They smelled even better than I remembered. The first sniff was almost shocking. Not that I didn't remember it, but memory definitely didn't do justice to the richness of it. It's just simply the best smell on the planet.
Kirk chartered a plane for us, and we flew up in a little pressurized Cessna. Our pilot, Travis, was awesome. I was tempted to check his ID when he pulled up, but turns out he was 28, with ten years as a pilot. When I explained that we had six horses that we hadn't seen in six months, and we were flying up to see them, he said he'd grown up with horses, and loved them. (Major points in my book.) So when we arrived in Modesto, we asked him to join us, and he did. He was great company and obviously enjoyed the horses.
Holly and David were ready and waiting when we finally arrived. We all piled in David's truck, with Holly following on a quad, and headed into the hills to find the herd. The horses apparently have a daily route around the property, and David knew where we'd probably find them. Sure enough, as we rounded a bend, there were Mixer and Leroy, happily grazing on the side of a steep hill. The rest of the herd was close by.
I got out of the truck and called "Hey, Mixer!" I swear he did a double-take. He and Leroy just sort of stared at us...I can only imagine what was going through their heads, but I suspect it was something along the lines of, "oh, crap -- you're not taking us home now, are you???"
They all look spectacular. Climbing up and down those hills is just what a horse needs, and they're trim and solid. Their feet are amazing, and about as tough as the granite in those hills. Oasis Ranch is about as perfect a home for a horse as exists. And to top it all off, Holly and David brush them and pet them and pamper them daily. What more could a horse ask for??
Dune was reserved...I wasn't surprised; he warmed up later in the day, but poor Duney is pretty sure I'm just like all the others, and not to be trusted with his affection. Mixer, Leroy and Riser all took a little while to warm up. And to Lady I'm just somebody that comes by a couple of times a year. But ol' man Johnny marched right over to me when I called his name. (And he is doing fabulous -- a little thin, but in pretty darn good shape from those hills, and sound as ever!)
We hugged and petted and fussed over them most of the day. I got myself positively filthy, and it felt SO good. It was the best day I've had all year.
I am here! I am here! Neglecting my blog, but creating jewelry like a woman possessed...
I know I've left you all hanging in regards to my bone marrow biopsy and to my treatment. So here's the big picture.
My bone marrow looks good. My chromosomes even look good (they were a mess before). And the myeloma related proteins in my blood are normal. This is all very good news, especially considering how severe the disease was when I was diagnosed (I had about 90% leukemia cells running amok in my bone marrow.) Using a procedure called fluorescence in situ hybridization, the pathologists identified a SMALL percentage of changes to my DNA that are markers for plasma cell leukemia. Researchers really don't know how indicative of relapse those changes are; essentially, if they hadn't done the FISH assay, I would be considered in remission.
I had already decided I did not want to pursue the donor bone marrow transplant. The potential benefits simply do not outweigh the risks (complications including graft-versus-host disease, in which the donor cells attack the recipient's body, not to mention the risk of infection from a severely compromised immune system) and the lengthy (about a year) recovery time. And I just could not reconcile the idea of another extended hospital stay - this one probably in the neighborhood of three months. But most importantly, the donor transplant would neither cure me, nor appreciably extend my QUALITY time.
It was not a difficult decision.
So now I'm just going to LIVE. As much like a normal person as I possibly can. For as long as I can.
Of course, there's the weency little problem of bringing in enough money to pay the tachycardia-inducing medical bills while I proceed to live my life. So I'll sign off with some images of my jewelry, which is all very much for sale, and will be listed on Etsy.com soon. (Also, I have both So Cal Complete Hoof & Mineral Blend and Thrush Ninja in stock!)
0069 - Green Turquoise Heishi & Shell Heishi Necklace (16")
Today the doc finally gave me the go ahead...I can go see my horses!!!!!! Best thing I've heard in six months. Not sure when we'll go, but it will be SOON, and I will be armed with carrots galore in case the herd decides to play hard to get with me. CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!
So, in my spare time, when I'm not working on the forum for my nephew's website, or walking, or making jewelry, I have become completely addicted to the "Pounce" button on Etsy.com. "Pouncing" displays a list of items that have recently sold....and if you're not familiar with Etsy, it's a website where people sell all sorts of handcrafted items. Some of it is really amazing stuff, and some of it is interesting simply because it's boggling that anyone bought it.
My hair is clearly on strike. Eyelashes too. Not that I blame them, but geez, it'd be nice to grow some fuzz.
Will be posting some jewelry pics as soon as I get them taken!
But hey, after all the bone marrow biopsies I've had it's really no big deal any more. Not my favorite activity, and I'm gonna need some serious tattoos to cover up all of my various and sundry treatment scars. It also means I shouldn't go for a walk this afternoon, which SUUU-UUUCKS 'cause I didn't walk this morning and it's another beautiful day. But really, just another day in this very strange life.
No, seriously, I am an olfactory freak. I can smell people. I'm not talking about body order (although I can certainly smell that, too, much to my dismay), or cologne or deodorant. And the really freaky thing is, I can smell them from about 20 paces, farther if the wind is right.
I read somewhere that in the grand scheme of odoriferous-ness, humans are a smelly species, and that's part of the reason that other animals tend to avoid us.
I'll buy that theory. I would much prefer to smell horses, or even dogs.
I'm guessing that this new "skill" is the result of the repeated purging of epithelial cells. The fresh ones in my nose are just extra clean and sensitive right now. I'm kinda hoping it's something that will fade over time.
If not, I could probably pursue a career in manhunts...
Holy smokes, I didn't realize I hadn't posted anything in so long! No excuses...just been doing my usual thing, walking and working on websites and staring at pictures of my horses. Oh, and starting to think about making jewelry with my sister. She does really beautiful, unique stuff. I used to do a lot of sort of southwest stuff -- lots of turquoise. We're going to see what we can come up with that will appeal to the Coronado tourists.
As you can probably tell, being idle makes me crazy....of course there are still hospital visits at least every other day, which usually dominates a good 3 hours or more, but even there I have to be busy. I see so many people just sitting there during their treatments staring at the TV...novocaine for the brain, I guess. That would drive me positively batty.
Saw the doc today, and everything is going as it should. He wasn't worried about my incredibly annoying, lingering cough, and he even took me off of one of the prophylactic antibiotics. Yippee! Two less pills to take every day! (Which brings the daily grand total to around twenty...I've contemplated putting them in a bowl with milk and eating them like Cheerios....)
I feel like I'm recovering reeeeeeaaaalllly slowly, but they tell me it's perfectly normal. At least I'm through the fainting goat phase!