Tuesday, October 15, 2019

HaPpY ThaNKsGivIng

I am so thankful.

So very thankful.

That I didn't amputate my arm on Thursday night.

Pain level had made it's way to 10/10 and I was so done with it.

Earlier that day I'd been to my doc's for an emergency visit. Because, uh. PAIN. I was unable to move my left arm. For serious. NO MOVEMENT AT ALL.

Dr. M had me stand and lift my arm out to the side. I was able to lift it one inch away from my hip and then I couldn't breathe. He asked me to move it forward and again, just an inch. My arm was stuck. And the pain was radiating out in throbs and bolts.

He pressed on my AC joint and said, "Does this hurt?"
Me: "Yes." "I mean, YES."

He: OK, what'll I do is inject some local freezing into the joint, which'll stop the pain for now and allow you to move again. Then I'll inject that same joint with cortisone, and you'll be right as rain.

Me, as he's injecting freezing into the pointy joint (right on the top of my shoulder): Alright. OW. That stings.

Him: Let's give it a minute and you should be able to swing your arms around like this. (He swings his arms around.)

Me, after 2 minutes: I can't move.

Him: Hmmm. Maybe it's a different joint. Does this hurt? (As he presses his thumb into a joint on my shoulder blade).

Me: Hell yeah. OWWWW.

Him: OK, I'll just put this freezing into this joint back here and th

Me: OW OW OW OW OW. Hey. I'd rather have another tumor removed that have you poking needles into that joint OWWWWWWWW

Him: Ok, Just about finished, you should feel fi

Me: I can't hear you. And the room is going all white and sparkly...

Him: We need to lie you downnnn

I came to, lying on the examining table, with a shoulder that was freaking out in pain. I felt like throwing up.

Him: OK. We won't do that again. Here's a requisition for Xrays. Let's see what's going on in there. Maybe arthritis?

Me: My shoulder hurts.

Him: I know. It's a shame.

Also me: Dear God. Please not arthritis. I've seen close up what arthritis is like, and I would prefer not to go down that road. Thank you for considering this request. Amen. (I've lived with my mom for 6 years, and her constant arthritic pain has decreased her mobility drastically. If this is the level of pain she's been enduring daily I don't know how she functions.)

I went for X-rays and was told it could take up to two weeks to get the results over to my doctor (who's office is right across the parking lot...) but this is my life these days: appointments, procedures and waiting for results. While trying to work full-time.

By midnight that night, I was sobbing. Wailing. The act of breathing was making my shoulder move into and outof the socket. The beats of my heart coincided with the throbs shooting down my arm. I was in distress. And I would never be able to lift my grandchild out of it's crib. I would never be able to put my hair in a pony tail again. I would never be able to go for a walk, holding my camera in one hand and my phone in the other. I was trying to think of how I could be thankful in the moment. And all I could say was THANK YOU GOD THAT THIS ISN'T MY RIGHT SHOULDER. Or my hip. Or my knee. I guessss I could live without a left shoulder...

On a hunch I opened my laptop and googled for info. I have not done this since being diagnosed with breast cancer, but I needed more info. Was there a chance that this was a side-effect of the medication I was on? The things I was warned about pertained to menopausal issues (hot flashes etc); no one said anything about joint pain.

And yet, there it was. Possible side effect #4 - BONE AND JOINT PAIN. I didn't think any of my kids were still awake, or how many actually pray, but I put a message on our family chat asking them to pray for me. THAT'S how badly I was hurting.

ANYWAY, I obvs survived. Pain levels subsided through the night; I went to work on Friday with a 4/10. It was totally manageable.

The office closed at 2 pm, so I drove to Kits Beach to walk around/look at fall foliage (HA! There was hardly any) and to watch the sunset (HA! I it was grey and dark.) Joke was on me.

At one point I sat on a bench (below) and started making a Things I'm Thankful For list. Top item being that the pain was down to a 3. While I sat there, looking at the ocean, my phone kept pinging. Friends. Randomly asking me to pray. For a grandson. For a daughter. For their kids.

So I did.
Just sat n prayed.
It was a lovely way to spend an unexpected afternoon off.

By Saturday, when the kids came for Thanksgiving Dinner at 7:30 pm, pain was down to a 2/10. And I could move my shoulder. Still very limited motion, but I could brush my hair, lift a ham into the oven, make a meal and set the table with both arms.

