Monday, July 20, 2020

Jooh lie

Was just scrolling through my July 19 memories on Facebook. (I like this feature.):

On this day, eleven years ago, Danica and I became Facebook friends.

Six years ago, I was cleaning out the cupboards at the lake and noted that we had 58 mugs for hot beverages and 7 forks. I also posted this, with the hashtag #nored

(If you're following me on Facebook, it's been a #nored weekend again this year...)

... and I posted this quote:

"Because without the existence of truth, the person who is most powerful becomes the person who is right."

Four years ago I was catching Pokemon in my bed ...

... It's now July 19 in the Year of Corona.

And I'm having a beautiful weekend. My new 'Facebook Friend" (of 11 years ago) did my hair on Friday night. And by 'did', I mean, "DID". I had way too many inches of roots. And more length than someone my age should be sporting.

So with her behind her mask, and me behind mine, she spent four hours transforming my hair from meh to wow.

(Sadly, just hours before my marathon appointment with Danica, I had my eyebrows done. Usually this means they are 'shaped' via the ancient Indian art of Threading. THIS TIME, I allowed her to 'tint' them as well, seeing they're so bleached out from the sun. And after years of gently suggesting it, I said OK to a dermaplane. I left the spa with black eyebrows and a barenaked, shiny, red face.

(Dermaplaning is a cosmetic procedure that removes the top layers of your skin. The procedure aims to remove fine wrinkles and deep acne scarring, as well as make the skin's surface look smooth.)

If I cared more, I would've cried.
It's just a face. And I didn't do anything permanent.
I'll look like me, again, eventually.
In the meantime, I'm just so embarrassed. Ugh. Dark eyebrows are a young woman's game. I had no business getting involved with that.

So I'm trying to bleach them out by sitting in the sun as much as possible, as well as washing my face every couple hours.

Before and after a day of pampering.
Left, taken in the morning.
Right, taken at Vivid 8 hours later.

I love my hair colour SO much. And I love how Danica blow dries and styles it. I bet if she did it everyday someone would want to marry me.


Any hooo, after she did my hair, (I was her last client of the week) we went out for a late Italian dinner. And despite my brows, this was one of my favorite-est evenings of July. So grateful that Drew had good taste in women at age 12.

Saturday was sunny (first sunny Saturday in WEEKS ...) so AT NOON, like a rookie, I got ready to leave for the lake. By 1:30, I was on the freeway and realized I'd made a terrible mistake. EVERYONE was on the freeway. And they were all heading to my lake.

I spent the sunny afternoon, in my truck. I arrived at Cultus at 4 pm. (!) OY. Will not do that again. Arriving at midnight is a little scary, but at least I don't waste All the Daylight Hours in transport.

While I was working from Surrey last week, my brother and nephew worked on The Reno in, what's going to be The World's Most Beautiful Laundry Room. We are going to eat our meals in there. Play Scrabble in there. Have dance parties in there. Because it would be a shame to spent all this time and money on a room that barely gets used. SO WE WILL USE IT DAMMMMIT. 😏

The wall between and above the closets is gone. As are the backsplash tiles I had installed two years ago. The benches are outside and The Row of Pegs have been removed. I'll have to get Arlene The Painter back to redo the room she did two years ago. I didn't just deep sigh.

OK. Maybe I did.

This is what it looked like last week.

This is what it looks like now.

(Clint took the storage benches out to the deck, but left the contents for me to deal with.)
Again, I may have deep sighed.

Next step is flooring.
Jim will be back to rip out that lino.
(And disconnect the washer/dryer, fridge and take out the toilet.)

And after that? Vinyl Plank flooring. It's gonna be so sexy. SO sexy.

In the meantime the decks are loading zones for crap that'll be dealt with eventually.
And any spare space on the main floor is the new resting place for rubbermaid tubs filled with Laundry Room Things.

We all have Covid Projects. Rock painting and laundry room reno's are mine.

