Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A mostly regular day

When we rented the movie over the weekend, we also rented Storm Warning . It wasn't really all that scary or gory. It was one of those couple-gets-lost-and-find-themselves-among-lunatics movies. I very much liked the way the woman handled the lunatics - some things were very creative and had a definite "eewwww" factor. The first half of the movie was sort of boring and it would have been better without most of that bit.

I haven't been able to sew for the last couple of days. I realized that the dress I'm making should have been done with the plaid on the bias but I didn't do that. I looked briefly at one store to see if there were any good plaids there but there weren't. I might see if another store has any... or not. I think the dress will look great as-is, but I also think that another dress in a bias plaid would look awesome :)

I'm also looking for a decent argyle sweater. I tried one on today but it didn't have the right neckline - the V was too deep. There was a cardigan version that was ok (it was petite; the other sweater wasn't) but it was a cardigan and I want a sweater. And not one of those fake shirts under the sweater, either, or a vest. You'd think it would be simple to find a sweater in cotton or acrylic (not cashmere) with an argyle pattern on some part of the front. Well, I thought that - and I was wrong, as so far my search has proved futile.. but I'll keep hunting. There's got to be one somewhere. I don't know if I dare to hope for one in petite sizing, but wouldn't it be awesome to find that, too?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another look outside my bubble

I've been reading some of the news lately and I saw that the US House voted against the bailout package. I knew that people didn't necessarily like it - some didn't like it because it was a vague plan, some didn't like it because they felt the money shouldn't go to the people who made the mess in the first place, and some didn't like it because they thought it was the first step on the road to socialism. And of course we can't ignore the fact that all of this is happening when there's an election a few weeks away so there's all sorts of political crap involved that wouldn't be there at another time. For whatever reason, the bill was defeated. As a result, the Dow tanked in its greatest point drop ever.

No one can really say what's going to happen now. Maybe the bill will come forward again, and maybe it won't. What happens if another major financial institution in the US files for bankruptcy? How far away is the US economy from a Depression? What about the rest of the world - money and banking are global now? I thought I read that banks aren't lending as much right now... what would happen if banks stopped lending money to each other or businesses?

And what's going on in Europe? Banks are collapsing there, too. How often do banks normally collapse - is it happening more often than usual?

In some ways I feel like I'm living in an Ayn Rand novel. Even the new conditions under which the mortgages were to be loaned could have come right out of Atlas Shrugged , as could many individual's reaction to the bill. Not that I always subscribe to the theories in the books (there's an implicit assumption that the people who are the most industrious have an internal sense of responsibility - but there's no room for, say, sociopaths), but it's kind of strange to see things happening as though they came out of a book. And scary, too, because in that book the entire economy and society collapsed. I hope that this doesn't happen here.

In any case, like many people, I'm watching what's happening with the US economy very closely.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fun hobby day

I've been working on a pair of earrings for someone and I finished them today. They're here . I thought they were gorgeous! I used the pink amethyst stones I bought at the show the other weekend. I can't wait to use some of the other stones that I bought. Right now, I keep picking them up and playing at them, looking at them in the light, and looking at the facets and the shine and the colours.

I've started work on another dress in a plaid - I thought it was a brown and black plaid but it's got navy blue and forest green in there, too. I'm using a pattern I'd sort of used before - it's a vintage reproduction pattern. So it was an actual pattern issued in the 60s but it's been updated with current sizing and (possibly) construction. I hope this doesn't take too long as I want to start work on a new pattern - I think it'll work in the corduroy I have. It's got tabs under the collar and in the center back that I think might look good in a red contrast (like, say, the red contrast I used on the last dress ). We'll see.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's Saturday so it must be movie night

We rented The Cottage tonight; it's a funny English movie with kidnapping, a crazed psycho, and lots of improbable plot points. The first half is sort of funny with the botched kidnapping and then the second half is really gory and bloody. I can't remember the last movie we saw with that kind of gore and violence - it was definitely unusual, which was a nice surprise. If you like these kinds of movies, you'll like this one a lot.

You know, finding good horror/zombie/scary movies is really hard. Most of the ones that are made are direct-to-video because there isn't that much demand for these movies in the theatres. Not to mention the fact that the kind of gore and violence that we watch would get an 18+ rating which doesn't make as much money in the theatre. As well, these movies don't usually come with recommendations or ratings, so it's possible to end up watching some really awful movies.

Fortunately for us, there is a company that distributes a good subset of these movies: Dimension Extreme! Even better, our local video store carries them :) The best part is that we know we're getting a decent movie if it's distributed by this company.

Oh, and I guess I should make something clear: it's mostly me that picks these movies. I don't know what Ian would choose to rent if he was on his own but when we're there together, I push for the horror/zombie/gory movies. It's probably better that I don't think too hard about why I like these movies so much :) How about I stick with this: I've always had a fondness for the genre. I've been reading horror stories since I was quite young and it's not such a big jump from this kind of book to this kind of movie. How does that sound?

