pink, pink, pink, PINK, PINK, PINK, pink, pink, pink

I did not see this, I saw it on xxx blog (vvv), and maybe found the original at http://www.luvimages.com/image/campbells_pink_label_soup_cans-5975.html

I did not see this display in a store—I’ve been avoiding stores like the pink plague this month. I saw it on Stephanie Gilman’s blog Pass Me Another Cupcake blog (http://passmeanothercupcake.com/2014/09/29/one-of-those-days/), and maybe found the original (http://www.luvimages.com/image/campbells_pink_label_soup_cans5975.html).

This photo totally explains why I’ve stayed out of the grocery stores this month. Pink packaging runs amok in October. Pink soup, pink juice, pink milk, pink M&Ms (pink outside package, pink M&Ms inside the bag), pink toilet paper, pink curling irons and blow dryers, pink Kitchen Aid mixers for heaven’s sake!!! Please send me one. And a big bag of those M&Ms.

I’ve been trying to write a posting on October, you know,

 

images-6

But I am so conflicted I can’t really get anything out on paper. Or here either.

I knew October would suck for me. I discovered my lumps last October. I feel as though I have let my pink sistahs down—I never painted a pink ribbon on my nails, or dyed my hair pink before it fell out, or wore pink to chemo days. I don’t have a magnetic pink ribbon on my car, or one hanging from my rearview mirror. I don’t call myself a cancer warrior, and I haven’t signed up for a cancer run or walk. I discussed with my psychiatrist (new experience for me, an actual real psychiatrist just for me) how I haven’t gone to any group sessions, have done no bonding with any other breast cancer women, or men for that matter.

What I have found is some excellent writing by other bloggers who have breast cancer, and over the rest of this month I will be reposting some of their posts.

As for me and the avoidance of stores this month? I have Thanksgiving dinner dishes to prepare, and there is not enough in the fridge to cobble anything together, save a pearl onion, olive, anchovy, pickle and fish sauce stew, and I don’t think there’ll be any takers for THAT one!

So it’s off to the shops later today. Maybe I’ll wear my wig. And I won’t be wearing pink.

Advertisements

To read or not to read? Netflix to the rescue!

For the photo that could have been taken at my house, I thank Dianna at  http://www.diannahuff.com/2013/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2012/

For the photo that could have been taken at my house, I thank Dianna at http://www.diannahuff.com/ 2013/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2012/

Like many people who love to read, I have stacks, and shelves, of books I want to read. When I got my TNBC (triple negative breast cancer) diagnosis, I had visions of me lying in bed, propped up by countless pillows, a cup of tea on the nightstand, Clover and the cats lounging on and around me, as I read my way through those books. Between chemo and surgery and radiation, it became very clear that reading anything longer than a magazine article, and I mean a short one, was not going to happen. Chemo made me feel artificial and achy and foggy, surgery made sitting up and holding a book uncomfortable for anything more than 20 minutes. Concentration is poor, my body aches, and I just don’t care about people in books. It takes too much effort. Just like so many things. And I used to love reading my books in bed, and if I lie down now it’s 95 per cent certain I will be asleep within minutes.

Enter Netflix, streaming TV series and movies to your TV, computer and even the phone. Netflix has become my go-to hobby, pastime, babysitter, amphetamine, sleeping pill, best friend, you name it. Eight seasons of House M.D. had 176 episodes, which is approximately 7,920 minutes, or 132 hours of viewing nirvana. After almost every episode I also read a review and medical analysis written by Dr. Scott over at Polite Dissent—we agree that House was the best medical series EVER. If I hadn’t had cancer and been sentenced to the life of a hermit, I would never have had the chance to watch it.

I’m on a roll. I haven’t been completing many things these days, but I think I can pull a list together. Here is what I have consumed as a cancer hermit:

Luther, from the BBC, a psychological police/crime drama, starring the gorgeous Idris Elba. Three seasons; 14 episodes.

Fringe, a sci-fi, parallel universe, time-jumping, paranormal series that fills a bit of the void left by X-Files. Lead is female (Anna Torv! yay!) as FBI agent, with Joshua Jackson as her right-hand man and John Noble as an LSD-dropping scientist. Five seasons; 100 episodes.

House of Cards, political thrills drama starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright that got 13 Emmy nominations. Netflix original. Two seasons and a third in the works; 26 episodes.

