Wednesday, October 1, 2008


October 1st already! It seems like summer flew by - maybe because we usually don't come to Arizona this early in the year. This year, health matters dictated a slowdown in our travels, though.

Most readers already know that Odel was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this year. The medical appointment that brought us to Tucson in HOT September was for a consultation and discussion of treatment options.

After a great deal of research, reading, and discussion, Odel has decided to pursue proton beam therapy (PBT), a more controlled form of radiation therapy that results in fewer side effects than either surgery or standard radiation therapy. We are in the midst of submitting Odel's medical information to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where PBT therapy has been used to treat prostate cancer for 15 years. Assuming he is a good candidate for PBT and he is accepted into the program, it might be a couple of months before we head to Loma Linda, CA, for the 9 week treatment program.

Consequently, we have a couple of months to do "whatever". Because we need to stay in a good cell reception area and have access to a fax machine (we spent the morning talking with doctors' offices and faxing healthcare releases), and because it wouldn't hurt to save a little money on fuel, we've decided to hang around Bisbee and Tucson this fall. That's unusual for us!

We've been at Queen Mine RV Park for a week now, and just paid for another. Aside from saving on fuel and getting a discount on site rental for a more prolonged stay, there are benefits of staying put: we can get our mail forwarded regularly, order items online that we can't get locally, and check out some of the local events.

One of the Bisbee events that has piqued my interest is the Bisbee 1000 Stair Climb. Bisbee is built in a series of steep canyons, and many of the homes clinging to the hillsides are accessed from long stairways, built on the original mule paths, climbing and descending from one narrow twisting lane to another.

The Stair Climb is a fund-raiser to maintain the stairways, with music, food, t-shirts, and an "Ice Man" competition (racing up 153 steps using tongs to carry an 8 pound block of ice) with a cash prize. This year's Stair Climb is scheduled on October 18th, and we're looking forward to watching it.

Because staying put frees up a lot of time otherwise (enjoyably) spent planning our travels and actually moving, I have decided to work on a task I have avoided for too long: losing some weight! Somehow this summer I widened, and now even my most roomy pants are too tight. The first day of a month seems like a good time to start cutting back, so it's Day 1 of Weight Watchers for me. I've been going through the kitchen writing WW Point values on everything, and scouring the internet for new recipes - with WW points already calculated - to try. Wish me luck!


  1. WW is great..I lost about 16 lbs last year using the "core" program--that was easier for me--I didn't feel limited by the number of points I could eat! And remember, you get to add back points for your activity!
    Loma Linda is a great hospital...that's where I went to college the first time for nursing. Wish I would have finished now.... oh well!
    Enjoy the stair climb...I'm not at all sure I'm coordinated enough to climb stairs and carry an ice block, so kudos to the participants!


  2. Jack and Jeannie Albers are at Loma Linda for proton treatment. read their blog and it tells a little about the treatment and the great group support. If Frank gets prostate cancer, that is where we plan to go.
    Gretchen and Frank

  3. We'll be keeping you two in our thoughts and prayers as you go through the cancer experience.

    Great news that you're also doing WW! I've been a member for years, just haven't always followed it. It's so much easier just knowing others on the program.