Serendopeity

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: July 2009

Guest Post: LEAP of FAITH (to all cancer warriors/families)

I was blog surfing last night and came across this blog. I was very impressed by the writing.  This post put into words what so many of us feel and think but cannot figure out how to say it – Keith Ng has done an excellent job in saying it!!!!

I asked Keith if I could repost this on Serendopeity and he agreed.  I wanted to post it here as I think it can help many of us explain how we feel.  I don’t know about you but I sometimes have a hard time putting into words how I feel about a lot of my cancer experience.  I can talk about Esophageal Cancer until I am blue in the face, but trying to explain how I feel personally about the disease is sometimes a futile attempt.

So with Keith’s permission I present:

LEAP OF FAITH

To all cancer warriors and their family members:

 Cancer does not and will not define who you are. It is just a part of life. Everyone of us have our own trials and obstacles. But it does not define who you are. If you have goals and dreams that you want to pursue, don’t stop. Go ahead and accomplish what you want. Just because you are restricted in some ways, it does not mean you’re restricted completely. Don’t stop living. Set your goals. This is just your particular journey, your particular experience. You may have to modify the way you can achieve them, but complete them in the best way that you can. Just be realistic as well. Keep going, while knowing what your limitations are. Having cancer, of course, it is inevitable that you have days which you don’t feel comfortable and needs more rest. Get ready for this. Have as much right nutrition as you can and ask as much questions from your doctor and fellow fighters who have been through what you will be going through. In any case, even the average person falls sick on certain days. It just simply means that you have to learn to adapt to some changes into your life. Addressing cancer may be a difficult issue, because even if you choose to ignore it, it is still there and it still changes things. But at the same time, it also doesn’t change things. It’s hard to explain. Most survivors would still be the same person as they were in many ways, but at the same time also not. They may appear different, feel different and think a little different. But then again, even if for someone without cancer, he would also probably look, feel and think differently after a few years as well. The first thing that you have to do is to get yourself as educated as possible on your situation. I know that with the prognosis, it can be quite hard to get your thoughts clear, but you got to make an informed course of decision to see how you can get yourself treated with the best possible options. Life gains a certain urgency when you have cancer but it will focus your mind on what’s really important in your life. There are a lot of things you can learn from having cancer. It’s kind of bad that we have to have a disease like this to learn so much. We would have wished that we could have learned the things we know now without having to go through it. But that is part and parcel of life. Everyone knows that you never know how many tomorrows you have left. But it changes you somehow when you are actually being told that you have something that you can die from. It changes the way you look at things. It changes the way you approach things. It changes the way you feel about everything. But those are not bad changes. Cancer is not good, but sometimes the things that evolve from it can be very positive. Having that realization would make us reevaluate and prioritize the things that are really important to us. Whenever events or specials occasions have been planned for, go ahead and realize it. Don’t put off vacations or any other time with your family if you would like to. Being a cancer warrior gives you something that the average person doesn’t have. You learn to value and love life more. You appreciate friends and family more. It helped you to not sweat about the small stuff anymore, which the average person can be so miserable about. You will have a greater understanding of what it means to be alive and to appreciate the suffering that other patients have been going thru. And when you finally come to the point whereby you can proudly say that you have been through something really horrible and you overcome it, you might want to spread the light. There are two ways to spread the light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. Be a source of inspiration to other warriors. Everyone who got to where he is had to start from where he was. Now that you have come a long way to learn how to manage cancer, you might want to guide others and bring them through this the way that others have done so for you. Share your experiences to fellow warriors who might need your knowledge on certain issues that comes along. Alternatively, simply introduce fellow warriors to people whom you know can be of great help to them. Every small act that you do will be critical to their recovery phase. Nevertheless, uncertainty is an issue that you will have to learn how to grapple with. It can cause a lot of frustration and anger. That is normal. You might be wondering if you are going to live to an old age. But then again, think about it. Even if you have not been diagnosed with cancer, there is also no guarantee that you would live to an old age. Life itself simply has too many uncertainties and cancer is just one of them that are made known to you for now. There are people out there unaware of the illness that’s within them, but are still living lives to the fullest. The same should go for us. It is those people that live with the false sense of illusion that they are going to live forever, that are going to have a lot of regrets in their life. One day, you life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching. Humans have a strength that cannot be measured. This is Keith Ng. By reading this, you are the resistance. The future has not been written. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. Never stop fighting. The battle has just begun.

 Leap of Faith

Live Strong,

Keith Ng Zhi Wei

www.therulesofwealth.wordpress.com

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Conversations with my Mother.

