Monday, May 19, 2008

Update on Everything

Boy, I have so much to update everyone on (I know Kim and mom - that's a dangling participle).

First off, my hip. It's doing quite a bit better. I started physio last Monday and went Monday, Wednesday, Friday and then again this morning (Monday). It's going quite well. At first, they worked me too hard so I expressed my concern (at the urging of my momma and daddy) and they moved back to a more manageable rate. The difference between last Monday and today is remarkable. I walked out with no pain today. Yeah!!
Relay for Life was great. So many things to talk about. First, my speech. I thought it went very well. It was a bit too long because I could tell that the audience was getting restless (it was about 7 minutes, I think) but, the fellow survivors really enjoyed it so I think it was ok. I spoke about my experience with cancer and how having a good attitude and sense of humour about what's happening is key to getting through it. I gave examples like cancergirl, my sister coming for a visit, getting presents and cards and having a nice shaped head.
For those of you who don't know what Relay for Life is, it's a fundraiser for the Cancer Society. I have been doing it for about 10 years on and off. I started off in Connecticut with my Junior Women's Club and then continued a few times down here in Florida. There is always a track. Then teams join. The teams have spots around the track where they can set up tents and tables and sell "stuff" or have games for fundraising. It always starts on a Friday at around 6 pm and goes through the night to around 10 am. They keep it fun and there's always lots of contests (for example one was guys dressing up as girls to see who's prettiest and they're judged, another was hula hoop, another was bingo. Then there's laps where everyone wears cowboy stuff, togas, etc...). It's really fun.
They also have a luminary ceremony. People put the names of their loved ones who have passed or survived cancer and there's a nice ceremony and then a silent walk in tribute to these people. It's very moving and beautiful. I thought a lot about my grandmother who was taken way too early in life. She died when I was in grade 8. I loved her so much. She was so special and patient. She would play the piano for hours for Judy and I (Yellow Bird over and over - remember, Jude?) and always made our favourite foods and chatted with us. She died of breast cancer. She was one of the first women in her town to actually say that they have breast cancer. It wasn't something most people talked about and I'm so proud to be her granddaughter. Anyway, here's pictures of the luminaries and the track with the luminaries lined up along it:

Well, at our tent we had jail n bail. It was a blast. A blasty blast! One way of getting into jail is for us to arrest you. We just walk up to you and arrest you and take you off to "jail" (a dinner tent). You have to raise $3 to get out of jail. You can pay it yourself or beg other people to bail you out. Another way is that someone can pay us $1 and we will arrest someone else. They show us who to arrest and we go get 'em. Then they have to raise $3 to get out. There's another thing where they can buy a sticker for $10 to stay out of jail for the whole night. Anyway, this was so fun and we made a ton of money. I think we made about $500 off this thing. We also sold bubbles and rice crispie treats and Krispy Kreme donuts. In the end our team made $600 for Cancer. Jeff, Scott, and Kevin were key in this because they were out there arresting people and making lots of money. I think they had a good time, too. Thank you for helping, boys! And for wheeling me around all over the place - I love you more than words can say!
It was interesting having been a speaker at the beginning of the evening. Many, many people came up to me and told me how good my speech was and wanted to know more about me and my family and wanted to talk about their experience with cancer. I liked it but it was also sad because a lot of people have lost their loved ones to this shitty disease.
Let's see, what else.....Oh!! I totally missed my dad's birthday. I am soooo sorry dad!! You know I love you and I don't think I've ever missed your birthday before. I really am so sorry. My excuse is that I had a very busy day and don't really know what the date is on anyday but, really, there is no good enough excuse so I just apologize!!
Oh, speaking of that day, I went to see my radiation oncologist. My skin is doing well. I'm now peeling. My poor boobie!! He spoke to me of the various tests I need to do. We scheduled an MRI for September and then a mammogram for a week later. The MRI is important because my particular cancer didn't show up on the mammogram. Scary, eh?
Oh, and I'm having a dilemma. I don't know if I mentioned this but when I went to the orthopedic surgeon? I hated him. He was very dismissive and maybe even a little condescending. It really bugged me and I don't want to go back to him. So, I'm looking for a new one. So, when I asked my family physician for a referral he gave me the name of Dr. Kilgore. Then, when I talked to my physiotherapist she gave me that same name. But, when I talked to my chemo nurses (I went for Herceptin on Friday) she gave me the name of a different doctor and when I called my surgeon he game me the name of another different doctor. So, I'm confused and don't know who to go to. I have an appointment with Kilgore in early June. The only problem with him is that he's down in Clearwater. It's about 1/2 hour away. The other two doctor's are right around the corner (I'm talking 5 minutes away) and would do the hip replacements at the hospital in the same location. I really don't know what I'm going to do. I'll probably go to the one that my surgeon recommended because I trust this man (obviously) with my life. I'll let you know when I figure it out.
Let's see, what else. Oh! Andrew's gone to Europe for a couple of weeks. Scott and I were going to go with him but with this hip thing coming up we decided not to but.....if Scott's passport comes in in the next couple of days I think we will go. I really, really want to go to Stockholm. There's an office there and the girls who work in this office are really nice and really fun. One of them, Nora, is running in a marathon on Saturday and I really would like to be there to cheer her on. Anyway, it'll all depend on whether Scott's passport comes in 'cause I can't go alone. I probably need to take my wheelchair and I need someone to wheel me around.
OK, I think that's all. Oh, I want to thank Whitney for coming to see me speak and I want to thank Christy for, well, being Christy. I love you!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Wow! Did we have a good weekend!

