Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reasons To Go Organic

10 Good Reasons To Go Organic - Organic Trade Association

Without getting myself all knotted up about it, I try to buy organic and toxin-free as much as possible. I'm getting better at it all the time and slowly more and more items in my home ... food and non-food ... are safe ... or safer. This article (linked above) outlines some good reasons to go organic. I'll put my reasons in my own words here.

1. Because it's better for me. Now that I've had cancer and endured cancer treatments, which have put my body through the wringer, I need to optimize my health and immune system. It's important that I reduce the toxins that may have been at least partially responsible for my getting cancer in the first place. The estrogen mimicking "stuff" in the meat and dairy products is absorbed in our bodies. Maybe that contributed to my estrogen-fed tumour. If you tell yourself "there isn't actually more cancer, it's just being diagnosed more frequently", you're wrong. There is more cancer. Period. Why?

2. To support organic producers. This might not be a popular notion in the farming community I grew up on, but my feeling is that if more and more people refuse to buy foods and materials produced from crops that have been chemically treated or from genetically modified seed (hello, Monsanto, you big bully - I'm talkin' 'bout you here), then farmers would be forced to find chemical free ways of growing crops. And this is better for everyone, including farm families. Farmers would stop feeding drugs and chemicals to livestock, too, if consumers were to insist on buying organic animal products from producers who treat their animals humanely. I always thought that growing up on a farm gave me a health advantage. Boy, was I wrong. It turns out that exposure to farm chemicals is not good for growing bodies. I can't say that's why I got cancer but ... maybe ... it was a contributing factor.

3. Because I care about our our environment, our water, air, soil, and living things, including us. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that farm chemicals will eventually leach into our water. Everyone knows how critical safe water is. Chemicals carry through the air and are absorbed into our soil. Insects, birds, critters end up with chemicals in them, probably altering their cells, too. And we all know how the "food chain" works.

Am I naive to think we'd all be better off if we stopped using chemicals the way we do ... chemicals that are untested and yet approved for use? Am I jaded to believe that chemical companies only think about money and not about health and wellness?

It's late and I'm meandering. It's just such a huge topic. At a later date, I might come back here and add some of the many links I've collected on the topic.

But for now, good night.

How To Optimize Your Breast Cancer Diet

How To Optimize Your Breast Cancer Diet — An Example - Food for Breast Cancer:

This article provides an example of how a breast cancer survivor can optimize her diet. While it's not believed that any diet can cure breast cancer, food choices may have a role in improving outcome.

I like that this article includes simple guidelines and lists of foods to eat more of and foods to avoid. It's not a bad approach to eating for anyone, let alone people wanting to prevent breast cancer's return.

Apple Blossom Time

There's a little apple orchard between my office building and the Education building on campus. Right now it's abloom. So pretty!

What's funny is that I didn't even notice when I walked right through the middle of it this morning. It wasn't until Patty, who I work with, commented on it when we were outside at noon and I wondered how I could have missed it! Well, two reasons probably. One because I was deep in thought about some bad news I'd got in my email this morning. Another friend diagnosed with breast cancer. It makes me so angry. I had no stomach for breakfast. So I was deep in thought and probably swearing a blue streak under my breath. Those who know me well know I don't swear very much - never have - except sometimes just to get a rise - but cancer has given me lots to swear about and I so I do. Liberally. Especially when I'm alone.

And then I fell. I never used to fall so much but I do now every now and then. I have to be careful. I think it's because I still don't have feeling in my toes and the front of my feet. Most of the time I don't notice. It's not that I'm topply all the time, but .. whoosh ... just like that I can go down. Only, it seems, if I'm on an uneven surface. Anyone could fall under those circumstances, I guess, but I know I stumble and/or fall much more than I ever used to. Clumsy. I don't fall as much as when I did during the winter after I finished chemo in October. And then I was falling in snow so I luckily didn't hurt myself.

Almost everyone has told me that my feeling will come back but I don't think so. It mostly came back in my fingers and some came back in my feet but it's been over a year and a half now since I finished chemo and I'm pretty sure this is it. It doesn't effect my quality of life at all except for the ocassional stumble. This morning, at least, I fell on grass.

