“Out, damned spot! out, I say!”

The title is only partially appropriate, as it is hardly ok to compare one’s mother to Lady Macbeth.  (Sorry, mom!)

Still, there is a spot (two, actually) which must come out.  On that front, we have good news!

My mom has now had two doses of chemotherapy.  (She had the most recent one on Friday.)  Shortly before her last chemo, she mentioned that the lump that initially made her worry is now almost undetectable.  She said that if she didn’t know it was there, she wouldn’t be able to find it.

A few days later, her oncologist verified that she’s right!  The lump is indeed getting smaller!  This is very good news, and a sign that the chemo is doing its job.

It will be important to remember this triumph if the most recent administration of chemotherapy brings about any ill effects. The chemotherapy doesn’t seem to have much of an impact the day of the procedure, but a couple of days later the tiredness begins.  

To move to the topic of cancer in general, one thing that I am consistently seeing in my reading is that sugar and simple carbohydrates are bad news.  

Oh sure, different dieticians, nutritionists and doctors might champion some specific/unique foods or practices, but pretty much everyone agrees about the sugar! From what I have read, cancer just looooves sugar.

I need to specify here that I am talking about simple carbs and not demonizing carbohydrates in general, which are essential to your body and brain. (You’ll never make me give up my lentils, beans and fancy rice!)  The not-so-great stuff is the junk that your body breaks down quickly; the white-flour, white-sugar crap that we all love to snack on.  

I have a sweet tooth myself, so this is a real bummer.  However, I can’t help but come to the conclusion that if you’re worried about cancer, you should look at your sugar intake. (Hey, aren’t you already sweet enough? 😉  )

Mom seems to be handling this whole thing remarkably well.  I was afraid initially that she would make everything worse on herself with stress and worry, as that would be easy to do!  Instead, she has been doing a commendable job of focusing on the things that she loves and that are important to her.  She spends a lot of time in nature.  

In fact, I was lucky enough to share a hike and a fire with my mom and dad last Saturday. I can assure you, my mom has been the opposite of anxious, depressed or self-pitying over this.  It’s almost as if she is committed to refusing to allow cancer to bring her down.  

You can see it in her insistence on wearing hoop earrings and red lipstick to chemotherapy sessions.  It’s there, in her eyes and in her smile, 

Onwards and upwards,


The Cancer Plan

I haven’t cried yet.  It’s a thought I’d been having occasionally over the past couple of weeks.  Of course I knew it wouldn’t last.  I knew that it was only a matter of time.

A couple of days ago, that time was up.  I don’t know what it was exactly, but once I started I couldn’t stop.  I cried while my mother talked to me on the phone (she sounded tired!).  I cried when a friend sent me a kind message.  I cried to myself on my lunch break as I sat at my desk.  Great fat tears rolled down my nose.  I made ugly sobbing noises.  

But mostly, I just knew that the dam had broken, and now I would be crying off and on about my mom’s cancer.

Hopefully not too often.  Hopefully not in front of my mom.  But that lump in my throat is still there, and I am afraid that I will hear a pretty song, or a sappy commercial and just shatter into tiny pieces.

The Cancer Plan

I’m going to divide the rest of this post under a couple of headings.  I couldn’t find a very cohesive flow, I’m afraid!  Guess I’m feeling a little disjointed myself.

Some further scans have come back, and they actually turned up a second lump in the same breast. As well, the cancer seems to be affecting six lymph nodes, rather than two. The plan remains largely unchanged. The cancer-killing starts with 18 weeks of chemo.  My precious mother has to undergo 18 weeks, consisting of 6 rounds of intense chemotherapy.  She had the first already.  They have also given her a port to simplify the administration of the chemo drugs. For the record, a port is like a way more badass piercing than any of the ones I ever got. (Think your mom is punk? Mine has a subdermal implant!) She says she’s fine, and I know it’s necessary, I just don’t like the thought of mom having to undergo any kind of surgery at all. (Silver lining: increased “borg queen” vibes.)  

After the chemo, there will be more surgery, including the mastectomy of one breast, and possibly the removal of some lymph nodes.

They might need to do radiation after that.  It depends on how things go.

It’s the very epitome of “Thanks…I hate it.”  Yes, chemotherapy saves lives.  Yes, this is the approved medical route, but these drugs are no joke, and this is a long-ass road ahead.  

