Thursday, May 31, 2012

Oh THAT'S what "Getting Checked Out" NOW means!

Funny how it seems not so many years ago, being "checked out" meant hoping the fellow looking at me from across a room, or from down the street was cute in some manner of speaking and trying to look as if you haven't taken notice of his glances.  Now,  and especially of lately it means having yet another procedure or another doctor or specialist either look you over...like inside and out, head to toe, or quite likely to ask a barrage of questions with regards to your health.
Checking you out does NOT mean the cutie asking what movies you like, where do you like to hang out, or are you free next weekend!
You know you're aging when...or at the very least going through a whole lot of brand new experiences!
Cheers!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Not so Spa, but all for the good! - Spa-sibble at the hospital?

...So today at the NHH wasn't quite like going to the spa, I'm pretty sure they don't bind your feet together at the spa, unless of course you request such a thing!  I said not a word, but sure wish I had; an ice breaker was definitely needed!

I'm up too late and will have to add the titillating details tomorrow.   Oh the thoughts that were running through my mind today!

Here it is tomorrow...today!
Yesterday's morning at NHH while only just over three hours did feel like a whole day!
There were two sets of specific events on this morning of appointments in two of NHH's departments.   One test ordered by my newly acquired Oncologist and the other by my Family Physician.
The first event scheduled for 8:15 a.m., the injection of a tracer, a radioactive substance that the camera follows as it moves through your body. It is obvious that this fellow has to repeat the very same instructions over and over during the course of the day, by the tone which he delivers the instructions in.    I stump him though, with letting him know in between the time I am due back to Nuclear Medicine and now, I have another appointment to fulfill within the hospital.  He inquires and then with determination says we will head there now to be sure my additional appointment is fulfilled well within the time he will require my return!


During the injection I soon remember problems others have had in getting a line in the veins on my left arm and feel obligated to share that with him to make his job a little easier.   I couldn't help but feel he was a little put out that I hadn't mentioned this from the get go.   I apologize.


My appointment in Women's Health is complete by 9:30 and went quite smoothly!   Just when you think they can't possibly arrange parts of your body any more awkwardly, they CAN!...and do!   I just keep reminding myself it's all in the name of being thorough.   One set of tests with one machine and then on to the next with another.
The tech for ultrasound in Womens Health is very personable and we chat and share a few laughs.  We are then joined by Doctor Morrocco whom I can't help but feel I have met before.   He is very pleasant and when we shake hands I am thankful he will not be touching me with such very cold hands!   Warm personality, ccccold hands!   LOL, and then he continues and as he is adding a dallop of the lovely warm gel for the ultrasound it "splurts" out all over my chest...we all laugh out loud and he apologizes but I assure him no need, only had the gel been cold; as his hands, it is very welcomely warm!
Apparently all is well as far as he can see but he is in agreement there is some change as I had pointed out and tells me there are cysts but they are not of concern.   I am to return for these such tests again in six months.
He bids adieu and Irene; the technician, and I share a couple of funny stories and she wishes me well and I'm off to dress and head to the cafe area for a few drinks and a muffin and fruit perhaps.


