Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Good News From CAT Scan

Went in today for my monthly chemo treatment. I had to see Dr. Anglin, my oncologist, beforehand. When he walked in with a big smile on his face, I knew the results from last week's CAT scan were good. He shook my hand and said same as usual, all clear.

Peter, (Dr. Anglin) then proceeds to tell me that he's been talking with his colleagues about me and how I'm such a rare case to go from Stage IV inoperable lung cancer to total remission within 3 years and am still going strong.

Part of the CAT scan was done on my neck where my lung cancer was first discovered through swollen lymph glands. This is where the total remission comes in as the scan showed nothing in my neck lymph glands.

I thought for sure I was going to be told no more chemo needed. They still want to keep me on the chemo as a preventative treatment but not once a month anymore. For now it will be once every two months and then eventually once every three months. I'm pretty ecstatic over this news of today and wanted to share it with you.


Have a great Day!

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Onyx Ring - Flash Fiction

Grandma would sit and tell Molly stories about her life in the old country. Scotland sounded amazing to Molly but what she most wanted to know about was the ring grandma wore.

Well dear this ring wasn’t always a ring. Your grandpa gave me this as a necklace that I wore for years. One day I decided I wanted to make it into a ring and took it to a jeweler.

It was a black onyx stone with a diamond in the middle and Molly just loved it.

Years later when grandma passed away, Molly was given the ring. 

I always thought that onyx only came in black but after doing some research I found that onyx comes in red, purple, blue and white. 

This flash fiction was written for a challenge over at Carrot Ranch. The prompt is to write a short story that contains 99 words, (no more, no less). If you enjoy writing flash fiction please come and join us by following the link.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

It's Been Awhile - Happy Easter

I just realized the other day that I hadn't posted anything on this blog since last December. Wow!

I've been working on my Poetry Blog for most of the year so far and promoting my children's books. I'm so close with the book sales to be able to send Ronald McDonald house a cheque. Sadly you have to wait until you hit $100.00 before they'll pay you.

Yesterday I went for a CAT Scan. What normally takes only a few hours turned into a 4 hour ordeal. It got to the point where I thought they'd forgotten about me and asked the nurse that hooked up my port if I would soon be seen. My appointment time was 10:30 and I left the hospital at 2:30. Apparently they had a lot of people coming in from emergency that needed scans.

I always worry that they'll find something. I'll find out the results this upcoming Tuesday when I go for my 44th Pemetrexed chemo treatment. The waiting is always a killer. It's hard to believe that I was diagnosed 4 years ago this coming September. Who ever thought I'd make it this far. It's been quite the ride to say the least.

Well that's about all the news for now. I hope that everyone has a safe and very Happy Easter long weekend!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

40 Treatments of Pemetrexed and Still Kicking

It's been just over three years now since I was diagnosed with lung cancer and considering they gave me a year to live I'm doing great.

During this journey so far to date I've had 8 treatments of CISplatin and gemcitabine, and 40 pemetrexed treatments. When I first started I never dreamed my body would be able to handle so many chemo sessions. I am lucky as I've never had to skip a treatment due to blood work coming back bad. 

Yesterday when I saw my oncologist he gave me the results of my latest CAT scan, and bone scan I had done, a week ago. Nothing has changed with the CAT scan and I'm still in remission. YEAH!!!! The bone scan revealed that I have arthritis in my hip. This is easy to deal with as they wanted to rule out cancer when they did the bone scan. 

People often say to me, oh I thought you'd be done with the chemo since you're in remission. I only wish this were so. I'm tired of chemo once a month but it is keeping the cancer at bay for now. Pemetrexed for me is a maintenance drug and it's doing its job. There is no end of chemo for me as long as my body can handle the treatments. My oncologist told me that because the cancer is in my lymph nodes that it will always be there. My job is to keep fighting and not to let it spread. Thinking positive has gotten me this far and I plan on getting much further. 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Mr. Beaver Plans a Party - Just In Time For Christmas

I remember the day my illustrator, +Sannel Larson wrote me and said if we hurry, we can get your book Mr. Beaver Plans a Party out just before Christmas. I was so excited as I wasn't expecting it to be finished until 2017. Here it is Dec. 7th and it is available to purchase on Amazon.

