Sunday, 30 December 2018


Medicine Lake in black and white.  The big guy's favorite place in the world.

I've been feeling blue, or more accurately grey.  I called a girlfriend last night and we had a good laugh about kids and family and shit (actual shit).  It was good.

I need to pull my head out of my ass.

Things I'm thankful for.

The big guy.
Hugs.
Friends.
Laughter.
A job that I love, most days, ok, patients that I love.
A roof over my head.
Financial security.
Walks while it's snowing.
Miss Katie is doing well.  She's happy and relaxed.
That spring will come and the world will be green again.
That the days are ever so slowly getting longer.


What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, 27 December 2018


The newest addition to my dining room.  I'm not getting enough exercise.  I love walking outside but in the winter it's so slippery and to be honest falling scares the crap out of me now.  Last winter I decided I would swim, which I did, twice.  To be able to swim I need to drive the big guy to work so that I can then use the car to get to the pool.  I do love swimming but I do not like getting into a swim suit.  I also have very sore feet now which rules out a treadmill, so a bike it is.  I should add here that I don't like bike riding but at this point I don't like sore feet, I don't like putting on a swim suit and I don't like falling.

So now there is a very small exercise bike that sits in my dining room which I will use three times a week.  The big guy will hold me to this because he made a terrible face when I brought up the idea of an exercise bike.  Guilt will hopefully inspire me.

We went to visit my in-laws yesterday.  They had spent Christmas day with my step daughter, her boyfriend, their girls and my husband's ex-wife.  My husband's ex-wife always spends Christmas with her daughter so if my in-laws want to see her, they spend Christmas with the ex.  For the last twenty-two years.  And she doesn't cook, ever.  So my mother in law cooks for my husband's ex every Christmas, except finally this year my step daughter decided to cook, except for the turkey.  They asked my mother in law to cook and bring the turkey.

Whatever, it's weird.  My step daughter and her mother bought a house together so they can all live together.  My step daughter and her boyfriend lived in our house for two years.  They didn't pay any rent, only utilities.  They didn't pay the land taxes, event though they said they would.  They didn't do anything to make the house look better, even though they said they would.  They rarely cut the lawn; the neighbours cut the lawn.  They had to be harassed to shovel the snow and clear the walks.  They would borrow our lawn mower to cut the lawn and not return it.

They left in a huff because my step daughter said we didn't respect the father of her children.  The guy who is verbally abusive towards her and his two boys from a previous relationship.  The guy who is a pathological liar.  The guy who would rather buy guns than a bed for his own daughter.  The guy whose anger scares the shit out of me.

They managed to save some money which was the whole point of the exercise.  After their second daughter was born I felt more and more unwelcome in the house.  My step daughter told me that her grandmother was coming for a month when the second baby was born and basically, don't come around.  When I wanted to stop by to see my granddaughters I was told if her mother was there, so don't come which was never said out loud, only implied.  I didn't have a problem with her mother but I'm guessing looking back that her mother had a problem with me.

So now my husband's ex-wife, her husband, my step daughter, her boyfriend and their two girls are living in a house that we were able to help them save money towards and we are not allowed to see our granddaughters.

My father in law took Christmas photos so that we could see our granddaughters but I can't do it anymore.  It's breaking my heart all over again.  I miss those girls so much and my step daughter moving in with her mother pretty much put the nail in the coffin for us ever seeing our grandchildren again.




I have to let go and maybe when they're grown up I can reconnect with them.  The good thing about all this is that my step daughters mother and step father now live with them.  Two more adults to watch over those girls and hopefully protect my step daughter from abuse.

Sunday, 23 December 2018




We had our Christmas dinner last night because my daughter couldn't get Christmas Eve off so she came early and we celebrated early.  I enjoy her company so much.  She has turned into such a lovely young woman and I miss her deeply when she goes home.  But she has a life and I am only a part of that life, not her whole life which is as it should be.  We visited with Miss Katie, we shopped, we played Scrabble, we drank wine and we laughed.  She helped me cook Christmas dinner and helped me clean up which I appreciate.  Tonight I take her to the airport.



This is my girlfriend/adopted daughter from work.  She and my daughter are both the same age.  She brought her little girl over for the evening and we had a great time.  I love her and her little girl.



However, her little girl definitely prefers the big guy.  Those two get on like a house on fire.  She's only 3 1/2 but that little girl is sharp and funny.  Stubborn too, a lot like her mama.


Grace came too.  It was nice to have her over but the more I get to know her, the more I worry about my grandbaby which is a waste of time I know.  What will be, will be.  She's sweet and immature and has been forced to become a part of this family for better or worse.  She seems okay with that.  I have reservations.  I'm terrified of raising a baby again at 56.  I don't know how messed up her life was before she got pregnant but she was with my son so that's kind of an indicator.  I can only hope that things turn out and I am so thankful that she is letting us be a part of this baby's life.  




And so it goes.  It's set to get cold here which I don't enjoy but have no control over.  I will get back into quilting now that Christmas is over.





I took down most of my photos at work on Thursday.  I was at a meeting and the subject of my photos came up.  We are having an audit in the spring and according to the audit rules, walls must be bare of everything except signage.  Because that's so much better for patients, bare, ugly walls;  walls without beauty, walls that make you feel like you're in a hospital and you have cancer, walls that suck the life out of you.

Bureaucracies exist only for themselves and their rules, or so it seems.  So I left the meeting and started taking down my photos and ripping them up.  If those photos are going to be removed, it will be by me, not someone else.  I took those photos, I paid for them to be processed and I hung them.  They are my art and a part of me now.  So I took them down and ripped them up and cried.  I cried because bureaucracies have no souls and yet they care for humans who are souls on a human journey.  We need beauty and nature around us.  We need to remain connected to this earth, even while fighting cancer.

My manager, a young woman born after I became a nurse found me and asked me to stop.  She loves the photos and wants to find a way to preserve them.  I told her that if she can find a way to do that, I will provide the photos.

So for now, my department is ugly and sterile but abides by the rules put in place by people who don't spend all day in a cancer hospital, caring for people who have been given the worst news they'll probably ever get.  I'm angry and sad but I also fight for my patients.  My photos help people, not because they're my photos, but because they remind us all of the beauty all around us.  I'm not willing to give up without a fight.



Thursday, 13 December 2018


I'm not sure what to call the mama of my grandbaby.  She and my son were only together for a short time and she's done with him but not us thankfully.  I think here, I will call her Gracie.

So Gracie is going for another ultrasound today.  The baby's kidneys are slightly enlarged which of course I had to google.  Hydronephrosis, or enlarged kidneys, can be benign and fix itself at birth, so I've got my fingers crossed and am hoping for that.  Apparently it's quite common, 1 in 100 pregnancies.  I pray for the little guy every night, pray that he is healthy and normal, pray that he is nothing like his dad.  It's all I can do.

