January 13, 1st Velcade

So yesterday I went down to the Mercy( Dignity Health) satellite medical center in Rocklin. It was about a 25 minute drive so this is less than 1/2 of going down to C street in Sacramento. It was very nice. A quite small infusion room with 5 chairs. The nurses(2) seemed exceptional and mine was over the top friendly and informative.

So this is round 1.

Shot one of 2.5 milligrams of bortezomib. The nurse said she had quite a few patients on different regimes such as weekly( no breaks), 2x weekly for 2 weeks and then a 2 week break. So I thought that was interesting.

The drive home uneventful and I was back quickly.

When I got home I waited till @ noon to take the dex. I rested a bit and got up around 2 and read some. My daughter made some tortellini for dinner. My eyes do get affected with dex and so we only watched one Bridgerton.

I took an Ativan and was in bed @ 9. I didn’t fall right to sleep but eventually. This morning I could tell it was still a Dexish morning so I’ve done some of my morning resets( swish and swipe), tidy kitchen, and started a IP of yogurt. I did cut our walk short by 1 round as I was just too tired to do another.

So onward to Shot # 2 next week.

Rib update

Thanks for the concerns.

Appreciate that . Actually it is feeling 100% better today so maybe it was just pulled rib muscles. It’s still tender but not as awful as yesterday so that’s a good thing.

Since I have a history of chronic rib fractures, it seemed that it was a flare up. On my x rays you can see the old fractures.

So anyway, it is better and thank you all.

Five on Friday

Finally, it’s 2021. I’m not sure how great the year will be but I’m hopeful. I start Velcade mid month, as expected. I asked about getting my shots in Rocklin which is about 25 minutes away, and he said sure that would work. Mercy ( or Dignity Health),has a satellite facility there and it will make it easier. Unfortunately, I’ve fractured another rib so it’s smart that I’m starting now. Fractures, in case you don’t know about Myeloma, are one of the damaging aspects of this cancer. I’ve had multiple rib fractures, so I know what it feels like. Unfortunate, to have it happen right now and also quite painful. It limits how much stuff I can do around the house. With rib fractures there’s not much you can do. If it’s a vertebrate or another bone they can some intervention. Oh well, I’m just glad it’s not a vertebrate.

We had a fun New Years eve with sub sandwiches from our Holiday Market. We watched the newish Starsky and Hutch and it was fun. We didn’t crack the champagne but will today.

Budget wise, I came under $800 on groceries including holiday food and alcohol. This is the lowest I’ve had since the pandemic started and I was stockpiling every month. Into January I’ll try and keep it between $700-800. That includes food, non food, and alcohol.(mostly wine and some beer). I’m planning a Costco trip mid month so we’ll see how much that adds if I add in prepper stuff. I’m not planning to but will stockpile a few things like coffee, Rosarita veg. beans, TP, and a few other things. The rest is just stuff we need like cheese, fish, bread etc.

I’m starting another round of decluttering. Mostly this is paper stuff. I’m going thru all our old receipts, medical things and throwing away anything that isn’t needed. Also, little stuff in drawers, like old pens, screws etc. It probably won’t add up to a lot but I’m motivated to do another sweep. I also started a bag for the food bank with food I know we’re not going to really eat. ( I see you canned chicken:) ). There’s nothing big I’m decluttering like furniture since everything we have has already gone thru multiple layers of decluttering. Still, I always like to look at things from a fresh perspective.

I’ve made up my monthly meal plan.

I’m renaming Wednesdays, Pasta Wednesday since that will be my Velcade/Dex day. It’ll make it easier for the others to cook if they know what the plan is. 🙂 I also dashed out to Target to get one of their simple calendars. I loved the one from last year but they didn’t have quite that style. It’s funny how such a simple thing like a minimalist calendar is so hard to find. I checked all over and the nicest were like $20 and up. Even on etsy they were expensive. So Target had just what I wanted for $5.00. It was pretty empty just like I hoped.

Simple Sunday and Christmas is over.

It was a really nice simple christmas.

