Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Signs of Life and Change

So many of you have emailed me and asked for an update, I thought I would share. Then it will be onto other posts for awhile, some of which have been stacked and waiting! (These photos are from the two walks I have been fortunate to take over the past two days. Short ones, but important in so many ways.)
Harry the Heron at Groesbeck Ditch

First of all, thank you, thank you, for your comments, emails, notes and calls. I'm not sure if you can realize what that means -- I've said it's like a soft, fleecy blanket wrapped around you, keeping you close. It means more than I can say.
MSU meditation garden

 The shingles did indeed set in and with them the debilitating headache I mentioned in the last post. Clearly the most painful thing I've ever experienced and some of you have said much the same. I'm pleased to say that now the head pain is still constant and never-ending, but the "Psycho-stabbing" bits have stopped. My face and head are healing over and I will spare you the photos of that! 
Trout Lily

 Word of advice: Get the shingles shot.

On the other, more serious front is that I have a final name for my malady -- mycobacterium malmoense. I think my doc was floored. He was so sure it was MAC and in a way it is -- he described it as MAC's reclusive and rare cousin. In fact, he said he looked it up on Google, which both made me laugh and gave me pause. I hope it wasn't wikipedia, though that's the only definition I can sort of understand.
MSU Meditation Garden

 They will start a three-drug oral chemo protocol after my shingles are gone, hopefully later this month. It will go for two years.

The CT also showed a thyroid mass that needs an ultrasound, and that will come soon, but right now I'm tackling things one at a time.
MSU Meditation Garden

 After being off work for way too long, today was my first half-day back. Made it through, but it was tough. But I do feel I have good support on that front, which means a great deal. I may work at home part time if need be, but I'd like to be "in it" with everyone else.
Despite a purring cat and a handy bed for naps, being home is a little frustrating when you don't feel well. Like many, I have closets to switch, basement and garage to clean, garden to weed and plant, laundry to do, work from the office to plug away and all I managed was some of the office stuff. The rest, not done at all. Not a darned thing.

 Baker Rick is taking good care of me -- the pounds of yeast he bought are being put to good use. He has a lot on his plate right now and I hate to be one of the bad things, but he is right there for me and that means so much.
Another friend on FB suggested some relaxation/visualization tapes and someone else downloaded them and added them to my iPod. They're tremendously helpful.
Trout Lily

 My neighbor, who is both a nurse and homeopathic practitioner, brought over some essential oils and told me about some wonderful natural remedies. They won't cure things, necessarily, but they may help. I'm big on what will help.
Can anyone tell me what this is? While many plants at MSU Meditation Garden were marked, this wasn't.

 My massage therapist offered some assistance as well, and while I couldn't do it right then because of possibly sharing the shingles, it was more appreciated than she could know.
MSU Meditation Garden

 I've taken a couple of walks during the first genuinely perfect days of our overdue spring and as you can see from the photos here, it's bursting. Signs of life and change.
And finally -- though you may have noticed the hint in the photos above, Harry the Heron is back. And he has friends, a second heron and two white birds (the same) that we can't identify. No egret crest, but long legs.
Anyone able to tell me what this bird is? There were two of them at the Ditch, I have other photos, but they're a bit fuzzy. Like this one.

 Needless to say, I felt my heart explode with the rhythm of life and spring. Now I just need to be well enough to enjoy it.
Onward, one day at a time.With you support and knowing you are in my corner, I can't go wrong.


Christine said...

sending love & healing your way ~ ~ ~

HerzBlatt said...

I am very sorry to read all this in your last two posts. I am not able to understand everything but I understood, that you feel very bad. When I look after "bronchiectasis", the same word appears in the German dictionairy because I don`t know the German word, so I was not really able to define it.I know that something is wrong with your bronchi but not exactly what ....
And what about your thyroid? My husband had some more or less big benign tumors there last year and he had to take a pill which was a little bit radioactive and had to stay in a special department in hospital where nobody is allowed to come in. Three days he was there and now the tumors are away.
Perhaps you can tell me in an email with easy English words what your problems are with your head and throat and so on.....I can only guess what it is. I know that you had shingles and I also know that it is very very painful depending on where it is. I feel so sorry with you. I know that it is the same germ like the chickenpox, isn`t it?
Anyway....I think at you and will continue reading in your posts how you are and if the therapy works as you want to.
You are in my mind!!!
Best wishes

Ruth said...

Many thanks for the update, though so painful. More prayers your way, always.

Mae Travels said...

I have been thinking of you -- so glad you are at least responding to the beautiful spring, which has been so long in arriving. Good luck with all the recovery process!

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Dear Jeanie,
What a road you have had to travel.
Thank you for updating.. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, as this is all I can do.. I so wish there were more that I could do for you..

anno said...