I wrote a letter to my son, I told him that he needs to get sober and stay sober.  I told him that he is not welcome in our home until he is sober.  I told him that his son needs him.  I told him that although I don't trust him, I do love him.  It's all I can do.

I'm off today which means Christmas baking, shopping for yarn and fabric and walking the dog.  We had freezing rain here on Monday which has turned everything into a skating rink.  I told the dog that I would walk her in the daylight when I can see the ice better.  She didn't seem to understand or care for that matter.  She's curled up on the chair beside me right now, sleeping hard.

Christmas is coming and with it the familiar dread.  It's strange really;  I love the lead up to Christmas, the shopping, the baking, even the decorating but the actual day is always a let down.  It's never as good as I would like or imagine.  In my head is one big happy family where everyone gets along, where people laugh and have a good time, where there is no drama, no tension, no drinking ( because even normal drinking now bothers me ), where it truly feels like Christmas.  Of course none of this is real, it's what I've made up in my head, watching thousands of hours of TV, commercials and movies.  I have been fed a constant diet of fake Christmas since I was a child and it sits in my head and pushes out real Christmas.

My best Christmas was the year after my ex-husband and I split up.  Katie came for supper and my two other kids.  My mum was still alive;  she was there too.  We had supper, Katie stayed at the supper table after she was done eating because I gave her the gingerbread house to deconstruct and eat.  We lingered at the table, relaxed.  While I drove Katie back to her place, my mum and kids cleaned up everything.  When I got back home we sat and watched a Big Bang marathon, ate peppermint cheesecake, laughed and relaxed.  My mum was still alive and healthy.  My son had not gone down the rabbit hole too far at this point.  Neither my ex-husband nor my father were around to darken everything with their mood.  It was my best Christmas.  Nothing special really, no TV movie moments, just peaceful and enjoyable.

What was your favorite Christmas memory?




Sunday, 9 December 2018



I took Lucy for a walk yesterday afternoon on the paths behind our house.  It was four but already the light was waning, painting the sky beautiful colors.

I put up my Christmas tree yesterday and wrapped some presents to put under it.  I hate putting up the tree but always enjoy it so much when it's up.  I love unwrapping all of the old ornaments and taking a wander down memory lane.  I have one ornament from Katie's first Christmas, a photo of her at six months, inside a tiny frame.  It's hard to believe she was so little.


So I'm baking cookies, sending off a few cards to people overseas and decorating the house.  It feels more like Christmas.  We went to our Christmas party on Friday night which was nice.  I had a glass of wine which is enough to enjoy but not enough to tell people how I really feel about them, although I'm pretty sure my face and body language does that for me. 

Our medical director however got pretty drunk and in a speech told us all that he's trying harder, he's kind of a dick.  He and I are a lot alike I think which is why we clash so much.  Not sure if he knows that.  

My bathroom reno is finished so I have a toilet in my bathroom again which is nice.  A little paint touch up today and it's done.  

Today I'm thankful for a peaceful home, filled with love.


Wednesday, 5 December 2018


We had a tough day Monday at work, short staffed, very sick patients.  We were asked to add on a central line and I said no and then the circumstances were shared with me.  A forty-nine year old man with end stage ALS who needed IV access for MAID (medical assistance in dying).  We couldn't say no, I wouldn't say no.

I don't know if I've ever cared for someone with ALS and I've certainly never met anyone at the end of their life with ALS.  It wasn't like "Tuesdays With Morrie", to be honest, it was awful.  He was surrounded by family who all obviously love him and cared for him but he was unable to move anything other than his eyes.  He couldn't even swallow his own saliva which upset me the most for some reason and needed constant suctioning.  And his eyes, to only be able to communicate with your eyes seems so isolating, so terrifying.

I sent my two young coworkers to take care of him during his line insertion.  There were two doctors in the room too and family members.  Special circumstances, in honor of his time here on earth.  I've been with patients who are preparing for MAID before and it is always an honor to help them, to make sure that everything will go well for them as they leave their loved ones.

This morning I googled his name and he died on Monday after he left us.  It was so nice to see a photo of him when he was healthy and full of life, he had such lovely eyes.

It always amazes me and saddens me to see people suffer so much before they die.  We all die and we all suffer in our own ways, both mentally and physically.  What might be suffering for one might not be suffering for another, but I'm not a fan of physical suffering.  It seems cruel and unnecessary.

I'm thankful my patient got to decide how his life ended.

Friday, 30 November 2018


This is an old photo from a few years ago, Southern Alberta, on our way to Waterton National Park.  It's beyond beautiful there.

I didn't work on Tuesday because my back was so sore on Monday, my whole body was sore on Monday actually.  So I took a muscle relaxant, slept in, puttered around the house, went for a walk with the dog and worked on my grandson's quilt.  By the end of the day my body felt much less battered.


I feel stress in my body.  First it was my stomach, then it was my muscles.  I saw the doctor on Wednesday and I asked for a bunch of xrays of my sore and aching joints.  Good news, arthritis in only one joint, my left knee, which means that my pain is soft tissue pain which I can do something about.  So I'll see a physiotherapist and try to be kinder to my poor body.  I felt like an eighty year old woman on Monday.  I'm back to a fifty-six year old woman today.  Fucking stress.

I seem to be obsessed with aging and death lately.  In part, I'm sure because of where I work, but also because I am aging and I will die.  Mortality kind of shoves itself in your face after fifty.  I wonder how much longer I will live.  What that life will look like.

When my father was fifty-five he had open heart surgery.  This was in 1975 and it was a big deal.  I was thirteen at the time and my younger brother would have been eleven.  I can imagine my father must have been terrified at the thought of leaving his wife and two youngish children alone.  He survived.  At some point he must have read or heard a statistic that people only lived about ten years on average after open heart surgery.  He was obsessed with his death for the last fourteen years of his live.  I'm beginning to understand why now.

My father was a control freak and I may be as well (cough, cough).  There are so many things I want to do and I feel life slipping away, even knowing that really, I only have today.  I'm guessing that this is all part of the aging process, reconciling the knowledge that I will die, with the knowledge that I am not yet dead and want to enjoy the time between now and my death, all the time not knowing when that death will occur.

In the mean time I will walk the dog, work on the quilt and tomorrow the big guy and I will take Katie to watch a swim meet organized by the new agency that is caring for her.  I'm guessing there will be cheering and clapping which Katie loves.  She will get a chance to socialize with her peers and we will get to meet some of the best people in the world.  What better way to spend my time.

Thursday, 22 November 2018


I had plans for today, the universe had other plans for me apparently.  I've been doing bathroom renos for awhile and I was breaking up the old vanity with a sledgehammer when something jumped up and hit me.  Still not sure what happened but plans changed.  Nothing is broken and no stitches required so I'm thankful.

