Velcade, Round 5, shot #1

I went down to Rocklin yesterday and started the next round. It went fine except I couldn’t remember which side of my belly they gave the last one. I’m fairly bruised up on both sides so I’m not sure it really matters. Then, Barclay had come with me, we headed down to the RV camping world to look at a Coleman. I will share the outcome tomorrow. We’ve been pretty set on an R pod, but there are absolutely none available within 3 hours, so then we looked a a new model of Coleman that an SUV can pull. It’s nice.

Today is Dex day and yesterday I took the 12mg ,down from 16mg and today feel good. Not too dexed out. I even walked 2 rounds at the park and wasn’t short of breath. ( a dex side effect). So I’m very pleased with the results. He said I could even try 8mg. The reason being is that since I’m back in the normal range of things, Dex isn’t as crucial in bonding with Velcade. It’s still important just that I can do well with less. So I’m pretty happy with that.

Today is just a puttering around day. I watered my plants, and ‘m cooking a chicken in the oven for tonight. I plan on making a potato salad and we still have some lovely asparagus from Costco. I wanted to try a new way of baking tofu too I read about in the NYT. You wrap the tofu in a paper towel then microwave it and it removes the moisture. Then you bake with tamari and oil. It’s worth a try. I usually just press it with a cast iron top.

We are all excited to have a cat show up near our barn. It is getting friendlier. We checked all the missing cats on our neighborhood watch but nothing showed up. She’s( we think it’s a she) has been her @ 10 days.

Not the best photo, but she’s cute and is now sitting inside the barn door. My son , who is NOT, a big animal person has really taken this on. First he named her Sgt Pepper, which I liked, then he didn’t think it fit her so now she’s Siri. I do hope she sticks around as we could really use a barn cat.

Spring time busy.

There’s lots going on in the gardens and the yard. Flowers are blooming and all three lilac trees are in full bloom. This has been a really good year for flowering trees. Out Cherry trees maintained their blossoms for weeks which was unusual. Now the lilacs are in full swing and very full. The white roses are just starting to bud and a few have flowers. The Cecil Brunner looks to be ready to explode with pink blossoms.

Today I plan on applying the redwood stain to the new fencing. I’m going to use a small roller so I think it will go quickly but I’m not sure how much/far the gallon will go. It certainly wasn’t cheap at $58 a gallon. The garden shed is nearing completion and I have bought the same house paint to paint that. I’m still not thrilled with the way it’s positioned but done is done. We still need to get some roofing to finish the shingles. We had some left over when we had the roof re -done so we just need to get 2-3 more bundles.

The weather is stellar right now with this afternoon being @ 80 degrees. I plan on BBQ some chicken and tofu.

I need to write up my monthly menu and check the freezer. I know I’ve used up quite a bit and when we were in New Brighton my daughter also used up lots of frozen things so that’s good and I can write a list of what needs to be replaced.

After my doctor visit yesterday, which went fine, I stopped at Trader Joe’s in Roseville. I bought some bread things,bagels,pita bread, sandwich bread, some veggies, some frozen things too. TJ’s is great for snacks like sesame sticks so I got a nice variety.

The doctor visit was fine. He said to lower my Dex( from 16 to 12 mg) so it’s maybe not so intense. That’ll be nice. He also said we’ll just wait and see about Round 6. I think if the Dex is more tolerable he’ll go for round 6. I guess we’ll see. All my numbers were still great and my ratio even went down to 1.3 since Lambda went up slightly. So I’m pleased and plus I feel pretty good overall. I do feel pretty lucky that the cancer is being wiped out by Velcade. Unfortunately, there are always rogue cells left behind and that’s why relapse is inevitable. But that’s not now and I refuse to think about something in the future I have no control over.

Happy St. Patrick’s day

That really does say it all.

Today is Velcade day. Round 3, shot #2.

This last cycle has been a little tougher. Not sure why. I feel a little more run down even though my labs are ok. My lymphocytes are a little low but not out of normal. Maybe it’s just a build up of stuff in my system.

I had a good drive down to the infusion center. They are very nice and very with it. I decided to go back into Costco before my appt for two reasons. One, they had some sweats on sale for $10 and I bought one the other day and they fit nice and are heavy enough for cold morning walks so I wanted a second pair. Since my wardrobe is very limited and small when I like something I try and buy multiples. The other reason is I had seen a nice rug for B’s office ( our entryway) and it was just $50. That’s for a 5×7 rug which is an excellent price. Costco was very empty even compared to Monday when we went and I was in and out in 15 minutes.