Aren't all these blooms pretty?!

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Gardens, Mom, Luke, Vitamin D, and Lympedema

Last year our garden wasn't much to speak of. I was more determined to get some planting done this year and so it was pretty exciting for us to actually get such nice weather on Saturday and Sunday and that we were home to do yard work. It felt good to be outside and to feel my fingers and toes in the dirt. I don't think I'm supposed to do that but it just feels so good to get dirty.

We're in the midst of getting a new fence. The posts have been up for a week and by the end of this week, the panels should be up. We put up some orange snow fence to contain our neighbour's dogs. Our neighbours on the other side are very excited about getting a new fence ... one that lets light through ... so they can put in a garden. They worked very hard all weekend, too.

There were lots of birds flitting about, poking through the freshly turned soil. Several enjoyed a dip in our bird bath.

We had hoped to get more planting done on Monday but it was shockingly cold! We even brought our unplanted bedding plants indoors for the night.

We're still very concerned about Mom. She's at the farm with Lynn, Darrel, and Lynn's parents right now. This medication is making her very dizzy and unbalanced as well as sleepy. And either the drug or the seizures have really messed with her memory, which is a concern. Mom had bloodwork done yesterday for the purpose of determining how much Dilantin she should be taking. I wonder if she isn't taking too much right now? I hope the blood work comes back soon.

We heard from Luke tonight that he made the box lacrosse team (the Victoria Shamrocks) that he was trying out for. That's good news. He'll play his first game this weekend. He has a job in Victoria and is being billeted at a very nice place. The Leung family (the family of one of his Bellarmine team mates) took him in for his first few weeks there, which was VERY kind of them and most appreciated.

I had an interesting conversation with my friend, Berny, this weekend. She's been through this nasty breast cancer business as well. I always learn something when I talk to Berny. We talked about lymphedema. Berny has been learning quite a bit about it. She had been working out at the gym, trying to rebuild her strength, and she thought she was building up some "guns" only to learn that it isn't muscle. It's lymphedema. My reading and Berny's experience reinforces my belief that the Cancer Centre is really dropping the ball for women who have completed breast cancer treatment. Lymphedema is barely mentioned, if at all, and when Berny and I have asked about it, we haven't been given good information and, in fact, we've been told we can ignore some of the precautions I now know we should be taking. It's quite disconcerting. I notice that after gardening, much like after carrying groceries sometimes, my underarm is a little puffy. My lower arm was a little puffy after gardening, too. Berny's massage therapist said that if she can start working on someone within a month of their surgery she can almost always prevent lymphedema. She showed Berny how to do some self-lymphatic massage. You can learn more about lymphedema here and read about precautions one can take here. If some of the instances of lymphedema can be prevented through massage and simple precautions, it only makes sense that women be given this information and support because it will save them so much grief and save a lot of the health care dollars that are spent treating lymphedema after it develops. There's no "cure" for lymphedema and it can really negatively impact one's quality of life.

Berny and I also talked about Vitamin D. Her previous doctor refused to test her Vitamin D blood levels, which I think is pretty much criminal considering the research linking law Vitamin D levels with breast cancer and recurrence. The following is from a recent report on research on Vitamin D and breast cancer:
"Based on the results, doctors should consider monitoring patients' vitamin D levels and trying to replenish them when they are low, the research team said in a statement. And they might take it a step further. "I think that we need to pay more attention to vitamin D levels in healthy women," said senior research Dr. Kristin Skinner from the University of Rochester, New York. "By preventing vitamin D deficiency, we might be able to promote the health of the population."
Get your Vitamin D levels checked and don't let a doctor tell you that you can't. I believe Vitamin D testing is being discouraged in Saskatchewan because of it being a relatively expensive test. I was told that it costs something like $90 per test. But if recent research on Vitamin D is correct, raising Vitamin D levels in our general population might very well prevent a lot of costly illnesses such as some cancers, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and more. If simply aiming for optimal Vitamin D levels could prevent even several instances of these awful illnesses, the cost savings would be huge! Berny was speaking with someone from Germany who said that their Vitamin D levels are tested as a matter of protocol at their annual check-ups. So, once again, I urge everyone to get their Vitamin D tested and get the resulting report in your hot little hands. Don't settle for a doctor telling you that "it's fine". Learn what the numbers mean and then aim for optimal if you're not already there. And I'll bet you're not even close to optimal, especially if you're not supplementing. Even if you are supplementing, odds are likely that you're still not at optimal.

