Author Topic: My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead  (Read 2349 times)

WhatsSUP

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My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead
« on: September 12, 2017, 05:54:11 AM »
I can’t begin to express my sincere appreciation for this forum and some of the Zoner’s  I’ve met and come to know.  As many here on the forum know, my wife and I bought our dream home last fall here in Middletown, RI.   The plan all along was to transition full time from Maryland by spring, but as sometimes happens, life threw us a curve ball.  Over Easter weekend I discovered a lump in my neck which I got checked out right after the holiday back in Maryland.  At this point we were less than two weeks from breaking the tie with Maryland altogether and going to Rhode Island lock, stock and barrel.  What started with some poking and prodding quickly led to ultra sound scans, CT scan, full body PET scan and a bunch of medical appts.  Within a matter of a week or so I was diagnosed with stage 3 head/neck cancer.  How could this be – 56 yrs old in very good health, fit, non-smoker….I was numb.   To say I was a bit of a mess would be an understatement.  Ironically, my wife is an ENT surgical nurse who had just left Maryland job.  Nonetheless, in no time she had me set up with an amazing group of medical professionals.  Although we had already sold our home in Maryland we determined the best course of action was to stay there and get thru the whole situation.  I had surgery Memorial Day weekend to remove several lymph nodes in my neck and my tonsils.  By the end of June I was healed up enough to start a 7.5 week radiation treatment plan.  Monday-Friday radiation treatments weren’t bad the first two weeks but they’re accumulative so the side effects and discomfort over time became brutal. I finally finished treatments two weeks ago and have been recovering since here in Rhode Island. 
 
Thru the entire experience I would visit the forum multiple times a day in an attempt to escape from my situation.  I told just a few folks here on the Zone of my situation.  Supthecreek was one of the first.  Through my entire ordeal Creek would call every couple of weeks and we would sometimes talk for hours on end about SUP surfing, life, kids, marriage, you name it. I always felt so much better after our conversations…..I’m forever grateful for his encouragement and pick me ups!  PDLSRF too would routinely drop me a line and check in with me and offer words of encouragement.  This forum and a couple of its members became my lifeline to keeping my sanity and looking forward to the future.

Last weekend Creek came to visit and we had a great half day of just chilling at my house and catching up and of course talking SUP.  Thanks Creek!!!  Your visit meant a lot and I look forward to a session with you soon!  Then, this past weekend while taking a walk on the beach with my wife and pooch we ran into Mr. Big, PDLSRF, and Stoneaxe.  To see and catch up with these guys in person was just what the doctor ordered.  Some laughs, stories, and of course lots of stoke.  Waves were a bit too big for me considering my somewhat weakened state so I watched these guys have a blast along with a ton of other guys in the water.

The waves subsided yesterday to about thigh to waist and it was super clean so I decided it was time to give it a go.  I caught the first several waves I paddled for and was rewarded with some very satisfying green water rides…..it seemed like the whole world was lifted off my shoulders after about 20 mins.  I lasted for a good hour before getting tired so called it a session and was greeted by a nice couple when I came out who commented they were watching me and that I had some really fun looking rides.  I smiled and told them it was a long time coming and they had no idea how good it felt.

Time to break out the GoPro and guitar again and think about some goofy little video’s as my quest to be a somewhat proficient nose rider continues!

Thank you forum and Zoner’s……See you on the water!!!
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Beasho

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Re: My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 06:16:27 AM »
Wow.  Great story. 

Glad you are on the mend.

Creek - You are an angel in disguise.

MaineSUP

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Re: My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 07:07:41 AM »
Thanks for sharing WhatSUP.  We don’t know each other but hearing about encountering this scary scenario and then getting back into the surf is inspirational.
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PDLSFR

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Re: My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 08:43:43 AM »
TOTALLY AWESOME !!!!

So glad you got out and got some much needed waves. I watched the cam all day yesterday and was hoping it was you getting a few fun rides.

It was great seeing you at the beach smiling and hearing that everything was moving along nicely and that you'd be a regular in the surf with us again!

Charge up that GoPro and get ready, look's like we might have a solid week of waves ahead of us.
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supthecreek

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Re: My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 09:11:32 AM »
WhatZ^^^!

"I caught the first several waves I paddled for and was rewarded with some very satisfying green water rides…..

it seemed like the whole world was lifted off my shoulders after about 20 mins.
"
So perfect....welcome home!

Consider taking a good camera to the beach, one of the best therapies for no session or short session is to take surf pics.

If you see someone you get good shots of, get their email and send them some pics.
I do this on road trips.... it is a great way to meet the local prone crowd and make a solid connection with them.

Whatz^.... I enjoy our conversations more than you know.... you have an awesome family and I appreciate your friendship.
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stoneaxe

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Re: My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2017, 09:25:24 AM »
Great to see you....and to hear you got some waves. Nothing better.  See you out there soon.
Bob

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surfinJ

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Re: My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 12:27:51 PM »
Good for you!  The magic of being back on the water, as well as the rest of a returning life.

Dusk Patrol

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Re: My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 01:38:59 PM »
Thanks for sharing on a broader scale. Never hurts to have lots of support! Stay strong bro...
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TallDude

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Re: My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2017, 01:48:22 PM »
Nothing like a dip in salt water to cleanse the soul. Glad to hear you're on the mend. My prescription is to surf more ;) You can have all the free refills you need.

Night Wing

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Re: My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 05:12:31 PM »
Hope everything goes well for you. And thanks for your post.
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JEG

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Re: My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2017, 06:28:02 PM »
great post WhatsSUP and wishing you all the best.

surfcowboy

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Re: My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2017, 07:01:18 PM »
Oh man, great to hear you are out in the water again. Enjoy the waves and stay healthy man.

These zoners are good folks.

eastbound

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Re: My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2017, 07:02:00 AM »
heal----soon, well

and then, BLAME CREEK!
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Wetstuff

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Re: My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2017, 11:42:59 AM »
I'd like to publicly thank Todd (W/S) for schlepping my Schroom down from the Cape to Maryland.  A cool guy with a career path reaching near the top of the pyramid.  Creek had my Schroom on tour, and luckily, it has been one of the worst wave seasons in memory for someone who does not make dawn patrol or the evening glass off. 

Also lucky... two days later we had the only midday, Pacific-like swell in recent memory.  The 8-7 Schroom was as stable as my 10-6 and the Speeed-lite nosekick saved my bacon a couple of times. I was talking to a proner and wondering if these conditions were like 'every day' in MEX or OZ?  A single swell is a remarkable thing - maybe, especially for a beach break.

Todd, I hope next hand you are dealt are better cards.  Thanks again.   Jim
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WhatsSUP

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Re: My Summer that Wasn't....Looking Ahead
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2017, 12:23:07 PM »
Appreciate all the kind words guys....I've been incredibly blessed in life and sooooo thankful for everything!!  Even more so now after all this. There are a number of different types of head/neck cancer and the type I have/had is quite treatable with a very good long term outlook - 95% survival rate....I'll take that!  Everyday is a little bit better than the last in terms of throat pain.  Taste is slowly coming back as well as strength and just feeling better. 

Life is good!!

Peace,    8)
 

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