Taken before an excellent trail riding adventure!
It’s great to feel the summer sneaking up on us. The yard has turned into a jungle of perennials and now, thanks to Tom’s hard work, some great annuals. Apparently transplanted people should stay away from earth, and gardening, so I watch from a healthy distance and give feedback if asked. Tom has a green thumb, it’s true! And presently the first of the summer fireworks can be heard on the wind coming from Ontario Place. Willie Nelson is playing loudly on the stereo to drown out the frightening pops and bangs for fearful Henry.
This week I got back onto the trails at the farm… I have NOT been on them since November 3rd… the day before transplant. It seemed as though nothing and yet everything had changed since the last time I rode through there. “Lungs,” I said as we entered the woods, “meet my favorite playground!” And we took a walking tour and smelled things, and heard the drone of the woodpecker, and shied at little blue flowers, and perked at the sight of squirrels, and stopped to lick the dirt in pony’s peculiar ritual spot. But anyhow, we showed the new lungs around!
Following that success, Tom and I went on a GREAT ride — did I say GREAT?!?!?! — back to the first side-road, via the woods, the lane ways and the fields… Wow. Okay, GREAT isn’t a suitable adjective: MARVELOUS maybe? AMAZING even? Here is a list of some of the things we smelled/heard/saw;
*HUNDREDS of pale pink and white trilliums in the woods. *Hundreds* I’ve never seen more!
*two wild turkeys
*Indigo bunting, Scarlet tanengers (or something of the such!)
*red winged black birds
*Killdeers and their days old babies!
*Canada geese and goslings
*The sounds of a woodpecker calling
*Red tailed hawk
*a cedar grove which smelled DIVINE
*Oh, the sweet smell of the waving grass fields we rounded, and grass on Gypsy’s breath
*So many smells of the forest, and all unadulterated by oxygen hosing. YESSSS!!!!!
The horses were so well behaved and both heaved great relaxed sighs of breath as we got deeper into the wilds. In one oustanding stroke of luck we chanced upon a field, formerly a corn field, that had been totally cleared and was totally flat and dry and inviting: like a giant racetrack. It’s like putting drugs in front of a junkie: neither of us could contain our innate lust for life: we both urged our horses up into a brisk trot and did a lap. After the first delighted springy lap Gypsy heaved a great sigh of relaxation, and, put on the gears for a second great lap, this time her frame lowering and lengthening as she really got into her “super trot” which covers an impressive ammount of ground and had Tom’s horse cantering to keep up. There were other daliences into the wooded paradise with it’s trilliums and ferns and maples, and then another return to “the perfect” field where we took a canter. You could just feel the horses glee and their body language thankfully opening up after months of cramped indoor quarters. Me, I was just so thrilled at the experience: to be able to go and go and go so QUICKLY and only have to stop — wait, I didn’t have to stop! It was only to let pony take a break really! That’s when we noticed the indigo bunting and had to pinch myself to make sure this was “real life”. A liesurely stroll back to the barn, some apples and mints, and a nice roll in her paddock left Gypsy looking mighty happy as we drove away. To have the love of my life beside me on his horse only made this day the more wonderful. So grateful.
For this week was not without struggle. While my CMV status has come back negative, there is still talk of treating me with EIGHT WEEKS of I.V. anti virals… Yes… But first we had to get my white count up, which had dropped precariously low. This meant several days of injections which gave me the most horrendous bone pain… well, my bones were busy making blood cells… but it hurt like the dickens and I’m glad I still had some pain killers left from the transplant surgery. This all was happening at the same time as some bad news. I spoke in last week’s blog about Jason having been very sick. It is with heavy heart that I must report to you that he passed away this week, after a very brave battle. He was transplanted in July of 2008. I am still in shock and disbelief that this has happened. As one wise person said to me this week, “Ah, you’re experiencing now the Yin and Yang of transplant….” It makes me scared. It makes me so sad for his family. It makes me even more determined to live a good and full life!!! It’s probably why I let Gypsy canter up that last hill home: live life full throttle where applicable!
Live life fully, yes, but also to pass the word on about transplant, yes? For those of you who were not able to hear my interview on CBC’s Metro Morning (and subsequent rerun on Here and Now) I’ll include the ten minute piece here. I’d like to thank Matt Galloway, host, for getting me to do this: it’s taken 32 years for it to feel right! My ONLY concern is that now people with CF have been writing to me and expressing their desire to meet or come to my shows. And this simply makes me uncomfortable. I just can’t take the risks of being in social distance with other CF people due to contagian risks for Cepacia (that nasty contractable strain of CF via the air/droplets). Not sure how I can spread the word about transplant and stave off personal meetings with CFers. This is somewhat weighing on my mind. I *do* want to tell people “transplant works”, but how to do it cleanly! Well, the radio was good for starters! Click to hear it.
So, I have my 6 month Bronchoscopy this week. That’s the lung biopsy they do to check if you are having any rejection, and this is a routine check. Can’t say as that doesn’t make me nervous, but it’s part of life now. Jennifer is vising from Montreal, and Tom is smoking a roast on the bbq tomorrow… There are still traces of my first rhubarb/strawberry pie of the season in the kitchen. I rode an ex-racehorse, a fancy warmblood, and my Gypsy this week… what will I do NEXT week?! Until then…