Monday, January 13, 2014

# 144 - Living Life!

First of all, I sincerely thank all of you who have been sending concerned emails about my lack of writing for this blog. I appreciate you reading and digesting my written words, for whatever they are worth.

In response, I am going to make a sincere effort to begin writing again on this blog, on a regular basis.

To be honest, I had to focus on other areas in my life because Addison's disease can tangle you in a web of challenges. For a while, I felt worn down and needed to escape from it, as much as I could, for a bit.

Also, we made a major move from the city to the country, selling our house that was about 3,000 square feet to move to the acreage we've owned since our daughters were young. The acreage is in the middle of rural Texas country.

I took this picture yesterday...I love the "yard."

We bought a Mac-Daddy RV to live in while we prepared the land to build a cabin. The problem is that I can't decide upon where to build the cabin. You can't change your mind once it is built, so I am taking my time with this decision.

Sgt. Dave using a machete to thin the area that will be
next to the cabin.

I enjoy the RV, but it's an RV. I figured it would take about a year to start building, and we have accomplished a great deal, but I am ready for the extended camping trip to approach an end.

I must say, this has been one of the most adventurous times of my life.

My niece, Shaye, on a visit with her cowboy boots.
She fits right in with our new environment.

My newest health battle has been news that I need a hysterectomy. Not such a big deal for a healthy patient, except that surgery always presents a reason for concern, especially when it is YOU having surgery. For a patient with Addison's disease, the most simplistic surgery is serious business. 

Since my mother died from breast cancer at 57 years of age and my father is again battling cancer that is genetic, I need to be pro-active with my health. After my dad's genetic testing, the oncologist told him to inform all three of us kids about the results so we could take preventative measures of our own.

Presently, my dad is battling Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma. My mother had been tested by M.D. Anderson and the cancer was not a genetic variation, but my dad's genetic testing made him very sad. Of course, all of us have something awry in our body, whether we are aware of it, or not. But, since my father is adopted and never knew his birth family, the lack of medical history is problematic.

Here I am with my first grand-baby, Coraline and my grandmother.
My grand-mother is now a great-great-grandmother to Coraline.
In the back is my Uncle Billy, my oldest daughter - Heather, and
my father who is having to wear a medical mask that he pulled
down for this photo. That baby makes him a first time great-
grand-father. I treasure these moments.

After considering my parents' cancer history, my doctor order the Brach-Analysis test for me. I took the test a few weeks ago, and I have been waiting a long time for the results. Of course, the chain reaction of such results is both nerve-wracking and beneficial. I have two daughters, so if I show the gene for these familial cancers, then I will have to inform my daughters of their high-risk predisposition for cancer, as well as my sister.

A few weeks ago, here we are in Fort Worth. There's my daughter
Heather, me, my sister Robin, my youngest daughter Stefanie
and my youngest niece Shaye. We had a ball!

As for the needed hysterectomy, if I show a genetic predisposition for cancer, then the surgeon is likely to remove as much as possible during the hysterectomy to reduce my risk, especially since I have tumors in the uterus and in an ovary, most likely benign, but this area needs attention because the tumors have become large enough to create visible abdominal swelling, and according to my doctor, the swelling is equivalent to an early pregnancy belly.

We all have problems, but I don't like this new challenge. The health battles have been enormous and never-ending. It becomes tiring. However, I keep fighting back and doing all I can to see better days. But, let me get this straight, I still have INCREDIBLE days.

My brother, dad, me and my sister.
This was taken the week after Christmas.

Overall, I will most certainly feel better after surgery since the complications of this condition cause significant pain, swelling, and constant bleeding that leads to anemia. 

Anyway, I never stop LIVING. Life is to be LIVED! I break my days down into "moments." I might have bad "moments" in the morning, but the afternoon might be filled with GREAT "moments" and find me feeling great! So, I never say, "My day is ruined," or "This has been a bad day," because rarely is there a day without goodness. Besides, there is always something you can find to do that is enjoyable, even if your body is not cooperating fully.

Here I am playing the piano...something I love to do and that
gives me a sense of fulfillment, yet it takes little energy.

My quality of life is improved because of the move out of the city. It's been a challenge with MAJOR changes to our daily lives, but I savor this life on our rural acreage.

Taking a walk through the woods.

Going from the Greater Houston area to a home with no neighbors in sight is a big change. So many of our family and friends have been baffled by this deep desire to live in the country, especially with my health issues, but I am not a person who lets fear rule my days. If I am going to be sitting at home on a regular basis, I'd rather do that sitting in an environment that is soothing and fun.

Of course, I'm not able to get outside every day, but the time I am outdoors is filled with wonderful fun that feeds my spirit!

Yesterday, I planted seeds in pots so they can get a head-start for transplanting into the main vegetable garden. I played outside with the dogs, throwing the ball too many times to count. I hand-spread Rye seed over approximately three acres of land, and I enjoyed every step I took.

Every day is a new adventure. Granted, I might not feel too adventurous each day, but the adventure is eagerly waiting for me outside my front door, and that makes me feel great! For me, being in nature is my's free, it's beautiful, and it's ever-changing. Also, nature responds to our treatment...when nurtured, it gives you gifts, such as flowers or veggies.

All around me, I see and feel God's presence. I think that God is gracious to give us such free beauty to remind us that all things have a cycle...nothing stays the same. That proof can provide hope in every situation.

More than ever, I appreciate the forest, especially because of the extra stress in life.
So, I will again try to share both the good and the bad of life, which includes living compatibly with Addison's disease.