Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Hallowe'en

With the last of the few trick or treaters we had visit us - we are at 10. The grandson (blue power ranger) was by about 5 pm, he'd suggested Kit Kats as his treat of choice so of course this Nanak obliged. Realized I haven't been home for a few years to dispense the candy, but the shore captain reports that we have 4 - 10 so no need to get carried away buying goodies…..he'll just eat the remainder anyway. Obviously he didn't add that last part on there, that was my opinion, he has always done quality control inspections at Hallowe'en. Also received a cute photo this am of the granddaughter who is getting rather pumpkin like. She put on her pumpkin costume (which I sourced at Frenchy's and then crocheted the hat) and headed over to her Dad's workplace this afternoon. Her mother tells me that she smiles in the morning when she looks over at her and I said "she's thinking 'yum, breakfast' when she sees you". Good that she's a morning person as her Nanak sure isn't. Mind you, not easy to capture a photo of her smiling as she giggles and then swings her arms and legs all around. Can't believe she'll be having her two month immunization next week. 

Yesterday was a whirlwind of activity as after we all enjoyed the fire hall breakfast, the oldest daughter checked online and noticed return airfare (taxes in) from Halifax to Holguin for $500. The flight left at 7 am today, so the afternoon, evening and night were spent sourcing supplies and packing. A quick run to pick up razor blades and shampoo (coveted in Cuba) some procrastination, then various tucked away treasures were located and finally a sprint of organizing. I crawled in bed at 12:30 but the vacationer stayed up and left for the airport with her father chauffeur at 2 am. She will have three weeks of fun in the sun. I asked if she was planning to surprise the boyfriend as with the rapid departure that was possible. If so, she needed a cover story, so I suggested that she ask him to meet the bus from Holguin in Santiago, saying I'd sent a parcel for a Cuban friend with a tourist (something I have done in the past) and would he deliver it? The plan went so well that Janier replied he was going to make a sign to hold up (they watch a lot of movies) which really tickled my daughter as she said "where is he going to get some paper?" She was planning to provide a rude name to put on the sign as the intended tourist and I suggested Dick but apparently that's known as well from the movies, so not entirely sure what finally took place. I instructed her to make sure she got a photo of his face holding up the sign as she got off the bus. There was also the complication (according to online info) that the bus wasn't operating but as the daughter said "they're used to things not working out there" and Cuban travel stories are usually complicated. I last heard from her when she was delayed at Pearson as she was waiting to board "they were missing a flight attendant" and it wasn't clear if the original appeared or they replaced them, but they were in the leaving process. She informed me there was a DOG on the flight to Cuba, a quite extraordinary event - a spaniel. Hmmm. 

Have been busy with a bit of social life lately as I attended my 40th nursing school reunion at The Quarterdeck in Summerville Beach:

We had a lovely spot on the white sand beach, great weather, lots of wine and food, wonderful laughs and catching up. Very therapeutic with all the positive vibes and affection of old friends. One of the classmates even travelled from BC. We had the special treat of rappie pie (Acadien delicacy) for lunch the second day, transporting us back in time to when this was brought back from the weekend home. In fact, it was as if there were no years in between, although there were two classmates who we hadn't seen since graduation and most of us are now grandmothers. One of the group is a pretty decent photographer and so we got some great photos. 

I had to leave early on Thursday to get my bloodwork done so stopped at my local hospital and it was standing room only so I played my C card and suggested that I shouldn't wait (not something I usually do) with the crowd - I was fearful of missing my ultrasound appointment. I walked down to the lab, had my blood drawn and continued on to the next hospital. My ultrasound appointment was expedited by the urologist and so moved from February to this week. The usual drill of 1 litre of water on the way and the test was fairly efficient. Now to await reports. 

Last week I had a good visit with the oncologist / surgeon I had in June. The gyne oncology clinic operates with each specialist just taking a chart off the pile, so I hadn't seen him since the surgery. He was very pleased with my progress and how I was responding to the chemo. We discussed plans for after the end of December when I am finished my six cycles of treatment and he described 'watchful waiting' which means every three monthly checkups, no scans unless symptoms and then gradual lengthening of time between checkups until the five year mark. When I mentioned the chemo going well he said "you're having the treatments preventatively, you're not sick with cancer too, the regime you're on isn't the worst for side effects although it works well, you don't have other comorbidities and you have a positive attitude". Nice to have the experts feeling you're doing well with this gig. I rewarded myself with a yarn shop at Michaels that afternoon on the way home. 