Before returning for the Bone Scan I am to indulge in some good measure of fluids and thankfully am o.k to "void" when needed!  This morning's beverages of choice a large orange juice and a carton of milk.  
In just over 45 minutes I report back to Nuclear Medicine ten minutes early and wait.
Soon the tech guy calls me in.
I proceed on to the imaging table and am directed in where on the pillow my head should be etc. and as I scooch down, I realize he is putting a band of some sort around my feet.   Because this fellow doesn't seem to have a very outwardly friendly manner with his patients, I wish i were brave enough to say something clever, like, "Oh, into a little S & M are we?"...but maybe that would be too strong?   Perhaps, "This is a first for me, be gentle!", or "Ah, you heard I thrash!", LOL...or "Oooooo kinky!"!
The machine fires up and suddenly I am beneath the platelet that takes the pictures.   I am feeling a slight sense of panic as it moves down toward my face and I hear the technician leave the room and begin talking with someone in the hall!   I'd really like to scream, "HEY don't leave me...", or "I think I'm about to be face planted by a machine!!!".
The machine stops just above my nose and for several minutes that felt much longer I imagine it is taking pictures.   Then it fires up and very slowly moves downward just to mid chest and once again stops.  I am happy to have my head emerge from under the plate/camera. and can see all around me though I do not turn my head at all.
The machine fires up twice more and scans to the lower extremities all the while I dare not move an inch.
He returns to the room, comes over to have me readjust and pulls out some piece of the "bed" section beneath me and asks that I put my arms together over my head.  Oh no not this...I've done this position here before!   I wonder how long, when he says, "This takes about fifteen minutes!", and my sense of dread kicks in as I know when I am able to put my arms at ease again it IS going to hurt.   I assume quietly to myself that is quite simply due to aging!   Ugh, I recall being able to hold any such position for great lengths with no concern for any pain(s) to follow!
The machine rotates from left to right slowly rotating only a short distance every few moments.   Finally it has made it's way all the way over me and to the far right side!   I am slowly rolled back from the imaging portion of the machine and as I bring my arms back down cringe with the hurt of the movement.
The tech takes my left arm and helps me to an upright position and I think maybe we'll exchange a couple of words, but a fellow staff steps in announcing treats in an adjoining room, the tech calls back over his shoulder, "I'll send these on to tIhe doctor..." and before my feet have reached the floor he is out the door and gone!
I'll give this fellow the benefit of the doubt and say maybe he has become 
desensitized in having to say the same thing every day and far too many times in a day, or had had a bad day or just hasn't the most personable manner!


The closest to "Spa-like" was lying on my back with warm gel on my chest while talking with the Ultrasound Technician in the quiet of the small room.  Oh well it could have been much worse and I am very thankful to have all of these services and medical tests available to me and my doctor.   I DO think we take our health care system for granted; as fragile as it seems to be these days.

Whatever the outcome of these tests, I count my blessings to have the opportunity to be "checked out" so very thoroughly!  :o)   xo

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spa NHH for the whole morning!

Well now, I'm not actually off tomorrow, but am off for a morning of pampering via the excellent care of very skilled nurses and technicians at NHH!   It sort of feels like a spa day!  You know you desperately need a spa day when!!!

The part that I can't help but appreciate is like at a spa, they are going to be very thorough in the care they are delivering!   Unfortunately unlike a spa where your mind is quickly put to ease and your cares sent on their way, my morning is filled with testing which I won't know the results of for possibly two weeks but perhaps as early as one week.   I know they go to a Pathologist for viewing and then after that the results will be shared with my Family Doctor and Oncologist who had ordered one of each of these tests.

I feel o.k about the impending tests, it's next week's test that will really be the clincher.   I will be relieved to have completed that one and know the results.   There is a big weight on my shoulders and I will be so very relieved to have it removed.

My mind will take this as calmly as Spa-ssible!

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Symphony By Weather!

While having to be up for 4:30 a.m wasn't what I. Wanted I am so happy to have been awake to have taken such enjoyment from this mornings weather!   Beautiiful!!!!!!    Just what I didn't know i needed...even so early!!!   : ]

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunshine, Fake n' Bake and THE A, B, C, D, E's of Mole watching...

Cancer an acquaintance?  Yes, and sadly even more.
For here I am left with scars, sometimes pain, and once very sore.
Remember now what not to do.
A lesson for me and I share it with you.

Hot sun, and *tanning beds, like an oven bakes.
One bad burn while a teen, that's all it takes.
Though anyone at any age, with any mole,
Keep watch  of your skin,  for melanoma will take it's toll.

Moles they change and when they do,
They may make changes inside of you.
It heads to your lymph nodes if given that chance,
That funny looking mole deserves a second glance!

Pay attention to sun and to those moles, know the A.B.C.D.E's,
Protect your skin and be aware, and stay skin cancer free!

*tanning beds, are worse than the sun and increase your risk of skin cancer greatly.

If you have a mole that presents any one or more of the following, please have it checked.

A for assymetry (one side different from the other)
B for border (irregular uneven edges)
C for colour ( Varied with brown or black or red)
D for dimension (as big as a pencil eraser)
E for elevation (raised)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Checking in to get so totally Checked Out!

