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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Carpe Dieme

Have you ever walked to the edge of a cliff and peeked over the edge, realizing that the desert floor is thousands of feet below you?
During my internet break, I visited the desert and noticed how I was drawn to the concept of cliffs, both literally and figuratively.
During my blogging break, we decided to escape winter and some unwelcome drama in our lives. It involves a figurative cliff that I'm peeking over right now. Over the past weeks, I had a series of imaging studies of my spine to determine whether I need more surgery yet. The state of my spine always scares me... but something else scared me more. The images showed multiple small nodules in my lungs and enlarged lymph nodes around my lungs. We know these oddities are real because multiple procedures have illustrated them.

A couple of different things could underlie them. One is a rare autoimmune disease that tends to attack the lungs and the specific lymph nodes that are inflamed in my chest. The other is scarier and starts with a "C". Tomorrow, I'll be having a PET scan (no, that won't examine how many pets I have!). It'll give more information about the kind of cells that make up the "lung nodules" and inhabit my lymph nodes. It'll also scan the rest of my body for abnormal cells.

I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't scared. I think that I was drawn to cliffs during our trip to the desert because I feel like I'm teetering, not knowing whether I'll be able to stay precariously balanced in this situation. Unfortunately, I probably won't get definitive answers tomorrow or even anytime too soon. I suspect that even more procedures will be needed to distinguish between the diseases and decide what to do.

My greatest hope is that the disease won't start with a "C". Rather, it will be an autoimmune disease that I can learn to manage.

I also hope that by peeking over this scary cliff, I'll learn more about my character and will be stronger in the long run. By being forced to face this potentially life-threatening situation, I hope that I'll learn to rejoice in the time that I'm given on this Earth. I already try to do that. "Seize the day" is my motto and is the main reason why we took our desert trip despite this medical drama. But I know that I can do better and I shall.

I'll keep you all posted... but, be warned, this is one of the slowest-moving dramas that you can imagine. I don't foresee a conclusion tomorrow or the next day.

During our trip, I wanted to step back from that mythical cliff and feel balanced again. Believe it or not, it happened. My K danced on slick-rock, making me grin ear-to-ear.
I went for long grueling mountain bike rides, reveling in warm sunshine, dry trails, and defying gravity!
And, the Runner and R made me smile more times than you can imagine. R defied gravity daily, as he bounced off the Earth with joy.
I'll tell you more about our desert escape in the coming days.

36 comments:

Hiking Hounds said...

Oh boy, I really hope everything comes out okay! I'm so sorry your having to deal with this. I will be thinking of you and sending lots of positive healing thoughts your way. Your trip looks great, was it around Moab? The last picture of R's feet is great. Hang in there!

quinn said...

Hello...I stumbled upon your blog a few days ago and have been enjoying your photographs tremendously. CO was Home for 7 years, and although it was a long time ago, your images make me feel like I just left last week.

Good luck with the tests - I I hope the medicos won't keep you waiting, and I especially hope the answers will be what you most want to hear.

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

And you know you have our support no matter what. Lots of prayers and good thoughts for the best report possible. Thank goodness you have that wonderful Runner and your sweet pups to be there with and for you.

Janice in GA said...

So much love and good thoughts coming your way.

((hugs))

Mr. Pip said...

I am pretty sure if you are brave and strong enough to peer over those cliffs you can handle and beat anything. My mom could NEVER do that and I am pretty sure her fear would stop me from walking so close to the edge.

We are sending you all kinds of good thoughts and prayers. We will be thinking of you tomorrow. Keep us posted.

Your pal, Pip

Berts Blog said...

Thanks so much for sharing this with us. as two of your most loyal blogville followers, we have grown to love you and your crew, your photography, your insights, your zest for life, all there is about you that you reveal.

As you face the unknown, we hope you know that you have as much support as we can give. I turned my whole family into "Rompin" junkies. Everyone of them have begun following you and your adventures. So if I can speak in their behalf.

You have a ton of prayers coming your way.

Bert and My Vickie

Wyatt said...

We cross our paws and say our prayers for you tonight. Anyone who can ride their bike to the edge of that cliff, is one tough cookie. Keep pedaling and know that we are all there with you.

Wyatt, Stanzie and mom

Stella said...

I think you know you have the unswerving support of the Minnesota gang! (No, no snow yet but chilly).

Your desert trip was a great help I am sure, K and R both look funny and full of goodtimes.

Cheers, hugs and prayers,

Jo, Stella and Zkhat

jen said...

I have been thinking about and know I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and keep fingers crossed for you:)))

houndstooth said...

I knew there was something lurking in your mind, but I really thought it had to do with just your spine and impending surgery. I am sorry you're facing another health issue on top of that, regardless of what letter it starts with. I've been lucky to know some amazing "c" survivors in my life, and one thing that draws me to them is their outlook on life, which I suspect is pretty similar to yours. I am hoping and praying lots for you, please know that!

R and The Runner look so small in that first picture! I love the perspective the cliffs gave your photos, as well as what they gave you in your mind. I've missed you and your photos and I'm glad to see you back! :)

Maggie Mae said...

From us to you, love and prayers...

Blessings,
Janelle, Maggie Mae and Max

Luisa said...

