Ok...So I dropped a little bomb in my previous post. I'm really sorry I didn't explain this further...I did on my breast cancer blog, so I'll fill you in.
I also have to apologize for the length of time in between blogs....I just got Photoshop and I'm trying to learn it....I am one of those people who jump in and expect to be able to get it right away and am dumbfounded when I can't. Of course, my computer is bewitched, so that doesn't help either.
Just before I went to Montana, I has having horrific pain in my pelvis, in the same area as where I had the breast cancer metastasis in 1997. I have been having trouble with that hip for the last year, but this was really different. I am, however, a person with a strong will.
I thought about this a good, long time, and decided that I would ask my oncologist to schedule my P.E.T. scan (due in January) early. I rationalized that even though if it were cancer (and there isn't anything they can do for me if it was...no new treatments have been developed and I have had two separate courses of very strong chemo--C.A.F, (cytoxin/adriamycin/5FU or flourilacil) and Taxol as well as radiation to the spot on the pelvis). The only thing they could do is to aleviate the pain if it were cancer again), I wanted to know about it so I could start making arrangements (read: get rid of some of my fabric and other stuff so my family didn't have to deal with it). So, I had my P.E.T. scan on a Tuesday and flew out to Seattle (I hitched a ride with my sister from Seattle to Cut Bank, Montana) on a Thursday morning.
After being there for a week, I got a call from my oncologist. Getting cell phone calls out there can be...an experience. When I finally got to talk to him he told me that I had a fracture in the same spot as where I had had the cancer and the radiation. I'm not sure what I did, but I think it was doing some sort of contortionist trick to get out of the passenger side of the car and my ligaments must have popped the weakened bone. The question is how well it will heal, or if it will heal because of the trauma that area has been through.
I'm happy to say it is a lot better than it was.
Behind my mom and dad's house is a small hill with an oil man's shack and the farm's junk pile. You have to understand, all over Montana, the method of dealing with out-dated or worn out farm equipment, cars, trucks and household goods, and just general run of the trash, was to sequester a little spot of land, usually in the deep coolies which you couldn't farm and just abandon it. To most people's minds, this is less than desirable. However, you can understand the problem. In addition, these pile provided parts and bits and pieces which could be made into something else. Parts could be ransacked off the machinery and made into other things.
Now, there are landfills and transfer stations. In addition, there's a scrap metal place in Cut Bank that when the price of scrap goes up, people start working on their junk piles. My sister-in-law has taken literally tons of stuff in.
The population of Montana is 6.2 people per square mile. There's 145,552.43 square miles in the state. 14% of the population lives below the poverty level. The median household income is $43,000 (for the U.S. as a whole it is $50,740).
The opening picture is the hill with the shack. Inside the barbed wire fencing is one of the junk piles. It was my destination. I knew how much rusty stuff was up there and I lusted after it to do some rust dyeing (that will be in another blog post yet to come).
So....I went up the hill. I was whining to myself as I lugged my carcass up the hill. I go up there every year. I've been up there in January. It is a steep little hike, but in the past it was nothing. This time I was going slowly and carefully like an ancient being...You have to watch the ground. Here is an old badger hole which could easily break a leg if you stepped in it.
The land here is quite arid. They get very little rain, but this year they have gotten more than in the past...and it has pocked the soil.
Tussocks of granna grass and other prairie grasses also make the going a little rough. I was wondering about how much difference a year can make in my ability to get around. . . and I'm far too young and active to be acting and feeling like this!
I made it to the top and gathered a bucket of bits and pieces. I would have liked to have hauled the old stove back down so that I could put flower pots on it for my mom. In the past, I've built garden angels for her....but the wind blew it down and my sister-in-law hauled the pieces away.
Imagine how happy I was to find that it wasn't cancer after all....and that next year, I'll be able to skip right up that hill....maybe I'll even be able to start running again. Who knows!