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.

 

the week ahead….and pantries,and stuff!

Today is Flylady’s home blessing day. So I’ve done the mirrors, I still need to vacuum and the laundry is going. Bathroom zone is done. I’m going to wash some sunroom windows later.

another huge success on the No Knead bread. I started it at 3:30 pm yesterday and then when I got back from walking, started the oven and put the dough in my new banneton (bread proofer thing).  It came out so nice . My advice with bread making is don’t give up. I’ve been making bread over 40 years. Yes, back when Laurel’s Kitchen was the rage.  I made some pretty heavy brick like whole wheat loaves. But even now after not making bread a few months during summers peak, I had to re-engage so to speak. This is my 5 th loaf in almost that many days or maybe it’s the 6 th.  Anyway, it takes time to get the feel of it all again. I haven’t tried the sourdough again, but I will soon. Of course, I will make some bread in a loaf pan soon too, but right now I’m having fun with the Le Creuset method. By the way, I love Le Creuset. My dutch oven I use is over 30 years old so if you’re going to make this bread, invest in a Le Creuset. I would love a new one in white, but it is pricey.img_0178

IMG_0179.jpgToday, I need to go buy some coffee to make it to my Costco trip. Costco’s Starbuck’s is on coupon and a great deal, but I need some for tomorrow.  Also, I need some lettuce for a salad to go with the lasagna tonight.

I’ve been off Velcade and dex now almost 3 months( September 25) and it’s really great. It’s also weird to feel kinda normal. To not worry so much about how I’m going to feel day to day and the Dex ups and downs.  It is a real gift to have this time off.  My next labs are the beginning of October… hope it’s good.  Plus, he didn’t see any need to do Zometa so I got out of that one too. the time will come , I’m sure when I’ll be back in treatment but for now it is a gift. It is very easy to take one’s health for granted until it’s not there and then you realize how precious it is.

Dinner is lasagna, salad and maybe a few slices of the bread( unless I keep eating it) ha ha…

I went thru the freezer and threw out some stuff from 2013. then I decided to organize meals all week from what is in there. I don’t have a big stockpile and want to keep it that way, but some stuff needs to be used.  Unless the apocalypse is coming I think I can get to the grocery store for whatever. I do like some things in reserve, like butter, some bagels, tomato sauce, but a lot of things just pile up in there. the pantry is the same. I do keep some reserve, but overall I like the European idea of shopping for what you need on a regular basis.  I do like cans of tomatoes, olives, some organic beans, but mostly I think its nice to keep it small.  of course, my pantry is limited so I’m not sure if I had a whole room devoted to it, what I would do.  But I do know, you shouldn’t have a stuffed pantry out of fear that everything is going to collapse at any moment. A reasonable supply if there was an emergency.  Storing food for a year, like some religious groups suggest, seems extreme.

But each to his own.

Middle of the week…

Wednesday… Hurray…I don’t go to Sacramento this morning. After 7 months of going almost every week for Velcade, it’s kinda weird not to. But hey, I’ll take it. I think my body is still getting rid of drugs and I’m not sleeping great and don’t seem to have a lot of energy. Enough to get things done but I’d like to feel a little more energetic. I’m upping my walking to 30 minutes. I think that’s a good place as long as I’m not on dex or whatever.  My eyes are still watering a lot so I hope that improves in the next few weeks.

I signed up for the new YNAB program which has been redesigned. I used the original YNAB  for quite a while but it neve quite helped with the visuals of budgeting. The new one has taken a few days to learn but I really really like it so far.  It has very good visuals for the budget and keeps it simple too. I’ve learned a few new things in the last few days about budgeting from reading their booklets. So sit is $5.00 a month as opposed to buying the program like before. If you sign up for the year the cost goes down to 4.00.  I’m going to stay with the monthly for a bit till I decide to keep it or not.

I’m home today although I was going to go to the thrift store to look for some jeans but with the new dogs, I’m not sure about leaving them for too long alone. They’re very good dogs, mellow and well trained but still it’s been less than a week here so I’ll wait to go to the thrift store. I’ll post some pictures so. Older border collies that are named Bonnie and Rocky.

Tonight is salmon cooked in parchment, couscous and a cucumber (home grown)salad with dill and homemade yogurt.

 

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.

Thursday stuff

Well, it’s off to Sacramento for my last Velcade shot of cycle 5. I’m really glad I’m approaching the end of this cycle and the last one #6.  Overall, this is a relatively easy chemotherapy but there’s still side effects. My eyes are still developing some styes and continue to water some. Plus, now the neuropathy has snuck in.  Most of it is manageable but still it takes its toll. Plus today I get to take Dex. Such fun!!

On another note, I’m ready with a small load for the Goodwill express drop off. I rather not give stuff to Goodwill as it’s CEO gets a huge salary, but I have to admit they have their donation centers down to a science. the guy comes out with a cart ,loads it and then whisks it away. Very neat and tidy.  I did manage to get rid of some Life magazine ads I had in slips, but still, I need to whittle down the Life magazines to maybe 4 bins.  Some of my oldest Life magazines are from the ’30’s and I like looking at them but maybe I’ll try to sell those as they are probably more collectable. I also just tried to sell mad Men seasons 1-5 and no luck so I’ll give those to the Humane Society bookstore to sell.

