Sunday, April 22, 2012

my outdoor room with a view

I LovE outdoor spaces and have always wanted a covered porch. Our roof line doesn't lend to adding on a real roof for that, so we decided on an adjustable pergola. It's solar powered and with the push of the remote, it opens and closes rain tight. 
The guys finished it after the rains on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then I got to work on leveling the once shrub and pinestraw area up against the house. I put down landscaping cloth and covered it in bluestone. 15 bags of 40 lb rock carried one bag at a time from the front yard to the back. I say I earned my workout that day! 
We're on a little lake so the view is quite pretty.
 The rugs I had from last year, and the patio dining set is ~20 years old. It's cast aluminium and will last foreva'! I just updated it with some new PB striped cushions. 
 The all-weather wicker is new from Sears. It's sooo comfy to sit and relax on.
 I continued the PB stripe on the sofa with a throw pillow and also added a coral pillow that they have this season. The colors are perfect with the orangey-red covers.
The lanterns were a find from Home Goods, can't beat their prices!
All ready for entertaining.... planning my first garden party, who wants to come?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

five years of living with cancer

Five years ago today, I was in surgery for what was supposed to be a benign fibroid and a routine TAH. That "fibroid" turned out to be a rare cancer, a sarcoma, Hemangiopericytoma. We really didn't get the definitive diagnosis until 2 weeks later, when the word came from Dr. Sharon Weiss  of Emory, that is was indeed a Sarcoma. That's when the roller coaster ride of fighting cancer started for me...

Through the past five years I've had:
20+ CT scans of the abdomen, chest and pelvis
40+ barium shakes and 20+ contrast IV's
2 PET scans
countless blood draws and needle sticks
2 abdominal surgeries
2 VATS surgeries
1 hospitalization for an intestinal blockage
3 trips to Dana Farber in Boston for 2nd opinions on treatment
30 radiation treatments to the abdomen/pelvis
20 radiation treatments to the chest
2 different chemo protocols
nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, and the aches and pains of healing,
numerous tears spilled along the way from anxiety, confusion, and fear.

but... in the past five years I've also had the unrelenting support of family and friends
lifting me up in prayer, sending cards, letters, flowers, delivering meals...
In that time I've had the joy of a wedding for my oldest daughter, and the life-changing joy of two babies being born into the family, our grandsons. 
Life is a challenge, life is good, life is full of joy making the hard times worth the fight. 
I'm happy to be celebrating 5 years today!