June 25, 2014

Saying Goodbye to a Dear Friend


This picture was taken on our 50th birthday weekend getaway in Niagara Falls.
We called ourselves "The Chix".
Me, Sandra, Dawn, Sharon
R.I.P.  Sharon
December 14, 1961 - June 18, 2014
 
Sandra, Sharon and I met in kindergarten, when we were all 4 years old.  Dawn, we met in Grade 7.  I mostly kept in touch with Sandra over the years, and she mostly kept in touch with Sharon, and Sharon kept in touch with Sandra and Dawn.  I lived in another town about 40 minutes away and would occasionally join them on one of their "wing nights" at a local bar that has the best chicken wings.  :)  We moved back here in 2001, so I started seeing them more regularly.  Our birthdays are all within about 6 weeks of each other.  Sharon and I were the same day, although she was a few hours older!  :)  We all went out for lunch for Sandra's 40th birthday and decided to make it a monthly thing.  "Chix Lunch" was born!
 
Sharon's mentally challenged brother lived with her.  Last Wednesday, he couldn't wake her up before he went to work in the morning.  He was very smart to know to tell his supervisor about it, and they contacted the police and Sharon's other brother.  She did have a lot of serious health problems but it was still a terrible shock to hear the news.
 
She was one of the kindest, caring. humble people I have had the privilege of knowing.  She would drop anything to help someone.  She did a lot of volunteer work with the Special Olympics.  The number of people who came to the funeral home is a testimony to how many lives she touched.
 
Sharon's funeral was Monday.  Dawn and Sandra both spoke about her.  I lost it when Dawn mentioned that "We were the Chix".  After the service, as the family was leaving, they played "Come Sail Away" by Styx, one of Sharon's favourite bands.  I lost it again, but was smiling inside.  I don't know who chose that song, but it was perfect.      
 

June 18, 2014

Emotional roller coaster

Last Thursday was a long day.  Josh's surgery went for 9 hours, instead of the scheduled 8.  There was a bit more cancer than he thought.  He had to go down for a few inches behind the breast bone as well as all the other stuff.  The tumour was attached to the wind pipe, and the doctor considered taking out part of the wind pipe, even booking a room in the ICU, but he was able to avoid that and remove the tumour with a fraction of a mm to work with.  The vocal chords were wrapped around the tumour, so Josh's voice is considerably quieter than we are used to.  The doctor says that will probably last for a couple months.

There are 4 small glands behind the thyroid that control your calcium.  Those had to be removed as well, but he was able to transplant 3 of them into a muscle.  It will take some time for them to work again, so in the meantime, Josh has to take huge amounts of calcium.  He was on an IV until Monday, until his calcium levels were brought up. 

He came home yesterday.  He still has drains on each side of his neck, but a nurse will go to the house to change them.  His stitches will come out on Thursday.  We didn't count, but probably at least 50-60 stitches.


Waiting outside hospital for Sharon to bring the car around.  You can see the stitches around his neck.  They go right up to behind his ear on both sides.  We were joking that he can tell people it was a shark attack! 

Sarah was here a week before the surgery, so we were able to have some fun beforehand.  Jim & I dropped her off at the airport on Monday.  I always try not to cry, and I thought it might be a little easier, since it was just Sarah and I didn't also have to say goodbye to Lily and Emma.  But, it wasn't.  I still cried.  :(  Hopefully, they will all be here at the end of July for a visit.

OMG!  My friend Dawn just called and told me that our friend Sharon (not Josh's Sharon) passed away last night.  I think I have put up walls to protect me from all that has been happening, because I just feel very numb.  It is very surreal.  She was the same age as me.  Exactly.  We shared the same birthday.

More to deal with. 


June 11, 2014

Joy in the midst of the storm

It's an emotional week.

Sarah is here from Halifax.  We aren't doing a whole lot, but enjoying the time together.  Last Friday, Hillary didn't have any classes and William had a PA day, so the four of us went to check out the new Outlet Collection at Niagara mall.  It would have been nice to have had a lot of money to spend, but it was good to go and see.  It's very nice.