Friday, September 26, 2008

What if there were no humans?

Going to my friend's funeral today definitely did help. It was more a celebration of her life than sadness at her passing and so while I cried, I felt a lot better. My friend had written something in her funeral program thing - I haven't been able to read it yet. It's definitely written by her in her "voice" to the people who attended her funeral and I'm not sure I can read that just yet.

This evening we watched Aftermath, a tv program that examines the question of what would happen to the planet if humans suddenly disappeared. It's an interesting show and I'd recommend you see it if you get a chance. After 200 years, traces of humanity would be almost gone! In a way it's shocking to think that people have had such an impact on the planet in only a short time. We've polluted our atmosphere, totally changed the paths of many major rivers (causing problems at various points of those rivers), and interfered with many, many ecosystems. And yet within a few centuries of the disappearance of all humanity, all of that would be reversed.

If only we could clean up the planet without having to leave it. Part of our problem is that we do things without fully realizing what the impact would be. For example: the Mississppi used to flood its banks regularly. So they built walls to contain it and force the course to change. But now the Mississippi delta is basically destroyed because of that "solution", which means that there is less natural protection against hurricanes there. Who's the winner here?

If only we sought to fully understand the natural forces we're playing with, maybe we'd do a better job of "fixing" the problems they cause us.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What to sew next?

I've been sleeping a lot over the last couple of days - 18 hours yesterday and then another 13 today. I'm not sure why; my best guess would be that it's because my friend died and I'm a little depressed. Tomorrow morning is the funeral and I hope to get some closure then.

I am hoping to do some more sewing. I'm waffling a bit on what to sew. I have some gorgeous kaufman cherries corduroy - it's as light as dress fabric but drapes well and doesn't wrinkle. I also have the menswear-type fabrics that drape well. A couple of them have some stretch to them and I'd like to use those for sheath-type dresses, maybe. I'm also thinking about shirtdresses... but I'm not sure. I have patterns that are similar to the last dress I made and I'm sort of thinking about those, too.

Hopefully I'll be able to make a decision about what to sew next soon. I'm itching to make something - maybe I have too much to choose from?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Some test results

Unsurprisingly, the fine needle biopsy results are negative - there's no cancer there. That's good, of course, but I wonder how many more of these tests I'll be having. I also found out that the CT scan for my jaw will be on October 16. It's not urgent and those take about a month to schedule.

On the bright side, some mets people on one of my online support groups are getting together in Westport, CT for a few days in November. I'm going to go with them and have booked my ticket (I get to fly out of Waterloo!). I'm looking forward to meeting them in person instead of just online.

Recently, on that board, someone was caught lying about some serious stuff - like, that they had lost a son in one of the recent hurricanes. The person had been posting sporadically for about a year and people had sent her gifts and stuff. Some suggested that the person was deliberately misleading people. My guess is that the person has a serious mental illness because her posts were inconsistent.

Meeting people in person is a good idea :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A few appointments

I saw the oral surgeon today. He basically said that he didn't think that there was anything wrong but of course he didn't have the previous xrays to compare. My dentist dropped off the comparison films and the surgeon did see a small change. Because of this and my history he's going to send me for a CT scan just to be sure that there's nothing going on.

He said that most osteonecrosis shows up as exposed bone in the mouth. (Umm, yes. We are hoping that if it's this, we have caught it early - looong before the bone starts showing through my gums.) He said that it's possible that the lower teeth have shifted from the previous orthodontic work, and that the roots of those teeth did appear shorter than the other teeth but again that this was probably from the orthodontic work as well.

So he's not worried and doesn't want me to worry because all of this is most likely nothing. But it is good to be thorough.

Oh, I also had my port checked - the doctor was able to get a good blood draw and it didn't hurt when he accessed the port. I wish the nurses were as good as that doctor was :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another friend gone

Remember I drove a less-mobile friend to a mutual friend's visitation a week and a half ago? The friend I drove died tonight.

She'd run out of treatments and went into hospice this past weekend. I knew last week that things weren't going all that well as she had the same colouration as my friend did in March which was a sign that the liver had failed. Still, I didn't expect her to decline so quickly and had been hoping to visit her before she died. I had sort of thought of going tomorrow or the next day because I thought there was still time. I was wrong :(

It's so hard to think that I saw her only a little while ago. I told her then that if she wanted to go somewhere, I'd be happy to take her and she said that she would be at a dinner (that I'm also going to) this coming Thursday. She was a wonderful woman - so kind and so caring. She always seemed positive, even when things weren't going that well.

When I last saw her, she showed me her head: her hair all came out because of the whole-brain radiation treatments she had, so she went to a hennaist and had butterflies and strawberries hennaed on her head. I wish more people had been able to see it because it really represented who she was.

I miss her so very much.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another movie

We finally got around to watching Save the Green Planet, a movie we'd recorded ages ago. It's a South Korean movie with English subtitles. The subtitles were one reason that we hadn't watched it yet because they require more attention than a non-subtitled movie.