If you have a little one you are buying a gift for this Christmas my book is suitable for ages 3-7.

Mr. Beaver Plans a Party is the second book in a series of three. The first being The Day Mr. Beaver Met a Moose. I'm hoping that I will be able to publish the third one in the upcoming year.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
May your home be filled with warmth and good cheer.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016 and Ten Things of Thankful

Thanksgiving 2016
A beautiful center piece made by my Mother In Law.

Last weekend was our Canadian Thanksgiving and I’ve been meaning to write a post about it all week. Since this is for Ten Things of Thankful I thought today would be a great time to post this.

We had a great turnout for our Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday October 9th, which is my first Thankful.  The holiday itself is was on Monday but we always have the dinner on Sunday. This way everyone can recuperate before returning to work on Tuesday.

There were ten of us sitting around the dinner table; my three sons, two of their girlfriends, my mother in law, my sister in law Christy, her boyfriend from Arizona, my husband, and myself.  Dinner turned out perfect and everyone contributed to the meal. Thankful , (#2).

So ecstatic and thankful (#3) that Christy, my sister in law has met the man of her dreams, John Mark Green. He is one of the sweetest and nicest men I’ve ever met. He’s a keeper and I’m so thankful that he makes Christy so happy. (#4) Welcome to the family John!
Christy & John Thanksgiving 2016

All three of my sons have wonderful girlfriends, which makes me so happy. (#5) Family dinners are such a treat when everyone is here to enjoy each other’s company and the food too of course. 

Had my 38th pemetrexed chemo treatment this past Friday and thankful that I’m alive to say that I’m still in remission. (#6) Christy has become my new chemo buddy, which means she comes and sits with me through the appointments once a month, (#7).

Autumn or Fall is my favorite season and this year is one of the most beautiful ones we’ve had in quite a few years. The weather has been unseasonably warmer for which I’m thankful, (#8).

I’ll be driving to Florida with my mother in law this upcoming Friday and I’m looking so forward to the trip, (#9).

For my number 10 thankful ……., Waking up every day to enjoy another day of life.

One more ..... Thanks to +Lizzi Lewis for the years she's put into this blog hop over at . Considerings

Thursday, August 25, 2016

No Children at the Playground - Flash Fiction


As I approached the playground I could hear the screams and laughter of children, yet I couldn’t see a single child. The swings were swinging mysteriously. An eerie feeling came over me. Sandcastles were being built but yet no children were in the sandbox. How was this possible? In the pool it looked as if splashing was happening, but still no children. I had to walk through the park to get to my home but my immediate inclination was to run in the opposite direction. Then I saw several cameras behind trees. Film crews were filming a movie scene.

This post is for a Flash Fiction challenge (99 words, no more, no less) over at Carrot Ranch. If you'd like to join in on the fun with all of us there, please follow the link. You'll be glad you did.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Mama Duck and Her Ducklings

While at the park yesterday by Lake Couchiching, in Orillia, we saw a mother duck and five ducklings. The babies were busy having their lunch while mama watched them closely.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Home a Flash Fiction

Struggling week by week, it was all that they could do to hang onto their home of twenty years. All the memories of this place, their children growing up here, their first home, soon to be on the market in order to recoup any equity that they had left in the house they called home.

Sad but yet excited to start a new chapter in their lives. Moving would be hard, downsizing even harder but it had to be done. 

Home would be as always with each other. Home is where the heart is, home is where love grows. 

This flash fiction story of 99 words is for this weeks compilation over at Carrot Ranch. Stop by the ranch if you enjoy writing or reading flash fiction. I promise you won't be disappointed. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Training Squirrels - Flash Fiction


“For God's sake Norm what are you doing with those peanuts?”