This morning I started chopping vegetables for Tucson stew which we are having tonight. We’ve had this on rotation almost every 2 weeks, it’s that good. My daughter will make some brown rice later. Then after I got home I made up some taco meat( from last night) pintos, cheese burritos to freeze.

Then I had a piece of steak I’d defrosted and needed to use so I cut it up into small pieces and cooked it over high heat. It seared nicely. I’m not sure what I use it for but it’s done. My son was thinking of a beef stew/shepherd’s pie. So now I’m relaxing till I take Dex about 1 or so.

Exciting news!! Our garden shed showed up yesterday. It’s wrapped in plastic so if it rains it should be ok. Plus we got our stimulus money so that amount covers the price of the shed( $999 on sale, plus tax). There’s enough left to save some and maybe start buying what we need for the barn fence.

Well, I’m off to read some before Dex time.:)

Round 1, Velcade, shot #2

I was able to watch the swearing in of Harris and Biden and it really brought me to tears.

Then I left to go to Rocklin for shot #2 and was able to listen to quite a bit on the radio.

This nurse wasn’t quite as good as the first one. She did a blood draw which they need to check my WPC and RBC and she didn’t seem very seasoned in where a vein was on my arm. They do it always in the same place at Quest so not sure what her thing was but she did it and did leave a bruise. A good draw never leaves a mark at all.

This is the injection site. The red lasts maybe 3-4 days. Yesterday she did the opposite side and did leave a little bruising. So the other nurse did seemed to do a better injection. Other than that no complaints and of course, I just want it to work again.

I made a loaf of sourdough seed bread. It came out very nice.

I also made a chocolate sheet pan cake and it’s disappeared so I guess it was good.

Today is just a home day due to dex but I hope to get a few things done.

I should know better than to do business, so I went to pay a bill and and instead of putting in Feb 1st( due date) I left it as today. So I had to move money over from savings to cover it as it will come out tomorrow. Oh well, just a reminder that dex messes with your mind:)

The week ahead…

We both felt really awful yesterday. It seemed like an allergy type thing as we know it’s not Covid. ( no fever, no cough,) But still kinda headachey, and low energy. Sometimes I’ve had days like this out of the blue, but not on the same day as B. He just took it easy all day. I pushed thru and did most of the kitchen zone. I thought maybe it was a reaction to the air quality since we had been out walking but I’m not sure. When were out we always have masks on and we use sanitizer. Plus, everywhere we went people were 99% masked. So kinda a question mark.

We both feel better this morning but I still feel slightly off. I had plans to get my labs this morning but rescheduled for tomorrow. If this is allergy thing, my counts will show lower so I thought better to wait a day. I don’t see my doctor till the very end of the month so I have time to get my labs and results before hand. I don’t like the surprise of waiting. It reminds me of when I was first diagnosed and all the tests and waiting and then the dreaded phone calls. Now I’d rather know before hand and adjust my headspace.

I did make a lovely smoky lentil soup( William Sonoma recipe)( you can get from their website.) for dinner but that’s it. Usually I’ll make grilled cheese or have some homemade bread but that didn’t happen. I put together my monthly meal plan. I write it out but I don’t follow the days exactly. So we had the lentil soup Sunday not the frittata. I just use the template as a guide. Then I check off what we have eaten.

You can see I still have a few squares to fill in. I plan on looking at some cookbooks today. I also try to do one or two new recipes a month.

We are in cooler temperatures today and the air looks good. I keep thinking that maybe walking in the park with the air quality unhealthy affected us. On the other hand we’ve been doing it now since the fires started and haven’t been affected so who knows. It’s a mystery.

I was laughing maniacally( joke) when I read Trump was on Dexamethasone. How funny!! As anyone who has been on Dex,off and on for years, you know it masks aches and pains and other ills because it is such a high dose steroid. The problem is what goes up must come down and when he’s off it, then the problems could resurface especially his coughing. Oh well, he deserves it and more. Honestly, driving around in his armoured car infecting others or at least the possibility, is pure evil. Just for a photo op.

The week has B’s video appt with the nurse practitioner and labs. If the air stays nice we might do that drive up to Tahoe to see the lake. Maybe pack a picnic.

Thursday Budget stuff

IMG_0009Before June budget stuff here’s a picture of Donner Lake.IMG_0014And here’s another. It’s very warm here in Northern California with not a lot of change over the next week. Tomorrow and Saturday are even hotter. So we will need to put in our window air conditioners. This will raise our electric bill but it’s too hot not too use them.

