Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Kemo Kitty


Off for chemo now. Will post soon. This kitty was scanned off a card from a friend. It was suggested to me that this sweet face should be my chemo alert sign. If the sick kitty is up that means I am chemofied. I thought I'd give it a try.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

A Day At The Doctor

That will teach me! I have been spouting off at the mouth about how lucky I have been with all my chemos having little side effects (other than earth shattering constipation) or difficulties. Then I went and got a FEVER yesterday. When you are being chemofied it is bad news to get sick, as your immune system just isn’t up to par. That is why a cancer fever is better written as FEVER. I was a very bad girl and didn’t call my doctor like I am supposed to in these situations, as I didn’t want to be sent to the hospital. I got a ‘talking to’ today and now know the importance of staying in touch blah blah blah. I did find out that I wouldn’t have to go to emergency but to the Cancer Clinic, which has a couple beds set aside just for us cancer folks with a FEVER. Much better than sitting for hours in a germy emergency department waiting room. Ew! Anyway, I am still getting those injections so my FEVER may have actually been caused by my white blood cell count being very high. Okaaaaayyy.

So I got some other news today too at my doctor's appointment that kind of sucks but maybe not. First of all I have one more chemo appointment than I thought I did. So that makes me a little over half way through at this point. I was originally going to get 6 treatments but that has now turned into 9 (AAAARRRRGGGGG!!!) with the change in protocol. This really pisses me off as I am starting to believe my treatment is turning into The Never Ending Chemo Appointment From HELL. They just keep on adding more and more. It all works out to be the same amount of chemo in the long run but I hate that my completion date is now a whole month further along that originally thought.

The second bad news is that they think I might have cancer in my other breast. I knew this was a possibility as my type of cancer has a 25% chance of showing up over there. However this still sucks. They also saw cancer in the original cancerous breast but I knew they didn’t get it all when they did the lumpectomy. Overall I am not too upset/freaked/worried as I am doing everything I can to fight my cancer anyway so nothing would change overall and my decision to get both breasts removed at my next surgery is not too far out of line after all. But cancer is never a good word to hear in relation to one’s body. This is not 100% sure yet as the radiologist has to look at both the MRI and ultrasound results and piece everything together. I will absolutely let you know what the final results are.

It is also hot today. Chemo and heat don’t mix. I live right by the ocean so usually I get a nice breeze. The summer so far has been very moderate heat-wise. But today is cooking. And since I have chemo tomorrow I had to clean and wash and do laundry in the heat. Not pretty. My mom totally helps me with this so I am lucky and quite spoiled. Yet I still complain.

I will try and post tomorrow depending on how I feel before my chemo. If I don’t get to it everybody have a great weekend! You’ll hear from me in a few days.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Hot Child In The City

Back in the day when I was going to jewellery school I had a classmate who was originally from Iran. Or Persia as he would say. I can’t remember his name off hand but let’s call him Shazam. I think it rhymed with that somehow. He told me a story that I still remember to this day.

When he and his family very first immigrated to Vancouver they were staying in a low cost downtown hotel. You can well imagine it wasn’t in the best part of town. Each night he would go for a walk in the neighbourhood to familiarise himself with the community as well as practise reading the street signs and local business awnings. As he tells the story each night Shazam would be greeted in a friendly manner by these very pretty women walking along the sidewalks. He thought that the city was so friendly with all these very pretty girls who would say hello to him every night. Not speaking any English Shazam thought Vancouver was an amazing and extraordinary place filled with warm and agreeable people. It was several months before he realised they were prostitutes. But he said the memory of all the nightly hellos and “pretty ladies” still made him smile and made his introduction to a new city much more pleasant and less lonely for him. The area he was staying in is home to our local higher priced streetwalkers who do look very glamorous in the streetlights.

I thought at the time and still think that this story is incredibly sweet. I can just picture a young teenage boy setting out each night in a strange and foreign place and in his total innocence taking comfort and solace in these somewhat questionable ladies and their lipsticked hellos.

I think it must have been magical.