Have I lectured you enough? Do a little internet research and learn about it for yourself. Search "Google Scholar" or "Google News".

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mom, Gardens, and Fast Cars

Doesn't this poppy look like Ms Pacman? Pretty lips! She popped up in our garden this morning.

Yesterday was a gardening day. At last. I could hardly keep my eyes open by 8:00 when Kevin and I went out to get ice cream and go through the car wash (twice - it was a MESS with bugs from the drive out to Kyle and back on Friday). We pulled a lot of weeds, got some seed beds ready for today and planted a few new perennials. Our previous Anabelle Hydrangea didn't come back last year so we've replaced it with a new even hardier variety.

This morning two poppies had opened. I've been admiring tulips around the city and wish the ones we had planted a few years ago had come back.

Mom. Mom was discharged from the hospital on Friday at about supper time. We're so glad they finally diagnosed her problem and am very happy that it's something that can be managed with some medication. That said, Mom's memory has taken a real hit and we still don't know if we can expect that to improve now that the seizures will be regulated. If not, she will have to make some changes in her life, such as writing EVERYTHING down. We don't know the results of her MRI. She'll get those from her doctor in Eston next week. Hopefully he'll have more answers for her. She is to see the neurologist in the city again in July.

It will take a while to get her Dilantin prescription fine-tuned so she's getting exactly the right amount and I understand it will take some time for her body to adjust to it. Right now she's experiencing quite a bit of dizziness, especially in the morning. It leaves her feeling quite unbalanced for a while. She will have to be careful not to fall.

I drove Mom home to her place in Kyle on Friday night and left her in Gary's care for the night. I turned right around and drove home. I have a lot of unattended business to get done this long weekend. I'm SO glad it's a long weekend. If it hadn't been, I'd have been taking a vacation day. I'm a tad exhausted.

Kevin had such a thrill on Friday night while I was taking Mom home. My brother, Jim, stopped by our house hoping to see Mom. As it turned out, Jim was test driving a new car. If you don't already know, Jim is a technical automotive journalist and he pretty much drives a new car or truck every week and then writes a review of it. Last week he was driving this cute little bright blue thing that looked like it had frog's eyes. When he stopped by our house he was driving a totally tricked out steel blue little Porsche (a 911 Carrera S-Type Turbo) and he gave Kevin one his biggest thrills. They didn't just go for a RIDE in this luxury sports car. They went on a "car-testing" drive! Oh, man! Kevin's eyes were big as saucers when he was telling me about it. It has a turbo launch feature that works much like I imagine batman's bat car does. In movies. But for real! It even has a "launch" button for this feature. Kevin almost peed himself with excitement! I don't know if Jim has any idea what a gift he gave his brother-in-law, who said it was better than Disney World. Mom and I missed out on that one.

Lynn is flourishing at the farm and probably being more active than she should be. Her parents are there helping out, too.

Thanks again to everyone for your care and concern for both Lynn and Mom and for your cards, emails, phone calls, and visits at the hospital. I know they appreciated every one.
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

University Hospital Parking Tip

I can't believe the cost of parking at the Royal University Hospital. At $3.00 per hour it doesn't take long to reach the daily maximum of $18.00.

It seems wrong to me. It's like taking advantage of people who have little choice because many people parking there don't have the option of walking to the hospital or taking the bus. And they've made it difficult to park in the residential neighbourhood across the street where permits are typically required. Even if you can park there, it's still quite a walk to get to the hospital. Even after you get to the hospital, you might be walking a while to reach your destination. When I was pregnant with Luke, I was overdue at which point I had to go to the University hospital every second day for a stress test. By the time I got my giant self and Hannah who was 2 at the time ready and then in the car, out of the car and all the way through the hospital to where I needed to be on the 5th floor ... well, let's say that if I wasn't stressed before I got there I sure should have been by the time I did! I had to make that trip three times! It struck me as ridiculous!

