Day +193 & +194, The Weekend

Photo of the Day (Saturday): Andy, checking to see if everything is level on the new upstairs bannister/
Photo of the Day (Sunday): laughing about something – happy!

The weekend passed quickly with a few house projects in preparation for my parent’s visit on the docket and Mother’s Day.

I’ll be honest – Saturday morning came early, but I promised Kurt I would meet him at HEW for the 8 am special, followed by a lovely post-workout breakfast including Andy. The workout was good, I still despise jumping lunges (but gamely attempted them anyway), and everything was OK. Breakfast with the boys at Green Sage Cafe, was much more fun. And then it was on to the upstairs bannister/newel post/fix-the-gaping-hole/wall-preventing-a-nasty-fall-down-the-stairs project. I’ll admit, even I’m leery of falling down the stairs; with my folks in town, this was the big ticket item that needed finishing.

A very lonely newel post, and a vanishing Monster. She was feeling a little bloated after chasing that mouse around the backyard, and wasn’t sure about her best angle.

It was mostly Andy, if I’m honest. He’s the expert carpenter, with the tools and brain that works in mysterious ways. I did my best to assist, but there wasn’t a lot. So I took a few pictures.

At times I felt frustrated, wishing I could do more. But I’m not a carpenter, I don’t build multi-million dollar homes. At some point, I realized it was the feelings from the situation I was reacting to – even though the situation was completely different, there were feelings of “not good enough” or “not helping” or even of being a “burden”. Unfortunately, those were familiar feelings in my previous marriage – they have long since passed, but every so often they will rear their ugly heads.

Sort of like Acid Reflux. It comes up from time to time, and you just deal with it.

So instead I read, took a nap, picked up paint from Lowes (“Rogue Blue” for all of you who know I have a thing for paint color names), stopped at Juicy Lucy’s to see Kurt and pick up a few local brews, and then decided grilled cheese with tomatoes for dinner sounded good. I only sacrificed 4 pieces of bread to an overzealous broiler, before deciding to use a sauce pan as my mode operative. Or whatever the phrase is. Round 2 came out much better, as in everything was edible. And let’s be honest, you add cheese and tomatoes to dark rye, and it’s going to taste good.

Sunday felt better, in the sense that I was able to be more involved with house-stuff. I was happy to be relegated to painting (Rogue Blue) – that worked well, even our finicky downstairs banister. Our project was stopped briefly for a lovely, albeit extremely windy Mother’s Day celebration with Andy’s family at Mills River Park. Nobody blew away, but it was close.

We all made personal pizzas – three cheers for pineapple and ham, my favorite. From L-R, Richard, Zoey, Debbie, and Nancy, safely cutting all pizzas.

Later, we stopped for a pint at Burning Blush Brewery, one of our favorites, before heading home to finish out both the day and projects. I’m happy to say – it turned out well! We still need another sanding and coat of paint on the downstairs banister, but overall we are both happy with how it looks.

Aside from a bit of paint, and suggestions about height and artsy things, this was all Andy.

Physically I’m doing OK, feeling strong after a solid previous week of HEW (Hard Exercise Works) workouts and long hikes. Again, Friday’s epic hike of 10 miles/2500 gain to the summit of Greybeard was a big one for me, and aside from a tad bit of fatigue, I’m happy to report that my body seems to be holding up well, and coping with the increase in stress.

This was the part where I just erased a big paragraph about knowing that it’s “only” hiking, etc. But I don’t want to do that, I refuse to diminish what I’ve worked so hard to rebuild after my Stem Cell Transplant. And I also want to acknowledge that it’s my natural tendency to downplay accomplishments for one reason or another. But not today.

I’ve worked really hard – before, throughout, and now after my transplant – to be strong and healthy. I’ve been very fortunate that my body has adjusted and adapted to my new Stem Cells, and they to me. And while it hasn’t been easy, the point is, is that through it all, I’ve continued to put one step ahead of the other, slowly and steadily regaining my strength and fitness. So YES, hiking 10 miles to the TOP OF A MOUNTAIN is HUGE! And doing so after what I’ve been through – just as much.

Smiling at the summit! Greybeard Mountain, 5408’. And windy!

So yeah, I’m going to celebrate it – we should all celebrate things in life, rather than put ourselves down. Glad that I said that – it’s more for me, than for anyone else. It’s a good reminder to not diminish myself or the things I do.

My body is just trucking along – I’ve had more chapped lips lately, but that could be in part due to the cold/windy conditions while hiking. I continue to use chap stick all the time, with Evanhealy’s “Whipped Shea Butter for Lips” being my personal favorite. My skin is hanging in there, the rosacea being held at bay with my skin cream, though I still find that my facial skin can feel tight and I make sure to use plenty of moisturizer (Vanicream lite lotion) for that. I’ve got a bit of flakiness behind and in my ears – petrolium helps calm that, and the Desodine ointment has positively impacted my dermatities, and I’m happy to report that my bellybutton is nearly back to normal. My cuticles are still slightly irritated – but no active infections. I did get blisters on both thumbs after a tough barbell workout last Friday, and took good care wrapping them with band-aids and tape over the weekend. Eyes continue to be sensitive to light, but overall are feeling less irritated, despite increased contact lens use. Last week was also a bumper week for my GI system, and we reached a new milestone of NO PASTA. I know, I know – it’s a tad upsetting, but I made up for it with grilled cheese and pancakes for dinner, so there you go. But my GI system seems to be adapting well to all foods, even the despised bananas. Heart, lungs, and all the rest are still behaving, and I’m working on increasing their ability to do work over long periods of times, as in a backpacking trip – but that’s a different post all together.

Its not part-way through Monday and I hope you are off to a great start to the week!

  1. Happy to see the banister. I really appreciate that it is there.
    I admire your determination to rebuild your body. It involves great effort and work but one can see the positive results. Keep up the positive attitude.
    See you tomorrow!


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