Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chemo - round 9

Round 9 of Chemo today. More fun than you can imagine! #cancersucks #chemo @kghconnectSo round 9 of chemo is happening now.  As you know if you've been reading here for a while, Mark gets a big dose at the cancer clinic and then wears a pump for 46 hours to get the second half of it. This is repeated very 2 weeks.

It feels like it's going to be a very very long 46 hours.  Poor Mark felt really sick all through chemo today.  We're not sure if the last dose was just too much (he felt pretty good up until the last day or so) but he started to feel woozy and yucky while he was in the chair this afternoon.  This doesn't normally happen and I hope it's not a sign of bad things to come.

If I have any say in it, he's going to be having a very quiet long weekend.  I think that everything is just starting to catch up with him.  I mean, he's had major surgery and chemo to deal with over the past seven months and honestly, we're still trying to get our heads around the death of our friend Tom.  His funeral is happening tomorrow and we can't be there because of chemo.

It's all just been a bit too much I think.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

a man of great promise

Last week, I'm not sure why, I started listening to the Style Council again.  I mean, I've never stopped listening to them but I revisited "Our Favourite Shop" again, for the first time in a long time, the entire album, on repeat.  One song in particular stuck in my head and I went back and listened to it again yesterday morning while I had my coffee, "A Man of Great Promise."  I know that Paul Weller wrote it about a friend of his who had died from a heroin overdose and it's deceivingly upbeat, for such sad subject matter.

This afternoon we learned that a friend of ours, Tom, had died suddenly last night.  Apparently, he had a massive heart attack and died quickly.  Heart disease was in the family and the same thing had happened to his dad.  I think that perhaps Tom always felt that he would meet a similar fate so he never really took care of himself.  He probably smoked too much and he definitely drank too much.  He was a really good guy at his core but his demons got in the way of a lot of his relationships over the past couple of years.

Our Sammy was one being who never got upset with Tom.  Sam is a tough cookie, he doesn't like very many people and those he does like, he needs a lot of time to warm up to.  Very rarely, he'll meet someone and instantly connect with them, I've only seen it happen with a handful of people.  Tom was one of those rare people.  Sam loved Tom, he'd follow him around the house or sit on his feet when Tom would visit.  I think that says a lot about the true character of Tom, when a difficult dog like Sam loves you.

I'm still feeling numb and shocked by the thought that I'll never see Tom again.  I know it's worse for Mark because he would bump into Tom through their work a few times a week.  We'll both miss Tom, a lot.  Like Paul Weller's friend, Tom was a man of great promise.

Monday, July 21, 2014


First zucchini is off to a good start #container #gardening #homegrown @taxichefSomewhere in our sleepy little subdivision, a thief prowls among us.  We discovered it yesterday and we were quite disappointed.  It would appear that someone or something has made off with Mark's zucchini!! 

So typical, the first one on the plant and the first time in years that Mark's planted anything outside.  At at our last house, the summer before we adopted Sam, Mark had a little garden that yielded a nice amount of zucchini.  He wanted to do it last year but the yard was such a swampy mess that he didn't bother.  This year, we thought we'd try an experiment in "container gardening" because our neighbourhood is full of bunnies.  We used the dog's old swimming pool (which they NEVER used) and put it up on a patio table.  Foolishly, we thought it would be safe up there.  Last night, while he was grilling our dinner, Mark noticed that two of his tiny squash were missing.  I am hoping it was a bunny and not some kind of veggie devouring zombie!

I'm sure that there will be more to come but boy howdy, he was really looking forward to chomping on that first one!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Chemo - round 8

Round 8 of chemo is now behind us. 
Chemo round 8 today! Got one of the coveted lake view chairs #chemo #cancersucks #oohlala @kghconnect

So far, at least when I last talked to Mark this morning, so good.  We have discovered that each round is different.  Through trial and error, we're trying to figure out how to manage things for him.  Mark reacts to the dosage differently and the actual time spent in the chair at the clinic is never the same.  Yesterday, for example, was very noisy and vibratey.

George St @ King St will be closed for a while #ygk #traffic #kgh #noparking He was having a tough time getting comfortable in the chair when I arrived and while there were not many folks in the clinic for treatment, the volume level was at 11.  There is a big construction job happening on the corner of George and King Streets (the corner the Cancer Clinic sits on).  Work is being done on the water mains so there is a giant jack-hammer  hammering at the limestone beneath the pavement (we had the same thing happen one summer on the street in front of our previous home - the cost of living in the "Limestone City").   Every now and then, the jack-hammer would start up again and the whole building would vibrate.  There was a lot of noise but mostly, what we noticed was how much we were feeling the vibrations, in our feet, in our stomachs, in our heads.