I hope that everything will be OK, and if not perfectly OK, then absolutely manageable! I'm keeping you in my thoughts and sending you lots of the best SoCal mojo. Thanks for your wonderful blog, and know that your many readers all wish you the best. Take care --

L

Tweedles -- that's me said...

I cannot even imagine being so close to the edge of that cliff.
You truly looked the edge in the face, and seemed to have no fear.
I cannot imagine the times that it seems you have looked bears and cougars in the face- fearless- yet respectful.
You are part of that steep cliff- you are part of the earth.
What you are going through right now - please know that we are all wishing the best. We are with you.
Thank you for sharing this with us.
I am sending the power of the paws, love and prayers for you.
love
tweedles

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Hi KB, wow those cliff edges gave me the heebie jeebies. I'm not a fan of heights. Thanks for sharing your concerns re your health issues. It will definitely test your mental strength as well as physical.

Just remember that all your friends are right there for you. Any thoughts, concerns or if you just want to offload, we are here for you. Special hugs to you. No worries (especially for you) and love, Carol (and Stella and Rory)

Angus said...

Slow moving or not you'll have a world of unseen helpers and friends with you every step of the way . Stay strong .

24 Paws of Love said...

I have no idea what to say. I've never "met" anyone with as determination and strength like you have. It has always amazed and inspired me. Whatever you find out, we are right behind you and our paws are crossed for you.

I was only out west for 2 weeks, many, many years ago and I miss it terribly. And while I know a picture never captures the greatness of it, I always love getting a taste of it here.

2 dogs and the Runner, you my dear are in great hands. :)

Two French Bulldogs said...

We have all our feets crossed for you. This may only be a small stumbling block down the road. Sending all good vibes to you
Benny & Lily

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I don't know what to add to what others have said so well. Other than I know we are all connected to one another and we are all sending you lots of good thoughts and prayers for continued courage and strength!

Mango said...

Oh I just loved that picture of R catching some air under his little labrafeet.

I'll be thinking of you as the drama unfolds. The waiting is hard. Good luck.

Mango Momma

Anonymous said...

Oh KB I am so sorry to learn what yu are deeling with now. My own worries get so small. Cross my fingers and send you a lot of good wishes. Hope for the best result. Love EM in DK - and as before: no ones says it better than Angus

kks said...

beautiful images KB.....
i'm speechless (rare for me) about your new scan....i will be sending positive thoughts your way...
xoxo

AC said...

Been worried about you over here but I couldn't imagine this is what you were dealing with. Kona and I stopped for you at sunrise today.

browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all,

Your day has begun and we are adding our prayers for you to the many others.

The big C word has been part of our lives here for the last 2 decades. The best part is that 2 family members have now tested C free!

BrownDog's Human

Pup Fan said...

What a breathtaking view.

Will be keeping you in my thoughts.

Barb said...

I randomly thought of you over the Thanksgiving holiday, thinking maybe you had headed for the slick rock. However, the news you've given here makes me pause. I know you've stared down pain and disability before, but what a blow to have to face this lung issue. Of course, I'll keep you in my mind and heart as you navigate this new threat. That first photo of your husband and R shows the immensity of space in the desert canyons. Keep that in your mind as you travel the next medical path which is sometimes narrow and winding.

sophie...^5 said...

I just want to S-C-R-E-A-M and S-W-E-A-R...so I do this in my silence!

Jim said...

Ron/Sophie has always admired your strength and tenacity for life and has always been 'floored' by the adventures you live. It is this energy that you and he have in common....I am sure you felt his scream.......it is this energy that will get you through this challenge.
Jim

Sam said...

Oh, KB! Life just loves to throw us all sorts of curveballs. Crossing my fingers that it's more nothing than something. I have been thinking of you, as many others on here have as well. You are such a strong, kind, person, and it resonates with your readers!!

NCmountainwoman said...

Oh good blogger buddy...positive thoughts coming your way from NC. Dang! It just doesn't seem fair to add even an autoimmune disorder after all you have been through.

I do believe this connection with bloggers all over the world will give strength to the positive energy. You will be much in my thoughts.

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Words fail me

Please know you'll be in our thoughts and hearts

Snowcatcher said...

Tears are streaming down my cheeks. I'm glad it isn't the C word yet, and I hope and pray it will stay that way. Moab has powerful visual and spiritual medicine that can liven and lighten any soul. I hope the joy you were able to seize there is still with you, and that the incredible November sunrises and sunsets give you plenty to focus on while you await.

I apologize for being so absent. It doesn't mean I'm not thinking of you. Just means work gets in the way... (but it pays the bills, too!)

Snowcatcher said...

PS: I meant to mention how awesome and eye-catching that shot of R and the Runner is!

Anonymous said...

Your love of animals and the world is inspiring. I truly hope you will keep taking pictures and writing. Que Sera,Sera. Good luck.

Kari in Vegas said...

we are keeping you in our thoughts

Stop on by for a visit
Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com

Siku Marie, White Dog said...

Dear Friend, our most very powerful White Dog healing energies are being sent nonstop as we howl in our strongest Spirit voices that the Universe give you strength and courage and balance to face this unknown. Please feel our paws and hands and hearts and find comfort in knowing you are not alone.

Joe said...

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers KB. I know you'll hang in there.