And Just How Are We Doing?

I woke up this morning pondering how I was going to get the whole world to light up on my blog dashboard and just how realistic was this goal?  Do they even have computers in Uganda?  What about the Sahara Desert?  Is there some poor cold researcher in the Antarctic who is really going to read my blog?  What if there are only 4 people on a sub-station in that continent?  At first, I thought getting someone from Iceland would be hard to get, but on Tuesday when I go to Gilda’s club, I know someone who was born there.  Hopefully, he has some relatives there on some glacier with wi-fi.  

I’m going to check the dashboard and see how we’re doing.  I say “We” because we are in this together…..

Coool !

We’ve got the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, France, and Switzerland aglow!  Those are all new.  And it looks like the Antarctic isn’t even on the map, so we don’t have to worry about bothering finding some frozen researcher anymore.  Wait a minute.  Why are there only 3 colours on this map?  Red, Orange, and Yellow?  It looks like it’s a race.  The country with the most hits gets red.  I will keep you posted, but Canada is winning.

My older sister is on a tour in Europe.  If I had thought of this earlier, I could have told her to check into my blog in all the countries she visited.  She was in London, France, Austria and Italy and I don’t have all of those countries yet.  Oh well, we’ll see what happens in the next couple of days.  

Thank you to those who are joining in my insanity.

God Bless the Kooky ones.                                                                                                                                

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So…. What’s Next On My Bucket List?

Okay, I’ve got something new for my bucket list.  I just thought of it.  This one is kind of insane, I will admit to that.

So you see, there is, on my blog, a map of the world.  It lights up when someone has viewed my blog from a different country.  Today, Mexico, lit up (thanks to Alyda).  

So now, this is my quest or my newest obsession or whatever you want to call it.  I want to see my blog read by someone in EVERY country (or at least most of them).  Right now it lights up red for Canada, orange for the U.S, yellow for Mexico and Australia.  I want to see if I can get some more colours to show up on my blog map.  That would be SO COOL!  

I think I will need your help in this to accomplish my goal.

Do you know anyone from a different country that would mind looking/viewing my blog.  I don’t care if they actually read it, I just want to see the countries light up.

This can be done.  I have faith.  Just look at your contact list and send it to some foreign land with my blog address on it okay?  Yes, I know I’m a bit nuts, but humour me here….I’m testing out the realms of social media.

Yes, I know you don’t even have time to pick your nose let alone do this for me, but…..  did I tell that you are the best?  Even if I get a couple of more lights, I’ll be happy.  Really.

Pretty Please?

NOT Once, NOT Twice, But THREE Times on the Jumbotron!

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That’s right Folks.

The place was the Sky Dome/Rogers Center on Tuesday, May 28, 2013.

Atlanta Braves Vs The Toronto Blue Jays.

It was Fire Safety Day and we had lots of stuff for our big day at the ball park.  White bristol board placards with:  St. Andrews P.S. Knows About Fire Safety, Do You?   Six Baseballs with good/bad safety points (smoke alarm, stove with overflowing pot/pan/mitt on fire, baby with a lighter/matches, cigarette, many plugs in a socket, heater 3 feet away from a wall).  And a giant banner with four cute kids dressed up in Blue Jays Gear + Go Blue Jays Go Signs.IMG_0241

Needless to say, we weren’t seen just once or twice on the Jumbotron, but a whole THREE times!

And not only did we get on the Jumbotron, we also won a cheque for The School Banner Contest for the sum of FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS!

Jumbotron Cheque $500

It was a beautiful day at the ballpark  (smirk).

Ha ha…I’d say I’m laughing all the way to the bank, but Anna’s getting the cheque!!!

Well, at least I got my wish to be on the Jumbotron.  That’s one less thing on my Bucket List!  Gotta think of some more crazy things to do!

 

False Alarm

False Alarm Pic

I phoned my oncologist’s secretary this morning.  I was not a happy camper.  I  couldn’t wait any longer to find out what was wrong with me this time.  I had to phone and find out what was going on or I would have driven myself nuts.

This is what happens to you after you’re diagnosed with cancer, you are constantly on vigil.   I didn’t used to be this way…it sort of evolved after having heart failure, TIA/stroke episode, and two metal rods shoved in my back.  It seemed like every time things were looking good, something else would happen.  Was it my brain, my heart, my back, my shoulder, or my feet?  Or my DNA analysis?

After the secretary picked up the phone and said, “Good Morning”,  I quickly got to the point. “Hi, it’s me, Maria.  I got a letter in the mail yesterday with a schedule marked “Urgent Patient Visit” on June 7th.  I told her that if something was going on that I didn’t know about, I couldn’t wait until June 7th…  I would die of a stroke first.

She pulled up my file and said, “Oh.  That was just the code I used”.  “Really”, I said “…all my other monthly schedules said  “Breast Clinic?”   So there is nothing wrong with me?  “No,” she said.  “Sorry to have worried you”.

