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Old 23-01-2008, 10:37   #1
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Go sailing. Now!!!

My heart really goes out to Gunner. I read the deepest sympathy thread with my 11 year old daughter sitting on my lap. And while I have suffered loss recently the thought of losing a child some how would cut deeper.

And I've always wondered what I would do if I knew I was going to die.

I'm 44 years old and I've had this dream of sailing around the world for almost 30 years. I just needed to get enough money and time and family buy in. Well 4 years ago my Abuela (Grandma)died, 5 years ago my Dad was diagnosed with cancer and he passed on Jan/07. I joined this forum when I realized my Dad wasn't going to make it. It showed me that yes I could go sailing again.

Aunt died 9/07.

11/07 I got diagnosed with prostate cancer. (Hear the one about the guys who stole a truck load of Viagra? Cops are looking for hardened criminals) Friday I go to meet my surgeon Monday I have my prostate removed. Rather than having the surgery done locally I decided to take the family to San Diego. We are all taking surf lessons (another thing I've wanted to do) for the weekend. Monday I have surgery. Tues they let me out of the hospital and I start to recover and after a week I drive home. In two months I WILL BE FULLY RECOVERED. In May I bring the boat down to SF and in October the family and I do the Baja Ha Ha. Cancer cured. We start phase I of sailing as a family.

If any of you have the time I will be going under the knife on Monay Jan 28 sometime around 1300 hours PST. I'm aksing people to pray for me in a special way. Thank God for his intervention but also paint a movie in your mind that there are two surgeons talking after surgery saying "Wow that was the best surgery I've ever done. I bet he has an easy time in recovery." And then a picture of me walking on the beach in San Diego a couple of days after surgery watching a sailboat heading South toward Mexico.

I ask myself, "What would the people I've lost want me to do." I know that if my Abuela was around she would say, "Go sailing." My Dad always wanted to Go Sailing. My Aunt loved to hear stories about my sailing adventures. I will carry them with me when I Go Sailing. They will see the beautiful places where I Go Sailing.

So what would I do if I knew I were going to die. I'd just move up the schedule. Don't give up the dream. Go sailing. Go Now!!!
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Fair Winds,

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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 23-01-2008, 10:54   #2
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Nicely done Charlie. Your surgery will go just fine.
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Old 23-01-2008, 11:03   #3
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Best wishes to you on your surgery. It will go fine. Your positive attitude is key.
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Old 23-01-2008, 11:08   #4
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Great attitude... We will both be thinking only good thoughts for you..

Good Luck
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Old 23-01-2008, 12:09   #5
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Charile, I lost the love of my life (in fairness to the wonderful woman I now live with, she had been to that point) to breast cancer on May 19, 2004. She had first been diagnosed 10 years prior to that and after some initial set-backs, went through a wonderful window of over 5 years being apparently cancer-free. Sadly, we mistook a respite from the storm as something more.

Sheila and I had always planned on retiring to the Caribbean and, in advance, taking a year or two sabbatical to do a circle route of the Atlantic in our boat. We COULD have gone earlier if we had been prepared to make a few, small sacrifices. But complacency, inertia, short-sighted priorites (worries about money/security - quel surprise!) kept us from breaking away for a number of years.

Finally, we made arrangements for sabbaticals from our respective careers and were preparing to depart with the opening of the Erie Canal in May of.... you guessed it, 2004. Sadly, while on a brief vacation in St. Martin in January of that year she started to develop some balance problems and, upon our return, was diagnosed as having 3 extremely large brain mets. Despite her valiant efforts, the end came all too soon thereafter.

Charlie, I write this not to suggest that your cancer will not be completely eradicated - I hope and pray that it is. I write this only to applaud you on your plans and to urge you take this life-changing experience as one that permanently changes your priorities. Sheila and I had a 'wake-up' call ourselves of course, but sadly we weren't prepared to listen. Instead we fell back into the trap of pursing a 'secure' future. That decision - and the integral part that I played in it, stands now as perhaps my life's only eternal regret.

Best of luck Charlie, and congratulations on the new direction that your life is about to take. Many of us will be (and should be) envious of that adventure, even if not of the events that precipitated it. We cannot control life's events, only how we react to them. And for that, I salute you.

