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

June 23, 2009

Filed under: — Constance at 6:52 pm on Tuesday, June 23, 2009

For anyone who has wished for a jungle experience, Sanctuary has become such a destination. Everything is very lush and overgrown from the rains, water stands in the pathways on the edge of the west wetlands, and mosquitoes, swarms of gnats and dragonflies are abundant. The high heat and equally high humidity add to the equatorial environment. Once again we can claim that Nebraska has it all – just a bit ago, it was dry and cool and hands were wringing over whether the farmer’s plantings could survive. The upside is the incredible diversity in the bird population – yesterday morning’s walk included the sighting of a wild hen turkey and her chicks. We came upon them around a corner in the path, and the hen began to squawk and flap her wings so that Alphie would notice her above all, and the chicks scattered. It made me consider how differently from us the creatures have had to become hardwired for their survival. In a situation in which danger might be perceived, a human mother will cling to her children and instruct them to stay close, while in nature, all the little ones go in different directions and hide.

After returning from our road trip, the port “irrigation” and the blood testing were done the next day. When one has a port, every month it has to be washed out lest it become blocked. My port has a small tube running under the skin over the collarbone and into the jugular vein. When the saline solution is sent forth, I can feel it coming in. I always think about the trust one must have in all that has led up to this moment – an error in content or application could have most unpleasant outcomes.

The blood counts did not change after a month of happy living, and since the ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) is still very low, the conclusion can only be that the miracle of life continues. With a white blood cell count of 1.4 and a percentage of neutrophils at 20, the ANC is approximately 280. According to the information about neutropenia and immunities (there is a lot written on the Internet from many sources including Mayo Clinic or Emedicine, etc.,) any count under 500 is considered “severe neutropenia”, so the precautions that we have put into place seem to be helping and must continue. Though the number is abysmal, I do have some immunities, rather than none at all, and that can be compared to wearing a bikini instead of having to go out naked where everyone else is wearing more substantial coverage. It is not entirely comfortable, but it can be done.

(John-Paul is traveling this week)


Comment by Barb Smisek

June 24, 2009 @ 3:21 pm

Dearest Connie, I have been thinking about you and checked your blog today. Your writing is inspirational as always. I need to spend some time and read more. Have you thought about donning a bikini and getting some sun?? (What would Charles say?)
Todd and I just returned from a short stay in Estes Park. We’ve never been on a mountain hike, watched humming birds or fed ground squirrels before – it was AWESOME. Nature is intriguing, relaxing and motivating ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
It was good to read that you’ve had some “happy living.” I pray you’ll have much more. :)
Sending you and Charles both a BIG hug …. Barb

Comment by Ruth Mackie

June 29, 2009 @ 10:59 am

Dear Connie,
I just learned of your illness and your blog today from Jim and Claudia. It’s hard to believe that it has been thirty years since I sampled it, but I certainly agree that you are a formidable cook. :)

Please know that you will be in our family prayers. We give thanks to God for your courage and for the joy He has given you in the midst of severe trial. Our love to you and Charles and to all your dear ones.
In His love,
Roger and Ruth Mackie

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