April 19, 2011, Update, Part 1 –
Since it has been more than 3 months since I have posted a blog, this will be in 2 parts, because so much has happened. The first part is medical and garden updates, the second part is the spiritual update.
I did not mean to stay away for so long, but as Al informed everyone in an email, I have had problems typing with the sores on my fingers. I had another bout of walking pneumonia in February and that plus the other side effects of the Tarceva chemotherapy (Fatigue, sores on face and fingers, inflamed eyes, lack of appetite) finally became too much for me to bear while working so I took a leave of absence. The first week I slept most of the time, the second week I was feeling better but I had to go see the ophthalmologist, Dr. Chokshi, for my eye. I thought it was inflamed again, but the eye doctor informed me that there was a large tear in the cornea and that I had 40% thinning of the cornea. Treatment was, and still is, eye drops every hour!!!!!!!!!
I had several 6-month check-ups scheduled with other doctors. I saw my cardiologist, Dr. Litt, the first week and he said my heart sounded excellent – a nice strong beat. When he asked me how I was dealing with the cancer emotionally, I told him about my healing garden and he was impressed, he actually called me inspirational and gave me his email address so I could send him my blog website. Then I saw my dentist for my 6 month checkup, expecting the hygienist to find lots of plaque, tartar, and cavities, but there was no dry mouth, no cavities, and only minimal plaque buildup!!! That’s a miracle since I haven’t been able to floss with my sore mouth and hands!!!! Finally, I went to my dermatologist’s office and saw the nurse practitioner, Angela, for a skin check; there were no signs of melanoma. I asked her to look at the sores on my hands; she cultured both thumbs, the culture came back positive and she ordered an antibiotic, which I took for 2 weeks and my hands are definitely better.
The third week I began having more problems with shortness of breath. It got so bad that I couldn’t walk around in the house without having to sit down and catch my breath – and I had been walking up the street and back with no problems!!!Well that was scary, so I called the doctor and he ordered a CAT scan of the chest and abdomen. To make a long story short, it showed the fluid around my lung and a thickening of the lining around my lung. I was sent to the pulmonologist and I have an outpatient procedure scheduled this Thursday, April 21, to draw off the fluid and biopsy the thickened area.
God has resurrected all of the plants that were in the ground – the corn plant, the blue salvias (they have 2 blooms on them!!), the ivy, the lilies (my swords of the Spirit), even the Peace lily, the ferns, the 4 0’clocks (with their strong life force!), the cactus, and the Mexican petunias. Some of the plants in the larger containers survived our 20-degree winter, also – the 2 lantanas by the Celtic bench survived and the marigolds in the 2 tubs survived. There was something growing in the third tub, but we weren’t sure if it was weeds or petunias. Well, we found out April 12 – there was 1 white petunia bloom in the tub!!!
Al and Q and Q’s brother Ash finally landscaped the backyard into a rock garden. Al and I had been planning to do this for several years, and with the help of my 2 new sons-in-law, it is done. AL wanted raised flower beds so I wouldn’t have to stoop and bend to care for the flowers. Q had to lay a 30-ft French drain. Now I can go out there and not drag mud back into the house. There are a variety of colors, too – salmon pink pavers, gray cinder blocks, brown gravel; red lava rock, sand stones, and white marble. I love it! I often eat out there or swing, or sit and read, or just sit and admire the marvelous world that our wonderful God created. At different times of the day, there is shade in different places, so I just move my lawn chair to a shady spot.
Pictures show: – medical/garden - BY1 “before” picture of the back yard; BY30 “after” picture of the back yard; BY20 lantanas resurrected in the planters; BY18 me and the marigolds being resurrected n the tub, among the artificial flowers Al put in them during the winter. Note that our artificial flowers attracted some artificial birds – a family of flamingos and 3 parakeets!
Be sure to read Part 2, Spiritual update, below!