Merry? Ha. In the scary month of May...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Depending on your profession, this month may (ha, couldn't resist) or may not be a really hectic one. To be honest, the older I get the crazier all the months seem to become; do yours? May is when educational employees spend the majority of their time peeling children off the ceiling and wearing out their knees over same (lotta prayer going on there ;o) For those of you who think it "must be nice" to have your summers off, I will say that I can remember having that very same covetous thought. Prior to the diagnosis of DD's hearing loss and my career change, I was a *cough* civilian. I can remember thinking how very lucky teachers were to have all that wonderful time off. Well ahahaha, now I get it (boy do I).  People in the educational field often question their own sanity (present company included) at least twelve times a day. Look where I was with my student this week [photo inset]. Now picture a gymnasium full of fifth graders all learning to shoot a bow and arrow. Yep, gotta be a real nut case to do this job. Summer breaks. Are you kidding? We need all that off time to fit in all those therapy sessions with our shrinks...
Not only is this the last month of school, but it is also time for my very last oncology appointment (I hope). This July, I will be five years out from my cancer. I think that the first and the last appointments have to be the scariest. The first simply because you cannot get your brain around the fact that YOU actually have cancer. The excellent health you thought you had has poofed and you find yourself suddenly facing multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and all kinds of other horrible and heinous things that you must do if you want to live for any length of time. Wondering why I'd worry about the last? Because I am almost there; so close to the big anniversary it's scary. There's also the happy thought that since I was "young" (40), the chances of a recurrence are much higher than if I had been 60 or 70. Rather like giving up your security blanket, I guess (although I'm sure Shadow would let me borrow his ;o)
The further out you get from the initial diagnosis without a recurrence [and the first five years are the diciest] the better your long-term chances of survival. That is provided something else doesn't get you first. The oft-touted percentage of survivors in the high 90s sounds awesome, except that it's only good for five years AND only counts those patients whose death was direct result of their cancer. In other words, if you died during reconstructive surgery, got pneumonia or had a heart attack because of the damage to your system from the chemo, or died at five years and one week, it doesn't count (can you say majorly manipulated statistics?? *rolls eyes*).  I can't help but remember that Elizabeth Edwards [whose husband is a PUTZ] was originally diagnosed with her cancer in 2004 which returned with a vengeance in 2009 just shy of that five year anniversary. I'm praying hard that God will not ask me to walk that particular path again but His will not mine, right? Between the residual fallout from the medications like arthritis, a defective Vegas nerve (digestion), heart blips, etc. and the ongoing aftermath from the muscle disease, plus Fibromyalgia and Raynauds Phenomenon, I'd really like to think I have the medical bases pretty well covered, don't you think? Yeesh ;o)
Things aren't always what they seem, as I'm sure you already know. With that in mind, [and a bit of irony I found funny] I just had to add this little clip I shot of the Girls while we were working on the patio roof. There's nothing so peaceful as a herd of horses grazing on a nice sunny day. A gentle breeze upon the air, tails swishing lazily to and fro...

Appearances Can Be Deceiving from Jen on Vimeo.
Temperatures included, we are definitely getting warmer around here. The almost patio still gets a cheesy grin each time I walk out the door (last post). It will be curing for the next couple of weeks before we can give it a nice rustic finish (and I'm SO ready *bounce*bounce*bounce*)
Before I forget, thanks again to Ann of Anns Snap Edit Scrap, not only for accepting the request to be Epic Farms' very own Digital Diva (didn't know it came with a title, did you girl? *grin*), but also for her help with our fundraiser and mentioning us today on her beautimous blog. We would also like to say thank you to Duke for letting us borrow his mom's creative genius from time to time, so -
Many, many thanks to you both!!
Well, I'm sure that's more than enough of me for another week. Hope yours is wonderfully blessed (even though sometimes those blessings come disguised as character building lessons ;o) Take care!


  1. Oh my goodness ~ that video is funny ~ what a difference the nice tranquil music makes!!

    I am so happy that you are celebrating your 5 years coming up ~ that is a wonderful thing!

