Enough being morose. In previous years, we have had a ball, dressing up and making our own costumes, carving pumpkins. I only have one costume to show off though - mobsters was the theme at work.
The colours are closer to the those in the Swedish Flag, which only makes sense, being of Swedish decent and all.
Actually that was not the only reason for choosing these colours. I figured that the yellow would not be as noticeable under a white blouse as the blue would be, but, a yellow glove would show the dirt terribly. Blue would be noticeable under a white blouse, but would not show the dirt quite as much!
Now, I would have just gone with purple again, but, when looking for a job, I read years ago that wearing purple is almost guaranteed to NOT get you the job. Blue is good for job hunting. As I can't stand the thought of the neutral/tan/beige toned sleeves, I figured that blue would be good. I figure it is just as noticeable no matter the colour, so, why not be a colour I like. I am so happy it is here!
Good morning All!
Hello Fellow Edmontonians!
A project I started last year to help people cope with the emotional aspects of cancer has just won an award from Avon Canada through its Hello Tomorrow Fund for helping to empower women with breast cancer. There were only six winners out of over one thousand applications and I was the only one from Alberta. I am posting this because from November 7th to 30th there will be a vote on the Avon website where the public can vote for their favorite winner and I am hoping to have my hometown behind me on this one. If my project wins, it will help to raise more awareness for the project and mean another win for our City of Champions, not to mention benefit a good cause.
Details about the Hello Tomorrow Fund can be found here:
A press release with more information can be found here:
Please put a reminder on your calenders to visit the Avon web site sometime between November 7th and 30th to vote for your favorite winner which I hope will be the April winner (ME!!!) I hope to make Edmonton and also Alberta proud.
Feel free to reply to this post with any questions you have for me or to talk about your experience with cancer.
(I added the http:// so you could actually link if you wanted to)
I had a brief look at her site and will be going back to take a longer look, as it seems interesting.
However, the "Paranoid Princess" had to throw in her two cents. "I'm sorry, I support the one that helps make aware of prevention..." & She included a link to a website that goes on and on about what a scam the Breast Cancer Industry is. That is her phrasing and amazingly she didn't have any spelling errors.
From the website:
18 things that CAUSE cancer: (in no particular order)
- Smoking cigarettes
- Mammography radiation - see articles on mammograms
- Chemotherapy and radiation
- Perfumes and fragrance products
- Cosmetics and personal care products - see articles on personal care products
- Home cleaning products, including laundry detergent, dryer sheets, etc.
- Drinking non-organic milk or eating non-organic dairy products
- Hydrogenated oils and trans fatty acids - See Poison In the Food or articles on hydrogenated oils
- Plastic food containers - includes plastic lining inside food cans
- Sodium nitrite - found in most processed meats, see articles on sodium nitrite
- Pesticides, PCBs, chlorine and other chemicals
- Acrylamides (formed during high-heat food processing such as frying)
- Watching television / lack of exercise
- Severe emotional distress or relationship stress
- Refined sugars / refined grains
- Dry cleaning chemicals
- Hair color chemicals
- Nail polish remover
Which of those are a surprise to any of us? (Sorry, I am not sure any of the links will work outside the original site) (Oh, they do!)
I do agree that prevention should be taught and encouraged more, however, I don't want to go back to living in the dark ages... Yes, golly gee - take out the plastic from our tins, so that we can worry about lock jaw and botulism and infanamminamity again!
One of the preventions listed is Medicinal Mushrooms - yeah, like that would help me! I am allergic to any kind of fungus, fortunately not as allergic as some people are, but, I do tend to avoid things I am allergic too.
A lot of the information on this website, I am sure has some merit, but the manner in which it is presented sounds like the National Exposer or something.
Unfortunately there are far too many people out there that read these things and take them as gospel handed down by Elvis and then you wind up with people dying because "I am not having Chemo (or mammograms) because I was told prevention will save me!"