Fellow Cancer Chick

I couple of you have expressed a desire to check out Sarah's Loving Wacky Family after their request for good vibes the other day in my comment section. Susie was the one who told me about Sarah and we have a lot in common including fighting our cancer with candy as much as we can. Unfortunately Sarah is having a bad time right now and really needs those vibes and prayers. Please visit her site and send over some hugs. Thanks.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Friday, July 22, 2005

Kick Me

I always say that I am not athletic but I don’t know for sure. The fact is that I just never try. I avoid physical activity like the plague and as a result am completely out of shape. Actually that implies I was once in shape to get out of so let me rephrase that; I am NOT fit at all. I don’t think I am a natural athlete for a couple reasons. First of all I am really blind so my depth perception is not great. Secondly I have mild asthma so I get really puffed quite quickly. Thirdly I am just not that competitive. Don’t have that killer instinct. I know I have always been a really slow runner but over the years I, frankly, have avoided anything to do with sports or exercise. I am unable to objectively judge myself. This is because of my past.

When I went to a new school in fourth grade I had up until that time always had a fairly fun time in PE class. My new school had a PE teacher who was your typical guy jock. He was loud, obnoxious and very competitive. And he took one look at me and pegged me for a looser. Unfortunately he didn’t keep his opinions to himself and I was renamed ‘Useless’ for the next 3 ½ years of his PE classes.

When a person of authority, especially a bully, openly mocks somebody it creates an atmosphere where bullying this person is totally acceptable. Even encouraged. This is what happened to me. Where this teacher stopped my classmates took over. Group mentality and all. Better me than them. It was so bad that it trickled down to my younger brother who was eventually identified as ‘Useless’s Brother” by this same teacher. My brother avoided any contact with me at school and even went to a different high school to avoid the association.

The bullying continued on in high school as many of my classmates graduated to the same school location. Finally in about in the middle of tenth grade I confessed these issues to my sympathetic doctor and he kindly wrote me a permanent medical excuse. I never had to take PE again. All those years of taunts and teasing were over. No more beatings in the locker room. No more crude sexual innuendo from the boys. No more being picked last for a team or even argued over as to who would have to take me. “No! You take her.” “ NO! YOU take her!” I thought things would get better but they really didn’t because by that time the bullying was well ensconced in the classroom. My normal A average slipped into Ds. Finally in the middle of eleventh grade I quit school and transferred to a less athletic and more artistic curriculum in a different district. I had to commute almost 3 hours a day to get there but things were definitely better.

By this time I was a snotty little punk rocker who found great solace in making people hate me through my looks and attitude rather than being hated for being myself.

What is the result of this? I didn’t go to university, as I would have liked to, as I couldn’t face any more school after graduation. I still think I am useless athletically and fear trying any sport. I did try a soft ball team in grade school but overheard the coach say to his assistant that he thought we were ahead enough to put me up to bat. I knew then that adults were lying when they said it wasn’t whether you won or lost but how you played the game. Unfortunately this has stayed with me. It was all about winning after all and I didn’t contribute to this. It was a good lesson to learn. Now, even though I know intellectually it isn’t true, when I walk into a room full of people I still think for a minute that they are going to all hate me. I avoid large social gatherings because of this. I am really shy in groups.

The funny thing is that if you met me you would probably think I was pretty self-assured, as I have been told that I come off this way. Generally speaking I am. I have worked hard on my self-esteem over the years. But often I still revert back to the kid who was called ‘useless’ and over compensate. Like many people who were bullied as kids and many who even were not I tend to be perfectionistic and hard on myself. I am getting better but I have my ups and downs.

Back in the 70’s and 80’s people didn’t really think about bullying in school. It is a big buzzword now and that is great. No kid should go through what I went through. But many still do and I know many did back in the day. It is amazing how these things stay with you and even when you think you have the old tapes that played in your head beat something will trigger them and you are back at square one.

Nothing has triggered me lately but recently I have been thinking a lot about those days. I think because I have a lot of time on my hands. I am also listening to positive visualization tapes specifically for people who are dealing with cancer. These tapes state that people who get cancer often have long time festering resentments that over the long term suppress their immune system. Part of these tapes is accepting responsibility for your own cancer and dealing with past wrongs. Forgiving those who wronged you and moving on. I am all for that and while I have a hard time with the word forgiveness I certainly believe those past shitheads should not hold any power over you as an adult. But the question remains, can you ever fully get over a painful past? I mean totally? I am going to try.

While I am also not sure about all this taking responsibility for my cancer thing I think moving on is always for the best. Beating yourself up over the past it never good and positive reinforcement is always better. So I continue to listen to my tapes and put things into perspective and fight my cancer.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bucket Of Goodness

Yoshi attacked the nurse the other day.

