Monday, January 29, 2007

I have been a victim of debit card skimming - $1,000 taken from my chequing account. I think it happened at the Paramount theatre on John Street, where I took Satchel on Friday to see a movie. Now I have to call my daycare and tell them to hold off on cashing the cheque on the 1st because it will bounce and can only hope that the bank will replace the money quickly.

I am so angry and also feel very helpless as I wait for my bank manager to call. I tried using my bank card today only to have it declined and a message showed to go to my bank to have an issue resolved. Once there, the teller replaced my card but it took her quite a while because she had never done it before and when she showed me the screen with my bank activity, there was really nothing to see. It was only coming home and going online to check my account that I found $1000 missing - in 2 neat $500 packages.

So what does one do? Hide their money under mattresses? Try to manage now all transactions with cash? Charge everything and then pay up at the end of the month?


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ron has been over the past two days - the official reason behind his coming over is to work on the deficiency list. The REAL reason for his coming over is to play GUITAR HERO. He's an addict.

___ has promised that the electrician will come tomorrow to hang all the light fixtures and that we will have an installed barn door on Friday. That should be interesting...why do I have this nagging feeling of doubt? Because he LIES? Hmm, maybe. Then it's only the painters that are needed for touch ups. Of course now we're noticing the screws in the kitchen ceiling are starting to pop which means we will never be free of ____.

But will I be able to photograph the finished result to post to the blog? Nope. Because someone in the house BROKE my digital camera. This I found out when I walked over to the kids' school to photograph the new principal for the newsletter only to find that when turned on, it looks like I'm trying to document some radioactive mass. Nobody will admit to messing with it in the house, even when I ask in a calm rationale voice.

We also had to buy a new vacuum cleaner and I didn't go cheap. I bought what was promised to be a really good one, one that would last at least 10 years. It isn't/it won't. It's crap. A big red plastic canister of crap. Now I'm going to have to take it back to Sears - or I should say Paul will have to take it back - and bring my other neglected one back in off the porch.

What has me excited right now is that we're going to New York from March 22 to March 25 to attend our friend William's art opening. I have booked our hotel and will try to score flight tickets off airmile points tomorrow morning - otherwise I'll be reserving those tickets too, first thing and then no doubt writing about it.

Time for bed - I have a wicked head cold. I have noticed my immune system isn't what it should be - I'm catching everything.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

When I awoke from my mastectomy, I felt like I had a thousand pound weight sitting on my chest, drawing in air was excruciating. And my throat was raw from having had an air tube forced down it for 15 hours - but the nurses and doctors would only give me ice chips to relieve the pain for fear I would throw up and pull my incisions.

My ears were plugged and would pop every time I opened my mouth, it took days for them to clear.

The following morning in step down (like ICU), a man was brought in in a special chair. He had a trachea and therefore couldn't speak. He too was desperate for water and kept slamming his fist on his chair. They finally brought him a pad of paper to communicate and he kept writing water...over and over. Every time a new nurse or doctor entered the room he would pound his fist on the pad of paper.

The crazy thing is he had this tube that looked like it was attached to the top of his head which made him look like he was a Borg from Star Trek. And he made me uncomfortable because by my day 2 (his first) they finally gave me water and I drank constantly - with him glaring at me the entire time. I'm sure that if he could have figured out how to detach himself from his chair, out of desperation he would have attacked the nurse for one sip.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I'm anticipating another flip-out session between ____ and Paul. Get the pop corn popping!

We were supposed to have the painters here today - Paul called at 10:30, leaving a message asking what time to expect them. ___ phoned back later and said he forgot to call us - they aren't coming today. They're not finished another job so will be here on Monday. "What time?" I ask. "I don't know." says ____.

I check my calendar to see that on Monday, Pella is supposed to come too. I ask John if he knows what time they're coming and he says no. They haven't called him yet.

How much do you want to bet neither shows.

Man, are all contractors useless like ours has become? Useless and over priced?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

There may soon be an end to this irritating, exhausting and financially bankrupting reno - well at least in terms of our relationship with ____.