Me:  Good Morning Mom. How are you today?

Mom:  Just peachy.  What’s for breakfast?

Me:  What would you like?  Toast, crumpets, cereal.  Name it, we probably have it.

Mom:  Oh yes, that sounds good.

~~~~~~~

 

Me:  Hey mom, where’s your glasses?

Mom:  Right where I left them, where I always leave them. I’ll go get them.

(5 minutes later)

Me:  Did you find your glasses?

Mom:  No.  I don’t believe this place. 

Me:  Those darn dogs have been at it again have they?  I will have to talk to them.  They are always putting your stuff away where we can’t find it.

Mom:  Don’t be stupid.  The dogs can’t reach the dresser drawer, even I know that.  Someone must have took them in the night.

Me:  Oh ya, that’s it.  Someone came into the house last night while we were all asleep and out of all the stuff in here, some of it worth a lot of money, the only thing that was taken was your glasses.

Mom: What’s for breakfast this morning?  I am famished.

~~~~~~

Mom:  Is there any coffee left? 

Me:  Yep, its in the coffee machine in the kitchen.

Mom:  Finish your breakfast, I’ll get some.

Me:  Do you remember how to use the coffee machine?  (note – The coffee machine we have has no pot.  It’s a Brew Station whereby you press the mug against the bar and the coffee comes out.)

Mom:  Do you think I am stupid?  Of course I know how to use the coffee machine.  I wasn’t born yesterday.

(Mom goes into kitchen – returns emptyhanded).

Me: Would you like me to get you a cup of coffee?

Mom:   No, I couldn’t eat or drink another thing, I’m full.  I think I will have one of those things.

Me:  What things mom?  Can I get you something?

Mom:  I said I would have one of those.

Me: One of what?

Mom: You know, one of those doodad things.

Me:  Let me get you a coffee Mom.

Mom: Thank you, that would be great.  I never pass up a cup of coffee.

~~~~~

Mom:  The dogs are on the bed.

Me:  And…

Mom:  I am just telling you.  I just made the bed and they jumped up. That little guy sure can jump high.  The big brown one must be getting old.  How long have you had him?

Me: 6 years  in September.

Mom: I thought he was older than that.

Me:  He is 7, I got him when he was a year and a half old.

Mom: I remember when he was just a pup and would jump up on my lap.

Me: (laughing) He was a little bit bigger than a pup when I got him mom.  He already weighed 75 pounds.

Mom:  Well you should stop feeding him.  He is getting too big and I don’t think a puppy should be that big.  What does the doctor say?

Me:  The vet says that you shouldn’t give him part of your breakfast every morning.

Mom:  I don’t.

Me:  Well mom, yes you do.

Mom:  Well someone has to feed him.  He is always hungry.  You should give him more of his food and then I wouldn’t have to give him mine.

Me:  Ya mom, you are right.  I will get on that right away.

~~~~~

Mom:  So whats on the agenda for today?

Me:  You have your ladies group at 1:00 and while you are there dad and I are going to go to Sue’s for a coffee.

Mom:  Have I ever been there before?

Me:  Sue’s house or your group?

Mom: Both.

Me:  Yes you have. You have been to both on several ocassions.  We used to go to Sue’s every Thursday after lunch to play BINGO.

Mom:  I play BINGO?  I don’t think so.  I haven’t played BINGO in ages.  Are you sure it was me that was there?

Me:  Actually mom, you are right. It wasn’t you.  It was your evil twin sister.

Mom:  My sister?  I don’t think so.  I don’t have a sister so it must have been someone else who went with you.

Me:  Ya mom, it must have been.

