Sunday, February 20, 2011

This Week I Learned

'A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strength; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognises your disabilities but emphasises your possibilities' - William Arthur Ward

It has been some time since we have spent a day at home; I have missed being online. Haydn is determined to purchase a motor vehicle to replace the Mitsubishi Pajero 4WD as quickly as possible. He is very aware that not having a second vehicle adds to my feelings of isolation. The plan to sell the Pajero in order to free up some cash was not well thought through; as retirees our expenses exceed our income. Thankfully, we receive a regular income from the complex containing 5 industrial sheds. There is also a superannuation fund that we endeavour not to touch. It is possible to spend the income should it be necessary. Haydn is mindful of the cost of health care in this country; there will always be money put aside should we need it. We plan to use some of the money from the sale of the vehicle for holidays. In the 15 years we have been together, we have had one week away, apart from a wonderful honeymoon in Tasmania in 1996. No! We are definitely not living the 'high' life. Quite simply, farming 67 hectares does not produce income. Haydn has worked and saved all his life. The fruits of his labour are obvious when you drive onto the farm. He is doing what he loves. I am thrilled to see him have this opportunity.

The Nissan Maxima, as winner of Wheels Car of the Year for the past two years, caught Haydn's eye; we have now made the discovery there are very few second-hand vehicles available. We have been 'on the go' and online for over a month. Finding low kilometres, with full service history, is almost impossibility! Fleet vehicles are' hit and miss' when it comes to service. Haydn is of the 'old' school and changes the oil every 5,000 kilometres. As a result of this we have travelled to Sydney twice in the past week. Along with other activities, including looking at every car lot in Newcastle/Lake Macquarie, it seems to have caught up with me. As a result, I decided to take a 'raincheck' on lunch with my Breast Cancer Support Group today. I spent a leisurely day at home which included time for meditation. It was all about 'me!'

At last! I am getting to the thought behind today's post! Yesterday I learned that IT IS possible to make a huge contribution with an almost useless right hand. We called into a shopping centre on the Central Coast for lunch and some groceries. As I was paying for my things I observed Haydn who stood transfixed, eyes on the check-out operator, who managed to 'swing' a three litre bottle of milk, a  six pack of yogurt and all other groceries into the plastic bag with her left hand. She had somehow managed to open the bag with an almost useless right hand. I watched, inspired and fascinated, determined to come home and do better myself. In fact it is my intention to call the store in order to see if it is possible to speak personally to this young woman. I would like to know if she is naturally left handed or has she developed these skills in order to 'survive' in this, sometimes, tough world?  She was amazing!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Your Heavenly Body

'The most beautiful system [The Universe] could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being' - Isaac Newton

Ever wonder what your heavenly body will be like? The Bible gives us three answers to the questions. 'How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?' First, it speaks of anatomy:'...Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another, fish another.' (1 Corinthians 15:35 NIV)

Just as fish are designed to handle the pressures of the ocean and birds are designed to fly, your heavenly body will be custom-made for eternity. (Imagine travelling not merely at the speed of light, but the speed of thought!) Next it speaks of astronomy: The sun has one kind of splendour, the moon another and the stars another; star differs from star in splendour. So will it be with the resurrection of the dead...' (1 Corinthians 15:41 NIV) There will be degrees of honour and differences of reward when we get to Heaven. Your service now  is what determines your status then 'God' will give to each person according to what he has done.' (Romans 2:6 NIV) Finally, it speaks of agriculture....'it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.' (1Corinthians 15:43 NIV) It's said the old Saxon word for cemetery means 'God's acre.' How wonderful; Christians don't get buried, they get planted!

There's a Bulletin Board in the Mayo Clinic which reads:
'Cancer is limited: it cannot cripple love, it cannot shatter hope, it cannot erode faith, it cannot eat away peace, it cannot destroy confidence, it cannot kill friendship, it cannot shut out memories, it cannot silence courage, it cannot invade the soul, it cannot reduce eternal life, it cannot quench the spirit and it cannot lesson the power of the resurrection.

This information, given to me by a friend, was taken from:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Is it a 'Cause for Concern?'

The NSW coal mining industry has enjoyed a period of extraordinary growth over the past few years 
'A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses.'

Coal prices have risen on the back of increased demand from China. Higher prices have stimulated investment in the NSW coal industry. There have been a number of new mining developments, or major expansions, to existing mines. Several of these are in close proximity in the Hunter Valley. Is this then a cause for concern?

I do not believe that my breast cancer has anything to do with  the mining industry. I do believe that there are potential health risks associated with mining. I will go so far as to say though that there does appear to be a cancer 'cluster' right here in this area with its magnificent views. Looking across the Allyn Valley, at times, we see the haze from the mines. Our home is not in close proximity to any of the homes on the six adjoining properties. Being a rural area, we live on 67 hectares, or almost 200 acres for those not familiar with the metric system. Of the six adjoining properties, at least one person in each of five of them has, or has had, cancer. Last year we attended funeral services for two of them. Although Haydn has owned the land for 20 years, we have been residents for less than three years

Apart from information gleaned from local papers, I have done no research into potential health risks associated with mining. I did find it interesting that the couple that looked at the property last weekend stated emphatically that, although the husband works in the mines, he will not live anywhere near them. After their first inspection, they have said they can see themselves living here.

