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Reply by oldbat
27 Oct 2016, 8:43 PM

Dear, dear Jimmie and Nouce, and everyone who has so kindly asked how I am doing,

I just read your posts from July on a few minutes ago, and only  wish I had been strong enough to do so sooner.  But I certainly haven't forgotten any of you, and think many times of you all and your difficult lives.

I left hospital at the end of July (3 months!!!) and, after a week of decompressing, was given 5 days to move Karl to a new home!  You can imagine the chaos that ensued!  It is a much nicer home, although he's had trouble adjusting, but seems to be settling down a bit now.  He has his own room, thank God.  In the previous home, his room-mate would ask me, every time I walked through the door, "when are wheel trans picking you up"?  I got pretty fed up with that, and told him they were actually coming for him as I was taking over his bed.  Nasty old bat!  It's also much newer, very light, bright and spacious, with lovely "private" seating areas all through each floor, and a great covered patio where we sat a lot during August and September.  The home is set in some lovely grounds, old growth trees, lots of flowers growing, veggies too!  And, best of all, it's much closer to me.  He still comes over for several hours each Sunday, and I try to go see him one other day during the week.  I wish I could do more but, between his medical/dental appointments and my own - very numerous since the latest hospital sojourn -  I don't always make it.  I've had three falls, one quite serious, since coming home, so am being supervised by an army of caregivers!  Not as spry as the athlete I used to be!

I wish I could tell you that hospital did the trick for me.  Unfortunately, no.  I am still burned out and exhausted from having to do everything for Karl completely alone.  His daughters (remember the Ugly Sisters?) did help on moving day, but have been virtually invisible since then.

I am trying, with the help of a very nice therapist I met in the hospital, to move at least emotionally, beyond these last few, terrible years.  Hard work!  But I'm a tough old bat!

This has been a dreadful year for so many people.  I have a few close friends who are also going through hell - deaths and horrible illnesses in the family, etc.  Did Stephen Harper put something in the Toronto water?  It's where I would have liked to put him!  Not too sure about "sunny days" yet.  Still no tax break for me, or other solo care-givers who are financially, as well as physically and emotionally, responsible for the people they're caring for.  I've become The Compleat Activist.  Joining with the CMA on Demand-A-Plan for seniors, emailing and writing everyone from Mr. S.D. on down.  And I won't stop 'til something is done about our situation.  I've figured that, because of all the expenses I incur for Karl, I can't even afford to go into assisted living, which a couple of those doctor-people have suggested.  And, while he gets a new wheelchair, glasses and dental care, I can't afford any of that for myself.  Moan!  Bitch!  Whine!  Sorry about that.

Wondering how Vietnam is/was Katherine, and how you are doing.  You too Xenia.  God, I have so missed the company, caring and compassion of you all on CVH.

Special shout-out to you, Jimmie,, for your wonderful words in July.  Soothed my very soul they did.  

BIG CYBER HUG to each and every one of you.  I'll try not to be such a stranger!


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Reply by NatR
27 Oct 2016, 8:57 PM

Hello Old Bat

that was quite the story contained in your email.  I am so sorry to hear about your ill health falls and continued overloaded responsibilities.  It must be so draining for you - a note hardly can make any difference to your situation but I hope you feel the connection and the concern from me so far away.

i dearly wish caregivers who are struggling with their own health, their loved ones health and all the details that go with that - wouldn't have to fight for support both financial and real help.

all I can say is - put yourself first and take care of you without feeling guilt

i do hope it wont be so long before you can write again / sending you best wishes for continued strength and well being - and for your loved one as well

fsll has arrived with a sneaky lowering of temperatures- like we can't tell that's happening - but grateful we haven't had any real snowfall yet.  I know other parts of Canada have beeN getting their first taste of snow 

every sunny day is appreciated and every day I can get out is wonderful

I was thinking the message board was being very quiet - thanks for nudging Us awake from our naps :) and hope to hear from you again soon

Hugs and good thoughts from me to you as well as all readers of the forum!
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Reply by Nouce
28 Oct 2016, 11:44 AM



I too was glad to hear from Old Bat, but sad about how difficult it's been. Even in the "sunny south" ffall has arrived. We're just rying to survive the electoral idiocy down here, and I'm thankful that Pablo no longer cares to watch the stuff.

He was sick last night, with a fever and nausea. I hope to meet the hospice nurse there today or tomorrow. What a long  journey.


Sending you all love,


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Reply by KathCull_admin
16 Nov 2016, 6:38 PM

Always good to hear updates - my new phrase - and see how life is unfolding for you. Nouce I think I speak for many Canadians - we have been very much a part of the American elections. Was Pablo a keen follower of politics? 

