Sunday, October 30, 2005

Cold and Flu Season

Well cold and flu season is definitely upon us. I've been fighting a cold the last week and finally on Friday just gave in and stayed home and I've spent the last two days in bed sleeping and feeling cruddy. It has brought back alot of the bad memories of treatment when I was too sick to eat and had to fight to even sip water. It sorta scared me and I've been second guessing myself again and wondering if I can do this again. It's fine to sit here when I feel ok and say yes I can do this and yes I'll do better this time and force myself to eat and drink and then I get a cold and sink immediately to the point where I am not eating and drinking enough. It is almost like a mini test of "Can I do this again?" The one and only thing that keeps me moving forward towards treatment is the consequences if I do not. Dr. Erb's words keep echoing in my mind. "You don't want to find yourself at end stage liver disease in 10 years because you didn't get treatment now"

I am thinking about trying the full treatment again if the doc can help with the anemia either by reducing the dose of the riba or maybe with the epoetin. Today is not the day to think about it though. Today I am feeling kind of fragile as far as all this goes. I think I deal with it mostly by not dwelling on the bad parts but today the bad parts are too close and too easy to remember. I don't want to think about sticking a needle into my stomach once a week for god knows how long, I don't want to think about trying to force those damn pills down when I know what they are doing to me, I don't want to think about any of it really but reality is kicking in and being sick has just made me remember what it was like to lay there and not have the energy to force yourself out of that bed.

I'm up today and moving. Al is now getting my cold the poor guy. He has a heavy workload at work, he's doing part time work on the side and he still tries to make sure I'm not doing too much. Ok this is just getting drearier and drearier. Maybe later.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

October colour

Busy week! Lots of changes at work and the hardest was Stewart leaving. He made it difficult for the rest of us by some of his actions this last week so by Thursday when he was finally gone we felt like a huge weight had been lifted. Wednesday was Winai's last day as he wanted a few days with his wife and baby before starting his new job on Monday. He arrived in Canada one week and was working for us the next so he's had very little time to relax and spend time doing touristy things. We will really miss him alot. On Thursday afternoon he showed up to pick up his rain gear and boots and whatnot and he brought a huge beautiful bouquet of yellow roses with a card thanking Jude and I! Friday was Avtar's last day for a few weeks. He'll probably come back in January but could very well be back sooner. We'll see him at Christmas too. Khush is leaving for 3 weeks in India to take care of family farm business over there. So it will be Gary and Jude and I for the next 3 weeks.

I got my bloodwork results back and they aren't too bad really. My ALT is 112, AST is 70 and Bili is 11. Feeling not bad, no more pains thankfully. Basically same as always. This week seemed very long with all that was going on. Thursday night was girls night and it was at Lynnies. Sophie is getting huge! She's only 4 and a half months and she's already over 65 pounds. She's a beautiful girl, very silky and very playful. She has energized Babe, their other Great Dane and the cat too is now involved with a daily romp through the house. Lynne has a fenced dog run attached to the side of the house and all three animals can get out there and that's where the dogs do their business. For some reason the siamese cat has taken it upon himself to go out there each day and cover the piles with wood chips (the flooring they use)! Lots of work when there are two Great Danes!

Ryan is in the process of moving his stuff in and we are starting to put stuff away for winter. We are still planning on moving but think we will be here over Christmas anyway. Treatment starts in January so I want to be ready in case we are moving February or March with having everything in order and already sorted and containerized so the move wouldn't be so bad. Kody is making himself unpopular at the moment and has peed in the laundry room twice in the last week. I know what his problem is but seriously he is not in my good books right now. I informed him the other morning that the only thing standing between me and a brand new condo with all the extra's was him! Because we have two dogs like we do we know a condo is not the place for the dogs to be. One we could manage but two just won't work. So he better smarten up quickly!

