It’s been a busy but productive week

We had a nightmare drive to Sacramento on Tuesday. I have to say this really was the first time it was so awful. First off, we stopped to get gas and the car in front of us( so we couldn’t get to the pump) had what appeared to be someone living out of their car. We waited politely and waited and finally, I backed up and zoomed around to get to another pump.  The lady must have been in the bathroom washing, but then after she pumped her gas she proceeded to wash her car windows. I was getting frustrated at this point and this put us almost 15 minutes behind.

Then traffic was really heavy for some reason and I knew we would be late for B’s infusion appt( to flush his port and labs). We were 20 minutes late. That is a first.

Well, it all ended great with the NP telling us that the BMB results were excellent and chimera was 99%. Truly science is amazing.

We both got our Flu shots and both are arms a little sore. But not too bad. So that’s done.

B got his LLS reimbursement for the insurance so that’s a big deal and in the coming months will make a huge difference. Thank You LLS donors who make these grants possible.

Today I’m heading into AAA to sign up for the home insurance( that they canceled  and we now will be with them but they’re underwritten.) Plus it’s about $600. more annually. WTF!!!!

I might go to the gym afterward or I may just flake. I’ll see how it goes.

I was trying to plan another mini trip to Capitola but Airbnb’s are really expensive and so are hotels. We decided not to spend money on that. I checked New Brighton but it is all full, probably with retirees in huge RVs. 😦

Barclay is still processing going back to work but I don’t want to give up his SDI yet. That money is non-taxable so we will not owe next year. But it only goes thru December and that’s it. But it has been a huge blessing. If he goes back it won’t be his old job as that’s been given to a co-worker and he couldn’t really travel like he did.  His boss has indicated he could do something from home ( ideal ) but he’s still not sure. He’s only 4 1/2 months post-transplant and most people don’t go back to work for a year or not at all.

If anyone has any thoughts or input I’d appreciate the ideas as we definitely conflicted about it.

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Simple Sunday

A rainy evening with the wind. Plus, the temperatures have really dropped and we will need to start a fire in the woodstove.

Today, I’m doing the Living room zone and because October first is Tuesday another zone happens. That will be the entryway zone. I include our sunporch as that is the main door people see and use.  I brought in some of the geraniums and I think I will let them winter over in there. The sunporch is not heated but on sunny days it does warm up nicely.

I’m going to the gym later and then into Safeway for milk, cream, a whole chicken, and a few other things. My grocery bill has been low this week so I’m pleased. I made lentil soup from the new cookbook I splurged on for my birthday” Two Peas and their Pod”.

She doesn’t use a tomato base, but I always do. I think it adds more depth. I use the IP and it was delicious. This weeks menu includes the lentil soup, a homemade lasagna ( in the freezer), some sort of taco dinner, and maybe brinner with pancakes.  I’ve also been wanting spinach soup which is one of my favorite.

I used the “Two Peas” cookbook for a scone recipe and it was good but I made need to tweak it a little. I thought they were just a tad bit dense. I could have stirred them too much too as this will affect them. I’ll try again at some time.

Also, this week B has his appt with the transplant doctor who I assume is going to go over the BMB results and the chimera results. It all seemed good but we’ll see how he interprets it. Then B has labs and a port flush.

I’m planning on going into AAA this week and redo our house insurance that got canceled by AAA. They still offer it but with the new California Fair insurance. With all the wildfire claims, I think every insurance company is canceling their own policies and doing the rider with CFI.  Then I need to pay for B’s motorcycle registration too.

Five or(five hundred) on Friday

It has been a LONG week.

We made it down to UCD fine even with traffic and the endoscopy went fine too. No problems with the prostate. He just has an enlarged bladder and does need to catheterize at least once a day. I guess if that’s the worse, it’s not so bad.

Yesterday though was a nightmare day.

  • first we got a letter stating AAA was canceling our house insurance because of fire dangers in California. Great. Now we will have to find a new insurer and it’s bound to be A LOT more expensive.
  • Then we get a letter actually 2 letters from the Cobra people for B’s insurance. We owe $710 per month. I thought we’d already had paid the first two months. I called and NOPE that was not to them. Great, more money out the window.
  • I called the dedicated hotline for employees and said we’d paid the $1200. So just this afternoon she called back and said NOPE, that was for June and July when the company transitioned to the new insurance. I looked at the paystub and she was right. Nothing was taken out.   Great:(
  • Then on a positive note and money. B got his LLS grant approved for MDS and they will reimburse him the first amount of the cobra just covering him. so we should get that and it’ll help. We will submit the amount for the second month next week.
  • Then I’m at the Sutter Medical site getting ready to pay the installment and I see another whole set of charges. WTF!!!!! So I call Sutter and she says oh they said (UHC) he wasn’t covered for those dates. By this time I was seeing fire and smoke was coming out of my ears. I then called UHC and the VERY nice rep says let me check. She checks and says clearly there was some wrong coding as he was covered. Give me a F#@king Break.
  • Let see, I think that’s everything. But there could be more I’m blocking out.