Until I took Mom to Emergency last Sunday night I hadn't parked in that lot since I had my last radiation treatment over a year ago. The cost has gone up considerably since then. A lot. Even though I still go to the Cancer Centre (at the University Hospital) for follow-up appointments I never use the parking lot. I just happen to work in the building next door so I usually walk over.

If you are visiting the Royal University Hospital, my recommendation is that instead of driving in through the hospital entrance off college, turn in to campus on Wiggins and park in one of the lots there or at a meter. There are meters close to the back entrance of the hospital. Often, of course, the meters are busy but it's worth a check. The thing is, even if you get a parking ticket on campus, it's $10.00. That's less than 4 hours of parking at the hospital and a lot less than the $18.00 maximum. Plus, there's a chance you won't get a ticket.

That's what I do.

Mom and Lynn News

Finally. They have a diagnosis for Mom. It's not a heart issue. It's a brain issue. Instead of going into a bunch of Mom brain jokes right now, I'll tell you about her diagnosis. They called it "Partial Complex Seizures". As soon as I got home I looked it up. If you want to know more about it, follow the above link where the description of the seizures sounds very much like what Mom has been experiencing.

Only twenty minutes before the resident neurologist came in to tell Mom what they'd found, another medical person told her that they would probably be sending her home today because nothing seems to be wrong with her. He said she was too healthy to be in the hospital. Hmmmm ...  That had Mom a little worried because the "spells" she's been having are very real and very scary. I don't think Mom has been told the results of her second CT Scan but it was the EEG she had done yesterday that identified this place in her brain from which the seizures originate.

Apparently the treatment is a simple Dilantin prescription and they'll start her on that tomorrow. It's an anti-seizure medication. They still want Mom to have an MRI and hopefully that will happen tomorrow. I didn't talk to any doctors myself and the head neurologist working with Mom hadn't stopped by yet today. We have lots of questions still so hopefully Mom will be told more about her condition soon and will have some of her questions answered.

Mom finally got moved to a real hospital room yesterday! YEAH! She has a much more comfortable bed, a little more space, a little more privacy, better meals, and she was able to have a shower and put on a clean hospital gown. Of course, Mom being Mom, she's probably missing the hub of activity and chatter from the Emergency department. Mom even thinks she might be able to get out tomorrow. We'll see.

Now ... on to Lynn. She's out of the hospital! Here's what she wrote in an email yesterday ...
I'm out of the hospital! Kathy came and picked me up on her way to work this morning - she was a couple hours late for work! It's great to have a personal assistant. I wish I could keep her!

As soon as possible, I'll be going to the farm to recuperate. Dad and Mom have volunteered to come to the farm and help us out for as long as we need them.

The cards, e-mails and phone calls keep coming. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers for all of us. The support has been overwhelming.

Love to all of you. Lynn
Thanks, everyone, for your care and prayers for both Lynn and Mom!

And, oh, the yellow flowers in the photo are growing in abundance in front of the Diefenbaker Canada Centre building where I work on campus.  Aren't they pretty?
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mom and Her Kiwano

No, I'm not talking dirty! And I'm not talking about Mom's lovely hospital kimono. Kiwano (African Cucumber, Horned Melon, Jelly Melon) is a strange, spiky orange fruit that we saw in the grocery store. Curious, we bought one but Mom ended up in the hospital before we had a chance to try it so I took it to her today. Bizarre! It's described as tasting like a combination of cucumber, banana, and lemon. The green stuff is like jelly and little cream coloured seeds are encased inside the little pockets of jelly. You spit the seeds out like you would with a watermelon. They're not bitter or toxic - just tasteless. I had to look up how to eat one. If you want to know, here are step by step instructions.

Mom is doing good. She's still hanging out in Emergency at RUH but I expect they'll have her a proper room soon. Today the neurologist appeared to be annoyed that Mom hadn't been moved yet and I think she was going to see if she could light a fire under someone. When parked in Emergency, you're not formally admitted so your meals are just these generic, boxed things ... not very good and no consideration of your particular dietary needs. Mom, for instance, has been working really hard on her diet to reduce her cholesterol. The food they're giving her is not at all in keeping with that. I've been taking her fruit, salads, healthy snacks ... with quinoa and chia seeds ... so she has more nutritious choices.

