May Journal Page

Hello everyone! Yes, I’m still alive and well, though I haven’t been near the computer very much lately.

Spring – or summer? – is finally here. After our last snow the thermometer rose steadily and we’ve needed our air conditioner. Smoke from northern fires has made the air hazy for a week. The birds have returned; the trees around us are noisy from morn til night. No rain for weeks, just a bit last night, so I’ve been filling water basins on the lawn for the birds again. Chokecherries and lilacs are blooming and I should be doing something about my planters and flowerbeds.

My courage has been low these last two weeks. So much to do — it feels like I’ve five mountains that should be moved right shortly and have only a trowel to work with. Where to start? (Is this a sign of OCD?) Sewing projects waiting, flowerbeds to work, writing & editing needing done plus a heap of housework. Then I’d like to paint & draw again.

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is INDEFATIGABLE –and I’m not. 🙂

I can’t blame it on my health woes because the medication I’m taking has done wonders in bringing my blood counts back toward normal. Something to be very thankful for. I’d like to be upbeat but think of all the work that need doing and wish I had more energy to tackle it. Sometimes I do have good days; it’s not all bad.

At least I’m getting lots of fresh air these days, having become the peace-keeping force in our yard. A stray cat has wandered in – or someone has left it off. Anyone who thinks they can drop an unwanted cat off at some town or farm and it will cheerfully blend in with the locals needs a sharp lesson on cat behavior. Predators grab the weaker ones. The stronger ones have to fight for every bit of food and shelter they find.

Our Angus likes being outside, and he’s very territorial. He won’t tolerate this stray in our yard – and the stray won’t run from a fight. He isn’t going to let Angus boss him around. When the two meet, it’s claws and flying fur. So I’ve been keeping an eye on Angus when he’s outside and bringing him in the house should the other appear. Or I swoop in at the first sign of aggression, sometimes having to separate the two combatants. Not an easy task!

I have accomplished a few goals. Over the past two months I did get a new dress pattern worked out, a prototype for every day and then a Sunday dress made. I dug up part of my flowerbed yesterday. Saturday I did some decluttering.

I’m a hoarder – may as well confess. In the course of looking for our finch feeder I found a box containing old greeting cards and other paper keepsakes. Get-well cards from 1980 when I had my cancer surgery; cards from my 40th birthday party, from friends back in Ontario. My grands can deal with them someday. 🙂

Are you sentimental? Do you have old cards and diaries like these squirreled away? Or are you a minimalist?

My Week in Haiku

wrung-out dishcloth
hanging over the sink
fourth day of chemo

That’s how I felt yesterday. 😦

Not sure if I can blame the pills, which I started taking Sunday morning, or if it was “just a headache” such as I have now and then. Tuesday night I went to bed with one, which persisted until morning, giving me some queasy moments. At 4 am I prayed a desperate prayer for relief, which did come, thankfully. My headache eased up to bearable. Pain meds made me drowsy all morning, so I spent a good part of it napping in the recliner. Felt so much better in the afternoon.

sunshine after the storm a petrichor of gratitude

Sunday and Monday my oomph level was somewhere below sea level. At times like that, I read a lot. Now I’ve started Lost Luggage by Samantha Tonge. (Is it true that in England airports send unclaimed luggage to an auction and anyone can buy them?)

Thankfully I feel back to normal this morning, so I trust this will be a more productive day. I’ve already evicted some dust bunnies – returned them to the great outdoors where they can roam at will.

dust bunnies
gather in my corners
one more chapter

Tuesday morning I was having a serious problem with my Kobo e-reader when I tried to change the account’s e-mail address. I messed with it for an hour or so, but couldn’t reconnect to our Wifi here. I took it over to my daughter’s place after school; it took my twelve-year-old grandson about five minutes to get me all set up again and my latest purchases downloaded. Of course. 😉

February Thaw

mid-winter thaw
the trees in our yard
hopelessly hopeful

At the end of January we were hearing that a Polar vortex was about to descend on us, plunging temps down to -30 C. Last week Monday, January 30th, eighteen young men from different parts of the US and Canada were arriving for a special Preparatory Class* our congregation is hosting. Our home youth were jubilant! Coming from Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kansas, California, Washington, Idaho and Wisconsin, these young men were about to experience a Canadian winter! (In all fairness, the fellow from WI shouldn’t be too overwhelmed.)

And they did feel the chill to some extent. Monday evening the temp was -20 or below. However, our polar vortex soon moved on; since then we’ve had a really mild spell with temps hovering between -1 and -6. They did get in a game of hockey last Saturday, now the skating rinks are getting slushy. The predicted low tonight is -13 C – that ought to help.

At 7:30 this morning it was -2 C. Yesterday I noticed our poplar trees are budding. Will they never learn!

