On the morning of Jack’s surgery while we were getting ready to leave for the hospital I stood out on deck and looked up at the stars and the rigging of Escape Velocity, the anchor lights of the boats around us. I listened to the stillness of the lake, and I thought how much I love this life and I wondered if we would have to give it up. The past two weeks have been filled with worry, fear and agonizing reappraisal. The worst case scenario would have meant the end of our dream of world cruising because we probably couldn’t be far from land for very long. The best case scenario would leave us scott free to go wherever we want. In between those two poles were other possibilities, but almost every outcome except the best would mean some sort of change in plans.
Our news from the doctor was one small notch off the very best outcome. There’s no cancer, but because this alien was in the same place as the previous cancerous alien, we have to be more vigilant, and in near terms Jack will need a follow-up look in six months, preferably by either the original surgeon or this one because they know their handiwork. He asked where we’ll be in six months. Obviously he knows nothing about the cruising life because he seemed puzzled by our blank looks. We have no idea where we’ll be. As the time gets closer we’ll figure out how to do this. Surgeon #2 is conveniently 30 miles from a major airport. Surgeon #1 is a diver and could probably be lured into a house call (boat call?) if we can get ourselves to a good dive spot.
In the waiting room we hugged Nancy and Dave and we cried with relief and happiness. I realized that every cell in my body had been clenched and I could feel the tension drain away. We all talked at once standing in the lobby until one of us said let’s get out of here! I know I was in a daze for hours, as we went out for ice cream, visited Nancy Sternberger in Surfside, then met Marty and Lisa at the Raw Bar for dinner. I had a hard time carrying on a conversation and just kept reaching over to hug Jack or squeeze his hand.
When we got back to Escape Velocity I went out on deck and looked up at the night sky, and it was beautiful and filled with possibilities again.