My Wigs debut

Sunday, November 29, 2009  I went to church to sing….baaaaddd mistake.  I sound like a frog.  Literally.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I still haven’t recovered.  Still got the itchy eyes, sore throat, rash, and a cough to boot.

I was hoping to clean my house and take a nap in the afternoon… but then I got The Call.  “The Call” came from the secretary at my kids School.   “Oh Great, now what?”,  I thought when I heard her voice”.  It’s Mrs Secretary from ….school… blah blah, blah, Frack is in the office with a sore ear.”   So much from my nice nap!

I started to plan how I was going to have to take him to the doctor because Frack has a bad ear which he can’t hear out of when he gets sick.  So I went to pick him up.  When I got into the car I asked him what was wrong and he said that a big kid ran him over in the yard and he scraped his ear and it hurt.  “Inside or outside?”, I asked.  “Outside”, he said.  Yup, his scalp was red behind his ear.  “Oh, good, that means you can go back to school?”.  “NO!,” he shouted, “Don’t want to go to school”.  “Great”, I thought.  “Did a teacher bring you to the office?” , I inquired.  “No, a big boy did when he saw me crying?”, he answered.  “Did anyone ask you why your ear was hurting?”, I asked him.  “No,” he said.  “That figures… I guess I am out of a nap!”, I responded as I drove him home cursing.  Good grief, if this had happened at my school, our secretary would have given him the 3rd degree and he would have been told him to suck it up and get back to class.

I need to get better before Thursday, or my chemo will have to be delayed.

That actually might not be a bad thing since I was suppose to have chemo on December 24th and the hospital is closed.  I thought that was really odd seeing that the hospital I go to is a Jewish hospital.  My doctor said he would be there because he was on call, but no one else would be there for 2 weeks.  So even though I’m suppose to be zapped every 3 weeks, after this Thursdays treatment, I won’t be zapped for 5 weeks.  Maybe that’ll give me some time to grow some more hair!

By the way, I did finally get a chance to wear my new $600 wig (which I plan on using for drama classes when this is all over).  I wore it to church.  The choir director, loved it and kept pretending to toss his hair while playing the piano, which made me laugh.  Frick fell asleep half-way through mass and I had to get one of our choir members to carry her to the car.  And does she not wake up and stay up until something like 10:30 last night after I got her home?  She got her second wind.  I cannot win!

 

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Back to Work? Really?

I forgot to mention that I went to my surgeon’s office this week to get the note I needed for the School Board.  When I had it  in my hot little hands I went into shock.  “What!”, I screamed at the secretary.  “You want me to go back to work on April 5th”.  That’s a h*** of a lot sooner than I was expecting.  Is that normal?  I won’t be finished Chemo until March!  I don’t even think I WILL HAVE HAIR by April 5th.  She said I could review it in March when I go see the surgeon for my follow up appointment.  “Damn right”, I thought.

When I delivered the note to my principal, and believe me I really did NOT want to give it to her, I told her that this note RUINED MY VACATION PLANS for MAY as I was intending to go to ITALY (with the money I’m going to win from the Lottery which I am playing with the school teachers – you’d better tell our lotto captain to hurry up and give me a call when we win so I can book my ticket).

Hey, wait a minute.  I should buy some lottery tickets with my good luck charm, Cathy.

Then we’ll be e-mailing all of you from some luxury resort in Tuscany!

“Wish you were here”, I would write.   <smirk>

P.S.  Did I neglect to tell you that my allergic skin reaction also caused me to loose my voice?   I also woke up to watery, puffy eyes, and enflamed tonsils too.  How weird is that?

Are You Going to Die?

Today I feel like sh**.

I don’t like benadryl.  It makes me tired.

I took one last night and woke up at 3:00 in the morning.  I didn’t want to take another one just in case I didn’t get up in the morning to take the kids to school

On our way to day care four year old Frack said, “Are you going to die?  Are you going to die?  I don’t want you to die.  I need you”.

“I need you too”, I told him.

When I got back home I took another Benadryl, fell asleep until 2:00, had a “Cup -A-Soup” and went back to bed.  It’s almost 5:00 now and I have to go pick up the kids.

