Missile Launching

men are stupid

Jan 27, 2012

I made it to the window of my private room.  I must say, I had a really excellent view of……. A Funeral Home.

The nurse told me that today, I had to have a poo.

“Well, I don’t feel like having a poo”, I told her.

“Too bad”, she answered.  Have you ever had a suppository before?


Well, that will make you go.

This was the first time that I was told I was going to get a missile shoved up my rear.  I wasn’t happy about it, but my stomach was beginning to hurt more than my back. “ Fine”, I said.  “Fire away.”

Well, you know that this is a teaching hospital, don’t you.

“Great”, I thought, “I am going to have a missile shoved up my butt by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing.  Nice.  Needless to say, the blonde failed to launch the missile and the pro had to come and do it.

Then it was time for my sister to leave, as my husband had just arrived.  That was bad, very bad.  She tried to leave instructions on how to get me to the toilet, but Bobo, who knows everything, just said, “Yeah, yeah.  Don’t worry about it.”

The nurse returned and helped me to the toilet.  I had a mild explosion.  It really stunk.  Thinking that was it, I went back to bed.  Unbeknownst to me, that was just the beginning.  The nurse left.

Hurry.  Hurry!  I screamed at Bobo a few minutes later.

I HAVE TO GO NOW!!!!  Right NOW!!!

Pain or no pain, I knew I was about to blow.  I quickly rolled to the side and jumped on the commode (a silly little seat/wheelchair with a hole in it so you can roll the patient to a toilet to do their business there).  Anyhow, I’m in the seat and ready to go.  I think we are going to make it.  Bobo turns the wheelchair, but we are not moving.


“I can’t”, he says calmly, “the catheter bag is stuck in the bed”.  WHAT!!!!   NOW!!  I gotta go now.

“So what would you like me to do about it?” he answers matter-of-factly.

I tried.  I really tried to hold it, but the missile was too much.

I exploded, right there on the floor.  And then there was another explosion and another and another.  And the smell.  It was heavenly, let me tell you.  There Bobo.  I made a present just for you.  That’s for not getting me to the bathroom on time.

At this point, I called him everything under the sun and more.

“Useless twit,  why didn’t you stay at work today?”,  I yelled at him.  “And what do you want me to do about it, it’s stuck?”, he responds.  “All I wanted was to get to the toilet!” I yelled.  Now I have to smell my own crap!  And who knows how long it will be before one of the stupid nurses get here.  And you would think that nothing else could possible make the situation any worse.  But you would be wrong because my brilliant husband then grabs the handles of the commode and DESPITE the fact that the catheter is still stuck between the bed rails,  he forcefully pushes the commode to the bathroom.  “What the h**?”,  I’m thinking.  My business is done.  There is a big shit on the floor.  Why move me now?  BING!  The catheter drain/bag detaches itself and there is now pee all over the floor too.

“Great”,  I said.  Bobo moved me to the toilet.

But by then I was really pissed off.  So I’m screaming from the toilet,  “Just somebody get me a freaking gun so I can shoot myself”.

I then see the nurse outside the door.  I think the F word came out of  my mouth a couple of times too.

“Oh”, she said.

“You’re a little late,” I yelled.

“I’ll get someone from house-keeping to take care of this”, she answered.

Bloody hell!

Bobo came back into the bathroom.  “I’m bleeding”,  I told him.  “Where?” he asks.  My leg is warm.  He moves the gown.  Oh Great!

A part of the catheter is still in me and now it was leaking pee all over me.  Now I’m really going to smell.  The nurse came in and said that the catheter was not removed properly.  Really?  REALLY?  NO way.  Patients don’t regularly have catheters ripped from them.

My husband is trying to kill me.


I was very upset about the whole missile thing for many hours after that.  It was embarrassing.  I wondered about all the old people on this floor who call the nurses to go to the washroom and end up getting it all over themselves.  It’s inhumane!

My surgery team came to visit me while I was very looped.

They asked me how my back was.  I was not in the mood to talk to them about my back, but I did tell them I shit all over the place and that the nurses don’t come when you buzz them, and that the food was horrible.  They didn’t stay too long.

