Western education 2013

Thursday, April 29, 2010

..... getting in the groove

..... trying to work out the pain in my hips and knee joints at the fitness club yesterday on the cross-trainer left me standing in the middle of the room contemplating how I was going to manage not only to get off the equipment but to actually propel myself in any given direction??  Eileen dismounted from her treadmill, organized her breathing tube and began to make her way over and stopped when our eyes connected. "You can't move can you?" she asked when I made no attempt to move towards her.  "No worries, I'll get there", I said as I shuffled over to the hand sanitizer and feeling stupid along the way.  I know it will take time and lots of it to get to where I feel I am physically strong enough to handle the whole day instead of parts.  Once I got going, I was able to get to the change room to dress and ready myself for the rest of the afternoon.

29th April 2010

I am heading out this morning to attend a meeting with Mr. B. Orr, the VP of the Cancer Unit here in London but meeting with Maxine first.  She is a feisty retired school teacher who, like myself would like to present a petition and to discuss the avenues by which the budgeting issue may be headed with regards to the care and support nursing staff at the cancer clinic.  We meet at the local McDonald's to discuss what we will be presenting in addition to the petitions.

We were met in the front lobby by Mr. Orr himself, as he explained that his secretary needed to step out for personal reasons.  I found him to be soft spoken and willing to talk and although he appreciated our input, their mandate is to provide care on a budget.  The trials that patients partake in are free when it comes to the medications used but the gap between the trials and the actual mainstream usage can create expenses that are out of pocket for patients and/or the unit while the government looks into their coverage of these new drugs.  I noted part way through the conversation that he was suffering from a twitch under his right eye and he looked away quite a bit when addressing us.... I am sure it is stress induced. They are funded through Cancer Care Ontario - an arm of the Provincial government of course headed by our illustrious Deb Matthews, who still has not responded to any of my letters to her. Our conversation was quiet and I asked many questions of which I am grateful I wrote in letter form and was able to present it slowly while looking up after each point.  I offered him an excerpt of my own journey and a few others to consider.  I let him know that I would be seeing him for a follow up meeting in the next few months.

Maxine and I walked back to our cars and she turned to me and said that my presentation was powerful. I hope it has enough of an impact to create positive change as I know the initial backlash did.  I am learning as I go and my approach is simple - I want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.  It is a quiet approach with a lot of thought behind what needs to be said.  Next week I have a few more meetings - fact finding missions with people having a great deal more knowledge and experience than I have.

I meet with Megan for lunch after my meeting and we giggle at the sight of the two of us with similar hair do's.... the patrons in the tables around us are slightly curious and the knowing looks are ones of kindness and support.  We gab away like school kids and we ask each other a ton of questions - menopause - yep on both counts and yes, her emotions, although not as outward as mine are showing on the odd occasion and has taken her by surprise.  I have done a bit of research over the past week and found a great site sponsored by Lance Armstrong and I let her know that I wish I had found it a few months ago.... at least I could have saved myself some of the depression I had found myself in.  She promises to look it up when she gets home.  We both talk about the support we have gotten from our friends and co-workers and feel that we are truly fortunate for having such loving family and friends.  Not everyone has that advantage in life.  We are most fortunate for being able to communicate all these months about our journey - no one gets it until they have walked it.  I love you to pieces Megan!! xoxoxox <3  Can't wait to see you again!!

Found this link to be helpful and wish I had seen it a few months ago.  I have paced myself well through the treatments but once they were done, I did not expect the emotional tidal wave I had kept at bay for months.  After weeks of crying, it became clear that I was depressed and decided to do some research and came across this link from the Lance Armstrong site.  The journey does not end because the treatments do.

This morning on the radio, I heard that Larissa, a quadriplegic here in London had the Animal Control knock at her door to inform her that she is not allowed to keep the chickens she has been raising with help from her assistants.  She is devastated at this latest development after she went to City Hall to support the bid to have urban residents be allowed to raise these animals in their back yards.  As with everything in life - it is not always cut and dried.  They have brought her joy and purpose.  I wish you all the best Larissa and send you my best.

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