I need a coffee.  Maybe that will perk me up.

 

Holy S*** Moment

Today I told Cathy I would accompany her to the hospital for some of her appointments.  Thank heavens I went with her.  She told me to go up to the 12 floor oncology to get someone to take a look at my arm because it was literally driving me crazy once again.   You know how Oprah has her “Ah Ha” moments… well  this morning, I had my “Holy Sh**” moment the second the nurse took off my bandages.  It didn’t even look like skin under there, it was so purple with big honking blisters and everything.  That’s because yesterday’s nurse put the bandage that secured the picc. line in the same place.  The hospital nurse shook her head and said, “Why did the nurse do that?”.  I told her I asked him not to put it there, but he said he had to because the line couldn’t be moved.  Her eyebrows arched and she said, “Oh yeah” and moved the thing a good 1-2 inches away from the purple blotches.  “Thank Heavens”, I said.  She said I probably was allergic to the cleaner they put on before they put on the bandages and she would put me on teg-a-derm bandages again when this whole thing clears up.  She told me to take Benadryl 3 times today… when I get home, 4 hours later, and once before bedtime.  ‘Cept me and Cathy decided to put our handicapped parking sticker to good use once again and we went to Walmart instead.  So I still haven’t taken my Benadryl and it’s 4:00 and I don’t think I will yet because it’s suppose to make you really sleepy and I want to watch “Grey’s Anatomy” tonight at 9:00.  This thing has been itching for the last 2 months, what’s a couple more hours?

Oh, and the best thing happened today.  Did you know that Cathy is like a good luck charm.  When we were going through the check out, she noticed that the chocolate Calcium things I bought weren’t the right price.  It was suppose to be $9.46 not $13.97.  “Hurray!,” I told Cathy.  This is like winning the lottery.  Don’t you like get it for free or something like that when you catch them making a mistake under $10?  The cashier said, “Yeah, you’re right.  Go take the bill to Customer Service”.  “Oh Yeah”, I said to Cathy.  “This is the first time I’m actually glad to stand in line for something!”  I was going to get some money!  So I ended up only have to pay $3.97 for one of them and $9.46 for the other, but they gave me back almost $30!  We are definitely going to have to go to the Casino or Bingo together I told her!

Child in Heaven

This morning, at 8:30 a.m, Krystianna Laurence passed away, peacefully.

I was a bit worried about some of the kids in my class from last year, because I knew that this news would have quite an impact on them and I wanted to make sure they were all right.  So off I went to school today.  I spent most of the afternoon with a few of them who were having trouble dealing with the news, but then I had to leave because my picc. line was driving me crazy (itchy again) and one of the parents at my school who was a former nurse told me to call right away because it looked infected.  What else is new?

When I got home I started pulling the teg-a-derm bandage off.  It looks like saran wrap.  It felt so much better when it was exposed to the air, which I really wasn’t suppose to do.  I could see more hives beneath the bandages.

They sent a male nurse over to my house this evening.  His name started with an F.  He didn’t look like a nurse, he look like a bloody rugby player.  I guess they get a lot of dangerous calls at night, so they send their toughest looking nurses for the late shift.  He said, “Boy, you are allergic to a lot of stuff” when he looked at my chart.  “Yup”, I answered.  So he removed all the bandages, and now as a last resort, I have gauze bandages (which will need to be changed more often).  I can finally say it actually feels better!  I hope all those hives go away.  My skin beneath the special bandage to hold the picc. line in place was purple and red, but the good news is that it’s just my skin reacting to something (it could also be the cleaner/alcohol thing they use to sanitize the area before the bandages are put on), and the infection doesn’t seem to be going into the line to my heart.  That made me feel somewhat better.

I told my daughter about Krystianna passing away and she cried in my arms.  Bobo told her that she was in heaven watching down on us and I told her we will have to say a prayer for her tonight before we go to bed.  Bobo also told her to tell her teacher and maybe the class could also pray for her.  That’s the good thing about going to a Catholic School, you don’t have to worry about praying because everyone believes in God.