Boss, super-dark political drama starring Kelsey Grammar as the mayor of Chicago as dementia with Lewy bodies begins to take over his body and his life. Only two seasons, which is a crying shame; 18 episodes.

Orange is the New Black, everybody knows this one. I’m halfway through the second season; 18 episodes so far.

The Fall, British detective drama (BBC) with lots of murders and fabulous accents, starring Agent Scully Gillian Anderson. Only one season thus far, but a second season is in the works; five episodes.

The Killing, very dark, crime drama, based on the original Danish production, features intricate weaving of plots and personalities. Best lead actors of any show. Three seasons, and eagerly anticipating season four, available August 1 (or 5, I can’t remember); 36 episodes.

Damages, legal drama with huge arcs, adore Glenn Close and Rose Byrne. Five seasons, 59 episodes.

Canterbury’s Law, courtroom drama starring Julianna Margulies, whom I would watch acting in just about anything. It was a warm-up to watching The Good Wife, see below. One season; just six episodes.

The Good Wife, courtroom, legal and political drama starring Julianna Margulies, Matt Czuchry and Christopher Noth (whom I have adored since the first-ever Law and Order in 1990). Four seasons; 113 episodes

Shameless, Brit comedy import about a drunk dad and his eight kids and how they basically bring each other up. Four seasons; 33 episodes.

Dexter, super bloody, murder-an-episode set in Florida with C. Michael Hall playing a psychopathic forensics tech who kills the criminals he feels have eluded their true punishments for bad deeds. Sometimes too predictable. Seven seasons; I’ve watched 36 so far.

The Guardian, legal drama and social work meet as Simon Baker (swoon!), corporate lawyer who likes coke way too much, is forced to rack up 1,500 hours of community service as an ad litem. Three seasons; 67 episodes.

Lie to Me, behavioural psychology meets crime drama starring Tim Roth and Kelli Williams. Three seasons; 48 episodes.

Homeland, American political drama, starring Claire Danes, the CIA, the Marines, Al Qaeda. Two seasons; 24 episodes.

Numbers, a crime-solving pair of brothers who rely on mathematics to solve EVERY case! I make my son watch this one to show him the pure beauty of math. He got 100% in a summer school math test = TV is good for your grades. Six seasons; 119 episodes.

United States of Tara, a comedy/drama about a mum with dissociative identity disorder (Toni Collette), her husband (John Corbett) and their family. I don’t know anyone with this disorder, so I can’t vouch for how on the mark it was with the psychiatry, but I could have watched another season or two. Three seasons; 36 episodes.

And I am watching Wallander, starring Sir Kenneth Branagh, a fabulous BBC Scotland project that is adapted from Swedish novels, and filmed in Sweden, Three seasons; I’m on the last of 12 episodes, and an episode is an hour and a half long—lots of time for character development.

So you know I have to do what I’m going to do now. Add them all up.

946 episodes. Roughly 135 episodes a month, which is four and a half episodes a day. And I cook and clean and do laundry and sweep and fold clothes while Netflix streams on, keeping the little voices in my head how I like them—overpowered.

As useless as…

teapot choc3

A picture is worth a thousand words? Picture Credit: Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License- Commonsenses at ja.wikipedia

As useless as a chocolate teapot…. I first heard that expression when I lived in Oxford, and have loved it ever since because of the perfect image it creates. Now I’m finding that it perfectly describes the way I have been feeling for week and weeks. I can’t really achieve anything. I put everything off. I lie for hours, and that is no exaggeration, in my bed in the middle of night with my mind bouncing from one scenario to another, none of them good. I decided to post in my blog about this cancer side trip as a way to keep family members and friends updated, as a way to record triple negative breast cancer treatment for others who might want to know, and as a record of what happened for me to read later. But lately I haven’t been able to find the energy to write anything. Am I wallowing in self-pity? I ask myself that over and over. Is it depression, despite the antidepressants I take? Is it exhaustion from the radiation? I’m only on the eleventh treatment—does it set in that quickly? Or is it chemobrain, or brain fog? I have resisted that concept since the very beginning. I don’t know if there is a technical term for the state of feeling useless, but whatever it is, I don’t like being here.

I’m throwing in the rake

It’s the day after Halloween. We had a blast (photos to follow, maybe, if they’re any good at all). But to get to Halloween decorating, I had to venture into the backyard to fetch the rake, to make piles of leaves, to stuff stray body parts and wigs into, to make part of the front lawn look like a zombie resting place.

