Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve plans

My New Year's Eve plans almost fell through :( The first plans were to go to this one event, but the person who was supposed to get tickets didn't and they sold out. The second plans were to go to another place, but the person who was supposed to get tickets apparently thought they were dance-only (instead of dance+dinner) and so didn't get any. Sigh. The lesson we learned was "do it yourself" - if it's important that something be done, sometimes yu have to do that thing yourself.

Fortunately, my friend was able to get tickets for the dance+dinner tomorrow. Whew! It turns out that the suggested attire is all-black or all-white semi-formal wear... but I'm going to wear the red dress anyways. It doesn't say that it's a "black and white party" - only that the suggested attire is black or white - so I figure that I can wear other colours there.

Hopefully it'll be fun tomorrow. My friend and I figure that we shuold try to stick it out until midnight, unless we really don't like the music or it's super-lame... in which case it'll be fondue and movies at her place. In our fancy outfits :)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My family Christmas

My family Christmas went really well - certainly better than the last few years. Yay! The saddest part was that one of my sisters was much to sick (and apparently contagious) to attend and so she and her family drove back to Southern Alberta today. We all missed her and her family a lot.

When we got there, we chatted and nibbled on food a bit, ordered Chinese food, opened gifts while nibbling on food, chatted more, and ate Chinese food. After that, everyone else chatted while I slept on the couch. I think I had nibbled and eaten too much and my tummy felt upset. For some reason my body told me to go to sleep, so I did.

When I woke up about an hour later everyone was chatting and stuff. It was really nice.

I felt really welcomed by my family and it seemed that everyone else there felt the same way. I hope that this is the beginning of better Christmas celebrations for my family.

Oh! In case you were wondering what I decided to wear to the celebration, I wore my new red top and my long stretch-velvet mermaid skirt that I made for bellydancing. I wore some great Cubic Zirconia earrings, a grey headband with rhinestones on it, and a sparkly silver bangle. I looked quite nice, if I do say so myself :)

And just to clean up something else - I am keeping the extra pair of shoes (pair #1) that I bought the other day. They'll be useful.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A last little bit of shopping

I realized today that the only other purse I'd brought here, aside from my everyday one, was a cute little red plaid number. While it is an adorable purse, it doesn't really go with anything... so I bought two silver purses today. One is very simple with just rings and magnetic closures, and the other is a hobo-style (sort of) with that silver mesh stuff. It is big and it is shiny :)

The smaller purse is nicer for more formal wear, I'm sure... but part of me is completely in love with the other purse, and not just because it's shiny. It's big and will hold a ton of stuff - the other one will hold only a small wallet, keys, and maybe some lipstick. The big one would hold shoes, even :)

Other than that tiny bit of shopping, I didn't do much of anything today. I'm trying to take it easy because tomorrow my family celebrates Christmas. I'm a little bit nervous about it, even though we're not doing the activity about which I ended up crying. I'm also sure it won't be as bad as last year's bad parts or the year before's bad parts (I wasn't blogging then).

I'm trying not to think about how things could go tomorrow as I'm trying to let go of the outcome - things will go as they go. When I'm thinking about tomorrow, I'm actually spending quite a bit of time on thinking about what I'm going to wear. That's my happy place :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Shoes, glorious shoes

Since I bought that great dress yesterday, I had to go out and see if I could find some shoes to go with it. I went shopping today for shoes and have bought two pairs.

You see, I found pair #1 - cream satin stiletto heel, cream mesh sides with some silver sparkle, and an open toe - which were comfortable and I thought that they might be nice, but I wasn't sure. They were on sale and so I figured that the price was right but I didn't want to buy anything that wouldn't be useful. I'm sure Ian is very proud of me for having learned to show some restraint in shoe-buying :)

Anyways, I put those on hold and continued my search. I found pair #2 - strappy leather silver stiletto heels - which looked good and felt fabulous and I thought they might be nice, too, but again I wasn't sure.

So I bought pair #2 and went back and bought pair #1. Both pairs can be returned as long as they're not worn outside and I thought I would look at both and return the ones that didn't work as well. Pair #1 is the kind of shoe I usually buy: it has nothing on top of the foot and so my legs look longer. This helps me to look a little bit taller than I am. :) Pair #2 has straps on top of the foot and fastens behind the ankle, which is not what I usually buy, but since the dress is ankle length I thought the straps would "fill-in" my foot below the dress.

I brought them home to my parent's place and tried them on with the dress. Pair #2 is the winner!!!!!

But now I don't want to return pair #1. I have had occasion to want shoes like this, and they were quite inexpensive. I have another beigh-y high-heeled shoe but they're a little on the small side and so my toes go numb after about 20 minutes. Today's pair #1 would work with just about any knee-length skirt or dress, which is what I usually wear. I'm going to sleep on it and make the final decision tomorrow about whether to keep pair #1.

If you're interested, this is pair #2. Pretty, aren't they? They look even prettier on my feet :) I can't find a picture of pair #1 as they're made by the house brand of the store where I purchased them.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing Day shopping

Today being Boxing Day with lots of good sales, one of my sisters and I went shopping. We weren't really shopping for anything in particular; we just like looking at stuff and trying things on for fun. My sister made me try things on that I would never try myself.

One of those things was a gorgeous red satin/crepe bias cut dress (gown?). It has a very slight cowl neckline, a spaghetti strap on one side, and a thicker twisted fabric strap on the other. The dress is divided into panels so that it has a mermaid effect and the bottom has quite a lot of swing. The crepe side of the fabric is used over the mid-section so that it does not shine and highlight the lumps and bumps I have there. At the same time, its satin shininess at the top and bottom help to draw the eye away from the midsection. It is gorgeous on me :) Honestly, I think it looks better on me than on the mannequin in the picture, partly because it is a little longer on me. I did think about this dress for a long, long time (and walked around in it - people I didn't know gave me compliments!) before buying it. I paid less than half-price (including tax) :)

I will need shoes for this dress - certainly better shoes than the one on that link above - and my sister and I will be on the hunt tomorrow.

I also bought a cute black dress with white swirls on it. It had an elasticized belt with fake patent ends - the belt really makes the dress look fantastic. Of course I remember the last time wide elastic belts were in and I wasn't sure that I wanted to give in to this same trend again but the dress was way too cute to pass up. It was 50% off and it can be worn in the winter with tights and in the summer with bare legs. Accessories will also dress it up or down.

Finally, I also bought a red top with chiffon and velvet paneling and some beading just under the bust. It is here (in red, not cream or black). It fits really well and looks awesome and was also 50% off.

So.... I bought more than I'd planned but I love love love love love love love everything I got :) Next up: shoes!!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I am flying out to Edmonton tonight and will be leaving for the airport in a little while. I have had a great time here in Mississauga - I got and gave great presents! Thank you all!!!

I've been doing some thinking and reading some posts with advice about how to protect myself. Of course I'm responsible for how I feel; that's part of me. But if at any time - during any event or gathering of any people - I'm finding my feelings hurt, I can tell the person that my feelings are hurt and I can walk away. I don't have to stay around anyone that I feel is hurting me. I know that this is obvious advice, but it's something that I never really felt like I could do.

I am not singling out any one person and I'm not saying that any one person will try to hurt my feelings. Since I had been feeling so hurt and scared, I wanted to share my thoughts and plan with you.

I love each person in my family so much that I'm very much looking forward to seeing my family at our Christmas celebration. I haven't seen them in some time and it will be nice to see everyone.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

Santa comes tonight! I hope that all of you that celebrate this holiday give and get fabulous presents and that your celebrations are filled with joy and laughter.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I can't stop crying

I cried uncontrollably all day yesterday. I took three tranquilizers to try to stop crying and they didn't work. I'm feeling somewhat better now but am ready to cry at the drop of a hat. How silly is this? Christmas is supposed to be happy and I'm supposed to be enjoying myself. I'm celebrating Christmas in Mississauga with Ian's family and then I'm going to Edmonton to celebrate with my family.

So what's wrong? Well, it has been a really bad year for me and so I'm very emotionally fragile. I'm looking for a chance to visit, to see the people I love, and to enjoy myself. Without going into details, I suggested some proposed "ground rules" for one of my family's proposed activities that included things like people be respectful and not sarcastic during that activity. People very strongly objected and the rule now is that people can say whatever they want and if someone else is hurt or upset, they are not to say anything.

Every time I think about being a part of this, I cry and cry and cry. I love my family very much and I would love it if the people in my family weren't mean or sarcastic - but they can be (just as I can be). I'm too fragile to walk into a situation where it is possible that someone can be mean with no consequences.

You know what's worse? There are people that would say that this is my problem and that the gathering isn't all about me, so I should get over it. Which is sort of true, I guess - my feelings are my own problem. But if someone says something to hurt my feelings, then I need to be able to tell them that I was hurt by their statement. According to the rules for that activity, I can't do that.

Help!!! What should I do? Is there a way to protect myself in this situation?

Friday, December 21, 2007

The dress is a sack

I've been working on my dress lately, and I've come to a sad realization: it's not working out. I look like I'm wearing a silver potato sack, actually - and no, this is not the look I'm going for. Wah!

Honestly, the dress can be/will be a glorious dress! My problem is two-fold: the front needs more design ease and the back needs less ease and to be shaped a bit. I have a similar dress that almost works and I'll use that as a mode; to re-shape the dress.

Since I won't have much access to sewing machines while I am away, I must finish these major changes tomorrow morning. So I'm getting up around 6am.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hair poufification

Ian's company holiday party was this evening at a local restaurant. It was a casual affair where everyone wore jeans. The food was ok; our only complaint was that there were too many people for the available seats and so we were squished together while eating. We were allowed to play pinball and pool for free.

