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Oh my goodness, where have I been, what has been going on? This post is chock-full of updates from projects we’ve bailed on, 1 thing I promise I’ll actually do, fall goods I’m eyeing, One Room Challenge FOMO, and even a very personal health update!
House Project Updates
- Things we got estimates on this year and didn’t end up doing:
- Exterior Painting – We really, really wanted to have our home’s exterior trim painted this year (and I did a whole post about our plans). We hired a painter and then we waited. And waited. We accepted an estimate in May for work to begin in June. And when August rolled around and the painters never showed after not returning my calls and voice messages, stringing me along with random “you’re next on the list” and “we’ll be there Monday” texts, we’d had enough. So we fired them. And I vowed we’d find another painter and move forward. We got one more estimate but we just didn’t have the fire in us anymore. I really do believe this is a project we’ll follow up on, but probably just not this year.
- Rewiring – Twice this year we’ve had electricians come out to give us estimates on having our whole house rewired. We’re looking at pricing north of $20k and 4-5 weeks of daily noise, dust, and disruption. We’re putting this one off too.
- And a thing we’re actually gonna do before Thanksgiving
- Stair runner! If you follow along on with my stories, you know I think I’ve found the perfect runner for our bare wood stairs. Our corgi, Penelope, is 11 years old now and the poor little lady has arthritis and trouble with the steps. I first saw this Annie Selke Dash & Albert runner on I Spy DIY‘s stories and knew it would look great on our steps. A couple of people DMed me to say that the horizontal lines would never look perfect (especially on old stairs like ours) and would sag over time and bug the heck out of me. I’ve got some ideas to really lock the runner in place and shim it out so everything is even on our uneven stairs. SO many people recommended Young House Love‘s stair runner install tutorial and I have to also recommend Yellow Brick Home‘s tutorial for homes.com.
One Room Challenge FOMO
The fall 2019 One Room Challenge started this week and I have to admit I miss participating! I’ve taken a break from participating as a guest this year but hope to jump in again next year. This time of year is the busiest time for me at work and last year’s challenge on top of work stress nearly broke me. BUT I am still a little sad I’m missing out. BUT I’m sincerely looking forward to following along, and am so happy with how the challenge has grown and glad to see more diversity AND so many former guest participants as featured designers.
[ 1. side table | 2. iris lamp | 3. green grid pillow | 4. brown grid pillow | 5. cedar stack candle | 6. apple cider donut candle | 7. rug | 8. table lamp | 9. plates and bowls ]
Fall, is that you? I. am. ready! Though I’m not the type for fall decor (you won’t find me with more than a few tiny pumpkins) I do love “fall” colors. They are moody, after all, just like me. Here are some fall accents I’ve been eyeing – and I definitely already snapped up those pillows, and that little table is next.
A Health Update!
Warning – if you don’t want to hear about my uterus and surgery, skip this section. This could probably be its own darn post, and I really tried to keep this short and sweet, but I could talk about my uterus for days. This story starts in July, during a routine exam, when I found out my IUD was missing. To track it down, I had an ultrasound which revealed I had a uterine fibroid that had displaced my IUD. When the ultrasound tech said “you know you have a fibroid, right?” to me, alone in a dark room, all I could say was, “what’s that?”
And that’s when I learned that a uterine fibroid is a noncancerous tumor in or attached to the uterus. They are super common, a large percentage of women will have a fibroid or fibroids in her lifetime, most likely in their 30s and 40s. What I found out later, after getting my ultrasound report, is that my fibroid is large. At its largest dimension (at the time of ultrasound) my fibroid measured 9.7cm. I had to google how big that is in inches and it still didn’t make sense.
Was it like, the size of lemon? No, bigger.
How about a baseball? No, bigger.
How about a softball? Yep.
I did hours of research online, reading the same articles over and over again and then deciphering more complex medical studies. Symptoms I’d been having started to make sense – why do I always feel like my bladder is full? What are these weird cramps? I found a fibroid specialist in Pittsburgh (in a special fibroid-focused department in a hospital for women) and waited another month to see him. I was so well informed by the time I saw the doctor that nothing he said was a surprise. I’d need surgery. He’d try to remove the fibroid laparoscopically but it might be too big (they don’t like to do that type of surgery for fibroids 10cm or larger) and an open surgery might be necessary. And I’d have to wait until December.
So that’s my health update. I am ok, I am lucky, I am very uncomfortable with my uterus enlarged to the size of a 16-week pregnancy. Some days are fine, some are painful. My life has been changed by worry and maintaining proximity to a bathroom. Mostly, I’m worried about how much it is growing during the months I wait for my surgery. I’m worried about someone asking me if I’m pregnant. I’m worried about losing my independence and the month of December. I’m worried about not knowing what kind of surgery to plan for.
If you’ve had to live with fibroids or have had surgery to remove a large fibroid, I wanna hear your story.
