In A Nutshell….


 

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May the 9th as evolved as rather significant date in my life reaping various challenges upon me.

I’d been successful in selling my condo and was now on the hunt for new digs.

The last few years have been tough in many ways physically, emotionally and its been hard financially as well.

Seven years ago on May 9, 2010 I ran the Sun Run which is a 10 km race in Vancouver. Crossing the finish line had a profound effect on me.  I had also just purchased my first home!

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My focus became my health and well being.  I decided it was time to tackle all the issues that had plagued me for a lifetime.  I got back into running in a big way and decided it was time to dive into my passions and bring them to the forefront.  I pursued writing and photography with a rabid hunger.

For the first time in my life I was really letting myself search my potential and even more so I was building upon it.

A book was in the works, I had joined writing groups, I’d taken a photography class and had found some shutterbugs to roam the streets with.  And I was working on some emotionally deep issues as well.

Emotionally I was sideways for a time.  Dealing with repressed issues was a strange balance between how I was and how I am now and putting them together to become the person I wanted to be.

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People came into my life offering direction and guidance.  And I was actually asking for help, in a round about way.

The introvert was becoming an extrovert.  Still I was pretty rough around the edges.  The emotional aspects were hard to express as I was living through it and not certain about any of it.

As the emotional storm began to settle health issues began to arise.  The first was the heart issue.  I had a stent put in and carried on. I was encouraged to keep running, to keep hitting the gym which I did.  After being on blood thinners for a year and getting the all clear on my health  I decided to treat myself to the BMO 1/2 Marathon.

Halfway through training I began to falter, however, I ran the 1/2 Marathon on May 5, 2013.

Four days later on May 9, 2013 I discovered I had uterine cancer.  So came surgery and treatment.  I worked through all of it, however, my performance at work was impacted as chemo can do a number on you.  Six months after treatment was complete I was terminated and given 5 weeks notice after 5 1/2 years on the job.

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A personality conflict with one of the partners was sited.  The partner in question was a rude, cold individual who commented continually on my shortcomings during cancer treatment. In layman’s terms .  An asshole.

I found another job within 3 weeks.  Better pay and full benefits!

Some things, however, are not as they seem.  While I initially thought this was the job I’d been looking for, it became anything but that.

Working with an antiquated computer system, and this was new industry for me, I walked into the worst mess I’ve seen.  There had been no accountant in the position for 4 months prior.  This had not been disclosed.

The promise of a new computer system that would be implemented within three months of my start date never happened and has still not occurred.

I’m either a fool or a trooper, perhaps a bit of both, but I dove into it, despite the fact that chemo still had me a little foggy.  Perhaps that’s why I jumped in the way I did.

I worked hard.  Really hard.  Too hard.  Rebuilding a company that was in serious relapse with its clients and vendors, restoring the relations necessary to do business in a manner that is balanced and productive.  I worked along side two women who were exceptional and assisted in my efforts in every way.

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In the New Year I headed to Vegas to visit a friend.  A vehicle accident occurred.  My car was totaled.

I thought I’d be fine.  I wasn’t.  As the months passed my neck and back were like a vise.

If my ability to remain focused had been a little challenged before now it was painfully so.  Still I toughed it out.  Didn’t take any time off as felt I could not.  With dogged determination I muscled through.  Working with a DOS based program requires you to think about applications differently as well.

Yet I did.

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I was so close to having the whole thing brought up to date, so close to having all the checks and balances back in place, so close to completing what had at first seemed impossible when I was unceremoniously released from my employment contract.

This I didn’t see coming.

The other major issue for 2015 was the re-piping of my condo building.  Twelve of the forty-seven units lost their hot water for three months.  Mine was one of the units.  The cost escalated to a ridiculous rate.  I cleaned out my RSP and savings to pay for it.

2015 was a year where I felt that I was running up hill the entire year but not really moving.

In 2014 I’d started my own publishing company in early 2015 I’d released my book, however, with the chaos occurring in my life from the accident and the building repairs I thought it might be best to focus on marketing it later.

I’m nothing if not resourceful.  Unable to run or hit the gym…and spending far too much time at physio I thought it may be prudent to build on my public speaking skills.

In effect I had none.  So I joined my local Toastmasters to work on that aspect of self.  2015 was a tough year.  Depression reared its ugly head and as the year closed out I found myself unemployed and feeling desperate.

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I had worked so hard and now it felt like everything was starting to slip away.  I had made some poor decisions.  Shopping sprees that were ongoing for a time.  Purchases of $300 in perfume that kind of thing.  This is simply a reaction, an echo.  It is not who I am.

Still, I found a job.  And I like this one.  I really like it.  The fit is good.

I assessed my situation.  The building was completed, I had my place painted and put it on the market.

And as stated I was successful with the sale and on May 9th, 2016 I found a new place!

