I’M ALIVE: GEORGE MICHAEL’S “WHITE LIGHT”

It was just short of a year ago now that I was rushed to the hospital with unexplained internal bleeding, in need of five units of blood, and sick enough that when the source of the bleeding was discovered – cancer lesions throughout my digestive tract – it was unclear if I would be able to survive the first dose of chemotherapy I desperately needed.

It was all a blur, really. I knew it was serious by the grim looks on the faces of four different doctors who came to explain the situation to me. They seemed to want to make doubly sure I knew what I was getting into when I authorized them to begin treatment. It was only later, after I had pulled through, that my primary care physician told me honestly, “We weren’t sure you were going to make it.”

Looking back, it seems like years ago, not months. I spoke with a good old friend from Los Angeles this weekend, filling him in on all the details of this last year. When I got to the part about being rushed to the hospital I said,

“It was great! My first time in an ambulance and those EMT’s are so damn cute! And I didn’t really know how serious it was so I was just enjoying these guys in their uniforms rushing me to the hospital with lights blazing and the siren droning on!”

Thinking back though, it really wasn’t my first time in an ambulance. Years ago, when I was struggling with drugs and alcohol in Los Angeles, I had an accidental overdose and was taken by ambulance to a hospital near my home. Because of the intoxication, I have trouble remembering exactly what that ride was like, but it’s clear that I haven’t romanticized it as exciting or fun. I’m so glad that I’m sober now. At least that struggle is over.

Twice now I’ve been in the hospital, fighting for my life. Once because my addiction brought me to a point of foolish over-intoxication. And more recently because a cancer that began on my skin had metastasized to my digestive tract, weakening me and making everything more complicated.

Every time I think about this, the George Michael song, “White Light,” featured in this really honest and brilliant video, plays in my mind. I like George. He’s from the 80’s and my youth, and one of the first celebrities I had a crush on (back in the Wham! days). I relate to him as a fellow gay man, and as someone who has also struggled with alcohol and drugs. I respect that he’s been honest enough to talk about all these things, both in his lyrics and in interviews and public statements.

Not many people know that in the midst of his struggle, while on tour in November 2011, he had to be hospitalized in Vienna for a viral infection that turned into a deadly pneumonia. It was touch and go for several days. He was treated in the intensive care unit, spent time in a coma, and underwent a tracheostomy. Finally released on December 21st of that year, George Michael made a public statement thanking the staff of Vienna General Hospital for saving his life.

This song was released in June 2012, just months after Whitney Houston’s cocaine-related death. The lyrics allude to both Amy Winehouse and Houston’s deaths, and George’s fear that it “could have been me.” This lyrical honesty gives credence to rumors that the problems in Vienna were drug related. The video is haunting because it is so brutally raw, so honest, and I’ve been there. It catches my breath every time I see it.

Having just come home last week from the hospital after my own struggle with pneumonia, I thought I’d post this video tonight. As George sings,

“I’ve got so much more that I want to do
Was it music?
Was it science that saved me?
Or the way that you prayed for me
either way I thank you

I’m alive”

My thoughts exactly.

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ONE WEEK STAY IN THE HOSPITAL – AT PARENTS’ HOME RECUPERATING

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Stayed for one week at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, a hospital that started out in the mid 20th century as a resort (hence the inviting tower). Great care and food, but I was ready to check out of there. The less time in any hospital the better.

Infection in my lungs and legs (community-acquired Pneumonia and Cellulitis). Legs swelled up with fluid that ran out of room in my thighs and so creatively over-flowed into my groin, penis and testicles. The body really is amazing (and gross). Felt like an elephant for a few days. I’m headed back to normal, which in zoology terms is adequately (but averagely so) human. Healing due to antibiotics, of course. Amazing what antibiotics can still do despite increasing resistance due to the collaboration by big-PHARMA and big-FARM(Agriculture) to feed meat in the food chain daily doses of antibiotics like they were candies.

Had another chemotherapy treatment as well, because my cancer came back and we have to keep it in check.

And just in case anyone is keeping tabs, this hospital stay will be about $100,000 – just like the last one I had in April. That’s the American Health Care system for you, even after the ACA.

Should be home at my place next weekend. Need some hands-on care until then.

ANYTHING IS A BLESSING: SMALL HOMES and SMALL SETBACKS

SMALL HOMES:

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Many people think that the OCCUPY movement dried up and disappeared like dust, but OCCUPIERS have just moved into other areas of action and change.

