Sunday, April 19, 2009

In some of my previous posts, , I mentioned that we were having some issues with the Farmer's back that has now it has become an even bigger issue. Four years ago, he was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma. If that sounds like a big scary disease, it is. No question. It strikes like a cobra that has to be killed in one blow. With RCC, that blow is the removal of the kidney, where the tumor originates. If it hasn't moved on to other parts of the body, you are pronounced cured and sent home, told to get a CT scan once a year and have a nice life.

Sometimes it doesn't come back, only that rarely happens. This is a hard disease to fight. The problem is that it doesn't respond to normal chemo. Radiation as most people know it, has little effect on this cancer, but there are some cutting edge techniques being used not that may render the old info obsolete. There has been some real progress and some profound breakthroughs made in the treatment of this cancer over the last four years, provided you are able to obtain these treatments. While there is no "cure" there are at least some life extending options available now that were only experimental in 2005. Biggest problem with them, though, is that the possible side effects are pretty intense and QOL can be considerably affected by them. Plus, there are other stumbling blocks to the newer treatments, particularly cost, location and availability.

This is one insidious cancer, because it is always lurking in the background of your life, waiting to rise again from the ashes. But, unlike the mythical Phoenix, it has a much more sinister purpose and it usually comes back with a vengeance. So, you have to decide how you are going to live your life...sitting in the house waiting for the ax to fall or live your life like there is no tomorrow...always in the moment and looking forward to the next. Luckily for us, we chose the latter.

The last four years have been up and down for us but we have never waivered from our mission of growing the healthiest food we possibly could and to get it to the people in our community. Our committment to our brothers and sisters under Mother Earth has always been at the forefront of everything we do. We live our own lives with that committment to excellent stewardship always at the forefront (by example is always the best way to teach) and try to never waiver from our goals of sustainability, self-sufficiency and simplicity. In some ways, that has made us outsiders, not quite fitting into the flow of what is happening around us.

Sometimes it almost seems like people are hinting to us that we should apologize for how we live and I can't imagine why. Our life here is one of relative peace and harmony and if that sounds hippyish, that is because it is. There was nothing wrong with those lofty ideals that so many had in the 1960's and early 70's, just with the means to the end and so it didn't stick. Humans are pack animals and we are hardwired on some levels to always try to fit in, which usually means taking the path of least resistance. Ergo, the old hippies became wealthy opening health food stores and record companies. Personally, I became a financial advisor and spent 25 years on that rat wheel before I could get off and save myself.

Finding ourselves in this present position, that of knowing basically nothing about what the future holds, has left us bruised and battered but underneath all that, we know how strong our bond is and know that we will deal with it as best we can. Hopefully, our best will result in only positive things and we will continue along the path we have chosen. Love really is the answer and we have that in spades.

During the next several weeks and months there is a lot of work to be done both at the Farm and to fight this illness, so I may not get to post here at this blog very often. I may be wrong about the postings, though, because I find this is a good place to vent, let out feelings, etc. especially since this blog is about my life on an organic farm and this is all part of that life.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Whew! This spring has been one wild weather ride after another. So far, I have covered, uncovered, sprayed with water, shaded, opened and closed doors (on the greenhouse) and put up barriers to keep the wind from blowing seedlings out of their little pots. And that was just last week. But all kidding aside, this has been one of the springs that we usually have around here. I guess with the last couple of years of drought we forgot what a real spring season in this area can be like. At least it is warming up now. APril 14th was the last average date to frost here in our zone, so keep your fingers crossed that the average is the norm this year.