Monday, November 16, 2009

Just what is the point exactly?

Just the other day, dear reader, I was wondering what the point of crosswalks are.  I mean, it's not like people stop for them.  Let me explain why I was pondering this.  We (that is, my family and I) had just got back from a day up in Barrhead / Neerlandia, and were wondering what to do for supper.  Since Dianne and I weren't hungry, I decided that I would walk to Burger King and pick up a couple burgers and some fries for the kids.  Healthy?  No.  Quick and easy? Yes.  But, I digress.

So, I walk to BK.  Now, from my place, I have to cross a really busy avenue.  There is a controlled crosswalk about a block from where BK is, and there is also an uncontrolled crosswalk leading right to BK.  Normally, I would cross at the controlled one, but I chose to try the uncontrolled one.  Getting to BK was easy...there was no traffic and I ran like the wind.  Getting home was another story.  Traffic was whipping along the busy avenue, seemingly unaware of the lone pedestrian waiting to cross. Several of the drivers even gave me a dirty look, as if it's my fault that they almost decided to stop.  I gave them dirty looks back...after all, the burgers and fries were getting cold!!

So, there I stand.  The traffic is less now, but there is a little blue car coming down the I step out boldly.  Again, I got a dirty look, but at least the lady stopped.  So, I walked across the first lane...and had to stop again because dip-turd honky tonk man in his big Silverado decided not to stop.  As tempting as it was to flip him off, that would not be the proper thing to do.  So I waved at him....and he flipped me off.  It was at this point that I figured maybe I should have gone to the controlled crosswalk.  But, I trudged on.  I made it to the meridian safely and let out a big sigh of relief.  But, I still had 3 lanes to cross.  And about 24 cars were coming.  So...I ran.  Like the wind.  Whew, back on the right side of the avenue.

Now, all of this lead me to thinking...what is the purpose of this crosswalk?  Oh, most of you will say that it is so pedestrians can cross the street.  I don't believe a word of it.  I believe that the purpose of the crosswalk is so that potential crossers can make drivers angry.  I mean, why should a lowly pedestrian have the power to stop hundreds of tons of metal to stop?  It is not right!!  After all, in our busy world, who has time to stop for someone wanting to cross the street? 

Don't get me wrong, dear reader...I can understand not stopping for jay-walkers.  But if someone is at a crosswalk that is clearly lit and labelled?  Come on...slow down, take a deep breath and think about it.  Stop for the person wanting to cross.  Show a bit of courtesy.  Quit being a mong.  Don't let the burgers get cold for the poor walker.  I hope I see you trying to cross at a crosswalk someday....for I will stop.  And you will not know how to react, because you have never done it yourself.  And you will feel shame....and I will laugh.

And now, I go eat my kids burgers.  It took so long to cross the road, the kids were in bed by the time I got home.  Thanks dear driver....thanks.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nothing ever goes as planned.

Good evening dear reader.  As I sit here on my couch, typing away, I am a bit concerned about this entry.  I don't seem to be inspired tonight.  One would think that after the events of yesterday, my inspiration would have reached the overflowing stage, and the verbal diarrhea would begin.  Some of you might even be expecting a really long post, describing in detail the last day of radiation.  I will do my best, but that best might not be up to the standards one expects.  So, without further we go.

As with every 'big' day in this long journey, one has plans and expectations.  Most of the time, these plans and expectations have been met or exceeded.  Monday was not one of those days.  There were many plans for the day, and either they didn't happen or they happened at a completely different time than what was anticipated.  Confused?  Let me explain. 

One of the plans was that both kids would get on the bus to go to school in the morning.  That was the first thing that didn't work out.  David was sick, and stayed home.  Do you see where this is going, dear reader?  This unplanned event directly affected a planned event.  Oh, I still gave Dianne a ride to the CCI...with David in the back seat.  Our plan was to go for a really nice lunch after the treatment.....which we didn't.  If a kid can't go to school, he surely can't go out to a fancy restaurant (and we sure didn't want to take him to one LOL). 

That, dear reader, was only the beginning.  I was asked the question on facebook what time we got out of the CCI.  Apparently, Melanie was actually right outside on the sidewalk...waiting and whooping.  Well, this was the second thing that didn't quite go as expected.  The whole crew that let out a mighty bellow at 12:45 was actually an hour early.  Not through any fault of theirs, nor because of me giving the wrong time.  No, dear reader....for the first time in 20 treatments, the techs were an hour behind.  Dianne didn't get out of the CCI until 1:45. David and I had no idea what was going on.  We were waiting in the van (didn't want to take a sick kid into the hospital)...and we waited...and waited.  Finally we saw Dianne walking back to the van.  Once we found out what had happened.  I whooped.  I w00ted.  I bellowed!!  She was done!! She was DONE!!!

So, as you can see, the celebration did happen.  It's just that y'all celebrated an hour earlier than we did.  Which is ok.  No, it's more than ok.  Dear reader, I can't thank you all enough for being with us in spirit.  An awful lot of celebrating happened yesterday, and even though the timing was off, that doesn't take away from the effect of said celebrations.  I'm pretty sure the earth trembled just a tad with all the voices being raised!!!  We even had an entire school in Calgary stop what they were doing, gather together and celebrate!!!  And just knowing that all of you did this for us is an amazing feeling...and fills us with joy and happiness.  Thank you, dear reader...thank you.

What now?  Is this the final update?  No, I don't think so.  I will still let you know what's going on, although the updates will be fewer and farther between.  Dianne still has the Herceptin IV every 3 weeks until May, but there are no noticeable side effects from this.  Dear reader, as far as we are concerned, there is no more cancer in Dianne.  The doctors are confident they got it all.  Is the journey over?  No.  Dianne has a consultation with a plastic surgeon in December, she takes pills for the next 5 years, she goes for heart tests every 3 months (to make sure she can still take the Herceptin) and she still will be seeing her Oncologist every so often.

I suspect, dear reader, that you will feel like it is over.  You've spent 10 months looking at the blog, reading updates, wondering when I'm posting next...and now, there is not going to be as much.  There is no easy way to stop doing just ends.  Oh, I'll still use the blog for my mindless ramblings, and you are more than welcome to follow along.  But most of it won't be cancer related.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for reading this, commenting on my posts, and being with us over the past 10 months.  Most of all, I thank you all for your prayers, thoughts, well wishes, cards, flowers, meals, rides etc etc etc.  Words cannot express how much we as a family appreciate what everyone has done. 

I told you I wasn't inspired tonight.  And thus it ends....according to plan.


Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm afraid...very afraid.

Hello dear reader, and welcome to my new blog site.  I have transferred over all the posts and comments from the old site, but there is one big difference between this one and that one.  This one doesn't have a guestbook.  I've tried one of the 'widgets' that are available (the only one I've found) that would give me a guestbook, but I really don't like it.  Thus, any comments you have can be made under the corresponding blog entry.

Ok, so...why am I afraid?  It happened.  I told you I would let you know on the status of my dreams and the fulfillment thereof.  Let it be said that I'm afraid.  Very afraid...and excited all at the same time.  Let me explain.

Last night, as I crawled into bed, I felt a very fuzzy, cottony object rub up against my back.  It immediately gave me shivers and goosebumps.  So, I turned the light on to check it out.  Obviously I can't sleep with that shivery sensation.

And there it was.  No, not an X-Box controller pinned to the bed, nor a remote.  But, my pillow was being held down by cottony web.  And my wife was sleeping blissfully.  Was she aware she has this power now?  And cotton?  I thought silk was the fabric of shooting choice.  Must be a new radiation, but either way no object in my house is safe now.  She has the power.

Dear reader, I'm afraid.  And I have the coolest wife ever....I bet none of you are married to a real live superhero.  The proof is in the web....I am.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A new day, a new blog site

Well, dear reader, here it is. I have moved my blog site to here...mostly because I am terribly pissed off with the Microsoft service. With them, I am no longer able to log into my space for editing purposes. And that just won't do. I. Need. Control.

**mn you Microsoft!!!

With that being said, I will still be posting some updates to my other blog...mainly because I have a lot of people following it. I am hoping to eventually have all the entries moved over here, and then have people following it here, but that is a work in progress. I need to do some testing first. I need to see if I can copy and paste and make it look nice. Meh, I'll work on it slowly. I have so much more I need to many 'hobbies', so little time.

In the meantime, dear reader, watch this space for some very non-interesting musings. If I make one person smile, then all is well. If nobody smiles, then it's still ok....I write because it is a release for me. So, I hope to see y'all around.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Get ready for the celebration!!

Hello again dear reader.  Here is a quick update:

 5 more radiations left!!!!

That’s right……15 down, 5 to go.  And, before any of you ask…yes, I am disappointed.  I feel really let down right now.  Not let down by my dear wife, but let down by the makers and inventors and distributors of radiation.  I thought this stuff was supposed to make her glow?  How about the spider webs?  Alas, I fear my dreams will come to naught, and I will be left dreaming of what could have been.  Or, to keep the illusion alive, maybe the cool stuff is a delayed reaction?  That would work for me…unless it was a TV remote or an X-Box controller which was the first victim of her powers.  That would NOT work for me.  I am now going to go through my days eagerly anticipating getting home (of course, I always eagerly anticipate getting home!!), and finding out that my wife is glowing (of course, she is beautiful and always glowing in my eyes, but I’m talking the real cool green glow!!), or shooting webs all about the place!!  I’ll be sure to keep you all informed as to the fulfillment of this dream.