Mom:  I like it when we play BINGO.  I always manage to win at least one game.

~~~~~

OOOPS

This is  test of the Emergency Broadcast System. In the case of a real emergency please stay tuned for more information…

OOPS sorry wrong warning…

Spelling and grammatical errors in the preceeding post occurred while the author was under the influence of heavy duty pain medication.  We apologize for any inconvience caused by the laziness of the author and her refusal to edit the post.  Additionally any complaints received will be immediately trashed.

We now return you to our regulary scheduled broadcast…

One more parking validation stamp and the new ER will carry my name!!!

I feel like a country song.  If it wasn’t for bad luck I would have no luck at all!

This afternoon mom, dad and I went to the Passport Office to submit applications for their passports.  The closest Passport Office is about 1 1/2 hours away and in the same mall is this really neat store called Hart’s.  It is a department store but not as upscale as say, The Bay or Target but they always have good sales so while we were in the neighbourhood…

Before I go on I would just like to quantify my stupidity – as if there is a good reason for stupidity, however…Since having EC and the subsequent chemoradiation I have been a little clumsy at times.  My feet do not always do what I want them to do and on more than one ocassion I have fallen flat on my face or my butt.  When all the treatments were over I went to a specialist to find out what the problem was.  In addition to some neuropathy in my lower right limb I also has spinal stenosis between the 5th and 6th lumbar discs.  What this means is that the discs are slowly closing up around my spine.  This may sound terrible and I guess if I live to be 80 or 90 it will be but for the time being it just means that on ocassion the transmission of signals in my body misfire and I am momentarily unable to move.  It does not last for long – a coupleof nanoseconds at most but it is a strange feeling and sometimes I fall down and go BOOM!

Whether it was this or something else today (like stupidity) remains to be seen however I ended up tripping over a display in the store.  While my right leg was wrapping itself around the display tower my left arm was clutching some wooden shelves.  The shelves were those small triangle shelves that look like they are floating on the wall – and when I hit the floor, on of the points stuck up into my ribs.  My right foot got smashed by a falling display tower…After 2 minutes and the realization of how dopey I looked I picked myself up and I was fine.  My foot hurt and I thought I had broke a toe, my left wrist was sore but I could move it.  My right wrist and right forearm hurt from trying to break the fall, but all in all I was ok and could walk – no harm no foul.  Dad was upset that I had fallen and tried to help me up – that was even funnier – he can barely walk and he is trying to help me up LOL.  At the time I was more worried that someone had saw my fall and was laughing at me – rule number one – you cannot laugh at someone’s falling down until you know that they are ok!!!  And it seemed as though I was ok.  That changed in the car on the way home.

Of course I didn’t dare tell mom and dad in the car that I was in pain – it would have just added to the confusion that comes with taking mom out of her comfort zone to a new place so I kept quiet all the way home.

By the time we got home I was in excruiating pain.  It hurt to breathe, it hurt to walk, it just hurt…

It was late in the afternoon and I knew that Craig would be home soon, so the minute he walked in the door I told him I was off to the ER, he was in charge of dinner.

In the last 4 weeks I have been to the same hospital 5 times.  Between dad and the ER visits and his hospital stay and my CAT scan I am becoming a fixture at Trenton Memorial Hospital.  I swear that if I get one more parking stamp validation I am going to ask them to name the ER after us!  The wait in ER this time was not very long at all.  Not like last time when we left after 5 hours and not seeing a doctor.

(Now I know for all of you anti-Obama and anti-Universal Health Care in the US people,  you are rubbing your hands together and saying “See, it doesn’t work”  but I can tell you from first hand experience that I would not be here if not for the Health Care System in Canada – but that’s a whole other blog topic!!!!)

Tonight I saw a Doctor, had an Xray and was home again in less than 2 hours.  Oh ya, and it was FREE!!!!!!

Diagnosis – I have a cracked rib, thus the pain breathing and moving and a badly bruised foot.  So not only do I have a noticable limp now, I also have to fold my left arm across my chest to limit the movement and the pull on my ribs.  This is in addition to holding my right arm like that for the better part, since it doesn’t work properly and hasn’t since the surgery.   I laughed at the Doctor when she offered me pain killers – I told her that unless it was something other than Demerol or Morphine save the ink in her pen because I had lots at home.  In fact, one of my main concerns that took me to the ER was I was worried about taking the Morphine as it can cause breathing to slow down and I was afraid that if I had hurt my lung not just my rib I might not be waking up tomorrow morning…and that would not be good.  I can see my obit now – survived deadly cancer, died from tripping over a store display.  Not how I want to go out!!!!

So tonight I am in horrible pain, more than usual and I am afraid to go to sleep. Not because I am afraid I won’t wake up but rather I know how much this is going to hurt in the morning. 

