Tuesday, September 30, 2008

There is a new girl in town and her name is Sharp, plus a few number - maybe some letters. But her measurements are OUTSTANDING. She's 37" and waifishly thin, how does one compete with that?

I have lost all three of my guys to her as she sits mocking me subtly on the coffee table - confident with her power to dominate.

Outside of stealing her batteries I have nothing to hold against her.

But the payout is sweet - for I now have a peaceful bedroom without sand in the bed and there is no reason for the boys to ever hang out in my room again!

The painting above Sharpy is one by Paul of his brother Dan while he was at NSCAD.

For our anniversary I snuck it out of the house and had it reframed. Picking it up 2 days after having had surgery and feeling quite proud and warrior like as I carried it into the house. I wasn't completely thrilled with the framing, I had hoped for a bit more of a shadow box effect to emphasize the ragged edges of the paper and I should have opted for more matte - but he loved it and it's so nice to have crazy old Dan hanging over us.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Don your helmets, WWIII is about to begin!

Paul responded to _____ and it was not a warm fuzzy email like the one I originally wrote.

I cannot wait until this is all over.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Had a response from my contractor yesterday and I am counting the days down to when I never have to deal with him, speak to him, email him, THINK about him again.

He is the very definition of an ass (as Jakob would profile him, A.S.S. ASS!). I could tell from his deer-in-the-headlights expression he was not happy running into me a few weeks ago but when I emailed him to confirm his end of September start time on the deficiency list:

Hi ___,

Paul noticed that the bathtub faucet is moving and is concerned that water is getting behind it - can we add to the deficiency list?

I know you mentioned work was slowing down end of September, do you think you'll be able to come beginning of October?

Best regards,

He responded with this:

I don't mind repairing the faucet. But this is not a deficiency item . The deficiency list was completed prior to you releasing final payment. And like some of the work you requested are our last meeting, a loose faucet is not generally covered under warranty work. You must keep in mind that the warranty period expired a long time ago. I don't mind completing minor repair work even though the warranty period has expired as an act of good faith. But I cannot expected to correct items that are damaged as a result of normal wear and tear for free. I will have to have a plumber in to examine and correct the problem.

I think he must be forgetting that the reason we have gone long beyond the one year warranty period is because he either a) ignored our emails/calls, b) claimed he was too busy, c) was going to time it with another job which fell through and d) begged off for time because of a personal problems.

And Paul's very valid concern is that the faucet is loose because it was poorly put in originally (like other plumping fixtures that had to be corrected) and not that it has loosened in one year through normal wear and tear.

I would love to ask Mike Holmes what do you do when the work is done reasonably well, at a very high financial cost, but your contractor acts like a high school bully ever time you question his decisions?

Anyway, back to stabbing toothpicks into my voodoo doll.

Friday, September 26, 2008

God help me. I'm home with the flu and Jakob is channeling Jimmy Hendrix and I have my adopted son over who every 3 minutes says he's hungry.


He's still here.

And I'm popping advil like we're facing a chemical famine.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I think I need to change my title - meg's reno just isn't doing it for me. I feel like lipstick needs to be applied, in the metaphorical sense.

Something to ponder.

Something to distract me while I obsess about Satchel (yes, the one who's brain is changing) going to an afternoon school dance, his first. One that he has INVITED A GIRL TO because "Mom, do you want me to be a wallflower?"


He is answering all my questions about her with "I'm not comfortable with this line of questioning." So I turned off the interrogation light to make him a little more comfortable, but still nothing - outside of her name!

He's even going home on his lunch hour so that he can shower and change into something cool - an outfit he spent nearly 15 minutes picking out last night.

This is so unlike him - he's never cared about what he puts on (as long as it's not a dress or something Dad picked out). He's even put his clothes on backwards and said "it's fine Mom."

I might just have to take a walk over to the school today, just to horrify him. I call that responsible parenting.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm great!

There were no cancer cells so I don't need radiation and it was the non-aggressive kind of tumour so I don't need further surgery!

I feel light as air.

And slightly drunk.

And exhausted.

And giddy!