First off, all my kids are home for the summer. Yeah!! I love when my kids are all home. I'm just crazy about them. They make me smile and laugh. They must have gotten some good genes somewhere (me!).

On Saturday, we all went kayaking. Chanel (Jeff's girlfriend) came with us and so did Christy and her husband, David. That kayaking's a lot of work, man. My arms still hurt today from it. Anyway, it was worth it. We kayaked from Honeymoon Island over to Caladisi. Caladisi is the #1 Natural Beach in America. It is so beautiful over there. Untouched. We wandered along the beach (me with cane and going slowly and not very far) and then just hung out in the water. The water must be about 84 degrees right now 'cause I didn't have a hard time getting in. We played in the water and then Christy and David had to go. The rest of us took off in the kayaks. We were in one of the inlets and we saw two manatees! I did not expect that! Then, we saw three dolphins! It was really amazing! Great day!

Then, that night, Jeff, Chanel, Andrew & I went and played some pool. We chose songs on the jukebox and had lottsa fun. I don't think I'm improving but, still, it's fun.

Sunday was Mother's Day and I got a lovely necklace from my boys and a "spa day" from Andrew. The present from the boys was more exciting than I can even say because, well, let's just say that I've been disappointed in previous years.

Then on Monday night I went to a meeting for the Relay For Life that's coming up on Friday. I was asked to be a speaker in the opening ceremonies!! Cool, eh? I'm going to try to do something light and funny yet moving all at the same time. We'll see if I can pull that off. Speaking of Relay For Life....peeps? I really need some donations. I'm not asking for a lot. Just $10 each. Please? I'm begging, here. You Canadians can donate, too. Here's the link to donate. I would really appreciate it!

Also, anyone in the Tampa area - the Relay is at Tampa Bay Downs and I speak sometime between 6 & 6:30. I would love some support so if y'all can come out and see me I'd love it.

On the hip topic, I'm going to physio three times a week for the next four weeks. The Physiotherapist is confident that I should be pain-free quite quickly. Now that's some good news. I'm still confused on the whole thing. The doctor said not to walk (like, go for walks, go to the mall and wander etc..) but the physiotherapist said he's overstating it and I can do these things but with a cane. I'm very confused. I think I'm going to go for a second opinion. I didn't like that doctor and felt that he was very dismissive. The good thing with him is that he's near my home and does surgeries at the hospital that's close to me. The other good doctors are all 1/2 hour away and don't work out of the hospital close to me. Oh well, I need someone who will hear me. I don't need them to be my best friend, or even nice. I just need them to listen to me and explain things to me. So...second opinion here I come.

I have to go write my speech. Wish me luck!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Fuck a Duck!

Well, fuck a duck. I went to see the orthopedic surgeon today. This sucks.

First off, yes, I do have avascular necrosis. In both hips. It is at the very beginning of it's progress. There is nothing that can be done about it. When my hips "collapse" then they will do a couple of hip replacements. He said this like it's nothing. Dumbass Doctor.

