Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
By the end of March 2012, I was feeling far less fatigued than just four weeks earlier, when I finished my course of treatment for parotid gland cancer. This sense of increasing vitality was reflected in the test results from the blood that was drawn at my weekly follow-up appointment with my medical oncologist: my white blood count had risen to within the normal range in just four weeks’ time. This positive development meant I would no longer need to see Dr. Hayes on a weekly basis. With more time between appointments, life could begin to regain a sense of normalcy.
March also marked a much-anticipated visit from my mother and sister from Ohio. I had asked them to hold off coming to North Carolina until my treatments were over so that they could help me as I regained my strength and attempted to resume the everyday aspects of family life, like shopping for groceries, cooking meals for Gil and Caleb, and laundering our clothes. Although I was feeling much stronger, I still had a ways to go before I could resume fully these domestic responsibilities.
While they were visiting I learned, to my great delight, that I would be the beneficiary of four complimentary house cleanings, through a program called, Cleaning for a Reason, which my friend, Beth, had told me about. Cleaning for a Reason is a national non-profit program which matches house cleaning businesses, which are willing to offer pro bono services, with women going through treatment for cancer. The first of those free cleanings took place in mid-March.
In May, our water heater broke, which was not surprising since it was more than fifteen years old. The damage was minimal and by the end of the day it had been replaced with a new one. However, after the plumber left, and as I was sitting at our kitchen table, my eye was drawn upwards to the place in the ceiling where there had been a leak six months before – one that had manifested itself on the day after I had been diagnosed with cancer. Only now, there was a huge water spot on the ceiling. I realized it must have occurred shortly after the plumber turned the water supply to the house back on.
But what had caused the water spot? Gil and I had assumed the previous November, when we noticed water dripping from the kitchen ceiling, that it was the result of a faulty shower pan under the shower in our master bathroom, which is directly above that area of the kitchen. However, we had not used that shower since then; neither had any water leaked from the ceiling since that time. If the water spot was not related to the shower in any way, then what had caused it?
That riddle was solved by Keith, a man skilled in determining the source of water leaks, who is employed by the water, fire and wind damage restoration company our insurance adjuster recommend we contact. It turns out that the leak and the water spot were from Continue reading