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.

 

simple sunday

It’s been a quiet day here. I went to the gym and it was really empty which is the way I like it. I’m working on 15 min. of cardio, then 20 -25 on the machines.  I have a little routine and I am being really careful. I think once you’ve had a compressin fracture and know the  pain it’s like a memory in your body. So I always lift carefully and never do something that feels too hard. Fortunately, with my Myeloma right now, i dont have bone issues but it’s always a reminder that it does happen. I’m especially susceptible in my ribs, where I have had fractures just from moving the wrong way. But for now since my numbers are all normal I feel it’s go for it so that when the inevitible happens I’ll be stronger.

Then B and my daughter went to Costco to pick up her dogs antiseizure meds, but alas, the pharmacy was closed. But they did pick up some fruit, and other misc. stuff. She still had to stop at the vets to get some meds refilled till I get back down to Costco.

All in all a nice Sunday.  I was doing the Minimalists decluttering challenge this month and right now I’m on 90 things. so far from the mark of 400. So if you want to try it , it’s 1 thing on day 1 , 2 things on day 2 , etc.  Most of my stuff was just odds and ends. I have our old flat screen in the barn my son was using so I’m going to take that to good will this week plus more Life magazines. Fly lady aones this week are the Living room and then on the 1st the entry way. Our LR is very easy, few knickknacks and so I dust and wash windows and that’s about it. Out entry is always a problem this time of year. Shoes, bags etc. There’s no place extra so it definetlry is a hot spot. Plus now the dog food bucket is there and off to one side is a covered cat box. Fortunately we use a cat litter called Swheat, which helps keep smell zero ( almost). So there you have it.

Tonight is pinto beans in the crock pot. Tortillas ,cheese and salsa. all the avacodas are too hard to add.image

Happy Birthday to me!!

Actually, I’m a little surprised to still be here.  When I was diagnosed in 2005 with myeloma, the average survival rate was 3-5 years. I remember my first radiation appointment and the radiation oncologist said oh, 3-5 years survival. I just about fell over right there.  But here I am. And even more amazing, after 5 years of Revlimid and then Pomalyst for 6 months, I started Velcade and voila… I am in remission.  Six sessions of Velcade or over 7 months.  who knew. Pretty amazing and I am enjoying it for all it’s worth. I know I’ll relapse again, but for now, I’m a pretty happy camper. Although getting older means more aches and arthritis stuff, generally I feel good.

My son made me an amazing breakfast with cinnamon rolls, eggs, cheesy hashbrowns, and bacon. Yumm. Plus some lovely gifts.

Tonight is pizza night which I am cooking!  I’m going to do a marguerite one,  a bacon and chicken one, and ?  I’ve been cutting the pizza dough in thirds and that seems to be just the right size.