But, that is not the cause of my pain. When, I repeat, when, the avascular necrosis starts to hurt I will feel it in that crease between your leg and the torso. The cause of the pain I currently have is something called tendinitis. I am not looking this up on the internet. I don't even want to know. I'm just sick to death of this whole thing and it would appear that I'm just at the beginning. Ugh! So, he gave me a Cortisone shot in the right hip and told me to not walk but if I have to walk I have to use a cane. No more taking the dog for a walk, wandering around Target, the mall, the beach. No walking unless necessary. This will go on for up to one year. But, even at that point he said that any walking will make the avascular necrosis progress faster so I really shouldn't walk at all until I have to get the hip replacements. He suggested swimming. Really. I am not kidding. That was his suggestion. I think I'll ask the grocery store to put in a lap lane.

I was planning on going to Europe with Andrew and Scott at the end of this month. But, how am I going to wander around Europe if I can't walk? Hmmmm? This truly fucking sucks and I'm not a happy camper right now. Oh!! There's more. I have to lose the 30 lbs that I took off last year at this time then put back on throughout my Cancer treatments. He suggested Nutri System. I suggest he go f&&.....oh, no, I did not say that!! I thought it!! ROFL!!!

Anyway, I'm bummed. This sucks. But? At least I'm starting to grow hair! LOL!

Ok, so let's start a list of good things about this, 'cause I really need to see the up side to it.

Here goes:

- I get to lie around and watch tv and eat carrot sticks or celery sticks (no bonbon's for me! I have 30 lbs to lose)
- I can play on the computer as much as I want 'cause I can't walk
- I can read to my heart's content
- I can buy some really cool canes
- I can scrapbook! I forget how but I'm sure I'll remember again, soon
- OMG!! When I go see Donny Osmond I'll have a cane (I better have a really good one!) and maybe he'll see me and it and come over and I'll get my albums signed (yes, I am taking all my albums with me)
- When I'm sitting on the couch watching tv I can ask someone to get me a pop 'cause I'm not supposed to walk

Hmmm....this is sounding not too bad - well except the part that I can't go to Europe and will have to take a wheel chair to Vegas - but even there, on the Vegas thing? I don't have to wear "sensible shoes" because I won't be walking so I can wear some cool stiletto's. I should go buy some if I'm gonna do that, I suppose. CFM heels! OHHH yah!!!!! (If you don't know what CFM is, I am totally not gonna tell you!)

OK, peeps, add to my list, please. I need to see the light! (not the dieing light - the light for the not being able to walk)

ttfn, peeps!

Monday, May 5, 2008



Letter to my Jeffrey,
I cannot tell you how honoured I am to be your mother. Words just can't explain the fullness in my heart when I think of you.

We had a rough few months when you were first born. Being a youngest, myself, I had never really been around a lot of babies. And you, my dear, were quite a baby. First off, you were very hungry. Always. Then, you got colick. OMG! The colick. It was really awful, you poor baby. You would eat and then sleep for a bit and then you would wake up with a terrible tummy ache. I would place you on your tummy across my lap with one hand under your tummy and the other hand rubbing your back and that seemed to be the only way to soothe you. If you notice, a lot of the pictures of you for the first couple of months have you in this position. I really wondered if I had made a mistake in deciding to become a young mother. I thought, maybe it was my fault that you were so miserable. Then, like a miracle, it stopped and you became the cutest baby I had ever laid eyes on. We would lie in bed together and you would coo at me. OMG! It was so cute.

Then, when you started talking you were obsessed with buses. Obsessed, I tell you. You would stand at the door of our house and yell bus! bus! over and over until I would take you for a walk and you could see a bus. One day, CeeCee and I decided to take you on a bus. We were in the car, following a bus and you're freaking out, so happy to see one bus after another. So, I get out with you and we get on a bus. CeeCee followed us in the car. Well, you have to remember we were in Bramalea, better known as Bramladesh. We get on the bus and before I can even pay (you were about 4 years old) you start talking about the guy with the hat (it was a man with a turban) and why does he have that and look how fat that lady is and chattering on and on and it was so embarrassing and I was trying to answer the questions.

Me: The guy has a hat on because it's part of his religion.
You: What's religion?
Me: Hard to explain. Something you believe in.
You: That lady's fat.
Me: That's very rude, Let's move to the back of the bus
You (bouncing down the aisle): Maybe she's gonna have another baby like you, momma.
Me (not pregnant at the time but had had 3 kids in 33 months): Ya, maybe.
We got off the bus at the City Center and never did that again.

