A Good Doctor visit

Today was my regular oncology appointment in Sacramento. I drove down in B’s Santa Fe since it was supposed to rain and I didn’t want to risk the ‘ole pink van’. But I think she would have made it just fine. But still, it’s nice to drive a newer car!

All is good in Myelomaville. He doesn’t seem too concerned about the small increase. Still Normal and for now that’s all I can really focus on.  But I did ask for another blood test in December and then not see him again till January. Unless something unusual occurs this will work and then I can obsess about it or not.  (I’ll try not too even if there is another increase).

Right now it’s pouring out so at least I didn’t have to drive in that.

Dinner is a big question mark?????? It’s usually crockpot Thursday but I forgot to put anything in this morning so now I’m stuck with what’s for dinner. The most likely scenario is pasta with butter sauce.  Maybe grilled cheese??? I guess I’ll figure it out in 3 hours time.

Yesterday, I made a lovely cauliflower cheese soup, maybe that used all my creativity for the week.

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That’s the cauliflower cheese soup in my almost 30-year-old Le Creuset dutch oven.  If you’re going to buy a dutch oven go for the best you can afford or save up until you can afford a Le Creuset.  The inside is browned from making the bread and I’ve tried cleaning with Barkeepers but it just doesn’t budge. Any ideas?

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This is my other Le Creuset which is also 30 years old and is still clean in the inside as I’ve only used this one for things like the above which is chicken and sweet potatoes a few onions and mushrooms.

I LOVE Le Creuset!!

Is the world or people getting crazier?

After this last church massacre, it’s hard to find the words to express the craziness and horribleness of such a crime. What would motivate someone to do this heinous act on children and adults in a church?  It seems the world is spinning out of control..

One thing I feel for certain is there is no need for semi-automatic guns. When the 2nd amendment was written, HELLO???, they had pistols and muskets. The right to bear arms is relative and needs to be addressed in context to the world we live in. Somehow people and the NRA don’t see this as relevant.  Automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons are for one purpose, to kill as many people as possible. Useful in combat undoubtedly, but for the average person, I don’t think so.

Somehow the hate seems to be growing and that’s a scary thing.

 

Rainy Saturday

It’s raining in Northern California and snowing over the summit in Tahoe. It’s a nice change. We certainly need it after the destructive fires in the Napa/Santa Rosa area.

We certainly need it after the destructive fires in the Napa/Santa Rosa area.

I’m reading a good book today “The child Finder”. Very intriguing and I finished it in about 3 hours.

I’m making a lovely minestrone in the crock pot for dinner and we’ll have left over pizza on the side.

My new oven is like magic and seems to be cooking everything better. Last nights pizza came out remarkable.

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Cheese and pepperoni pizza with basil.

 

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.

 

 

Going back to YNAB

I decided to try another month free of YNAB to see if I wanted to use it again.

Originally, I bought the program when you could do that but now it is really all revamped and it’s a monthly subscription. Generally, I do all my budgeting with paper and pen, but I thought maybe I’d give this another try.

I started yesterday and the trial goes for a month. I like the visuals of the new program and it is very user-friendly. I put in all my line items for the month but one thing they want you to do is not put in future pay days as that is money not yet received. I always budget paychecks( several times actually) to see where the money is going.  But I put in the amounts and just not the check yet. I’ll have to wait and see if this gets confusing.

My main goal is to have enough money in our checking account to be one month ahead. That really has never happened so YNAB really promotes this idea and so I’m going to give their budgeting approach a try.

Right now toward the end of the year, our budget starts to include lots of annual bills, property tax, Allstate, house insurance, so that’s an area I want to change for next year and have all the money in accounts for that ahead of time. In the past, its always been we’ve relied on B’s bonuses to pay that stuff.

