I know I do not write often on this blog. My work has taken an increase in intensity and most of what I write is for the organization now. Field reports and legal actions… assessments and paperwork and media… and of course the documentation on the range, holding and roundups. All of that you can see on WildHorseEducation.org and the WHEblog.
The intensity of the work has been increased by a health issue. Many of you know I have breast cancer and am undergoing treatments after surgery. Well this am I got a call that the machine is broken and I get a day off of radiation treatments…. so I have a bit more time today than normal. My first impulse was to catch up on work that piled up during the Fallon auction fiasco…. but my inbox is filled with notes from people asking “how are you?” and I do not have time to respond to each one… so hence this posting.
The letters in my inbox range from sincere inquiries as to my health to accusations that I am ignoring people. First I am not “ignoring” anyone. Those of you that are pushing that button are failing to recognize that the workload is more intense than ever. Not only is there roundup data to collect where I was able to attend many operations and tours but had to find others to cover operations where I was at the auction, in court, prepping court documents and at the hospital. There have been days I have been so tired that I literally stutter and drool by the end of the day. I have no staff (but a few volunteers that do what they can in between the course of their “real” lives) and precious few who are close by the hospital that I must remain near… that have taken a moment to visit… I can count those people on the fingers of one hand. (Thank you for the company Cat, the soup Jess, the help with Krieger Margie, the little “Hope” Sally… and all of the effort on the cases Gordie).
For those of you asking how I am? I am hanging in there. The side effects from radiation are in bloom. I am red and swollen and a bit sick to my stomach from the pain I guess. I opted for the intensive treatment as it will get me back to being “mobile” the fastest. So the doses of radiation are higher than the traditional treatment… but I am half way through! I was told the last week will be the roughest… but of course it coincides with an incredibly rough week of work. The Fallon auction (and days and days of troubleshooting) left everything almost two weeks behind. The brief on the Appeal to the Ninth Circuit (massive effort) is due shortly, the other cases need some work and there has been an issue that has been looming the last year that will become public shortly (pretty intense stuff)… plus several ranges MUST have follow up and and investigation is on hold…. the plate is pretty full. On a positive note it leaves VERY little time to even think about the cancer battle.
I start my day with treatment. Every time I walk in that door it is an odd experience… a reminder of how fragile we are. There are a few folks that you see that you know are new like you and will be in this loop of treatment and checking to see if the cancer is still gone. Then there are those whose cancers have come back or were really far into the disease when it was discovered… and you can see the knowledge on their faces that they are in treatment to postpone… but in truth we all are there to postpone… there is a lot of quiet conversation.
The staff is wonderful and in love with Krieger who is becoming a real “therapy” dog…. for the staff. They wanted me to take a very early appointment and I had to explain that I do not “live” here and have a new puppy that I can not leave alone. So a staff person meets me in the am and takes Krieger on “rounds” to greet everyone as they come to work or treatment. I think he likes his job. Today he was a bit confused when we did not get up and head to “work.”
Krieg is a lovely little guy that wants so much to please…. even though his teeth make him a but nuts now and again. He is growing so fast I swear he stretches in his sleep and adds length…. Sept 11 he will be three months old. His presence makes tasks a bit more complicated to complete… but the gap left by the loss of Elvis (so fast) and the loss of my Passion (the following week… but it was her time) is made easier to bear by this fast growing, very intelligent, “little bear.”
Technology has presented several challenges as well this last week when my phone died (now lives but battery holds a smaller charge and spends considerable time charging in the truck) and a back up drive went on the fritz (don’t worry the backup is backed up with only files created for sharing missing… that need to be recreated).
In the midst of all of this the “bashing” of my attempts to gain changes in the wild horse and burro program continue. They have gone so far as to write editors saying things like “she is faking cancer for attention,” “her work means nothing,” and several attacks actually aimed at trying to destroy the work like writing Department of Justice attorneys that represent the BLM (and these attacks are coming from people claiming to be advocates). These attacks have never stopped me and speak more to the motives of those making them than my work…. life has taught me not to tolerate crap no matter where it comes from… and many I have told to “pound sand” because I saw who they really are… think that bashing will somehow stop me. Not a chance.
So I have already spent more time than I have on this note. I want those that care and are writing to know I read what you write and I thank you…. please know that your notes are read and appreciated. Those that have supported the work know I will catch up on thank you notes… but for now please see the commitment to the work as my “thank you.”
And to those bashing? Have a Nice Day.