Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Friday, June 10, 2011

My first day unemployed

Stomach issues that I always assume are to be blamed on my Meds, were probably a little bug yesterday.  I had a headache followed by stuffiness and then......well.... lets just say I spent a lot of time in the, well you know.  

The animals sensed something was not the same yesterday so went into a panic that I would not remember to feed them and so they all ganged together and woke me at 5.  I tried to roll over and go back to sleep, but they were extremely insistent.  I got up and fed the inside animals (dogs and cats) that are really in and out animals and then went back to a restless sleep for almost 3 more hours. 

I got up around 8, fixed myself some Irish oatmeal and headed out to feed the chickens and my bunnies.  I really only consider that I have 2 bunnies, Bunny and ZB.  ZB is short for zebra because this is a sort of a gold and white splotchy bunny with black spots on one side and black stripes on the other.  Judy called it a calico and I think her description is more accurate then my zebra one.  Nevertheless, his name remains ZB.  I give the bunnies scratch, birdseed, bread pieces and watermelon to go along with their rabbit chow and of course the run of my yard and gardens.  I told Mary that I feed them so they will not eat my garden.  She said, "Yeah right."  And no, it does not stop them from eating the most tender and beloved of my plants in the garden, totally aneallating my  veggie garden.  I know that, I like feeding them because Bunny comes right up to me.  These are generations away from the domesticated rabbits that dug free of their "cage" a couple of years ago.  Most of the rabbits are feral, but a couple like Bunny and ZB hang out with the rest of the family and so are given the special treatment.  

However, they did not feel so "special" when I did not come out to feed them until after 8.  And the chickens were all pacing at the door making their chicken noises of disapproval to me.  They get the same breakfast as the bunnies, and they are spoiled so that Zora Neal gave me a good talking to when I finally got around to feeding them.  I knew she was perturbed with me, so I had put an extra scoop of birdseed for her.  Yes, I spoil my "kids" terribly, and they definitely rule the roost (hee hee) but chickens, rabbits, dogs, cats, fish, birds, squirrels, whatever, I love having them near me.  I love that I have been tamed and they have tamed me the same way that the fox and Little Prince tamed each other.

Time flew by and Ms Moon was there then Ms Judy and off the three of us drove in the toy with the top down.  And we looked good.  We laughed and talked had lunch at the Mexican Café.  Note to self.  Please stop ordering their chili rellanoses, they have meat in them.

We went to see the doctor.  The dear and wonderful genius Dr. M.  A talented healer and scientist with just the right blending of each.  A man who is fighting harder for my life then I am.  I looked into his eyes and I saw a tired man.  But I also saw a father and loving husband excitingly anticipating the birth of his daughter, and he is a scientist, constantly seeking a better treatment, a new tested way that will keep me alive a little longer.  But he works hard to keep me healthy and capable and living, not just a live.  And I am almost felt guilty looking into those dark intelligent eyes and I thought I need to take better care of myself.  I need to make sure that I am living the gift that this man has worked so hard to give me.  And I can see that I am a medical challenge and he thrives on challenges.  I feel special in his eyes.  I can see the challenge and his confidence in his intelligence, curiosity and the knowledge that there are a lot of doctors like him.  Intelligent, curious men and women who are all talking together sharing their experiences.  Scientist working with these doctors and every day they are making advances in the treatments and some day possibly cures.  He had good news, hopeful news.  He had a reality check.  So with all the good news and the little bit of bad news he always looks into my eyes.  Directly into my eyes and tells me about his latest plan, analysis to the molecular level.  Tests that will be able to tell Dr. M more information about my cancer so he can give me the best treatments tested and approved.  He also reminds me that there is no going back.  There is no going back to the old-fashioned drip chemotherapy.  My body is not strong enough to take that.  The newer treatments are hard on the body also, but they are better at targeting the cancer, so you get more pro with the con. 
The only way is forward.
He is a very intelligent man.
And he has already given me more time then the other “doctor” predicted I had. 
But he can only do what we know here and now
And what they learn from the patients like me.
Others will come after me and have better treatments because I had this cancer and this doctor. 
Others have gone before me and survived brutal treatments, and because of them I am here today and living this life. 
This full and active and happy life.

So as I appreciate my place in this disease I must also keep it in my mind that I have Stage 4 Lung cancer.  Like everyone else, I have only a finite number of seconds left in this world.  Trillions of seconds left.  But knowing that I am not always going to be healthy and strong, and knowing that if I was a healthy person without these 2 incurable diseases I would hopefully have plenty of time still, statistically.  But I am a healthy person with 2 incurable diseases and statistically I have less then 5 years.  Only a fool would go against the odds. 

So I will hedge my bets and live like I only have five years.  However, I am not going to count.  I will prepare for five, but make sure that I am financially equipped to live longer. I appreciate all the prayers and wishes and hopes for a miracle.  But please, I am a miracle just like everyone else.  And I appreciate the gifts of being a miracle offer everyone.  Just live your life with a flexible plan, remember every moment like a storyteller.  And tell yourself your stories and dream of more. 

