Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm back...

Sorry my friends... Its been busy around here! My outting on December 3rd was fun. I have been trying to get ready for the Holidays in the last few weeks. But, for some reason, I can't quite seem to get into it; the spirit, that is... I brought up our artificial tree over a week ago and the box is still sitting on the floor in the corner of the living room. Mat and Rich have been quite busy making their wish list on the computer (they include photos to make sure I pick the right item). Unfortunately, Mat's list changes daily and keeps growing.

While they are forecasting 15 cm of snow for tomorrow, Rich has a tournament game scheduled in Laval at 9 pm. The team has to be there 60 minutes ahead of the game and the game last 90 min. Hopefully the snow plows will be working overtime during the day tomorrow. Luckily for me, I really enjoy watching him play. He played last Sunday and scored the most beautiful goal!

Two more work days, and I'm off 'til the 2009! I plan on catching up on some sleep... If I can get my shopping done quickly that is... Although, knowing me, there's not much chance of my shopping being done before the 24th. There's always an extra little thing to buy...

Well, that's it for now...

Take good care!


Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's Snowing and December is Almost Here!!!!

Hey everyone! Hope you're all doing well. It's been a busy weekend and I'm still recovering from a sinus infection. The boys both had hockey and Mathieu also had a soccer tournament at school today. They played five games (indoor games - so its not as long as a regular game; but still) and won the finals. Mathieu, the team goalie, actually scored the last goal of the tournament. Now the coach owes him lunch at McDonalds. Poor guy, he has no idea that Mat can at for $20 at McDs.

I can't believe there are only 24 shopping days left. I had started with a bang... But haven't really done much since early November. Maybe the snow that's presently falling will help put everyone in a more Xmasy mood.
This coming Wednesday will mark my 15th wedding anniversary and the anniversary of Tony's diagnosis - 4 years ago. I've already made plan for a sitter and am going out to a Beattles night at a local restaurant bar with some friends. I didn't think it was a good idea to stay home that night. Better to be surrounded with friends and noise. I'll let you know how it goes.

Well, that's it for now. Please keep in touch.

And, take good care!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Feeling like a chicken with its head "cut off"

Tonight Mathieu's hockey team played a brilliant hockey game. I so enjoy watching my boys play; in that sense I guess I'm lucky (otherwise it would make for long games). Tomorrow I'll be doing double duty; work, meet Mat's teachers, appointment with my psy, go order dinner for the boys, pick up Mat's football equipment and drop it off, meet Rich's teachers, then (hopefully) dinner. I know it must be weird me listing all of this, but it makes me feel better... I read and say, no! I'm not crazy... that's a lot of stuff to do!

I've begun my Xmas shopping. But, you know what, I think the early you start, the more you buy... and the more you spend! So much for trying to be organized. I just can't believe how fast the Holidays are approaching. Its a bit scary!! I'm not sure why; I guess I just remember the catatonic state I was in last year and panic.

Well, my mom's coming for a visit this weekend. It should be nice. I think Mathieu enjoys having people visit - especially when he can talk them into giving him money. I think I've created a monster.

Should my friend Sylvie read this, "J'pense à toi".

That's it for now...

Take good care!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Hello Again!

Sorry I haven't posted in so long. Richard is the one who told me I should update my blog. He's so sensible that one... He certainly doesn't get that from me.

The boys' football season has come to an end and with it comes a bit of reprieve for me. I no longer have to drive them each to 2 or 3 practices a week or attend games that took up both Saturday and Sunday afternoon. We only have hockey for now. Don't get me wrong; the boys really enjoyed their football season and so it wasn't even a question of doing it or not... Its just nice to get a bit more time for the regular stuff - cooking, groceries, housecleaning, laundry. Gosh, I never thought I ever say anything like that. Oh well... I have had to readjust since Tony passed away. He was such a great help around the house. But I feel that things are getting better; I don't feel quite as overwhelmed as I did just a few months ago. I'm sure Rich will be pleased. He's so much like his dad in that he loves everything to be in its place. You gotta love him. Mathieu and I on the other hand, did not inherit the "tidy gene". Poor Rich.

The boys and I will be travelling to Belfast to see Tony's family in December. Rich and Mat are very much looking forward to it - as am I. I think it will bring things "full circle" for me in terms of grieving. Its a big step... Going back to his beginning. Some days I think it will be wonderful, and other days I'm scare that it will be too sad. I guess there is no sense in worrying about it - whatever happens is going to happen and worrying ahead of time won't change a thing! Sorry - I'm getting phylosophical.
I've been trying to get back to the gym so that I can look and feel my best for the Holidays. Its a struggle, but I'm determined. Only 25 lbs to go... Ouch! One day at a time. I'm back at work and have started training for a new position which will allow me to work part-time (3.5 days a week). That's about all I can handle right at this time.
Well, that's it for now.
Take good care!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Terry Fox Run for Tony

The Terry Fox Run was quite a success thanks to all our friends at Enbridge. Your efforts and participation are above and beyond the call of duty and a true demonstration of your affection and regard for "Richard" - as you knew him. I am very touched and am sure Tony would be at a loss for words. Thank you!
Well, as I'm back at work tomorrow... off to bed I go.
Take good care!

P.S. Congrats Hazel! All the best to you and your hubby...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Enbridge Rafter's Runners

Hello Everyone;

Although this is late notice, I wanted to let you all know that Enbridge, along with myself and some friends and family will be participating in the Terry Fox Run/Walk again this year. If you are interested in participating or donating please see the Terry Fox Run website and look for the Enbridge Rafter Runners (http://www.terryfoxrun.org/english/terry%20fox%20run/run%20site%20listings/qc/default.asp?s=1). We will be at the Pointe-Claire location this coming Sunday, September 14th at 10 am.

