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Warm Chicken Pot Pie

Winter cooking has already started. My husband and I have found the joy of making chicken pot pie! They are simple to make that take just a bit of prep (cutting veggies) a can of cream soup and a puff pastry and VOILA supper for 2 or 3 nights.


[Knitted Iris] Slow she goes

I am making this Pembroke Vest for a little man (either a very new
little man or a little order little man depending on when I finish/how
bit it is). However I am not getting very far. I've started over twice
already and now at this point I realized that my middle cables were
backwards (WS). Sadness.

So this yarn (Armytage by Sean Sheep) likes to break with use,
especially when you continue to frog. So instead I am trying to turn it
backwards. This process is slow and I'm getting frustrated. Needless to
say this is no longer a Christmas present.

My So Called Sari Scarf is also starting to slow down as I wanted to
work on it during my Go Train ride but find myself knocking into my
seat mate. Oops!

We also started to decorate the house for Christmas. Crafty wise I made
a asymetrical snowflake panel from Free People Clothing . It turned out
really great in our bare kitchen windows, where we have no curtains and
frankly I'm not crazy about putting any up.
My hand hurts now.

A bright spot

My dad's second surgery is this month. No set date yet but still it's soon. Today he called and told me that he was looking yellow again and has an appointment with Angio (sp?) tomorrow to see if something is up with one of his tubes. He didn't want me to get scared should he have to stay in the hospital tomorrow for observations.

So what am I doing around this time? Wedding stuff and trying not to think about how my dad could be too sick, or not even here come August, but lets think positively shall we?

So yesterday we had our Engagement Pictures, which was awesome! I love our photographer. I can't wait for him to take care of our memories for the big day. We went to a great alley in the city and took pictures near garbage and graffiti ! It's going to look fantastic!

This week I also have my hair/makeup trial, my food tasting and my bridal shower!!!!

So positive fun wedding things..

P.S. I hate invitations never ever do them yourself.

The day I almost lost my father

A week ago today I was sitting in a hospital while my dad was having 70% of his liver and gallbladder taken out.  We arrived at the hospital at 6am and made our way to "day surgery", which is laughable as we were told this surgery would take 5 to 8 hours! Mom and I yoinked a private "consultation room" that had two chairs and a small love seat and a closing door since we knew we were here for the long haul. We had packed breakfast, water, pop and I had about five books and my laptop. We were ready.

Dad was taken to change and set up in a temporary bed while we waited for everything to get started. Only one person at a time was allowed to stay with him and Mom stayed most of the time. I got him upset the first time, the aesthetician’s assistant explained the IVs he was going to put in and I didn’t want to stay around for that but it made me cry, which in turn made my dad cry, which makes me cry harder! I’m not sure about anyone else but seeing my dad cry is one of the worst things as he’s my rock. I did see him a couple times after this and held my composure and by quarter to 8 they took him away.


Now the waiting began.


We read, I played Sims, read, spider solitaire. Every two hours I’d come out of our room and call my sister (no cell phone service in the bowels of the hospital) and text work and whatnot. 9:10am the surgery had started and was going well. We didn’t hear anything again until 3 when we had to prompt for info, apparently the head surgery nurse came looking for us but we weren’t there (read that : they didn’t check the room even though we told them we were in one).  We were told that his surgery was taking longer then normal and wouldn’t be done at 3:30pm but maybe around 6.


6 came and went.


We asked again, by this time we had to hunt someone down as day surgery was closed so I broke into post op.


Surgery was still going and would be another 2 to 3 hours. They knew we were there and would come and get us when he was done.


By 8:30pm we could hardly sit. I was constantly trying not to cry as something wasn’t right it was almost 12 hours!  Matt arrived around 9 thankfully and got us tea and hot chocolate. Still we waited – while I spilled very hot hot chocolate on my neck.


10:30pm they came to get us saying he was being moved directly to ICU (which was always the plan) and they might have forgotten about us!  They moved us to the ICU waiting room.


11pm The Surgeon (oh yes he gets caps) came to talk to us…


First that they had found something on his liver, and worried that the cancer had metastasized had it analyzed (by sending a frozen sample which can be analyzed right away…) it came back as negative (thank gods) and he made them do a second opinion, again negative. They are still sending it off for the long test but the chances are slim that it’s positive. So they went ahead with the operation.


