Life its own self

Posted by bernicky - July 30th, 2010

My wife had a full body PET scan on Monday. We don’t know the results yet but will know them on the 11th of August when we next visit the friendly neighbourhood oncologist.

This week we have spent keeping busy – a little bit of busy work and a little bit of time wasting. As we cannot go on a family vacation I have been taking us out to eat at lunch time. Sometimes a food court some times a restaurant some times a fast food joint – today it was fast food (Tim’s and Wendy’s). Later in the day we went DVD shopping and picked up Horton Hears a Who at 6.99 and Breaking Bad the complete first season for 14.99. While we were shopping it occurred to us that our children’s cinematic education has been lacking. To correct this we have decided to start the family movie night which will happen on Friday or Saturday night depending on availability. The goal is to give our children an education in movies, making certain they see the movies which have formed Hollywood and cinema history and understand their significance even if they don’t necessarily like them. We are leading off with Gone With The Wind – my wife’s choice as I had though Casablanca would have been a good starting point (not too heavy, moves quickly, good guys, bad guys and love everything in one movie). The kids are enthusiastic about the idea even suggesting some movies as possibilities for future viewing and wholeheartedly approving the idea that all genres including  animation, horror and SF will be represented. The second movie choice will be up to me and now I am leaning towards Snow White but we will see.

Recently we have been watching Weeds. It is very good but I am loathe to say more because I really need to write a review first.

Pictures – Catching up with the 365

Posted by bernicky - July 26th, 2010



This once again is a flower from my neighbour’s glorious garden.

Almost Home

We went out for an easy 11k – the kids on their bikes myself on blades.

Successful Sandwich

Occupational therapy involved chopping vegetables and making a sandwich. The plate with the sandwich and celery is the product of about 25 minutes of work.

Mural Outside Tim Horton's - Decarie near Queen Mary

Just a mural shot nice work.

West Island Dragons

My wife and daughter with the West Island Dragons dragon boat team shortly after the carnation ceremony at the Montreal Dragon Boat Festival.

Heavy Equipment

Heavy Equipment

They are digging up part of Terra Cotta a park where I like to run. Just had to shoot it or I wouldn’t have had a shot for the day 🙂

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Most of the time

Posted by bernicky - July 25th, 2010

Most of the time I, really, I just want to cry. What is the good in that? I listen to the baby monitor now as my wife sleeps and I just want to curl up and sleep the sleep of the dead but I know she will wake in three hours from now and need help getting to the bathroom. So what kind of husband am I that I just want to cry? Truly I hate this fucking disease. There are no words for what I feel about it.

Today we went to the dragon boat festival at the Montreal Olympic Basin. We watched the West Island Dragons grab 3rd place in their heat and then watched the carnations ceremony. It was fun. My wife had  a good time.


Posted by bernicky - July 24th, 2010

On Thursday last we went to the neurologist at the Jewish General Hospital. It actually seemed to me that it would be a wasted visit. We had seen the results of the MRI and new that it was clear. We had seen the neurosurgeon who had adjusted the medication introducing Decadron, but still we went because you never know.

The appointment was a curiosity in some ways because the doctor had last seen my wife in June of 2009 and was completely unaware of what had transpired between then and now. Fortunately I brought a brief medical history with me which allowed him to come up to speed fairly quickly. He had an intern working with him on that day and shortly after he understood everything that was going on he called in the intern to watch as he conducted a very simple test. It is hard to understand how much of a blow the test was to me because I really had no idea what was being done or what was going to show.

The test was simple enough. The doctor laid out a watch, a penny, a book, a pen, a set of keys onto a chair in front of my wife. First he asked her to pick up the penny. She reached out and touched the penny. Then he asked her to pick up the watch. She reached out and touched the watch. Then he asked her to take the watch and put it on the book. After some hesitation she reached out and touched the book. Then he asked her to take the penny and put it on the book. Again after some hesitation she reached out and touched the book. Then he asked her what the pen was and she identified it – kind of but it was clear that she was thinking of the word. Then he went through the picture book asking her to identify animals in the book. It was hit and miss on the words but she knew what the animals were most of the time. Though when asked which animal gave milk a sheep or a goat she chose sheep. When asked to identify a dog and later a cat she could not say their names but when the doctor meowed my wife pointed at him and said “That’s him, it’s you.” The connection was there but she did not look back at the picture to identify the cat even after prompting to point to the animal which would make a meow sound.

Wrong words, not having the words, mispronouncing the words she does know (usually the most important word in the sentence) are all elements of the expressive aphasia and apraxia from which she is suffering. The inability to follow even simple compound instructions is a symptom of something which goes deeper than we thought. This knowledge will help us in the future as it is completely clear now that all tasks must be approached in a step by step by step approach not doubling up tasks.

Summer so far

Posted by bernicky - July 19th, 2010

It has been a while since the last real post. Since my time off from work started life has continued apace with appointments for the children from Orthodontist to doctors appointments as well as appointments for my wife at the doctor and at rehab in Lachine. The upshot really is that as always there is less and less time to do anything. My mother-in-law has taken advantage of my presence in the house to abandon the house between the hours of 10 and 6 every day knowing full well that, that leaves me with no time to do anything outside of the house but returns home in time to look disapprovingly upon our evening DVD sessions of HBO programming (nothing but filth doncha know – Sopranos, Dexter, Deadwood, United States of Tara). In general all the shopping and other household duties have to fit into very narrow slips of time where my wife is either asleep, in the shower or accompanying me to the mall. In part the problem is that my wife is loath to be without my presence so even something as simple as mowing the lawn bothers her.

On another front our daughter has continued to withdraw from active life. She was never the one to call her friends for play dates and now they have stopped calling her which is a bit of a red flag. I wonder whether it is because she has fallen out of favour or if others are just busy with their summer activities (probably the latter but I can’t help but wonder). On the upside she does still go out for bike rides with her brother and spends some time with him. I would like to take them both on hikes but see the above paragraphs for reasons why this doesn’t happen – an off road wheelchair strikes me as a good idea.

My son on the other hand has had a reasonably active summer so far. He has been playing baseball, going out with friends to LaRonde or just hanging out. These are good things in my book and he is looking forward to his graduating year at BHS. Both he and our daughter spend too much time in front of a computer screen as far as I am concerned but in all honesty I am otherwise occupied which makes getting them to do other things problematic.

The 365 project is far more difficult that I thought it would be. I am still going to give it a go but after two weeks I am already wondering if it is even possible for me to accomplish. The other thing I wanted to do this summer is spend more time learning to draw. I picked up Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain and have done the first four preinstruction exercises. Now if I can find the time to read the rest of the book and get the projects done maybe my drawings will improve certainly they couldn’t get worse.

Sue and Susy visited with their daughters on Saturday which was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. The girls went for ice cream and got trapped in a cloud burst – I had to go rescue them while Sue and Susy visited with my wife. At the end of the day though it was an enjoyable visit my wife was upset with her declining ability to verbalize – the increase in verbal ability which happened with the introduction of Decadron has all but disappeared.

And the beat goes on.

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Picture of the day – Day 14

Posted by bernicky - July 19th, 2010

Pink Hibiscus


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Picture of the day – Day 13

Posted by bernicky - July 19th, 2010

bizarre tree trunk

Top Heavy

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Picture of the day – Day 12

Posted by bernicky - July 19th, 2010

gas station

Gas Station Near Home

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Picture of the day – Day 11

Posted by bernicky - July 19th, 2010


The butterfly next door

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Picture of the day – Day 10

Posted by bernicky - July 19th, 2010

Video game tournament

Video game tournament

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