Thanks for the update, Jeanie. You certainly are in my heart these days, and I am glad to hear that Rick and the people at work have been so supportive.

Those flowers, btw? I think they may be hellebores (http://www.hellebores.org/), aka Lenten Roses. They grow well in shade, and their flowers can be easy to miss as they droop beneath their splendid foliage. I've had mine for years and never saw them flower until a friend of mine told me where to look!

Linda Jo said...

Praying for you this day....

Arti said...


These are beautiful photos of your neck of the woods. And, Harry is marvellous. You're blessed to be so close to nature, and be nurtured by baker Rick. All the best in your recovery!

Marilyn Miller said...

Lovely photos indeed and happy to see Harry back.
I think of you often and so sorry you are having to travel this road of illness. Oh dear and now a thyroid mass. My goodness! I had that when I was 20 years old and you see by my age now I was able to move past it too. Take care of yourself. It does sound like you have a wonderful support group at hand. I always say that natural medicines and support is the best for working with your doctor to heal you. The meditations on your IPod is just perfect too. I am not struggling with health, but still find meditation music is perfection on my IPod. Take care, dear Jeanie, and soon you will be well.

Joanne Huffman said...

You have strength and grace and the love and support of many people. I think all of this will help you on your very long and difficult journey. Sending gentle hugs.

The Old Parsonage said...

Well I guess with a diagnosis it might make it less worrisome. At least it was that way for me. It gives you a game plan to start with.

Gentle hugs my sweet friend!


Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

What a beautiful, healing garden. I wish you as much peace and comfort as possible, and courage for the rest of what you must cope with.

Barb said...

You're so right to stay present, Jeanie - not look too far forward. One moment, one day - that's what we can handle. I see from this post that you are able to do some work from home - maybe this will be helpful when you start your protocol. For now, get outside when the weather is good - fresh air (or "fresh airs" as one of my grandsons says) is so good for the spirit as well as the body. I've enjoyed the photos you've chosen - so uplifting!

Introverted Art said...

oh Jeanie, I am so glad you were able to take some nice walks and rejoice in such beautiful scenery. It is so amazing that we don;t realize how important are the small things in life until we have to struggle.
We are for sure in your corner, hoping for your health, for your wellbeing.

Jeanie said...

I'm just back from being out of town for a few days and I was so glad to see this post from you. I'm glad to know you have been able to get out some and to enjoy the much awaited spring. It is good to hear that you are getting so much support from all corners.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, sunshine!
Those mysterious flowers in the Meditation Garden are indeed hellebore or Lenten Roses as "Anno" said. They're in a lot of over-winter plantings in SC (Zone 8.)
Thanks for posting pix of Harry the heron, but most of all THANKS for posting when you can. We all care so much and want to help, with words if not in deeds.
Maryanne in SC

Anonymous said...

my prayers are with you and Rick as you go thru this tough time. you are so inspiring to be so positive and sharing all the beauty you find in nature around you. May it be an extra source of healing for you. Emma

~*~Patty S said...

Prayers continue to wing their way to you dear Jeanie.
Be gentle with yourself...
Happy to hear you have a homeopathic connection to help make you more comfortable and balanced thru all that you have going on.
Someone probably already identified your mystery plant: Hellebore and the white bird looks like an egret to me...your Harry sure is a handsome fellow!
Take care...hugs to you and Rick

Naturegirl said...

Jeannie you poor baby...OUCH!! I know the pain of shingles!! I had it around my torso front to back..I agree the worst pain one could experience!!
Sounds to me like you have a wonderful network of supporting caregivers and the 'main man' your DH!! God certainly sent you a good guy! I am all for therapies that are effective in controling pain and enhancing relaxation and healing. Visulization in my opinion very potent in aiding healing within the body. One tip that I pass on .Something that I did is have a "JOY BOOK" at the end of the day write down 2 or three things that brought you "JoY" that particular day.
I can see from the images, that you allow Nature to give you peace of mind.
(I did leave you a note in previous post)
big hugs..holding you in my prayers. xo

Tracy said...

One day at a time... that really is the best "treatment" you can do so far... And I can highly recommend meditation/relaxation too. A relaxation tape with soothing music--it can really lift you on a down day. :o) Aromatherapy, I find, is also great when dealing with fatigue and multiple issues. I hope the discomfort of the shingles will pass soon, and that you'll be feeling better from that at least. Spring... our bodies sometimes want to spring along with the season. It is frustrating not to be able to join in on everything. But everything is waiting for you... everything is always there when you need it. Us included. Thinking of you lots, Jeanie... and praying for your health. :o) ((LOVE & HUGS))

Bella Rum said...

It's good to hear from you. As always, you mix the good with the bad. Such beautiful photos of spring for us to enjoy. I'm so sorry about the shingles. I've had the shot, but I'm going to make my husband get it. I've been nagging him to do it, but this little warning will spur me on again.