A Stinky Diaper and Another Postcard Moment

Today, my younger sister Sabrina came over for a visit.  She has a little baby, named Nicholas, who is just 6 weeks old, and a 3 year old (Gabriel) who is not potty trained.  Well, we have this great new rule at my house;  if your kids shits his pants/diaper,  TAKE IT WITH YOU!

This rule was formed back in July when we had a garbage strike in Toronto.  Gabriel, did not have one, but two cacas in his diaper.  Caca is poo poo in italian.  I was aghast when this happened, and reminded her that we had a garbage strike in Toronto, and she still had garbage pick up in Vaughn, and she had better take it with her.  We had been very good and had very little garbage at the time, and didn’t want anything as smelly as a diaper around.  She was okay with that, but then she LEFT US WITH THE DIAPER!

Bobo was not happy.  We weren’t about to put it in the freezer with all of our leftover meat bones.  That would be gross!  Reluctantly, he tossed it in the green bin.  I don’t know what your racoons are like where you live, but the ones over here aren’t too bright.  Instead of finding a nice green bin with some nice tasty treats, our racoons proceeded to break into our green bin, pull out the stinky diaper out, and drag it across town!

Bobo was not happy the next morning when he left for work and saw the mess.

So Sabrina came to visit today and I could hear her little one grunting and groaning.  It sounded like diarrhea.  And when they are that little, it comes out like yellow mustard.  I am so glad I am past the potty training stage.  My sister looked at me after changing him and said, “Does the Take your dirty diapers rule still exist?”,  “You better believe it!”, I answered!

I had to go to Honda to get that Clean Air stupid test for my car so I could get my sticker.  When I went to pay for that and my oil/filter change, I gave the cashier $100 and was expecting a $10 bill back.  To my chagrin, she gave me a $5 and five loonies.  She apologized and said, “Oh I’m so sorry but I have to give you all of these loonies”.  For some reason what popped out of my mouth was, “Oh don’t worry, my kids like them for those bubble gum machines”.  Now the weird thing is that I never buy my kids gum, only those little trinkets when we go to Sick Kids and I don’t have to go there for 6 more months.  So I really don’t know why I said that to her.

That night we went to Gilda’s Club.  It’s a support group for families with cancer and for some reason, Frick really wanted to go.  After it was over at 8:30 I was really hungry and asked Bobo if we could go somewhere for a bite to eat.  He said sure ‘cause he didn’t have dinner.  “Where do you want to go?” he asked.  “Licks”, I answered and we went to the one at the Beaches.  After we got our food, my kids noticed this HUGE bubble gum machine.  It’s all hand-crafted out of wood and is about 5 feet high, and it’s really neat because it has a cool obstacle course.  The gum rolls down ramps, through vortexes and even on top of a xylophone and when it comes out the bottom it dings a bell.  You have to have your hands ready at the bottom or it rolls across the floor.  The only place I remember seeing one like that is at the St. Lawrence Market.  So my kids started to beg… “Oh please, can we have a gum ball when we are finished?”.  I noticed a picture of a small child on the big bubble gum machine and I said to Frick, “Go read what it says”.  She started getting really excited,  “Mom,” she said, “It says that the donation from this machine goes to the James Birrell Fund for Neuroblastoma.  That’s what Krystianna has.”  “You are absolutely right”, I told her, “Here is your money”.  Later, Bobo said to me,  “You do realize that there is another 25 cent bubble gum machine right over there and you could have 8 bubble gums for $2.  “Nope’, and I told him about going to Honda and getting all those loonies and he said, “You are right.  That’s where those loonies were destined to go”.  Another strange but true, “Postcard Moment.”

No Coincidences

There are no such things as coincidences.

Remember my blog about “Postcards” – that  God sends you people/they just show up when you need them.  This blog is just about that.

Many months ago, I received an ultrasound appointment card for Frack for November 23rd.