I decided the pity party needed to end now so time to move on with life.  I'm going Christmas shopping today and will take myself out to lunch.  The dog will get a nice long walk because it's warm here right now and the ice has melted.  I'm thankful.

My son will be in jail for awhile which means he's sober and safe.  I'm thankful.  I also blocked his calls so I don't need to dread my phone ringing.  I'm thankful.

It was a year ago today that my girlfriend told me that no further treatment could be done for her cancer.  She died last May and I am so thankful I got to know her.  She inspired me to learn how to quilt.  She made over three hundred quilts in her lifetime and gave them all away.

No housework today.  No renos.  No baking.  No quilting.   No work.  Time, the gift of time to do as I please.

Things I'm thankful for.

I'm healthy.
My family is healthy.
My little dog who is snoring on the chair beside me as I type.
Hugs from the big guy.
Katie is happy and enjoying her life.  And she got to see Santa last weekend.


As you can see, she's a huge fan of Santa.
My middle daughter is loving her new job and is coming for Christmas.
Good books.
A job I enjoy and I home I love.

What are you thankful for today?

Saturday, 17 November 2018


It's been a difficult week.  My son is back in jail.  Apparently he had a no contact order with his girlfriend from back in July, before she got pregnant.  Both of them ignored the order, he moved in and she got pregnant.  He's been drinking and using drugs heavily.  Monday night he was high on crystal meth, I'm guessing, hallucinating, yelling, scaring his girlfriend.

She wanted him out of the apartment and was yelling at him.  The police were called and he wouldn't let her open the door for the police because of the no contact order.  So the door was smashed in and both of them were handcuffed until it got sorted out.  So my son is back in jail.  Gracie is alone with a broken down door and wants nothing to do with my son.  I can't blame her.  I feel the same way.

I'm done with him.  This has been going on for almost twenty years.  Each time I think it can't get any worse, it does.  The lies, the drinking, the drugs, the porn, the promiscuity.

I am a na├»ve, gullible woman, especially when it comes to my children, but in general as well.  When I was a child I remember watching a TV show about a court trial, both sides promised to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  I thought to myself, what a wonderful idea.  Everyone tells the truth and everything will get sorted out right away.  There is still a part of me that believes this.

Last month I was assaulted at work by a coworker.  This woman used to rent our condo from us. She was chronically late with her rent, everything was always an issue, she moved a dog into the condo without asking us and took fifteen months to pay her damage deposit.  She was angry with me because I told her the condo was filthy when she left it and I charged her for cleaning it.  She also broke the dishwasher, wrecked the brand new countertops and let black mold grow in the bathroom.  I was standing in the hallway talking to a doctor when someone hip checked me from behind and then hit me in the back with their elbow.  I looked around and saw her walking down the hallway.  I yelled, "Excuse me?" down the hall at her and she just ignored me.

So I complained and of course it's my word against her word.  She says it was an accident and I can't prove that she hit me in the back because only her and I felt that.  I did get into trouble for yelling at her, so there's that.  This woman fucks up her job all the time.  She abuses people verbally on the phone.  She hides work instead of doing her work.  She is responsible for out of province billing and just doesn't bother doing it, losing our departments thousands of dollars.  She's a liar and spends most of the day on her phone.  I do my job, I don't lie and I am not believed.  WTF!

I'm kind of done with people in general right now.  Tired of being lied to.  Tired of shit.  I want to hide away for awhile.

As for my grandchild, I'm not sure what to do.  I know my heart won't take losing another grandchild and yet, being in that child's life will surely break my heart as well.

Monday, 12 November 2018


I went to a gender reveal party on Saturday night.  When we arrived my son was pleasant and talkative, always a bad sign;  he's usually quiet.  He told me he was going to have one beer that night because it was a special occasion.  I did say, "Do you think that's a good idea?"  He didn't answer.  So much for sober, although I found out from his girlfriend that he has not been sober since she got pregnant, despite what he tells us.

I met my son's girlfriend's parents.  The party was at their house.  They seemed nice enough.  Gracie, my son's girlfriend and I chatted a little.  It was only the second time we had met and I seem to make her quite nervous.

I don't really drink much and the big guy doesn't drink.  Everyone else though, except for Emma was drinking a lot, drinking like they were still in high school.  Does that sound bitchy?  Probably a little.  I'm really not a fan of drinking anymore.  It has brought so much misery into my life and the lives of those I love that I just don't enjoy it anymore.

And the weed, there was a lot of weed.  It's legal now but the whole house reeked of weed and there was a pregnant woman there breathing in all the fumes, sharing it with her unborn baby.  I said that to the big guy and he said that Gracie could have left but she had no desire to do that.   Gracie was the centre of attention and she liked that.  She seems okay but she is so immature.

My son proceeded to get drunker and higher as the evening progressed.  We were only there for two and a half hours and I couldn't wait to get out of there.  They finally cut the cake and found out they're having a little boy.  As we left my son decided I wasn't excited enough about him having a son.  "Are you excited mum?  You don't look excited.", he kept saying to me.

What do I tell him?  I think it's a mistake bringing a child into your life.  I think you will suck as a father.  I think you will lie to your son and probably run away rather than face up to your responsibilities.  I think you will be as bad a father as your own biological father whom you hate.  I think history is repeating itself.

But I didn't.  I smiled and told him I was happy.   I will love that little boy because that little boy didn't ask to be brought into this mess.  And all day yesterday I cleaned my house like my life depended on it because I didn't want to think about my grandson and when there were no more floors to clean I went out and bought fabric for his quilt.

Friday, 9 November 2018

I'm off for four days which is lovely.  I slept in until eight this morning which feels weird but was lovely.  The cat came in when the big guy had his shower before he left for work and the cat is still on the bed, fast asleep.  I don't want to disturb her so I've left the bed unmade for now, cause I'm like that.  I lead a reckless life, leaving beds unmade, last night I didn't bother with the dishes.  Who am I?

I finally contacted Katie's old agency telling them what I thought about them discarding most of Katie's belongings when she moved a year and a half ago.  At that time Katie had just been in the hospital for surgery on her broken arm.  The agency said they would take care of the move and I was worn out that week so I let them.  I had no idea their idea of taking care of things was throwing stuff out.  The initial inventory when Katie first moved in with them only included six items which was a joke.  I kept receipts of everything that I had to buy to replace her "stuff" as it was called and two days ago I emailed them and told them I thought it was their responsibility to reimburse Katie for the cost of replacing everything.  I also told them I thought it was disrespectful to just discard someone's belongings.

To my surprise they agreed to reimburse Katie providing I sign an agreement to not ask them for any more money.  There was no argument but they were offended by my comment about disrespect.  Oh well.  Katie will be reimbursed for their, I don't even know what to call it.  Who throws out someone else's belongings like that?  Without contacting the guardian?