Hope to see you all there.

That's it for now.

Take good care!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Hello Everyone...

I know! ... it's been a while since my last post. Things are moving along. Mathieu is doing much better and getting stronger every day. Richard now towers over me... And both are busy with their sports. We took a short vacation last week with my sister and her family. It was nice to get away. Of course, it would have been much nicer if the rain had stayed away...but we still managed to do some fun stuff.

I had to empty the locker I had rented to store stuff when I staged my old house to put it up for sale. So now, in addition to the few boxes I had yet to unpack from the move... I now have quite a few other boxes to unpack. I just can't seem to find the energy or motivation to get to them... There's always something else that needs to be done. Well, I guess I should do it in baby steps; one box at a time (or a day). The task may not seem quite as daunting that way I guess. (As you can probably detect, I'm not quite convinced yet.) Well, no rush, I guess.

I hope you are all enjoying the summer months.

That's it for now.

Take good care!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

We were home on a pass Saturday afternoon and got to sleep in our own beds. The surgeon called Sunday morning and discharged Mathieu over the phone. Safe for a few distressing moments on Sunday night, things are going well.

Sunday afternoon, we joined my Mom's family - what was left of the crowd - for an afternoon at the cottage. Everyone from far and wide (Toronto, Winnipeg, Ottawa, etc.) had gathered for dinner the night before and there were a few left to visit with on Sunday. Mathieu was in the water splashing around and I had to hold him back because he too wanted to play football. He has lost a bit of weight, but will no doubt gain some back now that he can eat.

We saw the fireworks this evening - in celebration of Canada Day. Mathieu spent most of the evening at the park and was exhausted when I joined him. Richard had gone to join the festivities in another municipality and I picked him up to join us for the celebrations in our own municipality. We saw many of our friends and enjoyed the fireworks.

Looking forward to a bit of calm and relaxation tomorrow.

Well, that's it for now...

Take good care!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

He's looking better every day!

Good morning everyone. We've started our day here on a positive note. They stopped the suction on Mathieu's NG tube at dinner time yesterday and he got through the night and is still fine. No nausea, no vomitting, no bloating... looks like they'll be taking the tube out at lunch! YEAH!!!! Then we move on to liquids, then semi-solids and gradually, solids. Keep your fingers crossed.

Mathieu is so hoping to make it to our family reunion this weekend. But that might be pushing it. I said we could go visit everyone later on...

Richard came to visit yesterday while I went home to take a shower. Thanks Rich, I love you! While I was out, Mathieu's godfather came by and brightened his day! Thanks for that Sylvain.

I wanted to wish my little sister good luck with her move today. Sorry I can't be there to help - I definitely would be there if I could. You've always been there for me.

Mom, get better soon (she's home with a bad cough).

Well, as Mathieu's gotten bored with the other computer, I will go join him in a game of something. Maybe I'll even get to squeeze in a coffee. That's it for now...

Take good care!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Brighter days ahead - I'm sure

Well, the NG tube is still in and Mathieu is dreaming of his first bite and the restaurants he'll visit as soon as we get out of here. So far we're going to Jack Astors, La Belle province, McDonalds, Taco Bell, Dairy Queen, and we've only just begun. From the visit we had with the doctors this morning, it looks as though the tube will be in at least for another 24 hours. So no drinks (or food) til then.

The night before last, Mathieu's IV had to be changed; it was no longer working properly as it had been in for over 6 days. Well, it took 6 tries before they finally got a good one going. And, that one gave out yesterday morning and they had to put a new one in again. Luckily, they got it the first time around.

He still gets bouts of nausea and diziness every once now and again; but he really hasn't eaten or drank in a week. With the pain medication and everything else, I suppose that is to be expected. They are feeding him electrolytes and lipids via his IV so that he can keep his strength up. He is walking and sitting, playing XBox, channel surfing and watching movies.

Yesterday, we had some nice surprise visits. Our friend Gary came by to see Mathieu. That brought quite a smile to his face. Thanks Gary! Also, one of the football coaches from last year, John and his son Jake can by to see Mathieu. I think it made him feel special. He's getting pretty tired of seeing my old face. Although he doesn't like me to go too far.

I think we're both looking forward to being back in our own bed and catching up on some sleep; or at least having an uninterupted night.

The sun is shining and, am sure, there are brighter days ahead.

That's it for now.

Take good care!


P.S. Mat & Pat: Mathieu has already asked when he can go to QC.

PP.S. Jean-Daniel et Camille: Mathieu a vraiment hate de pouvoir aller faire du tube...

Monday, June 23, 2008

You've got to laugh... Otherwise you'd cry!

Would you believe that in the midst of everything that is going on, someone came into Mathieu's room while we were walking in the hallway and stole my wallet out of my purse. They didn't take my expensive purse, the digital camera or Blackberry that were inside. Only my wallet. I only had $40 or $50 in it... And my credit card was practically maxed out... But what a pain! Now I've had to cancel my credit cards, my debit card and will have to get new medicare cards, driver's license, etc. I guess that should keep me business...

Mathieu has had his ups and downs again over that last 24 hours. He has been walking and is trying to do his breathing exercises. He coughs which is good - however it is quite painful for him. The NG tube is still extracting quite a bit of fluid, but it is getting clearer. The nutrutionist came by this morning and they will be adding nutrients through his IV has he has only had a few bites in the last week. Mind you, his weight is only down 6 lbs and they took out his whole colon - I figure that must weigh a few pounds.

