Reindeer Food

On the last day of school before the holidays, Frack brought home a large bag of “Reindeer Food” to put out  for the Santa’s Reindeer on Christmas Eve.  You wanna make sure Santa’s reindeer stop at our house a a quick snack, you know.

Well, mommy was in her pajamas on that fateful night when we did not feed the reindeer.

I’m not quite sure what happened to the bag, but it went missing for a while… but not for long.

You see, it turned up a few days ago, when I was in a vegetative state in my bed.

Bobo was suppose to be minding the children.  Hubbys  idea of “watching” children consists of letting them play upstairs, while you clean up downstairs… a very bad idea.  Ask any mom.

When I finally managed to get out of bed (to use the bathroom), I found Frack in there “Christening” the bathroom with a holy bag of reindeer food.  There was bird seed crunching under my feet; it was all around the toilet, inside towels, all over the floor, and best of all – Frack yanked the drain plug from the sink and poured it into there too.

“BOBO”, I yelled, “Come see what your son did while you were downstairs.

AND I’LL GIVE YOU A HINT… “REINDEER FOOD!  BOBO, come up here NOW!

Unfortunately, the trail did not end in the bathroom.  It extended its way across the hall, and into Frick’s room.

It was covered in birdseed; from the dresser drawer to the floor.

“What the @#$#@?! “, I shouted.

Frack, what were you planning on doing here? … inviting Santa’s Reindeer for a party in Frick’s room or something.  REINDEER FOOD BELONGS OUTSIDE, NOT in HERE!!

And there is Frick, lying on her bed, playing her DSI.  “Don’t look at me, mom, “ said Frick, “I didn’t do it”.

So I then just went back to bed.

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Feeling much more like myself today.

The kids went to the Woodbine Shopping Centre with their cousins to go on some rides!

Nobody’s home…. another day of peace and quiet!  But it didn’t start that way….

The cat knocked over  my artificial Christmas trees downstairs which we had decorated with Disney ornaments.

I don’t blame the cat.   I think Frack chasing it with a club may have had something to do with it.

We had a lot of causalities (7).

Tigger’s been beheaded, Mickey and Eeyore both lost an ear, Pluto a cap, and Ariel’s a paraplegic.

My favourite one, a porcelain one with Minnie and Mickey mouse kissing under mistletoe has also bit the biscuit.

I’ll have to see if I can order it online.  We bought that one when Bobo proposed at Disney World over 10 years ago, so I’m not sure what my chances are in finding another one. A friend of mine from church called.  I told her about the reindeer food and she told me to make sure it all gets cleaned up really well because lots of birdseed contains moth larvae in them and I may have an infestation soon!

Gotta go find the vacumn cleaner and do some serious cleaning.

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Side Effects, Here I Come

Why is my tongue white?

And more importantly, why do I still have armpit hair?

There is more 2 inch armpit hair underneath that one arm than on my whole head.

Nuts.

I feel like a lizard.

Actually, I look kind of like that woman on that Scary Movie Part 3? film.

You know the one.  With dark circles under her eyes and the priest is going to perform an exorcism on her and she keeps sticking out her tongue at him.  That scene is the best.  Had me in hysterics.  I just know I could play her part and win an oscar.  I wouldn’t need make-up or anything.

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I still haven’t gained the 12 pounds my doctor promised me.  Fluid retention?

I am eating lots of cookies.   I have no excuse.

Kam, one of my older students makes the best cookies.  I didn’t know that until now.  He could start his own business.  I’d buy them.

I am always thirsty.  The other night I had over 4 cups of water just before I went to bed and then I woke up to find my lips pasty dry.  And that was after I lubricated them with tons of lip balm.  I just couldn’t seem to get enough water.  Slopped on more moisturizer too, but my skin is absorbing everything.

When I was on the FEC medication, I would freeze when my blood counts started dropping sometime around days 6-13.  In order to cope, I had hot water bottles on my feet, one of those magic bean things that you heat in the microwave on my hands, and an electric heater right by my bed.  The only real problem I experienced was that one night I fell asleep with the heater blasting warm air on my face and boy was my face toasty red when I finally woke up in the morning.  Lucky I didn’t burn the house down.

This time, on taxotere, I got something like electric shocks going through my body when my blood counts were low.  Not sure which one I enjoyed more.

I have been using some of that hardening nail polish the doctor gave me.  But my nails are so dry, the polish just peels off like onion skin when I touch it.  Very weird.

I’ve been very cranky today, but I just soaked in lavender epson salts, rehydrated my body and feel like a new person!

