Friday, December 30, 2005
Thursday, December 29, 2005
The younger one, D, is quite the ice cube connoisseur and left his mark both acoustically and olfactorily when he let a fart fly that would have made a trucker proud. Needless to say I was charmed almost completely out of my whole Oreo supply.
Yoshi behaved completely opposite to habit and not only came out to be social but even let the kid and adult visitors pet her. Considering I was almost expecting bloodshed during this visit her soft fuzzy side scared the shit out of me. I am not at all thinking that this uncharacteristic behaviour is permanent as it is her habit to psych me out with these strange personality changes. It is only part of her charm. She is a sneaky one.
Long ago when Mrs. B was pregnant with D she asked me to be her doula. This was a somewhat modified position as most doulas help with the new baby. Since I hold a deep fear of babies and, in fact, all children under the age of 10 my duties were more along the lines of a Brady Bunch Alice character. I was told it was not necessary to wear a blue uniform even though I really wanted to. Mrs. B called me her wife. I came to stay for about ten days at a time and then went home for four days. This went on for about three months.
Mrs. B had to have a caesarian and then that became badly infected. She was managing an apartment complex at the time and her husband worked a full time job as well as went to university full time. Obviously they needed some help around the house. G was about 3 ½ years old and still a handful. My duties were to help clean, do shopping and laundry, make meals and pick up G from daycare.
I am a somewhat queasy soul and have been accused of being obsessively fastidious along the lines of Felix Unger in ferocity. While I never had any kind of diaper duty I have to admit I was mentally challenged daily by the sheer volume of mucus, urine and fecal matter involved in the upbringing of spawn. My previously unchallenged immune system was put into overdrive, then pooped out entirely and I was almost constantly sick with some sort of viral or bacterial infection. It became a family joke that I was probably best suited to life in a bubble; perpetual singledom devoid of all human contact.
Funny jokes at my expense aside I enjoyed my time hanging out with Mrs. B’s family and I still believe I was more of a hindrance than a help. I am not much of a cook at all and spent a great deal more time in bed with strep than doing laundry or cleaning kitchens. Mrs. B has a wicked sense of humour and there were many laughs and funny moments. But it is G who is responsible for the best story from that time and it came up in conversation last night.
One night I was compiling all the ingredients for a make-your-own-pizza meal. Little G came up to me and asked me what was for supper. I told him he had to guess but he was at a loss and needed a hint:
Me: It is your favourite food and it is round.
Little G: Corn?
Me: Nope. It begins with the letter P.
Little G: Ummmmmm…PORN?
I am the cool Auntie Kranki but not that cool.
A picture of me taken by G.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
What happened is that my computer (AKA-the external bodily organ) got a nasty Trojan type virus on Christmas Eve. I simply visited a well known blogger’s website and that cyber bastard launched itself at my vulnerable neck and chomped down. Now, I have excellent anti-virus software that automatically updates itself so I did everything I could do short of avoiding the internet altogether to play it safe. Yes, the software did alert to the virus but did not stop the infection. Too little too late. I was computer-less for THREE WHOLE DAYS!!!
So most of my Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day was spent trying to save something of my files before my computer burst into flame. I was entirely unsuccessful.
No, I did not have updated backup files of my all too important computer contents and I don’t want any grief on that. I have learned my lesson blah blah blah…
Fortunately my brother is a Microsoft Engineer and saved the day. Not before he pulled my chain causing my blood pressure to skyrocket and my sanity to ooze out of my nose. My brother believes that I am perfectly capable of solving all my computer woes myself. And I have to admit that when he has refused to help me troubleshoot some issue I have managed to fix it myself. Usually after several hours of research and angst knowing full well he could have done it in a few minutes. But I have learned not to ask for help unless I have thoroughly done my part to fix the problem. Fair enough even though I have never taken a computer class in my life except for that one about Word. But my computer was frozen. My computer was toast. All my business plan research was on there not to mention 2 years of precious Yoshi photos. I couldn’t do anything and I tried EVERYTHING. So I called The Bro for assistance fully expecting for him to blow me off. An assumption based on the fact he told me on Christmas day not to call him about anything. However, he came through for me and when I showed up on his doorstep with my computer in my arms he whipped out those fix-it discs and had saved my important files and reformatted my computer in less than 2 hours. Whew!
Yet this worry and helplessness was a terrible feeling. Probably because I have had to deal with feeling helpless about my cancer and health for months now. Long term helplessness compounded with sudden and acute helplessness has thrown me for a loop. I am exhausted. I need a holiday from this holiday.
So despite the fact that my Christmas was wonderful when I think back on this holiday season it will always be The Christmas The Internet Ate My Computer.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Crushed by the Holiday Spirit.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all. Yoshi and I wish you nothing but joy and fun and delicious food and lots of catnip. And naps. Lots of naps.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
There are many reasons why I cannot type speedily or accurately and all of these reasons are entirely my fault.
I was a difficult teenager. I was not a troublemaker or a juvenile delinquent. Alas I emerged from puberty without a criminal record or any bodily scars. My main problem was that I was mouthy and full of a lot of opinions. Basically I was full of shit.
When I was a teenager waaay back in the 80’s personal computers were very rare and computer science was not yet offered at school. When I was a teenager the only reason you learned to type was to become a secretary. Or at least that is what I thought. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I would vacillate wildly between being a Rolling Stone photographer to just skipping the media part altogether and being a rock star. Never mind that I didn’t play an instrument or sing well. In my mind this occupation was entirely possible and I only really needed a couple guitar lessons at some point. I also wanted to be a fashion designer, professionally jet set and hang around the beautiful people. For a living.
My parents, trying to keep me within the earth’s atmosphere, would tell me that having some secretarial skills wouldn’t be a bad idea. Something to fall back on. Well, way to harsh my mellow! My mom was a secretary and she had to have normal hair and wear tweed type clothing and be pleasant to people. There was no way you would find me working out of a cubicle. NO WAY, MAN!
So I did the only thing I could do to completely eradicate any chance of me accidentally finding myself taking messages for The Man. I decided not to learn any secretarial skills at all if I could possibly help it.
I did take a typing class in tenth grade and managed to still pass while not learning the layout of the keyboard at all. In fact I am entirely uncertain how I didn’t fail that class completely. It is possible that my teacher took pity on me. Probably it was that he simply didn’t care that much.
You see, Mr. McCracken, my ‘Business Education” instructor was a very young and new teacher. He was also pretty good looking. Not to me as I didn’t go for that Magnum PI cheesy moustache sort of guy but most of the other young ladies in his classes mooned over him most shamefully. And he LOVED it. I don’t think he even noticed that I was sucking so badly at my keyboard skill exercises. In reality I spent most classes watching him flirt back to his 16 year old female students. Or I simply goofed off.
Mr. McCrackin wore Miami Vice coloured clothes and drove a Mercedes convertible sports car. His fan club would often follow him out of the classroom escorting him to his ride and wave hysterically as he drove off every afternoon. There was always lots of giggling and flipping of hair in his presence. Oh, gag me with an IBM Selectric.
His popularity waned once he brought his young and beautiful girlfriend to co-chaperone the Valentine’s Day dance. She had long blonde hair and wore a pastel coloured twin set. Together they looked like a couple of Kennedys, all bright and shiny and perfect. The entire female student body was seething by the end of the night. Maybe even a few of the teachers too.
But I digress…
I emerged from high school utterly type challenged and completely unsuited for any kind of clerical work. Mwahahaha. I love it when plan comes together.
Then personal computers started becoming more common (who knew!?) and my parents got a DOS unit in the house. Even then I managed to avoid learning to type, as working one of those beasts was not merely inputting an essay but filled with weird function keys and strange alphabetical equations. My mom was an expert and as such typed all my art history papers through two years of art school. The next two years of jewellery school I got my roommate to type my assignments out at her job when she was bored, as we didn’t have computer in our bachelorette pad. Pretty sneaky on my part. I think I convinced her that doing this for me would be good practise as she was learning to type herself at the time. Very handy! And I remained a typing virgin.