They also bought Guitar Hero, which I tried. I didn't think that it would be that fun of a game, but I was quite wrong. It's great fun!!!!! I would have liked to play more if people hadn't been around. Maybe another time.

You're probably wondering what I mean by the title, aren't you? Well, those of you that know me know that I have very flat, fine, straight hair. It doesn't take a curl and even if I put in a curl, it will fall out quickly. That doesn't need to be the case for me anymore :)

I was wandering around the drugstore and I saw some Goody "volume" curlers. These are curlers with a fuzzy outside that sticks to hair, and there are 31 curlers in various sizes in a pack. The directions say to start with damp hair and add curl-enhancing product in it, so I dampened mine and put in some curl-enhancing gel I had.

I put the curlers in and blow-dried my hair. The directions said to let the hair cool for best results, so I left the curlers in for 2 or 3 hours while I was sewing. When I took them out, my hair was the poufiest it's ever been. Ian was quite surprised to see just how ginormous my hair was an hour and a half later :) I ended up smoothing down the back and putting my hair in a hairband. Now, 5 hours later, my hair is finally settling down. Had I used any other product on my hair - normally I would have put some pomade or shine stuff in - it would have stayed poufy.

Don't believe me? See the pictures here. I had to brighten most of them (we were in a hurry to head out to the party) so they're not great but you can sure see all my hair. It's good to know that there is hope to get poufy hair for those of us with fine, straight hair.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Trying my hand at domesticity

I spent the day at home doing domestic-type things. I sewed quite a bit of the dress and have decided to make a few changes. I had raised the armhole and it needed to be lowered a bit, so I've done that - now I just have to re-do some of the understitching. As well, the gathers in front and back go all the way across the front and back and I think they'd look better if they were more central. So I'll change that (I may even pleat it instead of gathering). On the bright side, the dress does look nice and the colour is perfect against my skin.

I also managed to do the dishes and make supper. These are things I don't do every day (well, most days) and so need to be noted :)

Ian and I made some cookies this evening. We made the chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies that everyone (including us) like so much. They turned out really well. It looks like we're finally figured out this oven because the cookie bottoms aren't burned or over-browned at all (not even the first batch!)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Even more shopping

I did a bit of shopping today. I know, I know, I don't really need to buy anything, but I had to exchange something (I got the wrong thing by accident). Naturally, since I was down there and the buses were running at random times, I thought I'd do some shopping.

I didn't actually buy anything until I got to Winners. It's winter now and I need some warmer tops. I don't always want to wear sweaters because I get too hot sometimes, and blouses need ironing. So I bought some long-sleeved tops that are quite nice and inexpensive.

You may also remember that yesterday I was wishing I had sew-on rhinestones? Well, I found a black cardigan that has sew-on rhinestones on the collar and placket at Winners!!! I think that there are enough rhinestones for the dress.... and even if there aren't, I'll be able to make it work somehow. Plus the cardigan was pretty cheap and I might be able to use it once I take the rhinestones off. Yay!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow day

There was a snow storm in Southern Ontario last night through this afternoon and so I spent the day lazing around. Well, I did some sewing since I'd washed the chiffon lining I'd bought, and I took some photos of new earrings I've made, but that's it.

The dress I'm making has a yoke in the front and back into which the dress front and back are gathered. Normally the dress has sleeves but I wanted something sleeveless so I took them out and raised the armhole. Leaving the yoke plain would be boring so I'm choosing to embellish it. I've looked at glue-on acrylic "rhinestones" (I can't find sew-in ones here) and silver paillettes..... and while I love love love paillettes, in this case the rhinestones really work.

So anyway, all I have to do is glue the rhinestones on and then finish the dress. I hope it looks good when I'm finished!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

More shopping that I can shake a stick at

Today I shopped from 11:30am until 5:30pm and I'll tell you, that much shopping is exhausting. Most of the shopping was for Christmas gifts but I also spent time getting some fabric - I wanted some white chiffon to line the dress I'm making, and I got light and dark heavy flannel for bags - and looking at Winners. I was there, and it's a hard place to resist :)

So I'm almost done my Christmas shopping. Yay!!!! I picked up one wrong thing by accident so I'll return it tomorrow if the weather is ok and Monday if tomorrow is bad. I'm hoping to spend the bulk of tomorrow sewing and sewing and sewing. Well, except for the part where I'm eating a yummy prime rib roast that we got on sale today. Lucky me!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dancing Queen

I danced in my bellydance recital tonight. I had a little bit of trouble with the veil choreography when my sleeve got caught in my hairband but I got that sorted out pretty quickly. Ian said that some of my movements with the veil were choppier than they might have been. Still, I thought that I danced well in that choreography.

I danced very well in the second choreography if I do say so myself. It went very, very well. People told me afterward that I smiled a lot and that I looked comfortable, happy, and enthusiastic. Coincidentally enough, I felt that way :)

At the very end, the organizer invited all of us on stage to dance to this one song. Somehow I wound up in center front (which wasn't very far to the front) because no one wanted to be in front of me. Most of the people were dancing at the sides of the dance area so that people wouldn't see them. I just wanted to dance. I used to go out dancing a lot - not bellydancing, of course - and I miss going out and just shaking it to the music.

I tell you, the recital is the best part of bellydancing :) I'm already looking forward to the next one. Oh yeah, and pictures of me in my costume minus the hip scarf - I drafted and sewed the skirt pattern and also lined and re-sparkled the top - are here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What will I do in January? And how will I get rid of this pain?

Ian and I were talking today about my activities. This fall, I was bellydancing twice a week, curling twice a week, going to Well-fit twice a week, and swimming once a week. That was a lot! I ended up not able to do that much and stopped swimming early on. I missed quite a lot of Well-fit, bellydancing, and curling this fall as well. With the pain up and me feeling overwhelmed, I need to cut my activities even more from January - April.

I am going to quit Well-fit and Monday will be my last. This is partly because of the time it takes, but also because I really like to be pushed at the gym and when I get pushed I end up exhausted or with sternal pain. It's also $150+parking for three months which I could put to better use.

If I take any bellydancing, it'll just be one choreography or one drum class and no more. There's no way that I can do two classes.

I'm going to try and go to curling twice a week since I've paid for the two leagues until April. But if the pain gets to be too much I'll cut one of the nights out. It's tough to figure out which night I'd give up. I love the people and we have a lot of close relationships on Fridays, but the curling is better - and I'll get better - on Thursdays.

I saw my family doctor today as a followup to the new pain meds. They weren't working well so he's started me on the next dose of the fentanyl patch. If that takes care of the pain, then I can start playing with the dosages to try and reduce the amount of oxycontin I'm taking. Hopefully this will work.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'm sparkly

I was up last night because of the pain (it's not gone after all..... wah!!!!) and thought that I'd look at my bellydance top. Some of the sparklyness had rubbed off in the dryer and while working with it and whatnot and I thought that I could add some sparkly back. Those who know me know I love almost all things sparkly.

So I got out the glue and traced around the flowers on both front panels and just around the neckline. And then I took my fine red glitter and sprinkled it over the glue. I did put stuff underneath the top so that the glitter didn't get all over the table.... but glitter did get on the floor and on me. I guess some people might have expected that this would happen.

In the process of cleaning that mess up, I used one of the soaps downstairs. We're using glittery soap now. I never did get all of the glitter all of the floor, either. I wore the top tonight to practice and managed to get glitter all over my coat, me, and the studio. When I went to my group afterwards, someone commented on how I had lovely red sparkles on me. It's like they're everywhere.

On the bright side, my top is sparkly and will be gorgeous onstage on Friday. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Optometrist appointment and even more bellydancing

I got to see my optometrist today. She's monitoring me every six months because it looks like I have a cataract on one or another eye. She hadn't seen that spot before this past July and so it's almost certainly a new development. The Femara that I take for my cancer can cause cataracts :(

Also, I'm at the very beginning stages of needing bifocals :( The very lightest bifocal can help my reading, but for now I can get by with just moving my glasses around. I feel kinda like an old lady. Sigh.

On the bright side, I was able to apply false eyelashes today!!! I went to the Well-fit party this afternoon and I thought I'd give the lashes a try. I put the subtler ones in and everyone just said that I looked really nice (well, some people just said that I cleaned up good, which is practically the same thing).

I'll definitely be wearing false eyelashes with rhinestones as part of my costume for the recital on Friday. I've been practicing and practicing and practicing my choreographies. Every time I have some time I go through the steps. I hope it pays off as tomorrow is the last day of classes for me before the recital.

The recital is this Friday at 7pm sharp at the Hespeler Memorial Arena at 640 Ellis Drive (just north of the 401 off Townline Rd). Doors open at 6:30pm. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets won't be reserved at the door so must be picked up in advance. Not that I expect any of you to come, of course, but you're welcome to see us all dance. Ian is definitely going to attend the recital :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Getting better

You know, I'm feeling less tired these days and I seem to have more energy. Today I got up at about 10:30am, put away three loads of laundry, did another three loads of laundry, hemmed some stuff, cleaned up some stuff, cut out and altered the dress pattern I'm working with (it's an easy pattern, but still), and started sewing. That's a lot for one day and yes, I'm tired, but I'm not exhausted. Hopefully I didn't do too much today and that I'm not exhausted tomorrow :) Over the last two days I've done a quite a lot as well but I haven't fallen into a puddle of exhaustion yet, so maybe things are turning around for me.