I thought that was unusual because Frack was suppose to go to Sick Kids in September for a different test (a gruelling one which involves tying him up like a mummy for 2 hours while being radiated).    I was puzzled about this appointment, but happy.  I figured Sick Kids Hospital was getting low on Isotopes from Chalk River, and had to conserve it for someone who really needed it.  Needless to say, I planned on visiting Krystianna while I was down there.

I tried phoning her mom to see if Krystianna was feeling up to having a visitor, but couldn’t seem to get through.  So while I was driving down to Sick Kids, I was a little bit worried about her.  When I arrived, I went to the 8th floor (with Frick & Frack in tow).  Krystianna’s mom told me it would be all right for me to see her, but not the kids.  Frick was really disappointed because we went to the “bubble gum” machines down by the Tim Hortons to get her one of those little trinkets (Fairies/Pooh Bear etc).   Frick and Frack’s visits to Sick Kids are not complete without one of those toys.  Anyway, it was 2:45 and Frack’s appointment was at 3:00 so I told her we’d be back later.  Krystianna’s mother suggested I drop the kids off at the play place downstairs and come visit then, but my son’s doctor’s appointment lasted about 1 and 1/2 hours and the place closed at 4:00.

At 4:30, my two were “starving” so we decided to go down for a bite to eat.  Bobo was going to come at 5:15 from work and meet us at the hospital, so I figured he could watch them while I went up to see Krystianna.  On our way down the elevator, we encountered Krystianna’s best friend and her mom.  So they joined us and at 5:00 we went upstairs.  When we got there, Krystianna’s aunt  told my kids she would take them somewhere really neat to see a play mobile.  Oddly enough, Frick who never leaves my side and Frack, happily obliged.  I told her that their father would be meeting them at 5:15 near Starbucks and she said she would take them to him.  She told Frick and Frack that they would have to point “daddy” out to her, as she didn’t know what he looked like.  Apparently, just when they got there, Bobo arrived.  Krystianna’s Aunt asked him if he was their dad and he said, “No, he had never seen them in his life”.  I’m sure Frick and Frack beat him up after that line.  They proceeded to join us upstairs.

Krystianna has an interesting room designed especially for children in palliative care.  It has an adjacent lounge area were visitors can talk and wait their turn to see the patient.  Inside, I saw the hospital Chaplain, Krystianna’s grandparents, sibling, friends, aunt, and dad.  One of Krystianna’s friend’s parents was taking this very hard.  She told me to prepare myself before I went in there because Krystianna’s eyes were puffy, her stomach was distended, she was being aided by a breathing apparatus, and her feet were really swollen.  I was determined to be strong because I remembered how unhappy I was when I received sullen visitors (with looks of despair) who came over to visit me and I couldn’t do that to her.  So I chatted with her and her mom about how I saw her on T.V., commented about all the stuffed horses in her room etc., etc.  Although Krystianna could not talk or focus her eyes on me, I know she knew I was there and understood what I was saying.  When I left, I gave her a kiss on her forehead and told her I would pray for her.  She managed to say “Bye Bye” to me which was extremely difficult for her to do.

When I went back to the waiting lounge, I was glad to see Frick and Frack playing happily with Krystianna’s brother and friend.  I think my kids were a welcomed distraction for them.  The two of them were taken out of school at around 11:00 a.m. today because the doctors said Krystianna did not have very much longer to live.  It must be really hard to be a sibling and a childhood friend and see Krystianna go through this.  So we didn’t leave just yet.  I spent some time talking with Krystianna’s grandfather.  He is such a sweet man, and he is really sad to see her in pain.  We stayed and kept everyone company and by the time we finally left and got into the car, Frick and Frack fell asleep.

I’m glad I got to see Krystianna one more time.

Now I know why my son had an appointment on November 23 at that hospital.

There are no such things as coincidences.

On that note,  give your loved ones a kiss and tell them how much they are loved.

The Scream

%22The Scream%22

The funniest thing happened this morning, although it didn’t start off funny.

My daughter had a homework assignment to do.  She was to draw herself.

There was an outline of a head provided by the teacher.  Simple, right?  Yeah, right!