After graduation I got my first Mac and got email and discovered that I was completely screwed. There were all my friends and family communicating like busy little bees while I laboured and sweated over a sentence or two. IMing was out of the question.
Ten years later nothing has really changed except that my speed has increased just a little. My fingers flail around uncontrollably and if it weren’t for spell check my correspondence would resemble a kindergartener’s diary. Secretly, it is really embarrassing. Outwardly, I put on a brave face to the world and loudly proclaim my ass backwards technique to be just part of my charm. Yeah, as charming as a fart in church. Cringe worthy.
I have tried a few typing tutorials downloaded off the internet and quickly realised that teaching an old dog new tricks is not only slow but painfully boring. I can actually feel my brain shudder as my motor skills are challenged and new synapses are formed. Faced with those sensations I usually decide pretty quickly that my hardwood floors need to be detailed or my socks need ironing and abandon the lesson.
So I am not a professional photographer or the next bassist for Hole or even a jet setter. I am not a secretary either. I am simply a bad typer and far too humiliated to confess how long it took me to write this post. There were 23 spelling mistakes though.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I have been soooo busy the last couple of days I haven’t had the time to blog properly. I went to a Christmas Party/Gathering type thingy on Sunday night and woke up with the most terrible hangover Monday morning that incapacitated me all day. This hangover was very strange, as I didn’t drink a drop O’ The Booze. Or even eat any food. Only Diet Coke for me. What made me so terribly sick was all the second hand smoke I breathed in all night. I must be a delicate flower after all my treatments or something as not only was it vile at the time but it was the gift that kept on giving after the fact.
The good news is that my friends totally spoiled Yoshi and me rotten. They are really good to me.
Then today was a doctor appointment and then some grocery shopping and last minute Christmas baking at my mom and dad’s house. My mom and I really zoned out this year. Normally we send a Christmas package full of yummy treats to my cousin Lbo and her kids in Alberta. This year her military husband is in Afghanistan and we sent him a huge Christmas goody package very early. So somehow, in our minds, we thought we were done. Suddenly the other day it occurred to me that we needed to compile another one for the rest of the family. DER! We did that all tonight in a marathon cooking spree.
So there you go. I am feeling pretty good energy-wise and making sure all my appointments allow me sleep-in time. That seems to do the trick. Yoshi has been having loads of fun delicately and methodically ripping all the bows off of all the presents under the tree. She has also taken to dragging the gifts all over the house by their ribbons. I am continuously yelling at her to LEAVE THAT ALONE!!! She is evil.
Tomorrow evening I have some extra time so I will visit all your blogs then and catch up on comments. I will also catch up on commenting on all the comments you have left for me over the last few days. I will also try to think up something witty to post. Honestly, I will try.
Thanks for being so patient with me. I am a slow typer so getting all that accomplished might take some time but I will get it done.
How are your holiday preparations unfolding?
Friday, December 16, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
OK. First of all I have to totally apologise for not posting the last couple of days. Secondly I have to totally apologise for not commenting on your blogs. Thirdly I have to totally apologise for posting a whiney and snivelly entry today.
Let the complaining begin…
I spent the ENTIRE day yesterday running around town to no less than three different doctor’s appointments as well as one icky procedure involving needles. Between these appointments I managed to get a little bit of Christmas shopping done complete with the prerequisite second thoughts and over-spending. I also managed to wrap all these gifts with flair if not neatness. After that I made myself an exotic meal and revamped my resume for an upcoming project I will have to tell you about later. This is all about the complaining now. Potential cool stuff will be revealed in the near future.
All together I was on the road from 10 am to 7 pm and then busy at home after until past midnight. There were no naps, which makes for a very grumpy and sleepy Kranki.
Then today I discovered that along with eerily clear skin (sadly temporary) and excess bloat (sadly permanent) I seem to have developed another odd new side effect from chemo. I have suddenly become mentally inflexible and highly resistant to sudden change. Today, while I was further revamping my resume, waiting impatiently for the post man to show up for a parcel pick-up, doing several loads of laundry, washing my floors, reading blogs and doing Christmas cooking I received a phone call. This call came in at about 4:30 pm. It was the hospital where I will be getting my surgery done this January. They told me I needed to come in for a pre-admissions check up before my surgery. “No problem!” I say. Well, they want me to come in tomorrow at 2pm. FOR 2 HOURS! Nice warning, guys! Right smack in the middle of tomorrow, my carefully detailed and planned down to the very second day that requires me to battle city centre traffic as well as make it to a neighbouring town in the midst of Friday afternoon rush hour along with waiting in line at the post office and, of course, doing further Christmas shopping not forgetting accomplishing a couple merchandise returns in addition to trying to locate a suitable refrigerator to replace the one in my kitchen that is freezing everything. Oh yes, my day is TOTALLY FUCKED!
This change of plans is really messing with my head. All of a sudden my stress level is through the roof. I guess I could do the fridge thing on Monday. I suppose I could do some more Christmas shopping this weekend (GAH!). In a pinch I could avoid the downtown core altogether until next week. But the fact remains that I made a list and now, dammit, everything is messed up.
So much for resting and gathering my strength. I am exhausted just thinking about all this. There is just too much for one pooped and/or fatigued gal to do.
I need a wife.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Most of you know that I finished my radiation therapy last Wednesday. I am pretty happy to have this part behind me, as I was getting rather crispy. This means that I am officially through with my treatment. What surgeries I have ahead of me are more preventive. This is also the case with the medication I will have to take.
When I think of my treatments being over my first reaction is one of relief and happiness. I mean because, really, they sucked. But that is quickly overshadowed by feelings of unease and worry. When I was diagnosed with cancer my immediate thought was, “What do I have to do to get rid of it?” I am a pretty proactive person. Now that my treatments are over I feel at a loss. Like I should be doing something. While chemo and radiation are very aggressive treatments somehow I can’t help but wonder if they are enough. Like I should have to do more drastic things to get rid of the cancer. Like maybe this is a bit too easy.
Of course then I immediately think that I am being silly. Who would want to wish nastier treatments for themselves? And I really don’t. Mostly I just don’t want to go through this again. So I am torn between celebrating and fretting. Fortunately for me I have heard this is pretty normal. Yet it is still conflicting.
So no parties or celebrations at the Krankipad but I did completely poop out staying in my pjs from Wednesday night to Sunday afternoon. Frankly I am feeling pretty tired and just don’t really want to do anything. I don’t know if I am just exhausted from all the treatments or mentally flattened by all the stress. Probably a bit of both. So for now I am laying low and spending some quality time with my couch. I had hoped I would start to get my motivation back to start doing exercising tapes and cleaning my apartment and doing more Christmas shopping but I just can’t seem to get going on that. Maybe I am being too hard on myself and need some down time. Or maybe I need to channel my inner gymnast and kick my own self in the ass.
So next on the Breast Cancer Agenda is my bilateral mastectomy on January 23rd, 2006. At this time they will put in tissue expanders to make room for implants. This Wednesday I see my chemo oncologist for a check up and I believe she will prescribe some sort of estrogen inhibitor or Tamoxifen. I have no idea what kind of side effects are in store for me but I think overall I will feel better about doing something to keep this crappy cancer away.
So there you go. Nothing about Yoshi.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Name - Linus
Secret Actual Name - Tennis Ball Head (there is a song that goes with this name)
Name According To FM - Hey! Hey! Linus!
