Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Plan Ahead

This is why I haven't wrote a blog in a while. I have been outside for a week straight making this garden. Good thing I have nice Italian skin or I would be burnt to a crisp instead of being golden brown. I'm working backwards with the pictures to have the pretty picture at the top. Finished product.
Here it is with the walls built, stone pavers in, dirt in and everything. My Uncle Danny came up with the design and helped get it all together. I did a lot of work on the soil after this. Added garden soil, peat moss, fertilizer and humus, I aerated it and I added some potting soil too. I'm hoping it's good enough for all my plants to grow.
This part sucked. Digging up sod is a nightmare. I had to call my brother Connor and Kevin to come and rescue me or it would have never gotten done. The sod was all wet and really heavy. I had some major back pains after this part.
This is what we started with. You can see the outline of where we didn't mow the lawn.
Here are all my veggie and fruit plants that were barely hanging on waiting for me to get the garden ready and plant them. ******HUGE gardening tip: Meijer of all places has a TON of organic veggie and fruit plants. Whole Foods does as well. They have blackberry, raspberry and blueberry plants too (which I got all of the above) I looked for organic plants at English Gardens, Bordines and Home Depot and nothing. Remember if the plants you buy are not organic, they have probably already been sprayed. Still better to buy those and not spray them any more than to buy conventional stuff at the market.
Blog Time........

If you have been with me from the beginning (or even from my second diagnosis) you might remember a lot of my history. You might remember the Caringbridge site I used to post everything on (and get a lot more comments). You might remember when I first started to drink green juice or when I started taking wheatgrass shots. You might remember when I finally mustered up the courage to write about my re-diagnosis and the very POOR prognosis I was given. If you remember all of that you might also remember when I finally opened up to all of you about my fear of an early death and how it can get the best of me at times. I wrote about my experience with all my laundry detergent when I broke down crying about my fear that I might not live to see the end of it because I had so darn much of it.
For a while I went about my life like that. Afraid to make any plans to far out in the future. I was afraid to plan a trip without travelers insurance. I would buy summer clothes in the winter and wonder if I would be around to actually wear them. I was afraid to buy or plan anything that wouldn't be used up for all of its value in the next year. I would plan the Bras for a Cause show wondering if I would live to see all the hard work I did. "Would all this work be worth it if I'm not there to see it into fruition?"
I knew the way I was thinking was unhealthy for me and well just plain depressing and miserable. So, I started to rebel against that way of thinking. I'm not sure I completely changed the way I thought yet, but I was changing my actions to go against such a terrible way of thinking. I went out and bought the biggest container of natural laundry detergent I could find (actually I bought two). I started buying summer sandals and all types of clothes a couple seasons off. Kevin had a time when he really thought I was crazy obsessed with shopping and I was causing us to have a lot less money because of it. Honestly though, it was my way of dealing with my mortality fears. I never bought clothes for the season I was in, I bought clothes for the next season coming or the next. You should see the stock of summer dresses I am so excited to wear. (MD Anderson trips to Houston with some great shopping and a lot of mortality issues going on in my head because they treat me like I was just trying to gain an additional 6 months of life on the trial)
June 6th 2007, one month before my beautiful wedding to Kevin, I was told my breast cancer metastasized and the average person with my diagnosis would live 12 to 24 MONTHS!! Yes, it was such a short time, they told me in months instead of years. I'm sure with your quick math you are realizing that all I have to do is hold on for a couple more weeks and I can be one of those people that tells their story saying how according to the doctors, they should be dead by now and instead they feel great.
I tried and tried to stop thinking about this date. For a while now I have honestly believed in my heart of hearts that there is no doubt I would live to see this day (which is also my dad's birthday). Even though I knew this was the case, I still cannot wait to have that day pass. I cannot wait to get it out of my head so I no longer count any days and just stick to living every day the best I can with nothing looming over my head.

I plan ahead now (even before June 6th 2009). I planted tulip and other flower bulbs last fall wondering the same thing I do about everything...."Will I live to see it??" Guess what...I lived to see them bloom. This fall I am going to plant more bulbs especially in the new garden I built this past week. Perennial bulbs everywhere. Kevin and I are going to plan vacations without travelers insurance. I'm getting a new car (since my old Honda died) with a 5 year loan. The Bras for a Cause show is this September 12th and I already have my outfit picked out for it.

I know I am already on the right track in the way I think, but it will be really nice to have June 6th pass so then I can give the day back to my dad and have the only signifigance of that day be his birthday. I'm not sure if I went back in time and knew that the prognosis I would be given would cause me such duress if I would have changed the fact that I asked for it. I am one of those "I have to know...give it to me doc" kind of people. Then again, I am a determined, resourceful, smart, healthy, happy, will never give up kind of person who LOVES to beat the odds because I know I am special. Glad that this will soon be behind me and that the future is unknown.


  1. Love the garden. I so wish that I had a sunny spot in my lawn to plant a real garden. Too much shade, so I stick to hostias and impatiens, but this year is the first year that I actually like my garden. If you want to come over and split anything, you are welcome to.
    As for planning, keep planning ahead because we still need to plan a time to get together. I almost feel like we are playing phone tag but with dates instead of the phone. (Did that make any sense?)
    I hope that you are enjoying the weekend. Talk to you soon!

  2. That is an amazing garden!!!! I wish I were more of an outdoors type of girl so that I would at least try to plant a garden. I laugh as I say that because when Jason and I first started dating, we went camping. We had a good time, but I really didn't enjoy camping as much as I led him to believe I did. You know, we had just started dating so I didn't want him to think that I was totally against it.....YET!! I had told him that my mom and I camped at the grand canyon often (which we did because I grew up in AZ), but I would have rather gotten a log cabin in the woods instead of sleeping in a tent! Anyway, he still brings up to this day that he thought I was more of a nature person instead of one who would rather go shopping than camp! Oh well, 13 years later and he stuck with me anyway. :-)

    Congrats on your garden...truly an inspiration!!!!

  3. Shannon- LOVE your message. A very nice reminder that our spirit and outlook can change the quality of our day to day life... regardless of circumstances. I look forward to your posts because you give so many of us strength with your words. Keep it coming!

  4. Shannon- Thanks for writing such an incredible blog. It's truly inspiring! I can't wait until the 6th passes either!

    Dave and Adrienne

  5. Hi Shannon. Great blog. I'm glad I figured out how to post comments now.
    Gramma : )

  6. my husband and i LOVE gardening as well. last year we built a huge garden with a picket fence bordering it (to keep the dogs out). my best gardening tip - plant basil in between your tomatoes to keep the slugs away!

    love your message....keep it up!

  7. Congratulations on proving the doctors wrong. I bet you will continue to do so as the years continue passing :) You are an inspiration!!! ~Lisa Dreher (friend of jen engdale's)

  8. June 6th is my dad's birthday too!


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