My Two Favorite Dorks

My Two Favorite Dorks

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Turning Around

While it's true that bad things can't happen forever, I was seriously beginning to doubt that this summer. I haven't written outright about my lousy summer because it was too depressing and I didn't think it would be interesting to read about.

So here we are, the end of August. It's honestly been about two months of sad thing after bad thing after expensive thing (repeat). But finally, finally, the last week or so has really brightened up for us. So here is some good news I have to share!

Doc had to wear a cone and a Thunder Shirt after his first surgery to keep him from scratching his wound.

After two surgeries, our dog Doc seems to be cancer free! The doctor removed a lump initially which turned out to be slightly (though not aggressively) cancerous. We did a second surgery to make sure all of the margins were clean from the first surgery and they were! So we are very happy about that, and Doc is extremely happy to be out of his cone.

On the very same day we got the "all clear" on Doc, I went straight to Cause for Paws and filled out an application for the kitten I've had my eye on for three weeks. I picked her up the following day, after convincing Todd that we should give it a try. "She's a very special kitten!" I said. And little did we both know how true that would end up being. 

Pippa is the sweetest little thing, very gentle with her claws; she has gotten used to the dogs and now swats at their tails like Maya; she and Maya have become best play buddies, which I was hoping would give some of Maya's playful energy an outlet; and her markings are so unique and fun to look at! I told her to not be in any hurry to grow, and I kind of hope she will stay small forever.

This one likes to cuddle!!
I had very good labs, x-ray and PFTs last week, followed by a good 3-month appointment with Dr Reynolds. There isn't much going on right now, which is awesome, except for some coughing at night which is actually a pretty unpleasant problem. It wakes me up, so does Pippa, wanting to play, and Gus, wanting to go outside... it hasn't been very restful lately. 

We finally got some tangible news about the Volkswagen buyback program for my car! Now we can start making decisions based on the facts instead of abstract ideas. I love my car. I really don't want to give it up. But whether I sell it back or keep it, I will still be awarded a few thousand dollars of settlement money. So we will see.

I saw a couple of old friends last week who I hadn't seen in a while. It was so good to catch up! And it's always neat to see people's reactions to me when they haven't seen or talked to me in a while. It's easy for me to forget how far I've come without people reminding me now and then. Along those same lines, my brother is back in the country from his family's five+ month excursion in Europe. It's strange but it feels so much better knowing he is back on the same continent as I am.

Our soap making is going well! Our last batch turned out especially cool looking. We were trying a new honey base for the first time and had a lot of fun trying different variations of things with it. 

I think this bar was my favorite. It's honey base with apricot seeds,
lemongrass scented.

We have begun the process to get a home equity loan to make much-needed updates on our house. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of "fun" things on the list, but I know that we will both enjoy our screened-in porch more once the roof is raised and we have a fan and lights (and maybe speakers?) out there. We are going to pay off our HVAC loan and replace the main house roof. We have some trees that need to be taken down in the back yard, branches trimmed. We are getting a new mattress! Ours is starting to sag rather badly. We are also going to upgrade the electrical outlets in the house and do some other electrical upgrades. Lastly, we both have "wish lists" of a couple bigger things we have put off buying the last couple of years. There is much more to do if money permits; we'll just have to see how far we get.

I have not eaten any meat (except fish, which I never intend to give up) in the last few weeks. I do not want to call myself a vegetarian. That name just doesn't seem to fit me. For now, I am going with the term "conscientious eater," and it does not mean that I will never have another bite of meat. It just depends on the situation and me making the best decisions I can at the time. I do have to say, I have had fun trying new vegetarian recipes. I've always been so afraid to become meat-free(ish) because I am not a very good cook and I feel like you have to be more creative without meat. But so far it really is working out. And while I'm not sure how thrilled Todd is about it (I'm pretty sure he's eating meat every single time he's at a restaurant) at least he hasn't vocalized any disappointment.

Lastly, my volunteering has gone gangbusters lately! It is a slow time right now for my Transplant Games duties, so I have committed myself fully to being in charge of the Lung Transplant Foundation's Casino Night auction in early November as well as helping with other things.** Since I am in charge, I am making the auction very NC-handmade goods focused. I think it's going to be really unique and lots of fun! I am also working on how to make the process more efficient. So if anyone reading this has done this before and has wisdom to share, I am happy to hear it.

I have a couple of trips coming up - mountains for Labor Day and Michigan the week after that - which should be fun. I am also starting a writing class the week after Labor Day which I'm really excited about. The class is called "Real Writing" and should be a good guide for me to improve how I write about myself and my own experiences (mostly pertaining to my health). I am signed up with a friend, another cystic, who I met at Duke but who has been healthy enough to stay off the transplant list. He is a great guy, very introspective with an interesting life; he has also been through a tremendous amount with his health that he wants to write about. I'm looking forward to the writing but also to spending this time with him.

**If you are local and are interested in tickets, please go here:
If you are unable to attend but generously would like to make a donation anyway, please go here: and donate to the National Chapter.

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