Another year

Posted by bernicky - December 30th, 2007

Tomorrow is our fifteenth wedding anniversary.

Everyone who marries makes an adjustment from being single to being married. Adjusting to change is a constant in everyones life it is a familiar part of our lives whether we recognize it or not. In the words of Gunny Highway “You improvise. You adapt. You overcome.” Lynn has been doing a lot of adapting and overcoming recently learning to walk, doing her physio exercises and generally dealing with the new limitations imposed on her. As disabilities go having one leg being paralyzed certainly leaves us with the feeling that things could be much worse.

The new year will undoubtedly bring more challenges which I hope we will meet with as much humility and humor as we can muster and wish the same for you.

Canada run photos

Posted by bernicky - December 26th, 2007

We took tons of photos in Las Vegas and haven’t sorted through them all yet, but in the meantime the photos from the Canada run are now in the gallery if you are interested.

The Comedy Network Hijacking Browsers

Posted by bernicky - December 25th, 2007

Imagine you are interested in U.S. based comedy and run a website which is focused on stand-up comedy and U.S. based comedy movies and television shows. Now imagine that you do not live in the U.S. but in Canada. Now imagine that a some corporation does not want you to access American content so they arrange to have all Canadian access to the U.S. site blocked and redirected to their Canadian website.

As ridiculous as this may sound it is exactly what is happening. Canadians trying to access the U.S. based Comedy Central website are unceremoniously redirected to the considerably less entertaining The Comedy Network Canada site. Browser hijacking by smut peddlers and Viagra salesmen is one thing but when it happens on a corporate level it takes on a whole new level of insidiousness. While it may seem silly to rail about a comedy website block what if the block were by Canada’s health care system redirecting all medical queries back to Canadian hospital sites? Where one corporation can hijack a browser so can others.

Comedy Central Blocked

This is not some random event on the WWW this is a planned hijack of Canadian surfers who want to visit a U.S. based website and are being prevented from accessing that website and being redirected to a website in which they have little or no interest. The Comedy Network has redefined corporate ethics.

Halo effect

Posted by bernicky - December 24th, 2007

Halo

Above is a halo. A halo is a $16 000.00 piece of equipment which is screwed to the head and measurements are then taken in a CT scan to determine the exact placement of a brain tumor so that the head can be positioned correct when doing a focused radiation “surgery”. The halo remains on all day long being removed at the end of the “surgery”. The “surgery” has been scheduled for January 10th and we are ready to go. The news we had today was the coolest of the news so far: This is a one time treatment. Arrival at the hospital is already scheduled and it will be a day long affair but after that it is done! One treatment – one time and then CT or MRI every three months.

The word surgery is in quotations above because there is no cutting involved. Radiosurgery was invented by a surgeon and a radiobiologist and relies on absolute knowledge of where the tumor is in relation to the halo before cross firing radiation through the tumor. Today’s radiotherapist was quite upbeat and positive saying that there was a roughly a one in four chance that the tumor would continue to grow after being treated roughly the same odds for the tumor to remain exactly the same size and grow no further and the rest of the spectrum is all about shrinkage. Theoretically it is possible that the tumor started around the same time as the original breast cancer was diagnosed and took this long to develop into something deserving notice. On that basis we are confident that the prognosis is excellent – ‘Tis the season to be jolly fa la la la la, la la la.

Merry Xmas everyone.

Finally

Posted by bernicky - December 23rd, 2007

Yes! All the Xmas shopping is done – or at least all I intend to do has been done.

Yesterday was my first run day since the Las Vegas marathon. It was probably unwise to start back with nineteen and a half but it was definitely a way to discover how out of shape I had let myself get. Today I went out with the club again for an easy 13.3 which was agony revisited as I brought up the rear of the pack the club looping back several times to pick me up and carry me back in – colour me red.