So I have decided that I am going travelling.  I am going to crank up that Visa card and have the time of my life.  That’s right.  I am going to go search for art treasures in Italy and do plenty of sight-seeing along the way.  Yes, I know I am suppose to go back to work on April 5, and none of you had better rat me out.

I think my passport is due to expire very soon.

So do I go there to get a picture taken with or without my wig?

More importantly, will the Canadian Embassy let me back in when I return?

I heard about a woman in Somalia? or Africa who everyone thought was an impostor and she couldn’t get back into Canada without DNA testing.  Can that happen to me too?

And what about these new body scans in Europe that I’ve been reading about in the newspaper?

Will they see that I have a fake boobie and arrest me because there is liquid gel in there and they have to make sure it isn’t a plastic explosive device?

These are very important  questions?  I may have to ask my MP for the answers.

Good thing he only lives about 5 houses away from me.

 

It’s Christmas and I’m feeling pretty “Blah”

Well, my sister’s kid Gabriel had a cough again, so we weren’t able to go to Nonna’s house for lunch.  That was okay, because they brought some food over later anyway, and I felt really, really, tired.  I did manage to get up to go to my brother-in-laws house for turkey dinner though.  It was really good.

Today, I am barely able to get out of bed.  I am so tired, it is a real effort to move.  My teeth/nerve endings in my mouth are super sensitive, and I keep getting tingling feelings in my feet.  My hands are starting to swell too and they feel weird.  I am very irritable.  Not looking forward to tomorrow, crash day.

 

Dec. 27

Just want to cocoon.  My knees are hurting and it’s hard to walk without moving about like a chimpanzee.  Lucky for me, Michelle took the kids for a good chunk of the day so I was able to sleep and then watch a DVD.  Feeling a bit better by the evening.  Hopefully, I will start getting back my strength and be more mobile tomorrow.

 

Good News…I’m Alive (after Chemo #4-Taxotere)

Had the taxotere treatment yesterday and managed not to have an immediate reaction (hives, respiratory distress, death).  Although, I’m still looking a little flushed today.  They packed my hands and feet in ice packs (that was a bit uncomfortable) I think to protect my nails from falling off? or to help with the arthritis that is due to kick in in a couple of days.  I heard I might have trouble walking, because my feet my hurt.

My oncologist said I would be flying higher than Santa on the steroids, but I’m due to crash on Sunday.  On Tuesday when I took the steroids, I was up at 3:00 in the morning, wide awake and bushy-tailed.  Yesterday, I woke up at around 5:00.  I haven’t had this much energy since before I had kids!

The doc. also said that I would be retaining a lot of water, and that salty food would be a problem, and to beware of eating too much… just in time for Christmas Dinner.  Yum.  Today, I have a craving for…. zucchini sticks.  Don’t ask me… I’m going to put them in the toaster oven right now.  Darn… I only have 4 left.  Anyone going to M & M’s store anytime soon?

I told the doctor that I was concerned I would not to able to move in a couple of days.  He assured me I would be fine… what do those Pharmacists know?  They have to write every single side effect on the sheets they give out.  I hope he’s right.  I think my friend (who came with me on this treatment) thinks he’s a quack.  She wasn’t  too impressed with him when I asked him if it was a good idea to go to the gym to exercise and he said something to the effect of… Are you kidding?  Do you know how many germs are in those places?  I wouldn’t eat my breakfast there!  My poor friend thought he was a tad overbearing… too bad she missed the the appointment I had when my husband came (treatment #2), and they argued about viruses, delaying my treatment for a good half hour!

The hospital gave me a bag of goodies for this next cycle.    Hmmm… what’s in here.

toothbrush, sensitive toothpaste, mouthwash (for impending? mouth sores),

nail polish hardener, vitamin E cream, oh oh.. and a booklet about Taxotere.  Do I want to know more about it?   Hmmm…. here are those side effects the doc. told me I wouldn’t have.

Side Effects

-nausea, diarrhea, vomiting (so far so good)

-fatigue (nope)

-stomatitis (sores in the mouth)

-nail changes (had those before I started treatment)

-low white blood cell count (guess I will have to wait and see)

-fever

-weakness

-rash (I have a flush around my face, but I think it’s because of the steroids)

-nerve pain

-fluid retention

-hair loss (that’s okay, I got plenty of scarves, wigs, and hats)

-swelling at the injection site (don’t think I’ll be getting that, seeing as I have that picc.

line – at least the thing is good for something)

Serious Side Effects (ie:  call your doctor when… ’cept no one will be there… holidays)

-muscle pain

-nerve pain such as numbness, tingling, or burning in the hands/feet

-allergic reactions such as trouble breathing, tightness in the throat, rash, hives,

– swelling of the lips or tongue or low blood pressure

-fever or signs of infection, like redness or swelling at the injection site, a cough that

– brings up mucus or a sore throat

– liver problems such as loss of appetite, dark urine, light-coloured stools, yellowing of

the skin or eyes

-kidney problems

-persistent vomiting or diarrhea

-visual disturbances

Okay, enough of that.

