Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Back from the Keys with good news and bad

We spent the past 6 days enjoying the cool ocean breezes and huge mosquitoes of the Florida Keys. We spent some time at Key Largo, where we went on a glass bottom boat tour and an afternoon fishing trip. I caught a strawberry grouper, a mangrove snapper, and something very large that preferred to stay at the bottom. But it felt like a Chesapeake Bay Striper during trophy season. Kyle caught a couple of yellow tail snapper and some grunts. We also spent some time chilling by the pool. The hotel did have a beach, but it was half gone from the storms. The hotel in Key Largo was very nice, Kyle and I have apparently moved up in class from the Red Roof and Days Inn of our past. We stayed at a Sheraton. And they upgraded us to a bay view room, with a wonderful view of sunset right on our balcony. Our rental car was also a free upgrade from a Taurus to a Mustang. Kyle enjoyed flooring it and pretending we were 19 again.

Sunday we drove from Key Largo to Key West. It was a nice drive, although not quite as picturesque as we had envisioned. We made a quick stop to swim at Bahia Honda state park, which has the largest natural beach in the keys. The water was crystal clear and bright blue. We stayed at the Sheraton in Key West also, but it wasn’t as nice. No free upgraded room, and the cleaning people were not nearly as good. I called the office at 2pm on Monday because our neighbor’s room service tray was still by their door. It was there when we checked in at 2pm on Sunday. Ewww! But they gave us a coupon for 2 free drinks for our inconvenience. The Key West Sheraton is directly across the street from Smather’s Beach, which is Key West’s largest beach (man made).

As a birthday gift for Kyle, his parent’s sent us out to Little Palm Island ( for dinner. It is a private island that is only accessed by boat. They run a shuttle from Little Torch Key, about 25 miles north of Key West. The island is one of the 3 or 4 keys that have Key Deer. Key Deer are a relative of the good old Whitetail Rat we have native to Virginia and Tennessee, but they are the size of a medium to large dog. We only saw one deer, but he was a 6 point buck the size of a Lab. Anyway, we get out to the resort for dinner, and Kyle had made a reservation on the beach, but unfortunately due to it being slow, the beach was closed, so we ate on the deck overlooking the beach (you can see our table on the web page, its directly above the 3rd umbrella from the right).

Monday in Key West we spent the morning on a snorkeling trip out to Sand Key Reef and Rock Key Reef. That was the neatest thing ever! It helped that we had been on the glass bottom boat tour because we knew what we were looking at, including the parrot fish, yellow tail snapper, grouper, sea fan, and most importantly – fire coral. I can’t wait to get those pictures back! Monday evening we went to downtown Key West, took our obligatory picture at Southernmost Point, made our way up Duval Street, and watched the sunset from Mallory Square. All and all, it was the perfect vacation.

Now the bad news.

I was feeling so lucky after such a perfect vacation.

The doctor called today and my PET did not come back clean. My neck masses are gone, but the medialsteinal mass is still there. There was too much activity for it to be considered a false positive. This means I'm having 6 cycles of chemo no matter what. *grumble* The 3 or 4 was only if I acheived remission during them, and apparently I haven't. So, I'm pretty bummed right now. I wanted so bad for it to be all gone and this all to be over. But oh well. So I think this puts my last chemo on December 2nd. I should be done for Christmas. YAY!! Not sure if they will do rads after that or not. But, it does look like I will have a full month of recovery before heading to Costa Rica. Wish it could have been more.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you had such a great trip. You and Kyle both need it. You are now refreshed so that you can tackle the next couple of months. Life is not fair, however IT IS LIFE. Just take it one day at the time. Make the best of a good day or a bad day. Get up tomorrow and see what sort of adventure it may hold. You might be surprised. Got to run (no pun intended). The pipes, the pipes they are a calling. See ya! hicup

5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Into every life a little rain must fall. But remember, it too will pass. What's a few ups and downs. The end objective is the key goal to keep in mind.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Naturegrrl said...

; )

8:42 PM  

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