Simple Sunday

A sunny day at last. Actually, yesterday was nice too. But rain/snow is forecast for the whole week. I guess we’ll get thru. But when the sun is out and it’s almost 60 degrees, I start to want to go out and do yard work, or garden. or get back out to the barn for more decluttering. But then it’s nice for a day and then back to 50 degrees or less and all that enthusiasm leaves. Oh well, it’ll all be there to get to.

Today is day 4 of chemo, so only one more for this round and then it’s a waiting game to see how the labs start doing. I suspect at least a week before anything maybe two. I have read some encouraging stories on the MDS facebook page. That does help. Plus I’ve asked a few questions and people are very helpful. That kind of support is really worth it and from my own experience with the Myeloma page and the Myeloma Beacon, they were literally life-saving and helped me move in the right direction.

Today is a gym day and then home to just do some chores before heading back in to get B. Today is a short day for him so that’s nice.

Dinner is pulled pork with corn tortillas. Scrambled eggs for B. His mouth sores he says are getting a tiny bit better.

This week is the bathroom zone. I was watching YouTube with The minimom who is in New Zealand. She’s quite cute with her zone cleaning but she said she uses some printouts from Etsy. I went and looked and am undecided if I need these. They’re only $4 but I’m not sure how much I’d use them. Basically, I have a planner( blank pages with a dot grid, I get at Michaels) and then each day write my goals and what I need to do. I also do a budget daily checking what’s out and what is due when. 98% of our bills are automatic but a few are still put in.  So usually, I also do the next paycheck budget and adjust accordingly such as this next pay period I need to get the van smogged and pay registration. So, then I add that in.

Off to tidy up and then read.

Oh, I’m reading the last Henning Mankel book,’After the fire’.  His writing is just amazing. It is so clear and precise. Yet, very poetic.

Friday Stuff

I got a call from my oncologist’s office that the Dexa scan came back in the normal range. Yay, one less thing to think about. Kinda a relief.

Today we’re off to chemo day 2, and B needs a blood transfusion as his Hemoglobin was down to 7.4. I am so hoping that the chemo kicks in soon and he will need less peripheral support( transfusions). Realistically though it could be 2-3 weeks.

Then I’m coming home to do some tidying and laundry. My son, who gets off at 4: 30, is going to pick up his Dad so I don’t have to go back out. That’ll be nice.

 

I’m making pizza for dinner and have the dough made and is doing a rise. I thought I’d do a simple marguerite one and then an Italian sausage and mushroom one.

The no spend January sorta fizzled out as I went to Target yesterday. Well, I got cat food but also a candle and a faux eucalyptus branch made by Hearth and Home which is the Magnolia line. I’ve been buying fresh eucalyptus at Trader Joes but haven’t been there in quite a while. So I thought these would do nicely as a substitute. I shall keep focused on the No spend but things may sneak in here and there and I’m keeping track of that. For me just bringing awareness into what I’m spending money on is an eye-opener.  But since I don’t go out for coffees a lot or buy clothes, the main thing I spend on is household items. So that’s all good as long as the budget is there.

If you’re a Dracula fan, I just finished ‘Dracul’ which is written by the great grand nephew of Bram Stoker.  It was superb!!!

Well, off to town.

 

 

 

Here in soggy California

So still raining, but today is supposed to be sunny and then back to rain. UGhhhh, I really do get sick of it. Plus the yard looks rather sad and really needs some picking up. I did clear off the patio the other day as it looked like everything had been tossed on the patio table in hopes of someone tossing it. That turned out to be me. It all still looks forlorn and I’m seriously thinking of hitting up Home Depot for some kind of winter flower or plant to spruce it up. Anything to bring a little cheer to the front door area. Our entry is weird enough that the front door is on the side of the house and we have a gate from where we park cars that we walk thru so the angle is always weird. Plus the patio is right there and that adds to the visual clutter.  The original front door was where the porch was that we rebuilt and enclosed when we were remodeling. It’s all done with 2x 6s so it’s code but it wasn’t in our final.  I suppose if we ever were to sell we’d need to do something but that’s neither here nor there yet.  so that door which was the main door also was placed weird that it faced the lawn that was there and not a driveway either.  So now that door goes into the front room and the other room is my office. But originally that was daughters room. It’s actually quite cozy with french doors on one end. The floor is wide planked pine that B put down over the concrete floor that was there.  I suppose if we ever had money a proper remodel would be nice.