Sweet Mary Mother of God… a false alarm.  Thank you God.

Urgent? Now What?

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I was having a good day until I got home and opened up a letter from my cancer hospital and read over my appointments.

“That’s really weird?”, I thought.  Why does it say BRE DMO Urgent Patient Visit on June 7.  I know I was supposed to go there on June 7th to get my shots in the stomach (and my butt/hips), but why is this appointment all of the sudden labelled URGENT?  That’s never happened before.

I am now going into PANIC MODE.  What do they want?  What did they find now?  I have been at a lot of doctors appointments, but I don’t think anyone found anything weird.  Phoned the hospital and left a message…it was after 4:00 and everyone had gone home.

Now I started to review every word, and every detail of every recent appointment, trying to figure out what this could mean.  Then I remembered that I had given the hospital permission to get a piece of my tumour and analyze it for DNA markers.

They must have found something.

I don’t think I will be able to sleep until I get some answers, or until June 7th…whatever comes first.

Screamer In the Blood Lab…Oh, That Would Be Me

Screamer in the Blood Lab…Oh, That Would be Me.

Well, I had another doctors appointment.  What else is new.  New guy… Thombosis specialist.  Got there at 9:20.  Secretary greeted me with “This file is yours”.  It was a rather large stack of about 200 sheets of paper.  So what?  Can I help it if I’m complicated?  Told her that was only my heart and if she thought that was bad, I had 4 more binders full of stuff in my basement for everything else.  She just looked at me.

Went to the designated waiting room.  Forgot my children’s toys (ipod/ipad).  Stuck reading the Metro someone left behind.  Read it in about 2 minutes and was bored out of my mind.  Watched CityPulse.  After 1 hour, I had had enough and went to talk to the secretary.  Told her I have 2 more places to go to today (didn’t tell her I was planning on going to Art Junktion to get some free stuff for our school).  She said I was next.

If I knew that I was going to be in the waiting room for an hour I could have gone for a walk down the street to my insurance company to submit more paperwork.  Great West Life wants to know what I’ve been doing with myself these days.  They only gave me 3 lines to write down my doctors appointments over the last 6 months.  I’ve got 2 typewritten pages for them to peruse.  I already got two warning letters saying a had 60 days to submit the paperwork.  I hate doing this stuff.  I bet the doctor does too, because some of the paperwork was for him to fill out.

The intern talked to me for about 1/2 hour.  I told her I wasn’t about to go on Warfarin again, so she would need to have another plan.  She told me about a fairly new drug (Plavex?) that didn’t require all the constant blood monitoring/food you can’t eat like when you are on Warfarin.  I jumped on the question about side effects, since that seems to be my specialty.  All I heard was….bleeding in the GI Track and needing surgery if that happens.  Something about you will know when you start vomiting blood or have blood in your stool (bright red or tarry black).    Great… and I thought painful feet was bad.

Then the intern and the doctor had a pow wow, and later came to talk to me.  Started talking about Plavex again.  Needed to consult with the brain guy ‘cause it might cause the cavernous hemangioma in my head to bleed.

Now I’m thinking in my head that LTD told me to just get on a baby aspirin….so I threw that into the debate.  Can’t I just take a simple baby aspirin?  Won’t that do the trick?  He thought about it and said, “Yes”.   “Great SCOTT, sign me up for that then.  Send that in the consult to my oncologist, will ya buddy?

Still haven’t bought that boot for my feet.  If it works, I’ll be happy.  If it doesn’t, I think I’m going to have to make the switch back to the Tamoxifen/baby aspirin and hope I don’t have another stroke/TIA.  Can’t stand the foot pain.

Why does life have to be so complicated?  I just want to be normal.  My life has been anything but normal for 3 years.  Why can’t I just have a break?  I’m so discouraged.

Then, then you know what happened?  The intern sent me downstairs for some blood work.  I’m not good with needles and I only have one arm they can use because I have no lymph nodes in the other one.  The technicians have to use baby needles on me.  I was not in a good mood when I was called to get blood drawn.  Number 37.  “Oh, you have small veins”, she said.  I always know I’m in trouble when they say that while tying that stupid blue rubber band around my arm till it turns purple.  I’m thinking in my head, she only has one shot and I’m out of here.  One shot and one shot only.  Then run.  Run like the wind.

The only thing I want to say about my experience today in the blood lab is that I SCREAMED and EVERYONE in the place heard me.  They were probably saying their prayers; extremely glad that they didn’t have my technician.

“GET IT OUT” GET IT OUT…NOW”, I roared, after she began digging the freaking adult needle around and around my arm.  Did she get any blood?  Nope.  Not a single drop.  After she yanked it out and taped me up, she got another adult needle package out intent on revisiting my arm.  She was sadly mistaken.