I think of you so often. You may not be able to make yourself well, but you are doing all the right things to help you cope. That is so positive, and I hope your treatments will do the rest. I'm glad you have Rick. I know how important that is. I also know how frustrating it is when you can't do the simple things you've always done. Please, Jeanie, just take care of yourself and let the rest go for now. Thinking of you.

Janet said...

You definitely have a challenge ahead of you but I know you will conquer it. You're a strong woman and you have the love and support of so many people. You aren't doing it alone.

Your springtime photos are beautiful. I always like seeing Harry...he's a handsome guy. Sorry, can't help with the other bird or the flower but I'm sure someone can.

Thinking of you each day and sending you good thoughts.

Travel With Lulu said...

Oh goodness, you are going through a lot. I can't wait to hear about how you have grown and changed once on the other side of all this (the brighter side).

Although I haven't tried it yet, I read you can actually google images(?). So you may be able to drop your image into the google search box to see what it is. (I do agree with the earlier comment that it's a Lenten rose.)

Your photos are fantastic - I'm so glad you have such a wonderful place nearby to visit :) XO

Anonymous said...

Jeanie, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you did because I've been updating my blogroll again and still getting around to the names. I changed the page design as you could see and again, lost my blogroll. There should be something better in place.
Please don't even think twice about the challenge. It is my last linky thing which I had announced a while back and am seeing through. I've never been too good at hosting these blog parties. Prefer being a guest. ;)
I didn't know about your med issues. Must catch up.
Is that a magnolia tree in one of your pictures? After this challenge I think I'm going to see visions of magnolias. ;)

Sally Wessely said...

This post made me feel so much better about your situation because I could see that you are doing better. The creative capturer of beauty is back sharing her beautiful photos accompanied by a narrative that is informative, soothing, and inspirational. How did you manage this while dealing with all you have going on? I think your spunk is what will continue to get you through.

Thankfully, I got the shingles shot a year and a half ago. I saw what my father went through and that made a believe out of me. My mother has had them twice, but this last case a few years ago was very mild.

You take care. Don't overdo. Sending love and hugs and prayers.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

You have definitely been in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for checking in and letting us know how you are doing. I hope that the shingles heals soon - they sound so so painful. And it just adds insult to injury to have them in such a noticeable place. :(

Thanks for sharing pictures of the beauty around you, though. And it is great to see Harry again!!

I need orange said...

So glad to see you were able to be out enjoying that wonderful garden! I am (re-)reading The Secret Garden, which puts a heavy emphasis on the healing power of fresh air and nature. I can't help but think it is good for you, when you are able to be out!

I always think pain in my head is the worst place, because that's where I live..... I'm glad yours is less than it was, and I hope, along with you, that it continues to be less and less!

Sending you good thoughts, as we enjoy the lovely weather (finally!)!!

The Artful Diva said...

My M-I-L and husband both have had the shingles. It was bad - I made sure I got a shingles shot a couple of years ago - expensive, but well worth it! I hope you're better soon.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Oh my dear! I am so sorry to hear of the shingles. You have such an upbeat outlook and personality. I know that you will heal and I will pray for your relief.

I am glad that you have a purring kitty and a fine boulanger-p√Ętissier to look after you.


Jenny Woolf said...

Oh Jeanie, it is so tough that so many health issues have piled one on top of the other lately. I have had neuralgia in the past and have been told that shingles is worse - horrible. I didn't understand much about the Wikipedia entry for mycobacterium malmoense but I gathered that it can be combated with some combinations of drugs, which must be good.
You are lucky to have a beautiful home, in lovely surroundings, and with kind people about you. They all love you and want you okay again. You have a concerned and communicative doctor and thank God we live in days of modern technology. So this is just a bad blip in your life Jeanie, and we are sending you strength and courage to work through it.

Jennifer Richardson said...

So sorry you've had such a rough patch, friend,
but grateful for the good care
and loving assistance you've received
and that your heart and soul
are being nourished.
sending love and prayer
for healing happening all around,

shoreacres said...

You know you're been having a time of it when your friends hear "thyroid mass" and feel relieved - at least it's an additional worry that can be taken care of relatively easily.

I'm glad to hear your shingles is healing, too. Of all the things my mother had to endure in her 93 years, those were the worst. Period.

I'm just thrilled to see Harry back - see? all your friends are gathering around! As for that other bird... I think it's a great egret. The bill didn't seem quite right, but I see that they have a yellow bill which takes on an orange hue during breeding season.
The snowy egret has a black bill and yellow feet, while the great egret has that yellow bill and black feet.

The next time you see him, ask him to lift up one foot!

Here's to a wonderful spring week. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

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