Keesha on the other hand is doing very well and she's aging gracefully. She's a sweet old girl and would do fine in a condo. She'd sleep all day while we were at work and then be quite happy to spend the evening with us. The only problem would be if she heard noises in the hallway she might bark. Have to see. Still we are torn about a house or maybe a mobile on an owned lot. Lots of building going on in our area. Al is considering a job change as well. So we'll see where it all takes us. I get momentary panic attacks when I think about all that's going to be going on both at home and at work and me on treatment! I have to keep reminding myself to take it a day at a time and stay positive. Gotta be in good shape mentally and physically to kick viral butt!!

The top Maple is called is called Atumn Flame and the colour is outstanding! The other is an Oak and they get a very nice colour too. Sophie and Kody and Keesha make up the rest. :)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The appointment is made.

Things are starting to fall into place. We've had two days of hashing it out at work and Jude is going to lay most of us off between now and December with a call back date of March 1. This works perfectly for me. We may work a few days in there between but that is fine as well. I phoned today to make my appointment with the doc at VGH for the middle of December so I can get my prescription and be ready to go in January. The deed is done, no backing out now!

I also phoned and made a doctor appointment with my family doctor to get my LFT done as they haven't been done in a few months and I'd like to see where they sit. A couple of days this week I've had a really bad throbbing pain in my right side just at the bottom of my rib cage that lasts for a minute or so and then goes away. But it was a stabbing pain you can't ignore. Not sure what the heck it was but it made me nervous. Of course anything that happens on the right side around my ribcage I immediately think must be liver related when it could be anything I guess. Not sure what else is in the general vicinity that could cause that kind of pain. It hurt so much I pushed in on it to try and make it stop which it mostly did but when I let go it came right back in a rebound type of pain. Anyway gone now, hasn't happened today so hopefully whatever it was has gone away. I've got a cold too with a nice barky type cough that is just generally irritating and a headache I'm assuming came with the cold.

The last couple of days have been really stressful at work with trying to decide how layoffs were going to work. Stewart is leaving and probably won't be back. Khush will start stepping into Stew's job. Winai is gone as of next Friday and has another job to go to. He has a young wife and a baby and is a good worker. He's been offered a job to train as an electrician and as much as we hate to see him go, it is an opportunity he cannot afford to pass up and we wouldn't want him to. With the Olympics coming here in 2010, construction is booming and they are crying for tradesmen. He'll learn a trade and when he's ready and goes back to Thailand he'll have something to take back with him. So he had already told us he was going. Avtar will go at the same time. Stew will stay til the end of October and then he is gone and that will leave just Jude, Khushwinder, Gary and I. I'll get layed off when we close for two weeks at Christmas and that will serve as my 2 week waiting period and it will also get me started on treatment. I can work at home for the first little while til we see how I do and what treatment I am doing or whatever. It is just very hard to see people you have become close to and care about move on to other things. We will miss them terribly. Avtar will come back in the Spring when we need him and we will continue on.

I've had a bad week with my sister too. A long horrid story that I am just not going to go into but it is very hard to be her friend right now and she really needs me to be. She is lying to everyone and asking me to pretend she is with me when she is not. She wants me to lie to both my Mom and my husband so they won't know what she's doing. I finally told her this morning that I will not lie to Al for her and please stop involving me. Now I'm pretty sure she is mad at me and I am not going to hear from her. I'm not trying to judge her and what she does in her life is her business but when she tries to drag me into it, well I just am not going to allow it. I have enough stresses of my own to deal with and just can't do this for her. She is looking very stressed and fragile to me as well. I am worried about her but I cannot help her at this point. I have been telling her she needs to go and talk to someone, get some help from a counsellor.

