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Monday, January 26, 2015

Survivor Files: Recovery Update - For Real

Okay, I admit, yesterday's update wasn't really a recovery update, more like what I my hands are busy with. So, how am I really doing after a week?

Fine I guess. Thursday was my post-op appointment and things looked very good. They had to reconstruct my abdominal wall with new mesh because there were a couple of places that were bulging. Everything looks good there. On top, there some adjusting to make me more symmetrical and a few finishing touches that most probably don't want to hear about.  Lets just say, it will be good to look more normal. Some liposuction of a spot that has been storing fat strangely. Hopefully, that will make fat stop gathering there. We will have to see.

On Thursday there was a lot less fluid draining from the abdominal drain but not enough less to take the drain out yet. Bummer. Of course by Friday, it was on track and the drain could come out. Yes, I did go back with the help from my mom to get there. I love not having the drain and I love that I got to go in before the weekend to get it out.

The first week of recovery was so great! I owe a lot to my awesome family. They are working together well and I even had some 12-year-olds making dinner a couple of nights. Now, if I can just get them working the laundry. No one seems to like to do that around here! I can't lift and bend to move the clothes around. Yesterday I offered to sit and fold clothes while the tv was on and I got a few helpers. That was nice. I may have to see if I can get some more group folding sessions.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Survivor Files: Recovery Project Update


A little over a week out from surgery and I am really taking it easy this time. Doctor said eight weeks and eight weeks it is. I have upped my game just a bit over the last 24 hours because David has come down with a yucky stomach bug, but he has promised not to give it to me so we are good (at least for the time being). No one wants me throwing up with an incision across my midsection!

Thanks to my sister and her gracious offer of car pooling, the kids got to school fine this morning and we are here resting. While I have been sitting in the recliner, I have been working away from the elbows down on my kitchen stool project. You can see that the before picture shows just another way that mauve invades my kitchen. I wrote before surgery of my desire to take care of that mauve problem and this is my solution. I am pretty pleased with the outcome.

Yes, I have been crocheting stool covers like a madwoman! And, after one full week of recovery behind me, I have just two more to do. I have to take a small break for a couple of days while I work on a teacher birthday gift for Stacey, but over all, I am pleased with my progress.  There are ten stools in my kitchen at the island and bar! Now just add some new kitchen flooring and counter top and this kitchen would be amazing! It actually is already amazing, I have nothing to complain about. I always like to improve where there can be improvements.

You can't say I haven't been staying busy!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Survival Files: Recovery Begins

Mom told me yesterday that the comments and pictures I am posting on Facebook aren't accurately letting people know how things are going with me. I guess posting cute little pictures of Matt and I playing Chutes and Ladders isn't very informative. I do have to say though, he is cute! 

It has been a little more than I expected going into surgery and the amount of pain involved so far is well beyond what I thought it would be. Thankfully now after two days, I have a good combination of meds to keep movement tolerable. The only problem is, I am sleepy and unfocused. I have been sleeping a lot.

Not much to report on now, lots of dressings to keep an eye on and antibiotics three times a day to keep infection at bay. Last time around it was six weeks recovery and this time doc said he wanted me on 8 weeks of rest and he told me he would not do another surgery on me! So, I guess this is it...hope it works! Praying for healing and strength!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Survivor Files: Keeping Busy During Recovery

Tomorrow just may be my last surgery in this story. For those who have followed my journey through the mastectomy and reconstruction, you know that I don't sit still well. I am not a good patient. Patient being the concept I struggle with. It really helps me to know that I can accomplish something good while my body heals. So, I have plans for this time around.

When we purchased the house, the kitchen came with ten - yes, TEN stools that sit along the island in the kitchen and five that sit by the bar in the dining room. It was one of those little things that made us smile since we have five kids and all the houses we had looked at previously seemed to only have room for four stools. Don't think that the kids didn't notice that. They were thrilled the first time we came into the house and saw the vast number of stools...a place for everyone.

I love to see mauve in nature, the beautiful mauve flowers, and the different shades of mauve in the sunset. However, mauve on my carpet and painted in my kitchen along with the brass accents scream 1990's! And, to be honest, there is A LOT of mauve here even for the 90's! So, I was thinking about what I could use to recover the seats. I have looked at vinyl/leather fabrics and priced it out and realized that it will be a big undertaking.

