Speechless

I hardly know what to say. I talked to the director of the Aina Muceniece Foundation in Latvia this morning. It looks like something will work out so that I can continue my treatments. I’ll have to fill you all in on the details as it unfolds but . . . for now all I can do is sit here trying to take in all the kindness that has surrounded everything to do this treatment. 

When I contemplate the conventional treatments of chemo and radiation it feels like a black violating cloud of death and sadness surrounds it and when I have anything to do with Rigvir it feels the exact opposite, bright and kind and life affirming. 

  

Building Fence

Finally back to something I know: fences. We’ve spent a busy week building this nice fence for some nice folks. 

  
My cowboy (even in that awful hat) still looks good fencing. You know that song: “she thinks my tractor’s sexy”? Well I think that about his fencing. He always does such a nice job. 

  
The gate caused a difference of opinion (not unusual between us) so I left that up to him to finish on his own Saturday morning and stayed home to do girl stuff  
It was just nice to spend the week outside (even in the hot or rainy days) under the big prairie sky close to our horses.  

Pretty Much

Found this article I cut out of a newspaper about five years ago. Pretty much explains what my life used to be like. Miss that life an awful lot. 

  

Shoe Polish

I just polished our shoes. 

My Welsh dad always said you could tell a lot about a man by his shoes. He also taught me how to polish mine, which you can do if you buy real leather shoes. 

I bought this shoe polish to use on my shoes while I was in England. It was just regular polish there for only a couple of dollars but . . . oh my,! I love this polish. It is made in England and makes the leather feel buttery soft. 

 I don’t know if we can get it here but if I can’t get it I’m going to have to get my cousin to send me some.  

 
Such small things make me so happy. A $2 tin of shoe polish makes me smile. 

Living in the City

I’ve always been a country girl at heart and couldn’t ever imagine  anything good about living Ina city but walking Blue in the rain today I thought: “dang, girl . . . I like it. ”

So I thought maybe I’d write down a few of the things I like so if there’s ever a time I get homesick for the country I can just look back at this list and remember, oh ya. 

The Good Stuff List:

1. Walking the dog: 

in the country you just open the door and the dog goes out and does his ‘business’.

Living in the condo with no yard means I am forced to get off my tushy and take the dog out for his walk. It’s a great, cost-less, exercise program with its own very persistent alarm that you can’t just find some excuse not to do. 

Plus it’s this great bonding, one on one time, with my dog when he is king. I love spoiling him and stop to let him sniff and snoop and pee and poop whenever he wants. He acts like he really loves me for it. But then he always acts like he really loves me. 

  
Then there is the other dog people out walking their dogs. I love dog people. We have met so many really nice folks when Blue and the other dog are wagging tails and sniffin butts. (I think Blue’s favorite is the happy puggle pup named Jude. If not, he is my favorite, the kind of waggly happy dog that make you smile just to be around them). 

2. How clean everything stays:

In the country it’s a daily never ending battle with the dirt constantly being dragged in the house. 

Blue never even drags a speck of dirt in. Everywhere we go we are either on pavement or lush green grass mowed by someone else. I probably only have to sweep my floors once a week and that’s because of crumbs or something I’ve dropped on the floor. 

Housework is a breeze. I dust like once a month. 

  

3. Time and Fuel

In the country you always have to consider the added driving time and don’t forget the list so you don’t forget anything while you’re there because it’s a long way back and time consuming or it sucks to do without it. 

Wow, shopping for anything you can imagine takes no time when all the stores are 5 minutes away. I could literally go for fresh produce everyday if I wanted and the car is never out of gas. A tank full can easily last two weeks. 

Then there is the emergency room, which we don’t seem to need much now, a stones throw away instead of an hour’s drive when I did have my cat scratch. 

  
4. Weather:

In the country I always worried about animals out in bad weather, especially in the winter. I know cows are tough but . . . And no having to thaw frozen waterers or chopping ice so they can drink, what a joy that is. 

Even the horses have a lovely barn and the indoor riding arena is great bonus. Bad weather can’t even stop me from riding now. 

  
And the weather would have to be really something to keep me from going anywhere living in town. It’s a whole new freedom I couldn’t have imagined. 

 
Yup, I’m a pretty happy girl living in the city. I would never have believed it. 

Happy Rainy Day

Rain today

  
But I’m at Ian’s, my favorite farrier’s place getting Wilbur and Trouper’s feet done inside the shelter of his barn. 

   
 
We waited a sort bit till he could check his sheep. He’s lambing. So I pulled the horse’s halters off and let them stand in the box stalls. 

