As I may or may not have mentioned, hubby and I recently tackled a remodeling project. It was time; in fact, it was past time.
We moved to our new state and present home seven years ago (wow seven years already!) and at the time had good intentions of “fixing up our fixer-upper” right away. We did tend to the outside of the house right away, the inside not so much.
We did not mainly because as they say, life got in the way.
Our new state and home did not seem to greet us very warmly.
Immediately upon arrival Brittni, our eldest and much beloved golden retriever, became seriously ill. She deteriorated in a matter of days to the point where we had no choice other than to “put her down.” The family rallied together, shed
some a lot of tears and said goodbye.
Almost immediately we realized hubby’s new job wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and we started wondering why we had uprooted ourselves and taken the big leap. (Thankfully he’s moved on…)
In early fall of 2007 my mother’s breast cancer recurred. Cancer reared its ugly head again, this time with a vengeance and unstoppable fervor.
Months of too many to count back-and-forth trips between my house and my parents’ house in Minnesota began. There were countless doctor appointments, medical consultations, decisions to make, drugs to try, drugs to stop trying, a “what have we got to lose” attempt at chemotherapy, several hospital stays, a trip to Mayo Clinic, and finally the realization we were not going to be able to hold off the terminality of metastatic breast cancer, which culminated in a forced and very brief nursing home stay.
Those were fall and winter months of an almost dizzyingly (is that a word? If not, it should be) frantic and often desperate nature.
By March 2008 my mother, the centerpiece of the family, was gone. Metastatic breast cancer had stolen another life.
Almost immediately after my mother’s death (in reality it was almost two years after, but it felt like immediately) came my diagnosis.
The frenzy that cancer brings returned to my family. This time it was my cancer to own.
Remodeling was the furthest thing from our minds.
As well as dealing with cancer and cancer treatment, we grappled with “remodeling” or reconstruction of a different kind, my bilateral mastectomy and subsequent reconstruction.
I’ve always thought the term breast reconstruction sounds somewhat ridiculous. Reconstruction is something I associate with roads or buildings, not breasts.
On a side note, the term lumpectomy also seems totally inadequate and trivial, making it seem as if you’re talking about removing a little cyst or an annoying pimple…
When my cancer treatment ended and then most of my reconstruction, hubby and I started trying to figure out our “new normal” because that’s what we were told we must do.
We’re still working on that one.
One thing about our new normal is that we don’t put things off quite as much. Hence the back-to-back winter get-a-ways the past two years. Before cancer, such trips were rarely discussed and certainly never happened. There were always too many excuses. You know the ones; no time, no money, too busy, can’t get away.
This year we decided not to put off our remodeling project any longer either.
So several months ago the reconstruction/remodeling began on our kitchen, family room and two bathrooms.
(Yes, it was stressful, but we survived!)
The project started with considerable demolition, in a weird sort of way, not that much unlike my bilateral mastectomy, which might be likened to a “demolition project” of sorts as well.
The house remodeling progressed slowly and in stages, again, not unlike my breast reconstruction which also progressed slowly and in stages.
Finally, the house remodeling ended with a finished product that is rebuilt, a different version of its older former “self.”
It’s far from perfect and is in fact, still flawed, but for now it’s good enough.
Sometimes good enough is just that, good enough.
Now when have I said that before?
Do you put things off less often post-cancer diagnosis?
Have you ever undertaken a remodeling project of any kind?