I don’t really remember too much after that, but I think I even called my boss and told her just as much.  “Hi, I’m not going to come back to work any time soon, I just shit on the floor”.

Those drugs really did a number on me.  I even phoned Michelle twice.

“Wait, a minute.  I remember saying to her.  I already talked to you today, didn’t I?”

“Yes…. yes you did,” Michelle laughed.

Freaking drugs.


P.S.  On Monday, Gilligan came to visit me to see how I was doing.  He looked a bit different.  Why?   He shaved off his mustache!  I know that this might sound weird,  but I am now quite fond of Gilligan.  He is actually a really nice guy.

Day After Surgery

The day after surgery was a relative blur to me.  I was having a really hard time rolling from side to side and could not even lift my head.  I didn’t really eat anything for breakfast and lunch other than liquids, but the nurses kept giving me a stack of pills to take (including ones for constipation).  Most of the time I was unable to keep them down.  I did manage to eat dinner (beans, mash potatoes and what I think was salisbury steak.  It rather looked like those fake toys of food we have in the kindergarten’s kitchens).  That stayed down because I told them no more pills.  My stomach was hurting.  I looked like I was 8 months pregnant and it felt like I had a cement weight in there.  My older sister spent the night with me lying on an uncomfortable chair.

Spinal Surgery

Met the team that was operating on me.  One was an Australian.  There were 4 men and one woman (the anesthetist).  Gilligan was there too.

The operation was supposed to take only 3 hours, but it actually took 4.  Dr. Yogi was able to clear away some of the tumour that was around the spinal cord area, but he had difficulty getting more out because it was bleeding so heavily.  So he had to stop.  But the rods are in there, so now I have a bionic back.

Upon coming out of sedation, the first thing I did was wiggle my toes and thank the lord I wasn’t paralyzed.  While in the recovery room, the anesthetic started to wear off and the neurons in my body all started firing pain signals at once.  First, it was in my left hand, then my left foot, right foot and right hand.  The closest thing I can use to describe it would be that my right hand felt like a latex glove that someone was blowing up.  I screamed and screamed and screamed.  Then I was certain that when this was all over, I was going to be paralyzed for sure.  The screaming continued for a good 10 minutes (my brother-in-law, timed it).  Hence, I was given the name, “The Screamer” by the staff.  (days later, one of the ladies who delivers water at night, came to my private room, looked at me and said,  “Hey, aren’t you the one who was in room 110, The Screamer”.  “Yes,” I answered, “That would be me”.  I got a private room pretty fast after that performance, don’t you think?”  (Interestingly enough, they got another similar performance from me on my way out of the hospital too).

Angela (the mother of one of my previous students), offered to stay with me the first night and I was extremely lucky she did.   I had a nurse with an attitude that first night.  I kept telling her that something was wrong with the catheter (she continuously ignored the fact that it was full because she was didn’t want to change it and left it till the next nurse came in in the morning).  I fell asleep for a while, but then, I woke up in a panic.  I was throwing up and choking on my own vomit because I couldn’t move to get myself up.  I pushed the call button.  Would you like to know what time she arrived?  45 minutes later.  Thank heavens Angela was there.  She knew just what to do.  She grabbed the barf bucket and propped me up quick.  If I had to have waited for that nurse to answer the call button, I would have been dead for sure.  I was asphyxiating on my own vomit.  I went back to sleep.  But not for long.  All of the sudden, I was scratching my back and head like crazy.  Angela came and took a look at me.  Then she grabbed a wet facecloth and started rubbing my back.  All this pink stuff came off.  “What is that?”, we asked ourselves.  “I don’t know, but it’s really freaking itchy!”  Angela wiped me down about 3 times until the itchiness subsided.  I fell asleep.  Unfortunately the doctors don’t want you to get addicted to the drugs, so the oxycocet narcotic only lasts for 2 hours.  How ridiculous is that?  How can you get a good night sleep when you need pain medications every 2 hours?  And they only give you one pill at a time.  As soon as you use it, you are suppose to call for the nurse to bring you another one.  Angela and my sisters who spent the next couple of nights with me ended up chasing the nurses for my medications every 2 hours.  If they weren’t there, how would I have gotten my pain medications?

