This blog post is a little different than usual. There is not a lot of info about the farm here, this is a little more personal, but something that I decided after a lot of thought that I would like to share.
I just want to put in my 2 cents (even though no one asked me for it) and say to anyone out there who has a dream of doing something different and can find a way to do it..take that chance. Make the first step. Of course, it's not always possible to just drop everything and start a new path, but it is possible to work towards that path, and so gratifying to work for something you love. You never know what's going to happen tomorrow, and if you have any chance of making your dreams come true, even if it's only for a short time, it's so worth it :)
As our summer was getting underway, not long after we got the 2nd field planted, I had minor surgery to remove what the doctor fully expected to be a fatty tumor on my back near my shoulder blade. Jerry and I headed in to get the results on June 26th. I remember it so clearly, we were laughing and messing around when the doctor came in. We weren't at all worried about it. That changed as soon as we saw the doctor's face. Turns out I have Stage IV Metastatic Melanoma. The lump was a tumor. Well, multiple tumors actually.
There is no way to describe the feeling unless you've been through it. There is no way to wrap your mind around it. Cancer. It just doesn't seem possible. I felt great, no health issues at all! It had to be a mistake!
I'm not going to make this a long drawn out story. So far, things are going incredibly well. I have been put on some fairly new immunotherapy and after the first round of treatments, I have made amazing improvements. Many of the tumors and spots that were in my spine, lung, leg, and other assorted areas have shrunk dramatically and some are completely gone. I am temporarily off treatment as I had some kind of rough side effects we had to deal with, but I start back on the immunotherapy on December 5th, and I fully intend to beat this!
The reason for wanting to share is this: Having cancer has made me a happier person. Sounds bizarre, I know. Don't get me wrong. I freaked out. I cried and cried. I freaked out some more. I was sure I was going to die immediately. But once I got past that, I realized that every single day is a gift. I can get up and be sad that I have cancer and worry that my time is limited, but that's ridiculous. Everyone's time is limited! It's what I choose to do with the time that is important.
I can honestly say that every day when I wake up I take a deep breath and smile. Right off the bat, I am happy, because I'm getting another day. I notice so many things that I took for granted. How beautiful all the colors around the farm are, how great the smell of the grass is, how wonderful a hug feels. I know that sounds like a cliche but it's absolutely true. At the end of the day, I think about everything I've gotten done, and I am so thankful that I was able to do those things.
I am SO incredibly lucky and blessed. I found my perfect partner in life and business. Jerry is the best husband and partner imaginable. I have the most supportive, generous sister in the world. I have 3 wonderful kids and 7 amazing grandchildren. I have the sweetest mother-in-law and father-in-law anyone could ask for. I have 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 11 chickens and I love them all! I have fantastic friends and family from all over who check on me constantly. Jerry and I are building this lavender farm, and it's actually growing! We are getting repeat customers, people seeking us out, and even though it's super hard work, we love every minute.
Every day I am thankful that we took the leap and decided to start this farm when our jobs were moved. It was terrifying, but we've been happier than we ever were working for a big company. When I was first diagnosed, I often thought about how glad I was that the past 2 years had been spent doing something I love and not wasted time doing something that I wasn't passionate about.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! We thank you all for your support and love, and hope you all get to be with the ones you love this holiday!