I now have in my possession an unstained barn door in my basement - not exactly what we expected which was a stained finished door ready for installation. The painters are supposed to descend upon us again which should prove interesting with cats and children at the ready. And all of expecting to get mad headaches from the fumes.

It was kind of fun watching Paul flip out though and then call John up complaining that he had LIED to us about the barn door. That he had been told before Christmas that the doorway had been replaced and finished and that instead what we were given was the same door sanded. I love when he gets mad, though it's not the explosion that I'm privy too when he finally calls ____.

We're still waiting for the deficiency list to be tackled. I'm sure we'll never have the hardware for the bathroom installed. Ron doesn't even pretend any more that he's going to come back and do it. In fact Ron's given his notice so it will be interesting to see if anyone, outside of the painter and hopefully the electrician, comes back to our house.

Sadly too our cleaning woman went around and pulled all the green tape off the walls which marked all the deficiencies and now we have to go back around trying to remember where they all were.

I did manage to get most of the light fixtures though - we have only one that has to be ordered and it could take up to two months to get. I went out on an aesthetic limb and chose a style for the kitchen that I have nicknamed Sputnik, a decision fully supported by Kim - and I do trust her taste. I brought one home and I think it will look amazing. I am attaching an image of my kitchen with two sputniks dropped in to give you an idea of what they will look like - they're larger in my constructed picture then they are in actuality. They'll look even more fab (I think) then they do in this picture. And then with Paul's large red painting up on the wall - our kitchen is going to be amazing!

On to the body reconstruction part of the blog: I was at the hospital twice last week - once to the radiation oncologist to confirm that I hopefully don't need treatment and another follow-up appointment with my plastic surgeon. Fortunately I don't need treatment - thank God, after seeing all these poor people with gray pallor, slumped in chairs and wheelchairs, it reinforced that this is an exclusive club I do NOT want to join - and my plastic surgeon feels there's still too much swelling and my scars are still quite red so I will return in 90 days to see if we can nail down a date for the next surgery. I do look pretty rough, though if I squint, my scars look a bit like a one-eyed happy face.

On Monday I spent time with a woman working on her PHD as part of a breast cancer research study. I think after talking to her comprehensively about my experience for an hour and half, I was left a bit depressed so I hid from the world until Wednesday where I took baby steps which involved drinking way too much wine with the neighbours. But I felt much better after that!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The cleaning woman was here today - she's very chatty and I was incredibly tired. I just wanted to go back to bed and sleep all day. I just wanted to sleep for days. But I got up, dragged myself into the shower and then spent quite a bit of time chatting with her.

A side note, when I woke up I felt like I had punctured my tongue and sure enough I had. There was a small hole at the tip and it hurt ALOT. I have no idea how it happened but am suspicious of what Paul gets up to in the middle of the night. Plus I now have the biggest freaking bump over my left eye - again what is Paul up to? It's like one incredibly huge hive but what allergic reaction could I have had in the middle of the night and why in only one spot over my eye. What the hell is Paul up to?

Finally I managed to get my sorry ass out of the house (1pm) and into the car and took off looking for some lighting fixtures as requested by my contractor. I should offer to show him my scars again because obviously he's forgotten I'm recovering from surgery. I had no luck at all. But I did buy 2 plants from Home Depot which a lovely young boy carried out and loaded in to the car for me.

I think I'm becoming a crazy cat woman because when I brought the plants into the house, slowly and one at a time because I'm pathetically weak, Hamish (his original owner changed the spelling of his name on me, dropping the E) dropped to the ground into a commando-like crawl and scurried over to investigate. Then it was full out attack mode. Thank God he's Canadian, Bush would recruit him in a nano second! He'd win the war on terrorism, and fast.

Here are the shots of Hamish - confirming that I truly am a crazy cat woman.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I met the radiation oncologist yesterday and...NO RADIATION FOR ME. I would have hugged him if he'd looked like he'd showered sometime during the past year. But I have to wonder why, when an appointment is scheduled for 1:30 and at 3pm you are switching a a little spot light on and off, pretending it's a laser gun, that all doctors' appointments can't even come close to being on time.

