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.

It’s official….MDS high risk

So it was the local medical oncologist that had the biopsy results from the other Dr. The official diagnosis is Myelodysplastic syndrome high risk because of the 7q deletion.

So at least he doesn’t need to do the induction in the hospital if it was leukemia. I guess that’s something.

For now, it’s going to be the 5 days of chemo every 28 days. Hopefully, the drugs kill off the ‘blasts’ or baby leukemia cells which are bad and then his bone marrow will start producing the right cells. Also, that will mean less and fewer transfusions and platelets.  Then it will be a donor transplant. I seem to recall the transplant doctor saying hospital time a few weeks then outpatient. Fingers crossed that it works as there is a 50% chance it won’t and he’ll die. Or he’ll need to go back on some sort of treatment. 😦

Today, after he gets platelets which do go very quickly after the IV is in, we’re going to Costco so I can load up on organic greens for those smoothies and fruit. I really hate going this time of year with Christmas, but I also hate spending a lot of money on greens at the store when can get a big bag at Costco for the same price if not cheaper.  I will get some other things as well since we’re there and call it my weekly shopping.

I’ve got a new sourdough recipe I’m trying out and it’s on its second rise. But we’ll be gone for a few hours so It’ll be longer than usual.

I’m going over to the gym for a tiny bit while he’s at the infusion center. I can probably get a good 30 minutes in.

Some of my labs are in but this new patient portal is a PITA as it says results released in a few days( it gives the date). WTF, there my results and he’s viewed them so why??? I didn’t see the big 2 tests SPEP or Light chains but they will be coming in soon I suspect.

Oh well, if it goes up again, I’ll just have to not flip out and go with it. Fortunately, I’m not high risk and my numbers have never just shot up so that would give me time to adjust. I see my doctor next week right after Christmas.

I haven’t been too inspired with cooking dinners so we’ll see what I feel like tonight. Mostly I’ve done just what’s easy without a lot of thought. Last night was pinto beans, a frozen enchilada and TJ’s cheese tamales.

 

 

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.

Frugal Friday

All the bills are done for the month so that’s frugal or at least budget conscious.

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I have most of next month budget done except for a few things like planning the deck for the studio. That may end up going in 2 parts as it will be pricey.

Yesterday at Costco did add up but I won’t need some of the things I bought for at least 6 months( a 2 pack of Grey Poupon mustard), Cholula ( large size 2 bottles, a case of black olives, and a case of bar soap. The bar soap will last a few years actually.  When I was on Revlimid I  had terrible cramping in my calves and Irish Spring under my bed sheet was a miracle worker. These cramps were extremely painful and would freeze up my entire calf muscle. The other remedy is pickle juice.

I was tempted to buy the Vitamix Costco has on sale and it is a great price. but I decided to wait on it. I’d like a Vitamix down the road for drinks, soups, nut butter etc, but I have to weigh out how much I will use it. Right now I use my new Cuisinart processor and my stand mixer.  So I guess I saved $300 on that for now.

I’m going to do a few errands after the gym today including dropping off a box at the Cancer Thrift store. I have some Fiesta ware that I just don’t use( a butter holder) and a pitcher and I don’t want to drop that off at Goodwill. ( More Stuff gone)

Then I have a big stack of towels to drop off at the SPCA and maybe if someones there I can check on the barn cats.(more stuff out of my car)

It’s a much cooler morning and nice. We’ll see how later is.

It’s Friday night pizza but I’m not sure I’m making one. We decided to change it to Pizza or Pasta night so I may go with pasta and some of that leftover pesto. We’ll see …I just may order out.

 

Friday stuff

Well, I’m not sure where the week went but it’s Friday.

I did a proper house tidying session including vacuuming. I start getting a little crazy when I see things piling up or not put away.  So It took maybe an hour to sort it out.

Then I went to Safeway to get some food to prep some meals. I mostly wanted lots of veggies to go with the homemade hummus and for salads. So that was a success.

My new Cuisinart food processor showed up so I made the hummus and it’s a dream.

To make;

  • I use a can of organic garbanzos
  • juice of a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons or a glug of olive oil
  • a garlic clove
  • a couple of tablespoons of tahini
  • Just whiz together till creamy

My old food processor was I think over 25 years old and was kind an off-brand Oster maybe. So I plan on trying slicing some veggies and grating too.  It says you can make nut butter but I’ll have to see how that goes. It’s not a Vitamix but after thinking it over I decided to wait on that. We don’t drink smoothies and having jumped on the kale bandwagon.  I paid $65.00 for this from Amazon and it was normally $185.00. So that’s a pretty good deal, I think.  I make a lot of salsas too so you need a food processor for that.

No big frugal things this week, the budget is set for the month with a bi-annual bill coming for Allstate. Then I need to have my VW smogged and get the registration paid. All our registrations went up by about $30, I ‘m guessing it’s the California auto tax or something. It was quite noticeable. My VW is a 2000 and usually, the registration is just over $100, but this year it jumped to $130.

This Sunday is Daylight Saving and that will be interesting walking. It’ll be later time wise but the light will be about the same. I’m not sure what time I’ll get out there, but walking at 7:30 as opposed to 6:30 won’t work. It’s too late as I like to be done by 7am at the latest.

Tonight is pizza night. Nothing homemade just a take and bake thing.

 

Rainy Monday

I went for my walk, as usual, but in the rain. It wasn’t too bad as I do have rain gear I wear. ( Frogg Toggs).  If you’re equipped it’s okay. My North Face hiking shoes are gore-tex so my feet stay dry. If the wind is blowing then it’s harder but it wasn’t too bad this morning.  We are 90 days away from hitting the 5-year mark of the JKW project.

The rest of the week still looks rainy and cold with more snow forecast for the end of the week. WTF, this is not normal. We always have some cold weather but this just seems like its going on and on. Oh well, I guess just enjoy it as much as you can.

Today is a relaxed puttering day. I’ve made some turkey chili for tonight and it’s simmering away. I hardboiled some eggs for snacks or lunches. Then yesterday I made hummus in my old Waring Blender. I got this blender back in the 80’s. So I thought gee, I wonder if this would make the hummus as creamy as the pictures from the Vitamix blender. And I ‘m happy to say it did.  I’m still going to check out the Vitamix as I think making nut butter would be cool. Any recommendations a model?? Costco has a few models so I’ll look there first.

Then I’m doing 1x laundry and a few Monday chores around the house.

I have gotten back some Labs and they look good. My CBC panel looked great and the SPEP test came back normal but I had to e-message the doctor as I pretty sure the light chains got lost somewhere. Maybe today.