Don't worry, I'm not trying to push myself too hard. I do each task at a slow to medium pace, I'm not rushing things, and I'm not getting flustered. I take a lot of breaks from each task, too. And when I do get a little tired, I sit or lie down for a little while (although I haven't been napping like I usually do).

At the same time that I seem to have more energy, I think my pain is starting to go down. Yay!!!!! There are places that I can wear the fentanyl patches: my back and right arm/shoulder are good spot, for example. As long as I take my allergy medication on time those spots don't give me too much trouble, thank goodness.

I hope that the less tired/less pain trend continues. Wouldn't that be nice? :)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

My bellydance costume is ready

I finished lining my bellydance top. I'd used both the sparkly red and nude lining but the sparkly red fabric didn't stretch enough. That's ok as since I put the nude lining to the bottom of the top so it doesn't look like I'm naked underneath. The top had some sparkly stuff glued to it when I bought it and a lot of that has come off. I'll probably just leave it even though I have glue and glitter.... I could make it way glittery :)

Now that this is all done, I can sew for myself. I'll start tomorrow by making something out of the silver fabric. Even though my New Year's Eve plans aren't confirmed I'm going to go ahead and assume that I'm going out. Hopefully the dress will work out :)

Oh, and I've figured out how to put my fake ponytail on so that it looks good and is stable and won't come off. Whew! Now I don't have to pay my hairdresser $20 to do it for me.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Movies and more about bellydancing

We saw The Golden Compass today. It was ok. It is aimed at the teenage set so it didn't have the depth of plot that we usually see in movies. Still, it is pretty good. The story is entertaining, the CG is good, and the story is fun. Nicole Kidman is very good as the evil woman, as expected :)

I made a second bellydance skirt today. I made the first one out of slinky fabric and it was nice but it wasn't quite what I wanted. I made this second one out of stretch velvet and it is much nicer - it's a deeper black and clings a bit better. The slinky knit stretches and looks kind of shapeless when I'm wearing it but the stretch velvet keeps its shape much better.

I still need to alter the top. I want to change the neckline to be less of a V (which, although Vs usually look good on me, looks funny on me) and to be more of a sweetheart. I also need to shorten it as it is too long. While some people wear these tops out to clubs and stuff, I won't wear it for anything but bellydance.

I must line the top because it's sheer and I'm uncomfortable going to a performance wearing the top with only a bra underneath. I have some red sparkly fabric and I'm thinking I could line it with that. I also have nude-coloured fabric with which I could line it. At least my bra wouldn't show then, although I'd still look mostly naked underneath. Still, not showing my bra would be an improvement.

Friday, December 07, 2007

More bags?

Someone new has contacted me about making a laptop bag made out of men's flannel fabrics. I hope that this bag will go through because I like the business although I had to tell her that I wouldn't be able finish the bag until about January 15 due to Christmas. Hopefully this won't be a problem and I'll be able to make this bag. I will need to find the fabrics before I start - she wants heavy nylon on the bottom, which makes sense.

This person also suggested that I make some laptop bags aimed at men because the ones out on the market are not nice. Honestly, I think that these bags are more popular than the jewelry that I make! I prefer making messenger bags but if laptop bags are going to sell, then maybe I should try and make some non-custom ones for sale. I did buy some great houndstooth fabric for bags so the idea of making bags out of menswear fabrics isn't new. Marketing to men is definitely a new idea.... although I'm wondering if maybe I should be marketing to the women who buy for their men :)

Pain update: I'm noticing that I'm quite sleepy and a bit dozy today on the new painkiller. This is not unexpected. I think the pain is starting to lessen a little bit but it's hard to say. On the positive side, the patch isn't bothering me too much yet.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Pain, pain, go away

I saw my family doctor today because the pain in my sternum has been steadily increasing. It used to be that if I was awake for about 12 hours in a day I'd take the oxycontin three times in the day and if I was awake more than 12 hours I'd take oxycontin four times in the day. Lately I've been taking oxycontin four times every day and that's still not enough to keep the pain under wraps. Sigh.

My doctor gave me a prescription for the Fentanyl patches again. We're starting with the lowest amount in hopes that it will take the extra pain away. If it works, I'll be upping the fentanyl and decreasing the oxycontin until I'm off the oxycontin completely. The only stumbling block is that I get welts under adhesives.

I talked to the pharmacist and apparently the fentanyl patches come in two generic versions, each with their own adhesive. Some people end up tolerating one brand over another (I'm not the only one with the adhesive problem). I'm trying one now, and if it doesn't work I'll try the other one. If that still doesn't completely work, I'll pick the one that works best. Reactine (an allergy medication) comes in prescription-strength and the pharmacist thinks that taking this should counter the allergic reaction to the adhesive (if I have one).

So even though I'd had those problems with this pharmacy before, I'm glad to actually know my pharmacist because she knows my situation and she tries to help me.

When I put the patch on, my pain did lessen. And I got kind of dopey :) No driving for me for a little while.

Oh - and remember that I wanted tall shoes? With a platform and stiletto heel? Well, I'd seen this pair of shoes a few months ago, tried them on, and loved them. They were $70, though, and I didn't really want to pay that much. Since then, I've been thinking about those shoes and looking for them everywhere. Tonight, I finally found them in my size and I bought them! They have a platform and a tall heel - it's not a stiletto, but it has a very strong heel. There's a tiny peep-toe in front. They're a pump and the front has rows of black sequins. The back and heel are patent leather. Yummy! This page shows them in brown, but those pics don't do the shoes justice at all. Imagine them with black patent leather, please :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Bellydancing, bellydancing, and more bellydancing

I think I've almost got both bellydance choreographies learned. I'll keep practicing them, though - it's important to know the dances well enough that if I make a mistake I don't have to go through the next steps to catch up.

I'm quite pleased with the skirt I made. It's sort of mermaid-ish: it hangs straight to the knee and then flares out. When I turn, the bottom flares. I think this style looks much better on me than a wide skirt. I bought a top before and I'm going to make some alterations to it. It needs a lining as it is a sheer lace and I'm not willing to go on stage with it as-is. I'm also going to change the neckline a bit to make more sweetheart-like and less V-like. I know that the costume shouldn't be that important, but, well, it is to me :)

I'm quite pleased with my fake hairpiece. I've figured out a way to wear it - with a headband that wraps around the head - so that it looks natural. The hairpiece wants to tangle all the time, though. I was reading that it's possible to wash these things and so I think I might do that and then use some kind of light conditioner on it. I also have a shine styling product that detangles as well that I could use. I'd like the hairpiece to look its best on stage, and all tangled up isn't its best.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A whole lotta shopping

We decorated our Christmas tree tonight. Yes, for the first time, we bought an artificial tree. It's a 4 1/2 foot tree with a pot (so it could sit outside) and has mini-lights on it. Our decorating scheme is blue and silver, so we have silver bead garland and silver and blue balls. It looks nice - I'll try and take a picture of it for you.

I've done a lot of shopping lately. I bought a backup New Year's Eve dress as even though I plan to make a dress, if it doesn't work out for any reason I want to be able to wear something. I got this dress, and I got it at a great price because it didn't have the sash. I don't need the sash anyways because the dress it looks nice on me as-is. The best thing about this dress is that it is a little black dress (LBD), which is something I didn't have before. LBDs are the right things to wear on many, many occasions; they are a wardrobe staple.

I also bought stuff for bellydancing. I got two beaded crochet scarves, a variety of headbands, some big sparkly earrings, some more sparkly hair stuff, and some shoes that I can wear. Some people are wearing slip-on slippers from Isotoner but I don't really like those. So I'll wear shoes that are at least as comfortable as those slippers.

I also bought a beautiful polka-dot shirt and two blouses that fit me really well.

Whew! I'm done with shopping for me. Well, except that there is this longing inside me for new shoes. Tall ones. With a platform and stiletto heel. Sigh.....

Anyways, tomorrow I'll finish my bellydance skirt. From now on when we go to class we're supposed to wear whatever it is we'll be wearing to the recital. The recital is at 7pm on December 14 in Cambridge. Tickets are $7 in advance and so if you're interested in attending, please let me know soon so that I can buy tickets for you.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A great weekend

Thanks to everyone who shopped at my sale - I did pretty well, all things considered. That makes me happy :)

This past weekend was wonderfully relaxing. I started sewing the skirt I'll wear for the bellydance recital; I expect to finish that by Wednesday. I also got some bellydance practicing in with the class. Now all I have to do is practice on my own :)

We saw Beowulf in 3D on Saturday and I highly recommend this film. Apparently it's supposed to be the story that could have inspired the Beowulf story. The story told in the film itself is very good; Beowulf is a hero, but he is also human and isn't perfect. He must live with the consequences of his own choices even though he didn't know what they would be when he made those choices. In this respect, the film is very good.

The film is also animated, and the animation is very well done. There were times when I didn't know whether or not it was animated or filmed; they can be that good. The animation wasn't always that good, which is a shame; in some places it looked more like a video game than reality. Still, it is a step up from other films.

The 3D aspect of the film is believable for the most part. There were some times when something would come towards the audience in a blatant display of 3Dness. We liked it better when the 3D action was happening in a box in front of us, as though it was a live theatre. Still, it was very good.

If you get a chance, go and see this movie.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


This weekend only, just in time for Christmas, take 25% off *everything* in my shop (excluding custom orders)! After purchasing your item, just wait for a revised invoice before paying. Sale ends Monday, December 3 at 6am EST.