Now, this is what I’m really here for.  Dear reader, I need you all to join me in celebration.  Please, circle November 2 on your calendars, and book a 30 second spot at around 12:45PM.  Why you ask?  Here is the plan.  At the aforementioned time on the aforementioned day, Dianne will be done radiation.  And so, at this previously mentioned time on the previously mentioned day, I am going to let out a huge yelp of joy when she is done.  I am going to walk out of the CCI, and in the parking lot let out a mighty whoop!!  And, dear reader, I am hoping that you will join me.  Wherever you are, whomever you are with….just yell out a big hurrah, or huzzah, or w00t w00t or whatever you want to yell.  Just yell.  If we all do this in unison (but not 4 part harmony, that would be expecting too much), then everyone around will….will…..well, they will all probably just look at us like we’ve gone barmy.  Which is perfectly alright with me.  We’re all a little nuts anyways, are we not?  I know I am…and I suspect that most of you are too.  Thus, you have NO excuse to NOT join me in the celebratory bellow.

Now you’re wondering how Dianne is feeling?  She is ok.  The fatigue is really kicking in, and her skin is turning red.  I used to call her my alabaster queen….but I can’t do that now.  She is very much looking forward to having this whole process finished and not have to go to the CCI everyday.  That in itself is tiring, and the radiation just makes it worse.  Yes, she still will have to do cancer related stuff for quite a while, but she will not need to go to the CCI as often.  And finally, it seems that we as a family will be able to get life back into normal…or we will once again define what normal is.  The four of us are all looking forward to that.

And that, dear reader is where we’re at.  All is well.  10 months ago we thought about this day, where we could say that the 3 major treatment paths would be done.  And here we are.  On the cusp of being finished.  The journey is not over, but the 3 hills have been traversed successfully.  And all I can say is that it’s a really good thing that we did not have to travel this road on our own strength…our Lord has walked beside us, holding our hands and encouraging us when we didn’t think we could carry on.  For that, I say ‘Thank you Lord…How Great Thou Art!!!!'’

Dear reader, I think I should get back to work now.  My blackberry has been buzzing non stop for the past 20 minutes, so I suspect I have some emails to attend to.  So, until next time, I bid you a fond farewell. 

And don’t forget….November 2 @ 12:45…..we have a date.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

6 down, 14 to glow

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, dear reader!!  This is a weekend filled with family, friends….and turkey.  I’m not sure if family and friends are turkeys, but I suspect there’s a turkey or two in every family.

Today’s blog entry is 6 down, 14 to glow.  I must admit here and now that I’m am sorely disappointed.  At the start of this radiation therapy, I had visions of superheroes and night lights…but alas, non of it has happened…yet.  Every night, I wake up….it’s dark in the room, except the light of the streetlamp that is in our alley…so I yank the covers over our heads and expect to see an eerie green glow.  Every night, I am saddened, for all I see is nothing.  Darkness.  I am hoping that the next 14 radiation treatments will produce some glow effects.

Of course, I could buy a glow stick, and hide it under the covers…and then, at 2 in the morning, excitedly wake up Dianne and show her that she is glowing!!  Oh, how funny that would be!!!  Well, funny for me, probably not for her.  I suspect she’d be angry.  Is it worth it?  Please, dear reader, provide me with feedback.  Should I try it?  Are any of you as twisted as I am? 

As a side note, how much radiation was Peter Parker exposed to before he could shoot spider webs from his wrists?  And, was it radiation that made Bruce Banner not be able to control his temper?  Again,  I have visions of a large green angry person running amuck through my house.  Maybe at some point in the next 3 weeks or so this will happen.

Seriously, dear reader…the radiation treatments are going fine.  It is not a long process, but it is 5 days a week, which makes it a bit tedious.  The side effects from the radiation apparently start showing up after about 10 treatments.  And by side effects, I am not talking about glowing or cobwebs….I am talking about fatigue and dry skin / burnt skin.  Of course Dianne is tired…she has been for several months now.  The radiation will probably make it worse.  And her skin?  Well, she has discovered that a Galaxal  based cream works much better than Aloe Vera.  So, she smears that on the radiated site every day.  We are hoping that this will counter some of the skin issues that can arise from radiation.

If you haven’t figured out by the title, Dianne is to have a total of 20 radiation treatments.  This is what we had hoped for.  There was initially talk of her receiving up to 30 treatments, but the powers that be decided on 20.  Well played, powers…well played.  Thus, if everything stays on schedule, her last radiation will be on November 2.  This is allowing for long weekends, and there are a couple days towards the end of October that they won’t do her treatment.

Dear reader, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…all is well.  Dianne is coping well with this treatment.  This is the last major hurdle in her battle against cancer.  Although she will never be declared ‘cancer free’, the Dr. will tell her (hopefully!!) that her cancer is not active, or in remission as it were. 

Oh, as for reconstructive surgery, Dianne will be going to see the plastic surgeon on December 21.  We are hoping that at this appointment she will find out if she can even have it.  If she can’t, it is not a huge deal.  We are just very thankful that she has come through to this point as well as she has…reconstruction would be an added bonus, but not the end all and be all.

And that, dear reader, brings you up to date.  If, one morning, I find my Xbox controllers pinned to the wall behind a web of silk, I will know that I am married to Spiderwoman.  If a wrathful green person roars at me because I forgot to take out the garbage (and then proceeds to throw said garbage into the alley from the back door), I will know that I am married to the Incredible Hulkstress.  But for now, I am married to Superwoman…for she truly is a super hero in my eyes.



Friday, September 25, 2009

Has it been that long already?

Good morning dear reader.  If you are as tired as I am, then you’ll be able to follow along this morning.  If you are one of those ‘wake up in the morning smiling and happy’ people, then I pity you….this posting might just drive you to your coffee pot in the hope of achieving a caffeine high after which all this will make sense.

If that first sentence is an indicator as to how this is going to go, then we are all in for a crazy ride today.  It was pointed out to me last night at choir practice that and update to these pages might be in order.  So I checked the date of my last post, and it was a long time ago…and things have happened.  But, hold the phone!!!  Choir practice?  Your saying “But, Rod, you haven’t been in choir for so long…what gives?”  Yes, dear reader…I am back in choir.  And it feels good to be able to sing praises to my Lord again in the way that only choir can provide!!  Along with having a real blast (thanks Bernie!!!) during the practice, it was very good for my mood to go and start learning some new songs and to sing.  If there are any men out there who want to join, we really need basses and tenors (Jesse, I thought you were coming this year?  I’m hunting you down at church on Sunday!!!).  But, I digress.  That is my first tangent of the day, and I don’t guarantee there won’t be more.

As I mentioned, things have happened in the past couple weeks.  Last time we spoke, I believe I said that all is well.  In that respect, it has changed, because now all is better.  That’s right…improvement is happening daily.  The last two drains came out last week (one because it was plugged and not doing any good, and the other because it was pretty much done draining).  And, with the drain removal comes the ability for Dianne to wear prosthetics.  I have to be careful here, because I am under censorship as to what I can or can’t say about this.  Not that Dianne is watching over my shoulder, but she will read this (Hi babe!!  I love you!!!!) and will critique and chastise if necessary.  And, being a man (and we all know that men love boob talk), this is going to be hard for me to keep this real, and to write this in an acceptable manner.  Suffice it to say that Dianne wears prosthetics now so she looks like all the other mom’s out there (this is really important for the kids…they want their mom to look like other moms).  There is so much more that could be said from a man’s perspective….regarding the grope factor, the ooh la-la factor and the woo-hoo factor…but I promised I would behave.  Therefore, allow me say this:  All is well.  Exclamation point, Exclamation point!!!!!!!!!  (I’m sneaking in a w00t w00t and a thumbs up the prosthetics!!!!!!)  LMAO.

Ok, so what else has happened?  Well, Dianne has been to the CCI to get all mapped out for radiation.  She has tattoo’s now (nothing fancy, just 3 or 4 little dots) that are used for lining her up.  Radiation Therapy begins on October 1 and she will have a minimum of 20 treatments, possibly going up to 30 (and anywhere in between).  The side effects of radiation are fatigue and possible burning in the treatment area.  I will let you know how the RT is going as it begins and happens.

Also, Dianne has been back to the hospital once since all the drains came out.  At this ‘appointment’ the surgeon had to shove a needle into the surgery area in order to suck out all the liquid that was pooling.  It was not a huge amount or a dangerous amount, but it did need to come out.  Having it removed made Dianne a whole lot more comfortable (it was after this appointment that she went and got her prosthetics.  Typical man…always back to the boobs.)  The surgeon is very very pleased at how well Dianne is healing, and also is very pleased at how much movement she has in her shoulders and arms.  I should mention that this process of getting drained via a needle was in no way painful for Dianne….there are no nerves in the surgical site, and since the needle went in through an incision, she felt nothing.  Kudos to the surgeon for doing an awesome job!!!!!

Hmm, is there anything else I need to say here?  Hmm…thinking….thinking….Oh!!!  I know.  We did get the pathology report back from the surgery.  This has caused some confusion because of the way I wrote it up for the church bulletin.  So, let me clarify here.  As expected, there was no cancer found on the right side, and there was cancer found on the left side.  The tumor they removed was cancerous (as we all know).  The interesting part is that initially, there were two tumors in the left breast.  However, they only removed one.  The other one had disappeared!!  Yes, dear reader…the chemo did it’s job!!!  The one tumor was gone, and the second one had shrunk to the point that made the surgery much easier.  One of the initial concerns was that the tumor(s) were either attached or very close to the chest wall, which would have made for a very difficult surgery.  But it wasn’t.  Thus, the surgery was ‘easy’ and the surgeon was very happy.