We've had a few visitors to help keep his spirits up. Of course, last week Linda was with me during the surgery and Luce visited a few days and even made me a lunch that lasted 3 days, and my forner neighbour and a good friend of the family, Mike - who works at the Children's - also came by. Nicole, Greg, Scott (above) and Annie came by for the weekend. The Covenys have been by on a few occasions with their gang. And, Francis and Michael from the soccer team came last week. This morning we had a nice surprise visit from Sdaos. Mathieu was really pleased to play XBox with Robbie (above) and I was very grateful to Jodie for the coffee.
Well, I have to run to the bank now... See if I can get any money out without my bank card!... And, I have to get some food for my other son... who is at home with no bread... Don't worry, there's plenty of other stuff; but they always seem to want something other than what's there, don't they.
I'm off again... I'll rent more movies for our movie marathon - if the bank lets me have any money that is...
That's it for now. Send positive energy our way. Our supply is running low!
Take good care!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rocky road; but smoother ground ahead...

It was a tempestuous weekend. Mathieu spiked a fever of over 39 on Friday afternoon and his abdomen was very tender and started being distended. The did blood tests and sent him for an x-ray. They thought it was either a blockage or a leak. The best thing to do was for Mathieu to get mobile... But he didn't want to. Finally, at 11:00pm they insert an NG (nasogastric) tube down his nose. This is hooke up to a machine that suctions the liquidsébile from his stomach. They needed with three nurses to do this while I held his hand. He wasn't a happy camper and told me that this was going to cost me big time. Such a negotiator. Over 3 cups of fluids were extracted in the first 12 hours.

Saturday afternoon, my sister Nicole came from Ottawa with Greg and the kids - Scott and Annie - and that was a very welcome diversion. I managed to go home to take a shower and brought Mathieu back his own pillows. When I came back he seemed determined. He told me that he had managed to stand by himself and had taken a short walk. He did not, however, want to do his breathing exercises. His fever spiked again around dinner time. But he told me he wanted to walk. I figured Greg or someone must have spoken to him because his attitude changed totally. Maybe the pain wasn't quite as bad. Friday they had unhooked the self-medication pump and stuff... I think it was a bit of a shock to the system.

He is much, much better today, as am I. We both slept better, I think... He has taken a walk and used the inspirometer for the breathing exercises. I told him that we would go for another walk when I finished blogging. His fever was slightly up again as was his pain; so I'll give the medication a bit of time so that it takes effect.

If I get home tomorrow, I'll try to post a photo or two. I figure a shower every 48 hours is not too much of a luxury.

So, I think we're on the path to recovery. Mathieu is very much looking forward to having the NG tube removed and being able to drink, if not eat. Though he may be a bit reluctant to eat at first; but you never know... Hopefully, if it stops draining fluids, they will remove it tomorrow.

That's it for now. I will keep you posted.

Take good care!


Friday, June 20, 2008

What a trooper!

Mathieu took two steps yesterday and sat up most of the afternoon playing XBox. Rich came to visit while I went home for a much needed shower. The good news is that his new bowels are working, although we now have to work on his timing... He had his chicken broth for lunch and dinner, are popsicles and drank water and I ran out - on a special request - to get him a slush.

The doctors were doing their rounds when I told Mat that I was gonna go down and get a quick bite. He asked if I could bring him back something. I told him that he hadn't been given the okay to eat yet... so we asked and the Docs said yes. Mathieu made the Doctors wait while he made me a drawing of a pastry he'd seen at the café a few days ago... So, you see, he hasn't lost his appetite.

His friends Tristan, Francis and Michael came to visit with Sylvie and Shawn last night. It was great... Except for when they made him laugh, because that hurt his belly.

This morning they've taken away the morphine pump and the catheter, etc. So all he has left is the i.v. for liquids. This should be coming off as soon as he manages to pee on his own.

I was taking a sleeping pill to ensure that I was getting plenty of rest on the small convertible cot. But, I was informed by Mathieu that my snorring was keeping him up. Needless to say, I did not take my pill last night and, yes, I am quite tired. Thankfully, however, I believe that Mat did get a bit more sleep than I did.

I'm very much looking forward to sleeping in my own bed and making myself a real meal.Well, I have to go... Mathieu is down here with me in a wheelchair and is falling asleep at his computer. You can send him messages through this blog... I'm sure he'd love it.

That's it for now.

Take good care.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Slowly, but surely...

We moved to a private room yesterday afternoon. That was a very positive change. We watched a bunch of movies, cause as Mathieu says, the stupîd TV's not worth crap. We managed to get him to roll on one side and then the other. After which he turned to me and said 'You owe me big time'. He'll be a great business man, politician or mobster! He knows how to capitalize on every possible situation.

He still has the morphine pump and the catheter in. He has been having popsicles with no difficulty. So, today, we'll try to get him sitting, if not right up and then they can remove the catheter. He is very afraid of feeling pain. Memories of seeing his father in the hospital probably still haunt him. But we're working through it.

Last night his big brother and Andrew came by to visit with my Mom. It was good. I think they were both quite happy to see each other. And Rich must've been relieved to see that Mathieu looked ok.

Well, I should get back. I came down to the library to get XBox games. Mathieu request 'violent ones with guns'. He knows I don' t allow those... I told him they probably don't have those in a Children's hospital.

That's it for now.

Take good care.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One day at a time - TAKE THREE

All things considered, things went very well yesterday. Mathieu was quite calm going in and walked in to the surgery room all by himself. The surgery lasted 7 hours and was very successful. They did not need to do a temporary colostomy bag. Thank goodness for that!