A little rough around the edges, like me.  I would make the space a beautiful one.  I would make it a home.

In January I had renewed my mortgage and discussed the plan to sell with my mortgage specialist, who is fabulous.  He set the mortgage up to be  portable.  All was good.

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So when the call came that Canadian Housing Mortgage Corp. had pulled out, that I could not get financing…I spent last Wednesday evening in a very dark place.

What had I done wrong here?   Was I going to lose everything again?

I had never missed a payment.  Never defaulted on anything.  Still I no longer had the safety net of my RSP and my savings had been depleted.

The point of all of this was to regain control of a situation that could well get out of control.

The following day I was resigned to the fact that it would be back to renting. My boss asked how I was doing with everything and I told him it looked liked I would be renting once more.  His response would goad me back into action.  “So…you’re just going to give up?”

Calls were made, bank managers were contacted.  My mortgage guy went back to it and put it on the table.  My realtor got an extension on the subjects being removed.  Again it came as ‘No’ on Friday morning.

Well, that’s it then.  I felt defeated, deflated, abandoned.

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I wanted an explanation.  Not the debt ratio where I was three percent out of what CMHC considered acceptable.  I was not going to go out quietly.

Someone was deciding my fate without knowing how hard I’d worked to get here.  Someone was looking at numbers, nothing more.  Someone who didn’t know the hardships I’ve overcome to get to this point.

I picked up the phone.  Then they at least had to know who they were saying ‘No’ to I decided.

The first fellow tried in vain to curtail my attempts to take this further.

Not once did I swear or raise my voice, though at times the emotions caused me to have a higher pitch. I insisted that I need to speak to a manager and was put on hold, a few times.

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Finally he put me through to Joanne who had been dealing with my file from the get go.  She did not want to talk to me.

I was not about to drag it out, I just wanted her to know what a tough year I’d had and that I was doing the right thing by taking the actions I had.  She spouted privacy laws, she could only speak with the lender, not the person whose life her decision was affecting.

The debt ratio came up.  She had laws to abide by.  Had I broken a law here?  No.  Why was her organization pulling the plug when they had renewed my mortgage for 5 years just a few short months ago?  The debt had been there then as well.  It had been made portable for the very reason we were here today.

And damn!  I’m so proud of how I relayed my message on Friday.  With calm determination I wanted her to know that I was not a number.  I’d made mistakes, yes.  I’d had a tough year, but I’d paid for everything.  I was taking care of everything in a responsible way.  Why was I being cut short here?  You are telling me that a three percentage point is going to alter my life?

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Joanne would tell me nothing due to ‘privacy’ laws.  I requested then that she contact my lender and provide an answer to my inquiries.  I didn’t want to hear about debt ratio.

With the money laundering that is currently going in the real estate market…well, I won’t go there.

I think Kenny cringed a bit when he received the message from Joanne.  She wasn’t happy.  Still this had been an action I’d taken on my own.  Kenny called me.  He was going to try one more thing.

Collectively we held our breathes.

I was so very grateful to my boss and his father for encouraging me not to give up.  I was so thankful that I had the  mortgage and realtor guys that I do in my corner.

At 7:30 pm I got the call.

I was approved.

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I’ve learned a great deal through this experience.  I made many assumptions prior to beginning this exercise of buying and selling.  This time I got my happy ending.

Now begins a new chapter. This time out I am whole, complete.  This time I will reach for the stars and I’ll get there.

Just watch me.

Namaste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Good Medicine!


 

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I’ve been researching medical treatments quite a bit lately.  I know too that I haven’t even scratched the surface regarding some of the things I’ve been looking into.  Of course if you’ve followed this blog of mine you’ll have followed my rise up from a heart procedure through to discovery that I had Uterine Cancer and everything in between and that followed.

So why am I researching all this now when it is seemingly after the fact?

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I really believe there are more humane methods out there, treatments that are more effective and less toxic to the body than the current regime of chemotherapy and radiation.

Having poison pumped through your veins and being exposed to radiation that leaves the area affected to be a wasteland, a dead zone as it were, isn’t conducive to good health.

I recognize that I made bad choices in my youth regarding lifestyle, nutrition and self-care choices.  Many people have and they don’t end up with cancer.

When I was growing up we rarely heard of people with cancer and if we did they were quite old.  I can  now name several people that I know that have gone through cancer or know someone who has or is currently experiencing the machine that pushes you unceremoniously through treatment.  It’s become far too common.

The search for the ever elusive ‘cure’ is ongoing.

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Having now been diagnosed and gone through surgery and the subsequent treatment, I have a very different outlook and opinion on the whole thing.

Fear, unfortunately, played a huge part in my decision making.  And I know, I most definitely know that making decisions based upon scare tactics is never a sound testament to anything.