So I told Frick I would help her and show her how to draw real looking eyes.  I asked her to collect all her stuff (pencil, pencil crayons, eraser, paper etc.).  Then I started getting attitude from her. I thought attitude started in high school, but I was wrong.  It starts in the primary grades.  This is why I don’t teach Gr. 1.   Gr. 2  doesn’t seem much better!

“Are you going to do your work?” I questioned her.  “No!”, she replied, crossing her arms.  Then the attitude got worse and I ran out of patience.  So I told her to forget it and  draw her own face because her aunty  was coming over and I had to tidy up the house (and I wasn’t waiting any longer for her to smarten up).  That’s when the tears started.  “Oh no, please mommy, help me”, she wailed.

You have to understand my daughter.  She is the best drama queen ever.  In fact, the neighbour across the street (who is a teacher) told me she was a drama queen when she was 1 years old.  I didn’t see it then, but I sure do now.  My son, on the other hand, is my artist (he even draws on walls).  “Wah, Wah, Wah!,” Frick kept crying on & on.  I decided to go to the kitchen (which was kind of hard because at the time, she managed to successfully wrap herself around my leg).

Frack, in the meantime, observed all the commotion and decided he was going to try to help us all out.  He very quietly took his sister’s paper, found a pink pencil crayon (her favourite colour) and got to work.  When he was done, he brought it over and handed it to me.

The picture was priceless.  It seriously looked like a cartoon version of Norway’s famous picture, “The Scream” by Edvard Munch -yes I spelled it right.  You know the painting, the one with the guy screaming on the bridge.  Imagine two big round circles, with small dots in the centre,  mouth wide open – teeth included).  I looked at it and thought my daughter drew it and started laughing.  I said, “That’s a pretty good picture of you screaming Frick.  I think your teacher is going to love it”.  She stopped crying for a minute, looked at the picture and screamed, “FRACK” and cried even harder.  That was when I realized Frack drew it. I showed it to Bobo.  He thought it was priceless too and started laughing.   Unfortunately, I could not get the picture out of my head and couldn’t stop laughing, which rather angered Frick even more.  I sorry to say at this time, I was laughing so hard, I was crying.

Well, we were suppose to go to Nonna’s (italian for grandmother) house for lunch.  In order to diffuse the situation, I suggested we leave and do the picture later or tomorrow even.  Bobo told her not to worry; that he was going to erase what Frack had done.  I silently told Bobo to copy the picture before he did that.  He agreed.  So we hopped into the car.  And that’s when it happened.

I still could not get that picture Frack drew out of my head and I started laughing again.  “Stop it, Mommy”, Frick shouted.  I tried.  I really did.  But I barely made it out of the driveway without laughing again.  “Stop it!”  she ranted.   I stopped.  Kind of.  But I had a big smile on my face and she started yelling at me again.  We got to the lights, and I burst out laughing.  And she started crying again.  And I turned around and went back home.  I told her I couldn’t stop laughing and now we couldn’t go to Nonna’s house because I couldn’t drive all the way there with her screaming at me.  She said she wouldn’t get out of the car.  I said, “Fine” and went into the house.

Five seconds later, Frick and Frack came in the house crying (Frack said he wanted to go to Nonna’s).  By that time, Bobo had successfully copied the paper and erased Fracks drawing so Frick could do her work.  She seemed satisfied with that and I asked her if we could go now without any yelling /crying in the car.  Meanwhile, my older sister decided to call to find out where we were.  I told her we might not get there… that we were going to try it again and see what happens.  We left.  We drove to Nonna’s and made it…. but I must confess, I did have the biggest grin on my face going there!

Later….

Went to choir at church tonight.  Some of our previous choir members saw my colourful scarf around my head and figured out I had cancer, so they came over to see me after church.  So much for keeping this a secret!   I told , the choir director that I made a decision.  I was coming to church on Christmas Eve BALD, dressed in a black evening gown.  When I saw the expression on his face, I started laughing and he said, “It’s good, you can laugh about this!”.   And the scary thing is, ya know what?  I might actually do it!  (Although I do think I will have to go to the hair dresser and get what’s left of my hair buzzed off.  I wonder if I can request a wash with that?

