Monday, May 16, 2022

Here's our strategy

A few weeks ago, a reader posed a legitimate question: "You seem to be taking quite a while to put in gardens, get the animals, etc. What is your strategy here?"

This person is correct. We're taking longer than we anticipated to get our new homestead up and running. What few people knew, dear readers, is Don has been having behind-the-scenes health issues.

Nine years ago, an unknown condition caused him to suffer acute kidney failure and he was hospitalized for three days. The issue, we learned, was an enlarged prostate that was literally choking off the urethra. Sorry to get graphic here, but such is life.

He had laser surgery which corrected the issue, for the time being. The urologist warned him the treatment would only be good for up to ten years. So here we are, nine years later, dealing with much the same thing.

For the last year, he's been having persistent blood in his urine, always a worrying sign. Sometimes it was due to a urinary tract infection, in which case he would take some antibiotics, drink loads of water, and not do anything for a while. Other times we knew it was prostate issues, that – again – lots of water and taking it easy would temporarily work.

This enforced "taking it easy" was intensely frustrating to him because there were so many projects he wanted to tackle! Garden, chicken coop, fencing, cattle infrastructure ... the list is endless, but he was forced to "take it easy."

Coupled with the crippling summer of heat last year, a lot less got done on the homestead than we wanted. It was shaping up to be a similarly slow year of projects until finally he was referred to a new urologist. (Unfortunately the urologist is several hours' drive away. Such is the reality of remote rural life when we need a medical specialist.)

Anyway, bottom line, Don underwent more surgery a couple weeks ago. The urologist used a new technique to address the overgrown prostate issue (the urological equivalent of a hot butter knife, or something like that), and took off a good-sized chunk of that troublesome organ, which was then sent in for biopsy. Don has been slowly recuperating from the procedure, dealing with more frustrating but enforced "taking it easy."

Today, just a few minutes ago, he had a follow-up tele-conference with the urologist who affirmed – praise God! – there is absolutely no indications of any cancer whatsoever. The biopsied tissue came back negative.

Now that Don has gotten a clean bill of health, he can ease out of the "taking it easy" routine and start tackling some of the projects he's been itching to get to. He still has to go slow, but "taking it easy" can be put aside.

And this, dear readers, is a long-winded answer to the "strategy" question posted above. Our strategy was to restore Don to good health. In that regard, our prayers have been answered.


  1. Praise God that he is on the mend!! Just make sure he eases back into his normal routine.

  2. What I'm about to say is controversial, and some will call BS, but I'm no stagger to controversy, and I have to say it because I care and pray for you guys. I've even been told by this crowd to take my preaching to a street corner heh.

    Some recent study has suggested that the leading cause of enlarged prostates is soybeans. It contains a substance that mimics estrogen, and causes certain organs in the body to grow. On women it's their breasts. On men it's breasts and prostates.

    It has other side effects as well, such as something that interferes with the bodies ability to uptake and utilize protein.

    Some will say that's BS because the Chinese have been eating it for millennia. No, they have not. They have grown it for that long, yes, but not eaten it. They have mainly fed it to pigs, or grown it as a cover crop and plowed it under. Very little was eaten, and what was eaten, was first fermented..

    My suggestion is this, check everything you eat to find out if it contains any soy at all. It's insidiously in most foods, as soy protein, oil, etc. It may help.

    Or it may not. There are other reasons for enlarged prostates as well. But what harm will it do to try?

    Praying for you all. Tell younger daughter to get out of navy ASAP so that she doesn't get caught on far side of the planet when things go really wrong, which will be soon.

    1. Estrogen reduces prostate size abundance growth. It is the hormone therapy used in prostate cancer cases. Testosterone causes the prostate to grow and these new Testosterone Supplements are actually one of the leading causes of prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer Survivor

  3. Hallelujah! God is good!

  4. Happy Day! Best news.Praise the Lord!

  5. Prayers for a speedy recovery and pushing forward with your plans!

  6. That is wonderful news! Had no idea about his health woes, of course, but I rejoice with you now. Praying for a speedy and complete recovery!

