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My new bedroom

As I mentioned earlier, this blog is about life changes that I’m making since my breast cancer diagnosis.  One of the changes that I’m making is to make sure that I have time to relax.  I try to get some “me time” almost every day.  Even if it is only for a few minutes.  In the past, I have always wondered why people would put a sitting area in their bedroom.  Now I know!!  The bedroom is large enough to accommodate a queen sized bed, a dresser and sitting area.  Having the sitting area is wonderful!  It allows me to sit and relax at the end of the day before going to bed.  Even if I only take 5 minutes, it allows me to ground myself before going to sleep.  Between that and the hot tub, I have been sleeping extremely well at night.  It feels like a little slice of heaven each time I walk into the bedroom now.  We have decorated it in order to create a relaxing atmosphere.  We have a little electric fireplace between the two chairs in the sitting area.  It is beautiful…

Remember to take a few minutes each day to simply sit and relax.  You won’t regret it!

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Hot tub

The hot tub is up and running!  We had one soak last week but realized that the pump wasn’t properly primed so we shut off the power and waited for the previous owner to come over and show us how to do it.  We were also shown how to work all the controls and we confirmed that I have figured out the water chemistry properly, so we are good to go!  We will be soaking tonight.

With everything that we are doing around the house, it will be nice to be able to go and relax in the hot tub after we are finished for the evening.  This evening we will start working on prepping the living room to paint it.  New blinds will be going up and once my boyfriend moves in his furniture, it is going to be comfortable and cozy.  My living room furniture has been put down in the basement which will be used as a rec room.  We have pulled the carpet in the basement and are just waiting until we find a nice laminate floor on sale and we will buy an electric fireplace for down there as well.  Everything is falling into place.

I have to pinch myself every time I walk into the bedroom.  It is so beautiful and the sitting area will be used often I’m sure.  We sat in it last night for a bit before bed.  It was such a pleasant experience!

Later this morning I will go to the information session on radiation treatment at the hospital.  I’m not quite sure how I’m feeling about it.  Not quite anxious but not relaxed either.  Sort of “in between”.  The good thing is that my questions will be answered and then I will be ready to move onto the next step of my treatment.

Make sure to take some to relax.  It is very important!!

It has been a while since I last posted!  There has been a lot going on in my life.  My boyfriend and I took his daughter to University on Labour Day week-end.  Then he moved in with me and he just sold his house so now we are trying to figure out how we are going to amalgamate two households.  Some stuff is being given away, stuff that is not worthwhile saving will be thrown out and some stuff will be stored for both the cottage that was purchased this summer in Cape Breton Island and the outdoor bar that we are going to build next spring. Add to that, my boyfriend is still prettying up the deck and hot tub.  Add to that the fact that we just purchased a new shed for the back yard and it needs to be put together.  The floor is almost finished so we should be putting it together sometime this week between moving furniture from his old place to here.

I have been to see the oncologist and I went for my radiation simulation and now have my radiation tattoos.  I will begin radiation treatment in the next week or two.  I’m scheduled to go to an information session tomorrow morning.  So, in 6 or 7 weeks, my treatment will be finished!  I am back to work full-time and plan to work through the radiation treatment.

The oncologist and I discussed Tamoxifen and for now we have decided that I will not take it.  It will only reduce my risk of recurrence from 10% to 8%.  I personally don’t think that is enough of a reduction in risk to have to deal with the possible side effects of the drug.  When I next see the oncologist, I do want to ask about supplementation with DIM.  I know that there is a clinical trial being done with respect to the supplement and breast cancer in Canada.  I don’t qualify for the trial as it is for younger women who have a family history of breast cancer but have not had breast cancer themselves.  But I do think that it will be worthwhile discussing the possibility of my taking it to reduce my risk of recurrence as long as there are no side effects or danger in taking it.

I promise to post a little more often.  It was just difficult to find the time with everything going on!

A new deck…

The deck is coming along VERY nicely!!  I’m so excited it’s not funny!!!

The framing was finished yesterday.  The patio stones are where the dog run will be going and the deck will only go around the two sides of the hot tub.

Now you can see that the decking boards have been put on.  A bench seat has been put beside the hot tub.  Another will go on the other side as well.

I will more to post tomorrow.  More progress was made today but I didn’t have enough light to take some photos after clean up was done.

I will definitely be soaking in September….yippee!!!!!!

