Saturday, 30 June 2007

Kihei Dreaming

It's a gorgeous clear day here. It's 11 degrees, with an expected high of 19. Not all that warm, but the sun and air this morning reminds me of one morning in particular in January, in Maui. I went for an early walk along the beach and watched the sun come up. And snapped some pictures.
Imagine having a beach such as that right out your front door! What a view!



Book: Hell's Angels by Hunter S. Thompson

Music: Fragile by Yes

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Just Another Day...

Had lunch with birthday boy today. He's as cute as ever! We can tell he's one year old now...his car seat faces frontwards, and he loves it!

Meg and I felt like Mexican so we went to Mexicali Rosa's, and Jr. had a great time....

Miko's plate was almost bigger than he was!

But did we enjoy ourselves? You bet we did!
Book: Hell's Angels by Hunter S. Thompson
Music: Rabbit Fur Coat by Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins

EVER WONDER?



- Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

- Why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed?

- Why don't you ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?

- Why is "abbreviated" such a long word?

- Why is it that doctors call what they do "practice"?

- Why is it that to stop Windows 98, you have to click on "Start"?

- Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid- made with real lemons?

- Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

- Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

- Why do we park in the driveway and drive on the parkway?

- Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?

- When dog food is new and improved tasting, who tests it?

- Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

- Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?

- You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?

- Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

- Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?

- If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?



Book: Forever Young: Photographs of Bob Dylan Music: A Hundred Miles or More - Alison Krauss

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

It's a Beautiful Day!

What a great day! Went for my medical appointment at the General's Bone Marrow Transplant Unit this morning and it was all good news. My heart scan turned out excellent. My hemoglobin is down, my protein levels are down and as for my kidneys - my creatinine levels are down.

This all puts me on line for one more "induction" chemo treatment in a week or two prior to the heavy dose chemo about four to six weeks later, leading to the bone marrow transplant. This is sooner than expected - three "induction" chemos instead of five or six.


There will be side effects from the heavy dose chemo which will likely involve a hospital stay of around 7 days or so where they can monitor possible fevers and so on, but the rest of the treatments will be on an out-patient basis. I'm quite anxious now, given this excellent news!

Book: Forever Young: Photographs of Bob Dylan by Douglas R. Gilbert, Text by Dave Marsh

Music : On an Island by David Gilmour

Today's Skill Testing Question

Some people just don't know when to take the money. Final answer?


Book: The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho

Music: Jump Jive and Wail - The Very Best of Bill Wyman's Bootleg Kings

Monday, 25 June 2007

The Party


Yesterday was Miko's 1st birthday party (even though his birthday was the 23rd). It was quite a day!
Here's the smiley, happy guy. Boy did he have fun. And he was a laugh a minute! Like when he shared his juice box with Uncle Matt.

Later Matt enjoyed his own "juice box".
Nana and Steve were there, of course. Grampa and Nana enjoyed their seven-year reunion.
But the day was reserved for you know who, and you know who enjoyed a pile of wonderful gifts and showed his appreciation to the assembled...
The cake (individual chocolate-iced cupcakes) was a big hit...
Particularly with Mikayil...
Dad (Selo) thought so...
Miko and Mom enjoyed watching the kids hit the bejeezus out of the piniata...
Mimi takes a whack...
And Layla too...she would eventually crack the thing open - full of candies for all!
And at the end of the day, who was still going strong? My Miko!

Book - "The Black Book" by Orhan Pamuk

Music - "Sky Blue Sky" by Wilco

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Not Dreaming of Cake (or anything else)

It's 5 am and here I am...on the computer. This is getting to be a routine. Yesterday was the first day of my last dexamethasone cycle for the month and my blood sugar levels were through the roof - 26 at lunch and 23 at dinner. By bedtime (after a two-hour snooze on the couch) it had dropped off to 15.6. So it was an insulin-filled or fuelled day yesterday. We'll see how today is headed, when I take my blood sugar reading before breakfast.


Almost finished my book - "The Black Book" by theTurkish Nobel-winner Orhan Pamuk. I must say as difficult as it was to get into, and as repetative as it seemed to be at the start, it nevertheless has proven to be an interesting read overall. The pace of it all is a little slow for me, but I find in moments when I'm not reading it, I'm thinking about it, about different aspects and developments and stories within stories. I can see the author put a lot of time and thought into writing this. The Times Literary Supplement calls this "Pamuk's masterpiece." Not a bad endorsement.