I find it hard to deal with the fact that Mom was fine up until the time she found the lump.  Living her life with no idea that this was brewing, and no outward sign of sickness. Cancer can quietly creep along as you lead a full and healthy-seeming life.  

Treating it is so harsh.  It really turns a person’s life upside down. I can’t wait until she’s well again.  (Uh-oh, here comes that lump in my throat again.)

Mom is Still Mom

My mom is an active lady, who routinely makes me wonder what the heck I’m doing with my life.  I am constantly in awe, because the woman just gets things done.  If there is a problem, mom addresses the problem and moves on.  She doesn’t need to meditate or sing a song about it (or write a blog post) she just gets it done.

I’m happy to report that mom is still my mom.  She is constantly off to do something, like taking her fancy car out, or taking the dog in the woods with my dad, or working on some other project.  She did have a couple of more “blah” days after the chemo (more than understandable!) but she is back to being almost as active as before.  (The challenge may be in actually getting her to relax!)

Cancer and Diet?

I find myself wondering about cancer and diet a lot.  Here’s the truth; I don’t understand! Firstly, I wonder about the overall effect of someone’s diet on their likelihood of getting cancer, and what diet can do to prevent it.  Secondly, I have questions about what a person should eat once they have cancer.  

Of course, the hippie in me wants to find some sort of “miracle” fruit or nutritional supplement that knocks out cancer, (so I can give a giant bowl of it to my mom) but so far, I haven’t figured anything out. 

Normally, I would think that a sick person needs lots of healthy foods.  To me, that means plant-based fare with a balanced selection of healthy proteins. Maybe some green juices and smoothies to really amp up the vitamins and minerals coming into the body.

By that logic, I should be at mom’s right now, throwing spinach into a blender.

The only problem with that is, cancer cells are hungry, fast-growing cells.  So, aren’t all of those great nutrients also feeding the cancer?  Would something like a green juice actually help the cancer grow?  Is it better to eat Burger King?  I honestly don’t know!  What does someone who has cancer eat to minimize cancer and maximize their health? (If anyone has an answer, I’d be more than happy to hear it!)

Onwards and upwards,


Another Look at Alcohol

Recently I said something about quitting alcohol.

Er…about that…  Yep, you guessed it, regrettably, this effort did not stick. I don’t think that I took it seriously enough.  I backslid. I fell back into red wine, and also I drank fancy gin and tonics over the Christmas holidays.  (I highly enjoyed them. Amazing with limes.)

However, I owe it to myself to give this another go and to actually quit drinking.  I don’t want to get all “new year, new me” on you, but now seems like an appropriate time to revisit this goal.

Also, since I am actually blogging all the time now, I can update you regularly on my progress.  (Accountability! Why not?)

In completely different news, I filled the most darling little potion bottle with something to boost my confidence and efficacy at work the other night.  Perhaps I should give more detail tomorrow. That way, I can finally put something on this site under “spells”? It seems rather a shame to let that entire heading go to waste.

Anywho, I’m quite late for bed…



A Large Afternoon…

Today has turned out dandy. ☀️Warmer than expected. I picked up a bunch of litter. 🍃Got some surf rock turned up🌊, and getting to some deck-friendly fitness.🏃‍♀️🤜 #Gratitude #GettingItDone

Re-Examining My Relationship to Alcohol

It goes without saying that I’m thankful the clocks went back this weekend.  I am trying to do this early morning thing, and it was getting harder and harder getting up in the dark.  The extra hour makes all of the difference when you are trying to force yourself out of bed and into being your best self. 🙂

The initial days following the roll back are always a little curious.  You keep half-panicking, thinking that it’s later than it is. And then you get to relax.  You’re ok. It’s 4:30. Not 5:30. Big difference. The body just gets so used to having its rituals at particular times.  Even the change of an hour feels like enough to knock something in the primitive brain slightly askew.

Speaking of rituals, I have noticed that I’ve been developed another little, rather unwanted one. One I’m actually partaking in as I write this to you right now.  You see, every evening, around 5:30 or 6 o’clock, I find myself craving a glass of red wine.


I feel the immediate need to clarify this.  This craving is specifically for wine, and I drink a maximum of one-two glasses. You’ll never see me drinking a rum and coke, and I cannot imagine putting away a half case of beer.  Just not my thing.