The cancer was more advanced then they thought and had wrapped around a blood vessel. The Surgeon did say that normally he wouldn’t have been a surgery candidate if it was known prior to surgery. However The Surgeon is fantastic (despite his bedside manner) and continued. They had to split vessels and put them back together again which he didn’t like because it causes more area for blood clots but he couldn’t save what he wanted to because of the wrapping. Also my dad had swelling because of infections (he had sepsis at one point) which caused the removal of the liver to be difficult, as it didn’t just come off a vessel easily. In fact a blood vessel (portal vein?) tore and my dad started to lose a lot of blood, 6 units in fact! He went into crisis (but not coding) which in turn made his body swell even more.


The Surgeon brought in a Vascular Surgeon to help save my dad and both of them along with The Surgeon’s resident saved my dad. I love them all; they can now do no wrong, regardless of bedside manner.


 So the good news is they got all of the cancer (I love The Surgeon have I said that yet?) but the bad news is they didn’t do the resection (which reattaches the liver, bile duct and intestines) so he still has bags to help drain bile. A second surgery will happen in about two months.


Dad is now out of ICU and in a surgical observation unit. He’s doing well, walking and off epidural. Hopefully he’ll get his semi private room soon which means he’s even more on the road to recovery (right now there are 4 to a room and they get extra nurse care)


I’ve been staying at my parents house this past week, my work being super awesome allowing me to work from home and visit the hospital Mon-Wed. I’m now back at work yesterday and today since I can call him whenever I want now that he’s no longer ICU.


Things are looking up but it has been a hell of a ride and there still more road to go down but for now we are taking each day as we can.

A week ago today I was sitting in a hosiptal while my dad was having 70% of his liver and gallbladder taken out.  We arrived at the hospital at 6am and made our way to "day surgery", which is laughable as we were told this surgery would take 5 to 8 hours! Mom and I yoinked a private "consultation room" that had two chairs and a small love seat and a closing door since we knew we were here for the long haul. We had packed breakfast, water, pop and I had about five books and my laptop. We were ready.

Dad was taken to change and set up in a temporary bed while we waited for everything to get started. Only one person at a time was allowed to stay with him and Mom stayed most of the time. I got him upset the first time, the anesthetitian's


I have a sudden urge to watch LOTR...

Wonder why :) 


Hair laced with gold

I'm starting to get back into wedding planning mode after being extremely depressed for the last month and a bit. Work has been too busy and of course the big cloud that is my dad's sickness has just put me in a mood to do absolutely nothing! So before the big day on the 16th when my dad will lose over half his liver, I thought I'd get back into planning before that rollercoaster takes off.

I started today looking again for hair and makeup. I'd prefer to have one company do it, which is what my sister had, but I've hit a brick wall. Toronto is extremely expensive! I paid $65 for hair and makeup at my sister's wedding and they came to us. I'm looking at $60-$100 for just makeup or just hair! I'm so frustrated as I didn't budget for so such an extravagance.

I'm at a loss of what to do right now.

I hate planning!


Disgustingly Blah

I'm sitting here at work, surrounded by the smell of the holidays. That smell would be none other then a clementine. I know that there are other scents, cinnamon, pine needles, fire, but to me it's definitely clementines. After eating a few (and you can never just eat one) you smell for hours afterwards and it's a scent I love.

I'm not into christmas this year at all. I realized this morning I'm not into anything. I spent the weekend doing nothing, except I did make chili. My bathroom hasn't been cleaned in I don't know how long, and nor do you UGH! My kitchen floor needs a really good scrub and lets not even talk about my area rugs. All I want to do is lay on the couch and watch tv, or play online. The last thing I want to do is pick up a mop and broom, or venture into the crowded malls looking for gifts. It's already December 8th and I've maybe a handful of ideas, and a minute amount of shopping actually done. One gift purchased on Sunday only because it's secret santa day this Wednesday, and I don't even know if I have wrapping paper.

Blah is how I'd describe me right now. My overgrown eyebrows, my half dyed hair with whites at the temple, the split ends and baggy shirt.