Today's a very big day around here. It's Mikayil's 1st birthday. Maryse and I are off this afternoon to Megan and Selo's for the big event. We got Miko a big red wagon. It'll be interesting to see how he responds to it all - and according to his mother it will be the first time he's ever had cake.

Me and my diabetes, I'll have to pass (ha, it'll be the first time I haven't had cake.)


Looking 'birthday cakes" up on Wikpedia, it says: "The birthday cake has been an integral part of the birthday tradition in Western cultures since the middle of the 19th century.
The cake, or sometimes a pastry or dessert, is served to a person on his or her birthday, and is often decorated with small novelty candles, with the person's name and/or a message of congratulations inscribed with icing. The phrase "Happy Birthday" did not appear on birthday cakes until the song Happy Birthday to You was popularized in the early 1900s.

Tradition holds that the person with the birthday may make a wish, which will come true if all the candles can be blown out in one breath. As with Christmas puddings there are various traditions of coins or Touch Pieces being added for good luck."


Everything you need to know, right here on this blog.

Book: see above

Music: The Kinks - "Waterloo Sunset" from The Kinks - The Ultimate Collection

Friday, 22 June 2007

Sleeping Problems

Well, I skipped a few days posting any material - not because I don't feel well, but rather there's really nothing much new to pass on.

Maryse's mom arrived from Kelowna Wednesday. She spent a quiet day reading and resting Thursday, telling me it felt like a real vacation for her. That's great.



Me, I'm still having sleeping problems. I tend to lie awake at night and thus nod off during the day time. Poor, Therese. She must think me very rude!

Last night I went to bed at 7pm, slept until 11:00pm or so, then pretty much through to about 4am. And now here I am, posting some info after having surfed the net for a couple of hours. Believe me, I'm right up to speed on the American election! Until next time...

Guitar: nope

Book: The Black Book - Orhan Pamuk

Music: Planet Waves, New Morning, Knocked Out Loaded, Street Legal - Bob Dylan

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Father's Day








Got caught up with the kids last night as we celebrated a belated Father's Day. Matt gave me video collections of Alfred Hitchcock and Sherlock Holmes - hours of viewing!




Meg gave me the book "Forever Young - Photographs of Bob Dylan" - photos from the mid 60s when he lived at Woodstock - what a collector's item; cool. Thanks guys, love ya. Oh, yeah and Miko too - days away from the big celebration - his first birthday!

Book: The Black Book - Orhan Pamuk

Music: Solitary Man - Johnny Cash

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Quick Update


Feeling pretty good. My appetite has returned. Had a lunch date yesterday, another tomorrow - both with former colleagues. Alas, my insomnia is still with me. Sleep in fits and starts from about 10:30 to 1:30-2am before finally getting up around 3 to read or go on the internet.

My head's starting to kinda look funny - to me anyway. After a month of growing in it's looking a lot like a peach! A quarter inch white fuzz is an odd look, believe me, especially when you consider the frequency with which I normally visit the barber!

A slight dark cloud on the horizon: the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit nurse called yesterday to tell me my creatinine levels were up (kidney problems) and that Dr Ansti wants blood work done this week. Other than that, things are on the up and up. (I think - and hope.)

Guitar: What guitar?

Book: The Black Book - Orhan Pamuk (Nobel winner)
This one's a challenge. It is the Turkish author's first book. I started it several months ago and then put it aside. Chapters/Indigo says: "The Black Book is a brilliantly unconventional mystery, and a provocative meditation on identity." Elsewhere, it is referred to as "complex". Indeed, it is. But I'm determined to get through it, though it is not your conventional novel.


Music: Red Headed Stranger - Willie Nelson

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Humour

The First Blonde Guy Joke



An Irishman, a Mexican and a Blonde Guy were doing constructionwork on scaffolding on the 20 th floor of a building. They were eating lunch and the Irishman said, "Corned beef and cabbage! If I get corned beef and cabbage one more time for lunch, I'm going to jump off this building."

The Mexican opened his lunch box and exclaimed, "Burritos again! If I get Burritos one more time I'm going to jump off,too."

The blonde opened his lunch and said, " Bologna again! If I get a bologna sandwich one more time, I'm jumping too."