We spent the night in the recovery room and were transferred to the floor at 5:30 am. Mathieu is now sharing a room next to the nursing station with a baby and finds it quite noisy. I've asked to have him transferred to a private room so there is a possibility that that might happen this afternoon. In the meantime with the anasthesia having worn off and the fact that he slept a good part of the night, he did not use the pump they gave him to self-medicate for pain. When I left him 5 minutes ago after having pressed the button over and over again, he seemed to be sleeping comfortably. Don't worry, the pump will only give him as much as he's allowed. The nurses and pain management team reassured him that he can press as much as he wants to.

Well, I'll get back to him now. This afternoon they're going to try to get him to sit. The next thing will be liquids - probably tomorrow.

That's it for now...

Take good care!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Here we go again...

We were at the hospital for the pre-op prep today. I suppose it could have been worse, but I was hoping for flawless and was disappointed. My brave little man was great. He had a tube put down his nose to his stomach to infuse a liquid that helped clean out his bowel. Unfortunately, that made him nauseous and he kept spitting up bile. And the first attempt at inserting a needle for a blood test was unsuccessful and painful and had to be repeated. All the while the nurse and hospital educator were trying to walk us through everything that will happen on Tuesday, surgery day. Mathieu seemed at times bewildered but eventually - once the tube was removed - was much better; almost his old self.

We have to be at the hospital at 7:45am on Tuesday for admission. Then the nurse will do another sort of bowel preparation and the surgery is scheduled for 8:45. We are all hoping that there won't be too much of a stretch with the small bowel when they form the j-pouch reservoir, because if there is, they will need to put a temporary colostomy bag. This would mean another surgery in appox. 2 months and Mathieu would wake up with a tube down his nose to prevent bile from accumulating. Not to mention the daily (or more) cleaning out of the bag... I'm sure Tony will be with us and help us face whatever happens.

Re-reading this post, I guess I'm tired and a little bewildered myself. Hopefully things will go smoothly tomorrow. Say a prayer for Mathieu.

That's it for now. I will keep you posted.

Take good care!


Monday, June 9, 2008

Home, Sweet New Home!

We've been busy over the weekend. We've been unpacking and sorting out what should go where and what we need to get to make our new home just right... There are lots of new things to get used to; like a dishwasher - but I think I can handle that! The front loading washer was a bit scary at first, but my sister has one and she came to the rescue. Not so difficult after all - it just looks intimidating. Now I need to unpack a few more boxes; but considering that the movers finished unpacking their truck at 4:30 on Friday afternoon, I figure I'm doing very well. I must admit, however, that I did get a lot of help. Among others, my sisters came in from Ottawa to help, as did our good friend Luce.

Today, Sunday, my sisters had to leave early in the morning to make it back for my niece's violin concert. As for myself, I had to get Mathieu to his soccer practice and ensure that he was set for the soccer association's BBQ. I picked Richard up from his friend's and we headed off to St-Lazare for a football game. Back home after that to find Mathieu, register Richard for the soccer house league, detour via Sports Experts to buy some soccer cleats and chin pads and then off again to Mathieu's football practice. I guess I don't need to tell you that I'm exhausted.

The boys seem quite happy about the new home. I might actually have to equip Mathieu with a GPS system so that I can keep track of him. He's making friends fast and furious and is quite enjoying exploring his new neighbourhood. Although he has sent quite a bit of time here as his best friend and Richard's best friend live right around the corner. This could prove to be very interesting.

Unfortunately, I haven't downloaded any photos yet, but I promise to get around to it in the next few days.

Well! That's it for now.

Take good care!


Thursday, May 29, 2008


Well, it seems all the terms and conditions of the offer have been fulfilled and my house is now sold! As I have already taken possession of my other house (and am renting it to the previous owers), I'm delighted. Now I can go shopping... Well, actually, I should really start packing as we are moving in 8 days! YIKES!!!

Three more days of work and I will be off til school start again. I was just sort of getting back into it and getting my self-confidence back... Oh well! My family needs me and I need them, so that is where I will be.

Mathieu's surgery is scheduled for June 17th, the anniversary of Tony's death. I told Mathieu it was a special day and it meant that Daddy will be there to help him through this. So will I... As promised, I will be sleeping with Mathieu at the hospital. My Mom, family and friends will be holding the fort for me at home.

I'm very lucky to have family and friends that I can rely on. I know Tony has something to do with my good fortune. He is still taking care of us.

Well, that's it for now.

Take good care!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers' Day!

Sorry folks, I haven't uploaded the software for my new camera yet; so no new photos! Maybe Rich will do it for me tomorrow. Well, a belated Happy Mothers' Day to all you wonderful mothers out there. It can be a thankless job at times, but you wouln't give it up for the world, now would you!...

It's been really busy around here these last few weeks. The real estate agent came by last Friday to take photos of the house and put up the "FOR SALE" sign. That's just so weird. It's like watching somebody else's life through invisible glasses. All sorts of weird thing are going on.

As I was getting the lawn ready for photos, I noticed that, somehow, some of the annual flowers I had on the deck the year before had somehow made their way over the fence and seeded themselves next to the side of the house. There I stood, two days before mother's day, staring at beautiful flowers, which I am sure were Tony's mothers'day gift to me. I broke down and cried - and then I made sure that my friend who was mowing the lawn did not mow them down.

I have an appointment with the notary to sign for my new house next Thursday. Our move-in date is June 6th. WOW!