“I’m training the squirrels to follow the path of the peanuts. Eventually they’ll come right into the house.”

"I don’t want those dirty things in my house!”

“Oh don’t be silly Diane they’re not dirty, they’re cute.”

A week later, Norm and Diane were sitting in the family room having a coffee. Diane didn’t notice that the screen was ajar. Then she saw it, a squirrel was crossing the threshold. She let out the loudest scream.

“Norm I told you no varmints in the house!”

Norm just giggled.

This post is for a Flash Fiction challenge by +Charli Mills over at Carrot Ranch. This weeks challenge was to write a 99 word (no more, no less) story that includes squirrels. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

May the Butterflies Land - Flash Fiction


Dad how do you make the butterflies land?

You have to be oh so still and quiet. Watch and listen to what I do.

Dad extended his arm out and barely whispered to the Monarchs saying, simmer down, simmer down, simmer down.  Patiently we waited and dad repeated simmer down several times.

I began to chant simmer down, and after what seemed like an eternity a butterfly landed on my shoulder. I was ecstatic and tried so hard to be still. I looked over at dad and he was smiling.

That’s how you make a butterfly land sweet girl

This is a Flash Fiction challenge from +Charli Mills over at Carrot Ranch. This weeks challenge was in 99 words (no more, no less) include insects in a story.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My First Children's Book - The Day Mr. Beaver Met a Moose

Illustrated by Adam Privett
Available on Amazon

I'm so excited that my children's poetry/storybook has been published and is now available on Amazon.

I'd written a poem called "The Beaver and The Moose" on +HubPages and later thought that it would make a great children's book. The only problem I had was illustrating the book. I cannot draw worth beans.

It just so happened that my good friend +Susan Holland has a relative by the name of Adam Privett who's a great artist, so she hooked me up with him. Adam read my story/poem and sent me his first drawing. It was exactly how I had imagined it would be, and much to my delight, all the illustrations were.

Wanting to help children I decided to donate all the proceeds to Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Within the story of "The Day Mr. Beaver Met A Moose", I'm trying to teach children about being a good samaritan by helping out your fellow friends when they need a hand.

My book is geared towards kindergarten children, but I'm sure younger children would enjoy the story too.

I'm hoping that this will be the first of many children's books to come.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Circle of Protection - Flash Fiction


Walking through the woods Tim was getting an eerie feeling that something was lurking. All of a sudden he saw it, a black bear coming towards him. Panic overtook him and he froze not knowing whether to run or to stay still. The bear stopped about fifteen feet away from him, sat on his haunches and let out a huge bellow. Out of the corner of his eye Tim saw a pack of wolves and thought; oh no I’m dead for sure. Much to his surprise the wolves made a circle around him to protect him from the bear. 

This flash fiction was written for a challenge over at Carrot Ranch. The prompt is to write a short story that contains 99 words, (no more, no less). If you enjoy writing flash fiction please come and join us by following the link.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Childhood Fear - Flash Fiction


Lying in bed I was terrified to get up. I never knew what kind of mood my step-mother would be in. Would she be in a good spirits or in her usual mean mode? Would I be yelled at today for something I did to displease her, or would she find a reason within herself to hit me. Straining to listen to see if she was up or not, I quietly lay there trying to get up enough courage to make it to the bathroom.  Then I heard the big slam of pots and pans coming from the kitchen. 

This week's challenge at Carrot Ranch was to write a 99 word (no more, no less) response to an agoraphobic moment. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Just One Word Flash Fiction

Carrot Ranch

What’re you so intently working on mom, my son asked.

It’s a flash fiction story for a blog that I just started following. You have to write a story that is 99 words.

What happens if it’s 98 or 100 words, he asked.

Then you have to add a word or omit a word silly, it has to be 99 words exactly.
Go grab a piece of that cake and let me finish this challenge.

Oh there’s cake! Well good luck with your story.

Looking down at my word counter, I saw that I was just one word short.