The worst part isn’t the pain though.  I have lived with pain since 2004.  I have so many responibilities and things to do that pain just slows me down and makes it more difficult to get on with the day.  The laundry and grocery shopping doesn’t go away just because I hurt.  Meals don’t miraculously appear on the table and the car doesn’t drive itself.  And no, I am not complaining, that never gets me anywhere anyway so why bother LOL, I don’t have time to be on the disabled list!!!! 

For the next couple of days I am supposed to take it easy, relax and make sure I breathe deeply to ward off pneumonia or fluid on my lungs.  Been there done that and don’t want to do it again.  And to ensure that I am able to breathe deeply pain free I have been instructed to take as many pain killers as it takes.  For the first time in a long time I am almost tempted to follow doctor’s orders to the nth degree.  That has not been been something that I am accustomed too; I am more of a push the envelope kinda gal, just to see how far I get.  I am convinced that, along with a whole lotta of luck got me this far in my cancer journey and I am afraid to stop now.

But, in all honesty I am tired.  I am burnt out. It is becoming more and more difficult to find the energy I need on a daily basis and if I feel like this at 48 years old, how am I going to make it to 80?????

Update Time.

It has been a while since I did any kind of update.  It is not for lack of things to update but more lack of time to do it in.  I was only back from Lake George and Americade for a week or so when I packed up and went ti Minneapolis for my cousin Kate and her new husband Al’s wedding reception.  They got married in Vegas in December and had their reception in June in Minneapolis.  I went and had an awesome time.  It was truly a weekend I will always remember.  In addition to seeing family that I have not seen in years and years it was nice to get away all by myself and travel around a new city.  Minneapolis is a great walking city.  The weather was a little warm – I prefer the 70 degree range to the 90 degree range but all in all it was still a great time. Getting there by air travel and renting a car was another story all together and I have already started that piece for later publication so I am not going to get into it here right now.  I also got to go to the Mall of America.  Same thing, I will blog about that later.

I have been notabley absent of late, and for this I apologize.  With dad being sick and hospitalized and then returning to the ER a couple of days later and waiting to see his family doctor it has been a long two weeks in the health department.   We finally got to see his Doctor on Monday.  Dad does in fact have gall stones but after reading the CAT scan report the Doctor is not convinced that it is the stones causing the problem.  He has deleted Celebrex from Dad’d daily med list too see if perhaps it was a side effect from the med causing some ulceration in dad’s stomach.  We will leave the Celebrex out of the mix fo a month or two and see if there is any change.  However, the Doctor did give me a prescription for dad in the event there is another attack.  This will negate a trip to the ER if dad ends up in pain again that he thinks is going to kill him. 

Mom is still mom (in name at least) and she is still pretty quick to come up with an excuse or explanation for strange things that happen when she is around.  Like how things get into the fridge, mysteriously move from one plae to another, disappear completely never to be seen again.  I  tell ya, from what she tells me we have some pretty amazing dogs, because they can do some incredible tricks.  Just the other day one of them managed to move my watch and 2 rings off the table and put the watch on mom’s wrist, a ring on her finger and the other ring in her pants pocket!!!!! If there was a market for these kinds of phenomenon I would be rich!!!!! 

Speaking of the dogs, Bosco is still the same ole crazy one except he is a little lethargic the last week.  He has an infected follical on his chin so he has been taking antibiotics which I don’t think he likes much.  He does like the little balls of liverwurst that he gets his pills in, but he doesn’t like the ills themselves.  Maggie also likes the liverwurst and is very happy that Bosco is taking pills LOL.  She gets her little taste twice a day when he gets his.  The two of them are really funny together.  I call them Mutt and Jefff.  He is this big oaf and she is this little monkey like creature.  She loves sleeping with me and sneaks in when I am asleep.  It is only when I try to move in the morning that I know she is even there. 

We took mom and dad to the Airshow last weekend.  It was ok, I guess. But when you grow up a block from the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto and are used to seeing the AirShow there every Labour Day Weekend, all other AirShows plae in comparison.  The only real flying was done by the Snowbirds.  There were some paratroopers that put on a cool display in the sky and the tarmac was open with a lot of planes set up to see  and the price was certainly right – $2 to park the car.  That included the shuttle bus to the base for all 4 of us.  Not a bad deal.  We took a picnic lunch and our chairs and watched the planes overhead.  Craig walked around taking pics of all the planes – he used to fly all the time loves the airplanes.  He took some really cool pictures like this one:

Tail Gunner Section of a Lancaster

Tail Gunner Section of a Lancaster