Prior Name - Sparky (when I got him from the humane society)
Generic Nickname - CatHead
Nickname When Bad - FurFace
Nickname When Playing With Cat Toy - KittySlut/BabyCats
Nickname When Sitting - RegalCat
Nickname When Agitated - SwishyTail
Nickname When Walking On Me In Bed At 4:00 AM - Dammit! Stop That! (he also likes to nibble feet)
Nickname Reflecting How Cat Came To Be In My Possession - Old Man (they thought he was too old to be adopted – he was 1 yr old)
Name – Yoshi
Secret Actual Name – Miss Smellie Buminski
Name AccordingTto My Dad – Sausage
Prior Name – Didn’t have one as she was gotten as a wee kiddee. But we did think she was a boy. Hence Yoshi which actually means “Favourite Son’ in Japanese.
Generic Nicknames - Bubs, Bubby, Bubby Loo, Monkey, Miss Monkey, Chunky Monkey, Fatty
Names When Bad – Fucker, Little Shit
Nicknames When Playing With Cat Toy – Freakshow, Savage, The Player
Nickname When Sitting – Miss Thang
Nickname When Agitated – Fart In A Windstorm
Nickname When Walking On Me In Bed At 4AM – Diggy Diggy
Nickname Reflecting How The Cat Came To Be In My Possession – Birthday Gift From Hell
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
I saw a young woman sitting in the radiation waiting room wearing a hospital gown. She had the same very short hair as I do which leads me to believe she had just gone through chemo. She looked to be in her mid twenties. And she was holding a tiny baby.
Monday, December 05, 2005
When I completed my chemo I went to the local cupcake store and got a dozen gourmet treats to take to the chemo nurses. Yes, there is a gourmet cupcake store in my neighbourhood and yes, it is appropriately called Cupcakes. These concoctions are very sweet with gobs of buttery icing in girlie colours. The chemo nurses loved the treats and I was really happy to bring them some. I was thinking of doing the same thing for the radiotherapists as I really feel like I have gotten to know a few of them with my daily visits. One of them actually only lives a couple blocks from me so we talk about the neighbourhood haunts. This is how I came to learn that she hates these cupcakes. It also turns out that she and some other radiotherapists have gone on a total dietary detox. Their plan was to go completely dairy, wheat and sugar free for a few months before Christmas and then “retox” for the holidays. At this time they all are still on their diet. Therefore at this time I am totally fucked for a yummy thank-you giftie.
After much thought I have decided the only thing I can think of that can offer these dietary heathens an opportunity for yumminess but still provide sugary treats for the regular folks is to load up a Starbucks card so each of them can take it on their break for a caffeine free soy latte or a double sweet hot chocolate depending on their preferences.
What do you think of this idea?
Is it too impersonal or a good giftie compromise that makes everybody happy?
Saturday, December 03, 2005
I totally know better than to watch an animal type film in the theatre as I will weep copiously though it. I saw an advertisement for that penguin movie on DVD the other day and I know I will have to watch this thing at home because I will cry like a beauty pageant winner. I have such empathy for animals. I feel what they feel. Their triumphs are my triumphs. Their hairballs are my hairballs.
While I love all animals, even the ugly ones, I have a particular affinity for elephants. I don’t know why for sure but I suspect there was some sort of past life experience involved. It literally breaks my heart to see elephants performing in circuses. I hate that they use any animal in circuses but when they use that hook thingy to make elephants to do unnatural behaviours it is all I can do not to take that hook thingy an employ it on that trainer’s ass in a vigorous and imaginative way.
A few years ago I saw a documentary called “The Urban Elephant” which was not only moving but also very educational. On this show they featured an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee that offers a home to sick, needy and abused elephants. They actively rescue elephants as well as accept the requests of circuses and zoos that can no longer care for their elephants. They do very good work and have created miraculous recoveries with elephants who are both physically and emotionally unwell.
It is called aptly The Elephant Sanctuary and Carol Buckley and Scott Blais who have literally dedicated their lives to saving elephants run it. I have a link on my blog to their site and maybe some of you have gone there for a visit. Their elephants roam free on thousands of acres of land and no longer have to perform. They don’t even allow people to come and view the elephants. However, you can do this via the ELEcam, which they have set up so that you can see what the elephants are doing all over the property. They have a nice warm barn that the elephants have free access to if they want the shelter. Most prefer to stay out all night on the property. The staff uses ATVs to bring out food to the beasties so they don’t have to leave their resting places to eat. They call these forays Grocery Runs. They even go to the elephants to give them their naturopathic foot soaks as most of their residents have horrible foot problems due to standing on cement for most of their lives. Teva even made shoes for the elephants who needed them for comfort. How freaking cool is that?
These elephants have created strong family bonds with each other. They are all female and no breeding is done there. And you can read all about then on the ELEdiary complete with written entries and photos of The Girls. I LOVE this site!
Recently the USDA faulted a guy who rents elephants to circuses for profit who abused his animals and exposed his whole herd to TB. This a very dangerous disease for elephants and by this guy’s negligence loads of circus going people have been exposed to it as via these poor elephants when they watch them perform. Not cool. Finally after months of negotiating The Elephant Sanctuary has been awarded custody of nine of these sick elephants and they will be transferred to the brand new barn where they will have to be isolated for a year while they undergo treatment for their TB.
I highly recommend you guys check out this site. View the ELEcam and see The Girls having fun in the pond or the dust bowl. I am pretty smug over the fact that I can almost identify each of The Girls by their body shape. Hey! I have had a lot of spare time lately.
I don’t like to ask for your guys’ help but these cool people need some funds to move the new elephants to their new home (and let me tell you watching them arrive and discover their new homes via the ELEcam is seriously moving) and could use a hand. Check out their store and see if any of their products would make good Christmas gifts. I sent out their Christmas cards last year and they were a hit. Or if you have a spare couple of bucks after all your shopping (I know I am asking a lot) and are looking for a place that needs it please consider them.
Or just check out the ELEdiary and read about these very amazing animals. Their names are Tarra, Sissy, Winkie, Delhi, Bunny (AKA: The Elusive Bunny), Jenny, Shirley, Misty, Tange, Zula and Flora. The new additions are Lottie, Minnie, Sue, Liz, Ronnie, Frieda, Billie, Debbie and Queenie.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Today is my Momma’s birthday. She turns 72. Now I know she is going to be pretty pissed about me telling you all her age but I think she should be bragging about it as she looks pretty damned fine for 72. Don’t you think so? Happy Birthday Mom Poo!
As well as it being my Mom’s birthday it is also my parent’s anniversary. My mom cleverly got married on her birthday so my dad would never forget their anniversary. At least that is what I accuse her of doing. So today they have been married 48 years. Yet another thing to be proud of. Happy Anniversary you whippersnappers.
I also want to blog some good wishes to my very good friend Pablo who had surgery yesterday. It was his very first surgical experience and he was very nervous. I have had a few surgeries so I was giving him the low down on what to expect. I mentioned to him that with all the codeine painkillers he might have to take it was possible that he could get constipated. I mean what are friends for but to warn about stuff like that. So I told him he could get stool softeners. He was horrified and didn’t believe that such things existed. I assured him I was not bullshitting him in any way and that he would really benefit having something like that on hand just in case. He asked me where he could get some. I told him from any drug store. Again he was disbelieving that such a thing had been offered in pharmacies without his knowledge. He asked me what they were called. I said, “STOOL SOFTENERS, FREAKY!” He said, “No no! I mean in French.” You see, Pablo lives in Montreal. Why he would ask me, the Anglophile who knows no French, is beyond me. However trying to be helpful I replied, “Kaka Mush Mush.” Said with a French accent, of course.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Yoshi even got into the groove and helped me by decorating the tree with one of her toys. Not one of the fancy expensive toys I bought her but the ribbon from a chocolate box that she loves and carries around with her everywhere. What a typical kid.
