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

Worlds Old and New

We started out the morning on a dreary note: cool, cloudy, rain in the night left the lawn wet. I was up at 5:30 am and went out to feed and water the resident birds. We get mostly grackles, sparrows and finches, the odd mourning dove, sometimes a brown thrasher will join the birds on the lawn. During the day robins, goldfinches, northern flickers and western kingbirds also visit my water bowls.

It’s so nice to step outside and hear a rousing cheer, even if it is just birds waiting for me and all excited when I appear. Sometimes I get a surprise, like three mornings ago when I looked out the half-open door and saw a young buck on my lawn maybe twenty meters away. He must be a yearling, not very big yet and just growing his first set of antlers.

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is ANCIENT. Well, My Heritage has supplied me with a bit of ancient this morning: my grandfather nine generations back, Samuel Allen II, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1632. (Now the city of Boston.) So I guess I have some Puritan ancestry.
Their children’s names were also ancient. One record lists them as:
Samuel, Asahel, Mehitable, Sarah, Bethiah, Nathaniel, Ebenezer, Josiah, Elisha, Nehemiah. (I also have record of a Benjamin, Jonathan, Joseph, and a few others, but family records do sometimes get scrambled.)

Another e-mail, a newsletter from Malwarebytes, fast-forwards me four centuries, bringing me to the cutting edge of technology: “How to free your cell phone from ad-ware.”

The sun has come out now and I shall be on my way to the Villa seniors home for Wed morning Coffee time. Wishing you all a great day.

This Week Chez Nous

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve been having a good week? The past couple of days haven’t been so great at our house, what with a pain in the arm as well as severe pain in the wallet and chaos in the office. Hopefully we’ll recover; my arm injected with the Covid booster (Moderna) on Monday, is already improved, but it was very sore yesterday. I felt light headed, listless, and had several long naps; hopefully the effects have worn off and I can resume normal life now.

I wasn’t hearing the latest news, but Bob was telling me that the Premier of Quebec just announced there will be a tax levied on residents who have declined to be immunized, since these folks are giving half the cases straining provincial hospitals now. “Desperate times call for desperate measures,” I guess?

I cooked dinner for the residents at the Villa on Sunday, inviting two couples to join us and the residents. (For those of you who know folks here, they were Wendel & Heather and their four sons — Heather brought dessert & corn — and Ben & Lucille.) Usually when families are invited for Sunday dinner at the Villa, they bring some part of the meal, which is very helpful for the cook!

Monday we up-heaved the office some when I took my PC to the computer doctor in Outlook before going for my booster shot. Remember the old expression, “slow as molasses in January”? I’d turn it on and wait and wait! So it needs an upgrade, and the repair man is also fixing a few programs that don’t work. It will be great to have my mail G-mail account accessible again, but I may probably cry when I get his bill. I’m still whimpering over yesterday’s shell-out.

Yesterday, while I was taking life easy at home, Bob went to the city. Among other things, he got a replacement for the key I lost last week. Beware, everyone. These high-tech keys may be small things, but a replacement costs plenty — in the neighbourhood of $700 CDN!

Worth their weight in gold?

When he got home from the city a package had come in the mail: a mounting bracket for his monitor. Now he can adjust the height. However, to install this, he had to empty and remove a shelving unit that sat along the back of his desk, which means the office is in chaos this morning. (One used shelving unit for sale. What offers?) Chaos can actually be good in the long run, seeing how things never used can so easily get stored away and become part of the decor until you have to move them for some reason.

Our “severe cold spell” is past and we’re into a “severe” mild spell now, though I doubt the weatherman would ever call it that. The temp went above freezing yesterday; it’s -4 now at 10 am; the ice has melted off our windows. Out cats are acting rather squirrelly and are eager to go outside. Stepping outside now, it feels like spring — but we’re not deceived 🙂

Forecast: Dry and Smoky

this sad country
bird bath emptied in the night
by a thirsty doe

The prairies are definitely in a dry cycle this year. Most of our “Possibility of thunder showers” forecasts have evaporated and all the sloughs are dry. Since there’s no water lying anywhere near, I’ve been taking pity on the birds in our yard and putting out several basins of water in the back yard for them. It’s been a joy to watch them from my kitchen window, coming and splashing about, as well as dining on hapless insects floating on the surface.

Last week another creature found my water bowls. Early one morning I saw a doe drinking out of the largest basin so I be sure to top it off at dusk every evening. Several mornings now I’ve found it right empty and a number of telltale hoof marks on the ground. Last night I filled it to the brim around 9 pm and there was only a dribble in the bottom this morning.

Our yard light provides another source of nourishment for the birds, too, judging by how many birds are harvesting bugs on the ground below every morning. This morning I saw robins, sparrows, a kingbird and a brown thrasher feasting there.

There are many fires burning in northern forests; I heard of over a hundred burning out of control in BC alone, plus fires in Alberta and northern Sask.. All this week our atmosphere has been hazy with smoke, sometimes it gets rather hard to breathe. Still, I dare not complain when others closer to the fires are in thick smoke every day and many communities have been evacuated because of encroaching infernos. It must seem a daunting, maybe even hopeless, task to fight fires on every hand, but I’m so thankful for those brave souls out there doing that work.

We’re taking a holiday this week, going to a part of our country where rain is plentiful. In fact, there’s rain in the forecast almost every day this week — I just wish we could bring some back with us! Meanwhile, I hope the creatures around our yard can find another source while we’re away.