My cat hates everybody, pretty much, except for me and my parents. To keep my insurance premiums down to a dull roar I hastily warn each and every person who enters my abode not to touch her for any reason. Keep your hands away from the kitty. But Yoshi likes to play with people’s minds. She deaks them out with an open and loving expression followed by vigorous ankle smooching and gentle head butting. Guests slowly start to believe that I am actually some selfish cat hoarder unwilling to share The Lovin’ That Is Yoshi and eventually start talking sweetly to her the whole time assuring me that they have some freaky rapport with cats. Not with my cat, you don’t. Then Yoshi often (to slowly kill me with stress) steps it up a notch and will actually hang around and even on a few occasions go as far as jumping up next to the guest and smooching legs and arms. Said guest then promptly forgets my earnest and heartfelt warnings, now hating my selfish monopoly of sweet kittiness, and reaches out to pet her, in slo-mo, to my deep and guttural NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Only to be BITCH SLAPED in a fit of HISSING. By the cat. I sadly say, “I told you so.” And the guest retreats in fear and loathing from whence they came. It happens every time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Major Bummer

Thank you all so much for all the sweet comments you have left over the last few days. Things are falling back into place and I am feeling much better. Eating yummy food that my mom makes for me including deeee-luxe special cut watermelon, which is my new all time favourite post chemo snack. Icy cold. Really amazing.

I want to send some extra support and love right now to my cousin Lbo who comments here on a regular basis. Her husband just left for a six-month military tour to Afghanistan today. He is a major in the Canadian Army and is over on peace-keeping duties. I can’t even imagine how they are feeling right now. She is one tough chick and has her head on straight about it but still. It has gotta suck ass. For the whole family. And, of course, I am sending out the love to Big D on his new adventure. You will be getting letters from me buddy! And some treats too. Hugs to you all.

Some of you might not know that there are Canadians who are being sent overseas to do peacekeeping duties. Or maybe you do know. In any case while I do not agree with the war I do totally support those who have to go over to fight it, no matter where you are from, so I send out the good vibes to them today.

SMACK Upside The Head

In my chemo induced haze I did the unthinkable. I forgot to watch Rockstar:INXS last night. Oh...My...God! Can anybody tell me what happened?

Friday, July 15, 2005

Chemo 5 Out Of 8

Another day and other chemo. It is interesting as I always feel nervous the day of a chemo even though it doesn’t hurt, I don’t hurl all over the place, I don’t feel too terrible and overall it is just not a bad experience. But I feel nervous none the less.

I think film and TV really do a disservice to people by not portraying things accurately. I have seen so many really horrible portrayals of cancer treatment where people are falling down puking their guts out and behaving like it is a totally miserable thing. It really hasn’t been for me. It hasn’t been nice either but no worse than a really long bout of flu. I will say this; there are drugs recently available that take care of so many of the bad chemo side effects. I really benefit from these medications while some others don’t get any good effects at all. And chemo used to be much more of a physical blitzkrieg than it is now. Things have been really fine-tuned. While chemo can be really bad for some most have an easier time of it.

Normally I try to go to my chemo with an empty stomach (a mental thing for me with my vomit phobia) and I take a pile of pills before I even get hooked up so I get all their benefits immediately. I get the chemo which does not burn or hurt in any way. I don’t even feel it going in and the worse pain I feel is the needle stick. Nothing major at all. Since I take Ativan to mellow out my anxiety-ridden ass when I come home from chemo I climb right into bed and zonk out for the night. What I do beforehand is make up a time schedule for all the meds I have to take, as I have to swallow some kind of medication every 4 hours. So I set my alarm clock and it goes off day or night to keep me on schedule.

The following day I nap most of the day away too. I might get a bit queasy just before I am due for a pill dose but that is usually taken care of with the pills or a couple little puffs of pot. Yes, pot REALLY helps. It instantaneously turns off the nausea like a light switch. Normally I don’t do drugs of any kind but this does really help and who am I to shun that. Normally, over the rest of my post chemo days I use marijuana two or three times -if that. The drugs really help for the most part. Then starting on the second day I am more up and about but feel a bit dizzy and lethargic. When they told me that I would feel tired I expected to feel sleepy. I don’t usually sleep more than my normal hours (except immediately post chemo) but lack overall motivation. I just feel blah. I am not really eating at this point too, just snacking on grapes and watermelon. And lots of water! Must drink the water. By day 4 I am eating broth and crackers along with my fruit. I sit and watch DVDs or read or blogstalk. I don’t comment much as my brain is fuzzy and I have no sense of humour. This is when the strong smell thing is the worse. Maybe I will have funny tastes in my mouth. Cold food is best which is why the grapes are so good. By day 6-7 I can slowly start eating normally again in small portions without any stomach issues. By day 7 I am pretty much back to normal but with the usual fatigue and stuff.

