Monday, April 7, 2014


When I was pregnant the first time, I had only a few days off work before I delivered Stella unto thee. I took advantage of the time by becoming the stereotypical nester without all the adorableness. I lugged 75 lb bookcases downstairs by hoisting them on my strong Italian back, I cleaned out under the kitchen sink so I had just the right amount of poisonous materials to prepare for baby, and I picked fights with landscapers and linecutters, being sure to point at my belly if I got any guff.

I've been off work for a week now and am still waiting for my first chemo appointment to be set, but I'm in full-on nesting mode again.

Until you've been faced with some kind of extended leave from an all-consuming job, it's hard to understand what it does to your mind. I become a different person as life takes over. I like things I didn't always enjoy before and get baffled over why I used to be so cranky about them.

Like hanging out with my kids (don't judge, they're not always a barrel of fucking laughs).

Or gardening.

I'm also trying to cram a few mindless things in while I wait. Like finally watching Game of Thrones so I can consume season four simultaneously with my boy, memorizing the Jay Z part of Empire State of Mind so I can embarrass Stella when she's a teenager, or taking endless selfies of my hair before it all goes away again.

I've been cramming a bunch of healthy habits into my days, too, to try to establish a good pattern for my new life and balance all the coke-snorting and human trafficking.

I paid the $450 and joined Inspire Health. I even went to a dreaded info session and hung out with two older gents who were battling esophageal cancer and slow-moving prostate cancer (smug bastard) as we learned a bunch of shit about how the BC Cancer Agency treats the tumour and Inspire Health treats the whole person. Their philosophy marries science with self-care and is fantastically prescriptive with how to go about making the right life changes. And their pithy quote? Don't deny the diagnosis, just defy the verdict. You had me at hello.

I spent some glorious, uninterrupted time with my boyfriend, eating vegetarian from food trucks (btw deep-fried avocado is the stuff of dreams) and dithering about town hither and yon.

We decided to talk to a tattoo artist who was recommended by Bif Naked and who's married to a rather awesome sounding woman who has just gone through treatment herself. After the awkward cold open of "what exactly is involved in getting a... er... tattoo?" we talked about cancer, infection and joint tats and he was just so lovely. It sounds completely stupid and if he read this he'd be all "that's messed up, dude", but those five minutes in the parlour (do you still call it a parlour?) were a bit magical. You do get moments like those when you're going through shit and looking for bright spots.

The nesting continues this week, but now it's conjoined with cancer stuff.

I'm meeting my parents for brunch today and then picking up my anti-nausea drugs. I'm making use of the gym membership I bought, but between appointments with a radiation oncologist, general surgeon and cardiologist. And then there's the blessed chemo, whenever that comes.

I'm as prepared as I can be and feeling relatively de-stressed, but don't send any landscapers or linecutters my way. Or rather, wait until I'm bald so I have something germane to point to while I go off on them.


  1. Do you mean your parents make you nauseous? LOL

  2. You are a fantastic entertaining writer through it all! Love it strong lady!