Whew...I think I'm pooped NOW!   The next couple of months will see me dragging my buns to a number of medical tests, meet new specialists and seemingly have every portion of my inner and outer physical self checked up, down, in, out and all ways possible!

I may have thought following my two surgeries I was done, aside from 3 month check up with my surgeon and perhaps a follow up with my own doctor and yes, perhaps a consult with an Oncologist for good measure!    I commend thee my doctor(s), shall we say Personal Medical Team for being so very thorough.   Surgeon, Oncologist, Dermatologist, Gynecologist and most importantly and always there, my Family Physician.
Just when we hadn't any plans at this point for the summer we may have more plans than we could possibly have planned on.
In summary though, I am happy to be here "planning" and to know so many caring professionals have "got my back"!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

CJN Boston Fashion Week or BUST! ...hittin' the big times!

Very recently my status read, 
"I know this goes without saying, but don't you just wish you could wave a wand and make everything better for people. I know too sometimes people just have to find their own way and in the end will enjoy revelling in the triumph of their own success!".   


It all came of having spoken on the telephone with my younger son when he called in a moment of feeling rather frustrated and depleted.   He's been there before, but I know where he was coming from.
Presently he is working two jobs, not a foreign situation to him.   One job with FCUK at the Eaton's Centre, only a few hours but he does enjoy that job and happy for any hours they can give him and has a very supportive staff team to work with.   The second job, a restaurant on Church St., which initially he was excited to have and hoping it would reap some good tips to help in his making ends meet.   The hours are not significant yet and the tips are pretty meagre at this point and of course the pay under minimum with the expectation the employees will in fact reap great wads of cash in tips.   I'm sure as is our son that come the "tourist season"; nearly nigh, he will do much better in gathering greater tips!


Since in high school Chris has also continued to create fashion designs; designing and actually creating the pieces.   He does several fashion shows a year, a participant by invitation and for numerous charity events.  Generally there is no pay in attending these functions, only recently did he receive any funds for attending a show in London, Ontario and managed to make it there via a good friend willing to go along and help out.   I know he doesn't balk at participating in a show even if it means packing a suitcase and taking the GO to Hamilton with bags of designs in hand!


He has received numerous phone calls from one of the organizers of the Boston Fashion Week wanting him to be a participant as a designer!   He has been INVITED and is thrilled but reality may keep him from taking part!  They have with each call realized his difficulty in being there and have been working to find some kind of solution in making it possible for him but there is still a gap! This is pretty big stuff for him and you can't help but imagine it just may be the "break" he's looking for.   Connections, connections, connections and in meeting other industry people will go beyond the connections, even being greatly inspired, motivated to further pursue and continue with his desire to be well known for fashion design!


We are so excited for him but also share in the frustration of the cost of such an event.   There is quite a hefty fee, the FEE, but then also accommodation and travel expense to and home from Boston and we can only hope he can find a way to pull it all together.
Of course we all understand the concept, sometimes you have to lay out a lot of cash in order to make a lot!   Unfortunately he hasn't much money at all trying desperately to squirrel away ANY amount while keeping his basic bills paid.   Funny, yes that sounds like any one of our own situations doesn't it!?  
It's tough as a parent knowing when to jump in and when to stand back and hope they continue to find their way to their personal ideal of success. 

Update...Chris continues to hope to make it to Boston Fashion Week, but further bad luck befalls him, but he will not give up.   A friend of his has developed a site where anyone wishing to may donate toward the entrants fee for the big event.   It costs 2200 for him to partake and any contributions are most greatly appreciated!~
http://christopherjnevin.com/


  
Design sketch by CJN - Christopher J. Nevin

Design sketch by CJN -Christopher J. Nevin

Three Models w/designs by Christopher J. Nevin @ Campbell House Toronto, promoting War Child Canada's Rock the Runway at the R.O.M

                   
                  CJN Designs on the Catwalk @ Rock the Runway for War Child Canada at the R.O.M March 2011


Photo Shoot @ Allen Gardens Toronto-Stylist Christopher J. Nevin (CJN) and Fashion Designs by CJN 

Prom Gown by Christopher J. Nevin (CJN) (in photo)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hands Up, Baby Hands Up!!!! YAY!