The movie is very, very good. The main characters' acting is amazing; they were able to convey their emotions and thoughts even though I couldn't actually understand a word they were saying. The movie references a number of different genres and incorporates them all seamlessly. The plot is believable and the dialogue well-written and there are twists in this movie that make it quite compelling. Some of the movie could be quite disturbing as while there is quite a bit of implied violence, but this violence is an intrinsic part of the movie. We highly recommend this movie.

BTW, in case you're interested, here's a picture of the beads that I bought yesterday. I didn't get a chance to brighten the picture or anything but the beads are still quite visible. You may notice that much of the picture is sparkly because all of the beads are faceted :)

From left to right, the beads are: faceted crystal coins (2), faceted rose quartz rounds (2), faceted pink amethyst hearts, faceted amethyst hearts, faceted amethyst rondells (2), faceted amethyst rounds (2), onion-cut iolite briolettes, onion-cut labradorite briolettes. Some of the strands have been doubled in this photo and these are noted with a (2) in the list of items. Aren't they gorgeous? Don't you just want to reach out and play with them and start making things?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A little shopping

Remember I was working on that vintage pattern and I finally finished the dress? I wore the dress today and we got a picture of it.

Here's the pattern and the dress:

I think that it turned out ok. I don't look as thin as the pictures but I think that the dress looks pretty good, all things considered and I'm quite pleased with it.

There was a bead show in Toronto today and I went. I haven't had the "pleasure" of driving in downtown Toronto for a while. I didn't know that the Gardiner was closed or that there was a baseball game this afternoon, both of which made the drive in and out that much more difficult.

I managed to buy the most beautiful faceted pink and purple gem-quality amethyst teardrops (don't worry, I got a very good price!) as well as some gorgeous labradorite onion-cut briolettes with flash on almost every stone. And I got the rose quartz and amethyst faceted round stones that I'd been looking for. Not only that, I got some beautiful onion-cut iolite briolettes. I can hardly wait to play with them!

I'm finding that I'm much more selective in what beads I'll buy these days. Before I'd buy a strand of beads as long as they were the rightish colour and shape but now I check the strands very carefully to make sure that the beads look the best possible. This isn't possible when buying off of the internet but in-person, at least, I can get some quality stuff.

Friday, September 19, 2008


We watched Ratatouille tonight. One of the user comments on that imdb page says it's a "feel-good movie," which it is, but it's not as saccharine as those movies can be. It was a fine movie to watch but it's so much less of a Pixar movie than a Disney one. Pixar movies have a lot of depth: there are sad times and quiet times which balance the unrelenting ups, and the characters themselves are quite deep. In this movie, the sad times were less sad and more predictable and the characters are superficial - more like a standard Disney movie.

As well, Pixar movies usually create their own world where the movie exists and everything within that world is consistent and believable. But because Ratatouille is set in our world, it wasn't as believable. Overall, Ratatouille is a fun and enjoyable movie but not as good as, say, Wall-E or Cars or Monsters, Inc.

There's a short on the DVD off of the main menu describing the history of the rat and it's well-worth watching called Your Friend the Rat. It's description of Alberta's rat-free status (and how that came to be) is hilarious. Definitely watch this one. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Looking outside my bubble

Even in my little bubble I've been hearing some news bits. There seems to be a financial crisis happening in the US. All of a sudden it seems that a bunch of these huge financial companies are going bankrupt or being bailed out by the US government. I think it's related to the crazy housing market in the US, including sub-prime mortgages. The US government just bailed out AIG over the weekend... and I think they bailed out Fannie May/Freddie Mac (mortgage companies on the verge of bankruptcy) a little while ago, too. They let Lehman go bankrupt, though. How many other companies could be affected, here?

I just read an article that said that someone was predicting that the US would only be in a recession for a year because the banks will be bought out or merged and that the banks won't be allowed to fail. I hope that's true. If a bunch of banks or other financial institutions start collapsing with no government or industry assistance, I don't think it'll just be a recession that happens to them. And I hope that no Canadian companies or banks will be caught up in this mess, because then we'll follow right along with the US.

Maybe my bubble is a better place to be.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Regularly scheduled appointments

I saw my regular surgeon and my family doctor today. We know that there's some kind of mass around the scar from the 2006 lumpectomy but the mammogram showed nothing there. My surgeon had already done one fine needle biopsy and a core biopsy, and because the mass is still there, he did another fine needle biopsy today. I wasn't expecting that - at least the area there is numb so it didn't hurt. I should get the results in a week or two.

At some point I may get tired of getting needle biopsies done there. Maybe he'd cut the whole mass out? Or maybe just take the breast?

After that I saw my family doctor to get a prescription renewed and to kind of bring him up to speed on what's going on with my teeth and jaw. He says that there is a very small chance that the less-dense areas in the jaw are new bone mets. He's going to talk to my oncologist and see what she thinks. We'll see - a bone scan isn't so bad. A CT scan or MRI might be better to see what the areas look like, but what do I know?