She came to see me at work yesterday and got me all involved in this without asking me and then with this whole layoff thing and my cold with my pounding headache, by the time I got home from work I was in a foul mood. As my poor husband came to meet me at the car and help me bring my stuff in I bit his head off and yelled at him because I could not reach him on the phone when I wanted to. I've spent the last two days apologizing for being such a bitch. After I explained it all to him and told him the whole story concerning my sister and my mother and what is going on he just looked at me and shook his head and said my whole f**king family was insane. Thankfully he understood and accepted my apologies for being so bitchy. He was probably afraid not to by that point.

The new kitty is now called Molly. Don't ask me how cause I'm just not sure but she is definitely Molly now. She and Sirus have been chasing each other all over the house and having lots of fun. Kody trails along behind and barks and occasionally gets his nose swatted but it is keeping him entertained as well. The kitten has had no accidents and has no interest in going outside at the moment. I guess she got her fill of the great outdoors while making her way to and hiding in the barn. She is quite happy to stay in when Sirus goes out. She sits at the sliding glass door and watches him from there and then goes off and sleeps someplace til he comes in again. I'm tired and am very glad this week is coming to an end. Tonight was girls night and it was at Jude's. I just got home at 9:30 and morning comes early.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Thanksgiving Weekend

It's Thanksgiving here in Canada this weekend. So we get a long weekend which is always nice. We are going out for dinner tomorrow night and all the various kids have plans so we're not planning on cooking a turkey this weekend. Maybe next. I love turkey and have found the leftovers make excellent tv dinners. At the dollar store you can buy tinfoil dishes with the lined cardboard lids like the kind you get with chinese food. Jude turned me on to doing that and it works great. I've tried various things and turkey works the best. After a long day at work there are many days when we just don't feel like cooking so throwing in some frozen turkey dinners is great!

We have a new addition in the household. At work on Thursday one of the guys came in from the barn with a small black kitten in his arms. She is about 14 weeks old and was very very skinny. We think someone dumped her (and the rest of her litter) off on our country road and she made her way to the barn. She must have hid out for awhile until hunger drove her out and the guys saw her and brought her to me. It pisses me off no end that people do this sort of thing. If you get a cat then you get it either spayed or neutered. To let them have kittens and then dump them off on some lonely country road when you can't be bothered to find them a home is nothing short of cruelty to animals. They starve, get run over or eaten by coyotes or other wild animals. As I was taking her home safely secured in a box I passed the body of another one farther down the road. I have no idea how many more may be running around but the one I brought home is the only live one I've seen so far.

We named her Sable but I've been calling her Sally for some reason so I think I will have to change it to Sally. When I brought her home the dogs looked at me askance like they just couldn't believe I would do this to them again! Sirus the other cat also looked horrified. The kittens tail looked like a bottle brush. That was yesterday. This morning as the cats were eating side by side Sally decided that Sirus's food looked better so she moved right in on it and Sirus let her. The dogs have decided she is good entertainment and they follow her everywhere she goes. Kody is trying to lick her and she swats him on the side of the nose. Keesha checked her out and now she just ignores her for the most part.

On Thursday (busy day Thursday was) my son David dropped off Christina to me at work around noon. He had a scheduling conflict with work and nobody else was available to watch the baby on Wednesday and Thursday so Josh went in and picked her up on Wednesday and took her to the park and out for lunch etc with his friend Corina. As they were leaving the park Allie (mommy) phoned to see how they were making out and Josh said, "Well, we are on the way to see you so you can change her dirty diaper" and Allie said seriously bring her to me and then she got a chance to show her off to the ladies at work. Josh and Corina picked Allie up after work and drove her and Christina home. Then Dave brought her to me on Thursday and I took her home with me and kept her overnight and took her back to work with me on Friday morning and Dave came and picked her up at 8am. She was most annoyed and thought she was spending the day at work with me! On Thursday it worked out well though as I also had the kitten who was walking all over my desk and keyboard as I was trying to work! I have kitty footprints all over half my paperwork!

