Thursday, November 12, 2009


15 movies that stick with you

This is a meme that has been doing the rounds on Facebook. I posted it there yesterday but I am too tired and lazy to write anything original today thought it worth sharing with the rest of the world

Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen movies you've seen that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

You can participate in the comments or leave a link to your own blog.

1. Gallipoli
2. Fast Times at Ridgemont High
3. An Officer an A Gentleman
4. El Norte
5. The Killing Fields
6. Swimming to Cambodia
7. The Princess Bride
8. Grease
9. Priscilla Queen of the Desert
10. The Breakfast Club
11. Rachel Getting Married
12. History of the World Part 1
13. The Producers (the original version)
14. The Thomas Crowne Affair
15. Mamma Mia

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

my husband's chest

You don't need to tell me how lucky I am.

I have a roof over my head, great medical care and I'm surrounded by people who love me.

And don't think I forget how very lucky I am to be alive at all. Why did I get to go into remission? Why me? I am indeed very fortunate.

But there are times when I do feel sad that I will never put this cancer behind me. I feel the toll ongoing treatment takes on my body and my emotional well being.

So last night I stood in my kitchen, with my head on my husband's chest (we say we were built for each other. My head lands flat on his chest and tucks under his chin). He put his arms around me and we just stood there, breathing together.

He didn't need to say anything. He understood my frustration. Only a few hours before I was finallly feeling sharp and healthy and energized. And then, after chemo, I stood in his arms, feeling sick and more than a little shaky.

He didn't remind me how lucky I am.

But I know it.

Monday, November 09, 2009

aware of the irony

Life is funny.

This morning was perfect weather for a bike ride. The sun was out and the temperature climbed to 17C (that's 62.6 in American). It was my first time on the bike in more than a week - since before the plague toppled my family, like a series of dominoes.

It was a fun ride, and I didn't even mind the big hill I have to climb on my way to the hospital. I arrived twenty minutes after I set out, a little sweaty and with my heart pumping. As I locked up and headed into the cancer centre, I noted with pleasure that I hadn't been coughing.

"It feels good to be healthy."

I very nearly said it out loud.

I was suddenly struck by the absurdity of my situation. Here I was, going to get my bloodwork done the day before chemo and thinking about how healthy I am.

Three years ago, at almost exactly this time of year, I learned that my cancer had become metastatic. I don't think I could have imagined this day, when I'd be riding my bike up Smythe Rd. and thinking about how healthy I am.

So, as I was saying at the beginning of this post - life really is pretty funny.

Cross-posted to Mothers With Cancer.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

first one, then the other

My older son went back to school this morning. I did a little happy dance in the hall after he left. It's not that I mind having him around but the kid has to go back out into the world some time, you know?

And then of course, my six year old woke up with a sore throat. He really doesn't seem too sick to me (he had the first part of the H1N1 shot last week) but these days, I prefer to err on the side of caution (we are relieved that there is no coughing, as D. has asthma and things can get scary pretty quickly).

We've been hanging out in our pajamas on the couch. I don't know if this will help me reach my deadlines (or my NaNoWriMo goal) but it's pretty sweet.

Monday, November 02, 2009

things i've learned in the last 7 days about h1n1 (and other things)

My older son and I were both sick last week and are bouncing back rather nicely. The experience taught me a few things, though:

1- The illness varies in its intensity. We both ended up with fairly mild cases.

2- My doctor is extremely efficient and her office is very well organized. This ended up making a very big difference for us.

3- Tamiflu, if administered within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, can greatly alleviate those symptoms.

4- Oral Tamiflu can make you feel very, very queasy.

5- You don't always get a fever when you have the illness.

6- If you have any of the symptoms, you should assume you have the illness.

7- You will not get tested for H1N1 unless you land in the hospital.

8- Even if you think you've had swine flu, you should still get the vaccine, unless it was confirmed with a test.

9- The hysteria around this is getting to be a little overwhelming. Remember: Most folks who get H1N1 do not get seriously ill.

10- If you are having trouble breathing, you should go your hospital's emergency room.

11- If you have been running a fever for more than 48 hours, you should see your doctor.

12- Judging by the line-ups in Ottawa, there are a lot of people who live here who fall into high risk groups.

13- My six year old knows how to come through in the crunch. He stood in line for 5 and a half hours. He was patient and good humoured the whole time (my spouse was with him). And then he got a needle at the end. The only thing he asked (at regular intervals) was if he could go to St. Hubert when they were done.

Even though it was well past his bed time, T. took him there when they were finished (I forgot to ask him if he had beer with his chicken). And since St-Hubert now has nut free desserts, he topped off the meal with a brownie and ice cream.

And then we bought him a new game for his DS.

14- If you leave me a link saying that the vaccine is poisonous or that I am a dupe of the pharmaceutical industry, I will not be impressed. Chemotherapy is poison, too and it has saved my life. There really is such a thing as a "necessary evil."

I won't add my rant about how this pandemic is being mis-managed by all levels of government because I wouldn't be able to stop.

I will share Rick Mercer's rant with you, though.