That, my friends, is chemo in a nutshell. I have my appointment later this afternoon. I’ll post again in a few days. Everybody have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

SPD-Fitting Room HELL


I have this skirt already in blue and thought I'd try on the coral one. I hate the colour though. Love it on others but I just couldn't see myself wearing it in public. Doesn't look too bad in the photo though. Should go back for it?
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Typical denim dilemma. Fits my sexy can but is like a bucket around the waist.
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Recruited

Today I actually got off my ass and went shopping for some summer duds. I have a love hate relationship with shopping. And I definitely have a hate-loath relationship with Old Navy. What a dump. But me likey the prices. And I had a coupon. You can’t sneeze at a $10 off coupon.

Things are a lot better since I lost 25 lbs. Still have a ways to go but it is a start. Canada just doesn’t have any good plus sizes stores. Only a couple and the styles leave a lot to be desired. Old Ladyville. It has always been my dream to open a fantabulous plus size store. One day.

Tomorrow is chemo day so I am not sure if I will get a chance to post. As per usual I will be out of commission for a couple days but will be back as soon as I can prop my Old Navy clad ass in front of the computer.

Kiss Kiss

Raves

When Fueltank was over for a visit our cats were a recurring topic of conversation. I have to admit that Yoshi continues to be my chief source of company and blog fodder. Fuel turned me onto this site, My Cat Hates You, which he found particularly appropriate since my cat hates him and everybody else.

This theme has been carried on by a wonderful book gift sent to me by Spoonleg a couple months ago. We both own very bad cats and she thought I would like this book. I do very much so I highly recommend Bad Cat by Jim Edgar. I laugh out loud at the captions as they are ridiculous and brilliantly accompany the photos.

This book and this site are a must-see for anybody who owns a cat, is hated by a cat, hates a cat or loves a cat.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Kranki "Fall In The Crack" Pantzen

I had a nice long phone chat with Tinarina today who called me from London. We have been friends since kindergarten. Over 31 years. She was telling me that they had some guy come into the office today to do gait analysis in the company gym. She knows she favours her right leg a bit. However, her fiancĂ© is now teasing her since the guy made it sound like she flails around taking out unsuspecting passer-by with her uncontrolled leg. We started talking about old injuries and over the years she and I have suffered a series of mishaps that have had a bizarre continuity to them. Tinarina is known as “Pull My Groin” and I am “Fall In The Crack.”

I can’t even tell you how many times I have fallen into some crevasse in my life. If there is a crack I will insert my foot into it and go over. It is some kind of karma. Tinarina, on the other hand, has pulled her groin so many times she practically has an arthritic crotch. I think she can sneeze now and go into muscle spasms.

One memorable incident took place in Victoria. Tinarina and I had parked the car on the street on the way to meet some friends. I had a little convertible at the time and I decided that with the abundance of seagulls it would probably be a good idea to put the top up. I was on one side of the car and Tinarina was on the other and as she tells the story I was there one minute and the next minute I was gone. She looked up and I had vanished. Totally puzzled she walked around the rear of the car to find me writhing around on the sidewalk in total pain but still laughing my ass off and crying at the same time. I had fallen in the crack. I tripped on a protruding piece of metal in the pavement and fell into the gap between my car and curb totally spraining my ankle. On the way down my lips met the rear fender and made a strange squeaking sound. I swear. I licked my car by accident.

Today she told me a story about how she slipped on some ice back in high school and went down into the splits. Her brother tried to get her up but she was down for the count. She was sent home in a cab.


At no time was either of us drunk.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Because I can't think of anything to write about today I bring you Yoshi. She is waiting for kisses on her head.
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Monday, July 11, 2005

Ghosts Of Halloweens Past

Today’s topic from mrtl’s Motif Monday is costumes. Hey, I can write about that. I am a trained costumer no less. I am all about the costume. I could get into the fact that the costumer is probably the least respected member of any film crew due to the fact that most people believe that it is a non-thinking job. Anybody can dress themselves, right? Well, wrong. First of all have you seen what people wear out there? Secondly, that is not what costuming is all about. There are so many different aspects of the occupation I could rant on for days about it all. However, I am not. I am going to get into Halloween. My favourite time of year.