Everyone got some nice things. I got my son a Pendleton National Park wool blanket from Goodwill Seattle. It’s the Glacier one that is white with color stripes. Very nice and a fraction of the cost new. He also got a used copy of Easton Press” A Tale of Two Cities”. B got a new Leatherman knife since a few years ago when he went to board a plane he had is quite expensive Leatherman in his pocket and they took it away. My daughter got 2 pairs of pruning shears, an Easton Press Grimm Fairy tales and some other stuff including these made in Japan Sound Collection plates… I discovered these by accident about 2 years ago at Goodwill when I found a bowl and fell in love with it. They are quite hard to find and the only place apart from Japan ,I guess, is Ebay.

I got a lovely sweater, a Kitchen Aid hand mixer( I asked for this), and some great gifts from my son, artisan flour, and a scone mix.

All in all a really nice and somewhat minimalist Christmas. It could have been scaled back even a little more but in the end I think it was perfect.

I made a NYT recipe called the Big Lasagna.

This is just the first page of the recipe, there are 2 more pages if you’re interested you can google it. It actually was huge and must have weighed 5 pounds. Lasagna is always our Christmas dinner. Not sure quite when this started but I remember when we were first married making lasagna since it was vegetarian.

It really was delicious.

I took all the Christmas stuff down and put away. I start to feel it looks a little cluttered up after 3 weeks of decorations. So now it’s all tidy and things put back in place.

I’m cooking up the scone mix this morning. It’s a ginger cranberry and it was a nice mix. I’m thinking scones are a nice easy thing to bake so maybe I’ll do this more often. This mix was from the Vermont Store but King Arthur has some lovely ones to choose from.

Our walk was lovely at 6:10am this morning. Still dark, but by 7am we’re getting a nice light and the park is all frosty.( well, it’s frosty before that but then we can see it!).

If you follow FL, we’re in the Living room zone. That was one reason I wanted to put Christmas stuff away. I’ll wash the inside windows and dust everything.

Well, this is the week I go to Sacramento to meet with my oncologist. My first question is going to be” when can I get the Covid vaccine? the second will be when do we start treatment.” 😦 Really, I’d rather start than have myeloma cells multiplying and then risking fractures or worse.

Is 2020 over yet?

What we have 15 days left till January 1st. Honestly, some things about 2020 were awful and some less awful. I’m an introvert in a house of mostly introverts(my son is pretty outgoing) so staying home wasn’t a biggie for me. Not being able to go on camping trips was an inconvenience especially with all the reservations I had and that are frankly a PITA to reserve. Going into stores just for a few things is a thing of the past except maybe our market at the bottom of our hill. Literally I could walk down there in 3 minutes. It would be the walk up that would do me in. Our driveway is probably a 45 degree angle. Okay maybe slightly less. I wonder how you could figure that out?? Anyone? with an engineering degree? The political shit was too much to bear and still is with Trump not conceding and still whining like a toddler that he didn’t get his way and the sycophants that should be removed from office for supporting him.

And I guess I can’t ignore that I’ve relapsed and cancer is back. So starting treatment in January 2021 may not be the best start to a new year. 😦

Well, anyway, I find myself somewhat depressed these days. Maybe it’s all the political crap finally taking its toll on me or not sleeping well or who the F*k knows. I’m sure that this too will pass at some point.

We have been having some nice walks in the early morning and haven’t seen the jerk for quite a while. I think he’s just taken to getting there earlier so as to avoid everyone that shows up a little later. That’s fine with me.

I’m half way thru the Obama book and some of the political stuff is a little over my head but some stuff is so poignant and really speaks to how much he cared about this country. The other book I’m reading that I picked up at the little free library at the park is Chris Bohjalian’s book ” the Guest Bedroom” . His books always have a controversial topic and this one is no exception. It’s about the sex slave traffic from Russia of under age girls. Pretty tough reading but well done. Maybe I need a cozy mystery next.

