The faculty of making stupid discoveries by accident. The name of my first Fantasy Football Team. Neither of which have anything to do with this blog. I just like the word. Deal with it !!!!!!

Monthly Archives: March 2009

Doris and Adam and the liver transplant.

I finally got to talk to Joey today.  He sounded so relieved that I almost wanted to cry – not from sadness but rather happiness.  See, Joey is the kind of guy that is very laid back.  He calls thems as he sees them and alot rolls off  his back like water off a duck.  I can always count on him to make me laugh but the last time I spoke with him he wasn’t the “same old Joey” that I had always known. Understandably so, Doris needed a new liver and Adam was about to give her part of his.  This is his family, his wife, his son, it does not take any stretch of the imagination to to see the stress that all of them were undergoing.  Additionally, Doris and Joey have 2 other children Christopher and Ashleigh.  Christopher is their first born and Adam and Ashleigh are twins.  I can remember all three of them being just little things not even as high as the dining room table.

I am happy to report that Doris and Adam are doing great.  Adam is already requesting Pizza and Pattitisi (sp) and so I am willing to bet great amounts of money that he is doing just fine.  He will be going to a “regular room”  in the hospital in the next day or two and has had all surgical tubes removed.  He even walked to his mom’s room today to see her!!!!!

Doris is also doing great.  The section of Adam’s liver that was transplanted into his mom fit “perfectly”.  Joey told me that her colour is already improving and her other organs are functioning well.  Doris has also had most of her tubes removed and will be in the step down unit either tonight or tomorrow.  This means she will be out of ICU.  Her BP was a little high, but her mom was coming to visit tonight and Joey was hopeful that would calm her down a little and lower her BP.  High BP is nothing to ignore but under the circumstances it is understandable to be a little stressed.  I can relate.

So, all in all a good day.  I am so grateful that Doris and Adam are doing so well and when I told Joey today that I am looking forward to them visiting in the summer I truly meant it.  It is great to re-connect with old friends and even when the situation isn’t ideal, good can come out of everything.

Have a great night everyone, talk to you tomorrow.



Update on Doris and Adam’s surgery today.

Doris’ husband Joey left me a voice mail tonight as I was not home to get his call.  I did try and call him back, but it was late and I am sure that he and the rest of the family had a very long day so I will relay what I know so far.


Adam went into surgery this morning at 8:30, with his mom, Doris following a couple of hours later.  Apparently Doris was more sick that the Doctor’s had thought but that did not stop the transplant from going ahead.

As of about 7:30 pm EST tonight, Adam was doing well but there was no real word on how Doris is doing.  I am hoping that I will be able to speak to Joey tomorrow morning and I will post as soon as I know anything.


Again, I would like to thank all of you who granted my request for Jean, Doris and Adam.  I truly believe that there is strength in numbers.


I hope to see Jean Wednesday night at the Pampered Chef party if she is feeling up to coming.  My bronchitis is in the last stages (I hope) and my antibiotics are almost gone so I am feeling confident that I am not longer a threat to anyone’s health but perhaps my own LOL.




Lunatic Rantings

So, the new dishwasher is going back.  It is sitting in the kitchen, full of water and dirty dishes.  Why? you ask?  Well the damn thing doesn’t work that’s why.  And I am so angry that I cannot even begin to get mad.  It has been here for less than 1 week – yep that’s right.  It was delivered last Tuesday with stuff missing.  Wednesday I went and picked up the missing pieces and Thursday loaded it up.  It worked fine, although there was a little more water in the bottom than I had expected, but it has a function that you can hit the start button twice and it will drain.  So I did, and it drained out some of the water.  Due to my inexperience around dishwashers and after reading the non-user friendly manual I came to the conclusion that not all the water would disappear. 

Saturday I had enough dished for a full load so again I hooked it up and let it start the cycle.  Half way through I walked into the kitchen and the dishwasher was totally silent.  I thought it was just getting ready to changes cycles and went about my evening.  At 10:30 pm it hadn’t done a thing.  I tried the two push drain mechanism – nope, nothing.  Realizing that there was nothing I could do until Sunday morning I unplugged it and headed to bed.

Sunday morning first thing I called Leon’s only to find out that Leon’s doesn’t open until noon on Sundays.  When I finally got through to my salesperson Adam he immediatley passed me on to customer service.  Fran in customer service told me that she would have to call me back because they were in the middle of a power outage and she could not pull up my order on the computer.  I told her that was fine, but bottom line was that I wanted the truck that delivered to Brighton on Tuesdays to pick up the dishwasher and take it away.  I did not want it repaired – it was less than a week old – just get it the hell out of here!  She said she would take to the manager and call me back as soon as the power came back on.

True to her word she did call me back later in the afternoon.  For some reason I decided that I was not going to get angry with her – it’s not her fault the dishwasher doesn’t work but at the same time as a representative of Leon’s she better have good news for me!