The PP on another thread today was extolling the virtues of NOT getting vaccines too. The link on that one takes you to the personal horror stories page first!
She would be funny if she weren't so serious about these things.
The topic originator is convinced that this will happen in the near future - "just Google it, you'll see!" He is also convinced that we will have no choice in the matter.
So, I did. The one that sounded like it might be a real article can be found here, and it was on the third page of Google. The rest were paranoid, tabloid type hysteria. "This will be published in the AP next week" The original date of that comment was Sep 9th! I haven't heard or read anything in legitimate press about it, nor was there anything in Google.
I Googled RFID (radio frequency identification) as well and there I found several articles that were not from the paranoid. It seems that yes, people are being tagged in certain instances, but with their knowledge and consent. Passports are using RFID, as are books, grocers, pet owners and pretty much any company that has a large inventory they need to keep track of for example the US Defense Department. In fact RFID has been around since WWII when they used it to keep track of planes.
One of the potential uses it can be put to in humans, is to keep medical history. If a patient arrives in the ER unconscious, they can be scanned to find out if they are allergic to medications before having them administered and possibly killing them. Another is to keep track of children, especially those that would be at high risk of kidnapping. Keeping track of parolees and sex offenders, pedophiles and the like. That is where the line starts to blur and where the paranoids get their fuel from. Once a child has become an adult, does the chip die? Does it have to be surgically removed? Will governments remove them? Again, more fuel for the paranoids. I can just hear the paranoids saying "Oh, but my medical chip can be altered to provide them with everything I do, everywhere I go, what I think". With the population as large as it is and the number of other things out there that are tagged, tracking individuals to see what they are up to (are you really so important?) based on a tag that was not intended for that purpose, it just isn't likely to happen.
I can see potential for abuse and yes, it infringes upon my rights - if it becomes a requirement. I am not going to get all up in arms about the government trying to tag me without my knowing it though. Just like I am not going to worry that they can track where I am by the gps locator in my cell phone (well, if I ever get a new cell phone that is).
I have always hated pumpkin pie. Now my mother made the best pie crusts in the world, but I never liked the taste of pumpkin pie. A friend of mine makes hers from scratch. No tins for this lady. What? how do you do that? you may say. Well, I'm here to tell her secrets!
First off, pumpkins are not only for carving at Hallowe'en, you can scape out the meat inside and boil it just as you would turnips or potatoes, 'til soft. The seeds of course can be roasted and salted and make a great snack. After boiling (you can do this while still hot) puree the pumpkin in a food processor, divide into freezer bags and freeze, or make pie:
28 oz pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp Allspice - optional
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups milk
Add all ingredients & blend thoroughly. Pour into unbaked pastry shells and bake @ 450 for 10 minutes and reduce heat to 300 until filling is set - about 50 mins longer.
Of course you have to buy whipping cream & make your own, none of this spray canned stuff this year.
Granted her crusts don't hold a candle to mom's, but they are getting better. I found a website here that has even more things to do with pumpkins, mostly recipes, some of which look pretty good.
So, when you carve your pumpkins do you just throw out the meat and seeds?
The Cross Cancer Institute (CCI) is Northern Alberta's cancer hospital. You can get your chemo locally, but if you have to have radiation therapy you have to come to Edmonton. Needless to say, it is a busy place. When it first opened it was referred to as the W.W.Cross, after the man who started it. I am not sure when they started to refer to it as CCI & dropped the WW, but my first experience (many years ago for a friends son), it was the WW Cross and in my tiny mind, it still is. Especially as the college I went to was CCI. Change when you are this old, is hard!
Yes, I'm getting there.
To recap a bit though.
- May 15 Mammogram
- June 5 Lumpectomy & Sentinal Node Biopsy
- July 5 Axial node surgery (lymph nodes under right arm)
July 26th, I had my first consult with my Dr. This is where I learned about the type of cancer I had and the treatment plan. I had hormone positive breast cancer, a 1.5 cm tumor was removed from the top of my right breast, they gave me a 2/3 grade rating on the severity. The sentinal node was 1+, 2.5mm, which is what determined they would take out the lymph nodes, but of the 6 nodes they took, none had any trace of cancer.
