Doors Open Toronto

I should have published this a long time ago (May 30)…but I forgot about it in my draft folder…so I’m sending it out now!

So I had an Spinal MRI done last Friday and got the results on Wednesday.

My back is STABLE.  I think I was in shock when this woman I have never seen before told me at my Radiation Drs appointment.

I was so sure something bad was happening because my back has been very sore lately and my period showed up a couple a weeks ago (which is a very bad  sign when your cancer feeds off the hormone estrogen).  Anyhow, no new tumours and the couple of other ones sitting on my spine are behaving themselves.  I am blessed.

However, and there always is a however.  The report, which I asked a copy of, said that there is something new happening with regards to my bone marrow on T9 and S1.  The woman handed it to me and before I could even read it said, “Do you have any questions?”  I said, “No” and then she said don’t worry about that part at the bottom (bone marrow sentence), my back is stable.  But, of course, that is what I am currently fixated on.  I, of course, started researching stuff on the internet about bone marrow replacement and found that you can get some kind of leukemia from high doses of radiation (which I have had…clinical trial…don’t know what the long side effects are).  I am somewhat perturbed.  I need to take some long breathes and stop assuming the worse.  Just be happy with the news that my back is stable.

On Monday I’m going for a cardiac MRI with my wacky heart doctor.  I am beginning to really hate all these tests, because they find really stupid things (ie:  the thing growing in my neck and the other thing with tenticles in my brain), that I really have no desire of knowing about.  I also have an up-coming appointments  for a bone scan and CT scan.  Fun.

Last week-end we went to a couple of the venues for “Doors Open” Toronto.  It’s an event they have here in Toronto for 2 days every year.  People can visit interesting buildings for free during this  “Open House” event.  We have never went to see any of the buildings at a Doors Open before, but were curious and decided to go to our local ones.

Here is some of the stuff we saw.

Buddist Temple in Scarborough (Brimley Road).

Constructed in 2 years by 15 chinese men who quit their jobs and volunteered to built this.  A lot of the statues an intricate artwork on the structure was brought from China.

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It was quite neat.  They handed us a glass of green tea when we went in and also gave us a bracelet and  a tour.

Then we went to Doris McCarthy’s home.  She was one of Arthur Lismer’s (Group of Seven) art students at Malvern C.I.  She lived to be 100 years old and taught for 40 years at Central Tech.  She bought her property (on the Scarborough Bluffs) when there were no roads and drove a jeep after WWII through the brush to get to her property.  She built little additions on her home as the years went by.  She must have been really short because the doorways were built for midgets.

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Bobo (my husband the Geography expert) said that one day, they are going to have to move her house because it’s going to go down  into the lake.  I believe her because I used to know a teacher whose house was 12th from the edge and it went bye bye with erosion over the years.

She liked angels and had quite a nice one on her weathervane.


This is the first part she build of her house (one room with a fireplace and a lovely view).  The paintings are hers.  The one above her couch is a painting of her students painting.

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She was single all her life and travelled up north and got this sculpture made of whale bone, and while she was in Europe (Italy, I believe), she picked up this 16th century Madonna and Child…’cept the fingers broke on it’s shipment to Canada…so she glued them back together with Elmer’s Glue.




Then we went to the Guild Inn. I really wish someone would pick up the tab and fix the old inn which is condemned. The grounds are just beautiful. That’s where Bobo and I had our pictures taken after our wedding.  Really love that place.


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My “British” Son

My friend Cathy has informed me that I had to write on my blog and update it because I haven’t done so in a long time….so here we go.

Frack is doing incredibly well at his new school.  The change in him has been dramatic.  He is so happy; he is a totally different child when he comes home from school.  He has made so many friends and his teacher has told me he is thriving.  I, even being a teacher, had no idea that bullying could has such a detrimental effect on another child.

The work that Frack is doing now compared to the workbooks from his old school is like night and day.  One sentence and perhaps a picture versus pages and pages of writing.  I am in awe and count my blessings that I got him out of there.  Changing schools was definitely the right thing to do.