BIG NEWS...well, for me.    Lately; post surgery #2, I haven't been able to put my arms over my head during the song "Mr. Sun" and am certain to have looked like I was quite "lazy" in doing my actions during songs at circle time at work.    I must admit to feeling like I was lazy, as I only brought my "sun arc" to just eye level during Mr. Sun and a much less than high flying bubble, during "Let's Blow a Bubble".
It's a good day Thursday when I realize I can now raise my right arm up over my head for both Mr. Sun and Let's blow a Bubble!    Yay, we are progressing.
There is still some pull and feels like there is a very tight tendon in the area of my underarm, but I am certain this too will eventually go away as I continue with specific exercises and slowly continue to add "normal" activity to each day! Yay!
Hands Up Baby!!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On Dasher, On Dancer....Oncologist - Day 90!

It's like Christmas...well, only vaguely, but that appointment been waiting to hear of, was set in motion just the day before yesterday and this was the date given!  
Today we ventured to Lakeridge Hospital - The MacLaughlin Cancer Centre for our first appt. with an Oncologist.   Upon arrival, blood work is done, we then go for lunch and are to return to the waiting area for 1 p.m. .  I have brought along all of my medical records from Dr. Stratford's office.

We return to the waiting area and wait briefly, then are questioned at length by a nurse.
 When the Nurse asked "What are you hoping to get from Dr. Oncologist today?", we were worried perhaps we really shouldn't even be there!   I replied, "Well, I was referred by my surgeon and I guess we need to know what next?"!
Sheesh, didn't someone get the memo?   If you don't know what we are here for today then we have to wonder as well and can only hope the Oncologist has some insight as to why we are here.

Enter Dr. C., whom thankfully we liked instantly.   His specialty is in Melanoma and Breast Cancers.  A lovely gentleman who can take one look at you, label your skin type and that combined with your surname can tell you your family's origin - homeland and your predisposition to skin cancers.   Most interesting.

A wrap up of the appointment... a bone scan is being booked, a visit to a Dermatologist, the MRI in waiting, and a return trip to Dr. C.  In a couple of weeks following the MRI.  The MRI happening June 4th.
Best case scenario, the spots seen are in fact just "Hemangioma's" - a tangle of blood vessels, harmless. a negative result for Metastasis of the liver. This result will result in proceeding with a planned course of Interferon treatments in keeping the possibility of recurring Melanoma at bay.    :o]  Worst case scenario, a very different plan; we're not going there.


It's been a lot of hurry up and wait...test results keep keeping us hanging, but Christmas may just arrive mid June in rejoicing the least of liver problems-no melanoma!   I'll ring bells and make merry on that note, when the verdict for no melanoma is in!  :o)

xo

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Yes, Happy Mother's Day...let's count those blessings shall we!?

It's Mother's Day and while any Mother's Day is cause for celebration this one has even more cause for celebration for a few additional reasons!   I don't spend every minute thinking about these things but can't help but give thought to such things and at times they simply catch me by surprise and steal into my mind.
"Such things" include the many things that have happened in what seems such a short time, especially in taking it all in.  

My Father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer back in the late fall and very luckily it was a small spot on his lung and with only a few chemo treatments; four I think, it was eradicated-very good news.   We didn't know the true results though until late January, but certainly cause for counting our blessings.  He's here and we can celebrate that!

On a positive note our now future son-in-law proposed to our daughter and they became engaged during a romantic dinner, "high in the sky" at the CN Tower in Toronto.   A happy celebration of their love and plans for a future together-plans, happy plans!   We are happy for them and for more happiness to celebrate in the future!!!  We welcome our future son-in-law to the family!

Then our son's 23rd birthday, ...it'd been a tough week for him but alas he is 23 and should celebrate all that he does find in counting his blessings.   We celebrate as well and call him to wish him a day of blessings, while wondering just where did those years go and how could they have slipped past so quickly!?  His bad week eventually turned around for him, he just needs to keep his chin up!

That same day brought some very unwelcome news our way.   I am given the news that a mole I had on my back was in fact melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.   Some will say, "oh well, just skin cancer eh?!"....Skin Cancer and Melanoma at that is VERY serious and my doctor let's me know that in his tone and facial expression.   That afternoon was a most difficult time.  

