The real journey to Malibu Lodge!

July 25, 2007 from Don | Encouraging Times, Hospitalization, Photos, Quick Overview, The Whole Story, Ups and DownsComments Off on The real journey to Malibu Lodge! | ««Previous - Next»»

It’s Wednesday July 25th and we have all recovered from our amazing stay at Malibu Lodge hosted by the Goffs. Johnny is back to work film-editing and studying German, and Bo is back to cross-country training with the team at Roosevelt High School (which he will be attending in the fall). Heather and I are back to the routine as well with visiting Dr. Doug Lee, getting my PT and discussing chemo, and the strategy to remove the liver tube and the ostomy. I have had a lot of pain in the area of my liver tube which has made it difficult for me to write. I had chemo and steroids today so I have the energy boost I needed to give you a little more of the story behind the story of the trip to Malibu.

Many of you have asked about what it was like for me to fly to Malibu and surprise Heather. First of all, it was really a gift to be able to leave the hospital. I really hoped to leave Tuesday but Dr. Lee was not to happy with that– he said he would let me go but would prefer that I get a couple more units of blood and watch me for another 24 hours to make sure there was no more internal bleeding. It’s hard to argue with his logic so we agreed he would check me out on his rounds Wednesday morning. I got a good night’s sleep Tuesday night but woke up with less energy than the day before. I even thought maybe I should stay in the hospital a few more days. In the end, knowing I could fly home in 2-3 hours I decided to go for it.

Sam, my dear friend, shuttled me home to pack and drop me off at Kenmore Air. I was in such a rush I was unable to find my passport. I grabbed my birth certificate and old passport. Heather had my driver’s license in Canada since I gave it to her in the hospital. Karen, my pilot, felt we would have no problem getting into Canada, and she was right, and hopefully the passport could be found in our house and Karen could fly up with it when she picked us up on Friday.

We took off at Kenmore Air knowing there were weather concerns. Since the clouds and fog generally clear about noon, we were confident we would fly with clear skies. I set my mind for 2-3 hours to get to Malibu and that is about how much energy I had. Unfortunately, when we reached Whidbey Island the fog and clouds closed in and we decided to land at Port Gamble, near the entrance of Hood Canal. We waited a couple of hours and got the word the fog had lifted so off we went. We ran into the same problem near Victoria, ceiling dropping with fog, and at that point felt it was better to land in Victoria and wait a couple more hours for clearing.

About 6PM the skies parted in Victoria, but the clouds and fog decided to descend on Nanaimo, at the mouth of the Jarvis Inlet, in direct alignment for Malibu. This meant a sleepover in Victoria. Karen told me this was only the 3rd time this had happened to her in 18 years! Under most circumstances this would be a real treat, since Victoria is such a beautiful city. However, being out of energy and without my family made this more of an endurance stop. Karen called Don and Janice Prittie and they were nice enough to host us for the night. They were both Malibu camp Directors for 10 years so there were many stories shared and connections made with mutual friends.

I had a restless sleep and woke up about 5:30AM. At 6:00AM I decided to get up and take a shower and to my surprise Karen was already at the computer checking weather reports and web cams throughout the San Juans and the strait. The good news was that the ceiling everywhere else had lifted and was clear. The bad news was Victoria was the only destination socked in with fog and low clouds! I decided to go pout in the bathroom and drown myself in the shower. To my surprise I had a few medical issues when I entered the bathroom that brought me back to my senses. Karen brought me my bag of emergency medical supplies and I was able to take care of everything. I am so grateful I was in the bathroom at the time.

I returned downstairs to my bedroom and laid on the floor dripping off sweat and slept for an hour. I packed up and headed upstairs and we waited and chatted until about 11:30. We decided it was time to head for the harbor. One thing I didn’t mention earlier is that in my rush to leave for the airport I left a bag of important medications at home. Fortunately Kirsten (wife of Sam), was able to stop by the house, grab the bag, make a handoff to Sam and he dropped the bag off at Kenmore Thursday morning. The bag was couriered along with the first flight of the morning from Kenmore Lake Union. The flight arrived as we arrived at the harbor, the baton pass of the bag was made, we climbed into the plane and headed to Malibu.

We signaled Bob Goff when we flew over Nanaimo by calling with a cell phone– hearing the sound of the float plane would let him know we were 20 minutes from Malibu. As we landed Bob had the entire family on the doval-and-goff.JPGck of Malibu Lodge looking at a float on Bob’s plane. The rest is history as you can see from my earlier post with pictures. On the top left is our favorite picture of the Goffs and Valencias; Maria, Bob, Don and Heather. On the bottom left is a picture of the whole gang on Friday afternoon before we headed back to Seattle (From left to right: Johnny, Richard, Heather, Bob, Maria, Don, Bo, Lindsey with Riley fondly known as “Raplanting-tree.JPGt Dog”, and Adam). On the right is a formal planting of the Valencia Family Tree to remember Malibu Lodge and to return often to care for it. Lindsey read scripture and it was a very tender time.

Fast forwdsc_0040.JPGard to Seattle, and it is July 25th- I had chemo today, and tomorrow I am having my liver tube replaced. I have had so much pain since the tube was replaced at the UW, we decided it would be good to replace the tube and see if we can reduce it in preparation of removing it. We will learn a lot tomorrow since the fluoroscope, a motion picture X-ray, enables us to inject dye and look for changes in the abscess within the liver.

There are so many more stories I wish I could tell you about our time at Malibu Lodge, maybe I will cover that in a future video blog.

Your ongoing prayers are greatly appreciated.

God is Good, all the time, God is Good!

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