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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy new year to all

Wow, what a ride this year has been eh? If I have learned anything, I think I learned to appreciate the people in my life a little bit more than I may have previously. There are so many important people who influence how I feel, think and go about living my life and I don't take enough time to thank them for their goodness. When something like Jennifer's illness occurs, it suddenly makes us all forget about our ordinary everyday concerns and makes us all realize what is really important. We all manage to be a little nicer, more easygoing, more forgiving and more tolerant with one another. What a nice thing that is. No reason not to continue doing that in the New Year and beyond.
I also managed to get my hands on an official Olympic torch for a few moments this week. It was lighter than I expected... but the design reminded me of a snowmobile ski. Hmmm... no wonder, it was designed by Bombardier.
Couple of other things...
1 - Don't forget to toast the new year with a nice glass of whiskey. Anything else doesn't count.
2 - If you get a minute, drop a line and wish a happy new year my favourite little brother Ronald at He is with the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan and I am sure he would love to get a note.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

All good things today.

Had a quick chat with Jennifer this morning and she was sounding happy and chipper. The Christmas weekend was fun for her and she enjoyed being at home more than she expected. Of course, going back in to the hospital is part of life these days, but Jenn knows the level of care she gets there is excellent. Her other good news is that she will be able to get a couple of days off for New Year’s and she and Scott will be enjoying each other’s company by going out for dinner. The boys are off to camp with Don and Denise and no doubt will have a fabulous time ringing in the New Year in Westree.
I have been busy as usual. I was at the McIntyre Arena this evening to cover the opening of the World Under-17 hockey tournament. It’s featuring some of the best young hockey players from around the world. While there, I noticed that Timmins lived up to its billing as having some of the best looking women anywhere. I’ve said that for years. I noticed another good looking woman in the stands at the hockey game tonight. Hello Shania. It’s kinda nice when the rich and famous come back home every now and then eh.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas, and happy Boxing Day!

Back home in Timmins tonight after spending Christmas with Jennifer and her family. It was such a nice visit because the good folks at Sudbury Regional Hospital sent Jenn home for a few days. So Scott and Tyler and Nathan were thrilled of course. I was also happy to spend a full day spoiling the boys, with things like breakfast at McDonalds and lunch at Laura Secord`s ice cream shop. Last night we sat down to a wonderful traditional Christmas dinner with Scott and Jenn and the boys, Don and Denise Alexander, and Christine, Demetrios and Victoria. It was excellent. Food and fabulous company was just too good. It was great the see Jenn scooting around the kitchen in her wheelchair and helping out, but she is determined that will not be a permanent thing. I had to head back North today… and I missed the family’s annual Boxing Day bash which was held at Line’s this year. I was also pleased to get a grrreat phone call from Neil on Christmas Day as he had to work for awhile and then was enjoying dinner with friends. Well I have to dig in on some leftovers and a a very full glass of wine right now… I will have some photos up soon.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jenn's loves her three-day pass!

Jennifer doesn't waste an opportunity. The med team at the hospital gave her a three-day pass for the weekend to go home. So what does she do... Well, Friday she was out shopping. Today I called the house for a chat ... and where was Jenn? Oh, she was out at Nathan's hockey game! Good for her eh. Well I got another flu shot today. I had the H1N1 flu vaccine weeks ago. Today I got the seasonal flu shot. So far so good. I dropped by the mall to do some shopping today. It was crazzzzzyyyy! Thank goodness for 24-hour shopping. I think I will head out at about 5:00 a.m.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A good day for my fave daughter

I knew Jennifer was doing well this week. I didn't know how well until we chatted this morning. She was so pleased with herself because she has a weekend pass to spend a few days at home. And better than that, she and Denise were heading out to go shopping!!! I can't wait to get down south next week to spend some time with the gang in Sudbury. Jenn says I can bring the turkey ... Hmmm, gotta go find a shotgun!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New four by four...

I haven't talked to Jennifer in a couple of days now. I have been too busy with other things at work and settling in to my new digs. And as much as I liked my favourite bush truck, I have traded in the Tracker. I pick up the new truck on Friday. Well, it's not NEW ... but new enough. It's a Nitro, built on a Jeep Liberty chassis. Living in the North, I still went with a 4x4. Winter should be arriving soon in Timmins, so it will be interesting to see how well it runs.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Cup

I am putting up a photo today because Jennifer asked to see it. "I am so jealous" she said today when I told her I saw the Stanley Cup. Scotiabank is sending the Cup on a cross Canada tour and so it arrived in Porcupine this morning, complete with the RCMP honour guard. I dropped by to snap photos of ordinary people with the cup and it was a hoot to see so many kids enjoying the excitement. Whole teams dropped by to get team photos taken with it. I had a quick chat with Mike Bolt, one of the "keepers of the cup" and he suggested I get a photo of myself with the cup, and so I handed him my camera and he snapped the photo. I am sure Tyler and Nathan will be pleased to see it too. In other news, Jennifer is quite pleased with what she says is the birthday gift she gave herself. She was able to move her legs Saturday without any help. She says she can't wait to show off for the physi-therapist on Monday. The other big part of the day for Jennifer of course is the fact the Leafs won last night, dumping on the Washington Capitals.