Another positive note, while having had months of wishing she were anywhere but living in the city, our daughter comes out shining upon her graduation day from Complections, International School of Makeup Artistry and is presently working at a local spa/salon where it looks like they will keep her on for the summer!  She has been working hard to learn all she can from each of the others working there and to share what she knows from the extensive training she has brought to the Spa/Salon with her.   We are so very happy for her and proud too in that she did all she needed in proving herself to be a hardworking and skilled prospect as an employee!  This works so well in fitting into her plans to return to school for Hairstyling and design in the fall!!!

Fast forward to today, my scars are healing yet, three in total-one of which has been cut twice for two different surgeries in ridding my body of the melanoma.   There are still appt.'s ahead of me and I work to shed any uncertainties I have in believing all is well.   I have good and bad days, moments and thoughts, but I AM here and AM making plans.   One plan in motion which has been initiated by the departure of one of our children to very distant shores, to take a much needed, long awaited for vacation...to South Korea; 2013.

A most recent happening and while truly a positive happening, is a little bitter sweet.  Just Thursday morning past our eldest took his first flight ever to take a teaching position in South Korea!  That's one way to get used to flying, a seventeen hour trip; one, one hour layover in Vancouver.   He had been waiting for the day and it finally came in one fell sweep without but a few hours notice!
He had been living here at home so had been here through all of the good and bad moments of the past several months and brought humour to the darkest time and helped in making it all a little more bearable.

And here we are and some good things are happening amid some uncertainty, which helps in keeping faith in not all is crumbling down around us, there is light in the dark and some of that "light" is most definitely our children!   Through them we can see things in a different way, find hope and be hopeful for them and know just as we are there for them, we can count on them to be here for us!   It's all one could ever want!  
Yes, Happy Mother's Day!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

LOVE IS...

Love is, hugging someone with the tight hold of both arms despite the predicted pain shooting through "the bad arm"!   I never wanted to let go!  

Joyfulness in wishing our son the very best and knowing what a wonderful adventure lie ahead for him.  Tears of joy and of selfishness in wanting to keep him for ourselves.
You just can't measure how much you love your children-in and of everything you go through with them and for them!  <3  xo

Monday, May 7, 2012

Painting = therapeutic, trying on dresses, "ouch", not so much!

Yesterday I finally renewed my acrylic paint supply, it was long overdue and now I look forward to a good run of therapeutic painting.   A few canvasses are lined up and a muskoka chair awaits my creative flow!
It was a trip to Peterborough and we hadn't been in some time.   We had a couple of stops in mind ending with a stop at Island Cream for a couple of Roti's.
 John headed to Telus and I to Winners where I had not intended to be at all into the "shopping and trying on clothes" kind of thing.  I'm still sore, find the daily chore of getting into and out of clothes quite 
enough , never mind choosing to repeat the task over and over.    
I walked along the length of the dress rack; clearance of course, without any measure of enthusiasm, but somehow couldn't help but notice a couple of dresses poking out from between many other dresses.   I picked them up, viewed them and then returned them to the rack.   I worked not to think of them and walked the length of the "sleeveless tops" rack and once again did see a top or two that drew my attention to them.   I picked up a couple of tops and glanced over them and put them back.   Within just a few more short moments John had met up with me and asked had I seen anything.   I know to show him what I DID like or he will begin to pick items and insist I try something on at the slightest hint of my liking something.   I show him the three little dresses and he walks me in the direction of the change rooms.
A young lady greets us and sends me on my way to the ladies change room.   John waves and smiles as I go 'round the corner.