Still, as much as fear directed my path, I challenged it.

When I was diagnosed, as is my nature, I began to research this thing that had invaded my body.  Uterine cancer results from an over abundance of the female hormone, Estrogen which can create an imbalance thus causing  endometrial cancer (aka uterine).

My first thought when I read this was what occurred as menopause set upon me.  I initially had a two month menstrual cycle that resulted in very heavy bleeding.  I’d never had any issues with my monthly cycle…ever.  As my physical body began this transition, however, that was the precursor to major discomforts.  Hot flashes left me looking like I’d taken a shower within a few minutes.

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Hormone therapy was suggested by my doctor and I rejected it outright.  In my mind, women have been going through this natural aspect of their life cycle since the dawn of our species.  I did go for acupuncture which balanced the hot flashes out and they were not quite so severe.

It was, by all accounts, a discomfort.  Nothing more.

Flash forward to my diagnosis and seemingly endless meetings and appointments with various oncologists over a short period of time and as I offered up information regarding my suspicions of when this may have begun, I was always duly dismissed and told the information I was providing was irrelevant.

Really?  How can they say this?

Perhaps we need to look at what may in fact be causing the rise in cancers.  Two factors that I immediately considered are:

  • DIET
  • TECHNOLOGY

The North American diet is a variety of what I consider non-food.  Prepackaged goods soaked in sodium, modified nibbles made of oils and fats.  Then we have the zero calorie soda pops out there.  The packages of food that scream zero Trans fat, Gluten Free!  For some gluten is an issue.  For the majority of us, however, it is not an issue.

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That roast beef your are eating may have come from a cow that was shot full of drugs and hormones to make it grow faster and do we know the impact this has on our system?  Sadly, no we don’t.

So think about the things that cows produce other than just a roast or a hamburger.   What about milk?  A main staple for our children.

Then we have our non-foods.  Take margarine for example.  It is one molecule away from being a plastic.  if you leave it out…it won’t go bad.  And bugs steer clear of margarine as well.

We may not be fond of bugs, flies and the like, but if they are interested in what your are eating then its a chance the food being consumed is good.  I remember reading a book a few years ago.  It was about the 100 mile diet.  This basically encourages us to eat locally and within a 100 mile radius from where we live.

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He had a Twinkie on his desk for two years.  It never went bad, nothing ever crawled on it and it was still spongy.

Many us have now heard that these big food manufacturing places have in fact put additives in the food to affect our brain as well.  Some of these additives were designed to dull the sensory that tells us we are full, hence, we eat more.  Then we crave the food.  Wanting more.  A little suspicious, yes?

And this is just a small example of the whole food issue.

Then we come to technology.  Do we know how damaging all the unseen forms of energy are that now pollute our air space?  We’ve heard the stories of women who carried their cell phones in their bra (I can’t imagine why someone would do this), and ended up with cancerous tumours the same shape as the cell phone.

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Perhaps the most alarming rise in cancer is in our young people. Hell, I was 55 years old when diagnosed.  Now it seems that younger people, seemingly healthy individuals are ending with this insipid disease.

Yet the Cancer Agency does not do any background studies.  Even the side that came over and wanted me to participate in a study, which I did for a time. I though certainly they would want to see if they could find the correlation as to how these illness’ manifest themselves.

I’m someone who asks questions.  I’m curious by nature.  As I traversed through the cancer odyssey, I became increasingly despondent to the point where I realized that to these people I was another test subject…another number on the conveyor belt of treatment.   Oh, I have no doubt they believe very strongly in what it is they are doing. They are trained to remove themselves emotionally though.

And I get it.  But sometimes it was absolutely maddening!

I’m at my checkup.

“I’m depressed.”

“Would you like some medication for that?  Are you thinking of hurting yourself?”

“No.  I’m not going to hurt myself and I don’t want medication.”  

Having researched the benefit of Phoenix Tears (hemp oil with THC) to manage pain, I took the form in for medical cannabis and they refused to sign it.

My family doctor did though.

Trying to initiate a conversation regarding this with the oncologist fell on deaf ears.  I’d have been far more appreciative had they stated they would not sign the document as they did not know enough about the substance.

Instead I was lectured about “snake oil salesmen who would sell me useless and ineffective treatments for thousands of dollars.”  The doctors’ did not address what I was inquiring about and simply dismissed it.

I did get the Phoenix Tears by the way.  It was $80 per gram.   It worked beautifully at offsetting the effects of Chemo…with no side effects.  This was in fact cheaper than the prescription drugs I’d been offered.

Where am I going with all this?

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I’m going back to the beginning of medicine.  The trials and the errors.  The remedies that were passed down through the ages.  With the invention of the printing press common remedies could now be written down and shared on a massive scale.