Yesterday’s doctor visit was quite good. We decided not to do a maintenance of every 2 weeks for now. Also, I won’t see him for 2 months but will get monthly labs to see what’s going on.  I’m sure this is a gamble but I think if I have the chance to be drug-free for a short while it will be worth it. I still have 3 Velcade shots so not till July. I’m feeling positive about my decision though. My numbers have never increased radically and hopefully this  will stay the same so future relapse will show it self early on.

Onward to the budget. June is still starting out at a deficit so I will need to transfer a little money to cover a few things. But overall our June budget should show that we need $700 less due to a few things.  I’m hoping the numbers even out by B’s first paycheck of the month. Electric has gone down, but we’re on the balance pay program so it’s balanced based on the year so it’s still at $200. But that should drop once it gets recalibrated.

Also, school money won’t be going out and a few other things will drop too. July will even be better when the Harp refi takes effect ( I hope).  this was of course, a tough decision but with the increased % by October under the previous modification we really don’t have a choice. After much thinking and discussion, the way I have come to see this: we don’t want to move, we will never pay off the mortgage in retirement, so we need to look at getting the mortgage to be an amount that is like a ‘rent’. This refi will do that so I’m pleased with that. When one of us goes to the great beyond then that other person can decide to sell or stay. Unfortunately with my diagnosis, I can’t get life insurance, but many years ago B had me get life insurance ( a small amount ) thru his work. But it would be enough to help. One thing I am concerned about and maybe someone knows the answer to this.. Is when B retires from this company would my life insurance policy just stop? Or would we be able to keep it and keep paying on it?? does anyone know the answer to this?

Well, dinner is crockpot Thursday chicken. Since I’m on dex today, that’s a good thing as I don’t feel much like cooking.

Speaking of cooking, I’m reading the new Ruth Reichel’s book,My Kitchen year  it is so great. I’d highly recommend it.  Of course, I don’t think she would consider crockpot chicken, but then again she’s not on dexamethasone.

JustKeepWalking Update

We are close!!!!   11 more days till we reach the 3-year mark of WALKING INTENTIONALLY EVERY SINGLE DAY!  That’s 1,095 days if my math is correct. Today was quite cool and windy with rain on the way. We walk in the rain and wind and snow(rarely). We are lucky to have a park with a walking trail 1/2 mile from our house. That probably makes a big difference. I think if I had to walk by the side of the road( at least around here with crazy drivers, I wouldn’t have lasted.  Also, for any of you thinking of starting a JKW project a word of advice.  Get up, put on your sweats and PUT ON YOUR WALKING SHOES!  I think that makes a huge difference psychologically. I wear New Balance Country Walkers. Very supportive and I have inserts.  I’m thinking of trying North faces walking /trail shoe but I’m usually reluctant to try something when I have something that’s working so well. Part of the reason I thought of North Face was, 3 years ago I bought my jacket that I wear every day walking. It’s not expensive $99, if I remember. But the zipper broke . I was gong to order a new one and then I thought about North Faces lifetime guarantee. So I e-chatted with the rep and he said send it in. I did and 2 weeks later my jacket was returned with a new zipper. I was very impressed and give a big shout out for North face. They didn’t even need the receipt which I would have long gotten rid of.

Also, just do what you can. With the steroids ,I’m on my muscle never really build ups since steroids reduce muscle mass. But Just think if I wasn’t walking, so I do what I can.

I’m looking forward to finishing the Velcade and going off Dex hopefully sometime in July. Of course, if my numbers are good. And of course, at some point ,I’ll be back on but in the interim it will great.

 

So, Lace up those walking shoes, and Just Keep Walking!!!

country walkers by New Balance

Sunday walking

We were out about 6:15 and nobody else was there yet, so nice.

Todaywas equal sunrise, sunset. 6:55 sunrise, 6:55 sunset. It’s cloudy today but still warm @ 85. Not too bad.

B leaves on his trip to Maryland tomorrow am at 3am to get his 6 am flight. He’ll be gone till Friday.

This week I go in for my Invisalign set up. I’m glad as I’m sick of this other thing in my mouth. I’m hoping the Invisalign is easier to eat and talk with.

I’m going monday or Tuesday to get a wig. What you say?? Well, since July I’ve lost half my hair due to the steroid I’m on. That’s the best the doctor could come up with. My dex was increased to 20 mg and he’s guessing it’s due to that. But I’m pretty self conscious about it so , my last wig I had when I didn’t have any hair, I gave away last year.  I think I paid @ $125 or so for it . So I’m willing to pay that for something again.

the hair is still coming out and until it stops I think I’m going to need the wig. My hair has been quite long and full. Now it’s wispy and mid length.