Stella gave me a great idea for those Christmas Slippers…. give them to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, seeing as I have all carpeted floors.

I met some interesting people at my last chemo treatment.

A mother of a 3 1/2 year old; named Leanne.  I overhead her telling her mother, sister, and friend that she was worried about telling her niece that she was dying.  I told her about Gilda’s Club and I think she may join.  She told me that she had lymphoma, which metastasized to her throat, breast, and now her lungs.  I felt bad for her.  She is so young and bubbly.  I also told her I had a cousin with 4 different cancers (lymphoma, thyroid cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma).  Despite given a less than 20% chance of living by doctors, she’s managed to live with all this for over 30 years.  They want her for a study, but she lives too far and doesn’t want to make the commute since she doesn’t drive.

My substitute nurse, was telling me that they had another patient, with the same last name as me who was receiving treatment here.  She said she was coming in today and now’s my chance to meet her to see if she is related to me.  Turns out her husband is from the same italian town as my parents.  I will have to ask them if they know his parents. Anyhow, she was a hoot.  Very lively.  We asked each other what we are in there for and swapped stories.  She has both a 20 and 21 year boys.  I think she said that last year, she went for surgery because she had many fibroid growing inside her uterus.  When they started taking them all out (laparoscopically in pieces), they found 9 cancerous tumours.  But because of the operation, they spread all over the place.  Despite everything, she is back at her job which she loves (real estate homes or something like that), and is very positive.  I liked her and hope she will remain well for a long time.

Well, that’s it for now folks.

I’ve got to go pick up my kids from the daycare soon, and get ready for dinner at Nonna’s and then singing for 3 hours tonight.  Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Confession

Well, tomorrow’s the big day… a new regiment of medicine.

I took some steroids today… suppose to give me more hair (‘cept the taxotere is suppose to help me loose more hair).  Don’t ask me – I’m confused too.  It’s suppose to keep me awake and agitated too, so all of you in different time zones may be getting a call from me!  I might be ranting and raving about something.

My friend Norma called this morning.  She’s a retired teacher who sings alto in my church choir with me.  She is always bringing Hope books and stickers and stuff to do while we practice singing.  I don’t know what I’d do without her, she’s a great friend.

So she said she had to tell me a story about my precious daughter (“Oh oh”, I thought, “What did she do now?”).  Norma said she phoned her son and told her this story and both of them were bawling, so beware.

Last night we were singing for the Reconciliation mass.  That’s when you have about 16 Catholic priests listening to confessions all night.  I was debating whether I should go to confession, as I haven’t gone since I was little.  Norma said, “Go to the guy at the back of the church, he is really cute”.  “That’s what I was thinking…”, I told her, so off I went.  I asked my daughter to stay with Norma, but she kept telling her, “I want to go, I want to go to confession”.  Norma told her she would take her next year after she had her communion.  Then she asked Hope if she would like to light a candle.  “Yes, yes, of course”.  So the two of them went to light two candles.  Hope lit the first one and prayed to Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, and that her mother would get better.  Then she asked Norma what she would like for Christmas.  Norma told her she wanted to be the best tennis player in the whole wide world.  Hope told Norma that she asked Santa to tell Jesus that she wanted him to get rid of cancer in the whole wide world.

And this is why Norma thinks Hope is a precious child.

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My Confession

Bless me father for I have sinned, I haven’t been to confession in ohhh…. about 35 years.  But I thought I’d come today to set a good example for my daughter, who is suppose to have her First Holy Communion this year.  He laughed.  I told him that I thought that in the last 35 years, I am sure I probably broke every commandment there is, except I didn’t kill anyone.  “That’s good,” he answered.  I told him some other stuff, but I’m unwilling to share it with you… go do your own confessions if you want dirt.

Later, the priest asked me to say the Act of Contrition.  I must have looked a bit skeptical at that one (I know the Hail Mary, Our Father etc., but I don’t remember that one from catechism classes from oh so long ago).  So he said the prayer for me in French.  He apologized for saying it in French.  I told him, “Don’t be silly, that was beautiful… I caught some of the words because they are like italian”.  “Boy, he would be a good catch for someone I know,” I thought.  Tall, kind, very good looking man, French…’cept he is a priest!

