It occurred to me …


I need to cut myself some slack.

Three celebrities about who’s health I’ve blogged ( Luke Perry, Emilia Clarke and Mick Jagger each had something life threatening that I’ve had except I’ve had all three things happen and had them all in the same time frame. The order for me was massive stroke, open heart bypass surgery 3 weeks later, and 6 cerebral aneurysms currently growing in my brain that were a delayed response to the stroke, 3 years later.

I’m way too hard on myself. I’ve been telling myself that I have such a long way to go with my recovery, never seeing how far I’ve come. Until those 3 posts made me realize my own strength of body and of mind. Today marks week 3 of exercising 4 days a week 45 minutes each day and I ended the day by chastising myself because I could only climb and decend 21 steps and I had planned to add 7 steps, but I just couldn’t do it.

I’ve never been an athlete. I’m not training for anything. There’s no practicing dance routines. No deadline exists, that I’m aware of. But here I am, obsessing over not being able to add 7 bloody steps. Oh I will be trying to add those steps tomorrow, but if I lack the required stamina again, instead of self admonishment I vow to try my very best to let it go.

Third time lucky


Mick Jagger

I’ve been waiting and worrying over any news of recent heart valve replacement surgery. Every time I clicked on another article that quotes from Mick Jagger’s twitter account, that I, of course, follow and check each morning. This morning the most recent tweet finally changed to this.

“Thank you everyone for all your messages of support. I’m feeling much better now and on the mend- and also a huge thank you to all the hospital staff for doing a superb job ”

At last I could exhale. My heart could relax. This was the news about the health of a celebrity about whom I care. And he was having heart surgery, something I know about, first hand. But, lucky for him he was having minimally invasive heart surgery.

The surgery I underwent was maximally invasive, involving cracking open my sternum and cutting a hole in my heart big enough to remove a large tumor, then patching the hole with an actual patch ( guaranteed to last 100 years ) 💯. My zipper scar is long and is proof of my strength.

My zipper scar. Please forgive the crumbs.

I still think of the scar as a sexy line that enhances my ample cleavage. Ironically, it’s mostly women commenting on it.

While I’m a little sad that we won’t have a scar in common, I’m more than thrilled if a wee bit jealous that his recovery will be quick and relatively pain free.

Note to Jagger, you’ll be playing with the kids and grandkids and the boys in the band in no time. 😉

Who would have thought that this is the guy in the band who doesn’t have the bum ticker.

And another lucky one


Actress Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones

Just a few days ago actress Emilia Clarke told the world that she is indeed a strong and hardworking woman by mentioning that she survived 2 life threatening cerebral aneurysms. While I’m very happy to hear that she survived the brain surgery , I’m more than a little jealous that her aneurysms were operable. I know how painful the migraine headaches are among other worrisome issues that come with cerebral aneurysms and it couldn’t have been easy working through the dizziness and pain without having it show on her face.

Meanwhile, here I sit with my 6 inoperable cerebral aneurysms , pushing through the best I can.

Last week, I began a new morning routine and changed my 3 days a week, 2 hours each day of help, focusing on getting ready for the day to 4 days a week 1 hour a day focusing on exercise. I’ve been improving. Today I went up and down 21 steps and walked approximately 200 meters . Next week I plan to climb 28 steps and walk farther, assuming that one of my 6 aneurysms doesn’t pop an important blood vessel and kill me or worse. Oh,and by the way, all cerebral aneurysms are life threatening if only quality of life.

A cure for the hiccups


I stumbled upon a hiccup cure the other day. It feels odd, but it works. So much so that I can almost guarantee that you will never have more than 1 hiccup again. If you can breathe, you can do it. It doesn’t take athletic prowess or a great intellect. All you have to do is steer into it by breathing in while the first hiccup occurs. It may feel counterintuitive, but it works. Since my stroke, I’ve been getting bad bouts of hiccups after every meal, some of which lasting for hours. Until the other day, when, while yawning I hiccuped. I felt the breath travel quickly lower than ever before. I didn’t have another one til the next day after breakfast. It took until the 4th hiccup that I remembered, then on the 5th time I inhaled and that fixed it. I’ve used the same technique for every apres meal bout. Try it for yourself and let me know how it works out.