Now, here is the part that caused a bit of angst in reading the church bulletin.  We knew going in to the surgery that they were going to remove stuff from the armpit.  They did not know if there was cancer in the lymph nodes, but they were not going to take a chance.  So, during the surgery, they went in to the pit area (sounds like a NASCAR event) and removed a ‘mass of stuff’.  In this ‘mass of stuff’ there were 14 lymph nodes.  Out of these 14 lymph nodes, 6 were cancerous.  Dear reader, this is NOT a surprise.  And this is NOT a bad thing.  It would have been bad had they not removed them.  But it was suspected for quite some time that there was cancer in the nodes, and the pathology only confirmed the suspicion.   Thus, there is no reason for us to be alarmed or upset at this bit of news…we pretty much expected it.  That is the part that I did not clarify in the church bulletin.  For those who were alarmed when they read that, I apologize for not being more clear.  For those who were just confused by it….the confusion should be over now.  If not, ask me and I’ll try explain it (‘splain, Lucy). 

As of right now, dear reader, everything is going according to plan.  Dianne continues to do her physiotherapy at home, and she continues to heal.  Some of the side effects that were caused by the chemo / steroid combination are disappearing (including the insomnia).  Although she is not looking forward to Radiation, the benefits far out-weigh the risks, thus it is easier to face.  It is going to be a long month (October).  She will be going to the CCI 5 days a week until she hits her allotted amount of treatments.  If she needs rides, we will be contacting our Helping Hands coordinator (Karen, I believe that is still you, right?).  For at least the first couple weeks, she will be using the bus service on days the Rebecca is in Kindergarten (except Tuesdays, because apparently Marlene is taking her every Tuesday (Thanks Marlene, you are a real sweetheart and we love you to pieces)).  On non kindergarten days, I am taking an extended lunch (and extending my shift at the end of the day) in order to pick up Dianne and Beck, go to the CCI, get treated and get them back home.  (Thanks to my boss for being the most awesome and amazing boss EVER!!!!)  And all that should take us through the month of October.

Dear reader…again I say…all is well.  Dianne has the one major hurdle left, and we trust that God will give us the strength to get through this as much as He has been with us during this whole process.  I’d like to give a shout out to my mom, who spent a few days with us to help out.  Mom did a bunch of work for us, she drove Dianne to some appointments and was generally a real joy to have in the house.  Thanks Mom, we love you lots!!!!  And once again, dear reader, thanks to everyone who is praying for us, sending us positive vibes and helping out in whatever way they can.  We truly appreciate everything, and words cannot express the gratitude we feel.

And with that, I must get back to work.  I must get my mind off of prosthetics and back onto computers.  As difficult a task as this may seem, I can do it.  And if I can’t, I’ll at least have a smile on my face for the remainder of the day. 



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Quickie….

Ok, then….here we go.  A really quick update.  No, I’m not much in the mood for writing…I have a game of Medieval II: Total War waiting for me.  Plus I’m not feeling too inspired tonight.  Thus, you get this update in a quick manner.

As much as I’d love to say “All is well” and end this thing….I can’t.  I owe it to you, dear reader, to provide a bit more detail.  You have stuck with me for almost 8 months (or is it more?), and so I will give an alluring look into the day.

All is well.


Ok. Ok.  A sad attempt at humour.  I’ll not try that again.  *sigh* 

The day started out wonderfully….we got David on the bus to go to school, and the rest of us were ready to go immediately after that.  So, we headed off to St. Albert, to the surgeons office, for Dianne’s scheduled appointment.  When we got there, the door was locked, and the secretary (remember her of great notoriety?) was seated at her desk (I could see her as I plastered my face against the window).  When she unlocked the door, she did not greet us at all.  So, in a very dignified and tactful manner, I bellowed “Good Morning!!!!!!!”  Someone needed more coffee this morning.  It turns out that our appointment was not at this particular office, but at the hospital.  I’m still wondering why we weren’t informed of this.  We asked the secretary to phone the hospital and let them know we’d be a wee bit late for the 8:15 appointment, and with that…..we scampered off.

And, the joy continued.  When we got to the hospital, we asked the admitting office where the Outpatient office was.  They pointed it out to us (across the foyer from them), and then proceeded to make sure we were supposed to be there.  We were….things are good again.  So, we shuffle across the foyer and let the nurse at the desk of the Outpatient clinic know that Dianne was there for her 8:15 appointment with the surgeon.  Again, someone desperately needed coffee.  We were told that Dianne needed to be admitted (didn’t the admitting office just verify that Dianne was admitted, registered, paper-worked, stamped and verified?)  With a mighty sigh, we shuffled back across the foyer to the admitting office, and told them that apparently Dianne still needed to be admitted.  The admitting nurse bellowed at the outpatient clinic nurse that Dianne was admitted, registered, paper-worked, stamped and verified.  The outpatient clinic nurse bellowed back for the paper work (complete with registration, admittance, stamps and verification).

Have you kept up with me, dear reader?  Well then, Dianne finally got to see the surgeon (I stayed in the foyer with Rebecca and read her a Winnie the Pooh book).  Here is the part you’ve all been waiting for…….wait for it……wait for it……

All is well. 

The surgeon was very pleased at how well Dianne is healing.  Things are looking very well.  There is no sign of infection.  One of the 3 drains was removed.  And that is the update.  See, like I said…all is well.  Dianne is feeling good, and is still constantly exercising her arms (especially the left one), and that is coming along nicely.  The surgeon is going to refer Dianne to a plastic surgeon with a view towards reconstructive surgery, but there is apparently a 1 year to 1.5 year waiting list for this.  No big deal, as Dianne will be able to wear prosthetics until a permanent set can be put in place.  Once the drains are out, and there is no tenderness in the area she can go in for a fitting. 

Honestly, dear reader…..all is well.  We are very thankful for how things are progressing.  A quick shout-out to Annette, Charlaine and Evelyn for the meals you’ve provided this week.  They were absolutely wonderful (well, Annette’s and Charlaine’s were….Evelyn’s we are having tomorrow night and I’m sure it will be great!!). 

And with that….I have to go cause some massive destruction in 1080 AD England, and continue my quest to conquer my foes in that wonderful game called Medieval II: Total War.  (I should get royalties for that shameless plug).



Monday, September 7, 2009

Two down, One to go

Hello again, dear reader.  I’d love to claim that the title of today’s update is something very clever, but really it isn’t.  Basically, all it means is that two major hurdles in Dianne’s fight against breast cancer have passed….chemotherapy and surgery.  And, there is one major hurdle remaining….radiation.  Oh, I’m not discounting the whole recovery process, both physical and mental, but from a medical perspective it truly is two down, one to go.  So, without further ado, let me take you through what was the day of surgery, and bring you all the way up to today, followed by a brief glimpse into the future.

A lot of what I’m going to write today is pretty much the long version of my Facebook updates which were posted the day of surgery.  So, for all you FB addicts, this is going to rehash all of that.  For those who don’t do FB, here is what happened.

Our day started at about 4:45AM September 2nd.  That is when the alarm woke us up.  It was precisely that moment when I realized what time it was that I truly decided I did NOT miss being a baker.  Nope, I don’t miss it one bit.  I am still very thankful that I woke up to the smell of coffee brewing…if I had to put it all together that morning, who knows what I would have ended up with.  Once the coffee was poured, thermos filled (you didn’t think I was going to drink hospital coffee, did you?), laptop was packed, Dianne was ready…..we left.  And we managed to leave the house without waking up the kids or the babysitter.  It is amazing what one can do with ones eyes closed.

We had been warned that the admitting process at the hospital could take up to 15 minutes.  Well, 30 seconds after arrival, we were done and Dianne was admitted.  So, we went up to Unit 28, were shown the room that she could call home for a bit, and then had to go over some paperwork.   Dear reader, do you remember from the last entry the kerfuffle we had with the whole double vs.. single thing?  And the mix up with the consent forms?  Well, guess what?  Yup, you guessed it….the consent form on record at the hospital was for a single.  It was at this point that I was very very prepared to get very very angry….but I held it in check.  Needless to say, neither Dianne nor I was impressed.  So, we mentioned this to the nurse.  The only thing she could suggest was to make sure the anesthesiologist (wow, my spell checker didn’t barf at that!!!) didn’t touch Dianne until she had a chance to talk to the surgeon.  And so…..we waited.

Around 7:05, Dianne was wheeled away.  So, I sat there, in her room…drank coffee and played video games on the laptop.  Surgery was scheduled for 7:45, and it being about a 3 hour procedure, I was expecting to see her again around 11:30 or 12:00.  At the very least, I was expecting to hear from someone a report on the surgery and Dianne’s state.  But, no.  Nothing.  12:30….1:00….1:15….fingernails worn down to the nub, heart racing, mind racing….video game racing!!!!  w00t w00t!!  Just kidding, I don’t have a racing game on the laptop.  I was tempted briefly to go down and try find someone to talk with, but I figured it would be my luck to have the surgeon show up in the room as I’m wandering aimlessly looking for someone with some information.  So I sat.  And drank coffee.

Finally, just before 2:00, Dianne was wheeled back into the room.  She was awake and alert.  I was given 30 seconds to say hi before I was booted out.  They had to get her into her bed, check her vitals, arrange the drains and catheter, and make sure she was semi-comfortable.  After that, I was allowed in.  We chatted about how she was feeling, the pain level, and the pre-surgery conversation with the surgeon.  My fear was that she’d come back with only a single mastectomy.  Alas, my fear was un-founded.  We had huge confidence in the surgeon from the day we met her, and that confidence was renewed this day.  When Dianne talked to her pre-surgery, her first words were (and I quote, so don’t gripe at me for my language): “What the hell is going on here?”.  Yes, dear reader, the surgeon was apparently livid at all the BS going on.  She felt horrible for us having to go through what we did to get the surgery date changed (it was her that moved the date, so speculation on that is ended).  She was furious that the proper consent form did not make its way from her office to the hospital.  Well, she righted the wrong.  She changed the consent form with one stroke of her mighty pen, and proceeded to perform the double mastectomy with a mighty stroke of her scalpel. 