So, the plan was to be as aggressive as possible to try to make sure it doesn't come back. I was to get chemo, radiation and then have my estrogen killed. Six to nine months of treatments.
I had a muga the next day (some kind of imaging of the heart) to make sure I was fit enough to have all this abuse piled on me. Then I had appointments for classes on what to expect from chemo and what to expect after it started. I was given pamphlets and information sheets on dry mouth, eating right, soft foods, how to manage my energy and anything else they could think up. They do a very good job of making you feel comfortable there and making sure you have all the information you could possibly want.
The actual treatments didn't start until August 8th (mom's birthday), when I had my first blood test. The 9th was the first of six chemo treatments. My sister came with me for my treatments, the first one, the nurse told us all about what she was doing, that I could walk around if I felt like it, but that I couldn't leave the room. I couldn't leave the room, because if for any reason the toxic chemicals they were pumping into my veins spilled outside of the room, it would result in having to shut down the floor and evacuate and emergency services would have to come and its hazardous waste and the world as we know it would come to an end. Or something like that.
So, of course, both of us being a bit nervous (well, me anyway) and leery of the whole process, got a bit carried away and we are a sarcastic, witty pair at the best of times. But the nurse played right along with us. Talking about steel gates crashing down around us and lights & bells and action movie heroes. Well, anyway, we had a laugh. Then it got boring. It takes about four hours to pump all that crap into a body. We had each brought books and sis brought along a crossword puzzle book, which we managed to involve the woman in the bed next to mine. Four hours later, we were let go, so we went shopping. It was a bright sunny day. I now tan really easily in my face! Oops!
Well, the next day, I was okay, a bit tired, not a lot of nausea, but, didn't really eat a lot. I had to inject myself for seven days and take certain drugs at various times and durations around the chemo dates. It was about the third day after chemo, sis had gone home already, when the pain struck. Every muscle and joint in my body ached, I felt like I was 900 years old and it was an effort just to go to the bathroom. Thankfully, I had plenty of ready to eat food on hand. I love living alone, but, this is one time when it would have been nice to have had a husband. By day 5 I was in agony, then it got better, in total the body aches only lasted about 5 days. I was very lucky, I was not vomiting, I was able to eat, I didn't have much appetite, but, it could have been so much worse. I got fungal infections in my throat, so wound up with a very disgusting mouthwash. Other than that it was not a horrible experience.
I lost my hair after the first treatment, just a week or so before the second treatment. I went in to the Cross as they have volunteers in a hair salon and they shaved it off for me and lent me a wig. I had my (very bad) shave Aug 30th. Sis, eventually gave me a clean shave, but, I seem to no longer have the photo on my 'puter. Oh well, it felt much better, as the stubble that was left from the first shave, would poke through head scarves.
Having had the lymph nodes removed, limited the chemo to one arm, so by the last appointment, the nurses were having a bit of trouble finding places to put the needle. One time, I bruised as soon as she put it in, so she had to move it, then I bruised from the rubber tourniquet!
I will post later on the radiation treatments. As for the chemo, it was pretty much the same, six times, fine for a couple of days , achy for 5 or 6 days, then fine again. As I said, I was lucky.
P.S. there is no proper website fro the Cross, but for those that are interested and like links, here is one for the Alberta Cancer Board, they have a link to the Cross's Patient Guide and how to get there & contact info etc. (all in pdf )
I learned at an early age that my brothers would not adjust their stride to match my shorter legs, so, learned to stretch my legs to keep up. This is something that has stuck! Over the years, I have shortened my stride a bit (my brothers are in different cities now), but, over all I still manage to cover a lot of ground while not appearing to be in a great hurry.