Last week I got a very special call from Tony's friend and boss, Denis. He called to invite the boys to go to Quebec City with him to see the World Cup of Hockey. Just when I was starting to freak out about dealing with the kids for the weekend and handling the renovations and all... It was like a gift from heaven. Also, when Denis talked to me, he mentioned that all the guys - Tony's work colleagues - had talked about our upcoming move and offered to help. Tony always did look after me... I don't know why I thought he would stop now... It's just weird. And, no, I haven't totally lost my mind. Just partially, and temporarily!

The biggest news is that Mathieu's surgery has been scheduled for June 17th. The one year anniversary of Tony's death. Tony will definitely be there with us that day, and I'm sure he'll be keeping our Mathieu safe! Unfortunately, it is also a week befre the end of Mathieu's school year. Hopefully an end-of-year party will make up for the time he will miss in the last week.

Faced with an overflow of emotions, I have had to scale back my work schedule to three days a week until Mat's surgery. I will be off for the summer to be by his side, and look forward to going back to work full time in September.

I hope you're all keeping well. Drop me a line or two. I'd love hear from you.

Take good care!


Monday, April 28, 2008

Rain, rain, and more rain...

Well folks, I sure hope the weather channel is wrong. They're forecasting rain for the whole week, including Saturday and Sunday. While it is helping the leaves grow and making the scenery a bit more green, it is still quite depressing! I suppose it might make it easier to stay inside and do housework... But, unfortunately, rain usually makes me feel like shopping! Yikes! The house is coming along. I actually visited some open houses this weekend in an effort to compare properties and prices for my own lisiting. I guess all the nice houses sold really quickly, because the ones I saw made my house look like a castle. I guess I shouldn't get overly optimistic though. Wouldn't want to be disappointed.

The moving truck has been reserved, and I've rented a storage space to store my stuff and declutter the house - it's not full yet, but it won't be long. I'm still on 3 days/week at work. I should be up to 4 days/week next week and, if all goes well, I will be full time on May 19th. I'm hoping to get to the gym on Wednesday... I really need to... I haven't been since last week. Working really cuts into your free time!!!

I want to wish my father-in-law and my friend Debra a happy belated birthday! And, my congrats to my baby sister who just bought her first house! We'll be christening a few decks this summer, I guess. I spoke to Joe tonight and Ella is still in Washington doing well and recovering from her surgery. She is making good progress.

Rich and I were discussing the possibility of him going to Belfast this summer. We were looking at flights and dates, and it's a definite possibility. We're still waiting on a date for Mathieu's surgery and I've been researching and talking to doctors in an effort to determine what type of surgery would be best for him. I guess avoiding the issue will not make it go away, so I'll simply have to face it and forge ahead. Tony's going to have to help me with this one.

The boys, my sister Michelle and I went to see the Canadiens play the first match of this second series of the playoffs against the Flyers. It was amazing. It went into overtime and Rich, a fervent Leafs' fan, was actually wearing - for the first time ever - a Canadiens' jersey and a smile. I think Michelle has a photo.

There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to this blog, but these days, my brain is in constant overdrive and there's not much order to my thought process. I suppose I could reorganize the paragraphs to camoufflage this, but you'll have to forgive me, I'm just too tired.

That's it for now.

Take good care!


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring has sprung... and change is in the air

Call it a bold move, maybe done in large part on a gut feeling, nevertheless, I've gone and done it... I bought a house. I visited one house and just had to have it! It is within walking distance of the boys' schools and close to many good friends. It will make life simpler - and it is newly renovated. Only Richard's room will need to be repainted - it's now lime green!
Purchasing that house was the easy part. The difficult part will be leaving the home that we shared with Tony. I try not to think about that too much. The time will come soon enough. I've hired a friend of mine to help freshen up the house so that it is ready for sale. So far, he's redone the ceilings and repainted the walls in the dining room and living room. He's replaced the light fixtures in the kitchen and the dining room. The kitchen is the biggest eye-sore, so I've ordered a new counter and bought tiles for the floor. Hopefully that will help. I'll be replacing the bedroom doors and the light fixture in my room. My room will also be repainted. I've had a homestager come for a consultation. Her recommendations were all things I had already thought of. I have a lot of decluttering to do. YUK!

I get possession of the new house on my birthday. I wanted to ensure that we were moved in before Mathieu's surgery - the date of which has yet to be determined. It'll will be after the school year. So I will be working until the end of the school year and will then be off until September so that I can be there for Mathieu. I am still on a progressive reinstatement program and am working 3 day a week. I should be full time in May.

Well, I should get back to my decluttering... Lots to do.

Take good care everyone.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Belated Happy Easter!

It has been quite busy! Even working just 2 days a week, this week and last... has got me running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Not a pretty picture! The boys are doing okay. Richard took part in the Elite football team tryouts for his league last Friday (4 hours of drills and scrimmage) and then went to his friend's sleepover birthday party. Well, he hasn't been the same since. Saturday, he came home and fell asleep at 6 pm and did not wake up until 9:30 on Sunday morning. Mathieu, on the other hand, has been all hockey and excitement. His team won their semi-final game last night and will be playing in the finals (a best of 3 series) starting next weekend. They will also be participating in a local hockey tournament. Also, I have registered him in a acting workshop starting in mid-April... Hopefully, hockey will be over by then because I think football and soccer will be starting their tryouts. HELP!!!!

My mom had us all over in her new condo for Easter brunch on Sunday. It was great. Luckily, my dad and everyone were very helpful and contributed to the culinary delight. Mom was great! I was lazy... and Richard was not well and stayed home.

My friend Ella had an appointment with Dr Sugarbaker in Washington today, and he has agreed to operate on her during the first week of April; so, next week... Hopefully, the RAMQ will come through for her as the procedure he proposes, the Sugarbaker procedure, is her only hope and is quite expensive.

