Saturday, December 26, 2015

Cycle 3 treatment

Cycle 3 went well and no problems in the first couple of days.  However over Christmas Eve and Christmas day I seem to have hit a wall.  I'm feeling well, just a little queasy, but have no energy whatsoever.  It's an effort to get up and walk across the room!

I've done really well so far so I guess it's to be expected that there will be some low energy days.  I was looking forward to hosting my annual New Years Day dinner but I think I'm going to have to cancel it.  The way I feel right now I think it will be too much for me and I don't want to stick my daughter with all the stress and work of preparations and then not be able to enjoy the day.  Definitely not fair to her!  Also at this point, little to no appetite so not much point making a huge meal and then not be able to eat it.

Ah, yes, the joys of chemo!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat!

Christmas is only a little over a week away.  Can you believe it?

Here on the coast it has been cold and rainy, however it is a huge plus not to have to shovel snow.

My cycle 2 treatment was on December 1st and things went well.  Very few issues except on Monday I had a killer, and I do mean killer, headache.  Unfortunately, I let it get ahead of me and had to take to my bed for several hours.  It became this evil migraine that I just could not get to die!  I took two Tylenol 3's and they didn't even touch it.  After lying in bed in pain for an hour and getting no relief, I broke down and took the third Tylenol 3 and finally got a little bit of relief.  I found that applying my bean bag heating pad seemed to really help the most so I was very happy that I had a couple of those in the house that I could alternate.

I'm on 3 different anti-nausea drugs and they are doing a wonderful job of keeping me from throwing up.  So far the only bad thing I've had to endure is these killer headaches. All in all, these headaches, though extremely painful, are very infrequent and a minor inconvenienece in my battle against the demon cancer.

On a sidee note, my daughter put the tree up on December 7th and I decorated it.  I like to putz with making sure the branches have been fluffed and are as pretty as they possibly can be before I do any decorating. Sometimes the process is slow, but all worth it in the end.the end. .  There's just something about having the tree all lit up that filles my heart with joy!

One of those things that just makes you glad to be alive.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

The demon cancer!

I retired in June, had my mammography on June 24th and was diagnosed with breast cancer on July 16th   My doctor was fantastic.  He referred me to a local surgeon (who had a 12 month waiting list) and I was able to see the surgeon within 2 weeks,  on July 31st

I opted for a partial mastectomy and the tumour and 2 lymph nodes were removed on August 14th. Both lymph nodes came back positive for cancer.  On September 11th, I had a second surgery.  Two more lymph nodes were removed and a larger margin was taken, more as an abundance of caution than anything else.  My doctor didn't want any surprises.  Both lymph nodes and the margins came back clear.

I am currently cancer free!! Thank you Jesus!

I'm now into cycle 2 of my chemo.  By the time I'm finished I will have had 21 cycles of chemo and also radiation.    I've experienced very few side effects so far, tiredness and lack of energy being two  And of course, loss of hair.  The docs have me on tons of anti-nausea meds and so far they are working very well.  This first 4 cycles will probably be the easiest.  I'm told that once I go on the herceptin that it can get tough. I'm OK with that.  I'm just soooo grateful that things are going well now.  I deal with each cycle as it comes and I don't worry about what will happen tomorrow.

Lots for which to be grateful!

A change to my blog!!

Just wanted to drop by and update the old blog.  I've been absent for about a month - long story!

However, I decided to make a few changes.

Firstly, I'm facing some health challenges and I've decided that since Last Wordz  has always been a little on the personal side, that I will dedicate this blog to personal isses and blogging about my health and what's going on in my little corner of paradise in that regard.

If you would like to hear learn more about my journey then please continue to follow me here.  You can read more in my next post..

However, if your sole interest is to follow only the "art" in my life, then I encourage you to swing on over to my new art blog -   Inked Impressions-  to see what chaos I'm creating in my studio.   My goal is to document my art journey and to build my skills and stretch my creative muscles. This art journey will be a whole new experience for me and I'm very excited!  I hope you'll  share my journey!

