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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

In Oklahoma, from about the middle of April until About September, we are in “Storm Season”.  Meaning, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.  (I don’t mind the thunderstorms but really hate the tornadoes!)  Included in the thunderstorms are HIGH damaging winds (60 mph+), HAIL, and, again, tornadoes.  These weather phenomenons also coincide with the summer wheat harvest which brings much stress to the wheat farmers in our state.!

This last storm, almost a week ago, was a doozie!  There was a trail of (3) HUGE storms coming from the NW towards my house and then another one coming from the SW.  As I was watching the radar on the tv and listening to the minute-by-minute reports by our dramatic meteorologists, I became a little concerned.  But there was nothing I could do about the 2 biggest storms, coming from 2 different directions, colliding (at what seemed like to me anyway) RIGHT ABOVE MY HOUSE!  The storms had caused the TV signal to die so I had no real way of knowing what was going on….with our my favorite weather man telling me and showing me when to get out of my house!  The minute the storm got too bad to go outside, the darned tornado sirens when off….sheesh….I was really scared!  The wind was blowing the rain horizontally and I was fearful that the wind was going to rip my roof right off my house with me in it!  I shoved me and the dog in the bathroom and watched out the window…..Here’s what we saw…(this is out the back door before it got REALLY bad! You can hear the weather guys in the background) Please, also, notice the golf ball sized hail….fortunately it didn’t last long and my roof is okay.

2012 summer storm  (you’ll have to follow the link for the video….can’t figure out how to get it imbedded into my post….arrrrg!!)

Rusty doesn’t like storms….and until the next morning with the storms finally subsided, I often found him here…. (there have been so many storms lately that he has started refusing to sleep in his kennel and stuffs himself under my bed!)

Fortunately, for me, the only damage caused by the storm was my elm tree.

Although the trees looks rather dramatic, the reality is that it was old, had been struck by lightning, and was diseased and rotting….It was just a matter of time that it fell.  The great thing was that it fell perfectly in my yard without blocking my driveway or falling on any of my neighbor’s vehicles (of which there are MANY)

I thought that the tree looked a lot like a dragon….about to shoot flames from his mouth…

with it’s jagged teeth…

But this shows how truly weakened the tree had become….(this is looking straight down into where the trunk should have been)

I had MANY tree “companies” stop by my house asking to be hired to take the tree down.  It was AMAZING how fast they showed up!

The morning after the storm was VERY cool and damp.  But as the sun came out and began warm everything, we had the coolest steam…

Here it is on my neighbor’s roof…

and here it is on my fence…

A few days later, my Nephews heroes….came with chainsaws and dismantled the beast…

Boys and their toys!  LOLOLOL

So…this…

slowly (well, in about 45 minutes)

 

 

turned into this….

and this…

All that’s left is the huge hole where the trunk SHOULD have been…

I’m thankful the tree is safely down, and that I have have 3 strapping young nephews who were willing to give up a Saturday morning to play ax-men and cut it into pieces that the city will haul off in a few days.  Even though the storm was REALLY bad and that it affected MANY farmer’s wheat crop,  I feel very fortunate and thankful!

 

 

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It seems forever since I’ve been on this blog.  I’m hoping since summer has arrived I’ll be more diligent and creative…..I’m ready!

Years ago I began an investment in a cancer insurance policy……and it ended up paying BIG….so….after I got myself out of some debt, put some in an investment acct and combined it with my national board money and my tax refund….I’m treating myself!

My first ‘treat’?!?!?  A new sewer line in the back yard…What ?!?!?!  you don’t think a sewer line is a treat?  Well…..NOW I won’t have to worry about having the line cleaned out…on a weekend….when the washing machine is full of wet laundry,…..believe me….it’s a treat!

 

Next, I decided the cheap rug in the living room HAD TO GO!!!!!  It was a cheap one from Walmart and it was gross, the wrong color, wouldn’t lay flat and was just down right UGLY!  But not anymore!  I had a piece of carpeting bound and put carpet pad underneath it and WOW!!!!  It’s like walking on a cloud!