I have to go to Leon’s on Wednesday and pick out a new dishwasher.  They had no more of the one I got so they could not just send out a replacement.  I am more angry about the inconveinece of the whole thing more than anything else.  I understand that Leon’s is not to blame – they cannot be expected to test drive every appliance they sell and even if they had have it would have worked the first time for them anyway.   And besides Wednesday would have been my first “ME” day.  Mom and Dad start a Day Program on Wednesday giving me some much needed time to run errands and the like.  But instead I will be at Leon’s picking out a new dishwasher…there had better be some major sucking up done by the Leon’s staff on Wednesday…

I finally got the living room…Landlord man was here on Saturday and opened the door to the room and sealed the door to the store.  Dad and I spent most of Saturday cleaning the room.  He swept and I washed the floor.  Damn, it’s a big room and a big floor to wash.  I also polished up the fireplace but there is some type of film on it so it will have to be washed with Murphy’s Oil Soap.  It is a beautiful old fireplace with a natural gas insert so at least next winter we will be warm in the big room.  I will try and post some pics this week of the before/after.  I want to have it painted and Landlord Man gave me permission to paint it.  However, I did ask Landlord Man if he was planning to try and evict me at the end of September…

He has become quite humble the last couple of times I have seen him.  I am not sure why but for whatever reason he is much more accomodating than before.  When I asked him if he was going to try and kick me out at the end of the lease he said that as long as his tenants pay their rent and the mortgage is paid he is fine with that.  I will be sending him off an email to re confirm our discussion and to cover my butt – I have learned, no thanks to him, that the best way of dealing with him is to get it in writing and so I will.

I am having a Pampered Chef party on Wednesday night in my new living room. I have invited about 30 people.  Wether they all show up or not who knows?  But at least I know the “core” will be here.  We have been having these pampered chef parties now, about one a month moving them from house to house so atleast 7 people will be here.  LOL.  It’s a fun night and I get cool stuff for cheaper than I have the last 6 parties.  Pampered Chef does have nice quality products but I think they are a little over priced on some things.  But this week it is my turn to get 60% off so I think the Stone Baker is going to be gracing my kitchen in the very near future.

I was supposed to work last week but this bronchitis thing just won’t go away.  It is much better than it was but now mom and dad are coughing too.  It never fails, one of us gets something and just as we are getting ove it the next one gets it.  I have figured out that we have spent the last 7 weeks being sick in one form or another and honestly I am sick of being sick.  I am just so damn tired all the time and never get anything accomplished that I set out to do becasue I am so tired.  The anti-biotics that the Dr. gave me don’t seem to be working so I have given up on them and gone back to my old standby script of Amoxillin and Clavulin.  That one works!  Dr. Man is not going to be too impressed but I really don’t care.  The one he gave me isn’t working and I have come to learn that I need to do what I need to do to be well again.  I don’t have time to be sick.

Have a great week


Isn’t that salesperson who just made a commission off your purchase a consumer too?

On Saturday mom, dad and I went to our local Leon’s Furniture SuperStore and I purchased a dishwasher.  One had been in the house originally but after 20 years of service it finally bit the dust.  Landlord Man had promised a new one  and when he didn’t deliver it became a point in my “grievance” against him with the LandLord Tenant Board.  The findings of the LTB were that although it was an appliance and according to the ACT appliances must be replaced if unable to be repaired, a dishwasher was not seen by the member (judge) to be an appliance under the ACT, therefore they were not allowing my claim to a dishwasher.  OK – fair enough I guess.  I understand that one can live without a dishwasher – for some it would be a major pain – but at the same time an appliance is an appliance is an appliance, is it not?  Anyway I refused to appeal my case on various points although I know I could have won.  But, that also could have put me into a “bad” place with the LTB and if I need them again I could be up the proverbial creek for questioning their  interpretation of the ACT once. So – I bought one.  It is mine not the Landlord’s and in the event that I move I will take it with me.  The dishwasher was to be delivered today. One of the reasons I like Leon’s is that there is free delivery on all purchases.  This may be a small potato thing but hey – if  I am going to spend money in your store then ya, I want you to deliver it (if I can’t take it with me) at no charge. 

This morning at 8:15 while I was still in slumberland the phone rang – it was Leon’s.  They would be here between 11:00 and 1:00.  Good – lots of time to get up, get breakfast ready and still lots of time to amass some more dishes to use in the new dishwasher…

Like clockwork, they arrived just after 11:00.  The delivery guys at Leon’s are very nice, very courteous and respectful of hardwood floors, walls and the whole nine yards.  They bring the dishwasher in and I ask them to leave it in the dining room – I want to wash the entire floor in the kitchen before it settles into its new home.

For some reason, I am not sure what, I thought I had better check and make sure that the manual and the hook up attachment for the tap were in the dishwasher.  Well, guess what???  They weren’t. I had watched the salesperson, Adam, put the package in the d/w on Saturday.  I had purchased the floor model – it was $80 off  the regular price and made sure the manual et al were included.  Like I said I watched the salesperson put it in the top rack of the d/w while we were standing there.

