Sunday, 17 May 2015

Unbid Little Shuswap Grand Slam Blues: Sunday, May 17th!

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963) 

Hi Grogg and Lurch! Just received your message and wanted to send along more best wishes upon hearing the remarkably positive developments you describe! Of course, couldn't be happier that your approach has had such significant results and trust rest of the treatment journey goes just as correspondingly well. Much love and support to you, Gregg, and Francesca. Ruth and Rick, Corinne and Patrick!

Hi Chloë, et al!

I'd love to go but I'm playing bridge! Thanks anyway. Had evening not already been set I'd have gone in a heart-beat, as Sarge is fond of saying! I hope I can see it on Wednesday afternoon as I heard the director interviewed a few weeks ago.

Thanks as well for bike info. Has the web site been updated? I'd like to work out mechanics of giving so that I can post fund-raiser information, etc. The sooner the better, obviously.

Having a wonderful time here, on all fronts, visiting, bridge, food, hootch and riding! On Saturday morning we drove
to Scotch Creek to collect their boat that has been wintered there. I was to come back on water with Ricardo, while The Sisterhood would drive back to be ready to help dock it once we arrived. Bit of a process as wind action is such that it is better to tie up to a buoy. Normally one swims in after tying up but water is still pretty icy so Ruth will take a kayak and pull another to boat to effect hook-up and transfer, after I'm dropped off dockside.Left Pebble Beach B & B, (Name for cabin on account of composition of beach and Ricardo's obsession with golf!), at close to 2:00 pm to make for Anglemont, almost at the end of the road, the Squilax Anglemonte Road, in fact. Since we had driven to Scotch Creek earlier, I had some idea of the route and the hills I would encounter, but I must admit that the hill out of Scotch Creek was more than a bruiser! Once I'd managed to scale it, more or less, smooth riding, until the hill out of Celista, not quite as punishing as the earlier ascent but still a good workout. Once over this obstacle I as able to enjoy the lake, on my right, the incredible homes, certainly not just cabins, on my left, and motored along, quite easily to Magna Bay. Rest of the route wasn't anywhere as near punishing as earlier part of ride and once I'd reached Anglemont I kept going as St Ives was 5 km ahead, the actual end of the line. However, by the time I was at Melo Bay I had 52 km on the clock so I turned around, (Not wanting to climb the hill which presented itself but more specifically, not wanting to have to climb it again on the return from St Ives. I hope to ride here at some pont in the not to, to distand future!) Similar situation on return but head wind was a bit of a factor at times but I persevered and arrived home to the Gin and Tonic swilling swells at about 6:15 pm, beating the rain which soon poured down! Stats for ride:

Gang had hors d'oeuvres set out and wanted to play bridge right away so wouldn't even let me have a shower! We had a jolly time, of course, opening one of the bottles of Township 7 Sauvignon Blanc that we'd picked up on Friday, before leaving Naramata, same as ones I'd bought with you in April. With respect to boat, Riccardo had decided to tie it to the dock when we returned as he wanted to take Lady Mary for a spin while I was cycling. Ended up not doing so and by the time I was back the wind was so fierce that it was virtually impossible to hook it up to buoy. However, by 8:00 pm or so, lake had calmed right down so Ruthless and Ricardo left the bridge table to deal with relocating boat and I jumped into shower.

All went well with the wind having died down although it started to rain fairly heavily almost as soon as they were both back ashore but by this time they had replaced cover on boat so it was fine. Back to the bridge table and then when chickens on bbq were done we sat down to another lovely meal of roasted mixed vegetables and salad. More bridge after dinner and I switched to G 'n T's as I'd missed out on earlier cocktails! The Sisterhood went to bed around midnight but Ricardo and I stayed up and chatted until about 1:30 am so it was a very full day and I slept like a babe! New mattress in guess bedroom that is just as comfortable as ours at home so pretty decent accommodations!

Trust your weekend is going well. Must away as I am planning to sneak in a short ride before kitchen duty! Love Dad/Patrizzio!

Pics: Boatyard before launch; Captain Morgan; Copper Island;
The Sisterhood; Resident eagle in tree off front patio, this morning. We were eating breakfast and we could see the magnificent creature approach. Looked almost like a jet setting down on a carrier deck, feet and talons out like a plane's landing gear. Wish I'd had my camera out to capture such a sight.

Pretty steady rain all morning but the skies cleared by around 2:00 pm so things looked very promising for a ride later on. After our hosts left to golf at Talking Rock I spent a couple of hours in Etherland and at just before 5:00 pm I suited up and headed for Adams Lake. Had never been this way before, other than a tiny foray a few years ago, poking my cycling nose less than a km on the road that leads there. At any rate, was more than delighted I had decided to ride this was as the road surface is very, very good and little traffic. The road winds along the Adams River and I could hear the rushing water below, down quite precipitous cliffs. Downhill, most/much of the way although the head wind really slowed my progress. Almost exactly 20 km to the end of the road where one finds a sawmill. Saw a bald eagle sitting on one of the huge piles of logs stockpiled there. Took it as a good omen as we'd seen one earlier this morning, perching on the huge Ponderosa Pine just off the patio. Anyway, headed back, not relishing the uphill climb but as it turned out, with the wind at my back, I sailed along. Couldn't believe my pace and before I knew it I was closer to the turn-off than I realized. I saw a sign for #1 and thought I'd missed it on way out as I was still expecting the last long hill. Turned out that I'd already ascended it but with the wind to help I'd not realized I was doing it! Only had 30 km on the clock by that time so had to do a number of reasonably extended dipsy-doodles into the reservation in order to give me the distance I needed to achieve my ride's goal. What a fabulous area for cycling. We'll be back, especially after we move to Penticton! Stats for ride:

Gentlemen, Subject to your approval, pick up times: Mr. T. 5:25; Patrizzio 5:30
Winstonge 5:35 (Georgia and Homer.) ETA chez Clive 6:00 Winston, I'll drive you back to Burnaby afterwards. Remind me to bring my passport. Cheers, R. Hi Roberto et al: Will be ready and waiting at the appointed time. Thanks and Cheers, Patrizzio! Hi Robert Looking forward to a Clivedon Night of French poetry and comradely fellowship on the roof in the Hot Tub! Albeit we'll miss Roger's Eskimo Nell recitation, Les's curry & above all Byron's infectious Parisian existentialism & bonhomie. Very Best David

Hi Patrick and Corinne, I realize I haven't replied to thank for the snaps you sent and for the party invitation on the 23rd! Work etc has been insane, us slaves of the private world, but I'm enjoying the long weekend having just spent some time on Keats at my cottage with my stepdaughter and her fiancée, ie soninlaw candidate. Officially started the summer by swimming in the ocean. Felt reborn.
Anyways, I'd love to come to your go away party. Booze and food brought along. What would you like me to bring? Do you have a menu plan? I'm happy to contribute whatever genre needed, so just say the word. Talk soon, Liisa

Hi Polar Bear Liisa! Lovely to hear from you. Have been enjoying a simply wonderful Victoria Day weekend, both in Naramata and Little Shuswap. The fact that we were able to drop off another significant load was very gratifying. (The wine-tasting we were able to accomplish even more so!) While we still have much to move, the fact that we have now taken up, or had taken by friends, for us, three loads, certainly gives us more space to order what remains. By actually "loading" day, May 28th, we should be in very good shape to have everything so arranged as to make the transfer of furniture, boxes and tubs as efficient as possible.

Glad you enjoyed last set of pics and from your message, seemed to be having a wonderful time on weekend, just past, yourself. Delighted that you can come to our Farewell Bash. Very kind of you to inquire about menu. A salad, of some sort,  would be lovely. We decided we wouldn't try to coordinate the overall menu so we might only be eating desserts or salads! I'm sure things will work out, no matter what.

This coming week is going to be very busy, not only with more feverish packing, but social engagements most nights. As I need not mention, weather continues to be gorgeous so I'm also hoping/planning to log as many rides, (to maintain my sanity!), as possible. Fondestos from Cora Lee. See you on Saturday! Cheers, Patrizzio!
Hello Everyone, It has been a tough road for the last few weeks, to say the least! I am in a position now to get you the recap and facts after an intensive  4 days at the MD Anderson Clinic in Houston, Texas. I had a very good friend, Ron Chiovetti, accompany me through the whole process, and what a difference he made! I could right a book about that. He has done this in the past with other friends at the Mayo. I also had other friends offer, and I thank you for that!

Francesca was at the ready to fly in and take over the tough job if I had to start major procedures in Houston. It is perhaps the top Oncology institution in the world, so I was fortunate to get in as quickly as I did. On 2 of those days, I had diagnostics (ten different tests/scans etc in one day alone!) and another surgery the next day that would have taken several weeks under normal circumstances. We now know exactly where the cancer is ( and is not), and what steps have to be taken. Here is a brief recap of events:

On March 26th, I received the news that I had bladder cancer, and that it was " highly suspicious" that it was in the bladder wall, in which case the recommended treatment would be chemo therapy followed by the removal of the bladder and prostate. Needless to say, I was determined to find out exactly where this thing was, and I received very good advice from friends in the medical field to get a 2nd opinion, and if possible, from either the Mayo Clinic or MD Anderson. I think that MD was the right choice, and I was able to get in to the 1st available appointment on May 11th.

To back up, I could have started chemo in late April (my 1st Oncolgy appointment was mid-April), although it would have been a different concoction than what we now have, which should be more effective. I had asked if I should/could start chemo in Victoria before going to MD, which would have been about the earliest opportunity for the chemo to start, however, the Oncologist felt that I should have the surgery1st, and then consider the chemo. This was based on the information at the time, which indicated that the tumour was basically in the bladder, and perhaps into the wall and muscle. Thank goodness I went to MD, and we did not go that route! The actual larger part of the tumour was on the outside wall of the bladder, in an area that could easily spread to all of my other organs ( the peritoneal lining). A surgery would  easily disturb this, and send many millions of cells where we do not want them going!

The 2nd surgery found this in Houston, and it was again a stroke of luck that I had a Dr Kamat perform the surgery, and he found the primary area of concern.  This doctor also trains some of the best in the world, and he has referred to me to another urologist in Vancouver that trained with him.

I want you all to know that I have no criticism of our own health care system. I received the absolute best that they could do under the circumstances, and everyone that I dealt with was superb, and I have my next meeting with the Oncologist on Tuesday, right after the long weekend after getting them the MD results on Thurday and Friday, so a very prompt response! This is a very unique example, and our system would be bankrupt if everyone got the treatments and diagnostics that I received in Houston in that time-frame.

So here I am now, waiting to start the chemo therapy, hopeful that we can stop the spread, and destroy any stray cells before planning surgery. It has been especially tough on Francesca waiting for things to unfold, and I know that many of you probably felt that I was taking  too long to get the ball rolling, however, it was a path that had to be taken. And now that we have a clear picture, it is a good thing that we did what we did as quickly as it could be done.

So, we thank you for all of your love and support, and rest assured , I will be fighting this thing with all of what I have, and of course Francesca has been her usual phenomenal self throughout our challenge. With the support of the amazing family and friends that we have, we are very optimistic! With our love, Gregg & Francesca

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