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OT-CHAT: visiting Neil [Linda Mann]

I'm really sorry I wasn't up to it when you sent the e-mail, Linda.

Now I'm back down again...ate something that didn't agree, ended up with
hard bronchial infections (for the umpteenth time) which cause hard
coughing, which recycles the problem--reflux, aspiration (even a tiny bit),
bacterial cultures start in.....or recycle.

This time I'm here alone.  Dorothy is in Milwaukee for an extended vacation
from my issues (HOW she did need this!!!) and to see family.  Most of her
siblings--in their eighties for the most part--and three of her five
children with their own children and grand-children are in a tight radius in
and around Milwaukee.

I do have people I can call, and one of the Ostergaard sons lives only a
mile and a half from us, so unless he's gone (as he is this weekend) I can
call on him or his wife in an emergency.

I have found out now that I'm down to between the 5th and 10th percentile of
bone density in the pelvis, around 20th in the spine, making me a high risk
for fracture in hip or whatever.  My primary phys. says, "Don't fall!"  All
I needed was still ANOTHER health issue.  There are transient moments that I
wish (sorta) I had't worked so hard and chose so firmly to stay alive
through the cancer and the surgeries that followed.

I now look like my Dad...yikes.  I can't believe how much I've aged through
this.  But--thanks to the Eli Lilly folks ("Lilly Answers") I'm on a
human-hormone manufactured by *E. coli* in Lilly's facilities in France that
have a very short section of human DNA inserted in their genome.  It speeds
up the process of bone rebuilding, and in two years, the expectation is I
should be back close to normal bone density.  Talk about multiple miracles.
This injection costs retail over $700 per month.  Lilly is supplying it for
a small administrative fee.  It's also the only one of the potentially
effective meds available that I dare take due to the rearrangements from the
cancer "cure."

But for the most part, I bless every day I have!  I've got the irises pullin
g me into the future...all those unbloomed seedlings....how does a person
let go?  I've got some JI's in bloom now, and loving them....lots of rain,
and the plants have thrived this year, even though again few of my crosses
took, and many are rotting in the patch--stems rotting out from under them.

And...I've got grandchildren dating and marrying, while I'm still trying to
figure out what I'm going to be when I grow up.  I realized recently that
the decision got made by choices decades ago when I didn't really understand
the consequences of them.

I'm not the first person who has changed direction in their lives at my age
so I am working on what it takes to be a productive person given the
limitations.  Write! Read!  Study something new!  So--I'm doing all these.

Other than that I'm doing great...and by NEXT year (?)....but that's what I
said last year....

So forewarning--check with me, folks, before heading this way.  Some days
are good, many are very good, and some are just raw awful.  I figure that if
the "Boss" can offer his suffering for the healing of the world, so can I.
I can join my pathetic little bit of whatever to His and make use of it
instead of feeling sorry for myself....a real risk.

I love my life--I've got more treasures in friends and family than I can
count.  And also, I am superlatively happy with some things showing up in
the seedlings....no SA yet, and not ONE of my SA / SAGE crosses took this
year.  There's always next year.

Neil Mogensen  z 7  Reg 4  in the rapidly urbanizing "country" area in
western NC mountains---  Highways!  Grocery stores! Pharmacies! McDonald's!
Gas Stations, and  houses, houses, houses, new churches, and a very high
profile "The Cliffs at Walnut Cove" golf course diagonally across the road,
almost touching corners on the NW of us, with homesite lots that are offered
at about $300k and up to $1M--EACH.  Would you believe a multi-million
dollar mansion is almost finished just up the hill from us?

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