That means you would pay only $187.50 for this fabulous hand-beaded handbag:

... and only $18.75 for these delicious fuschia dangles:

... and only $15 for these elegant labradorite and quartz earrings:

There are lots more beautiful pieces in my shop. Happy shopping!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Ian's birthday

Ian's birthday is today and after curling we went to AM Africa for dinner with 7 other people. The food took quite a while to come out but it was delicious once it arrived. We ordered an all-meat platter and an all-vegetable platter and quite frankly, I prefer the vegetable platter. The meat tasted like gamey meat (with bones) and the different meat types didn't really taste different from each other. The vegetable dishes were definitely different - they had some interesting flavours and textures.

It was nice to spend time with everyone. We had quite a bit of time to talk before the food came out and that wasn't so bad :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bye bye, bag

I have finished the bag and shipped it out to its new owner. I am so very glad to be done but shipping it is like sending a pet out to someone. Well, maybe not a pet - but when you spend as much time as I have on this (30 or 40 hours), you do get kind of attached to it. So I have to let go of it and hope that its new owner loves it like I do.

I really am very happy with this bag. I think I did a great job, personally. I showed it to Ian last night before it was finished and he liked it, too. I did change the padding to be less poufy in addition to a few other small changes and it looks and feels a lot better than it did yesterday.

That's not to say that the bag is perfect, of course; the main compartment lining, for example, isn't anchored to anything except for the zipper because I haven't been doing that. I'm thinking that I might like to anchor it somehow next time so that it stays in place all the time. Part of me figures that since it's a messenger bag, it's supposed to be kind of casual and so having a "loose-ish" lining isn't so bad. Still, I'll have to put some thought into it to see how this could be done easily. I did anchor the laptop compartment lining to the padding which made it more stable and less likely to shift around or come out.

Anyways, you can see pictures of my latest creation here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Practically finished

The bag is so close to being done that part of me just wants to finish it tonight. I know better than to do that, though - if I did, I would just make mistakes and have to do everything twice. I'm already quite tired and I don't think staying up would help. It's not like I could ship it at 3am if I finished then, is it? :) So I may as well get a good night's sleep, get up early, and ship it in the late morning/early afternoon.

The bag isn't quite perfect yet, which is part of the reason it isn't done (the other part is the hand-finishing that's yet to be done). I'm going to take out some extra padding in the laptop section of the bag because it isn't needed. I also need to make the shoulder strap and attach the parachute clip parts to the webbing left out for this purpose.

I'm really, really, really pleased with this bag. It is at least as good a quality as the first one I did - the stitching is good, the colours are pleasing, everything is fitting together, and it looks like something you could buy in a store. Well, I think it does, anyways :) I hope that the recipient is as pleased with it as I am. I will put up pictures somewhere tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Almost done

The bag is almost done! I'm so pleased :) All of the component pieces have gone together and now I'm doing the final assembly. I came up with a different order of operations for this stage than the last time so hopefully it won't take as long or be as painful. The idea is to get the padding in as late as possible so as to affect the fewest number of seams.

The only area with which I've had trouble so far is the nylon interlining fabric I bought. It has a rubberized backing that doesn't agree with my machines. When it's on the outsides of a seam to be sewn, it tends to bunch up and skew. The solution is to apply strong tension (by pulling) as it's being sewn and use a longer stitch length. Even so, some of the seams with this stuff have very tiny stitches. I'll assume that this isn't a bad thing :)

My bellydance studio is asking me to make some drum cases. If I weren't planning to sew for myself over the next few weeks, I'd do it soon, but I'm putting it off until the new year. They're really just cylinder-like with a zipper near the top and some backpack straps.

You know, the first bag I ever made was a drawstring purse with a petal-shaped bottom pattern. It was on display and someone stole it because I guess they liked it. I had no idea that making bags would be something I'd ever willingly return to or that people would actually ask and pay me for. :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

More stuff for my crafts

Everything is on sale at the Fabricland in Mississauga at Dundas and Winston Churchill. Everything. Fashion fabrics are 30-50% off - even silks and woolens and everything. I spent a couple of hours there and bought a number of fabrics.

I'm also in the mood to do some sewing - not just to finish this bag or for New Year's Eve but for fun - and I got a ton of patterns today. They were on sale, too.

With Ian's help, I was finally able to take photos of the new earrings I've made. I'll be listing them in my etsy store over the next few days. I plan to have a sale on the weekend, too - just in time for the holidays.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sewing, sewing, sewing

I've been making good progress on the custom laptop bag. I have one component left to finish - the removable sleeve - and then I need to start assembling the final product. I'm quite impressed with me for starting it early, working on it even when I didn't feel like it, and doing a pretty good job to date. I hope the removable sleeve works out well, too. I'm looking forward to this being done.

Mostly I want this project done because I want to do some other sewing and I can't in all conscience do that until I've finished this. I want to: make a skirt for the bellydance recital; line the pre-purchased top I'm going to wear for the recital; and make a dress out of the gorgeous silver fabric.

In case I have not gushed about this fabric yet, let me do that now... it's made of a metallic thread woven together with a white thread in a plain weave. It has a similar hand (that is, drape and feel) as silk charmeuse and it looks just like liquid metal. It holds a crease reasonably well but doesn't wrinkle too easily. Ian says it's sparkly and shiny - which is it, I guess, but I love love love love this fabric anyways. I think it would be perfect for a New Year's Eve dress if I can get it finished in time. Since this fabric is so over the top, I am thinking that I'd like something simple out of it, but I'm not exactly sure what style of dress would be best. Since it's like charmeuse, I should be able to get something nice out of it :)

I also have a similar fabric, except that the white threads are thicker and the metal threads form an irregular fringe on the fabric. Now THAT is shiny! This fabric is quite stiff and doesn't drape well - almost like a canvas. But sparklier :) I'd love to make just a simple sheath dress out of it, or else a fancy coat or capelet.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday night sale at angelstuff!

Get 50% - yes, 50%! - off this exquisite hand-beaded purse. Yes, it's the one I hand-beaded last year - it wants to go to a new home!

Also, get 25% off all jewelry in my shop!

After purchasing your items, just put SNS in the notes to seller and wait for me to send you a revised invoice before you pay.

Sale ends at 6am November 25, 2007.

Happy shopping!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Continued from yesterday

This fall I've taken on more things than I'd taken on since I was working. Previously, I've had Well-Fit, curling once or twice a week in the winter, and bellydancing in the summer. This fall, I'm curling AND bellydancing (and I was taking swimming lessons, but I've dropped those). I'm busy every weeknight except for Tuesday, and on Wednesdays and Thursdays I have at least two activities back-to-back. So yeah, I guess this is a little much. I sleep about 12-13 hours a day fairly consistently. If I get up early one day, I'll have to sleep in extra another day to get all those hours of sleep.

I didn't think it would be too much for me because I do love doing all of these things, but I put the "too much" line in the wrong place. Still, it's only a few more weeks that I have all of these things to do and then my activities will settle down.

I do sort of wonder whether increasing my anti-depressants is the right thing to do right now. Since I had my big meltdown, I've been working on trying to see the smaller picture in front of me instead of trying to fit the entire overwhelming big picture. This step has helped me to keep things manageable and I've been feeling better as a result.

And yes, I've been crying when other people might not. I don't really see that there's anything weird about that, as crying is one of the ways that I deal with things. I almost always feel better after a good cry. I can't make my life stress-free so I'm going to need to deal with the stress. To me, antidepressants are only one of the tools in my toolkit. I'm hoping to explore some of the other ways of coping with stress over the next while.

Thank you all for your love and words of support! These help me feel protected and safe and ready to try new coping mechanisms.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Lots of doctors today

I had the colonoscopy today and it wasn't so bad. I mean, it's not a lot of fun, but the worst part during the procedure itself was getting the IV in. I have bad veins and they used a hand vein so it hurt both going in and when they gave me the sedative. The sedative put me to sleep so I didn't really notice what was happening. I think I remember being uncomfortable, but those memories are hazy. The results are normal - yay!

I also saw my family doctor today and he's upping my antidepressants a bit. I had that meltdown the other day, and more recently I've cried over things that most people wouldn't necessarily cry over. Ian also said that I was very agitated and not my relaxed self when he came back. My doctor told me that I have to cut down on the things I do. If this isn't proof that I can't do everything other people can do, I don't know what is.

Intellectually, I know that metastatic breast cancer comes with a "new normal". Emotionally, I'm having a hard time really accepting this - I want my old normal back instead, please. I want to do what other people can do. I want to be one of those people that CAN juggle everything.

Realizing that I'm not that person, and that I can't do everything I want to do, is really hard. I want those things sooooo much. I know that it would be easier if I could just accept this new reality instead of fighting with it, but I'm not that good at accepting. Hopefully the increased antidepressant together with my support groups and Ian will enable me to come to terms with this.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A trip to the dentist

Going to the dentist isn't as bad as it used to be for me. There was a time where I didn't go to the dentist at all and my teeth got really bad. Once I finished chemo for my primary breast cancer back in 2001, I had to go to the dentist every three months because my teeth were in such bad shape. I remember Ian telling me at that time that he didn't like it when I flossed my teeth because they always bled.

These days, my teeth are in much, much better shape. I'm no longer in danger of developing gingivitis on any of my teeth. I floss much more often (if not every day) and use a special toothpaste to combat the dry mouth side effect of many of my pills.

I saw my dentist today and I see her every three months once again because of the cancer and all of the drugs I take. The more my dentist watches over my teeth, the better they'll be. It's paid off, as I have had a couple of tiny cavities but I haven't had anything recently and my teeth are in so much better shape.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How to fill a prescription in four days

On Friday I'd dropped off four prescriptions at the pharmacy. I'd been told that it would take about 20 minutes to fill these; after 35 minutes of waiting and not hearing anything, I left. I got a call from the pharmacy on Friday and on Monday saying that there were issues with the dosages. What the...?

