Saturday, April 17, 2010

Keep on Dreaming!

It's been 3 months since Brian had his last Doctor's appointment. He's supposed to go back every 3 months for a year, then every 4 months for the second year, then every 6 months for a total of 5 years. At that point they declare him cancer free. We hate that part, you and I; the part where you can't be sure but, as "they" say...such is life. He had a physical examination by the urologist and several tests done at the lab ($45). He'll go back the next day to get the results from the tests. The urologist was pleased with his post-operative condition however, and doesn't foresee anything wrong.

Talking with a friend the other day, we commented that we'd been quite lucky in that we'd been very healthy since we've been in Ecuador. When we first came here for our 2 month holiday, we were sick with colds and diarrhea the entire time, taking turns being the ill one. When we came back to stay permanently, we were sort of resigned to being sick for awhile until we acclimatized to the various germs we hadn't previously been exposed to. We both got a cold upon returning and that's been it. Several of our friends have recently been struck down with a cold/lung/flu thing that we've been lucky enough to miss. This could happen just as well in Canada as here. Newcomers usually get some sort of gastric thing (although Cuenca's water is quite drinkable) but generally we're a healthy bunch. Going into 3rd stage (after 65, as the Ecuadorians call it) one wants to be as healthy as possible. So far so good (except for Brian's cancer of course, which Shelley has told him doesn't count).

We enjoyed the meal so much at Mangiere at Posada del Angel that we invited a friend to have dinner with us there Tuesday. It was a delightful evening, the pasta was just as good the second time and our company fascinating. Wild accusations were bandied about but at the end of the night, alone with our own thoughts, all was put into place. Fascinating!

Brian went back to the Doctor on Wednesday and was ebullient when he got home. His original PSA test before the operation was 9.7. His PSA test Wednesday was 0.01. The Doctor told him it wouldn't have been unreasonable for the test to show 3. or 4. but 0.01 was absolutely wonderful! He proudly displayed the paper results of his tests to Shelley and immediately got in touch with his good friend in Holland to tell him the news.

Fredi needed to go back to the vet on Thursday to get the last in a series of 3 anti-parasite medications ($2). This is a preventative medicine not because she was sick. Our normal vet wasn't there and the vet that helped us didn't speak any English, so we had a bit of a time figuring out when next we needed to go back and what for. In any case, mid-July is her next checkup. We're not quite sure why.

Our blog friends from Panama were due to fly into Cuenca at 6:15 in the evening so Brian set out to meet them at the airport and get them settled into the hostel they'd chosen. All this was done with ease and they went next door to Sakura for a snack. As they'd been travelling since 6 o'clock in the morning, they were tired and ready to settle in their room by the time they'd finished.

We set out for a neighbourhood walk and picked up 6 salmon burgers, 5 shrimp burgers and a bag full of assorted seafood with which to make seafood chowder for $12 at Jo.Mar's at the base of the La Cuadra Building.

It's been quite some time since we've been to a Gringo Night and with our new Canadian friends from Panama we decided we'd hit Zoe's Friday evening. They are interested in golfing & soccer (futbol) here in Cuenca. We aren't conversant in either sport but put them on to people who are.

There was a time that a bunch of us would get together quite regularly at Gringo Night, but as time goes on and we all get more familiar with Ecuador and develop our own individual routines & friendships, this pleasant interlude seems to have become far less important to us. These days when we go it's mostly strangers there and VERY noisy, nevertheless it's a must see for any newcomer to town. This time however, several of our friends showed up and we talked and laughed and generally had a good time. The camaraderie gained by sharing a common experience, being in a strange country shouldn't be discounted. We count more people as friends here in Ecuador than we have for a very long time in our lives.

"I don't want to do much of anything today" Brian announced Saturday morning. So...Fredi got taken for a walk to the local park and played with a couple of young children, we made ourselves meals from time to time, Shelley puttered around the apartment and we chattered & read & napped & watched TV & computered. That's it! Despite having become comfortable with our new life, we're both still thankful and amazed we managed it. Multi-married both of us, assets were chucked out of windows several times to make way for a new & hopefully better life. Children were always loved but sometimes required more than is written about in the fairy tales. And work proved to be just that - work. we ended up in paradise; warm, comfortable, surrounded by friends, children ultimately supportive, with a wonderful little puppy loving us more than we deserve. We know there are people out there reading the blog, working & struggling, dreaming of a tomorrow that is hard to think will ever come. Keep on dreaming! It's the only way you'll make it happen.


  1. I especially liked the last few sentences in this entry - very touching and so true.

  2. I also especially liked the last few sentences. It really encouraged me to keep dreaming. I enjoy reading your blog very much and check often to see if anything new has been posted.
    Mark in MO

  3. Hi Brian and Shelley!
    Hard to believe it's over a year since we visited with you guys on a couple Gringo nights. We're trying to figure out where to travel next - after 2 months in Africa in Oct/Nov of 2009.

    Thanks for keeping the blog going and good luck to you both.
    -Terry & Chiyemi Doyle
    -Ashland, OR, USA