The delivery guy made a call – Adam would not be in until noon but he would call me when he got in to make arrangements for me to get the package.  Thanks guys – good job, you get a scooby snack.

I took mom to her group this afternoon and dad and I went to WalMart to pick-up stuff and kill an hour.  When we got home I checked the phone.  No call from Adam and it was almost 3:00.  Ok – now I’m a little upset.  So I call him.  Oh ya, he says I was going to call you.  I will leave the package at the service desk.  You can pick it up whenever. Stunned I mumble ok thanks and hang up.  That’s when the full force of Nancy’s Anger shows up and the realization of what I have just agreed to hits me.


I pay you almost $600.00 for an appliance that I wait 3 days to be delivered and when it is, it is missing “parts”  that I now have to drive 20 ( 40 return) miles to pick up??????  What is wrong with this picture?  Or am I totally delusional in thinking that the correct thing to have been said would be something along the lines of – Hey, we messed up.  The delivery truck will be in Brighton again tomorrow and I will have them drop it off.  Or maybe, gee I’m really sorry that the guys in the back took it out.  I will have that to you right away.  Or even better, I am really sorry to have inconvienced you this way – when you pick it up there will be a $50 Gift Cert off your next purchase.  And he knows there will be a next purchase – as soon as he entered my phone number on Saturday into the Big Brother computer all my Leon’s purchases came up (and they have been quite considerable in the last year).  But No  – Adam says, you can pick it up whenever.

Well Adam – I’m pissed and I’m loaded for bear.  If you are not in the store tomorrow when I pick up the package, your manager is going to get an earful.  I am so sick of this and similar situations.  Are people who are “behind” the counters of various stores, shops and the like not  consumer’s themselves?  Is this how they would accept being treated?  And if it is, what the hell are they thinking?  Or is it me?  Am I too picky for my own good?

My first foray into working at a Call Centre had me at Sears Canada.  I worked in the department where people called in and we made appointments for them and their broken down appliances.  It was eye opening to say the least and at times I could truly SYMPATHIZE with these callers – not empathize as we had been told to do.  See, if  my $1500 washer broke down and I had a house full of screaming kids and loads of laundry to do and someone sweetly told me that it would be at least 2 weeks till they could have someone there to fix it – Ya, I would be pissed too.  And people were, all the time.  “I’m sorry Maam, I can understand your frustration at not having a (fill in the appliance blank) for 2 weeks.  Unfortunatly, we are very busy and that is the earliest I can have someone out to your home”.  Blah, Blah, Blah.  Oh ya, I truly can understand your frustration because if I paid Sears a pile of money for an appliance they had better well have someone out here tomorrow to fix it.  That meat in the fridge freezer was not free and I have no where else to put it!!!!!!

So customer’s frustrations became my frustrations.  In fact, one day I totally sympathized too much with a customer.  Her front load washer was leaking for the second time since she had bought it 8 months ago.  It was still under warranty but she was getting sick and tired of having to have it repaired all the time and what was going to happen when the warranty was over???  I feel your pain and very good question.  So  I tell her “You know, Sears has an unconditional guarantee.  If you are not satisfied with your purchase it can be returned for a full refund and in all honesty I would call my salesperson and demand that he have the truck come and remove this piece of garbage from my home if it were me”.  And yes, I really did tell her that. 

Well apparently I also told my boss and the quality control person because it was one of my “taped” calls.  Anyone who has ever worked in a Call Centre knows what they are.  For those of you who do not – those are the calls that “May be recorded for quality control and training purposes” calls.  Within 10 minutes of the call ending, I was dragged into and office with my boss, her boss and half the quality control department…I guess it’s a BIG nono to tell customers that the appliance they are having so many problems with is a piece of garbage, even if it is!  Furthermore, it is also a nono to tell people of Sear’s satisfaction policy.

Needless to say I didn’t work at Sears too much longer after that call!

I have had many run-ins with Corporate Jerks in my life time.  Most of them resulted in my demands being met.  And yes, there were demands.  If I am paying good money then I expected a modicom of service with that purchase.  Maybe I am just crazy – it wouldn’ t be the first time!  But, what the hell, I am sure that most people work as hard for their money as I do.  Don’t we deserve to be treated with some respect if we are willing to spend those hard earned after tax dollars on big ticket items? I’m not talking about chocolate bars for 65 cents at the the buck store, rather hard goods, washers, dryers, stoves, fridges?  Or have we become so much of a disposable society that we just don’t care anymore? 

Well sorry – but I do care.  And I will continue to fight for what I believe in.  Call me stupid, pig headed, whatever you want but I work hard for my money damnit – someone is going to have to work extra hard to get it from me!