So I went in today to figure out what was going on. It turns out that the dosage on one prescription wasn't clear - although it was the same a I'd received before. On the other prescription (my painkillers), the pharmacist had just assumed that the dosage was incorrect because it wasn't what is usually prescribed for this drug. She didn't bother to check my previous history there.

I was quite annoyed when I went in today but I was quite polite when I talked to the owner/pharmacist. I was trying to be nice but firm. I managed to get my point across - that it shouldn't take four days to fill a prescription that they'd told me would take only 20 minutes. The pharmacist is going to put a few new procedures in place as I should have had some additional contact with the staff there.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saw more saw

We saw Saw IV today. I didn't really get it; it was pretty complicated, with all those characters and stuff. The story takes place during the same timeframe as Saw III and it fills in some of that story. One thing I do like about the Saw franchise is that no two movies are the same because each has different murders, focus, and traps. This movie was ok, but I still think I prefer Saw II.

I managed to work on the bag today as well. I didn't make huge progress, but I got some done and am looking forward to getting more finished tomorrow. I've got a good feeling about this bag :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A whole lotta nothing

I actually managed to get the fabric cut out for the laptop bag today. I hope I got all of the lining measurements right because I don't have extra fabric in case I mess something up. I'll just have to assume that I'm right :) I'll be working on the bag tomorrow and hopefully it won't take too long to finish.

I've got nothing else. It's been that kind of day - which is not a bad thing. :) Oh - Ian wanted me to tell you all that he ate a grape-flavoured apple. I had a bite and it sort of tasted like appley-grapes.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A short day

I'd planned to get up really early in order to both cut out the messenger bag pieces and to do some shopping. I ended up sleeping in until 12:30pm, though, so I did no cutting. I did manage to get some foam for the laptop portion of the bag. I went to The Foam Store where I got 1/2" high-density foam and 1/4" Volara foam. The latter is apparently used for protective packaging and I think it'll be perfect for the removable sleeve for the laptop.

Plus, the foam was cheap!!!! It cost only about $17 including tax for everything. This store has a lot of memory foam as well, if you're looking for that.

Later on I had to stop curling. The pain is coming up again. I've started a new exercise program and it might be that one of the new exercises is bothering me. Or it might be that the mets are actually growing/hurting again. It's weird because there are new spots that hurt, and these spots seem to be on the cartilage connecting the ribs and sternum or on the ribs near the sternum.

I talked to the people at Well-fit and we're going to modify the exercise that's bothering me. If I don't see a change by the end of next week, I'll call the pain and symptom management doctor - she said to call if the pain went up again as we'll try another painkiller.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

An unexpected start to the day

I'd planned to sleep in a little bit today although I should have gotten up a little bit earlier :) Anyways, I was snoozing with the alarm around 10:30am this morning when the doorbell rang. Of course I didn't bother to go and see who it was because I was still mostly asleep. The person knocked and rang the doorbell again and I continued to ignore it.

I was ready to go back to sleep when the people ringing the doorbell actually came inside! I'm sure you can imagine how surprised I was. You see, the property management company arranged to have bathroom fans installed in the upstairs bathroom - previously, we'd had to open the window which is not so fun in the winter. Anyways, they wanted the work done quickly so they gave the workers a master key for all of the units.

Fortunately, Ian had closed the bedroom door when he left so I had time to dress decently and go down to greet the workers. Whew!

The property manager did email that these people were going to be coming (although we should have received written notice that this was happening, I think). I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea that these workers can just come in without being accompanied by anyone working at the property management company. You know? I'm sure the workers are bonded or something but it still leaves me feeling weird. At least I was home.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Things that made me happy today

I listed the custom laptop bag today. Before listing it, I took some time to really think about its construction. You might remember that I had a really difficult time finishing the last laptop bag - I think it took 3 days to sew 5 seams. This time, I'll be putting the padding in and then need to sew only 2 seams. One of them will be next to the padding and I'll make it quite short and the other one is not next to the padding. Hopefully it will take a lot less time to make this bag.

I got my fake ponytail today. It's awesome! It is very close to my dyed haircolour and looks and swings very nicely. It's got a weird smell from the packaging, though, and so I'm airing it out right now. I'll wear it after this week.

I also bought some creme eyeshadow, and I love it!!!!! It goes on sooo smoothly, blends easily, and lasts. I bought some brown colours and some gold, with a midnight blue eye crayon thing (which is also very nice, easy to use, blends well, and lasts). I think I can get a good smoky eye out of these :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Finding suppliers

I need to buy some sterling silver clasps for a necklace I'm making. It turns out that the price of silver has jumped about $3USD/troy oz in the last month or so and my usual supplier has raised all of their silver prices by a ridiculous amount more than that. So I'm going back through old etsy forum threads, trying to find a supplier that carries these things.

Finding suppliers for stuff is tricky. For example, I ordered some swivel hooks from one place and rings from another place for the bag that I'll be making, and I haven't heard from either business. It's like my money has dropped into a black hole - the places looked reputable, so I hope they'll deliver, but every time I order from someplace new I worry that things won't go smoothly. Not receiving order confirmations doesn't inspire me with confidence, I'm afraid.

Not that things necessarily go smoothly with etsy sellers, either - about one third of the sellers from whom I've purchased have reminded me to pay after I've already done so. Then again, I guess it's better that they acknowledge me that way than not at all. In my ideal fantasy world sellers would always acknowledge that I've bought something from them and wouldn't mess up invoices or payment... but this world is far from ideal in more than one way.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Feeling like a teenager

I'm feeling a LOT better today. I think that most of the overwhelming fatigue over the weekend was caused by the flu shot I received on Friday. Those shots are very hard on me and I end up sleeping a lot and feeling really awful. Last night Ian sent me up to bed at 9pm (after I started falling asleep on the couch at 7:30pm) and I didn't get up until 11am today. I actually felt sort of good when I got up. Whew!!!

For the upcoming bellydance recital, I want to wear false eyelashes and have a smoky eye look. This afternoon, I played around with makeup and false eyelashes. I sort of felt like a teenager playing with her mom's makeup and trying to replicate the looks in the magazines.

Unfortunately, today's experiments failed. I had trouble with the false eyelashes because I think the adhesive I'm using dries too quickly and because I'm clumsy when it comes to applying them because it's not something I have done before. I must practice this more because I really, really want to be able to use them. My features don't exactly stand out in my face, especially on stage, and false eyelashes will help. Provided I can get them attached correctly - false eyelashes that are falling off are not the right look. :)

I tried doing a smoky look with black and grey eyeshadows and it didn't look right, even though I thought I put everything in the right place. One problem I had was that the shadow went everywhere. I think I need to work with less at a time and with a different brush. I may also prefer to wet the shadow or use a cream shadow. I'm also wondering if the traditional smoky eye colours are right for me - they're black and grey. Since I'm so fair, under stage lights my eyes might look a touch too skeletal. I'll have to look around. And practice, practice, practice.

I was also reading something that said if you're pale (like me) to use bronzer on the face and all exposed skin (like the midriff) for the stage. I hadn't thought of that. It would be nice to be less... ghostly? glowingly white? up on stage. :) I'll have to see what I can find.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ian's home!

Sorry that there was no blog entry yesterday - I'd been awake a long time meeting people and got to pick up Ian from the airport. He's home now :) Tomorrow he's going into his own office.

I enjoyed meeting the people from the list yesterday, although I'll have to say that having breast cancer mets doesn't necessarily ensure that we have anything else in common. I bonded petty well with two of the women and the list owner, but didn't have much of a chance to talk to the other two people. One of the people that I'd especially wanted to meet wasn't able to make it which was too bad.

Oh!!! It looks like someone is buying a laptop bag from me.... and someone I didn't know bought a pair of earrings. How awesome is that? :)

I'm still really, really tired and I expect to go to bed quite early tonight.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Silly fears

I got up early today to drive to Mississauga. I saw my family doctor and the xray he did last week came back normal. That's good news!

I spent the afternoon resting, surfing the internet, and occasionally watching something on tv. It was a wonderfully relaxing afternoon. I'm finding myself quite tired now and will probably be going to bed early tonight. I've got a pretty big day tomorrow: I'm meeting some of the people from my breast cancer metastases mailing list for lunch.

I'm looking forward to meeting everyone tomorrow. At the same time, I'm a little nervous, because all of these people have mets like me (most have more extensive mets than me). I very much want to know them in person instead of just through email... but a small part of me is scared because meeting them in person will make it harder for me to deal with their deaths when they die. I probably wouldn't give this a second thought except someone in my in-person support group did just die.

I know that that fear is tremendously selfish. It's ridiculous to back away from meeting wonderful people just because it'll be harder on me when they die. It is silly to deprive myself of other people - both my life and their lives will be richer for us having known each other in person. Everybody dies, and so everyone I know will die (some may even die before I do)... and I wouldn't trade the people in my life for anything. I'd rather have known people well when they die than to have backed away from them because I was selfish and afraid.

This has given me insight into some people's reactions to this kind of disease, and that's a good thing.

OH!!!!! It looks like someone is commissioning a laptop bag from me. I'm quite excited :)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Busy and overwhelmed

On the days that I'm not sleeping all day, I feel like I'm crazy busy. I feel like I'm rushing from place to place with barely any time to just stop and breathe and I think that's starting to get to me.

