Just “sweet?”

Following a summer of in-patient hospitalization for chemotherapy to keep my AML controlled, a stem cell donor had been identified and I was scheduled for transplant around the first of November. However, I landed back in the hospital a couple of weeks ago—the hospital stay from hell—and in the end it was discovered that not only am I dealing with leukemia, but I also have esophageal cancer. The transplant is off the table.

Last winter, we were not comfortable going to Florida due to COVID. This winter, it’s a “no go” due to my condition.

In March, we traveled to the boat yard to prepare Prairie Dog for another hot summer on the hard. We had planned to spend up to two weeks, but we made quicker work of our clean-up. The heat was really getting to us both and Ron’s knee was making it harder moving around the boat. On our arrival home, we began cautiously discussing the idea of selling Prairie Dog and moving to a smaller, more compact boat. And then we discovered we were going to be grandparents. And then I was diagnosed with AML.

Ron’s initial thought was that he would go to Florida this fall once it felt safe to do so (Delta variant) and spend a month or so preparing the boat for sale. That cannot happen, as he needs to care for me. We have listed Prairie Dog with a broker in the Charlotte Harbor area and are selling her as is. Cosmetically she needs some work (paint job!), but her engines are in good shape and she has served us well the winters we’ve lived aboard her. If you know of anyone looking for a good live aboard boat in SW Florida, please pass the news that Prairie Dog is for sale!


5 thoughts on “Just “sweet?”

  1. Hi JoEllen, My heart certainly goes out to you as I read all of the latest challenges you are facing. You are strong and you will beat this! I had lunch yesterday with a friend who went through this last year. She had kidney cancer at the same time as the leukemia and ultimately had her kidney removed. She will be celebrating her one year anniversary of her transplant next week. She looks and feels great. I pass this along to give you some encouragement. With regard to selling the boat, I know that is a tough decision. One never knows what life has waiting for us around the corner. You are a survivor and have a new grandson to look forward to! Sending prayers for a return to good health and strength to manage the journey!


  2. Sorry about this development!

    Life seems very unfair!

    Keep the faith as sometimes that’s all we have!

    If I can help with the boat in fl let me know!

    They my treatment for a while it was meshing with mttthyroid !

    Have meeting with cancer dr. November 1 to determine course of action!

    Love Don and grace!

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. We wondered. My captain saw Prairie Dog on the market and we thought of you folks. We had looked at a couple Prairie trawlers a couple years ago but hadn’t sold our sailboat then. We now have sold it and have a little trawler out of Lake Macatawa/Holland but do a condo winter in Naples. We imagine this is a very tough decision, but health issues happen. We wish you success with the sale, but more, we wish you good care and treatment.
    Janet and Steve


  4. Hi JoEllen and Ron, I am so sad to read this, my heart breaks for you. You are strong though and I am sure you can fight this battle and win, too. You have a grandbaby to welcome into the world in November.. Rich knows of someone that might be interested in your trawler, can you send the ad to him? His address is *richridenour@comcast.net * Love and hugs, you are in our prayers, each and every day.


    • Hi Lorraine. I’m hanging in there, will know more re: treatment options by end of this week. Would not be surprised if they start radiation next week to help reduce size of tumor. Funny how things work: no sooner had I posted this, Ron got a call from the broker with an offer on the boat. Should know in a week or so if it’s a done deal. I will forward the ad to Rich if this deal falls through. One good thing that happened in a dark week 🙂


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