Funny, when going through this kind of diagnostic process, the main focus is the issue itself and the tests while the world around passes by almost unnoticed. I'm trying to stay relaxed so that I don't get anxious (and I'm hoping that nothing *really bad* happens for a while, either in my personal life or the world). At the same time, there's this sense of unreality, as though I'm watching all of this happen to someone who just happens to be me. I think it's partly because I don't know what all the outcomes could be or even which outcome is most preferable, so I'm not all that emotionally vested in any one particular outcome. I'm thinking that this is not such a bad thing, at least for now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The fun never ends

My dentist called me today to let me know that she is sending one xray to a root canal specialist and sending the rest of the xrays to the oral surgeon. This is because the right side of my face has been aching and we don't know why - it could be that one of my teeth needs a root canal, or it could be referred pain from the less-dense area on that side of my lower jaw, or something else. So my dentist has decided to explore the idea that I might need a root canal at the same time as sending me to the oral surgeon. I'm good with that.

My dentist also asked me if I had any numbness at the sites where the xray showed loss of density and yes, the one on my chin in numb. The one on my right lower jaw isn't numb but of course I have the aching on that side all the way up to my eyes.

My dentist did assure me that yesterday's panoramic xray was within the bounds of normal, which is great. But it's different than the xray taken last year and that's the concern. She agrees that if there's anything going on, at least we'll be catching it early.

Because I didn't have my Pamidronate today (they've been canceled until we figure out what's going on, the home care nurse came to flush my port. It has to be done every four to six weeks so that the port doesn't clog up. My  port is over to the side because I didn't want it to show and apparently my homecare nurse has never seen a port put where mine is located.

Nurses usually have trouble getting the needle into my port and the homecare nurse was no exception. After two tried, she had to call for help. During the conversation, she told that person that the port was over my right breast and that I was very well-endowed so it was hard to stabilize the port. I don't usually think of myself as well-endowed but it's nice that someone thinks so, even if it was just the nurse.

Anyways, the other nurse came and between the two of them, they were able to access and flush my port. The only problem was that they didn't get any blood return; just as the port can be used to inject fluids into my bloodstream, it can also be used to draw blood. And because of that, I'm going to need to get the port checked. The homecare nurses will call the nurse at the hospital tomorrow and figure out what to do.

Monday, September 15, 2008

You know, things were starting to get better

I feel like I'm the mole in Whack-A-Mole. Every time my head pops up and things are going ok, I get whacked down again and things start to go badly. This summer has been particularly bad and it seems that things are not over.

I was able to see my dentist today.

Almost all of my teeth are mobile (or wiggly). I was shocked to find this out as I thought there were only three wiggly teeth. My dentist said that this could be caused by teeth grinding, but I've been grinding my teeth for my entire adult life and they've never been mobile before. And there's nothing in my chart that indicates that my teeth had been mobile before - this is definitely something that would have been noted. So the mobile teeth are new.

My chart also didn't show any crossed or turned teeth and my hygienist didn't see any evidence that my teeth were different the last time I saw her. My dentist looked and there's nothing that would clearly cause the pain and aching on the right side of my face.

So we did the panoramic xray again - it's the standard of care for someone on the kind of bisphosphonates I'm taking - as well as focal xrays of all my teeth and their roots. She then compared the xrays she took today with my older ones and showed me what she saw.

There are differences between the xrays. There are two areas that are dark that used to be light: one located just below my bottom center front teeth that have shifted and a larger one located below the lower molar that has tilted inward. Is it coincidence that the darker areas are under the teeth that have shifted? I don't know. Could it be?

My dentist is referring me to an oral surgeon which is what my oncologist said would most likely happen. I hope to get in to see that person soon - my dentist said that she would send the referral with the xrays today and that she would tell the surgeon that it was urgent.

I'm a little scared. These problems I'm having could be just trauma from the fall but it's also possible that the fall has started in the beginning of osteonecrosis of the jaw. I also found a link (figure 2) that showed how pain from something like this refers up the face to the places that, coincidentally enough, *my* face hurts. F*ck.

I can't figure out whether I'm in shock or whether I'm just learning to accept all the uncertainty that goes along with diagnostic processes. I did pamper myself after the appointment by taking it easy but I also ended up walking around in a daze for a while. And of course I swore a lot.

So this evening - to pamper myself? to try and make me feel better? - Ian and I signed up for a new gym in the building where Ian works. Since my gym has been bought out, I haven't been as happy with some things (the classes have changed, for example, as has the clientele). This gym has state-of-the-art equipment and the price for both of us, thanks to my corporate rate, is quite good. I'm hoping to work out there tomorrow sometime.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

More movies! (and a book)

With the remnants of Hurricane (now tropical depression) Ike on their way, bringing rain and wind, we spent a lot of the day inside. We got to watch more movies!

First up was Doom, which is based on the video game. It's not bad, although there are some silly fighting scenes in there. Still, it's an interesting story and there are zombie-like things in it. Who doesn't love zombies? :) We'd recorded this movie from tv and that's how I recommend you see it: for free. Unless you like action moves based on video games that star The Rock, of course, and then this movie is definitely for you.