Who’s the lucky one?


Luke Perry 52, dead from a massive stroke.

Over the past few days, I’ve been following the story of Luke Perry and the massive stroke he suffered . His death was announced less than an hour ago. The first word that came out of my mouth was, “lucky “. Why is he the lucky one? I hear you ask. Well from my perspective, anyone who has a massive stroke and dies within days is lucky. Lucky not to have to wake up in pain every day. Lucky not to have to be fed from a tube for more than a month. Lucky not to have to learn to swallow again as spittle drools uncontrollaby from the affected side of his mouth. Lucky not to have to have 2 nurses change his diaper multiple times a day. Lucky not to have to try desperately to move a muscle, any muscle with no response for months. Lucky not to have to spend years learning to walk again. It’s been almost 4 years and I still have to use a quad cane and calling what I do walking is still rather generous. My stroke took from me all of the things in life that I took pleasure in. I used to walk to anywhere I needed to go. I used to dance, when I say this I mean from the age of 4, I took classes in ballet, then later also tap and jazz dance classes. My entire life there has been dance. If you’ve been following this blog, you can know that for the past year or so I’ve found that the stroke still has new ways of affecting me via 6 aneurysms currently growing in my brain which have been caused vision problems, making my love of reading almost impossible, and updating this blog a much lengthier and frustrating process. I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy what I’ve been dealing with since my stroke occurred in August of 2015. Let alone what my husband and parents have had to deal with. It takes a great deal of inner strength to go through what I’ve been through and if you are not strong enough to live through it you are better off dead.

Tom Petty was so right.


This is me enduring the hardest part

The waiting is the hardest part. Just got the results of my last set of brain scans after what felt like a year but in reality was only a month. My family doctor gave me the run down. There was a moment after she read the first line of the report, that read , this case is highly unusual, when we looked at each other and both exclaimed, No kidding! The “good news” is that the majority of the aneurysms are stable. There are but two noteworthy changes. There now exists a 6th aneurysm located in the left hemisphere of my brain, so now it’s even 3 aneurysms per hemisphere. And the largest of the aneurysms has grown a bit. It now measures 6 millimeters as opposed to 5 millimeters 9 months ago. I have no idea if that is a little or a lot. I do know that they’re considered small, but I still need to know if it is growing quickly or at a glacial pace. Hoping for the latter , but knowing that it doesn’t get better from here. The wait time is the most stressful time I have to kill, and no amount of movie or tv watching makes it any less stressful. On a lighter note my exercises are improving. I’m able to do harder things more quickly and without losing my breath. As a matter of fact I’m now climbing 14 steps and walking a hallway that measures over 100 meters in half the time it used to take me at 15 minutes. I’m very proud of that. I’m trying to think of something new to throw on top of that before I start climbing to the 3rd floor. It feels like I’m ready to add to my routine, but not quite that much. There will be new video of my progress soon, hopefully 😊

More than we bargained for


It’s been almost a year since we adopted the adorable Graham from the SPCA, and I’ve been trying to figure out his breed since day one. All we actually know is that the SPCA put his age at one year and one month and he was found in small city a ferry ride and several hours away. Right from the beginning, he seemed younger, even though his size was about right.

Graham at *1 year and 1 month says the SPCA

The first second I saw him, you may recall, I was struck by his resemblance to the Russian blue colouring. Grey fur with silver tipping and gradation of colour around the nose. Then after a few months pass with Graham getting bigger and heavier, along comes a sad teenage wisp of mane and thickness of the upper lip.

Then, seemingly overnight he was nearly 18 pounds and the mane and tail are getting a lot fuller . His head is bigger too.

Graham now, still not fully grown
Meanwhile, here’s Boo our tiny female, fully grown tortoise shell

He’s now getting so big that my guesses as to breed go beyond just colouring to size , face shape and personality. As for size of cat and paws and shape of face we’ve been looking at the maine coon cat, but still thinking a Russian blue mix, until today when I found pictures of a maine coon cat and the nebelung ( which is the long haired russian blue ) that look almost exactly like Graham.

I feel like we need him to do a 23 and me test to really know what type of mix he is, however he’s an affectionate,gentle, loyal, funny, playful, absolutely beautiful guy to live with.