Sunday, May 8, 2016

Cheep fun!

This past week's weather has been nothing but gloomy, miserable, pouring rain. Today it was wonderful to see some sunshine again ... in more ways than one.

It's Spring and I have broody hens, so figured I might as well give one of them something constructive to do ... considering she's not going to lay eggs for about two months. So a few weeks ago, I put some fertile eggs under one and PRESTO, wouldn't ya know some chicks hatched out of 'em over the past couple of days!

Six beautiful little chickies ... they're like sunshine that fits in the palm of your hands! 

Agnes, a Buff Orpington, goes broody every Spring and makes a great Mama hen.

These little rays of sunshine are like going on a sightseeing tour on my Isle of Rest & Relaxation.

Phase one of my treatment (chemo & radiation) finished on April 8, and it took about three weeks for the side effects to wear off. I will never take my sense of taste, and enjoyment of food, for granted again. For the better part of two months food was my enemy ... I felt like I was like sailing on rough seas. Praise God everything tastes wonderful again — maybe more-so — and the rest of my digestive system is cooperating too. 

I have to say right now I feel pretty great! I lost about 15lbs (though it's not a weight-loss plan I would recommend!) My energy level is pretty much back to normal, so I am back at the gym, walking 1-2 miles three times a week, and building up my strength again. To look at me you wouldn't have a clue that I am in the middle of a cancer battle. 

More good news — my radiologist said the tumor has shrunk by about half, and should continue to shrink over the coming weeks. He was very happy with my progress. The doc wants me to walk regularly and eat well (esp. more protein) to prep my body for surgery on June 27. 

Looking Ahead ...

So I have about seven weeks more on this Island of R&R, before surgery to remove what's left of the tumor (and nearby lymph nodes), and install an ileostomy to allow the area (rectum) to heal. I will be in hospital for around five days and then I really have no idea what to expect by way of recovery time after that. One prediction is 6-8 weeks. I don't know if that means totally laid out, light duty, or what?
I'll get a month of healing time after surgery before the second round of harder-hitting chemo starts. Those infusions will be every two weeks for a total of eight sessions, almost four months. The ileostomy will be reversed/removed about a month after chemo is done, somewhere around Thanksgiving (end of November) if my calculations are correct. 

We'll get the "help/meal roster" set up again in about a month and put the word out.

But enough about all that ... 

Last blog I introduced our newest family member BISKIT ... she has settled in beautifully and I have nicknamed her "SHADOW" because she follows me everywhere as I move about the house. Seems I am the "pack leader" as far as she is concerned. She is quick to learn and eager to please. The kids have a pretty good command over her now, but she still might pull them off their feet if she sees a squirrel! She needs to be tethered to a tree at our other property as she is still eager to chase the chickens. I've given her a few, supervised, close encounters with them, but she's not ready to free range with them just yet. Will she ever? Maybe not, but we will continue to work on it.

BISKIT (a.k.a. my "Shadow") eagerly watches the chickens free ranging a few feet beyond her reach.
Did I mention the kids finish 5th grade in about 20 (school) days? Summer is almost upon us.

Be joyful always: Spring has finally sprung. The landscape is lush and green again. Wednesday, May 11, is our 14th Wedding Anniversary :) Right now life is good. 
Pray continually: As bad as I thought my chemo side effects were, I know of many people battling cancer and dealing with so much more pain, discomfort, prolonged treatment, and more complications than I have. My heart and prayers go out to them. 
Give thanks in all circumstances: Praise God from whom all blessings flow ... and thank you for your continued prayers,encouragement, and support.

Please continue to pray our family through this journey, especially for Papa who is experiencing fatigue (working full-time & part-time) and some bodily "wear and tear." He finishes teaching this week and is looking forward to some extra rest. He'll need it to prepare for June 27 and beyond!

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mums/Moms out there! Hope you are appreciated & spoiled more than usual :)

By God's abundant grace,

Sandii :)