BRCA Surgeries: 1 Year Later

In two days time it will be one year since my initial mastectomy/reconstruction surgery. What a year. And the adventure continues. A visit to the plastic surgeon is on the calendar in a few days to check the new nips and give me (hopefully) the go-ahead to schedule tattooing. Not everyone chooses nipple reconstruction or the tattoos that make the nips look flesh colored. I cannot say I am looking forward to the needle treatment but being really, truly all done will be marvelous.

In the mean time, it is tax season and around here that coincides with retirement planning. It is very nice to worry more about 401k stuff than boobs.

Critters, Wine and Strange Ramblings.

Yesterday our old cat got a new diagnosis: feline hypertension. Count Catula, AKA The Old Man Howler Monkey Cat has been driving us nuts crying at night, barfing, and generally looking like a scrawny, weak geezer. It took me all week to decide he needed a vet visit, afraid it might be time to say goodbye and not really wanting to spend my Thanksgiving holiday weekend that way. But, turns out his blood pressure is through the roof and a little BP medication plus some Pepcid AC for the puking might turn things around. Today, Catula’s former owner would have celebrated his 90th birthday. He’d be very glad his beloved kitty has dodged the bullet again, at least for a while.

Catula and Chuck in better days.

As for other stuff going on in the wet, grey Pacific Northwest world where I live, it’s just the usual hodge-podge. Last weekend we spent wine tasting in Oregon’s Willamette Valley with old friends. We sipped and noshed at old stalwarts like Ken Wright Cellars and Beaux Freres, inspected new digs at ROCO and made a new find: Big Table Farm. In a dilapidated farm house on a gravel road near the tiny burg of Gaston, Oregon, two passionate young people are making delightful wine and wicked good pork belly. I enjoyed tasting world-class vino in their kitchen, hound dogs milling about, chickens scratching in the dirt and buckets of rain pouring from the sky.

On the health front, my sister is recovering very well from her DIEP flap surgery on November 9th and for that I am truly grateful. We agreed we both had much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. As this hellatious year draws to a close, all that remains for me is removal of a few remaining stitches on Tuesday, then a few months for things to settle before the newly reconstructed nipples will get tattooed.

As the holiday frenzy moves into high gear I’m feeling a bit lost. My new novel is in stuck mode. I have no freelance work. I need something new to tackle and can’t decide what that should be. Recently, Jim told me one of his friends who is nearing retirement told him that he can’t wait to retire so he can learn how to play…THE ACCORDION. I laughed at the thought of him cranking out some tinny polka music, but then I heard a brilliant jazz musician interpreting Edith Piaf tunes on the accordion. It was terrific. Maybe it is not too late for me to take up classical guitar. Better yet, classical ukulele. A nice dose of aloha with a twist.