Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Year

My wife and I wish all our family and friends a Healthy, Prosperous and Happy New Year.

Who knows what it'll bring?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Hilkka and I wish all our family and friends a Merry Christmas. We're looking forward to our traditional annual Christmas evening get-together tomorrow.

May you enjoy health, happiness and love.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Another year

Another year has gone by and today was the day for this year's Christmas piano recital and pancake breakfast arranged by Lorraine Crowe's Music Studio. The weather outside was terrible - lot's of rain - so it felt very cozy inside. Our daughter-in-law Airdrie, our granddaughters, Marina and Lauren, attended, and the music students played music, violin, and sang Christmas songs (the audience sang, too - with a lot less skill).

Santa paid a visit and Marina and Lauren must have been "nice"

Marina playing solo

And a duet with Lorraine.

Unfortunately, Derek could not attend this year, because he was dealing with the side effects of his chemo treatment. Right after the recital, I picked him up from home and drove him to the cancer clinic to have the portable chemo bottle removed, marking the end of this session. He was tired, of course, and it'll take a couple of days for the effects to wear off. The girls stayed at the Burnaby Village (the recital location was the historical ice cream parlour there) with Mom and grandma Mimi to enjoy the rides, blacksmith shop, and the other historical exhibits.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Next Round

Derek just went through his second chemo sitting in the current series. This time, he says that he feels quite a bit better than the last time. We think that there still may have been some residual effects from the Cediranib which he discontinued prior to the last chemo session.

I dropped him off this morning and picked him up just about an hour ago. His long-time friend (and ours, too), Seb - he and Derek started their first music band in our basement years ago - also visited, and we all conversed about things technical while waiting for the end of Derek's chemo session. Derek is tired now, of course, and going to bed. But so far, this session appears to have been much less troublesome for him. We're all thankful for that. Just the same, it'll likely be a lost weekend for him again, but perhaps with fewer of the side effects. He has a bottle of 5-FU attached to him for the next couple of days, and that one will be removed on Sunday.

Maybe he'll even blog or "facebook" a little.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winter is early

This week has been colder than normal here; arctic outflow winds have frozen any standing water and cooled the surroundings to below freezing. There has been only a dusting of snow at our house so far. With the cold environent and a return of the more normal Pacific airflow, and moisture forecast to arrive, a heavier dump is expected. There has been lots of snow on the local mountains; that's where it should stay, from my point of view. It bodes well for the Olympics. There is still more than a week to go before winter arrives officially. As I write this, I see snowflakes starting to come down; they are not melting as they hit the ground. We've bought another snow shovel and about 130 pounds of road salt to keep the sidwalks clear; maybe we are prepared enough. I'm looking forward to the days getting longer again.

Derek has had lunch with us a couple of times this week. This is made easier because we live in a side-by-side duplex, and all we have to do is walk across the common back porch to get to each other's place. The granddaughters can drop in at any time, too. We can also help out quickly if required. All this makes things a little easier; at least we can help a bit in Derek's fight with cancer.

Addendum at 4:45pm

Even though we got only a centimetre or two of snow today, I went out to do the first shovelling of the season. I also added some of the salt and it is making the packed footprints melt fast. The new snowshovel has a somewhat longer handle; I found that I didn't have to bend so far down to get a good angle on the snow. The shorter standard handles have always been a bit of a problem for me(I'm 6'3").

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Better Day

Derek is feeling a lot better today. He had the attached bottle taken off late yesterday.

The granddaughters dropped by on their way to school to pick up their daily "Advent's Calendar" treat. This is a childhood tradition of mine, which gives little treats to children every day before Christmas, starting on the first day of December.

It's been a beautiful, clear week, weatherwise. But it's cold outside, and the arctic outflow wind makes it seem even colder. Prairie folks would laugh at us, of course, -7 degrees C (19 degrees F)is springlike to them.

Along with Derek, we all feel better this morning.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Derek had his chemo yesterday. Airdrie tells us that he spent most of the night sleeping - with the help of the anti-nausea drug, which seems to help quite a bit. He still has a bottle of chemo medicine attached until tomorrow, so he'll probably feel lousy for the whole weekend. This controlled poisoning is no fun for any of us, least of all Derek himself.

Today, our grandchildren set up our "Christmas village"

and helped with setting up the Christmas tree. It was a welcome activity for all of us.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


As you can imagine, we've had an anxious week. Today, Derek had an appointment with his oncologist. His chemo starts tomorrow. Understandably, he's not looking forward to the side effects, since he knows what to expect from his previous round of treatments. Apparently there is a new anti-nausea drug, though, and we're hoping that it will help diminish some of those side effects.

At least there is some action. It eases the anxieties a bit.