Monthly Archives: June 2012

Ready For Take-off

Oh oh … I’ve had “the call” and I’m to present myself at the chemo unit 9:00 am Thursday (tomorrow!). “We are always punctual. Not like the docs!”

This will be a seven hour day as I will have both IV and IP treatments. Can’t wait to see how this stuff is all sloshed through my insides but I understand some rolling around is involved. I will NOT be appearing on You Tube :-). Right now I’m making my picnic list as one gets peckish through the day and they don’t provide sandwiches. Also charging the iPad so I can read, play Scrabble and check the FX rates; will also take along Wired magazine in physical format, for reading on my side. The last thing anyone wants is for me to be without something to read!

Now I am in the system I can figure out the schedule for the next few months. I am set for a three week cycle, with Day 1 and Day 8 being chemo days. If all goes according to plan I will be able to anticipate good and bad days for doing things. Not totally sure how long it will all last but right now I believe there will be six rounds, so 18 weeks.

We develop a mindset around the big ‘C’ and chemo but everyone responds differently and with luck I will skate by with few side effects. Protocols are being improved all the time. Very glad to hear that the chemo unit’s policy is for “no nausea”. Bring on those particular drugs is all I can say!



This and That

Hello everyone …

It has been a while since I last posted and a few of you have contacted me to see if I’ve run off somewhere! Well no, I am here in Vancouver and right now Alex is in Denver, having a day of shopping before her trade show begins tomorrow. It is the time of the Summer Sales, so this is retail therapy at its best!

It is now four weeks since the second surgery and I have been doing very well, especially in the last few days. The really good news is that the damn blood thinners are finished – they didn’t get any easier to handle despite Barbara doing a simply wonderful job of administering the shots. I need to learn patience though, as my GP keeps telling me. Certainly, if I do too much I can get quite tired still. “Anesthetic brain” has set in and, far from “multi-tasking”, I find that simply “tasking” is the most I can do – and nothing too complex either. This too shall pass, but not until after the upcoming “chemo brain” has finished. We were surprised to learn that this can take two or three months after the end of the chemo treatments. My God! I reckon that if I am getting too bored it will be a positive sign and I will just jump back in as soon as possible.

We have got the physicians’ attention with regard to the missing ovary and investigations are being made on that front. However it does appear, from the surgical report, that things were probably just fine there.

I am weight-listed to start chemo next Thursday but it now appears that this is dependent on all sorts of factors beyond anyone’s control. As I understand it, I have a fixed date for July 5. We shall see …

I just finished reading The Best Laid Plans, byTerry Fallis – an amusing satirical novel about Canadian politics which won a Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. A gentle summer read for Canadians, with some interesting background on Parliament Hill (Sean – you would probably enjoy this).

I am absolutely engrossed in The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman. This is a fascinating, scary look at the world as it might (quickly and slowly) become if humankind disappeared overnight, as well as a survey of the enormous impact we have had on Gaia over the last two hundred years. I am half way through it and so far it has addressed the damage caused by diverting rivers and lakes, the fact that virtually all rubber tires ever produced are still in existence somewhere on this planet, plastics floating in the sea in gi-normous volumes and also how ancient civilizations lived and left their marks.

An early issue addressed in the book, and oft-quoted in reviews, deals with the New York City Transit System. The subway is in a constant battle with groundwater and relies on pumps running 24/7/365. If these pumps are unable to operate, for as little as half an hour, the water will rise to a level that causes the trains to stop. Within 36 hours the whole system would fill with water and be irrecoverable. The author also discusses the North Pacific Gyre, which contains more than 3 million tons of plastic and covers 10 million square miles of oacean. This is of particular interest to us on the West Coast, as we are now dealing with masses of detritus (large and small) from the 2011 Japanese tsunami washing up on our coasts. This brings with it plastics, metals, oil, non-native flora and fauna – all of which have to be removed, dumped elsewhere and protected against. I am wondering whether the great mass of plastic in the North Pacific will stop more Japanese detritus arriving or tag along with it, leading to an even greater disaster for the West Coast from Alaska to California.

This is the first book to which I have actually taken a pen and underlined interesting things – and there are many.

Here endeth the lesson for today! Thanks as always for your emails, which I greatly enjoy and to which I am starting to reply!