Medicine was no longer passed down in a sometimes mysterious manner.  And as medicine became mainstream, doctors began to experiment and pharmacology was born as a result.

Influenza, small pox, tuberculousis (a.k.a. consumption), measles, mumps, polio, etc. were  major illnesses back in the day.

Now that humans were living in cities and more confined areas, these illnesses had an incredibly devastating effect.

And science was looking at where these diseases came from.  Yellow fever for example, from mosquitoes.  Indeed, it’s amazing was we can contract from so small an insect and still can.

Hygiene was certainly another issue regarding sickness.  London, at one time, burnt an awful lot of coal that subsequently harvested many lung and breathing issues.

It is safe to say, that we’ve learned much by trial and error.

And here we are today with children who are increasingly asthmatic.  Why do you think that is?

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We’ve become a nation of germ-a-phobes!  Everything around our children is now sterilized and cleaned beyond the pale.

Our poor little darlings are not building up an adequate immune system as a result.

To the new parents out there, let your children eat dirt (a.k.a. mud pies).  Let them sample a worm or two or any other bug for that matter.  Let them go outside and get dirty!  These are the things that will assist in their the construction of their immune system.

Over 16,000 Americans alone die from an overdose of Tylenol and Advil every year!

The majority of synthetic drugs (pharmaceuticals) are designed to mask or reduce the pain threshold, therefore making us feel ‘better’.

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Advil I recently learned should never be taken if you suffer from high blood pressure. Guess what?  Doesn’t say any of that on the bottle.  Again, look into what these do overall.  It’s fine to take a pain reliever once in a while but overuse can kill you.

We trust so easily in those we believe to be the ‘experts’.

Please, ask questions.  It’s just good medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Heart of the Matter


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Sunset as viewed from Burrard St. Bridge, Aug 1, 2015

I’ve been rather absent from this forum over the last few weeks, I know.  Much has been going on and at this moment I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and exhausted by all of it.

A few weeks back on a Friday evening I went for dinner and tapped out a heartfelt blog post.  I expressed all the issues that I’ve been faced with and how I was trying to deal.
Upon finishing my dinner, close to 1,000 words had been tapped out. I proofed it and then just like that…it disappeared.  I’m not certain if I hit something in error but my writings were gone.  I would later notice that the ‘move to trash’ key was right next to ‘publish’.

It wasn’t in trash either so perhaps it was moved there then later through my fumbling, was erased for good.

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I took a deep breath and released an agonizing sigh.

Later in the evening I tried to reproduce what I’d penned earlier but this was unsuccessful. My heart just wasn’t in it and I was exhausted.
It is now Sunday evening and I’m just chillin’
In the morning I have to go in for day one of the nuclear test on my heart. I’ve had this test done before and for the life of me I cannot remember what was done.
Day one is 4-6 hours in length. Day 2 is about 3 hours.

I am praying that everything is okay.

The other development has been the building I live in. I had to come up with a big chunk of money for the re-piping and restoration that has been ongoing since mid-March of this year.

Once the work is done I’ve conceded that I’ll have to sell. I want to get my bills paid down and in a perfect world I’ll just have a mortgage payment and few utility bills each month.

I’m still in physio and active rehab for the back injury I sustained in the vehicle accident back in January as well. Yes, I’ve been a little stressed with everything but at the end of the day I’m grateful for the health care that is available to me and that I have a bit of wiggle room financially.

The second portion of this year will be about resolution. Problems have come up and remedies are being applied as we speak.  I’d hoped to be more proactive with the publishing company I started and promoting the book I’ve written and released.

All in good time I suppose.

Sleep has been elusive these last few weeks as well.

I have concocted a plan and need to execute it now.

Test Day No. 1 – Monday, July 27, 2015

Having fasted yesterday as per the hospitals instructions, no caffeine for 24 hours, no food for 12 hours, and no bra.  I’ve just finished the treadmill part of this.  The girls (a.k.a. boobs) thought they were flying!  I’ve had this talk with them before but hell why should I spoil their fun?  Let ’em think they’ve got wings for a few minutes.

The good doctor and medical staff wired me up and put me on the treadmill for 10 minutes. The heart rate needs to get up to 95 beats per minute then they shot me full of a radioactive dye. They continued increasing the grade and speed. If you hit the 150 beats per minute before the 10 minute mark, then they’ll stop at that point.

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Happily I was on for the duration.

I’m now in the hospital cafeteria enjoying a coffee and breakfast before continuing on with the imaging portion of the test.

In March of this year when I went for my annual stress test, I experienced major back pain due to the car accident, which had occurred just seven weeks prior. I was not able to complete the treadmill test.

This heart of mine is still beating. It’s intimidating as hell having to go through these tests yet again. The last few years have been tough and I’ve fought through so much fear with all of this. I’m in a head space now where if its broke, we’ll fix it.