Well, that's it for now. I'm off work tomorrow, and will hopefully make it to the gym to burn off all the chocolate I've been eating!

Take good care!


Anneke: I would love to get in touch with you. Please send me your e-mail address via this blog and I will contact you. I will delete your information from the blog as soon as I copy it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ola! la!

Well, we're back! It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and after minor delays (15 hours) due to a snow storm in Canada, we returned from Cuba yesterday, where it was at least 28 degrees everyday, to Montreal where our flip flops were no protection against the -10 degree temperature that greeted us (that's -20 with the windchill).

We truly enjoyed our vacation. We went for a few rides on a catamaran (and I have the largest bruises to prove it), we went pedalboating and swam with the fish, we swam with the dolphins, we ate too much, drank too much and slept too little... Luckily, or not, the resort was quite large, 3 km around - I believe -, so we also got some exercise in spite of ourselves. I tried not to let the fact that I lost my watch and digital camera put too much of a damper on our vacation. I bought a disposal camera and had luckily brought my sports watch to go to the gym (although I did not make it to the gym).

There definitely were moments when Tony was quite present and I could not walk by the spot we sat in throughout our vacation last year without feeling chocked up. One day as we were walking around the pool area, Mathieu noticed a lady reading the March issue of Canadian Living (e-version) and insisted I speak to her to tell that our story and photos appeared in her magazine. She was taken aback. She must've read the article quickly beacause when we walked passed her again she stopped me and told me that she was touched and that her father had also been diagnosed with colon cancer. Fortunately, in his case, it was caught early and he is still living.

It has been a difficult month. A friend of mine and Tony's, a hockey dad we always sat with during Richard's hockey games and practices, passed away on February 19th. We used to share a coffee and a chat and enjoy watching our sons play hockey together. It was sudden and quite a shock. As well, Richard's hockey coache's wife, my friend Ella, was operated for cancer. They could not remove all the cancer and told her that her best chance was a procedure that is only done in the U.S. So far, the Quebec government has refused to agree to pay for the much needed procedure. So, Ella, her husband and friends have started doing some fund raising. For more info see http://www.helpella.com/ .

I will be returning to work gradually as of later this morning. It is quite scary... I'm afraid I just won't remember how to do a thing... On the other hand, I am very much looking forward to seeing all of my friends and coworkers. They're a great bunch.
That's it for now.
Take good care!
P.S. I received an e-mail from a lady who's husband has been diagnosed with cancer. She wanted to know how Tony managed to get insurance to travel with a pre-existing condition. I'm sorry to say that we could not get him any insurance. Tony was pretty stable and in between treatments when we travelled both last year and in 2006. He really want to go and create beautiful memories for our children, so we simply went on a wing and a prayer. I apologize that I could not respond to you directly; I did not have your email address.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy birthday Mom and Jean!

Here I am... My head is just spinning. I was just trying to print off some information for Mathieu's surgery. The question is, do we perform an ileoanal or an ileorectal anastomosis? Big words (which I will have to study in depth) and, needless to say, a very big decision. Meanwhile, my friend Ella is out of hospital... I hope you're feeling better and know that you are in my thoughts.

While I look forward to going to Cuba, I am unsure about my return to work. I so want to jump right in and be back to normal but am seriously afraid of falling flat on my face. Mind you, I haven't been to the gym since Wednesday... So maybe a quick visit tomorrow morning will make everything seem brighter and will boost my confidence. (Those darn hormones...)

Mathieu was back on the ice for his first game (since his concussion) last week. He scored a goal and was quite pleased with himself (he's a defenceman). And, I was quite proud of my baby. Richard is still getting physiotherapy (ultrasound treatments) for his knees and hopes to join the tryouts for the league's elite football team when we return from Cuba. As for me, I will be attending my first bereavement support group meeting tomorrow. It will either make me feel better, or make me feel worse. Keep your fingers crossed.
Sunday (the 17th), both my mother and my mother-in-law celebrated their birthday. Although I could not be with them, they were on my mind. Happy birthday Mom! Happy birthday Jean!

Above is a photo of my friend Denise and I out on the town for her 40th. Denise and her family will be in Cuba with us as well... It should be fun.

I hope you all had a nice weekend. That's it for now.

Take good care!


Monday, February 11, 2008

Cuba!... Here we come!

Mathieu is back at hockey. Tomorrow, he will be playing his first full game since his concussion. He has been skating and seems much better. Richard started physio last Friday and will be returning to his activities in two weeks or so. And, we will be going to Cuba next month! We will be going to the same resort we were at last year and my mom will accompany me and the boys. It should be a welcome break for all. When we return, I will be going back to work. The time has come... I have to sort it all out with my bosses and HR; they have all been so good to me.

It was bitterly cold here today, so I just can't wait for the sun and beach. I'll need to go shopping because last year's summer clothes probably won't fit. I suppose I'll really only need a swimsuit! Not my favorite thing to shop for...

My mom's all moved in to her new condo. I visited today, and it looks great! Whenever she figures out all those buttons on her stove, we might get an invite for dinner... Congratulations Mom!
Well, that's it for now.

Take good care!


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

We're still here...

Cuba - March 2006
We spent the whole morning at the Children's Hospital. I wonder if they have a frequent visitor card that gives rebates on coffee or something... Mathieu was seeing the neuro psychologist to follow up on this concussion, and Rich was seeing the orthopedist to re-evaluate his knee situation. Next time, I will do two separate trips... They do tend to get each other going; and over three hours in a hospital is just more than I could handle today. I had to come home and have a nap.