I have also been told by teachers that Frack is apparently, a chic magnet….that the girls LOVE him.  I kind of thought that my colleagues were just being kind until I went to one of Frick’s soccer games after school and had an interesting conversation with two of the parents there.  One parent (of a girl from Frack’s class) said, “Oh, you are the parent of the new British boy I have heard so much about”.   My daughter never stops talking about him.

British?  My son’s not British.  I had to laugh at that because Frack has a speech impediment and cannot say his “R’s” correctly and speaks, from what I can tell, with a Boston accent.  Apparently, it’s working really well for him.  The girls love it.  Now I’m thinking I should let him keep talking like that instead of hiring a speech therapist to correct it.   That little girl gave my son a BFF (best friends forever keychain with a light) the next day.  She was not the only one who thought my son was British.  Frick came home one day shortly after they started at the new school and told me that no one believed she was Frack’s older sister because she didn’t have a British accent.  What a riot.

At the soccer game, another greek parent with a son in Frack’s class, said, “Yes, thank heavens your son came to our school.  The girls used to love my son, but now they are after yours and it’s taken the pressure off him.

Go figure.

I think things are working out for the best with Frick too.  She always used to come home on the defensive and that is just not happening anymore.  She’s settling down nicely.  Now if only I could get her to inform me that she has homework!  She has a habit of hiding things from me; but that is going to change as of tonight…she must immediately do her work when she gets home.  Last night, after swim classes, I found out she had reams and reams of math she didn’t understand.  After she had a crying fit, we worked on it together until 11:00 at night.  I think she gets it now.  I don’t know why she gets so worked up about it.  One of my colleagues told me a long time ago that you can never teach your own child.  I think she is right.


I’m having a spinal MRI done tonight at 1:30 in the morning, and then I have an appointment with my oncologist Friday morning.  I have been having a significant amount of pain and have had to take painkillers on a daily basis.  Something is wrong, I just hope it’s not too bad.  I can’t even walk around for very long or go to the Y to exercise without being in a lot of pain.   Two weeks ago, my period showed up and I have been in bad shape since then.  My cancer feeds off estrogen and when that happened, I was not a happy camper.  I warned my family physician and oncologist that I thought it was coming back.  I had blood work I had done in March and my family doctor told me I was in menopause.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that I was NOT in menopause.  That also means that if I have to take hormone therapy again, I’m going into “Menopause” once again.  Hot flashes here they come.  That will be the third time.  It’s bad enough experiencing menopause once, but three times.  Really?

Hope they can fix my back problems.  Check out this tattoo.  If only it were that simple.


Nanny Angel Network Charity Event

So tonight there is going to be a Casino Night event at Downsview Park in support of the Nanny Angel Network.  They are the superb organization who sent me two wonderful Child Life Specialists (Amy and Sabina) to my home many times when I was too sick to take care of my kids.  They provide free babysitting for  children of critically ill cancer patients who are going through treatment.

Anyhow they sent a video crew over to my house a few weeks ago to film me talking about NAN and how important it is.  Tonight is one of their big charity events to raise money and I am going to be part of their video presentation.  Yikes!  I haven’t seen the video yet and am a little bit nervous. Here’s the link and some more information about the event, if you are interested.


LADY LUCK RETURNS JUST IN TIME FOR MOTHER’S DAY To follow up on the tremendous success of our casino night in 2012, Nanny Angel Network will be celebrating the lives of some very special moms at Return of Lady Luck on May 8th. The fundraiser evening will feature casino entertainment, a silent auction, prizes, and plenty of great food, dancing and fun. And, all funds raised will go directly towards helping the mothers and families of NAN. Help us make this an evening to remember and help support the moms and families of NAN. Event Details Date: Thursday, May 8th from 7pm to midnight Location: The Warehouse Downsview Park Tickets: $130.00 per person (free parking included and tax receipt issued) To purchase tickets, visit Eventbrite or call 416-730-0025.


I’m planning on winning the trip for two to Hawaii.