Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mary Walsh for Rideau Hall!

A lot of names have been bandied about for the PM's choice as the next governor general, including Captain Kirk (this is where inter-species diplomacy pays its dividends) Leonard Cohen (Hallelujah!), Mike Myers (the Goldmember of Parliament) and the man in motion himself: Rick Hansen. Today, I read about a new nominee, Newfoundlander Mary Walsh.

Yes, Marg Delahunty: warrior princess for governor general.

I could get behind that.

But somehow I don't think Stevie will go for it- he is afraid of strong women. Especially women who carry a bigger sword than he does.

photo take from

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Doing what you can

Gosh I miss home. When I get homesick, I tend to read more news from home, a technique that doesn’t really ease the homesick feeling, but it does make me feel temporarily connected to the Rock.

One of the online links that keeps me in touch is the Grandfalls-Windsor Advertiser even though their online presence a little sparse. This week they had a great article on the front page about a really wonderful initiative by Barb Fifield. She is making dresses out of pillowcases to send to an orphanage in Haiti.

She started out alone- making dresses in various sizes using pillowcases she bought from the dollar store- and was soon joined by her sister Eileen Rumbolt in Port aux Choix. Ms. Rumbold enlisted the help of her quilting group who have been added to the running total of the little dresses. Each dress has a pair of underwear and a buckle loving tucked in the pocket.

What I love about this story is how it clearly demonstrates the power of the individual to affect change. What started out as one woman’s desire to help the children of Haiti inspired a much wider range of people to pitch in.

Gilbert and Yvette Saunders have a daughter working in a Haitian orphanage and they will be bringing the newly sewn dresses to Haiti when they visit. Friends, family, churches and local businesses are all chipping in by making dresses or donating supplies.

All because one woman wanted to do what she could to help.

There are a couple of different patterns online if you are a crafty person and think this is something you could do to help. I have provided a few links below:

A dress from Dad's shirt

Craftzine pattern

Pillow case dress

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Things don't have to change

This video is making the rounds on Facebook . I haven't been able to get this song out of my head since I heard this version (which might be a function of my current state of mind) but I have always liked this John Legend tune- and this young woman does a great job of it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Ever wonder how much of y0ur life is spent waiting? I have been giving that question a lot of thought these past few weeks. Waiting on the phone, waiting in line, waiting in traffic, waiting for a late friend, waiting in the Doctor's office, waiting for test results...the waits never seem to end.

I waited quite awhile yesterday for my Doctor appointment, mentally prepared to hear the best outcome, and the worst, but not expecting what I did get- which was essentially more tests ordered and more waiting.

It turns out the MRI revealed more lesions on my liver, 5 to be exact. While the Doctor could not rule out cancer absolutely, he does not believe it is cancer at this time. My age, lifestyle, and blood work does not point him in the direction of the Big C. Which is good.

It would have been better if he could have said he knew for sure it wasn't cancer...would have been awesome had he been able to tell me what is going on for sure. Alas, I have to go and have yet another test. Something called a Sulfur Colloid test- which will make me radioactive for 24 hours. I wonder if I will glow in the dark after this?

The downside of this test is two fold: it means another injection and I cannot be around children for 24 hours, including my son because I will be radioactive for that long. Yes, I will have a half life.

And, as an added bonus, I have to have a follow up MRI in 3 months to have a look see at what those pesky lesions on my liver are up to.

So that is the update- not exactly bad news, but certainly not great news.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I want to thank everyone for their kind comments and emails. It has been really something to get such wonderful messages of encouragement from people- friends I know and talk to in real life, and friends who I have gotten to know online. I truly appreciated it.

I had the MRI last Wednesday and I learned a couple of things.

The first: when your doctor asks you if you would like something to help you relax for the test the answer is YES. I was quite nervous about the test, the results, and the fact I would be injected with dye so I was pretty keyed up by the time I was in my hospital gown. However, when they brought me into the MRI room and I had a look at the machine I was about to inhabit for the next 60 minutes my knees were knocking.

The MRI looks like a giant dryer on steroids and it is long enough to hold a body. And the damned thing is loud. Put a few pairs of sneakers in the dryer and an alarm clock and there you have the sound it makes. Not on a consistent bases mind you, at intervals, odd ones too.

I lay back onto the bed and the technician put headphones on my head. He gave me a little ball to squeeze should I need to call for help, and then eased me into the machine. I had a moment of panic- one I did not expect.

I would never have described myself as claustrophobic, but I can tell you that the second thing that I learned last Wednesday is that I apparently have a touch of it- because from the moment he slid me in to the tube every molecule in my body was screaming to get out. The test did not hurt at all, the dye did make me a little sick, but it was a struggle for me to stay in the tube for 60 minutes, unable to really see anything but the tube, and flashing light, unable to move and unaware of how much longer I was going to be in there, and mentally trying to prepare for the next set of bangs and clicks. I had to talk myself down from full-on panic just before the end of the test. I was warm and stomach sick and scared.

When they finally slid me out of the MRI I was so relieved I was giddy. I almost hugged the technician. It took me about twenty minutes to get myself together and leave, my steps getting a little lighter the further away from the hospital I got.

Anyway it is done now. I will get the results from the Liver specialist tomorrow.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I am lucky. No really. I am.

People have all kinds of different belief systems that help them explain how life works. Many believe in a higher power, God, Jehovah, Allah- the Easter Bunny. Others believe that there is nothing at all- no great puppeteer holding all the strings. I cannot pretend that I have it all figured out myself, but there is one thing I know for sure, I do not believe in coincidence.

Remember a little while back when I told you about my little kidney issue? One of the tests they ordered to have a look at my inner works was an ultrasound. At the time they noticed one kidney was distended. So they ordered a follow up ultrasound a month later.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Walk-in clinic with my son- who had another ear infection. While there, I asked if the results were in about my last ultrasound. The Walk-in Doctor filed through the papers on my chart, paused, and without looking at me said:There is a spot on your liver.”

Nothing can clear the mind of all thoughts, sense of time, sense of place, even existence like: There is a spot on your: (insert your favorite organ here)

The ultrasound revealed that both kidneys were distended, and seemingly discovered by accident- a nodule on my liver. I am on a waitlist to get an MRI for this, and yes, I am pretty worried. My Poppy, the man my son is named after, died of liver cancer.

It has been a rough few months and it seems like the hits just keep on coming. A few nights ago Don was in a car accident. He made it out with a few bruises and a couple of nasty eggs nesting on his head, but he made it. The car- yes the Corolla we bought last September, (you guessed it- the one with all the recalls!) didn't fare so well.

When I look back over the past nine months or so, I can point to a lot of really crappy bad luck moments. Don getting laid off, Wil getting bitten by a dog, our cat dying, our daycare folding up shop with 2 hours notice, various bad news items from home, a broken foot, my kidneys exploding, etcetera, etcetera.

And I am tempted to wallow a little bit- except I know I shouldn’t.

The doctors I have seen so far have said they doubt it is cancer- I am too young and I am not an alcoholic nor do I have Hepatitis. At least I found out about the spot before I got sick- I don’t feel sick right now. That is a good sign right? They could have told me I have six months to live, but they seem hopeful. Also, Don might not have walked away from that accident the other night. But he did. So really, I have been lucky.

Now I just have to believe that luck will hold.