Mom had another CT Scan today. They used coloured dye in this one to better look at the veins in her head and neck, as I understand it. She's also to get at MRI tomorrow, if they can get her in, the intention being to get a better vew of her heart. The main thing is that she's otherwise feeling good and that we have good faith in her neurologist and her team who seem determined to figure out what's going on with her. She hasn't had any "spells" since arriving at the hospital though a couple of times she's felt like one might be coming on only to have the symptoms fade away.

Lynn is walking up a storm and was given her first real food today. YEAH! She's eager to go home but she has a few little milestones to pass, so to speak, before they'll let her go. She's very determined so I expect she'll get out before the weekend.
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The Fireside Singers Present OLIVER!

The Saskatoon Fireside Singers Present

May 25-26-27-28 
Forest Grove Community Church

7:30 pm
Tickets Available at Indigo Book Store
3322 8th Street East

If you want an evening of great musical entertainment, the Fireside Singers are always a quality act!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Red Shoes in Hospital Parking Lot

Time for an update on Lynn and now Mom, too.

First, Lynn's healing is progressing nicely. Did you know that thing they removed from her abdomen was 7x8 inches big?! ACK!! Good that it's gone! Lynn's epidural was removed today and I think the IV from her arm was removed as well. She's feeling a little more free and has been walking regularly. She's determined to get out of the hospital earlier than expected. I understand she felt a little nausea today that, I think, was passing as the day progressed.

Now ... on to Mom! Surprise! She's in the hospital, too. She's at RUH (University Hospital) and Lynn is at City.

Mom came up to the city to be here for Lynn's surgery and planned on staying until today because she had a CT scan scheduled as well as an appointment with the neurologist she saw a couple of weeks ago for some "spells" she'd been having. Well, I witnessed a couple of those "spells"... which present like mini-strokes (they come on suddenly, she can't talk, she goes limp but doesn't seem unconscious, clammy, pale - and they last less than 5 minutes) ... and decided it was best not to wait for an appointment and I took her to Emergency last night. They kept her in and she'll be in for a while undergoing tests. What a relief! She's feeling otherwise good and the CT scan she had this morning didn't indicate any problems there. They're going to run an MRI tomorrow or the next day. The Neurologist who saw Mom today thinks the problem stems from her heart so there will be heart tests as well as tests to check the veins in her neck and brain. Mom is genetically predisposed to heart and stroke concerns so I'm very glad she's in the hospital and getting thoroughly checked. Hopefully the doctors can figure out the problem and will be able to do something to prevent further "spells". I think Mom is relieved, too. These little episodes can only have been frightening for her. Typical Mom, though, in that she wouldn't have wanted any of us to be scared so she might have downplayed things a bit initially.

Mom was able to do quite a bit of knitting today between doctor's visits and medical tests. Generally her health has been proclaimed very good, which is good news, and when she's not having one of those little attacks she feels very good.

And there you have it. No dull moments. I think I like dull moments.
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival - A Quilt Story

Amy's Creative Side
My apologies to those of you who have heard allllll about this quilt already and to those of you who aren't all that interested in quilts. You might want to stop reading here.

On the other hand, welcome to those of you who have come here as part of the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy Ellis. I hope you like this quilt story. You probably haven't been here before. I should tell you that as much as I wish this were a quilting blog, it's not. Not yet, at least. So far it's been an icky breast cancer experience blog with a little bit of quilting recently thrown in.

Anyway, about this quilt. My Mom and I made it as a wedding gift for my nephew Josh and his bride Noelene. They were married last month and I was doing the last bit of stitching the morning before the wedding.

Click on any photo if you wish to see a larger image.
The quilt was made using the Geese in the Park pattern that can be found at the Moda Bake Shop where it was made using Kate Spain's Central Park fabrics. The back is something Mom and I put together on our own. For the quilt we used a mix of fabrics from various designers that I had recently acquired and that, to my mind, serendipitously look quite lovely together. We added some additional Art Gallery fabric yardage for the back and the binding. I really like the bright pink binding.