OCCUPY MADISON is building small homes for those in need of one. Take a look at the following  local news report from NBC affiliate WMTV (Madison, Wisconsin.

VIDEO LINK OF NEWS BROADCAST:

http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/Group-builds-tiny-homes-for-local-homeless-218449881.html

SMALL SETBACKS:

My cancer came back. It’s still treatable. I’m meeting with a new oncologist on Thursday to discuss options.

And if that isn’t enough, I’m writing this from the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs where I’ve been hospitalized with Pneumonia (just the regular community acquired kind, nothing fancy or antibiotic resistant). Treatable and now being treated intravenuously with Levaquin, a strong antibiotic.

I’m still just so glad to be alive and thinking and dreaming and writing. I take the greatest pleasures in the simplest of things.

As I was driving myself to the E.R. this afternoon I came up behind this old hippie-style van with the following message painted on the back:

ANYTHING IS A BLESSING

And so it is. I really brought that into my soul and heart as I drove the final few miles to the hospital. “It will be a blessing to watch the doctors and nurses do what they do best,” I told myself. “It will be a blessing to  give them an opportunity to demonstrate their skill and expertise.”

It was a blessing to be able to drive myself to seek the appropriate care for my body. And as I continue my stay here at the hospital It will be a blessing for me to interact with everyone along the way – by expressing thanks and appreciation., engaging with questions and encouragement. Smiling. Laughing. Giving a friendly nod.

It is a blessing to be reminded not only of the fragility of life, but also of the sacredness and beauty of it. And to be reminded of how precious it still is to me. Though I sometimes face limits and challenges I could never have imagined, I still am grateful every morning for another day of life. And in that sense, yes, ‘anything’ and ‘everything’ is a blessing. Even the chance meeting of my truck and the van which told me so.

44 YEARS OLD TODAY and SO FLIES THE COOP (from a guy named Michael’s place over to mine)

It’s nice to have a birthday, especially when I’ve gotten such an interesting birthday present from a complete stranger. While browsing the “FREE” section on CRAIGSLIST (something I do on a regular basis to search out finds for SCH) I came across the interesting photo below:

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A fellow named Michael had built this structure out of pallets, and he and his wife Hilda were using it to protect their vegetable garden. You see, out here in the Morongo Basin, if you’ve got a garden, all the local squirrels, jackrabbits, mice, rats, birds, etc. think it’s a nightly buffet. So you have to protect your investment. Michael built this structure with panels that went one foot down in the ground all the way around and covered all the rest of the open space with chicken wire so that no animal could get in and spoil the garden fun.

They’ve had a good run or it, but Michael and his wife are moving on,  so they were looking to give this lovely structure to anyone who was crazy enough to come over and disassemble it. To give it to someone completely free of charge.

“Hey! Over here! I’m JUST crazy enough to give it a shot! Pick me! Pick me!”

They did.

I really like that word FREE. And taking something that had been given a second chance (wooden pallets) and made into a garden structure — and then taking that garden structure and giving it a SECOND CHANCE over at my place as two new structures (more below) — well, that’s what my whole Second Chance Homestead philosophy is about. It’s about as close to birthday nirvana as you can get!

So I talked my friend John into helping me take this thing apart.

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My friend John V. stands ready to mount the demolition.

It’s a good thing I’ve still got my pickup truck. Because it allowed me to move all the pieces from Michael and Hilda’s place over to my very own plot of Second Chance Homestead land.

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 The pieces of the puzzle stacked not so neatly in the northwest corner of my backyard. (above and below)

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SO WHAT AM I GOING TO BUILD?

Two things actually.

A chicken coop. And a greenhouse for growing things in a protected environment just like Michael and Hilda did.

Of course the “greenhouse” will actually be an orange house because that’s the color they decided to paint all of this wood, and since they gave me two free gallons of leftover orange paint I think both the coop and the “greenhouse” will stay orange.

I’m finally getting my energy back and can’t wait to get busy building. Hammer and nails here I come.  I’m 44 years old and I and these blood orange walls are not going anywhere but up…UP…UP!

THE WORST PART IS OVER, OR IS IT? (this is a cancer update — but read on, the news is good…)

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So this is me, in a photograph taken yesterday by my brother as we were both celebrating our birthdays to come in Oak Glen, California. I turn 44 years old tomorrow. My brother turns 41 on the 22nd. I don’t look like a guy who has spent the past year fighting cancer, do I? 