Take today, for example. I got up, sorted some laundry, went for lunch with a friend, bought a mirror for the sewing room, worked on the belt thingy for bellydance, sorted more laundry, went to bellydance, and then curled. I didn't watch any tv or surf the internet or do email or anything that I would normally do for downtime, because there was none.

I can tell that I'm getting stressed, too. I lost my car key at bellydance; thank goodness the building manager brought it to class. I forgot to take my street (non-bellydance) clothes to change into after curling. I lost one of my favourite pairs of non-curling socks at curling - I know I put them in my locker but I couldn't find them. I think that maybe the kids who have their stuff spread out all over the floor in front of my locker covered up my socks. Sigh. I'm just not doing a good job of keeping it together, you know? And that's a sign that I'm overwhelmed and need a break.

When I got home from curling I had (am having?) a big meltdown because I'm just feeling so overwhelmed and rushed and pressured and stressed.

Please don't get me wrong; I love doing every single thing I do, on its own (and I really do need to spend more time with my friends), but I feel like I'm doing WAY too much. I don't know where to cut back right now, but I think that I will be missing one or more physical activities next week.

It turns out, by the way, that the group wanted changes to the belt thing - I was going to make a different style completely based on discussions with the group, but we've decided to order crocheted sequin scarves instead. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Bellydance notes

My bellydance veil arrived today!!!! It's beautiful and I am so happy with it. There was a fairly noticeable spot of the wrong colour dye on it, but I had to shorten the veil anyways and that spot isn't there anymore. I took my veil to class today and everyone oohed and aahed over it. It turns out that I'll only have a one minute break between my first dance and the second at the recital.

I did manage to get up and get a bunch of stuff done this morning. I am almost finished my prototype belt-thingy for tomorrow's bellydance class. I'm quite pleased with the way it's coming together and I hope my classmates like it, too.

It's been a long day and I'll be going to bed early for me - at 10pm, which is what Ian calls bedtime. :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Where did the day go?

What's happening here? I went to bed last night at 10:30pm and read for a little while and then got up at 3:40pm this afternoon. That means that I got 15 or 16 hours of sleep last night!!!!! I had no idea that I needed that much sleep. It's good when Ian's here because he wakes me in the morning and I can do things that day.

I hadn't planned to do much today (I was just going to a fabric store) but I don't like it when I can't do the things I'd planned because I was asleep. At least I must be awake early for the next few days so I won't feel like I'm sleeping my life away starting tomorrow. I just feel that way about today.

Monday, November 05, 2007

A slow but ok day

I felt more refreshed today after all that sleep yesterday, although I wasn't at all excited to be getting up today. However, I'd missed the last two swimming classes and I really wanted to catch up. My instructor says that I'm doing just fine and that it looks like I've been practicing :) I talked to her about when I should be going to practice. I wouldn't call what I do "lane swimming", but it isn't really "public swimming" because I'm swimming back and forth in the shallow end (with breaks). So I should be going to shallow-end lane swimming :) There appears to be shallow-end lane swimming most days of the week.

After swimming I did some shopping; I picked up all sorts of Halloween things at 75% off. I got pumpkin scraper and saw sets for $0.24 - an awesome price, really :) I also got some stuff that we could use next year, if we wanted. We'll see. It's good to have options.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Shopping recovery

I guess all that shopping in Toronto takes a toll on me - I slept until 1:30pm (after the clocks were turned back) this afternoon and then had another two-hour nap a couple of hours later. I'm still really tired and will be heading off to bed soon.

This probably means that when I plan big trips, I have to make sure that I have time to recover the next day. The most exhausting part was walking around and shopping at stores on Queen Street. It involved a lot of walking and contortions to look at fabric in some of those stores; my feet were starting to hurt by the end of the day.

I'm still glad I went yesterday because I got some great stuff, but I didn't go shopping today as planned. I'll go tomorrow or Tuesday instead.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Fabric shopping!

The best part about learning to bellydance is doing a recital at the end of term. I'm learning two choreographies; one with the veil and a second, more complicated one, without a veil. We've decided in the second class that we'll all wear red tops and black bottoms and that none of us will match that way. We figure that if we all have the same belt thing around our waists that our looks will be pulled together.

Since I'm not working, I volunteered to do the belt thing. My classmates want fringe and metallic mesh in either gold or silver. I checked the local fabric stores but they don't have any fringe so I went fringe shopping today in Toronto.

I started with my favourite fabric store, Designer Fabrics. They have a lot of fringe :) I wasn't sure what length of fringe to get but I figured that since the belt thing will have only one tier of fringe, I could go with a longer length. I settled on 10" long fringe in gold. It's not metallic but it looks gold-coloured enough.

I went to a few other fabric stores after that and got some gold mesh fabric (it won't be enough, but it's a start)... and then I started shopping for me :) I bought some teal knit fabric, some green rayon jersey, and some red knit fabric. I am a sucker for a four-way stretch, I'll tell you :)

I'm not exactly sure how I'll do the belt thing. I think I'm going to have to bring the fringe at least around to the front so that it doesn't just stop and look weird. I could also trim the fringe so that it angles up at the front so that it doesn't look so weird. I'll have to think about this.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Happy about insurance

I'm feeling much better today, thank goodness!

As you know, I'm on long-term disability right now and am not working. A little while ago, I'd applied and was approved for CPP disability. The CPP disability payment was back-dated for last September (which is when I went on LTD) and I received a lump-sum payment from CPP for all the payments since then. I also received a payment for this September, so they paid me 13 payments.

The insurance company deducts the original CPP disability amount from the LTD payment, so obviously I had to pay back the amount that CPP has paid me since last September. I thought that they would need the entire back-payment as well as this September's payment, but I was wrong.

An advantage to the CPP disability benefit is that it has a cost-of-living increase every year and my insurance company is not taking that increase into account. As well, I didn't receive an LTD payment in September of last year so I didn't overpay for that month. Therefore, I only have to pay back 12 months x my original CPP disability entitlement.

I received 12 months of the original CPP disability plus 8 months of the cost-of-living increase, and I received CPP disability for one month before I actually received my LTD payment. So the 8 months of cost-of-living increase and the extra month of CPP disability is mine to keep - I don't need to pay it back! Yay! :)

The insurance company didn't make a mistake: I checked the book describing the coverage and it specifically says that cost-of-living adjustments in government plans (like CPP disability) are not deducted from the LTD payment amount. I'm pleased that this has worked out so well for me.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A lonely day

Ian's been gone a few days now and I'm starting to feel a bit lonely. Normally I like being on my own for a while as I'm an introvert by nature and I lived by myself for a long time. I do love living with Ian and spending time with him ... but I love being by myself, too. Usually I don't start to get lonely like this until at least a week or so after he's gone.

I'm finding myself sort of puttering around here and there doing little bits of things. The place seems too big for just me; I can't seem to fill it. I try and follow the routines we have (except for the exact bedtime time - when Ian's not here I stay up later), but they're not the same without him.

I guess that part of the reason I'm feeling this way is that the pain is up a little bit and there's no one to be whiny to. :) Seriously, when the pain is up I get a lot of comfort from being with Ian. I'm also quite tired; I worked out at Well-fit today instead of yesterday because yesterday was Halloween, and I had bellydancing class, and I curled tonight.

Ah well, tomorrow is another day - I'll sleep in, take it easy, and generally enjoy myself :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is the best time! We get to decorate the house in tacky Halloween stuff and carve pumpkins AND give out candy to cute little dressed up kids. Photos of the decorated house are here. Closeups of the pumpkins are here. Ian designed both pumpkin patterns this year and I think he did a great job. He's also much better at actually cutting out the patterns than I am :) I had to re-do my pumpkin as it didn't turn out very well the first time, but I'm pleased with the final result.

Usually we get a few teenagers out but there were none this year; all of the 41 kids who came to the door were under 12 or so. I'm ok with that because I like giving candy to kids.

This year, there were princesses and frogs and teenage mutant ninja turtles and zombies and batman and spiderman and more. I love the little boy's superheroes costumes with the muscles :) One very young person (he was maybe 2 years old) pointed at my candy bowl and kept saying "Caaaaaanddyyyy!!!!" His mom told him that he had to say "trick or treat'", so he then said "tri or tre". I figured that was close enough :)

One lovely young zombie asked me, "What did one casket say to the other casket?" Me: "I don't know." Zombie: "Who's coffin in here? *cough* *cough*" :) What's not to love there? :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Magazines and shopping

The second magazine I subscribed to - Fashion - arrived today. It had three perfume inserts, and I've emailed them and asked for perfume-free issues. Elle Canada did respond and I will receive non-stinky issues of that magazine beginning in January. Whew! I am prepared to cancel any subscription that can't provide scent-free issues, but I do like reading those magazines :)

I went shopping today, and would you believe that I didn't buy any clothes? Yep, it's true. I did go to Fabricland and buy some fabric, though :) They have a lot of fabric on sale - their silk charmeuse is 50% off, and Vogue patterns are only $5.99. I didn't buy any of that. I bought some black stretch crinkled velvet and black knit for bellydance skirts, and I bought some swimsuit lining and flesh-coloured stretch mesh for bellydance costumes.

There were some beautiful fabrics there... a stretch berry red crepe that I loved, brushed yarn-dyed cotton plaids, embellished velveteens, corduroys, houndstooth fabrics... I love them all. Unfortunately, I have no real use for any of those fabrics :( If I bought them, they'd end up sitting there and wouldn't be made into anything.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Magazines and movies

I'd subscribed to a bunch of magazines and I got the first one - Elle Canada - today. I thought I'd asked on the little card for perfume-free issues, but that isn't what I got. In fact, I think I got extra perfume samples. When I buy a magazine off a newsstand, there might be two or three perfume inserts. My magazine had FIVE. Five!!! What a ridiculous number! How could any one scent be distinguishable in that perfumery? I've sent them an email asking how I get perfume-free issues. I'd rather not get the magazine if it's going to smell like that.

