When you are taking care of your health, maybe “butter” shouldn’t be on your list of life things, but hey, it is my list and I like butter. Everything in moderation (including moderation).
I came across a question posed to people with stage IV breast cancer in a forum – what did you want to accomplish before… well.. you know… and I got to thinking. I had started a bucket list when I was early stage, but it just felt blah. I came across the “1,001 Things to do Before You Die” list I used for inspiration in that same thread. It appealed to me, there were BIG things and small things and I realized that is what my life is really about. The big and the small things and enjoying them. So I created The List, I am still building it out, but I am also working on checking some of it off.
It can be good therapy to create scenarios in life that you look forward to when you are struggling, I am struggling on the days after chemo. Our trip Europe is that big thing for me. We have been saying for the last 8+ years that we are going to go to Europe and every year it becomes “next year, we will go next year.” We haven’t had the time to take off work or the money saved up or whatever excuse, so that has been my determination – we WILL go to Europe this year. I haven’t nailed down when and where just yet. All I know is Italy will for sure be in the equation and we will go this fall.
The little things can be a whole lot of fun. When I threw “eat freshly made butter” (number 21) on my list I had no idea how this would be accomplished (maybe on an Italian pastry? my mind is on Europe). My mom and I were at the mall returning a swimsuit that I had ordered from Victoria’s Secret (I was hoping it would cover up my port and scars, but alas, I tried it on and it covered up a whole lot of nothing – sigh). While I was browsing around I came across a butter maker at Crate and Barrel and it spoke to me (literally, it started talking… NO, I am not on that many drugs).
I bought some organic cream from Trader Joe’s (I have a weird thing about hormones in dairy, they freak me out a little bit). We all try to figure out just a little bit why we got cancer or how. Part of my deep seated fear is dairy, not that avoiding dairy hormones will probably do me a lick of good at this juncture, but hey, whatever helps me sleep through the night eh?
I then made creamy delicious butter. Once it was done I spread it out on toast and made everyone that was over at my house eat freshly made butter. I made biscuits the next morning even though I was tired, because I wanted BUTTER.
I have been on a roll this week.
I also had make jewelry on my list (number 23). I had scheduled a jewelry making class I swear months ago with friends. When I scheduled it I am not certain if I knew my chemo schedule or just pretended to be a hard a**.
Monday after chemo is pretty much my roughest day, but I was not going to get that to stop me from making my jewelry.
My friends asked me when I got there if I knew what I was going to make. I didn’t have a clue, and I actually had no idea what precious metals clay was that we were making jewelry out of. I figured I would roll with it and roll with it I did.
I made a necklace with M on it, for Mandi or Mike, you can decide. I then made one for Mike with a love note inscribed on the back.
For not having planned this very well. I was very happy with the outcome.
I also took my niece to high tea for her birthday (number 84). My mom was in attendance. We filled her so full of hot chocolate and sugar goodies I am sure my brother is still cursing my name.
We have been happy with the news that my tumor markers dropped another 10+ points to 83. They are now at the level they were in December. My next big scan is on April 3, which is when we will find out the full story of what my cancer is doing right now. If tumor markers accurately match a decrease in tumor size (based on how I feel overall I think they do)..