On a good note, the doctor recommended ultrasound therapy for Richard's knees. Hopefully that will be helpful. As for Mathieu, he seems to be on the mend - if I can get him to take it easy for another few days. They just don't realize that this is hard on me too because they're just not quite their jolly selves when they don't exercise. I think I'm over-compensating for that at the gym. Monday I jogged 5km, did about 45 min of weights and was on the eliptical trainer for 30 min - mind you, I've been eating like a mad woman since... What's the point? Hopefully tomorrow will be easier - all around!

I was mentioning in my last post that my girlfriend had said that I should dive in and face my grief... Well I have both feet in the wading pool; for some reason I'm afraid to drown if I dive all the way in the big pool. I suppose there must be more than one way of doing this; grieving, I mean? I'll have to discuss this with my therapist. Hopefully, she'll make me feel sane. It would definitely help.

That's it for now.

Take good care!


Thursday, January 31, 2008

"Good grief" ...there's an oxymoron

Cuba - March 2007

As I sat here tonight, feeling a wave of grief wash over me; an unexplainable emptiness and loss, I was trying to figure out (to avoid the pain - I figure) what the heck the expression "good grief" means. How could grief possibly be good? Grief is described as "intense mental anguish; deep remorse; acute sorrow or the like"... What could possibly be good about that?

I spoke to a friend tonight and she agreed that I have been avoiding my grief. I noted that I didn't particularly want to feel all that pain; walk into a burning building, if you will. She said that I should see it more as "diving into a pool to find the key that will open the door to the rest of my life". Her husband noted that I shouldn't dive just yet 'cause the water would probably be frozen... (A little humour!)

Just thinking about all that I have lost is overwhelming. The following insight will give you an idea of just what kind of man Tony was and why I knew he was the man for me. When I first met Tony in 1990, I was a full-time university student, I worked about 35 hours a week and went out every night. He's the only guy in a bar who ever asked if he could talk to me. Also, when he came to visit my apartment, and realized that I had not done my laundry in a while (there were no facilities in the building and I didn't drive), he offered to help. He and I packed up 10 garbage bags of dirty laundry and took it all to a laundromat near his apartment. We (he) washed all of it. He made me promise that I would never let it get so out of hand again; he wouldn't wash 10 bags at a time again... What a guy!

When I was pregnant with Richard and he didn't want to attend the delivery (he would faint just walking into a hospital), I told him I would hold it in until he agreed to accompany me. He was there and was very proud. When they handed him Richard, he walked around the delivery room singing in his Irish - he'd kill me if he read this; so let me rephrase - in his Irish-Canadian voice: " I have a wee son! I have a wee son!" It was one of the most touching moments of my life. When time came for Mathieu, I couldn't have kept him away from the delivery room if I wanted.
Now, you tell me, how can I think of all of that and not feel a terrible loss? What is good about that grief? However, while there is no such thing as "good grief", grief does nevertheless allow us to remember the "good" times and relive pleasant memories. I just wish it wasn't so confusing and painful. Because, at times, it actually is a physical pain; or so it seems...

I'll be back at the gym tomorrow! It can only help...

Take good care!


Monday, January 28, 2008

One day at a time - in CANADIAN LIVING!!

Tony and I in September 2006

Well, the March issue of Canadian Living is out on newstands, and our story is in it; black on white! Of course, I read the article a number of times before it was published... But to actually see the finished product and think back on all that has happended over the last three years is strange. It is both therapeutic and sad. As my friend Sandee's blog says "I will survive!".

After Tony passed away, my friend Linda who wrote the article, asked me whether or not I wanted to go through with it. She had been working on it for some time at this point and, as our intent - Tony's and mine - was always to be open and honest about his battle with cancer, I agreed to go ahead with it. We always hoped that by being totally open we might create a greater awareness about colorectal cancer, and maybe - somehow - help patients and their caregivers by simply letting them know that they are not alone. We wanted to help and hopefully make a difference.

Cancer is a long and difficult journey best not travelled alone. We have been truly blessed as our lives have been filled with the love and support of our friends and family. You need only reach out and someone will hold your hand and help you travel through the dark and lonely days. The darkness is fading and will eventually disappear, and we will be left with the wonderful memories of our life together.

I am thankful for the support we've received since Tony's passing. He was such an amazing man that I am convinced that the love and support that has come our way is merely a reflection of the wonderful man that he was. I miss you Tony!

Thanks Linda, and congratulations on the article! I hope you all enjoy it!

Well, that's it for now.

Take good care!


P.S. Jean and Michele, I have a copy for each of you. I will post it soon...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

No sports is tough on Mom!

Mathieu and his friends celebrating his birthday at La Cage aux Sports

Well, both boys are still off their sporting activities. This house has an overload of energy and frustration... Hopefully, things will change for the better real soon. Tomorrow morning (Thurs.), I will be taking Mathieu to the Children's Hospital for a neuro exam to assess whether or not he is ready to return to sports after the concussion he suffered two weeks ago. He has a soccer and a hockey tournament this weekend and he is really hoping to be able to participate. And, I hope so too. As for Richard, he has an appointment at the orthopedic clinic on Feb. 5th and will be out of commission until then as his knees still hurt. He has grown quite a lot over the last year and it has really affected his knees. He's just 1/2 in. shorter than me; and I'm 5'7". I don't want him to stop growing, I just want him to be pain-free.

The results from the capsule endoscopy came back and Mat's small bowel is clear; although there is some swelling at the junction of the small and large bowel (cecum). The Dr. assured me that this was not worrisome as they will be removing that section during the colectomy.

