Monday, June 29, 2009

I didn't go to medical school. Why is it MY decision.

The other day I vaguely recalled reading something online about Tamoxifen and surgery not being a good mix.

So I Googled it and then called the cancer clinic today and confirmed that I should stop taking Tamoxifen 2 to 3 weeks prior to any surgery because of the increased risk of blood clots. However I don't know when I am going to get called in for surgery.

I figured I could just stop taking it now to be sure. My ob/gyn tells me it's probably unnecessary to continue Tamoxifen (an anti-estrogen) after the removal of my ovaries anyway. My oncology pharmacist disagrees. He tells me that even post-menopausal women are put on tamoxifen for 2 years (rather than 5) and then switched to either --- (he mentioned a couple of drug names I didn't recognize)

Geez... breast cancer, ovaries and hysterectomies have been going on for a long time now. You'd think the ob/gyn's and oncologists would somehow be on the same page by now.

I don't want to stop taking Tamoxifen this week. I'm going on vacation this week. And I don't want to disrupt my non-cycle. For 31 years I've had a cycle you could pretty much set your watch by. And it ended abruptly on April 15th. I attribute this solely to Tamoxifen as I am much too young to be menopausal naturally. And besides I can't conjure up a hot flash if my life depended on it.

So I'll wait till I return home from Kamloops next week to disrupt my medication regime and hope I still have 3 weeks until the OR booking people call.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

You must first answer the skill testing question...

What is it with the Canadian government that requires you to answer a math question before you can be declared a winner? Like it's some big criminal offense to get something for free. Why don't they make the welfare recipients line up each month and give an answer to "what's 13 plus 7 divided by 2 times 3 minus 10". (I think that's 20)

I received a phone call this morning informing me that I should expect an email with a release form to sign and a skill-testing math question to answer and then I would be officially declared the winner of the Buckley's Ugly Face contest.

Me. The grand prize winner. L'il ol' me.

Could I win the the luxury home in a posh neighbourhood of Vancouver? Or a car? Or large sums of cash? No. I win a five year supply of Buckley's cough medicine. And an opportunity to appear in a TV commercial. I will however be remunerated "according to industry standards" depending on the nature of the said commercial.

I can just imagine it all now: Here's 20 bucks and 20 bottles of Buckleys. Enjoy.

Thinking about the whole thing kind of has me a bit freaked out and I am second guessing myself for even participating in the first place. But as my husband said, " You only live once. It's an adventure. ... and it will give you something to blog about."

So here's to adventures! And I'll try not to think about how twisted it is to be proud to be declared the ugliest face in Canada.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wanna buy a goat?

A couple of months ago I acquired a farm. Not a real farm, but a virtual green square that came with a virtual hoe and $200 virtual dollars with which to buy virtual seeds. As so began my addiction to Farmtown on Facebook.

I soon found myself planting and harvesting crops and hiring virtual strangers to work on my farm. Many Farmtown users focus on cramming as many plots of seeds and fruits trees onto their farm as possible to increase their cash flow. Cash flow was never my focus. I just wanted the prettiest farm.

I like the look of the fruit trees all laden with fruit and would instruct my virtual hired hands not to pick the fruit ... only the the vegetables. Occasionally some jerk would forge ahead and pick my fruit anyway. It takes 4 days to grow them back, so this was unforgivable. I quit hiring strangers and instead lured my friends and family into becoming farmers so I could hire trust worthy help.

I almost feel guilty that now a substantial portion of my Facebook contacts have become addicts themselves.

And now I'm getting bored with it. Oh, there are more levels I could attain. But I have my house, my barn, my river and other milestones I was aiming for. I've bought all the acreage available and I'm getting bored with endlessly plowing and planting.

My farm is as pretty as can be. I anticipate that I'll soon be moving on to other obsessions.

Anyone wanna buy a goat? Or a llama? or a chicken?

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's a "Pick your own ending" blog.

Sometimes I start a blog and then either hit a brick wall when it comes to finishing or else I get called away to do something else. Normally I would go back within a day to finish it. However I just realized I had the following blurb started a few weeks ago. I even had the title, which I often don't add until I have finished cuz I never know where my mind and fingers are going to rattle off to.
I think I was off to a pretty good start here and I can't wait to see where it leads. However I cannot for the life of me begin to imagine where I was headed with this. I cannot recall one single possible event that could have led me to this topic. But rather than just delete it, I'll post it as-is and leave it to your imagination to finish:

I tried to confess... honest I did.