The Dragon Lady

It was not a good day.

I had some appointments downtown and needed to get my shot in the stomach.  I went to get my Zoladex stomach injection, but I didn’t realize I had to go to the pharmacist to pick it up first.

Then I had to go downstairs and got whopped with a $1 309.40 bill.  Apparently they hadn’t received confirmation that my insurance was going to pay for it, and the girl who would have been able to confirm it was away.  The girl at the pharmacy didn’t really want to give it to me because she was worried I couldn’t afford it.  I told her I didn’t really have a choice and that I would put it on visa.  Apparently, that’s a great way to collect monthly air miles points!  I submitted it to the insurance company the next day, but I still haven’t heard back from them.

Then, my day got a little bit worse. I didn’t get to see my oncologist.   I got that horrible woman who rolled her eyeballs at me the last time I was there asking questions.  I will now refer her as “The Dragon Lady”.

I guess I asked a stupid question which was…. When they take some of the bone tumour out, do they stage it?  She said, “What are you taking about?  As soon as you have a metastasis, you are stage 4 cancer.”  I really didn’t want to hear that because I always associated stage 4 cancer with “death is around the corner”

Then, nice lady (secretary) from the Radiation Guys office came to speak to me about a study about pain management and gave me a consent form.  I kind of freaked out when I read that the radiation therapy may cause me to loose my bladder and bowel function.  I do you mean I may never be able to pee or poo normally again?  I could read no more.  And I started to cry.  And damn it, I didn’t bring anyone with me to that appointment.

Apparently I think I am being used in a clinical/human guinea pig trial.  There are only 15 people in this study who meet the criteria of this new type of high dose radiation (one tumour only).  I know that my radiation doctor has not yet hit anyone’s spinal cord and I really don’t want to be the first.  He seems pretty confident that he can help me which is reassuring, but I am still worried nonetheless.  Headed for home.

Save My Lululemon

Well, today my kids/husband took me to my favourite chinese restaurant .  Upon driving home (yes, I was driving), I started having chest pains.  So I pulled over and told Bobo he’d have to drive.  Yes, a cell phone at that time would have been nice.  Not wanting to visit a hospital quite yet, I asked Bobo to drive me home so I could get my heart monitor.  We were home in less that 5 minutes and my heart monitor indicated that my systolic rate, blood pressure, and pulse were abnormally high.  It was in the “red” zone.  “Oh Crap”, I thought,  Got to go to the hospital again.  Don’t really need an unco-operative heart right now, but it would be a good thing to know what’s going on before the surgery.   Luckily, Michelle’s daughter phoned earlier and left a message asking my kids to go over to their house tomorrow.  So I yelled at Frick to phone her friend as I kept monitoring my heart.  “Hi, Michelle… my hearts kind of acting all crazy again, can I bring my kids over?”  Poor Michelle.  She is going to have to start charging me hotel rates for the numerous amounts of times I have dumped my kids at her place.  And just as I’m leaving the door who should call, but my dad.  “Don’t answer the phone”, I yell to Frick, who has, by this time, picked it up.  “Who is it?”, I yelled.  “Nonno” (my dad), she answers.  “Great”.  “Dad, what do you want?  I gotta go to the hospital.  My heart is acting weird.  Don’t come over.  I’ll phone you as soon as I know what’s happening.  Good-bye.”

“Where do you want to go?”, Bobo asks.  “Downtown”, I answered.  Might as well, since all my records are there and all my current doctors can access them.  So we dropped the kids off at Michelle’s and headed downtown.

So what does my dad do in the meantime?  He goes to find me at my local hospital.  Then he phones my sister who lives downtown and sends her to my downtown hospital.  Glad he listens to me when I tell him not to come.  So the whole family is now searching for me.