Second was The Machine Girl, a Japanese movie about vengeance and loyalty. Our heroine loses her brother and his friend to a gang of scoundrels headed by the son of a Yakuza Ninja. She ends up with only one arm and teams up with her brother's friend's parents to give her a machine-gum arm. The two women end up seeking vengeance against the Yakuza. The movie is sort of silly and over the top in that Japanese movie sort of way. There's lots of fighting with many unusual instruments. There's lots of gore but it's made less real by the fountains (really. fountains - like something you'd see in a pool) of blood.

We actually bought The Machine Girl and I do think it was a worthwhile investment. If you get a chance, you should see it.We give it two big thumbs up.

Since I was speaking of zombies earlier, I thought I would recommend a book to you: World War Z by Max Brooks. It's written as an oral history of the war against zombies, ten years after the war was assumed to be over. Various accounts describe how things got started, how they escalated, where people finally took a stand, and what happened afterwards. The only suspension of disbelief really required to get into the book is the existence of a zombie; the bulk of the book is about the people who lived through the events.

One of the things I really liked about this book was that I thought it perfectly described government's and people's reactions to the threat (not often called zombies, more like zack or zed-heads). I felt like I was reading something that could have actually happened. The book isn't especially gory but it can be sort of scary. Not just because of the zombies - but think of what people can do to each other, especially when they're scared.

Early on, the book has hints about exactly what has transpired in various places, and later those hints are filled out in more detail. Sometimes that detail is a single line; when I ran across one of those I had to go back and re-read the earlier bit because I couldn't believe the earlier hint until it was confirmed. Some events are never explained in detail, probably because the events in which many people were killed had no survivors. By the end of the book, the reader is able to put together quite a bit of what happened.

I very much enjoyed reading this book and I can honestly say that I haven't loved a book this much since I read Blindness by Jose Saramago. I think I like World War Z for many of the reasons that I like Blindness - each assumes that a previously-unthinkable situation has occurred and then shows how people survive. It isn't always pretty, but it is real, and because of that, I'd highly recommend either of these books to you.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Movies and more movies

At our last game night we borrowed a movie from the host and last night we finally got a chance to watch it. The movie is Black Sheep and it's a New Zealand horror movie with were-sheep. There are funny bits and gory bits and ludicrous bits (sheep that eat meat is ludicrous all by itself!) and overall, I'd say it's a pretty good movie. It's got something for almost everyone: for those that like childish humour, there's lots of flatulence that's integral to the story. If you like this kind of film and you get a chance to see it, then you should sit down to watch it.

We also watched Suspiria, a classic 1977 horror movie by Dario Argento. The film itself would have been quite scary and gory back in the day, especially if you saw it on a movie screen, but with today's special effects advances it looks a little dated. The acting could probably have been better, and the fact that the movie was apparently shot in english and then re-dubbed doesn't help. In spite of all that, it's still a fairly compelling movie. The soundtrack creates a lot of suspense, but then so does the lighting and colours. All things considered, this is a very good horror movie and if you like them then you should definitely take the time to watch this one.

Suspiria is apparently going to be re-made in the next few years. If it actually is made and released, it could be very good. Or, like many other remakes, it could be awful. I'm hoping for the former.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fall fashion trends, 2008

As usual, I've spent some time looking through fashion magazines to find out what's in style these days for women. It is one of my favourite activities :)
  • Much more somber in tone for daytime, probably related to the coming recession
  • Definitely 40s-inspired but with some 60s touches as well, probably due to Mad Men
  • Colours are muted; interest comes from layering plus architectural details and textures
  • Lots of menswear-inspired shapes and fabrics for women
  • Architectural shapes, origami, ruching, pleating
  • Lace and frills soften the menswear-type fabrics and clothes
  • Brighter colours including aubergine and other purples, teal blues, and burgundies, and reds for accessories
  • Mid-40s silhouette with larger shoulders, nipped-in waist, slim hips plus a hint of the 80s (which borrowed from the 40s anyways)
  • Dresses haven't left us; they're still everywhere. Skirts and blouses are popular, too
  • Focus is at the waist and the waist is covered by clothes
  • Pants, both wide legs and skinny legs
  • Skirts, especially pencil skirts but also pleated and gathered fuller, longer skirts
  • High-waisted and at-the-waist skirts and pants
  • Smooth waists; fabric skims the waist to show it off
  • Vests and weskits
  • Blouses with soft fabrics with ruffles, lace, frills, and other architectural shapes
  • Dresses in many silhouettes, but mainly that skim the body
  • Sweater dresses
  • Cardigans
  • Blazers
  • Structured coats
  • Leggings, knee-highs, and patterned tights
  • Sparkle for evening ONLY - sparkle and rhinestones are out for daytime
Fabrics and patterns:
  • Laces
  • Corduroy
  • Knits
  • All menswear fabrics/patterns: flannel, glen plaid, houndstooth, windowpane, herringbone, argyle, tattersall. Some playing with scale to get BIG patterns
  • Plaid, plaid, plaid, plaid, plaid!!!! Everywhere - every kind of plaid or tartan is out there. Yay!!
  • Checks of all sizes
  • Animal prints
  • Florals
  • Silky, drapable blouse fabrics add femininity to clothing
  • Black, grey, white, silver
  • Metallics for evening
  • Browns, tans, earth tones
  • Muted colours
  • Deep, luscious plums, purples, burgundies, teals
  • "Booties" or "shoeties" are still around: stiletto heels with brogue, wingtip, or oxford shoes. Some of these have peep-toes and they're supposed to be worn with tights. Peep-toes in winter? Silly fashion.
  • Lots of high stiletto heels
  • Pointed toes in the almond shape
  • Patent leather
  • Mary-janes
  • Some flats and ballerina slippers
  • Flat boots still around but not as prevalent
  • Not as many platforms except in model shoots
  • Structured carry-all top-handle bags
  • Chunky gems (fake is ok) for necklaces and cuffs
  • Cuffs seem to be replacing bracelets - things on the wrist are kind of big
  • Non-gem pieces like earrings are smaller
Hair and makeup:
  • Simple shapes for hair
  • Foundation and lipstick are more natural colours
  • Some lipsticks are bright reds or berry stains
  • Eyebrows are not thin or overplucked
  • Smokey eyes are done in colours other than black/grey so they look less harsh
I think that's it :) Happy shopping, everyone!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More sleep, less awake