I have had some good Halloween experiences. Mother loads of candy. Refreshingly temperate years where a coat did not have to be worn over a costume. One time when we scared a little trick-or-treater so badly he jumped down off the porch, missing about 7 stairs, right into his dad’s arms. But two particular Halloweens stand out for me and I am going to write about them now.

About 15 years ago my friend MrsB (she was MissF back then) was going to university at The University of Victoria on Vancouver Island. There was nothing so much fun as taking the ferry over to visit her and hang out. MrsB has a wicked sense of humour and hanging out with her is always a blast. One Halloween we found out a friend of ours (actually an old high school boyfriend of mine I still had the hots for) who was in a band was playing a Victoria nightclub Halloween Eve. We decided that we would go and flirt and have some fun.

Now I don’t know if you have ever noticed but Halloween is often used by women to dress up in the sexiest costumes imaginable. While this bugs me a little and makes me laugh I can totally understand it. This year I really wanted to utilise this phenomenon to my advantage so I could impress this guy. Well MrsB wasn’t having anything of that. She decided that we were going to dress up like pigs. And when MrsB decides something there is no getting around it. Besides, she had several components of the costume already. I am talking about two pairs of pink long johns with a trap door rear. I hemmed and hawed and went along with it, as she didn’t seem to have any components for a sexy nurse costume or anything like that. Well, we cut off tips of pink rubber gloves and sewed them on as nipples and were off. Complete with pillow tucked in for a big fat stomach. I have to say there we were at the bar dancing our asses off looking like some seriously mammerific piggies and we ROCKED! All these other women were strutting around wearing cat costumes or trying to be some sort of Madonna look alike. But we were pigs and the guys loved us. Unfortunately I did not score with the ex, as he was too busy being the head lining act as well as the opening act. This band would quite often don wigs and dresses and be their own opening band under a different name. That night they were The Poo Girls. I do believe that night we actually won best costume but didn’t stick around to collect the prize. My most potent visual memory of that night was MrsB sitting on a chair fondling her pink rubber nipples while giving some guy the eye. I still laugh about that. He guy was charmed.

The other fabulous costume night I remember was when tinarina and P-daddy and a few others dressed up as the Alice in Wonderland group. I was White Rabbit and Tinarina was the Caterpillar and P-Daddy was the Mad Hatter. Another friend was Trashy Alice and she dressed up as a Drag Queen Alice. This will come into play later. We went to a large venue party hosted by The Gay Men’s Choir. Let me say right now that if you wanna good time just go to a Gay Men’s Choir party. Those guys really know how to have fun. Also they really know how to dress up. I have never seen so many fabulous costumes in my life. I was simply in awe. We danced the night away with fabulous cocktails to fabulous music with fabulous men. Trashy Alice kept on having her boobs squeezed, as the queens couldn’t get over how real they looked. That was because THEY WERE. What a hoot. Literally.

After that party started winding down we all piled into a cab and went to a warehouse party. It was pouring with rain and we were getting soaked outside waiting to get in. We were just thinking of blowing off the place when these two guys pulled up in a van and offered us a ride. Later we all figured out we didn’t actually know these people. P-daddy thought I knew them and I thought he knew them. Anyway, while we were getting into the van (I can’t quite remember how it happened) somehow this other guy who was near us in the line up got in with us. He was dressed up as a rich old lady complete with pillbox hat, pearls and a fox stole that gave me the evil eye from his shoulders. We never saw his face as he was wearing a full mask.

So there we were with these two guys in the van along with a complete stranger driving around town. It turned out the driver had seen us at the original party and had the hots for P-daddy so he was going to drop off his buddy first and try to hook up after. His buddy was dressed up as a dominatrix complete with accoutrements. I guess he felt like he was being fobbed off as he proceeded to lean over the back of his seat and whip us. Literally. With his bullwhip. Calling us terrible names all the while. So we were all screaming and giggling and trying to get out of the way until it started to smart a little. Then we were screaming for 'reals' that time. P-daddy came to our rescue and began beating the dominatrix with a broom he found the in the back of the van. Shit was flying for a while. Tinarina and my screams added to the chaos. Finally the dom got out and went home leaving us in peace. The Old Lady Guy never said a word.