Sunday, we had a BBQ with the family, so they could see Sarah and wish Josh well on his surgery.  It's been almost 2 years since Sarah moved away.  Of course, it rained!  And 17 people coming to our small house.  That's fine...we've done it before many times.  It's just 'cozy'!  :)  We remembered that we have a huge tarp, and Jim was able to rig it up to cover the patio.  It worked great! 

Sarah wanted to go out to a local restaurant for some chicken wings that she has been missing, and Monday was also Sharon's 28th birthday so we invited her parents to join us.  They are great, 'normal' people (like us)!  LOL

Later that evening, I got a text message with a picture:

 
After dinner, Josh and Sharon had gone to Niagara Falls and he popped the question!
And she said "YES"!!!
 
 
 
I am SO excited!  Sharon is such a sweet girl.  We couldn't ask for a better daughter-in-law; and it means the world to see my son so happy.
 
So that is our joy in the midst of our storm. Josh's surgery to remove his thyroid and all of the lymph nodes in his neck is tomorrow.  I just want to hear that the surgeon was able to remove all the cancer and that it hasn't spread to any other parts of his body.
 
Maybe an impending wedding gave me a kick, but yesterday I ate really well, had no wheat.  The only starch I had was a bit of quinoa salad.  The only carbs from veggies and a bit of fruit.  This morning, I got up not feeling the aches I that I normally have been feeling, and my leg/hip/IT band is almost pain free, after weeks of it giving me trouble and slowly getting a little worse.  Coincidence after just one day?  I don't know, but it sure is encouraging!
 
Tomorrow is going to be a VERY long day.    

June 3, 2014

Well, hello!

It's been ages since I've put up a post.  I was in Halifax April 15-30.  Sarah doesn't have internet and I don't have a huge amount of data on my phone plan, so I didn't get online much.

I had a wonderful trip, spending time with Sarah, Matt and the girls.  Of course, the time went too quickly and I didn't want to leave, as I miss them so much, but I was ready to come home to my Sweetie Pie.  <3

We didn't do a lot of tourist-y things, as it is off season and Matt was working a lot of the time.  I was there for Easter and Emma's 5th birthday was Easter Monday.  It was just us, but Sarah did a great job with a 'Frozen' theme.  I took some of my plastic snowflakes from Christmas for decorations and Sarah made a gorgeous cake.  The snowflakes on the cake are made of white chocolate.

 
 
We also went to see Mary Poppins at the Neptune Theatre.  It was Emma's first live theatre experience and was a wonderful show.  
 
 
It has become somewhat of a tradition to take a picture next to the big lobster at the airport.  He is made of mosaic mirror tiles.  This is where  you can buy fresh, live lobsters to take home. 

 
The trip home was somewhat of an adventure, as I got stuck in Ottawa overnight due to fog in Toronto.
 
Sarah sent me this picture of the girls on Mother's Day. 

 

Since I've got home, I just have not had much motivation for anything.  Weight has been more or less maintaining +/- a few pounds, but it is up around 15 lbs since last summer.  Still, I need to remember that I AM 80 lbs lighter than when I was at my heaviest (probably around 10 years ago), and although I have a long way to go, I will get there! 

Activity level has been almost nil.  We get a walk in here and there, but nothing regular.  We want to get the bikes out.  We didn't do any biking last year. 

The next few weeks will likely not see too many posts again.  Sarah is arriving on Thursday.  Just her, not the girls.  :(  She is coming to be here for Josh's surgery.  Our son was diagnosed with thyroid cancer on Feb. 10 and is having surgery on June 12 to remove his thyroid and all of the lymph nodes in his neck.  The surgeon has booked 8 hrs for the surgery and 5 nights in hospital.  He has to be at the hospital at 6:00am and surgery is scheduled for 8:00am.  It is going to be a very long day. 

I got my exercise on Sunday, helping build a fence at Josh's girlfriend's house.  We helped again last night.  It is almost done.  I did get on the treadmill this morning.  It was only 15 minutes, but that is a start.  That included 3 x 1 minute runs.  I have started seeing an osteopath about my IT band/hip problem.  Just 2 visits so far, but I am hopeful that he will help.

Time to go and get a bit of cleaning/organizing done before Sarah gets here. 

I will leave you with a picture of my lilacs!  I have always loved them and bought myself a tree last year.  The blooms are purple with white around the edges and I got quite a few of them!