Western education 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

......round 2 week 2

 ..... and I am feeling better than last week by a long shot.  Earlier in the week, nurse Trevor came over to check my blood pressure.  We were both surprised and happy to note that the high pressure has dropped significantly!!  Another great sign that the lesions are shrinking!!  The lesion in my neck that was easily found and could be palpated above the clavicle is now small enough that I have to actually search for it.  My breathing is much easier and I am not gasping for breath unless I exert myself too hard.  My energy level is improving steadily!!  Where my neck used to be really puffy and swollen looking has also begun to shrink.  This would be a result of the displacement of tissue and structure under the clavicle and into the chest wall from the

I have not had to take a nap in a few days now and I am sleeping well most nights.  My neck pain used to keep me up throughout the night but I have not had to contend with that for a few weeks now.  I am at the end of the second week of round 2 of the chemo cocktail which seems to be working.  The first day back to teaching will also be the day I get my CT scan to confirm this.  Once confirmed, I will be scheduled to complete another 3 rounds of chemo to complete the 6 rounds recommended.  This will take me half-way into the school semester. I am looking forward to starting the school year and test driving the new curriculum I have spent months developing.  The incoming president of the college is a retired military soldier who was in command of the Canadian Army and I couldn't be more excited!!!  

Speaking of the military, William was officially inducted into the armed forces Artillery on Thursday 8th August in the morning. He slept over the night before and Max provided him with a shirt and tie for this momentous occasion.  We left the house early and headed downtown to park at the Citi Center (was Galleria) to avoid traffic and so we didn't feel so rushed.  We had time upon our early arrival to  seek out a local Tim's to grab a coffee and to sit around and chat.  I am sitting outside the office towers on the stone surrounding one of many city mini-gardens and gaze into the face of my 19 year old son.  Where did the time go?  He is tall and trim with a quick easy smile and a memorable laugh.... I catch myself memorizing every inch of his face and watching him as he expresses his excitement.  This is truly the career choice for him and he knows it.  He needs the structure the military will provide him and the goals and directions they offer.  We finish our coffees and Max clasps my hand as we walk across the street to head back to the recruiting offices.  Ah, the 'hurry up and wait' is still very much alive in the military as we wait almost an hour past the start time indicated on the roster of morning events. 

When I left the forces in 1986, they were just splitting apart the tri-service back into its three distinctive roles of Air, Land and Sea which would be reflected in the change of uniform to distinguish each of them.  William will be army and will wear the greens including the jumpsuit and combat boots.  The recruiting center is well represented by all three.  Will and the other four candidates are sequestered in another room completing all of their final paperwork.  Today will mark the first day of their career as this induction (swearing on the bible) will seal their commitment to Canada and the Queen who heads the commonwealth of which we are a member of.  Included in his package is a leave pass indicating that he is on leave for the 9 days prior to his arrival at St. Jean, Quebec where his training will take place.  I trained at Cornwallis in the early 80's where all non-commissioned officers trained. We are shown a video while we wait.  It seems that other than the technology in the classrooms, much has not changed, unless of course you take into account the 13 weeks as opposed to our 10 weeks of training.  The Captain makes his entrance into the room and begins the ceremony by relaying a very funny story.  He has that look of military when he scans the room.... you know he can be merciless in the field but a gentleman in the mess hall.  He tells the recruits that they need not consider quitting even though there will be days they will want to.... knowing my son and myself.... that is clearly not an option and he is stubborn enough and driven enough to overcome the challenges that will come his way.  There will be times he will question his decision but we know that this is what will take him to his goals of being a part of a greater whole.  Saturday we will celebrate with family and friends in a send off to him.

The time has come to get up, swear the oath and accept the position offered.  His broad smile reflects his excitement.  I catch an emotion before it threatens to take over.... my son will be leaving in a week and until his graduation, I will not get to see him.  I know how much I will miss him and he knows I have his back and will support him.  This week, we will shop for his necessities to get him started in his new career. We leave after the ceremony and head out for an early lunch in a favorite eatery.  The men order beers and we chat about the exciting new adventures and stories he will have to share when he comes to visit at Christmas break.  I am so proud of you Will.

Miss Lydia wounded herself this week with the cat.  She grabbed him and he sunk a nail into the base of her thumb.  She took care of the wound without letting us know and when it began to swell and get hot, she came to see me.  We soaked it in hot salt/soapy  water to try and draw the poisons out of her hand but after an hour, it was time to take her to the hospital.  The bacterial infection was bad enough that it could have, if left unchecked, caused a septic infection.  She is healing slowly but nicely with a combination antibiotic.  The swelling is still in the tissue but is nowhere near what it was.  I believe they call this 'cat scratch fever'?  Either way, an outdoor cat, when it scratches you  can cause unbelievable infections.

Yesterday (10 August) we had Williams send off party complete with family and friends to celebrate this momentous occasion.  All in all, everyone had a really great time.  It is always wonderful enjoying life's moments with people you truly love and care about and we have been very fortunate to have been graced with many loving family members and friends in our life's journey.  Thank you to everyone who came to extend best wishes to our son.

I wish to dedicate this blog entry to the many friends that have sent cards and messages our way.  To Mauricia for dropping in for a quick visit and a coffee yesterday - thank you so much!!  To Elaine who dropped in with supper on Thursday night, thank you for your thoughtfulness and your wonderful company.  To my husband who has been steadily reducing the 'honey-do' list - thank you so much, you are doing an amazing job.  It was great spending the day alone with you yesterday and just hanging out.  Thank you to the expert repairs to my wonderful Cruze by Oakridge Ford!!!  I have my baby back!!!!

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