Don’t misunderstand me. I see my backyard every day from on high, from the Romeo and Juliet deck that towers over the yard. From that vantage point the grass never looks really tall, and you just see the tops of weedsflowers and the odd dog toy. Sure, the raspberry bushes are overgrown, but whose raspberry bushes aren’t unruly shoots and brambles?

So to gain access to the backyard and the rake, I had to go down the path between the houses, and encountered this:

This passage sealed the fate of the zombie leaf pile on Halloween night, and led directly to my decision to abandon the backyard fall cleanup

A week and a half ago there was a phenomenal storm that ripped a huge branch from the front maple. It landed on the car, with one end on the front yard, over the car and the other end touching our neighbours’ tree in the centre of their yard. It took two strapping lads to drag it and stuff it between the houses, because the wind was so fierce we figured it would keep smacking things on its way down the street. I wrote a note to number 1 son and his friend to please cut the branch down and bag it for yard waste day removal. Fail.

So I picked my way around the tree and saw my backyard from ground level for what could be the first time since the end of summer. Great horny toads! What a disaster! I’ve been asking, suggesting, prodding, threatening, even the n-word that is forbidden in my home to describe anything I do (na**ing), but no one has done anything but pick raspberries and throw toys for the puppy for the last two months, and it looks it.

It all comes back to the mum. Read the ads, make the list, cook the meals, clean the meals, buy the clothes, wash the clothes—now not only would I be raking the leaves back here, but pruning and thinning and grass-cutting and then sawing and hacking these branches down to size too.

So this morning when I opened my mail and saw one of those deal emails for a fall yard cleanup, I said NO. Actually, I said YES, I will buy this, and NO I will not get stuck doing more work around the house than I already do. So, I paid $59 (regular charge for the service is $189) for someone else to rake, bag and drag the leaves away, trim and prune my lilacs, forsythia and raspberries, fertilize, de-weed and cut the lawn.

I have felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders, and back, and back of legs and triceps, biceps and deltoids too. I feel like a wealthy woman (the charge went through, so why not??), because for a few hours, I will have a yard man or woman. I have never had one of those. I’ll bet it feels great.

Til next time, or when I get Halloween pics from my phone.

Wow! That last little while just flew by!

smileyIsn’t it sad how when you are not in a position to HAVE to do something, you often don’t do it? I speak for myself here, and it’s about this blog—I used to do it because I was THE Mom Blogger for Canadian Living magazine, a fabulous national magazine that I still get and read and look forward to, even if I am not the blogger of record on the website.

But being there, on the site, with a fresh post every day, made me feel so connected to the blogosphere, where I exchanged friendly tips and words of encouragement with real-life relatives and friends and people I would never meet no matter how many hours there are in the day and dollars in the world. But it was fun while it was demanding.

Question: Is posting once a month too stupid? Maybe. Every two weeks? Every whenever there’s enough time? That’s likely what it should be.

So there’s my new schedule: a posting whenever there’s enough time.

Okay, so here’s what’s happened since I last posted…

butterfliesThursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. And that’s today. I won’t actually attempt to fit seven and a half weeks’ worth of happenings in one post, but will bore you with them slowly, one by tediously one. Ha! You were wondering when I’d be back.

Excuses, excuses…

Interesting how our excuses change as we age.

  • He hit me first.
  • She knocked that over.
  • He ate the cookies.
  • I peed my pants.
  • The dog peed on my pants.
  • The dog ate my homework.
  • I left my backpack in the back of the coach’s car.
  • My stick broke but my dad worked late and I couldn’t get a new one.
  • My mum forgot to wash my tights.
  • Dad was too tired to help me on my project.
  • I wrote it down in a list but then I lost it.
  • My curling iron broke, so no way could I go.
  • My boyfriend fell asleep and I couldn’t wake him up.
  • My best friend was sick and I had to stay and help her.
  • The car wouldn’t start.
  • The car ran out of gas.
  • The car has been stolen.
  • Christmas is a weird time with to much stuff to do, too many emotions and too much to think about.

Yes! That’s it! That’s my excuse for the absence of Because I Said So! for the last two weeks. Did you miss me? Don’t you hate when people ask you that? “Well, yes, of course I missed you. Were you really away?”

So it’s time for me to play catch-up! Wish me luck!