My back yard

My back yard was a disaster when I bought my house 8 years ago and I really did not do anything to improve it.  I did have my father make a dog run for me for easy clean up and while it was functional, it was not pretty.  My back yard is currently undergoing a face lift.  By the time it is finished (it won’t be this year) it is going to be an oasis for fun and relaxation.

My boyfriend has put a lot of sweat equity into the yard so far and he still has a long way to go!  The house is a semi-detached.  First he put up a privacy fence down the side of the yard that the house is attached to my neighbour because we have decided to move the dog run so that it runs along that property line rather than the house.  Next he dug where the patio stones for the run are going and put in crushed rock.  After that, he built a hot tub pad out of crushed rock and patio stones.  The next step was to move a hot tub from the yard of a friend of his to the hot tub pad.  Lucky for us it was given to him for free for moving it!  Now he has taken down the existing dog run fence and deck and he moved the patio stones from the old dog run to the new one.  I helped a little with shoveling dirt and crushed rock but he has done the bulk of the work.  The yard looks totally different right now and it will keep changing over the next little while.  I think that he will be putting the posts to support the new deck that he is building tomorrow.  He’s a busy guy!  He is on holidays for the next two weeks and would like to get the deck finished before he goes back to work.

I’ll update how the yard is coming along as it progresses.  There is still a ton to do….  Sand and stain the cedar surrounding the hot tub.  Move the shed, build privacy fences along the back and the other side of the property.  Build a changing room with a lower deck in the side yard.  Fence the dog run.  Build two fences with a gate on the deck so that I can let the dogs out into their new run straight from the back patio door without having to go outside.  Amend the soil in the yard and get some grass to grow.  Plant some flowers and shrubs.  Stain the fences, shed and decks….  We will have a busy end of summer and fall.  We won’t get it all finished and will have to continue next spring with the face lift.  It’s going to be beautiful!!!!

Results

I went for a consult with my surgeon yesterday.  She had called 2 weeks ago when she received the pathology report that all was good and that clear margins had been obtained during my last surgery.  Yesterday’s visit was short.  She looked at my incision and saw that things had healed nicely again.  We discussed the pathology report and the fact that she is going to do an immediate referral to the cancer centre for me to see a medical oncologist and a radio-oncologist.  I also found out that my cancer was estrogen receptor positive.  When she told me that, I made a little face and she asked me what was wrong.  I then told her that I do not want to go on Tamoxifen.  And then we had a little discussion on the fact that I make the decisions.  She stressed that I should listen to what the medical oncologist has to say and then decide if I want to take it or not based on that information and my own personal feelings about the drug and it’s side effects.  That made me feel better about things.

So, the next step is radiation treatment.  This will reduce the risk of recurrence from 30% to 8%.  I will be scheduled for an MRI in January to make sure that all those biopsy sites haven’t changed and I have a follow up appointment with my surgeon in February.  Things are moving along and I’m part way over this road bump that had suddenly appeared into my life out of nowhere.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now and I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am that I will not need to undergo chemotherapy treatment.  Life is good!

 

Life has been pretty busy the past few months.  Medical tests, doctor’s appointments, pre-op appointments, surgeries, decluttering to make room to combine my boyfriend’s household with mine when he moves in next month as well as regular life in general.  Yesterday we took a break and spent the day at the beach.  Once summer finally hit, it has been a rather warm summer.  Perfect beach weather in fact.  So, we loaded up a canoe, packed up some food, drinks and stuff that you need at the beach and headed out to Constance Bay for the day.

We tried to do a bit of snorkeling but I have a difficult time not feeling overwhelmed when trying to breathe underwater.  It’s just so foreign to me that I feel very uncomfortable.  I will have to keep trying and hopefully one day I will be able to go snorkeling and be somewhat comfortable with it.

We canoed across the river over to the Quebec side and back again.  While I did paddle, I’m pretty sure that my boyfriend did most of the work.  It was a fun adventure and we made sure to touch land on the Quebec side before turning around to paddle back to the Ontario side.

We walked along the beach, looked at cottages and decks for ideas, ate some very yummy watermelon and on the way home, stopped for a milkshake to end the day.

We needed a break,so  we took one and now the batteries are recharged.  I know that I’m ready to go back to work tomorrow.  For four days at least until I head off to Cape Breton for vacation the following week!

I am in limbo at the moment.  I know that the next step in my treatment is 5 weeks of daily radiation therapy but I have no idea when it’s going to begin.  For now, I’m going to relax and deal with the onslaught of appointments when they occur.