On September 10th they biopsied several areas where I had cancer. The pathology results came back negative for cancer, meaning that I don’t have it in those places anymore. Further tests to explore me inside and out also confirmed that there is no apparent cancer present at this time. Five chemotherapy treatments and things seem to have been cleared up for now.

So in that sense, the worst part is over. But it isn’t either. Because I still have to do “follow up” chemotherapy to try and make sure the cancer doesn’t come back. I did my first “follow-up” a week ago, and I have to do two more doses, the first week of November and the first week of December. I don’t like chemotherapy, and I’ve had a real easy time of it. I’ve kept my weight on (I’m a healthy 164 now and never dropped below 158 during this whole process). I haven’t lost any hair in obvious places but did lose a small amount on my legs that no one but an obsessive me would notice. I still think that I lost some of my lower eyelid eyelashes but I never counted them so I can’t be sure. And the top ones seem to be all there. But did I mention that I don’t like chemotherapy even though I’ve had an easy time of it? It just tires me out. Really tires me out. For days that drag on into a week and then two. But then I feel good again with lots of normal “Tim” energy that I try not to spend  dreading the fact that I know I’m going to have to go down chemotherapy road again. As Charlie Brown says, “Uggghh…”

But who’s complaining. It’s kept me alive. I gotta keep going. And I’ll have energy for Thanksgiving and Christmas and maybe 2014 will be cancer AND chemotherapy free.

Thanks for the prayers, well wishes, love, support, listening, encouraging. I swear that medicine worked more than the chemicals they pump into me at the Cancer Center. But I need the chemicals too. So here’s to two more treatments, and the beautiful fact that I’m alive to celebrate another birthday. What a joy it is to be alive. What a joy it was to celebrate that fact with my family yesterday in a beautiful place where they grow apples and pumpkins and sell fresh pressed cider and candied apples and apple and pumpkin pies.

Oh. And I almost forgot. My mom and dad gave me the best birthday present. The piano that I grew up with and learned to play on. They gave it to me!  It’s being delivered to my place so that I can play it again every day as I did when I was a child and young man.  I owned another piano in Los Angeles, but sold it when I moved to the Coachella Valley in 2012. I haven’t had anything to play in almost two years. And this isn’t just any old piano. It’s MY old piano. It helped raise me.

Thanks mom and dad for the keys – to life, and the black and white ones. You’re the best and I love you much. Besides being alive, this is the best birthday present ever.

HOW DID I GET THROUGH AN ENTIRE SUMMER WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING? EASY…

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When I first moved in to my place in February, the cooling of my house wasn’t the first thing on my mind. But as summer approached I got more and more curious: how was I going to get through a very hot summer with no air conditioning?

The answer was easy. My place came with an evaporative cooler mounted on the roof. I was assured I wouldn’t need anything else to ensure a comfortable summer season.

At first the whole thing seemed kind of primitive. For one thing, it only had two switches: ON and OFF (for the system as a whole) and HIGH and LOW (for the fan within the system which circulates air within my house via ducts in each room). There was no way to “set” the desired temperature. There was no timer to let it know when to get my house cool and when to dial it back a bit.

How does this thing work? I wondered.

It just does. And beautifully I might add.

CONSTANT FLOW & PEACE AND QUIET:

When you turn the system on it continuously blows cool air into your home — none of this on/off/on/off stuff that air conditioners go through and which are very inefficient as far as energy conservation is concerned. And the only way I even notice that it’s on is if I feel the temperature change or walk beneath a duct and feel the air blowing down on me. That’s because it’s operation is virtually silent. Another great advantage over a/c.

FRESH & MOIST:

Unlike air conditioning units, which recirculate air within a closed system – cooling and recooling it and drying it out — evaporative coolers circulate constant fresh air from outside while adding moisture to it in the process. Last summer I spent Palm Springs, where air conditioning units run 24/7 and I woke up every morning with dried skin, chapped lips, and a scratchy throat.  None of that happens with my evaporative cooler.

In keeping with the constant flow of air, you can even keep a door or window open while running the evaporative cooler. In fact, it helps to crack a window open an inch or two. That way the fresh air can push out the “old” air. My two cats and my dog Phoenix use a doggy door to go in and out of the house. When I forget to crack open a window and am running the evaporative cooler their doggy door “window” ends up being pushed open with a nice little whistling sound as a result of the air pressure.

