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My mother's obituary [Apr. 3rd, 2013|08:09 am]
[mood |grieving]

My Mother

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My mother [Apr. 2nd, 2013|05:34 pm]
[mood |grieving]

Just a quick update. My mother, after being in and out of the hospital, and spending some time in a retirement home because she fell and twisted her knee, died of a massive, fast-moving infection yesterday. They did manage to keep her alive long enough for my sister to make the 6 hour drive from Niagara Falls to be there in time, just barely.

Damnit, she was only 68.

Sorry. I'm still a little shaky, and probably will be for a while.

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Life just got interesting [Jan. 13th, 2013|09:24 pm]
[mood |tiredtired]

My mother spent three weeks in the hospital getting tests for muscle weakness back in september. They chalked it up to her cholesterol medication (a somewhat common side-affect, it appears), took her off of it and sent her homes.

She improved a little for a while, then started backsliding. And it didn't help that her appetite disappeared, and she wasn't eating much. This week, she was supposed to have a doctor's appointment, but she couldn't get out of the house, even with my father's help.

So, back to the hospital, some more tests, then home again on Friday. But now she has a probable diagnosis, and is going for an EMG on Wednesday next week for confirmation. Muscular Dystrophy. Specifically FSHD.

This is a form that usually is diagnosed by age 20, but can start as late as fifty. My mother is 68, but it looks like symptoms everyone assumed was just age may have been the muscular dystrophy.

Now, if the tests confirms this, one of the next steps is that my sister and I should probably get tested, since it is a hereditary disease. And then there's my nieces.

I was babysitting them this weekend. They decided to go against their usual inclination and be wonderful. Yesterday we watched Porco Rosso, had lasagna for dinner (frozen with love by their Nonna in Niagara Falls), played The Game of Life, and watched the end of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief before shooing them off to bed (well past their usual bedtime, but it wasn't a school night). Other than one attempt to climb into bed with me by the younger at about 10:30, there wasn't another peep.

I woke up this morning at about 7:15 (their parents got a hotel room for the night rather than paying for a taxi home -- probably about the same price). The older niece had already gotten up and was playing a computer game. Tell me, who in their right mind makes an online game built around doing eye surgery? It was on her favorite website, Girls Go Games (or something like that).

When they were both up, I made french toast and watched old Doctor Who episodes (DVD of Invasion of the Dinosaurs -- Jon Pertwee era) until their parents got home at about 10:30. Then I went back to bed for a couple hours nap before heading over to the parents' for Sunday dinner.

They were great, without any fighting, but I am now exhausted, so early to bed tonight.

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Wow, it's been a while [Jan. 5th, 2013|09:26 am]

Well, one of my resolutions for this year is to do more writing, and that includes around here. I've fallen into my old pattern of, for example, getting a diary, writing daily, then weekly, then suddenly realizing that I haven't written anything in months, if not years. And writing fiction seems to go along the same lines.

So, I am not setting a goal of writing every day, but hopefully every weekend. And I am working on finishing my nano-novel. I may even set up a separate blog for my non-fanfiction, since it looks like if I want to get a writing career going, I'd probably have to use a pseudonym, since when I started writing fanfic, I just shrugged and put my real name on it.

I'm still working the contract job (we'll see what happens after march, since that's the new fiscal year, and the government is cutting back, but the project I'm on is about 1/2 contract workers, and replacing us all would be a long and difficult process).

Thankfully, it looks like the Canadian job market is perking up, and technology is a good place to be.

On the personal level, well, I am babysitting my mother this weekend. She had some health problems over the summer, and she's never quite recovered (damnit, mom, go to the doctors. They can help with the lack of appetite -- and you need to eat, even if you don't feel like it. And physio to help rebuild strength. Lying in bed all day doesn't help you with the muscle weakness. Sigh. Rant over). My father had a funeral to travel to today (about a six hour drive each way). It's a cousin who was his roommate through university, as well as his best man when he got married, so he definitely was going, but mom wasn't up to staying home alone, so here I am.

Next weekend I will be babysitting my nieces, since their parents are going to a 'not a christmas party' with his company, and plan to stay at the hotel overnight. Hopefully I won't smash the Furby by the end of the weekend. Who thought that bringing back those things was a good idea? They are loud and they don't have a volume or an on/off switch, and my niece adores it. Hopefully after a while that will fade and it will end up staying in her room.

And for Christmas I got a bunch of Best Buy (Canada) gift cards, so I now have a tablet. I didn't want a gigantic one, and I was not impressed by the iPad mini (crappy screen and way too expensive for the memory), so I got a Google Nexus 7. It's just right. A little larger than my Sony eReader, with a really nice screen, and for double the memory, it was about $70 cheaper than the iPad mini.

I am still writing my book reviews on Goodreads (My lists are at here). I even applied to be a 'librarian', and was accepted, although I don't expect to do lots of edits in that role.

So, new year, and an attempt to turn a new leaf. We'll see how long that last ;p

Note: Just noticed that my last posting, more than a year ago, started out with the same phrase as the title of this post. Lets try not to go another year without posting, okay?

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(no subject) [Jul. 23rd, 2011|04:07 pm]
[mood |hothot]

Wow. It's been a while.