From what we understand, the surgery was a success!!  One of the two tumors that was in the left breast had disappeared completely (YAY FOR CHEMO!!!) and the tumor that was left had NOT attached itself to the chest wall.  Because of the size of the tumor(s), this was a concern going in.  But, because it was not attached, the surgery was much ‘easier’ than what it could have been.  Also, the surgeon did remove a ‘fatty mass’ from under the arm, but we don’t know as of this writing what was all contained in this mass (IE: cancer, lymph nodes).  There was a pathologist on hand to take the cuttings away for testing.  We are hoping at some point to find out what was what. 

On Thursday morning, I received a phone call at 9:00 in the morning from the Sturgeon Hospital informing me that I could come and pick Dianne up.  So, I quickly fed the kids, got them dressed and off we went to go get her.  The 3 of us were very excited to have her come home…and I’m sure she was happy to be going home to her own bed, home-cooked meals and a much less noisy roomate (I purposely left out the room-mate story, but suffice it to say that there was a lot of burping, farting, chewing loudly with mouth open etc etc).  It was a good day on Thursday.

Dear reader, today is Monday…5 days after surgery.  Dianne is recovering well.  She has almost full motion back in the right arm, but the left arm needs a bit of work yet.  She exercises it regularly during the day, and is hoping she won’t have to go for physiotherapy.  She still has 3 drains attached, which are still draining copious amounts of fluid (well, 2 of the 3 are…the third one just looks bored).  We have had a homecare nurse come in once so far….this was on Friday, at which time the bandages came off.  On Wednesday, she goes for an appointment with the surgeon (hmm…same secretary or different?).  I will post an update here hopefully Wednesday night.

As for the future…well, time will tell.  We will find out some of it during the visit to the surgeon (IE: physio yes or no, drains out or not etc etc).  We do know that radiation will be starting in the beginning of October, and this will run for 5 days per week, and a minimum of 4 weeks.  Beyond that, we just don’t know yet.  Time will tell.

And that, dear reader brings you up to date.  Once again, we thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, and your support in whatever fashion you have provided it.  Every little bit helps.  Check the blog Thursday…hopefully I’ll have another update.

Until then….goodnight.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Moving right along then………

Hello dear reader.  So, what was the last thing I wrote about?  Hmm, let me go to the site and check it out.  Ah yes, I was calmly mentioning the finish of chemo.  So, 3 weeks later, and normally I would be telling you all about Thursday’s consultation and possibly some chemo details.  But I can’t do that today.  Oh, I can still tell you about Thursday’s consultation, so why don’t we start there.

Our day started at 7:00 when we left the house on our way to the CCI.  The purpose of this consultation was to find out the results of the heart test Dianne had last week, and to determine if the last chemo had any effect on the tumours.  And blood work.  For some reason, Dianne had to have blood work done again.  Ironically, her blood levels did not come back, so even if there was chemo, it would probably be delayed.

So, Dianne got her blood work done, then we sat around for a bit, reading….waiting for Area B to open, and the Dr. to call us in.  Dear reader, I have to interject the day here, and explain a situation.

In the middle of August, we found out that Dianne’s surgery was scheduled for September 14.  We were a little bit disappointed that there was such a huge gap between the last chemo and surgery.  So, we decided to do something about it.  We phoned the surgeons secretary. (as I write this, dear reader, I am reflecting on a sermon we heard from Rev. Aasman on the 9th commandment.)  To make a long story short, (and to intentionally stay away from breaking the 9th), we informed the secretary that the 14th (date, not commandment) was unacceptable (imagine a commandment being unacceptable), and that we’d like it moved.  We informed her that the 14th is close to 6 weeks after chemo, and surgery was supposed to be around 4 weeks after.

We were a bit concerned because our thought was that if we gave the cancer a chance to grow, it would.  No chemo = cancer party time = all bad.  Now, back to Thursday…………

So, after we’re done sitting there, the nurse calls us in and we have a chat.  We talk about how Dianne is feeling and all that important stuff.  We also expressed our concerns about the surgery date.  Then, the Doctor’s intern came and did an examination.  And, skipping past all that fun stuff…we finally talked to the Dr. himself.  His determination was that although the tumor’s did not disappear as hoped, they still shrunk significantly from the beginning to now.  But not much change since the last chemo.  We then talked to him about our concerns about the surgery date.  He reassured us that, even though the date was not ideal, the cancer was still being controlled by the Herceptin (which is still being injected every 3 weeks).

Dear reader, when we heard that we felt better.  I mean, if the Dr. doesn’t seem too concerned, then we shouldn’t either, right?  So, with that, we make our way home, with a quick stop for an extra large double double (that’s a coffee, for all my American and European readers), and a quick stop to pick up a birthday present for David’s friend Adria.

Finally, at 11:00, we get home.  Andy must have been wondering what was taking us so long (he was looking after the kids).  And when we get home, there is a message for Dianne to phone the pre-admission clinic at the Sturgeon Hospital.  We are kind of surprised, to say the least.  So, Dianne calls them and finds out that she has an appointment with them coming up….as soon as we can get there!!!!  Wowsers!!!!  This appointment isn’t supposed to happen until 6 days before surgery.  Could it be?

Before we leave for the Sturgeon, I arrange to take the rest of the day off (potentially).  And off we go.  So, we get there…we find the right desk, and we sit.  Dianne goes over some paper work, only to find out that the surgeons office (remember the 9th commandment, Rod) had sent the hospital the wrong consent form.  Dianne has signed a consent form for both a single mastectomy and a double mastectomy.   The one hospital had was for the single, but Dianne had told the surgeon’s secretary that she had decided on a double.  *sigh*

Finally that is all sorted, and we are informed that Dianne’s surgery has been moved to September 2nd!!  6 days away!!  Woohoo, this is really exciting!!!  We don’t know who pushed what buttons to get this changed, but we have suspicions.  But, regardless of who it was, we are very thankful for the change!!

And that, dear reader, is it.  As the title suggests, we are moving right along.  Thanks Andy for staying with the kids all day, and thanks Heather for driving Dianne to her appointment today!!

And very abruptly (and at the call of nature), I bid you farewell.  I will update on Wednesday….post surgery.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Crazy 8

Good day, dear reader.  You’ll have to excuse me if I gush, but gush I might.  CHEMO IS DONE, CHEMO IS DONE, CHEMO IS DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!  End of gushing.  For now.

That’s right, dear reader, Dianne is officially finished with Chemotherapy.  25 weeks ago, she started the long journey down chemo road, and with a few twists in the road, she made it to the end of this stage of the race.  Most of say that the 25 weeks went very quickly, and I believe that everyone it did.  Everyone except Dianne, that is.  For her, it was a long, arduous process.   I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again “Dianne, I love you and you are amazing!!”

Now, why the title Crazy 8?  Isn’t that a card game?  Well, dear reader, the reason I chose this as my title is because chemo #8 was a crazy ride.  The administration of the chemo went according to plan, but the time we spend at the CCI was crazy.  Let me explain.

Normally, when we get to the CCI, we go in, they tell us where to sit, and then the nurse comes along and hooks everything up, and all is well.   Dianne usually reads or dozes off, and I will either read or play on the laptop.  So, we were all prepared for much of the same when we went in.  We were soon to learn that it was not to be.  We were not the first ones in the room that morning.  Chris and his brother Jim were first.  Chris has lung cancer, and his treatment started a bit earlier than Dianne’s.  As we headed towards her assigned seat, Chris bellowed out a hearty welcome.  It was the kind of greeting that made you think of loud mouth schnooks and goombas.  Needless to say, we were a bit concerned.

As we got to talking with Chris and Jim, we realized that they were just trying to make the best of a bad situation.  Having fun, trying to lighten the mood kind of stuff.  Very quickly, we started to have fun.  As more people entered our area and took a seat, they were greeted heartily and made to feel welcome (or not, depending on how they like us).  Soon, the room was full, the room was loud, we were all laughing (well, most of us were laughing).  Dianne and I did not get a chance to read or play on the laptop.

Some very interesting and bizarre conversations happened that day.  The one about the twitching kids (honestly dear reader, you don’t want to know….but if I ever see a kid twitch I am going to laugh my a$$ off and think of Chris and Jim), the one about salads.  One of the patients actually had to read part of her book out loud to us…it was something about what kids don’t learn in school.  We asked her not to read to us anymore LOL.

Everyone in the room knew it was Dianne’s last treatment (mainly because Chris bellowed it out to everyone who walked in).  So towards the end, it became a really big deal.  The process was this:  when the chemo drip was 20 minutes away from being done, Dianne had to put a hot pack over the PICC line (which was about to be removed) so that it would slide out nice and easy.  Once the PICC line was out, she had to wait around for 20 minutes with a compression bandage on it to make sure she didn’t bleed all over the place.
So, here we are….20 minutes left in the drip.  The process has started.  The heat pack is in place, and Chris is bellowing that Dianne is almost done.  The drip is now done (that’s officially it for chemo, but still a bit of work to do).  I turn the other way because I know that the nurse is about to pull the PICC line out.  Dear reader, I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to see a tube being pulled out of a vein in someone’s arm.  Watching the operation channel on TV (is that even on anymore?) is one thing, but seeing this stuff live makes my mini-wheats come back to haunt me.  The PICC line came out really smooth.  Dianne said it didn’t hurt, but just felt really weird.  20 minutes left.