But I have to say the 4th floor at Princess Margaret Hospital is as depressing as the basement where patients go for radiation treatments.

This is how I pass the time with Paul while waiting for Dr. McCready in dismal little hospital rooms, I pretend I'm the sound effects person for the 1960s episodes of Star Trek.

I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face when the doctor came in (not Dr. McCready, a young unknown doctor) - he must have thought I was either emotionally wrecked or insane...especially if he caught me imitating the swoosh of the automatic doors or the boop boop boop of the medical equipment.
I see my oncologist this afternoon to find out the results from my last surgery and I have to tell you, I'm completely agitated...and to make me really fly off the handle there is a beeping going on in the office. A high-pitched beeping similar to a smoke detector with a dying battery attached to a loud speaker system.

Last night I decided the best course of action would be to stay busy but of course this is the cue for Jakob to follow me around with his little guitar hero speaker fresh from a box of Mini Wheats...it makes the most hideous noise and the designer and manufacturer should be strung up by red licorice with at least a hundred of the little darlings blaring so that they can truly appreciate their most wondrous creations and what we parents go through daily.

I kept warning Jakob that I was feeling cranky but that just made him want to stick closer to me. And then it happened, I snapped and told him to F*&* Off. I kind of felt bad about it (but not really) and did apologize but then continued snapping for the rest of the evening. And Arthur with his constant begging and whining and yelling and need to trip me? well it's truly amazing he's still alive.

Fortunately no children or pets were sold on ebay last night - I managed to collect myself by sitting on the back step with a glass of wine while Jakob had a freezie until Paul came home.

So wish me luck, because I swear I'll cry if I'm told I have to have another surgery.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

When Paul's away, Meg must play...with a little help from Kim and a lovely bottle of an Italian red (thank you Kim!).

Last night we managed to make my weekend plan a reality by moving all the living room furniture into the dining room and the dining room furniture into the living room. Both spaces work so much better with even our furniture standing out more (in a good way, it is getting kind of old) - and this new configuration should also cut down the damage caused by whacking our legs on the coffee table by at least 99%!

Once I take a few pictures that do the rooms justice (meaning tidying them up and adding flowers, in essence fluffing) I'll post them.

And now Paul's reaction: "I love it, I think it looks great."

He can stay.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

First, thank god for make-up and photoshop and cold bottles of beer stuffed into my bra (only ONE mind you and I emptied it first). Just wanted to get that out.

I ran into MY CONTRACTOR and the look of panic on his face was priceless! You could sense his mind racing with "what do I do, it's Meg, but I'm trapped, she's right in front of me, I haven't responded to her emails in months...maybe she won't notice me...pushing a baby stroller..."

But notice him I did. And to make him feel bad told him I had a lumpectomy 2 weeks ago and am still recovering...just to make him squirm. Because nothing makes a contractor squirm like woman troubles talk. I should have brought up how bad the menstrual cramps are these days, must be because I'm closing in on menopause.

And hey, I have a dental hygienist to recommend.

He has PROMISED me that the deficiency list will be taken care of at the end of this month.

So a Jakob story. I've taken to leaving him little notes in his lunches, thinking that it would make him happy. But there was a major flaw in my thinking because after all, this is Jakob I'm doing it for.

Today's note said: Have a GREAT day Jakob! Love Mommy xoxoxox

Jakob surprised ME with a returned note written on the opposite side of the paper:
MOMMY this is really messed up. Stop GivEing NotEs to me plese.

He did soften the blow by adding 4 hearts and 3 stars. I think I might just have to tuck this into the school booking I'm keeping him for him to read when he's 30...so the mother guilt will last that much longer.
Jesus - what a morning.

I'm surprised I made it in to work alive.

First - I'm all dressed up, I'm actually wearing a skirt. This vintage skirt by comrags, really beautiful, and to complete the visual a fitted black sweater with 3/4 length sleeves, my disco ball necklace, diamond earrings, black cardigan with big black buttons and 3/4 length sleeves with my gigantic black flower brooch attached, and my new Cole Haan black big square toed pumps with white stitching and silver buckle. I look insanely cute - kind of like a 1950s secretary in a Hitchcock film heading out to a funeral...about to be attacked by birds.

