Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Whew!

Just plain ol' benign cyst.

One funny is that the radiologist has the exact same name as my dh (first and last but with one letter difference in the way it is spelt). So after he told me I did not have cancer we chatted for a moment about Irish heritage and he said that we (well dh anyway) are probably related to him from way back in their ancestry.

And then I went on with my day.

Get a mammogram.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Darn! I did get a call back from them and I need to go in for an ultrasound tomorrow morning. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Monday, October 27, 2014

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

For the past several years, I have had my annual mammogram done in October. Every time I book it, they always make me add a day from my last mammogram to ensure that the claim is not rejected by insurance. So what that means is that my mammograms are now at the end of October and in a couple of years my mammograms will be in November!

Ok, this may not seem like a big deal but it is to me. I like going in October.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Also, it reminds me that I am doing something important for myself. Sometimes I treat myself to lunch before or afterwards. I always wear a pink bra in honour of all women with breast cancer and because of the breast cancer scare that I had 9 years ago. And soon I won't be going in October anymore!  And that bothers me. Stupid insurance.

And P.S. I quite a few mini calcifications on the mammogram images today and of course I have worked myself up today into believing that I have cancer. And the tech said "They will read the films tonight and call you in the next day or two" ~pause~ "if they see anything. Or you will get a letter in the regular mail if there is nothing". Which made me think that she saw something too! It is funny because I have never, ever worried about my mammograms other than the first one after the biopsy until today. Arrgh!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Well it is Friday and this week did not improve at all.  A shooting at a high school in Marysville, WA was just what was needed to push me over the edge.  I spent two hours watching news coverage and crying for those kids and their families.  Our world is insane.

http://everytown.org/article/schoolshootings/


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

This has been a bad week and it is only Wednesday.

Cars is not doing well at school and we have been butting heads with his homework. I spent most of Sunday (which was unseasonably warm - abut 72 degrees and sunny!) inside helping him with a board game project (or bored game as he wrote on the instructions and he was adamant that THAT was the correct spelling because you play them when you are bored). We spent Monday night and last night and part of today after school to finish it up. I hate these projects that the kids cannot do without parents.

Monday I woke up with a lot of congestion in my ears and sinuses. Was feeling so sorry for myself. Yesterday was even worse so I have been taking Sudafed like it is going out of style for the past two days. Today while at my "Ultimate Core" class, I could not keep up. My heart rate kept jumping up very quickly way past my max heart rate limit. Finally I asked the trainer if Sudafed could be causing it and he said "YES!". At least I felt a bit better about not being able to keep up but it was very humbling.

My mom has is experiencing some sort of psychosis, probably from all of the prednisone she is on. I am heading back to Toronto for the 4th time since April. I think my aunt needs a break from her and my mom needs to be convinced that she needs to go into an assisted living home. Besides her blindness resulting from Giant Cell Arteritis, she keeps having falls so she has to use a walker at all times. She has run out of insulin a couple of times and has injected herself with nothing (very dangerous!). She cannot manage her phone at all and freaks out when someone comes in to help her and tells her she has missed calls but there is no voicemail. She has had the phone company set her rings to the max number before it goes to voicemail so most likely people are hanging up before it goes to vm (because it rings 16 times!!).

There have been two terrorist attacks in Canada this week and that makes me so sad. Both terrorists were "home-grown" men who converted to Islam and they attacked Canadian soldiers. I believe this is really going to change Canada into a mini-USA.

And I changed my Facebook profile picture to the same one I change it to at this time every year - a picture taken about 34 years ago of me, my sister and two of my brothers around a jack-o'-lantern. It is funny because my smile is all snaggly and I look like the jack-o'-lantern. And well all look so cute and I love it!  Well, my sister, who has not spoken to me since Christmas for some perceived slight or whatever, hit the report button and wrote "Hi Pez, there's something about this photo that bothers me. Would you please take it down? and the photo was attached."  And you know what? I thought F*ck you! She has not spoken to me for months and has the nerve to report this picture so I edited it using MS Paint (I wish I had Photoshop) and cut around her head and took it out. Then I put the new pic up with the comment that my sister reported the picture because she was bothered that she was in it. Then I deleted her as a friend. Well, she threw a fit (probably because a lot of people commented that she was ridiculous) and replied that I was a f*cking liar (?) and then she blocked me. Oh the drama!