So this is where a tail gunner would sit in the tail section of a Lancaster to shoot at the bad guys.  There is not a lot of room in one of these so I am imagining that a tail gunner would be a very young man who hadn’t had a chance to grow to his full potential yet.  It’s kind of sad to think about, especially being at the Trenton Military Base, as this is where all our dead soldiers return to from Afghanistan.  As a side note – we are up to 124 dead soldiers.  Sorry – but I have to say it again.  The Canadian Armed Forces are Peace Keepers.  We are not at war with any country and yet we have dead soldiers arriving at regualr intervals.  So again I say it – BRING OUR TROOPS HOME NOW!  Ok I am off my soapbox.  I know my “demands” are not going to make a difference however as apathetic as Canadian are known to be I truly believe this is one instance that were a referendum be held tomorrow it is one time that the whole country would actually stick together.

On the sunnier side of the street – as I said the SnowBirds put on a decent show as always. The funny thing, at least to me, they seemed to look like little model airplanes from the ground; they didn’t look real at all.  See for yourself:

The SnowBirds

The SnowBirds

After seeing all these airplanes and flying machines I am certain now of what I would like to do at least once in my life.  I have added “Fly in a f-18” to my Bucket list.  I really don’t think it is something that I will ever get to do, but you never know!!!!  And it costs nothing to dream right???

That’s about it for now – I am tired and have to get up early (5:30 am early). so I am going to say good night.  I still have more to write about, but it will have to wait.

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer wherever you are and with whoever you are with.

Nite

Nancy

Family Ties

My paternal grandmother was the oldest of 3 children.  All of them were very close and on more than one occassion all shared living quarters well beyond their childhood years.  Gramma and Grampa had 2 children.  My father Ron and my Aunt Barb.  Her sister, my Great-Aunt Eva and her husband my Great- Uncle Jim had one daughter, Joy.  Her brother  my Great-Uncle “Peck” had  3 children, Jerry, Betty and Wendy.

I grew up calling each of them “aunt” or “uncle” out of respect, although technically they were my cousins (except for Aunt Barb who, as my father’s sister was truly my Aunt).

All of them had children too.  As a child I spent most weekends with one or all of those children.  We summered at the cottage and during the winter months we were always at one house or another.  We were all very close.

As adults we have all managed to stay in contact and some of us are still very close.  My Aunt Joy’s kids are more like brothers and sisters to me than they are cousins and now 3 of 4 have children of their own.  

This past week I had the absolute pleasure of spending some time with some of those children, specifically my “pseudo” niece’s Tori, Jackie, Taylor (TJ) and Allison.  Again, as is tradition in my family, each of them call me Aunt Nancy although they are my cousins.  I don’t get to spend alot of time with them,  they are scattered throughout the province, but those times that I do get to see them, make my heart smile.

Each of them have grown into beautiful and awesome young women.  As with my own neices and nephews I can remember the day each of them was born and have countless memories of them growing up.  I hold each of them very close to my heart.

They are all very much alike, being teenagers and such, but also very different.  They look very much alike, and for anyone who knows their family backgrounds can immediately see the family resemblence among them. 

Last summer, TJ, Tori and Jackie were here for a week with their grandmother and my high light of that week was taking them Trout Fishing.  LOL.  Dad, myself and the girls headed to a trout pond and between the giggling, the faux screaming and the sometimes “being bored”  we managed to bring home 3 fairly decent sized fish.  I had told them before we went that the rule was as follows:  You catch them, you clean them.  That worked out very well and the girls, with their gramma’s  help, cleaned their fish.

I was so looking forward to taking them back to the pond this year, however the pond was unavailable so I had to find something else for us to do.   They spent the first half of the week hanging out and seeing some “sights”.  The weatherman was not as co-operative as we all would have liked but said that Thursday was going to be a great day:  sun, no rain (for a change).  Aunt Joy announced that it would be a great day for a picnic at the beach.  And it was.  Craig’s daughter Desiree was visiting also so she joined us.

I have to add  that my father loves spending time with the kids.  He finds them to be delightfully cute and funny (which they are).  So mom, dad, Desiree and I hit the beach with Aunt Joy, Tori, Jackie, Taylor and Allison.

I don’t know how they do it.  The water was so cold .  But the 5 of them spent the majority ofthe morning in the water.  They played frisbee and some other silly games and even though their teeth were chattering they stayed in LOL.  After lunch the younger ones went back into the water while the older girls went off to a sand dune to talk about what older girls talk about (I am guessing it would be about boys LOL).  Around 2:30 mom, dad and Aunt Joy were enjoying a little siesta lakeside and the sun was starting to hide behind some clouds that showed up out of nowhere.  We decided to head home before the rain, but not before making some plans for the weekend.