This morning I awoke rested about 7:30 and managed to stay in bed until 8 by handing out attention to each of the children on the bed.  I had been sick when I went to bed last night.  I was starting to believe I had a bug.  I knew that sometimes the growth hormone makes me feel a little queasy.  But maybe I had a bug and the shot to my immune system just jumped the bug right out of me.  I do not know, but I felt fine. 

We all had our breakfast and then I went to the post office, Winn Dixie and home to put away groceries and tidy up the house a bit.  Those ordinary things we all must do.  My friend Carolyn was coming for lunch.  Carolyn is one of the longest friendships I have had here in Monticello.  She was the one that double dog dared me to audition for Casablanca, which we both were cast in parts and have continued to be a part of the Opera House ever since. 

Lunch lasted for hours as we just talked and talked together.  No rhyme or reason, not catching up, just two friends sitting and talking.  And now I have cleaned up the kitchen finished the tossed salad for dinner and I have been writing this off and on all day.  It has been a lovely day, my first day officially retired.  A day of flexible possibilities, some taken and enjoyed, moved aside to better enjoy those chosen.  I managed to do laundry and clean up the house as well as relax and enjoy the company of a friend.  I spent time in the chicken coop with my “girls”.  That is hopeful thinking.  I keep looking at their legs trying to see who might have the first sign of spurs.  Only roosters have spurs.  I have two chickens who know they are roosters.   The bantam rooster is definitely a rooster.  Bantam mature quicker then the larger breeds, so the banti has matured to the point where there is no question.  The other rooster is one of three barred rocks.  Since I have three and one knows he is a rooster and the other 2 have no doubts about being hens.  Sometimes when I look at the babies I see spurs on all of them, other times none.  I will just have to be patient to wait and see.

Yesterday before the doctor’s appointment Mary, Judy and I walked around downtown.  Thomasville is just lovely, sweet, and friendly and the perfect place to wander around for an hour or so.  And one of our favorite spots to window shop is the bookstore.  I found Hank’s birthday present there.  I hope he likes it.  I enjoyed it so much I bought the same for myself.  I can’t say anything more, because it would be just my luck that Hank would come to my site and see what his present is.  That would spoil the surprise.  I hope I remember to tell you about it after Hank’s birthday.  Hee hee, it made Ms Moon and I laugh out loud, then Ms Judy came over and laughed too.

Laughing with friends.
Presents for friends. 
Two things that make life worthwhile.

And so I have now had two days of pre-retirement to prepare for today.  And I have survived my first day of retirement.  I have enjoyed my first day of unemployment.  The first step on the new journey.  A day just like so many days I have had before, but different. 
Good different.

And this evening, just like last night, quiet, at home, maybe early to bed.  I slept so well last night that I was “sound” asleep and missed the phone. Hee hee
I thought that was funny when I first thought of it. Hee hee

Tonight was the bed race in downtown for the Monticello Watermelon Festival.  The big weekend will be next week, but they have had activities going on for a week or more.  I have not participated in any of the festivities.  I am not good with crowds.  And I have been preoccupied with retirement and my health.  I will miss the Children’s program at the Opera House.  This will be the first time I will have missed most of these kids show.  I have watched them grow up on that stage, and I am disappointed to miss this show.  Sarah is Harriet the Unhappy Hippopotamus.  There is a lot of talent in these shows.  I hope at least some of them transition to the Stage Company.  We can use these talented kids and they will be the next generation who will eventually take over the Company when we of this generation move out.  It will be fun to be any part of that transition.

I leave Wednesday to head down to Dad’s for the trip.  I am getting excited.  I think I have everything I need except a jacket of some kind.  Preferably water resistant and warm enough for early summer in The Netherlands, but light enough to wear on the plane. 

And now my first weekend retired.  I bet it will be a lot like most other weekends.  And Carolyn and I talked about all the things I can get involved in.  The sewing group, the book club, the vegetarian monthly luncheon, The Y in Thomasville, kayaking, having lunch in Tallahassee with friends.  Have dinner with friends.  Life like before I was retired, only with less work.  More time for me.  I will try the different things and try them on.  See if they are really, what I want to do.  Maybe some will fit.  Maybe some will fit some of the time.  But I need to make sure to leave time to be a hermit.  I think of myself as a social hermit.  I hide half the time and I play with my friends the other half.  I like my quiet and alone time.  I like my time sitting in my red chair reading a book, or filling the pages of this blog with so many words.  So many words.  Thoughts and emotions released to the ether, off my chest out of my mind.  Written down to remember who I am and the life I have had when the time comes that I cannot live this life as fully as now. 
But for now
Life is good.


  1. I loved reading this. I love you more, though.

  2. There's something in your heart to be alone by yourself. So I hope you do lots of that...

  3. Love you. Miss you.
    - Melissa K.