It is a beautiful outside on this Monday morning. Cotton puff clouds dot a pale blue summer sky. There is no wind to speak of

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There is much to be done in the next few months. No wallowing allowed!

Time to get back on track and take my life back and to the next level.

I’ve got books to write and publish. I’ve got an empire to build honouring the written word.  There will be moments to capture with my camera as well.  I’ve got races to run and a world to explore. Let’s polish up this ol’ heart of mine and keep the ticker tickin’!

How do you mend a broken heart?  With love and tenderness and a stent or two.

Test Day No. 2 – Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I had to more or less repeat the fasting regiment, mind you its only been a 12 hour imposition this time out.

I’ve been injected with the radioactive dye once more. Soon everything will taste like metal and if yesterday is any indication, I’ll be a little headachy.

I had to go into work yesterday after testing as payroll needed to get done. Today I’ll just go home and rest up.

One of my co-workers suggested that I may end up with superpowers as a result of being filled up with radioactive dye.

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An image of a Spiderwoman character came to mind but it was a comical one.
It certainly wasn’t a sleek looking superhero.

No. My Spiderwoman has a fear of heights and a taste for craft beer and oysters!

Could be a fun concept though.  Hmmm!

And it’s done now.  Time to go back to the drawing board and get down to the heart of the matter.

Namaste.

 

Back In Training: Week Eight & Nine: To the One I Love


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Now that the holiday season has passed it’s time to pick up where I left off. I have three more sessions with my trainer.

Time to introduce that ol’ love of mine running back into the mix.

The last few days on the job I’ve been jump starting all the neurons that were firing on all cylinders prior to the Christmas break. All of us at the office have been winding up slowly.

The new running clinic at The Right Shoe began this evening and it was time to get back to it. I’m feeling so much stronger than I was just three months back. I was feeling a little anxious hoping that the run would ‘feel’ good.

The rain had let up and we had a lovely cool winter evening to greet us as we assembled for our run.

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This is the start of my sixth year with this group. Let me tell you, it felt like coming home tonight. Warm greetings and hugs were exchanged. Jennifer is still running with just six weeks left in her pregnancy.

Angie was in Ontario over the holidays and Siobhan was in Montreal.

Klaus got a cold for Christmas and his wife got the flu. Not the kind of gifts one wants.

Lara, our run leader was just glowing. Always with a welcoming smile she greeted all the newbies and of course us lifers.

I’m starting back at the beginning. I’ll rebuild just as I’ve done with my core strength.

I had a fabulous run! The heaviness I was feeling in my lower abdomen before is gone now. Oh, I’ve a long way to go before I’m back to my previous performance level, but this was a huge improvement from a few months ago.

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I chatted with a few members after our run and then I had to leave. The tears were starting to come. The sweet emotions that were washing over me, the gratitude, the joy, and just how blessed I felt in that moment.

I didn’t want people to think I was upset, as I wasn’t. I love everyone in this group.

When I first started running with them I was huge! And I was still quite introverted and a wee bit shy.

I can tell you that I felt so out of place at first. I can also tell you that my discomfort was of my own making.

Everyone in this group made it a point to encourage me to keep it up. One of the first times we went up to Eric Hamber to train on the track, it took me close to four minutes for just one lap.

Yet every time another member ran past me they offered up words of encouragement and playfully teased that I’d be running circles around them soon.

And as I got in my car tonight it struck me then. This is where the big shift in my life started. The tears fell freely now. Five years ago I joined this group to train for my first Sun Run and crossing that finish line opened a whole new world to me

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I had choices revealed on that day that had always just been wishful thinking and was challenged to make them a reality. And I am.

Peace.

Back in Training: Week Seven, The Christmas Week


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I’ve worked out a few times leading up to Christmas.  I worked out good and hard too!  On the 23rd I was at the gym getting my sweat on.

Time for the Christmas confessional.  I’ve imbibed a wee bit.  I’ve consumed some beer and wine over the past few days.

On the 24th at noon my boss tossed a couple of growlers up on the table and along with the rest of the staff I raised a pint to toast the season.

For the most part I’ve been quite good with not over indulging in the food area of the holidays as well.  Mind you a pizza recently visited my life as well.  I’ll man-up about this though.  I was simply too damn lazy to cook.

This occurred on the 26th.  I drove a great deal that day you see.

I visited with my sister who lives about a one hour drive away.

And as I left I went about my second task of the day which was to replace my T.V.

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I’ve had the current television for close to 15 years.  It is just the third T.V. I’ve owned in my life and still worked just fine, however, with the new technology my unit kept losing the signal.  The technicians, who were are very pleasant and based out of Guatemala did their best to assist.

