Monday, March 23, 2015

My visit with my new nephew

I just got home yesterday after spending almost two weeks in Manchester with my sister, her husband, and their new baby Warwick. I had a wonderful time; much better than I expected to have.

In the past I've had mixed feelings about babies, including thoughts of irrational rage towards them, and even though I've had quite a bit of therapy to deal with those thoughts and feelings, I was worried that they would resurface. As it turns out, the therapy has done me quite a lot of good, and I didn't have any of those thoughts or feelings. In fact, I loved spending time with Warwick! I loved cuddling him, standing and rocking back and forth, showing him the window (his favourite thing to look at), and snuggling with him while he slept.

In fact, I was happy to take him anytime so that his mom and dad could do stuff like work or shower. I was quite proud of my ability to put him to sleep and read his facial expressions to figure out how to position him so that he was comfortable and could look at something he liked (aka the window). I don't actually think this is a special ability but I'm someone who had never spent any time at all around babies and didn't know much other than to make sure his head was supported when I held him. So anything that resulted in him not crying was a win as far as I'm concerned. And the fact that I could reproduce that win over and over was something I'm proud of.

I really enjoyed spending time with Chris (Vicki's husband) as well, and getting to know him. I'd only met him the one time before, at their wedding, and I didn't really know him. Getting to spend some one-on-one time with him and listening to him talk about the things he was passionate about was a part of the visit that I really enjoyed.

One thing I also noticed while I was there was how completely, utterly comfortable and at home I felt while I was there, both in the city and at my sister's place. The city reminds me very much of Edmonton, where I grew up, at while I was at my sister's flat I felt like I had returned to the familiarity of my childhood - but better, because it was without all the tension and trauma that were the hallmarks of our childhood. It was so comfortable and so warm and so wonderful.

Leaving to come to my actual home was really hard. I felt like I was leaving home, and I'm homesick now. And while I missed Gozer and Ian while I was gone, I wasn't homesick for them the way I usually am when I travel. I'm happy to be home but I feel like I left my other home to come here, if that makes sense.

Now for some pictures of me with Warwick!

Monday, March 02, 2015

My portacath is out

My port-a-cath has been removed, finally. I'd only been using it for bloodwork four times per year at the cancer center and they were balking at doing bloodwork without chemotherapy. I decided to have it removed a few months ago but it took a little while to get the appointment made. It's an elective procedure after all, and there's no rush to do it.

I was nervous beforehand and babbled to anyone who would hear me. Apparently I babble when I'm nervous - who knew? (Ian did) The procedure was straightforward. We started with bloodwork; when it came back about an hour later, I changed into a gown and got on the table. They sanitzed the port area with whatever stuff they use, applied local anaesthetic (which burned, like it always does), and cut through the original scar.

The pulled the catheter part that went up to the neck vein out first. It hurt a bit because apparently after so long - 7 years - scar tissue forms a tube around the catheter tube. That scar tissue broke in places as it was pulled out and that caused an unpleasant tugging, painful sensation.

After the catheter was out it was time to take out the reservoir. That, too, was completely encased in scar tissue. I already knew that because when the port went in, it slid around and it's been stationary over the last few years. It took quite a bit of snipping and tugging and snipping and pulling and snipping and yanking before the thing came out.

It took about half an hour to remove the port and once it was done, I was stitched up with dissolving stitches and sent on my way. Ian took me home and has stayed with me since.

The freezing is only now starting to come out, nearly 8 hours later, and the area is starting to throb and ache. The area by my neck hurts a bit, too. I'm quite tired because being nervous takes up a lot of energy.

Home care will be coming tomorrow and again Friday or Saturday to change the dressing. I can't get the dressing wet until I'm all healed up so I'll have to wash my hair over the tub and take sponge baths.

My oncologist and the nurses all said that I would be able to travel next Monday, which is good because I'm going to Manchester to see my sister and her new son, Warwick, who was born February 8. (surprise!) That's as long as there's no infection or anything - I don't want to go to another country if I'm sick. I don't expect there to be a problem.

2015 Academy Awards Red Carpet

Finally I've finished the red carpet post for the Oscars. The dresses worn to this event weren't as interesting as those worn to the Grammys, probably because this is a much more formal occasion. The Grammys are formal but people attending take more risks with the outfits they wear there, and tend to show off more of their bodies there. Oscar red carpet dresses are a little more staid and subdued (and covered up) in comparison.

There were a whole lot of nude-coloured dresses here: clearly that's a trend that isn't going away. Lace and embellishments are still everywhere, as are metallics. Interestingly, there aren't many black dresses: reds and navies are much more prevalent, after the nude/white/blush trend. Thankfully, the trumpet skirt (which hugs the hips and knees and flares out at the knees) trend appears to be pretty much over, and the strapless trend is also on its way out.  

Anyways, enjoy the dresses after the jump...