Monday, October 15, 2012

Officially 50 - and Ontario Health Care knows!

Yep, I'm officially 50!   I received a letter from Cancer Care Ontario today to remind me that once I reach 50 my risk for Colorectal Cancer rises!

It's o.k, I've had this discussion with my family doctor last year, she made a point of it after glancing down at my medical file.    Since so much has happened since then and I've been through a barrage of medical tests it hardly seems much to get worked up about.   My hubby has already had this test as he is just a tad ahead of me in birthdays and it really wasn't so bad.   I had him all set up and comfy for the pre-test preps and I think that is the hardest part!   That part starts out slowly and then of course everything changes very quickly...lots of 'urgent' trips to the lieu!   He was set up in the room closest to said location.   With only one lieu available, he was of course given priority in availability!
On one hand it's like crossing some kind of border into a new foreign land, hearing so much about it but not truly knowing just what to expect with this new MAGICAL land called "50".   On the other there is the thought that "Wow" I'm here and I think I should feel privileged, wise; in some degree, and it does in fact scare me a little because of course there is much reflection to be seen from here.   I think I'll grab the world by the 'hiny' and get what I can out of the next several years  even if it includes 'Age Privileged' medical testing in ensuring the extension of my physical existence!

Well, here's to turning 50 and receiving additional Birthday Wishes of sorts.   If you are going to be turning this magic number soon, keep this in mind.   For more information please go to: or call, toll free at 1-866-662-9233

Take care of yourself!

: ]

Wind swept meanderings...I'm under the influence!

This morning; late, just after getting up for the day and about to shower I peer out the bathroom window and see a woman in the parking lot at the Legion next door.    This is not so unusual as there is always someone walking a dog or setting up for some event there, etc., but she has no dog and I try to decide if her meandering is just that or she is under the influence; of something we all wish we had!
I couldn't help but feel a sense of mystery, intrigue and my imagination was spurred on!

There she was, all dressed in black, a black dress, black stockings and black, heeled shoes.  The bottom of the dress was of alternating lengths of long and short; like arranged handkerchiefs, which fluttered and waved so eloquently in the wind.    Walking onto the gravel road leaving the parking lot and leading up past our house, I noted she wore the large maroon shawl or scarf  draped around her shoulders.   She was raising it above her head and in circular motion then brought it down around herself and back onto her shoulders.   Such a dance, as the light fabric lifted and fell again gracefully and wildly.  Her steps looked a little awkward and I wondered if she was just enjoying a very slow "meander" or that she was as I said under the influence of one form or another and perhaps influenced by the wonderful winds that blow today.

I teetered on whether or not to step out and offer assistance but she was doing fine, just not completely convincing in the manner with which she took each step.   Her legs awkwardly criss crossed in very slow, almost sideways but still forward steps.  She might wonder if I was well had I given the opportunity for my being judged as well.   My hair not done, in my bath robe and not well put together at that point.

I thought about what it all meant.   Was she in a distraught state of mind and feeling completely depleted?   Was she preparing to bid someone near and dear farewell at a service later this morning.   Maybe I was even a little envious of the way she so free spiritedly moved and let herself be taken in by the wind and just letting go!   If she wasn't burdened with great sadness, maybe she was actually in a state of emotional relief and didn't care to be hurried any longer and simply in some form of blissful thought, caring less about everything.

Whatever her thoughts, state of being I hope she's alright and maybe the wind simply just inspired a sense of carefree.   That's what it's doing to me this morning, despite my knowing I have many tasks at hand and a couple of them involve being timely in their completion!   Oh well I am finishing lunch and then taking a few minutes; if not longer, to linger outdoors throwing my cares to the wind!  I can't wait and I must give thanks to the young woman's inspiration this morning.  I know we all get so caught up in our busy busy little worlds and need be reminded to just stop and smell the flowers, breath, dance, jump in a puddle, feel the wind, be a little carefree now and again!   Go on, let go!


Friday, October 12, 2012

...So I'm 50?... where to from here and the "C" Word!