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Okay, so you want to know my pet peeve this Christmas Season.  I hate that stupid song “Christmas Slippers.”  You know, the one with some kid standing in some shopping store buying slippers for his mother who is dying of cancer or something like that on Christmas.  For heavens sake, could you hear a more depressing song?  Get back to your mother, she really doesn’t need any slippers.

That reminds me.  I went to my cousins house last week, and she gave me a present (she told me what was in there).  My husband and children were analyzing what was beneath the Christmas tree the other night.  “What’s that?”, asked Bobo, pointing to a present.   “Slippers”, I answered.  “You are going to die Christmas Night”, he answered.  “Thanks a lot,” I told him, “I was thinking the same thing”.

So if that does happen, here is the plan.

Tell Norma to get the really cute priest to do my funeral so my French friend can meet him.  I’ll be rooting for the two of you from the heavens.  Norma can decide what music to sing with the choir, she knows my favourite ones (ie:  Like a Shepherd, Be Not Afraid, Jesus, The Lord (M. has to do the descant).  Tell Norma not to sing “Amazing Grace”, because that was the song we lost to in a choir competition I put my class in one year.  I’m still upset about that one because since when is Amazing Grace a Christmas Song?  They should have been disqualified.  Fire the judges, I say.  Norma hates that song anyway so I’m not too worried she’d pick that one.  And I want Julia to sing Pie Jesu and Ave Maria because she is the best singer I know.

Donations can go to an educational fund for my kids!

Damn that Christmas Slippers song.

It’s right there with that disturbing song, “Feed the Squirrels”… let them know it’s Christmas Time.  You know the one.

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Lucky Genes

Sunday, Dec. 20

Why do I have a runny nose and watery eyes?

Today we went to my mom’s house for lunch.  Some of my cousins were there.  I had an interesting conversation with my cousin, who had Non-Hodgekins Lymphoma at 19, followed by thyroid cancer, then breast cancer, and then melanoma.  She should be dead by now, but is still going strong.  Hope I have some of whatever genes she is carrying that is keeping her alive!

Runny nose and water eyes still bothering me at night.

 
 

Later that day….

My friend, who also had cancer wrote me and told me this….

The bothersome eyes are caused by the 5-fluorouracil drug in your chemotherapy mixture.   She said her eyes started to sting and run proufsely between cycles 4 and 5.  Her and her husband were on a holiday by a lake and she was very uncomfortable with her painful eyes.   She thought she was developing a seasonal allergy (because of her weakened immunes system) but the oncology nurse told it was the 5 -fu drug.  Sure enough, the eye problem went away even before the end of cycle 6.

I phoned the chemo. dept.  the next day and asked them if my watery eyes had anything to do with my chemo meds.  The woman who answered said no, it would have shown up by now (although I typically respond atypically to drugs)… delayed reaction is my specialty.  I just hope it goes away soon.

Bring a Flashlight

Thurs. Dec. 17

Staff party at Anna’s House.

I wore my Party Wig (Dreadlocks with assorted coloured beads).

No one recognized me from the back of the head.  Thought I was new… until I turned around and then they just laughed!  Oh, it’s you… didn’t recognize ya!  Too funny!

Tried to wrap presents, but had a unique problem.  Frack has a new hobby…  using tape for EVERYTHING (ie:  taping bags to dressers and filling them with junk, and making forts – believing that tape will hold blankets to whatever he has decided to attach them to).  Can’t find any tape anywhere.  Am I surprised?  Nope!

Just agited!  Should have bought some and hid it somewhere.

Friday Dec. 18

Running around like mad, shopping, shopping, and wrapping.  I finally got around to writing some Christmas Cards, but I anyone on my list who live outside Canada may not receive it until Valentines Day, at best.

Saturday, Dec. 19

Party at my place.  Some of my former students decided to have a party at my place.  It was great… they brought all the food and we had a nice, candlelight dinner with the Christmas tree aglow.

One thing you have got to know about my house is that every, single time we have a party, we have a blackout.  It think it has something to do with having all the Christmas lights ablaze in the front yard.  And the 9 foot Mickey Mouse.  And the 3 Christmas trees, the coffee maker, CD player playing Christmas music… and finally the microwave oven.  That seems to do it.  There were some people that came a bit late and I offered to warm up their food in the microwave.  Someone had just blown out the candles and there we were inside a very, very, dark house.  Never mind that it looked like Vegas a few minutes before!  We really should do something about getting an electrician to rewire some of the breakers downstairs.  But it’s more fun this way.