Fresh, clean, moist air. What a concept.

ENERGY EFFICIENT & ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY:

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Evaporative cooling systems use about 70% less energy than an air conditioning unit, and they have negligible C02 emissions. The thing runs on water and electricity. There is no freon in an evaporative cooling system, or any other kind of cooling agent other than H20. 

INEXPENSIVE:

Evaporative coolers are cheaper to buy, install, and run than air conditioners. They also need less maintenance. With a simpler system, maintenance is simplified. One quick annual service (I had mine in April for about $50) is all that is needed. No freon recharges, no air filter cleanings or replacements. And by using 70% less energy you can only guess how cheap my electricity bill was all summer long.

THE ONE BIG DRAWBACK:

Evaporative coolers work best in hot and dry areas. This isn’t the type of cooling system you should get if you live in hot and humid Florida. Luckily the Morongo Basin meets these conditions perfectly, with the exception of a few humid days last month when monsoonal type storm clouds dumped rain on our usually dry desert.

Some people say evaporative coolers just don’t work in humid conditions. I found that this was an exagerration. My cooler worked best in hot and dry conditions, but it still managed to make things a bit cooler inside on even the most humid day. With just a handful of days during which these conditions were present, it just wouldn’t make any sense for me to invest in an air conditioning system. For a few days every year? Who needs that expense? Who needs that headache? What kind of man am I if I can’t sit through a humid day or two once every year.

 

 

 

DECLINE IN COACHELLA VALLEY GROUNDWATER LEVELS HIGHLIGHTS THE INSANITY OF HUMANITY’S WATER CONSUMPTION

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Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Tribal Chief Jeff Grubbe. The Tribe is suing the Desert Water Agency and the Coachella Valley Water District, alleging years of mismanagement of the local water supply.

Water officials in the Coachella Valley are claiming to be making progress in their efforts to keep from depleting the natural aquifer that the Palm Springs area sits atop. They’ve come up with a solution: keep on pumping water out of the aquifer. Replenish it with water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin River Delta. The only problem? The tunnels which could transport the water have never been built.

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Sign announcing the use of recycled water, a responsible approach to water management, but one that only 18 out of 124 Coachella Valley golf courses employs.

The Coachella Valley has some of the heaviest water use in California, due in no small part to the presence of 124 golf courses in the area, only 18 of which use recycled water for irrigation. The remaining 106 draw fresh water from the ground. And that’s just the golf courses.

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Philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg with First Lady Betty and President Gerald Ford

There’s is also the problem of zip code — the 92270 of Rancho Mirage, one of the “richest” zip codes in the country. It is also the realm of the politically well-connected. Senator Barbara Boxer calls Rancho Mirage home, as did President and First Lady Ford. 

Perhaps nothing illustrates the success of Rancho Mirage excess better than the Sunnylands estate, the former winter home of Walter and Leonore Annenberg and now a high-level retreat center for national and international leaders.  It sits on 200 acres of manicured lawns and gardens and even boasts it’s own private golf course. President Obama recently met there with Chinese President Xi Jinpin. It’s that kind of place.

Groundwater levels have dropped by more than 100 feet underneath Rancho Mirage since the 1950’s, indicating some of the most intense water consumption Valley-wide. It takes a lot of water to keep the landscaping green as money. 

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Aerial view of a not atypical estate in the desert city of Rancho Mirage.

It should be no surprise that the Valley’s original residents, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, are suing the Coachella Valley Water District and the Desert Water Agency to assert their rights to the groundwater. Their suit accuses the agencies of mismanaging the water supply.

“DWA and CVWD continue to…mislead the public into thinking that everything is OK and that they have a handle on the issue when clearly they do not,” Tribal Chairman Jeff Grubbe said in a statement to the Desert Sun.

Is a desert really the place for dozens of golf courses and sprawling estates with acres and acres of manicured lawns?

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If the water dries up in Rancho Mirage, no doubt they’ll just truck in pallets of Evian Water to fill up their swimming pools and water their parched gardens. But what about everybody else?

To read more visit the Desert Sun at http://www.mydesert.com/interactive/article/20130908/NEWS07/309080001/Our-declining-water-reserves

 

 

5TH ANNUAL BHAKTI FEST DESCENDS ON JOSHUA TREE – WALLET BEWARE!