For any of you that read this blog on a regular basis you know that I can be very “wordy” for days on end and then nothing for a while.  Sorry about that but sometimes life takes the fun out of well, life!  I can blather on about most subjects, and tend to at most times LOL.  But the last little while has been a bit difficult for me to muster up the energy required to sit down and have the discipline to do much more than answer email and play a couple of games before hitting my pilow at night.  After finally getting over the nasty stomach bug we all had I was hit with a upper respiratory infection of sorts.  Probably just the garden variety – but enough to set me back once again.  I will have the “type” confirmed later today at the Doctor’s but at least I am able to get out of bed and function for more than a couple of minutes at a time.  I am sure that I did not feel as bad the last week as I did when the chemo was killing me.  For a couple of days my sense of taste, smell and my balance was way off.  I couldn’t even smell the Vicks Vapo Rub that I was wearing and some of it was right under my nose LOL.  But that was then and this is now and it’s time for an update.


First off – Jean had her surgery yesterday and is home and resting as comfortable as can be expected.  She will not find out anything for at least 2 weeks when she returns for her post-op check up.  I would like to thank all of you who visited and took to heart what I had said and granted my request.  I am sure that it has helped and I look forward to reporting that all is well.

Landlord Man is here today and he is granting me access to the big living room.  He is most humble these days.  This morning he told me that he actually has to look for a job – he hasn’t worked in 15 years – Awwww muffin – welcome to the real world.  Sorry – I could almost feel sorry for him if he wasn’t such an ass.  He also told me that his wife has had to get a job – again….awwww. 

Mom and dad are doing ok.  The case worker was here last week and starting next week I will have some help.  Monday mornings for an hour, Wednesday all day when they go to a Day Program and then Friday afternoons will be covered so I can go out and get some stuff done.  I am looking forward to having some time off. 

We are back to BINGO on Thursday afternoons and both have their weekly groups to attend.  Mom is going to her’s this afternoon and Dad will be at his Thursday morning.  This Thursday we will be celebrating Ivy’s 83rd birthday complete with Cake and Ice Cream, Candles and presents.  No, not 83 candles – the fire dept is busy that afternoon so we will stick to one LOL.

Much has been written lately and the talk shows are having a field day about the Derogatory remarks made on a FOX broadcast about the Canadian Military.  Ya know what people, get over it – it was FOX and that says it all right there.  This is the same network that spawned (for lack of a better word) Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter.  Like I said – it’s FOX.  Consider the source and move on. There are some people who never, in a million years and with all the information available will think of Canada in any other terms than they do so you have choices.  Mute, change the channel, refuse to watch the network.  It is too late for apologies or retractions – what’s done is done.  There are more important things to worry about – like for instance -BRINGING HOME OUR TROOPS.  OK, nuff said.

Dancing with The Stars is once again proving to be some good TV in an otherwise lacklustre season.  My favourite is of course, the pairing of Tony and Melissa.  I really like Shaun too. She is just so cute and they make a cute little couple.  For 17 years old she is proving to be a contender. 

Bosco is Bosco and always will be.  He never changes except maybe when he steps on the scale LOLOLOL.  Its ok, he’s still my boy and I love him to death.  I amthinking about getting a cat too.  I miss Spooky and Bosco really loved having a playmate even if that playmate swiped at him for no good reason other than they were in the same space LOL.  There are always cats available for adoption at the Vet’s so we will see the next time I am there .

The sun is out but it is still in the minus numbers here but supposed to warm up over the next week.  Most of the snow is gone but there are still spots where the sun doesn’t hit that have some snow – like my front lawn but the coming rain will wash all that away and it will be srping. FINALLY!

Have a great week.


I don’t usually ask for favours…

…but today I am making an exception.

Any of you that know me well know that I am not a religious person in the true sense of the word.  I believe in God but I find organized religion, no matter of what persuasion, very hard to swallow – and did so even back when I could swallow.   And, for reasons I am not willing to discuss here, I have some problems with my “God”. One reason I will state for the record is I am not even sure “who” my “God” is.  Oh sure, mom was a Sunday School teacher (of the Presbyterian flavour) and we went every Sunday morning, but at the ripe old age of 9 when I began to question things…well let’s just say that my questions were met with raised eyebrows and answers that I never believed but knew enough to keep my mouth shut and question more!

I am not totally ignorant about religion.  I have read the St. James version of the Bible on more than one occassion.  The first time was in 1986 when I spent the better part of a summer hanging around the Ross Craig Funeral Home on Queen Street in Toronto.  No I was not into Funeral Homes but I had 3 family deaths that summer and the best I can come up with is that it was a good thing that it was air conditioned.  It was very difficult to read – so for my birthday that year I asked for a version that was in Plain English and my brother Jim obliged with my very own copy so I could return my mother’s.  I didn’t pick it up again until 1988 when my Grandfather died.  Looking for comfort and answers, it failed miserably on both points.  It had neither so it was tucked away.  Later that year I picked it up again and re-read it.  I still found no answers and little comfort, but to this day there are passages I can quote, chapter and verse.  They are not the quotes you hear everyday, but they are relavent for me and to me that is all that matters.  But I digress…(as usual LOL)


Tomorrow someone that I care very much about and have a deep respect for is going to undergo surgery.  This will be her second surgery in as many months.  The results from the pathology tests from the first surgery were not at all what any of us expected and the pathology report from this surgery will determine the course of action going forward.