It was then that I found on Pinterest a pattern for a crochet stool cover. I have a lot of cream colored cotton yarn (which actually match my valance over the kitchen window. I purchased a few brown/tan skeins and decided to go with the less expensive route for now and just cover the mauve for awhile.

With nine more covers to go, I will be productive while my body heals. That makes me happy! With yarn and hook all ready to go, I am off to finish the last three freezer meals and finish laundry before I am forced to take my break tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Drummer's Debut

Last night Ryan performed on the drums for the very first time at the middle school variety show. After getting a drumset last year, at the beginning of this school year he decided he wanted to try out for the show choir band. He got the music, found a few websites and taught himself to play the drums.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a good seat and couldn't get a good picture of him at the show in his element, but I certainly could hear the steady beat that kept everyone in step.

The variety show was the first performance for the show choir this year and Ryan did great! It was his first time to wear his new size men's nine dress shoes, men's dress shoes and men's department button down shirt.

Yes, I am watching him grow up and I am not sure how I am doing with that yet but I do love seeing his talents shine!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Organizing Peace

I usually wait until a week or so into January before I take down the Christmas decorations. We love the season where we see the lights and the pretty things. It reminds us of what Jesus has done making plain, ordinary and temporary into bright, beautiful and eternal. It is always a little difficult to put everything away because let's face it, January/February is the darkest, coldest time of the year. For those of us who deal with mood and depression issues, I have to gear up to let go of my lights and pretty things.

This year was a little different and I have no idea what got into me but I was very excited about starting to pack everything up. For the last couple of years we have been very unorganized when we have put up the tree, so much so that I haven't been as excited about decorating. Truth is, things have gotten out of control in many areas in our life and the Christmas decorating and organization is no different.

What makes this year's "take down" different? Well, I pulled up the six green and red bins and emptied them. Zachary and Stacey were so excited to help when I got out the labeller! The three of us sorted, and arranged all of the Christmas stuff and put them in bins labelled so we know what is inside without even having to open them up. That may seem like "well DUH!" to many, but for me, things have gotten a little chaotic around here so this was great!

It took a little longer to get things packed up this year but I am so excited about next November when we get ready to set up for Christmas 2015! And in the new year I think I will find some more things to organize!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

Our kitchen is wonderful. I was so impressed with the cabinet space and the size of the room when we first looked at it. It is one of the reasons I love the house. Being built in the 90's there are brass fixtures everywhere.

Here is what 100 cabinet handles look like!
Speaking of brass...there was something about the kitchen design that has always made me wonder what the builders were thinking. There are 100...yes, 100 handles in my kitchen! The lighting is great in there which is another thing that I loved when we looked at the house. The only thing is, when that much light shines on that much brass, the kitchen is very shiny!

So, while many people around the world were celebrating the new year, I went to Menards with Stacey (who loves to go with anyone who is leaving the house) to take advantage of the 15% bag sale this weekend. The Menards in Marion had 9 of the 10 packs of handles that I had picked out in brushed nickel and so we had to take a trip to the SW side of town to get one more.
A Little Fun In the New Year!
I rang in the new year with a screwdriver and a lot of twists of the wrist and changed out 100 cabinet handles at the end of 2014. The 
change is amazing! No more shine of brass and it is a great improvement. Not only are they updated, but the handles we picked are not overly fancy and I think that they will weather many updates to come.

I love how the glass cabinet looks with the new
handles. Much better than brass!

One thing I did notice as I went from cabinet to cabinet was how I had neglected the fronts of the doors and drawers. A lot can drip down the front and get caked on so one of my jobs for next week is to scrub down the cabinets. I also need to start keeping an eye out for sales on flooring. There is going to be a lot of that  needed too and we have so many places where the linoleum is pulling up that some family members have tripped.

There were three of the handles that weren't lined up correctly so David worked the drill and make the holes just a little bigger so that the new ones fit perfectly.

This may not be everyone's idea of a great new year's party but I had a ball sprucing up my place!