Out of the Doghouse

I did it again.

I broke another Cardinal Chemo Rule.

This one was:

Drink 10-13 glasses of water per day.

I don’t remember how many I had yesterday, but it mustn’t have been enough because I woke up in the middle of the night with what the best thing I can describe is a “dry prune” mouth.  I was so thirsty, I think I drank about 5 cups of water right away (I keep a litre of water by the side of the bed).   “Great,” I thought,” I’ve probably done something to my kidneys.”

I just wanted to let you know that Bobo is currently OUT OF THE DOGHOUSE.

Yes, he redeemed himself.

Here is the story how…..

The majority of my blog readers told me Not to go to Grandma’s house… and don’t chance getting sick.

But, I might as well send the kids so I could have a break.

I figured I couldn’t loose regardless; I would have a good meal if I went to Grandma’s house or I could have a luxurious bath (yes, unfortunately still with the cow glove), without kids running in and out disturbing my peace and quiet.

Well, Grandma phoned this afternoon and asked me if I was coming.  I said, “I sure was”, but was anybody sick.  She said she didn’t know.

Ten minutes later the phone rings.   WELL… the niece still has a BIT of a cough and she now has a runny nose.  “Well… I guess I’m not coming then,” I answered.  “Is Bobo coming?” she replied.  “Sure, he can come,” I responded (thinking luxurious bath here I come).  “What’s for dinner?” I asked.  “Roast beef,” she answered  (Ha Ha Ha, I thought, I’m having that too, leftovers not doubt, so I am not missing out!).  I got off the phone and told Bobo that his mom called and his niece still has a cough and now a runny nose, but I told him he could still go if he still wanted.  And you won’t believe this, he said none of us are going.  I was in shock.  I didn’t expect that.  I was so proud of him!  Then he proceeded to call Grandma to tell her the bad news.  She argued with him a good 10 minutes, and he just kept telling her a hundred times, “No, we are not coming”.  That totally floored me.  One point for the wife!  And now Bobo is out of the doghouse!

Missing

Today I was struck by the fear of God.

I lost my handicap parking sticker.

I turned the car upside down.

“Where is it,” I screamed?

Where is that damn parking pass?

I cannot park here, unless I find it!

Looked between the seats, on the floor, in the visor where I always kept it.  It was gone.

Oh crap…I wonder how fast I can get another one from the Ministry of Transportation.  I need it before Monday ‘cause I have to take my son to Sick Kids for a kidney appointment.

Looked in the other visor.

Thankfully, it floated to the ground.

Damn husband!

———————————-

Today I did a naughty thing.

It was on the Chemo top ten list of things I am not allowed to do.

For example:  Don’t go outside without putting on sunscreen (blew that one the my first day out)

Don’t pick your nose

Don’t get your Picc. line wet…  blah blah blah.

and there are more.

So today, my older sister came over, and we took Frick & Frack to the movies to see Scrooges Christmas Carol in 3D.   (Luckily there were only 4 people in the theatre and no one was coughing).  That was the best thing we’ve done all week.  Frick’s friend forgot to bring her homework last night (thank heavens) and I could only see that as being an act of God to PARTY and go see a movie.  And we had fun!

So when we got back, we made a lovely dinner (Roast Beast with all the fix’ins) and my sister had wine.  And I was jealous.  And I blew one on the ten things I’m not suppose to do when I’m on Chemo.  I had a drink.   And it was so damn GOOD (only a little weeny bit, really).  So that is it, the end of my confession.

My principal has informed me that the Board wants verification that I have cancer.  She proposed that I get a note for my doctor, but my husband and I have a better idea.  What do they say … a picture is worth more than a thousand words.  How about sending the Board the following pictures of:

1.  My buzzard head

2.  Me, hooked up to an I.V. Line at Mt. Sinai

3.  My Chest (Scar included….with a warning, not for weak stomachs)

4.  A motion picture of me puking after a Chemo treatment

5.  Bobo also wanted to put in a picture of diarrhea… but I thought that would be rather crass.

Hope that made your day!