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Busy Month!

October was a busy month for me as I had numerous doctor's appointments and tests that needed to be completed before I can start my treatments on November 10th.  I'm into the final stretch for the first set and looking forward (???) to them as it means I'm on my way to being healthy again.  Tbe next 5 months will be tough, however, I come from a long line of tough old broads so it's all good.

My brother came out to visit us on October 24th.  His visit was short - he left on the 29th - but we had a great time and I really enjoyed having him here.  The day he left it was raining and traffic was one big hot mess.  His flight left at 9:30 am and we left my house at 7 am and barely made it in time for him to make his flight.  Thankfully he did so it all ended well.

I'm still trying to get my studio organized, however I haven't made a lot of progress in the last few weeks.  Actually, I have made some progress but it doesn't really show!  I've had so many other things on my plate that I just haven't been able to concentrate on it.  Same goes for art.  My mojo seems to have gone missing.  However, I'm not going to sweat about it - it will come back once I'm not so much on overload.

It's a wonderful, rainy day here on the coast.  Typical winter weather for us and quite cool.  Perfect time to curl up on the couch in front of the fire with a good book and the cats.

Gotta run.  Ciao.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Making progress

I've managed to get the cards to the store Open House (relatively) on time so that's one thing I can check off my list.  I have to admit that this year was tough.  I usually really enjoy creating Christmas cards and gift tags but this year I really struggled.  I wasn't really feeling the love and it took me forever to get my mojo working.  However, it's done and I'm pleased with the designs I created and I hope they do well at the store.

My health is improving - or more to the point I guess - I'm starting to feel like my old self again.  The infection is gone and while it's taking a lot longer to heal, things are going along smoothly.  

My studio looks like someone broke into it and tossed it, which is usually how it looks after I finish a project.  I'm still only halfway through my re-org and found it really irritating that I couldn't find the things I needed to create my cards.  I need to address that now so the plan is to get cracking at it this weekend.  This is our Thanksgiving weekend in Canada - not that that really matters now that I'm retired - however I am still somewhat hooked into the Monday to Friday week cycle.  Old habits die slowly.

Here's one of the Christmas cards I made.  I have to give 
credit where credit is due - not my design, I was inspired by Jennifer McGuire.

Where did the summer go?

We’ve had spectacular weather for several months here on the coast.  According to the climatologists, the nice weather will continue due to good old“El Nino”.  They say that the weather will be unseasonably warm which is wonderful until you consider all the climate problems it could cause.  We had water restrictions here in the Lower Mainland due to the low rainfall and because there was no real snowpack in the spring because we had such nice weather during the winter.  It looks like we may continue to have to restrict water usage if we don’t get a snow pack this year either.

I’m ending m fourth month of retirement and have no regrets whatsoever about retiring.  I have a very relaxed life now.  I’m enjoying sleeping in and doing absolutely nothing some days.  What’s not to like?  I’ve been enjoying re-organizing my studio – about half done – so still a work in progress.  I’ve enjoyed playing in my journals and creating art, some of which is  bad, but what the hell.

I’ve been dealing with a health issue since mid –July. It came out of left field and kind of set me on my ass.  Things are progressing well though.  I have more appointments and therapies waiting for me, however all in all things are good. Unfortunately one of the side effects is that I have little energy so I’m sleeping a lot and not all that energetic some days  which cuts into my art time.  As well, I will not be able to go to Palm Springs this February – I am not happy about that !  However it is what it is and I just need to put my big girl panties on and deal with it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015

The On-going saga of the studio

I'm now a month into this project - give or take - and I'm finally starting to see some progress.  Things have been slow getting moving due to a couple of factors.  It's been hellishly hot here on the coast for the last couple of weeks and only in the last week has it become cool enough to do much.  I put my furniture together this past week and have it moved up and installed in the studio.  The shelving is in and now I'm starting to get down to the nuts and bolts of organizing.  The fun stuff !?!

