Tuesday, July 3, 2018

What Happened to the Blog?

The Mountain Musings blog has been dormant for quite some time.  The reason lies in an unfortunate truth.  Don't worry...Lucy is just fine and thriving.  She is totally ignoring that she will be thirteen this month and we are delighted she remains in such good shape.

No, the unfortunate truth is that at the end of October I was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer.  I had major surgery and then began chemotherapy treatments four weeks later.  Because of a severely compromised immune system (and the weakness and other side effects chemotherapy brings) I was pretty much confined to our house except for medical appointments.  So I was not able to get out to photograph our lovely area.  The whole focus of my life has been on surviving the treatment and "beating" the cancer.  I have remained pretty upbeat through it all.  I figure if you are upbeat you have nothing to lose, even if the news is not good.  I definitely did not want my blog to be about cancer.  And since there was so little other focus in my life, I went dark all these months.

I completed six months of chemotherapy a few weeks ago and while I am not in anyway back to normal, I am feeling better and stronger every day.  The scans do not show any evidence of cancer.  YEAH!  Unfortunately, that does not mean there is NOT any more cancer, since the scans detect only masses and not diffuse cancer.  So I likely have more surgery and chemotherapy in my future.  Time will tell.  But for the time being, things look pretty good.

Our granddaughter has visited us and in fact is visiting us now over the Independence Day holiday.  She is totally fascinated and in love with Lucy.  At thirteen months of age she has been taught by her parents the art of "gentle touch" with their cats, and she transferred this to her dealings with Lucy as well.  The last time she visited (in May), she was not very mobile so she admired Lucy from a distance and Lucy did not have to respond.  Things are very different this time and she loves to approach and pet Lucy.  Lucy is very gentle with the baby but was initially very confused about what her role was supposed to be.  After a day or so she felt more comfortable and now feels free to walk away if she's not interested in interacting.  She does, however, station herself beneath the high chair at mealtime.  All sorts of wonderful bits of food might fall to the floor.

(Sorry about the blurry picture of the baby.  She just wouldn't stand still so I focused on the dog.)

Lucy and Friend

Smiles all around

Lucy tires of the activity and walks away

So that is our life so far.  I will not likely post on a regular basis, but I am doing well and as I can once again get out into the community and find some interesting things to post I will do so.  Meanwhile I will continue to read and enjoy your blogs.

If you are so inclined, I would appreciated petitions to the Deity of your choice on my behalf.  Or positive thoughts and good vibes will work as well.


Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how both glad I am to see a post here and sad I am to read what you have been dealing with this past year. I will send every good wish and the best healing vibes I have your way. And even for this old atheist that I am, I will beseech all the spirits of universe to heal you well and completely. Please take care, my friend. Thinking of you. P.S. Lucy and your grand-daughter are adorable!

Barbara Rogers said...

I was elated to hear from you, via comment on my blog, this morning. I've wondered what was happening in your life, having been a loyal follower of your postings in the past. So sorry you've been challenged by cancer, and all the treatments that are necessary. I know you've had the best that's available (medically) as well as lots of good love and healing energies from your friends and family. I'll certainly add mine to the mix. Welcome back! I'm looking forward to any little tidbits you care to share here.

Nance said...

Having the support of a happy and loving family and community--as I know you do--can be so pivotal as you navigate the demands of a cancer survival/recovery/battle. I will add my voice and fervent good wishes to the mix as it accumulates here.

Thank you for letting all of us know. We care.

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, no! But you have the right attitude. May all be well and all be exceeding well.

And what a beauty that granddaughter is! I know you're enjoying her -- such a blessing!

You are in my heart.

Arkansas Patti said...

I was so delighted to see your post and your comment. I had been worried that something had happened to Lucy, I had no idea you have been going through such an ordeal. I am so pleased that you have completed treatment and have gotten more of less an all clear. As a survivor my self (bladder) I know you will have to have regular screenings but my prayers are that they will all show good results.
Keep that positive attitude--it is great medicine.
Adore the picture of your grand and Lucy smiling.