Remember when I said that I was getting up early every day and not napping? I should stop saying that. As soon as I do, it's like I jinx myself and I end up sleeping for days. Which is what's happened over the last few days (and is why there was no blog entry yesterday). I've been very tired lately and I've been napping. Yesterday I got up and had lunch with some friends; when I got home, I crashed, sleeping until 8pm. I went to bed at midnight and then got up at noon today and could have slept into the afternoon.

I went to the visitation for my friend tonight - I drove another friend who isn't very mobile who had also known this friend. I talked to my late friend's husband and apparently she had done a *lot* of traveling all over the place just before she died. She felt worse and worse while traveling and had pains in her liver and was swollen on her abdomen and down her leg. And then she went into the hospital and died. I guess that's how someone could die so suddenly - in this case, maybe it wasn't quite so sudden. At least she was able to do everything that she wanted to do.

On another subject: my teeth hurt. Blah. I wish they'd stop aching, or that there was an effective painkiller for the pain. I'll try Tylenol tonight and see if it works.

Tomorrow: my fall fashion forecast.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

That's enough, really.

I went to a new meditation class today - it was great. I've missed seeing the facilitator and I've missed doing meditations. I find that meditating regularly helps keep me emotionally even and that's definitely something I need.

At the end of the session, I found out that one of the people who had been in my Spirituality and Healing group died yesterday. She was 42 and leaves lots of kids - I know she'd planned to take the younger ones each on a trip and I think she managed to do that before she died. I last saw her in June when we met at the CT scan waiting room and I stayed with her after my scans because she was alone and scared. I knew that things weren't perfect but I'd had no idea that she was on her way out. We weren't great friends but I'm sad that she's gone. There are visitations this week and the funeral is Saturday; I'll definitely try to make it to one of those.

I think that this is the year where I get to really learn how to handle death. I wish the lessons were easier. And over, at least for a while.

The bright spot in the day was receiving my Japanese fabric. It's gorgeous. It's on a natural, not white, background. I can't wait to use it.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Is the cure worse than the disease?

My oncologist called today. The CT scan showed that I have a brain. :) The radiologist said that my scan was normal although my oncologist thinks that there is some damage on the right side. If there is any, it's within normal parameters. It could be that my brain is healing (does the brain heal?) or that it's old damage from my bike accident 17 years ago. My mammogram was also normal, which is a relief.

I told my oncologist about my teeth and she was quite concerned. She's cancelled all my Pamidronates until we figure out what's going on because there is a possibility that my teeth are loose due to osteonecrosis of the jaw, a known side effect of the Pamidronate. She said that I might need to see an oral surgeon and that I might need a biopsy to confirm what's going on. It could be that the loose teeth was caused by my fall - that I ground my teeth really hard or else the fall itself caused problems. On Monday, when my dentist comes back, I'll try to get in to see her right away. My oncologist has asked me to keep her posted about what's going on.

Honestly, talking to my oncologist freaked me out a bit. I was already kind of worried about my teeth but hearing my oncologist's concern worried me even more. I very much hope that the problem is trauma-related, although I'm not sure if my teeth can be fixed due to the Pamidronate. It would suck so much for my cancer treatment to leave with me with something that isn't worse than cancer but is still pretty awful.

I saw another doctor today and at the risk of giving you TMI, he diagnosed me with vaginismus. At least the problems I'd been having aren't due to a physical problem and I don't need surgery. I'd rather not have had this problem in the first place, to be honest, but it can be fixed. Part of the solution might involve psychotherapy of some sort as I suspect that this problem is partly in response to the mets diagnosis and the changes in my life because of that. Not to mention the lack of estrogen, which may have played a role in this in the beginning.