Every once in a while something happens that makes you stop short in your tracks. Like looking out the window of a glass-walled condo and seeing the guy in the glass-walled condo across from you vacuuming in the buff or watching porn on TV. It makes you wonder what perhaps you have done for all the world to see with realizing it...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

That would be my reasonable recommendation.

I had my appointment with Dr Galliford, the ob/gyn, today. What a nice man.

He did his best to keep me calm and distracted while it felt like he was performing a hysterectomy right then and there on the table, armed with only a surgical glove and a colposcope. "Interesting," was his response to many of my answers to his questions that varied from, "Does this hurt?" to "What does your special needs son do during the day?" to "When did you last..."

Once I was re-dressed and sitting in a more dignified position he asked me what I was thinking I'd like to do. I resisted the urge to say, "Go home and have a shower." I responded that I wanted the whole damn mess taken out.

"That would be my reasonable recommendation." He went on to explain that even without the pain I am experiencing I would be a good candidate for a hysterectomy, given my history and the size my cysts. He says this while holding his two forefingers and thumbs in the shape of circle about the size of a softball.

I repeated the gesture back to him and said, "By doing this, do you mean that's how big they are?"

"Well. Yeah. One is slightly larger than the others, but yeah, about like that."

Well geez! It's no wonder I can no longer get any of my pants done up! And here I was blaming it on my 10lb weight gain.

Anyway, he has put me on a "semi-urgent" wait list for surgery. He figures I'll go in sometime during the summer. I'm hoping for the 7th or 8th of July so I can have 7 or 8 weeks of summer off and I'll be marginally healing by the time we go to Vivian Lake on August 1st and then I'll be back to work just in time to take a week off for the houseboat vacation I have planned for September 21st.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bev Thomson. No P.

inspiration [in-spuh-rey-shuhn] noun: 1. a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul. 2. Bev Thomson, no P.

My friend Bev impacted everyone who met her. Even if you know nothing about her, a first introduction would mean you would like her. She was funny, and accepting, talented beyond belief, she loved Jesus and she was just plain ol' real.

It has probably been about 18 years since she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. And then ovarian cancer. And then colon cancer. I never once heard her complain. She took chemo session after chemo session and surgery after surgery as if it was common to all. Of course, she wanted to live, that's why she endured the treatment, but she wasn't afraid to die. And that impacted me. Her sense of humour was amazing. She could take something so serious as cancer and lighten it up so it became a topic you could comfortably discuss. It was not unheard of for her to flop her fake boob out on the table if she thought you would be interested and/or freaked out by it. That's just the kinda girl she was. I used to tease her about being a head and a heart and an empty bag for a body cuz she'd had so many parts removed.

Truly she was a huge inspiration for me last year when I recieved my breast cancer diagnosis. She helped me to look cancer in the eye and stand tall and even laugh in its general direction. Granted, I went through nothing like she did. And I'm fairly certain I'd be wimpering in a corner somewhere had that been the case.

Bev was told a few years ago that she "was terminal." But still she lived life to the fullest.

These last few weeks various people had been taking meals out to the family. Saturday June 13th was my turn. Bev moved into Hospice House on Thursday. I decided I'd go and sit with her on Saturday. She went to sit with Jesus before I got there.

Goodbye Bev. You will be so very missed, but your fight has ended. Rest in peace.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I am not a stocker-upper kinda girl.

I don't have a dishwasher. And I don't particularly miss it. Oh, for sure I plan to put one in my kitchen when we renovate. However the kitchen renos are somewhere near 78th place on the "To Do" list.

Two years ago, the ensuite was number one on the list. And then Jed moved back from his year of living away from home and building his suite in the basement suddenly took top priority. And after a year of sharing a bathroom with him, when he moved downstairs and we got the main bathroom all to ourselves, it was almost like winning the lottery or something. I was so thrilled just to get my bathroom back that I realized that the ensuite wasn't really a "must have" I was happy enough left alone with the main bath.

