Friday, August 26, 2016

Just Two More Left To Go!

I went for radiation in the morning.  #5 of 7 sessions.  Just two more left to go!
I asked at the radiation clinic how long I should use the ointment the nurse prescribed - the leaflet that came with it said to use for 14 days and I am close to that.  But I was told to use it for as long as the skin is peeling and the new skin underneath looks raw.  A whole bunch of skin peeled off, today, when I washed the area in the morning, so I guess I'll be using the ointment for a few more days.

Afterwards, we came home and had lunch.  Then, daughter went to run a couple of errands she needed to do.  She needed to get some groceries for herself for a potluck barbecue her friends are having on Saturday and a cashiers check for her rent, etc.  She ran an errand for me, too, while she was out and about.  I played on the computer a bit and then, later, took another long nap on the sofa!  I was tired after the radiation.

After I woke up, however, I had some energy and so, I did a load of laundry, did the dishes, took the trash and recycling out, cleared the dining table (and dusted and polished it, afterwards), washed the kitchen trash can, and did a bit of paperwork.  I still have a small stack of papers to deal with, tomorrow; mostly things to file, but also a couple of bills to pay.

Today, I decluttered a newspaper with an article about cancer that a friend had given to me and 3 old computer software disks:

August 25 Declutterings
I am not keeping an account of what I declutter this month.  But I am decluttering one or two items as I go along.

Thursday's To Do List:

- Go for radiation - DONE
- Put away dried laundry - DONE
- Put away dried dishes - DONE
- Clear dining table - DONE
- Clear coffee table
- Bake banana bread
- Do another load of laundry - DONE

Friday's To Do List:

- Go for radiation
- Email the office
- Put away the dried laundry
- Put gas to the car
- Clear the coffee table
- Bake banana bread
- Paperwork/filing

Today, I am grateful for:

- Completing #5 of 7 radiation treatments
- Another nice long nap
- Daughter running an errand for me
- A working washing machine
- Emails from my friends
How was your Thursday?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Wednesday: #4 of 7!

Today, I completed #4 of 7 radiation sessions!  Three more to go!

After radiation, daughter and I stopped at an Armenian bakery on the way home.  I bought a meat perashki for my lunch (it is a fried meat-filled bread roll; sorry, forgot to take a picture).  Daughter didn't want one.  We also bought two individual fruit tarts:

Individual Fruit Tart
And two pieces of cake (vanilla-mocha-walnut and Kiev) because daughter couldn't decide between the two.  :)

After lunch, I took a long nap on the sofa.

In the evening, I put water to the back garden, did a load of laundry and hung it up to dry, and did the dishes.  I started on clearing the dining table (went through a stack of papers and mail), but didn't finish.  I also picked the first fruits from the pineapple guava (feijoa) tree and shared with daughter.  There aren't a lot of fruit on my trees this year, due to the drought.

Wednesday's To Do List:

- Go for radiation - DONE
- Clear dining table - STARTED
- Clear coffee table
- Water back garden - DONE
- Wash dishes - DONE
- Load of laundry - DONE

Thursday's To Do List:

- Go for radiation
- Put away dried laundry
- Put away dried dishes
- Clear dining table
- Clear coffee table
- Bake banana bread

I had put a box lid on the floor and someone decided it makes a good bed:

Dancer Finds a New Bed

Today, I am grateful for:

- Completing #4 of 7 radiation treatments
- A nice long nap
- Returning taste buds
- My daughter cleaning the litter box for me
-Fresh fruits from the garden

How was your Wednesday?  Did you have a good day?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Out and About on Tuesday

I emailed my supervisor this morning and requested three days of sick leave this week and my supervisor emailed me back saying to take as long as I needed.  I'm so blessed where work is concerned.  

Went for radiation treatment #3 of 7 in the morning.  I had noticed some areas where the skin had started to peel, so I mentioned them to the technician who called the nurse over to take a look.  The nurse said it was OK to continue with the treatment and told me to continue using the prescribed ointment.

Afterwards, I went out to lunch with daughter.  We went to one of my favorite Japanese restaurants.  I ordered my usual favorite, which is chicken teriyaki with rice, a salad, and edamame.  For the first time in a long time, the food tasted good and the same as it used to taste.   I ate almost what I would have normally eaten, which is about half the tray of food!  I brought the rest home and will have it for lunch, tomorrow.  After that, we stopped by our favorite Japanese bakery and bought some melon buns for daughter and raisin buns for me.