Once again I bite my own self in the butt. I was feeling all smug as my booby skin has been very good despite four weeks of radiation. I was thinking that I was a young gal with sexy elastic skin due to the fact that I am pasty and stay out of the sun. I thought I wouldn’t have any issues at all with the radiation. Well, this weekend everything changed. Very suddenly things are quite crispy. My skin is red and patchy and very sore. Certain “bits” are peeling and burnt. I am a little grossed out. According to the radiotherapist my skin is actually doing quite well as many ladies have open sores at this point. I am not that bad but I am feeling it now. Tonight I showed my mom my chesticle and she freaked a lot. I guess I didn’t realise how gruesome it actually was.
No, I am going to spare you a photo of my cinderous breast. Don’t even ask.
Just keep your fingers crossed that it doesn’t fall off before I am finished with my treatment. I have 6 sessions to go.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Tuesday night we had a strange power surge in our area, which knocked out my cable. For me that means both my TV and Internet went down AT THE SAME TIME!!! Fortunately I was saved from certain spontaneous combustion by the fact that I had a very good book to read. Yesterday I had three doctor appointments in three different parts of town and I also went to visit my parents since they are missing me now that they no longer have to come over to help me out everyday as they did during the chemo months. They fed me and I got home very late.
So that is why I have not posted for a while. Rest assured, I missed you all.
I had a highly productive day, today, as far as kicking ass. It started early this morning as I was driving to my radiation appointment. I should preface this by saying that this week has been particularly heinous as far as traffic infractions are concerned. I don’t know what is going on but I have had so many near misses where either somebody has nearly hit me or done something really dangerous near me. I am lucky to be in one piece. Along with threats of actual bodily harm I have also had to suffer with some serious annoying behaviour. Specifically really slow old people.
This morning was the third day this week I was trapped behind an old person driving in the Cancer Clinic parking building. This structure is six level floors joined by very steep access ramps. This morning I once again found myself behind an old lady in a big gas-guzzling car that was going ½ MPH through the parkade. I have to admit I am usually in a chronic hurry at the clinic as I try to get there right on the dot to avoid waiting in the waiting room which I hate as well as excessive parking costs. So being behind a fogy can really fuck up my day.
I cannot begin to explain, although I will try, how excruciating it is for me. I bet I could saunter in stilettos faster than this lady was driving. The worst part was when I was attempting to ascend the steep ramps, fighting the effects of gravity while trying not to rear end her car. I could hear my clutch weeping over my bellows of, “GGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! GGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”
I then had a “discussion” with the parkade attendant over the fact that he was charging me for a full hour of parking even though I waited about 10 minutes in line waiting to pay which made me go over the half hour cut-off by 3 minutes. I changed his mind. I also had Henry Rollins raging on my car stereo, which might have added to the pressure.
I returned home to witness the ongoing battle of wills and garbage between the house next door and the house where I live. There is a bizarre history of recycling box theft that strangely coincides with my downstairs neighbour’s parties. We have “lost” two other recycling boxes in the last 4 months alone. I guess they could have been stolen by some needy passer-by however our neighbours have had the same recycling box since Jesus walked this earth. How come their blue box never goes missing? Hmmmm?
What happens is Dude Downstairs has a get-together usually culminating on the front porch, which disturbs the whole neighbourhood. Instead of the cops being called or a complaint made directly to the disturbee or landlord what occurs is that our recycling box goes missing the following garbage day. It is uncanny. Dude Downstairs had another gathering this Sunday so I suspected that our boxes would disappear today and I was not wrong. I came home and saw one of our two boxes in our neighbour’s yard. I ran upstairs to get my camera so I could take evidential photos and to my glee when I returned downstairs the next-door neighbour, Boris, was just pulling up in his car. With new adrenaline refreshing my parkade jolt I approached the thief.
“Why is our recycling box in your yard?”
“I don’t know.”
“Did you know that our boxes go missing all the time? Do you know anything about that?”
“I don’t know.”
“Have you seen the other recycling box? There is another one still missing.”
“I don’t know.”
“Are you sure you have no idea why our boxes go missing all the time?”
“I don’t know”
Scintillating conversation. I marched into his yard and collected our bin. Total fucker.
Right after, my crackling rage motivated me to get out and take a walk. Even better, a walk to the sushi restaurant for a nice lunch. I had kicked ass after all and stood up to The Man. Sashimi was required if not mandatory.
Approaching me and my continuing hatred on the street was a rather large burly guy walking his dog. Not just any dog but a little tiny Yorkie. This little tiny Yorkie had a rather short haircut, which necessitated the use of a coat. But not just any doggy coat but an eeensy teensy shearling coat. Double breasted. With eensy teensy WEEENSY patch pockets.
My heart shattered into goo. My rage, hatred and loathing were no match for the brilliance of patch pockets on a double-breasted shearling doggy coat.
Monday, November 21, 2005
I was feeling a bit guilty about the possibility of not posting today but I guess nothing new and exciting is a good thing when healing from cancer. So I am just going to feel good about the lack of excitement.
Instead I am posting a couple photos of my jewellery.
This ring was the very first ring I ever made in school.
This is a broach I made in the style of Francis Bacon. We could interpret this style any way we wanted. I took a more literal route.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Today was an exception to the rule as for the most part I almost look forward to going to The Cancer Clinic as the staff is always super nice. They really go out of their way to make your time there pleasant.
I go to radiation everyday and if there is a new technician helping out that day they ALWAYS introduce themselves to me. I am truly terrible with remembering names but I really like this practise. There are a couple techs that I see almost every time and we are on very friendly terms now. You have to remember that I only get to talk to them while they are setting me up for my radiation and that takes no time at all. Despite our brief meetings we talk about good restaurants and exchange book titles and authors we have enjoyed. I learn what everybody gets up to on the weekends and how the shopping trip went on their day off.
While I was waiting in the chemo ward waiting room I got to see how the nurses there interacted with their patients. When I was going though chemo I have to admit I was pretty high on Ativan to deal with my anxiety. I don’t remember much about my chemo sessions. Today I was amazed to see that each nurse came out and personally got their patients from the waiting room. They greeted them warmly and introduced themselves. Often I heard them say, “I remember you from several weeks ago. How are you doing?” They were so unbelievably kind every single time. Then to further emphasise how cool these nurses were this one nurse who I had a couple times during my treatment saw me and waved. She called out, “Hi S****! Look at your hair! How are you doing?” Right after that another nurse who also treated me a couple times saw me and came over and said the same thing, teasing me that my hair was almost longer than hers. She remembered my name too. My last treatment was at the beginning of September! I have to admit I don’t remember their names. It was very touching that they not only recognised me but also recalled my name after all this time. I can assure you I was not particularly chatty or had any significant interactions with them that would make me more memorable. They are just cool that way. When you think they have four patients in their treatment rooms rotating every couple of hours they must see a lot of people in their day. Really amazing.
The other thing that I think is really excellent about the chemo ward is that they have an area in the waiting room where you can get iced water or make yourself coffee or tea. They also have this cute young guy in a little blue smock that has a trolley and he goes from chemo room to chemo room offering beverages and cookies. He also visits the waiting room and spreads the hospitality. It is like our very own cancer flight attendant. I think this is a nice extra touch.
While I was waiting there was a lady who came in for her chemo who was obviously very ill. The waiting room contains regular chairs as well as couches and recliners. This lady sat on a couch and asked the receptionist for a pillow. The woman unhooked herself from her phone set-up and got this tired woman a pillow and a blanket so she could lie down on the couch while she waited for her chemo.
So what I am trying to say is that these nurses, technicians and support staff really go out of their way to make a scary and unpleasant time the best that it can be. They make the extra effort to interact and form a relationship with their patients. They do this on top of giving great medical care. The job isn’t easy by any stretch with late shifts and difficult, both emotional and physical, working conditions.