Anyway, enough rattling on about that.

So far this week, we’ve had the oncologists/hematologists appt and that went well. She took pictures of poor B’s mouth. We asked for a pain prescription and about other stuff and she was very thorough. From the second BMB, there were no other FISH (genetic anomalies). So it looks like it’s the 7 q deletion plus excessive blasts( that’s the bad part). She’s also hoping that after this second round of chemo the good cells will start winning over the bad cells but that remains to be seen.  He had another transfusion on Monday and starts chemo today. So the next 5 days will be constant. Hopefully, though, it will go smoothly. His counts are so low that risk of infection is there. So far he’s done fine except for the mouth sores.

I had my DEXA scan and shall see how the bones are in a week or so. Honestly, who cares at this point if I’m pre-osteoporosis.  Or maybe it’s there already.  I would just have to see what the doctor says about what to do with medicine.  Because I’ve had so much Aredia and Zometa, that can actually affect the bones sometimes in a negative way after years of treatment. So we’ll see.

I finished watching the ‘Tidying up with Marie Kondo’ and it was really fun to watch. Amazingly, B did all his clothes, which were not a lot, but still, his drawers and closet look absolutely great!!! If you can watch it, I’d highly recommend it. I do think there are other methods of decluttering that are just as good or for some better. Some people do room by room and that works too. I think because I had done so much decluttering starting with Fly Lady, that when I got to Marie Kondo’s method it wasn’t overwhelming. But if you haven’t, I could see getting out every book you own would be daunting.

So off to the gym today, drop B off at infusion and then go get chicken food.

Last night I made a Thai Chicken soup and it was delicious.  If you have leftover chicken and a can of coconut milk, I’d highly recommend it.

 

Looking back at 2018

It really was a wonderful year with my remission still present. It’s been now, 2 1/2 years since my last Velcade treatment. I’m cautiously optimistic about my numbers in the next 6 months or at least I know that in the past my numbers don’t just skyrocket so that is reassuring. If something starts changing I will have months to prepare mentally and emotionally.

We had numerous wonderful trips.

Our annual Lake Tahoe trip was just wonderful in September. Going up to the north coast with B for work was also nice. We hit Santa Barbara back in the very beginning of the year too. I do love Santa Barbara to visit.

My sister had a rough year with her cancer treatment but is now cleared and is doing well.  She, of course, couldn’t visit this year and we did miss her.

My daughter was promoted to full-time Youth Services Librarian so we are very proud.

Our son is in his last year and now last semester of college and is working very hard. He was traveling to Sac State from here 4 days a week and that is over an hour commute when the traffic is good. We’re proud of him for being so diligent.

Then the world crashed down on November 19 with B being diagnosed ( after the 19th, more like Dec 1) with MDS high risk. What a shock and it has sent us spiraling into the world of doctors again. For people like us, who rarely see a doctor unless it’s needed it’s all very weird. Of course, I do my routing labs etc, but on the whole, it has never been something we do because we’ve always been so healthy. This has been a shock, to say the least.

The future seems uncertain and we must just go forward bravely.

What else can you do??

Simple Sunday

It’s quiet here. We’ve been to the infusion center for B’s platelets so that’s good. He’s having quite a bit of trouble with mouth sores which we think was from a certain antibiotic, not the chemo. But still it’s uncomfortable and it’s going to take a bit to heal with his WBC so low.  He’s on a different antibiotic so hopefully, that will kick in soon.

Other than that, I went to the gym for a short workout.

I’ve been in the living room zone as that is only today and tomorrow. Then the next zone starts on the 1st, which would be the entryway, dining room and something else.

Since our table is in our living room I do that area when I do the LR zone.  I’m doing a bit deeper clean( wiping all shelves and baseboards) since it’s the first of the year.

I’m going to cook an organic turkey roast for dinner along with some stuffing and peas. Nothing fancy, just using up stuff from the freezer. In January, I’m doing a no spend month and freezer clean out. The no spend is just nothing other than food and essential things like cat food. I’ve spent quite a bit in December in foodstuff mainly because I went to Costco twice. I usually go to Costco once a month. So that was definitely more expensive.