The problem still persisted.  I pondered on the fact that perhaps my old tube T.V. just couldn’t translate the information adequately. I had been advised that if a technician was sent to my home and the problem was my ‘fault’ then the cost would fall to me.

Odd, yes?  I haven’t touched anything behind my T.V. other than to clean in the last 5 years.  In any case I considered what my response would be if I was informed that my T.V. was too old for the technology.

I decided that perhaps it was time to purchase a new T.V. rather than possibly causing bodily harm to a technician.

I did my homework on the Boxing Day offerings.  Had my budget set out and decided that Visions Electronics had the most lucrative deals.  Next was to find a location that would not be inundated by the masses.  In other words, I had to find a store location that was not attached to a godforsaken mall.

I decided upon the store location on Marine Drive and as I arrived it was as I suspected busy but not unreasonably so.

A young store clerk showed me my options and I asked a series of questions then I told him I would like consider my options and he left me alone. I read the fine print and half hour later waltzed out of the store with a 40″ Hisense LED Smart TV at a cost of $350.00.

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Yay!  I had met my objective.

I headed home with my purchase.  I passed the lineup on the Queensborough Bridge.  The outlet mall on Queensborough Landing was just insane as cars were lined up for miles trying to access the stores.

I was really hungry at this point so I dropped the T.V. off then headed out to grab a quick bite.  And as I consumed my meal it occurred to me that I have a ‘Smart’ phone that still confounds me on many fronts.

Now, admittedly, I really only require the basics of talking and texting from my phone.  There are a plethora of apps available to me of this I’m assured, but they hold no appeal to me personally.

They don’t really make phones with just basic functions any longer.  Still there are those moments when I’ll push something I ought not to have and the damn thing won’t do what I want.

Bloody hell!

And it is in these moments that I feel very foolish and not particularly intelligent.

For example shortly after I had purchased this smart technology, I was certain I’d found a ‘lemon’ as it was now frozen.  I went back to London Drugs and expressed my dismay to the clerk.

With a slide of his finger and an apologetic smile on his face the clerk handed the phone back to me.

I had inadvertently locked the phone.

I have this affliction though.  When it comes to directions I glance at them then launch into whatever it is I am trying to accomplish.

Why I have this idea in my head that I should know what I’m doing without the benefit of being guided by the directions that have been so thoughtfully included, well I wish I had an answer to this.

I paid the bill and headed back to my homestead to get this technological wonder up and running.

So let me ask you this.  Having just made the confession I did, do you think I read the directions prior to embarking on this task?

After all I only wanted to plug it in and ensure that it did in fact work.  How difficult could this be?

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Welcome to the episodic adventures of ‘The Dumb Blond Meets the Smart TV.’

First I had to unhook the old T.V. and this proved to be a challenge. I needed a wrench to loosen the cable that was screwed in tightly to the back of the set.  Then I pulled the cumbersome beast off onto a sheet I’d placed on the floor so that I could pull it out of the way without scraping up the floor.

Next I removed parts from the box.  The stand seemed to require screws and after a brief search that lasted a nanosecond I was convinced that his puppy snapped together like Lego as I could not find any screws.

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(Queue the music…the theme from Pyscho or Jaws will do)

Note to self:  It would have been very beneficial to have read the directions at this point.

They did in fact kinda sorta snap together.

So I crawled in behind the T.V. and began plugging in various coloured cables into various coloured plugins.

The flashlight was directed at the plugins and the batteries were fading fast. The object was so that I could see which colour I was inputing and damned if I could find a yellow plugin for the yellow cable. Briefly I wondered at their various designations.  It was at this point as I poked about the back that the T.V. that it fell forward onto the floor.

I gasped in horror as my mind immediately began trying to make excuses to trade this back to the store with no additional cost to me.  Now just how pathetic is that?

Gingerly I lifted it up and it appeared fine. My smart T.V. had just survived its first test of having me as the owner.  Laying the screen down gently I walked back over to the stuff strewn across my sofa.  There an image glared at me depicting screws going into the holes on the stand.  A few moments later said screws were located.

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I now had everything secured and hopefully plugged in correctly.

Several buttons ran down the side of the screen and I noted the power button and with baited breath pushed it.

A red light came on and I felt a small wave of triumph wash over me.  The word ‘HISENSE’ appeared on the screen in a lovely shade of light turquoise.

A tentative sense of relief slipped in.  I’d not broken it!

Now it asked me my language preference and where I lived.  It asked my provider and my password and that is as far as we got. It kept looping back.

Maybe I did damage it I thought in despair.  Would I not be able to watch a show?

I gazed down at the remote and pressed the button that said TV on it.  We had contact, baby!

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Brightly coloured people appeared on the screen unusually short and wide much to my delight.  I played with the settings and managed to get them looking fairly normal.

And the manual sat before me taunting me.  Yes, I will read it.  Just not at that moment.