The bride and groom are both pilots and live in Canada so ... "flying geese" seemed like an especially appropriate design element. To further personalize the quilt, I added some camouflaged appliques on the back of the quilt.

The elephant represents South Africa where Noelene is from and where her parents live.

There are two airplanes, one for each. The rabbit is because they were married in the year of the rabbit. My husband claims that he STILL can't find the rabbit. Can you? Can you see the mostly orange airplane in this photo and the turquoise one in the photo below? I imagine that someday small children will enjoy looking for these hidden bits.

The polar bear represents both the great Canadian north where Josh and Noelene live and work ... in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories ... and it represents White Bear, Saskatchewan where Josh's parents farm. The farm is 100 years old this year and it was settled by my grandfather.

We added a label made from a handkerchief that has shamrocks embroidered on it. We knew Josh would appreciate a nod to his Irish heritage.

Confessions. I didn't do ANY machine stitching. Mom did all of that. She's a machine stitching genius!

I chose the pattern and fabrics, cut the fabric and stitched the appliques by hand. This is the first quilt I've made in over 20 years and I didn't do any machine work on the previous one either. Mom is an experienced seamstress so that's been her department. This was the first time I really used rotary cutting tools, so everything was a learning experience for me. Good thing the appliques are camouflaged so my shabby work doesn't show up too much. I did get better as I went.

Because time was of the essence, we hired Tara Patterson who lives in Kyle, Saskatchewan, to do long arm quilting. Tara based the quilting pattern on the trees and leaves in the print used on the back of the quilt and she used a variegated thread in mostly a turquoise colour. She put the binding on for us, too. We were very happy with her design decisions and work. Given more time, I think I would like to hand quilt. I'd also like to learn to free motion quilt. I think I'll need a class for that. Before all of that, though, I really MUST start doing my own machine stitching. I seem machine phobic and much more comfortable with hand stitching  (think yoyo's and straight applique).  I'll be getting acquainted with my machine soon ... honest. I have to do something with all the leftover fabric from this quilt.

I probably should have measured the finished quilt. I can say it looks quite nice on a queen sized bed. This is the quilt top before the final border was added.

Most importantly, I think Josh and Noelene like it and they know it was made with love in every stitch.

Note directly from Noelene: "Actually, we don't really like our quilt...we LOVE it! We've been showing it to everyone that comes over. It's very special to be given something that was made just for us and I love the extra layers of meaning in the pattern and appliques."

Thanks for visiting and for reading my quilt story. I'm really a beginner at this but for years I've been dreaming about making quilts ... have studied quilts ... admired quilts ... read about techniques ... and now it's finally time to start making them. I look forward to making more.  I'm very grateful to the online quilting community for all the encouragement, instruction, and inspiration.

Now ... go back to the Blogger's Quilt Festival and check out more quilts!
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An Update from Lynn Herself!

Lynn sent her own update via her "awesome assistant", Kathy!

Hi Everyone,

Kathy, my awesome assistant, is typing this for me.

I just wanted to thank all of you for your prayers, thoughts, and good wishes. I'm doing really well and look forward to getting unhooked so I can move around better. I'm not in any pain thanks to the drugs. I hope to get a good sleep tonight. It's bedtime soon and right now I don't have my cell phone but should have it tomorrow. I'm still in observation but hope to get into a regular room by Monday.

Thanks again for thinking of me,


Kathy here - Mom's really quite coherent but found it tricky to dictate the email while dozing off mid sentence ;) ...and she told me to write the awesome assistant part!


Lynn Update via Kathy

Here's what Kathy has reported about Lynn's surgery today ...
Mom is out of surgery. They removed the lump and her appendix as well as doing a complete hysterectomy (uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries). The frozen section of the lump they sent for testing during the surgery was nearly all dead so they weren't able to determine if it was cancer or not so they took some of the surrounding lymph nodes as well so that everything could be tested.

