This morning we've already been to the recycling depot, the farmer's market and had breakfast.
This afternoon we have plans to clean off our screened in deck for the summer and hose and wipe everything down so we can proceed to spend the rest of the summer out there. Other than lifting large furniture I can still help with the rest, so (after a nap and some tea) today is the day for it. It's a gorgeous sunny day today and I feel marvelous, so I'm determined to get this done while I have more energy!

Besides some fresh fiddleheads (which I'll BBQ up with some pork tenderloin for supper...mmm) I also have little cayenne, mint (mojitos!!!) and grape tomato plants to put in pots on our step. Yup, I've gotten the gardening bug...even tho I can't lift much still and my plans for a garden bed in the front yard this year were thwarted, my brother made my year by offering me the 2 raised beds he has in his back yard that he and his wife have no desire to plant this year. His wife and I went out and got some seeds and starter plants and I spent a sunny afternoon last week weeding and planting up the beds with rows of tomatoes, carrots, beets, lettuce, swiss chard, pumpkin, zucchini, summer squash and some brussel sprouts. There's a small rhubarb and some chives back there already. She and I also started out a pot each of herbs (basil, oregano, thyme and parsley) which I hope to have for the fall for deliciousness. She will water things if I weed and we'll share the delicious results. Bwaha! Hopefully things will start popping up in the next few weeks and I can drop by to visit a few times a week to have a beer in the back yard and weed the beds and visit. Seems like a great idea all around. Now that I've got more zip in my zoodle it's nice to have things outdoors to look forward to.

It feels like summer is here finally :)

What are you up to?

Hiya. I'm back. Feeling great. Had a great visit with Dad and I'm feeling better every day.

Dancing about the room with my cat, playing this song as loud as I can and drinking coffee.

What are YOU up to this fine day?


Well, I am off to visit my dad for 10 days in the northern lands where there are no interwebs, but much wine and chirpy squirrels.

Try not to get into too much trouble while I'm gone!

random rambles

My friend Jeff is due to be a dad any day now. I finally feel up to knitting their little one something so I'm getting together a package to ship off to them. They live in China (where he met Jo) so I need to knit at a more than normal speed if they are going to get it anytime soon (and still fit when it gets there!!). I cannot wait to see how adorable their half blonde haired blue eyed half chinese baby will be. I want to tuck in a few things from Canada that Jeff is missing too. I finally feel mostly mobile so I can get started. I can't lift anything for a while yet, but knitting is OK. And I ran across a pattern to knit a fake boob (foob?) online too...perhaps a future knitting project. We shall see :)

While I'm visiting Dad I'm looking forward to many nights of knitting and sipping wine. I'm sure we'll be out visiting some old family friends up there as well some nights. I'm gonna bring the sewing machine too...I've had fabric to make some infinity scarves for months now and lost the juice to finish might be the perfect time if the weather decides to be crappy. Or I may sit on my ass and read all day or tinker with dad in the shop. I can't work on the wood lathe or do anything too lifty or physical for another few weeks so I need to take it easy. I have the clearance for long walks though. Hooray.

Once my arm is a bit more mobile I'm looking forward to some ukelele madness. Thing is, I'm trying hard to not over do it with the physio or other stuff. Altho I feel pretty good It's still only 2 weeks from surgery so I need to be mindful of that. In physio the stretching feels tight but so nice at first I kept pushing my shoulder as far as it can go...and I have to remember to ease into it at first. Once things are healed up a bit moremore I can worry more about extreme stretching. Both my surgical drains are out which is nice and gloriously freeing (nothing says sexy like having a ball of your own goo around your neck) and allows more exercises to do and soon I won't need bandages anymore either once the drain wounds are dry. When I stretch too intensely it makes the wounds leak (sorry. gross I know) I'm trying to find a balance to heal up well and stop having to bandage myself. (moreso since I react to adhesive tape so I get more sore from the tape than the actual's stupid).

I am pleased to say though that I can reach my arm up enough to get on a regular shirt now so I am wearing a t-shirt and grinning at the moment at that achievement.
Oooh. Aaah.
All in all, things don't ache too much...just the odd twinge as the nerves under my arm and across my chest start to come back together. They're still tender to the touch, but so far so good.