My home once again resembled a war zone. I stared at my kitchen and loathed the idea of cooking.  I had tested my mental acuteness and the idea of cooking just seemed a rather exhausting task, hence, I invited a Pizza into my home.

As I nibbled on the cheesy goodness and watched ‘True Grit” on the Tele, I assured myself that I would go for a run in the morning.

At 7:00 AM I woke to the sound of rain falling outside.

People, I ran in my heart!  Truly I would have but hey, this induction back into running in the dark of morning just can’t begin with a torrential rainfall in the mix.

But yes, it is time to hit the gym and get back to training in earnest.

I had a lovely celebration with my daughter and her boyfriend.  My daughter cooked her first Turkey dinner.  She was insistent from the outset to do all of this on her own with no assistance from moi.

I smiled in pleasure as she swore like a banshee as she tried to extract the food she’d stuffed into her too small apartment oven.  In the end everything was delightfully delicious.

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This was a great Christmas.  The last few years I’ve felt the strains of battle.  The continuous fight with depression, issues with my heart and the battle with cancer.  The residue effect has been felt over the last few Christmas seasons but always I’ve been with those that I love dearly and for that I am so blessed!

This Christmas I felt as though we’d come through that darkness and a promise is beckoning.  I just have to stop and read the directions.

I am rebuilding and I’m back on track.

On the morrow I have my reading tasks set out.  Not too sure still why I feel I should know that which I do not.  Perhaps I’m simply human after all.

Cheers!

Back In Training: Week Six: Oh, the Pain!


 

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As I write this my posterior has seized up and my abs feel like I’ve laughed incredibly hard for the last 24 hours!

I am in pain.

Tamer stepped things up yesterday.  She pushed me a little harder, a little further.

Have I mentioned that I’m in pain?

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I told my daughter this in a conversation today and she chuckled and said ‘Good!  Your trainer is doing her job!”

No sympathy, none!  Oye!

I guess I thought that this part of my anatomy was in better shape and of course I’ve had yet another rude awakening.

These new exercises will now be incorporated into the mix as I formulate some new routines for the gym workouts.  The goal right now is to put together four workouts combining the exercises Tamer has given me.  In some cases I will use certain exercises during each workout, for example the T-Rex.  Not too sure why these straps tacked up against the wall are called this but they are great for upper body strengthening.  Perhaps in a week I  will make the attempt at trying to do a pull up from 90 degrees once again.

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I’ve been feeling a little rickety and tired as well.  There have been all kinds of flu bugs making the rounds and I’m not very hospitable when it comes to the flu/cold thing.

Sleep is what the body has been craving and I have obliged it.  Still, I’ll wake after a great night’s sleep and find it hard to stay awake.

I am sitting at my desk these days resembling a bobble head of sorts.  This morning I feel so much better!

And the homestead once again has the appearance of a war zone.  This time with wrapping paper, gifts, cards and ribbon strewn about the place.  In a couple of months time I will be 57 years of age.  I would like to be in the best health of my life and a month into training for the 1/2 Marathon in May 2015.  It is the holiday season and I’ve attended about four social events thus far.  Still have a few more to attend and then the big day itself.

It was a delight to drop off the gifts at BC Children’s Hospital.  This was right after my trainer had worked my behind off!  The pain had not yet settled in.

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Shortly after writing the last sentence, I fell asleep on the sofa. Flash forward and it is now Friday evening at 7:51 PM! And no, I didn’t sleep for the entire week!  🙂

This week has been just crazy.  I’m trying to keep things organized as I morph into the persona of Christmas geek.  Oh yes! I love this time of year.  Chocolates, cookies and cards have been given to all the people I work with.  All the cards have now been mailed.  My homestead once a ware zone now looks like a mad woman tried to wrap the interior of it and all the contents.

Photographs, gifts, scissors, tape, gift bags and tags and cards that have been purchased and not used from years past are now strewn across every available surface.

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I was at the gym tonight getting in yet another kick ass workout and opted to step out for a nibble as I must go back to the insanity that awaits me and clean it up.

Most of the Christmas gatherings are now in the bag so to speak.  We are going to go to Bright Nights at Stanley Park on Sunday then I’m off to the bi-annual solstice party!  And I’ve much to be thankful for.

A year ago I wrote on a piece of paper how I wanted to be rid of the cancer, the poor health issues and of the fear.  No more setbacks.  No more tears.  Then I tossed it into the fire and released it.  I had jotted down on a second sheet of paper what I hoped 2014 would bring.

Progress in my growth as a writer and to publish my first book.  A more rewarding position as an accountant.  I wanted to continue to grow as an individual, to give back, to live humbly.  I wanted to continue working toward being a more loving and gentle being and a healthy one at that.

I then tossed that into the fire.