*This is a class to teach these young men about the faith, to prepare them for Christian life and service. They also get to experience a different environment, maybe a different culture, and mix with other young church brethren. There are Preparatory classes for girls as well.

Friday Journal Page

Hi everyone. The weekend has arrived! And Friday the 13th, if that says anything to you. My off day was yesterday so today I hope for better things.

Specifically I’m still hoping for a call from my family doctor, giving me the results of the ultrasound I had Wed. An odd lump on my cheek, close to my ear: will it be a lymph node, a problem in the salivary gland, or something more sinister? Here’s hoping for good news — and I’d sure like it today. 😉

Yesterday I was waiting for a phone consultation with my oncologist, hoping she’d get me started ASAP on some chemo or pills to treat my CLL. In preparation for this visit I’d had a blood test Wednesday. Yesterday morning the oncologist’s nurse called to explain that the results of a couple of these tests wouldn’t be in for three weeks. (What kind of blood test takes three weeks??) And the doctor wants to hold off treatment until she has these results, will call me around Feb 2nd. There was no mention before of this possible delay, so I’m rather disappointed!

After dinner I sat in our recliner and zonked out. For me that’s sometimes my go-to response to emotional upsets. Later I went to the Villa, visited with the residents and played Mexican Train with Helena, one of the ladies there. Sometimes it’s helpful to run away from your problems. 🙂

This morning started out with a lovely rosy dawn. And later my husband drew my attention to our frequent visitors, the sharp–tailed grouse clan. I’d just tossed out feed for the sparrows and the grouse were clustered around, gleaning the grain. I counted at least ten, but they scuttle about constantly or cluster, so are hard to count.

This afternoon I’ve been scheduling some posts for early February, just in case I’m away from my computer a lot.

Effective or Stop-Gap?

Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt word is STOP-GAP

When I talked to my oncologist last month, she said I could start treatment for my leukemia any time I’m ready, and gave me the choice of two options: intense chemo for a year or one pill for the rest of my life. The intense version, she says, would be chemo by IV every week for a few months followed by every two weeks for a few months followed by once a month for the rest of the year — with very frequent blood tests for those first few months. I told her I wasn’t ready to begin yet.

However, my lymph nodes are starting to be affected and my energy level has plummeted in the past month. I had a blood test, then saw my family doctor yesterday. He says, yes, my white cell count has gone up again, though not so much this time. He supported the idea that I may as well start treatment, seeing as the condition won’t improve. I told him what the oncologist was offering as my options. Of course I’d rather have the pills than all that chemo, but I want the most effective treatment, not just a stop-gap measure that might leave me mumbling along.

Anyway, he’s sending me for an ultrasound re: the swollen gland by my ear, and I’ve started the treatment process by lining up an appointment with my oncologist. Again, a phone appointment. A stop-gap measure, in my opinion. Perhaps the Cancer Clinic doctors are just too busy to see patients unless absolutely necessary, and my case is pretty standard? For them it’s the blood test numbers that really tell the tale. No matter. I have a good GP I can see as needed.

Image: Mohamed Hassan — Pixabay

A Rosy Dawn

I wrote a few days ago about how my leukemia has been flaring up — my main symptom right now being fatigue. Which means I haven’t gotten into Christmas shopping mood, plus three of our grandchildren are upper teens. Gift certs work best. 🙂

Last Sunday we were wondering how this week would turn out, anyway, when we heard one of our elderly members — living in a nursing home half an hour away — was quite low. The family had been called together and we was a church were expecting a funeral announcement anytime. But the dear old gent rallied and the week went on as previously planned. The school children brought their Christmas programme Thursday night and our church youth group brought theirs last night. We enjoyed the two lovely evenings, listening to the Christmas story brought through songs and old familiar carols.

Took me awhile to fall asleep last night, so I didn’t get up until almost 9 am. Woke up feeling rather blue, partly because Christmas is coming and I’d just like to skip it. Grinch! Also, this morning again I’ve a tender lump in front of my right ear; I’m guessing it’s a CLL-affected lymph node. If I start getting lumpy lymph nodes I’ll have to get with the treatment. Which will likely be small stuff this time around; just one pill for the rest of my life.

Got up and read a text from the elderly gent’s family letting us know that their father died at 2am this morning. This will change Christmas week for a lot of people. He came from a large family, so a lot of nieces and nephews, plus he & his wife had seven children, so a lot of descendants. Plus he was a well known pastor. Condolences are pinging in steadily on WhatsApp.

Mr Hiebert was 91 in Sept, so led a good long life. A pastor for many of those years, he helped us a lot when we were sifting through many religious doctrines, searching for truth and a church home. As I said in my title, we had a lovely rosy dawn this morning. We trust our dear old friend enjoyed a rosy dawn in that land of eternal day.

Image: Peggychoucain — Pixabay