 

We’re all so at home there. It’s such a cozy place, full of interesting things to look at and to talk about.  I got to tell him all about my trip, hardly let him get a word in. 

He grew a goatee since I saw him last. I like it. 

He’s a good guy and a really good farrier and my friend which all made for an especially happy rainy day. 

My Treatment

A few people wanted me to talk about my treatment.

It was a good thing. 

I don’t think it’s cured the cancer in three months worth of shots. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work just that it would take longer for my own immune system to do the job.

 I think my case is a little different than most because the tumor itself is inoperable. I didn’t have a problem with operations if that had been an option, only the chemo and radiation I didn’t want to have to go through. And again the side effects of those, for me, would have been different as well because of the location of the tumor and because of my ADD. 

For me the Latvian treatment improved the quality of my life so much for the three months I was on it. I am just now, after 6 weeks, without any treatment starting to feel a little tired again but I still feel happy and mentally and emotionally strong. 

I haven’t had a shot for the 6 weeks now, not because it didn’t help but because, personally, I haven’t been able to find the money to carry on with the shots. Not that it’s horribly expensive but we just don’t have any extra above food and housing. If I had the money I would so have kept going with the shots. 

I don’t suppose the Latvians would want me to say this but I wish everyone could undergo the treatment I have so they could feel as good as I have felt, even if they didn’t have cancer. I seriously haven’t felt this good for years. 

I was hoping to have an MRI to give me more specifics on the tumor but that is a slow process in Canada. My blood work has all been good so far. 

My dr has contacted the authorities about the import of the medicine and although I can’t have it mailed or couriered here I could bring it back with me in my luggage. That leads me to dream of what beautiful Riga would look like this time of year. Who knows things might still work out that I could go back. 

Anyway, a side from all that,  everyday I wake up and think: “Something wonderful could happen today”and each day things happen, sometimes bad things,  and I think: “wonder if that is it, if it’s going to lead to that something wonderful.” Life is good and I’m happy. 

Size Matters

I was thinking about Wales today and then got to wondering what the size difference was between Canada or even Alberta and UK and Wales. So I looked it up and found map fight. Cool site. 

  
So first here’s Alberta compared to the entire UK which doesn’t include Southern Ireland but still . . .

Then compared to Canada

  
I think it was as hard for me to wrap my mind around how small it was as it was for them to understand how big Canada is. Really, it’s hard for me to understand how big Canada is, size-wise. 

My cousin kept telling me that from England to Toronto is halfway to where I am. And Google maps says it would take at least 30 hours of continuous driving to get to Toronto. 

So just one more: Alberta compared to lovely little Wales 

  

Horizontal Width: 149 km (92 miles) from St. David’s east to Hay on Wye

Vertical Length: 201 km (124 miles) from Rhyl, directly south to the capital city of Cardiff. 

So to put that into terms that are most familiar to me it means that from Medicine Hat to Lethbridge (about 102 miles,  a two hour drive here) would be about 10 miles farther than from the east side of Wales to the west side. 

One other thing I often think of and feel bad about was the beautiful old churches that no one or at least very few attend. One Sunday I went to the one in Llanwnog (a Christian church being there for 1500 years, not that actual building but the believers) and only 9 people, other than me and my cousin and my other cousin’s good husband that took us, were there. 

I saw this from the 2011 census report that I guess explains why.  

 
Sad though. I suppose it’s happening everywhere which is even sadder to me but there, in England and Wales it seems such a tragedy considering all those beautiful old churches with such uncertain futures. 

I’m glad I got to hear the bells in Llanwnog, see the beautiful old rood screen, and where my dad pumped the handle to supply the breath for the old pipe organ, where my cousin was married, a lovely old church where I’ll be attending, in spirit if not in body, every Sunday. 

  
   
    
    
    
    
 

Good

Life is good (most days). I’m still feeling surprisingly well with lots of energy to fuss over a couple of old horses, my housework, Lilly, Blue, an old cowboy, and one tomato plant. I do wish I could have a garden or a least a balcony with a little more sun but it’s all good. 

Everyday Blue and I get to go out to the barn and smell horses, my favorite place and favorite smell.   
 

Shock

The grocery store I went to in the UK was Tesco, here I go to Safeway. I went to this particular Safeway today, the first time since I got back. 

What a shock. 

I was racing around looking for this and that when it hit me. I remember the last time I was in here before my trip and my treatment and how tired I was then. I could hardly face walking around in the big store. 

I don’t feel anything like that now. It’s like night 🌘 and day 🌞 with now being the day. 

Wow! I feel so much better that it was an actual shock to realize how much better.