Friday, November 20, 2009

The Internet May Never Recover

Thanks to the efforts of David at Huntsville Online, my Mom now has a laptop at her disposal to help her keep in touch with the world outside of her hospital room. David felt it was cruel and unusual punishment to force her to live without the interwebs, but the irony here is my Mom has never even had a personal email address let alone an Internet connection in her home!

She isn't exactly technophobic--although she's the only person I know who honestly and truly has never even tried to figure out how to set the time on her VCR--it's more like technology has never been a priority in her life. My Mom is a letter writer (you remember those people?) not an emailer; she calls you on the phone instead of sending an IM; she will never understand the concept behind Twitter or Facebook or blogging. She's an anachronism--she doesn't belong "now."

Despite this, she does seem pretty excited about this new window that's being opened for her. Maybe it's the meds, but she seems not to be intimidated at all by the scary interwebs. I hope she gets something out of it, but even more I hope the interwebs learns something from her.

If you'd like to send along emails of encouragement, she can be reached at

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I've decided to go back to work. It was not an easy decision, and I'm still not sure it's the right decision, but it's the one I've made. One week from this coming Monday I'll be sitting at my desk answering the thousands of emails I've received over the course of the last three months.

There were many reasons behind this decision: My Honey and I are hemorrhaging money right now and I feel it's my responsibility to stop leaching and resume contributing; I think it'll be good for me to get some structure back in my life; my Mom really thinks I should go back.

The last one might surprise you, but it's typical of my Mom--she feels guilty that she's keeping me from "getting on with my life" and earning an income. She hung on a lot longer than any of us expected and I think she has a little guilt about that, too. My Mom doesn't like to be a 'burden' and sometimes feels like we resent the fact she's still alive and hasn't died quickly enough. Of course this is completely insane and I'd like to blame the morphine for her skewed view of reality, but sadly she's always been this way.

To be honest I have no desire whatsoever to go back to work. I've so valued these last few months spent with my Mom and the rest of my family--it saddens and worries me to leave that cradle of comfort and strength. I'll try and come up to visit as many weekends as possible and hopefully that will be enough for all of us. I also hope that I'll be able to focus on my job and give my employer the quality of work they expect and deserve. They've been so understanding through this whole thing, I really want to do a good job for them and not be distracted by things outside of my control. It's going to be hard--I think about my Mom all the time.

Only time will tell if I've done the right thing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Enough Already

Just when my family could really use some good news, we get kicked again. My sister-in-law's brother, Richie, suffered from a brain tumour many years ago when he was a teenager. He had an operation and radiation and was deemed "cured" however he was left with partial paralysis and other health issues. Now in his late twenties, it seems the cancer has returned in the exact same spot.

It was discovered only last week after his doctors became concerned enough about bleeding on his brain to perform an MRI. But before the results of the MRI were available he began vomiting and was very lethargic to the point of being almost unresponsive. His parents took him to the hospital in Huntsville and then he was rushed by ambulance to Toronto where he is undergoing surgery to remove the tumour as I write this. We don't know what shape he will be in when he gets out of surgery; we don't know how much of the tumour they'll be able to remove. We're all very scared and feel very powerless.

My heart goes out to Ritchie and his family. Having to go through this once was almost unbearable--I'm not sure how they're going to get through it again. I adore Ritchie--he has an awesome sense of humour and is so incredibly positive, I don't think I've ever seen him in a bad mood. Getting through the surgery is only the first step--since he's already had radiation once he likely won't be able to have it again. He'll probably have to have chemotherapy to treat the cancer this time around. I've seen what chemo can do and I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy. He's gonna need all the positivity he can muster over the next while.

How much more are we going to have to endure? Just when I think my family can't take any more bad news, more of it comes--My Honey's aunt recently had an MRI to help solve the mystery of her own health problems, and her daughter is facing a potential health crisis as well. My own aunt has ridiculously high blood pressure and I'm very worried about her--she hasn't done a very good job of taking care of herself and she's paying the price now when she can least afford to. There's just too much to deal with all at once and none of us knows how to handle it.