I hadn't given this endeavour much thought at all, forgetting about the yet very sore arm and that any popover clothes might be rather challenging to get into and out of.    The first dress is quite easy to get into  and while I have no problems, find it repulsive to look at myself in THIS dress and slip out of it right away.   The second dress is kind of cute, but as I gently try to maneuver myself into each of the arms begin to feel some pain, and more as I try to zip up the zipper.   I am in, look and think it's o.k, not great and then the attempt to get out...I can't reach the zipper.   I cringe and try a little harder and am so happy to manage to pull the zipper down and exit dress #2.    Dress number #3 I really liked, and was excited to get into, and I'm almost there when the challenge begins.  It's a little pop over dress.   A little "ow" and maneuvering and I'm in.   I'm so excited, I love the way it looks and feel so good, then the panic begins...I realize I need to take it off!!!   I begin with my good arm as I do when removing tops lately, but somehow it just doesn't seem to be right this time.   I then realize i am going to have to try to pull the dress up over my head and for an instant consider the idea of asking someone to help.   That thought quickly dies as I can't imagine the level of my embarrassment and explaining why there is so much pain and perhaps the incisions as well.   Tears well up and while there is pain pull the dress up and over my head.   I let my breath out and mumble indecipherable grumbles under my breath and force back the tears.   I hurt but I am so happy with the dress I quickly recover and leave the changeroom.    We pay for the dress and are on our way.
The dress is in my closet and I look forward to putting it on again without any pain.
xo

Saturday, May 5, 2012

'Art washes from the soul, the everyday dust of Life.'' - Pablo Picasso

This afternoon I have purchased some new acrylic paints.   I knew my supply was down, but hadn't felt greatly inspired enough to be too terribly concerned about picking up more.   Today was the day.

With everything that has been happening and with the emotional roller coaster I still seem to be riding I knew the time had come.   I am excited and emotionally driven to pour it all out onto a fresh canvas and let thoughts and brush in hand work as one in expressing the wildly diverse emotions within!

'Art washes from the soul, the everyday dust of Life.'' - Pablo Picasso

Brushes UP!  xo


Creating a Glossary of Medical Terms, and a good look "into" ME!

Friday, May 4th/12

This afternoon I went to my doctor's office and picked up my medical records.   Wow, such interesting reading and quite a look "into" myself!...like never before.   I thought it most intriguing to read where it is noted that there are surgical staples in my groin.   Ah, the memories, 15 years old and having had my appendix removed...the surgeon at Peterborough Civic Hospital I believe was Dr. Martin(?).   Initially we thought I had some sort of flu, until the pain grew to a point of crawling to the stairs to call for my Dad-sleeping following an afternoon shift at GM.
That seems like a lifetime ago and perhaps one day so will all of these most recent medical events in my life!    I really can no longer actually definitely pin point the scar, but a CT Scan can!

In reading these records and of course not understanding various terms etc., have begun a comprehensive Glossary of Medical terms, which once again takes me back to many years ago.   My final placement for my E.C.E was with the Pediatrics ward at Peterborough Civic, working alongside the Child Life Staff; then referred to as the Play Therapist.   I had first met Lois Drury when I was a patient there for Appendicitis only 4 years prior to the time of my final school placement.   I loved that placement.   I kept a Log Book of all new medical terms I came face to face with in meeting each of our young patients and helping them in understanding what lay ahead in their medical journey.

Upon learning of my own medical journey a friend encouraged me to embrace the science of all that lie ahead in having something to focus on and not allowing fear to be the prominent factor in it all.
She also encouraged me to obtain a copy of my own records, another step in empowering ones self and having a greater understanding of all that is happening.   Creating the glossary helps in becoming familiar with the terms one hears again and again in reading the records, as well I couldn't help but recognize some of the terms in having watched M*A*S*H all these years; and while we still do.

This is feeling very much a positive in this whole new experience, and especially in helping to get through the emotional end of what everything means and how it has affected myself and those around me and how I can better deal with it even as it slowly becomes a part of my past history.

xo



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Riding out the emotional waves ...via paintbrush!?

I feel some painting coming on...on walls, canvas and even on muskoka chairs!   Working with these emotional waves and painting seems a natural...along with crying and singing!   I'll see what comes next!

Celebrations...Big and little...we'll take them! the "c" word, losing it's hold.

It's been almost a week since my last post and since then have had some positive happenings and continue to work through those random emotional waves!  It does seem the "c" word begins to lose it's hold on me, a few random breakdowns aside.   Those are though more about the defeat of it and the realization we have beat it!!!!   Take that cancer!
Last Thursday was the Ultrasound and as mentioned in the last update, I survived and no accidents!   Yep, I felt like a really big girl having made it through to the completion of the once familiar annoyingly uncomfortable procedure!   I only felt like a slightly embarrassed child at the point of pacing the floor and having sat up on my feet in an attempt to abstain from having an accident pre-procedure!  YAY!  Success.