This flash fiction was written for a challenge over at Carrot Ranch. The prompt is to write a short story that contains 99 words, (no more, no less). If you enjoy writing flash fiction please come and join us by following the link.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Beautiful Weather for November on Wordless Wednesday

I'm enjoying all the sunshine this week as it's unseasonably warm. Normally we would have had snow by now but none so far. Today it is 15 C or 59 F. Temperatures are going up on Thursday and Friday and this makes me very happy.

Sunny and Warm

Linking up to ABRACABADRA on Wordless Wednesday.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dunedin Marina on Wordless Wednesday

Dunedin Marina

Dunedin Florida

Linking up to ABRACABADRA on Wordless Wednesday.

Happy Halloween All!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pelicans and a Blue Heron on Wordless Wednesday

Birds I saw in Florida

One of the things I enjoy most about visiting Florida are the different types of birds I get to see. These pictures are not the best but I wanted to share them here on Wordless Wednesday.

Linking up to ABRACABADRA for Wordless Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Rambo - The Misnamed Cat

This is a story about Rambo, our beautiful cat that passed on at the age of 16.
Rambo came into our lives quite unexpected one day. I was out at the store with my twin boys while my husband was at home with our youngest son. Walking down the street on our way home we saw that Grandma’s car was parked in front of our house. Always happy to see Grandma, the twins went running ahead of me bursting through the front door to greet her. As I entered all I could hear were squeals of delight. There sitting on the couch was my husband and in his arms was a tiny ball of gray fur. In unison the twins looking at me said, “Can we keep him, can we can keep him”? I looked at my mother in law while she then explained that her sister’s cat had had kittens and if we didn't want the kitten she would take him home. Thinking to myself yeah-right, like that’s going to happen, you bring a kitten into a house that has three children who want a pet, how can I possibly say no we do not want him.

The Saga Continues

The next day we went out and bought all the fun and essential items we needed for our new family member. When it came to choosing a name we thought long and hard about it. My mother in law had said that this kitten would be a very large cat as his father was a Maine Coon. I took this to heart and based my name pick on this information. My choice was Rambo thinking it would be suitable for a large cat, and the fact that I really liked all the Rambo movies with Sylvester Stallone aided in my choice. Everyone put a piece of paper into a box with the name that they would like for our new furry friend. The winner was of course Rambo as you can see by the title of this story. Little did I realize at the time that this little kitten that I thought would grow into a 25-pound cat hit his max weight at 11 pounds, and most of his life was 9 pounds. It’s no wonder people would laugh at me when I would tell them his name.

The Case Of Mistaken Identity

Rambo was an indoor cat. The reason for this being he was allergic to everything from grass and soil to fresh air. If he went outside he would react terribly loosing half of his fur, and would be itchy all over. Our veterinarian put him on steroids to help with all of his allergies.
One day Rambo got outside. Worried we all searched the neighborhood, looking in backyards, calling him and asking all the people we met along the way if they had seen a small gray cat. The next morning I was on the phone calling the local Animal Shelter to see if he had maybe been picked up. My heart sank when they told me that a gray longhaired cat had been brought in that morning that had been struck by a car. At the time we only had one vehicle and it was with my husband at work. I called for a cab and went to the SPCA. As I looked at this cat tears were welling up in my eyes when I saw what had happened to this poor animal. His face was badly damaged from being hit by the car. Not sure of how much damage to the rest of his body he had incurred, I called my husband at work and asked him to pick me up, as we needed to get Rambo to the Vet’s immediately. Our regular vet was on holidays so we had to take Rambo to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic. While examining our cat the Vet asked why we had never had him neutered. Al, my husband and I looked at each other with much surprise. “He has been neutered “ I replied.
“Well this cat has everything he was born with.” Are you sure this is your cat”?
“It is hard to tell from his face, but otherwise it looks like our cat.” Looking more closely we realized that no this was not our cat. This cat was a bit larger in size by about eight pounds. We asked the vet what do we do now. He told us that he could give him pain medication, antibiotics, and that we'd have to take him home, since we brought him in. He suggested we take the cat back to the SPCA the next day, and they would either keep the cat until he was claimed, or they would have the cat put down. Al and I felt terrible thinking that this poor animal may have to be destroyed, but we could not afford to have the surgery done on this cat that needed to be done to restore his face and fix his broken bones. With much hope the cat’s family would find him at the shelter and be able to arrange the proper care the cat needed. We paid the vet bill, carefully put the cat into the car, and that night we made the cat as comfortable as possible in our bedroom with a bed made out of blankets.
In the morning while checking to make sure that the cat was alive and still comfortable I heard “meow, meow, meow” loudly coming from outside. I opened the kitchen door and in dashed Rambo heading straight to his food bowl. After welcoming him home I called the SPCA to explain my situation about the cat I had picked up from them the previous day. They understood how I could have mistaken the cat as mine and they sent over one of their vans to pick up the cat.
I always hope when I think of that cat, that his owners claimed him, and he lived to have a happy and full life.
I have many other stories about Rambo but this one always sticks out in my mind.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Spring Beauty