Other than that it's been a pretty quiet week. Work and more work. Al too. Very busy handling two teams at work and beat when he gets home. For the most part we have just let the house go for the week so today I am cleaning and doing laundry. Ryan too has been working long hours. He was here this morning talking about getting boxes and getting moved in and then he got a call from work and has gone again. He has til the end of October to get moved so he's fine. I am going to make a huge pot of spaghetti tonight and we are going to snuggle down and watch some movies. Josh has a huge movie collection and lends them freely so we always have more than we can watch at any given time.

I have two computers here this weekend that I am fixing for friends as well. Computers are one of those things that if you know a little and someone else knows nothing then you become the expert! Luckily between Al and I we can usually figure it out, but it's just one more thing that needs doing. Luckily when working for free and for friends they don't hassle me to get it done and are happy to work on my schedule. Normal week for me healthwise. Same old same old.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Dirty Rotten Liver Blues

A little girl named Haley Vincent that I have been following through her Caringbridge page has written and sings some liver related songs. She is 11 years old and waiting for a liver transplant. This last weekend she passed away still waiting for her new liver. Cut and paste or you can download them at the bottom of her page. I'm thinking about Haley today and singing her songs in my head."

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Hockey is back and I am so happy to have it back! There was a pay for view game on last night against Edmonton. It was the last exhibition game of the year for the Canucks and our season starts on the 5th and I think it's against Pheonix. That makes me really happy as Gretzky is now coaching Pheonix so that will make them my team to cheer for after the Canucks. :)

We went to Josh's and watched the game on his projection tv. The game was great and the Canucks kicked ass. The Sedin twins and Anson Carter are going to make a great line. Our goaltending may be a problem again this year but I have high hopes.

I sat there at Josh's last night and looked around at the apartment and tried to imagine Al and I and the animals all living there (along with Ryan for awhile) and as much as I like the idea of all new everything I just can't see us all living there. We have pretty much decided that because of the dogs we will probably look for a small house with a yard. We talked to Sheilagh last night and told her we were probably moving and what we had been doing to the house as far as the laminate floors and the painting etc and she said that she and Brian had been talking about it since the night before and decided to pay for any repairs we had made. This will definitely come in handy with the move along with our damage deposit that has been accumulating interest all this time. We have made quite a few improvements to the house and yard including adding another bedroom and a new deck but Sheilagh has been watching the papers and saw that Don had sold and how much he was asking and she told Al that when we move she'll put the house up for sale. Don sold for $300,000 and these are old houses from the 50's on city lots. People are interested in the lots, not the houses. I'll be taking all my garden plants and digging up cuttings of stuff too big to move. Most of the trees I've bought I've kept in containers so they will be easy to move and it will give us a head start on any place we buy.

I was home Monday and Tuesday last week just feeling really crappy. On Wednesday I went to work and everyone else at work was sick too. Just sort of a fluey type of intestinal disorder with a headache. Thank heavens the headache has gone away for the most part. I was very worried it was here to stay. Hot flashes and nausea are still the norm but with the cooler weather it helps in the hot flash department except at night. I am so thrilled for Martin to have reached undectable. After three bouts of treatment he and Carol must be in 7th heaven. I pray he manages to stay that way after treatment stops. Everyone on the board seems to be doing ok with treatment right now and that is very good news. Lots of new people starting treatment. I wonder what it will take to crack this virus for everyone. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason for why some do not respond at all to treatment, some respond immediately like I did and then as soon as treatment stops the virus rears it's ugly head again. I noticed they are now referring to Geno type 4, 5 and 6 now as well. I hope they find something to stomp the ugly little bugger into the ground for everyone and make it stay there! As Paulo says "Kill the Virus"!!

