Friday, September 28, 2007

Why There Are So Few Dragon Doctors....

I saw the GI specialist yesterday and sure enough, it means more tests. I get to glow in the dark for one and have something shoved up my dragon butt for the other! Lori-Ann’s comment made me think of how risky it would be to try to doctor and angry dragon and out came a doodle!

They’ve told me that both of those tests will be AFTER Toronto in early November, so part of me is very relieved that nothing is going to interfere with the fun of CSNF... but part of me is also not looking forward to being uncomfortable for that much longer!

I went for my first round of physio, prescribed by my doctor in case the pain is being caused by something deep and muscular. While it felt reasonably good at the time, all I can say now is OUCH! Nick insists that I will feel WAY better 24 hours after the little zappy electro-shocky treatment I had today, so I plan to hold him to that!

The fun today was going over the book dummy for Owen and the Dinosaur with the local author. Since few people are probably aware of the process of illustrating a children’s book and watching it grow, I may slap a few pages on the scanner or take some photos to share on this blog for posts next week.

The book dummy is actually one of the most creatively challenging parts of matching the pictures to the text because you are planning out what will go where, how the illustrations will compliment the story rather than distract from it and all fit into a set number of pages. Sometimes it can be a creative high to get things to work within set parameters. Somehow that is less intimidating that just staring at a blank page and having no limits whatsoever.

It poured rain all day today and I must say that the dragon was rather SMUG! I kept looking out at my dry backyard, the dry window well into my office and thinking “Yes, all the digging was WORTH IT!”

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I finally pulled all my tomatoes off a few nights ago because we were getting frost every night and yesterday the temperature soared to over 27 degrees (around 80) which is almost unheard of this time of year! Still, they are ripening rather nicely on my window sill along with my little “Computer Mouse” carving that needed one ear mended with a bit of glue. That got me thinking about how we sometimes find it hard to wait until things are ready.

I had a great time launching Santa’s Dragon on Tuesday. Because You Count (our LNS) was packed and I got great hugs from SuperBeth and her husband, Doug, from Lori-Ann who is starting to share her own unique vision and designs with the world, from some of my favourite Retreat friends and of course from the whole caravan of stitchers who were on Sue Hillis’s fabulous stitching cruise! It was a fun day, but I totally forgot to bring my camera! Bad Dragon! Most people seemed to really like the design, so I hope it was worth the wait. It feels awesome to have the design out at last, even if I did have to correct a Dragon Oooops on the first batch of chart packs. I’d copied the back page from another pattern to get the layout right and the only thing that didn’t get replaced correctly on the back was the STITCH COUNT! Yikes!! Luckily, I’d written a blurb underneath about how stitchers needed an 18 x 24 inch piece, so Wanda from BYC came over to ask me why I was giving them so much extra fabric. She’s calculated things from the stitch count and caught the mistake. I hand corrected all the ones that had been purchased and put a “Dragon Oops!” beside them, so maybe that will make them collector’s items? LOL!

Yesterday was another rough day in terms of pain, so I tried to just do my work in fits and starts and wait for things to calm down a bit. Then I got a phone call from the specialist my doctor had referred me to and I am going for a first consultation today! Hurrah! I’d been warned that the wait could be weeks!! I really don’t care how much they have to poke and prod, I’d just like to get this figured out!

For now, I’ll just head upstairs and put the finishing touches on the rough book dummy for Owen and the Dinosaur because I meet with the author tomorrow morning. We should know by then whether or not the book will be 20 inside pages or 24.

Hmmmm... Two of those tomatoes finally look ripe enough to add to my salad at lunch! Yumm!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Leaving Your Mark...

We found this inukshuk on the beach a few weekends ago, made by someone else who’s been out to enjoy the wonderful scenery. As I searched for a photo to go with this blog entry, an image about marking one’s passage seemed appropriate.

Even the mention of the word cancer is enough to send most of us into a tailspin. Having many of the symptoms of ovarian cancer while my family doctor was away on vacation with no one to cover for her made the last 5 weeks a haze of fear and doubts. It was sleepless nights with enough internal pain to be uncomfortable, but never bad enough to justify the long waits in the Emergency department at the hospital. Not knowing what was causing the pain and other symptoms meant wondering if something was getting worse while they ran tests or left other things until my own doctor got back. I finally found out late Friday that my ovaries look fine. Now it’s on to more tests, some physio and slowly ruling out other things until they find out what is causing all this discomfort. Some of the stuff is so unrelated that I think my doctor is tired of trying to find a correlation. Perhaps it is actually several things going on at once...

Nick still insists that my warranty is running out... but so far, I haven’t smothered him with a pillow.

I read about Dani being so honest and sharing her own fears earlier this year through her blog. I know now what kind of relief you feel when something that scary is ruled out. I have other brave friends out there in cyberspace, at Retreat and in our congregation who had to face the much harsher news that they did indeed have Cancer. They have fought such brave battles that I am in awe. This past month especially has made me wonder if I would cope with as much grace, humour and courage as they have.

I have wandered in that greyness of uncertainty. I have struggled with computer codes and wondered if there would be a point to revamping the site at all if the news was bad. I have hugged my daughters more and prayed that I would have more time with them even as our whole city mourned the loss of four 16 year olds in a horrible car crash. I have drawn, journaled, stitched, prayed, wept, wondered, hidden and finally emerged on the other side of this experience with the certainty that it is NOT about how many days we are each given, but how we live each one to the fullest. It is about how and what type of mark we leave on the world around us and in the hearts of those we love.

It is still frustrating in this day and age not to be able to walk up to a computer screen, let it scan me and have it tell me EXACTLY what is wrong. Picture a Hal type computer voice...

“Eat some dark, leafy greens today, Jen!”

“Time to stay away from the cookie with your tea, Jen.”

“That walk you did is toning your legs rather nicely, Jen.”

“You should put ice on that bruise, Jen.”

“Your iron’s a little low, Jen. Time to go out for some liver.”

“I think you need a hot bath and some chocolate, Jen.”

“You’re thinking too much again, Jen. Go get some sleep!”

If I keep telling myself to just put one foot in front of the other each and every morning, and never go on a chocolate-free diet, I should be fine.