A Hard Leave


P1020544We left Lake Cascade a week ago.  It was a hard leave.   We felt like we were losing our boy Elko all over again.  This was the last place we had him with us.

P1020547Elko loved his woods.   He’d look at us and make it clear this was his private space and he didn’t need us to go into the woods with him.  If we had been leaving him behind to go play and travel, that would have been hard.   


But that isn’t why we left Cascade sooner than expected.  The hard leave was worse. Did I mention it was only a week ago? It feels like an eternity.  We left Cascade for Boise and then a few days later drove 1100 miles to Mesa.  Why?  It is a sad tale.

Yearly bladder scopes had been part of our life since Randy’s urologist found a low grade papillary cancer in 2008.  Quarterly scopes were the norm after Randy’s second bladder cancer diagnosis in the spring of 2017.  Things had been going well but during the mid August scope a new tumor was visible. Subsequent biopsy revealed a new, and even worse, form of bladder cancer – his third.   This tumor is muscle invasive and the bladder and prostate need to come out. Good riddance to his bad bladder!!

Randy had researched this potential development long ago since bladder cancer usually comes back and comes back worse. Unfortunately, Randy could be a poster child for this tendency. He already had an idea which of the three types of bladder removal surgeries he would opt for – one that forms a new bladder using small intestine.   

In consultation with his urologist, she recommended that he plan for that extensive surgery to be done elsewhere.  The Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale kept coming up as a good choice (thanks Sharon!).  After a frustrating false start for pre-surgery chemo with a Boise area oncologist, we decided to pursue everything at the Mayo Clinic.  

We made that decision on Wednesday evening and the next day Randy had an appointment scheduled with the surgeon for the following Tuesday.  I arranged for an RV site for the fall with the promise of them making something work for the already booked January, February and March.   Everything fell into place quickly, in less than 24 hours, and it absolutely feels like a God thing.  

fullsizeoutput_4cffWe drove all day Saturday and most of Sunday to be here for today’s appointment.  We feel confident in the doctor and the plan.  For the first time in four weeks, we had a doctor’s appointment that made us feel better instead of worse. We are encouraged.  

The road ahead will be hard with aggressive chemo for six weeks and then extensive surgery. We are under no illusion otherwise.  We are so thankful for those who have upheld us with their time, prayers and good wishes.  

We will have the support of Randy’s brother and sister in law who live in the Phoenix area but still covet contact with our family, Boise friends and road friends.    

To make it easier to keep people updated we have opened a Caring Bridge site called Randy’s Bladder.   The link is:  https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/randysbladder/journal     You may visit the site or sign up to receive updates when either of us post new information.

It is likely that the Serene Wandering blog will be quiet for the time being, until we can get out there and have some fun again.

About Serene

Former full time RVers, transitioned to homeowners and travelers. We've still got a map to finish! Home is the Phoenix area desert and a small cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona.
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14 Responses to A Hard Leave

  1. Donna Fischer says:

    Know that the next several weeks will be challenging for both of you. Just want you to know that you’re both in Guerin and my thoughts and prayers. Sending love, light and healing vibes. 🦋 💛💜
    A hug, Donna

  2. mindyp87 says:

    Sorry to hear about Randy’s bladder. But glad God has directed you guys to good medical care. You and Randy will be in our thoughts and prayers. 💕

  3. Connie Lipinski says:

    Serene and Randy, our thoughts and prayers are with you for healing. This just sucks! We are just up the road should you want a change of scenery. Connie and Nick

  4. Art Melton says:

    Many prayers are headed your way, Art’s among them.

  5. Reed Nate says:

    SO sorry to hear about Randy’s health issues.  We will be praying for you both during this time.  You both are in good hands.  The Mayo Clinic will take excellent care of Randy.  With much love to you both,  Reed and Jean

  6. Carla Daley says:

    Serene and Randy, it has always been wonderful to read your blog and live vicariously through your travels. Our prayers have always been with you and we lift you both up to the Lord for a swift recovery. When you’re up to it, you’re more than welcome to come for a visit and walk in the woods. God’s blessings Michael and Carla

  7. cegr76 says:

    Prayers coming your way from Vancouver.

  8. Jan McMillan says:

    Ann and I are holding you close in our hearts and will be praying for the best possible outcome for Randy. You are blessed to have dear friends and family to love and support you.thanks fir the caring bridge link. I’m glad you found The Mayo Clinic and a doc tthat you trust. sending you my love Serene. Jan

  9. Paul says:

    Randy and Serene, please know we are pulling for you, and hopeful for the best possible outcome and a future free of hard leaves.

  10. Peggy says:

    Myron and I are sending healing prayers and positive thoughts for the best outcome for you both.

  11. Steve and Judy Kranz says:

    Hang in there — the two of you are strong and with the Lord’s help you will get through this. Thank you for the update, we will stay tuned in, and we will pray…

  12. Rosie says:

    I just now took time to read this. You are in my prayers and will continue to be. I am on a month long visit home in Michigan so I am missing the Storm. I will try to stay connected through Caringbridge. Be strong, my friend! The Lord is with you.

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