After lunch, we went to the dermatologist's.  He diagnosed the rash on my face as an allergic reaction and prescribed a cream.  I am to apply it for a certain number of days and if the rash hasn't cleared I'm to come in again.

We stopped by the pharmacy to get the prescription filled and daughter ran over to the dollar store next door to pick up two lint rollers for me while I waited for my prescription.

I had a relaxed afternoon.  Daughter, however, went to a free cardio work out class at a nearby dance studio, where a certain pair of brother and sister professional dancers were making a guest appearance!  The highlight of the class, for her, was taking a "selfie" with them, afterwards!  :D

Later, daughter went out to dinner with my neighbor's daughters.  They went to a pizza place and daughter brought me a slice of her pizza, afterwards.  It had pesto sauce instead of the usual tomato sauce, grilled chicken and arugala, and no cheese because she doesn't like cheese.  A few minutes after my daughter returned from dinner, my neighbor called and she and her daughters came over for a visit.  

Today, I am grateful for:

- Radiation #3 is behind me.

- An enjoyable lunch out with daughter.
- My supervisor and workplace being so understanding about my need for some time off.
- Visit from my neighbors.
- Phone call from my cousin and a nice, long chat.

I didn't get through my To Do List, today.

- Call/email office - DONE
- Go for radiation - DONE
- Go to dermatologist appointment - DONE
- Clear dining table
- Clear  coffee table
- Bring trash cans in - DONE
- Water back garden

All the undone tasks will be moved to tomorrow's list.

Wednesday's To Do List:

- Go for radiation
- Clear dining table
- Clear coffee table
- Water back garden
- Wash dishes

Hope you had a good day, today.  What are your plans for tomorrow?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Death by Cantaloupe!

The Culprit

On Friday, when daughter was getting ready to come home, she packed a container of cut up cantaloupe to bring with her, partly because she knew the cantaloupe would spoil if she left it in the fridge in her apartment for the week she'd be down here, partly because she didn't want to throw it away and waste food, and partly because she knew I liked cantaloupe.  She put the container in a plastic bag and then, put it in her backpack.  There was more cantaloupe in the container than what is shown above; I had already eaten some of it before I took the picture.

When she arrived home and unpacked her backpack, she discovered that the cantaloupe juice had leaked onto a file folder of work-related papers she had brought home with her (she's working from home, this week).  And, some of the juice had spilled on:

The Victim

Oh, no!  Her laptop! The juice had spilled in the area where the battery compartment is located.  Quickly she wiped it off, removed the battery and wiped it off, and tried to switch it on, but nothing happened.  She plugged it in and tried it, but it wouldn't turn on.  She kept it to dry overnight but it was useless.   There are a couple of spaces in the battery compartment and probably the juice seeped into the inner workings of the computer.  It couldn't be helped.  The laptop was declared "dead on arrival".

So today, after my radiation session, we went to the computer store and bought a new laptop.  She was going to buy it, but I told her I'll pay for it.

On the way home from the computer store, we picked up some Chinese food for lunch.  Came home and after lunch, we both did some office work.  Later, daughter took a nap with her head on my lap.  She says I make a comfy pillow.  :)

My doctor had prescribed some medication for me to take after radiation ends.  It is something I'll be taking for practically the rest of my life.  Someone from the clinic called me this afternoon to say that the prescription has been sent to my pharmacy and a short time later, the pharmacy notified me that the medication was ready to be picked up.  So, later in the evening, daughter and I went to the pharmacy to pick up the medication.  Since I have already met this year's co-pay maximum for medications, I didn't have to pay for my new prescription.  I also had a $5 rewards coupon from the pharmacy which was expiring today - I redeemed it towards some personal care items for daughter.

On the way back, we stopped at the grocery store to buy a few things: 2 loaves of bread, half and half, soda, and ice cream bars.  The total came to $12.87.  I didn't take a picture; when we came home, daughter took the groceries in while I took the trash cans to the curb and watered the front garden.  She had already put the stuff away by the time I came in afterwards.

I had thought of making steaks and baked potatoes (both from the boxed frozen items my supervisor had sent me, earlier) and steamed broccoli for dinner.  But daughter said she wanted to have a sandwich with the avocado/cucumber/egg salad one of her friends had made and given to her to try.  So I had a sandwich, too.  I'll make the steaks on another evening.