Here's to smoothe sailing on every sea you encounter from here on in.

Brad
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Old 23-01-2008, 13:20   #6
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Hi Charlie. My good thoughts will be with you, as if I were to pray there'd surely be someone up there asking me to sign in as a newbie!

Stay positive and good things will come of it.
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Old 23-01-2008, 14:43   #7
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I lost my wife AFTER 14 years of cruising. We returned in '99 and I lost her in 2001. Nothing can ever take away that time that we had together and I know of very few people that have ever spent 24/7 together for so long and be so happy.

I guess that shore life was just too much for her. I thank God every single day for every day that we had together. I honestly don't know what I would have done, had I lost her sooner. I'm glad that I didn't have to make that choice. I know for certain that she would have wanted me to keep sailing as she loved it even more than I did. I just don't know if I would have had the courage to continue.

I hope that Gunner will be able to regain the courage that he once had and fulfill his dream that he once had. I know for sure that his daughter would be dissapointed if he didn't continue on without her. I know that Gunner has a deep hole in his heart right now but I also know that, with God's help, that hole can start to heal with time.

Charlie......you'll be in my prayers along with Gunner and his family......Funny thing is....I'm going in for a prostate biopsy in 2 weeks (maybe not so funny). I remarried last year and I haven't told my wife yet. I just don't see the upside. If need be, we'll discuss it when I get the results back.
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Old 23-01-2008, 14:59   #8
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BI, AVS, Mike, Brad, Steve,and Kanani: Thanks for the upbeat comments. It gets tougher as it gets closer. It shuldn't cause I'm gonna beat this thing.

Kanani there are lots of different options depending on age some are non-invasive. PM me if you want. I can reccommend some good websites where I did alot of studying. But I pray you don't have it
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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 23-01-2008, 15:58   #9
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God bless you and your family Charlie. Prayers for you, Gunner, Kanani and anyone else facing adversity.

Life is a ride. Sometimes an A ticket and sometimes an E ticket (For those who remember those - LOL) The key is to get in line for the ride you want, don't get swayed by adversity and fear and make sure at the end the conversation doesn't go something like, "I wish I had spent more time doing XXXXX"
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Old 23-01-2008, 16:27   #10
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Charlie:
Best of luck with your procedure - your positive attitude is great.
RE: In May I bring the boat down to SF.
I'm a live aboard at the Oakland Yacht Club in Alameda (liked by many south bounders) and I'd be happy to help if needed (local knowledge, schlepping parts/groceries, whatever I can do). Just let me know.
Fair winds,
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Old 23-01-2008, 16:41   #11
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Thanks Dan:

I understand your sentiment but I think even if I sail everyday from now till the Lord calls me I'll still say "I wish I had spent more time sailing!!" LOL

Thanks John: I live up East of Sac so we'll probably keep the boat in Valley Joe (Vallejo) since it saves coming into the Bay Area proper. Maybe you can help me test sail it on the Bay some time.
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Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 23-01-2008, 19:45   #12
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Hey Charlie,

All the best for the surgery, and for surfing! My board is up for sale as part of the big clearout to go cruising.

44 is young so I will pry for you on Monday that your recover completely. I'm sure your great attitude will be the contributing factor.

All the best,


Mark
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Old 23-01-2008, 23:46   #13
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I'll have ya in my thoughts on Monday, Charlie. You'll come through just fine, I'm sure.

Kind regards,

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Old 24-01-2008, 01:21   #14
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I'll be thinking of you. Lost my brother suddenly just before Xmas. He'd done three years cruising in a goose and had helped with so much practical advice with my plans to retire on board. Now I'm under the doctor for high blood pressure and he's grounded me until I achieve certain targets. There can be no better motivation than the partner you want and an acheivable dream for the future. Things going well so far but, as you know, close family leaves an everlasting gap.
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Old 24-01-2008, 08:49   #15
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Thanks Mark. Selling a surf board to go cruising? LOL We are buying surfboards to go cruising.

Thanks Grey Raven I appreciate it

11 Thinking back on my life the 18 months I spent cruising the South Pacific with no money was really good for keeping the blood pressure under check. Toughest decison some days was to figure out which pair of shorts to put on.
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Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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