I took this picture with my phone….it’s not really purple….it’s a lovely beige….

My friend Susan and I Hauled it home in my car….and there was even room for her to ride inside the car too!  LOLOL

 

There are more treats to come….I’ll keep you posted!  🙂

 

Harvest has begun in earnest in Kingfisher.  I took this pic with my phone from my car….It’s not my family but it sure was pretty as I was driving by….

Dad is really missing being in the middle of harvest this year.  He had a stroke in March that affected his vision….by brother took away his combine license.  I’m just glad he’s OK with it.

J.W. is growing like a weed…..here’s what it looks like to be 7 years old….

He has his summer haircut….the whole baseball team has the same cut….boys….LOLOL

I have started knitting again….and I’m in love with these mittens…

I see many variations of these on my needles this summer!

Goldie kept me company while I was knitting…

And Elroy tried to help….until he fell asleep while trying to play with the yarn…..such a man! LOLOL

Rusty was not thrilled with his last bath….can you tell?!?!?

 

I am finally beginning to feel better.  It’s one of those things where you don’t know how bad you feel until you feel better!?!?!?  It has taken MUCH longer than I expected to get my energy back.  I’m actually beginning to feel like my OLD self again!  It’s a good feeling!  Each year I write a handwritten note to each of my 8th grade students….tell them how much I appreciate them and love them…..When I handed them out….I cried….because I feel like I cheated them by being gone so much and feeling like crap the days I was there most of the time.  They were SO sweet…and I got LOTS of hugs that day.  Sometimes middle school kids are awesome!  I’m ready for the summer to have the time to continue getting stronger.  But I’m also ready to begin a new school year…without the weight of cancer on my heart and mind.

Happy Summer!!!

 

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This and that…

Here in OK, it has jumped quickly from a bit of winter…a very short spring to summer!!!  It’s already in the upper 80s and low 90s!!!  UGH!!!!

So, I’ve been playing in the garden a bit between school, dr. appts and the Rusty!

Since the Dr. has said “NO” to heavy gardening and yardwork….I’ve found some handsome helpers….

 

My helpers, nephews Bryan and Andy….have continued to have breakfast with me each Saturday morning.  So….I make breakfast and they do yard work!  It’s a GREAT deal for me!

They helped me plant 3 Knockout roses (dbl blooms) Last year, all three I planted died in the drought and heat wave!!  Hopefully they will survive better since we got them planted earlier!

…..and they planted a fruit-bearing fig tree.  I LOVE fresh figs and am hoping it survives and bears fruit in the next year or so!

 

I’ve been cleaning out the old junk from the garden and putting in new things!

 

 

 

The Iris bloomed over night and are about 4 foot tall….HUGE!!!

 

I also have purple and yellow blooming but it was too windy to get pictures after they bloomed : (

We also celebrated my youngest nephew’s 7th birthday.  Nothing better than turning 7!!!

Makylah made his “Lego” cake and it was adorable and delicious!!!

The potato salad was even made in his honor!  LOLOL

On the way home, the canola fields were in full bloom and beautiful.  Unfortunately, the sun was setting and the blooms were not as brilliant yellow but they were still stunning!

 

What a GREAT weekend!!!

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In a word….I’m REALLY GOOD!!  (ok that was 2 words…..LOL)

It has been so fun to celebrate, not only the completion of my treatment, but also, getting back to “normal”.  I’ve had some wonderful friends who have treated me to some wonderful meals and lots of laughter.

As I’ve been looking back, I realized that my yearly mammogram was Sept. 6, a 2nd mammogram 2 weeks later followed by the biopsy and finally the diagnoses of breast cancer on September 28.  After that was surgery, and finally treatment.  Everything happened in a matter of 4.5 months…..18 weeks.  WOW!!!  No wonder my life felt like a whirlwind!  At times I was really impatient….wanting Doctors to hurry things along….wishing the healing was faster.  My good friend, Jayma, a colon cancer survivor, kept telling me it would all happen at the right time.  She was SO right…and I’m thankful she was there to remind me…often.