I also went out today and bought a bunch of DVDs that were on sale. I got Dreamgirls (I hadn't seen it, Children of Men (seen it, but it's worth watching multiple times), Murderball, Saw, Saw II, and Saw III.

I'm watching Dreamgirls now. It's pretty good even if it is a musical :) I love the eye makeup on the ladies - they all look like they have these beautiful doe eyes. I wish I could make my eyes look like that; next time I dress up, maybe I'll try :)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ian's away

I woke up very early see Ian off; he's gone to California for training. Yes, training - he's starting a job tomorrow :) He'd taken a break from school in the summer and then had interviews in the early fall. He'll be working at a high-tech company in the city. I'm so very proud of him :) I hope he likes the job.

I meant to go and do some bellydance workshops later in the day, but I didn't. I made a conscious decision to not go to the first workshop at 10:30am in order to sleep. I'd planned on going to the 1:30pm workshop but I didn't get up until 3pm. Sigh. I guess I needed the sleep.

I did make it to the Bewitching Bellydance Ball this evening, though. I dressed up in costume; you can see it here. It was a lot of fun - if you're in the region during the last weekend of October next year, you should definitely attend. It's bellydancing set to other kinds of music and that tells a story. Of course most of the stories are ghoulish and spooky :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I don't like funerals

So I don't love funerals any more than I did before. There were a LOT of people at the funeral for the young woman - she was 41 - from my in-person support group. It appears that she had made a huge impact on the community and people around her.

Apparently she had wanted a service with lots of poems and songs and that's what we had. Yes, people talked about her and there was mourning, but it was really a celebration of her life and so was quite positive.

I'm hoping that our young women's group does some sort of memorial thing so that we can remember her, too.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fun after curling

We went curling tonight for the first Friday night of the season. We like Friday night curling because it's very relaxed; most people are newish or beginner curlers so there's not a lot of pressure to curl really well. This means that we can try things we might not normally try and we can practice our technique.

More importantly, we have a lot of friends who curl on Friday nights. There are three other couples that we like to spend time with outside of curling, and they all curl on Fridays with us. This makes the games and overall atmosphere upbeat and fun. After curling, we usually go for dinner with some or all of these couples.

Tonight we'd thought we wouldn't go out for dinner as we have a lot to do tonight and tomorrow, but we ended up going to The Keg with them anyways. We haven't been out with these people in a long time and I've missed them. We all had a great time talking and eating yummy food :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bellydance costume

We came home to Waterloo today. Thursdays are quite busy; I have bellydance followed by curling, and when Spirituality and Healing groups are meeting, I have that before bellydance.

We're learning the choreography for the recital in December. We actually spent a bit of class figuring out what our costumes were going to be. Funny though, our instructor doesn't care at all about costumes; it's those of us in class who are interested in our attire. We've figured out that we'll all wear red tops. I'm going to look at the market and see if there are broomstick skirts there. Personally, I'd rather go with a black skirt - then I can make it to be more flattering on me. Because I'm short, I'm better off with a skirt that is more mermaid-like or form-fitting than with one that hangs straight down from my hips. The latter widens me and makes me look shorter.

We may also make some scarves to wear around our hips - something with some mesh and long fringe. I was going to try and make a sample as well. I rather like the idea of fringe, as long as it's pre-bought.

Anyways - my instructor was not impressed with all of this talk as she'd be happy if we danced in jeans. It certainly entertained the rest of us, though :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mourning twice over

I am so tired of cancer.

When I finished my blog last night I checked my mail and found out that one of my young women's support group members had died. Her funeral is on Saturday and we will try to attend. She had had breast cancer that had metastasized (spread) to her bones, liver, and brain. For the last few months she had been bed-ridden as one of the brain tumours made her paralyzed. She leaves behind 3 little kids (the youngest is about 2 1/2 years old - she was first diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant with the littlest one) and her husband. He's been pretty well out of work for two years now. What will happen to them? I'm so sad for the family.

After I finished reading about this, I went to one of my online breast cancer support groups and found out that one of the members there had died. She had bone and liver mets and she'd only had them for five months, since May, 2007. It all happened so fast - her liver started to fail a few weeks ago and then she just died. She didn't have any children and she leaves behind her husband. He's heartbroken.

Both of these women were about my age. My heart is aching for their families and friends - it's so not fair that these women died so young. Last night I cried and cried and cried; I will miss them. They were both wonderful women who went out of their way to help people whenever they could; they were honest, loving, and patient. It was like each of them had a light that just shone around them - the world is a darker place now that they're gone. :(

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Oncologist's appointment today

I saw my oncologist today. It turns out that my tumour markers have gone down, to 41.3 from 46.2. So they've done this: 57.8 (August, 2006) -> 48.0 (October, 2006) -> 39.6 -> 41.4 -> 46.2 -> 41.3 (October, 2007). We think it's safe to say that my tumour markers are oscillating between 39 and 48, and that's just what is normal for me right now. This is really good news; normal for this particular marker is 38, and I'm just about normal. Well, in this sense, anyways :)

What this also means is that we can continue to look at this tumour marker, and if it starts heading out of this normal range we know that there's something going on.

I also talked to my oncologist about the fact that I still feel that I can't relate to her and have asked for a referral to another oncologist at this cancer centre. She had no problem with it at all and will go ahead and refer me to someone else. Whew!!!! I talked to the nurse afterwards (not the usual nurse as she is on vacation) and she said that switching doctors there is not at all uncommon. I had been quite worried about how this would go - I didn't want to burn my bridges, as it were/ I think I handled it very well and professionally and I was quite impressed with me :) I should have an appointment with a new doctor in four to six weeks.

I've been uncomfortable with my oncologist and nurse since the beginning. I've tried hard to change this and to be comfortable with this oncologist/nurse pair, but in the end I just couldn't do it. During my recent liver mets scare, I realized that there was no way that I would put myself in the hands of my current oncologist - if I couldn't have seen another oncologist right away I would have gone back to my old oncologist in Credit Valley.

These feelings were so strong that I knew that I had to ask for the referral now while things are quiet. It's very important that I be completely at ease with my doctors because I have to trust them with my life. Hopefully I won't get a doctor that I'm LESS comfortable with :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lazing around watching tv

I didn't feel my best today. I woke up in the night because I wasn't well and have spent most of today feeling a bit off. I've had a very bad woogly back since last night - I took some Ativan in the afternoon and had to take more when that wore off this evening. Sigh. I wish I knew what was wrong.

This evening we watched Dragon's Den on CBC. My parents watch it and told me about it; it's a reality show where people come on and try and get one or more of five investors to invest in their idea for a share of their company. It's understated and low-key, which makes it all the more interesting. The "Dragons" themselves are very successful Canadian business people who are willing to invest in small companies if they think those companies have a chance. This show is definitely worth watching

Tonight a fellow was demonstrating a thingy that can be used to clean horses. He demonstrated it on a dog and the Dragons couldn't see how it could be used for horses or even that there is a market for that. I'd expect that there is a market for something that will clean horses quickly (and they may even like it because it combs them down to their skin). The fellow got no money from the Dragons. :(

For this season of Dragon's Den, I guess you can vote on your favourite business that got nothing from them. If they get the most or second most votes for that week, they might end up as part of a final five who get to appear before the Dragons on November 28. The top finalist there wins $50000 (and people who vote could win $5000, too!). It's a way for the audience to second-guess the Dragons. :) You can vote here: (registration required).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I need more pants

Remember I bought new pants because I'd gained weight and my old pants didn't fit anymore? Well, that must be a surefire way to LOSE weight, because most of those pants are now a little bit to a lot bit too big :) The jeans are definitely too big and I don't like the colour of my other jeans. In the hopes of finding nice jeans that fit, I spent the afternoon trying on pants.

You know, I love shopping, but a whole afternoon of trying on pants and having them not fit is less fun than my usual shopping experience. I tried on 10 pairs of pants at Mark's Work Wearhouse and bought one pair that was on sale and that fit. They have some amazing jeans there - some of them have something called "CurveTech" that is supposed to make your butt look full, firm, and high. What it is is a layer of strong mesh inside the jean but it wasn't strong enough for my butt, I'm afraid. I'm not sure that there's anything short of surgery that could make my butt look any of full or firm or high - and certainly not all three at the same time!

I tried on another 18 pairs of jeans at Winners, which was basically everything they had in my size in that store. I had no luck at all there :( The only thing I came away with was a scrapey mark on my left leg from their theft-marking device. Sigh.

I hope to look at some other stores over the next little while. For now, I'm back in Mississauga and so I'll do some more relaxing here.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Back from Mississauga

I managed to get a ride home with some friends who were in the GTA today. When Ian and I had gone to Mississauga for yesterday's appointment, I didn't drive our car because I was too tired and nauseous. Ian is staying in Mississauga but I needed to get back. Thanks to all my friends who offered to drive me :)

I watched two episodes of Meerkat Manor on TVO today. I loved it!!!!! It was a really great show, much more interesting than I thought it would be. The meerkats are adorable, and they really do have dramas - both in their own clan and with other clans. I highly recommend it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

No mets!!!!

That's right, I have no liver mets!!!! The ultrasound was completely clear and showed no inflammation, and my liver function numbers are well within normal. YAY!!!!! We're very relieved :)

My doctor thinks that my problem might be stomach-related and so is putting me back on Nexium. I'll continue to take the Zofran for nausea.

