to lived. Here is how I am going to do it."

I cannot change your situation any more than I solve my own, BUT I can follow your example and decide to live while I can.

Thank you again, sir. I wish you all the best !!!
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Old 24-05-2011, 12:28   #15
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Re: SAILING with CANCER

I aplaud you decision to stop the chemo and radiation. My wife passed recently from chemo complications. I tried to talk her out of the conventional treatments after reading the stats. Kim was doing the Budwig protocol on my coaching and was doing fine untill the doctor told her to stop. Shortly later she passed when they sold her on Avastin. I truly believe shed be here today if she listened to me and not the doctors.
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