10 years and counting…

IMG_8453-2Yesterday marked 10 years from the day of my diagnosis with diffuse large b-cell lymphoma. It was an anniversary that happily passed with little notice. I think back to the days when those milestones were celebrated with vigor, but I think I’m happier to be at a distance from the memory of those days, if that makes sense.

I write about it only to reflect on this. I discovered a lump on July 19th, 2006. I went through three different doctors, none of whom biopsied the lump. It wasn’t until I visited an internist that the lump, the side of an avocado seed, was removed and biopsied. The surgery and diagnosis didn’t come until late September (the 26th). My oncologist was furious when he found out the span of time that had passed from the first doctor’s visit to an official diagnosis.

In those years since that day, I have not been haunted by the cancer; no, that experience changed me for the better. Instead, what haunts me is question that lingers:

Had I been an insured 28-year-old mother of three young children, would I have been treated differently?

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Mostly, I dwell on all the good that has come out of this decade. So much struggle, but so much joy attached to each day. I lived to raise my girls, to meet my new husband, to have a son, to start a farm, to follow a dream.

The reality of what happened and what continues to happen to other families will serve as a guide for how I choose to live my life, my vote, my practices. And a reminder of how truly lucky I was back then. And how fortunate I am today.


Fort Klock

Built sometime around 1750, Fort Klock, I’m fairly certain, was the oldest building within which I had ever set foot. It’s a magnificent property, lovingly restored over the years by a small handful of dedicated volunteers. During my lunch hour last Wednesday, I accompanied a few other co-workers to volunteer some time working with kids at their annual history camp. Naturally, I taught bull wrestling.

Er, I mean spinning.

The kids were so adorable, dressed in their vintage attire!

the wheel visits Klock


The Good Shepherd

Yesterday was a busy fiber day. A neighbor brought over a few sample fleeces from her flock for me to scour. When she dropped the bags, I immediately took a small sample indoors to wash up just for a look at how the fleece might behave.

Louis, our Aussie shepherd, who was around our Shetlands at a very young age, followed closely, curiously sniffing the air. As I ran a pot of water at the sink, he began crying at the door. I followed, letting him out for what I thought was a potty break. While waiting for the dog, I busied myself outdoors setting up the scouring equipment. Then I looked over and found Louis situated beside the bags of raw fiber just outside the garage. Not thinking much of it, I called him in and he immediately whined and paced at the back door.

Assuming he hadn’t finished his doggy business, I took him out again and noticed he ran straight for the fleeces, plopping down beside them and looking quite proud. The sweet pup was guarding his “flock.” Talk about instincts! I finally had to put the fleeces away to manage our loyal shepherd’s sanity. A good dog and good shepherd indeedy.

Fiber Weekend

I immersed myself in my passion this weekend, spinning, processing, dyeing, knitting, weaving, and listening to Glen Miller. Additionally, there were chocolate brownies, hot tea, time in the hammock, and a hike by the river. To cap off the weekend, someone is bringing fiber over to be processed after Meeting this morning. Oh yeah, and coffee in the press.

My little family was gone on a trip, so this was an all girl weekend (well, the dog is a boy, but we’ll forgive him). I normally tend to use these moments alone to work on the house, but this weekend was all about the fiber. Here are some photos, mostly of the dye process to get that gorgeous York Beach colorway.

"In healing, we teach others; and in teaching, we heal."

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