On March 30th my friend Doris will receive a portion of her son Adam’s liver in the hopes that it will regenerate itself and make her well again.  I hadn’t seen Doris or her family for a very long time and got the opportunity to reconnect with them just before Christmas only to find out that she too was very sick.

So my favour to ask of you is this.  Anyone who reads here today, whether I know you or not, if you are a person who at any point during the day or at night when you lay your head down asks for someone to be watched over, protected, blessed or whatever you ask for please include my friends Jean and Doris in those prayers.   They are both awesome women with awesome families.  

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


When is ENOUGH ENOUGH?????

I am Canadian.  And today I saddened to say that.  Saddened because 4 more of my countrymen have been killed needlessly in a war that we have no business being in.  Oh wait, we are not at war with ANYONE.  WE ARE PEACEKEEPERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And yet, I will again, go and stand on a bridge, waive my Canadian Flag and cry unashamed when the hearse’s carrying these HEROES drive by.  I will wave at the families and hope they know that although I did not kn0w their sons, husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles and cousins that at least for one moment in time I could feel their pain and wish that it would end now.

Bring home our troops!!!!! NOW!!!!!!!  Let those who want to fight, fight, but leave us out of it.  Sorry Obama you dropped the ball on this one – you should be bring home your troops too.  Not over the course of a couple of years but NOW!!!!!!  Pull them out. 

Canada has lost 116 Canadian Soldiers on a PEACEKEEPING mission.  WHEN WILL ENOUGH BE ENOUGH?????????????????? In my opinion it’s about 116 too many.  Stop it now before it becomes 117 or more.


Four Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan Updated Fri. Mar. 20 2009 6:59 PM ET News Staff Four Canadian soldiers have been killed and another eight injured in Afghanistan in two separate improvised explosive attacks. The dead have been identified as: Master Cpl. Scott Vernelli, 28, Cpl. Tyler Crooks, 24, Trooper Jack Bouthillier, 20, and Trooper Corey Joseph Hayes, 22. Vernelli and Crooks died in an early morning blast at about 6:45 a.m. local time while on foot patrol in the Zhari district west of Kandahar. Another five Canadian soldiers were injured in that attack and a local interpreter was killed. Bouthillier and Hayes were killed about two hours later when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb attack in the Shah Wali Kot district, about 20 kilometres northeast of Kandahar city. Three others were injured. All the deaths occurred as the Canadians were taking part in a major operation attacking Taliban command centres and supply lines. The operation was described as the largest joint Canadian-American military operation since Korea, CTV News’ Jennifer Madigan reported from Kandahar. All the wounded soldiers were evacuated by helicopter and are listed in stable condition. Brig.-Gen. Jonathan Vance, the commander of Canadian troops in Afghanistan, urged Canadians in a statement to not consider the deaths a failure of any particular person or the mission. “Success in war is costly. We are determined to succeed so that Afghan lives improve, but the insurgents are equally determined to challenge and prevent Afghanistan from flourishing as the nation it so wants to be. Remember, the deaths of these superb Canadians occurred as Canadian Forces were bringing safety to those in peril. Today, they succeeded,” he said. Vance added that the soldiers died protecting the Afghan people. All of the soldiers were based out of CFB Petawawa. Madigan said the news of the deaths quickly spread around the Canadian base in Kandahar. “The mood was very somber, it was very quiet . . . people sitting around breakfast without saying a word,” she said. Vernelli was described as an experienced and well-respected soldier. He is survived by his spouse and six-month-old daughter. Madigan said that Vernelli’s tour of duty was postponed earlier so he could be home for his daughter’s birth and he was a “proud father.” Crooks was described as a keen soldier, an excellent athlete who “would do anything for you without even being asked.” Madigan said Crooks was very popular and often was seen sitting with much higher ranked officers. Both Vernelli and Crooks were of November Company, 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment. Bouthillier was known for his sense of humour, Vance said, and practiced martial arts. Hayes was a “proud and dedicated soldier . . . who stood up for what was right,” Vance said. Both Bouthillier and Hayes were of the Royal Canadian Dragoons. Defence Minister Peter MacKay expressed his condolences Friday saying in a statement, “Their loss was not in vain and Canada and the Canadian Forces are committed to this UN-sanctioned, NATO-led mission.” The deaths bring the total number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan to 116.

36. I would love to have my scars tattooed but I am a chicken.

I have always wanted a tattoo.  In my younger days I even went as far as to make an appointment and show up.  Half in the bag I might add and with some anesthetic pads to numb the area that I was going to be tattooed in.  I wanted a dolphin on my left boob.  Ok not a great mental image for y’all I know but still that was the plan.  I even had one of my best friends go with me for moral support.  In hindsight it was probably a good thing that the woman who was to do the tat didn’t show up.  I found out later she was a heroin junkie and this was way before the days of AIDS.  God knows what if anything I would have contracted from her and her tattoo shop.