The countdown was on, and became a verbal countdown at around 10 minutes.  I would bellow out the amount of time left in small intervals, at which point conversation would briefly stop.  At one minute left, everyone in the room was watching and listening to me do my count.  At 10 seconds I counted every second…..10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…..DONE!!!!  Dear reader, it was a heady experience when I said 0…the whole room burst out into cheers and clapping!!  The nurse broke into a rousing rendition of ‘Happy last chemo day’ to the tune of Happy Birthday (or a reasonable facsimile thereof).  And with that, we picked up our stuff, said goodbye to everyone…..and left.

So much more went on this day during the treatment, but I honestly can’t remember it all.  I can tell you that the first 7 treatment days were quiet….and the 8th one was crazy in a fun sort of way.  We left the CCI with smiles on our faces, and a warm fuzzy feeling in our hearts.

Now what, you ask?  Well, now we wait.  Dianne has 3 or 4 weeks to recover from this chemo, and then it’s surgery.  We should find out this week what the exact day surgery will be.  And yes, dear reader, Dianne has decided to have a double mastectomy.  We talked a lot about the options, we got different opinions from different people, we consulted with the Dr. at the CCI….and decided on the double.  I won’t go into all the details of why we decided this, but rest assured that Dianne is very comfortable with this decision.

And that dear reader, was crazy 8th chemo day.  I probably did a lousy job of conveying how much fun we actually had, but that’s all I got.  I’d like to give a shout out to Chris….if you ever read this, Chris, I hope and pray that all goes well with you!!  A very special thank you goes out to the chemo nurses at the CCI….you ladies are brilliant, and we appreciate everything you’ve all done for us.  You’ll still see us, though…every 3 weeks for the next year for the Herceptin treatment.  (Dear reader, the Herceptin is the drug to counter Dianne’s HER2+ disease, which is what is making her cancer so aggressive….).  Thanks again to Laura for giving Dianne her last Neulasta injection.  Thanks to Andy and Darren for watching the kids.  And thanks to everyone for the thoughts and prayers…we appreciate it more than words can say.

On a final note, dear reader:  CHEMO IS DONE.  D-U-N….DONE!!!!



Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ok, now to play ketchup.

Wow.  I’m thinking that I have some work to do here.  My last entry was on June 29, and it is now July 29.  So, let’s begin.

Disclaimer:  If you don’t have lots of time, please don’t start reading this.  Put it off until later.  Even if the kids are on the computer, kick them off and come back to read this.  It might be a bit wordy.  /end disclaimer.

Good afternoon, dear reader.  Welcome back to my blog.  Although, it should be me who is welcomed back, as I’m the one who disappeared.  So, welcome back, dear writer!!  Ok…deep breath.  Where am I at?  I left you last with 6 chemo’s done and a rough plan of what lies ahead for my dear wife.  That was the end of June.  Amazingly enough, things have changed.

Between the 29th of June and the 17th of July, not much happened.  Our holiday plans were changed.  Originally, the kids were going to go camping with my family for 4 days, after which I would join them for 4 days.  We changed that.  We decided that the kids and I would go camping for 8 days, and Dianne would have a holiday at home…no kids, no hubby, no worries.  We did this because during the time we wanted to be camping, she had to have a consultation and possibly a chemo treatment.  We figured that this would work out well.  So, on Monday the 13th, the kids and I headed off to Coaldale, and then to Kikomun Creek Provincial Park (Surveyors Lake) in BC on Tuesday.  We enjoyed our time their immensely, although I can honestly say that Dianne was sorely missed by the kids and by me (being Mom and Dad on a camping trip is not all it’s cracked up to be.)  I actually forgot to feed the kids lunch on the first two days.  And this whole changing of clothes thing is hogwash.  But hey, it saves on laundry when we got home, right?

So, all this begs the question:  What did Dianne do whilst we were camping?  Well, she rested.  From everything she’s told me, she enjoyed it quite a bit.  On Thursday, July 16, Dianne went in to the CCI for her consultation.  Her blood counts were up!!  The good Dr. measured the tumor (which in his estimation used to be the size of a watermelon (and anyone who knows Dianne will laugh hysterically at that), and decided that it now measured 4cm x 4cm.  This down from 5cm x 3cm from the last measurement.  Excellent!!!  (/insert Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure guitar riff).  He also said that the tumor is softer and seems to be caving in on itself (I call it an implosion).  This too is very good news.  This means that the tumor is shrinking in size from outward edge to inward edge (nipple to chest), and is breaking up slightly.  Chemo on the 18th is a go!!!!

As a side note, Dr. Joy’s new intern apparently has warm hands (which makes Dianne very happy) and he likes the Calgary Flames (which automatically adds to the respect level I have for him).

Dianne emailed me at 3:10PM on Friday, July 17 to let me know that the chemo treatment went well.  (Thank you Henrietta for taking Dianne to the consultation on Thursday and to the chemo appointment of Friday!!)  She had a good nurse, which always makes the process better.  She also had a guy eating ice beside her for the last half hour.  Just so you know….when Dianne sees ice, hears ice tinkle in a glass, thinks of ice or eats ice, it brings back nasty chemo memories.  It is not pleasant for her.  So that last 1/2 hour must have been real crappy for her.  (not to mention that it is now very hard for me to make a Mojito, margurita or daquiri without making her sick).  Only 1 chemo left!!!!

ONLY ONE CHEMO LEFT!!!!  For me, it seems not too long ago that we were facing the daunting journey of 8 chemo treatments and all the hellish side effects thereof.  (For Dianne, it seems a long time ago, but time is moving different for her.)  And now, she has one left.  Wow.  We are both really looking forward to the end of the leg of the trip.

On July 20th, Dianne received a phone call from the surgeons office requesting that she come in at 10:15 the next morning.  This is an important meeting we figured, because this is where the mastectomy decision is most likely to be made (single or double).  Thank you Andy for driving Dianne to this appointment.

What transpired at the meeting with the surgeon?  Well, it has been decided that surgery will take place at the end of August or beginning of September (usually  or 4 weeks after the last chemo).  Dianne’s blood counts have to be up before surgery can proceed.  The surgeon prefers to do a single mastectomy now, and if Dianne would like to, the second one can be removed in a years time.  The surgeon feels this reduces the risk of infection.  However, Dianne has the final say as to what happens.  She has signed a consent form for both a single and a double….now she needs to make that decision.  Dianne and I have talked about it, and are still gathering some more information before we decide.  We have to let the surgeon know at the beginning of August what will happen.  Dianne will need to stay in the hospital for one night after surgery, and if there are no complications, she can go home the next day.  I will be home for 2 weeks following the surgery in order to do everything that Dianne would normally do (feeding kids is an important one, as I learned on the camping trip!!).

And that, dear reader, brings you up to date.  Dianne’s next consultation is next Thursday (a week from tomorrow).  The final chemo is approaching!!  The tune to The Final Countdown by Europe suddenly popped into my head for some reason.  Ah, this is going to be an important landmark in this journey.  I am looking forward to being able to tell you that chemo is done.  And, the Lord willing, I will be able to do that next weekend.

Again, I must thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers, and for all the other support given.  Thanks again Henrietta for being such an awesome sister!!  And Andy, thanks for being a great brother-in-law!!  And Laura, many thanks for once again injecting the Neulasta into Dianne on the Saturday after chemo (can we call you one more time next weekend?).

Dear reader…..cheers.


Monday, June 29, 2009

8 is enough

Hello again, dear reader.  Again, it is time for an update on Dianne.  So without further ado, let’s go.  And I promise I will not make any ‘Michael Jackson is dead!!’ references.  You’d probably tell me to beat it.  Or start calling me Billie Jean.  Or tell me to mind my own ABC’s.  Well I tell you, I’m struggling with the man in the mirror, and not everything is black or white.  Ok, enough of that…it’s been a real thriller.

Now, for the update.  This past Thursday, Dianne had her consultation with the oncologist.  He was thrilled because the tumors have shrunk to 5 x 4 cm.  Based on that, he is going to go ahead with the full run of chemotherapy, meaning that Dianne had 3 left as of Thursday.  Also, her blood counts came back to normal, which meant that chemo was a go for the next day.

And with that, the chemo was administered, along with all the steroids that come with it.  The steroids cause insomnia, so Dianne did not get much sleep over the weekend.  The administration of the chemo went real well.  This is the 2nd round of the 2nd type of chemo, and with this one comes a drug called Herceptin.  The Herceptin is used because Dianne is HER2 positive.  With the first dose of Herceptin, it took 90 minutes to IV it into her, and with the second one it was 60 minutes.  I believe that 3 and 4 will take only 30 minutes to get it in.  The actual chemo (Taxetere) is administered after the Herceptin.  So, we were at the CCI for about 3 1/2 hours this time around.

The side effects of the Taxetere don’t kick in usually until Monday.  These effects consist of muscle pain, joint pain and bone pain.  Thankfully there has been no nausea associated with the chemo so far.  The pain can be controlled with Tylenol, although there are risks with that too (it masks fever).  Is this all repeat?  Have I mentioned any of this before?  If I have, please accept my apologies.  If I haven’t then there is no need for apologies LOL.

So, where are we and what is ahead?  Right now, Dianne is done 6 out of 8 chemo treatments.  Following chemo is surgery, followed by radiation followed by more surgery (reconstructive).  And today is Monday, tomorrow is Tuesday….we’ll deal with Tuesday when it comes.  That’s how we live…day by day.

This week, Dianne and the kids are at her mom and dad’s in Camp Creek.  Hopefully they have a great time there, and hopefully Dianne feels well enough to enjoy it.

A very special thanks goes to Laura P. for injecting the Neulasta into Dianne on Saturday.   And thanks to Rita G. for being available if Laura couldn’t do it.  Thanks also to everyone who’s supporting us through prayers and good wishes.  We appreciate it all!!!



Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Latest…..

Dear Reader

Really, truly and honestly…..there is nothing new.  Everything is good right now.  Thursday will be another consultation to find out how Dianne’s blood counts are, when the next chemo will be and if there has been any change in the tumours. 

So, check up here again on Thursday or Friday.

Until then….cheers.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Finally…an update

Greetings, dear reader.  Finally I am getting around to publishing an update.  Again, laziness has struck, and I find myself sitting on the couch not blogging more often than not.  My evenings are spent with Dianne, with the kids…and once they’re in bed I sit here with a glass of wine and play some video games.  Really, I need to make time to keep all of you updated.

 At last update, we discussed how Dianne’s 5th treatment was delayed.  Well, a one week reprieve is all she needed for her blood counts to come back to normal.  And so, the treatment was administered.  During the week off, we had visits from our Pastor and his intern, plus a visit from two elders from our church.  These evenings were very enjoyable…it was more proof that there is a tremendous amount of support for us.

 So.  The treatment.  It went well.  I wasn’t present for this one…I went to David’s sports day in Neerlandia (Rebecca came along as well), and so Henrietta went to ‘chemo day’ with Dianne.  For those of you who followed along with my Facebook status updates, you’ll kind of have an idea how the weekend went.  Dianne has been able to eat and drink with no repercussions at all.  This is really a ‘new’ experience for us…the past treatments have drastically her ability to keep food and drink in for about 3 days following.

 Now, don’t get me wrong.  She has not felt all that great following the treatment, but it could have been so much worse.  The muscle aches and pains showed up on Monday evening.  Thankfully, by then the insomnia was starting to disappear (she was done taking the round of steroids).  As of this writing, the aches and pains are still there, and we’re unsure of how long this lasts.

 On Monday, Dianne and I went for a consultation with the radiologist.  We discussed the pro’s and con’s of radiation.  You’re probably wondering why we would have this consultation now.  After all, radiation won’t happen until after surgery.  Well, the radiologist needs time to plan out the treatments, and also needs to get herself familiar with Dianne and her situation.  It was a very good consult, and we feel very comfortable with radiation as another treatment.   Radiation will take place at least 4 weeks after surgery, depending on how well Dianne is healing.  She will go for at least 20 treatments….5 per week for 4 weeks.

 Dear reader, I think that brings you up to date.  I might have forgotten something, but that should not surprise anyone who knows me.    I know it’s been said before, but I must say it again…thank you all very much for your thoughts and prayers, and for every other form of support you’ve given.  Words cannot express how deeply we appreciate it.

 A quick shout out to Dana….you go girl!!!  Only one chemo left for you!!!  God bless, my friend!!!!



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Not quite what we wanted to hear.

Dear reader,
The following post is a direct copy and paste from the email I sent to my family.  This is the latest:

Dianne had her consultation this morning, and it didn’t go quite as expected.  One piece of good news is that her heart is in good shape, and thus is able to receive the 2nd type of chemo.

However, she will NOT be receiving that chemo tomorrow as scheduled.  Her blood counts are low, and they need to be back to normal before they can administer the chemo.  This is a disappointment, but in light of how all things have gone to date, we have no reason to complain.

The other not so good thing is that the tumor(s) are NOT shrinking.  The ultrasound shows that it / they are actually growing slightly, but the oncologist doesn’t quite agree by his manual measurements.  In either case, this is not cool at all.  Dr Joy now says that he wants to try for sure 2 more rounds of chemo, but if there is no change after that, he will discontinue the chemo treatments and Dianne will at that point head off into surgery.

Obviously, we are a little bit disappointed.  We had hoped that everything would stay on schedule and go smoothly.  And based on how things have gone, I don’t think this was unrealistic.  However, as I mentioned, we can’t really complain about this.  So far, Dianne has done wonderfully, and she continues to do wonderfully in her battle.  This is just a wee hiccup in the treatment schedule.  No big deal.  She will go next week Thursday for another consultation / blood test to see if she is able to receive the treatment next Friday.

In all of this, we do realize that everything is in God’s hands, and that nothing happens by chance.  We know that He, in his infinite grace and mercy, is holding Dianne and I and our family in His hands, and He will continue to give us everything that we need.



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

PICC her, PICC her!!!

Dear reader, in my humble (and unbiased!!) opinion, my dear wife should be woman of the year.  Yes, it’s only May and there is still 7 months to go, but she is truly the leading candidate to win this award.  And if I am the only one who votes for her, then she still wins the award.  My wife is truly amazing.

Ok.  Enough of the stomach turning diatribe.  I’m already in enough trouble for writing such stuff (love you babes!!).  So you’re wondering “What’s up with the silly title of this entry?”  PICC her?  PICC her for what?  Woman of the year?  No, dear reader, it’s PICC not PICK..  I did not make a spelling mistake.  PICC = peripherally inserted central catheter.  I mentioned in an earlier blog entry that the Drs decided to install a PICC line into Dianne so that she won’t have to get poked any more for a chemo IV.  Well, the PICC is in.

Monday morning, Dianne went in to the CCI (remember the CCI, the Cross Cancer Institute) and there the Dr. installed the PICC.  Apparently the Dr. was not a Monday person.  Witnesses say that he was mumbling and muttering the whole time under his breath…something about putting a 3mm tube into a 2 mm vein and the logistics and possibilities thereof.  He was not amused.  And the same witnesses say that he did not have much of a sense of humor.  When he asked Dianne if she was sure her height was 5’6, she responded by quipping “Maybe I’m a bit shorter without hair?”.  He didn’t see the humor.  I howled with laughter when she told me that she said that!!!  His response:  A very curt “that makes no difference”.  Methinks buddy should start taking Mondays off if his humor stays home like that.  Grump.

So, how’s Dianne doing now?  Well, by Monday evening she was sore (the freezing came out!!) and tired (she didn’t get a chance to nap).  Her arm was pretty puffy, and I’m sure it’s not a steroid related growth (good thing there’s no drug testing for sporting events in her near future).  Nope, it was just puffy from the PICC installation.  By this morning, the swelling had gone down and Dianne was not as sore.  Now the kids and I just have to be careful around that arm.  Trouble could be brewing if we bump it.

Today is a day off for Dianne…she has no appointments scheduled.  Wednesday is an ultrasound and heart tests (I think), Thursday is blood work and consultation and Friday is chemo…the first round of the second type of cocktail.  4 of those and then chemo is done!!!

I’ll update more probably on Friday or Saturday with results from the ultrasound, heart tests and consultation (with blood work).  Thank you Gerda for giving Dianne a ride yesterday, and thank you Evelyn for taking Rebecca in for the day!!  We really appreciate the effort you went through to help.  And of course, we are very thankful for all the support we continue to receive from everybody!!  Thank you.



Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Latest…..

Dear Reader

Really, truly and honestly…..there is nothing new.  Everything is good right now.  Thursday will be another consultation to find out how Dianne’s blood counts are, when the next chemo will be and if there has been any change in the tumours.

So, check up here again on Thursday or Friday.

Until then….cheers.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Minor Complication

Hi all
Last night marked the beginning of what has turned into a minor complication.   Basically what happened is that one of the veins in Dianne’s arms has reacted badly to the chemo, and is inflamed.  She has a big red / brown streak down her arm.  She phoned the CCI this morning, and they wanted her to come in, so we went there for an 11 AM appointment.

The puzzling thing to everyone is that the vein that is affected is the vein that her 1st chemo treatment went in…this is a very ‘twilight zone-ish’ reaction…normally it reacts shortly after the chemo administration, not 4 treatments later.

What does this mean?  Well, a couple things.  Dianne will have to take Advil this weekend, plus putting an ice bag on it 4-6 times per day for the next 3 days to see if that will make the swelling go down.  If not, she will probably need to go back to the CCI next week for further evaluation.

Also, because her vein is reacting now, she will get a PICC line installed for future chemo treatments.  This is a catheter that they put into her arm and snake it to just above the heart.  This will remain in until chemo is done.  It comes with its own set of potential complications, so she will need to go to the CCI once per week to have the PICC line flushed and tested.  They feel that this will be the best way to administer the chemo as her veins probably won’t stand up to much more poking and prodding.

Right now, Dianne is resting.  Her arm is sore if she tries to straighten it or if she lifts anything.  Thus she will keep it bent and won’t lift.

I will keep you all informed as to how the weekend goes for her.



Thursday, May 14, 2009

Better Late than Never

Hello?  Dear reader, is that you?  Hmm, fancy meeting you here.  I’d have thought you gave up on ever hearing from me again.  After all, it’s been a while since I’ve graced these pages with my musings.  Am I too busy?  No, not really.  Lazy?  Yup.  I have been so uninspired to write, and I feel really bad about it.

Ok.  I’m over it.  I don’t feel bad anymore.  Now, on to the important stuff.

Dianne.  Y’all are wondering how she’s doing, right?  I have to say that she is doing pretty good.  She is half way through the chemo treatments…4 down, 4 to go.  At the last consultation, the good Dr. could not detect any change in the tumour size, albeit this is without the benefit of an ultrasound.

He (the Dr.) is quite impressed with how Dianne is reacting to the chemo.  He is amazed that her eyebrows have not disappeared yet (although they are very very thin), and he can’t figure out why she doesn’t get more sick than what she does.  I know why…it’s cuz she’s tough as nails.  Trust me.

So, where do we go from here?  Well, starting with the next treatment, she is going to be getting a different chemo cocktail.  That one makes us nervous, because it is apparently the most horrid thing one can imagine.  Bah, bring it on.  We can take it…one day at a time, but we’ll make it through.

(Am I the only one who thought Detroit’s 4th goal tonight should NOT count?  Stupid, coward zebra pinhead).  /end tangent.

