final days of normalcy

This past weekend was a weekend of mixed emotions and the harsh realization that it was going to be the last “normal” weekend in mykesworld for a good long time.

DH’s surgery is scheduled for Wednesday morning, so I now have two more days to prepare myself for the inevitable emotional rollercoaster. I am spending as much time with him as I can these days, so I do apologise to my friends for neglecting them over the next couple of days. I will also apologise in advance to my co-workers for being short tempered and distracted.

My distraction was already noticed by a friend who contacted me via twitter after apparently calling out to me as I walked into work:

“@JayTurner901: You must have your headphone in. I called out, “Good morning Myke!” to you twice and you didn’t flinch. Good morning Myke!”

I was busily gathering my thoughts to prepare for the day. I, in fact, haven’t been riding my trike into work these days because I am too distracted to be safe on the road, particularly the streets of Hamilton, where even though there are bike lines, cyclists are often viewed as at the best a distraction and at the worst, a nuisance. Particularly for bus drivers who think nothing of riding rear wheels to force a cyclist out of the lane so they can meet their schedules. Walking is by far the safest healthy alternative for my getting into work – it allows me to focus and center my thoughts and heart, listen to music and just zone out as necessary.

This weekend was interesting indeed, starting out with a quick evening out on Friday, to see some of the art galleries (particularly impressed with Julia Veenstra’s latest works and Lisa Pijuan-Nomura’s latest collages). After a latte at Café Oranje (CG’s incredible business concept, awaiting decision from Hamilton’s bureaucracy regarding a location in a city-managed building) and a visit with Hamilton’s Hipster Artist Hoi Polloi , I met up with AM, NM and some other friends to crawl the Supercrawl. At around 10pm I began feeling overtired and burnt out on people so I decided to head home and be with DH.

DH and I began with our usual Saturday ritual of going to the Ottawa St. Farmer’s Market and Cannon Coffee Company. At the farmer’s market, DH and I picked up our usual staples of bird seed (for the feeders), strawberries (for my lunches) and whatever veggies we required. We then went to the Cannon Coffee Company to have another delicious latte made by Cindy, who also hugged DH, prompting tears from me. After I composed myself and finished my latte and snack, we visited Chris and Sue at Crash Landing to check out their new location (smaller and much more homey feeling) and chat about life, the universe and everything.

More hugs and tears ensued. We walked home and I had a quick lunch before heading out to Supercrawl day two. I was scheduled to meet with one of the organizers of the Hamilton Gay Men’s Chorus to see a performer and also introduce him to some folks in the music and artistic community. We had a lovely afternoon, before he had to meet a friend and I went and did the grocery shopping. Highlights of the afternoon were the B.A. Johnston performance in front of a family crowd (he’s even funnier when he’s forced to perform clean) and hometown legend C.A. Smith performing in front of an appreciative crowd!

After grocery shopping, I was pretty much spent physically and emotionally so DH and I spent the rest of the evening together.

On Sunday, I had church, so I left a wee bit early to head to Café Radius for a pre-church cup of ambition (latte) and to center my thoughts and spirit before singing. The service ran a little long as the minister had decided to put on a show for the visiting congregation however the anthem selected by our choir leader (my boss) was inspiring and fun to sing and his organ introit and postlude were impressive pieces to listen to.

Sunday was also Pagan Pride Day at the city park, close to our home and LCA and JCA were both acting as instructors and vendors at this event. DH had spent the past week assisting them in merchandising and pricing their tent and was also going to person the tent while they taught. I went to be supportive and also visit with various friends in the pagan community and also to shop. It was a pleasant afternoon in the park, although there are various things about the pagan community that just bug me (such as their propensity to smoke, litter and the apparent need for all pagan music to sound like shitty Celtic folk music with thinly veiled lyrics about menstrual cycles) but I won’t get into that here! YET!

We spent a lovely evening at home together and now, I’m at work, with two more days until both our lives drastically change…

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brought up to believe

Life goes from bad to worse
I still choose to live
Find a measure of love and laughter
And another measure to give
– Neil Peart BU2B2

Yup I’ve been quiet for the last little while, then again, I think I’ve had damn good reason. DH continues to prepare for what will be a difficult surgery next week and we had the pre-operative and pre-admission procedures last Thursday. It was a tough day mentally and emotionally for the two of us.

The surgery that DH is having is called a “whipple procedure.” It’s a fairly rare surgery and drastically alters the anatomy of the digestive and endocrine system. Let’s just say, when all is said and done, DH will be left without a bile duct (which connects the liver to his pancreas), a portion of his stomach and one third of the pancreas.

Normally this is a relatively benign surgery, however 1) DH has had a transplant and his anatomy has already been significantly altered and he is also on anti-rejection drugs which prevent his immune system from fighting off infections (and cancer too). 2) DH is diabetic, which puts him in a higher risk of problems during healing and also leaves his pancreas more vulnerable.

This is serious shit here folks, let’s make no bones about it. When he’s done and recovered from the surgery, we’re looking at approximately six months of weekly chemotherapy treatments and then playing the waiting game. During this time, they will be balancing his anti-rejection medications to prevent his body from fighting the transplanted organ while trying to ensure he is no more vulnerable to infection than usual.

So if I’m not steadily updating you with the latest goings on and shenanigans in my life, please do forgive me! I’m sure there will be enough news for everyone next week. In the meantime, I’m trying to keep focused on work, various musical endeavours and trying to keep my shit together so I can be here for DH as well as avoid forgetting to eat and other things.

When the going gets tough, I tend to keep myself busy and occupied – idle minds and hands…you know.

I’d like to thank the following folks who are rather new additions to the mykesworld cast of characters:

AM and NM – for just being there and welcoming DH and I on your porch for needed distractions in addition to good food and drink. I owe the both of you (and Dot and Pixel) mightily!

LCA and JCS – for being good listeners, strong spiritual support and just damn good friends for DH and myself. You have been instrumental in DH keeping his faith and strength flowing and I thank you both for it. You’ve also renewed my faith in the Pagan community as you both have shown me that there are people who are honest and caring, without any hidden agendas. Blessed be!

So that’s life in a nutshell these days, I’ll endeavour to keep things rolling here…I’ll keep radiating positivity because DH needs it and so do I. It’s in short supply around here often.