A Lot has Happened

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Lets start with the good stuff first. Ireland was so beautiful. We toured the rings of Kerry and the Cliffs of Moher and saw many lovely towns and listened to some good music. I made it all the way through the trip although it required a lot of rest along the way.

We got back late after non on the 29th and I promptly slept for a good long time. Then on the 1st of July it was time to see the doctor and figure out what was going on. He hospitalized me that day and I’m hoping to get released tomorrow. Meanwhile, they’ve been running all sorts of tests.

The verdict is that treatment wise there is nothing more to be done. The cancer has simply progressed too far. So we are switching to support care to make my last days as palatable as possible. The doctor believes it will likely be 2 – 3 months and then I will simply slip into a coma and that will be that. I will likely be moving to Atlanta to spend my last days with my brother and his family. We’re still sorting out the details.

Thanks to everyone for all of their support through all of this. Cheers!

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Scotland!

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On the 18th we arrived in Edinburgh, a fairy tale city to be sure. It’s easy to see how JK Rowlings drew inspiration for the Harry Potter novels here. We toured the city and went up to the castle before I needed a nap. Then up the rail we went to Inverness and the Loch Ness. The countryside is beautiful her, so lush and green. Next we trained away to Glasgow for one last day of sightseeing in Scotland and then off to Dublin. I’ll keep this one short as I’m getting tired. Hope all is well, cheers!

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Sailing Away in Greece

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July 12-18: this posting is a bit belated but I wanted to write it anyway. Greece was gorgeous and so much fun thanks to our fabulous tour guide Beverly, from Globus Tours. We went to Mykonos and saw a beautiful old town with wandering streets and fun shops. Then off to Kusadasi, Turkey where we saw the ancient site of Ephesus and then saw how Turkish rugs are made. Next was Crete where we saw another ancient site, the palace of Minos which once housed the famed Labyrinth of myth that the Minotaur lived in. Then off to Santorini, another beautiful town with spectacular views. Lasty, back to Athens.

The only downside is I’ve been a bit sick throughout, causing me to have to slow down and rest a lot. But I try to make the most of it. Next up Scotland. Cheers!

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Arrival in Rhodes (Greece)

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Late Monday we arrived, finally, in Rhodes, our first destination. We checked into our hotel and decided to wander the streets a bit before turning in. We walked around the many restaurants, markets and shops before grabbing some salad and turning in.

The next morning it was difficult to wake up, jet lag and all. But we finally started for the Old Town at about 11am. The Old Town is the old medieval town, well preserved and full of shops, small hotels and even residences. We also made a stop to see the harbor full of sail boats, yachts and cruise ships. I wasn’t feeling super, so I only made it about two hours before returning to the hotel where I got sick and napped a bit. But by late afternoon I was ready to journey out again. So off to the beach. The shores hear are rocky and the water on the chilly side so I didn’t swim but waded in for a bit before retuning to just watch the waves. From here we had some dinner and then returned to the hotel to clean up before going out again.

Around 8pm we ventured forth one last time for souvenirs and we also stopped by the site where the Colossus of Rhodes once stood (one of the seven ancient wonders of the world). I also realized that I have no way to transfer the photos from my camera to my ipad. So instead you’ll have to settle for pictures of postcards. Tomorrow we fly to Athens!

Hope all is well. Cheers!

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Yeah for Memorial Day and Other Fun Times

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My brother and his family came to visit for Memorial Day, bringing with him his lovely wife and my two beautiful nieces. Suzanne is 1 1/2 and Mallory is 2 months. He documented the trip beautifully in a video compilation (video)

It was so much fun, we went to the park and pool many times, rode the park train, went to the zoo, and of course had lots of family time. Even my dad made it into the city for the occasion. It was so good to see them and I can’t wait to see them again in Florida in July.

But before July roles around there is a lot to do. Tomorrow I leave for Fredericksburg to visit dad before I head to a conference in San Antonio. Then a week from tomorrow I leave with my cousin to Europe, first stop – Greece.

So Friday was my last day in the office. Everyone has been so kind and I really do hope that something works out and I am able to return to work eventually. At a group lunch they presented me with a journal in which they all had made entry’s with stories and anecdotes about what I mean to each of them. I’ve already read it a couple of times, each time grinning from ear to ear. My co-workers and colleagues (my PwC family) never cease to amaze me.

Here is to smiling each and every day. Cheers!

I’m a Director Ya’ll

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At the end of this month I go on six months leave. Only time will tell if I will be able to return to work in January. But before I go on leave my PwC family had one last surprise in store for me. Last Friday they threw me a happy hour which included a pedal party. What’s a pedal party you ask…well it’s a u shaped bike with seats and pedals on two sides and room for a driver and bartender in the middle. We had two bikes and I took my position as bartender of bike one as the rest of the team pedaled from bar to bar, four stops in all before returning to our starting bar where another crowd of my fellow workers and colleagues had assembled.

Here I was lead to a very large cake which read congratulations and was informed (early, as promotions on the wholes aren’t revealed until mid June) that I was promoted to director (of international tax). I, of course, burst into tears. It was a great day and we stayed at the bar for a while mingling and chatting into the night. It was a super time and a great way to wrap up my last 8 1/2 years with the firm.

This weekend my brother and his family are coming to town for the Houston debut of my nieces. I’m very excited to see them again. And very soon I’ll be off to Fredricksburg to see my dad followed by a conference in San Antonio and then it’s off to Europe (Greece, Scotland, and Ireland) for the remainder of June to be quickly followed by a family trip to Galveston before I come back to Houston for a rest. It’s gonna get hectic up in here but for all the right reasons.

Hope you all are doing exceedingly well. Cheers!