Tara said...

well now, doesn't life just rise up and kick you in the pants sometimes? I'm so pleased to hear that you're done with chemo for now, and that things are looking good for now. And getting out into your community must feel so SWEET after such a long 'imprisonment.' If you don't mind my asking, what were your symptoms? I know many times women attribute the symptoms to other maladies. Every time I get a little twinge in my low abdomen, I wonder....

Our grand daughters are the same age. Mine was just here for a visit as well. What a cutie yours is! Glad she is gentle with the animals, and glad that Lucy feels free to walk away when she needs to. As much as I love my two grand children, when they leave after a visit I am exhausted.

I will repeat my chant to the Medicine Buddha for you, my friend. "May all things be well." Thank you, so much, for checking in. You have been missed.

NCmountainwoman said...

Tara - I went to the doctor because of unexplained fever and chills. The blood work and urine analysis confirmed a serious urinary tract infection. So that's what we thought the problem was. Then the chest X-ray report showed three tiny lesions which could be old scarring or could represent metastasis from a cancer elsewhere. A chest scan was ordered which would give better information than an X-ray. On the scan, the top of the left kidney was visible and showed substantial enlargement, possibly due to the infection but an abdominal scan was ordered to make certain. That scan showed a large pelvic mass encroaching the colon and ureter, leading to the kidney enlargement. So I had no symptoms that were specific to the ovarian cancer itself. The symptoms were related to the size and location of the mass Despite the relatively large size of the mass, it was not palpable during exam. After surgery to remove the abdominal mass, a lung biopsy was done on one of the tiny lesions. It had the same pathology as the cancer in the abdomen, indicating it was indeed metastasis. After chemotherapy the lung spots are gone as is the abdominal mass.

Kay G. said...

I most certainly will pray for you and I am so glad that you are doing so well! I have missed your posts with your lovely writing and gorgeous photos from your area. "Smiles all around" made me smile myself. Thank you.
Take great care of yourself and keep up your positive attitude and surround yourself with all the positive energy that you can get!

KB said...

Believe it or not, I thought of you today before I saw that you'd left a comment on my blog and that you'd posted. I thought to myself (early in the day) - I wonder if Carolyn would see it if I left a comment on her most recent blog post to say hi.

My heart fell when I saw what you'd written. Your attitude is inspirational. I am so happy to read of your most recent report. It's the best that you could have ever hoped for... and so I am glad. I will send you my good thoughts and lots of fervent wishes that you continue to heal.

I am glad to read that Lucy is doing well. She's an amazing pup... and I'm glad that she's having such a wonderful life.

Most of all, I am so happy to read of your granddaughter. Enjoy her visit!!!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Just like your other readers, I was SO happy to see you've posted. My heart dropped reading your latest health news; I'm so very sorry you're going through this, but it sounds like the worst is over. I will send lots of prayers, good mojo, and positive vibes your way. You've been missed.
Violet is just a little beauty; those eyes!!! I couldn't imagine Lucy being anything other than a good hostess while you have your little visitor. Please keep us updated.

The Bug said...

So glad to see you here! You are definitely in my prayers as you continue to navigate this phase of your life. And your granddaughter is VERY cute - love the pictures of her with Lucy.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

I came here from Patti’s post.This july marks 10 years since my cancer. Keep doing what you can and stay positive. I added an herbal tea daily for two years after my operation . I was stage 3 and refused chemo. I altered my life style totally using a very strict and limited diet to assist the immine system to fight.
I will send you lots of good positive vibes.
I love both grandbaby and Lucy.
I too have little grands and a pet.

Cheryl said...

Blessings to you my friend.
I will hold you in my thoughts and prayers as you travel an unknown path.

Such lovely images of child and dog.
Baby girl and Lucy, there is no better medication.

Stay strong my friend.

Lowcarb team member said...

Like many others who have commented, I was so pleased to see and read your post - but saddened by what it held. Yes, you have to fight this disease, and you are doing incredibly well. My thoughts and prayers are with you …

I love the photographs of Lucy and your grand-daughter.
Thinking of you and sending my good wishes.

