It has been just over a month since I last wrote and believe it or not, this is the first week that I have been mentally able to write. In late August a PET-CT revealed no cancer had resurfaced. Then on the 27th of August I under went what the doctors termed “day surgery” that lasted two and a half hours while they removed scar tissue from the first surgery and radiation, and the turbinates in both sides of my nasal passages in an effort to open everything up so I could breathe. And, yes, the surgery was a resounding success. I can breathe like seldom before. It feels like a wind tunnel up there.
For some reason I was equating day surgery with minor surgery, and minor surgery this was not. They put me on a 14 day antibiotic and steroid program which was fine for the first 10 days, but as they were weaning me off the steroids, things changed and I physically went down hill from there. From the beginning I spent a lot of time napping, but that changed to most of the time. I tried to golf and did not have the strength or coordination to do it, so finally gave up for the year. I had to stop driving as I was having trouble staying awake just driving to town. Then I caught a cold, followed by the sinus infection returning. Last week I came down with the flu which I didn’t think was even going around. For about a week I was either on the couch or in my recliner, not sure whether I was going to live or die, and not really caring which one would win. Finally turned the corner Sunday afternoon and now feel like I can start the road to recovery once again.
It has been a frustrating year in that I thought by this time I would be well on my way to being back to full strength, but instead am back to square one and starting all over again. In looking back I see that I probably overdid it after the first surgery, and again after the radiation, but this time will be different. I am just not able to do much physically and that was one of the reasons I put the clubs away for the year, just to avoid the temptation. I am doing as little as possible and trying to be smart when I do anything. I am taking plenty of naps and trying to eat something every meal even though most of the time I don’t feel like eating.
This year we are heading South earlier than ever. In the 36 years we have been on this farm we have only missed one Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrating it here with the family. This year will be the second time. I came to the realization that I do not have the strength to deal with winter in November and December. So we will be pulling out of here October the 25th or 26th, and parking at Randy and Lani’s in Portland until after Thanksgiving. I have a doctor appointment on 10-28, and then Jeri and I fly out to Hawaii on 10-31 where we will spend the first three weeks of November at my sister and brother-in-law’s condo at Waikoloa beach on the Big Island. We are doing this on my doctor’s advice as he says the salt water will be great for my nose. Seriously, that’s what he said! Unfortunately, I don’t think the IRS will by into it as a medical deduction.
We will spend Thanksgiving in Portland with part of the family and friends, then head to California for December. After that, not sure.
This past Sunday our Pastor preached on Chapter 33 of Numbers. In this chapter are recorded the many campsites where the nation of Israel stopped during the 40 years they wandered in the wilderness. He related how his family had spent time camping and remembered some campsites were very enjoyable and others not so much. He shared that life is made up of many campsites, places where we have lived and how each has made an impact on our lives. As I look back over my life and the many places God has provided as campsites, most have been enjoyable. Jeri and I have been camped here on the ranch for 36 years now, and during that time we have experienced some deep and dark valleys and some incredible mountain top highs.
With everything that has happened this year, we are wondering if God is preparing us to start packing and be ready to move to another campsite. We are going to wait until we return in the spring and see what my health is like before making any decisions. God has always made things crystal clear in the past when we were suppose to move on and I expect no less this time. So Jeri and I will be ever alert for those signs and until we see them clearly, we will continue to stay here and enjoy the elk and deer, the hawks and eagles, the coyotes and turkeys, the wide open spaces and peace and quiet, things most people dream about. Yes, we have been blessed beyond our wildest dreams.