I'm not finished with them yet as I still plan on making a formal complaint with social services but I am thankful that Katie will have a little extra money in her bank account.

We took her out for a drive and lunch last weekend and she's quite relaxed.  She's also able to walk much farther because she's not kept in a wheelchair all the time.  She's been walking outside, getting exercise and fresh air.  It's not perfect, she's still acting out a little but mostly it's good.  To see her relaxed is wonderful, to see her laughing and shaking with excitement is wonderful.




Saturday, 3 November 2018


The big guy and I were supposed to drive to Jasper yesterday but got stuck in snow and traffic and never made it out of town.  We decided it wasn't worth it, turned around and headed home.  Turned out to be a lovely day at home.  We have a bird feeder on the back deck and the chickadees were flitting about so much I thought why not set up the camera.


So I got to take pictures, not of the mountains but of the birds.  We also had a dark eyed junco visit the feeder and a downy woodpecker.  And no, I don't really know much about birds but google sure does and I'm always curious.

We had a code at work on Tuesday which upset me.  The patient didn't die thank goodness, turns out he was severely dehydrated from diarrhea, but the whole thing was a shit show and once again I felt unsupported as a nurse working in diagnostic imaging so I will have to bring that up with my manager.  I emailed both managers with my concerns and was told, "we're always here" which is really a nice sentiment but not very helpful when you're up to your ass in alligators.  So there's that.

A couple of weeks ago I had a youngish woman as a patient.  She is forty-two I think and was with us to have a central line inserted.  She was upset and couldn't stop crying.  Turns out her boyfriend had kicked her and her twin daughters out on the weekend and told her , "I can't wait for you to die".  There is so much pain and suffering in the world and I am always humbled by what people live through.  Turns out her boyfriend is an alcoholic and naturally he told her all of this while he was drunk.  I told her, "I'm sorry to say this, but your boyfriend is an asshole."  She was convinced that he was right and that this was all her fault.  I told her that this was on him.  Just before we started the line insertion she said, "I've never felt loved in my whole life.  All I want is to feel loved.", at which point I started crying too.  It's really want we all want, isn't it?  To feel loved.

We got the line in, the doc who normally is kind of a dick was kind to her, I hooked her up with a social worker and I hugged her.  She wondered if she should move her and her kids back to Ontario so that she would have family support.  I told her I thought that was a good idea.  She will need more help shortly and her children will need a guardian who cares about them when she dies.

And so it goes.  New patients.  Old patients.  Dying patients.  Patients on surveillance.  I carry a lot of grief around with me but I wouldn't want to change who I am.  I prefer this to not feeling.  And there is always suffering in life.  It's something we don't talk about in our society, we don't teach our children this either, in fact we try to shelter them from this knowledge but it's a disservice to them.  There will always be suffering in life.  We are human.  We can't avoid it.

There is suffering but there is love as well.  Hugs from the big guy.  A new grandbaby on the way.  Friends to talk to.  Birds to photograph.  A lovely little dog to walk with in the snow.  Good books to read.  Stories to tell.  It seems to balance out somehow.


Sunday, 28 October 2018


I kinda feel how the cat looks.  I'm tired.  Tired of hatred.  Tired of anger.  Tired of rhetoric.  Tired of meanness.  I want the world to be a better place.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018


The big guy and I moved Miss Katie last weekend.  She seems to be doing well.  Some furniture arrived on the Friday and we moved the rest of her stuff on Saturday so it looked like a home by the time were done on Saturday.  When I picked her up from her old home she was happy to be going for a car ride and seems to like riding in the front seat.  Her new staff greeted her at her new home with balloons which she loves.  Katie was happy to meet new people, she loves people generally and was also the centre of attention, which she also loves.

Saturday afternoon as I was finishing up putting her things away, she told me she wanted to go home which broke my heart a little.  I told her that this house was her new home and she seemed okay with that but I know she had a hard time falling asleep and she was pretty tired on Sunday morning when we picked her up to go for a walk and lunch.

I can't imagine just being moved and having no say in the whole thing.  She's a strong young woman.  We had lunch at a mall in the southeast corner of town.  There is a large East Indian community there, mostly Sikh I think.  Katie loves the older men with their long white beards and their turbans.  She goes to this mall a lot and a surprising number of people knew her but what surprised me most was when she signed Namaskar to one of the gentlemen which is the traditional Indian greeting or gesture of respect, made by bringing the palms together before the face or chest and bowing.  My daughter continues to amaze me.

But now I am tired, worn out, over wrought, done.  I kept crying at work yesterday, just the end of a stressful time with Katie.  I know she's safe now and well cared for.  She has already picked a favorite caregiver, Sanjesh.  He seems like a kind, gentle man and Katie knows people.  As for me, I'm pretty good in a crisis but tend to collapse in a heap afterwards.  This is my heap for now.

I'm off today which will be good for me; puttering around the house and the yard, the last of the leaves to pick up, chili to make, a dog to walk and a chance to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air before winter sets in for good.

Friday, 19 October 2018


I took Lucy for a walk this evening after supper.  The sun had set but it was still light out.  The two boys from next door happened to be walking to the park as well.  They're six and eight I think and they spent the whole walk yelling at each other and then trying to strangle each other.  There was a lot of, "You're a liar Liam!", which Liam ignored and just continued to outdistance his little brother.  There were complaints and arguments about foot ware, gumboots versus flip flops and then they were out of earshot.

I don't remember a single conversation that I had when I was either six or eight years old.  Things that seemed so important at the time, life and death important, fall away and are forgotten.  Which makes me wonder why I get my knickers in such a twist about things that happen everyday when obviously they will only become part of the past.  And why don't I enjoy right now more?

The evening was beautiful.  The weather has warmed up, the skies have cleared and I get to enjoy my walks again.  The trees are naked now but the leaves are not gone yet, just moved to the ground and changed color for me to enjoy a second time.  I love looking at naked trees, seeing their bones, they are such lovely beings.

Saturday, 13 October 2018


My auntie Fran died last weekend.  I had visited her last September in Bexhill as we thought she wouldn't last long.  Rumors of her impending death were obviously greatly exaggerated.  She was a tough old bird, stubborn as hell and convinced she was right.  She would have been a very difficult mother to have, something her daughters would definitely agree with.  She was also that last of the four girls that made up my mother's family.  There is nobody to ask questions of anymore, no peers left of my mother.  She is well and truly gone now.

The weather here sucks.  It snowed again yesterday and will be gone by tomorrow, again.  It's cloudy and cold and slippery.  I feel grumpy or just down maybe.  By Wednesday it's supposed to be 20C so there's that.