Dear reader, things continue to go well here.  We continue to give everything over to our Lord, and we firmly believe that He is helping us get through this.  And we thank you very much for all the support we continue to receive.

Until next time (and hopefully it won’t be a long time), cheers.


Monday, April 27, 2009

The week that was.

Good morning, Dear Reader.  Welcome to Monday.  Ugh.  Monday.  Have I related to you how much I do not like Mondays?  I believe I have, so I won’t go off on a rant about what Mondays do to me.  Ugh.

I haven’t updated these pages for some time now, and that is mostly due to laziness and a severe lack of writers block.  I started updates almost everyday, even just to say hello.  But, whatever I wrote just didn’t flow, didn’t work and was impossible to read.  I suspect that this won’t be any better.  However, I feel the need to update you on Dianne’s status.

The week that was.  For the most part it was a pretty tame week, with a wee hiccup on Thursday.  For whatever reason, the last chemo treatment didn’t hit her very hard.  Maybe it was the new anti-nausea med she tried.  Maybe she’s just uber-tough.  Maybe we’re all just getting used to it and didn’t notice.  I don’t know….but I’ll take it.  I’ve mentioned before that when she has a good day, we all have a good day.  And except for Thursday, they’ve pretty much all been good days (relatively speaking, of course).

So what happened Thursday?  Well, suddenly, without fore-warning, Dianne could not keep any liquids in.  She was pale, even more pale than normal.  Now, she’s always been my alabaster queen, but this was pretty bad.  And lethargic.  The poor gal had zero energy.  I ended up giving the kids their breakfast, getting David out the door for school (on time even!!!).  Dianne ended up in bed.  The main cause of concern here was dehydration.  This is potentially very bad for her, and could have potentially ended her up at the Cross for an IV.

But, before we panicked we called the Cross and asked for advice.  They suggested that she try Imodium.  So, Rebecca and I drove to Safeway and picked up some Imodium.  While we were there, we bought a dozen multi-color roses for Dianne along with a big helium balloon that said “Happy Birthday!!”.  I also picked up a Venti Vanilla Mocha something or other coffee from Starbucks.

Yes, dear reader…Thursday was Dianne’s birthday.  What a way to spend it, huh?  I’m pretty sure it will be a birthday she will soon as forget.  And no, she won’t forget it because of chemo brain…she’ll forget it because it really wasn’t a great birthday.  We tried to make it special for her, and hopefully we succeeded.  The positive news is that the Imodium helped, and by mid afternoon she was keeping in the liquids and she started to perk up a bit.  I ended up going to work for a few hours, and things went back to normal.

That was our Thursday scare.  It is possible that Dianne caught some sort of bug.  As this is the ‘no immune system’ period, this was scary.  Thankfully she got over it real quick, and things are now back to the new normal.

Here’s hoping that this week has no such scares or episodes.



Thursday, April 16, 2009

I’m so happy I could cry!!

Good afternoon dear reader.  And by good afternoon, i mean GOOOOOOOOOOD AFTERNOOOOON!!!!!!  As the title of this entry states, I am so happy I could cry.  I’m sure your interest is piqued, so I guess I will share my joy.

Today, Dianne had her appointment with her Oncologist, along with getting blood work done.  The blood work went really well, and her counts came back to 100% again.  This means that the 3rd chemo treatment is a go!!  I’m not sure if we’re supposed to be excited about chemo, but we are.  It would really be disheartening if a treatment had to be delayed because of low blood counts.  Thus, we are pumped!!

Is that the reason I’m so happy?  It is a contributing factor, but not the full reason.  The real reason is this:  the Oncologist confirmed today what I have been suspicious of all along:  my wife is crazy!!  LOL, you read that right…the good Dr. stated today that Dianne is nuts.  Ha, I love being right.  (I’m glad Dianne isn’t watching me type this…it would be the frying pan treatment again).

But, this begs the question:  Why is Dianne crazy?  (Besides the obvious reasons of hanging around with me for the last 15 years or so).  Well, Dr. Joy thinks Dianne is loopy because she doesn’t use the anti-nausea meds.  He has never had a patient that can go through 2 rounds of chemo and approach the 3rd with out them!!  He says she is a throw-back to the 1930’s.  (Does that make her much older than me, or just much tougher?  I’ll go with tougher.  She’s a tough old bird.)  Suspicion confirmed….I’m right, she’s crazy.  LMAO.  (I’m going to walk into the house tonight very very carefully)
But even this, dear reader, is not the complete reason for my happiness.  Yes, it is awesome that her blood counts are back.  Yes, it is awesome that she is handling the chemo so well (without anti-nausea meds!!).  But there is more.  Wait for it… it comes…..ready?


That’s right, dear reader.  The tumors really are shrinking!!  They have gone from 8 1/2 x 6 all the way down to 5 x 5 (all measurements in CM).  And not only are they shrinking, but they are also breaking up!!!  Yes, there are now 4 small tumors instead of 1 big one (and by 1 big one, I mean that the original 2 tumors melded into 1).  This is also fantastic news!!!


So far, it is very apparent that the chemotherapy is doing it’s job!!  Getting news like this is very uplifting.  It makes the hardships of chemo well worth it!!  The twofold purpose of the chemo was to try shrink the tumour(s) and to see what effect the drugs would have on this particular cancer.  Well, I’d say that so far, both purposes are being fulfilled.  We are so very thankful that this could be the case.  Truly, God is guiding this, and He is awesome and good!!!

So, now there is one thing that has to happen.  The good doctor gave Dianne a different anti-nausea medication to try.  The reason?  She has to be able to handle the anti-nausea meds in order to receive the last 4 rounds of chemo (she will be on a different type of chemo for these last 4 rounds).  She is going to try the meds tonight in order to determine if it is the meds making her sick or the chemo.  And since she has not had round 3 yet, tonight is the perfect time to try them.  My only stipulation is that she doesn’t take them until I am home from work.  If this med is going to knock her sideways, I want to be there.  If she can’t handle this anti-nausea med, the doctor is going to have to come up with a Plan B.

And as a side note, the ultrasound she had a few weeks ago returned confirmation that the cancer has not spread to a couple of suspicious areas!!  Again, this is fantastic news!!

And this, dear reader, is the reason I am so happy I could cry.  We have all been praying mightily for positive results, and today’s news is what I believe to be the answer to our prayers.  Obviously, Dianne still has a long hard road ahead of her.  But up to this point, things are moving along nicely.  Our family thanks you all for your prayers, positive thoughts and every other support you have given us.

The worst part of today?  The yogurt in my lunch was mouldy.  That makes me angry.

Have a wonderful afternoon, dear reader.  I know I will.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

4 day weekend!!! w00t w00t!!!

Good day, dear reader.  Welcome to Thursday…the last work day until Tuesday.  Ah, the sweet sound of ‘4 day weekend w00t w00t!!!!’  That’s right…4 days off.  Brilliant.  There is lots going on this weekend.  My dad is turning 70 on Saturday (Happy Birthday, Dad!!!!!!) and my eldest niece is doing public profession of faith (Congrats, Debra!!!!!!!!).  I’m taking the kids on the first bike ride of the year on Friday.  Lots going on.  Lots to be thankful for.

One of the nicest parts of the weekend is that Dianne is feeling pretty good.  It is always hard to see it when she suffers after a chemo treatment, but it is very uplifting to all of us when she is doing well.  She has another week to prepare for her next chemo, but it will be a busy week.  She goes for an ultra-sound on Tuesday at the CCI.  Presumably they want to check out the tumors, and see if they are shrinking, or just hanging about maintaining the status quo.  Thursday she goes for her pre-chemo blood work and consultation, and if all goes well she will go for chemo on Friday.  Round 3 it will be….only 5 to go after that!!!  Is that a light at the end of the tunnel I see?  Heh heh…a bit optimistic, but that’s the way I roll.  To Dianne I say ‘stay strong babe!!!  By the grace of God you’re doing awesome!!!!’

I would like to thank Pastor Lindemuller (I hope I spelled that right) from the URC in Fresno, California for the gift.  He and his wife sent us a book…I can’t remember what the title of it is (I’m at work at the book isn’t), but I will publish that title tonight as an addendum to this blog entry.

And a shout-out goes to Joanne who put the idea in my head to actually keep these entries and make it into some sort of journal so we can go back on it years down the road.  I told you you’d like this entry, Joanne!!!  Thanks!!!!!

Have a great weekend, dear reader.  I hope to see you again on these pages soon.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Not much new going on here…..

Happy Friday, dear reader.  I am so happy its Friday…for several reasons.  Reason #1 is that it’s, well…Friday.  By far, it is the best day of the work week.  Reason #2 is that I am one day closer to having Dianne and the kids back home.  They spent the week (spring break) at Dianne’s parents place up in Camp Creek.  From all reports, they have had a really good week.  The kids love being there….it’s an acreage, so they can play outside without any worries, there was still lots of snow on the ground to play in, and they adore their Grandpa and Grandma.  And Uncle John.  Uncle John builds fires, which both kids really really like.

Dianne also had a really good week.  By Monday, she was able to start eating real food again, she was done taking the steroids, and the heartburn issues were not as prevalent as after the first round of chemo.  Of course, she was tired, but that is the new normal…tired is normal.

She is now into the 7 day period where her immune system is shot.  At this point, her white blood count is extremely low, if not non-existent.  This means she is very very susceptible to infection, and we are going to be trying to lessen the risk of infection happening.