I had decided tht I would take the girls for the better part of the day on Saturday.  I had a place in mind to show them and when I told them it was an animal sanctuary they were all excited and stoked about going.  About a 45 minute drive from Brighton there is a place called Bergeron’s Exotic Animal Sanctuary.  It is a place that rescues animals from an almost certain death, however it is not an ordinary animal shelter in that the animals it rescues are not the average dog and cat varieties.  Instead, the array of animals leans closer to the Exotic variety.  There are Lions and Tigers and Bears (Oh My!!).  There are cougars, a panther, wolves, a leopard, monkeys, donkeys, goats, a slew of different birds, a parrot, peacocks, chickens, roosters, rabbits, guinea pigs and my most favourite the Patagonia Cavey’s.  A Patagonia Cavey is of the rodent family from South America.  The first time I ever saw one, was at Bergeron’s a couple of summers ago when I visited with Jamie-Lee and Michael.  The cavey’s are adorable – considering they are rats that grow to be upwards of 25 pounds.  If I ever saw a rat that big under normal circumstances I would probably have a heart attack and die, but the cavey’s are just so darn cute that they don’t freak me out like rats do LOL.  This year they even had baby Cavey’s.

Cute baby cavey's

We had an excellent time looking at all the animals and birds.  Jackie and Allison found new friends in the chickens and birds but I think that had to do with the food they had to feed them with.  Tori wanted to bring home a little white bunny that was wondering aimlessly about but then had second thoughts when she saw the big pen that had a lot more bunnies in it LOL.  She wanted them all!!!  TJ was feeling sorry for the bear, as it was all alone.  We had a great time with the animals and the girls all made new friends in the donkey pen.  Not only did they feed them but they also named each of them.  I am not sure what the naming criteria was, but before we left the 4 donkeys all had new monikers.  Jackie wanted to bring a donkey home with her.  I would have agreed, they do live on a horse farm, but somehow I don’t think her parents would have been too happy with me.  LOL

Again, the weatherman was wrong and we left Bergeron’s right before the sky opened and the rain came!  We headed off to Reid’s Dairy for ice cream, a trip we started last year after fishing.  (In fact, I was told by Jackie that we could skip everything else planned for the day and go straight to Reid’s.  Jackie is an ice cream fanatic.  Years ago when she was younger she put a sign on her grandmother’s fridge that says “Jackie Mann loves Ice Cream and will eat it for FREE”.) 

Reid’s Dairy and Ice Cream Parlour is a landmark in this area.  They have been here for over 65 years and it is still family owned and operated.  The ice cream is awesome and comes in a variety of flavours to suit everyone’s tastes.  I see a lot of children with the Cotton Candy flavour, pink with swirls of blue and yellow.  Not one of my favourites but I guess when you are a kid anything that is different is worth trying LOL.  My tastes have evolved since I grew up (I know, that is a point for debate) and I have graduated from the Grape ice cream  to the soft serve vanilla.   In my youth I would always have a cone with two scoops of ice cream.  Now that my eating habits are a lot different I prefer the soft serve.  It doesn’t really matter what flavour you order, they are all so darn good.  Reid’s uses only whole milk and cream  in their ice cream and it is made fresh on the premises.  No freezer burn, no weird freezer “taste”.  And their Chocolate Milk is the best ever!!!!!  When I was sick I practically lived on the chocolate milk.  Even the plain milks have a taste all their own.  I go out of my way to buy Reid’s Dairy products.   They are, by far, a superior product and worth the trip to Belleville to purchase them.

True to her “addiction” little Miss Jackie ordered a large waffle cone with Blueberry Cheesecake  ice cream.  LOL.  There was some discussion on whether she would finish it and by golly if she didn’t.!!!!!  She had a little help from her sister, Tori, but not much. I think Jackie must have a hollow leg or something – the cone was enough to feed all of us but she polished it off like a Pro. LOLOLOL.

After ice cream I took them to the Chocolate Factory  in Campbellford.  Hey, I am the “Aunt” remember – there is nothing better than loading them up on sugar  and sending them home.  But the joke was on me – they were all coming over for a BBQ.  After the ice cream they all had some difficulty deciding what kind of chocolate they wanted but they soon figured it out and with their chocolate purchased we headed home.

We had a great BBQ supper – I still can’t get over how much these girls can pack away LOL.  I think that is one of the things about not having my own kids – I don’t see what they eat on a daily basis.  If I did I would probably pass out from the reality of it all LOL.   I was sorry to see them leave after supper – they had to leave early this morning to go home.  It seemed as though they had only just got here and they were leaving already.  I had such a wonderful time with them – I only hope we can do it again  before the summer is over and they head back to school.

Tori, Allison, Jackie and Taylor

Tori, Allison, Jackie and Taylor

Tori, Jackie, TJ and Allison – please know that I had a great time with you and I love you very much.  You are all growing up to be exceptional young women and I know that you will go far in your lives and make us all very proud!!!!

