Being Grateful…….

Having survived now for 13 years with Mulitple Myeloma, I know how lucky I am.  I am grateful every day for my life with my wonderful husband and children.  My son was almost 11 when I was diagnosed and my daughter almost 20. So the many years I’ve had are remarkable. Graduations from High School and college.

Some people using the bullet journal method write down what they are grateful for each day. Some do it a little OCed.  I don’t need to write it down to be reminded that the sun comes up or it’s raining and I’m fortunate enough to see it and experience.

Especially since I am enjoying this remission period. My next labs are coming up in the first part of April. Who knows what they will bring but I can only hope they are still good. Although, I don’t “hope hope” like in praying or anything.  Because your blood will be what it is no matter what you hope for. It is what it is.  That was a hard lesson for me when I was first diagnosed.  It took many years to realize basically nothing I ‘hoped’ for essentially made a difference but still one needs to hope. I think it’s a human element.

My neighbor that I’ve mentioned before in my ‘Death decluttering’ blog, is with hospice now. She only has a small amount of time left. I talked with her the other day. One thing that struck me was she said,” this wasn’t how she envisioned her retirement”. She’s only 2 years older than me and was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer 5 years ago.  She made it longer than a lot of cancer patients.

I’m one of the lucky ones and believe me, I am extraordinarily grateful. Not in any religious sense, just grateful to have lived to see another day.

 

BE GRATEFUL

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Labs still great!!

Saw the oncologist yesterday and all is well in henrydavidthoreau1-2xmyelomaville.

My Labs are almost identical to last time so that’s a relief. I’ll have labs in 6 weeks and then 6 weeks after that and then have an appointment with him.

Very exciting to still be doing well and in remission.

We went to Trader Joes after the appointment and stocked up on lots of goodies. I even bought a couple of frozen pizzas just so when on some Friday night pizza I don’t feel like making it. I also bought a cauliflower crust to try for a gluten-free one.  I stocked up on a few spices I needed and olives ,tomato sauce, and nuts.

I do wish there was a TJ’s closer, but since we’re coming back from Sacramento, it’s right off the freeway so quite convenient.

I might go to the gym since yesterday I didn’t go but I may just stay home and putter around. I have some sweet potatoes cooking for lunches or dinners. Plus I made a small chopped veggie tray for snacking.

Tonight is pizza night.

the journey towards minimalism

Life is certainly a journey with its up and downs and in-betweens.

For me, I guess, it really did start with ‘death decluttering’ ….ha ha ha.  Before I was diagnosed in the early 2000’s I became obsessed with collecting things from the 30’s,40;s 50’s and 60’s. I had a lot of fun going to estate sales and looking for buttons, Melmac, old fans, dishes etc. I had some really nice stuff. And my absolute love is mid-century furniture and still is actually. image

So in 2005 when I went thru the gut-wrenching process of getting diagnosed( I would not recommend a biopsy of a plasmacytoma in the back with a neurosurgeon using a hammer), I had a very tiny house with lots of stuff.  With a prognosis of 3-5 years survival, I think at some point, I just wanted it gone but it wasn’t right away.

It probably wasn’t until @ 2010 when I relapsed that the idea sprung into my head, that I didn’t want my kids or husband to deal with this stuff. So….it slowly was tossed, given away or donated.  Thus, the ‘death decluttering’.  Don’t wait till it’s too late to purge, and simplify.   Really, really, DO IT NOW.

 

I still have more than I’d like. In October my challenge was 1000 things gone. I got to 700 and then I just didn’t find any more or at least motivated too.  So, it is a journey of discovery.

I guess there is a balance with it too.  I kinda need a couch at this point.  There was a time sitting on the floor was fine but now I’d probably need a crane to get up so that’s out.  Also, I’ve always loved all things Japanese, so I wanted a low table on the floor but again, crane anyone?

Where am I with it all?  I want only what I use and need and fits our house.  We have given away thousands of things and it feels so good.

I am enjoying adding house plants which are adding oxygen and greenery. A win-win….

 

Dinner is leftover wild rice chicken soup and twice baked potatoes with a salad.

 

 

Tuesday Stuff

Not too busy of a day. I’m going to the gym and then home.