I would like to state for the record now tha the reason back then that I was afraid was that I was scared to death of needles.  When I was 17 I had surgery on my ankle to have a pin set in.  In a 24 hour time frame I became a human pin cushion.  I didn’t take to anesthetic too well and I was as sick as a dog.  So every 4 hours they shot me up with gravol.  Additionally I was also given painkillers by injection.  Again every 4 hours.  After that I hated needles.  I would go to the ends of the earth to avoid them.  Not as far as I would go to avoid the dentist but pretty damn close.

Later in my life, when my “Big Bro” Kyle was living with me I decided that I would try the tattoo thing again.  Kyle had tats and he hated them but that was not a deterant for me.  His were of the “jailhouse” type and pretty crudely done.  They were also in very prominent places – on both his forearms so he spent alot of time in long sleeves.  We went to a tattoo parlour on the Lakeshore in Toronto to get some information.  It was also at that time that I thought perhaps I would like to get a piercing.  We won’t discuss where – needless to say it never happened.  Nor did the tattoo, Kyle basically talked me out of it.  If there was one thing Kyle could do it was talk me in or out of anything. LOL.  This led to some heated discussions that usually ended with me storming out of the room and swearing that I hated him. He would just laugh at me and tell me “Come on you know you love me” and he was right.  I could never hate him and he was one of the few people who could laugh at me and not have something thrown at him.  But I digress…

So I moved to Brighton tatless.  Fast forward to December 2004 when I had my EC surgery.  I have three major scars from the surgery.  One is about 6 inches long and runs from just under my left ear to mid collar-bone. A second runs from my right back shoulder blade down and under my right breast and the third is straight down my mid section from just below my cleavage to my belly button.  All three of them have healed very very nicely and I have been lucky that they have also faded quite a bit. However, I still know they are there. At first I used to let them bother me.  But no more, they are my battle scars and thus far I am winning the battle so they are not a big deal.

Originally I wanted to get Tarzan swinging from a vine tattooed on the scar on my back.  I am not sure why – it’s not like I have a thing for Tarzan.  I just thought it would be cute because the scar would be a natural for a vine and if I was going to have a vine, they better be a Tarzan swinging on it!

The scar on my neck was more of an issue – it would be visable to everyone who looked at me.  So it had to be tasteful but at the sametime a little wacky because after all it is Me we are talking about and well I can sometimes be a little wacky.  I never did come up with anything that I thought was both so I figured if the time came I would leave that one alone.

I had great plans for my stomach scar.  I was going to get it done to look like a zipper!!!  For my first appointment back to the surgeon after the first year of my surgery I put on a fake tattoo of a zipper next to the scar.  I knew he would want to see the scars to make sure they had healed so putting it on top of the scar was out of the question.  After chatting with him for a couple of minutes he asked me to go and put on a robe as he wanted to see the scars.  I almost didn’t make it without laughing, I knew he was going to freak LOLOLOLOL.  And he did. The first thing he said when he saw it was WHAT THE HELL?????  I told him very straight faced that just in case he ever had to do it again he wouldn’t have to cut me open, just unzip me.  Ted was not amused until I rubbed a corner of it off with my finger.  To this day I wish I had a picture of his face when he saw it…it would be worth mega dollars on E-Bay to anyone who ever had him as their surgeon.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the man but I know of others that can’t stand him on a personal level.  It’s just how he is.  But to me he was always wonderful – I was his poster girl for EC and he always calls me kiddo.  I did exasperate him at times with my questions, especially in the recovery room after my surgery but in the end he always answered them.    I never did get any of them tattooed. I was afraid.  Not of the needles anymore but rather what people would say.

However I am passed my fear of what others think for the most part.  I am 48 years old, an adult, although I sometimes refuse to grow up.  My newest idea for a tat is one of the infamous “ribbon” that you see all the time for every cause there is.  The original yellow ribbon made famous by Tony Orlando and Dawn when it was tied around the old oak tree is now a beacon for every cause known to man.  Mine will be periwinkle blue, not yellow, as periwinkle blue is the colour of EC Awareness which is very close to my heart.

Mine will be on my shoulder prominent enough to poke out when I wear something sleeveless which isn’t a whole lot of times.  My work in the gym was limited when it came to my right arm due to the surgery so it did not get very much “into shape” as I had hoped.  While my left arm was exercising with 8 pound weights, I could never get past 3 pounders with my right arm so it won’t be all that visable to many people.  Which is ok – I am getting the tat for me not for anyone else.