    Sending you a big hug today Jen!
    xo Catherine

  2. Catherine: Isn't that funny? DH was cutting the metal for the roof; that thing sure is LOUD. I really expected the Girls to scatter when he started cutting (I was going to use the clip on my body language lens to show the startle/flight response *laugh*). Thanks for the hug and the happy ;o)

  3. I had to laugh at the difference a bit of music makes, you're gonna give Hollywood a run for its money now, LOL!
    I'm still praying for you, and I know God will keep you in his hands and keep you safe :)
    ACK! Fundraiser! I missed that post! If you get a sec, send me the info and I'll blog about it!!!

  4. Great video, you gave me my laugh for the day.
    Hooray for your 5 year mark. My sister in law was just recently diagnosed and has gone through chemo. Right now they are saying she is in remission so fingers are crossed.
    Thanks for the title. I like the sound of digital diva :) My blog is wearing it's lovely badge with pride. I have it linked to the Epic farms website and I was going to put a link to your blog too but couldn't figure out how to do that.

  5. Meghann: I have to admit it tickled me watching it play back with all that noise in the background (a great bit of irony there *grin*). You didn't miss any fundraiser information yet (I'm not even sure if I'll put this one online or not - I'm still percolating ;o)
    Ann: Glad it gave you a giggle; sometimes we need a little silly to start the day, don't we? Hopefully your SIL will stay in remission (that seems to be the best we can do so I guess we'll take it).
    Want me to make you a badge for the blog link Madam Diva? Say the word, and it's yours *grin* ;o)

  6. Liked the video. I'm wishing you all the best on your last visit. I'm sure it will all go fine and you will be able to celebrate.

  7. GreyHorse: Glad you liked the video, and thanks for the vote of confidence (I'll take it! *grin*).

  8. Your horses being so unfazed by the noise is a real tribute to you, that was brilliant. Keeping my fingers crossed and sending some prayers for you about your health. You are very inspiring you know, that you have all that to deal with and just get on with life anyway. I wish more people would copy your attitude.

    By the way, how do you show your horses something they are scared of is OK? Until recently I would walk up to the object myself (leave my horse where he was), touch/kick/stand on it, tell him it was OK & walk off. Have realised this might make me look a bit suicidal to him, so now I just look at the potential monster with him, tell him it's ok and walk off. I want to do what makes sense to the horse, because a dare-devil maniac wouldn't inspire any confidence in me!

  9. Clancy: Thank you for the lovely compliments *blush* and especially for the prayers - I'll take all of those I can get (I'm a bit of a weenie, dont'cha know :o) I try to give the horses a heads up if we are going to be making loud noises (although I don't always remember to do this).
    As to the training question; I started with things I could hold in my hands (say a pom-pom shaker for example). The horses are always loose; never do stuff like this with them tied. I'd take a step or two towards the horse and back up a step or two when they became uncomfortable - watch carefully for the head to come up slightly, indicating nervousness. Moving away allows them to stay in place and gives them a reassuring measure of control (if you keep going they'll back away and you don't want that). Then I'd watch for curiosity to take over (it always does) offer the object again to sniff/touch. If they weren't ready, I'd take another step back. They'd usually end up following me for a few steps before actually touching it.
    They would eventually just have to sniff/touch it and then I'd give lavish praise and a treat. I do use the words "It's okay" to let them know it is not time to panic; actually, the horse being scared is not the problem it's what they DO about it that can get dangerous (for the most part the Girls now all look at me to see if it's time to flee the scene; sometimes it can be pretty funny when they all look at me like "Are we scared?" *laugh*).
    I always use the same steps and the same words "touch it" or "it's okay". For bigger stuff, I try to stand by it and speak in a calm and reassuring manner (and they still get a treat reward for the first touch). Does that help you?
    Let me throw this in too: If they are very scared of whatever, you will get some snorting and/or head bobbing as body language. This is why it's important to start slowly and use small things that you can be successful with. The more successes you have, the easier it will be for your horse to trust you in more difficult situations (and forgive you when you have a Claudia Klutz moment and accidentally bonk them with a little tin pie plate or something ;o)

  10. Funny video. I love horses :)


  11. Thanks for the suggestions Jen, very helpful. :) My boy rarely runs when he sees monsters but often does Olympic quality shies. Sigh, if there was a competition for seeing who could jump furthest sideways & I could stay with him for the big ones I'm sure we'd win...

  12. Marly: Thanks for the comment; I love 'em too ;o)
    Clancy: You are welcome. "Olympic quality shies"... love it! *laugh* I've experienced a couple of those myself and am always surprised afterward that I am still sitting up there.

Your comments really brighten my day!

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