Last night we had chicken tortilla soup made in the Staub. It was quite good. I’m seriously loving this pot and would highly recommend. Actually, I think I saw the sale was still on ($99.00). I’m convinced it has something to do with how the top is made that is keeping the liquid from evaporating and just deepening the flavors.

Tonight’s dinner is unknown right now but probably something easy. I have salad stuff and maybe a pasta? Or I do have some chicken brats, that would work too.

Simple Sunday

We finally have rain!!

We had to use umbrellas to walk but that was fine. Nobody was there but us so that’s always a treat.

I made some sugar cookie dough this morning and it’s in the fridge for a few hours to harden some. So I’ll start those a little later. I used an Alton Brown recipe and it was pretty straight forward.

If you follow Flylady, we are in the bathroom zone. I can finish mine in about 15 minutes as our bathroom is so small. I might add on a couple of extra tasks this week as well. I consolidated the Christmas ornaments into 1 larger plastic bin that B had bought at Home Depot. So that’s most of the Hallmark boxes and some felted animals when I use to put them out at Christmas on the nature table. I don’t do that anymore but they’re cute enough to keep for now. In the future, who knows? right.

So, as expected, my kappa light chains went up over 600,( high normal is 26.4) and the ratio also doubled( It was 74.3 mg/l ) normal high is 26.3. So Velcade will start in January. So since it’s 3 weeks on 1 week off, I’m thinking @ the second week of January and then a break the first week of February and so on. I guess we’ll have to see how it’s working as to how many rounds it’ll be. That’s a wait and see kind of thing. But one would hope, if it works on the myeloma, 6 months of treatment. Again, big unknowns since we don’t know how things will go. Disappointing but reality.

Tonight I’m cooking a roast chicken in my cast iron pan and I think I’ll make some buttered noodles to go with it as we are potatoed out from latkes. i wanted to get down to Krispy Kreme for donuts( you know to keep the cooking in oil thing going for Hanukkah:) but that may not happen.

B is actually going down for a doctor visit this week as I think they want to see him in person. I’m going to write a list of things for him to bring up because they continue to bother him. He is supposed to get his pneumonia shot and soon he will start revaccinating. I never did revaccinations as back in 2006 it wasn’t common then. Now, I think with autos it is. It is absolutely necessary with an allo transplant though as he had donor cells.

Well, I think I’m going to finish my Sunday chores and read some more of the Obama memoir. BTW, it is a great book and so full of compassion and insight. Definitely worth buying . One thing that really stood out to me was how many times he went to Walter Reed to see the wounded soldiers and how he would interact with them. I tried to look up how many times trump did it but I only found the 1 time shortly after his inauguration. I guess he couldn’t handle seeing the soldiers with one leg or arm or whatever. What a guy!:(

Simple Sunday

A lovely Sunday walk this morning without the jerk, who showed up yesterday after a 2 week hiatus. That’s ok we just ignored him even though he was walking in the middle of the path and we had to walk single file when he went by. It’s not worth the psychic energy anymore to even deal with it. We just went on our merry way. But it was a very pretty morning at the park this morning. We’re pretty lucky to have at least this one trail that is paved. There isn’t anything else like it at all around here. The closest would be Auburn which has one park with a paved trail otherwise it’s Folsom or up the hill to Truckee that has amazing trails all paved.

From there I started working on the nut/cheese loaf for Thanksgiving. I ended up with enough for 2 loaves and one half size one. I put them in the freezer till Thursday morning. I use the recipe from Greens. I’ll try and post it tomorrow.

Then I cut up the loaf of Tartine and put that in the freezer and started a new batch which I’ll do a slow overnight rise. That way I can cook it tomorrow morning.

I put the Costco chicken carcass in the Instant Pot to make broth. That’s still cooking. I also started a Crock Pot of pinto beans for dinner. Costco had the green chile cheese tamales which are my favorite so we’ll have those with pintos.

Tomorrow B has his IGIV. It’s in Roseville so I’ll take him and Z will go pick him up since my daughter works on Mondays. Z works too but he can take it as his lunch break. Hopefully, that will help his energy which is still pretty low and lagging.

