Monday, March 18, 2019

Off To Victoria, BC

We are off tomorrow morning to Victoria for treatment. Norma will be in the Royal Jubilee Hospital for two weeks. Keep those positive thoughts flowing, they do make a difference!

Great Memories!

Norma's old friend Sharon Prescott came for a visit yesterday and presented Norma with photos of Norma, Sharon. Patrice Pratt and Angie Schira who together were Mike Harcourt's "Back Room Boys" in the BC Provincial election they won so handily for Mike. The photos included a "before" shot taken just after the election and an "after" shot taken four years ago with Mike at a retirement party. The photos and old stories they shared got a lot of smiles out of Norma and it made her day!

*Update: As Angie just reminded me in a phone call, their other name was, "The Spin Witches"!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Good Trip To Victoria

It was a good trip today. We started with a wake-up at 5:30 and ended when we got back at about 4:00. The day was dry, the highways freshly salted and the traffic light so we made good time. Brooks and LindaLee met us when we got there.

We all met with the doctor who outlined everything we knew. Surgery is not an option because everything in there is all tangled together and they would have to cut it up too much and it would come right back. He also ruled out radioactive iodine and Chemo. That leaves radiation as the preferred method of attack. We discussed pain management and Norma's aversion to morphine.

They took her into another room where they made a "mask" to hold her in the proper rigid position while the radiation is applied which looks something like a sci-fi goalie mask. They then gave her an MRI focusing on their areas of concern.

She will be transported to Comox on Thursday for a bone scan and then back to Victoria in 1 1/2 to 2 weeks to start her radiation. We will remain in Victoria for two weeks and it is undetermined where I will stay but it will be either at the Cancer House or at friends. In the meantime they have ordered more biopsies.

This is a very tiring journey for all concerned but our socialized medical system removes any financial strain and for that we are very thankful to be Canadians!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Big Trip Tomorrow!

We are getting ready for the big day at the Victoria Cancer Clinic tomorrow! We leave in the Cancer Van with a driver and a nurse at 6:00 AM, have a two hour meeting and should be back in our room in Campbell River by 6:00 PM. The big treat was Tanya, the Health Care Assistant gave Norma a shower and a hair washing this afternoon! What a great service these people provide and we didn't even know they existed!. I was going to help her myself but this was so much better!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Time To Explain

Some of you know but many of you do not. Norma is in the hospital!

She had some dental surgery on February 1 which was followed by a bad infection in her mouth. This made it hard to swallow and antibiotics were prescribed. The first course did not help and it got worse. This was followed by three more courses, none of which helped. By now she found swallowing very difficult if not impossible and was existing on Boost, juices and other very soft foods. I took her to the doctor and lab tests were ordered. Two days later we went to see the doctor who told her she had passed the lab work with flying colors. He kidneys, liver, lungs were good and her chest x-ray showed clear lungs. She passed the cancer screening blood test. "You are healthy so we just have to deal with the infection. He prescribed a stronger antibiotic and we went home. This was Friday, February 22.

The next morning I was in my office and when I checked on Norma she was passed out on the toilet. I shook her, yelled at her and woke her up. I was helping her back to the bed when she passed out again. I carried her to the bed and called 911.

They arrived and noticed she was severely dehydrated and put her on an IV drip while they transported her. The Emergency Room doctor ordered a scan which showed two "masses" pressing on her swallowing mechanism, blocking the passage. Her breathing passage was fine.

He admitted her and after playing musical beds in our brand new but overcrowded hospital we ended up in a private room with a large couch for me to sleep on.

Many tests, scans, MRI's, biopsies and x-rays followed with some results coming in quickly, some slowly and some we have not seen yet. She was on 24/7 IV drip for many days and soon they put a feeding tube up her nose. This was a difficult job done by her ear, nose and throat specialist because of the problems in her throat.

A couple of days ago this nose tube was replaced with a tube directly into her stomach and is much more comfortable. She is "eating" much more than she ever has. They were feeding her 24/7 for the first two or three days and have now cut her back to 3 "meals" a day. The IV drip has also been removed as she is no longer dehydrated. They are giving her water through the feeding tube every time they flush it. She is much more cheerful now.

Her attitude is so much better now. She refused any type of opium based drug just on general principles and because of unfortunate experiences with both her mother and father. Between the nurses, doctors and I we talked her into trying Dilaudid in a tiny 1 mg dose and it is working! No more severe headaches! She is on that as required (about every 5 - 6 hours.

So far the results are suggesting two kinds of cancer although they are still not sure. Everything has been sent down to the Cancer Clinic in Victoria and on Tuesday Norma, a nurse escort and myself will make the trip down in the Cancer Van for a consultation in Victoria. It is about four hours each way so with a two hour consultation it will be a 10 - 12 hour day. She will be in a bed in the van.

Please send lots of positive thoughts but hold back on the flowers as the room is small with almost no counter space and we have already been asked to remove some of the more odoriferous flowers as other patients and some staff are complaining.

I will keep you all updated but right now she needs a very positive attitude from all her friends (both real and "imaginary" as she calls them) to match her own positive outlook. For Norma this is just another job that needs to be done. She has organized unions, kicked bad politicians out of office and has run campaign to elect good politicians and she has a very good batting average. This is just another windmill for her to tilt!

Friday, March 8, 2019

To all our women friends: Happy March 8, International Women's Day!

Michele Paccione/Shutterstock

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Tioga George

Sad news about Tioga George, our friend and long term mentor for many people in the RVing lifestyle! The following was posted on his blog by (I think) his daughter Johana.

Dear Readers

I'm sure you have been wondering why George has not made a post recently. I have some very sad news to report to you. George passed away last week. As a regular reader, you may have noticed that he had been struggling to complete his truck renovation project. His deteriorating health had been frustrating to him and of increasing concerns to his family and friends, and it finally caught up with him.

George loved his life, solving problems, meeting challenges, and seeking out the next adventure just around the corner. He experienced great joy sharing this on his blog and his readers became like family to him. He is considered the "Grand Daddy" of using the internet to connect with people and sharing his travels. He loved you all, and will be deeply missed by many. Now he is on his last great adventure.

George wished to have as little fuss as possible be made upon his passing so there will be no public service for him. I know that many of you may wish to say goodby, so I am making an effort to open the comment section on his blog so that you may have that opportunity to say a few words about him and communicate with each other.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Home!

Home! In de-stressing mode. This will be an ongoing process! I want a dog. Or a cat.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Make It Simple!

Get your affairs in order folks. Avoid probate if at all possible. In BC it is a 12 to 18 month process if not longer and the only winners are the lawyers!