A Message From Kate:

Hi Folks,

I’m hoping to go to Ontario to visit my mother at the end of January or early February.  (On January 15th, she was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme stage 4.)

If you would like to help me out, we would be so grateful if you could kick in a few bucks to help with my travel expenses.

All of the funds donated will go towards my travel expenses (meals, bus, taxi and air fare.) It’s a long way home, but I know there’s plenty of help to get me there.

Thank you so much,

Kate

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Sister Reunion!

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Had an awesome visit with my sister, she’s amazing!

There’s wifi on this bus, so I figured I’ll try and post a quick update. This bus is awesome, cushy comfy seats, new bus. Gross bathroom, but you know, it is greyhound.

The last bus I took from Pembroke to Sudbury was the creepiest, crappiest bus I’ve ever been on, and I kept thinking about that guy who was killed on a bus. Turns out, IT WAS THAT SAME BUS!!! My sister confirmed it was on this route, and all they’ve done with it is replaced the murder seat. So the murder seat is a different colour from the rest of the seats.

I didn’t realize this at the time I was on the bus, my shields were UP, and now I’m really glad for it.

I’m also glad the replacement busses are so nice.

My mother has been hospitalized with low 02 levels. We’re hoping her meds just need tweaking.

My visit is coming rapidly to an end, and I’m ready to go home. I miss Sweetie, my critters and the moist clean air of the coast!

Horse kisses

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This is Marley, and she is a teddy bear of a horse.

Marley came with her name, and at the time my aunts (my mothers sisters) considered it to be a sign as all family pets have had M-y names: Murphy, Mikey, Molly, Monty and now Marly.

Turns out, Marly was so named by her previous owner of 2 years – the rest of her fifteen years she has been called Blondie. It makes you wonder if the Marley name was inspired in part to help my Aunts see her as their next horse. Horses who end up at my aunt’s farm generally live out their lives there.

This handsome fellow is Monty, a no-nonsense cow horse who is the most responsive horse I’ve ever ridden. It’s funny when you can feel the horse sigh or give the feeling of an eye-roll when they get a rusty rider like myself.

That was years ago though, and Monty is starting to show his age. Meanwhile, Marley’s younger brother has been up for sale, and my aunts intent to buy him if he comes up for sale again.

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Coffee & Old Movies

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Opal, my mother’sk talkative budgie.

Many thanks to everyone who has asked after my mother and myself, and especially to those who donated to my travel fund. THANK YOU. I can’t say it enough!

My mother is, well, she’s not fine. But she’s not in a painful state of suffering either, thank god. She has this one week free of radiation and chemo before the chemo routine begins again.

She nods off a lot. She has a lot of bruises. She feels frustrated and cranky pretty often.

On Monday, I posted a Facebook update that I’d caught my mother mid-fall. This happened when she caught her foot at the edge of the ottoman and the cane didn’t give her enough stability to recover.

The near-fall happened after a long day for my mother, so she was tired. But she was also fed up with my father for “hovering”. She wanted to be left alone for an hour or two, she’d be fine.

I need alone time myself, I can relate. Before she nearly fell, it seemed like a reasonable idea.

Well, Monday was an eye-opener. When she’s tired, she *thinks* she can do things, and she spazzes around like a sparrow trapped in a barn. She can’t be left alone without increasing the risk of a serious injury. She’s developed a personality quirk where Mom will do what Mom wants, when she wants, and the stress of illness just cranks up the intensity of her personality.

So it’s not like we can settle her on the couch and leave for an hour. For the caregiver, my father, he’s not comfortable with the possibility of injury while he’s out of the house, even for 30 minutes.

There’s something about my mother’s personality that motivates her to “do what she wants” the second she’s left alone. I can identify with that too.

So, while I’m here, I’m giving my Dad a lot of breaks. I’m cooking a lot of meals, cleaning up, and doing some minor repairs to the bathroom grout.

I drink coffee during the day and watch old movies with my mother, while she dozes.

Yesterday, my aunt and I took her out to Walmart for 10 minutes, then we drove to the waterfront and looked at the iced-over lake, the passing dogs, the crows eating bait left by the ice fishermen, frozen into the ice months ago, thawing out now that spring is here.

And it’s all okay. The most upsetting thing was the loss of dignity my mother has experienced and accepted. She’s still angry about it though. That’s okay, I can understand her resentment.

Even though there’s not a lot to write home about, *being here* takes all of my focus. I’m fine and I’m grateful to be here.

Tomorrow is my 35th birthday. I’ve made my birthday cake, and my sister will make a duplicate when I go visit her on Monday. She will be 29 tomorrow, my six-year younger twin.

Tomorrow, I’m going to go to my aunts farm and visit the horses. Every day I do yoga, I walk to the Pembroke Mall (1hr round trip) and I watch old movies with my mom.

It doesn’t seem like much, but it fills my whole heart.