At the hospital, they did an ECG and took my blood.  Four hours later…wasn’t heart failure.  ECG was good.  Everything seemed okay, and I was free to go.  However, no real explanation was given to me about the intense chest pains I had.  Although the ER doc. did say that that new drug I’m on (Arimidex) can cause chest pains.  Great eh!  And if I continue to have chest pains more frequently, I needed to come back and get checked out more thoroughly.  All I know is that I’m getting the same irregular heartbeats, weird electrical bolts coursing through my legs, and chest pains that I got when I was on tamoxifen.  I just hope I can have a successful surgery soon before my heart does any more weird things.

We (Bobo, Older Sister and I) met some new friends in the ER waiting room.  “What’s wrong with you?”  I asked a girl (Diane).   She also had some heart issues, (‘cept they let me and another  guy out after 4 hours -we got the “pink slip” and she ended up spending the night).  Heart murmur.

We had a good time laughing together.  She was Italian and her boyfriend was Canadian.  My stupid husband kept shaking his head and told the guy to run for his life.  Nice eh?  “It will never work”, he announced.  “Don’t listen to him”, I told the guy, “He regularly stops at churches, rolls down the window during weddings and yells, “Don’t do it”.   She was studying at U of T to become a lawyer and he was at George Brown studying architecture.  My husband and him conferred about how really LOUD italians families were and how they yell at each other.  “But we are just talking”, pips in Diane and I.  Diane’s boyfriend (can’t remember his name) said he didn’t like going over to her house for dinner because her parents just keep throwing more and more food onto his plate and he doesn’t want it.  Bobo laughed and said, “Yeah, I know”.  “Why don’t you do what my husband does?”  I told him.  Why don’t you put some ziplock bags into your pocket and when no one is looking, slip the food into it.  Then you don’t offend anyone and you can empty your pockets when you get home.  You could see he was contemplating doing that next time he was going over there for dinner.  It was one of the most entertaining ER experiences I have had.

And, after all that… all I can say is that I certainly left the ER with a bang.  Poor Diane almost fainted.  The ER nurse had dug an IV REALLY deep into my arm and it hardly gave her any blood at all.  She thought I would have get poked again because the blood came out so slow, she was convinced it clotted and the lab was not going to accept it.

But boy oh boy, did it all come gushing out like a volcano when it was taken out.  I didn’t really notice it.  She took it out and I had a gauze bandage over it  and tape.  Then my husband said,  “Look at your arm… You’re bleeding.”  “Holy Sh**”, says I.

MY LULULEMON!  My  new LULULEMON hoodie!  AHHHHH!!  A big blob of blood was spreading quickly on my sweater from my right arm.  “What should I do?”   “Take it off,” Bobo shouts.  So I did.  “Forget about my arm…. SAVE MY LULULEMON!”, I cried.  Diane’s boyfriend grabbed my hoodie and quickly rinsed it in the nearby sink.  I owe him big time.  I looked over at Diane.  Diane did not look so good.  Apparently she doesn’t like blood and by that time the blood entirely soaked up the gauze, was all over my arm and left hand, and was spurting out all over the floor.  “Holy Sh**”, was all I could say staring at it dumbfounded.  Someone (Bobo?) called for a nurse, who put more bandages on it, and told me to apply more pressure.  She asked me if I was taking blood thinners.  Nope, I wasn’t.  Good thing too.  Hope that doesn’t happen next week when I have to go for surgery or I’m really in trouble.



Cancer in a Jar and Gilligan

Jan. 14  Early Morning Blog

It’s 6:30 in the morning.  Lately I keep waking up between 4:00 – 6:00 and I don’t know what to do with myself.  So I am writing away.

Now how weird is this.  I was kind of thinking that I would like to bring a glass jar to my operation and ask Dr. Yogi if he would mind filling it up with my breast cancer bone tumour so I have something to show everyone if and when they come over to my house.  That’s what my mom did when she had her kidney stones removed.  She kept a baby food jar of them in the medicine cabinet and whipped them out whenever we had relatives come by.  Now that might freak them out, don’t you think?  How sick, eh!  Oh… I could have so much fun with that.  Especially if my cousins come over.  Look at this!  Ha ha haaaaa.