Hearing from the kids

Yesterday was a nice day. I was texting with Neil and spoke with Jennifer twice. Neil is the king of texting. It's a good way to stay in touch. In any case, I was pleased to hear from both of my children on the same day. The first time I spoke with Jenn, I was out shopping and needed to know somebody’s clothing size. It was just one of those very quick chats where you’re in public and don’t want to be a cellphone boor. The second time I called I was at home and able to sing a short verse of Happy Birthday. Jenn is NOT one of those people who makes a big deal about her birthday, but I could tell she was happy I called. Denise made her a fabulous cake and Jenn talked about it so much I was getting hungry. I had already eaten supper and didn’t want to overdo it on nutrition, so I had some fudge.
Jenn had to stay at the hospital for her birthday because her white blood counts were so low and her immunity is low. But I was amazed at how good she sounded. She was tired, but I could tell she was feeling much better than with previous bouts with chemo-therapy.
Jenni says she is confident she will be at home for Christmas. Things are definitely looking nice.
Well, we got a bit more snow in Timmins yesterday. Ha ha, who cares? I don’t have to shovel. I am learning to enjoy my apartment more and more. I did some laundry last night … and while I was in the laundry room, I got caught up on reading. I think next time I will bring my laptop. I really need a life eh… doing laundry on a Saturday night!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Jennifer is a survivor

I am always amazed at how well people respond to good treatments. Jennifer says her last treatment of chemo-therapy has left her feeling better than expected. At some point soon, in the next week or so, the med team at the Sudbury cancer centre will take another bone marrow sample and hopefully it will once again show no cancer cells and then Jenn’s leukemia will officially be in remission. After that, Jenn says she will be transferred off the cancer ward and over to the rehab wing of the hospital. Then begins the battle to learn how to walk again, hopefully. Anyway, as much as Jenn was worried about the last round of chemo-therapy, things seemed to have worked out nicely. For the first time, she had no fever when her blood counts dropped down. Also, she experienced only one day of nausea. What a change that is from her past encounters with the chemo-cocktail. It looks like my favourite girl will be at home with her boys for Christmas!
Meanwhile, back in Timmins, I am settling down to apartment life. We closed the deal on the house because the young couple that bought it wanted to get moved in before Christmas. I cannot disagree with that. My new apartment is very nice, but it is going to take me days to unpack.
Not all is well in Timmins these days. Yesterday, Xstrata, the Swiss based company that bought the Kidd Creek smelter a few years ago, announced that it will close the Timmins copper smelter and zinc refinery next May, putting 670 people out of work. It's a huge news story, but I feel terrible for the workers and their families. Who would have thought that would ever happen? Luckily Timmins is still a treasure chest of minerals. Thank goodness for all the gold and diamonds. Let's hope those industries continue to thrive.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Bone Marrow screening

Jenn told me about the bone marrow search system in Canada, which is run by the Canadian Blood Services. She is not sure if she will ever need a bone marrow transplant, but Jenn likes to be prepared. The screening procedure involves sending away for a free kit that arrives in the mail. To learn about it you can go to the website.
To learn about whether you qualify for bone marrow screening, check out this page: Click Here.
I read into it and was all set to sign up ... but for some reason it says people over 50 cannot apply. Hmmm ... as if I never lied about my age! : )

She is determined eh.

Well, you have to know Jenn to know how determined she can be. She was taking physiotherapy Monday and wasn’t fully aware that her blood counts were low. Anyway, she was working away, working hard, when whoosh!~ she fainted, passed right out! So she was feeling absolutely pooched after that. But later last night, she seemed a bit more chipper about things in general. The final round of chemo-therapy is done … well it has been applied to Jennifer’s system. But it's not over yet. Now Jenn will endure several days of her immune system crashing and then rebuilding itself. She is pretty confident she will come out of this one stronger, but she knows she is going to have some rough days ahead. That being said, Jenn is convinced she is in remission because the med-team is pretty sure of that too. But with the billions of the cells in the human body, they're not taking any chances... they want to ensure that every cancer cell has been killed.