Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Today I did something new.

Technically, I did two new things.  I went to a music shop with Evening Goose and Evening Goose's Sister, and I made a bento lunch for myself!


I know

The music shop was fantastic!  I bought ukulele music!  And a metronome!

The lunch was pretty darned good, too.

I packed it in my new LunchBot Uno.

(Which makes 3 new things.)

I had a ham and cheese tortilla, which was heated and cooled before packing.  Cucumber slices and baby carrots helped wedge the wrap in place, and separate it from the grapes and white fleshed plum.  That may not really have been necessary, since the grapes and plum slices were in red silicone cups.  Some snap peas were stuffed in to hold it all in place, and provide some more green. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Garden Week Something

It's well past Week 15, that's for sure.

The planter on the deck is well and truly finished now.  No more lettuce, no more peas.  One scraggly looking bean plant is holding out, but not for much longer.

Meanwhile, the raised bed is still producing cherry tomatoes.  And purple carrots.  I've even harvested some peppers in the last few days.  The cabbages have set their heads, and will be harvested and enjoyed.

Do you remember me telling you that the broccoli did nothing?
Look at this:

It's not a beautiful head, and it seems to have, erm, gotten old-ish while I wasn't paying attention.  But!  The broccoli did grow!

The cabbages look lovely:

It seems the cauliflower is not the variety we thought it was:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I think I wanna see 50/50

I had the opportunity to go to Toronto last week with my friend, Evening Goose.
We went during TIFF.
We did lots of cool things.
We did not see *any* of the movies. 
But we did look at the big ol board that listed what was showing where, when.  And ya know what?  I wanna see a couple of them.

Not a whole bunch of them, just a couple.

50/50 is one of them.

While I was Sherpa-ing, one of my big tasks (in terms of time) was the "Idle Banter About NOT Cancer".  Keeping it light was one of the more fun things. 

So I want to see this film.

I am hopeful that it is a more accurate portrayal of the cancer experience.  Since I'm not a male, 25 year-old comedy writer, I don't expect it to reflect very much of *my* cancer experience.   I still want to see it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Ahoy mateys!

D'ye know what day this be?  

Why, 'tis September the 19th!  If ye be wishin' to grow yer knowledge a bit, ye best click on this.

To celebrate the day, the girls took something with a bit o'flair:
Ham and lettuce in tortillas, sliced into rounds, and decked out with a pirate flag.  Some yellow pepper slices are contained in a silicone cup to prevent sogginess and to suggest a treasure chest.  Green seedless grapes and orange cherry tomatoes (from the garden!) are separated from the sandwich by pirate themed cupcake liners, folded to show the map and treasure.

 And what better to accompany than a pirate hat napkin!

(photographed on the table for better contrast)

Friday, September 16, 2011

5 Reasons Mammograms Are Not Really Scary

Really.  They aren't.  Honest.

Getting a mammogram is not my favourite way to spend an afternoon, but it is way less invasive and/or uncomfortable than many other medical tests.

So why do so many people put them off?  Is it because mammography is scary?

Then in the name of naming and exposing the monster under the bed (Geoff, and really just made of balled-up unwashed socks) to make it less frightening, here is a short list to de-scare-ify mammograms. 

1. There is no prep for a mammogram.
None.  At all.  OK, so you don’t wear deodorant/antiperspirant before the test.  It gets the plates all gunky and can be hard to clean off.  But still, this isn’t a prep kind of thing.  You don’t have to drink anything gross.  You don’t have to fast.  You just show up.

2. It is not invasive.
Let’s face it, the majority of people getting mammograms are women.  Ladies, this is nowhere near as invasive as the way, way more common cancer screen – the PAP smear. 
Yep, you have to have your top off.  However, you will probably have a gown to cover you, or some little jacket thing, depending on the place doing your test.  This is nothing like trying to arrange 2-3 pieces of paper to cover yourself.
For the gentlemen out there who will require this test (yes, men get breast cancer too) while you will probably get looks from the women (well, some of them), I've been told it's it’s not as bad as a prostate exam or hernia check.  Not that I’ve ever had either.  This is what I’ve heard from a friend-of-a-friend who is a male breast cancer survivor.  He’s also a veteran, and a grandfather.

3. It doesn’t hurt.
Seriously.  Your breasts are pretty malleable.  The mammography machine (let’s call it….Betty) has two plates.  You kind of lean into Betty, and the plates compress your breast tissue.  Yes, Betty does  squish your breasts fairly flattish. I would say it is more discomfort than actual pain.
Now, if you are having a mammogram and find yourself thinking “Jade lied!  This hurts!  Betty is evil!”, tell your technician.  You will probably need to describe the pain (Stabbing/throbbing/burning etc.)  It might be that you can be repositioned. Or maybe not, but it only takes a second for the “picture”, so it won't last long.

4.  A mammogram doesn’t take a long time.
When I had my first one, I figured it would take the whole afternoon.  It took less time than I expected.  It would fit into a lunch hour.  Now, there are exceptions to this, of course.  The center I go to has two mammogram suites, and other rooms just for ultrasound, biopsy, and consultation.  If you have to have extra images taken for what ever reason (like having dense breasts), it can take a little bit longer.  

5. It’s not really the test that worries you, is it?
It’s the possibility of the bad result. 

There have been lots of theories floated about why people don’t get checked.  I subscribe to the "If I don’t know, then I’m fine" theory of denial.  It’s a little like a small child covering his eyes and thinking you can't see him.  It also doesn’t work. 

Getting a bad result (or a diagnosis of cancer) doesn’t mean that in the second a Doctor says the Big C Word you’ve received a zott of deadliness. 


It has been there, lurking, undetected, for some time.  Kinda like The Silence. (For Dr. Who fans.  For everyone else, I’ll wait while you click this link.)  Every bit as creepy.  Every bit as malicious.

And the sooner you know, the more time you have to do something about it. 

But ignoring your own health? 

That's really scary.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

School's Back!

It is the second week, in fact.  Yay!  So, why no posts last week?  Because it was the first week of school. Yes, the children took lunches. I just didn't post any pictures.  Until now....

This was Friday's lunch. Some lovely green seedless grapes and red pepper slices, and curried chicken (left over from supper) decorated with thin red pepper slices approximating birds.  The brown rice (also from supper) is separated from the chicken by romaine lettuce, and decorated with a fresh-from-the-garden purple carrot.  

Friday, September 2, 2011


So, you may have noticed I've not done any health related or cancer focused posts lately.  That's because it's testing season, again.  Eventually I'll get all my assorted appointments coordinated so I can get them done inside the same month or two, but right now there are tests run in the spring, and more in late summer/early fall.

No, we are not going to worry.  I get to do these every year.   It's part of the life of a survivor.  That doesn't make it fun.  I have tests and exams, and then I wait.

The waiting is the worst.  It makes me feel like cat in a physicist's thought experiment.  You know the one.*  Inside the box, I'm both fine and not fine, until someone checks and reports the result.


*Schrödinger's cat,  this interpretation