If you are in the unfortunate position to be receiving medical care and you have a good experience please make sure you thank those people who treated you right. If you are healthy and well go visit Spoonleg, our resident Blogville nurse and give her a shout out for her hard work. That gal is working her ass off at the hospital as well as grad school. Hug your health care provider today!
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
I got out of the house for an official “Night Out” on Monday to see my boyfriend, Henry Rollins, do a spoken word gig. I call Mr. Rollins my boyfriend because I am sad and alone and he is whom I would consider the perfect guy for me. He is smart, funny, passionate about what he does and away a lot of the time on tour. I am a gal her likes her space so that is just great for me. I try to take a person each time that doesn’t know anything about Henry Rollins so that I can spread the joy. I took my mom with me this time. I have to admit that I had some doubts that she would like Henry but she did, in fact, laugh quite a bit. Fortunately he didn’t go too into his masturbatory practises like he has in past shows. He didn’t talk too much about punk music this time either so she wasn’t lost with that. He ranted about US politics which I love as I enjoy his version of things and his ideas on how to change the status quo. Don’t get him started about the war in Iraq. He does many USO tours in the areas where most celebrities fear to tread. He talks the talk but walks the walk as well.
I was hoping to take a surreptitious photo for your viewing pleasure but while in line we got a stern talking to by a security dude who looked like he ate steroids for breakfast. If we were to take a photo of Hank we would be thrown out. End of story. And I saw it happen too. Somebody took a photo near me with her cell phone without a flash and she was picked up physically and carried out of the theatre. Zowie! We were searched for contraband before going in and my mom, who turns 72 at the end of the month, gamely offered her purse for the search as well as assumed the pat down stance, arms out and legs spread. She was let off the hook and told by the rent-a-cop that she didn’t look like a troublemaker. I told her she should get drunk and rowdy at the bar and then heckle Henry and prove them wrong. All 5’3” of her standing up and yelling, “FUCKER!”
But it was a tiring night out for me and I went straight home and to bed where I dreamed about Henry falling in love with my mom, the badass heckler.
Monday, November 14, 2005
When I was in Grade 1 (we don’t say first grade in Canada but Grade 1) and about six years old I had a school friend by the name of Patrick O’Connor. Quite a common name so I won’t bother to change it to protect anybody’s privacy. Besides, it is a really cute story.
Anyway, I considered him my friend and not my boyfriend as my real school crushes were on this kid named Sebastian who I flirted madly with in a typical childhood fashion by ignoring him, avoiding him at all costs and never speaking a word to him if I possibly could help it. I still flirt this way because I believe in finding something that works dismally for you and sticking to it. I also LOVED LOVED LOVED Mr. Hawthorne who taught Grade 5. I just couldn’t wait to get to that grade so I could gaze upon his face ALL DAY LONG! That dream was never realised as we moved out of the neighbourhood in the middle of grade 4 and I never saw him again.
Anyway, I considered Patrick a regular friend and had great fun playing at his house as he had guinea pigs. I loved guinea pigs and wanted one soooo badly. This also was never to be as my mom decided guinea pigs were just a little too close to rats and thereby dirty and not allowed near her house. Not only did Patrick have two guinea pigs but they were male and female so he ALWAYS had little eensty teensy baby guinea pigs that were soooooo cute to play with. Anyway, while we did play at Patrick’s house a few times he especially loved to play at my house more. When I would beg to play with the tiny guinea pigs he would always overrule me and we would go to my house instead to play dress-up, his favourite game in the whole wide world. You see, Patrick’s most favourite thing to do was dress up like a ‘lady’ complete with high heels and lipstick. My mom was quite the fashionista so my dress-up box was full of fabulous frilly things as well as blonde wigs and hairpieces. While dressing up was fun it sometimes got to be a drag (!) as Patrick always had to be the prettiest girl in the group and would be bossy over wearing the most dramatic scarves, the silkiest slips and the highest heels.
He eventually got nosey and raided my mom’s closet, flipping through the hangars giving a running commentary on what was ‘boootiful’ and what wasn’t. My babysitter was mostly preoccupied with my little brother and never seemed to care that this little boy would be prancing around the house with the rest of us girls in my mom’s frocks and stilettos. Maybe she never noticed he was a boy in the first place. I am not sure. But eventually my mom saw him and got a little upset telling me that he was NOT be dressing up in her clothes anymore. I didn’t want to tell him to stop as I thought that conflicted with my upbringing on being a good little hostess. But mom’s word was final and bad hostess I was. After that it was no longer fun for him to play with me so he eventually stopped coming over.
One day, for some reason or another that I cannot remember, before he was cut off from his ladies’ fashion supply he took me aside and very chastely kissed me on the cheek. Once again I didn’t think much of it as he was, at this point, just one of the girls but somebody must have seen it happen as the very next day drawn on the schoolyard wall was a HUGE heart with his and my name in it. Our full names so nobody could get us confused with anybody else in the school. I was MORTIFIED!!! First of all how did this graffiti artist find out our names? I knew it was a much older kid as the printing was very neat and there were no spelling mistakes. Secondly, why did they even care? We were just a couple of the youngest kids in the school. I was very shy and not popular. I flew under the radar most of the time. And I was most definitely not in love with Patrick. They were perpetuating a filthy lie! Thirdly, Mr. Hawthorne and Sebastian would see it thereby ruining any chance I had of marrying them when I grew up. OH NO! I would have to ignore and avoid them much harder now to show them how much I really cared.
Within a few days the school custodian painted over the heart and my life returned to normal. Patrick moved away soon after and I never really gave him another thought. That is until I grew up, met my first drag queens and started thinking…
Friday, November 11, 2005
I really hate the TV news media sometimes. They were interviewing this old guy who survived some serious battles in WW2. He was telling the reporter who was interviewing him at the memorial at Victory Park that he had been badly wounded when a mortar shell exploded close to him causing him to lose an eye and nearly lose his leg. He said that he shook his fist at the enemy and said they wouldn’t get rid of him that easy. He went on to say that this day was very important to him, as he had lost his two brothers in the war. He then became overwhelmed and started to cry. And what did the cameraman do? He zoomed in for an extreme close up of this guy losing it. Assholes. Not cool.
My dad is a total war buff and is a big fan of WW2 aviation. He makes these amazing models of WW2 planes that are so excruciatingly detailed he even paints mud and oil splatters on them. It is pretty cool. I tease him about this sometimes, as he is the King of Tease and taught me well but his interest in this time in history is only natural result as he experienced war first hand.
My dad was born in London in 1930 and grew up during WW2. His house was bombed and they lost everything. Fortunately they were not home at the time. The neighbours were not so lucky and they all died in the explosion. An aerodome was close by so the area was a prime target. Dad saw all sorts of planes flying overhead and, like a lot of young boys, fell in love with it all. I am glad he got a love of aviation out of the experience opposed to sadness from all the bad and scary memories.
My grandfather, his dad, was too old to serve in the war but he was an engineer on the railway as well as part of the home guard. He had lived through WW1 as a teenager and his dad, my great grandfather, died fighting in that war. He was a very promising cricket player in his county and volunteered to fight even though he was too old to be conscripted. I can only imagine how my grandfather felt when WW2 came along well knowing what his son, my dad, might experience.
So today I thought about my cousin’s husband who is in Afghanistan right now. And I thought about war in general. I decided that I couldn’t even imagine what the whole experience was like. And that is the whole point. Those men and woman participated in the hellish experience of war so that I would only have to try to imagine it.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
The guys didn’t have cute Sean Cassidy feathered bowl cuts but nasty long feathers like this. They scared me.
On the other hand my high school was a fashion island in the ocean of 1987. You see, my school was almost entirely populated by recent immigrants from China, Vietnam, Honk Kong and Korea with a very um, interesting take on North American fashion.