I found, when keeping up with my brothers that 3 or 4 inch heels helped considerably. Of course, now that my arches are fallen, I am wearing sneakers (runners/walkers/cross trainers, if you prefer), something I would never have considered as daily foot wear when I was in my twenties (in fact I don't think I owned any from the time I was about 18 'til I was about thirty something).
Of course, the last few of years has changed that! The weight I am now carrying is not conducive to long strides, so I arrive out of breath and huffing like a steam engine. I can't seem to slow down without thinking about it every step I take. Last year (and right now) have been the worst, because of the lymphoedema. While I am wrapped up like a mummy to reduce the swelling, the lymph fluid in my arm is being forced through my lungs. Not a good thing when you already have bad lungs (and can't seem to quit smoking). This is when I have to force myself to slow down, if I start to think about anything other than keeping a slow pace, I speed up - at least until I start to cough. Then I have to stop completely until I get my breath back! It is really hard going to my appointments, as where I go is located near the University of Alberta, so I get off the bus and am in a crowd of Uni students, all walking as fast as I normally do!
I was walking from the bus to the store the other week (obviously before my wrapping) and as I was approaching the intersection from one direction, a power walker was approaching from another. The light changed when we were both a few feet away, so, I lengthened my stride in order to catch the light. We would have arrived at the same time had I not done this, as it was, I beat her to the light and across the four lane intersection, just by doing that. I found it funny, here she was, her legs moving as fast as they could and her arms pumping away, there's me, just striding along ahead of her. I wonder what it looked like to the people in the cars?
So, has your stride changed over the years? Do you stretch to your maximum stride, or do you take smaller steps?
As for my nails, all I had done was put clear polish and flower stickies on them. That to me is nothing compared to what I have been known to do in the past. I did this because my nails have been breaking a lot lately and I am tired of it.
She said that her mom wasn't that type either so she didn't learn. Huh? Mine wasn't either. She wore makeup, consisting of powder, lipstick and mascara & eyeshadow ONLY when she was going out to a fancy function. She always wore lipstick going out of the house, she was always well dressed and her hair was neat. Or at least that is how I remember it. My sister was more girlie than I was in high school, she wore makeup and did her hair. I kept my hair short and didn't wear makeup. Besides, that is just a further step in grooming, not girlie!
When I moved to Edmonton to go to college is when I started to pay more attention to my grooming. My brother lived down the street from where I lived & he was apprenticing for his hair dressing license at the time. I was usually his guinea pig. I had my hair coloured, cut & permed regularly & I rarely looked the same from one month to the next. He attached long finger nails, plucked my brows, added false lashes. He taught me how to walk in four inch heels (oh, how I miss heels), apply makeup & would make dresses for me. In other words, I was his living Barbie doll. I also learned how to apply nail tips on myself, by myself.
During all of this, he also taught me to be proud of myself and boosted my self image. He gave me the confidence to come out of my shy shell.
Some people will say I turned into a bitch about then, not really, it was always there, I just was too shy to express myself.
Over the years, I have given up the artificial lashes and nails, but I still change my colour and hair styles often. I have fallen into the habit, like mom & sis, of only wearing full face armour when I need to impress. We are blessed with good skin in our family (and hair and nails).
Besides, there is nothing wrong with taking care of your appearance. In fact, a whole lot of people could stand to put more thought into their appearance before they step out of their houses.
So, is it girlie or not?
After having to wait, for my Dr. to get back from holidays, I then called too late and had to call the next month. I have finally been to see my G.P. for my 6 month (more like 8 now) post-cancer check up! I booked an appointment for a physical, now to me, especially as I had indicated it was for my post-cancer check-up, this includes that ever so charming Pap smear/exam. So, here I am, all psyched up and ready for this intrusion into my most private of privates (after breast cancer, I'll flash them at anyone who asks... almost) only to have my Dr. ask me if I was booked in to see Dr. Bates?