I tend to my flowering bush carefully raking away the autumn leaves that have been protecting it all winter. Each day I check for the long awaited buds to emerge and pop. Year after year the flowers seem more breathtaking in their pink, white, yellow and red hues.  New life is here.  The bush itself stands tall and grows wider each year that passes with warmth from the sun. The leaves start out green and erupt into a beautiful shade of red in the fall. Once in its full foliage I know that spring has left and summer begins.  

Join a great bunch of writers over at Carrot Ranch each week who write a 99 word (no more, no less) flash fiction from the prompts that +Charli Mills gives us. This week the prompt is to write a story about a snapshot of spring. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Sunday Drive in the 70's - Flash Fiction

Jengod at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Jengod at English Wikipedia [GFDL) or CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“Jess, roll up your window and make sure that your door is locked. Look straight ahead and don't look at anyone on the streets.”

“Why Dad, are we being followed or something?”

“Just do as I say, we're driving through a bad neighborhood.”

“But Dad, this is California, everyone is so nice here, how bad can it be?”

“This is Watts, and here if the whites go into the blacks neighborhood there could be lots of trouble, so just look straight ahead, we'll be out of here soon.”

“Seriously, that sounds ridiculous but I'll do as you ask Dad.”

Join a great bunch of writers over at Carrot Ranch each week who write a 99 word (no more, no less) flash fiction from the prompts that +Charli Mills gives us. This week the prompt is to write a story that tackles racism. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Doodling on Wordless Wednesday

Feeling a little foolish for sharing this today because I couldn't draw if my life depended on it. But I do enjoy doodling when I'm bored. 

Linking up to +Ruchira Khanna over at ABRACABADRA for Wordless Wednesday. 

  Maybe I need one of these; a Doodle Art coloring book.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Close Call - Flash Fiction

God I need a smoke and it’s too late to go out. I'll just sneak one in the bathroom; Mom and Dad won't notice.

Sitting on the toilet I light my smoke, and after a few drags there’s a knock at the door. Oh SHIT now what am I going to do!

Thinking quickly I stick the smoke behind my lower back so that I can drop it if need be. In walks mom to check her hair and wash her hands.

Shit, I’m gonna get busted for sure.

Why didn't I lock the door?  Mom leaves.

Phew safe.

Join a great bunch of writers over at Carrot Ranch each week who write a 99 word (no more, no less) flash fiction from the prompts that +Charli Mills gives us. This week the prompt is to write a story that includes a vice.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Loving the Spring Weather - TToT

Last week I told you that I had a huge job to accomplish, which was raking and bagging leaves along with picking up all the doggie delights.  Sunday morning I got dressed and headed out front to attack some leaves. I managed to get as far as raking the curb alongside the road. All of a sudden fatigue hit (chemo side effect) and I knew I had to stop. (Slept on and off for two days) Al and Matt took over and the front of my house looks wonderful. I've been working on the backyard this week and now that I’m feeling much better I should be done in another few days. Thankful that hubby and son were there to help and take over last Sunday. Normally they’d have been at work.