Our school was the hub of most of the Asian gang activity in the city. I would hear about how some kid had done his gangly duty over the weekend and carved up some poor kid in a gang fight. I would always be surprised to see the villain walking the halls and instead of some huge mean scary gang dude it was some 4’10” kid looking all of 8 years old with MC Hammer crotched pants and his bangs hair sprayed up like a cliff. An extreme version of this.
Basically really funny looking and totally goofy with his Miami Vice jacket and white dress shirt with a girly broach at the throat. Their gang colours so to speak. Not at all looking like the cold hearted killer he actually was. Yes, we had actual murderers in my school and it was not unusual to find cops walking the halls about to make an arrest.
My friend and I who had transferred to the school were two of a total of maybe five white girls in our grade and our lives where threatened and our lockers were broken into on a regular basis until we moved our stuff to the empty lockers right next to the principal’s office. After that we were left alone. Overall it was a very scary year.
This is what I looked like at that time in my favourite buckskin fringed jacket…Exactly like this.
I blame most of my life’s problems on growing up in the eighties.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
The good news is that while driving like a maniac (my usual driving style, having nothing to do with my rushed day) to my doctor’s appointments I had the tunes cranked to eleven and was rocking-out as only a seated person can. Vehemently but under control. Eyes front and centre. You see I have not had a working stereo in my car since I practically bought it 2 ½ years ago. It had a crappy cassette deck but I do not actually own any cassettes anymore so that was useless. The radio was fine until the thing died altogether within a couple weeks of purchase. Last Christmas in the Boxing Day sales I bought a fabulous CD/MP3 player after asking my little brother, otherwise known as Computer Merlin, if he would install it for me. He agreed. Then weeks started slipping by and the thing never got installed. I did not like to harass my brother about why he had not yet done the deed. You know guys who become progressively deaf the more they are nagged? He is of that ilk. Finally after several months I asked, “Are you gonna install it or not?!?!” and his answer was, “NOT!” He then tried to finagle out of the deal gracefully by telling filthy lies. Lies so heinous that angels cried in heaven. He said that he had not actually agreed to install the deck but had offered to EXPLAIN to me how I could do it. Now I certainly know I never would have agreed to this plan as the suggestion is akin to somebody explaining brain surgery to me so I can do it myself. ON MYSELF! Installing a car deck is totally out of my league. The ways I could screw it up are infinitesimal.
So ten months later after seeing that damned car stereo sitting by my door in its little box I decided to swallow my cheap ass pride and arrange to have it installed by professionals. I was pleasantly surprised to be told that it would cost me $49. Alrighty! 49 bucks!?! You mean I have been hesitating to get this done out of fiscal fear and it is only 49 bucks!?! What a weenie! The guy assured me that unless it was a fancy install job it was $49. Ok, let me just say that apparently ALL stereo install guys, hired professionals or amateur family members, are filthy liars because that nice tidy figure I was quoted doubled by the time I got my car out of the shop. The angels are pissed.
However, the few days of tune-age since this travesty have dulled my pain, as having music in my car is so worth it. I had forgotten how great it is to have theme songs for breaking the speed limit and running over pedestrians. I am soooo back.
Monday, November 07, 2005
The Crush Your Cat's Head photo from Friday.
The Chip and Salsa Train I made for my brother a few years ago.
Friday, November 04, 2005
Crush Your Cat's Head Friday is postponed as Asshole Blogger won't post any photos. Don't know why...
With my daily radiation I am at The Cancer Clinic more than ever. Even during chemo I was only there maybe once every 2-3 weeks and that was waaay up on the chemo ward. The radiation area is right next to the main area where everybody goes to meet up with their doctors so I get to see a lot of people going to and from their appointments. Most of the patients at the clinic are elderly but occasionally I see younger people there. Mostly they are regular looking folks so I am never sure if they are cancer patients or support people along for the ride. When I see a young person all bald or with the tell tale buzz cut there is usually a smile of mutual recognition between us. Look at us and our bald heads kind of smiles. Occasionally I notice older folks looking at me with sympathy. I know I look younger than my 36 years so I imagine I might shock people sometimes. They often give me what I call a ‘Stay Strong’ smile, which I appreciate.
Yesterday I saw a couple standing by the appointment reception desk. They were just gorgeous. The guys looked like a famous sports figure or something. Blonde and handsome and strong looking. Powerful and vibrant. His wife/girlfriend was blonde as well and totally gorgeous. Like cheerleader gorgeous with curls and perfect teeth. They were dressed in very nice and stylish expensive clothes. They appeared successful and young and well off. They also looked shit scared and totally lost. I can well imagine what they were feeling. I guessed that one of them had recently been diagnosed with some sort of cancer and that this was their first appointment with the oncologist to find out what their options were. We have all had that first day at The Clinic, after all. I don’t know this for sure but you get to know the “newbies” from the “old hands’ by the way they walk the halls and by how relaxed they are in the waiting rooms. The Newbies usually sit there and stare off in the distance. Or fidget a lot. Or look terrified. Old Hands laugh with their support buddy or gossip over the magazines or help themselves to water from the cooler or chat with the nurses or eat their lunch brought from home.
So this gorgeous couple was just standing there looking lost and scared. It occurred to me that with that kind of beauty that it was possible these two had lead a wonderful and charmed life up until then. Possibly things had come relatively easily to them. I don’t know but they made me wonder. Maybe their good looks have got them out of difficult situations and saved them from a lot of unpleasantness. Well, not this time my little grasshoppers. It sucks for everybody.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
For most of my life I have been a nice slim young lady until about 5 years ago when I was prescribed some new fangled antidepressants. Not only did they make me even more depressed but also they made me gain about 50 lbs in a single month. Slowly I have been taking off that weight and it is simply horrible to see the numbers creeping up again. My body is a whole new shape that I have to learn to dress. I have this gross double chin and look bloated all the time. So instead of having a lovely day with my mom buying myself some new and pretty outfits it was a total slog to cram my huge buttocks onto one pair of nasty jeans after another hoping to find something that merely fit. Forget about something flattering or cute or trendy or sexy. It was just exhausting and tedious and depressing and an all ‘round shitty day.
I don’t feel the slightest bit attractive anymore. I have this totally butch hairstyle and while many a lovely cancer lady has rocked this hair thing for all it’s worth I don’t feel like I am pulling it off. I just feel butch and fat and nasty. Not like I want to be feeling which is strong and sexy and kicking ass in the world. I know that I shouldn’t be concerned with superficial exteriors but instead be focused on what is going on inside of my body. But I don’t have to look at my insides in a mirror every day. I am just going to be vain right now.
I know I should be exercising but I am so damned tired all the time. I know I should be juicing rainforest fruits to boost my immune system but Wendy’s Frosties are what’s calling out to me in the night. I should be wearing make-up and dancing the night away but I haven’t even bothered with mascara for months and the couch is more my speed.
Now I know that cancer is a very difficult and complex thing physically and emotionally but I just wish I was feeling better about myself. I wish I was thin and had my long hair again and didn’t have stupid cancer.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
I have to go Monday to Friday for about 5 weeks and the whole thing takes about 20 minutes tops with most of that time being spent on machine adjustments. It is seriously like having x-rays taken. Sure the nuking is about 5-20 seconds long but I don’t even have to hold my breath. I get fried for around a minute in total. At this time I do not glow in the dark but as soon as I do I will post pics. I have to wear this funny little gown with an elasticised neck so that I can pull it down over my shoulders to my waist once I get to the radiation room. It is really goofy looking. Like a short muumuu. And I have to sit in the waiting room with total strangers wearing The Muumuu. I only wish everybody was wearing The Muumuu but it is only us folks who are having our chests zapped. The Muumuu can be a very lonely garment.
The challenge so far has to stay perfectly still after they position me on the machine. Inevitably I will get a mother of an itch that cannot be scratched. I am learning to transcend the itch. To find pleasure, not pain, in the itch. Learn from the itch. Become one with the itch. Love The Itch.