Oh my goodness. I've had 22 friends ask if they can learn.
I am an Instagram Influencer? 😎

One or two evenings a week, all through July, Rock-Julie (not Sister-Julie, or Farmer-Julie, or Aunt-Friend-Julie, or Post-Office-Julie or Neighbour-at-the-Lake-Julie), ROCK-JULIE helps me and 3 - 4 of my peeps make little pieces of colourful art.

I made this:

And these are my friends' first ever rocks:

And another one of mine:

From this ^ to this:

I was aiming for THIS (below). Hahaha. My dots, while lovely are all WAY TOO BIG.
Going to try again this week.

This is a sample of Rock-Julie's work:

My mom gave it a try ...

I love these evenings; three more in July.
Maybe one or two in August.

Who knew this would be The Summer of Rocks?
Random, unexpected. Fun. Creative. Relaxing.


Four picnic tables for 8 of us ...

My team met on Tuesday afternoon (Bastille Day) in a local park to SEE EACH OTHER'S FACES. It's been months of Zoom meetings and we were (OK, mostly I was) DONE. Our French girls baked French treats. We sat, talked, ate and It Was Good.

Next time we're bringing bathing suits so we can play in the water park.


Usually, when I walk around Lafarge Lake it's December, dark and cold, often wet, and always lit up with twinkly Christmas lights.

On Thursday it was hot. And sunny. And dry. And beautiful.

Perfect day for a bubble gum and key lime pie ice cream cone.

Other than that, my walks have all been in my 'hood with friends or The Vedder by myself. I need a lightweight backpack. To keep my water bottle, camera, phone, rocks to give away, new rocks to paint in. My pockets aren't cutting it.

All the rocks I've left on trails have been taken. Yay.
I have a bunch more to leave... hope they bring as much joy to the taker as they did for the painter.


A couple weeks ago I was part of an online marketing research study re: breast cancer. Four nights a week for about an hour, I signed into my account to answer a bunch of questions about My Cancer Journey. Some were easy. Some were artsy-fartsy. Some were straight-forward. All were personal.
I'm not sure who Isabel is, or if that's even really her name, but when she read my answers so got info about my journey but also about my faith.

Example: One of the questions asked me to post a song that describes my cancer story from diagnosis to final treatment.   I couldn't come up with ONE song, so I posted these two:

I Will Wait

I chose this one because from the moment I felt the lump in May, til I finished radiation in January (and actually for months since then), I've learned alot about waiting. Waiting for an appointment. Waiting for a procedure. Waiting for results. Rinse and repeat. In 2020 I've been waiting for Covid to ease up it's hold on All Things Medical, so I can make my final follow up appointments with all the doctors who need to see and feel my boobs.

And the second one I chose was:
It Is Well

The lyrics that I made my own:

And through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
And it is well with me
So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name
So let go my soul and trust in Him
It is well with my soul

Another set of questions had to do with my mental health throughout the past year. I was to let them know what pharmaceuticals I relied on. Or what type of therapy I needed. How did I make it through the past year with my sanity intact? Haha. Prayer not pills. I said that other than the 4 days following the diagnosis (last Aug 1), my moods/mental health have been fine. My life is and always has been in God's hands. I prayed for peace, and got it. Plus, I had an army of friends, family, co-workers all praying for me as well. I mentioned that I was loved on like it was an extreme sport. So many dinners, walks, talks, gifts, prayers, texts, messages, offers of help ... I was spoiled by the richness of my relationships. 

Last summer, after the lump was removed. 

A few days after diagnosis. 