So this week I have been a bachelor.  As much as I love seeing the family have a good relaxing time up in Camp Creek, it is not an easy week for me.  All you husbands out there are now thinking ‘What, are you crazy?  No wife.  No kids.  No commitments.  Sounds perfect.’  Well, let me tell you….it’s not.  I look at it this way.  No wife means I have to cook, clean, sleep alone, talk to myself and worst of all, I have to remember that even though she’s not around, I still have to justify all the money I spent when she gets back.  No kids means the house is very very silent.  This is not bad until it’s time to sleep.  The house is just too quiet to sleep.  My kids do a lot of farting and burping and talking in their sleep, and it serves as a lullaby to put me to sleep.  With them gone, the silence is deafening….and un-nerving.  Thus, I don’t sleep well when the house is empty.  Next time I’ll make a recording of all the noises and play them as I try to go to sleep.

When I get home this afternoon, I have to clean the house.  Do the dishes.  Do laundry.  Make the bed.  Dispose of all the empty beer bottles.  And other miscellaneous tasks that need to be done.  And all this has to be done before 8 PM, because that’s when I head over to Mike’s place to play video games.  Yes, my priorities are right.  If the house isn’t perfect, I’m still going to play video games.  Tomorrow the wife and kids are back home, so they can get to work after a week of lounging around.  (Was that my outside voice that said that?  Oh man, I’m up the creek now.)

And that, dear reader, is all I’ve got.  Not bad for a week in which there was not much new going on.



Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Night after the Day Before

Good evening, dear reader.  I’ve re-written this blog entry several times now, and none of them flowed for me.  Maybe I’m distracted by the hockey game (Flames vs Wild) but I just can’t seem to get inspired.  However, I will try to give a readable update.

Dianne has had her 2nd chemo treatment, and is now trying to recover from the effects of it.  It has not been completely horrible, but it has not been completely brilliant either.  The ‘feeling sick’ part of it hit fairly soon after the administration of the drugs, but it was manageable.   By late Friday night, she was feeling pretty miserable, but did manage to finally fall asleep.

Saturday morning started pretty good.  But it didn’t last long.  Once Dianne started the steroid treatment (2 pills per day for 3 days), the day started to go downhill.  For the rest of the day, it was a really up and down battle.  For brief periods of time, she would feel not bad, but then would sink back down and feel like crap again.

That was pretty much the day.  Up.  Down.  Up.  Down.  Down. Down.  Up.  Down.  You get the picture.  Right now, she is resting seemingly comfortable.  Hopefully she can get a good sleep tonight.

On Sunday, Dianne and the kids will go to Barrhead and spend spring break with her parents.  This will be a good distraction for the kids, as well as Dianne.  She should have a fair bit of time to rest there.

And that, dear reader, is all I have for now.  As I said, I’m simply not feeling inspired.  It’s probably pretty obvious by the clinical type of update.  And by clinical, I mean boring.  Oh well, better luck next time.



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Not too bad at all…….

Hello dear reader.  Here it is….the latest goings-on in the life of my wife (wahey!!!  I’m a poet and I didn’t know it).

This morning, Dianne had a pre-chemo appointment at the CCI.  This included blood work and a chat with the doctor.  I suppose you’re all getting curiouser and curiouser about the results, so without further ado….here they are.


Thanks for coming, see ya next time.

Ok, well…if you’re reading this that means you didn’t fall for it.  *sigh*  I really need to work on that.  Of course, if I’d have published at that point, what would ya’ll have done?  Oh well, at least I’m laughing ^_^
Here is the latest rundown:  the blood work showed that her counts are perfect!!  This means that she bounced back from the low / no immunity stage really well.   This means that round 2 of chemo is going ahead as scheduled.  Dianne will be going on steroids starting tonight.  This is to promote white blood cell growth.  They are starting this a bit early so that they can find out if she can handle the ‘roids.  If she can’t, then the 2nd type of chemo (in the last 12 weeks) cannot be administered.  The ‘roids are in pill form, so hopefully she’ll be able to keep them down over the next little while (post-chemo).

Dianne convinced them not to put on any anti-nausea meds, in light of how poorly she reacted to them last time around.  It looks like Gravol will be the official drug of choice.  We are both please that they agreed to this (although there was never really any concern that they wouldn’t).

The doctor did not mention anything about the results of her previous ultrasound, so we are assuming that no news is good news.  And by good news, I mean that we are assuming that the cancer is contained at this point.  Why did she not ask, you’re wondering?  I think it slipped her mind…maybe when we’re at the CCI next, we can ask about it.  Dianne will be going for another ultrasound in the near future just to see how things are progressing.

The only sort of bad but not really bad and not totally unexpected thing that we found out today is that the tumors have not shrunk at all.  But, being only 3 weeks into treatment, we did not really expect anything else.
And that, dear reader, is it for today.  Both Dianne and I are in good spirits, and are remaining positive.  The relative ease of the past 3 weeks surely does help one’s outlook on the whole thing.  We are not expecting the journey to be as smooth as this, but at least now it is 3 weeks shorter.

Thank you to Gerda for giving Dianne a ride to the CCI this morning.  Thank you to Arlene for babysitting Rebecca.  And a special shout out goes to my buddy Ryan and his wife Dana.  Dana is also a breast cancer patient, and is roughly at the same treatment time frame as Dianne.  Stay strong, Ryan and Dana!!  The four of us can go down this road together.  Ryan, I’ll bring some homebrew over tonight.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bald for Cancer

In support of my dear wife Dianne. 

My initial bald pictures...


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

It’s done.  Pretty much done.  I don’t know if I reported in an earlier post about the state of hair in this house.  (It’s not like I actually read these things).  Well, the last week or so have been an itchy and sometimes sore experience for my dear wife.  Last night (Friday), we noticed that it was getting real close to falling out.  So, the decision was made.

This afternoon, after I got home from work, we first went to Michaels to pick up some fabric coloring stuff so the kids could color a couple bandanas for us.  Then, when we got home……*sigh*.  It was done.  I used our clippers (professional clippers at that!!) and shaved her head.  I did not shave it down to the nub, but it was cut with no guard on the clippers.  It’s short.  Oh, so short.  Shorter than what I keep my hair.

This is a really blatant way for reality to hit once more.  Nope, we are not dreaming.  I suspect it won’t take long for the kids and I to get used to the new look.  Rebecca’s biggest complaint was that ‘Now Mommy looks like Uncle!!!!’  (I’m not sure if she’s referring to John or Andy LMAO).  David took it all quite stoically.  The trauma was not as bad as it could have been.

Once Dianne’s hair cut was done, mine was next.  Usually, Dianne cuts my hair with a #2 guard on the clippers.  This time, she did it with no guard.  And, to follow up, I went over the stubble with my electric razor.  And now, I look like Rebecca’s other uncle (Uncle Pete!!).  As of this writing, Pete can say that he officially has more hair than someone in the family.  It’s been years since he’s said that.  (Pete, is 2009 another year of the bald eagle?)

And that, dear reader, is the state of hair in our house.  That’s a big enough change for now.  So, if you attend Providence CanRC, I strongly suggest that tomorrow morning, you wear sunglasses.  My scalp is blinding.

And my wife is still hawt!!!!  And I love her, hair or no.  That will never change.



Monday, March 16, 2009

Another week begins....

'Allo, dear reader.  And welcome to what's left of Monday.  I would have written earlier, but really, you would not have liked the mood I was in.  I was feeling mean, nasty and cruel all wrapped up in one ham sandwich.  Probably a good thing I didn't write, huh?

And then, I came home, saw my beautiful wife and my great kids, and all was good again.  Have I ever mentioned that I despise Mondays?  I don't do them gracefully.  As a matter of fact, I fall into Mondays from great heights with devastating accuracy.  And usually do a 3-point landing, with one point being my nose.

Anyway, you didn't drop by to hear me moaning.  I'm pretty sure you'd rather hear how Dianne is doing.  She is doing fairly well.  The heartburn has disappeared (have I mentioned that already?).  Now, my dear wife is tired...a wee bit of insomnia kicked in last night.  Hopefully tonight she will sleep a bit better.

And that, dear reader, is all I have for tonight.  All is well, Monday is almost over.  Tomorrow is another day.  And for me, it couldn't come soon enough.  For us as a family, we celebrate that today was a fairly good day, all things considering.  And for that, we thank our Lord.


Friday, March 13, 2009

And on to the weekend!!!

Dear Reader, all I can say is YAY!!!  It's the weekend.  Friday is pretty much done, and thus begins my favorite time of the week.

So, I want to just give you a quick update on Dianne.  She is doing quite well!!  Oh, there are a few minor little things going on, but in the big picture, it has been a great week!!!  Dianne is tired quite a bit, which really comes as no surprise at all.  A new development has been heartburn.  It was awesome when she started to eat more, only to discover that no matter what she ate,  she would get heartburn.  That can't be much fun.  But, she has discovered that if she eats a Tums or two before she eats then the HB is not as bad.  So, that is good.

Am I the only one that's reminded of the old Archie Campbell routine by that last paragraph?  Am I the only one that has heard that old Archie Campbell routine?  Did I just date myself?  *sigh*.

The next seven days are going to be the 'careful days' for Dianne.  It is this period of time where her immune system is at it's lowest.  So, from today until next Thursday, it is very easy for Dianne to catch any bugs that are floating about.  This is going to be the routine after each treatment.  Unfortunately, after each 'careful days' period, her immune system doesn't quite come back to the same level as it was.  We will deal with that as it comes, but it is a very important  thing to remember.

And that, dear reader, brings you up to date.  I will, of course, continue to update this wee space in the world wide web, in the hopes that you will continue to find it.  Have a great weekend!!!


PS:  a quick shout out to all those who helped this week - Heather, Evelyn, Joanne and Catherine --> we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  And of course, to all you who have continued to keep us in your prayers and have supported us in other ways...we thank you as well.  You're not mentioned by name, but you are never forgotten.