Well, I’m exhausted from it all. Too much paperwork, money stuff, and confusion. I think I see the wine bottle waiting for me.

Frugal Friday

No, not really. Although we haven’t been spending money carelessly. Our grocery budget is our biggest variable expense. I budget $200 a week for everything including pet supplies, non-food items, wine, food and misc. That seems to be a good amount for us.

But when you factor in Costco trips like in August, I definitely go over.  The Costco trips are often items that last a few months if not more. I’ve tried separating out non-food and then I get all confused and lose track of what was what so if I just lump it all together it works better for me.

For August I’m trying out $125 a week and I’ll see how that goes.

We aren’t going on any trips this year due to the medical stuff so there are no expenses there.

We also can’t eat out as B can’t have restaurant food yet. Although I have gotten him In an Out french fries and a shake as he needs to gain back about 20lbs. So we don’t really have an eating out budget. I have gotten a pizza or two so there’s that.

We also don’t have any big projects around the house but there are a few things. We absolutely need to fix our step coming out the door. It is awkward and has two levels so he and our daughter will put down a new concrete step that covers both and goes out farther. We wanted to build a deck out level from the front door and then a step-down but a deck would probably run us $3-5,000. So not now.

We’re on the fence about getting more trees down. I think we will call and see about at least 2 and get an estimate. We still have too many trees that are very big around the house.  But that too is a very expensive project.

We still have co-pays on the medical side too and the GFM is being used for that but it’s getting low.   The $6,000 from the beginning of the year is almost paid off. The transplant co-pays haven’t even shown up yet. Yikes, that could be scary.

Well, all in all, we’re doing okay.

Simple Sunday

Wowza, it is hot!

We’re hitting the 101 mark today and I have the coolers on already at 75.

I just finished the LR zone and am deciding whether to go to the gym. I don’t want to aggravate my rib pain. Plus, I’m trying to decide whether this merits an x-ray.  If it’s a pulled muscle then it’ll slowly get better. If it’s a rib fracture, the question would be why? So, I think I’ll wait and see how it is tomorrow. I told my husband, that I’m pretty sure this happened last year but can’t find any notes relating to it.

I’m making a new recipe tonight ‘Roman Chicken’ that’s from Food Network. Mostly it’s just chicken, peppers, capers, onions and tomatoes. Not sure what makes it “Roman” but I’ll try it.

I finished a good mystery by Baldacci; ” The Fix”. It was a good spy mystery. Now I don’t have any books left so I may need to go down to the pet bookstore and see if there’s anything there.

It’s now later, and I decided NOT to go to the gym. Sunday is my favorite day there as all the regulars aren’t there. Plus there are no jump around classes although there is a yoga class.

B has two appts this week. Getting his orthopedic boot on Monday and Tuesday is clinic. His counts all went down a little but I guess that’s to be expected.

 

Friday things

We’re off to Sacramento for Clinic and Labs. B still has diarrhea going on but the Predisone and Imodium should help. We think this is a small Graft vs Host going on since he is now off one of the anti-rejection drugs, Mycophenolate.  At least it isn’t getting worse. So, all in all, that’s good.

I had thought to stop at Costco on the way home and I still may do that. It kinda depends on how long we’re at clinic. I really need to get my receipt in there as I was charged twice for 2 things. That’s always awkward as I feel like ‘will they believe me’?? But, like I said, it depends on how I feel and what time we leave Sacto. B just has to sit in the car, so that is something to consider too.

I filled out my LLS reimbursement form using SS for the first time. I probably did it wrong and they’ll kick it back. I found, after I submitted, their list of what was needed and I didn’t copy the cards just the payments, so that’s probably what they’ll need. They can be quite fussy about it but then again, they are giving me money, so I guess it needs to be done to the letter.  I’ll just wait and see 😦

I started emptying the tent trailer and put some things in the barn. I’d like to completely empty it and wipe it down and then evaluate its condition. B likes to take his naps out there so I don’t think we’ll close it completely down.

Well, I guess it’s time to get going!

The gift of LIFE…

I have been wanting to write a post about the gift of life that ALLO donors give to their recipients. Many do not even know the person they are giving their stem cells to. It is a truly selfless act of both courage and bravery.

In our case, Barclay’s donor was his younger brother. RPN. Now there is some history here, so I will give a few details. Not a lot of details but some, as it’s complicated.

We have had little or no contact with either of his brothers for almost 20 years. This was mutual. The gist is there was an inheritance involved that was very substantial and the two brothers were included and Barclay was not. They stood by the monetary decision and did not offer to make it more equitable.  A lot of angry words were said and that’s that.

RPN, gave his brother the gift of life, a chance to have some good years ahead and that is priceless. So I can forgive the past simply because of this single act of sacrifice.  What RPN did was courageous and he did not hesitate.  This act was, I think, transformative for me and Barclay on many levels even the cellular one!!!!

The past is the past and I can forgive and move on.

Life is a strange journey and healing the past is always a good thing.

We want to live for Now and what has happened is just part of our history that makes us who we are.

On a bigger platform, to all the people that have been ALLO donors, you are truly heroes and thank you!