Friday, January 9, 2015

To the brink and back

It's been pretty quiet here on The Retirement Project at a time when it should have been bustling with news of final boat projects and waiting on weather windows to cross to the Bahamas. So in case you've been missing us, we've been busy, just not with Kintala.

A month ago we arrived at the airport in St. Louis for what we thought was going to be a two week visit with grand babies. Since St. Louis is sort of our home base and our daughter does our mail and banking, we've kept our doctors here. So the day after we arrived I trudged off to St. Luke's Hospital to have my routine mammogram. Only it wasn't. Routine, that is. Hiding amongst my normal breast tissue was a small lesion. While the radiologist said that there was a good chance it was benign, he wanted to be sure. Me too.

After explaining to the radiologist that I live on a boat and that I was getting ready to head to the Bahamas where medical care was likely to be scarce, he made a few phone calls and was able to get me in immediately for a biopsy. I had the biopsy and waited the four days for the results. They were inconclusive, which meant a more detailed biopsy under general anesthesia in surgery. Wednesday was a very long day of prep and outpatient surgery. And waiting. More waiting. Today I got the phone call with the news that I wanted to hear. The lesion was benign and I'm clear to go back to the boat.

Living on a boat has done many things for us, but maybe the most profound thing I've learned is that any illusion we have that we control our lives is just that, an illusion. Every day you live on a boat you realize that Mother Nature rules. She rules our environment, she rules our bodies, and learning to live in harmony with her is paramount to happiness. So as we regale you with our "plans", remember that they are as fragile as the shoreline in a hurricane. We make them because we need some frame of reference for our forward movement, but the reality of it is that very few of our plans have actually come to pass since we left to go full time cruising. Being flexible, fluid, and adaptable is the only way to flourish in this lifestyle.

Thursday we hop on a plane to return to Miami to finish our last few projects and catch a weather window to the Islands for what we hope is finally, finally a break. If Mother Nature agrees.

4 comments:

Mike B. said...

Sorry for the scare, but glad you are OK.

Alex Anderson said...

Really glad to hear the the results were as hoped...enjot the Bahamas. Alex

Washington & Main said...

I've been through one of those "it's probably nothing but we want to do some more tests" times myself (I'm 63) and I know how tough that can be. Thank God it was benign. I look forward to reading about your sailing adventures.

Matt Mc. said...

Phew!