Emotionally, I'd say that today was a pretty rough day. It's hard to hear that this problem is an involuntary response that I've developed over time. I know that this situation isn't my fault but at first that's what I thought - that I had somehow done this, or that I had somehow made this happen. I'm feeling better now after a good talk with Ian. I can also say with some authority that if I didn't have mets, I wouldn't have had this problem. So again my cancer treatment has had side effects that affect my whole life.
I never wanted to have breast cancer or mets and I never really wanted to have the cancer affect my life. The fact is that the cancer and its treatment have or are affecting every aspect of my life and I don't like that. Part of me just wants to hide from the cancer and to compartmentalize it over there. Learning to not do that and to take all of these (and other) side effects of treatment in stride is a goal I have. It's hard not to resent the cancer and the treatments for having changed me and my life completely. I wish that the treatment were like it is in science fiction: nanobots kill off the cancer with no lasting side effects. Wouldn't that be nice?

On to something new

I finished the dress today :) I haven't got pictures of it yet but I hope to have some soon. Now I need another project. I'd wanted to do a dress but it's getting cold and a summer-type dress isn't all that practical just now. Plus I wouldn't be able to use my new fall fabrics :) I was trying to decide what to make, and I'm torn. I think I'll start with pants. I don't have any vintage pants patterns, and I haven't bought any pants patterns, but I have some  in my Burda magazines. I was looking through them today and there are a couple that would work. I want one that doesn't quite go up to my waist and has slimming features - or at least no features that make me look bigger.

Remember the purse I made? The hand-beaded one? I'm going to put it up for sale again. However, before I do, I'm going to replace the lining, zipper, and handle. I've never been happy with the zipper and if I'm taking them apart I may as well take the handle apart as well. So for all of you that didn't love the handle, well, it's going to change.:) I'll have pictures up for you when it's done.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Not your average movies

Last night we watched Triloquist, a movie about a woman, her mute brother, and a ventriloquist's dummy who can talk on his own. They go on a crazy killing spree as they make their way to Las Vegas. The characters - the woman especially - sort of reminded me of the characters in The Devil's Rejects; they're crazy and they do things that make no sense to anyone but them. We enjoyed this movie as it had an unusual premise and it is funny in places. If you like movies of this type, you'll probably like this one.

Today we watched Yo Yo Girl Cop, a Japanese movie about a girl who becomes a yo-yo bearing cop that infiltrates a local school to find out what's going on. We'd expected something sort of light and funny and instead got a darker movie. Still, the movie was pretty good. It seemed to be part of a larger franchise because some things that were said seemed like the audience was supposed to have recognized them. We were right: it's a long-running TV, movie, and manga series. If we had all of them here I'd watch them, so you can take that to mean that we liked it :)

When we weren't watching movies, I managed to get the hand-sewing finished on my dress. Now I just have to sew the hem. I can't believe I'm almost done! It's getting to the point that I'm sick of looking at the dress. I won't have a chance to wear it anytime soon as it's going to be quite cool for the next few days.

We also went for a big long walk today, to the market, then the mall, then the Chapters, and finally home. Of course I ended up with a bit of a sunburn - oops. The walk was great, though. The day was perfect: not too hot and not too cold, with a bit of a breeze.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Errands on a rainy Friday

The building where the breast screening program is located is gorgeous. It's got a great lawn and little gazebo things and stairs and flowers and it smells nice - it had just rained and it smelled like flowers and trees and not pollution. Apparently the building houses people in long-term care, and has a psychiatric long-term care facility, among others. If I had to be put away for psychatric reasons, that would be a good place to be - it's peaceful there.

The mammogram was uneventful. Because we're looking at a particular area, the technician took an extra film of that breast. She also took an extra film of the other breast because she couldn't get a good view with the normal films due to the port on that side. The films are all digital so it didn't take long for her to check them. My oncologist should have results in a week.

Remember I was talking about one of my teeth having shifted? I've been obsessively looking at my teeth and two others seem to be shifting as well. One is the lower incisor (I think) and the other is a back molar. So that's three teeth that have moved. I can also wiggle all three teeth ever so slightly, or at least more than any of the teeth that haven't changed. There is pain when I bite down on the two front teeth and my jaw aches when I bite down on the back tooth. I've had these symptoms for a few weeks and it's only recently that I've been putting them together.

My dentist is out of the office for another week and I'm not sure whether I should be trying to get in to see another dentist before mine gets back. On the one hand, I'm a bit worried because loose teeth (especially when there's any kind of pain) are bad, but on the other, I'd rather see my own dentist. I'd be willing to see Ian's dentist because he knows of the problems with bisphosphonates - but is this enough of an emergency to go to Mississauga? I don't know.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A fun-filled CT scan day

Today's CT scan was uneventful. A CT scan with the contrast injection is so easy - they set up an injection line, you go through the donut, and they give you the contrast via the injection line, and you go through the donut again. The whole thing takes about 15 or 20 minutes (including waiting time). My nurse was weird - she kept calling me things like "honey" and "dear" and "my love". She called other patients these things too but it was still on the weird side.