As I walk to the subway station I hear a clatter and a button pops off my cardigan. I pick it up and continue walking. I decide to get a coffee before heading into the subway station. As I'm pouring a bit of the coffee out so I can add cream, my heavy purse drops off my shoulder and coffee splashes all over me. I wipe myself off. I leave and walk to the subway and take a sip and a good portion more spills down me. I have accidentally put two plastic lids and an incredible amount of coffee pooled between those two lids before soaking my clothes and my shoes.

I get on the subway, big delay and now I'm late for work after having actually left the house early for the first time in really...forever. I'm walking from the subway to the office and my shoe heel gets stuck in the sidewalk and I walk right out of it feeling the sliminess of public sidewalk under my naked foot. My beautiful skirt is a bit too big and keep spinning around me with the zipper scraping into my skin leaving a lovely red ring.

I finally make it to my desk and the person I'm currently having issues with is USING MY PHONE. Looking at all my stuff on my desk. Picking up my ipod penquin speaker.

Then boom, huge stomach cramp and my period starts...EARLY.

This truly has become THE DAY FROM HELL.

I go to sew my big button on and it's chipped, making me nearly irrational.

My TDFH continued after leaving work with missing subways, missing buses and having an insane woman pretend to be my new dental hygienist. We spoke about art and she says she likes two artists only: Robert Bateman and Trisha Romance. That alone proves how whacked she is. And just in case you are not familiar with the work of Trisha Romance, I will include a little sample. Oh and check out her official site, because it's even better listening to the embedded music play while admiring the work.

While beginning the cleaning she starts insulting my teeth. "Your enamel is terrible! And it must be a result of all the acidic fruits, juices, pops, beer, etc. that you (DO NOT) drink. And you are totally ineffective in the way you floss. And what is that bump on your tongue?! I'm going to measure it and record it in your charts. How long have you had it." FOREVER.

So my mouth is a mess. It's amazing I can bite into some horrible acidic piece of fruit - in fact any sort of food really.

Her eyes did glass over a bit when the dentist popped in, checking my teeth and proclaiming them as GREAT AS EVER.

Then she went back to cleaning and complaining. "No more lemon in your water. Look at how jagged the bottoms of your teeth are. Do you use your teeth to break tags of clothes?" Sometimes, you got me there crazy lady!

Once home I promptly poured myself a glass of highly acidic red wine, swished it around my mouth and thought about buying myself a teeth bleaching kit and leaving the tray in all night just so I could call her up tomorrow with all the eroding details.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

With determination and nary a drop of alcohol in my system, I tore the surgical strips off my lumpectomy incision to find...that my oncologist/surgeon did a far better job sewing me up than I thought he had!

I was very impressed with the thin straight line he had sewn because what from what I thought I could see through the near transparent strips was a pretty nasty jagged line - but whew, that was just the dried blood trying to encourage me to shed a few pounds.

What I'm having troubles with now is the amount of pain I'm in. I can't ride my bike, walking hurts, stairs hurt even more. The pain in my nipple is more than I can bear which I understand is because it's the nerve centre of the breast. I'm completely exhausted since it's impacting my sleep and more than a little bit nauseous.

I am so glad that I have my follow-up appointment on the 23rd so I can get a bit of reassurance that all is healing well and ALSO that the pathology continues to show the mass was benign and keeping my fingers crossed that I don't need yet another surgery.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I think I need to revise my header to include mother of pre-teen boy who's brain is changing.

This was our conversation the other day:

"Mom, I just want to let you know that because I'm 12 and in middle school, well, I'm changing. My BRAIN IS CHANGING. And I'm probably not going to listen, I'm not just going to do what you tell me, I'm going to think about it and maybe I won't do it. Like I don't care if my room is a mess. And you probably won't like my attitude, but you'll just have to get used to it."