This week I have a dental cleaning and B has his appts. If he spikes a fever with these mouth sores he needs to go the ER, so let’s hope he doesn’t. But if he did at least he would get intravenous antibiotic which would accelerate healing his mouth sores. Still, let’s hope not.

 

Wintery days

It is very cold and windy here but the sky is bright blue. Very California-y winter day.

We had a lovely Christmas and although I was going for complete minimalism, that didn’t exactly happen. But I think it was just the right amount of gifts and they were lovely. I received some new silicone spatulas( much needed), the DVD of Gone with the Wind, of course, the Vita-mix which I am absolutely loving and a Vitamix cookbook plus Ina Garten’s new cookbook too.

Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell was a book that shaped my outlook on life as an 11-year-old. Not the racist part of slave owners but the struggle to keep what was of value.  I was telling my children, that we actually went to NYC to see the movie at Radio City Music Hall. At least I think it was RCMH, not completely sure.  I must have read the book 10 times growing u along with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  Both were huge influences on me.

Anyway, then we had a great lasagna, cheese manicotti, a salad, and bread.  B is not drinking any alcohol with his treatment stuff so my daughter and I shared a nice chardonnay.

His numbers have been tanking and it’s mostly due to the chemo which is good that it’s working but until the good cells out do the bad ones, he will need more transfusions, unfortunately.

 

I drove down to Sacramento for my oncology appt and traffic was practically nonexistent and I made it in record time. All my labs are normal so I’ll see him again at the end of February. He was informative about MDS and did encourage us to have the brothers checked for being a possible donor. He said it’s a simple blood test to check that first. It will give B the best chance of success if one of them is a match. I guess we will swallow our pride and ask although I said that doesn’t mean I want to have them in my life. So we shall see.

It also appears the best route for working is not working and going on disability so we will do that next week.  At first, I thought B could work between appts but there is no letting up right now with needing transfusions and platelets. Plus he can’t risk being around anyone who might be sick.  So hopefully it goes quickly and smoothly which I think will happen.

Tonight I’m making a spinach soup using the Vitamix and it came out silky smooth. The recipe is one of made many times from the mystery cater stories by Diane Mott Davidson. I tell you, if you’ve thought about one and are undecided, I can tell you it is really amazing. Plus I’m baking potatoes and 2 small pieces of wild Alaskan sockeye salmon.

The tree is down and the ornaments away. The little live tree I’ll have B move this weekend as he will need the dolly to move it.  So, the house is back to it’s clean and tidy self.

Friday stuff

No news on the second biopsy but it will be next week so then we’ll know the exact diagnosis. B is doing well and trying to adjust to this new normal of craziness. We had to drive to Sacramento twice and out everyday for something or other.

He started the chemo yesterday because either way this is the drug he would start with. It’s 5 days every 28 days and seems to be well tolerated. So that’s a start.

We’ve had a few lunches out coming back from Sacto since it’s easier to get a bite instead of coming home starving. Nothing fancy, a burrito at our favorite local place and the other day I had a In and Out burger and he had fries and a shake. One thing for sure is he needs to up his caloric intake. He’s already underweight( has always been) but I don’t want it to decrease anymore.

I’ve made 2 Vitamix smoothies and WOW it was amazing. I did one with a knob of ginger and there wasn’t a stringy thing left. I think it will be a great addition. Right now it’s on the counter but I try not to keep much on the counters so I’ll have to see where it’s home is. Since I’ll be using it daily the counter seems like an obvious choice but I’ll see.

While he’s at infusion today, I’m going to the gym for 30 minutes. I wasn’t feeling great yesterday so I didn’t go. that would have been my normal Thursday workout.

I get my labs next week so we’ll see how that goes too. I guess it’s really insane the two of us with a blood cancer. yes, I’ve tried to think what could it be and all I can say is it’s the luck of the draw. We’ve never been exposed to any chemicals or worked with hazardous stuff. So , we’ll never know really.

Tonight is pizza night and we’ll order out. It’s just too much to think about making too much stuff right now.