Friday was my first big outing in two full weeks, as we travelled to the city to join in celebration of our daughters very successful completion of the Full program for Makeup Artistry at Complections in Toronto.
http://www.complectionsmake-up.com/
this was a wonderful occasion and a celebration without any question of any underlying concerns, a true moment of Woot, woot.She did it!
The school recently relocated from St. Nicholas St., at Yonge St., just below Bloor to a fabulous new location on Lombard St.E., just off of Church St.(S).
The building was once the home of the famed Second City Firehall Theatre!   It is in fact an old Firehall and has been beeeeautifully redone to accomodate the school's various studio and classroom needs.   Most recently the building was Gilda's Club a cost free community support for anyone touched by cancer, named for the wonderful comedienne Gilda Radner who had a dream of opening just such a place.  Sadly she herself had had and died from ovarian cancer in 1986.  http://www.gildasclubtoronto.org/Default.aspx
Ashley and 13 other classmates were excited to be celebrating their graduation while also sad to know the time had indeed gone very quickly and they would certainly be missing each other.  It was wonderful to see them all there, the first of the 32 week prorgram to graduate from the new location.
We were so happy to see our girl among her classmates and having made some close friends whom she will continue to be in touch with.   She was so happy and looked gorgeous as did each of the grads, including "Jordan" the only gentleman in the class, sporting his signature bow tie matching his purple pants, dress shirt and lightly coloured suit coat.   Each of the teachers spoke of the great times they had in each of their classes and in some cases, yes, perhaps a little frustration both for the students and then at times the teacher.  There were lots of laughs!
Ashley is presently working in an "on trial" basis this week at a prominent Salon/Spa.   Come September she is registered to continue her education in obtaining her Hair Stylist License at http://www.careerschool.ca/ .    We are very proud of her and she has a fabulous creative sense when it comes to makeup, for any occasion/genre and will be continuously adding to the repertoire of her abilities and direction of interests.  Ashley hadn't greatly enjoyed city life and at times that made it difficult in talking with her on the phone, but thankfully she had a close knit group of classmates and that and her enjoyment of the program kept her going.
Friday was a very very happy and celebratory day.

This past Monday I had two doctors appointments, one pretty much right after the other.   While the first was not with my own doctor, as she is away this week, I simply needed some reassurance that I am on track in the healing process and did wish to broach an additional concern I had.   I will return for an appt. when my doctor is in, as I left the appt. knowing a couple of things I hadn't previously but also feeling for the most part I was pushed through in a rather hurried manner.

Despite the nature of how I felt having left that earlier appt. at the clinic, I did feel comfort in knowing I would be seeing my surgeon friend shortly after.    I met my husband at the hospital and we went to my next appt. together.   My surgeon had good news, which I did in fact have already, but one certainly doesn't mind hearing it all again in having additional assurance that all is well.  He was excited to share the news with us and reiterate how all looks good!  YAY!
In addition there was discussion on next steps, which includes two visits with two oncologists, one for chemotherapy treatments and the other for discussion of radiation, which is not likely to be part of my followup at all.   The latter simply not to overlook any and all possible next steps in "adjuvant treatment protocol".
I have an appointment for an MRI June 4th but am working to think beyond that and not worry about it so much.   I can't help but believe the worst of everything is past and with the recent good news prefer to focus on that.  Dr. S, my surgeon has been wonderful as has everyone been, on the surgical team and the nursing staff  in helping John and I to remain positive and in keeping a sense of humour, especially when it seemed impossible to.
Well, a little more waiting, a couple more appts. and then I will check in with Dr. S in August to see how we're doing and carry on from there!
It's been quite a road and I am so thankful for the many people whom have helped in our getting through this new adventure, both family, friends and colleagues for the big and little ways they have been there and all of the "gentle hugs"!  To John especially in always being adamant in his certainty that all would be well!   He's been my best rock!  <3 p=""> We shall carry on!  xo

Hmmm, Become a Comic Book Hero or Learn How to Dress?

The weather is changing again...the temps outside have been up and down of lately and of one extreme to another. Speaking of weather syst...