I also feel the need to tell you that I am not a “drink to get drunk” kind of person.  Yes, in my younger years, I drank quite a bit more on weekends, and yes, I made some regrettable decisions.  Thankfully, as I’ve gotten a little older, alcohol has lost most of its luster. Now, it’s more about the timing of it.  About the flavour. About the rituals of creating and enjoying food, and how well they happen to pair with a glass of red wine.

I’m not interested in embarrassing myself, I suppose.  Or in two-day hangovers, which seem to be how mine go. Not worth it to be sick, while my mind turns anxious circles over everything I said and did the night before.  

I’m glad I don’t do that, but this post is about what drinking has become for me, and how it’s still managed to become…unsettling.  I am uncomfortable with it, even if my drinking is not considered to be societally overboard.

I mean, I might be freaking myself out, but it’s practically an ingrained joke that women love wine.   I am doing exactly what is expected. You can go to any home décor store and pick up cutesy little “wine-o-clock” signs and assorted other wine-themed crap.  That stuff is very normal. Very accepted.

Just like how easily I accepted red wine into my life.  

And why not?  I had bought into the idea that it was healthy.  Or at least…healthy-ish. An indulgence that the new, fitter version of myself was “allowed” to have.  Besides, it’s kinda classy, right? A little goth? Somewhat European?

And now I’m seeing that I glamourized it too.  It’s hardly something that marks one out as an intellectual or “special.”  There are rows full of wine in every liquor store. Real exotic.

And, although I hate to admit it to myself, it’s not that healthy.  Or, it’s healthy in the same way chocolate is healthy; in a tiny amount, and in a variety that probably doesn’t taste very good.  I highly doubt that I get many health benefits from my hearty glass of cheap Cabernet sauvignon. Maybe I’m wrong, (please, prove me wrong!) but I don’t think so.

By my own logic, I feel like I should just see it as the “junk food” it clearly is and cut it. Like potato chips, or sleeves of Oreos…just keep it out of the house.  Simple.

But when I’m driving home after work, I never crave extra cookies or mountains of pasta.  I think about stopping off at the store for a bottle of wine.

And THAT’S what I don’t like that.  I don’t like that there’s this little bug in my brain that reminds me about wine.  As if that’s what’s important about my time at home. It makes me so uncomfortable that it’s causing me to examine my relationship with alcohol.  Causing me to revisit those earlier held assumptions.

You know what? I can’t really find a bonus.  I have no solid reason to drink red wine. It costs me money.  It’s probably harming my health, at least a little, it’s a whole bunch of extra empty calories every time I pop a cork, and it’s probably making my mornings harder.

So…I guess I don’t drink anymore?  I’ll let you know when/if the bug in my brain dies.  


Sassy Sunday 6

I think aiming to get this post out sometime during the actual weekends might work better.  I never manage to squeeze out my ‘Friday 5’ on an actual Friday.  Usually by Friday, I find about 2 notes pertaining to this scrawled hastily into the columns of my datebook. The intention is there, but then, of course, life takes over, and I never find the time to elaborate on them by the time Friday is through.

If I make this a regular Saturday/Sunday thing, I’ll be happy to toss in another point, too.  (For your enjoyment…and also for alliterative purposes!)  Anyway, I’m here NOW, so here’s a snapshot of things currently occupying space in my head…

  1. New job. New job. New job!  Yes, I have a new job, and I am both excited and a little intimidated.  I am happy to say that I am doing well so far, but the job is…both more formal and less formal than my old job.  I’m a little stressed, but the upsides include being allowed to wear basically whatever I want, and working downtown. (Next to records and fancy coffee…I have to be careful!)
  2. Blue lipstick.  Fashion’s 90’s resurgence has found me rediscovering my “old self.”  It’s interesting.  I find myself increasingly into things/styles I used to love more than 15 years ago.  Yep, I am still the same person!  It’s a little thing, but this weekend I got a dark blue lipstick for myself…and I adore it!
  3. “Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching” -Thomas Jefferson
  4. Regular stretching.  My back is still less-than ideal.  I carry a lot of tension there.  Lately, it has been hard as a rock, and one of my shoulders was starting to feel locked up.  I don’t want to hurt even more, or be unable to do things, so I have been forcing myself to stretch out daily.  No excuses!  I am still creaky, like an un-oiled tinman, but my shoulder, at least, is starting to feel better.
  5. Sometimes Bluegrass is just so pretty.  Daydream of summer with me and check this one out! 🙂  https://youtu.be/jevAJjqXtDQ
  6. Acknowledging, although it is uncomfortable, that I have fallen back into a sugar addiction.  It’s not my favourite thing about myself, but I love sweet things.  I try to make healthy choices, but I also love chocolate, the occasional ginger cookie, aaaaand my partner is a baker.  This means that sometimes, the best of the best is fresh from the oven and right in front of me.  I’m not a robot.  It can be difficult to deny yourself life’s pleasures!