ImageDon’t worry. There won’t be any pickpockets reaching into the folds of your sari trying to get at your hard-earned cash, but you might want to think twice about heading for Joshua Tree this weekend. Between the cost of a four-day pass ($325) and the money you’ll spend purchasing the wares of the 100 vendors there selling everything from food and books to jewelry and neti pots — your pocketbook will be saying “Ouch!” just when your spirit says “Om…”

“Yoga’s a very big business now. Everyone’s doing yoga,” executive producer and Bhakti Fest founder Sridhar Silberfein tells the Desert Sun in Saturday’s edition. “We’re expecting at least a couple thousand people, maybe 3,000.”

In addition to yoga and the vendor market, they’ve got meditation, instruction in chanting, hula hoop classes, and workshops by leading philosophers and authors. You can even stay overnight at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center where the event is being held.

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 Shiva Rea Shakti-Rocks the House

And then there’s the music.

When you’re tired of shopping and downward dogging, you can chill out in front of the stage where musicians the likes of former Madonna backup singer Donna De Lory will be performing and elevating the spirit. Donna used to do Gay Pride events. I guess now she’s working the Shakti Circuit.

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Donna De Lory and Madonna strike a pose

Despite my playful criticism, Silberfein puts the weekend into nice perspective with his comments to the Desert Sun:

“You bring your family, spend a couple of days, do yoga, you hangout, eat good [vegetarian] food. I mean what could be bad? There’s no drugs. There’s no alcohol. Where can you go that that exists anymore today?”

He has a point. The last time I was in a public place where there were no drugs and alcohol was when I attended an AA meeting.

But I just can’t see myself at Bhakti Fest. I can’t afford the entrance fee. I haven’t got the right wardrobe. I always feel self-conscious when I bend into a difficult pose.

Still, my sober brother David T. is headed there all four days, and his  friend Alexandra the yoga teacher also plans to show up. How about you?

For more information on Bhakti Fest read the article in the Desert Sun at http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013308300013 or go to the Bhakti Fest website at http://www.bhaktifest.com

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Shyamdas and Radhanath Swami (Rise Globa Product Shots) 

NEEDLES AND THE NINETEEN SEVENTIES: GREAT ART and “THAT SMARTS!” ALTERNATIVE HEALING

Yesterday I was in Palm Springs to receive acupuncture. I do it from time to time to restore balance in my body and help recover from chemotherapy. I haven’t experienced anything like it. There’s a pinch at the start (“That smarts!”), followed by 40 minutes of relaxation as needles tend to various energy points in my body. It leaves me feeling renewed and remade. After a session with my acupuncturist Askat, I felt revitalized enough to do some shopping. Feeling revived, I headed over to Revivals, a “thrift” store whose takings benefit the Desert Aids Project.

First the well-being. If you are in the Palm Springs area and need acupuncture, want to explore options in Chinese Herbology, or just lie down for a restorative massage, be sure and check out the Desert Wellness Clinic at http://desertwellnessclinic.com/. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

And next – Revivals. They’ve got everything under the sun, but I was interested specifically in previously owned artwork to adorn the walls of Second Chance Homestead.

I collect artwork that is graphic – mostly posters, prints and lithographs with big, bold type and rich, expressive hues. I always want “text” with my imagery. A recent gem “find” came into my collection for just $10 – a framed poster from a shop in San Francisco circa 1973. 

note: I’m not a professional photographer but I’ve tried my best. Also, my home was pretty dark and I needed to use the flash! I know…I know…

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“Goines Posters: 1968 – 1973,” by David Lance Goines. Designed for a 1973 exhibit in a San Francisco gallery. Reprint featured here (1977) by Portal Publications Ltd. for an exhibit at the Thackrey and Robertson Gallery, also in San Francisco. 20″ by 28″.

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Detail from “Goines Posters: 1968-1973,” by David Lance Goines.

Maybe Revivals had on its shelves some good pieces to go with the Goines poster. After only a few minutes perusing their stock, I found not only companions but two true “soul mates” from the same shining decade.

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“Broadway,” by Hilary Knight for the Triton Gallery, NYC.  1974. Number 3 of 150. 

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Detail of “Broadway,” by Hilary Knight.

I love discovering amazing pieces that were once loved but have fallen onto hard times and found themselves in thrift shop stock. They are like orphans that need to be adopted. And with my recycle/repurpose/renew/re-use Homestead ethos, I LOVE to give a great work a second chance to be displayed and continually admired.