The last week and a half of treatment was rather brutal.  I ended up at home and in bed for 6 days.  And I’m thankful that my Mom could stay with me for a few days.  I couldn’t have made it without her.

It’s been 2 weeks (and 2 days….to be exact) since my last treatment and I’m happy to say that I feel REALLY GOOD!  All the burns have healed over.  The skin is still healing but I can wear clothes and don’t have to use the stinky salve anymore!  I’m beginning to be myself at school again.  Even my students have noticed!  My sense of humor is returning….just ask my 7th grade girls choir…..who taught me how to “Dougie” yesterday.  I was pretty bad but we all had a good laugh and that felt sooooooo good!!!!

I’ve started my “boot camp” workout again….sort of.  My friend, Steve, who is my trainer, is only allowing me to walk.  The first time we met (last Friday) I tried to convince him to let me do a bit more than walk…..he refused.  So I agreed to “just walk” for 20 minutes.  By the time we finished I was literally dragging my feet.  I hated to admit that he was right.  He’s been very protective of me…and I appreciate it.  I’m following his instructions and I’m feeling stronger each week.  Maybe by the end of the February I can start lifting weights again!

I feels wonderful to regain my strength, both physically and mentally!!!

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Just a glimmer….

I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I started radiation treatments on Tuesday.  I have 30 total…..and I’ve finished 3 as of today!  The nurses, technicians and staff at the center are just awesome.  So kind, compassionate and caring.  It makes having to go everyday so much easier.  The best part is that they have free valet parking…which I have used when it was really, really cold.  I plan to use it whenever the weather is bad.

Wednesdays are the long days.  After the treatment (which I failed to mention only lasts about 10 minutes) I have to check in with Dr. Radiation to just be sure everything is going ok.  And after 3 treatments, everything is OK.  I’ve been told that the skin reactions are supposed to show up after a couple of weeks.  I don’t think it will take my skin that long…..it’s already starting to be uncomfortable.

Each day is one day closer to being finished.  I’m looking forward to Christmas Break when I don’t have to get up and get dressed until the afternoon treatment!

 

 

 

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Today I did something I’ve never done before.  Here’s a hint….

 

 

Our school district has raised funds for the OMRF for many, many years and this is one of the events.  I’ve never done a “fun run” before (and NO, I didn’t attempt the 5K) but it was really fun!

My school put together a team shirt…..

 

On the front they honored women in our school who have or have battled breast cancer…..

 

(the picture doesn’t show the silver print very well, but I love that it sparkles!)

I feel very honored to be supported by such wonderful people.  I consider them my school family.  I know that if I need ANYTHING….all I have to do is ask.  It’s rather humbling.

Here’s some of my friends…

It’s also quite surreal to see my name on this shirt.  Even though I am reminded daily that my life has been altered….it’s always a shock to see it in print or have to check a box on a form that says “has cancer”, or to see a friend that I haven’t seen in a while and have to say it out loud.  I’m just weird I guess.

But as Thanksgiving Day approaches….My list of things to be thankful for is quite long.  But I am….thankful for family and friends that remember to pray for me and check on me.  I am blessed!!!

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Yesterday, I had my follow up appt. with Dr. Surgeon.  The final pathology results came back as ALL CLEAR!!!  Evidently a couple of lymph nodes “lit up” with the radioactive isotopes but when they were put under the microscope….no cancer!  I am incredibly thankful and relieved! (they ended up taking a total of 5 nodes….no wonder my arm pit has been so sore!)

I also found out that the cancer was caused from estrogen and testosterone…..I was taking both replacements at the recommendation of Dr. GYN.  I believe we’ll be having a bit of a discussion next time I visit him. This also means I can NEVER use any type of replacement, synthetic or natural, to help me deal with the hot flashes or emotional roller coaster……ugh.  Dr. Surgeon said that there are some things that Dr. Oncologist could recommend.  I hope it works!!!

Now, there’s more healing time and appointment with Dr. Oncologist.  Time to move forward and put this behind me.

Thanks for all the cards, prayers, positive thoughts and friendship…..I love and appreciate them all!!!!!

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