I have spent my whole life trying to get my sister to like me. She took great joy in making me feel miserable. We shared a room while we were growing up (she is 5 years older). When she was a teenager and my mom let her smoke (seems so foreign now!) she would run up to our bedroom when my mom sent me to bed to smoke a cigarette because she knew how much I hated the smell of smoke in our bedroom. She used to stir her tea and then touch the hot teaspoon to my hand or arm. She would ask me if I would like to see a match burn twice and she would strike it, blow it out and then touch me with the just burnt match head.

She once tried to throw a spoonful of peanut butter at me but missed and hit my bff right in the middle of her forehead. After she moved out, she would occasionally come home for visits and my favourite pieces of clothing would disappear. I would complain to my mom but she would say that my sister did not make much money (as if I did?!). 

Anyway, I always loved her and wanted her to like me but she never did. I haven't seen her in 11 years and I am sure I won't see her again until my mom's funeral. And I just don't care.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

This is a great song. I have known it forever and it is featured in one of my favourite movies - "Love Actually".  Here is a beautiful version of it:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/clips#p0286057

(God Only Knows by the Beach Boys)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Christmas?!

My mother called me in a panic on Friday to tell me that she is blind (duh!) so I must make the Christmas cake this year (fruit cake) and I must start it *immediately* because it needs to soak for weeks and weeks. 

Since Jax and DH love the cake so much, I agreed to make it.  So, I went out and spent close to $50 in supplies (not counting the 8 eggs, 1 pound of butter, 1 pound of flour and 1 pound of sugar that I already had on hand) to make this cake. Of course, because I did not read the recipe properly, I did not get it into the oven until a few minutes ago and it takes 4.5 hours to bake so it won't be ready to come out until 12:30am.

Anyway, I hope it tastes as good as hers - moist and yummy. I used the same recipe that she does but you know some people always change one or two little things so the same recipe made by two different people never quite taste the same.

Also, since I no longer eat wheat, I won't be able to even try this cake. If it weren't so expensive, I would try to make a gluten-free one to see how it tastes ($50 is a lot of money to throw away if it tastes like crap).

Hmmm...now I wonder if she expects me to mail a piece to each of my siblings (and to her!) as she always made it and mailed it. Maybe this is really just her way of saving money! ;)  Just kidding. I know she would totally make this if she could see. So many changes for her since she lost her eyesight four months ago.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Last night was book club and it was my turn to host. We read a book (bio) about a drunk (and recovering) Christian and then the author called us via Skype. It was really fun. I really enjoyed the book (I won 12 copies for our book club from a book club site plus the chat with the author). Her book was really interesting and I loved her honestly and inner "voice". I wish I could write like that (although maybe I need to be a recovering alcoholic to do so?).  Anyway, she was funny, charming and interesting on Skype too.  Good times!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

A few years ago I started a new blahg that I quickly lost interest in. I found it again tonight and re-read the 5 or 6 posts that I made. This one made me cry.
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May 11, 2008
What difference did I make for someone today?  If it had not been for me, I guess my son would not have been able to eat waffles at school.  He is terrified to eat food that he does not bring to school and while his whole class was enjoying waffles to celebrate the end of the state testing, he sat at his desk reading his book until I arrived, 30 minutes late.  The moment he saw me he jumped up and ran over to me and lead me to the desk where the waffles were sitting, waiting for him.  They were cold but he did not care.  He carefully poured the maple syrup over them and topped them with the last of the whipped cream from the can.  He was so happy to be eating waffles like his classmates that he did not even mind or maybe just not notice that everyone else had already finished eating.
I stayed until he was almost done and then I whispered to him that it was time for me to leave.  He became agitated and started worrying about the syrup and the whipped cream.  We did not check the labels, he said.  I assured him that it was ok.  He looked down at his plate and announced that he was full and as he stood and carried his paper plate over to the garbage can.  I could see the joy that he had while eating the waffles -  just like all of the other kids - disappearing.  It was replaced with the flat affect he has developed to hide his disappointment.  He had become "that kid with the allergy" again.  And it broke my heart.  It broke my heart.