 I also love the fact that I’m able to buy truly amazing and often original artwork at affordable prices, and that the money that leaves my pocket goes to an important cause.

Affordable? How much do you think I spent on “Broadway”? Just five dollars and twenty-five cents, thank you. Money well spent.

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“George Berke,” by Michael P. Smith. 20″ by 27″. 1977. Number 599 of 1000.

The second print,  “George Burke,” depicts a reveler at the 1977 Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans. It cost me all of nine dollars.

Total three pieces: Under $25 (twenty four dollars and twenty five cents to be exact).

 Could I have come away with even one cheaply framed mass-produced unoriginal print from Ikea or Walmart or Target to hang on my wall for that small amount of cash?

Even better – I never have to fear someone walking into my place and saying, “I LOVE that print! I have the same one at home!”

 The God of Second Chances. That’s MY curator. 

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Detail of “George Berke” by Michael P. Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OFF TO A SLOW START AT THE HOMESTEAD…

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A great book by the Canadian Doctor Gabor Mate that I finished reading about six months ago. I had no idea it would foreshadow what I am facing now.

I have been trying to figure out an easy way to explain to readers of this blog and supporters of the SECOND CHANCE HOMESTEAD project why it seems that progress both in cyber and real space have cranked to a halt. I’ve only been able to make a few posts here when I intended to do three or four a week, and I have only been able to barely begin a few of the projects on site that I originally planned to have completed by now.

 What has been holding me up? Wasn’t I going to hit the ground running February First when I took up residence?

 I did, but ran into a wall in the middle of the month. I’ve been hesitating to write about this because I don’t want the subject and direction of this blog and project to take a left turn into a day by day account of…well – some very unexpected circumstances that I’ve had to sit back and make my priority.

 While I expected to be chasing around chickens, ducks, and goats by now, my body said “Wait a minute. There’s something we need to deal with first.” I have recently been diagnosed with some serious health challenges, including several sites on my body of an aggressive skin cancer that can spread rapidly without detection or treatment. Luckily it has now been detected and I am in treatment. It is starting to at least slow down – a little.  I don’t really want to go into more detail at this time except to say that I have caught it early and have assembled around me a very competent health team to walk me through this. My doctor, his Physician’s Assistant, his Registered Nurse and L.V.N. work very well together and are providing me with the support and treatment I will need to beat this. They have my complete trust, and have already helped me establish a strong footing on the path to healing. As a complement to Western treatments I am also receiving weekly treatments by a highly skilled Acupuncturist who works out of Palm Springs.

 My prognosis is good. My health should generally be restored in six to twelve months and all expectations are that I will be “cancer free” or “in remission” at that time. There are a few other things I’m facing, but they should also be fairly resolved in that time period, and nothing is life threatening.

 I didn’t realize how much of a “Second Chance” I was getting moving to this place. I thought this year would be about revisioning my life, not saving it. But if saving my life is where the universe wants me to begin, I’m more than willing to start there. I hadn’t been feeling well for awhile, but I had put off going to the doctor for because I had no insurance.

 A shout-out to OBAMA and HEALTH CARE REFORM.When I moved to SECOND CHANCE HOMESTEAD I became a resident of San Bernardino County, and was able to get full medical coverage under an “early rollout” pilot program of the new Health Care System that will go statewide in 2014. I was finally able to make an appointment with a doctor and it’s a very good thing I did. 

At the time of diagnosis my body was ready to take a real turn for the worse. It was one of those “just in time” moments. If I’d waited another couple of months I would have faced certain early death.  

 Healthcare is expensive, and so are the drugs that go with it. One of the medicines I was prescribed cost over $3,000. I wouldn’t have been able to take it if it wasn’t for OBAMACARE.

 I don’t want this project or blog to devolve into a “let’s beat cancer!” crusade. I will keep trying to move forward as best I can, and ask for your understanding and patience if this takes a little while. I will from time to time give an update of my health status.

 Prayers, well wishes, and good thoughts are welcomed and deeply appreciated at this time. I know I have a lot of love being sent my way.

 SECOND CHANCES. They come in all kinds of packages and at the most unexpected times. But this really isn’t what I meant when I moved here to start SECOND CHANCE HOMESTEAD. But how often do plans work out just the way we’ve intended them to anyway?