We had a truly ugly day at work yesterday.  It started off with a doc tearing a strip off a patient and ended with me being hit at work.  We had too many recoveries and the day was just chaotic.  An ultrasound machine quit working twice while we were trying to put a central line in a patient and then we had to argue with ultrasound to borrow a machine so that we could finish the line.

I feel beat up by life right now.  It will be better once Katie has been moved out of her present home.  The shoddy treatment by the owner of her present agency sits in my brain and takes up far too much room right now.  When she has moved I'll feel she is safe again, breathe a sigh of relief and make a formal complaint about her present agency and how they treated her.

I drove with Katie in the car, by myself, for the first time in probably five years.  She was wonderful.  She talked/signed non stop but no aggression at all.  Lots of singing, by me, and a constant stream of talk, by me, to keep her entertained and distracted.  She visited her new house, hugged people a lot and was generally amazing.  It feels like a miracle has occurred and given me back my daughter.  I'm so thankful.

And at the end of the day I got hit in the back which I can't go into right now but which shocked and upset me.  I'm making a complaint about that too, so that will be sitting inside my head for awhile too.  I have a crowded head.  I line up worries in a row upon the shelf inside my head, some worries take up more room than they should and some or most of them just needed to be packed away, especially the ones I have no control over.  I've never learned the trick or skill of letting go of things.  I lug my baggage around, holding onto it, why I'm not sure.  Need to think on this.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018


What I really wanted to write about.

I didn't really want to write about my week, or concussions or side effects or the weather.  I don't know why I did.  I thought I should,  I feel remiss when I don't write.  Like I'm letting people down.  And I forgot that the real reason I write is to sort shit out.

When thoughts come out of my head and they are transformed into words, somehow it helps me to sort through things.  The why and the what of things.  But I've forgotten that lately.

I went to work on Monday morning, feeling crappy.  My life is not crappy.  I have a good life.  I have a job I love.  I have friends who love me and whom I love in return.  I have a wonderful husband who loves me, protects me and doesn't let me pull shit on him.  And yet Monday morning I was grumpy and tired.

Some side effects no doubt but other stuff too.  Stuff that swirls around the bottom of the glass and is hard to dislodge.  Sometimes I don't even know it's there except I feel grumpy and like a child who is tired or hungry, I get grumpy and act out.

When I was growing up my father was always angry.  His anger shaped my life and held sway in our home.  Everything was about not making my father angry.  He had his reasons, I understand that now.  Alcoholic mother.  Depression.  Poverty.  The war.  But as a child all I knew was the fear I felt when my father would turn white with rage, ball up his fists and shout and storm around the house until he left in a hail of gravel.  Until the day he died I was afraid of my father, a man who never once hit me.

I learned that anger is big and scary and uncontrollable.  I learned that anger keeps people away so you feel safer, except you're not really safer, you're just alone.  I learned that anger is a bad thing, never a good thing.

So I grew up watching anger give my father power over others.  I incorporated that knowledge into my small body as a child and I became an angry woman.  I did not want to be angry.  I did everything I knew not to be angry.  I read, I took courses, I meditated, I wrote, I saw counselors and still the anger sat there.

When my ex-husband and I sold our house and he "cleaned" it and I went back to get the last few things there, only to find it still dirty, I snapped.  I started angry cleaning, mad at him, mad at the whole world, mad at the dirty floors.  And as I washed the floor, anger seeping out of me, I realized I wasn't really angry, I was sad, beyond sad really, and I had been my whole life.  Maybe my dad was too.  My anger covers up my sadness for me.

My anger scares me.  I don't feel safe with it.  I understand in my head that anger has it's uses, it can protect me in a time of danger for instance but mostly it just feels like an uncontrollable beast that thrashes around inside my head, wanting to be let loose on the world.

So I'm at work on Monday talking to my girlfriend about feeling grumpy and I realize I think of myself as I bad person.  She told me that I wasn't a bad person and I asked her if she thought she was a good person.

My friend has bipolar disorder, both of her parents were alcoholics and her mother abused her and let her be abused.  My friend has every reason to be angry with the world and she is not and neither is she a bad person.  She has a big heart and she loves and she forgives.  And both of us think we're bad people.

How is that?  Who convinced us that we're bad people?  And why did we believe them?

And most of all, how do I love myself as I am?  Sometimes angry, sometimes sad, sometimes lonely, sometimes a mess.  I only want to be good.  I want my dad to be proud of me and I never felt that and still that hurts to this day.  I feel like a disappointment to him.  So there is that sadness, overlaid by anger and then further covered up with humor.  So I guess it's the sadness I really need to deal with, not the anger so much.

The yard is filled with robins flitting from branch to branch, eating berries before their long migration.  Robins were my mum's favorites birds and they always remind me of her.

My middle daughter ended up with a concussion on the weekend.  She was at Whistler for a bachelorette weekend with friends and was knocked down a set of cement steps.  She lost consciousness and ended up in emergency.  The doctor who was called to check her over wasn't terribly impressed by a group of drunk young women, one of whom knew a lot about concussions and he brushed aside my daughter's concerns.  This is her fifth concussion in the past two years.  It started with a car accident and keeps happening.

I did some reading about concussions as I don't really know too much about them.  Apparently if you have one concussion, it increases your risk of having another.  It can take up to 100 days for your brain to recover from a concussion.  You don't have to lose consciousness to have a concussion.  A concussion results in neuron dysfunction  due to increased glucose requirements but insufficient blood supply (according to Wikipedia).  Mostly your brain doesn't work quite right for awhile.

I had a concussion three years ago when I slipped on some ice going into work.  I cracked my head hard and it took about two or three months before my mind no longer felt scrambled.

My middle daughter is coming this weekend for Thanksgiving so I'm hoping she just wants to take it easy and rest.  I'll feed her and she can rest.

I've been feeling blue lately and moody.  My stomach has been acting up so I've been taking Pepcid more and more.  I have a difficult time with side effects from drugs.  So I looked up the side effects of Pepcid again, depression, moodiness, insomnia, fatigue, etc.  Certainly I have been suffering from those four side effects.  So I stopped taking the Pepcid and I stopped taking advil for my arthritis which also bothers my stomach and I'm going to try just tums.  We'll see.  I do feel much better today.

It's still cold here, unseasonably cold.  Two hundred miles south of here they had a massive snow storm which dropped between 40 and 60 cm of snow.  I'm thankful we were missed.  I'm trying to work up the energy to work in the garden today but it's cold and cloudy, not exactly inviting.

The animals are curled up on the chair beside my desk, not looking overly energetic either.  Perhaps I should take a page from their book:)


Saturday, 29 September 2018


No reason for the goats except that I loved their ears and how they looked at my beagle.  I think the goats may have been confused because Lucy's ears resemble theirs;  they found Lucy quite interesting.

