My Next Job?

The kitchen was the first room we remodeled when we moved into this big old house over 40 years ago.  My wife, Diane, recently had a great idea, “Let’s do it again.”

I suggested that if we wait, wood grain Formica laminated cabinets and green Formica counter tops and back splashes will be in style again – and we will have the genuine article.  But, we decided we will remodel anyway.

We enjoyed our excitement and the anticipation of a new project.  We began listing great kitchen ideas.  We can’t afford to contract it out, but if I do almost everything myself, (when I worked for my dad, we remodeled kitchens and bathrooms for a living) what money we have budgeted will stretch quite a ways.  It wasn’t long, though, before I realized that I don’t have time to remodel a kitchen.  I work full time, every evening is short, and every weekend is full.  Every weekend has unfinished carry over (a life blessed is a life busy!).  We don’t have the money to pay someone to do it, and I don’t have time to do it, but…….

I’m reminded by the daily pile of junk mail that I’m “nearing my normal retirement age.”  It will arrive about a year from now and at the rate my clock is ticking, it will be here in no time.  I’m tempted to consider working past retirement age, but cancer may be the deciding factor in that decision.  If we could wait until I retire, I would have nothing but time.  The new kitchen could be my new job.  But, waiting does have a risk.  If the cancer makes a move before I retire, I won’t be much good at remodeling kitchens for a while; but if it comes back and kills me, Diane should get enough insurance money to pay someone to make a new kitchen.

In March, my three month Multiple Myeloma cancer tests said no change, and I can live with that.  At my 6 month visit with my Pulmonologist (my sleep apnea doctor) I mentioned how easily I get out of breath.  I asked if it could be a result of the Chemo treatments, or the radiation treatments, or the cancer, or the fact that I went to high school with Moses?  He recommended I see a heart doctor because of “my age and my condition.”  I did, and he listened quite intently with a stethoscope and said he could hear a leaky valve.  He asked if I’ve had radiation treatments.  It appears the cause of my breathlessness could be heart related, could be radiation related, or, I could just be out of shape.  He scheduled more tests.

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