Astoria. I'm Back!
Back in Astoria.
More importantly my medical check in France was "perfect" according to my Doctor. So I am back as myself, with only cruising ahead of me, at least for the next 6 months.
With those excellent results, my Doctor confirmed that my remission is holding, so she can follow the normal protocol and only see me once a year, with an intermediate blood check at the 6 months mark.
I'm not out of the woods. In a way no cancer patient ever is, as we always remain at some risk that a few cancer cells survived somewhere hidden in our system, undetected by our immune system or the treatments, and slowly grow back to dangerous numbers.
I underwent a very thorough regimen after my initial relapse.
Immuno-therapy (targeting and killing specific cancer cells) followed by high intensity chemo-therapy (broad violent killing of all rapidly growing cells) then re-injecting my own stem cells to restart my immune system from scratch. Last I had 18 sessions of radio-therapy (very narrow targeted beam to kill any remnants) as an extra safety precaution.
So both my Doctor and I feel as confident as possible that being "event free" as they call it at the 2 year post-treatment mark, I am on the best possible path.
Things could go wrong. A late relapse at around 5 to 7 percent risk isn't exactly rare, but we have no option than just trust the system and most importantly live our lives to the most.
So back out cruising we go. First though, Di will go to Puerto Rico to visit her family.
I'm slowly deciding that I will take Enfin (and Princess) down the coast on my own at a relaxed pace. Summer is near and it's a good season to be taking the boat down this dangerous stretch of the coast. Waiting for Di would likely put us in more unstable weather patterns in the fall.
While I was gone, Di took an inventory of the huge amounts of food we have on board, re-organized it, and input it electronically. I won't have to worry about running out of food.
I'll add some diesel before leaving, do an engine oil change, and Enfin will be ready as well.
I've got a simple route down to San Francisco for the moment, divided in 14 legs of 30 to 60 miles each. Assuming I'll do a leg every 3 days -weather permitting of course- that should take me close to a month and a half. Just enough time to meet back up with Di there.
I'll refine it over the next few days, but it looks more than workable with a good boat like Enfin.
Before Di leaves, we will arrange a small feast on Enfin to mark the occasion. Nothing huge, but we have a rendezvous with a few rack of ribs from a nearby food truck, a bottle of champagne and a few culinary treats.
Princess will get some too of course.
I already celebrated with close friends in France, in a tradition that marks my dual self, my life on both sides of the Atlantic: Delicious duck foie gras with Coke Zero. Some Rose champagne as well.
That silly tradition started years ago when a friend and I bought 2 kilos of top of the line foie gras to our New Year Eve's party. Even with about 15 friends we still had plenty of left over the next morning. 2 kilos is rather a lot!
I woke up earlier than the others, and feeling peckish -and a little hung over- I naturally started preparing some brioche toast with foie gras since we had so much left over. I washed it down with Coke, as I felt it was too early to start drinking. All very logical in my mind.
My friends got woken up by the toast smells, and have ever since made fun of my "American" habits. I -of course- have doubled down, and made it a signature way of celebrating good news.
What better way to mark being back?
Cure, which my Doctor says is 10 years event-free post-treatment.
Mexico this fall and winter, after hurricane season, to soak up some sunshine and restart my daily swims.