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”, I said.  “I’m not going to let you DO THAT TO ME AGAIN!”  The doctor upstairs can wait till they stab me again next door in three weeks at the other hospital.  I just had blood work drawn on Friday….how much can that poor vein in my arm take?   Is it in my record to be done?  “Yes”, she answered.  “Well, then, it’s going to have to wait.”  “Good-bye,” I said as I ran out the door at lightening speed.  My friend Maria was right, “Who cares if you are late for an appointment”  and “Don’t let them push you around.”

Bet you that lab technician was glad when I left!

 

Dr. Butthead

I am really not a happy camper today.  I had a horrible headache this morning when I woke up, and my feet are absolutely killing me.  No joke.  If I could shoot my feet off, I would.

I went to see a specialist yesterday who confirmed I do indeed have Plantar Fasciitis.  My oncologist told me he thinks it is most likely due to the new medication I’m on called Fulvestrant.  He does not want me to go back on the Tamoxifen and have another stroke (tomorrows appointment is with a Thombosis doctor).  My choices are:  stay on the fulvestrant and endure the wicked headaches/foot pain, go back on Tamoxifen (I have twice as much chances of having another stroke now that I had one before), try a new drug (called ever-something) which costs $6,000 a month and it’s side effects include horrible mouth sores and fatigue, or palliative chemotherapy, which is toxic.  I don’t like my options.  Nor do I want those 5 new spots on my spine to grow.  So what side effects would you want?

All I seem to be doing lately is going to visit doctors, specialists, and having x-rays, CT scans, Bone scans and MRI’s.  Today’s appointment was with my cardiologist.  Haven’t seen him in 6 months and just discovered he’s been promoted to head cheese.  That means I am no longer his patient.  That really puts a damper on things because a) I fired my first cardiologist,  b) the second one I went to refused me as a patient because she said I was suppose to go back to the first one I hated and c) this cardiologist was the only one my former oncologist believed that I had cardiomyopathy because of the chemo drugs (claimed that there was only a .04 % chance of that happening and I happened to be the lucky one).  So now I’ve been dumped once again.  I don’t know what the name of my new cardiologist.  I will just call him Dr. Butthead.

I went to get my ECG done at 12:45.  My appt with Dr. Butthead was at 1:00.  I figured that was plenty of time for me to get back to school to pick up the kids at 3:00, but I was wrong.  At 1:30, I was starving and asked the secretary if I could go downstairs and get something to eat.  She said I was next.  At 2:00, which was the time I should had left, I was finally ushered into a room.  Some woman entered the room.  I figured she was the doctor and asked her 5 questions I needed answered.  She didn’t know the answers to any of them and then told me she was just a nurse.  It was then 2:15 and I said, “I’m sorry, I have to go”.

The secretary wanted to give me another appointment for October, but she was busy with another guy and I told her to email it to me because I was really late.  Normally, I wouldn’t have taken off like that, but one of Frick’s friends was coming over because her parents asked me to babysit and I had to pick them all up.

I really don’t think patients should have to wait 1 1/2 hours in a waiting room.  If a doctor is that far behind, they should call the patient and reschedule or just book less people.  Honestly, they should create a new APP…..your doctor is 3 hours behind….don’t come in yet or you’ll just be wasting your time in the waiting room.  I’d buy it.  So would every other cancer patient I know who gets shafted by doctors of whatever precious time they have left on this earth waiting to be seen.  I despise it when doctors are always late.  It’s inconsiderate of other peoples time.  Yes, I know they may have emergencies…but some of them are habitually late.  So what should I do when I have a 1:00 appointment.  Show up at 3:00?

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Just wanted to let you know that the problem with my shoulder is not due to another malignant tumour (results from the bone scan).  I was suppose to have a CT Scan and/or an MRI to determine what exactly is the problem, but at this point I really don’t care because I’m tired of being a guinea pig and why should I become more radioactive if I don’t need to be?

Right now my feet are giving me more pain than my shoulder.  The specialist has put me on an anti-inflammatory drug called Naproxin, told me to go see a physiotherapist, and buy some wacky boots that I will have to wear at night to heal the connective tissue in my feet which from what I understand, is shredding every time I walk on it.  At night, it tightens and I develop scar tissue.  Then when I start walking in the morning, it rips and the whole process starts again.  Lord help me.  I’ll let you know how I make out with the new boots if I ever get a chance to go to Shoppers Drug Mart to buy them tomorrow after my Thombosis appointment (which, who knows, may take 7 hours of my day).

I am going to start making a tally of how long I have to wait in doctors offices.  This will be a very interesting experiment.

Just Another Blog and the J.W’s.

So today, my alarm went off at 7:10 a.m.  Got up without thinking, doing my usual routine…started making the lunches.  What do you guys want for lunch?  No answer.  “Okay, I didn’t get an answer, so you’re getting a bun with turkey in it.”  What vegetables and fruits do you want?  Again, no answer.