I’m going to the gym and then home. My daughter needs to pick up some pet medicine at the vet, so I’ll drive over there.

My sister will be flying out this weekend with her oldest to visit. Her oldest child is doing a Catholic mission thing in Sacramento. So they are here to visit her and we will meet up Sunday for a visit and then go out for dinner. The turn around is 4 days. Geez, I couldn’t do that, I’d be wiped out.

Anyway, had my labs yesterday and my CMP( comprehensive metabolic panel) is all normal.  I’ll probably get the CBC today and then the big tests should come in Thursday or so. We’ll see……waiting anxiously as always.

Honestly, I don’t think it ever goes away, the anxiety. Having been thru the hell of a cancer diagnosis that was really out of blue plus how many people have heard of multiple myeloma? Well, I certainly hadn’t. But time is a wonderful healer and I am much more philosophical about it now. But that’s in part due to being 12 years out from diagnosis.

Here’s some of my vintage Halloween decorations.

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I actually didn’t put everything out this year. So more minimal.

Tonight is Taco Tuesday.

Labs in and other stuff.

My CBC was great. All good there except the hemoglobin was still .5 above normal.  He had wanted me to drink 8 glasses of water a day. I did pretty good but not 8 glasses. Maybe got to 5-6 a day plus tea. I guess hemoglobin has to do with the oxygen in your blood. So he thought maybe I wasn’t hydrating enough.  I’m not worried at only .5 over normal. but I’ll see what he says in June.  In other good news, my kappa light chains still normal but it went up 2 points. So from 12.6 to 14.2.  So here’s that trend of going up. I know I’ll come out of the normal range at some point but for now, it’s still in the normal range even with the 2 point increase.  My Lambda went up too from 10.9 to 11.5 so another increase. And the ratio went up to from 1.16 to 1.23 . In myeloma numbers, the ratio is most important so still an increase. These are all in values of mg/L for those that want that .  I can’t say I’m not a bit disappointed because I am just a little but hey this is month 10 going into month 11 of no drugs andI’m still within normal ranges. Oh, the good news too, was no detectable M-protein. So that’s the great news. the light chain tests though are more sensitive to myeloma cell, so the increase does show a trend. But, for now, I will celebrate LIFE!! I feel good well except for the aches and pains of normal stuff.  My one year of stopping Velcade is June 23. June is never a good emotional month for me as I was officially diagnosed on June 15 of 2005. Funny how we remember some things exactly.  Oh well, I’m grateful for modern medicine and my doctor and park and the ducks and the everything. ( That’s supposed to be funny).

It’s been windy here and we haven’t sat out at dinner even though the temperature is nice. The allergies are kicking in when that wind blows. I’m hoping to BBQ tonight if the wind is gone.

Here’s a picture of Hobbles the duck. yesterday we couldn’t find him at the park but he was back today. Whew…IMG_0700he’s called hobbles because about 2 years ago he got injured somehow and was not using his one leg. Now he uses it but just hobbles. He’s our buddy in the morning.

Simple Sunday

Our internet is out so I’m using B’s hot spot in his phone for the internet. ATT will be here this morning. After they fixed the lines that went down in the storm the wifi has not worked. This happens every 2-3 years so I guess we should have expected it.  But I was able to pay some bills and send off an email I needed to.

It is quite cold( 31 , this morning). But at least it’s sunny. Today, I’m going to the gym with my daughter who joined yesterday. What fun, now we can go together.

Flylady has 2 zones this week as Feb ends and March begins.

This also marks my 11 th birthday from my SCT. I went into the hospital Feb 28 and was released March 17. I spiked a fever and had to go back in for another night but overall it was ok. It takes a lot out of you since the drug Melphalan is basically mustard gas poison that is given to you to kill as many myeloma cells as possible. Then your own stem cells are reintroduced.  You basically have your white blood cells go to zero and red too. I needed 2 transfusions.  Finally, the stem cells start to produce healthy cells and your white blood and red blood count starts to go up.  It is very difficult and you’re basically half dead.

So as this new month begins , here’s to my elevensies birthday. 🙂

I need to go the market for some milk and ? cat food. I’m not sure what’s on the dinner menu except I have asparagus to use up so I’ll roast those in the oven. Maybe a quiche?? I need to check the freezer to see that I’ve got.