Saturday, April 7, 2012


Lots of s... going down...figuratively and literally.

I worried a lot over the past month over a few things and this is how it turned out:

My CT scan results showed that one of the tumors is almost nonexistent and the other continues to shrink.  It's been awhile since I thought of the fact that I have actual tumors in me...somewhere up near my liver...and I don't like to think about it, so I had successfully put them out of my mind...until Sandy asked Dr. D about them.  Thanks Sandy.

I can't blame her...she didn't know that I am all about forgetting that I have tumors.  She knows now.

I had been worried because I had been having some abdominal pains and am getting full fast when I eat...which continues.  Both of these could be symptoms that the cancer is back.  But it isn't.

I continue to handle the chemo pretty good.  It is starting to build up again in my system, since my month long chemo hiatus in Jan/Feb.  My blood pressure remains reasonable with the that is good.

The other thing I have had weighing around my neck like a millstone is the situation with my father, or should I say, with Wini.  She has been resistant to getting help in the home, the housekeeping situation continued to deteriorate after my stay there.  Well, long story short...we had words, she ended up going with me to the Homemaker agency and she agreed to start at two hours a week, to have someone come in twice a week to help Bob bathe. 

She called the house cleaning lady and had her come this week and told her she wants her to come every two weeks!  YAY!   AND, she actually called the Homemaker agency and arranged for services to start next Tuesday!  REALLY YAY!  

I know that once she gets more comfortable with the person they send, she will expand the services.  I have been telling her all the possibilities--they could transport Bob to get his hair cut, go to the personal trainer, etc...non medical appointments--giving her some free time.  They could sit with Bob and do an activity with him while she goes out shopping for herself...or out with a friend, etc.  To give her a break.  They could help her with grocery shopping, menu planning, etc. 

I did not go up to Putnam this week and plan to not return until the end of the month when we go back to Dr. Botta's office. 

I slept so good the night after we went to the Homemaker's office.  I could finally see some hope on the horizon.  If I don't have to run up to Putnam so frequently, I can get somethings done all the work I want to do in the bathroom. 

There is a LOT of work to be done.  I plan to (with some help) do the following jobs:  strip wallpaper in main bath and the WC; paint the walls in the main bath, WC and laundry room; remove the yucky pink carpeting and the sections of tile floor in MB and WC and laundry room; remove shower door, shower insert and shower floor and maybe destroy the wall next to the window; remove vanity top; sinks and faucets; paint vanity; install new vanity top; sinks and faucets.

I want to pay people to: plumb the shower so the shower head can be moved to back wall (or the other wall); install plumbing for whirlpool tub; tile shower-with storage nooks and a built-in seat; install a handheld shower and a "rainhead" shower on an adjustable pole; install a glass wall (or half wall) on the side of the shower next to the window; install a glass door; install a river rock shower floor and tile the MB; WC and laundry room. 

I think that by doing a lot of the jobs ourselves, we can keep costs down to a dull roar.  If we do, then I want to also have the pros install a whirlpool tub with a deck around it--tiled to match the shower.  And glass tile as the back splash. 

I still have to decide what to do about the HUGE mirror we have over our oversized vanity.  Do we keep it, even though it's a "dated" look; or do I go for individual mirrors over each sink?  What about the lighting?  Would it be possible to lower the shower ceiling (it's about 12' high now) and install a heat lamp feature in it?  Should I put in heated floors?  The mirror and the lighting is stuff we can do, lowered ceiling/heat lamp/heated floors are something I would want the pros to do.

No matter what, our bathroom is going to look a lot nicer!  I'm also thinking of putting in some shelving for linens, we have only a small linen closet and we have so many linens!  We need a place to store all the medical supplies we have for ourselves and for the animals.  Maybe I move all that to the other bathroom or to my "office" in one of the spare bedrooms.   Nah, shelving in the bathroom would be a better option...we do have the room for it. 

When I start the work I'll take lots of before, during and after shots to document the horror.  HA HA!  I'm sure that there will be moments of horror, but that's what home improvement is all about. 

So, that is my goal, to begin work next week on the bathroom.  To get the wallpaper off and get some paint samples and see how they look on the wall.  I have all day Monday, Tuesday after my workout and all day Thursday to work on this.  Sandy is off on Wednesday, but we aren't going to spend our time together working on the bathroom! 

I'm getting psyched! 

Oh, on other things...I continue to lose weight.  My workouts have kickstarted my metabolism, but I also continue to fill up fast and most food tastes like shit (side effect of the chemo) losing weight is easy.  I have to go shopping for new jeans, I can slide these off without unfastening or unzipping them!  I like it.  I want to get down another 10 pounds or so and then I'll start to worry if I'm still losing.  I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Our SNEAK trial is coming up on the 21st and 22nd of the month, at the Chester Fairgrounds.  We'll be taking the RV on her maiden voyage (of the year).  We just picked it up today from Arlington where we had brought it last week to have the new awnings put on over the bedroom windows and the dining area window.  It looks SO GOOD!  If you want to see it, swing by the house, or come to the agility trial, watch the doggies run and get a tour of "Jacks-in-a-Box." 

Dori has finally retired and she and I promised ourselves some kayaking.  I'll be using the new trailer, hitched up to Sandy's car, to haul my kayak and anyone else's to get us down to the water!  Can't wait!  I may even take Bubbles with me, she is the best behaved of all of them on the kayak.  She loves it too.

It's Red Sox time and I'm loving the sounds of Jerry and Don's voices sounding in the house as I do my work.  I even manage to take some time to sit down and watch.  The other day their voices put me to sleep in the recliner!  I woke up in time to see the Sox briefly rally in the ninth and then lose it at the bottom of the ninth.  Figures.  Oh well...I love baseball and so I am happy that it will be on just about every night from now until ?

Oh, I got a new Weber grill (a small portable one) and stand for the RV and have tried it out a couple of times.  It could become our main is THAT good.  We also got a shade for the big will hang down from the edge of the awning to give us side shade...we had been using the silver dog shades for that, but this is so much easier to employ and will look a lot nicer than those silver things.  So, we have been spending $$ on the RV and now we have to save for the gas!  That Social Security check comes in handy for things like that...the "extras."

So, you can see that Life is Good...things are humming along and plans are being made.  Will report on all as we progress.  Anyone who feels like painting, ripping out floors, etc...feel free to come on over and we'll put you to work!