Who is Dr. Bates? Well, it turns out my Dr. doesn't do Gyny exams (he didn't do a rectal either, so, I will have her do it) which the staff that I booked the app't with failed to mention! Now, is this just a way for the clinic to bill more hours, or is he restricted because he didn't get his license in Canada (Germany I would think, maybe South Africa). Either way, it sounds fishy! If it weren't so damned hard to get a doctor these days, I would start shopping for a new one.
So, he has given me orders to have the usual battery of tests done: the tit squish, bone density and labs. We both forgot to get the order for a colonoscopy, so I will have to phone on Monday and have him order that too.
Oh, I have shrunk too! I used to be about 5'81/2" now I am 5'7"! I know my hips were acting up, so that would be part of it, but also my posture has been bad the last little while, have to get back to Yoga, get my stomach muscles toned up so I can stand up straight.
So, I will post when I have test results back, well, actually before then, but, I will let you know what gives with the results.
So, I will tell you about the name of my blog site instead.
My cat is a Himalayan Lynx Seal Point. His name is Sibu, which is an East Indian name I picked off of a web site. I can't remember what it means (this was 7 or so years ago), but, I just liked the sound of it. Cats respond well to sibilants so we didn't even look at any other letters. The other "S" names were just too long, too complicated, too common or plain boring. Unfortunately I can't post a really good picture of him as all I have is a really old web cam. My scanner bit the dust a few years back, so I can't even upload any of the other photos I have of him. Oh woe is me. Oh well, you will have to trust me when I say that his eyes are in fact blue - just paler than normal I think. By the way, for those that may be in living in warmer climes, points on cats like Siamese and Himy's go darker when exposed to the cold. (not that he is ever out for long)
Pegasus is my favorite fantasy creature. I have several statues and pictures, but, I will refuse any that have a Unicorns horn stuck on them! There is no such thing as a Uni-Peg! My sister once pointed out that there was also no such thing as a Pegasus or a Unicorn! I don't know where she got that idea! Of course I still believe in Santa too! He has never let me down.
Power, I just threw that on the title. I would have gone crazy long ago were it not for my cat, although sometimes I am not sure that he isn't the one behind the wheel. So I suppose you could say I get my power from my cat and my belief in Pegasus. And the belief that I have beaten the cancer - it will not come back!
That's it, that is how I came up with the name for my blog. I didn't put anywhere near this amount of thought into it. Maybe if I had put more thought into it I would have come up with something much more pithy - oh well, I like it.
By the way my favorite real animal is the Polar Bear, I have lots of those too.
Isn’t it funny how there can be so many different kinds of funny? I’m no expert on anything, but I know what makes me laugh. Of course, as I’ve gotten older, that has changed a little. Moving out to the country has twisted my perceptions a little. I’ll give you a few examples.
My significant other was involved in a serious car accident many years ago. After a month in the hospital, he was released with strict instructions not to remove the neck brace he was wearing. It was of the very stiff variety that severely limited his range of vision. Bored to tears after several days of forced inactivity, alone in the house, he decided to clean his gun. He lifted it high above his head and peered into the barrel, shut it and slammed it down onto the floor beside him. Naturally, it went off.
He almost had a heart attack, sitting there, slapping himself all over, thinking “I’m shot, I’m shot!!” Finding no blood and feeling no pain, he finally calmed down enough to start looking around for the bullet hole. He spent the rest of the afternoon searching everything in his line of sight for the evidence. Nothing. Several days later, his spouse went into the freezer for something for supper and came back to the kitchen with a quizzical look on her face, holding a bag of bread that had been totally destroyed. The interior of the freezer was covered with blasted strawberries, bread, etc. Turns out the bullet had gone through the door into the porch, then through the front of the freezer right below the handle, and lodged in the hinge at the back, destroying everything in its path!
He still had that freezer when we met, and we used it for another 12 years before it died. Wonder if it’s still considered murder?