My relationship with Haydn is not an issue; fortunately the lines of communication have been opened. There has been a huge shift! At 64 years of age, he is prepared to sell acreage that he has lovingly tended for 20 years in order to give me the opportunity to return to the city. This would enable me to spend time with friends and seek treatment as necessary. Is it the right thing to do at this stage? The more interest in the farm the people show, the higher my stress levels. I have shed tears of frustration this past week knowing that Haydn was put in the same position many years ago when his first wife became ill. I do not believe it is right for him to go through it again!

A huge 'Thank You' for your response to my previous post and your compliments on our home and view.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Our First Inspection

At the time the house was built it was going to be our 'dream' home.

The kitchen is a 'dream' in which to work.

The ensuite has windows facing both north and south making it 'perfect' for a morning bath
The view and verandah; perfect for Al Fresco dining

 Crossing the cattle grid and heading home

The view 365 days of the year

Beauty surrounds us

Haydn loves his cattle which are Red Angus or Red Angus/Devon cross

'Contemplation often makes life miserable.
We should act more, think less and stop watching ourselves live.'
-Chamfort ~French playwright 1741 to 1794

Since retiring, and having to face the reality of the recurrence of my breast cancer, it seems I have been wearing myself out thinking. Yes! There have been many challenges but none that I have not been given the strength to endure. At last it has begun to 'sink' in that my fatigue is due, in part, to overthinking! I have made the decision that, in order to become more proactive, it is necessary to open the lines of communication between Haydn and myself. After 15+ years you would have thought that was a lesson learnt.

As mentioned in a previous post, I hadve been questioning, of late, my relationship with Haydn. We have come a long way in a short time since doing more talking! The past two weeks have seen many 'issues' resolved. I am so very grateful to 'The King' (his 'nickname' in my previous blog) for being 'open' to ideas and ready to make changes. I have suggested there may be things that I do that get under his skin. If so, he needs to bring them out into the open.

The King coasts along which, in reality, is 'cool.' I now realise that he offers me another type of 'unconditional' love. We enjoy a love that endures in spite of unfavourable circumstances. We spoke yesterday of the many relationships that fail when the going gets tough. In our case, we simply  get going and just keep on keeping on. Admittedly, there are certain behaviours that cause me some angst, however, that is not who Haydn is. I have learnt from him!

Now back to the reason for the post. At the end of September the farm was listed for sale. As a result, it is no longer under contract; it was a 90 day contract. There was not one inspection until today, when that changed. We had our first inspection! The verdict - it is hard not to like!!! We wait, in anticipation, for a second inspection.

We have learnt in life that 'things work out best for people who make the best of the way things work out.' - Author Unknown

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What does it Mean?

'Half of what I say is meaningless; but I say it so that the other half may reach you.'
- Kahlil Gibran
Somehow I cannot help but feel that darkness has surrounded me for longer than I would like. I have taken a step forward in search of the love, light and laughter that was once my very being. This will be a brief post; to keep Indigo Dreaming alive.

Tomorrow I see my doctor and will be asking him about my test results. I do not wish to feel overly excited, however, I look forward in anticipation to the possibility that he may be able to make a phone call on my behalf. It would be wonderful to learn the outcome of the tests prior to 24 February.

It seems I have not become totally absorbed with my own problems; I am in receipt of an email that has humbled me. I consider the outcome a Gift from God. Shortly after Jeremy's accident I was fortunate to learn of Memorial web sites. I felt that setting one up would give me an interest and also provide the perfect opportunity to keep my son's memory alive. While looking at other sites I realised graphics were being done to enhance the sites; I had no idea how to go about making them! I became aware that as my photos were not digital, I had to work out how to scan them to give me images to work with. It is amazing to see just what can be achieved by a very determined Mother mourning the loss of a much loved child. Jezz would be proud of me!It all seems so long ago! I became involved with a group called Angel Families Online where I formed the most amazing friendships and received all the help I needed. In the process, I learned to do simple graphics while finding others who willingly gave up their time to assist me. The result can be seen here:

Many Memory-of friends are also FaceBook friends. I feel sure the writer of the following email will not mind that I have chosen to share it with you. She writes, (in part only:)

 'I always went to your son's page because he was a so special. God sent him to you and he was your 'miracle' baby. I have seen the pics of the whole breast procedure on fb and it brought tears to my eyes.  I have a mass on my left breast. I ignored going to specialist until seeing this. You have taught me a lesson.'

I have chosen to share just a small portion of this email, rather than keep it private. It is my intention for readers to seek counsel thus providing a plan of action and appropriate treatment. It is important to understand that early intervention usually provides better outcomes. 'There is nothing to fear but fear itself.'

P.S. My doctor proved himself to be worth his weight in gold today. A quick phone call and my results were on his computer screen ready for viewing. My bone scan does not show any bony metastases which is good news for me.  CT Scan not as clear. There appears to be a 6mm node with poorly defined margins in the right neck. There is also an enlarging nodule in the right pectoralis now measuring 18mm. There is also a rounded 12mm nodule at the medial edge of the scar which has changed. Suspicious change in the area of the right inferior lung which may reflect further benign change or small new mass. Whew!!!!!

So my dear friends, having decided that my doctor's room will, in future, be used as a crying room I can start anytime. This is not necessarily news I wanted to hear, however, it is not something I will unduly concern myself with until I have the opportunity to discuss my condition with my oncologist. At the end of the day, I am still waiting for my appointment on 24 February. And. I did survive January 2011!

My love and gratitude to all. Chez xo