Preparing My Bucket List and other stuff

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It’s been a busy time lately. I visited my brother in Atlanta at the end of April. Then I visited my Dad in Fredricksburg at the beginning of May. I’ve booked my first bucket list trip and I finish up at work and take leave at the end of this month, but not before my brother and his family come to visit me here.

The trip to Atlanta was great. I got to meet my brand new niece and gets lots of play time with Suzanne. Plus my brother and I went to see a Diego & Frida Khalo exhibit. Frida is one of my faves. I have many books of her art but I’ve never seen any of them in person, so it was super to see her work up close and personal. As always a super trip.

Next was a visit to Dads. He seems to be doing well and we had a good visit. I will see him again when Trevor visits and also again in June as I will be attending a conference nearby.

I started my third chemo, but after just after a week my blood results relative to the liver were up too high so chemo has been put on hold. This rounds side effects are back pain, hoarse voice, and nausea (but not too bad). Also, from last round my hair continues to fall out. I don’t have much left so the wig and scarves have comes out to play.

And last but not least – the bucket list. So far here is my list:
1. Greece, Scotland & Ireland – booked already. First to Rhodes, Greece then to Athens to see the sights and then a cruise of the Greek islands (Mykonos, Turkey, Santorini, and Crete). Then to Edinburgh, Inverness and Glasgow and lastly Dublin, Killarney and Galway before returning home.
***a break in July for a family trip to the beach & a trip to Amelia Island with my bother & his family***
2. Bali & Java – hopefully August
3. Time & Dr. Permitting maybe New Zealand too
4. Trip to Austria w/brother in Sept.
5. Followed by a cruise down the Danube River
6. Trip to Barbados in October
7. Time & Dr. Permitting a trip to India in November

Hopefully health and doctors appointments will allow for all this travel. Alright, back to wrapping up things at the office. Cheers!

No Way to Sugar Coat It

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So with four rounds at the second attempt at chemo done, the test results are in. Despite the best attempts the cancer has continued to grow and is spreading beyond the liver. As such, we are no longer looking at, for all extents and purposes, a curable cancer. Bandaid right off – I’m dying.

There is a third chemo which may slow the spread but not offer a cure. But if I can get some more time, I will try it. We will also look into clinical trials – but the odds of a cure are remote at best.

Given the growth rate it’s hard to be certain, but we may be looking at 6 months to a year, maybe a little longer if we can slow the progression. Not the best of news.

On the bright side my second niece was born yesterday. A beautiful little girl. My only regret is I won’t get to see her and her sister grow up. All the same I am overjoyed to welcome her to the family.

I’ve got much to think about, so I’ll end this post. I hope you all are doing well. Cheers!

Entire Post:

So it turns out working Amy and blogging Amy don’t play well together. When I’m on short term leave, I’m a good blogger. When I’m working, I’m a bad little blogger.

I’m two rounds into the new chemo regime. The side effects aren’t fun, but it could be worse. I’m thankful that I rebound quickly on my off chemo weeks. I just keep telling myself that as long as the chemo works, its all worth it. Short term pain for a (hopefully) long term gain.

I’ve been taking the time I’m on chemo off from work which has also helped. This is Wed – Fri. every other week. Work has been super supportive and I’m very thankful for all of their support. I’ve also been to Atlanta recently to visit my brother and his family. My niece is so cute. Its impossible not to be happy around her. She is such a cutie. My trip was a lot of fun and I hope to repeat it soon after my second niece is born.

I have two more rounds of chemo before we get new scans. So around Easter hopefully I will know more. Right now it could go pretty much one of three ways:
1. Chemo is working, and we continue chemo a little longer before surgery.
2. Chemo is working, and we look at surgery again.
3. Chemo isn’t working, and we have to re-access what we do.

Lets hope for either 1 or 2. I hope all is well with everyone out there. Cheers!

amyslifeblog

So it turns out working Amy and blogging Amy don’t play well together. When I’m on short term leave, I’m a good blogger. When I’m working, I’m a bad little blogger.

I’m two rounds into the new chemo regime. The side effects aren’t fun, but it could be worse. I’m thankful that I rebound quickly on my off chemo weeks. I just keep telling myself that as long as the chemo works, its all worth it. Short term pain for a (hopefully) long term gain.

I’ve been taking the time I’m on chemo off from work which has also helped. This is Wed – Fri. every other week. Work has been super supportive and I’m very thankful for all of their support. I’ve also been to Atlanta recently to visit my brother and his family. My niece is so cute. Its impossible not to be happy around her. She is…

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I’m a bad little blogger….

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So it turns out working Amy and blogging Amy don’t play well together. When I’m on short term leave, I’m a good blogger. When I’m working, I’m a bad little blogger.

I’m two rounds into the new chemo regime. The side effects aren’t fun, but it could be worse. I’m thankful that I rebound quickly on my off chemo weeks. I just keep telling myself that as long as the chemo works, its all worth it. Short term pain for a (hopefully) long term gain.

I’ve been taking the time I’m on chemo off from work which has also helped. This is Wed – Fri. every other week. Work has been super supportive and I’m very thankful for all of their support. I’ve also been to Atlanta recently to visit my brother and his family. My niece is so cute. Its impossible not to be happy around her. She is such a cutie. My trip was a lot of fun and I hope to repeat it soon after my second niece is born.

I have two more rounds of chemo before we get new scans. So around Easter hopefully I will know more. Right now it could go pretty much one of three ways:
1. Chemo is working, and we continue chemo a little longer before surgery.
2. Chemo is working, and we look at surgery again.
3. Chemo isn’t working, and we have to re-access what we do.

Lets hope for either 1 or 2. I hope all is well with everyone out there. Cheers!