They wanted to me to share what the lowest point in my journey was (EASY. It was the day I got the diagnosis) and how I handled it. (I cried. Prayed. Told my immediate family. Had my kids for dinner. Was sure I was going to die.)
And they wanted to know what my most memorable positive interactions were during my journey. They were all positive. And all memorable. EVERYONE I met was gentle, professional, personable, capable, tender and not-rushed. If you're going to get cancer, try to get breast cancer in BC. The team in Surrey is exceptional. I never doubted I was getting the best care. (They wanted me to be specific about any ONE in particular... so I mentioned my pre-op nurse who prepped me for surgery. She sat beside me for awhile just to chat. Turns out we both have three sons, same ages. And her youngest is the only one married as well. We were born in the same year. She warned me that she doesn't do IV's often, so it may take a few tries. But when it went in the first time, painlessly, she whispered to me, "I prayed that I'd get it right on the first try." I felt like I was hanging out with a friend during those waiting hours. It was lovely.)
The last questions had to do with the role that pharmaceuticals had in my journey. And I was to find a picture that illustrated my thoughts. 
I'm on Tamoxifen for 5 years. 
It's a hormone blocker. (My type of cancer  - hormone-receptor-positive, early-stage breast cancer - loves hormones.)
Tamoxifen can:
  • reduce the risk of breast cancer coming back by 40% to 50% in postmenopausal women and by 30% to 50% in premenopausal women
  • reduce the risk of a new cancer developing in the other breast by about 50%
  • shrink large, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers before surgery
  • slow or stop the growth or advanced (metastatic) hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer in both pre- and postmenopausal women
  • lower breast cancer risk in women who have a higher-than-average risk of disease but have not been diagnosed
Tamoxifen offers other health benefits that aren't related to treating cancer. Because it's a SERM, it selectively either blocks or activates estrogen's action on specific cells. While tamoxifen blocks estrogen's action on breast cells, it activates estrogen's action in bone and liver cells. So tamoxifen can:
  • help stop bone loss after menopause
  • lower cholesterol levels
So the pics I chose had to do with BLOCKING attacks. 

(That's defenceman Ryan Miller helping the goalie clear the puck away from the net.)  


The whole experience (doing the marketing research project) was interesting, bringing back some very good memories, reminding me of how blessed I am. 
(If you're interested in being on the email list for upcoming marketing research opportunities, let Heather know: You will be reimbursed for your time. I got paid really well for this one. I've also done ones on; chocolate, thermostats, investments...)


My final (I think it's my final) appointment with my oncologist is this Thursday. I met with the armpit people last week (physiotherapists who measure my left arm to make sure I'm not getting lymphodemia). I had my 6 month check-up at the breast clinic this month; I was squished and gooped up by the mammogram and ultra-sound technicians. They were very complimentary on how nicely my three scars are healing, commented on my divot, and wondered how I felt about the blue splotch of vibrant blue dye that's settled in for the long haul. (I'm OK with it. It's my favourite colour.) I did a phone appointment with my radiologist and she signed off, saying she's discharging me from their care. 

So 15 months after feeling that lump I'll have my final oncology appointment (although I may have yearly check ups so I can get my prescription?).
It's been a thing. 
I didn't die. 
I didn't lose my hair or a breast or any weight.
I felt loved and cared for and saw a side of my kids that I hadn't seen before. 
I am so thankful to God for letting me live this beautiful life with more eye wrinkles, a receding hair line and ridiculous eyebrows. 

I went from cancer treatment straight into Covid. July 2020 Selfie

Three Things I'm Thankful For:
1. I get to work from home til September. I am the happiest of campers. 
2. Friends who are OK sitting in my TV room watching British shows with me. This was a 6 hour who-dun-it marathon. Thankful for the industry that entertains us. From directors and actors and writers and producers, to the guys who build the sets, feed the crews, sew the costumes and park the change rooms. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.

Walls are painted black, lighting is indirect - all so that there's no glare on the screen. 
Plus there's 5 speakers in the room - surround sound. 
This was originally my dad's man-cave. When this house is sold and I'm living in my new condo, I'm going to miss watching shows in this perfect show-watching room. 

3. I am thankful for summer skies. Fields of hay. The colour green. Wildflowers.

Oscar Romero Prayer 
It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent
enterprise that is God's work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of
saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.

No confession brings perfection.

No pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No program accomplishes the Church's mission.

No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about:

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an
opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master
builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own.

Stay safe,
Wash your hands, 

No comments: