Varnish and a New Cancer Treatment
14 August 2015 | Annapolis, Maryland
We have been working steadily on the interior varnish on the boat. What a job!! We are happy to report that the whole interior has now been completely varnished. If only we could report that the boat is ready to sail. Nope. We took everything off the boat that was capable of coming off. We’ve been varnishing those pieces at home since last September, with just a couple of months off during the winter to deal with all Bill’s health issues. If you’ve been in my house in the past five months, with very few exceptions, you have seen our dining room turned into a varnishing station.
Finally, about two weeks ago, we had everything off the boat that we could, including about half the floor. Then we prepped the whole interior, except for the head which we had completed last fall. Every day since then Bill has put another coat of varnish on about half the boat, as you can see in the picture above. That is all we could handle at one time, and that took about 3-4 hours each day. Today we finally pulled all the protective tape off. We still have the floor to do, and a few miscellaneous pieces that we took off at the end. We feel like we’ve finally made progress on the varnishing though.
Next up – we have to start putting the boat back together. It’s not going to be easy. We still have to do the floor too, and that certainly won’t be easy either. But progress is progress and although we say absolutely every day we wish we hadn’t ever started this project we are glad to be this far on it.
In between all this varnishing Bill has been going through a lot of cancer related stuff. He was having a really bad time with side effects of the targeted drugs he has been taking and a horrible cough, which we think was a side effect of not being able to take some medicine he has always taken for acid reflux while he was on those drugs. Things were pretty awful for a couple of weeks but after tweaking the dosages and stopping for a couple of days they have gotten much better. The bad news is that it apparently doesn’t matter if the side effects are better because the tumor on Bill’s leg has started to grow again. The doctor has decided that the drugs have stopped working. We watch the tumor every day and every day it looks a bit different than the day before.
The doctor has decided we need to move onto the next treatment, and soon. So on Monday morning. Bill is starting the next immunotherapy infusion drug, Keytruda. It’s supposed to have less side effects and a higher success rate than the last infusion therapy. We are very optimistic about this one. About 40% of the patients have tumor shrinkage of 50% or more. Another 10%-20% have the cancer either stop growing or shrink somewhat. If you have any kind of positive result the effect should last for years. Unfortunately it needs to be done every three weeks for at least one year (possibly two) as long as it’s working. We should know in a month or two if it is working. Bill has already started looking at airline prices from the Bahamas and Virgin Islands. He will need to come home, or someplace in the U.S., every three weeks for his infusion. I have already started to wonder what am I going to do alone on a boat for 2-3 days every three weeks. It doesn’t make sense for both of us to fly home.
For now though we have a big job putting the boat back together and I would like to sail it before it’s time to leave for the winter.