So, I’ll give an update in a week or so. ( Next payday is next week, so that’ll go into YNAB and we’ll see how it looks. Since I have the whole month of bills in already, that check won’t cover it all so I’m not sure if that will help or confuse me.  But I like trying new things or at least revisiting this again. BTW, I think it’s $5.00 for the monthly subscription. Also, right now I don’t have bank accounts linked but if I join I will.

Dinner is pumpkin pancakes, bacon and maybe scrambled eggs.

 

Monday Musings

We had a lovely visit with my sister Heidi, her daughter and her daughters’ daughter.

My brother came over to visit too. Then we went out for dinner and it was quite nice. Expensive, but it was a treat.

My sister is 4 years older than me and is having some serious health issues. Besides the pulmonary fibrosis, she has some nodules on her lung that looks suspicious.  I would definitely fly back East if she needed help in the future. She has come out every year since my transplant to support me. So it’s the least I could do.  She does have a large family that all live a few miles from her so that’s, I’m sure, a comfort.

Today, I’m home doing regular Monday stuff. The zone is the living room and I may try moving one Heywood under the window. It’ll be tight and I probably will move it back but I’d like to try. ( No, both my kids hate the idea, so that’s not happening) 😦 Then, laundry and a quick vacuum.  It looks like it’ll be cloudy today but it’s not cold.

Tomorrow my sister will come visit for a few hours and I think I’ll take her to lunch at Newcastle Produce.  Then If I need some produce I can get it as well.

Tonight I’m making a Fettucine Alfredo with a few shrimp. And a salad!

So, how did I do and more!​

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I thought I’d look at how I did with these goals.

goals for October just to be accountable.

  1. Paint the shake shingles where we replaced the door and windows. Yes, we finished all this.
  2. Buy at least 4 Christmas items, this could be gift cards or a book or item of clothing that might be needed. My son needs new slippers so that’s one. ,Yes, and more actually.
  3. Garden or be out in the yard tidying up 3 x a week for 15 minutes. We need to clean up the vegetable gardens and my herb garden and plant for fall. Not really, but my daughter did tons and tons of stuff in the garden.
  4. Go on one date with B, could be coffee or lunch.Yes, we went to Panera at least once.
  5. Help with FOL book and bake sale Done, we didn’t make a lot only @ $350.
  6. Make one new Julia Child recipe No, but I did try some other new recipes so maybe that counts.
  7. Get my blood work done the 3rd week of October. Yes, see post about that
  8. Continue to empty one bin and consolidate. Perhaps another round of Life magazines and there’s my children’s Waldorf main lesson books and art to go thru. Finally!! just emptied one Life magazine bin so, this leaves me with 5. These are not the huge bins but the ones Costco sells. Each one holds about 40 magazines.
  9. ?  Plan for my sister’s visit. That’s today and I’m going to order some sandwiches from our store and we can each have a half( they’re on a sourdough roll so huge) and I’ll get some potato salad. Not sure if any of them are gluten free but if they are they can just eat the insides of the sandwich.
  10. ?  TB figured out  Well, I did set a goal to declutter 1000 things this month. I didn’t care if it was 10 paper clips, I counted it as such. I’m up to 700.

So today, I’m going into the gym a little early and do just a quick workout.  Then plan to pick up the lunch stuff. Then home to tidy and move patio chairs so there’s enough for everyone. Fortunately, the weather is warmish so we can sit outside.

Dinner is out.

a book review’ the cottage kitchen’

9780451495761.jpeg‘The Cottage Kitchen’ by Marte Marie Forsberg is a charming cookbook. I love the whole English countryside idea and the food and the adorable cottages.

There are lots of good pictures of the recipes and good stories too.

I also like the recipes divided into seasons. I loved this cookbook and look forward to making many of the recipes.

This would make a lovely gift for any level of chef or home cook.

This book was given to me by bloggingforbooks in exchange for my honest review.

Labs okay, went up :(

It’s okay. But here’s a picture of the results.

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So if you have Myeloma, two tests are important to track your cancer.  These are the light chains and the SPEP.

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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.

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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.

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.