Thursday, 14 February 2019

Bohemian Waxwing and thank you to Elizabeth and Carl for the correct name.  I don't know much about birds but I'm learning.  As I sit here typing there is a little chickadee eating at the feeder outside the window.  They are tough little birds that stay here all winter.

It's still cold and we're all getting tired of it.

Work has been good for the most part.  Two co-workers that were always awful to work with took temporary jobs elsewhere so it has been wonderful for the most part.  All of the nurses I work with now are young and kind and full of energy.  Sadly, the two co-workers will both be back in six weeks.  Fuck.

It's that time of year when winter seems like it will never end.  The trees are bare, the world is covered with snow and it's too cold to walk outside.  I'm waiting.  Waiting for winter to end.  Waiting for my grandson to be born.  Waiting for holidays to start.  Waiting for the shit to hit the fan at work again.  Instead of bitching about it perhaps I should take this time to just pause and gather my strength, use this time to take care of myself.

I never know what to do with myself when I have time on my hands.  I'm not good at relaxing, don't know how to be, only how to do.

It's just the time of year.

Sunday, 10 February 2019


It's been so cold that I haven't been outside except to run back and forth between the car and buildings.  But that same cold has forced me to take different kinds of photos.  There is a pair of woodpeckers that live nearby and love the insect filled suet.  I love watching them.



The cedar waxwings were back yesterday, stripping the trees of their berries.  I went upstairs to the bedroom to get a better view of them and a couple of them decided to fly into the window, not sure why.  After two bird strikes, I shut the blind and left them to their business.  I don't want to find bodies on the ground.

In the fall the juvenile waxwings come back and strip fermented berries off the trees.  One day I had twenty-five drunk teenage birds hit the windows.  Apparently drinking and flying is as dangerous as drinking and driving for teens.  Two birds died but the rest survived.

I always feel restless this time of year.  I'm done with winter and want spring to come but that won't happen for awhile.  My grandson is due in seven weeks and I try not to stress about what kind of father my son will be.  I don't where he's living or what he's doing.  He is leaving Gracie alone which is good but I worry what will happen once the baby is born.

Miss Katie is doing well.  I took her for a doctor appointment last week and the receptionist had never seen Katie out of her wheelchair, didn't know Katie could walk, didn't know how tall Katie was.  We have a referral to a new psychiatrist who has training working with people with developmental disabilities which will be good.  And we also have a referral to a geneticist.  The last genetics appointment Katie had was twenty years ago and things have changed since then.  The human genome has been mapped and I would still like answers.  I understand that nothing can be fixed but I would still like to know what happened.

Last Sunday the big guy and I took Katie out for lunch at the mall.  We drove to see the horses on Fox Drive and then went to the mall.  Katie ran/walked for awhile, we had lunch and then Katie sat in her wheelchair with her legs crossed and proceeded to high five everyone we walked by.  I'm happy the valproic acid has helped with her anxiety and moods.  She's like her old self.  I enjoy spending time with my daughter again and I am so thankful.


Wednesday, 6 February 2019


It's cold here.  Very, very cold.  On the weekend the cedar waxwings arrived and descended on our yard to eat the berries off the trees.  They come in flocks and remind me that spring isn't that far away.

I've been thinking about grief a lot lately.  How we each experience grief.  How we process it.  What we do with it.  For myself I tend to carry grief with me, it trails along behind me, kind of like this dress.  I wear my grief.




I wonder how other people deal with grief.  How do you deal with your grief?

Friday, 1 February 2019


It's cold and snowing here, a good day to stay inside and hibernate but I'm not going to do that.  Today I'm off to have lunch with my girlfriend whom I haven't seen in a few months.  The roads are covered in snow and it's fucking cold but that's never kept me home before.

My friend has multiple myeloma and had a stem cell transplant.  She is now on chemo until she dies.  What will happen eventually is the chemo will stop working and then the cancer will come back full force.  The doctor gave her 8-10 years which sounds like a long time until you start to think about it.  Only eight more harvest moons.  Eight more springs.  Eight more Christmases.

Anyway, she was very pissed off to find out that other cancer patients don't have to take chemo for the rest of their lives, so I told her that patients with neuroendocrine tumors have to have treatment for the rest of their lives as well.  She was somewhat mollified by that news.  I love this woman and we have known each other for close to thirty years.  We recently decided to adopt each other as sisters because our own sisters suck.

I made cinnamon scones to ward off the cold and I think tonight for supper I'll make tomato soup with a grilled chilled sandwich.  I don't cook for the big guy on Friday nights, it's free for all Friday and we both have whatever we feel like.  My meal is usually meatless, his is not.  He always says you don't get to be this big without eating meat.  I haven't bothered to counter his argument with facts such as cows, moose and bison are all much bigger than him and are all vegetarians.  I love him just as he is.