There's a fork in the road and I'm wondering which path to follow...I feel like I really need to at least go down the one I know less just to see where it leads me!   Thoughts so many thoughts and just thinking about true happiness and what that means.   When I think about being happy I picture my hubby and I on our wedding day and feeling so very happy to know from that day forward I had the most wonderful man right there by my side!   Sounds so corny I know but I really was so excited to know he was mine...and 28 years later still is and I'm feeling the very same way!   Picturing each of my children's faces makes me incredibly happy, especially thinking back to when they were very young and watching them discover the wonders all around them, including things that as grown ups we have long taken for granted and completely overlook any more!    Suddenly you find yourself rediscovering everything through your children's eyes and the world couldn't be more perfect, all over again!  They're young adults themselves now and I still find myself seeing the world through their eyes and it's still so amazing, well most days!

I had my 50th birthday recently and while that alone could make me think about so much in life, the life I've had in the past, and what lies ahead for me,  this year in addition to my 50th birthday I am celebrating just being here, as anyone should but sometimes life throws you a really fast curve ball and it REALLY makes you take a good look at what's happening and it makes your head spin.   In February I was diagnosed with melanoma and that alone changes so much and while you might think in a negative way, it has over time since then also changed much in a positive way!  Initially of course the news made my head spin and I really didn't know what to do with that news, aside from thinking, "I have to call my doctor!"!

Two surgeries; having the tracer dye injected was more painful than the surgeries themselves, one month of daily Chemo at the hospital, and in the middle of my second month of self injections done three times weekly, which will continue until next July provided my liver continues to tolerate the Interferon and I'm doing pretty good.

I have found a program which I fell head over heals for right away, but people didn't tell me about out of concern in relation to the nature of it.   "The Big C" with Laura Linney is my new favourite show and you guessed it, it is about Cancer!!!   In particular and ironically it's about a woman named Cathy...yes, with a 'C', who has been diagnosed with Melanoma!   Laura Linney's character, Cathy is Stage 4, I am Stage 3.    There are certainly moments for shedding tears in this program but it's so cleverly funny, poignant, there is such sharp wit and I love it!  If you haven't seen it, I warn you there is adult content, there is swearing, etc., but that's what makes it so exceptionally great, it's just as we are, imperfect and trying to find our way while life hurls rotten  tomatoes at us!  She is trying to figure out how to deal with her prognosis, as Stage 4 carries a much more uncertain future and one looking to ensure as much time as possible will with their oncologist seek out all options available in treatment, clinical trials etc. .    She does at first go a little to the extreme; or not at all, in how she deals with everything and then begins to see a new perspective and perhaps later another one yet.  Yes the sad parts will make me cry but I feel stronger for that in allowing for tears and then laugh out loud in the funny moments and walk away from it with a will to be as spunky and strong a fighter as Laura Linney's Cathy.
I'm only recently beginning to question just what it all means, now having gotten past the initial shock.  That's the thing, in the early days following diagnosis, seriously you can't help but wonder how much longer you have on earth and that's scary shit!   You know how they say when you think you're dying and you see your life flash before you!?  Yes.   I also couldn't help but see everything I hadn't done, wanted to do and hoped I'd get the chance!

In sorting through the emotions in dealing with this I have been painting and writing just as I once did so many years ago but of course it feels different now and the genre of how and what I am painting or writing is all new!   I also am trying to be more brave in going after new experiences and am not sure how I feel about returning to previous ones.   Time will tell!  I don't know what lies ahead, but HEY nor does anyone else!  Of course a lottery windfall would be nice, a trip somewhere beyond nice too, we'll all just have to wait and see!
It's like stimulation overload to have had melanoma happen and turn 50 all in the same year!  My thought is, well, melanoma distracted any concerns I may have had about the impending 50!   I have to take from this whatever I can and if I live to be 100 I want to be sure I've done everything I can to have had another great 50 years of life even when life throws rotten tomatoes at me!
Go ahead, "Hit me with your best Shot!"!

You're already there.

I LOVE YOU. You don't have to say I LOVE YOU to relay your love for someone.    If someone you are very close to , someone you've ...