We're short again at work.  Three nurses moved on to different jobs.  It will get better again but right now it's tough.  My girlfriend is back to work which is very nice.  She was off for a long time;  she has bipolar disorder.  I missed her while she was gone.  We would meet for coffee but it's not the same as working together.  She's got such a good sense of humor, an evil laugh and is a wonderful hugger.  She makes work better.

Another girlfriend is coming over for supper with her little girl.  I bought a black barbie doll with curly hair because her little girl was sad because she wanted straight hair like all the Disney princesses.  I never thought much about how important it is to see images that look like you.  I have a box full of toys but no black dolls, so now I do.   I have a brisket cooking in the oven, made a cake for dessert and even bought some wine for us.

I still haven't seen my son.  It's been nine months now.  We stay in contact by text but I still don't trust him.  I stay in contact with his girlfriend as well.  We will have to have them over for supper eventually.  I want his girlfriend to know she is always welcome here.  When I got pregnant with my son thirty-five years ago, everybody was angry.  I wouldn't marry my son's father which upset even more people, especially my sister.  It was a time of stress and drama.  It don't want my grandbaby to feel unwanted.  A baby deserves to be loved and wanted.

My middle daughter is coming next weekend for Thanksgiving.  She just started a new job so I haven't had much contact with her;  one of her girlfriends is getting married and she's the maid of honor so she's been busy.  It'll be nice to visit with her and cook with her.  I miss her being so far away.

Miss Katie will be all moved in three weeks.  It can't come soon enough for me.  When she's away from that agency I plan on making some complaints but until she's moved I'll keep my own counsel.




The weather hasn't been all that nice but I did take this photo as few days ago while walking Lucy.  Even when I'm dead tired I have to take the dog for a walk after supper and it's good thing.  I get to spend time with the trees which always lifts my spirits.




Friday, 21 September 2018


The big guy and I met with the new agency today to go through stuff and sign papers.  The people that we've dealt with have all been kind, compassionate, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.  It's such a change.  After that meeting we drove to the south side to inspect the house that has been rented for Katie.  It's nice.  It's really nice.

After that we drove to Ikea to buy stuff for Katie's place.  She had a fully furnished apartment eight years ago when she was first cared for by the agency that is now evicting her.  When I asked what had happened to her stuff I was told by the owner that her "stuff" had been discarded and he didn't have time to argue with me.  So now Katie needs everything again.  I'm keeping all the receipts for her stuff and plan on doing something when she's out of the home she's in now.  Perhaps small claims court, something, maybe social services.  I don't know but you don't mess with my daughter.

Then we went out for lunch and I started crying.  I was so energized, excited, jittery after the meeting this morning that I talked all the way to the new home and then I crashed.  It all seems so good, so wonderful that I have trouble believing it's real.  It's so far removed from what I've experienced with Katie and agencies and caregivers that I don't trust this good feeling.  Isn't that sad?

Even the big guy, he's given me more support with Katie than her own father ever gave me which makes me want to cry again.  He loves his step daughter as if she were his own.  He appreciates her, understands what an amazing human being she is and he fully supports her.  He doesn't see her as defective.

Yesterday was my birthday and the big guy and I went out to see "The Book of Mormon".  I loved it!  It's deeply irreverent and filled with swearing so pretty much right up my alley.

And now we're relaxing.  It snowed again last night and there is more snow in the forecast.  It will be gone by next week but right now it's good to just slow down and do nothing productive for a change.


Friday, 14 September 2018


I'm beat tonight, had a busy, hard day at work.  Yesterday I had a five year old boy that needed an IV started for his MRI scan.  He was so quiet.  It breaks my heart when we have children.  Most of the kids stay over at the U but we get kids for radiation.

One of my patients today ended up with a huge hematoma on her arm from an old IV site.  I asked her if she was on any blood thinners and she started crying and said she had cancer.  I gave her a hug and three warm blankets because she couldn't stop shaking.

Another patient came down at lunch time.  We had put a PICC line in him yesterday at the end of the day and during the night he was hallucinating and pulled the PICC line out.  He felt bad but even worse, he was worried that the cancer had spread to his brain.  What do you say?  A few months ago he was playing golf four days a week and now he's dying of cancer.

I had one patient this morning who is an old drug addict, not that old and not that long off of drugs.  He kept falling asleep as I was explaining things to him.  He actually fell asleep on the table while we put his line in.  Normally I'm fairly patient but he irritated me today, mostly because we were too busy.  On the way home I thought about him.  The man is homeless, he's an old drug addict, he's diabetic and has cancer.  I'm pretty fortunate actually.  I have a home, someone I love and who loves me, I'm healthy and I have a job.

But it snowed here.  So there's that.  Most of it melted today but it's still cold outside with more snow in the forecast.  It will melt but really?

And the dog's back has been acting up.  She has spondylosis which means her discs are degenerating and there are bone spurs growing on her vertebrae.  She doesn't understand this and doesn't understand that the pain is coming from within her body, not from outside of her body.  She looks at us when her back hurts, as if we've done something to her.  She's on anti-inflammatories which are helping.

Thankfully it's the weekend.


Sunday, 9 September 2018



"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." John Muir 

Saturday, 1 September 2018


Medicine Lake.

I love reading.  I escape into books, into the lives and stories of others.  The first chapter book I remember reading was "Charlotte's Web" and I fell in love with a spider and a pig.  When I was a child I would often hide in the bathroom reading and at night I would read long past my bedtime, buried under the covers.

I am in awe of writers who weave stories like tapestries, using only words to create new worlds.  But I also like reading because we all have stories, our lives are stories.  My story begins with a baby born to a family who had already lost five babies.  I was a surprise and a blessing, although it never felt like that to me.  I always felt like an outsider.  My story continues on to this day, through good times and bad, through children and husbands, through deaths and births.  All of my life has led me to this point where I can look back and see myself as I was and how I still hope to be.

The beauty of getting older is that so much of my story has already been written, it is a matter of laying it down on paper, not an insignificant task.  I was telling the big guy the other day about my divorce and my ex-husband, about being locked out of my home, about having the police called on me, about everything awful that happened that year and I told him that somebody said to me, "This must be the worst thing ever." and I said, "No.  The worst thing that ever happened to me was being told Katie was handicapped.  Realizing that the baby that I thought I had, had died.  That was the worst thing ever."  And to this day it still is.

Katie shaped my life, my children shaped my life really.  When my son was only two weeks old I applied to nursing school because I had already realized that there was no way his father would be able to support us or stick around.  My middle daughter was my easy baby, she made me want to be a mother and Katie, Katie broke my heart but she also wrapped herself around that broken heart and held it together.  She still does to this day.

I have been a mother since I was twenty years old.  I have also been a sister, girlfriend, friend, wife, lover, nurse and photographer but I am always a mum.  We all have our stories, how we became the people we are.


Thursday, 30 August 2018


Pyramid Mountain and Patricia Lake.

