Monday, August 13, 2012

Hi Hi

hey friends. I've been wanting to touch base for a while.. Life is okay. I have been doing the 4 hour dialysis sessions 3 days a week since I first got sick in February, and I guess I've gotten used to them as much as possible. The 3 days add up to 12 hours and that's pretty much a day of your life gone every week, sometimes more since you're pretty wiped out afterward. It's rare that I do anything more than have dinner, watch television, and go to bed after a treatment. So far I've been able to put off the perminent access that would be in my arm..right now I still have the access in my chest. It's all so weird. Before this year I was not very familiar with I keep meeting strangers that have had it or know someone who has it..I've even met a dog on dialysis! I met someone at a garage sale who had a transplant recently, she too had a sudden disease attack her...I met someone at a vintage store who had to have's nice to know I'm not alone, ha. At my center, I am currently the youngest patient by far, so it feels kinda nice to run into strangers who have been closer to my age, and even interests.
I have had some good news. My heart is back to normal! This is great because I was really stressed out about that. In the hospital I had cardiologists jump the gun and tell me that I'd very possibly need a defibrillator put in. It terrified me. But the heart is a muscle! And it bounced back! This also was a key factor to being able to receive a kidney transplant.....which I will be receiving! My mom and dad are both matches, James and I have the same blood type, and my brother would be a good match too...but my mom is the lucky one, haha. She is related to me, and it's very likely that I will need another transplant someday, in which case hopefully my brother will be able to donate. So she has just begun the process to further test to make sure she can give it up. I am hoping that the surgery can be done before the holidays, but we really don't know at this point.

I haven't yet been able to start up Nice again. It's weird how I don't have much free time, yet I don't feel like I'm accomplishing much. I guess between taking care of myself, hospital visits, boyfriend time, packing, relaxing, haha, it's hard to know that I can commit to making and sending out packages in time. I was so, so busy before I got sick, and I know I could not handle that volume currently. I am hoping to have a soft launch soon, but life has to settle down a bit more before that. Did you notice I mentioned packing? James and I have put an offer in on a small fixer-upper out here! Can you believe it? Life has changed so much. If everything goes well, we will close on it at the end of this month. Our apartment lease in Chicago is up the same day, so things could get really nuts. A year ago- even half a year ago, I never would have thought I would be heading to live in the suburbs.  James was the first one to bring up the idea and he was okay with it right away. It took me some time to get use to the idea..we both ended up bringing up talks about whether this is a good idea or not. But it's not the end all be all. Owning a house doesn't mean you have to stay there forever. He and I have always been on the same page with changes, and thinking about our life together, I just feel so happy inside.
The town we've chosen is about 30 minutes away from where my parents are. It's along a river and it's a town with possibilities, we think. It's a town that doesn't feel like you're in the suburbs, really. There are places to walk and bike to. The house is adorable and we know we will be happy there. We both feel a bit tired out by the city..I know I personally am valuing family time a lot more than usual, and especially time with James. It has been so hard for us to live apart during all of this. It's also been hard on James to do so much driving- from work, to the apartment, to my house and back. After the transplant I will need some care, so it will be good to be close to my family. I will have to frequent the hospital downtown for check-ups, so I will always have my mom to go with me which is so nice to know. I don't know yet if I will be able to have children due to the chemotherapy, but I know if all is well, just having a kidney transplant would make it a high risk pregnancy. It's a lot to take in, but I know that I've always had adoption in the back of my brain. It's something I haven't begun to look into, but maybe it will be an option for us at some point. Who knows what the future holds! Right now I am excited for James and I to make a home of our own.

Have any of you made a move from an urban area to a not so urban area? I'd love to hear your story.

I have been using Pinterest (join me!) a lot to sort of keep up on things and be inspired. I've been shying away from blogs and such because they seem to overstimulate me! It's hard to read about what other people are doing- it makes me happy, but it also just makes me like, over-excited? I want to get back in it all, but I'm not there yet, so I end up feeling a bit frustrated. But Pinterest has been good because it's a small dose of what's going on in the world..and I just love seeing all of my pins together! haha

So yeah, Nice will come back. Perhaps even under a different name! Who knows. I still have tons of ideas constantly swimming around my brain, so I am so excited to get making things again. I will let you know a little secret, I have been able to fill small orders, providing the timeline is doable for me, so if you're interested in something, please don't hesitate to contact me (email or etsy). It keeps me super motivated!

And thank you all again SO, SO MUCH for all of your well wishes, stories, and comments. At times I have felt very left out and just alone..your messages have helped me a great deal. <3 br="br" nbsp="nbsp">


  1. Glad to hear you are doing okay! Congratulations on the house, too!

    Looking forward to seeing your pins. :)

  2. Glad to hear that you are doing well, and moving! I think of you every time I see your banner in my daughter's nursery, and was hoping for the best for you.

    My husband and I moved from an apartment in Chicago to the suburbs and it was good for all the reasons you mention: closer to family, slower pace, a but less stress. Sounds like you have the ideal situation, a house with character, and life nearby!

  3. caitlin!! so glad to hear the news about your heart! jon & i have been thinking about you & james so much. a new house sounds wonderful. already able to picture how adorable you'l lmake it!! we'd love to decend on you in the suburbs and cook you dinner and luxuriate in your yard. XOXOXO

  4. I was just thinking of you, Caitlin. Glad to hear things are looking up, even if they aren't stellar. Moving away from the city will probably be so good for you, I dreamt about it every second of the day when Will was sick to get some peace and quiet! xoxo

  5. Caitlin, you're such a wonder woman! I'm so glad to hear that you're doing well. And that's really exciting about the house! I think 2013 will be the year of Caitlin!

  6. Glad to hear you are doing well! I've been following your blog for a few years and was sorry to hear of your illness. It's great to know what you've been up to this summer! I'm sure your new home will be super cute!

  7. I've been meaning to write to you for months - your beautiful banner looked fantastic at my son's birthday. Thank you for sending it to us in the midst of everything that is going on in your life. Really, really appreciated.

    All the best for you getting ready for the transplant. I hope to hear good news on your blog soon.

  8. Hello Caitlin! I haven't been a long time reader of your blog but I was just catching up on my Etsy favorites list and noticed that your shop was empty, caught up on here with what's going on... I don't have any advice about dialysis or kidneys, although I did spend a very scary time in the hospital for colitis some time ago, but I do know about moving from a big city to a very tiny town. It has it's ups and downs -- the peacefulness, easy-going traffic, local shops you learn to adore, the library is usually great, the people are nosy and gossipy! I missed shopping and being able to get away from people I didn't like (in a small town, everybody knows everybody and spends time with everyone), I missed having excellent restaurant variety and big shows coming to my town, but in all it wasn't too bad. I am actually moving back there in a few months (Iowa). My thought about small towns is that even though they seem very boring sometimes, they are one of the few change-able places left in the world. If you are an individual, it's possible to make your mark on a small town in ways that a big city would never notice.

    I'll be thinking about you!


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