I've forgotten what if feels like to not have knots of anxiety in my stomach. I just want life to be normal again. I want to wake up from this bad dream.


Got word from my brother that Richie came through the operation with flying colours! They managed to get most of the tumour, which is great news. So very relieved, I can't even tell you :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down

My Mom is turning 63 on Saturday--it goes without saying we never thought she'd make it--and in celebration she has dyed her hair pink. Not coincidentally, pink is also the colour of Breast Cancer Awareness. My Mom was never a person to do things subtly.

Happy Birthday Mom! I'm proud of you and I love you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Her Special Day

Congratulations, Kelly. You are a beautiful bride and an even more beautiful person. I am so lucky to have your friendship.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Jax Goes to the Vet **UPDATED**

This morning I took my cat to the vet for the first time in our acquaintance. Not his first time--his previous owners were diligent and did all the dirty work for me (ie. declawing and neutering)--but our first time together. I took him to the same vet I took Speedy to since they gave her such excellent care. The vet, Dr. Burrows, has a very relaxing way about her and I feel comfortable there. I was nervous enough about this excursion so being comfortable with the vet was a high priority.

Jax is a naturally skittish cat--the expression in his eyes is permanently set to "surprise." It's hard to tell if he's actually scared or not by just looking at his face. He got into the carrier easily enough--he's done that before and isn't afraid of it--and even the car trip wasn't too traumatic. However, the fun began as soon as we got in the door of the clinic.

He psyched me out by not coming out of the carrier right away. This turned out to be his way of lulling me into a false sense of security. As soon as he saw an opportunity he was off like a shot, taking off into parts of the building that scream "Employees Only." Fortunately one of the vet techs tracked him down before he could find the perfect hiding place, but that didn't stop him from escaping 3 more times within the first 10 minutes we were there!

Finally, after being weighed (18 1/2 pounds!) and taking off and being caught for the last time, we were ushered into an examining room where we were left to our own devices until the vet arrived. Jax's devices turned out to be hiding under the only chair in the small, spartan room. I spent the next several minutes trying to coax him out until the vet came in and then we got to work on it together.

After much gentle persuasion on her part, we got him up on the examination table and got started. My job was to keep him up there (which was taking pretty much all my concentration) but I was able to pay enough attention to notice he was taking the examination surprisingly well, allowing the vet to handle him in ways he would have taken great exception to had it been me doing the handling. She determined he didn't have a fever, that his heart and lungs sounded good, that his ears, nose and eyes were fine, but that his teeth need a good cleaning because he has tarter buildup which is causing gingivitis.

He's a bit overweight, but not alarmingly so--you can feels his backbone and his ribs so it's not too bad. He does need to lose a few pounds though, so part of the $200+ I spent today was on some new diet food. He also got some booster vaccinations and I've got some pills to give him for worms, just in case. On the whole, he's healthy and normal and we have nothing to worry about. Which is great news 'cause frankly, I don't think I have the energy to worry about anything else right now.

Now we're back home and Jax is no worse for wear. He's fully recovered and seems entirely unfazed by the experience. I however, need a nap.


Okay, my cat is totally sulking today. I tried to explain to him that I didn't want to take him to the vet but that daddy made me, but he's not buying it. He's giving me the "My tummy hurts, I'm tired and I hate you" look and refuses to eat his new diet food that cost a fortune and is more nutritious than anything I've ever eaten. He won't snuggle with me--heck, he won't even look at me! He didn't meow his face off when I got up this morning, he didn't throw himself at my empty cereal bowl...I hope he feels better soon 'cause I miss my kitty :(

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happiness Is...

...snuggling with a warm, fuzzy kitty. After all he's been through these last few weeks (and will be going through for who knows how much longer) My Honey deserves all the warm, fuzzy snuggling he can get.

I love you, Honey.