I've been playing “Clash of Clans” on my iPhone now for a few months and it’s amazing how addictive the game is. It’s so nice to have something that makes me relax and forget about everything else for a few minutes throughout the day numerous times. Does anyone else play this game?

The temperature has been in double digits for most of the week and I’m loving it! Today it’s going up to 14C or 57F, perfect day to be outside. I’m not one that likes it too hot. My son came over yesterday in shorts and I said to him it’s not 20 yet, go home and get some pants on. He looked at me like what the hell are you talking about Mom. When they were all little boys I wouldn't let them wear shorts until the temperature hit 20.

Had to take Maggie to the vet as her ear was bothering her. She’s always been prone to ear infections and sure enough she had a bad one. Bruce used to lick her ears all the time and he probably saved me many trips to the vet. I've been flushing her ear and applying drops once a day for a week now and she’s feeling so much better. Yesterday I got her outside chasing a ball, something she hasn't done for quite a while.

Made Maggie her favorite dog cookies today and while they were baking she got to clean out the peanut butter jar.
Mom needs to trim my paws

Have you ever had vanilla tea? Tetley makes one that is sooooo good! Al and I, a couple of hours after dinner each night will have a cup of tea, and this vanilla one is one of our favorites.

Planning a getaway weekend with Al …. He wants to go south and I want to go north. Figures!

Looking forward to June when my mother in law returns for a few months. I always enjoy her company.

Loving life and happy to be alive!

If you'd like to join in on the TToT please go to one of the following link ups and join us.

Your hosts

Friday, April 17, 2015

Save the Park - Flash Fiction

Martha, I hear they want to remove the children’s park down the street and build some fancy hi-fluting high rise in its place.

But they just put in that new pool for the kids last summer and upgraded the play equipment. What a waste of good money!

I’m sure that I read somewhere that that park always had to stay a park. I’m going to investigate this.

Ha! Looky here, it states that William Right donated this as park land with the stipulation that it would always remain a park. I’m going to put a stop to their plans! 

Join a great bunch of writers over at Carrot Ranch each week who write a 99 word (no more, no less) flash fiction from the prompts that +Charli Mills gives us. This week the prompt is about nurturing. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

First Sign of Spring on Wordless Wednesday

While raking this afternoon I found my first sign of Spring among the leaves.

Linking up to +Ruchira Khanna over at ABRACABADRA

Saturday, April 11, 2015

TToT - Been Gone Too Long

It’s been awhile since I've posted anything for TToT. Let’s just say it’s been a hard long winter. Al is finally just starting to get back to work after his fall and bone breaking experience. I'm thankful that he is doing much better these days.

I've missed posting with you guys and hopefully I’ll be able to keep up in the future.

This past Thursday I had my second CAT scan since remission and this scan came back clear again! My oncologist also told me that my lymph nodes are showing no sign of cancer in my neck area. All is good even though I am still having chemo as a preventative measure every 3-4 weeks.

The weather is finally starting to warm up and I’m able to get out more walking with Maggie which is really nice. I think she is enjoying all the extra attention she’s gotten since Bruce died in December.

I was thinking the other day that a year ago I was in a deep depression due to the steroids I have to take with my chemo. Then +Charli Mills started a 99 word flash fiction challenge each week. I recall seeing the first one and this broke me out of my slump. I’ll be forever thankful to her for encouraging me to keep on writing.

Seeing so many people breaking up and marriages ending lately has made me feel so sad for these couples. I’m so thankful that I've always had such a good relationship with Al and I feel so fortunate.

I know I've not made it to ten yet but I'm going to stop here for now as I have a huge back yard to start spring cleaning on. Wish me luck as there’s so much dog do do out there J

If you'd like to join in on the TToT please go to one of the following link ups and join us.
Your hosts

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