Oh, well, it’s always something.

Im mid way in my Pom cycle so, still a bit to go till I can get a blood test. 2 weeks about.  I’m anxious to finish , get the results and plan the next stage. I don’t hold out too much that this cycle is the one.

Not to be pessimistic , it just hasn’t done it in the last 4 cycles so….

Monday musings

It’s warm but still cloudy here in Northern California. No rain, just cloudy.
All the leaves are popping out and things are growing. We’re still losing some ponderosa pines to bark beetles down in our woods and ost likely this is due to lack of water. Not sure what we’re going to do yet as it’ll probably be expensive. Since they’re not threaten ting the house, I think taking the big ones near the house( not infected, just too close) makes better sense.

Oh, good news! My daughter finally found the perfect car to commute into the sierras. A Honda crv 2007 with 85,000 miles. It’s very nice and with the awd, if she gets into snow she’ll be fine. Of course, now we’re moving out of snow season, but in a normal year Truckee, ca can see snow in June. Not happening probably this year. Then sometime down the road she can start looking for a roommate situation so she can stay up there 2 nights. But for now BCD will be her new best friend.

My 12 mg of dex, is tolerable, but I still had red face for a few hours and hyped out cleaning. Oh, well, that’s par for the course.
We’ve been eating out on the patio, and last night had a nice Cobb salad. Even my son, who’s never home it seems, ate with us. And tonight he said he’d be home as he has midterms soon. So I think ill just grill some burgers. I need some rolls. Or, I make make crockpot meatballs and make sammies. I have the meatballs in the freezer.

I have work tomorrow and then Wednesday I’ll have my daughter drive me too Winco in her new to her car.
We didn’t trade in her vw( too low of a trade in) and it works fine. So I may drive it for a while and then decide if we’ll keep it or sell. We could get maybe $3000 for it. So we’ll see. We’re going to pay her the $3000 to help her with the down payment and then if we sell we’ll keep that money.
My van that I love is 16 years old with 145000 miles. Still runs great but does need work so. Her VW is 15 years old, has had work done( new timing belt, tires brake stuff) but only has 84,000 miles. So we’ll see.

I did most of my fly lady zone ( the bathroom ) already and yesterday I finished the kitchen zone because last week on Monday I had the bladder infection, so nothing got done.
B has my shelves ready to go up on the one white wall and it’s going to make my vintage catherine holm really pop. We need to buy more pait for the rest of the kitchen . Probably 2 gallons as we’re going over a green.
But, I figure one wall at a time is all I can do.
I’m loving the idea of the white space as in the future touch ups re painting will be very easy.
Well, off to do something.

No matter what you do, dex is dex!

So, I’ve been busy. Dex busy. I’ve been off dexamethesome for about 7 weeks. We wanted to see how rev would be alone. My number went up imagejust a bit, but I decided I’m not waiting for it to go higher. Well, I loved being off dex, but other things crept in. One, my foot problems amplified. And now I need to see a podiatrist. The X-ray looks like arthritis but who knows. Then my energy of course wasn’t as high. My husband and did something special every Sunday instead of me being flat out after the dex high. So, when I took it Saturday night, the same routine. Sweating, peeing, and then busy energy in the morning. But it was yesterday that was a little over the top. I cleaned and did a ton of things from 7 am till @2 pm. I made dinner, cooked black beans for the week. Made a cherry pie, and cooked butternut squash for soup. That’s on top of vacuuming, washing the couch cushions and geez, here’s the wild thing. Cleaning every grate hole in our propane wall heater. Hello? Am I nuts. ??
Well, it was ok. I feel okay today and I’m off to the library shortly.

Apart from that, it’s cold here and it’s suppose to rain this week. Tomorrow I need to go pay our house insurance( more money out the window)… And then a Costco trip (more money out the window)for a pie for thanksgiving.( I’ll freeze it then take it out). Plus some other basics. I’d rather not go but Costco toilet paper is calling…

We had a fun and ( more money out the window) trip to Ikea. We go about once a year and the reason this time was to get some sort of curtains to help keep heat in.
I am not a curtain person at all. None of my windows have them but this time of year I hate being cold more than I dislike curtains so off we went. Ok, so one thing led to another and $$$$. But it was really fun.

Dinner is planned,the butternut squash soup and maybe some pasta.