NatR I imagine you are getting cooler weather now too - perhaps another thing you can be thankful for Nouce is warmer weather in your adopted country?  

Xenia how is your new place working out. When I read your last post you seemed very content - I hope that has continued.  

Jimmie are you still driving along the coast? As I write I remember my drive from the North Sydney Ferry to Halifax - wonderful. (too small a word but that is what I came up with)
Oldbat, I had a great trip to Vietnam. When asked what stood out for me - it was the food, like Hoi An Pizza - deep fried wontons' with a lovely tomato sauce and shrimp and the people. Lots and lots of people, close to you, leaning against you, holding your  hand as you cross between hundreds of motorbikes and cars. I realized how much personal space we all need to have in western countries:)

And to anyone else who reads this thread. Hope life is unfolding as best it can for you.

Take care

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Reply by Nouce
17 Nov 2016, 12:13 AM

Greetings, grief and despair are markers of this time. Deaths--my 52-year-old cousin, Leonard Cohen, journalist Gwen Ifill, Katie,  a woman mentor to me. At the same time, Pablo struggles along, skin breaking down, mind ever more fuzzy, yet seemingly unconcerned by the political morass outside his nursing care unit.

I am wearing a safety pin to let folks know, who are afraid for their safety in the post-US-election period, that I am supportive and safe. Pablo, who used to be an avid news follower, has not noticed. At least for this I am grateful he has moved into a different space. A friend stopped by this afternoon, and it was warm enough to go out for a walk. Let me, let us cling to these little bits of joy.

I'm grateful for the Canadian news analyses I am getting which remind us, who read them, that there are other ways to be human together.


Love to all, Nouce


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Reply by AdoptedSon
17 Nov 2016, 1:00 AM

Life does suck, or so it seems.

I don't know but it all seems so pointless and just plain misserable and then some small thing pops up that makes all the grief, the despair just disappear.

Like when you just wish it woulkd all end, then you glance up, feel the 45kmh wind blowing in your face and there is that one single leaf blowing its heart out, but refusing to let go of the branch, just twisting everyway as the wind howls around it. Or the plant that is water logged and the branches/stem is brown with shriveled leaves around it, but up near the top is a brand new open flower, and several new buds are sprouting right at the top.

You wonder at it, and despite all the news there are some small signs that if you just take one step ahead, it might just be okay.

There are times when you feel surrounded by grief, by insurmountable odds and obstacles, when all seems dark, then you feel the rub of a cold wet nose on your hand, and see your dog looking up at you with nothing but love in her eyes and it all just suddenly feels right.

I haven't been writing much for some time, but I have kept up and well, yes Life does suck, but reading all your posts, your amazing courage, is like sseeing that leaf twisting in the wild wind, refusing to let go of its branch.

It all helps give one hope that maybe tomorrow, it will be better.

Thank you all
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Reply by oldbat
17 Nov 2016, 1:40 AM

Dear Ian, and all you  other wonderful people on this board. What a touching message you sent us,Ian.  You're right about the eternal existence of hope. We tend to lose or ignore it, locked as we are in the grim routine of our daily grind.   But there are moments when we are taken unaware by a sudden burst of beauty, which you have expressed so well , Ian.  A fragment of music, an unexpected call from or meeting with a friend , a piece of particularly decadent  chocolate , bubbles in a  glass of sparkling wine, a stranger smiling at you on the street ... anything and everything can give us a moment out of time.  A moment to cherish and relish.  A moment that reminds us that there is beauty, still joy, still hope to be found in life.
Thank you you so much has for helping us remember.  

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Reply by NatR
17 Nov 2016, 2:15 AM

Hi everyone and thank you Katherine for breathing life into this thread
personally I got very wound up in the politics of our neighbours south of the border

it's like a reality show without end - I guess it's good to be interested in something and take the focus off the sometimes difficlily or challenging parts of our lives  

i am so grateful for my friends both online and offline  
Katherine it sounds like you had a trip of a lifetime.  Vietnam is a bit more than I could handle - I really like my safe and quiet locale, but am glad you are still adventurous!
 To AdoptedSon, Nouce, Xenia Okdbat, I hope you all gird yourselves for winter
katherine we are enjoying very mild temps - +7 this evening, I am grateful for a bit of climate change especially when winter is about to dump on us 

I am keeping busy but have thought more than a few times about each of you.

wishing you all a healthy and safe week.
Best wishes and I hope you got to enjoy the Super Moon this week
finally tonight I saw it for myself -  as cloudy weather has kept me from seeing it and u was forced to admire photos online :) 
good evening and cheers!
hugs NatR
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Reply by jorola
17 Nov 2016, 3:13 AM

Hello my long lost friends,


The resurrection of this post has also brought me back into the fold.


