Well, Well, Well…

We have been working nonstop on the farm. Putting in irrigation and electric to the out buildings. Although this is a lot of work in this hot sweltering weather,  when its all said and done it will be so worth it! I am so sick of dragging kinking hoses and extension cords around the yard. You should hear me cussing when I drag that hose all the way down to were I need it and then, right when I get there, the water stops because of a kink, or four, all the way back at the faucet, its not a pretty sight! Lol I’m not even sure how many hoses Jerry has run over with the lawn mower.  All I know is we have a stack of patched together hoses! We spent most of the week digging trenches and getting wire and pipes. Connecting all this and hooking up waterers and sprinklers. I can’t wait to flip the switch! Yay! Everything works! No leaks! Ahh finally, no more hoses. Peace of mind with automatic waterers. I feel a sense of relief. It will be so nice when we go out of town to know that the animals will have fresh clean water. Not that my pet sitter doesn’t keep everything in perfect order but, why not make it easier for everyone?

I have been trying to make everything around here as easy and efficient as I can. Having a farm and animals is a lot of work as it is. So why not make it as easy as possible? Being sick last year and having trouble doing a lot of my regular chores made this more apparent to me. Why struggle with a sore back and bending over when you can easily set up a wash table for the dogs? Why drag hoses when you can just turn on a faucet? Why make more work for yourself? Work smarter, not harder! Finally it is happening! It is so rewarding to look back on all this hard work and know it is done.

Wait a minute…not so fast…After working all day in the hot sun and coming in for the evening, enjoying a good shower…the water stopped! The well is not working! No water! All right I guess there is never a good time for your well to go out, but now… REALLY? We are gonna have to sleep on this one. You don’t really know how much you need water until it’s gone. No coffee, no tea, no toilet!

So all day we are working on this well. Methodically pulling heavy steel pipes out of the ground. Sixty feet, foot by foot. We use an engine lift, a chain fall, and vice grips. The danger here is dropping it down into the well and losing everything, pipes, pump, and all. In hindsight, the well has been acting up, so I guess it wasn’t a total surprise, but still. THIS SUCKS! We find out that the bottom pipe has a hole in it and the water was running out of the tank right back down into the ground. Luckily the pump seems to be ok. Next we have to get new pipes. Then methodically put it all back together piece by piece and lower it back down into the ground. Eight hours later…we have water! Yes! I am so lucky to have these handy guys, I honestly don’t know how I would do it without them! So again, happiness and relaxation set in from a job well done. Shower time! I go to get in the lovely, much anticipated shower. Nice water pressure! Ahh…wait, what is going on the pressure is getting weaker and I can’t get this white soap to rinse off? WAIT! It’s not soap, it’s pipe dope! It’s all over me!  Apparently my shower was the last in the pipe line so all the excess pipe dope (glue) ended up there! We had to take the shower head off and wash it out, it will be fine. I scrubbed the pipe dope off and I will be fine. Just another day on the farm.

Let’s get outta here!

Ok we are as prepared as we can be. Our flight leaves from Tampa at 7:30am. We will get up at 4:00am to catch our plane. We are packed, the alarm is set. We should be in Puerto Rico by noon! It is starting to sink in, we are going to Puerto Rico! 4:00am comes early. We put the dogs in their lovely kennel. I hope they appreciate all the time and attention we put into it. We put our suitcases in the truck. As we pull away from the house, I feel a sense of relief, we got it all done. I am starting to get excited about our trip!

It was a nice drive contemplating all we might do in Puerto Rico. Anticipating seeing Jerry for the first time in 6 weeks. We check the clock in the truck, all is well, we have plenty of time. We run into a little traffic in Tampa but it’s not a big deal. We have some trouble finding a long term parking spot. After searching 3 levels we go to the roof and park. We find our way to the terminal, it looks empty, but it is early in the morning. We get to the check in…our plane left 10 minutes ago…WHAT? WHAT did you say? Our plane left? We missed our flight? You must be wrong, check again!

Ok regroup. What the heck just happened? And what do we do now? The next flight to Puerto Rico is at 10:30, no not in three hours, it’s at 10:30 tonight. So…it is 7:30 am. I certainly don’t want to drive all the way back home just to turn around and drive back. What should we do? Where did the time go? How did we lose so much time? On further inspection we realized we were watching the clock in the truck which was almost exactly an hour behind! I fixed that right away. We are tired and maybe a little grumpy from the crazy busy week we had leading up to this. What are we gonna do now. Maybe we should just go home and forget about this trip. I call Jerry and he finds us a hotel close to the airport that we can check into. Maybe we can just relax, catch some TV, doze awhile until this evening when we go back to the airport. Sounds good.

Turns out it is a Super 8 Motel. Omg, it is really nasty! It looks rundown, the walls are dirty, it looks old. There are burn holes in the bed sheets, in a non smoking room! I am too tired to care. I have to lay down. At least the sheets smell clean. I don’t want to touch anything. I lay perfectly still and don’t let the sheets touch my face. I hope I don’t catch anything! I think I may have fallen asleep for a few minutes. The remote for the TV is nowhere to be found. Lets go find something to eat. I find a little Peruvian restaurant that has 5 stars. So we try it. Scott doesn’t like anything. I think it tastes pretty good. I have never eaten Peruvian food before. Apparently something did not agree with my stomach. So back to the motel we go.