I love the mountains.  They don't require anything of me, they are just there.  They have been there for millions of years and will remain for millions of years.  My lifetime is but a blip compared to the lifetime of these mountains.  They remind me of how insignificant I am and if I am insignificant, then my problems must be as well.  Puts things into perspective.

I had a good rant on the way home last night.  The big guy listened to me as I yelled and swore about lazy coworkers, people who don't show up for work, people who lie, people who are incompetent, people who can't do their job, people who get paid well and have union protected jobs and basically screw everyone else over.  Selfish people.  I got it all out of my system and felt better.  I can't change these people but sometimes I have to vent.

The weather has turned cold here, cold enough for me to turn on the furnace and put fleece sheets on the bed.  Last week it was so hot I couldn't stand it and now I'm cold.  There is no pleasing me it would seem.

I  met again with the new agency that will care for Katie this morning.  This time it was for a day program that they provide.  Of course I cried, again.  This agency seems committed to seeing disabled people as important, unique, valuable human beings.  I am hopeful.

Miss Katie seems to be doing well.  We went over Sunday morning to pick her up and she had slept in so she was still in the bathtub when we arrived.  She was happy, laughing and her staff was singing to her.  Katie had a good walk with us, she got some fresh air and she made me run while pushing her wheelchair.  We saw dogs and runners and cyclists in the park, horses at the equine centre and babies at the mall.  After lunch while Katie and I wandered around the mall, looking at people mostly, Katie sat relaxed in her chair, legs crossed and her hands sat casually in the pockets of her hoodie.  She was not anxious.  She got to people watch and the noise and the people didn't make her anxious.  It was lovely to see.

And now I'm off to fold laundry and make cinnamon scones.  A girlfriend is coming over this afternoon.  I bought a crib off her and she is kind enough to drop it off here for us.  Her little girl is coming with her so I get little people time too which is always a boon.


Sunday, 26 August 2018


The big guy and I just got back from a few days in Jasper.  As always it was beautiful, even with the smoke from the wildfires. I have a thing for Aspen groves.


And I found this miniature world.


And a purple bluebell.

It's funny, when I'm away I want to be home and when I'm home I want to be away.  Are all people like that?  Or just me?

I forgot to add that I'm reading a wonderful book, "The Weight of Ink" by Rachel Kadish.





Monday, 20 August 2018


We met with a new agency this morning who wants to provide care for Katie.  They listened to us and asked questions for two hours.  And not only do they want to provide care for her but they also offer a day program for her.  They want the cape off, they want her out of the wheelchair, they want her living her life and they understand that the agency needs to accommodate Katie, not the other way around.

I am thankful and I cried of course.  Tears of joy.

Friday, 17 August 2018





I had a wonderful day yesterday.  I helped a doc insert an arm port, the first ever in Edmonton.  The doc is an amazing man whom I love working with.  He is kind, dedicated and extremely knowledgeable, mostly though it is his kindness which shines through.  He helped a patient yesterday, a young woman who is dying of cancer;  he made her life a little better

I got news that there is an agency that is willing to take on Miss Katie as a client;  strangely enough it is the very agency I had hoped for.  The big guy and I meet with them next Monday and Katie could move in to a new home in five weeks.  Her behavior, or rather her mood has improved radically on the valproic acid.  She can pay attention longer, she's less anxious overall and she's enjoying life much more.  I am thankful. The new agency will care for Katie alone at first, implementing the behavioral strategies as advised by the behavioral consultant before moving a roommate in with Katie.

It's not just Katie whose behavior has improved, I am also working at changing my behavior around her.  The big guy pointed out to me that unless I am looking at Katie, I am in effect plugging my ears.  She signs and uses body language to communicate so you need to be looking at her to "hear" her.  Only took twenty-six years for me to learn that but I guess better late than never.  I have been working at paying much closer attention to her, looking at her, looking into her eyes and she's much better.  He's right.  Of course he's right, he's often right.  He pays attention to people.  He pays attention to Katie and he notices things I can miss.  I've also started singing to her more as suggested by the behavioral consultant.  Katie likes music but it's not really the music she likes, she likes to be sung to, she likes the interaction and if the song makes no sense, she likes that even better.  She understands humor, gets that it's the disconnect between what is expected and what is delivered that is funny.  And she has a beautiful laugh.

Last Sunday I met my son's girlfriend.  She seems like a decent if somewhat fucked up young woman.  She is happy to let me be a part of this new baby's life and I told her that she has our full support, regardless of what happens between my son and her.  Both she and my son have stopped drinking so all we can do is hope and pray.

I'm also on holidays for the next ten days which is lovely so I'm sitting here, writing, thinking about taking the dog for a walk before it gets too hot.  Right now both animals are curled up on the chair beside me, fast asleep.



Time to fold laundry, walk the dog, paint a wall and some trim, maybe even work in the yard a little.  Happy Friday.



Thursday, 9 August 2018


I'm feeling a little desolate today.  The country is burning it seems.  The sun is a strange red color and the skies are hazy.  I tried to make pumpkin loaf this morning before it got too hot but forgot to add the baking soda and the baking powder so now I have two lumps of ingredients that appear dried out but not cooked.  Fuck.

My son is out of jail.  His young girlfriend, I'm assuming she's young because who else would believe all his lies, was happy to take him back, despite the fact that he's hit her and lied to her and trashed her place.  Yesterday he sent me an ultrasound of the baby, still a tiny nugget.  There will be a gender reveal party.  Would I like to come?

Just back it up a little here.  What about jail?  What about the abuse?  What about the drinking?  What about the lies?  I'm just supposed to ignore all of that I'm guessing but I can't and I won't.  My son knows how I feel about babies and family.  Family first.  Babies need love and support, they need family.

I am the grandmother but I don't want to sucked into his drama, don't want to be manipulated.  I feel for this young woman deeply and my grandbaby but I feel a wall going up to protect myself from my son.  I never knew this could happen, that I would need to protect myself from my own child.

Yesterday a patient came in, I'll call him Stan.  He's been coming to us for awhile.  He has MS and cancer, I don't even know what kind of cancer.  His wife is his fulltime caregiver.  She's much smaller than him but she moves him from wheelchair to stretcher by herself.  It's how she does it at home.  When they arrived yesterday he was pale and shaking and slightly yellow.  He looked awful.  We got a bed for him and I went to check his bloodwork.  His liver is shutting down.  His hemoglobin is low.  He's dying, not today but soon.

The poor man couldn't stop shivering.  I piled blankets on top of him while his wife explained that it was the air conditioning that was to blame.  I mentioned that I had checked his blood work, trying to get a feel for her understanding of how poorly he was doing.  She just talked about the weather, the heat and the air conditioning.  She doesn't want to know that her husband is dying, or rather she's trying to avoid knowing this.  Some part of her knows already that he is dying but she's trying to keep going, trying to have hope, trying to protect them both from the knowledge that his time here is short.