Three glorious words

I had a discussion with my surgeon this morning and I have three glorious words for you from my surgpath report. Repeat after me:

Yessiree kiddees.
What that means in non-medical gobbldeygook is that there was no cancer to be found in all the nodes they removed or in my breast that was removed. Yes - from what we can tell right now, the chemo appears to have done it's job completely and entirely. And it gets better, because what this means in the long run is that with my tumours in my breast and nodes melting and disappearing the chance of any residual cancer remaining to lurk in other parts of my body is very very small indeed.

Yes. What it means my good peeps is that life is good :)


J made a comment the other day that made me smile. That he looked across the room and saw me sitting in the chair with my cat in the sun (where I have set up camp lately) and it looked like I was better and happy. Like my old self...Well except for no hair! 
But really. It's strange that after a major surgery I stll feel more like myself than I have in months. I still have some leg stiffness and pain but for the most part I have so much energy and happiness. My surgical drains are out now and with home care coming to change my dressings daily I can start doing my physio exercises to get back my full range of shoulder motion. I am sore, but not unreasonably. Maybe it's because I finally feel like I am improving daily. Who knows? All I know is I feel better than I probably have any right to :)
If I am healed up enough I hope to go up with J this long weekend to visit Dad and then stay for a week to visit and unwind.  I have a week with no appointments or problems and the thought of a good visit with Dad at my favourite place on earth should do me leaps and bounds at healing. Crossing my fingers I heal up well and can get away for a bit...

Today is mother's day, and I have been thinking of my mum a lot lately. She was a sweet kind woman. I miss her. All of you still lucky enough to have your mom's around today give them a big extra hug for me :)

Wot ho my good bean? is a lifesaver. It has links to journals and studies related to your diagnosis, has information of all kinds and a huge set of chat boards of patients and doctors on any and all topics. I have learned so much and been comforted by the experiences of others, knowing what to expect and getting tips to deal with my treatment.
Today I was reading one of the chat boards about hair loss and regrowth (I am so impatient for my eyelashes and hair to come back!) and came across the following quote about how chemo hair grows back that made me laugh out loud:   
"I have been naming the hair stages: (1) Sick as Hell (2) Prisoner of War (3) Labrador Retriever (especially if your hair is thick like mine) (4) drum roll please .... I think I am entering the Distinguished Gentleman phase"

Currently I am blended between phase 1and 2. Random stubble of brown and grey. I will keep you updated as I enter woof phase and finally get to whip out my monacle and walking cane :)

That went well

Well, My surgery is done and I have to say...BRING IT WORLD, IS THIS ALL YOU'VE GOT?
I feel...really good. Compared to the worst of chemo this has been absolutely pleasant. My only complaint is that I drifted off in the OR before I got to count down from 10 to 1. I am such a lightweight that I didn't even notice what was going on after they put the block in my back for freezing...I just laid down and poof! I was in recovery. I even ended up knowing the surgical assistant-he was an old grad student of mine. I had no issues with the anaesthetic and felt up to seeing the few visitors that popped by. My surgeon was fabulous and the whole care team was very skilled and caring. I was able to get a private room with a view of the park which was nice. And lots of pudding and jello. Bwaha.
And my J was there the whole time for me. Love that man. 
It's really quite remarkable how I can just be missing a breast...but it's OK. Honest. It doesn't hurt too much (I am only taking tylenol and advil for the pain) and I can rest up here at home with lots of graphic novels I picked up at comicon and watch movies and nap. There are two Jackson Pratt drains that are a bit annoying just because there's nowhere convenient for them to go but they should be out in a few days if all goes well. Here in Canada after mastectomy's we have home care nurses that come and check on you every day and change my dressings as needed, and remove the drains and keep an eye on me until I am healed, so I know I am getting the best care possible. After getting up the nerve to peek at myself, I found I have just a small incision across my breast and the drains are under my arm so once this all heals up the scars will not show when I wear normal clothes. It was skin sparing to make my eventual reconstruction easier, but it doesn't look too freaky deeky's flat. Yup, my surgeon is amazing. Now I just have to rest up and wait for the path results on my lymph nodes...
I am sitting in my recliner with my cats after a nice walk out in the sunshine and nibbling on some fruit and soup brought by by kind peoples feeling pretty happy. Somehow despite all this madness I have been given so much love and skill and can I not do anything other that heal up well :)

Oh...before I forget. Here are a few bragging pics from comicon of my friend H and I as space pirates and my kickass Spider Jerusalem costume (comfiest, most badass costume yet). It's all I bothered to download from the camera so far...

Have a fabulous day my interwebby friends. :)