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And I’ve certainly been making progress on all those points.  It is an ongoing thing though.  I know I will never wake up one day and feel that I’ve fulfilled every goal.

For every success or accomplishment, while I can quietly enjoy their purpose, I know that their completion opens up a host of new ideas and challenges to be explored.

What do I want for Christmas?  Just to enjoy the company and love of friends and family.  It really is that simple for me.  If I can make someone smile in delight on Christmas morning that is the ultimate gift.

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And when someone says those three simple words (I Love You) and means them then I know I am truly blessed.

Have a great weekend all and I’ll be back soon bitching and squawking about the terrors of my trainer!

Peace out.

 

 

Back In Training: Week Five – The Blood, Sweat and Glory!


 

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A close up shot of my tree 

Okay, okay!  The title is a tad dramatic I’ll admit.  But what a fabulous day!  I hustled down for my training session in a down pour.  That’s cool. I’ve got nothing against rain.  Pulling the hood up on my windbreaker I found myself joining a throng of people heading downtown.

New Westminster’s Santa Claus parade was on. I think it is the smallest parade ever.  All of four blocks in length and if you’re not careful, you’ll miss it.  Still the residents of New Westminster gather up their children and head down the hill to take in the festivities.

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My Christmas Tree 2014!

I cut in to my trainer’s establishment a block down the hill.  I’ve been kicking it at the gym.  I have not been able to do much here at home as the Christmas decorations have inhabited the living floor over this last week.  I will remedy that today.

Still, I’ve been pushing myself.  For the Level Two fitness I will be required to do some pull ups on the T-Rex at a 90 degree angle.  Well I’ve done 45 and 60 degrees so Friday evening I decided to try at 90 degree.

Other than grunting really loudly I don’t think I moved!  I certainly stayed at 90 degrees and perhaps my arms got a little longer as they stretched out before me. I was a delightful sweaty mess by the time Tamer had finished with me.

After five weeks I am down almost 5 lbs. Keep in mind, however, that by choice I don’t know what my weight is.  Further more I don’t want to know as I find this aspect rather depressing at times.  And it can detract and dampen an individual’s actual achievements.  The numbers that matter to me are the inches that are coming off.

Drum roll please!  After five weeks I’ve taken off almost 2 inches in my arms, 1 1/2 in my hips, 1 1/2 in my thighs, 3 around the belly button and 4 inches off the waist!  Yay!

The boobs are the same but then the girls can be a little stubborn at times.  They’ll eventually get on board.  This is a great start which will motivate me to push that much harder.  And you know, these little moments of glory are what drive me.  I am feeling tighter everywhere.  The energy that I had prior to all of this cancer stuff is building back up.

As I left I didn’t bother with the hood on my jacket.  I just let the rain fall on me and relished every moment.

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Giant Raindrop next to Canada Place, downtown Vancouver, BC

I’m sleeping deeply again!  For several months I found myself waking up continually throughout the night.  There were several evenings that I found sleep to be rather elusive.

I do have to go for a few more tests.  The good ol’ mammogram.  Oye!  Me and the girls aren’t particularly happy with this test.  Turning the breast into a pancake isn’t as pleasant as it sounds.   The technician will smile sympathetically and tell you that there will be a ‘little discomfort’ and you’re not supposed to breathe or move.

No worries there.  I am incapable of doing either while I am attached to the machine.  Of course, then one must wait to ensure that an adequate x-ray was taken.  Still, you get older and it’s necessary to check and make sure everything is as it should be.  Finding medical issues in advance before they become a major problem is highly desirable.

I’ve heard it mentioned many times about people who find they are having symptoms and yet they do nothing.  Perhaps they are scared.  It is frightening when you know something is amiss.  Best to deal with whatever it may be as swiftly as possible though.

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Lego Whale by Douglas Coupland at Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre

My upper body is pathetically weak at the moment so I’ll have to take a page out of Popeye’s handbook and ‘eats me Spinach’ and gets me to pump it up!

I just visualized myself with a corn-cob pipe hanging out of my mouth and a tattoo of an anchor on my chest!  Scary!

Still that would be fun character, would it not?  Oh wait…wasn’t that Alice the Goon?

I have the hockey game on and I do believe the Vancouver Canucks are getting smoked by the Toronto Maple Leafs!  Oh the horror!  The horror!  I just checked and with 8 minutes left in the game we are down 4 to 2.  Boo! Hiss!

The reason I didn’t know the actual score is that I am in my office and the game is being broadcast in Punjabi.  Rather fun listening to it and trying to guess if we scored as the guys get really excited but I think they are from Toronto and want the Leafs to win.  Boo! Hiss! yet again.

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I will leave now and assemble the rest of the decorations then head out to perhaps do a wee bit of Ye Olde Christmas shopping!

Have a fabulous night!

Namaste!