We had torrential rains on Thursday and some of our pumps at work failed and the yard started to flood. Stewart (who is also sick) waded waist deep into two different ponds to retrieve pumps and at one point he almost electrocuted himself. I have blackmail pictures too :) He eventually had to strip down and change into Jude's sweatpants and fuzzy jacket to go home. I took pics :) and no I won't share. Stewart would definitley kill me if he ever managed to stumble onto this page! Last year at this time when the rains started, we were still in a trailer in the yard and the office we are in now was used for storage and the guys lunch room. It flooded knee deep a couple of times and I have pictures of the guys sitting in there in the middle of the flood having coffee at the table with the water swishing around their legs and stuff floating around them.

Then we decided we wanted to reclaim the building to use as an office and Khushwinder and Stewart and Gary worked on fixing the drainage and the berms around the office to stop future flooding. Thursday was our first big test to see if the water stayed out of the building. I had a minor fit as the water started to come up in the yard and I unplugged my computer and lifted it up onto my desk. Khush and Stew both assured Jude and I it would not come into the office so on Friday morning I plugged everything back in and so far so good. The guys got the pumps working and the water level in the yard went down immediately. Spend the last two days of work in gumboots though. We are still having to use outhouses at work and they were on the other side of the yard. With the yard being ankle deep we needed our boots. On Friday morning Khushwinder moved the outhouses right outside the barn for us. Much better arrangement for winter. We are still working on getting a bathroom working before it gets too cold. Nothing like heading outside in the middle of winter and planting your bare backside on an ice cold toilet seat!

Haven't seen Dave and Allie and Christina for a few weeks. I was thinking last night if we move to Chilliwack (another 20 - 30 minutes out into the valley) we will hardly see anyone. Ryan if he comes with us but even Josh won't make the drive out very often. For Dave and Allie it will be at least an hour drive to come out. Al works in Chilliwack and I work in Langley and we live half way between in Abbotsford. We are trying to stay between Langley and Chilliwack but realistically the pricing is better the farther out into the valley you go so with us wanting a house rather than a townhouse or condo we will probably find the best deals in Chilliwack or surrounding area. For me that will mean an extra 20 minutes to my commute each day but it will make it much easier for Al. The only problem that I can foresee is the winters. Between Chilliwack and Abbotsford is Sumas Prairie and the wind whistles through the valley across the prairie and if there is any snow it can make for whiteout conditions. If this is the case then they close the road. Now depending on where I am when the road closes can make for an interesting day at work. Jude and I have discussed alot of this anyway with me starting treatment in January we are already getting set up so I can work at home if necessary. We can even have the phone calls rerouted to me at home and nobody would really know the difference. Just get it forwarded to my cell and there we are. I have computer and 24/7 cable internet, instant messenger so Jude and I can communicate and I can do my work from home. I have no idea what the doctor will decide for treatment and I have no idea how I will react to it so it's all just a big waiting game at the moment.

Well I have stuff to do around the house and should boogy on. Oh! The tree at the top is called a Spindle Tree (Euonymus europaeus) They are in flower in the field right now and the colour is outstanding! The hot pink flowers open up and inside is an orange berry. I'm not sure how many pictures the blog will hold but am going to include some of what we have been doing at work the last little while.

This is Avtar, Khushwinder's dad, who works with us. We have a series of ponds at work and Khushwinder has been working to get streams and waterfalls running between them all. This is the deck/picnic table that Khush built over the lower pond. He has water pumped up and into the floor of the deck and then out the end and down into a small waterfall. Jude and I and the guys sit here on the nice days and have our lunch. It is still a work in progress but so far so good. The water runs through the floor of the deck and you can see it moving under your feet. It is very peaceful and helps cut the traffic sound in the background.

Next are Jude and Khushwinder sitting on a rock beside another section of pond and stream. The office with the green roof is behind them. Jude has been working on this piece of property for many for different people but this is the first time she has been running the show. She has a vision of how she wants the place to look and Khush can see what she is describing and he makes it come alive. We are all a good team and all of us love the farm.

I remembered I still had some pictures up of the floods from last year. and just for good measure I may as well add the ice storm pictures. These were taken at home, not work.

Well I'm off to actually get something done around here.