I didn’t have a fibroid but I did have a cyst on my ovary when I was in university. I had the same surgical recommendation – laparoscopic removal if possible but had to be prepared for an incision. My school told me to take a leave of absence for a year, if I didn’t know how long my recovery would be, which I did not want to do. It ended up being removed laparoscopically. It was about 10 months from when it was found to when it was removed (there were a lot of ultrasounds to monitor it for changes before they finally decided it should just come out.) I needed far longer than the 24 hour-time frame they promised me to be back on my feet – I was slow for weeks after, even if I did get back to classes three days after my surgery.
I hope it goes well for you, I know it’s impossible not to worry. What gave me some peace of mind, though, was knowing that while it wasn’t routine for me, it was plain Jane, vanilla boring for my surgeon. It sucks that you’re in pain but you’ll be on the other side of this in a few months.
Thank you so much for your support and encouragement and for sharing your story, Colleen. It would be so hard to go through that while trying to keep going to classes (3 days later omg) and keeping up with your studies. You are a strong lady.
I love Colleen’s comment above. Sending love to you!
Thank you, Katie! <3
I’m in the watch phase for my fibroids, and I’ve had a laparoscopy for endometriosis and a couple of cysts. I also had a cyst rupture spontaneously about four years ago. Miserable! Basically, my lady parts are a whole lot of trouble. LOL
Generally, laparoscopy is minimally invasive and fairly easy to recover from. I’ve always had more trouble with the anesthesia. It’s nasty stuff.
Good luck! I’m sorry that you are going through this. It’s worrisome and uncomfortable too.
Oh Stacy! The things our bodies do to us! I have a coworker who had a cyst rupture spontaneously last year – that is so scary. Fingers crossed for laparoscopy. Sorry to hear you’ve been going through this (and more!) too!
I had to have some fibroids removed surgically about 20 years ago. Mine were too big also to have them removed by laparoscopy. I figured if they were going to cut my abdomen, let’s do a tummy tuck at the same time. Best decision ever!
Daaang girl you did it right!
Fibroid here! ♀️ Two or more actually. So I’m trying to get pregnant, after a miscarriage a few years ago. When you’re starting infertility treatments, you have to get all these tests- one revealed a fibroid, but that dr didn’t handle fibroids and referred me to the Fibroid Expert in my city. I also had to get a test to show whether my Fallopian tubes are open (and if not, have them medically opened), which involves pumping saline through my cervix into the uterus to see if it would then travel through the Fallopian tubes. It did, after bypassing a rather large fibroid. Eventually it was determined that I had a large intrauterine fibroid- which means it’s growing from my endometrial tissue (lining of the uterus) and protruding into the uterus. Fun fact! My insurance would only cover it if it was considered “medical” not “fertility related” so that was an added stress. Also drs (at least in my area) only operate if the fibroid protrudes 1/3 into the uterus. Mine was big, they couldn’t tell how big, and my dr explained that even after she scraped it from the uterine lining, there might be part of it still buried in the wall of the uterus which would make its way out within the next few months and may require a second surgery. So, in April, I had a hysteroscopic myomectomy. They removed 3+ centimeters. I had to wait several months to go back and have it checked. In August I had a second surgery, and she got what she believed was the remainder of the original fibroid but there appeared to be a new one! So she scraped that one too. She thought she got it all. Last month I got another saline sonogram to see whether she got it all, and it revealed that there *might* be one more. But it could also have been tissue that was on its way out through natural means, so I have to wait again to get another saline sonogram to see whether I need yet another surgery. All of this even before I get prescribed the hormone pills that will allow me to do IUI and possibly IVF. It suuuuuucks.
I’m really glad you’re getting your fibroid out, you will feel so much better!
Hi Kat. Thank you for sharing your story – you’ve been through so much. And the added insurance stress on top of everything, uuugh. I don’t have words for what you been through (and are still going through!) but reading your story has definitely made me feel less alone. Thank you, again, and I’m thinking of you. And truly, this all suuuuucks!
Fibroids and an ovarian cyst here. Due to the possibility that the cyst might be cancer, I was sent to a gynecological oncologist. The surgeon told me my uterus felt like a bag of marbles, and asked if she should remove that when she removed the ovaries. We’d finished having kids, so I said yes. During the surgery she discovered and removed a lot of endometriosis. I had been complaining of pain to my ob/gyn for years, so I was more than happy to get rid of that. I went in hoping for robotic surgery, but knowing it could end up being abdominal. Fortunately she was able to stick with the robot. I stayed in the hospital one night and was out taking a (slow) walk around the neighborhood with my family the next evening. Good luck to you! I hope they are able to stick with laparoscopic!!
<3 Kristin. Wow, lady, you've really got it all! So glad you got it all sorted, I've heard endometriosis can be so horribly painful. And so glad you were able to have robot surgery. Thank you for sharing.
I have suffered from fibroids for years. Avoid processed foods, foods with GMOs and sugars. Stick to organics and clean whole foods. Also, please research healthy ketogenic diets and intermittent fasting. Wish I knew this when I was first diagnosed with fibroids.
Hope your surgery goes well when it happens! <3
Sorry to hear about your uterus! It all seems so unknown, so I can understand your fears. I don’t have any uterus stories to tell you but I’m wishing you the best during recovery and these anxious times.