“Catching Up” again!!

The last time I posted was November 2014.  I lost interest when there were so many things going on in my life.  This is “another” catch up blog.

In January 2015, I decided my home was going to be my “forever” home.  Some friends thought it was a good idea for me to move back to Virginia and I made the final choice to stay where I am since I do love my home and village.  Now it was time for a home renovation (house 9 years old).  Previous posts show me getting rid of all my collectible “stuff” but I kept going.  I’ll just list the items for simplicity.

  • Master Bathroom  – removed the “garden” tub and shower stall and rebuilt the room to include a 7 foot walk in shower.  New tiles installed, new floor, granite counter top, mirrors, lights – everything except the counter taken out and redone.
  • Master Bedroom – carpet replaced with hardwood.  Chair rail installed and all repainted.   Old furniture out – new furniture in “minimalist style”.
  • Kitchen – granite counter tops replaced Formica, black splash added, and black appliances replaced with stainless.  Large table and other furniture removed and replaced with more simple small table and couple of chairs for sitting.  Chair rail added to portion of the kitchen.  New ceiling fan replaced light. Plantation shutters added to replace blinds.
  • Living Room – Mantle replaced with floor to ceiling tiles, all furniture replaced with new simple items, TV added to room.
  • Dining Room – Furniture removed and replaced with only a few simple items.  Chair rail added and new light.
  • Guest Bathroom – Shower and tub combo replaced with new tub and subway tile surround. Granite counter top replaced “manufactured marble” which had cracked.
  • Study – took out some furniture and added treadmill and desk.
  • Entry – new entry light and furniture.
  • Hall – new lights.
  • Paint – the entire house was repainted on the inside – all of it.

The renovation started in February and was not quite finished when I learned I had breast cancer.  Damn!  Surgery followed and recovery.  Chemo not considered since cancer was small and had not spread to lymph glands.

I started radiation in January 2016 and had 26 treatments.  These wiped me out.  I had little energy and no inclination to do much of anything.  I basically kept working and not much else since I came home after work and crashed.  I ate too much, drank too much chardonnay and gained weight which I definitely did not need.  I found out breast cancer has a high risk of coming back with alcohol so I stopped drinking.  I’m still clean and sober!!   It took most of 2016 to recover.

Now 2017 is coming to a close….my, my time flies!!  I have a CT scan annually to check on the dissection from 2012 and on the “Patient Portal” entry, which I normally do not read, it said “emphysema changes” – now what the hell does that mean.  In July, I took this to my annual physical appointment and my doctor thought at first it was just some changes in my lungs but sent me for a pulmonary test.  It came back with emphysema and I only have 80% lung function.  Smoking in my earlier years had caused it and getting older progressed the disease (now known as COPD).  I quit smoking 37 years ago.  This was a total shock.  About the same time, I had a colonoscopy and the doctor said he could not get a large, flat polyp and recommended seeing a surgeon and just having it cut out – meaning part of my colon cut out.  I didn’t much like that idea and searched until I found a doctor at UNC that specializes in removing large, flat polyps endoscopically.  It has to come out as the flat one’s usually result in cancer.  So, I’m scheduled for another colonoscopy next month with the specialist.

In August, I decided it was time to take care of “ME” so I announced my retirement from my job (second retirement).  I have learned that Yoga and Tai Chi are good if you have COPD and I will have pulmonary rehab scheduled later.  Exercise is a key to maintaining my current lung function.  My “official” last day is the end of October but I will be taking earned vacation in October so only have couple of weeks of actual work left.  And I feel great about the whole thing!!  I had a previous post about retiring when my boss asked What would you do anyway?

I’m about to find out!!

The good news is that I continue to get good check ups about my dissection and the breast cancer has not reappeared.  I think I can manage the COPD with breath work and exercise.  The last thing is to have the polyp removed and I feel confident I’ll get it done in a couple of weeks.  I am exercising more, loosing some weight and feel really good!  I am excited for the next chapter.



This entry was posted in Breast Cancer, COPD, Minimalism, Sobriety. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to “Catching Up” again!!

  1. heimdalco says:

    This is a lovely blog entry. Having retired early & enjoyed the first year, I also did renovations. 1 year & 9 months after retiring I was diagnosed by annual mammogram with breast cancer. My story is similar to yours. Now I speak to seminars about breast cancer, have written a book & got it published, am president of a local club that is charity & community oriented, write a blog of my own & enjoy being very busy.

    The main message I leave when speaking to groups & seminars about breast cancer is we never know what we can do until we try & we never know how strong we are until we HAVE to be.

    Breast cancer is the worst news any of us can hope to hear but there can be “positives.” You & I seem to have found that out. I look forward to following your blog. Thank you for following mine.


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