Today, I am grateful for:

- The radiation session went well.
- I was able to buy daughter her new laptop. 
- I didn't have to pay anything for my new medication.
- Redeeming a $5 coupon from the pharmacy
- Having my daughter's company all day.

Monday's To Do List:

- Go for radiation - DONE
- Shop for a new laptop for daughter - DONE
- Office work - DONE
- Take trash cans to the curb - DONE
- Water the front garden - DONE
- Tidy dining table
- Pharmacy - DONE
- Grocery Store - DONE

I did all but one item on my to do list for today.  The trip to the pharmacy and grocery store were new items I added to the list and I did them instead of tidying the dining table.

Tuesday's To Do List:

- Call/email office
- Go for radiation
- Go to dermatologist appointment
- Clear dining table
- Clear  coffee table
- Bring trash cans in
- Water back garden

How was your Monday? 

Taking it Easy

I have spent a quiet weekend, taking it easy.

On Saturday, daughter went to Universal Studios with two of her friends.  I strolled around the garden and took some pictures.

Then, I washed the 5 lbs. of strawberries I had bought:

Washed Strawberries

And cut them up for freezing:

Sliced Strawberries

A lot of slicing!  I froze the sliced strawberries.  They will be made into jam, later, when it is not as hot and I am more up to standing and stirring for an hour.

After that, I washed the dishes that had piled up in the sink.  The rest of the day, I watched Olympics coverage, played on the computer, chatted on the phone with my cousin and aunt, etc.

I had a very short To Do List for Saturday and it got done.

Saturday's To Do List:
- Clean litter box - DONE by daughter
- Prepare strawberries for freezing - DONE
- Do dishes - DONE

Today (Sunday), daughter went out with some friends to the mall in the afternoon and with other friends to an Escape Room and Korean barbecue dinner.  I watched more Olympics coverage and some cooking shows on TV, spoke on the phone with my half-sister who called and with my neighbor,  and enjoyed a visit from one of my friends and her family.

In the afternoon, I decided to tidy the computer desk in the family room.  It was piled high with work-related material - documents, reference material, etc.  I put everything back into the box in which I had brought them home from the office.  I can always take them out as needed and return to the box at the end of the day.  I found a couple of items that needed to be filed, so I went ahead and filed them.  I put some odds and ends into the pink basket  to go through and deal with at a later date.  Then, I dusted and polished the table.  I had originally planned to spend only 15 minutes tidying the computer table, but it took me a total of one hour.  This is how it looks now:

Tidied Computer Desk

I hope to keep it looking like this so that, in the future, it will take me less than 15 minutes to give it a quick clean.

Later in the afternoon, I sewed the cushion covers back on.  There are six cushion covers:

Cushion Covers

The cushions covers were made from the curtains I used to have in my kitchen window and fabric scraps I had in my stash (for the borders and the backs).  There is a matching table cloth, too.

Other items I'd like to get done:
- Sew cushion covers back on - DONE
- Tidy dining table
- Tidy family room - STARTED
- Round up dust bunnies  - DONE by cousin!

Today, I am grateful for:

- A call from my sister
- My neighbor calling to check on me
- A visit from a friend
- Hugs from my daughter and her friends
- Being able to watch the Olympics

Monday's To Do List:

- Go for radiation
- Shop for a new laptop for daughter
- Office work
- Take trash cans to the curb
- Water the front garden
- Tidy dining table

How was your weekend?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Garden in August

I took a stroll around the back garden, today.  Much of the garden is parched and sun baked!  These two pictures of the back garden are taken from the back door:

Looking Slightly to the Right

It's depressing, isn't it?  Once upon a time, I had almost 100 rose bushes growing here (98 to be exact!).  But, we are currently in our fifth year of severe drought and watering restrictions have taken a toll.    Not to mention my recent ill-health (I was told not to actually do any active gardening while undergoing chemo, to minimize being exposed to soil bacteria, etc.)

Looking Slightly to the Left
The white building to the left of the picture is my detached garage, with two of the lemon trees growing in front of it.

Next year, I will start re-landscaping the garden with more drought tolerant plants.  In the meantime, the garden will limp along as best as it can!