Mom didn't lose too much blood during the surgery so she didn't need a transfusion and the doctor said her recovery is starting off as good as could be hoped for. We are so thankful for this! She should be out of the recovery room in about another hour and a half and we'll be able to see her as soon as they get her to her ward.

Warning: moving into the gritty details.

The lump grew from inside one of Mom's ovaries. The ovary twisted on its stem (pedestal), causing the cut off of blood flow to the tumor, effectively killing at least most of the tissue of the tumor. This is what caused all the pain. The tumor still grew by taking on fluid and becoming inflamed which caused the surrounding tissue to adhere to the tumor. The attachment to the appendix is why the doctors removed it as well. The doctor who did the surgery told us that the outcome was good and that the surgery was as successful as it could be.

Thank you for all your thoughts, prayers, and positive energy. We really appreciate it. I'll send out another email when we have more to report.

Peace and hugs to you all and I know that Mom would say a big "Thank you!" as well.


Blogger Has Been Down

I've been trying to post for the past few days but there have been Blogger problems.  It looks like the issues have finally been resolved and so hopefully I can provide an update on Lynn's surgery tonight.  She is either in or just out of surgery right now. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy 18th Birthday, Mikael!

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Mother's Day Present to Myself

This tote bag arrived today. I love it! I first saw it at the shop at the New York Public Library when were were there in March. It was what I wanted for my New York souvenir but, wouldn't you know it, they were only taking preorders at the time. After we were back from New York, I couldn't stop thinking about it so I went online and found I could order one. Just one catch - shipping and handling to Canada cost almost $30!! Shipping and handling anywhere in the States was under $5.00. So I ordered the tote bag and had it shipped to Luke who sent it back to Saskatoon with Dave, Arden's Dad, who was visiting the boys in Louisville recently. Dave brought it by today! Kevin answered the door while I was upstairs. He quickly wrapped it in some tissue paper and gave it to me for Mother's Day! Works for me! I love it!

Here's a photo of one of the lions at the New York Public Library. He's so stately! There are two such lions who guard the entrance to the library. Their names are Patience and Fortitude and they will be 100 years old this year. What wonderful icons for a library!
Photo credit to Michael Daines.
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Multiple Celebrations Tonight

Sylvia hosted an event tonight. There was much to celebrate. Because Cheryl's birthday falls during music festival every year, her actual birthday celebration takes place a week later, which also happens to be Mikael's birthday.

Here are the birthday celebrants, Mikael his Mom. Mikael and Cheryl will be going to the provincial music festival in Moose Jaw in a few weeks. Mikael will be competing in voice.

Alexa and her Mom are wearing orchid corsages that Marion so kindy brought for all the Moms and Alexa. Alexa had a very successful music festival this year, too, both competing in voice competitions. Both she and Mikael won scholarship awards.

This is Cheryl with her two Moms, Sylvia and Marion.

We had a delicious meal, much frivolity, and abundant gift opening and it was a special treat to have Uncle Reg with us.

Darrel came into the city today and he, Lynn, Max (their dog), Kevin and I ran some errands, stopped for lunch at Tastebuds on Lorne Avenue, did a little yardwork and then played a few hands of cards. I had a nice talk on the phone with my Mom and I was glad to hear that Gary was taking her out for dinner.

Hannah and Luke both phoned, which makes my heart burst with happiness, of course. Luke went to the Kentucky Derby yesterday and said it was a real blast! When in Kentucky ... We watched on tv but couldn't see him. I probably couldn't see his face for his fancy hat. Ha! He's glad to be done exams and his third year of University. All's good. Tomorrow he flies to Victoria to try out for a Junior A box lacrosse team. It's his last year of eligibility to play Junior A so it's now or never. He'd regret it if he didn't give it a shot. Hannah was having a nice day with Matt and she'll work tonight at Aphrodite's (the organic restaurant she works at). She's been working a lot. She and Matt are hoping to sock away enough money to go to Uruguay in the fall. I thanked my kids for making me such a lucky Mom.

Kevin took me to Calories for dinner on Friday for Mother's Day and he made me breakfast this morning. I'm pretty spoiled.

And now I'm spent. It was a very nice Mother's Day.

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