This Friday was a quick run to the city for my short chemo treatment - only four more treatments remaining. I was in and out in under an hour but with the three hour drive each way, still put in a seven hour day. The shore captain dropped me off and headed over to the plant where they were unloading, packing and shipping fish. It was a dreary, rainy afternoon and so I crawled into bed for a nap with the therapy kitty. Think some of the lag was due to all the partying like it was 1976 for a couple of days..l

One of today's interaction with healthcare included a bill for $380 for room charges from my June admission. Apparently if you request a private room and a semiprivate is available you are charged for that - this was not explained to me. The only way to escape this scam is to simply request ward and take your chances of not being moved. The fact that I was placed in a semiprivate room as that was the only one available, apparently counted for naught as I had asked for the coveted private (completely unavailable) due to my previous encounter with extremely confused roommates when I had surgery.  When I expressed concern that my insurance information was accessed (as my insurer had been billed for their portion) although I hadn't provided it - it was in my purse at my daughter's, the clerk promised to look into the case and call back tomorrow. I am sure that this is a $ lesson learned. The other interaction involved the insurance company where claims I submitted had not arrived - thank you Canada Post. First time they've lost a claim. So now I'm on the hunt for replacements. Full time job just keeping up with the paperwork. Good thing I'm feeling okay. 

My hats for the mens shelter project is coming along and I'm at 10 toques already. I've been working on baby hats as well - starting with the granddaughter's of course - and gifted one to
a classmate expecting a new granddaughter in January. Good to have a simple pattern so that you can crochet while visiting - one of those to pick up and put down, chat and not have to look at closely - the same criteria for taking handwork to night shift. I have been working on a sock monkey style cup cozy for a friend of the daughter's and did a pair of boot cuffs for myself to look like the wool socks. I do have big plans for an afghan with thick velour yarn so it should work up fast. It's main purpose being to pull over yourself on the couch if you are driven there by a snorer. And of course some Christmas gifts on the go just because I have the time this  year to hand create some of them. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Crafty or what?

As I was heading to my friend's place last week (so that she could clip the remaining fuzz on my head which scared me in the morning when I looked in the mirror and saw Gollum of Lord of the Rings looking back) I had CBC radio on and Candy Palmeter was interviewing a young country singer from Alberta named Brett Kissel who had written the son "I Didn't Fall in Love With Your Hair" for his parents as his mother was working through breast cancer. I'm pasting the video link here: 

When it begins, you're thinking it's just a love song but I bet it was a powerful song to many women across Canada that morning. 

Claire's hat
I've been keeping myself busy crocheting and created (from a photo) a pumpkin hat for my month old granddaughter to wear with her sleeper I found at Frenchy's. I was pleased that the  frog hats fit both grandchildren and managed a photo of them together (after the newborn fell asleep of course) which was kind of cute. My crafting creativity was further enhanced by a trip to the Lockie the Lobster Knitting Festival which was sponsored by Becky's Knit and Yarn. Posting a link here:

Pleased to report that they didn't discriminate against crocheters  and I worked on my baby afghan at the beach centre where Friday's gathering was held. My summer neighbour and myself met a former coworker of mine (needed a local tour guide) and we enjoyed the free refreshments and friendly atmosphere. We 'did lunch' and walked the beautiful beach in mild sunny weather before heading home. Lovely day.

We have had a few days of rain off and on and the water table has responded so that last week our well had over a well ring (3 feet) and more now. We're back to using the dishwasher, doing laundry as we wish and showering as required, not on a schedule. None of that camping routine.  

Picked a letter out of the mailbox with a test appointment (which the urologist wanted done within a couple of weeks) and found a date of Feb 2017 - that's urgent? I called central booking and was told "yes this is when we are booking for" and the suggestion was made my Dr. could expedite that, put on the waiting list, told they would call back to let me know the plan - they didn't. This morning I phoned the RN with the urology clinic and left a voice mail and although I was pleasantly surprised to have her call back this afternoon….I wasn't as pleased with the message. Apparently ultrasounds all over the province are backed up so the plan is to get an ultrasound within four to six weeks and then a follow up with the urologist Nov 22nd. You either get better and don't need these interventions or worse and go to ER and are an emergent case I guess. Not a wonder people get annoyed with this approach. 

Today I spent the day…..well, I don't really have anything to report for what I did today. Slept in until 9 am (awoke with an early morning dream of the north where the Inuit clerk had a sophisticated hairdo of frosted tips and upsweep - not possible in communities without hairstylists - must be missing my northern home), snuggled on the couch with the propane fireplace warming us and the cats, trolled online, enjoyed a visit from a friend where we caught up, drank tea and ate cheese and crackers served to us in the veranda room until supper was started and she returned home. Had a great supper the daughter cooked and then we walked to the mailbox as we enjoyed the glorious fall foliage with a gorgeous sunset. Life is good.