It was a great week that ended much too quickly. Come back soon girls – I miss you already!!!

 

 

 

(NOTE:   Unfortunately, Joe Bergeron one of the owner’s of Bergeron’s Exotic Animal Sanctuary  died suddenly last Christmas.  Since that time, Bergeron’s has managed to stay open and care for the animals in it’s “stable”. It is easy to see that the current owners (Mrs. Bergeron and family) are having a difficult time maintaining the sanctuary.  It is a non-profit sanctuary and survives on the goodness of stangers to keep up and running.  The big cats alone consume 333 pounds of meat daily.  That is a heck of a lot of meat!!!  The sanctuary relies on donations and volunteers to keep it open. If you would like to learn more about Bergeron’s Exotic Animal Sanctuary and its  animals  please click here. )

Good news…

Now that Craig has returned to work full time I am back to being a caregiver for the most part.  My job in itself does not bother me, it’s just that I am so damn tired all the time that bothers me.  But there is good news on the horizon.

We (mom and dad and I) have been approved for 24 hours a week of respite for me and essentially them too.  What this means is that I can have someone come in to our home for up to 24 hours a week.  This is great news because I am hopeful that I will be able to return to work part-time and finally feel like a productive member of society.  Not that looking after mom and dad is not productive.  Au contraire – the longer I can keep them at home the better off they are. (Although there are some that think that them not living here but rather somewhere  else (read institution) would be a better quality of life for them than I offer here. But I am sure that has nothing to do with Ron and Carol’s well being but rather someone’s financial future).  OOOOps did I say that out loud, my bad!!!!!  However, until the time comes when I am unable to care for them any longer and it would not be in their best interests to stay home, they are here for the long haul.   Don’t misunderstand, I totally know that there will come a day when I can no longer care for either of them here and I do not look forward to that day at all.  But for the time being, even when we have our bad days, we are fine.

We try to keep busy – day programs, seniors groups, BINGO, bowling and tomorrow we are off to the beach with my Aunt and her 4 grandaughters for a day of picnicing and fun.  I am not sure how cold the water will be – but that matters not anyway.  The girls went in the water at the lake the other day, much to the “adults” chagrin.  Don’t they get it LOL.  The water could have ice on it and the “kids” would still go in!  That’s just how it is.  We will also be joined by Craigs’s daughter Desire.  She is a lovely young lady – in addition to be highly intelligent she is also very cute – so it might be tough keeping the boys away at the beach.  Between the 5 girls – oh my LOLOLOL.

That’s ok, dad will be there to protect them.

Somewhere in all of this I was trying to make a point. Oh yea, so insomuch as we all suffer from some affliction – Alzheimer’s, side effects from cancer, arthritis and a host of other age related stuff, we are still able to go out for a day and enjoy ourselves. 

This is what living is all about.  Having fun, spending time with people we love.  How can that be bad? 

Have a great day

Nancy

I am not ignoring you!!!

I know, I know, I have been pretty lax in posting the last couple of days but I really do have a good excuse.

My plane was delayed two hours on Sunday coming home from Minneapolis.  We didn’t get back here to Brighton until almost midnight and by that time I was just a little tired!  Pretty well went straight to bed and then had to get up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 to get Craig to his new job for 7:00.

Mom, dad and I then stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast.  On the way home Dad all of a sudden got an excruiating pain in his stomach.  We got back to the house ans it hadn’t subsided so I called 911.  The pain was now radiating up into his chest.  The Fire Dept showed up pretty quick, the Paramedics not far behind.  They hooked dad up to an ECG machine – everything was normal, all vitals were good but recommended that we go to the hospital anyway.  They took him in the ambulance, mom and I followed a little bit later.

At the ER dad was tended to by Dr. John Bonn.  I love Dr. Bonn, he was the first Dr. I saw when I got sick back in 2004.  It was because of him that I was referred to Dr. McIlreath – the rest of the story is history!  I really wish that Dr. Bonn would go into private practise – I would be the first person in line to become a patient.  Dr. Bonn reported to Mom and I that it was not Dad’s heart – that was the good news.  Unfortunately there was some abnormal acitivity with his liver and pancreas.  This would require dad being admitted to the hospital and as Dr. Bonn explained dad would need a CAT scan. He also warned that the abnormal activity that was showing was usually caused by some kind of malignancy…

I handled this a lot better than I thought I would, at least on the outside.   I remained calm and optimitic to the outside world.  However on the inside I was panicking.  Pancreatic cancer is the most deadliest form of cancer there is, followed by Esophageal Cancer.  So what are the odds of two people in the same immediate family having both types of cancer?  I don’t know the answer to that question and hopefully I will never have to find out.