  7. prayers to all..thank you Jesus (Shadowfaxhound)

  8. Praying for a quick recovery and thanking GOD for the good news! Blessings to all

  9. Blessing to Don and you and prayers for his continued clean bill of health. Prostrate issues affect a huge number of us as we age. But then what other choice do we have? I'm leaving when God says - You Done Boy. You've served your purpose.

  10. Sorry to hear about Don's problem. Very unfortunately it tends to happen to a lot of us. Older males of our species are stuck with a organ that no longer does us any good. It does however keep on growing, like our ears. Glad to hear about his good results.

  11. I'm so glad he's getting better. Inflammation is a first indicator of something wrong in our bodies.
    On the same note as an earlier responder, a lot of our food is crap. Maybe the reasoning is somewhat altruistic for " mishandling" it, but it still boils down to we get to eat things with " acceptable" amounts of things that will hurt us.
    When I watch farm shows and a harvester is mowing down rows of brown crops, I'm pretty sure that field was first sprayed with a desicant called Roundup so the crop would be ready to harvest at one time, thus increasing yield, shortening the time before next planting, and who knows what else. Our grains and legumes are systematically treated this way. And anything else planted in those fields are contaminated too because it takes years to leach out of the soil.
    And lest I really get on a rant about cancer causing stuff in our foods, it also poisons the water. And wildlife. And on and on.
    That's just one thing hurting us and causing us to not feel good or get sick.

  12. Congratulations! I am sure that is a load of both of your minds. Her is to good health and progress going forward.

  13. Glad to hear the surgery was successful and he's on the mend!

  14. I've been through the whole works. First the pills, then the Green Light Laser, followed by the Euro-Lift, and finally the surgery to remove half of the prostate. No fun, especially the catheter. The problem was that by taking their sweet time to go through all the stages, that it put a great deal of stress on my bladder. By the time they had finally cleared the prostate, my bladder had been damaged and the muscles had been broken down. So finally after four years they have inserted a Medtronic stimulator under my skin in the small of my back. It sends out a mild electric pulse to the nerve that runs through my bladder. Now finally I feel normal. Supposedly the battery will last 5 to 7 years and will have to be replaced through minor surgery. I carry a card to hopefully prevent having to go through a cavity search at the airport. That would be the final indignation.

  15. Whew. I know this experience has been a tremendous test of faith for you both. I rejoice with you that there's no sign of cancer!

    One thing I think some folks don't understand, is that homesteading isn't a checklist, it's a lifestyle. There's always a project list, always a wish list, always a problem list, and always unexpected happenings that show up at inconvenient times. Plus routine daily chores! It has a different mental time table than the rat race. There's no finish line, it's simply the way we've chosen to live.

  16. Good morning, Patrice (and Don)!

    I just caught up on a couple of your posts and read about Don’s health issue. I am so happy about your good news! You received the results on what would have been our 35th Wedding Anniversary. Reading your post today I will say is the nicest gift for an Anniversary gift I could have gotten! It is not easy to put information such as that out to the public – you did – and I, along with others who care thank you for sharing. You have put a smile on my face for the day!

    Now enjoy the rest of yours!

    (I tried to email this to you and it came back from both email addresses I have for you. Since you review these before posting I thought this would be a way to get it to you. Not sure what has happened with the email.)

  17. Really good news. Praise God. Thank you for sharing with us. You don’t know most of us, but we “know” and care about you. Patti in California

  18. I’m glad Don is on the road to recovery. God is good.

  19. Take a good prostate supplement. saw palmetto, pumpkin seed etc. It will shrink his prostate.

  20. Just caught up to all of this.

    Whew, what a year!!!!

    So glad to hear things are improving, and not malignant in nature.

    You might tell us when crap happens— I mean some wit is going to have to say something, but I’d hope most of us would offer help, or anyway pray…