I once saw a man on TV who was the most tattooed man in the world.  There was not an inch of space on him that wasn’t tattooed.  Not an inch!!!! The interviewer asked him the number one piece of advice he would give anyone getting a tat.  He said – never get anyone’s name tattooed on your body unless it was “MOM”.  He said that relationships come and go, people move on but tats are forever.  They then asked him why people get tattoo’s.  He said that men get tattoo’s to show off.  Women on the other hand get tattoos for personal reasons.  He said “Show me a man with a tattoo and I will show you a man with a story to tell.  Show me a woman with a tattoo and I will show you a woman who is secure in her role as a woman and doesn’t need to prove it to anyone.  Men will have their tattoo’s placed so everyone can see them.  Most women have theirs placed so only they or the person they are closest to can see them.”  I thought that it was an awesome quote.  So I shall have mine put where it is barely visable to the world at large and rarely visable to anyone but myself.  Unless of course you want to see it and then it will cost you.  They are fairly expensive and I have to defray the cost somehow.

I know many people with tats now.  My neice Maggie has beautiful ones on her back.  I think that before the year is out I will have mine done.  In fact I might even have it done very soon…


What would you do for 15 minutes of fame?

I was in the grocery store today and at the checkout read some of the front covers of the “Rag Mags”.  I never buy them anymore.  I say anymore because I will admit that I used to buy Star magazine weekly because Sundays were always my day to sit around doing nothing but Crossword puzzles and the Star always had a great puzzle.  However, these days I don’t have time for crosswords and my magazine tastes run more toward anything with recipes.

I figure I have already had my 15 minutes of fame.  I am the award winning photographer of a picture taken at the Grand Canyon.  I didn’t even realize I had taken the picture until it was developed – in the days before I had a digital camera.  There is a possibility I will have another 15 minutes in the future.  My friend Cheryl is a journalist and has written an article about Esophageal Cancer for Reader’s Digest.  Cheryl’s husband Bill passed away from EC and her article is about Bill, myself and another family’s story of EC.  Reader’s Digest has already called me and confirmed the facts – it is just a question of when the article will be published.  If for no other reason I hope it is soon so Cheryl will get paid for her hard work and having the strength to once again relive Bill’s fight and eventual passing.  There has already been one article written about me and my “adventure” with EC in our local paper here.  I don’t know if that counts for 15 minutes of  fame or not – it’s a pretty small circulation. 

This week People Magazine’s cover has a little blurb on it about Melissa Rycroft’s new boyfriend, new job and her new TV stint on Dancing With The Stars.  I love DWTS and watch it religiously on Monday nights.  I saw her dance last week and she was beautiful.  I am glad that she has parlayed her humiliation from “The Bachelor” into something worthwhile instead of agreeing to be the new Bachelorette.  I am hopful that Melissa realized that finding the man of your dreams in 8 weeks with half the world watching is a disaster waiting to happen.  I am sure she did – the disgusting way that Jason Mesnik (or whatever his name is – I prefer to call him a–hole) broke her heart in front of millions should go down as one of the all time tragic TV moments.  Yes. I know that he had a contract and only did what the contract said he had to do but there is no contract in the world that justifies what he did to Melissa.  I do hope that Melissa has really moved on to bigger and better things and chalks her time on “The Bachelor” as a life experience that she could have done without but is a better person for enduring.  Here’s hoping you win DWTS Melissa.

Tom Cruise has told Katie Holmes-Cruise that she needs to lose weight – go for it Katie – I know how you could lose about 180 in a New York City minute.  Dump Tom.

Angelina finds Brad in bed with the nanny.  Whatever!!!!!!!

And on a sad note – the pictures of Patrick Swayze broke my heart. The accompanying headline that Patrick is almost out of time almost brought me to tears.  But did they have to print a picture and point out his chemo port???  WTF?  Unless living in a cave has been your thing for the last 6 months everyone knows that he is undergoing chemo and radiation for pancreatic cancer which is the most deadliest cancer out there. Let the man have some dignity.   I have been a fan since Red Dawn came out when I was a teenager. I loved Dirty Dancing and Roadhouse.  I own both on DVD and watch them alot.  I have watched his new series “The Beast” on A&E and am amazed that he was able to film it in his present state.  He does look more like his brother now though.  My heart goes out to him and his family.  And in the words of my friend Steve – it is what it is.  Good Luck Patrick.

And last but not least, we have Jade Goody.  Jade was a Big Brother contestant in the UK and in India.  While on the India show making her mark as a racist,  she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.  Please do not misunderstand – I am so sorry that she is in the last stages of her life.  However, letting TV cameras record it all is just way beyond my scope of comprehension.  She was married on TV a couple of weeks ago, and now the cameras are recording her final days. Jade says she is doing this so that her sons will have a better life with the money she is being paid.  Sorry Jade, in my opinion that is a piss poor excuse for letting the world invade your privacy and watch you die.  Yes, I have said it.  You are dying Jade and instead of letting your boys have quality time with whatever time you have left you have instead initiated something they will have to live with for the rest of their lives – money or not!

Kudos to Melissa for turning her 15 minutes into at least a couple of hours.  Katie – dump Tom.  Brad – you should have stayed with Jen.  Patrick – I am so sorry and Jade , I am sorry that you too have cancer but I still think there was a better way to help your sons. 