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Man, it breaks my heart to read this and remember what an awful time it was when Jax would not eat because he was terrified of his peanut allergy. He lost so much weight that year - he was so painfully skinny. He was so scared and I was terrified at his distress and because I could not help him myself. Thankfully a year of counseling, including  using biofeedback, helped get him to realize that his thoughts about food and his peanut allergy were irrational. To this day, however, if he is stressed he will worry about his allergy and if food is safe for him to eat.

If I could have a do over, I would definitely do things differently. Maybe even starting with not eating pb while pregnant and nursing and refusing antibiotics for Jax when he was so sick all the time (colds/ear infections) from daycare.

Although to be fair to myself, Cars also has food allergies and I did not eat some of his allergens (I am not sure when the last time I even had a Brazil nut - maybe in the early 80s?!), he was not sick all the time like Jax (no daycare). He did not have antibiotics as much as Jax (no sickness, ear infections, etc).

Food allergies just plain suck.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' Into the future

I haven't been good about posting on my blahg at all in 2014. I think because I post so much on facebook. Anyway, let's see where we are these days...

School started at the beginning of September. Jax and Dex are both in high school and Cars is in middle school. Jax and Dex seem to be doing well (according to their grades). Dex still spins out of control when he thinks he has too much homework. He cannot calm himself down to really take a look at what he has to do. Yesterday he was freaking out about his French homework and test that was today and he could not think rationally about what actually needed to be done. I had to sit down with him to keep him focused on answering each question. He seems to think that he will pick up French by osmosis and thinks it is cheating or he is "stupid" (his word) if he cannot memorize a word or phrase just by reading it once. And he compares himself to Jax (who is in his 3rd year of French, not first like Dex) or me (who studied French in grades K, 1, 2, 6-13 in Ottawa and Toronto). Yes, of course I know what "Fermez vos cahiers" means because I had teachers say that to me for YEARS! *sigh* In the end, when he came home from school today, he did really well on the test. Which is great but it won't be enough to convince him that he will be ok next time he starts to spiral out of control.

Jax is working hard. I think the school has really drummed it into the students that their junior year (grade 11 for my Canadian friends) is ├╝ber important so he has buckled down to do his work. Not that he did not work hard last year but he seems to be a bit more focused this year. He is also busy with hockey and working at the nearby grocery store. Maybe he needs to cut back a bit on his work hours? It is hard to know what is the right thing to do - work a part-time job or spend 100% of his time concentrating on getting into a great university. There is so much pressure. Figuring out college / university is almost a full-time job and so stressful. Not at all what it was like when I went to school (a billion years ago and in Canada).

Cars...*sigh* He is just himself. He is struggling with not talking in class, keeping his homework straight and passing tests. He currently has an F in Math and Science (same teacher) and a D in Language Arts (although he has an A in PE!). He keeps forgetting to turn in homework assignments, write down homework and he does not put in 100% effort into his work. Punishing him does not work. His cell phone is his currency right now so I take it away from him when he gets home each day and he is not allowed to hang out with his friends after school until his grades improve. And they are not improving! And to top it off, he is being disruptive in Math and Science. Probably his other class too but he has an experienced teacher who can nip it in the bud whereas his Math/Science teacher is a new teacher.  Other than school is he doing great. He is funny and kind and playing hockey and over 5' tall!


Over 75% of the people in DH's group were laid off last month. Thankfully, he was not one of them. Big Bad Software company eliminated his group entirely so about 100 people were laid off and about 20+ were kept but sent to other areas. The people who were kept just happened to be working on certain projects (although that did not entirely keep people from being laid off). DH works very, very hard and was lucky enough to see that one project was important to the company and aligned himself with it. He his now in a new group and hoping that the last round of layoffs will not touch him again.

And me? I spent a week on jury duty at the Seattle Federal Courthouse (drug and gun trial). It was exhausting but interesting. I am still doing woodcarving and working out at the gym but eating enough to make up for the extra calories burned. I figure this year it is my job to help Jax figure out which university he should be going to (I am pushing schools in Canada) and to keep Cars from having to repeat 6th grade (it is the 6th week of school and I am already worried about this!). It is going to be a long year.