A good Doctor appt.

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.

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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.

Yummmm

Catching up

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.

the time in between

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.

 

Yeah!!!! Here’s to 1 year of no Chemo

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.

Cancer and minimalism

June is a difficult month emotionally for me. June 15, 2005, is the day I received the phone call that changed my life. It’s always hard to put into words what goes thru your mind. But certainly, there is a lot of ‘why me’? I started out with 17 rounds of radiation and then moved on to 6 months of chemotherapy then preparation for a Stem Cell Transplant and then the transplant.  I was in the BMT unit for almost 3 weeks. And then, of course, there is the recovery for me that was about a year.

It’s been a lot of ups and downs but here I am 12 years later. For someone with Multiple Myeloma, that is quite extraordinary.  I’m one of the lucky ones. My cancer responds to the treatments I’ve had thus far.  There are new novel therapies out there now that I still have as an option.

Now, June 23, 2016, was my last Velcade treatment.  So, now June is a happy time for that reason. In two weeks I get my labs, so that will tell me where I am with my cancer. I suspect my numbers will have gone up some but still not enough to start treatment so I am lucky.  I have had a year of wonder.

So how does this relate to minimalism?  I’ve been on this minimalist journey for about 5 years now. Prior to that Flylady gets the credit for helping me with zone cleaning and doing just what I could in 15 minutes.  When I was in treatment this was extraordinarily helpful.  But then I moved into the space of wanting a fresh look, a minimalist look and then it just took off from there.  We have gotten rid of thousands of things, some valuable even.  Just gave them to the thrift stores.  I didn’t really try to sell a lot.  It was more important to just to let it go. Plus, I’ve always believed what goes around comes around and if I need something down the road, it’ll come my way somehow someway.  Maybe, I needed to purge things and create a new space for myself and my family. I try not to over think things so who knows. i just know it has felt right to do.

I also think having to face one’s mortality, does affect bring into focus what’s important. Plus, I was very taken with things I’d read about NOT leaving stuff for your survivors to deal with. In reality, we didn’t have a lot, but it was still too much for the intention I had to be a minimalist.

Creating a minimalist space has let me enjoy a clutter free space and while I’ve been off chemo, a more simple schedule and lifestyle. It’s been a joyful year filled with wonder, excitement, and beauty.

Labs look great!!

Labs came in :

no detectable m -protein  yeah!!!

kappa 11.7 mg/L

lamdba 11.4 mg/L

ratio 1.03

 

happy dance……maybe champagne…wait I dont have any except some really expensive stuff I was saving for Thanksgiving….

Going into month 5 off all chemo and drugs. (except acyclovir and my regular stuff, thyroid, Lisinprol… asprin.IMG_0100

Decluttering emails!

I spent 3-4 hours yesterday trashing emails so as to free up storage on my mac. Well , I wasn’t decluttering big batches but clicking on them one at a time hence the 3 hours. My husband told me how to use shift and then bunch them together. Worked brilliant. But my email still said I have 7,000 + emails even though I deleted them; Well I guess they’re there somewhere, so I googled what to do and brilliant took only 2 hours today to finish it. so the trick was to do the shift thingy and then hold the option key while clicking o the trash button. I’m not sure yet how to check the storage thing but I will figure it out. Mac users, any ideas???

So, off today to Sacramento. My shot went well and then it was up to Costco. It’s always so busy in there. But I got what I needed( and more). I haven’t been making bread lately as it’s been hot so, I bought some nice Alverado sprouted bread and bagels for the boy who thinks bagels are the only food in the world. Then I came  home sorted stuff. I bought some beautiful Wild salmon so I cut that up in 6 pieces.I’d like to get one more pack as its seasonal and won’t be there after a short while. Also, baking supplies. There’s still a few more items I need I didn’t get as the price tag was high enough.

So, now it’s dex afternoon. I’ll do a few tidying chores as it looks like nobody did anything while I was gone.  But that’s it, plus just lay down. I don’t plan dinner tonight, just leftovers or YOYO.

imageIt was the first week of July we were in Seatle last year to got to the Seattle Cancer Alliance Center. Hard to believe a year has gone by. I’m grateful every day to be here and that my Velcade treatments have put me in CR.

Well, off to lay down.