I thought I would be writing about our trip to Alaska now, but things have not worked out as we planned. In fact, it looks like there won't be any travels for us this year.
When I wrote about our Mediterranean cruise last winter, I mentioned that I was sick with a cold when we got back from our cruise. The cold went away, but I continued to cough and after several treatment attempts my doctor decided to do an x-ray. The x-ray showed a nodule on my lung which was pretty scary, but a subsequent blood test showed that I had valley fever. Valley fever is a fungal disease that is caused by breathing a fungi spore into the lungs and only occurs in the Southwestern United States. It's not very common, but is becoming more common, particularly in the area we live. Luckily for me, my doctor recognized it right away and started treatment immediately.
Valley fever can be a very serious disease, but luckily for me I never got very sick and the worst things I experienced were the coughing and a loss of energy. To be honest, the side effects of the medication were worse than the valley fever symptoms. Anyway to make a short story long, when it came time to make our final payment for our June Alaska cruise, we decided we shouldn't chance losing our money and decided to cancel our cruise.
We were disappointed, but we made up for it by booking a two week trip through the Canadian Rockies on the Rocky Mountaineer train and then another week on Vancouver Island. By the end of June I was feeling pretty much back to normal and my doctor gave me a clean bill of health. It looked like all things were go for our fall trip.
Unfortunately, as I was getting better, Val was starting to have problems with her knee and it kept getting worse and worse. Finally in May she got an MRI and the news was what we feared, she needed a knee replacement. At that time she thought she would still be able to take our fall trip and get the surgery after we returned, but it kept getting worse. In mid June we went up to Stanford and got a second opinion, which unfortunately just confirmed her doctor's diagnosis. By then the pain was getting worse and she knew she wouldn't be able to make the fall trip so last week we cancelled our fall Canadian trip and she is scheduled to have her knee replaced in August.
She has already had her other knee replaced five years ago so she knows it's not a very enjoyable experience with a lot of pain, exercise and physical therapy. Full recovery usually takes a year, but the first month is the worst and by the end of the second month she will still have some pain, but will have pretty much resumed her normal life.
This was a big disappointment for both of us, but things happen that you have no control over, especially as you get older. It looks like 2018 will be our first year without a major trip, but we will come back strong next year. A year like this will give us an even greater appreciation of our past and future travels and our life in general.
That's it for now, Val always tells me I go into too much detail when I write and it looks like I've done it again. We do have one trip already booked for February/March of 2019; a cruise up the Amazon River and then on to Rio de Janeiro for Carnival. Also, we would like to re-book our Canadian trip for next Fall. Looks like we'll be getting right back to traveling, so we'll see you on down the road.