The budget is just ok. Not much new there except not enough money to fund my envelopes till next payday.  I’m hoping with some of the refiguring of budget stuff, next month will be better. We will have some reductions in expenses. One, my son will go back to working at Grocery Outlet and so he will have his own spending money so, I’m planning on not giving him the money we were, so that’s a big savings.  He is going to take a summer school class and will have an internship(unpaid) for now, so depending on his money we may chip in for gas. So with June starting hopefully we will see most of the big bills for the year, (taxes, property taxes, auto insurance etc.) done till November. My big goal is to save and put money back in our EF which has taken a pretty big hit.  If B gets a bonus( which he thinks he is), that’s number one priority.

Our garden is giving us lovely lettuces and herbs,(cilantro, thyme, parsley, oregano, dill) so we are having fresh salads.  We have tomatoes in plus all the usual stuff. I haven’t really been food shopping so today after my shot I’m going to go to Winco or Walmart for pasta, and a few pickle type things that I can’t stand buying in our regular store ( Bel Air) for those of you on the west coast. I tried to get some whole wheat pasta at our store here in town. First , IMG_0089they didn’t have the Barilla I was looking for and the  ones they did have were almost $2.00 I can go to Winco and get Barilla for .99  So, it’s worth stocking up. the same with things like salsa and pickle type things (relish).  I also need some bulk popcorn, polenta etc. I’m going to buy the expensive milk in the glass jar to help cut down on garbage stuff. I’m on a new kick of trying not to buy stuff with a lot of packaging.  At Costco, it’s hard to avoid since everything has giant plastic wrap stuff, but my regular shopping I should be able to at least make a dent in some things.

 

Where I have my morning coffee!!!

Wednesday stuff

I’m off to Sacramento for my shot and then to Costco. The last shot left quite a bruise so I’m hoping this one doesn’t. Not sure why some shots bruise and others just redness. This was quite a dark bruise, though.

On Monday the dentist visit really pi#* me off. First, I have all this plaque build up even though I just had a cleaning in January. Evidently the trays for the Invisalign are keeping saliva on my teeth causing whatever  causes plaque. I was in the chair over an hour . For me, that’s quite difficult with my back and later that day my leg was flipping out probably due to the L 1 bulging disc getting affected by sitting in the chair. Then the dentist took off the post for the Invisalign because I’m going to need new  trays. I was getting pretty upset. Then, the technician couldn’t get the thing in my mouth to take the pictures and then resorted to an impression.  So, I decided to not wear the same try in the day and only at night as a retainer. it’s not moving teeth at this point just stabilizing.  I’m seriously thinking this isn’t going to work for me. One reason I’m going to Costco is to get the Sonic care tooth brush. The hygienist said that might help. But the real problem is the trays causing me to retain the saliva I’m obviously producing. Geez, What a PITA.

I made some homemade granola yesterday . Quite tasty and very easy.

Plus in my minimalising my dish sets, I decided to part with my Franciscan ware Desert Rose set. I packed them away in 2013 when I started minimalizing and just opened the box. I had put them on a few shelves, but realised I’m not really going to use them very often. maybe once or twice a year. So I’m sending them to my niecesIMG_0391( my sisters grown daughters and they can have fun with them.

Well, off to get ready.

 

Thursday updates!!!

The exciting news is my kappa light chains went from 1010 to 45 after 4 shots. Velcade is a proteasome (sp??)inhibitor and I must be responding wonderfully.  Pomalyst is an immudualtory(sp??) drug so works differently. I did have great results with Revlimid before Pomalyst for 5 years then it just stopped being effective. To say I’m excited is an understatement. What a drop. So FYI normal high for kappa light chains is 19 so I’m almost there.  the Lamda light chains were in the normal range at 9.2 mg/L … Amazing!!! I can hardly believe it. Overall I feel good. Maybe a little spacey but I can handle that. My labs are absolutely great except with velcade the platelets are affected. So mine have dropped significantly. But the nurse said the do rebound so that’s good news.

Today we drove down to Sacramento for my shot. We left at 8 am and missed most of the heavy traffic, so we made it Mercy Cancer center by 8:45. That is really good. I was in an out in no time and had the oncology nurse that injects slower than the other nurses.(remember the stabber) 🙂 I’m so happy about my numbers that I don’t care how I get the shot.

Then we went to Winco for stuff, then Costco. We were on our way home by 10:30.How’s that for being in time space continuim.  Anyway, I’m starting to feel the dex which I’m now taking in the morning. Pat Killingsworth had a doctor friend of his say taking dex in the morning works with you body better. I have to say since I’ve done this now for the last month, it is better. I don’t get quite as high or the crash doesn’t seem quite as intense. We’ll see how today and tomorrow goes.

The Budget stuff seems challenging. I’ve had 6 no spend days, so thats good. But once again I’m just not putting savings aside except for our automatic 401k. At least we’re doing that. Our expenses, cost of living, is just covered by B’s paychecks. A little frustrating.

Also, I’m sure we’re going to get hit with taxes. We are going to have to do payments , because we just don’t have x amount for taxes ready to use. Since we sold stock last year, thats where the hit will come. But , that paid for the roof, and septic fix, and gravel and who know what  else.

Anyway, off to sleep off some of the dex!