Minimalism is different for everyone. some people want 100 items, others just a clear, uncluttered space.
As I’ve written before, my minimalist journey started after I relapsed the first time in 2010. I had been drug-free for 4 years(2006). Then when my myeloma started surfacing I went on a chemo drug called Revlimid. In addition to Dexamethasone.
But, I digress, starting chemo again was scary but something shifted in me. I didn’t want clutter around me or useless stuff or really come to think about it. any stuff that seemed useless or just filling up spaces.
Thus started my whole minimalist journey. Not to get to 100 things but to really have our home feel spacious. Since our house is very small, I got rid of extra couches, chairs, piano, bookcases, tables and thousands of things to open up space.
I can still see down the road having a smaller dining table, maybe a few less bulky items. maybe even getting rid of a Heywood. Well, that might be a stretch but still, it’s openness I desire and white space to enjoy with green houseplants scattered around.
Right now I’m playing around with the Minimalists rule of 90/90. Have I used this in the last 90 days? will I use this in the next 90 days? This helps simplify the ‘hanging on to stuff for the what if ‘factor. It’s actually quite powerful when you look at a bookcase for instance. I have some cookbooks I like the covers of and the pictures are nice. But have I made a recipe out of them in the last 90 days, well no? My go-to for recipes is Kichtn on line or just doing a Google search. So I will remove those 3 books I’m looking at.
We aren’t going to be able to change our house structure or build an addition. This is what we have to work with and so I want to find that balance of useful things and space.
‘Space, the final frontier.’
It’s okay. But here’s a picture of the results.
So if you have Myeloma, two tests are important to track your cancer. These are the light chains and the SPEP.
So in August, 2 months ago I was at 13.6 . and lambda at 12.0 ratio 1.13.
I was very happy with those numbers.
In October the jump was almost 3 points. to 16.2 and 14.2 but the ratio was 1.14 so almost no change which is quite important. The ratio is actually more important the individual numbers. Sorta of…
Well, it’s ALL STILL WITHIN THE NORMAL RANGE, that;s themes positive thing but a 3 point leap in 2 months and then what in another 2 months?
It’s possible the myeloma cells are on the move so to speak.
Gratefully my Serum Electrophoresis is normal.
naturally, I’ve been obsessing some and it takes me a few days to rationalize it all. It is all normal still and all good.
Just to put it in perspective, even when I go out of the normal range, treatment doesn’t really start right away. It’s more like when you hit @ 100 or so. or the ratio becomes squewed. I’m Okay! I feel good. So onward.
I’ll be writing another blog later on just normal 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.
I actually didn’t put everything out this year. So more minimal.
Tonight is Taco Tuesday.
So I saw my oncologist this morning and all is right in my world. He always listens and has been a knowledgeable medical oncologist/hematologist. Since I had already gotten my labs back and they were all great, it was just a relaxed visit to check in and set up the next followup. I am so very grateful to be enjoying and living every day to the fullest.
Today, I’m just doing some puttering chores. I need to load up some thrift store things to take tomorrow. I have 1x load of laundry and just tidy and putter around. I may go out the garden and pick tomatoes as we are still getting plenty.
Here’s a picture of the peach pie I made the other day.
OMG, it was divine. But I think it was because the peaches were so divine. But I made the crust using Julia Child’s recipe minus the shortening. I just did all butter.
We’re still at Tahoe for a few more days. It’s lovely here with fewer kids running around and therefore quieter. Mostly retired folks. There are a few families here and there but even the beach is dramatically less busy. Of course, this is the weekend, so it’ll get busier.
We celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary here and planned to go to a fancy place for lunch. But the menu wasn’t impressive and it turned out not to be fancy but order at the counter. This was The Ridge if you’re interested. So we decided to make fancy cheese and avocado sandwiches in camp and it was perfect. We’ll do something special out sometime. I’m not one to hold to ‘it has to be’ this way so it was easy.
We’ve had 3 Lodge dinners and last night was a pizza again. So much fun to cook with the Lodge. But tonight we’re thinking a soup or quesadilla. Just an easy meal.
We had fun going to Goodwill and then we’ve been at the grocery store almost every day for either ice or whatever. But since Safeway is just up at the corner it’s convenient.
