Constance Ore is a retired Teacher, Choir Director, and Organist. And a formidable cook.

July 8, 2008

Filed under: — Constance at 8:57 am on Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Today’s blood readings indicate that I continue to hold on just above the “critical” level in white blood cells and neutrophils. I have been at this place for a good number of weeks, and it means that I have many times when I can say, “This is good”. The ongoing frustration is that I spend several days each week feeling sick, with flu-like symptoms. Even though I have thought the phrase “Get a grip” more often than I can count, the unpredictable ups and downs remain a challenge for me to deal with.

Our house has an elevator to the roof, and from there, one can see many miles in every direction. In the eleven years that we have lived here, this conveyance has responded faithfully to the “down” button excepting for a few times, when it remained silent and unmoving. (usually with good cause, but who can know the mind of an elevator?) That meant that we were left with option two. Option two is a rope ladder that can be attached to a sill and dropped over the edge of the window or house roof – it is advertised in catalogs showing a child climbing down safely and serenely. Most recently, Charles used it on a winter day when he took a DirectTV fellow up to the roof for an installation. Once up there, the cold apparently caused the electrical connectors to malfunction, and the elevator would not go. Dear Charles flung the ladder over the side and led the young man down to the roof of the east porch where they could enter the house through the computer room window. As I opened the window for them, I could not help but notice that the young man’s eyes were a bit wild, and he had an air of near panic about him. Charles was keeping him calm by talking cheerily and without ceasing in the tones of a tour guide. “Just think,” he declared, “now when you tell your friends about your day, you will have something interesting to report. . . instead of the usual boring routine, you can speak of rappelling off a roof. . .” and so on. Yesterday, we all went to the top of the house and when Charles and I were going up in the elevator, I remarked to him that should we become stuck on the roof, we could send John-paul over the edge and down the ladder so he could hand crank us down. Charles replied that no, he would go himself as John-paul is still young and has a long life ahead of him. Following that reasoning, I said that it was obvious that I should be the one to go over the side.
Charles took a deep breath and said, “This is truly a ridiculous conversation” which it was, because there was no reason for the elevator not to work, and the trip down the ladder is not death defying though the first peep over the side of a 36 foot high house is daunting. On these evenings, the rooftop view is made spectacular by hundreds of fireflies flitting about across the wetlands, fields and forest.

Swallows Nest with 5 birds
The little swallows are now becoming too large to stay within their tiny nest. They are sitting facing outward, and it appears that they should be on their way into the world very soon. All of Sanctuary is filled with anxious parents teaching their fledges how to fly and when we walk the paths, the air is filled with warning sounds on every side. The one that makes me smile is the catbird down by the big cottonwood tree. . . it makes the sound of a duck, and it is difficult for me to imagine a duck’s quack as an off-putting alarm, but who knows?


Comment by BEV

July 9, 2008 @ 11:29 am

I wonder as I read your updates if you have discussed bone marrow transplant with your doctors. My husband does not have a match, but we are going to the Univ. of MN – Fairview for a double cord blood transplant in late July. He was diagnosed the end of January and given a prognosis of 9-18 mos. He has only tried Revlimid with some success. He has RAEB 1 with an IPSS of 2 or greater. He has significant chromosome damage. He is 59 years old and on disability leave as a school superintendent. I would be interested to hear whether you have considered the transplant.
Good Luck!

Comment by Mindy Werling

July 9, 2008 @ 1:19 pm

Good news, Connie, about your blood readings! I am SO glad to hear that! I will continue to keep you in my prayers and send positive, healing thoughts your way. I’ve enjoyed your writings before, but I will enjoy them a thousandfold more, now that I have experienced Sanctuary myself. What a special place it is! It almost seems to have a soul, doesn’t it? Quite amazing. I am sure it feels good to get home to Sanctuary from your travels. I am convinced that being in a natural environment such as that and eating healthy food works wonders on the body and soul. My few days with you have had such a positive impact on my life. I find that I am dealing with work stresses better this week, and I just feel happier all around. I am busy thinking of ways to make my property a little more Sanctuary-like, and I am SO excited!! To top it all off, today I saw my first hummingbird in my yard! I had gone out to scatter some fresh seed on the ground, and as I turned toward the house, there she (I think) was, hovering over my patio, near my red petunias and hummingbird feeder. We stared in amazement at each other, and then off she sped. I told my co-workers this morning that no matter how stressful it might get at work today, we are to remember that it is a “Hummingbird Day”! It is just marvelous to connect with God’s creation.

Thank you for helping me make my life better!


Comment by irene Beethe

July 9, 2008 @ 8:21 pm

Thank you for sharing the good, stable news about your blood counts and also for recounting the rope and roof story! What a wonderful way to end the day! Smiles all around!
Love, Irene

Comment by Scott Schau

July 10, 2008 @ 6:48 pm

For my Aunt Connie: It is such a pleasure to read your commentary. The neat thing is that as I read, I hear your voice and see your facial expressions. What a wonderful command of the English language. Thank You.


Comment by Becky Schoepp

July 15, 2008 @ 9:37 pm

Connie, I am sorry to hear you are struggling with this cancer. I really like your website and your photos are grand. I have found myself often remembering your home. I appreciated your ability to build a home that fit your needs and desires. We have unique dreams for our property and I feel encouraged by the memory of yours. Thanks.
I am going to send you some info. I hope you will be able to accept its offering as a piece of information to add to what you are already gathering. Please allow it to present to you as an addition to what need to do to fight the war against the cancer cells invading your body. Dr. Arthur Furst ( he is responsible for oral chemo) was involved with GNLD for years and did a talk on cancer that I think you might find interesting. What he says I have found to be so true. My father-in-law shared GNLD with us the month I was first diagnosed with my cancer. I truly believe that God answered our prayers thru GNLD products, radiation, chemo. and a change in my attitude.
May the Lord continue to bless you. May His healing hand be upon you. Shalom.

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