Next, I would like to set Reema (a teacher at my school) with one of my radiation doctor’s associates, but I’m not sure how I’m going to accomplish that.  I’m pretty sure he is a sikh (that’s what she is interested in dating).  He has a very long beard like Osama Bin Ladin.  I don’t know if that makes him a sikh or not.  There’s a temple near my house and it looks like all the guys going in there have really long beards like this doctor guy I’m referring to.  I hope he’s not married.  I didn’t see if he had a ring on his finger.  Theresa Rose always told me to look to see if the guys I want to set her up with have a ring on their finger and I totally forgot.  I’m not very observant, I fear.  I hope this guy will be at the surgery, so I can see if I’m wasting my time or not.  His name is Roberto Alamer like the baseball player….. well, no not exactly.  That’s what he said his name sounded like.  It’s really Alamer or Alomer.  Something like that.  Anyway, he has really nice brown eyes and he is really sweet.  I think Reema would like him.  I must bring Reema to one of my appointments.  I hope he is there (at my surgery) rather than this really strange guy that was the resident at my appointment with Yogi.  As I was peering down the corridor with all the exam rooms I noticed 3 residents calling people for their appointments.  There were two tall, very calm, good looking young men, and a crazy looking thin guy who looked like he had way too much caffeine in his system (and he had a strange looking mustache too).  I don’t think I have ever met a chinese man with a mustache before.  I will have to ask Stella, who lives in Beijing, if there are any chinese men with mustaches there, or is it a fashion faux pas?  It looked really strange on him.  He was holding someone’s chart, passed the room he was suppose to be in, returned, and basically didn’t look like he knew what he was doing.  Very nervous.  “Must be new, I thought.   “Oh please, don’t let that guy be the one taking care of me”.  “He reminded me of a chinese version of Gilligan on Gilligan’s island”.  And guess what?  An hour later, guess who calls my name out to exam room number 3.  Gilligan, of course.  He spent the next half hour on the computer, showing me my images.  Bobo said he seemed more interested in looking at my scans than tending to me.  Apparently, Gilligan is going to be at my surgery (Bobo asked).  So on the day of my surgery when I see him, do you think it would be untoward if I say to him,  “LOOK, but do not TOUCH this body.  Understand.”  And don’t distract Yogi.  Got it?  You should really try decaf.  And do something about that mustache.

Time to go back to bed.

P.S.  I hope Reema doesn’t mind that I dragged her into my blog today.  But what can I say.  This is what my mind does early in the morning.

I thought you might be interested in hearing what Stella (who lives in Beijing with several billion chinese people) has to say about mustaches…..


Hi Mary,

I’ve not encountered any Chinese men sporting mustaches here in China. In general, Asians tend to have very little body hair other than on their heads, so beards and mustaches are very fine. David Suzuki had one (although he was Japanese), and in Chinese movies and in TV series that take place in ancient times, the noblemen always have long hair, and scraggly beards and mustaches. In modern China men seem to own razors and use them. Your Gilligan has a special sense of style.

Love your blogs!

Xoxo Stella


Fractured Spine

Dear family/friends,

I went to meet the surgeon this week.  His name is Yogi.  How can you go wrong with that?  If he meditates, he’s got to have a steady hand for surgery.  Anyway, he seems like a good guy and he is friends with the radiologist and I like him.  He told me that he will only send me to the best and that’s Yogi and he only does spines.  So I’m good with that.  Apparently he is not taking any new patients for 9 months.

So I got a good look at my MRI.  Turns out that I have a fractured spine.  Not quite sure when that happened.  The tumour encompasses a good portion of the vertebrae (#11).  The bone kind of looks like a block of the letter C.  The only parts not totally affected at this point at the “pedicles“ or the ends of the C.  Unfortunately some of the tumour is bulging towards the spinal cord and it’s going to have to be scrapped off before the radiation takes place.  It’s going to take 1 1/2 hours to do the scrapping and an additional 1 1/2 hours to put in titanium rods to support my back.  They will be screwed into the bones above and below the affected bone.  I’ll be going in for surgery at 6:00 a.m in the morning on January 25th… the operation is at 8:00.  So Yogi will be able to go for lunch at 11:00.  They are going to be keeping me over-night.  The radiation treatment will begin two weeks later on February 7th.  Apparently I’m wanted for a study on pain management after the high dose of radiation.  He did say I was going to be in excruciating pain, so I’m not exactly looking forward to that.  I hope they give me some good drugs, because I don’t have very much tolerance for pain.  But I get to write all about that in the questionnaire!