Then I hear my husband’s voice coming from the basement…(Long story short… he snores like a jumbo jet, and has been banished there while the rest of us sleep upstairs, far, far, away).  “What are you doing?” he asked.

“OHHHH BOY…are you in trouble,” I yelled.  “Do you know what TIME it is?  You are SOOOOO LATE for work”.  It’s 7:30 (he is usually gone by 7:15).

“You DO realize it is Sunday, don’t you.  Where are you going?” he pipes in.

“Sunday?”… took me a moment to register this piece of new information.

“Where am I going?  I’m going back to bed”, I responded.

Figures.  Only one day a week I can sleep in and I’m up at the crack of dawn making lunches.

So later, as I’m driving Bobo to the zoo, my three tormenters are at it again.  Gee whiz mom, what would have happened if you made us go to school and no one was there?  And of course, Bobo, as usual, makes things worse by saying, “I’m so stupid.  Why did I open my big mouth?  I should just have seen how far you would have gone.”

I don’t think I would have made it that far.  I would have gone over to Michelle’s house and awakened her family to pick up her kids (on Sunday) before actually arriving at the school.  Now that would have been embarrassing.  I could just see Michelle’s husband answering the door at 8:00 in the morning asking me if I was crazy.  “Yup, just me, the crazy one”.

So Hope is making me write this blog.  She said as long as I wrote that embarrassing blog (November 22, 2009) about her and “The Scream” (which she still cries about today), then I have to write an embarrassing blog about myself.  So here it is.

She obviously hasn’t read my blog about my misadventure in the hospital after my back surgery…. when I got the suppository and Bobo couldn’t get me to the bathroom in time.  Haven’t posted that beauty yet.  It will have you in tears.  Trust me.

I’ll keep trying to post more of my old blogs this week, but I think it’s going to be  a while before I get to Feb., 2012, when I had that operation.

Have a great Monday.

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P.S.  On Saturday, we were just about to pull up into our driveway when I saw 2 women knocking on our side door.  “Quick”, I yelled at Bobo, “Don’t go in the driveway… the Jehovah Witnesses are there.  Go ‘round the block; maybe they’ll be gone by the time we get back”.  So we slowed down, and then sped up, and took a cruise around the neighbourhood.  Then Frick starts complaining, “What are YOU TWO Doing?  What if it ISN’T the Jehovah Witnesses.  What if it was PEOPLE WE KNOW visiting us.  I’ll bet you we just missed a visit from one of your friends, mommy.  How can you do this to them?  They come all the way to our house to visit us, and you leave them in the driveway.  Then Frack pipes in, “Yeah, What are you two doing?  Those are our friends visiting us!”

Bobo just kept driving around and around and by the time we got home, Frick and Frack had already worked themselves up into a frenzy chastising the both of us.  Made me second guess myself, attempting to flee the Jehovah Witnesses, just to listen to my own kids scold me in the car.  I had no where to run.

I asked Bobo if he thought it was the JW’s.  He just shrugged.  I know, I thought, I will go ask the neighbour who was sitting on her chair in the front yard.  Hey, did the J.W’s come visit you just now?  “Yeah, actually they did”, she said.  “Good,” I answered, “I just missed them”.  “Oh”, she laughed, “I was wondering why you slowed down when you got close to your house and then took off again.”

The Jumbotron

May 3, 2013

One of the teachers at my school, Betty, sent me an interesting email requesting some help this week…..

Our school grade 3 – 8 are going to see a Toronto Blue Jays game on May 28. I just got this message from someone and was wondering if you could help me make a fantastic banner with my class?

“Good news is that the first 25,000 fans in attendance will get a team set of baseball cards.  More good news is that they are having a School banner challenge. If anyone would like to have their class create a giant banner consisting of our school, the Blue Jays, and Fire Safety you may get shown on the Jumbotron. “

Okay….so this is now something new on my Bucket List.  I want to be on the Jumbotron.

Can’t tell you the details (it’s a secret to the outside world)…but after what I’ve got planned, there is little doubt in my mind that our school WILL BE ON THE JUMBOTRON. The theme is Fire Safety, Blue Jays, and school….very weird combination.  It ain’t gonna be easy, but we still have time…. On May 28th, we are going to do it!

Will we make it to the news?  Check that night’s newscast to see…. St. Andrews P.S. Knows About Fire Safety…  Do You?    I’m going to Art Junction this week to see what I materials I can find there for free.

Someone had better warn Linda I will probably need her classroom….and I will be needing some intermediate students too!  By the way Anna….I’m going to need a bullhorn at the game.   Don’t ask.  This is going to be crazy.  By the way,  Betty, I think I’m going to need that blue wig too… I’m going in disguise.