Another setback was that I had surgery on August 13th and I was out of commission for a couple of days.  The surgery itself wasn't bad, no real residual pain, but the side effect was absolutely no energy whatsoever.  Consequently there was a lot of lying around doing nothing or sleeping.  I finally had some energy last week so I got down to putting the cabinets together.  Even though my studio is still quite a mess,  I'm really liking the way it feels.  I had a large bulletin board which had just become a catchall for stuff and things were constantly falling off because the board was overloaded.  I took the board down and I can't believe how different the room feels now.  I definitely will not be putting that board back in my studio.

I'm having some health issues so feeling a little down and sad.  Things could definitely be worse so I'm really trying to be "up " about it..  I guess I'm feeling a little sorry for myself right now.  That's allowed I guess and I'll just have to put on my big girl panties and deal with this new adventure.

I haven't done much art this last couple of weeks because I was focused on other things.  However now that the room is starting to come together, I'm excited to get back in here and play.  I've taken pictures of the in-progress - I think I'm more than half way through - and will post the series when the project is completed.  

In the meantime, here are a couple of ICADS I created...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Chaos !

I finally bit the bullet and started my project of reorganizing my studio.  OMG – today it’s in quite a state!  My supplies and toys are stacked up everywhere and it’s slightly disturbing to see all the “stuff” I’ve accumulated over the last several years. 

I purchased wire shelving for my closet and I’m in the process of installing it.  Now to put this in context you have to understand that I am not in any way, shape or form, what one would term as “handy” around the house.  Be that as it may, I rose to the challenge, emptied my 2 armoires and removed them from the closet so I can install the shelves.  I am now 3 trips later from the hardware store, purchasing all the things I didn’t know I needed.  After getting the shelves cut to size – 63 inches long – they cut them 62 inches long, I realize that I left too much wiggle room in the calculations and now the shelf is too short for the bracket at on end.  Really?  Who knew?  No worries, I kept the extra pieces so I will be using the famous zip tie to adjust and make the two pieces work.  See what I mean?  I learn by trial and error, mostly error, but you can bet I won’t make that mistake twice! 

I have several pieces of storage furniture that I need to add to my studio.  They are still sitting, unassembled, down on my dining room floor.  I may have gotten a little carried away with the furniture.  I’m afraid I may not have room for it all, but I’ll make it work.  I’m good at adapting.  I’ve hated the shelving and desk I’ve been using since the day I bought it and I only bought it because it was cheap.  It doesn’t owe me a cent as I’ve used it for more than 10 years and now I’m treating myself to new furniture.   I spend so much time in my studio so it’s time to upgrade.

Well, must run.  I’ll be taking “before” pictures tomorrow.  I’m excited about my “new” studio so I hope to have it put back together by the weekend.  I’ll post after pictures then.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Lost password - who knew it would be such a pain?

Ok, so I've been trying to post for the last several days but couldn't because I forgot my password and I couldn't find my little book where I keep all this information.  UGH!

Anyway, it's all good now so here we go!

This retirement business is a blast - I highly recommend it!  I've been sleeping in til 10 or so every morning and then just putzing around and doing whatever I feel like doing.  What's not too like?

The weather here on the coast has been amazing.  Temperatures up in the 80's and 90's most of the last couple weeks.  Because its been so hot, I've spent most of my time lying around indoors.  Not too energetic to say the least.  We're under water restrictions here so the grass is looking pretty sad - turning brown and looking dead.  I'm really hoping that this hot weather kills my weeds but I don't think that's going to happen any time soon.

I've managed to get some ICADs done.  Though I jumped on that bandwagon rather late in the game, I'm having fun with them.  Lets me get my creative juices working without it being a big project.  As well I've managed to do several pages in my journal and I've discovered that the more I do in my journal, the more I can do. It seems to open some streams of creativity and I find it easier to complete a page.