Monday, October 31, 2005
Friday, October 28, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I saw my plastic surgeon today and he is very nice. I was a little surprised as he is quite young and a little bit cute. I have never had cute docs before. My radiation doctor is a little bit cute too. Surrounded but a little bit cute men? Not too bad of a deal. Anyway, my surgery date is January 23rd 2006. This is for my mastectomy and the first step of reconstruction. I will have several steps to the reconstruction part and it is going to take me well into 2006 before it is all done. Fortunately once again I am in the hands of the best docs for my surgery. He was actually a little upset, as he would have liked to have started with my surgeries about a month ago, before my radiation started. But the Cancer Clinic did not get me referred to him until I was well finished with chemo instead of during it, which would have been perfect. So my end result will not be as good as it could be as radiated skin heals differently than pristine stuff. This is kinda upsetting to think about, as I would, of course, have preferred to have the best possible outcome. Anyway he and I have pledged to kick ass at the Cancer Clinic so this doesn’t happen to other mastectomy patients. And he says he is confident that I can still get a good set of hoots at the end of it all. Hoots is my word, not his.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Mrtl tells me their colour is called ‘Melon’ and that is why she thought two was better than one. I couldn’t agree more. The first thing I thought when I saw them was that they were breast cancer pink. I also thought their feet were actually bows on their heads.
Nope, they are definitely feet. Silly me. So thank you very much Mrtl for my two new bosom buddies. They sit on my monitor and watch over me as I blog every day.
Monday, October 24, 2005
When I was eighteen I met this guy, Dan, at a party of a friend of a friend. I knew him by sight as he was quite a popular guy and considered very cool in the local alternative scene. He knew everybody and everybody knew him. Or knew of him. He had shoulder length black hair and rode a motorcycle and was friends with all the local punk musicians and I had seen him at a lot of gigs. He was also quite a bit older than me. I don’t remember by exactly how much but quite a bit. I had just graduated from high school and was very shy and not popular or well known (unlike after I worked in that very trendy shoe store when I did become well known and popular in a bizarre way) and did not really pay much attention to Dan at this party. I was just talking with friends and not trying to impress anybody. I guess he noticed me and asked the hostess of the party who I was. She told me he wanted to ask me out and I simply don’t remember if he called me up or if the date was arranged through her. I think the latter. But arrangements were made and we were going to see a movie.
I was shit scared as this guy was soooo cool and I was soooo not and I remember being super nervous. The first thing that tipped me off that the date might not be all that fabulous was that he didn’t want to pick me up but asked me to meet him at his place instead. This was OK with me as I was embarrassed that I lived with my parents in the suburbs and didn’t want them to meet him as they probably wouldn’t approve. It also made sense to me that if we were going to see a flick downtown, where he also happened to live, it was logical to met him there. I arrived and waited in the living room while he finished getting ready. We left and started walking to the theatre. He didn’t say anything along the way and in the uncomfortable silence I believe I babbled like an idiot. We sat at the movie and he still didn’t say anything. Then the movie started and there was no handholding or anything. I think I tried to stir something up by touching his knee or something tentative like that and he totally ignored me. And I was humiliated by that minor rejection. We left the movie and went next door to get a coffee in a very trendy café. He still hardly talked to me but knew somebody there and talked to them instead without introducing me. I was still so star-struck by this guy that even though I was pretty mad I didn’t say anything. I should have run away because it just got worse and the silences got longer. Dan then suggested we go to the local punk/trendy nightclub for a drink. I was scared about that as I was not legal drinking age yet (it is 19 in my province) and I looked very young. I rarely ever managed to get in without being ID’d and turned away. So we waited in the very long line up and he still didn’t say anything. At this point I was feeling very uncomfortable and sure he loathed me and so I wasn’t saying anything either. Dead silence. We had not waited very long before the bouncer spotted him and gestured for him to come up to the front. In fact the bouncer had recognised Dan as practically local royalty and so my lovely date turned around, waved and then walked into the club leaving me to wait in the line up on my own! Holy FUCK! I was so angry and upset and embarrassed and in utter disbelief. My first instinct was to walk away. But remember I was young and the second thought that entered my mind was that if I walked away he might think I got ID’d and didn’t get in and that was more embarrassing to me. So I stayed and waited about 45 minutes and managed to get in. I found him sitting by the bar surrounded by about a dozen gorgeous women and about that many drinks that had been bought for him by these gorgeous women. He saw me and pulled up a stool next to him for me to sit on and then proceeded to not talk to me but chat to every single gorgeous woman that surrounded us. And for about half an hour I sat there and got dirty looks and outright snubs from all these much older and very beautiful chicks. Their jealousy wasn’t even enough to redeem the night in any way. I don’t really remember exactly how the night ended but I think I just made some lame excuse and left early. I just couldn’t handle it. I never went out with him again (he never called and I never did either) although I saw him all the time. It was the weirdest date ever and I still wonder why he even asked me.
The funny thing is about 7 years later I ran into Dan at the neighbourhood corner store. I know he recognised me but he wasn’t saying anything, acting all cool. I absolutely HATE it when people do that so I always approach those kind of people and re-introduce myself and act all friendly because I never want to stoop to their level. So he warmed up somewhat and we had a little chat. It happened to be New Year’s Eve day and he asked what I was doing that night. I happened to be having a party and out of awkwardness told him he and whoever he wanted to bring were welcome to drop by never expecting to him accept the invitation. He didn’t and I didn’t think about him again. About three months later, one night out of the blue, my apartment buzzer rang and it was Dan dropping by. He had remembered my vague directions from the corner store. First of all I hate it when people just drop by without even a phone call first as I am often in my PJs and in total sloth mode. As it happened that night I had badly sprained my wrist at work and was on painkillers and totally out of it. I was dressed like a hobo and had no make-up on or anything. My roommate and I let him and served him tea and that guy talked our ears off for hours. I had no idea he could talk so much. It was spooky and kinda freaked me out a little. I finally had to ask him to leave so I could go to bed. Then he found my phone number in the phone book and started calling me, asking me out for coffee or to his place for videos and even occasionally including my roommate in the invitations as if it might make me feel more comfortable. Somehow I had caught his fancy with my splint and dirty hair and stained sweatshirt. I kept on refusing because:
1. I was soooo busy with school and work and didn’t have a lot of extra time.
2. I was not interested in him but in somebody else at my school whom I wanted to spend my precious time with.
After about the 10th time he had called and I had once again politely refused his invitation he got very snitty with me and said, “Well, you seem to be very busy all the time.” and I agreed that I was. He then hung up on me.
Friday, October 21, 2005
Instead I am going to write about life lessons. Specifically relating to cancer and having it in one’s body. Even more specifically how this changes your worldly outlook. It, in fact, begins to make you a bit of a shit disturber.
As life toddles along and things happen in day-to-day living it is really easy to get caught up in little things. Petty things. I have been very guilty of this in the past. Being upset with my neighbours over noise or frustrated over bad drivers or angry at fictional characters on TV. We have all been there. Well, after undergoing all sorts of gory medical procedures and hearing all sorts of bad health news most of these things just don’t affect me like they used to. They are minor disturbances in ‘The Grand Scheme of Life.’ I admit on days when I am feeling good and the cancer is far in the back of my mind I forget my lessons and you can hear my muffled cursing floating from my car as I swerve dangerously close to cyclists. But on days when I am feeling tired and sick and shaky such happenings really don’t matter very much and you will find me all wise and metaphysical about things. Pretty much a smug oracle of eternal knowledge.
