April 27, 2005

Planning trip to Amsterdam
I have purchased plane tickets for Amsterdam for Mark and me, and I worked hard to get seats with more leg room so he will be comfortable.

His mood had been down and he looks very sick, so I asked him what he was thinking about. He said he was thinking that he would never go on another trip again. I asked him where he wanted to go and he said "Amsterdam." He has lost a lot of weight from nausea and vomiting while on chemo.and was pretty sick, but I decided to take the bull by the horns and order up some tickets. Then I found out that we were going during the Queens silver anniversary on the throne and over a holiday weekend. I had to get help to find a room. Here are some e- mails to my daughter Stephanie and to James who are scouring the internet for rooms for Mark and I.

Steph, We have not found rooms yet in Amsterdam...James found the Nicolaas Witsen and he had our dates of arrival departure off by one day and had 8 days down and it was available until I changed the dates to make reservation

Steph and James, my shipbuilding geneology friend Hinrich in Emden has a cousin in Amsterdam checking on rooms for us It turns out the 5th is a holiday and people flock to Amsterdam...so we had best get something soon or be out in the cold..Maybe the cousin will come up with something.. ..We are scheduled to arrive on 5th and leave on 12th..it is probably the 5-7th that is the problem.

I have a contact with a young man in Amsterdam thru couchsurfing.com - I have his phone number and he has invited us to a free trip of National Park with a group.
more later of continuing adventure.

April 22, 2005

A rough day today...

Lots of decisions- with hosptial and treatment and whether to do this or that or drop out and do traditional medicine.. Everyone has advice and "a friend who tried...", but what to do?

I went to cooking school..hot time in market learning veggies, meats, curries, etc...I got to cook several dishes and a dessert and my cooking group sat down to eat what we had cooked. I did not get to finish as Mark called me from hosp, desperately needing help before school was over. It was a long hot trip back to the hospital, by boat, then sky train, then walking several blocks. I am tired ...it was a long day

April 21, 2005

Day after Mark's 45 birthday.
We had a grand four days ...maybe five days here in Bangkok. Mark has been feeling better although he has napped many times during the day and night and does not have the energy to walk more than a block. I know he felt better even though he says when he feels good, he feels bad...I know it because he was not grouchy and he was playing jokes on me. He came into my office center I sat up in my bedroom and had me touch his hand which was very cold. He said his heart had stopped while he was sleeping. To my wide eyed reply of "REalLy?", he said: "No, my room airconditioner is really working and it is sooo cold and I had my hands outside the covers...It reminded me of one time years ago when he was a little kid about the 6th grade and he caught a mink and caged it. That animal had some teeth. He came to me one time with his fingers bent back so it looked like he was missing some of his fingers. He said the mink had ate them...I almost believed him as I saw that mink eat a frog in seconds and reduce it to chewing gum...bones and all.
Yesterday was Mark's birthday. We began it by watching southpark season 5 DVDs that I got him for his birthday. He rested most of the day and we never left the condo until late in the evening. We went to a restaurant called Neil's Restaurant and Bakery at 9:20. It is a block away on Asoke. We had Caviar and Oysters Rockefeller and salmon appetizers and then rock lobsters with salad and potato and corn...Mark wanted some dessert but the bakery had closed. This is an excellent restaurant...very fine decor and wait service. Mark was able to eat because he is as far out from chemo as he ever is...the further out he gets from chemo days, the better he can hold food down and the better he feels.
It was a great birthday then this am it was off to the hosptial for chemo...we were there from 10:45 until 6 pm. Mark is now not feeling well and has a fever. He gets chemo three days in a row....then our plans are to take a short trip if he isn't too sick from chemo. I will tell you about if we pull it off. The doctor is working with us to get Mark in shape and provide some medicines I can give IM if necessary. I think that his being able to plan a trip and having something to look forward to is what is keeping him going. Periodically he also tells me an interesting story from his experiences and we both enjoy it. I think that is my role at times to listen and encourage him to tell his story.
This next three days may be rough. Mark is very sick during chemotherapy and for a period of time after chemo he is very sick and can keep nothing down. I have Mark's friend Jin staying with him in the morning as I head for the Thai cooking school on the Chao Phraya River. I will be back in the hospital in the afternoon.
My best to all of you and more stories later....PS my diamond fell out of my ring...i thought it was lost down the drain...the cleaning girl found it and gave it to me...couldn't do the drain for three days cause of holiday..and the last day of holiday, she found it on the floor under something...My PDA plug- in is fried due to my stupidity and I have a new one that takes 220 or 110 but the addresses I had on it are gone. My watch battery stopped. ...all small potatoes compared to how Mark is doing...and all will wait for fixing until I get back to Austin. Hopefully my computer will hold up...I may have to get an abbacus

April 11, 2005

Stephanie's Words: Happy Thai New Year!
Since I've been coming to see Mark in Thailand he's been talking about New Years and how fun it is here. I didn't understand it at first, just that it involved a lot of water and water guns... but it was at least as much fun as he had said it would be! I'm staying at a hotel near his place and I took the tuk-tuk over to the soi where the action is set to take place. At noon it's just getting started, but as I get a block from my hotel I get some squirts of water coming through the tuk-tuk. I make it to the soi without too much more water and then I see The Fun: a whole 5 or 6 block street, people everywhere carrying buckets, squirt guns, water cannons, hoses, anything that will carry or toss water. Some folks have large plastic trash bins filled with water and ice! And it's all being tossed out at everyone else.

No one can explain to me exactly why - why water for New Year's, why a water parade (as people file up and down the street tossing water and being tossed at, and why after you've been "wetted" you get a dose of talc on your face, too. About 10 minutes into it I realize it doesn't matter why - it's just a blast. I look at Mark and see this man who really fought to get himself up and goingt oday, who is in great pain, and he has now the most wonderful and sincere smile on his face as he enjoys watching the parade go by. He shoots water occasionally at friends or farang. He's transformed into a little boy, teasing and shooting water and watching the other kids play all around him.

I worry about him this day. He's been feeling feverish lately and there are so many potential germs and viruses all around us. He's having a blast, but he decides he needs to go lay down an hour or so later. In a way I am relieved because he's been thoroughly doused by friends going by (those who don't realize he's hanging back a little because he needs to not be jostled today). He's gone through a round of chemo since I last saw him in March, and he's starting to lose some hair; what's still there has gone from a beautiful chestnut brown to gray. But we all laugh at my mom, who is wearing a shower cap under her hat, in a lame attempt to keep the water at bay.

It was a great New Years.