What would you do for 15 minutes of  fame?  Was Andy Warhol right – everyone will have 15 minutes of fame in their lifetime??  If   you think he was right – what do you want your 15 minutes to accomplish???



Attitude: Use it or Lose it!!!!!!!

A lot of people ask me how I survived Esophageal Cancer and I am not sure exactly what to tell them.  I had surgery, followed by chemoradiation therapy and am happily here to tell the tale.  The surgery was easy – I was asleep for it and after I spent 6 days stoned on hospital grade morphine so I really do not remember much of that.  The chemoradiation wasn’t so easy – in fact the chemo almost killed me.  My blood component levels were so low at one time that I could have had a heart attack and been dead before I hit the floor.  (Luckily I didn’t know it at the time or it probably would have happened from sheer panic).   However I managed to fight back and in doing so have become a survivor.  At the same time there is always that little voice in the back of my head telling me that I know that EC has one of the highest recurance rates and if it does return my only real option is once again chemo.  The little voice isn’t as loud as it used to be and doesn’t rear it’s ugly head as much as before but it is always there.  I have learned to ignore it more than anything.  I have also learned to get mad at it.  How dare it invade my thoughts – I have too many other things to worry about.  Cancer be damned.  I said from the beginning that I was going to kick this before it kicked me and if that was not to be then I would not go quietly into the next realm but rather kicking and screaming all the way.  And I think that attitude got to were I am today.  Well at least part way. I would be naive to think that my team of Doctor’s, Nurses and other medical professionals didn’t have a hand it my recovery, as well as my family and friends.  But deep down I had this overwhelming urge not to die.  In fact, dying was never an option I really ever considered.  It did not fit into my plans so there was no way I was going to let a little thing like EC stop me in my tracks.

And I did fight.  There were days when I had enough and was done.  I didn’t think I could fight any more.  I was sick, I was tired, I couldn’t eat, sleep or  anything else.  My life consisted of lying on the couch praying that it would be over before I had to make yet another bathroom run.  They were killing me literally.  It took a good 10 minutes to get to the room and then another 10 to get back to the couch and there was only about 20 feet between them.  I would get so worn out just getting off the couch that I really didn’t think I could make it across the floor – but I did. 

I truly believe that attitude is a major component to getting well from anything.  Not just cancer – there are many worse diseases than cancer out there.  But being positive does have its drawbacks.  If your attitude doesn’t get you the reports you are seeking from your Doctor then it has a nasty habit of disappearing.  And then it takes lots of energy to get it back.  I know – been there done that.  I used to get angry with myself – I didn’t have all that much energy to spare and I needed it for the simple things like breathing and losing my positivity just meant that I would have to find more energy to get it back. 

Even if you do manage to get it back, it doesn’t guarantee that you will survive.  I have seen too this first hand…and it saddens me.  I have lost too many friends to EC who’s attitudes were nothing short of mine and yet…

I have a friend Steve, who is currently in the chemo/rad stage of EC.  He is having his chemoradiation before his surgery and his attitude is awesome.  It is what it is, he says and each day faces a drive to the hospital, the set up and beaming of radiation and every couple of weeks a chemo protocol.  If attitude is the cure for his EC then he is well on his way.

My attitude towards life in general has changed since I was diagnosed with EC.  I no longer sweat the little things – if I don’t have to call 911 then I consider it a little thing.  I have survived cancer, being labeled “Disabled” thanks to cancer, the breakup of a relationship that I thought would last a lifetime, the deaths of two very close friends in as many weeks and I am surviving the daily ins and outs of caring for two aging Alzhiemer’s aflicted parents.  If I didn’t have an attitude I wouldn’t be able to do it.  It’s as simple as that.

Why am I writing about attitude today?  Because over the last couple of weeks I have let mine slide.  I know that I suffer from a form of depression and I take medication for it but lately I find myself not really caring about anything.  I get up in the morning, make breakfast for mom and dad and then would happily crawl back into bed if I didn’t have so much to do.  And maybe that is the problem.  I need my attitude to kick back in so that I can function.  So that I can take care of them and get on with life.  Sometimes though it really does seem like a lot of  bother and for what?  This is life, no one gets out alive so why fight it?  See what I mean – attitude slide, needs adjustment.

So don’t let your attitude sit back and take a break.  If you do, the day you need it the most it will fail you and then what?????  Having an attitude doesn’t mean you have to be basty or mean – it just means that you need to stand up for yourself, look whatever it is in the face and tell it – I am not going away, I am going to fight you with everything I have and then some, and when I win you will be gone. 

Today is the day I get mine back.  I am sick and tired of moping and feeling sorry for myself.  The pity party is over.  It is time to kick this mood in it’s butt and get on with it.  And that’s what I am going to do.

Have a great day.  And don’t forget to “spring” your clock ahead an hour tonight or you might be late for whatever you have to do Sunday morning.