A couple weeks ago I went to a department store to pick up a couple items I desperately needed. I really didn’t feel much like shopping and was just planning on popping in and out of the store as fast as I could. I was waiting in line at the cashier’s desk behind this woman who was quite angry about something. At first I was not really paying attention as I was just trying to stay upright but as time went by and I continued to wait I started listening in on the discussion going on in front of me. What had happened was the lady had bought something using a gift card. The total was less than the gift card amount and there was money remaining on the card. Well, she insisted on getting that money back in cash. The sales lady explained that is was store policy that they could not refund the remaining amount on a gift card in cash. It was not an option on the cash register. They simply couldn’t do it. The woman said she understood but that she might not come back to the store for another year or so and just wanted the money back in cash. The sales clerk assured her that the amount left on the gift card would never expire and she could put it towards any future purchases but the store policy was that they couldn’t refund the money in cash. The woman was yelling pretty loudly at this point and kept on saying that while she understood the store policy she just didn’t understand why SHE couldn’t get the cash back. Basically that store policy be damned and that it didn’t apply to her. The salesclerk offered to bring the manager over but reiterated that they couldn’t alter the store policy. The woman was freaking at this point REALLY yelling that she wanted her cash RIGHT NOW! You want to know what the amount she was spazzing out over? $1.36. Yes, all this fuss over $1.36.
I am usually fairly shmellow and do not interfere in other peoples business but it was ALL I COULD DO not to say what was running though my mind. It was ALL I COULD DO to reign in my inner indignant old lady lacking all verbal restraint and eschewing social niceties. I desperately wanted to tap her gently on the shoulder and say, “Excuse me, ma’am. Here’s the thing. I have been standing behind you for about 10 minutes listening to your problem. Now MY problem is that I am a 36 years old who has just undergone 5 months of chemotherapy for breast cancer. Soon I will undergo radiation treatment at which time incredibly strong x-rays will nuke my body. A procedure so life altering it has been known to create super heroes from mere mortals. Immediately after that I will have both my breasts removed with sharp knives by a man with the word ‘plastic’ in his job title. I can assure you that none of this is pleasant in any way. While I would much rather be at home laying down and resting I am finding myself waiting in line behind you while you argue over $1.36. So please accept $2 for your fucking gift card and let’s end this INSANITY so I can get the fuck home where I belong.” But I didn’t say anything at all. I walked away to find another cashier’s desk to buy my stuff. At the time I was just too tired and didn’t want to cause a commotion.
Now that I am feeling much better and stronger I wish I had said something. I doubt in her anger the woman would have seen the absurdity of her request. She probably would have punched me in the head. My soon to be strong super hero head. But it would have been sooooo worth it.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
I went to my chemo oncologist today for a follow up visit and she said I am doing great. I had an ultrasound of my liver recently as they had found spot on it prior to my chemotherapy. It is not uncommon for healthy people to have a spot on their liver. It is very bad to have more than one. So the good news is the spot is still there and totally unchanged. This means it is not cancer related at all but a normal spot-like spot. So good news from her.
I have had a couple visits with my radiation oncologist and that ball is rolling. I had a consultation where they took a CT scan so they can map out where they are going to radiate. At this appointment I got two tiny tattooed dots on my torso to help them nuke me the same place every time. The dots are very small. However Yoshi has noticed the one on my front and tries to lick it off for me. Negligibly helpful and ultimately futile. Try explaining that to a cat.
My radiation should start the last week of October or the first week of November. This means I get zapped every day, Monday through Friday, for 5 ½ weeks. 28 sessions in all. Fatigue is about the only side effect. There are some nasty very rare stuff that can happen but I am not thinking about that if I can.
There is a possibility that the radiation might be postponed if I can get into surgery right away. I have appointments with my cancer surgeon and my plastic surgeon at the end of the month. If they can operate on me within a week we will do that first. Such a quick turnaround time for surgery is rare so most likely it will be radiation first and surgery after. I have no idea what all my surgery will entail so I will update you all about that once I see the surgeons.
Now about the hair…after a fantastic start the hair growth has not only come to a halt but also settled down with a case of beer and a nicely filled bong for a looong evening in. It grew to about 1½ inches and then completely bailed out on me. Then it started falling out again and I have an odd thin spot on the right side of my head. What I am hoping is new fabulous hair is pushing the weak and weird hairs out. Hoping….hoping…. It is a little sad looking. I look like I have mange. Very attractive feature in a lady.
I am feeling much more perky but still get quite winded very easily. Yet I am trying to get out for walks every day. It doesn’t always happen as it has been raining very heavily which curtails my journeys somewhat. The other new thing is that I am getting really bad allergies. Probably leaf mold. I have never had hay fever before but my oncologist said that it might be that my mucus membranes (nice sounding, huh?) are more sensitive after my chemo and the sinus hell may soon disappear. I hope so as I feel really crappy.
The other thing is that I am suddenly putting on weight. Not nice. I had put on a little weight during chemo, which is supposedly quite normal with starchy food cravings and drastically reduced activity. These days I am eating better food with less junk and getting out way more so I was surprised to find my jeans getting tight. I was working up a very good shame spiral but the oncologist came to my rescue again. Apparently my hormones can be very out off wack after chemo so that could be the culprit. I grabbed onto that excuse and am holding tight.
So that is what is new with me on the Cancer Front. Right now it is all good and I am just enjoying my time off while I have it.
Monday, October 17, 2005
If you want to do this yourself on your own blog just go to your favourite search engine, in my case dogpile, and enter “‘your name” needs.”
-$1.95 for a pack of gum.
-understanding, not rejection.
-support of the babysitter’s club.
-his posh apartment to get away from her parents and to start her career.
-me to update a file with additional research.
-help getting her name out there.
-to find happiness.
-to write a short description.
-to move out of her parent’s house.
-to visit the real world and then re-think his.
-a worthy partner.
-to be awake to audition for Alan Brady.
-to be amongst people of her own age and to be stimulated.
-help with feeding, bathing, dressing and grooming.
-your help to spread the word about her and her music.
-her medicine 3 times a day.
-a reminder of how bad airborne dust can get in Heartland, VT
-many surgeries to get rid of the excess skin.
-this part done ASAP.
Friday, October 14, 2005
I love it when she helps me with the laundry.
I love it that she humps up her back like an inchworm when she whines for food.
I love that she can go from insane running around to deepest sleep on my lap in less than one minute. Usually just when I have to get up to pee.
I love that she rests her head on my arm when I am trying to type.
I love that she purrs and talks back when she is getting into trouble.
I love it that she gets my attention at the computer by reaching up her paw so I can kiss it.
I love that under the covers she presses her freezing cold feet against my legs to get them warm again.
I love it when she moans in annoyance when I kiss her when she is sleeping.
I love it that she is able to find the exact centre of the bed to sleep on so I have to find space of my own around her.
I love that she whines at the door when I go to the bathroom.
I love that she loves to be scared. I surprise her whenever I can.
I love that when I hit the snooze button in the morning she will lick my eyelids just to make sure I get up.
I love that I am her most favourite person in the universe and she looks at me with love and trust.
I love it when she waits patiently until I am finished to lick my yogurt bowl.
I love it that she runs meowing to the door when I get home.
I love that she tries to crawl under my shirt when it is chilly out.
I love it when she climbs over my book at night when I am trying to read to get extra lovin’.
I love her velvet paws.
I love that her breath smells like low tide. Ok, I don’t love that at all.
I love it when she runs around the house and her back-end slides out on the hardwood floors.
I love that she totally understands me when I talk to her.
I love it that she has the uncanniest sense of time and will notify me that her 6 pm dinnertime has arrived. Right…on…the…dot!
I love it that she is so cuddly and wants to be near me (better yet, ON me) constantly.
I love it when she escapes into the hallway, meowing with glee, drunk with freedom and then gets so scared she runs back inside again.
I love it when she puts her ears back so her head resembles a wedge.
I love her big nose.
I love that she loves to be squeezed and have her head crushed.
I love it that she loves me to pick the gunk out of her eyes.
I love her pointy little face.
I love that she lets me dress her up in Halloween costumes.