I asked the nurse where the Freeport Health Center is and she asked me, "when you leave here to go home, which way do you go?" I told her that I went north along Weber and she told me to go south on Weber; when I got to Fairway road, keep going and it's on the left before the bridge. I said, "so it's by Fairview Mall, right?" and she said, "the parking lot is on the left." And then I said, "so it's by Fairview Mall?" and she said, "the entrance is on the left from the parking lot and it's only about 20 steps in." I think it's by Fairview Mall.

The reason that I asked is that tomorrow I get to have a mammogram there and I wasn't sure where the center was. I haven't had one of these in a while but there's a weird thing going on where I had the last biopsy done. There's some kind of thickening there again; we think it's scar tissue from the core needle biopsy. Since it's most likely scar tissue, it's probably not worth doing another biopsy so we'll do the mammogram. Besides, the cancer is more likely to grow in the breast right now since my sternal mets are stable and so doing mammograms is a good idea.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Games night fun

We got to play games with our friends tonight to celebrate one of them being back in town. It was a lot of fun - we played Alhambra with one of the extensions (Wechselstube) and For Sale. I hadn't played For Sale before and I enjoyed it very much. It's fast-moving and easy to understand so everyone could play right away without too much of a learning curve.

I also got to do some sewing today - I've attached the collar and have pinned the neck facing in place. Once I sew that, all I have to do is sew the buttonholes and hem it and it's done. whoo hoo!

Tomorrow I'm the lucky recipient of a CT scan for my head. Remember I fell back in July and gave myself a concussion that took me about two weeks to recover from? My oncologist suggested that it would be good to be sure that I didn't actually do any damage to my head so we're doing a scan tomorrow. I'm actually glad that we're doing this because I've been a little worried about the length of time it took me to recover from the concussion. I'm probably just being a bit of a hypochondriac but I'd rather be sure that there's nothing bad going on in my head.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

No dentist for now

I called my dentist but they're on vacation until September 15th. :( Not that I *want* to see the dentist, really; my sinuses have been aching a bit, making my teeth ache, and I don't really want my dentist poking around in my mouth just now. I'll keep an eye on my front teeth for now. Hopefully they won't shift any more.

I'm getting much better at this whole "getting up in the morning and staying awake all day" thing. I almost never have naps and I've been getting up around 9:30 or 10am and getting to sleep around 11:30pm or midnight. This is great news, as far as I'm concerned, because it means that I can actually do stuff during the day, if I want.

And my pain is totally under control; I don't seem to have breakthrough pain now. The worst that happens is that I can start to go through withdrawl when the pain patches need to be changed. It starts with a woogly back and gets so that most of my skin and muscles end up twitching. Then I get clammy and start to feel anxious and nauseous. Yep. That's opiate withdrawl for you. It sucks, I'll tell you, but it doesn't happen all that often so it's a smallish price to pay to be pain-free.

I am still working on that dress - I've got the collar figured out and cut and I'll hopefully be able to get more done tomorrow. The end is in sight - I can hardly wait!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Happy Labour Day

My two bottom center front teeth have moved. The right one has shifted slightly forward at the center and down (so it appears lower) and the left one has shifted slightly back at the center. I don't remember when it happened but I first noticed it last night. I had braces when I was in my teens and I think I remember that they told me that the front bottom teeth *might* move someday because they are pretty tightly packed there. I just didn't expect it to have happened in the last while. I'll call my dentist in the morning.

We watched the most awful movie this evening: Darkest Hour. We'd looked at it in the video store a couple of times and finally rented it tonight. It's about a group of people who put on a murder mystery weekend for people based on a serial killer in the area during the late '80s. During the game, someone starts really killing the players... in the same way the serial killer used to kill people! The plot isn't awful, but the acting, lines, lighting and camera-work, and sound are terrible. There's a part of the movie where we get to hear the sound mikes bumping against people's clothes. This was loudest when one guy took his shirt off: bump bump bump bumpity bump bump bump thump. Thump. Thump thump bump. Bumpbump.

Don't waste your time with this turkey - it's not even bad enough to be funny.... it's just sad.

The best part of the movie is not the movie at all - it's this article from the filmmaker. I liked this quote the best: "When you take [Government funding] they want to control your film's content. As far as I am concerned... that is unacceptable. The result is a pile of film's [sic] made with tax payer [sic] dollars that are less than spectacular." I guess that makes his movie less than less than spectacular :) Aside from the rampant inappropriate use of apostrophes, it's hilarious that he thinks that this film is good - I can't imagine what the film would have been like had he taken taxpayer money :)

Oh - Project Runway 5 is finally starting here in Canada!!!! Now that it's September, tv shows are coming back. Yay :)