When we began this trip on October 26th, our first stop was Los Angeles where we spent some time with Scott’s family and friends. His long time friends Dieter & Laura drove more than six hours from Sausalito to see him. At the end of this reunion visit, Dieter pressed something into Scott’s hand. A tiny metal sculpture of the ancient goddess of mercy and compassion Quan Yin. Dieter has been carrying it around in his pocket for good luck for several decades. A friend gave it to him. Dieter gave it to Scott. She is now traveling with Scott and you see her here standing in front of his watercolor painting.
Last night was a rough one. If you have stomach cancer you might end up with a Buddah belly filled with fluid called ascites. The swelling puts pressure on all your organs and feels hard and tight like a drum. This can push bile up, make it difficult to eat or sleep or breathe. We spent most of the night searching for a comfortable position for Scott to sleep in. We had hotel housekeeping searching all lounges and storerooms to see if they could dig up some bolster cushions around midnight. They did and dutifully brought us several likely options. Scott kept sliding down the bed anyway. So we tried sitting up in the arm chair with pillows all around strategic parts, a down duvet wrapping him in a cocoon of comfort. Nope. The bile reflux, chills ‘n’ fever alternating constantly, and the pressure on his torso would not allow slumber to find him ( or his companion).
Eventually we gave up and Scott suggested we go for a moonlit golfcart ride at 3:30am. The Leela campus was tranquil and only a few staff were up and about during the magic hour. We volleyed the table tennis ball back n forth a few times then sat in the lounge chairs reminiscing about what a fabulous trip this has been despite all of the hardship and struggle. How lucky are we? Quan Yin smiled down upon us as we hailed a golf cart back to our room before the first light of day was even a glimmer.