He had a little dog at that time named Bear. Bear was a Poodle-Pomeranian-cross, and had a habit of walking on his back legs when he couldn’t see over the tall grass, hence the name. During his recuperation, he took Bear for a walk in the pasture. Of course, the cowboy could only see things that were either far away or fairly tall.
Suddenly, Bear started barking frantically and then took off running for the house. Not knowing what the problem was, the cowboy started looking around, finally bending from the waist and coming eye to eye with an actual bear! Didn’t take him long to make his way back to the house, either!
Another time, long after the neck-brace was history, the cowboy was alone on the ranch during calving season. It was early spring, muddy and wet. He discovered a newborn calf lying in a huge puddle of water. He grasped it firmly by the back legs and had started dragging it out of the puddle when he was hit from behind with enough force to knock him right out of his rubber boots! Turns out the mother cow had taken exception to his handling her calf and she proceeded to chase him all the way to the fence! It took him three days to get his boots back. Every time he went to the pasture, the cow chased him out. He finally had to saddle up his horse and chase the cow far enough across the pasture to allow him time to get the boots.
What about you? What makes you howl with laughter? Is humour divided by the city limit sign?
I will try to come up with something exciting, or at least mildly amusing over the next few days.
I can't just get in the car and go for a drive in the country, maybe see something other than jackrabbits and yes, coyotes. Hear something other than magpies and ravens, not to mention trains, ambulances, police cars, helicopters, motorcycles and trucks. Oh and lets not forget the ongoing construction! I live three blocks away from where they are going to be running the LRT, they just started in my area this summer, but it will take them forever, to actually lay the tracks past here. I think 2010 is the projected completion date. The station will still be far enough away that I have to bus to get to it, by the way.
Reasons for needing a car in Edmonton:
- I am asthmatic and the winters are long and cold. Cold air and exercise shut down my lungs.
- I have compressed ulnar nerves in both elbows and carrying any weight in my hands makes my elbows hurt, which in turn increases the numbness in my hands.
- The city has really bad transit, you can only get to some places once an hour, so if you make an appointment and the bus arrives at 10 minutes after the hour you can't make appt's on the hour unless you want to wait for 50 minutes. It takes me 2 hours to go get my prescriptions! Our Light Rail Transit (LRT) currently runs from the Northeast corner of the city to the University @ 83 Ave (central on the South side of the river), about 12 km worth of line. They are extending that fairly straight South to 23 Ave. That's it.
- Metro land area of Ottawa is 5,716 km2, metro population 1.3 million; Metro land area of Toronto is 5,903.63 km2, metro pop 5.6 million; Metro land area of Edmonton is 9,417.88 km2, metro pop 1,034,94
I would not give up living in this city in exchange for one with better transit. I love this city. Even though it takes 30 minutes to get somewhere by bus that takes 10 minutes by car (20 on my bike, or 30 walking! But not in winter!), I would still rather live here.
There are so many jobs I could apply for if only I had a car, it is sick that our transit system would require me to take three buses and 45 minutes to get to a job that is a 15 - 20 minute drive. Straight east of my apartment about 12 blocks, but, because it crosses two transit dividing lines, I have to go to two transit stations to change buses.
I am dreading this coming winter, last year was bad, being bald and all, but I could choose when I wanted to go out. This year I will be working and will have no choice. My lymphoedema has gone out of control, so they are wrapping it again which is forcing the lymph fluid out of the arm, it passes through the lungs on the way out and they are not happy lungs to start with. Walking to the Cross Cancer Institute at a mere -2 C, about three blocks, reminded me of trudging through snow to get to school (4/5 blocks) at -25 ! I had to get there at least a half hour early in order to get my breathing back to normal. And they were in much better shape then!
Oh well, enough whining, lets all bow our heads in prayer that Reb gets a car some year! ;)
Lovely scenes of lakes and forests, the colour in the leaves, the smell of fall, the warmth of a fleece sweater, ah, my favorite season! Oh look, where does the path go? Oh damn, hot flash..... they just ruin my favorite season! I don't know how to dress anymore!