We also have been to the gym twice and that was good to do some weights. I need to ramp up my workouts.
OMG, I forgot, the best news of all my LABS came in the normal range. I’m going on 14 months. Pretty amazing!!!!! I see my oncologist the first week of September so it’ll be just a touch base with him. So relieved and obviously, happy.
On a political note, it’s just amazing Trump would pardon Arapio(sp?) . I mean can we go any lower. And now banning transgender going into the service. We are going backward. Geez, hard to really comprehend how low Trump can go.
Oh, and how bout it’s okay to leave up the Confederate statues to represent oppression because the civil war was about taxes(which I’m sure was part of the picture) and slavery was legal( so it wasn’t about that)?. So we need to keep them as symbols of respect…Well, I’m obviously being facetious and referring to another bloggers post about the whole statue thing so I’ll leave it at that. This is my blog and I’ll write what I want just as she can write what she wants. We’re all entitled to believe what we believe as long as it doesn’t oppress or hurt others. I’m pretty sure that’s what neo nazis and white supremacists want to do.
Anywho…. it’s a beautiful day in Tahoe. I hope the hurricane in Texas didn’t cause too much damage.
First, I googled Ipad issues and got it back working. Whew… I really didn’t want that expense right now. If it happens to you, you press both the home button and the power button simultaneously and wait for the apple icon to appear. It actually worked and I’m using it again with no apparent issues.
The time in between.
It’s a weird place as a cancer patient to not be in treatment and yet still be a cancer patient. I am very grateful to have this time off all chemotherapies and even Zometa. But I still have Myeloma. It’s not going to just go away or even get cured. It’s just there lurking. So, I certainly think about it but not obsessively. When I was first diagnosed I obsessed and even well into my treatments after my first relapse I still obsessively thought about Myeloma. So now, I do think about it and what it means just not ALL the time. It’s nice to have the space in between to breathe and live. I’m trying to use this time to get stronger by going to the gym and of course, still walking. Plus, working on different projects to fill my time.
But, it’s still a place in between treatments and no treatment and eventually treatment again. I’m pretty sure everyone who has cancer whether it’s been cured or it is ongoing can relate to how do we deal with the time in between those treatments. I try and enjoy every day no matter what. I try and stay positive about life issues no matter what. Sure, I still get upset at the whole political thing but there’s not much I can change about that. But I can change my daily routines and strive to be better mentally prepared and emotionally when the time comes to resume treatment.
I remember those first 17 radiation treatments. Every day except weekends. I certainly was on auto pilot. I didn’t go out much or do much. I was depressed and didn’t feel well. It was my family that kept things going and I just glided. I think it was that way all the way up to my Stem Cell Transplant. It was a rough time and the time in between was not fun, interesting or positive. It was difficult, dark and depressing. Looking back I just wasn’t dealing with things and now I can say, I’ve learned a lot and come a long way in how I deal with my cancer. But, the time in between has gotten better, lighter and brighter.
So even if it’s a week between chemo appointments or one month or one year, enjoy the time in between as best you can.
My labs are in and I am so excited, happy and a little delirious. My kappa light chains went DOWN to 13.6 mg/L from 14.2 mg/L so very happy about that. The lambda light chains are at 11.4 so virtually unchanged. The ratio went down to 1.19. Believe me, I am beyond happy. It has been an amazing year for me. I know things will change as life changes but for now, I am celebrating. My doctor just smiles and nods his head since there’s not really a lot to talk about. I was all ready to talk about future treatment plans but hey, another day. so I won’t see him ’till September, labs will be pushed out a little farther than I’ve done, to around 9 weeks. I can handle it…. I can handle it … I can handle it… 🙂
We were out of there really fast and then headed up to Costco. Gee, the parking lot at 10 am was insane. the only thing I could think of is that people were trying to beat the heat. since it was a payday, we splurged on pool shock( a bucket for $65), a new lantern for the tent trailer, some trail hikers for B ( 19.99) and a few other thingsI can’t remember.
Then we got home by 12 noon. It was almost a 100 already.
Today is not as hot at around 98 degrees. Tomorrow even better.
I’m going to grill a marguerite pizza.