Friday, December 15, 2017

December Trip Report - Prologue & Day 0 -or- Let's Get this Show on the Road


This would be the trip that was on - off - on - off and then on again.

A little background. In June of this year I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. After tests and more tests, I wound up at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY where we decided on a treatment of radiation and hormones. Radiation was originally scheduled to begin on November 20 and end (5 sessions later) on November 29. I would then take the Auto Train down in time for the beginning of RADP XXII. Then, I was informed that the November 20 date was not going to happen because of an unscheduled upgrade to the equipment. The start date would now be two days later, on November 22. Okay - I would miss the first two days of the RADP meet, but I would be there for the last two days. I cancelled my room reservation and changed my Auto Train departure date. 

Then I was informed that my insurance would not cover the 5 session treatments as I did not fit their profile for that protocol. The hospital tried to appeal it but added a 6th radiation session as they knew that my insurance would cover that. I wouldn’t know until the last minute which treatment I would be getting. Moments before my first radiation treatment I was informed that I would be getting the six session treatment and not the five. This would be as far as I could delay things because even though I would now miss the RADP meet, I had a Peaceful Pastures meat shipment scheduled for December 9 from RADPer Jenny Drake, and that would not be able to be rescheduled. Just as important in my mind would be spending a few days in Disney World with Jenny and mutual friend Cathy after the delivery. Once again I changed my train reservations.

The treatments went off without a hitch and on December 5 my car and I boarded the Auto Train and were on our way.

It was warm as you would expect when I arrived in Florida, but the forecast was for rain on the day of the delivery and severe (for Florida) cold for the following few days. Time to pull the warm clothing out for this trip.

Day 0 - December 9 ... Delivery day ...

This would be an early morning as I would meet Jenny and her BAMT (Big A** Meat Truck) at 7:30 and I wanted to make sure I was there early - not that I really expected traffic between my house and the Tampa delivery location, but I didn’t want to take a chance of being THE ONE who was late or missed the delivery entirely. There had been a terrible thunderstorm through the night in my location, but Jenny (and co-driver David) had driven through a heavy snowstorm through Georgia the previous day before they too hit the heavy rain that was now in the area. It rained on and off as I drove to the delivery point. I was there quite early as expected (a habit of mine all my life) and was there when Jenny and David arrived. I had planned on taking pictures as I had in the past, but the light was so terrible that even the ones I took came out awful. I could have increased the sensitivity of the camera, but it would produce lousy photos anyway, so I put my camera down, and helped out with the distribution. There's a large group of customers at the Tampa delivery location.  Once I got my order squared away, I got a picture of the BAMT for the long time members of the RADP usenet group - and those on the RADP Facebook page - who know of it.

Notice the name over the door handle ... and a very rare chance for me to get into one of my photos ...

Once all the business was taken care of, Jenny headed towards her Orlando drop off and I headed home to get my meat in the freezer. Then I headed to my daughter’s house and would meet Jenny and Cathy the next day. Because of the stormy weather - rain in Central Florida and snow in points north - Cathy’s flight was delayed but she did eventually make it into MCO.

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