My doctor also gave us tips on how to talk to my oncologist about getting a referral to another oncologist in the same cancer centre. Ian gets to open up the discussion, which he's not at all happy about, since he doesn't like conflict. If you didn't know, I'm not comfortable with my current oncologist and I want a new one. I've heard good things about a couple of other oncologists at the cancer centre and so I'll ask for a referral to one of those doctors.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

How much I've changed

I went to my Spirituality and Healing group this afternoon for the first time in three weeks. We talked about letting go of things - like anger, or being control-freaky, or whatever. I told them about how, when I was working, I could be quite mean and callous; that I didn't give the people I worked with enough credit for being themselves and for having their own talents, and that I expected everything to be done my way. I've changed a lot in the last year and a half and I know that I'm more patient, compassionate, and forgiving than I was before.

Anyways, as I was saying all this today it struck me that one of the main reasons that I want to go back to work is to show people just how much I've changed. I guess I want to show other people that I'm not the person that I was and that I can still get as much done and be as efficient while also being a better person. One person in particular bore the brunt of that and I've apologized to that person for the way I behaved.... and I think I also want to apologize to other people as well, you know? But the only way I can really apologize is by showing people that I'm different. I can SAY I'm different, but, well, saying so doesn't make it so.

I don't expect that I'll work again. If it turns out that I don't have liver mets, there is a chance that I might get to work. If I have liver mets, well, I won't be working again.

I'll let you all know how things went after the appointment tomorrow. Ian and I have decided that we're hoping that I have some kind of liver infection and not liver mets.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Test results on Friday

I have a doctor's appointment on Friday and I should get my liver ultrasound and liver function test results then. It was going to take 4-5 days to get the ultrasound results so they should be ready on Friday. The liver function tests should have been available on Monday so I'll definitely get those as well. I'm quite nervous about the appointment, because I'm scared that I have liver mets. However, I've talked to some people who have had similar symptoms as me but who had something other than liver mets - so it's possible that there's something else wrong with me. Wouldn't that be awesome?

I've been quite nauseous with a fair amount of pain in my liver today. Sigh. I just want the pain and nausea to go away - I feel like crap. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More and more sleep

I should have known that having a bit nap yesterday afternoon would make it more difficult to sleep last night. I ended up getting up at about 3:30pm today. For some reason I thought it was around 11am, but all the clocks said about 3:30pm, so I must have been wrong. I did feel very refreshed when I got up which is a big change for me - I'm usually tired when I get up.

Of course I did nothing at all of interest today - I mean, I did some laundry, but that's not exactly interesting, is it? :) Tomorrow I'm going to Well-fit and then bellydance which will at least get me out of the house :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

How much sleep do I need?

After my swimming lesson, I went shopping at H&M. This time, I got four non-black jersey shirts, although it took me two hours to do it :)

Once I got home, I had a nap, intending to get up in time for Well-fit. Unfortunately, I didn't get up until four hours after Well-fit started... oops. It's not like I didn't go to bed last night; I got 10 hours of sleep which should have been enough. But no, apparently I needed another six hours tonight. I hope I'm tired enough to go to bed at a reasonable hour :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Looking for some colour

Ian let me sleep in all the way until noon today! I felt quite rested when I got up. I could barely type my blog by the time I was finished it last night - I started going to sleep right there, and I fell asleep really quickly when we went to bed.

After dropping Ian off in Mississauga this afternoon, I went to H&M. I'd planned to get some tops that weren't black as most of the tops that fit and look nice are black. Don't get me wrong; black is a fine colour. Worn every day, though, it's a little much. I tried on a ton of things there and ended up buying five tops: a fuchsia and white t-shirt, a black cropped cardigan with big silver polka-dots, a beautiful black blouse with white polka-dots, a grey jersey shirt with a black pattern, and a black, white, and grey jersey shirt. Hmm. That's four black tops by my count :)

I'm going to return the two jersey shirts - they're like t-shirts but not in the same kind of basic t-shirt pattern. They're nice, but maybe I can find something that's less... black. :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Went to a wedding today

We went to a friend's wedding today. We've known the happy couple for a few years - they're really great for each other and together make the world a better place.

The wedding ceremony and dinner were each delayed but about 30 minutes because we were waiting for someone. There had been an accident on the 401 and so the ceremony was delayed in hopes that people stuck in that traffic would make it in. The dinner was delayed because we were waiting for a projector that someone was supposed to bring. Aside from those two delays, everything ran very smoothly. The food was delicious, the hall clean and bright, and the decorations festive. It was a very nice venue with very good food.

I think that if Ian and I ever get married, we're going to ask that children under 10 not come. There were about eight or ten kids there of varying ages up to about eight years old. They were brats. One whined and cried through the whole ceremony and refused to listen to his parents (I asked the dad whether the child had a form of autism since he didn't respond to people's instructions and seemed lost in his own world, but the father said that he was normal. Hmm). During dinner several kids (including the aforementioned delightful one) ran around the tables chasing each other. During the speeches, they played cars and throwing toys over on the dance floor, blocking out the speeches themselves.

Not that the speeches or ceremony is necessarily interesting, but I'd rather not be distracted by small children with short attention spans forced to stay awake and do stuff with their parents from noon to midnight or so. Those kids were LOUD.

Not that I hate kids; I don't. I don't much like them these days, partly because I can't have any, but I don't mind them if I don't really notice them. That's why, if we ever get married, we don't want little kids there. Don't worry, if there were such little people whenever this hypothetical wedding happens, we'll provide entertainment for them during the "boring" parts. Fair enough? :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tests today

I was able to get in to have the abdominal ultrasound this morning. They squeezed me in for 9:30am, and the whole procedure took about a half hour. She took a lot of pictures of my liver and did quite a few measurements - some of those are things like pancreas and gallbladder and all that. She said that my doctor would get the results in four or five days.

The bloodwork to check my liver function took no time at all after waiting for about a half hour. The technician asked why I was doing these tests and I said that we were checking for liver mets. She asked what kind of cancer I had, and I said that I had had breast cancer and now I have mets to my bones. When I said that, she looked so sad. After she finished drawing the blood, she squeezed my hand. Surprisingly, that made me feel better.

So I won't know anything until late next week. There is a small chance that I don't have liver mets; I could have some sort of infection or my liver may have decided to stop processing all of the drugs I take. Or I could be living in an episode of House and I have some rare disease. :)

Yes, I'm scared, but I'm ok. I'm still doing things I like to do and I'm trying to keep myself happy (ie distracted).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I wasn't hoping for this

Sorry that there was no blog entry yesterday; I'd fallen asleep at 8:30pm and went straight up to bed at 11pm to wake at 10am this morning. I'm less tired today :)

I did see my family doctor today and talked to him about my nausea, pain in the upper right quadrant of my abdomen, and tiredness. He had me lie flat and then he checked where the edges of the liver were. After that, he applied gentle pressure on different parts. The gentle pressure caused some pain - not, like, excruciating pain, but pain nonetheless. It turns out that my liver is swollen. He is pretty sure that I have liver mets. Sigh.

He's sending me for a liver ultrasound first thing tomorrow - I don't have an appointment but I'm to go to the clinic and beg for one. My doctor is also asking for bloodwork that will give us an idea about how well the liver is functioning right now. I kept telling him that I was seeing my oncologist the week after next but he wanted to do this all on his own. Yes, I know I had a scan in late June, but I think my mets (if that's what's there) were just baby-sized then and couldn't be seen at that time with that technology.

He also gave me prescriptions for Zofran for the nausea and Ativan (lorazepam) for the anxiety. I have been feeling pretty anxious for a while as I have been worried about the pain and achiness in my abdomen around my liver.

I won't lie: I'm quite scared about this whole thing. Liver mets are more serious than bone mets and that scares the crap out of me..... for now, though, I'll take this one step at a time.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ontario votes tomorrow

The Ontario provincial election is tomorrow: please vote if you're eligible! Aside from the fact that voting is our democratic responsibility, there's a referendum tomorrow, too, and it's important to vote in that. In case you aren't familiar with the referendum question and background, you can find all the information you want to read over at

Ian and I are in Mississauga this week and so can't vote tomorrow in our electoral district. We didn't find out we were going to be here until after the advance polls closed and so what we've done is to ask one of our friends to cast our vote for us - aka we are voting by proxy. I'm really glad that we have this option as I was going to be disappointed if I couldn't vote. I mean, we might have been able to drive back to Waterloo before the polls closed at 9pm, but we didn't want to have drive that much.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A crafty Thanksgiving

I spent most of the day working on the dress that I'll be wearing to the wedding. I bought it to fit my hips and so the top is too big because my top size is smaller than my bottom size. It took a while to fix up the seams that had come undone because I'm not accustomed to working with that fabric.

I got the shoulders taken up (part of fixing the dress was to shorten the bodice by shortening it at the shoulder seam) and as I was checking the fit, Ian and I realized that the dress might look better sleeveless. If it was sleeveless, it would make a cleaner, sleeker line, making me look taller. We'll see. I'd hoped to finish the alterations today but didn't have time, so I'll be doing them through this week. We'll be in Mississauga starting tomorrow afternoon and I'll just take my sewing machine there to finish up.

I don't yet know whether I'll take all my beads or just some of them to Mississauga. I've been making some earrings lately and part of me would like to pick through my beads and create more. Then again, I should be working on this custom stuff so I should only bring things associated with that. At least I've made some new earrings recently; I hope to get these ones photographed and listed over the next while, so if I don't make anything new it's not the end of the world.