I finished everything for Christmas. Really, don’t get too excited, as we only have us to buy for and I keep it small. I will send off something to my sister and give my brother some money. For us, I have books, a couple pairs of jammies, an Elton John album my son wanted and some other misc. Generally, I get stuff we need in the clothes dept, books, something fun and something that is a want.

Hanukkah is early this year, Dec 10th, but I’ve decided not to do any gift things and we’ll just light the candles. I like the idea of the light illuminating the dark and we need that right now.

Flylady zone this week is the bedroom. I finished it today. It doesn’t take very long since it’s pretty uncluttered in there. I did wash the comforter though and my daughter put up the new shoji screen for the one window. It keeps the cold out amazing.

Five on Friday

I’m late getting this off since this morning I was trying to get my Tartine bread in the oven before we left to go to Costco. The bread was a rye mixture( so slightly darker) and the rise isn’t as high but it has great flavor especially with cream cream . I got it in for the first 20 minutes with the lid on and then took the lid off for the final 25 and left my daughter in charge of taking it out. It looked great when I got home.

Costco( the 9am, 60 and older crowd) was absolutely crazy. The line to get in was around the building. For an instant, I almost decided we should just leave but decided this is it till after January 1st and it’s only going to get worse ,so we went in. I guess the TP run is back on and most people were beelining to the back for the TP. Geez, really?? Anyway, they have rearranged the store so cold veggies are near the bakery and that’s where I started. I got everything on my list except canned beans because at that point in the store I was DONE!!! I made B get 2 cases of beer because I ain’t going back in there during Christmas. If we need cream or whatever I’ll hit our market here in town.

My Diestel turkey breast showed up yesterday and that will be nice to have instead of the whole turkey. Last year I did a Whole Foods turkey and it was delicious( according to my notes) but this year I didn’t want to do the whole thing plus I haven’t been into Whole Foods since last Christmas. I do keep a written menu of Thanksgiving each year and then add notes. It has been good to refer back to. I started doing this the one year I downloaded Flylady’s thanksgiving “to do ” list. I have to say, it has been helpful.

B had a call from the Cancer after hours clinic asking him to call( this was after 7pm). We didn’t even get the message till bedtime since neither of us keep our phones with us. We ignored it figuring it was his potassium level( which it was). His blood pressure hasn’t been stable so he went back on the HCTZ which is extremely effective but drops his potassium to low levels and they want him to get an infusion. When you’ve been down this road this many times we just had him take extra potassium pills and drink some gatorade. So after calls this morning( in the middle of Costco noless), yes, increase potassium pills, stop the HCtz again, and get another blood test. Also his immunoglobulins are down which happens about every 2 months so he will need an infusion for that. Sometimes, I feel like I’m barely hanging on here.

We got a Christmas tree permit to go up to Tahoe next week. It’s always a crap shoot of whether you will go the right area and find a nice tree but this year we will give it a go. Last year we skipped it with everything still going on. There has been some snow up there so that will be interesting. I’m planning on NOT putting up the artificial tree if we find a nice live on to put up. If not I will use the live one in my room with just some lights and put the artificial one up in the front room.

Tonight is pizza night and we are having just a frozen pizza. I was going to do Round Table but after spending a zillion dollars at Costco decide to just use what we have. Plus, the deep dish ‘MOtown’ from Costco is quite excellent.

Well, that’s a wrap, and I hear a glass of red wine calling me.

Thursday stuff

Yesterday was my doctor appointment and it went well. I’ll have my 8 week labs around the first week of December, then see him right after Christmas, then start Velcade/Dex in January. He did mention that there is a pill form of Velcade but since that would be a tier 5 drug, I just don’t want to deal with that. So the shot isn’t bad and neither is the drive. ( We got there in 50 minutes yesterday with NO traffic. So it’ll be 3 weeks on one week off. I’ll be ready!!!