Watching the news today has been surreal. Norway is the last place I would expect that sort of a terrorist attack (and a right wing, white, christian terror attack, I point out to the assholes in the world who claim that all terrorists are Muslim).

As for Amy Winehouse, it was a surprise... and yet not. If anyone was a shining example of burn bright and flame out young, she is definitely it. I hope she finds a little bit of peace.

On a personal note, for those who sent good thoughts concerning my cousin, Katherine, sadly, passed away on June 18th. They'd stopped treatment, since it wasn't helping, and it made her miserable. The brain tumor had been dealt with, but the primary cancer turned out to be melanoma (our family is mostly irish, and she was a pale-skinned, freckled redhead, which makes this sort of thing more of a concern). At her funeral, so many people showed up that the church overflowed into the basement reception room and even outside, with speakers so that everyone could hear the service. She was much loved. And damnit, she was only 49, and a mother of two.

This was right about the same time that my mother spent two weeks in ICU after going in to have a lump removed from her colon (pre-cancerous, thank heavens), and her blood pressure bottomed out on the operating table. She's since had about a bazillion tests, and the verdict is congestive heart failure, so her diet has been restricted even further. Thankfully, she's coming up clean on tests, and improving to almost where she was before they found the lump.

And now I need to actually go out into the heat to run some errands that didn't happen this morning due to weather headaches (heat and humidity give me some doozies, although rarely in the migraine category)

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Well, crap - Update on my cousin [Mar. 7th, 2011|06:31 pm]
[mood |depresseddepressed]

She started radiation this past week. 10 treatments, full skull, so she's really out of it again.

After all the tests on the tumor they removed, the verdict was:

1) It is cancer.
2) It is malignant.
3) (this is the worst part) It's a secondary cancer, and she's just not strong enough yet for the full body scans they need to do to find the primary cancer.

So, for now they treat the cancer they know about it, while trying to rebuild her strength to aggressively hunt for and treat the cancer they don't know the location of.

Her daughter is staying home from University for the moment, just in case.

Damnit, she's not ever fifty, only a few years older than me. And my wonderful mother had to point out that she's known several people who were discovered to have brain tumors that were secondary cancers, and all of them died about nine months after diagnosis.


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Slowly inproving [Feb. 20th, 2011|10:37 am]

My cousin has been moved out of intensive care and into one of the standard hospital rooms. This is definitely a good sign. Still waiting to hear about the MRI

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Worrying... [Feb. 10th, 2011|05:49 pm]
[mood |worriedworried]

Last weekend, my cousin went to bed with a headache. A while later, her husband went to wake her for dinner, but she wouldn't wake up. So he called 911.

When they got to the hospital, it was found that she had a tumor behind one ear that had burst, and she was rushed into surgery fast. They think they got all of the tumor, but there was so much blood... They need the swelling to go down so that they can do an MRI to find out.

But she ended up in a coma, with her blood pressure periodically spiking. Her older child was called home from university, just in case.

Thankfully, she woke up today. She was even able to eat a little bit of jello and banana. Her blood pressure seems to be normalizing. She's not out of the woods by any means, but at least she's awake.

It's things like this that scare you awake, so to speak.

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March 2010 Reading [Feb. 2nd, 2011|08:49 pm]
[mood |accomplished]

A State of Disobedience – Tom Kratman (Baen)
The Egyptologist – Arthur Phillips (Random House)
Liberating Atlantis – Harry Turtledove (Roc)
Sleepless – Charlie Huston (Ballantine)
Buried Deep – Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Roc)
Rogue Angel 20: Footprints – Jon Merz (Gold Eagle)
Thermopylae – Paul Cartledge (Blackstone Audio)

Ah, the month that I got informed that I was being laid off, and that I had four weeks notice. It was a rough month for me, and I dealt by burying myself in reading. Okay, a few of my choices were not exactly good ones for my emotional state, but ah well.

A State of DisobedienceCollapse )

The EgyptologistCollapse )

Liberating AtlantisCollapse )

SleeplessCollapse )

Buried DeepCollapse )

Rogue Angel 20: FootprintsCollapse )

ThermopylaeCollapse )

Phew. So that’s it for the month of March, 2010. If I have to pick a favorite, it’s a toss-up between Buried Deep, although I recommend reading at least the first book of the series first to get the setup of the world, and Thermopylae.

The next two months of reading were equally full, as I had more time on my hands and a need to distract myself.

Also, for anyone interested, I have set myself a goal this year of reviewing every book I read over at Goodreads.com. I am Lianneb over there as well, and I’ve got 7 books reviewed so far this year, with two more nearly finished. I’m aiming for 100 books this year. You can see the list here (hoping the link works for someone who isn’t me)

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Happy Anniversary! [Jan. 14th, 2011|06:24 am]
Ten years ago today, the first two gay couples were legally married in Canada. There were death threats, and the minister wore a bullet-proof vest, just in case, but everything went off without a hitch.

Today, those same two couples will be going before the same minister (*not* wearing a bullet-proof vest) to renew their vows.

May they have another ten years of wedded happiness, and may more countries come to accept that gay marriage is not the end of the world.

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