At the same time, the gentleman in the chair next to Mark, was sparked out, snoring loudly.  It was actually kind of cute that in the middle of all of this noise, shaking and chaos, he was zonked out.  I was a little bit jealous of his fabulous napping skills.

As far as his side effects from the actual chemo goes, things seem to be better this round.  Mark started taking some of  his management meds preemptively, yesterday morning.  That seemed to help a lot with the nausea and diarrhea.  Of course, his energy level is still lower than he'd like it to be but he's actually at work today.  This is the first time in four sessions that he's been able to do that.  We had resigned ourselves to the fact that he was going to need to schedule chemo Thursdays off for the remaining weeks of his treatment.  Looks like that won't have to be the case.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque

Stumbled across this video on the weekend.  I don't know that I had ever seen it before but this song was one I LOVED when I first got my hands on "From Langley Park to Memphis" back in 1988.

It's raining here today, and dull and kind of dreary.  This is such a fun video that I feel it's impossible to let the gloomy day get you too down after watching.  I mean, c'mon, it's got dancing hot dogs in it!!


Friday, July 11, 2014

reach into your mind

Excellent mail day courtesy of @polyspree #music #loveToday was an awesome mail day. It was particularly awesome because a parcel arrived and I was not expecting it. A while ago now, I participated in a Kickstarter campaign to help the wonderful and amazing Polyphonic Spree fund their "Yes, It's True" album.  As part of that project, they wanted to complete a concert film they had started in 2012.  I received my copy of the album last summer.  This parcel contained a live version of the album and a DVD copy of the concert. It's more than a concert actually, it's a "year in the life" of the band.

While I would love to be able to take a month long vacation, head to the states and follow the band around while they tour this summer, that is not going to happen.  Instead, later tonight, I'll have be happy to watch this amazing concert, with Mark and the doggies, in the comfort of my own living room and I won't be worrying about folks getting pissed off because I'm singing along, loudly and off key.

Thanks Polyphonic Spree, love you guys to the moon & back!!  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

no hot dogs

If I read one more story about dogs or children dying in hot cars I think I will SCREAM!!

Please folks, have a little bit of common sense.  If you're uncomfortable in the car, imagine how your pets are going to feel.  Leave them at home in this weather.  Our dogs are happier napping in front of the air conditioner with a big bowl of ice cubes than they would be out traipsing around with us. 

I wrote this post last summer and would like to encourage you to read it again.

Take the OSPCA's "No Hot Pets" Pledge this summer.  They will even send you a nifty sticker for your car which has the OSPCA emergency number.  If you see hot pets in parking lots, take action, please, and help save a life!!

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Forever Anthony

I was saddened to read that Mesach Taylor had died.  Years ago, I was a huge Designing Women fan and I particularly liked his character Anthony Bouvier.  The relationship between Anthony and Delta Burke's Suzanne Sugarbacker made for some comedy gold.  I know he had a long and varied career but I'll always remember him as Anthony.  Rest in peace Mr Taylor.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

the day after

Chemo feet, well feet waiting for chemo #shoes #blissphotoaday #blissdomcaWell, where did that 24 hours go??

Finally, at the moment, I think that the patient is starting to feel better.  Had a rough night last night.  Lots of stomach issues, not a lot of sleep.

This morning, Mark was scheduled to go back to work but I wouldn't let him.  We both just had a quiet day.  Got caught up on our sleep.  Napping in front of the air conditioner actually felt pretty good.

I've been on vacation all weekend but am not accomplishing much.  The "to do" list I had for myself will just have to wait.  None of it was urgent, just things which I would have liked to get to.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Chemo - round 7

Text 7 to Canadian chemo Idol to vote for @taxichef #chemo #cancersucks #cancerclinic #round7Chemo during your vacation is not really any more fun for the patient than it is when you receive it on a regular day.  I would actually venture to say that this week's chemo was a little harsher on Mark than it normally is.  The odd thing about that (and we're not 100% sure at the moment) his oncologist was going to decrease the dosage slightly this week.  About halfway through today's session, Mark started to feel weak.  That hasn't happened before.  Perhaps the weather is having something to do with that.  It was pretty steamy and humid today outside today (it was comfortably cool in the clinic) which may have zonked him a bit.  Not sure. 

Since we got home, he's continued to feel weak.  He did eat a bit of dinner and had a little nap earlier.

Fortunately, he received a prescription for a new anti-nausea medication that his pharmacist suggested.  If he takes it in advance of his next round, he should notice a difference.  Sure hope he does anyway.  Each round just gets a little rougher on him.

Thank goodness he's only got 5 more of these to go through.