Ensuite took a plunge on the top 10 jobs list. And because we are finishing up the siding after last years addition for Jed's entrance, Alb decided now would be the perfect time to expand the back deck and close it in underneath to make a garage for my car. This will mean during the winter the shop will be freed up for him to park his truck in. Needless to say, he didn't suggest this plan of action until the day after I bought him an 800 dollar remote starter for his truck because I felt sorry for him always having to park outside.

Okay this is not at all the direction I intended this blog to go. I started to tell you that I wash all my dishes by hand.

I ran out of dish soap the other day. I have been successfully putting off grocery shopping for a couple of weeks but after 2 days of washing dishes with no soap I decided I'd better deke into Costco on my way by the other day and grab a couple of things that I can no longer go without. I didn't get a cart, I just grabbed the necessary things: garbage bags, a new pair of pants and a couple of outfits for Xander and then headed to the soap aisle. Of course Costco only sells 5 litre sized containers of dish soap. Do you know how large 5 litres is?? It's big. But that's all they had and it was only 6 bucks. (I know many of you think this is normal, but I am just not a stocker-upper kinda girl. I find that I am so disorganized that I can't find things months or years later anyway, so I'm best off not to get extra and just purchase on an as needed basis)

I brought it home my huge container of soap and barely made a dent in it when I filled my little pump thingy by the sink and put the rest away in storage - wondering what the heck I was going to do with all this soap. I made myself a sandwich and sat down to Facebook for a bit.

As soon as I logged on I got a message from Jade, "Do you have any dish soap I could borrow till tonight?" Ahahahahah. I laughed out loud.

Do I have dish soap...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Xanderman can.

Who can take tomorrow, dip it in a dream
Separate the sorrow and collect up all the cream
The Xander Man, the Xander Man can
The Xander Man can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good
Yes, the Xander Man can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good

I don't have much to say. I just wanted to share my grandson with you. Little Xander has been such a blessing and joy amidst the tragedy this family has faced in the last couple of weeks.

He's so friggin' cute. And he is a smart boy. Seriously. And not only that, he just turned 3 months on the 3rd of June and he has been sleeping through the night for quite a while now.

I just love him. Can you tell?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I need more shoes.

Last year, my husband built a closet just for shoes at the back door at the bottom of the stairs. It seems there just wasn't enough room in the closet at the top of the stairs which only had 2 shelves and the shoes had to share the space with jackets and other things.

Except for the space of one pair in the upper closet and 2 pair in the lower closet the shelving is mine all mine.

As I slipped a pair of flip flops on my feet this morning I thought, "I really should get some more shoes. This bottom closet is looking really empty." But I didn't have time for new shoes today, I had too much else on my agenda.

I came home tonight after a really long day off work but jam-packed with other things. I sank into my computer chair and kicked off my shoes. As I tried to slide them out of the way, they wouldn't go anywhere so I bent to peek under my desk....

Uh yeah. I might just hold off on the shoe shopping for a bit.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Jade is a rock.

Well actually jade is a semi-precious stone. But my Jade is a rock. A precious rock.

At only 25 years old, she plays the role of matriarch in her family, and has for quite some time. She prides herself in the trait she most inherited from her mom who passed away in 2006. An open door policy. If anyone needs a place to stay, they got it. Ken and Jade's little 800 square foot house with no basement has shown more hospitality in a year and a half, than I'll probably ever extend. There are times when I am sure the people are stacked 3 deep just to make room.

And she is a peace keeper. Old and young alike come to her for guidance. They come to her in fights with others. They come to her just to escape. They come to her for support. And they come to her hoping she'll take sides. She rarely does. But she takes control.

This poor child has been through a lot in her young life. The last 2 weeks top the list. She has experienced the death, 12 days apart, of two of the closest people to her. Her sister Angie and her cousin Savoryanne who was more like a sister or even a child to to Jade. Both were in her wedding party just 10 months ago.

And the family counts on Jade to be there for everyone. And she is. But I worry. She is only 3 months into motherhood and obviously is grieving terribly herself, but she keeps on keeping on. The peace keeper, the decision maker, the guidance councilor, the rock.

God bless her abundantly. Please pray for my precious little rock.

Rest in peace Angie and Savoryanne.....

Consider Yourself Reminded.

Ten years. It's been 10 years today since I was branded with that title that no-one ever wants to wear. That is until you receive it. ...