Western education 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

..... round 1 day 3.....

..... and I am feeling pretty good this morning.  The reflux kicked in last nigh and I was relieved that I had saved the prescription from the last journey (the nurse inadvertently ordered anti-nausea pills instead) and hoofed one down before bed.  Pantroprazole is used for extreme reflux in usually chronic cases but over the short time use, it is fast and really effective.  I am drinking two large glasses of prune juice a day to keep the bowels moving with all these pills and medication that cause constipation.  I learned through the first journey and a trip to the hospital ward to never let a day go by without being super diligent.  It could have caused a rupture leading to death had I not gone to the ward to be treated.  I am drinking a ton of ice water with chlorophyll added to my first morning drink.  I am still adding Oregano oil to it to reduce chances of getting bacterial infections.... it does not taste good but my mouth has no sores from the chemo I am taking!!!  I am brushing and gently flossing my teeth, tongue and gums to reduce any build up of bacteria while my white cell count drops.  Any sores that did not previously heal will not heal for months and need to be cleaned and a topical put on to avoid the blood poisoning I had in one cycle from a scratch!!  I have to wear gardening gloves, long pants and long sleeves with a hat while working in the garden.  Today my eyes are sore along with my teeth and jaws... the Neulasta is kicking in and I anticipate by this afternoon that the muscles will begin to ache as my immune system comes online quickly.

9 July 2013
This was a day filled with visitors come to spend time with my on my back deck.  Despite the humid weather, it was great chillin' with Kelly M.  She tears up when I tell her how I have already come to terms with my life and how grateful I am for the life I began to live after my first diagnosis.  I think we often go through life with blinders on and do our daily routine in such a mundane and unexciting way.  We live our lives it seems on other people's terms and find ourselves chasing our tails.... all because we need to make the buck to pay the bills. I have found my passion for people through my teaching profession.  While the outcome is dire with so many qualified teachers out of work, I consider myself fortunate for the opportunities that have been offered to me in my vocation.  I am living my life doing what I want to do and that is sometimes more than most people can say.  I once had a discussion with a gal from work in my last life chapter and she was waiting to have the house, the 'stuff', the money in order to start a family.... well, you will wait a lifetime.... live your life and do what fills your soul.... the money will come and so will all the stuff, but family is family and no amount of money makes life with them any better than the love and connections you make.

Nurse Trevor shows up around 3:15 from St. Elizabeth nursing service (under the auspices of CCAC and contracted out through the nursing staff at the LRCP).  He is fun and spends about an hour filling out tons of paperwork prior to giving me my needle.  I will see another nurse tomorrow who will take my blood pressure, check my temperature and see if there is any swelling or wounds to dress.  They are very diligent in their care and will come to my house or work to provide me with service.  Thank goodness!!

My beautiful daughter is always near me when she is not off spending time with loving friends who are looking out for her when i have to go to appointments.  Kirsten P-M, thank you for taking Lydia with you overnight.  These wonderful moments in life are ones she will look back on with happiness.  There are those precious quiet moments with her when we lay in bed watching 'Bewitched' on Netflicks or the other night when we watched Lord of the Rings.  She says she will miss me if I have to go and yes, I tell her that I will miss her very much.  I ask her where she can find me if I have to go and she points to her heart and looks up with tears just beginning to crest.  I love you so much mommy and I do not want you to die.  I don't either baby, but I cannot promise you anything, you know that right?  She does and no sooner does she answer but she comes up with a plan to have me give her a sign if I am around her once I pass.  Flick my hair.... no wait.... make me drop my pencil - twice.  Could you move a picture and make it crooked like Great grandma does with Grandma's picture.  Yes, I can do that, I think?!  I let her know that she would know for sure if and when the time came.  My intuition tells me that it is not the case.... and perhaps a miracle will happen.  It is always good i tell her to always think the best but always be aware that we are just visitors to Earth.  We hug tight and will continue the hugging into the night as we fall asleep watching TV together.  She is growing up so fast and when she asks to shave half her head, in keeping with the latest fashions.... what the heck!!  It grows back.

Veronica came to drop off some irises from her garden and a quick visit.  She is quiet as she looks at me with my shorn locks - she is a hairdresser and a classmate of mine from Western this year.  She often trimmed my hair in the women's washroom at school and coifed it every show we did at the faculty for 'Alice through the Looking Glass'.  She made me look amazingly crazy with my hair pulled through the crown of this quirky, crazy character!!!  I had such an amazing time doing this play with some of the nicest and loving colleagues ever!!  Look us up on Facebook Alice Through the Looking-Glass, Althouse Production 2013!.  Even the family of the playwright came to view it and loved it.  It was something I had always wanted to do but in high school, I only managed to work behind the scenes and here all of a sudden I was this outlandish character who was told I was perfect for the part.  Well it was difficult memorizing tons of lines but I had the best help from the fabulous BeD students I acted with.  Many friendships were made through this adventure!!!  It was one more thing on my bucket list that I had for-filled and it was worth all the effort.  Thank you to so many of you who made this the highlight of my days at Western!!!  As we were finishing up our conversation in the front of the house at her car, we noticed a young boy on his bike almost wipe out when he took a double take at my bald head.... never mind the guy driving super slow past and eying me out of his peripheral so as not to be rude.  I have no reason to cover my head in this weather and am not self-conscious.  :)

My eldest son William is making preparations to enter the Armed Forces next month when he heads out to Saint Jean, Quebec for training.  I look at him and he still appears sometimes as that funny, silly little boy with the endless blonde curls and cherubic smile.  Now I see he has grown up and his chiseled jawline tells me he is a young adult about to grown up the rest of the way in the service.  I spent four years in the regular forces and know that this is a great start for a young person who wishes to travel and to be a part of a bigger plan outside their own lives. He will have an amazing life!!  It is a great comfort to watch your children move forward and make decisions you know are right for them.  He spends a lot of time with us here at the house and will continue to do so until he leaves for the service.  I am proud of him and all my children.