The next day, the Irishman opened his lunch box, saw corned beef and cabbage, and jumped to his death. The Mexican opened his lunch, saw a Burritos, and jumped too. The blonde guy opened his lunch, saw the bologna and jumped to his death as well.

At the funeral, the Irishman's wife was weeping. She said, "If I'd known how really tired he was of corned beef and cabbage, I never would have given it to him again!"

The Mexican's wife also wept and said, "I could have given him tacos or enchiladas! I didn't realilze he hated Burritos so much."

Everyone turned and stared at the blonde's wife. The blonde's wife said, "Don't look at me. He makes his own."

Friday, 15 June 2007

Catching Up - Cycle II - Plus 5

My apologies for not posting in the last seven days. It's now 5 days after my last chemo cycle ended, Sunday, and I tell you I simply haven't felt well. It's not so much I'm nauseous, which is what my doctors expect me to be (and I'm building up a nice little supply of anti-nausea pills in the cupboard) but rather I'm tired, fatigued and, at night, insomniac. In addition my legs are quite weak. If I could best describe how I feel it's over medicated - you know, like when you take too much codeine and feel hazy and light-headed. Thank god I've skipped the intestinal viral problems this time around. And as I said to Megan, though, at least the further out I get from my actual chemo days the better I feel.

The somewhat depressing part is the ongoing sickness and the sense that I just feel worse and worse, compared to how I felt before I started the chemo. But Maryse, ever the optimist - and she's right - says I'm going to continue to feel worse before I eventually feel better. Now, that's not as depressing a statement as it sounds. If I were to be as optimistic as she and my doctors are I'd realize that this entire process will result in a bone marrow/stem cell transplant that will eradicate 90 per cent of my cancer. And how will that be when it comes to feeling better...!

Interesting development today, although I don't know the results yet. The doctor I saw at the bone marrow transplant unit last week - Dr. Ansti - ordered a heart scan in the nuclear medicine unit this morning. The technician said this was a normal benchmark type of activity for bone-marrow transplant candidates, meant to determine if my heart was up to handling stronger drugs if and when necessary.
Hey, I'm officially a Quebec handicapped parker - got my parking shield in the mail this week. Age, and a decrepit body, marches on! Now I have to get my doctor to fill in a form to ensure the province doesn't take away my license. I kid you not. I did so well at convincing the province I needed a handicapped parking pass now they're not sure I can drive any more. Sheeesh! Now I can park next to the doors at Wal Mart to get my prescriptions...I just can't drive to get to the parking spot!
Guitar: Yeah, yeah, I know

Book: Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
Music: "Sailing" from Christopher Cross - Christopher Cross

Friday, 8 June 2007

The Insulin Factor

Those are insulin crystals. Cool, huh? Anyway, what I neglected to mention in my last post was when I got up this morning, and after taking my dexamethasone, my blood sugar reading was 17.5. It's normally between 6 and 8. I raised this with the folks while I was in for my chemo, and their best advice was to talk to my family doctor. I did. I'm now on sliding scale insulin.
So I've got a pen and the whole kit and caboodle to inject myself as needed - 4 times a day: before each meal and before bedtime. This is just what I was doing in 2004 when I was taking dexamethasone with thalidamide. So this isn't new and it helps keep my blood sugar down while I'm taking dexamethasone. As Martha would say, "It's a good thing".

Guitar: will still get to it
Book: advancing rapidly through From Beirut to Jerusalem
Music: Fool (If You Think It's Over) - New Light Through Old Windows - The Best Of Chris Rea

II Day 2

Good morning. I spent 4 hours at the Day Care Clinic (funny term; this one's for adults) yesterday receiving my chemo and a transfusion of two units of blood. Maryse had a question, which I asked the nurse, "This may be a silly question, but (that part was mine) where does the blood go?" (In other words, why do I need 2 units to replace it.) The answer is the fact that I'm anemic and have multiple myeloma means I likely don't produce enough red blood cells in the first place, thus I need the transfusion to top up things. You learn something new every day.

With the transfusion though, I have to tell you I slept like a...

(Hi Mikayil! - I'll use any opportunity to show a pic of grandson Miko.)

I slept close to 12 hours. And knowing of the insomnia that's coming as a result of the dexamethasone, I'll take it when I can get it.

Guitar: I'll get to it.
Book: From Beruit to Jerusalem (read a lot in hospital yesterday)
Music: "Dreamer" (of course) Retrospectacle - The Supertramp Anthology
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