I have spent tonight catching up on you all.


Old Bat - Sorry to hear that your were hospitalized. Sounds like Karl has a wonderful new place. I am ot surprised to hear you are still fighting for better services. Good for you. I have for on that in a bit.


Xenia - I know it has been hard without John. I am  happy to see you out there though and in what sounds like a beautiful new home. So great to hear you are closer to the kids.


Nouce - Sorry Pablo is continuing to decline and for your recent losses. My thoughts are with you.


Jimmie - I miss your beautiful posts - so heartfelt. Sorry to hear your granddaughter was sick again. Hope she is better. Your love for Sarah also continues to shine through.


Adoptedson - Your recent post captures the heart and soul of a caregiver perfectly. Thank you for that.


Katherine - I see you continue to encourage everyone here and share from your heart. Sounds like you have also been on some wonderful trips. Good for you!


Well Mick continues to do well. He does have a reoccurring abscess that forms around his dead tumor. It makes him sick. His eye gets infected and he has even more problems coughing and breathing until the abscess pops. Then after it pops he is very sick with a bad infection throughout his body even if he already is on antibiotics as it is so potent of an infection.


I am currently...well the patient and Mick the caregiver lol. I had a hysterectomy 2 weeks ago and well not very good at listening to the rules so Mick has had to really put his foot down. I am now confined to the recliner for the next week as i really overdid it a few days ago.


I continue to moderate on a cancer forum which is going great. But what I really wanted to tell you all is I am also involved with a study group and the Canadian Cancer Society about benefits for caregivers. I will be mentioning this group if that is ok with you all? I really hope that my involvement can help in some way to improve situations for caregivers.


I wish you all peace and comfort, especially with the holiday season coming up.



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Reply by Xenia
30 Nov 2016, 9:28 PM

Greetings All:

How time flies and then I turn on the computer and friends appear.  Adopted Son,Jorola, Katherine, Old Bat, Jimmie and all.  How wonderful to hear from and about yourselves and all that has transpired since I last wrote. 

Life has been having a lot of changes since my move to Vancouver/Burnaby.  I settled into a small unit and knew I would move to a larger unit..Well, I moved again, up to the 15th floor from the 8th floor in my Retirement Residence.  Room is much larger and the view is different, now see the inlet with the ships further out, see the mountains, view the city of Burnaby and far enough away to see Mount Baker which is in Washington State.  What a lovely residence this is.  Go up to the 19th floor and you get a 360 degree view of the world around this building.  

Keep busy with the activities and knitting for various groups.  We sent off some items to Fort McMurrary in Alberta which was greatly needed since the fire that burned out so many residents.

Life has been good to me and my missing John is always close at heart, especially as it starts in November as the 20th was his birthday and now we are planning Christmas which was always enjoyed by him.  When I pulled out the fireplace mantle decorations I pictured John checking the lights on the garland, placing it on the mantle and making sure it was just right.  However, I had the daughters over Saturday evening and out came the box of Christmas decorations I still had, up went the string of lights around the kitchen opening into the living room in my new digs.  Small items placed on end tables and hangings on the doors.  

The girls made sure all was set up as they leave for Hong Kong on Tuesday next, then onto Viet Nam.  Good to young and travel.  All the preparation has been completed for Christmas and it will be a sharing dinner and party. All have duties to prepare for the dinner so we will all take part and let the girls will be able to relax when they get back to Vancouver a day before Christmas DAy.

John is always on my mind and speaking to many of the residents they tell me no matter how long their partner/husband/wife has passed they are always on their minds and even though time is a great healer there is always the emptiness and loneliness in theloss and this is ever more present during special ocassions, birthdays, weddings, holidays and lonely nights but they press on and have learned to live another chapter in their lives and carry on.

When Leonard Cohen passed I felt I had lost a friend.  I loved his music before it became popular.  My family were surprised a number of years ago that I had some of his early music as they thought his music was too far out for mother.  Fooled them. His music spoke to me so well and kept me in touch with reality many of the days after John died.  

Jimmie, how are you?   Old Bat glad to hear from you ,  Nat R, hugs to you. Katherine you how are you as you are there for all of us and others who join the many groups on CVH.

Looking out the window I see the rain and mist over the mountains, the ships are being towed by the tug boats and the barges are waiting to get moorage.  Christmas lights are sparkling around a number of homes.  Christmas is coming and all are preparing for famiy get togethers.

I wish you all happiness, comfort and always Peace and wishes that even though we may not be close, or that we are not in contact as much we will continue to share and help others during their time of need as we have been helped.

Hugs to All.

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