Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One Procedure Down, One to Go

Just a little update... The upper GI went great yesterday and they saw no cancer in the duodenum!  Whew.  So, now we're just doing the count down for next Thursday, the 31st when surgery is scheduled.  But, we did get some bad news last Friday.  It turns out my partner misunderstood the doctor and he is saying he is pretty much certain there is cancer and it's highly unlikely there isn't cancer in the gallbladder.  We are choosing to go with hope.  Praying that when they remove the gallbladder next Thursday, they were wrong and there is no cancer present.  Man, what a roller coaster this has been.

Still waiting for the garden to sprout - it will be a week tomorrow since planted so it ought to be any day!  The shop is really coming along.  Windows are in, roof edging is one.  Only the roofing felt, roof and felt to do and then it's finished besides the sheet rock and we're hiring a young, local guy to do that.

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Shop, Garden & Health Update

First off, my partner had her appointment yesterday at the hospital and there is hope in the news!  The surgeon said basically he doesn't know what is going on with her. Although the earlier pet scan glowed big, the ct scan with contrast they just had her do showed NOTHING.  But, they said what sometimes happen is the cancer in the gallbladder does not show up on a ct scan because it "hides" behind the duodenum. He said although he thinks it's cancer because of the intensity of the pet scan "glow" from a couple weeks ago, he can't be positive at this point. Usually, infections or other things that aren't glow at a much lower intensity on the pet scan and cancer has a glow that matches what came up on hers a couple weeks ago. So... they are going to "scope" her duodenum on Monday and look around and if anything looks suspicious, will biopsy it. If all turns out well with the scope , they still want to remove her gallbladder because they said something is definitely going on there and it is very well cancer "hiding" so the ct scan couldn't pick it up. So, if the scope goes well, they have her scheduled for gallbladder removal on the 31st BUT it is not the big invasive one they said they were going to do but the laproscopic!! That right there is huge. She will most likely get to go home that night. When they do the laprascopic and if they see signs of cancer they will have to open her up and do the big surgery to find out what's going on and how extensive, but that is unlikely since they are not seeing signs of it on the ct scan. so, we are hoping that all of this can somehow not even be cancer. So, good news today and we are just taking a day at a time!! Whoo Hoo!! praying and hoping.  Each time they narrow something down and don't find cancer, the odds get better for us.  This was certainly better than the news she had a week ago when they told her she definitely had cancer after the first pet scan.

The shop is slowly but surely coming along!  We have lost a couple of weekends due to rain and it's supposed to rain this weekend, but it'll get done.  We sheeted the roof and now we just have to roof it, put the windows in and all the trim around windows, doors, sides, etc.  Easy!  Can't wait.  We're having a young guy do the sheet rock that is really good and inexpensive.  Hopefully in a month, everything will be inside it and it'll be getting used!

I finished constructing the garden and planted all my seeds yesterday!  It took a long time to build, but I hope it'll be worth it.  Gardening in the desert is soooo difficult!  Critters burrow underneath and Kangaroo Rats can burrow and also get through poultry netting as can small birds.  So, I dug down 2 feet and buried hardware cloth and the whole garden is enclosed by hardware cloth.  There are some clear panels on the South side to protect it from the desert winds but give it sun, and some opaque panels on the North side and a short section of panels on the West side.  When it gets really hot, I will put shade cloth on the top so the plants don't get burned up.  I also sent my soil to a lab to be tested and boy and I glad I did!  They gave me organic recommendations to make the soil optimum for growing vegetables.   If this doesn't work, I'm just gonna scream and kick a while and tear down the center divider and tell the chickens they just got twice as much room in their home!  The garden is 16' x 12'.  Not huge, but plenty big to grow two people some good stuff.  Wish us luck!
Everything planted and watered
Garden with Chicken Coop behind it & Compost Bin in Front

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bad News

Sorry I haven't posted in several days.  We had a lot thrown at us the last few days.  For those of you who have read my blog for a while, my partner was dealing with stage 3 melanoma about 4 months back and went through a surgery where her lymph nodes were removed from her neck.  All has been well.  She runs and mountain bikes all the time, has lots of energy and feels good.  She goes back every 3 months for pet scans to make sure nothing more has shown up.  3 months ago, something came back on the pet scan around her gallbladder and after an ultrasound, they said it appeared to be polyps and they would monitor them and compare them to the next scan three months later because it's rare for melanoma to go to the gallbladder.  A bit more than a week ago, she had another pet scan and we got a call saying there is a 3 cm lesion on the gallbladder (much bigger than before) and there appears to be lymph node involvement with a nearby lymph node.  No, no, no.  The doctors say they are 90% certain it is melanoma that has metastasized.  We are waiting to get scheduled for a surgery consultation.  My partner does most of her care holistically (she won't do chemo or radiation and there is no research anywhere showing that it extends life for melanoma patients anyway), but is most likely going to undergo the surgery to remove her gallbladder because it definitely increases chances of survival.  So, this is the bad news.  I'm hopeful, and if anyone can do it, it's my partner.  We would really appreciate it if you keep her in your prayers.  I will do my best to keep on blogging and I don't want to make them all about this, but will definitely give updates as things change or happen.  In the meantime, we're trying to keep life as normal and routine as possible.  The 4 chicks are still good and healthy, the shop continues to come along and the garden should be finished and planted this weekend.  Yay!  It's the little things in life I never want to take for granted. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mamma & Babies Mix with the Gang

A couple of days ago, I decided to get brave and let mamma hen and the babies out with the whole gang.  I was really nervous because when I brought home the Easter Egger (TuTu Evans) and the Barred Plymouth Rock (Miss Osie), they had to be segregated for a long time and the established flock was ruthless with them.  So, I made a little opening in their private area and mamma hen and babies came marching out.  The lead hen, Theodocia, came up and gave one of the babies a peck and mamma hen unleashed a FURY on her.  That was the end of that... it was as if the signal had been given and the whole flock, including Jack, know not to bother the babies.  Even when I throw a little scratch down for the big girls and the babies come running, the hens don't bully the babies.  Mamma hen is a great mother and is always keeping an eye out!  I don't keep them together all the time, cause the rest of the flock have taken a liking to the chick starter food.  I came out yesterday and found almost all the hens in the babies separate area trying to eat the chick starter!  ha ha.  The babies can't get to the layer ration as it's up high so I'm not worried about them getting into something they shouldn't.  So, good news around here!  It's a relief to know they are already mixing and when mamma hen decides they are old enough to make it on their own, I think the transition into the flock is going to be quite easy.  I'm quickly learning it's MUCH easier to do it this way than trying to bring in birds without a natural mom.  I'm having a great time!  Hope you like the pictures and short video below.  

The weather here has turned very nice.  I even had coffee out on the porch this morning at 6:30 and they are forecasting 70 degrees for Saturday.  The garden is almost fully constructed (pictures will be coming later) and the shop will get worked on again this weekend.  We lost two weeks of working on the shop due to rain.

Hope everyone has a good Thursday!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Short Little Chick Video!

I forgot I had a video option on my old digital camera.  I don't know if it'll be the best quality, but thought I'd put a short clip up.  I made an outdoor section for mamma hen and the babies to be during the day.  I put together an A-frame shelter out of scrap I had around the place and now they get to be out in the sun and have more room during the day.  Before sunset, I put them back in their smaller section inside the main coop.  All the chicks seem to be really healthy and I can't believe how fast they are growing!  The wings are feathered and tiny tail feathers are starting to come in.

The weather is nice here again - sun with no wind.  I'll be working more trying to finish up my garden area before going to work today and half of my seeds have arrived.  Yay!