I asked the kids if they all could wear pink, and I'd take a family pic to post on WEAR PINK DAY (Oct 25). Clint complied. Max's black hoodie had some pink design elements on it. Drew said no; he had a cold.
I'll try again next October.


Cancer was so yesterday.

The advantage of having Thanksgiving Dinner on Saturday night, is that the rest of the weekend is free. The disadvantage of having it on Saturday night is everyone is tired. Dani had worked all day; Drew was sick, Max was getting sick, and Clint was suffering from jet-lag from his recent trip to Thailand. So by the time I'd cleaned the kitchen/done the dishes and joined them in the living room, they were finished with this day of giving thanks. Clint and Max left, Drew and Dani went downstairs. (They were staying for night, because...)

At 3:30 am, I drove Drew and Dani to the airport. They were off to California for a week.

I got back at 5 am,  then slept til noon.



It's Drew and Dani's anniversary this week; and as mentioned, they're spending it in California. First couple days in Disneyland then over to Palms Springs to stay with friends.

Drew's surprise anniversary gift for his girl?

Was to arrange for her sisters to do Disney with them. Austin's been in Australia for the past year and was going to come home 'sometime this month'... Drew suggested that she have a stopover in LA, arriving at their hotel a few hours before they'd get there. And he arranged for Cassie to be ON THE SAME FLIGHT (as him and Dani) but he kept Dani distracted so she wouldn't notice. Because Cassie just had a carry-on, she didn't have to wait in baggage claim so she beat them to the hotel as well.

The thing is, Austin and Cassie have never been to Disneyland.

And we all know how very very awesome it is introducing someONE you love to some PLACE you love.

So this was kinda a big deal for these Disney-loving sisters.
And I was proud that my boy knew this. And made it happen.

In case you're not Instragram followers of any of their accounts, there are 48 hours of posts filled with smiling girls at the Happiest Place on Earth. Drew follows them around and takes pics.

Happy Third Anniversary, you two. xoxoxo


While the youngin's were playing in the California sunshine on Thanksgiving Sunday, I was walking the Vedder in Chilliwack. Almost the same level of fun. (With the right attitude.)

I wandered the Rotary Trail, caught some Pokemon, watched the fishermen, counted my steps, (10,000 Yay me), photographed the sunset and prayed for my fam ... allinall, not a bad way to spend the day.

Not many folks walking the trail on Thanksgiving Sunday at suppertime. :)

I got to the lake at around 8pm , where Clint was making dinner.

(Insert big smiley face emoji here. Disproportionate amount of meat in this meal.)

Thanksgiving Monday was completely laid back.
I did a bit of deck clean up, some laundry, made a meal:

(Kraft dinner. One box for each of us.)
And as he ate his, he was groaning with delight.

Macaroni and cheese for the win. #momknows

We walked along the trail beside Frosst Creek and talked ...

about his upcoming trip to Uganda and my upcoming rendezvous with a radiation machine.

He wonders about my career plans. And general health plans.

I wonder if he can sustain his current lifestyle; he's involved in three businesses and burning that candle at both ends.

He went for a 10K run, and I walked for another 2.

And then it was over.
Thanksgiving 2019 In The Bag.

(Meanwhile Max had been suffering. Sick in Surrey. Flat in bed all weekend with a fever. )

Things I'm Thankful For:

  1. My shoulder doesn't hurt as much anymore.
  2. It's my left shoulder.
  3. Max is starting to feel better.
  4. Leftover ham.
  5. Leftover turkey.
  6. NO rain this weekend. (At least not while I was awake...)
  7. Trees that change into their autumn wardrobe before getting naked for winter.
  8. Unexpected sunsets over rivers. First time seeing one that brilliant on the Vedder.
  9. Fall afternoons at the beach. Such a different vibe than summer afternoons at the beach.
  10. Airport runs to drop off and/or pick up my kids.
  11. GPS
  12. The Global Leadership Summit is THIS WEEK. I love that conference. 
  13. My team at work. Love working with those creatives. (And Frenchies.)
  14. Upcoming days with good plans.
  15. Upcoming days with no plans.
  16. Relaxing time at lake with my boy.
  17. Good books.
  18. Answered prayer. Especially the one where I was pleading, please make this pain stop.
  19. Full moons that take your breath away.
  20. Surprise gifts ... on my desk at work.


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