Dad was admitted to the hospital and on Tuesday morning had a CAT scan.  We had not talked to the Dr. in charge of his case – so at that point we knew nothing!  Wednesday was  holiday here – Canada Day – and I was assured by the nurses that the Dr. would indeed be into the hospital to see patients.  So I was at the hospital bright and early – 8:00 am to talk to him.  At 2:00 pm I left, I had still not talked to the Dr.  After waiting all that time I told the nurses that I knew the minute I left he would show up and guess what ?? He did LOL.  One of the nurses tried to catch me in the parking lot but I had already left.

The nurses in the Outpatient Unit where dad was  were great.  One Tuesday while mom and I were there I went to talk to them to try and find out what was going on.  Dad was no longer on any IV, he had his CAT scan and unless there was something horribly wrong with him then I couldn’t understand why they were keeping him. He wanted to go home – he hates being alone and was in a room all by himself and I couldn’t see why he wouldn’t have been sent home already.  The nurses that I spoke with agreed and said that if I was willing to take him home, they saw no reason why he was being kept in either.  The unit that dad was in is also the unit where patients who are waiting to be taken to nursing homes or hospice facilities are placed until they can be sent to a different facility.  Dad did not fall into this category but it was the only unit where there was an available bed.  The nurses were actually quite thrilled that I wanted to take him home.  They said they would put a note on his file so the Dr. would see it in the morning.

To make a long story short – I got home from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon and there was a message the Dr. had ordered dad discharged – so off I went and brought him home.  In the meantime, while talking to one of the nurses, she pulled the report from Dad’s CAT scan up on the screen and read it.  I asked her point blank what it said.  She replied that she wasn’t supposed to tell me (I knew that) but…dad had gallstones. The cancer scare was gone – at least for the time being.  I am all too aware of how things can change in an instant.  But for now we can breathe a sigh of relief .

We went to see the Canada Day fireworks that night in Trenton  and they were awesome.  I love fireworks.  I can remember as a child the displays that my dad and grandfather set off every year for May 24th and Labour Day.  Dad had been talking about the fireworks and going to see them since we saw them last year. I was so glad to be able to get him home and then to see the fireworks on Wednesday night.  He seemed fine, no worse for wear, and had been eating normally with no problem.  That was until tonight.

I fell asleep in the chair after dinner and was awakened by Craig in a panic mode.  Dad was in pain once again, this time convinced he was going to die.  He was clamy and sweaty,  felt like he was going to be sick and in incredible pain.  Craig and I got him to the car and I took off for the hospital again surprising myself at how calm I was but knowing that it is gallstones that are causing the problem makes it a little easier than thinking dad has cancer.

We got to the ER and saw the Triage Nurse.  I explained that he had been discharged Wednesday afternoon and that I knew that the CAT scan showed gallstones.  Trenton Memorial Hospital is a very small hospital.  The ER this Friday night was swamped.  There were patients there that had been waiting for 8 hours to see a Dr.  We waited 3 1/2 and still had not been in to see a Dr. so I talked to the triage nurse and decided to bring dad home.  If he has another attack I am to return him to the hospital. The nurse told me that in all likelihood the only thing that would be done for dad was a presciption for a painkiller/relaxant that I could administer at home.  That’s all well and good except there would not have been a pharmacy to get the script filled at anyway so it was kind of redundant to stay.  If it happens again tomorrow I will take him back to the ER and hope that it is not as busy as it was tonight. I am hoping that we do not have to make another trip to the ER and can wait until Thursday when we go to see Dad’s family doctor and can get a script then and hopefully some direction on what happens next. 

The worst part of all of this is that with Alzheimer’s lurking in the background Dad gets very confused and very scared.  Rightly so, I get scared too and I am not the one in pain.  I can see it on his face when the attacks happen.  I know that kind of pain and I am fully cognizant and aware of everything going on around me.  I cannot even begin to imagine how frightening it would be to be 77 years old, in that kind of pain and not understand what is going on.  I just hope we can get over this hump and on to the next one LOL – and there will be an next one, I am sure of that!

So, that’s my story and I am sticking to it!  I have not been ignoring my blog, nor you, my most awesome reader’s.  Honest!  And I am hopeful that I can get back to some sense of normalacy and tell you all about my trip to Minneapolis in the next couple of days. It was truly a weekend to remember!

If you are an American friend – I wish you a very Happy July 4th weekend.  Be safe – enjoy your holiday.

Nancy

Happy Birthday Canada!!!!

From sea to shining sea I wish you all a very Happy Canada Day.

 

We are off to see the fireworks tonight.  If they are as good as last year it’s the best show around.!!!

 

I hope you all have a great day celebrating.