Life in the Show Me State

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May 082018
 

I moved to Southwest Missouri about 6 months ago and it’s been a little bit crazy. I am working as a field adjuster and I love it! I was fortunate to be able to stay with the same employer and not have to start over vesting in my benefits.

What do I like so much? It’s nice to be out in the field meeting with people and talking with them face-to-face. I like to drive and I take my camera along so I can grab some images during my breaks on the road.

The area reminds me of upstate New York. I frequently drive through the Mark Twain National Forest. The beautiful trees, hills, and lakes are so much like home, but it’s warmer and I haven’t had to shovel snow. Don’t talk to me about mowing, though. I got spoiled having my yard mowed for me in Grinnell and doing it myself seems like a bit of a chore. On the plus side, mowing the whole yard probably takes about an hour and burns about 1000 calories.

I’ve had a few on-the-road adventures since I came out here. A few weeks ago, I was driving past an old school that was being used as a staging area to fight a forest fire. I’ve seen a medical helicopter land on a black top road in the middle of nowhere, and waited for a turtle to cross the road.

Daffy and Daisy love their new home and the fenced in back yard. Of course, they would rather be with me than anything, so they don’t use it as much as they could. Perhaps that means I should use it more!

I’ve got my dentist in place and I am working on finding a doctor and an oncologist. The dog’s veterinarian, of course, was chosen before we ever moved out here.

I am still teaching and working on my photography business. I’ve passed the most high risk time for a recurrence of cancer, and I am loving life!

Jan 302015
 
Young women at work overwhelmed

Young woman at work

Ahhh, it is good to be back to work.  I am not able to maintain my regular schedule yet, but just to go to work, accomplish something, see my coworkers, and, last but not least, earn my paycheck, feels really good.   Of course, by this summer I may have a desk like the gal on the left, but right now it is looking good.  A great chance to develop some new habits that will help me stay on top of things at work.Work this Wednesday-Friday has been in the emergency facility in Newton for my co-workers and I.   We have been treated pretty well with blue jean days, snacks, cold drinks on tap and a pizza lunch yesterday.  Today some of us will be going to a local restaurant for lunch.   Does this sound like hard work yet 🙂

I go back for chemo number 3 on Monday and I am hoping that it doesn’t drag down my ability to work too much.  It really feels good to be back on the job.

Jan 202015
 
3 blue work binders piled on each other and locked together with lock

Work binders

Work.  Yup, I go back to work tomorrow.  I am very excited to see my coworkers again!  I work with a great bunch of people and I miss them.  I imagine they are looking forward to seeing me come back too so I can work my desk 🙂  I am feeling a little bit nervous.   I am having some side effects from the chemo including occasional vision disturbances and dizziness.   This mostly happens when I stand up from a sitting or lying position.  My plan is to try to work the whole day, but to be aware of how I am feeling and leave early if I have too.  I have quite a bit more energy than I have had for a long time, but I am still lacking in stamina.  I took a mile hike on hilly, snowy ground and that was enough to wear me out.  It is time to get moving and start building my strength up again.  It will be nice to have the social contact at work, even if they do actually expect me to some work *sigh* while I am there.   So mean…

Round 2 went a bit better than round 1.  They changed my “push” to a slower rate on that last medicine and I didn’t have the hot flashes and very sick feeling that I had last time.  I guess chemo is pretty much a find your way as you go process.   They start you out with the max doses, but there is a lot of room to reduce the medication and still get the same results.  So, by the time this is over, they should have the perfect mix figured out for me.   That doesn’t mean I’m going back for extra treatments, though :-}

Two down, six to go.  I got this thing!  “I am more than a conqueror.”  paraphrase of Romans 8:37