Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The land of plenty

After last year, having any tomatoes is a blessing.  Blight is out there, and may or may not take over.  But while I have tomatoes, I will can them.  My main motivation for even having a garden, in the past several years, has been tomatoes.  I no longer can anything else, but we actually use a lot of canned tomatoes, so many that when I have to purchase them, I get a case.
I only bought two six-packs of plants this year, but somehow I ended up with one plant that bears yellow tomatoes (three of those are on the left in the picture).  I can't can them (ha!), but they're pretty tasty.  I've heard they're good for people with stomach issues who can't take all the acid in regular tomatoes.  

Now I move on to the difficult part of this blog entry.  I was going to wait until we have more answers, but I have decided to prepare everyone now.  I imagine most of the local folks have heard anyway, because if you tell one person in a small town, word gets around.

Friday we found out Cliff has prostate cancer.  He had a high number on his PSI test so he was sent to a specialist who confirmed our fears.  As if cancer wasn't bad enough, it's a fast-growing kind.  He will go do all the things this Friday that will let them stage the cancer, although we might have to wait longer for one procedure, because the insurance company has to approve it.  His next appointment is August 17, three weeks away, so I assume that's when we will actually find out what stage.  My daughter, who has HAD cancer, said, "Why so long, if it's fast-growing?"  Of course that question was on our minds too, but once you are in the hands of the doctors, you may as well just hope for the best.

Don't you hate just not knowing?  We're both rather numb at present, wondering what to expect.  

The first day we made dark jokes about cancer.  Example:  We stopped at Costco after going to the doctor, to get Cliff a couple packages of T-shirts.  "Maybe we should just get one package," Cliff said.  At the time we laughed, but I notice neither of has joked about it since the first day.  As time goes on, we will probably return to humor, though.

When we know more, I will let you know.  I'm not going step-by-step through every breath we take during this journey, whether it's good or bad.  But I will keep my blog friends updated from time to time.  Meanwhile, I keep thinking about the old "Optimist's Poem".

The optimist fell ten stories
And at each window bar,
He shouted to the crowd below,
"I'm all right so far."

We accept all good wishes and prayers.

We don't solicit any layman's ideas of a cure, such as suggestions of foods he should eat that will cure him.  Holistic health might sound great to others, and that's fine.  This is the hand we were dealt and we'll use the doctors we have been given.  

Oh, and just so you know, I hate pink.  So does my daughter.  Don't share something on Facebook saying "share this if you know someone with cancer" (who doesn't?) thinking it will do some good:  Find a reputable charity on charity navigator, choose one that has four or five stars, and give a dollar or five.  That is the best thing you can do for those who have cancer.

And it only took half an hour after I posted this on Facebook before someone mentioned "holistic health".  


22 comments:

Adirondackcountrygal said...

I am very sad to hear about his news. My father had prostate cancer, I'm not sure of the particulars, he had surgery. He had to wear Depends for a while. I'll be praying for Cliff and for your entire family. Linda

Nance In CA. said...

WOW! So sorry you had to post this. Praying now that Drs. will get the treatment needed soon to help Cliff beat this thing. Our neighbor went through the same thing last summer. He had surgery and is doing great. His too, was the fast growing type. We have another friend who was diagnosed 3 years ago.....had surgery etc., and is going strong at age 80. God is able!

Celeste Sanders Holloway said...

Pat's cancer had spread to his prostate(just 1 of several places) by the time it was discovered. My thoughts are with you as you two battle this new crap.

Missie Ruth said...

One good thing is Prostrate cancer is easily cured and very slow growing. You're tomatoes look amazing. Can't wait to grow a vegetable garden next year.

Keeping Cliff in my prayers and you too!

Sheila Y said...

Praying for Cliff and the family.
Sheila

Lori said...

I hate to hear this Donna. As you may know from reading my blog, Thomas is taking radiation for prostate cancer right now. He has 10 treatments left. I hate that Cliff's is fast-growing. I hope that he doctors make the proper decisions and that you are comfortable with them. We will be keeping you in our prayers as you go through this, and please know that that is not just a platitude. We sincerely will be praying for you both.

Carlene Noggle said...

( I was going to say that these tests can show a high number even when there isn't any cancer, but I went back and re-read your post where Cliff was sent to a specialist.) With that being said, Danny's dad had prostate cancer and so did my cousin's husband. Both had surgery along with the treatments and both beat it. I'm not going to lie, this news makes my heart hurt for Cliff and you too. I HATE cancer. I will put you both on my prayer list and will be praying for you both, beginning right now.

Jackie said...

Donna, first of all I am so sorry to hear this. My ex husband was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate Cancer and the doctors did surgery and truly felt they got it all. HIS PSI was normal after surgery. His also had the fast growing kind. It's been 6 months and his PSI is still normal! Just thought I'd share some positivity! I will keep Cliff in my prayers, and may I say that when I had ovarian cancer, I never lost my sense of humor. You can't. I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine. It may not always cure what ails ya....but it sure helps your mind deal with the ups and downs that come with a diagnosis such as this.

Lori said...

Oh yes, and LOL regarding the FB comment on holistic health. I'm with you on this one. I do my research, and I trust that the doctors will do their best.

Charade said...

"Good wishes and prayers" from my house to yours. No doubt the humor and laughter you both share will help you through all this.

Margaret said...

Donna, I love you and you have all my thoughts and prayers for strength and successful treatment for Cliff. Cancer is the very devil. I can probably put myself in your place better than most, so I understand the numbness, the dark humor, the agony of waiting for answers. I will give no advice except to move forward, and as always, carpe diem. ❤️

Melissa Wiggins said...

Just the word "cancer" is terrifying. I could tell you about all my male friends who have conquered this disease but you need to find your own optimism and my saying it will all be okay just won't help. So our thoughts and prayers go with you, to lift you both up, and give you strength and hope. We are all with you during this stupidly difficulty time.

Gabrielle Howard Gengler said...

I'm so sorry Donna! My prayers will be with Cliff and you, and the doctor's who provide care!

Calfkeeper said...

Donna, my heart goes out to you and Cliff. You will be in my prayers and thoughts throughout this difficult time. The Lord is the only one you can fully rely on; lean on Him and accept what other support and love you get from family and friends.

Jackie said...

Donna, I'm so sorry. I know how scary this is. My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer in November of 2015. In February 2016 he started nine weeks of radiation treatment. Reggie had his most recent check up a couple weeks ago and is doing great. I know Cliff is going to kick cancers ass just like Rachel did.

TARYTERRE said...

i'm sorry to hear this news about cliff. praying he kicks it to the curb.

Pamela said...

Donna, I'm so sorry to hear this. But I do know that you both are very strong, which is half the battle. I'm keeping you and Cliff in my prayers. I feel as if I know you both even though we've never met. But, we did meet online years ago doing journals. This is heartbreaking. But with you by his side, Cliff can get through anything. Love to you both. Oh...and your tomatoes look beautiful!!

Paula said...


wishing Cliff the best and you too as I know a sickness with a man is hard on the caregiver too.

Lauren Michelle said...

I hate cancer. I hope the Dr. can give you some answers soon.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

When I started reading this post all I could think about were those delicious tomatoes and then continued on to read about Cliff. All I can offer is my prayers that everything will be ok. No one likes the word cancer and after having lost my oldest son to brain cancer earlier this year I know how devastating it can be. But there is always hope. Hope that all will be well.

krueth said...

Oh my goodness. I will be praying for Cliff and you too Donna each day. What a blow to get that news though. Yes, please keep us updated on Cliff so we all know specifically what to pray for too. Take care! Wendy

Sister--Three said...

Donna, wishing you best.