I have not posted here on the blog in 14 days. I just did not know how this GI issue was going to go, and I also had to make a real decision on a trip to Antarctica — to go or not to go?! The story on these two photos of King Penguins in South Georgia is below.
Up until January 14th, I was doing so well. I was starting to gain some of the major weight I had lost from the cancer and was feeling really strong. Then something happened. I thought it was bad sushi and food poisoning. But it lasted for almost three weeks…. I was just not able to keep any food down at all. I was admitted & released from the hospital three times in that span, and the doctors and I could not figure what it was. Perhaps food poisoning and throwing up so much just affected my pancreas and caused it to really act up. We still are not sure.
Anyway, I lost ANOTHER 25 pounds in that three week period…. weight I could not afford. I am down now below my college basketball playing weight. I have not weighed this little since high school. And I lose so much energy from the weight loss.
In the last week, I have actually begun to feel better and even have put on 5 pounds. So I hope that is the start of getting back to fighting this cancer and not worrying about the G.I. tract.
But I had to make a real decision on a trip I have planned for over a year with my Bachmann Tour Overdrive group. I have been to Antarctica before (in 1999), and loved it. I walked with Adelie and Gentoo penguins and they are so cute. But they are only about 1 foot tall….. this trip was going to fulfill a dream for me to go to South Georgia and Falkland Islands where I would see thousands of the 3 1/2 feet tall King Penguins. See the photos above to see some of the things I would see. South Georgia is called the “Serengeti of the Antarctica” because of the abundance of King Penguins and wildlife. We were going to Buenos Aires, then Ushuaia, then to Antarctica also on this journey, finally returning to Montevideo, Uruguay before returning home. What a trip!!
I have 18 people going on this trip and they are my friends! It is wonderful to have my BTO group and travel the world with great people you love. Without that 4 -week setback of the GI problems, I think I would have been plenty strong to do the climbing, walking, rough seas, etc needed on this wonderful journey.
But I am still weak now. And, even worse, having been in the hospital there times, none of my doctors or family felt I should go on a remote cruise in Antarctica with NO CHANCE of being near a hospital or even possible to Air Evac me to a hospital for three whole weeks on that ship. I wanted to go so badly in my heart, but on Thursday I just had to give up on that dream and face the fact that I need to be near doctors, get a lot stronger, and fight this cancer. It was one of the toughest phone calls ever to tell the Antarctica company that I can not go. So my head won over my heart for once — and mostly in my life I have let my heart rule! I have been a poster boy for living the dream in your heart, with all caution thrown to the wind! Not this time finally.
So my group will do this wonderful journey without me, their leader, but I will be with them in spirit. They will be fine without me and use the guides from the ship to take them to see & do everything. I can’t wait to see pictures and hear stories in emails.
Me. I will stay here in Orlando and prepare to get better. I am back on all the Alternative medicine now (I had to stop for weeks because I could not hold pills down). I am leading a BTO trip to Cuba in mid April, and I will go on that one! It is one hour from Miami and also they have hospitals if I ever need anything.
I also will lead a trip to Ireland for two weeks in July — again, I am available to hospitals along that trip in emergency.
So I send positive vibes to all of you. I am here fighting hard to beat this disease, and I can still use your thoughts & prayers. I will miss every minute of the Antarctica trip, but I hope in these three weeks I see even more weight gain and strength returning. Cheers to all of you.