Ok well what else can go wrong? So I use the bathroom…go to flush the toilet and…well…it overflows!


What now?

We had a terrible storm pass through last night. Woke everyone in the house up at three am with loud thunder and quiet the light show. I think we may have even gotten a bit of hail. I have always enjoyed a good storm, the power of nature is amazing! And we sure  needed the rain. As I lay in bed, wide wake, I was thinking it is spring a time of renewal. This spring storm is bringing much needed energy to all the plants and animals here. Things are getting greener everyday on the farm,  babies are being born, flowers are blooming, a new beginning, for me too! It has been a rough few months and I am ready to be over all this cancer drama and move on. Finally I fell back to sleep.

So I wake up refreshed and renewed. Knowing that I am five weeks out from my last chemo treatment, knowing my body is healing and repairing itself, I know this because I feel stronger every day. Ready to move forward and get motivated for whatever wonderful adventure is next. Ready to face a new day. Wait! What is this I see in the mirror as I am brushing my teeth? My eyebrows are all but gone! Like little wooly bear caterpillars they marched right off my face while I was sleeping! You gotta be kidding me! I knew they were kinda sparse but I thought I was done losing hair, I thought things were getting better!? Isn’t it bad enough that I am still almost bald? At least the hair on my head is trying to make a comeback! This absolutely SUCKS! So now I am feeling better but looking worse! This just isn’t even funny! Come on already haven’t I been through enough!? What more does this stupid cancer have to take from me? As an artist maybe I can paint some on? But if you see me walking around looking like a clown just don’t say anything, I know, I know…Oh no! I wonder how long my eyelashes are gonna hang in there???

Well…part 11

Honestly, I will be more then happy to leave all the sleepless nights, the puffy face, the nosebleeds, the dry skin, the hair loss, and mostly this weakness behind! But with the last dose of chemo comes some mixed emotions. This place that I have been reluctantly visiting every week for the last few months has been keeping an eye on me. Checking my vitals, checking my blood, watching out for me. Now I am gonna have to wing it alone, like a baby bird getting pushed out of the nest.

I am excited and full of anticipation. My doctor assures me, everything will be alright. One of the nurses gives me a little guardian angel pin and tells me not to worry, you will feel aches and pains as you are becoming more active don’t think that every little ache is your cancer coming back. With a grand flourish, I ring the bell and don’t want to look back. I think, according to my calculations, two weeks and I should be back to normal.

Not so much…two weeks come and go. I am trying to be normal, my mind says you can do this. My body says no. It is so frustrating and a bit scary, you start to wonder is this it? Is this as good as it gets? Some things are of course getting better. I have my Tuesdays back! There is no awful crash day, like Thursday. I go for my PET Scan, this is to see the progress and to figure out my future treatment plan according to how well my cancer responded to the chemotherapy. I am again excited hoping for the best. I want them to say we see no cancer! And also scared what if they say it didn’t work and you need more chemo. To add insult to injury the day before the test the lady calls and says don’t do too much relax the day before, what? I am just starting to get going again and now you want me to stop? And, by the way, you haven’t met your deductible yet and this test is going to cost you $3700. WHAT!? You have got to be kidding me, I pay almost $700. a month for insurance and I have to pay this? Unbelievable!

Well…part three

It is the end of October. I am not feeling much better. Back pain has subsided a little or maybe I’m just getting used to it. This shortness of breath makes everything difficult. I find myself on the couch more and more, no daily walks, no horseback riding, no gardening, no cello lessons. It’s all I can do to get off the couch and go to the bathroom! All interest in food is gone, I’m not cooking. If Jerry or Scott were not bringing me food I wouldn’t eat. I’m barely able to do any household chores. It seems like too much effort for me to drive my car. I am even taking naps! Which is something I have never been able to do. I HATE THIS! I can not take it anymore! What is happening to me???

November first is my follow up appointment with my primary doctor. I tell Jerry,” I can’t go one more day feeling this way, take me to the emergency room and maybe they will give me a B-12 shot or something.” So off we go! Chest x-rays, blood tests, fluids, yuck! Still no B-12? Tests come back, somethings wrong, I am severely anemic!? Why? I’m not bleeding anywhere. A few more tests and they say I will have to be admitted. Off to the hospital we go. WHAT? What happened to the B-12 shot?

The hospital…a place I avoid like the plague! Now I am here being poked and prodded at all hours of the day and night. My veins don’t like this and will not cooperate. Tests and more tests, I am too weak to put up a fight. My arms are bruised from all the pokes I look like I have been beaten. I feel like I am a foreigner in a strange place in a lifeless body. A doctor comes in  and tells me a normal person has about 14 units of blood and for some reason I have 6, my spleen is swollen, and they don’t know why. Surprised I am even walking around like this. More tests. After a few days I get a blood transfusion, what a difference! I feel like I might live, there is color in my face, and an ounce of energy! By the way, thank you to all the people that donate blood, you may have saved my life over the last few months! To be continued