One down . . .
Yesterday marked the official beginning of my week off. I completed three treatments of cycle one a week ago Thursday, I'm resting this week and will begin again next Thursday, the 13th. It feels good to have a set behind me! Things haven't gone as well as I had hoped, but, I did start in a very weakened condition after all the stomach problems. Fortunately, my appetite has improved and it seems I gain a little more strength each day.
Tuesday night I was sitting in the shower shampooing my hair when I realized I was beginning to have as much in my hands as I did on my head or so it seemed. Liz asked what I wanted to do and I didn't hesitate to tell her, "Let's get rid of it." We decided to take advantage of the situation and explain to the children what was happening and invite them to watch. The two youngest girls were sad, particularly Meredith, but the more their dad shaved the more they grinned and told me that I looked like their dad. (They have never seen him with hair.) Honestly, it was freeing to shave it off. It's one of those things that you know is probably coming because the medicine destroys cells--both good and bad. Losing your hair is a definite sign that cells are being destroyed. I have promised the girls that we'll have a wig try on session and we have that to look forward to.
This was to be the summer that we took full advantage of being in the country and having space around us, but of course, I changed that plan a bit. We have talked about the best place for a garden, what to plant and how we'd take care of it. It had been decided that we'd begin with a couple of raised beds and start gradually. So, we have tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers growing in the beds and herbs that I had already planted in pots around my patio door.
The chickens are thriving--all thirty of them and all of them will probably be laying before summer is over. How nice to have farm fresh eggs from free range chickens. We did discover, however, that a couple of roosters got included in the last batch and haven't decided exactly what we'll do with them. About six weeks ago we lost three chicks when something got in the coop through a hole in the fence and something like a hawk or fox got one of the hens. One solution was to get a dog to help protect the chickens, the property and family members. Jacob researched and found that a Great Pyrenees was what we needed. Two weeks ago he and Tommy drove to north Georgia to purchase the cutest ball of fur you have ever seen! She is adapting well to us and her surroundings. I do love a big dog!
Produce has begun to come in in the local markets and our "Paw Paw's Garden Market" down the road shows lots of promise. We have already had new potatoes, yellow squash and green beans. In fact, last Saturday Liz came home with BAGS of beans--she has some deal going to trade eggs for veggies or at least get a reduced price. Neither Tommy nor Liz had ever canned in a pressure cooker before so I walked and talked them through the process the first time and by the third cooking they were doing it on their own. There are 18 quarts of fresh snap beans sitting on my counter waiting to be stored for winter. Yum! One of the fun facts is that the pressure cooker is the one my mother used in the early forties, she gave it to Tom and me, we replaced the gasket and ordered a new manual and now a third generation is using it again.
I hope this week to feel strong enough to walk out to see the garden and putter around the kitchen some. Marty and her boys are coming the next week and a grandmother wants to be ready. My prayer is always for healing, but on a moment by moment basis, I pray for strength. Fatigue plagues me. Right after I let folks know what was going on I received a Facebook post from Chris Patterson that simply stated Philippians 4:13. It was a powerful reminder and one that I say to myself every morning, along with a "thank you" for Chris's presence in my life.
Enough "farm talk" for now. As always, I am grateful for your prayers and continued concern.