And I really didn't like being on the second below ground level floor of Princess Margaret Hospital because that's where they keep all the really sick people. People who look half dead and probably are feeling pretty much that way from all the radiation and chemo treatments they are going through. A group I thankfully don't have to join because again, I don't need radiation! Of course, Dr. Wells did have to be a bit of a bearer of bad news, he just couldn't leave it at "radiation will not reduce the risk of reoccurrence after having had the mastectomy." No, he had to throw in "women who are diagnosed with DCIS - meaning me - generally die from breast cancer." I asked what kind of time line are we looking at here and he said "30 years." I'm feeling pretty optimistic though so I'm going to move that number up to 40 because 72 is too young for anyone.

Outside of that, John my beloved contractor - oops sorry, I choked - wants to wrap up my house and was wondering if we found any light fixtures over the Christmas holidays. Nope, we didn't even think to look because it was Christmas and I'm only now up to driving. But the barn door is supposedly done, just needs to be stained - at our house, in our basement. This has Paul in a tizzy because he's positive John had told him that the door was finished and stained before the holidays and now we find out it's not done and has to be finished here so that we're subjected to all the odours. All said in a very loud voice while having the ray gun pointed at his head.

Pella is also scheduled to arrive on the 22nd to replace the panel of our french door.

And finally, Friday I'm off to my rock star plastic surgeon for a follow up appointment. That should be harmless, I think I'll bring up de-droopifying the non reconstructed breast when she goes in to fix the new one. I can hear my university professor (a nasty little lady who taught survey art history courses and had a full length portrait of herself in her house) now saying "MEG STOP MAKING UP WORDS!" I was never actually subjected to her wrath, that was Ian.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I forgot to mention that I have to meet with a radiation oncologist on Monday at 1:30 to determine if I need radiation treatment. In my mind I have already decided I don't need it since the pathology showed my lymph nodes were clean and it will also wreck the result of my reconstruction. I really hope he doesn't say anything differently.

One other distressing note, I had to go shopping to buy bras that will fit the new me and accommodate my big old chest mound. That was absolutely depressing - standing in a change room with a floor to ceiling mirror, brilliantly lit, showing off my scarred body in all its glory. I almost started crying.

I went to bed when I got home.
I'm sitting here with a glass of wine, my mother sitting beside me and I'm struggling to know what to type. Something that won't incriminate me (with my mother) and impact my inheritance.

My Mom's been here for two weeks and has been keeping me distracted. My Mom is diabetic and is currently popping Hershey kisses with almonds with a fervour that rivals only a crack addict focusing on their next hit and also musing on why her blood sugars are a bit high.

I feel like I have so much to catch up on...starting with Christmas.


...started with the kids rising early and me mumbling "go back to bed, NOW!" Finally I relented and sent them down to see if Santa came...and he did. Then I managed to score a couple more minutes by saying "okay, go down and open only 2 presents." When Satchel came back up saying Jakob had opened ALL the presents, I pulled my weary self from the bed and finally descended the stairs.

We opened our stockings and not so patiently waited for Mom to join us, her stocking sitting neglected on the chair. Finally we moved in to the kitchen to our Christmas presents and we began to tackle those while still waiting for Mom to come down. Finally she arrived and was thrilled with what Santa brought and we bought (as you can tell from her expression). Shoot, I can't find the picture. I'll recover it later.

After all the presents were opened - and for the first time Jakob did NOT cry when he had finished opening his stash - Jenifer, Norm and kids joined us for brunch and then spent the afternoon. After they left I hit the kitchen; we had been invited for dinner at Kim & Scott's and I needed to get working on stuffing and cranberries. Embarrassingly the cranberries were from a can so I tried to find creative ways to present them, I'm sadly short on nice serving bowls. This could be a new years resolution for myself, second only to the "drink more" as suggested by my friend Pat.

We had a wonderful time at Kim's - the turkey dinner was fantastic and no one fell ill to the evils of salmonella like last year's dinner at Paul's sister's house. And I'm still a waifish 126 pounds!