I can't wait until I sit down my little family and tell them "that my brain is changing too. And it's called MENOPAUSE. And you should be afraid, very afraid."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The inscription on the ring Paul gave me on our anniversary.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Recovery is taking longer than I had hoped but I managed to distract myself for a few moments in the Umbra store (and with the help of Tylenol and Gravol) on Queen St.

And the most beautiful things became mine.

Things like this acrylic tree which is ever so much more beautiful on my dresser with my necklaces...

...and the garbage can which I am currently using as an umbrella stand in my kitchen.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

17 years ago today this nut job married me and we have lived blissfully ever since. Blissfully despite my mother, my in-laws, 2 kids, 6 cats, 1 major renovation that will go on FOREVER, breast cancer, miscarriages, job changes, financial difficulties...hmmm, what else?

Anyway, he still can't get enough of me. Nor I him.

Today was spent, well, with me sleeping. Fortunately we were invited to my brother Bob's house for dinner so I did bring a bottle of fine champagne to pop to celebrate. And celebrate like teenagers we did. And now, couple of Tylenol's later, back to bed.

I'm crazy like that.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


And the hardest part really was the caffeine-withdrawal headache. By 2pm I was REALLY getting agitated...virtually begging to get taken to the OR to be knocked out.

In fact, nearly as agitated as I am right now listening to Paul and Jakob yell, argue, cry...

I arrived at the hospital just before 9:00 am where I was assigned a nurse and taken to my room to change (disappointingly a semi-private room without the great view I had last time) into my hospital gown and slippers. Then a little tank of a woman was designated my escort to the 3rd floor for the mammogram and wire insertion. She was MISERABLE. Kind of wanted to call her Mom.

The wire wasn't as bad as I expected even though they do NOT freeze the breast while ramming it in. And it was done while having an ultrasound and not with the mammogram - which I really couldn't get my head around. How could anyone get a wire in while you're squished as flat as a pancake, surrounded by plastic plates? Impossible.

After the insertion the technician taped the remainder to my skin so it wouldn't get caught on anything which made me feel a bit squeamish - but that might have been the slow onset of my migraine. Then off for my mammogram. Couple of positions and done, back to my room where a lovely ex-convict called James waited with a wheelchair for me. Which I didn't use though Paul offered to take a ride up in it.

Back in my room I decided my best course of action would be to nap and hopefully sleep (avoidance of the headache that was screaming for coffee) until it was time to take me to the OR in FOUR HOURS. I fell asleep, Paul went out for a walk for a couple of hours, and then the prepping began for the return of my roommate who I think just had a mastectomy and wasn't doing very well. Plus from the look of her hair, I think she was recovering from chemo.

This was the hardest time to work through: my head throbbed, I was hungry and thirsty, my magazines had disappeared, the roommate was throwing up on her side of the curtain, I kept snagging the wire that was taped down...I was beyond agitated.

Finally after 2pm I was taken down for surgery and prepped where I had a lovely old and unattractive anesthesiologist flirt with me, thinking I was only 34 years old. He was darling! Into the cold OR room I was taken, hooked up to an IV and then...OUT.

When I awoke, NO HEADACHE!

As soon as I was back in my room I sent Paul down for two cups of tea and a biscuit. Then I ate the hospital dinner: mashed potato, carrots and Salisbury steak dinner and then I felt sick. So desperate to get out, I popped gravol, some strong pain killers and took a taxi home where I have been sleeping constantly for the past two days. I finally took a shower yesterday which was fabulous and removed most of the bandaging, the big stuff, leaving the steri-strips.

My oncologist/surgeon is definitely not a plastic surgeon as I eye my ragged 2 inch incision.

But at least the tumour has been removed and now I wait for my next appointment on the 23rd to find out the pathology and what my next step is: either I'm done or more surgery depending on the type of tumour. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'm done.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tomorrow is my lumpectomy.

I've been asked all day if I'm nervous or worried. What I feel mostly is dread. Dread at the caffeine-withdrawal headache, dread at having a mammogram and then having the wire shoved into my breast. Dread at waking up in pain and feeling ill from the anesthesia. Dread that the pathology might show something different than the core biopsy.

But I also feel relief because I just want to get the stupid thing out.