I never thought about it before it happened, but our home has changed in the past year because of my cancer. I’m not talking about the people in the house or how the house runs (I’ll save that for another post), I’m talking about the things in the house. I imagine it has changed like some older people’s homes, as I could see how these accommodations would be helpful for aches and pains of an aging body.

Let’s start with the bedroom. 2 months before we found out my cancer had returned, I was having a lot of back pain. At that time I thought it was from the arthritis and herniated disc in my back. So for our September birthdays, Tom and I splurged and bought a new bed…well…beds. We got new mattresses with adjustable bases. We got two twin XL beds so that when they are side by side, they look the same as a king size bed, but because they are separate, we can both adjust our side how we need it. Our room is very small, so pretty much we have a bed in our room with the tiniest little side tables we could find.

I have thanked the Lord so many times that we purchased that bed as it helps so much. When my back got really bad a few months ago, I still struggled to get out of bed and I needed to have bars on each side of the bed to help me pull myself up. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) we had the option of splitting the beds apart so we could install those. They are so helpful. But now our beds are not together any more, which I hate. But the only other option was to have Tom help me in and out of bed all the time….which is really not an option.

Since we had a king size quilt, our room never looked very nice because we could no longer put the comforter on. There was just a white blanket on top. Some weeks I was in bed a lot so it didn’t make sense to even make the bed. But when I was feeling better, I was sad that I didn’t have the option. We decided to cut the quilt and sew the part we cut. When my Dad and Else were up here last month, Else helped me do that and we can now make our beds. I’m so thankful!

Here you can see part of our room. (It’s hard to get a photo because it’s so small.) You can see the beds separated and the handles on my bed. Even when my back is not hurting, I often still need them to get up as I have lost so much strength in my core. I’m thankful to have our tropical bedroom back.

Also in the bedroom, which you can’t see in the photo, is the closet, and how we had to rearrange things and put them down lower so I can reach them. I really struggle to reach above my head and it’s really painful on the right side, so that has helped a lot. There’s also a little tool to reach and grab things that is hiding in the closet and my cane is leaning in the corner just outside of the closet so I can grab it when I need it (which is not very often).

Moving on to the bathroom. Yep. The bathroom. When I came home from the hospital, I needed help getting up and down off the toilet. So we bought this lovely toilet seat.

Isn’t this beautiful? Our bathroom is the main bathroom in the hallway that we use the most. So Tom installed it there. It raised the seat about 3 inches and solved the problem. I think Tom and I were the only ones that used it. I think the girls always used the other bathroom. We soon discovered a few problems with this solution. First, there’s no lid. I’m always worried about things falling in the toilet. Yuck! Second, it doesn’t lift up, so you have to unscrew it to clean under it, which needed to be done a lot. What a pain!

We realized after a couple months this was not a good long term solution. Tom started doing some research and found out that they make toilets in different heights. So he found one that was about the same height as our toilet with this seat on it and bought it. He had some guidance from someone at church and installed it one afternoon. Our bathroom looks soooooooo much better!

I don’t have a before picture, but trust me, it wasn’t pretty. This looks so much nicer. Our other toilet was really old and probably needed to be replaced anyways. This is a great long term solution!
Tom installed a handle in the shower for me to hold on to if I feel unstable and we got a hand held shower head. (It’s is a lot nicer than the one we had before. Thanks Randy and Linda for that!)

Moving on to the last room that has a change, our front room. I found myself sitting on the bed a lot because it was the only comfortable place to sit. Someone had offered us a recliner, but I said no because I wasn’t sure it would look good in the room. I finally got tired of being away from everyone and always in the bedroom and asked if it was still available. It was. Our friends delivered it for us and it looks fine and is very comfortable. I sit in it a lot. And when I’m not in it, someone else usually is!

The chair definitely makes the room more crowded, but I’m so thankful for it. The room is in a funny layout right now because of the tree. It looks much better without the tree, but we have to have a Christmas tree!!

Well, I think that’s about it. Our home looks different, but I’m thankful we’ve been able to do it in a way the house still looks nice (since we are home constantly)!

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