I must remind my guests  to remember to bring a flashlight the next time they are invited to my house for a party !

Sunday, Dec. 20

Why do I have a runny nose and watery eyes?

Today we went to my mom’s house for lunch.  Some of my cousins were there.   These ones are semi-normal.  I had an interesting conversation with my cousin, who had Non-Hodgekins Lymphoma at 19, followed by thyroid cancer, then breast cancer, and then melanoma.  She should be dead by now, but is still going strong.  Hope I have some of whatever genes she is carrying that is keeping her alive!

Runny nose and water eyes still bothering me at night.

Mortadella

Tuesday, Dec. 15

You know I made a deal with God.  When I go, I would rather be hit by a Mack truck then watch people like “The Morbids” (visitors who make you more depressed then you were before they arrived) come visit me dying in a hospital room.  Lo and behold a couple of days ago when I was driving down the Don Valley when I looked in the rearview mirror to find a Mack truck right behind me. “Not Today Lord”, I said as I jumped into another lane and raced away.

 

Wednesday, Dec. 16

Hubby is in the doghouse once again.

He told Frick that Mortadella (an italian cold cut) was made out of horse meat.  Now she will not eat it, and that was the only thing she would eat for lunch over the last little while.  So I have told Bobo that it is now HIS responsibility to make her a lunch she WILL eat.  He asked her why she won’t eat Mortadella now and she said, “I won’t eat my friends”.  Bobo then told her that they only make Mortadella out of horses in Italy, not in Canada.  “In Canada, we don’t eat horses”,  he kept telling her to no avail.

Wonder if anyone will want some mortadella for the staff Christmas Party tomorrow night.

Sick Kids Hospital Again

We didn’t have a good night.

Peter came home from daycare, miserable.  He said he couldn’t walk and needed to be carried inside.  Then he started complaining that his head and tummy hurt.  A little while later he was bawling his eyes out.  So I asked him what was wrong and he told me that one of the kids in his class at school pushed him down and he bumped his head and had a very bad headache.

I really felt bad for him because he never complains so I knew this was not good.  I took his temperature (100.5) and gave him some Tylenol, phoned my friend Michelle (bless her) to take care of Frick because my husband wasn’t home yet, and off we went to Sick Kids Hospital (which is where I always have to take him if he has a fever (it could be his kidneys acting up).

So 4 hours later….. The doctor thinks his head is okay but said if he starts to vomit, he may have a concussion, in which I will have to bring him back to the hospital.  The doctor isn’t sure what was going on with the fever (it was mild) and could go either way.  She told me to stay away from him if it goes to 99.5 F.  -which may mean another trip to Nonna’s house tomorrow morning because tonight, I want to sleep in my own bed.  Fracks’s temperature went down when we got to the hospital.  It was hovering on being a fever.  However, his “Pee” test was good… no blood in the urine this time.  But he did have a bit of protein in there which means his kidneys may be leaking.  Therefore, I need to take him to the family doctors in few weeks when he is better to check out his urine again.

Fun, wow!  Too much excitment for my liking.  I’m going to bed now.  Good-night!

Burning Butt, yet again!

Last night we went to my brother-in-laws house to help him decorate his Christmas tree.  He fed us Frozen Sicilian Pizza.  All I can say is that I shouldn’t have eaten it.  My taste buds must be warped or something because it honestly did not taste spicy to me.  However, when it was coming out of my butt all night and all day today, it was clearly burning my butt.

I am very upset with him right now.  I was suppose to go with my kids to a cookie exchange party at 1:00, but couldn’t get off the toilet.  Then I was suppose to go to an All-You-Can-EAT buffet at a restaurant at my husbands “Christmas Volunteer Party”.  I had to send him and the kids without me because I didn’t see the point in spending $25.00 for a dinner I knew I could not eat.  So I missed the annual Christmas Party.  Damn that Brother-In-Law of mine… that’s the second time he gave me the shitters.  The first time it was with that Jambalaya thing he made, and now this.  I phoned my father-in-law to wish him a Happy Birthday and told him to pass on the message to his son (who I knew was over there) that he owed me a all you can eat dinner buffet when I was feeling better.

When Bobo and the kids got home from dinner, they went over to Grandma/Grandpas house to decorate their tree, without me.  I decided to have a cup of tea and drown in my sorrows in the bathtub.

I feel better now.

However, Bobo had better get his butt over here soon to decorate our tree upstairs (we have 2 downstairs) because there are people coming over tomorrow and our tree is naked!

Otherwise, my visitors may be in for a big surprise.  Guess what, I will tell them… you’ve been invited over here to decorate my tree!  Ha!