10 July 2013
I have made breakfast for my husband.... what a treat to feel good enough to bounce out of bed and get the pool tidied up and breakfast cooked.  I will have eggs every morning with my prune juice because that is all I want to eat.  Nurse Muhammad comes to take my blood pressure and sits with me to chat about our children and the lovely pool he can see from the deck we are sitting on.  He has warm brown eyes and smiles when he realizes the cancer is my second journey.  It is hard to see people with this disease he states and I agree with a warm smile back.  He is wonderful with me, fills out the paperwork and heads back out the door.

My lovely sister has sent me a beautiful card.  She is the youngest of four and the most like me.  I love her so much and I am glad we have reconnected after all these years and have been texting non-stop for months.  I want to see her so badly and I know that it is in the works over the next few months.  Tomorrow her daughter Chelsea will arrive to stay with us on her way out west.  I am so blessed and so excited to see them that I can barely wait!! OMG I have waited too long!!!!!!  The years have gone by so fast and our lives so busy that we put aside some of life's most important people..... family is everything!!!  Your memorial and obituaries should speak to the love you have from others and for others and the impact you made in your community when you graced it with your presence... just saying:)

I just got off the phone with my amazing and courageous loving friend who is in stage 4.  Her coughing is as a result of her recent lung infection which she is fighting off through the 8th round of Docetaxil.  She is brave for so many reasons but going through this chemo she is now on is painful and fatiguing.  She is tired and breathes deeply through the next coughing fit.  No part of our conversation is sacred as we talk about our illness, our unknown prognosis and our willingness to discuss our wishes when we die.  Funny how we both wish to donate to science to help others when we no longer need our 'ride'..... the soul moves on back home.  We laugh about the stupid things about our diagnosis and speak to the seriousness of waylaying testing.  We both chose to delay testing until we knew we had no choice.  I found my lump, she was in pain.  The little voice and many hints along the way were simply ignored.... me because I had to finish my schooling and her because she did not want to face what turned out to be a stage IV diagnosis.  Mine is a stage III.  The difference is that mine is still contained in nodes and hers has travelled into bones and organs.  I love you MN and I will see you when you are feeling good enough to have company.  Keep up your strength and I will send you some of mine to help you in your journey to kick the living crap out of this disease!!!  We both agree that if you think something is wrong, you need to seek out medical attention and go through testing.  I am considered asymptomatic - no symptoms present, just that ever present little voice that lets me know something is wrong.  The body will tell you in so many ways and ironically, I think my guide lets me know through subtle hints such as: a friend dropping off a random pink gift... after 4 years?! mere weeks before testing and the classmate who thought they had cancer in their neck.... in the same spot I had mine - he is fine!!  The fatigue that gripped me so I was zapped of energy when I had to exert so much in a classroom.  Listen closely to your body and what it tells you.... feel for lumps in areas you never would think to search.... men need to inspect their testicles and breasts - one of my friends had testicular cancer at 32 and a male coworker of my husband just died in March with breast cancer that had metastasized.  Please take care of yourselves.  Do not ignore infections which create chronic conditions such as sinusitis and bronchitis (I have suffered many years with both).  Infections tax the immune system and allow for other more sinister diseases to present themselves.  Eat well and stay away from fast food..... it is a treat not a regular menu item.  Hydrate and take some supplements.... exercise and enjoy your life - fill it with laughter and love. ... OK off my soap box... you get the idea.

We always encouraged our children but never told them what to do for their future.  They were always free to make all their own decisions with guidance but no pushing.  I think children do better and gain more confidence when they have a say in what they want to do.  I have seen too many overbearing parents who push their children too far and are surprised when they retaliate and do the complete opposite.  I have not had to deal with that and the kids are happy to explore any and all options they are interested in without us giving our 2 cents worth, unless they ask us to.  Everyone is this world is valuable for what they do regardless if they choose to pick up your garbage or fly you to Paris.... and intelligence is rarely a requirement for either... although it helps.  I treat people behind the counter at the local coffee shop with as much respect as the police officer that comes to help with a complaint or the secretary you meet at an office.  You never know what amazing things they do outside of their career that makes them special to their family and friends.  To judge someone based primarily on their career choice is hardly intelligent at all.... my best friend is a cleaner in the St. Thomas hospital and my other best friend works with children - they are my most favorite people to chill with because they are kind, loving and smart as heck!!!

Speaking of housekeeping, please feel free to contact my friend Barb who has her own business and who generously cleaned my house before my first treatment.  She is a hard worker and is very trustworthy.  Please consider supporting her and growing her business.

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