Lately, I haven’t been doing much denying.  My diet has not been my number one concern.  Granted, I still keep most of my old habits, like packing a healthy lunch and snacks and stuff, I just find myself indulging in addition to my pre-packed healthy stuff.  I’ve already noticed a difference in things like how I feel and how my skin looks, so I’m not going to let that continue!  

Rather than beat myself up, I am going to acknowledge my love of sweet things and work with it.  Some indulgences are ok, but some I know I can do without.  The real reward is feeling better, after all.  Instant gratification is for newbs.

Hmm…maybe we need to light a few more candles for spring’s return..don’t think the message is getting through!


Green Smoothies, Getting a Job, and that Terrible Budget…

I’m going to go ahead and call this past week an all-round interesting one.  I will say that, although I STILL do not have any set-in-stone plans for my future, and things are still feeling very up in the air right now.  (The excitement!) I believe that things will work out for the best, and I am very curious about the opportunities the Universe is currently presenting me with.

As of right now, I actually DO have a part-time, and fairly unexpected job. (!)  My ex-boss from 4 years ago, back when I was writing commercials, is…now my boss again.  I met with her earlier this week, and I have been invited back on a part-time basis.  Very cool.  It actually felt amazing to be back in the building after 4 years away.  (It was terrifyingly also a little like ‘coming home’!)  I am excited to use my writing skills once more, and I am thrilled to see some folks I haven’t talked to in a while, as well as to meet some of the new-to-me faces around the building.  I’m pleased to at least see where this thing leads.

I also managed to do a little soul-searching and to revamp my diet.  I think feeling a little blue kind of derailed my regular eating.  When you start eating crappy food, it can be really hard to stop, and I had definitely noticed that I sorta fell off the wagon.  I also know how good I COULD feel with the right food, so I am deep into raw food again. I say “again,” because I have experimented with raw veganism in the past.  

I want to reassure those of my friends who may worry about me, however.  This time, I am NOT doing things with an iron-clad strict approach.  I am also NOT even eating entirely vegan (just a lot of vegan-friendly food), and I have every intention of sitting down to a decent, cooked supper most nights.  (Jason would have it no other way!)  I am not aiming to be perfect, only to put what I know about proper diet into action.  Hey, who doesn’t like to feel good?

Right now, I am ramping up the amount of fruits and veggies I eat during the bulk of the day, and, again, I aim to have a heavier meal with my family in the evenings.  This sort of approach (based on SOME of the thinking in the highly-popular “Raw ‘til 4” movement) works really well for me, and makes me feel very alive.  Again, for anyone who knows me, I want to stress that this is so that I can feel/perform my best.  I am NOT restricting calories, just crappy food.  I always find that a couple of days with a LOT more greens and fruit-packed smoothies will make me feel like wonderwoman.  🙂

In the realm of positive change, I really think I’ve eased up on myself  more recently, and that’s a good thing.  I’m 33, I’m 5’5”, and I guess now I’ll never be a teen model. 😉  I still love experimenting with fashion, and I love makeup, but yes, there are times when I know I may be using it out of insecurity.  Like, when I worry about my uneven complexion, and wind up using corrector, tinted moisturizer, bronzer, blush and highlighter all at once.  

I want to stress that there is NOTHING wrong with any of that stuff, and I am NOT about to give up my bronzer or anything, but when you feel like you NEED it…that’s a bit of a warning sign.  

I had a good think earlier the week, and I am proud to say that other than moisturizer and sunscreen (my poor nose always burns!) I have been leaving my skin goop-free.  You know what else guys?  I look totally fine.

So I guess that’s it.  Some distinctly interesting possibilities in my life right now, a lot of bananas and dates, and learning to live with my natural self.

Oh, and the Newfoundland budget is flaming terrifying, so I made this:Library