Dear Faithful Readers,
I know you all must wondering why we quit writing so many blogs this last year. The website is called R-V There Yet? But the real link to this blog is www.tinka.net. Many people think that I, Tinka, write this blog. I can not take credit for it as Rick is the creative writer in the family. It was my idea to start and write this blog when we first started traveling in the RV but it wasn’t long before Rick’s creative juices started to flow and he wanted the job.
When we first started traveling it was easy to come up with ideas and blogs to write because we had lots of fun adventures to describe. This last winter it became harder and harder to come up with creative subjects. There definitely was a reason and one that Rick did not really want to dwell on too much in the blog. Lot of our family and friends knew what was going on in our lives though.
I have put off writing this particular blog for several months because I knew it would be so very sad and painful for me.
Rick passed away on June 25th, 2011.
We had spent most of the winter going to doctors, to chemo and fighting cancer. Last fall Rick had a colonoscopy and they found a malignant tumor which was removed successfully. We felt very lucky that it was found in time . But the doctors said Rick needed to take chemo as a precaution in case the doctors had not gotten all the cancer or left even one cancer cell. We spent most of the winter sitting in the Oncologist’s chemo lab. Rick had an MRI and it showed that Rick had 2 spots on his lungs. Until the doctors could do a biopsy we would not know if they were malignant or not.
In the spring Rick was finished with chemo and they said he was free of colon cancer. The doctors decided to do a biopsy of the lungs and found the 2 spots were malignant. Besides this Rick had several other problems with his lungs. First, he had been a smoker and the MRI showed he had COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) which includes emphysema in the right lung and bronchitis. The pulmonary doctor gave him a breathing test and it showed he had a problem with exchanging carbon dioxide and oxygen. The doctors decided to remove 1/2 of his left lung which contained the malignant spots. The surgeon came in after the operation and said Rick was cancer free. After staying in the hospital for a few days Rick came home and was doing fine.
Then he started having trouble breathing. He was not getting enough oxygen and then his heart would start pumping very fast to get oxygen to his heart. Even with oxygen from a machine he was having trouble. Besides all those problems they decided the colon chemo had damaged his lungs. The doctors were going to do a tracheotomy to help with his breathing. They had to wait a few days to do this as he was on Plavix which is a blood thinner. But Rick’s heart just could not handle the breathing problems and it just gave out. He passed away on June 25th. We had his memorial on July 9th in the Dallas area.
We all face many tough times in our journey through life. This is the toughest one I have ever faced. He was my best friend, soul mate, lover, confidant and my strength. All the goals and dreams that Rick and I shared have vanished. I suddenly lost the future that we had together. It is hard to accept that he is gone. There are days I think he will show up soon. We are told we are not supposed to ask WHY but I do. WHY Rick? He was too young to die (65 years) and I am too young to have to live without him forever and use the old word “WIDOW”.
I have a lot of decisions to make now. I know the saying “Not to do anything the first year”. But I have more decisions to make than most. We sold our house when we began RVing. (1) I never learned to drive our big 5th wheel. I know that some women do drive 5th wheels but my opinion is that the driver (man or woman) needs another set of eyes to help drive. I certainly helped Rick while he was driving. (2) It wouldn’t be as much fun traveling around by myself. Part of the fun was sharing the experience together. (3) Do I want to trade the rig in and buy a house? (4) Where do I buy a house? The most logical place would be in the Dallas area where our kids and grand kids live. (5) I do like the warm weather in the winter time in South Texas though. I am sure as time goes by I will decide what to do. But no matter what I decide I won’t have my precious Rick beside me.
I have a couple of blogs to write after this. This blog will be left up for a week or so and then I will post a new one. After that I will try to post one or two every month for a while.
I thank all the readers who have been with us during our travels. Rick and I certainly had a great time and hope you enjoyed the ride with us.
Rick, thanks for all the great blogs you have written. I know you are in God’s hands now. I hope you are in peace and can breath easily and not in any pain. Give a hug to your parents, Nelle and Walt, and your brother, Bob who we all lost in the last few years . Rick, you will never be forgotten!!!!!!! I love and miss you so much.
Rick had a great sense of humor and always made me laugh.