We reached our final destination and Old Lady Man climbed out of the van and went on his way. I have no idea who this guy was and what he really looked like. He must have thought we were nuts. I don’t remember if the night continued on afterwards with any other insanity but I think it mellowed out significantly from there. I seem to remember we went for coffee at this all-night place called Dolls and Pennies that had two levels. The downstairs waiter was dressed as Satan and the upstairs one like Jesus. The Son of God served us coffee that night.

About Time

After a little angst with finding a new FTP program I finally have new music up. Skinny Puppy and The Young Canadians were/are local bands.

Saturday, July 09, 2005


This is the little skunky beast from Gazoo. In my mind he will always be called Toots.
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Gazoo

I managed to sleep most of the day away yesterday, which made it next to impossible to post something. I think all those injections of Neupogen are starting to kick in. Well, that is my excuse and I am sticking to it. The main side effect of this medication is bone pain. Let me just say right off that bone pain feels very similar to muscle pain. Like the aches when you have a fever kind of pain. So snoozing on Tylenol is really great right now.

I am feeling particularly blessed as my home care started today. That means I don’t have to run to the doc everyday and pay for parking and deal with traffic to get my injection. A very nice lady came over this morning and did it for me in the comfort of my home. That is a beautiful thing. We were talking and she was looking through my chart and said that me having breast cancer at this age sucked. I told her I couldn’t agree more. She then went on to tell me that there seems to be a blip in the universe right now and there are lots of ladies in their thirties who have breast cancer. She has had about 6 patients in her rotation this year so far. I was SHOCKED. When I was in the hospital there were two other women around my age who my surgeon operated on that day with breast cancer. The nurse and I talked about diet and such factors like that. My personal hunch (Jinkies, Scooby!) is that it is going to be because of viruses. I think viruses trigger cancers in people a lot of the time. That is just my opinion but when I mentioned my theory to my oncologist she agreed and said she is putting together a study on this very hunch as I type. Interesting. This kind of stuff fascinates me. I love a good mystery. I hate living one though.

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day for a change and so I sat out on my little fire escape to pick off all the good basil leaves for my mom. She makes yummy dishes with them. I don’t really cook so I grow it just for her. Anyway, I was sitting there in the sunshine picking off these leaves when I looked down in my yard and saw three baby skunks playing in the grass. Such unbelievable cuteness I have never seen before. They were the size of three-month-old kittens. Seriously adorable. Now I should say that I have a particular love of skunks. I think they are just too sweet for words. If I could have a skunk as a pet I would in a heartbeat. De-smelled of course. So these little critters were rolling around on the grass wrestling with each other and I thought to myself, “Hmmmm! I should get up and get a pic of these beasties.” So I quietly got up and quietly opened the door and quietly walking through and quietly knocked down every unused hair product on my shelf which then not so quietly caused a major domino effect which caused my full length mirror and other large breakable objects to crash onto me and my floor. I looked back out and they babies were gone. SOB!

Several years ago my mom and I went to Calgary to visit my cousin Lbo. On that trip we went to a farm called Gazoo located on the outskirts of town. This place is a home to unwanted zoo animals as well as orphaned wildlife and such things like that. I walked into the main office building and in a little hamster cage on the table was a tiny baby skunk. I put that thing in my pocket and held it for hours. If I had not had to take a plane home at the end of the trip I would have adopted that little smellie in a red-hot second. The thought of him still brings tears to my eyes. Also on that day I cuddled orphaned baby racoons, bunnies, a kangaroo and I even took a baby timbre wolf for a walk on a leash. It was simply one of the best days of my life. I don’t think the place is there anymore but I would go back if I could. The whole place smelled terrible with all the accompanying poops from all these cute beasties but still the best day. You know it had to be worth it to make poop smell ok.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I Can Try.

I have a friend who I have been close with since we were in kindergarten. That is 31 years of friendship. More than half of our relationship has been spent on opposite sides of the planet from each other. She lives in London and I live in Vancouver. Fortunately we are both good at corresponding and avid emailers. I have been to London a couple times and the last trip was over Christmas about 12 years ago. Even then there were issues with bombs and other terrorist acts so we didn’t take The Tube very often. At that time it was the IRA who targeted transport over the holidays. I remember thinking then how I couldn’t understand the mentality behind these acts.