It could still get worse

I've had almost the most horrible month and a half imaginable. Almost, not quite, waiting for the other shoe to drop. On October 18th, I was playing Spore on Matt's computer when my mom called. As usual I asked how she was, in which she said "I'm fine, but your father isn't". My world fell, he was in the hospital. He was jaundiced and had white stool, and what I didn't know was dark urine as well. We convinced ourselves it would just be temporary and I decided not to take the time to go and visit them, what could I do anyway. The next week he stayed in the hospital, tests after CT after MRI showed nothing. And by the next Saturday dad was still in the hospital and I'd temporarily moved in to my parents house (on the Friday - Halloween). He was given a weekend pass that first weekend I was there, and we spent the time cleaning and enjoying ourselves, my dad looking just fine except for the yellow skin. I had Monday off from work as a personal day, and spent the day with my dad in the hospital. By this point we had already googled to our hearts dismay and knew what could be coming, inconclusive tests compounding our fear. That Monday the "House-esk" surgeon told my dad he had cancer, bile duct cancer. Bluntly. "So it's cancer and..." I didn't really hear much after that. I hugged my dad and cried slightly after the surgeon left, wondering out loud how he KNEW it was cancer if they'd yet to do a biopsy. Of course I couldn't think of this while he was still in the room. The surgeon stated that he would be taking 75% of my dad's liver as the cancer was in the duct that's inside the liver. He had to make sure that there would be enough liver left over and was consulting with other doctors in the Credit Valley. They would also be giving him a shunt to bypass the blockage and reduce his other symptoms, which now included extreme itchy skin. The next week I worked from home, luckily it wasn't busy and I was still able to find time for the hospital and my dad. He was given a shunt and bag to help drain the bilirubin. The bag worked and they decided to shut it off and just use the shunt, but unfortunately and his biliruben levels went up and my dad's patience for the hospital went down. He went back on the bag and was sent home and a nurse assigned. By this point my sister and nephew had arrived and I spent the time traveling between downtown and my parents house, the hospital and trying to see my family. Matt was at home, unable to commute properly from my parents house. November 21st, 1 week after being released at home, my dad was taken back to the hospital. That whole week he had been leaking from the entry site of the bag. He spent over 24 hours before he got a bed and a room and another 24 hours before the diagnosed him with e-coli poisoning! As I was back at my apartment I didn't realize how bad he was until I came for the weekend, and heard the stories of his extreme shakes and chills. They fixed his tube and he's back at home. I find it hard to write about but also have to! They are still waiting to find out if they will need to try embolization, which essentially cuts off blood to the right side of his liver to promote the growth of the left, leaving him with more after the surgery. Hopefully they won't need to do this so they can get this fast acting and deadly cancer out. My dad hasn't been told a survival rate, or if he has he's not sharing with me. The internet is horrible and I try not to read about this cancer with this 0% chance if not completely removed. Work is crazy busy and despite what some might think, busy all the time is NOT good as in my line of work it leaves me with less time for family and much more stress. I have enough stress thanks. I know very well this can and probably will get a whole lot worse. I'm trying to be strong for my family, for my mom and sister. Really I just want to curl up and cry for days. Instead I'm just going to go to bed and face another day.

TMI Tuesday

I thought I'd do a Meme while I procrastinated!


1. Describe the perfect date for YOURSELF... what you would enjoy most.

     Ugh I hate this question. I'm not one for thinking about "perfect" whatever, since it's the moment that will make it perfect. A date might be planned out perfectly but any little thing can go wrong, or even the person

2. Do you lean more toward being submissive or dominant?

   Submissive actually

3. What do you usually wear to bed?

   Pjs which are usually a tank top and pj bottoms. Last night was shorts instead of actual pants

4. Have you ever seen a counselor?


5. Lights on or off?

    I like mood, like a red or coloured light. Enough that you can see but not enough so it hurts your eyes.


Saturday recovery

Sometimes after a tragedy like last weekend was, you need a bit of happiness to help everyone heal. We accomplished this with a very well planned engagement BBQ, which I hope helped everyone forget the past a little and celebrate the future.

Saturday morning we woke up to rain, even after the weatherman told us that from 8am on there would be clear skies. He lied as it rained off an on until at least 12noon with the BBQ guests scheduled to arrive anytime after 1pm! After much running around in the morning, searching for this and not finding that, we made it home showered and everything was out and ready by 2pm (the rain did slow us down putting stuff outside).

The party had overcast skies for most of the day but the sun did join us during our very lengthily game of bocce ball, 8 balls everyone with their own ball! Yellow unfortunately won, I was red.

I can't express how happy I felt on Saturday, surrounded by friends and family, with great food and great fun. It was over before I knew it but I wouldn't change a thing.

Less then a year until I'm a married woman!!


Iris Lise

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December 2010




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