The jasmine plant I had pulled out from behind the shed (the main plant had died, but this was growing in a sheltered spot) and transplanted in a pot is growing:

Jasmine Transplant

The lantana/plumbago hedge that was trimmed:

Trimmed Hedge
I wish I had remembered to take a "before" picture.  But it was taller than the top of the wall and sprawling out at least two feet into the garden.

There are some colorful berries on the schefflera plant:

Schefflera Berries

The poor peach tree, struggling to stay alive after it got scorched during the heatwave earlier in the summer:

Peach Tree
And the loquat tree which was pruned to encourage recovery from being scorched, earlier:

Loquat Tree

The oranges are still holding on:


One of the plants that seem to be thriving in the garden is the Sprengeri fern.  It has self-seeded itself in various places and, although it is considered a weed in some parts of the country, I have been allowing it to grow wherever it pops up, as it adds a bit of green to the garden.

Such as, at the base of the loquat tree:

Sprengeri Fern

Or a corner of the agapanthus bed:

Sprengeri Fern and Agapanthus

Or the corner of the garden shed:

Sprengeri Fern

Where it is flowering:

Sprengeri Flowers
The flowers will form berries that birds will eat and drop the seeds which will grow into more plants, if the conditions are favorable. 

On the other side of the shed, the purple flowered geraniums we cut back almost to the ground are starting to regrow:

There was something in the middle of one of the older leaves:

Butterfly on Leaf

It looked like a butterfly but it didn't move!  At first, I wondered if it was sleeping? Or maybe laying eggs?  But something didn't seem right and I put on my glasses to check it out. 

Butterfly at Final Resting Place
Unfortunately, it wasn't moving because it was dead!  In fact, an adjoining leaf held a dead bee!

And that's my back garden in August.

How is your garden coming along? 

Mountain Climbing - the Last Phase

I started on the last phase of my mountain climbing, today.  I had the first of seven "booster" radiation treatments, today.

But first, I had to go for a hydration session.  My cousin accompanied me (and insisted on paying for the parking at each clinic).  The hydration session went well.  I was weighed before the nurse practitioner saw me.  As of this morning, I have officially lost 30 lbs. since last October, when I went for my lumpectomy.  I will have another hydration session in 3 weeks' time.

Afterwards, I went for the radiation treatment.  That, too, went well and I'll have the weekend to recover from it.

When we got home, there was a message on my answering machine, reminding me of an upcoming appointment with the dermatologist, next week.

By the time I listened to the message and wrote down the information, my cousin had taken the broom and started to sweep!  At first, I told her it was OK, not to bother, it was something I had been meaning to do for the past couple of days but hadn't got around to doing.  But she was telling me not to worry, she will sweep, it was OK, etc.  And then, I started to cry, again!  I'm so emotional, lately!  Anyway, the long and short of it is, my lovely cousin swept the whole house and rounded up all the dust bunnies for me.  :)

Oh, and she brought me a larger cat carrier that she had and no longer needed, as the carrier I have is getting too small for Dancer.  Hopefully, it will be easier to get him into this larger carrier than it was to stuff him into the smaller one! 

Later in the afternoon, my gardener friend came to do the garden; I asked him to trim the lantana/plumbago hedge at the back.  I forgot to take a picture, but I'll try to take one, tomorrow.

I spent part of the afternoon responding to office emails.  I forgot all about preparing the strawberries for freezing!

Went for a walk around the block in the early evening and then, it was time to pick up daughter from the airport!  We've spent the evening just enjoying being together.

 Friday's To Do List:

- Make sandwiches to take with me - DONE
- Go for hydration session - DONE
- Go for radiation, afterwards - DONE
- Home and rest! - DONE
- Email the office - DONE
- Put away dried laundry - DONE
- Prepare strawberries for freezing
- Call to reschedule eye appointment (find phone number first!) - DONE
- Pick up daughter from airport - DONE
- Clean litter box

Saturday's To Do List:
- Clean litter box
- Prepare strawberries for freezing

Other items I'd like to get done:
- Sew cushion covers back on
- Tidy dining table
- Tidy family room
- Round up dust bunnies  - DONE by cousin!

Today, I am grateful for:

- My cousin who has been so loving and helpful
- A new, larger cat carrier
- Hydration and radiation sessions went well
- My daughter had a safe flight home
- All the prayers and well wishes

How was your Friday?  What have you planned for the weekend?