I could go on about how terrorism works and how terrible it all is but the news is doing a great job of that as I type. I have to admit being a Canadian makes these things still seem very far away. It is hard for me to think about what I can do to change anything. I feel very small and helpless in the grand scheme of things as a single individual. I am so thankful that my friend and her family are ok but I know there are many families out there, not just in London, who have lost a loved one today in a violent act. I have thought about what I can do today to affect change with small steps and came up with this. I can be more tolerant and understanding. I can be more loving to my family. I can be kind to others. I can vote in every election. I can donate time and money. I can teach a young person empathy and compassion. I believe every little bit helps.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Zzzzzzzzzzz

I went to my family doctor today to get my daily injection. The home care hasn’t kicked in yet. I love my doctor. He is simply the nicest man. He is often running late and I have had to come to accept that this is just part of being one of his patients. Today was no different. He is late because he will spend extra time with his patients and I have been the recipient of this on several occasions. I figure it all works out. He is also a teacher of family practise medicine so I know he is always up to date. But he is always late from class.

His office has recently upgraded to some fancy computer system and he walked in with a touch pad notebook computer type thingie instead of the usual file. I was pretty impressed and told him so. The look of horror on his face was priceless. Obviously, technology can be a double-edged sword.

He asked me how I was doing. I told him the truth as I think that is a good policy to have with your health care provider. I said I was bored. And I am. Cancer is boring. It limits what you can do. At least with me anyway as my counts are low so my energy is low as well. It makes your world very small. Time does not go by as fast as you would like it too. It sucks.

He said that this was the first time he had ever had cancer described to him this way. What can I say? I am blunt. It is my truth. Why beat around the bush? If you can’t be honest with your doctor who can you be honest with?

I think what is happening is that my chemo has been extended a bit and I am trying to get my head around that. I am going to have two extra rounds. When my counts got low and I was approved to start these daily injections my chemo protocol changed. It allows my chemo to be more aggressive which is better in the long run. However, it is, indeed, a long run. So I have 4 more doses instead of 2 but at a much lower dose. That makes my end date about 3 weeks later. The end of August now. Bummer.

Yet, I also have to accept that once the chemo is over that does not mean the end of treatment for me. I will have radiation after. For 3-5 weeks. Everyday. That won’t be fun either. It will possibly even be duller than chemo. Then after that is more surgery. A double mastectomy. And reconstruction. I guess I should not be rushing this process but it is hard not to. Damned boring cancer.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


This is me in the waiting room. Check out that cool building behind me outside. That is a new cancer research centre. Neato windows.
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These are the pills I have to take before my chemo. The two little ones are Ativan. Oh yeah!
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They call this The Red Devil since it it the stuff that makes you so sick. I call it Hawaiian Punch. Friendlier, I think.
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This is my chemo going into my porta-cath. No, I am not flashing you.
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This cracked me up. Watch out! Don't put your hands in The Gator's mouth.
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Dozy Mc Snooze

I know it has been a few days since I have blogged but the ol’ bod has been pretty weary. I am feeling ok and hanging in there. But tired, none the less. Chemo was fine and my mom and I found things to laugh about as usual during my time at the chemo ward. I have also started on my daily injections. These are not quite as fun. I was assured they wouldn’t’ hurt but my first one last night really stung. I don’t know if The Momma is going to be able to do them for me. I certainly won’t be doing them myself. Just too queasy for that kind of stuff. I think if it was a permanent thing I could get my mind around it but it is only for about 6 weeks – about 45 injections in all. That is a lot of trips to the doctor but perhaps I can get some kind of home care. What I really need is Spoonleg as my neighbour. Now that would work just fine.

I really appreciate all the comments. It is so nice to get my lazy ass out of bed to see new good wishes from you all.

Fueltank came by from Toronto for a visit the other day before my chemo. I haven’t seen him for a few years. We used to go to jewellery school together. It was great to chat and we went down to the beach so he could dip his toe in the ocean. He misses the salt smelling air and just for him it was really strong that day. Even I could smell it and I live just one block away from the water. I would be used to it but on that day I could smell it no problem. I love that smell.

So far with this chemo there has been a little nausea and weird smells. I ate a bit yesterday and have been reading lots of good books. And dozing off a lot too. The rain is back again so that helps with mellowness. Not much incentive to get out of bed, which is fine by me.

I am off to the clinic this afternoon for my next shot and that is about it. Wish I had funny stories to tell but you all will have to wait until I get my ass out of bed and my sense of humour back. Hang in there!