Saturday, 26 January 2019


One of my patients died on Thursday.  She was the lady we did the biopsy on only two weeks ago.  The biopsy that had turned into a shit show.   I remember thinking at the time how removed she was from everything, as if she had no interest in what was going on around her.  I think she knew she was dying but I was surprised at how quickly she died.  Her cancer grew like wildfire and now her family is left to deal with the aftermath.

I saw my grandson for the first time on Thursday.  I went with Gracie to the high risk clinic that she had been referred to because of the baby's kidneys.  Everything is fine.  His kidneys are fine and he is growing well.  Of course I cried.  I still worry about what his life will be like but I'm slowly accepting that I have no control over that.  I can only do my best, be a good grandma for him and hope.


And so life continues.  I saw my son briefly, told him that I loved him.  I hope he can stay sober.  Again, I have no control over that and I tried not to focus on it.  

I'm reading a book by Matt Haig right now, "Notes On A Nervous Planet".  So much of what he writes resonated with me.  The always waiting for when your life begins.  "When progress happens fast it can  make the present feel like a continual future."  "We are not encouraged to live in the present.  We are trained to live somewhere else:  the future."  I've felt like that my whole life and I struggle with it still.

Today is not what I look forward to, it's the summer, the holiday, the trip, the lunch with my friend, time with my daughter but today often seems like just putting in time until something in the future happens.  

So how do I do this?  Enjoy today.  Look forward to the future as well.  Why do I think it's an either/ or solution?  It should be a both/and solution.  Maybe I'm just tired.

The dog is waiting for a walk.  I wish it was sunny blue skies today but that's not the case.  Today they are grey which just feels blah.  I'm sure the fresh air will be good for me.



Sunday, 20 January 2019

Winter colours.

My son is out of jail.  Yay.  I realize I like it when he's in jail.  I know where he is.  He's sober and he can't call me.  So now I have to hope and pray that he stays sober, that he doesn't harass his ex-girlfriend, that he does what he says he will.  He wants to be there for his son.  I want to hope but that hope has been run over so many times, there's little of it left.

I'm tired, beyond tired and I'm guessing it's related to stress.  The big guy has a huge knot in his shoulder, also stress related.  Fuck.

Spring seems so far away.  I know it's edging closer but I it will be awhile before the snow melts and the plants burst through the soil again.  In the mean time I get up, go to work, make supper and do the laundry.

I can't tell if it's depression or fatigue or stress.  Or maybe it's all three.  A ménage a trois of distress:)

It will pass, eventually.  Time to make supper.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019


This is what it looked like on the weekend.  Sunny.  Nice.  Today is a crap day so I thought I would share some of the things that get said at work, by me and by my patients.

"I have a good kind of cancer."  Patient.

"You're an over achiever."  Me to a patient with three completely different kinds of cancer.

"I have six children, well, no, seven.  I adopted my great grandson when he was a month old.  He's nine now."  An eighty-four year old patient.

"Where would you like to shit?  I  mean sit!"  Me to a patient in a packed waiting room.  Everyone laughed, thank goodness.  I have no idea where shit came from.

"I have the JBL gene."  A patient said.  I had no idea what that gene was.  "Just bad luck", she told me.

"Why do patients have to pay for parking anyway?"  Patient to me.  I agree.  I told him, "It's not like you come here for your health."  But it is.  They don't come because they want to.  They have no choice.  The patient laughed.  He was frustrated yesterday because one of our two scanners went down and there was a two hour wait for scans at times.

"You have twenty minutes to live."  Me to a patient.  What I meant to say is that you have twenty minutes to drink down to this line on the cup.  WTF!

"Before I started coming here I thought it would be a depressing place but it's not."  Patient.

"Can I have vodka in my drink?"  Patient.  "Maybe, I'll check.  Usually the nurses drink it all first thing in the morning."  Me.

"The drinks are on the house!"  Me.

Awhile back I had a young man who told me he faints sometimes when he has an IV put in.  I put in his IV, no problem but before he stood up I wanted to make sure that he was okay so I asked him, "Are you going to go down on me?"  It's hard to embarrass me but I did it that day.

"I like anal."  Said very loudy by a lovely, sweet young co-worker who was trying to say she liked anal retentive people, because they're tidy.

"I'm ready to die."  Patient.

"My wife died of mesothelioma.  I brought the asbestos home on my clothes and she washed them."  Patient who also has mesothelioma.

"I've never done this before but I've always wanted to try."  Me to a patient as I start his IV.

"I'm so sorry."  Me.

"That sucks."  Me.

"I love my patients."  Me.