And smart? I, seriously, don't know another child who knew letters at age 18 months. There was a picture above our couch and it had a saying at the bottom of it. I would point to the letters and you knew what they were. At 18 months!! In fact, you were so cute that I just had to have another baby. So, you see, it's all your fault! LOL!!

I remember when you went to kindergarten and the teacher took me aside at the end of the first week and reprimanded me because I hadn't mentioned that you could read. I said "He can't read, he just has a good memory and, once you tell him a story he repeats it back." So she brought us into the classroom. Now remember, here I am with your two brothers in tow and two daycare kids in tow. So I have you, a 4 year old, a 3 year old and two 18 month olds in a double stroller and she wants me to see you read. All hell is breaking loose. Steffie is as good as gold in the stroller, Kevin's crying 'cause he wants out, Scott Michael is running around in circles and your brother Scott goes straight to the blocks and starts throwing them. And the teacher wants me to see you read. Ok, so I'm trying to concentrate on you and sure enough you can read! I felt like such a dumbass. But a proud dumbass.

I remember your first hockey practice and the coach had to come get you because you couldn't skate to where they were. The first of so much time in a hockey rink. And, I enjoyed every moment of it.

Anyway, here's some pictures you might enjoy seeing. I can't post "the good ones" 'cause I sent them up to Aunt Karen when she did the 25th anniversary video for us but here's some that I like:

I don't know why the above photos came out so small. I tried to get them bigger but don't know how. Jeff! Come home and help me!! LOL!!

Jeff in the middle with his best friend, Jason and his girlfriend, Chanel.

Jeff and Jason at a party. What kind of party was it Jeff? I forget but they got dressed up in some funny clothes. Now, I just want to note that Jeff is 6'2" tall. Look at Jason. That's one big boy! And nice? Very. Jeff has good taste in friends.

Jeff and Jason being "White and Nerdy". I will just note that Donny Osmond was in the Weird Al video. Sorry! Just had to say it!

So, there's my "ode to Jeffrey". I love you, Jeff and am very, very proud to be your mom!

A Whole Week Since I Posted

Wow, I can't believe it's been a whole week since I last posted. I was in quite a funk and really didn't have anything to say. Here's the reasons for the funk:

1) I don't have a car. We bought two new cars before Christmas. I was sooo happy! Then, while we were in Vegas one car got in an accident and totalled. It happened to be Andrew's car that was totalled. So, now, Andrew's driving my car, Jeff has a car at school and the red Labaron convertible is home. So, you say, I do have a car - the Labaron, right? Well, sorta. Scott played golf with my parents most days last week and.....the damn car doesn't have air conditioning. That's ok in the morning but, man, a car without air in Florida? not good, people. not good. And, although we could afford another car payment the car that got totalled was actually in my name and was my loan. Well, now I don't have a job so who will want to lend me money? Ugh!

2) I'm sad that my parents are going back north. I am more than sad. I am devasted over their leaving. According to the Canadian Government they have to be in Canada for 6 months plus a day to keep their health insurance. Stupid rules.

3) My hip fucking hurts.

That's it. Those are my "things"

On a good note, I got to spend all day Wednesday with Christy. We went to a Rotary Lunch and then shopping! Successful shopping! Yah!! Then on Thursday I spent all day with my momma! I love that woman so much! Then on Friday Andrew, my dad and mom and I went to a pub crawl. It was so fun! Christy had set it up so she was there and then some friends of ours, Jill and Jim Boardman were also there. Their son, Jack, used to play hockey with Kevin and they're Christy's neighbours. Small world. Anyway, it was really fun and I got to drink Czech beer. Yum! Then on Sunday, my mum came over for the day and helped me clean my desk off and we went to Target. Now that was fun! You shoulda seen us. We got a lot of "stuff". Yay! And then mom and dad stayed for dinner and then we went to my beloved Dairy Queen.

So, as you can so I've had some ups and downs. Weird. Normal, really. I go to the orthopedic surgeon on Thursday so I'm looking forward to that. I just want to know what's going to be done about this. I think that's all for now. I'm going to do a separate post for my Jeffrey. He's 21 today!!