It's what we do.  We protect ourselves as best we can.  My girlfriend who died in May knew she had brain tumors.  She told me that she never thinks about them, can't think about them.  I told her I thought this was how we protected ourselves from awful knowledge.

When Katie was young she used to paint with poop or more precisely, smear shit everywhere.  One night I was home alone with the kids, had put Katie to bed and was sitting watching TV.  When I went to check on her she was smeared with shit from head to toe.  Her room was smeared with shit, the bed, the walls and the carpet.  I burst into tears.

My son was sixteen at the time.  He heard me and came upstairs.  He took Katie and bathed her while I cleaned her room as best I could.  His tenderness and caring with both his sister and me have stayed with me all these years.  I want to believe that he is still that young teenage boy.  I want to protect myself from what he has turned into, from this awful knowledge.  My son is an alcoholic and a drug addict and an abuser and it breaks my heart.  I don't know how to have hope with this knowledge don't know how to keep going.


Friday, 3 August 2018


One of the big guy's photos.  It really is that beautiful on Vancouver Island.

Life carries on.  It rained today which was a nice break from the heat.  I appreciated it and I'm sure the garden appreciated it.

We were short staffed at work today and we had six central lines to do.  There were no allergic reactions, no fainters, no transport patients, no hour long IV starts.  It was good busy which made the day go fast.  My coworkers and I all worked together like a well oiled machine and the radiologist we worked with is a gentle, kind man with a wonderful sense of humor.

At one point one of the my coworkers snapped his glove before cleaning a patient's chest prior to a central line insertion.  He ripped the glove and said he would use his left hand instead as the sterile gloves come in pairs and he didn't want to open a new package.  I said, "So your girlfriend is going to clean his (the patient's) chest?"  The patient cracked up and laughed so hard it was fantastic.  He didn't even feel any pain when we put in his central line.  Job done.

I love making patients laugh.

My last line patient was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer seven weeks ago.  The doctors have given him weeks.  We talked about it while we waited for the doc.  He's okay with it but his wife is having a tough time he said.  I think it's harder to watch someone you love go through cancer than go through it yourself.  He knows he's dying but his family hasn't caught up to his acceptance yet.  He doesn't have the luxury of time.  He's fifty-nine years old.

My son is back in jail.  Life carries on.  Last night I sat on the bed feeling like I wanted to crawl out of my skin and then I just sat there and felt what I was feeling.  As I sat there just feeling everything, the anxiety, the dread, the need to move or do something slowly subsided.  I've gotta do that again:)

I'm thankful for the natural world which calms me.
I'm thankful for laughter.
I'm thankful for hugs from friends and the big guy.
I'm thankful for small beagles who like to walk.
I'm thankful I sat still last night and just felt.

What are you thankful for today?


Saturday, 28 July 2018


I worked in the garden yesterday which always helps my soul.  I have only a few annuals in pots but they're right outside my kitchen window so I get to see them all the time.  They cheer me up.  

Most of the backyard is shaded for a good part of the day so I've been adding hostas and astilbes and moving ferns around to fill in empty spots.  We have a lot of trees in the backyard which suck up a lot of moisture so I've been adding mulch around the perennials, cedar mulch which always smells so wonderful.  
 
The big guy put up this gate for me this year.  I love it.  It makes the garden feel welcoming.  The old gate was solid wood, weighed a lot, never latched properly and hung at a slant.  This one is light and beautiful.

I'm going for a long walk after I post this, before it gets too hot.  Tonight we're going out for supper with friends and tomorrow my in-laws will be over for supper.  Rest and relaxation.

In other news my son informed me that I am going to be a grandmother.  I hope to god that both he and his girlfriend stop drinking.  He says they have, I pray they have.  A baby deserves better than to be born with fetal alcohol syndrome.  I'm torn.  When I got pregnant with me son, nobody was happy.  It was not a good way to bring a baby into the world and I don't want history to repeat itself.  I have to find a way to welcome this baby into the world despite the lies and the drugs and the alcohol.  A fine balance I'm guessing, something I'm not very good at.  I'm more of an all or nothing kind of person, given to extremes the big guy would say.  And I am.  I love with all my heart but once you betray my trust, it's so difficult for me to ever trust again or forgive.

Thursday, 26 July 2018


Today I would rather be here, wandering along the beach, listening to the sound of the waves gently touching the sand.  It's been a tough week.  We have long term patients at work, many patient's I've known for years.  One of my favorite patients came in this week for a scan.  I've known her for five years.  She has a wonderful smile and laugh.  She loves life, especially spending time with her grandchildren.

She was looking and feeling awful when she came in so she ended up on a stretcher.  We joked a bit, I got her a blanket and then she said she thought she was almost done which made both of us cry.  She's only sixty years old and she's had cancer for the past five years.  She has a seven month old grandson who won't remember her.  I suggested she leave a letter for him but she said no, she wanted her other grandchildren to tell him about her.  When she left I gave her a big hug and I thought about how much I hate cancer.

Yesterday I found out another one of my favorite patients has opted for assisted suicide on Saturday.  Fortunately I was in a stairwell when I was told this so I could cry in peace.  This patient is a man who is only a year younger than me;  he has a three year old daughter.  He's kind and gentle and just such a lovely person.  He's been coming to us for awhile as well and now he's an inpatient nearing the end.  Today he came down to us to have his central line checked because somebody thought it might be leaking.  He was pretty well medicated, maybe even a little high, but not in pain.  I overheard him explaining to the x-ray tech that he was going for MAID, medical assistance in dying, on Saturday so we just needed to make sure the line was working.  He told the doc too.

Yesterday when we took him upstairs on his stretcher he was singing.  Today I told him that it was a honour to take care of him and that I was so glad I had the chance to meet him.  He said, "I'm so glad we met too Sherry."  I smiled and didn't tell him that wasn't my name.  I'm okay being Sherry for him.  He made me smile and I will raise a glass of wine to his memory when I go out for supper on Saturday.

Today a young man paralyzed from his tumor pressing on his spine came back to us;  he was with us last fall for months.  He was a huge guy, six foot five, three hundred pounds.  It always took five of us to move him from the stretcher to the table.  He's lost almost a hundred pounds, the cancer has spread to his brain.  He doesn't have much time left.  His daughter is sixteen months old now and walking;  last fall she was still a baby.  She won't remember her daddy.

There are more.  People getting sicker, new patients taking the place of those who have gone.  A never ending carousal of cancer.

I will spend the weekend working in my garden, digging up weeds, mulching, moving plants, digging in the dirt.  We're going out with friends for supper on Saturday.  I will walk the dog.  I will try to remember to be thankful for the time I have here.