My work room still looks like a burglar tossed it so I will need to get at that in the very near future.  In some ways, since I've been working in amongst the mess,  I've revisited some of my ideas for getting it organized and I've modified my plans somewhat.  I can foresee a time commitment in the next few weeks so I need to get this organizing show on the road while I have a window of opportunity.

I keep threatening to post some are a few pieces.  Enjoy!  Caio!

"Gather Life's Little Treasures is an ICAD (Index card a day).

This is a page from my journal.  I had fun creating this one.  I do so love Mae West!                                              

This is a birthday card I made for my daughter.                                                                                           

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Catch-up and an Annoucement!

I’ve been away from the old blog for too darn long !

I’m back now!  Life has been quite busy and the job has been stressful as well.  No energy for art and the other things that count in life.   But that has all changed and I will be spending more time arting and doing the things that I enjoy and which make me happy.

My big announcement?  I’M RETIRED!  WOOHOO!

My last day was Thursday.  I thought I might regret retiring, but I don’t.  I loved my job but I just knew it was time to go.  I feel relieved and a tremendous weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  I don’t think it has really sunk in yet.  After 3 days I’m still in “back to work Monday” mode.  I catch myself planning as if I’m at work next week and then I realize that I’m not!  I’m really looking forward to a more relaxed lifestyle.  More fun, more art, more quality time with friends and family.

I have a few thing that I will be posting over the next few days  I haven’t really worked in my journal for weeks but I do have  few cards so I’ll get them up soon.   Right now I’m trying to get my desk restored to some kind of order and then I’m working on wedding and father’s day cards.

Will post again soon!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Too much sun !

It was extremely hot here today.  The weather man said it was 93 degrees but I think it was hotter.  I waited until around 1:30 to go outside and enjoy the weather.  I was in and out of the pool all afternoon – it was wonderful.

However having said that, although I drank lots of water,  I think I might have overdone it.  I’ve been feeling  a little queasy which is my own darn fault.  I should know better however, apparently I don’t.
Anyway here’s a page from my art journal.


Saturday, March 07, 2015

Sunny Palm Springs

We're having a fabulous time in sunny PS.  The weather has been fantastic and we've been out on the golf course a half a dozen times.  We're already half way through our trip and the time is just flying by.

I've been getting lots of sleep and feel very relaxed.  I've worked in my journal a couple of times and hope to have about 5 pages finished by the time we leave here.

I've been re-evaluating my plans for the future and I'm pleased to say that I've made an important decision .  I'll be moving forward with my plan when I get home.

Nothing else to add except that I hear the pool calling my name!


Monday, February 23, 2015

Did I drop off the face of the earth?

You need not worry -  I have not dropped off the face of the earth nor have I been abducted by aliens!

I've had a hectic couple of weeks at work and I'm now on vacation in beautiful, sunny California. This is my idea of heaven and it's a wonderful place.  We arrived on Wednesday Feb. 18th to 82 degree weather and full sunshine.  Our check in went well and we enjoyed the pool Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  The weather turned a little rough on Sunday and today, while it has cleared up, its still mixed sun and clouds.  Not a huge problem as I had 3 good days in the pool and got a lot of sun.  Probably best that I stay out of the sun for a day or so anyway.

I'm enjoying the down time.  Mulling over some future plans, trying to decide whether I will work a little longer or retire sooner than later.  While I really enjoy my job, especially the money :),  I think I'm just about done.  My little voice - which I've learned to listen to unless it's telling me to kill people :) - is telling me to go sooner rather than later.   We'll see.

I'm looking forward to working in my journal.  I never seem to have enough time or energy or both, so I want to spend some time on art.  I've signed up for a couple of online courses and need to address them before I get too far behind.

In the meantime, here's one of the journal pages I've been threatening to post to the blog for weeks.   I have more in my ipad and will upload soon.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I was having issues with my blogger account  I have so many accounts in various apps that I couldn't remember my password.  Duh !

I did do a couple of posts but couldn't get on and I guess they didn't save  to a draft.  I'll post again on the weekend when I have more time.  Hopefully I'll be able to post some of my work.