My kids are being bused to and from school now, so I don’t have to worry about that.  However, the bus has been late every single day this week.  So their principal is trying to get them on another bus.  Today was a bit tricky because it snowed and the buses were 40 minutes late.  I told the woman who phoned me that I would drive them to school.  Getting the snow off the car required more from my back than I had anticipated and I had to take a percocet for that when I got home.  I’ve actually been pretty good and have not taken any pain killers for over a week.

I fell down the stairs over the holidays and I’m pretty sure I broke my baby toe.  It was quite black.  Even the percocet didn’t work for that!  It’s getting a bit better now, but I really hate putting on shoes/boots.

Hope all is well with everyone and remember Don’t Do Drugs… Save them all for me.

Mood Swings

I think one of my friends was right about not letting my meds go below the prescription level.  I never took anything yesterday and today I feel like a raving b#$%*$.  I think it’s that time of the month and now that they shoved that needle in my stomach to stop it, I am feeling the mood swings like never before!  My husband got quite an earful yesterday.  Had to go to a funeral viewing (my father’s 81 year old cousin died), and my husband was too busy watching the f@#$%g Rose Bowl Parade to get dressed and get the kids ready while I made lunch and cleaned up.   If words could kill, let me tell you.

Just a little bit or worldly advice…. never cross an italian in pain.  I really let it rip.  You wouldn’t believe how fast the three of them got into the car after that.  I let them freeze out there for a bit before I got ready.  Yes, I really am a b@#$*.

New Years was kinda quiet.  My husband & son went to his brother’s house, while I stayed home with Hope and one of my sisters.  We went to my parents house for lunch and my husbands parents for dinner the next day.

I’m feeling quite tired all the time.  Tomorrow I’m going to phone re: that surgeons appointment.  I’m hoping he can slot me in sometime soon.

All’s quiet from LTD this week…. no nasty notes in the mail or phone calls telling me I need to get to work full-time in eight weeks.  Told them if they didn’t have sufficient medical evidence for them to keep paying me disability, that they should get my hospital records on December 15-17  from Emergency/CT Scans.  The Back to Work Specialist (I like her) did phone me to tell me that she closed my file once again.  She actually figured out I wasn’t physically capable of going back to work and was going to visit my doctor with me in January.  And the disability analyst also phoned to say she was sorry about my new “condition”.

So ya gotta wonder about LTD.  If I end up in a wheelchair, are they still going to pester me to go back to work?  Gym might be a bit tough, I must say.  How soon before the vultures are at it again?

My friend and her two kids are coming to visit me today and tomorrow (from Beijing).  Hopefully that will help pass the time away, cause right now I feel like a sitting duck and my kids are getting restless.  I want to get out of the house and do stuff, but driving is one heck of a problem right now (backing up/twisting my back) and I don’t have the energy to walk around much.  I wonder if they have those motorized scooters at the nearby mall.  I tried going there today with my kids, but I couldn’t find a handicap parking spot close to the doors.  All I wanted was to go to a Tea Shop and purchase some of my favourite cinnamon tea.  I eventually found a spot, but it was too far and I thought forget it, it was not worth getting out of the car and walking all the way over there in the freezing cold with both my kids in tow.  So I went home.  Figured I’d send my husband over to get it .  Then my friend Evangeline called.  She said she was going to drop by.   I told her if she was going to the mall, I was desperate for some Cinnamon Chai tea!  She phoned the tea shop and they are all out.  Just my luck.  My sister is going to try to pick some up from a Tea shop downtown near her house.

Now that I’m taking the aromatase inhibitor drugs to get rid of all my estrogen, I don’t feel quite as inclined to stick entirely to organic food. Eating heathy didn’t prevent me from getting bone cancer, so what the heck?  I’m going to eat whatever  I like and enjoy it too!