Sunday Run
Myself, Bill in back (proud owner of a VW Phaeton), Allison, Michelle, Steve, Jimmy, Ted crouching, Sonja, Nestor (aka – the blue flame), Suzy.

Endurance

Posted by bernicky - December 22nd, 2007

Distance running is about slogging it out even when the end of the run seems to be receding instead of drawing near but you don’t have to be a runner to have endurance.
Lynn knows something about endurance with the initiation of new treatments from drugs to surgery to a scheduled visit to the radiotherapy department at the Montreal General on Xmas eve for a consult. We don’t exactly know why the sudden change of venue for treatment only that we have been summoned for a morning appointment. Therapy shouldn’t start on Monday as Lynn has not been measured and marked for nuking.

Today we spent what little energy either of us had draining our bank account in our hasty effort to get some Xmas shopping done. While big people may understand that we have been distracted of late Xmas still has to come for the children.

Happiness

Posted by bernicky - December 18th, 2007

We grow as we age. One of the most frustrating things that the young encounter is the seeming complacency of the “older” generation. The benign and somewhat condescending looks and statements about how “you will learn” are usually mistaken for stupidity or rapidly approaching senility when they are simply the result of experience. In the past two days both of my children have asked me about happiness and why I am happy and both have been confounded by my answer.

I am happy because I am content with who I am. Being farther from perfect than most people, not as smart as most and not as wealthy as others and not having accomplished something with my life are no longer criteria by which I judge myself or my life. I am what I do and what I do is what I love so every day is a day by which I affirm my own existence. My wife is the center of my life and the anchor to which I have have tethered in the storm that surrounds us every day. Worrying about the future cannot change the future but concern is a natural thing and I am concerned about my wife’s life, my children’s life and my own life and what will come to pass in the upcoming months. Still in the face of what has come to pass happiness remains as if in spite of it all.

The secret to happiness is no secret at all and that is why it is so evasive to so many: Happiness comes from within. It is the realization that you are who you are and that everything you feel and believe is a reflection of yourself. Explaining this to a thirteen and nine year old is not an easy thing to do and I’m not certain they buy it. On the other hand not explaining what has been known for thousands of years but took me decades to discover would be a crime.

Homecoming

Posted by bernicky - December 18th, 2007

Yesterday my wife returned home and settled back into the house.

We have some adjustments to make as she is not allowed to drive, is still getting used to walking with the cane and brace and she is going to be away from work for some time to come. A period of adjustment.

We are looking forward to Xmas.

One more day

Posted by bernicky - December 16th, 2007

We finally had a good look at the incision the neurologist made to get at the tumor. He had said jokingly that it was a barn door and it seems he was not joking. Click the picture if you really want to see a larger version.
Small photo of operation scar.

In good spirits again today my wife now awaits tomorrows three hour PET/CT scan. We will see what there is to see once that is done.

Meanwhile the Montreal area has been hit by another snow fall which is kind of pretty. The shoveling and driving in the stuff I can do without but what can you do when you live in Quebec?
snow fall

Non est vivere sed valere vita est

Posted by bernicky - December 14th, 2007

My wife can move her right knee. The new range of movement is not a lot but it is enough that she can use a cane instead of a walker. Her custom fitted foot brace looks like something out of Star Wars and does the job of keeping her foot from rolling over onto the ankle as she walks. In a stroke of strange luck my wife had purchased a pair of New Balance 755 running shoes the last time we were at the Running Room. She bought them because she was doing a couch to 5K program and they were the same shoe I wear for training and on top of everything else they were available in pink. As it turns out the shoe was exactly the brand the physiotherapist prefers for the for type of foot brace my wife has because the 755 has a roomy toe box and removable insole.

We have an arrival at home date finally: Monday the 17th the day after a predicted snow storm.

This past week has been like the twenty minutes in the corral before the start of a marathon. It felt longer than it was and there is no way to know for sure how the rest of it is going to go only that it is going to be long and hard.

Bring it on.

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