All the best Jan

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Like so many of those who have commented, I too was delighted to find you had a left a comment on my blog post today. And, of course, I did what so many others did - stopped in to see if you had a new post. I was saddened to read of your recent dealings with ovarian cancer and uplifted to read of the treatment and your attitude. A very good friend of mine (as well as other women) was diagnosed and went through a similar operation and treatment. Like yourself, Jill has a very positive attitude and supportive group and she has also been declared cancer-free as of 2 months ago. Yes, I will be offering up prayers for you to the deity. Your granddaughter and Lucy are lovely together. Our youngest granddaughter (Lilliana) is now 18 months and has a golden lab pet named Lola.Good thoughts will be coming your way, blogger friend.

Tara said...

I'm so glad the docs chased down your health problems -- go figure, right? Fever and chills? We all get fever and chills from time to time. Who would have ever guessed? Amazing that this cancer could be so advanced and yet silent to you. You've been the recipient of excellent health providers and science. It saved your life, these medical detectives who followed this up in exactly the right way.

Thanks for sharing that information.

BTW, I was recently diagnosed with a heart problem because I had a persistent cough that I went in for. Doc just happened to do an EKG and chest xray. I've been following up on this one, too. Again, discovered purely by happenstance. It's treatable, thank goodness, but what a shock!

NCmountainwoman said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. It's like hearing from old friends and it means a lot. Really.

Heidrun - Thanks for dropping by. I really had little choice but to try chemo. I went into septic shock during the surgery to remove the cancer so they had to stop the operation without removing all of the mass. So the only option was to do the chemo. I was far too weak to attempt additional surgery and the cancer would have continued to grow before I was strong enough to tolerate surgery again. I'm delighted you are doing well.

Tara - So sorry to hear about your heart problem but glad it has been discovered and is treatable. I suspect we are both very lucky to have such excellent physicians.

troutbirder said...

Mrs. T had a double mastectomy 7 years ago and ovarian 14 year ago and is cancer free today thanks to Mayo Rochester and both a strong will and faith. I think you will do the same. Our present situation involves midphase Alzheimer's and she is a volunteer at Mayos Alzheimer's research clinic. Our present motto is "we're a team and we keep on truckin." We send our prayer to you and yours, Caroline....

Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

Like all the rest I am so happy to have you back in the blogger world and dismayed over all that you've had to bear. I am thrilled that you are recovering and I pray that every day you will get stronger. (Uterine cancer took me down in 1988 and a complete oophorectomy and hysterectomy was needed. Luckily I have been cancer free since then) Over the past year I have checked your blog monthly and was so pleased to see your post on my blog and to know you are back. Your granddaughter is adorable and Lucy is so sweet with her. Thanks for the pictures and keep on keeping on !!!

Joared said...

I’m pleased to see you’re back to blogging. Glad you’ve been able to weather all the medical treatment you had with what must have been a startling medical diagnosis. They’ve made a lot of progress in providing effective treatment for OC from which you will benefit compared to when I first was aware of it in the late ‘60s. I definitely send positive healing thoughts to you across the miles from the West Coast.

NCmountainwoman said...

Troutbirder - We found, to our surprise, that the inherited breast cancer gene sometimes manifests itself in ovarian cancer instead or in addition. My oncologist checked for it since I have a daughter and I did not have the gene. I wonder if Mrs. T had it since she had both cancers. I love to hear about her survival. I'm oh, so sorry to hear about the Alzheimer's. I have become very fond of you two over the blog years. Thank you for your prayers and we will send some up for you as well.

Virginia - Thank you for sharing your story and for the positive wishes. I do appreciate it.

Joared - Yes, treatment has improved quite a bit since the 60s and I suspect you suffered more from the chemotherapy than I did. The treatment is more specific than it was then and with a higher success rate in eliminating the cancer. Glad you are doing well and I thank you for the thoughts from the other coast.

Joared said...

I didn’t have OC, but I was thinking of my SIL who did in the ‘60’s. We can be glad science is continuing to make progress in treatment practices.