My mom will be retiring on January 31st. She will be 68 on February 17th... I think it's way overdue. Mom, you deserve a break; I hope you can enjoy it! As for me, my doctors have extended my leave until March 10th. Hopefully, by then things will be under control - the house, the boys' health issues, and me.

Look out for the March issue of Canadian Living magazine, our story should appear in it. I believe the March issue should be out in newstands in early February. February is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Well, that's it for now.

Take good care!


Friday, January 18, 2008

Capsule endoscopy

Well, Mathieu had his capsule endoscopy on Tuesday and managed to swallow the pill (seen in photo above) without any trouble. As a result of the concussion he suffered last Thursday, he has been getting headaches and feeling dizzy most of the week, so we will be consulting the neuro trauma unit at the Children's Hospital next week. They will assess him and determine when he will be ready to resume his sporting activities.

I am getting ready to go back to work. It's quite scary... I'll definitely need to go shopping for some clothes - I have to look at the positive sides to this... And, maybe get a weekend away before I go back; sort of run away from everything for a couple of days. Going back to work will either give me more confidence, or take away what little confidence or sanity I have left. I'll just have to pray for the best and trust that I can do this...

Richard has been resting his knees (no activities) this week. He had a hard time walking after last weekend's tournament. If the rest does not improve his situation, I will need to get him back to the orthopedic clinic and maybe they can suggest some physiotherapy or strengthening exercises that would help.

We will be celebrating Mathieu's birthday with a few friends tomorrow night. I will be taking them out for dinner and they will come back for a sleepover afterwards. Five 10 and 11 year olds in my basement... I don't know why we call them sleepovers; they don't usually get much sleep. God help me! The celebration is a week late, but like they say, better late than never.

That's it for now.

Take good care!


Sunday, January 13, 2008

They look like angels when they sleep...

Well, our visit to the surgeon's was as I would've scripted it. Mathieu will most likely have his surgery at the end of the school year. He has been scheduled for a test this coming Tuesday. It involves swallowing a pill with a camera in it. This little camera will take 60,000 images of his small bowel (and stomach - I believe) and transmit the information to a small computer that will be attached to his belt. I trust that this test will not uncover anything. After this test, he'll just need to do his pre-op and get the date...

As if our lives weren't exciting enough, to spice things up a little, we took a ride in an ambulance on Thursday night. Mathieu was injured during a hockey game and hurt his leg and bumped his head. He couldn't remember whether or not he had had dinner and just wanted to sleep. He says he lost consciousness momentarily after he hit his head. For my part, while we waited nearly an hour for the ambulance to arrive, I very nearly fainted. Not a pleasant experience. We did make it to the hospital and were sent home after x-rays and exams. Mathieu suffered a contusion to his left knee and a concussion. He will be out of commission for a week after he stops getting headaches; cause he's still getting headaches.
Richard's team participated in a hockey tournament in Massena, NY this weekend. They won all three of their round robin games and lost in the finals. Richard's knees are really bothering him. He could barely walk after the finals. When we got home, he too had a headache and was in bed at 8:30. He will also be out of commission for at least a week. After which time, I will most probably be out of my mind (that's assuming I'm not already).

The weekend was nevertheless quite pleasant. Mathieu, my friend Ella, and I enjoyed a ride in a stretch SUV limo and a nice relaxing massage before Richard's evening game on Saturday. After the game, while the boys enjoyed the hotel pool and hot tub, I organized a wine and cheese "get-together" for the hockey team parents. We had some laughs and relaxed.

That's it for now. I hope you all had a pleasant weekend.

Take good care!


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Being a single parent sucks!

Okay! That's it!... I have to learn how to relax. I went to get a manicure today, and once the parafin was dry and the massage chair stopped I was up and walking around the spa looking for the manicurist saying that I had an appointment in 10 minutes... Which I did, but I'm always late anyways, and so is my therapist. I had gone there to relax and left there more stressed than when I walked in... My French manicure is already ruined... What is wrong with me? I am so busy running away from myself that I constantly overbook my schedule to ensure that I don't get any time to sit and think. Eventually, I imagine, it's going to catch up to me. Whether I like it or not. God help me!

Well, tomorrow's the big meeting with the surgeon. I'm pretty sure I know what he's going to say. However, I'm not sure how Mathieu is going to react. And, I imagine, my reaction to the whole situation will be influenced by the way he deals with it all. He is a brave little soldier, but even the bravest of soldiers get scared. He will be 11 years old on Saturday.

I trust that Tony will help us through this as he has with everything else... Oh! How I wish he was here. Being a single parent in a situation like this really sucks... But, although it is little comfort at a time like this, I know that Tony did everything he could to be here with us as long as he could... and even longer still... I love him for that!
I will keep you posted.

That's it for now.

Take good care!


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Alexander Ovechkin!!!

Mathieu and two of his teammates, Brad and Ben, went to a local sports' store today to get NHLer Alexander Ovechkin's signature (see picture above). Mathieu has already asked me how much his signed photo is worth!? What a kid!
Well the new year is here and it would appear as if we have survived yet another milestone. One hurdle over and already another is fast approaching. Wednesday's appointment with the surgeon is making me quite anxious, but I trust that there won't be any surprises. I just hope that hearing what I already know from the surgeon himself won't somehow make it more real or scary.
Mat has a PD day tomorrow and both boys have a game on Tuesday night. At least it won't give me much time to sit around and think... ONE DAY AT A TIME. Sometimes its a very difficult thing to remember; but I must! The return to a semi-normal routine of school and hockey (and the gym) will no doubt help!
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. My very best wishes for the new year! Christine & Maya, Congratulations on the new addition to your family. ELLA, you and your family are in my thoughts.
That's it for now.
Take good care!