I am having lots of anxiety about the election next week, along with the rest of the country.( well, intelligent people who can see Trump for what he is). It’s just a lingering underlying stress as to what’s going to happen. It’s not keeping me awake at night but still, I read the news compulsively for clues. Well, I guess we’ll know soon enough.

We shopped at Trader Joe’s in Roseville after the doctor appt( which was why B came with me). It was pretty packed with people but everyone HAS to wear a mask so it was ok. I loaded up on lots of things. Some prepper stuff like canola spray and tamari, and some just regular food. We were home by 12 noon so not bad at all.

As I mentioned, we adjusted our walk time till 6 so as to try and avoid jerk walker. He’s still there though and just as abrupt but at least walking the other way has made a huge difference. 6 am is nice because by 6:30 it’s predawn and the sky is lightening up. Sunday is daylight savings so I figure we will just walk when we feel ready and see what time that ends up being. I’m guessing the jerk will go by the darkness not the time. One example of him still being a jerk. So the confrontation was about his not using a flashlight, right? So he has been using one. Then this morning I saw him have it on and then as he approached us he turned it off. Uhh…passive aggressive anyone????

Tonight my son is going to make us an Oktoberfest dinner of Bratwurst something( not sure yet exactly what he’s doing) but at least I don’t have to cook.

I have a loaf of rye sourdough baking and it didn’t puff as much as I’d like but it still tastes great.

We are still getting lots of eggs and I’ve been keeping up on using them. I put it out on Nextdoor neighbor but no one answered. I’m guessing with the pandemic when everyone was buying chicks, and now they are all laying eggs. It’s okay, in a few months they will slow down once it gets cold.

I have loved lighting my beeswax candles for dinner time. I have lots of pumpkins on the table and around. We’ve been having a fire every morning too. It’s been about 45 degrees out, so chilly.

Budget Friday

I’m trying to come up with a good blog title for Fridays. I’m not sure Frugal Friday quite fits.

Overall, we are frugal because we have no income per se except SS. So maybe just Budget Friday would work. I’ll see. But budget-wise, all Octobers bills are in. We do have the 2 annual bills of house insurance and Allstate which is twice a year. With ALL the insurance companies getting out of insuring California property, for the most part, we are now having to do the California Fair Plan which is added to the AAA insurance. We went from our annual bill being slightly over $1,000 to now we are slightly over $2,000. Quite a jump.

Costco was just at $450, so that will go on October’s food budget. About $70 was wine and beer. I did buy a bottle of nice champagne for celebrating birthdays. Actually, it wasn’t expensive at $15.00. Plus there were a few prepper items and 2 bags of Starbucks coffee that was on sale. With all 4 of us drinking coffee we go thru quite a bit. But I don’t see us going back to Costco till the very end of October or even the first week of November which could then include any Christmas food or items. Prepper stuff included tuna, Cholula sauce, TP, another case of water, extra butter, and extra cheese. The only thing I didn’t get and I need is some tamari sauce. I’ll probably just go down here to the store and pay their price. The best place to get low sodium tamari is Trader Joe’s but I don’t think I’ll be getting there any time soon.

So far this morning I have made pizza dough, washed living room windows, cleaned the ceiling fan, and am just about ready to clean the rest of the sunroom.

Our lovely fall weather continues with absolutely beautiful days with temperatures in the mid to high 80’s. Next week does have a few 93degree days but this time of year that doesn’t seem so bad.

Budget-wise, I did my LLS for the UHC premium and my medicare which they cover for 2 months so that will be here in a week or so. I am very grateful to LLS for my grant (myeloma) as it does cover health insurance. If we had to pay OP for us both it’s almost $700 so I’m not sure how the budget would do. Probably we would be in the red. But there are gifts sometimes even with having cancer.

B did order the boards for the house ( 5 of them) so that was $120 about. But the siding needs to be fixed. Other stuff, even the fencing by the barn is optional and can be put off if we don’t have extra money.

If you’re looking for a new TV series, The Boys, is quite good. It’s super heroes that are darker more evil and is well done. We just started Season 2 on Netflix.

Well, that’s a wrap for now.