Saturday, December 31, 2005

December 31 - Happy New Year!

Starbucks coffee and a lemon-cranberry scone beside me. It is a happy new year! Happy because it’s over and an end to a year that was largely consumed with chemotherapy for a viral disease is good. Also happy though because of the insight and perspective gained over the year. Really do believe I am a better person for what this year has caused me to look at - morbidity, mortality, priorities – all in a subjective sense – important things to consider. Without what this year has given me, I might not have directed much subjective consideration to these things at all. It is one thing to experience sickness and death objectively in others. It is quite different to look at them in terms of oneself. I will hopefully be better professionally because of this, now possessing empathy as well as sympathy. Am also hopefully improved in my personal life, with renewed realization of how exquisitely important the people in my own world are. As well, I’m now aware of how we who face similar challenges can form common bonds. There are people with whom this past year has been shared, in terms of hepc and its treatment, who have affected my outlook, challenged my beliefs, provided me with support and made me realize that I am not alone. I am so very grateful for their company.

Things busy as usual. The months between end of summer and end of year historically the busiest in my field, so we are overwhelmed at work, but continue to give each case the attention it deserves. There is an annual parade through Kensington Market to mark the solstice, with fire-breathers, costumes, lanterns and music, celebrating the return of the light after the darkest night. My kids are too “grown up” to want to go with me anymore, but I went on the evening of the 21st, with my candle, and enjoyed it! We celebrate Christmas and had a wonderful few days with family, friends, gifts and much, much turkey, with all the trimmings. Received several shiatsu massage gift certificates among the presents (people do know what I like), so am relishing a blissful next few months. Also went to a different yoga class during the break between Christmas and New Year, as my regular studio was closed, and it was quite good. Ron and I are having a quiet New Year’s eve – he’s been recently diagnosed with an ulcer and I’m fighting a cold, so we’re just going to keep things relatively low key. Might have a few friends dropping by. Will toast 2006 with my club soda and orange juice!

Music continues to spin in the discman in my walks to and from work and around the town. Still on a bit of an electronic/ambient run, favouring Thievery Corporation, both Richest Man in Babylon and Cosmic Game, plus Zero 7, Imogen Heap, and Jon Hopkins (really hard to get in Canada!), as well as some mostly Canadian alternative including Broken Social Scene, and Stars. Around the town has lately been a much less snowy and much more traditional Toronto winter, sort of hovering around zero degrees, grey, wet and slushy. We had a lovely full day of sleet, a combination of rain, snow and ice, on Christmas day. Today, however, the snow is falling in big, white flakes, with about 6 cm already accumulated. Am starting to feel the need to find a warm Caribbean beach….

January 10th will be the six months post-treatment pcr testing. Obviously, will just wait and see and am surprisingly unstressed about it. What will be. There is nothing now that can be done to influence the result.

Pictures this month of Chinatown (conveniently located right next door to Kensington Market and, therefore, also on my way to work). Is busy, fun, crowded and if you want to purchase it, it can be found there. Enough said. Corner of Dundas and Spadina always reminds me of a scene out of Bladerunner.

My resolutions are to find the positives, to learn, explore and to evolve. I hope that 2006 brings happiness and health to all. Happy New Year!


Anonymous john said...

Happy New Year
Your first paragraph rang so true
goodluck for 06

I am at wk 22 and undetectable and ready for the new year

Yes the Garden State cd is cool

3:38 PM  
Blogger peter said...

Oh, to have a Chinatown to be near! Know any good Chinese restaurants in Montreal? Our favorite (Kam Fung) disappointed us the last time we went.

I have to agree: it's been quite a year for personal growth.

My best to you in 2006


Listening to: Vocaleers (50's doo-wop), Junior Senior

4:34 PM  
Blogger Sue, Toronto said...

Hi John,

Yes, Garden State cd turned me on to several bands I'm now having a great time listening to in some detail. Is very cool.

Congratulations on 22 weeks completed and undetectable! I hope that the next weeks pass by very quickly for you. Happy New Year,

10:15 AM  
Blogger Sue, Toronto said...

Hey Peter,

Great to hear from you! We loooove Chinatown - fabulous restaurants, great stores, terrific people abound. Am not familiar with good Chinese restaurant in Montreal, but have a sister who lives there and will ask her - will leave a message on your blog once I've discussed with her.

2005 a time of big growth year in many different ways. Am looking forward to the new year. Hope that you are doing well, feeling okay. All my best to you for 2006, Peter.

10:19 AM  
Blogger teddy said...

Hi Sue, Good luck with the PCR on the 10th.
You sound really positive, new year, new start. Like you I feel I've learned a lot about myself and others through this illness.
Have a great year Sue, you and your family.

4:54 PM  
Blogger lu said...

Hi Sue

Happy New Year! It really is a time for reflection isn't it, especially after such a life-changing year. I glad you're not feeling stressed about your results - the odds are so seriously in your favour.

I am with you on the professional change that comes about with treatment, it certainly brings about a deeper and more integrated understanding of the medical experience. An enhanced understanding of the people we are working with can only be good.

I love the sound of the solstice parade - Toronto just seems like such a happening place, contrary to what I had imagined in my ignorance! Your photos are always fab, a real trip abroad!!
Also, Imogen Heap - am interested. She's playing here soon so may just check her out. And will look out for the Garden State CD. Saw the film which I loved but just can't remember what the music was! Love Zero 7. Must check out more new music tho as I can get a bit stuck listening to stuff I know very well. So keep on with the recommendations!

New resolutions look good! I'm sure you already do those things tho...!
Take care

5:59 AM  
Blogger Sue, Toronto said...

Hi Lu,

Toronto is totally a happening place. A little grey in the winter, but otherwise wonderful. Was thinking recently that to post photos on all the different neighbourhoods, I'd possibly need a couple of years - there is incredible diversity here.

Imogen Heap has amazing voice. She's actually singing at a club just down the street from us on Spadina next week (El Mocambo), but tickets are long gone. Am most disappointed. Can't get song "Hide and Seek" out of my brain.

The CBC has a series of specialty music channels and I tend to do my home yoga practice to either ambient/electronic, or adult alternative - keeps bringing me new tunes and artists to follow up. Our kids are great for turning me on to new stuff, as well.

You are sounding wonderful Lu! Hope the new year brings health and happiness for you,

9:41 AM  
Blogger Sue, Toronto said...

Hi Teddy,

Thank you for your kind comments. I believe that 2006 will be a good year for many of us, finally finished with our treatment and able to move forward with our lives. All best wishes for you and yours in the new year!

10:58 AM  
Blogger SnoWav said...

Hi Sue read your beautiful post last weekend but the fog was so thick I coulden't think of anything intelegent to say. Yesterday last pills, today I started swimming to the surface.Aloha

11:46 AM  
Blogger Sue, Toronto said...

Aloha Snowav and congratulations! You were in my thoughts on New Years, when I knew you were taking that last injection. Now treatment is complete and life moves on.

You've gotten through this so well Jeff - always positive and staying busy to offset the difficulties - very much the way I approach things, too.

Am sure you and your family are in for a busy winter! Hope that it's wonderful. All the best for svr, health and happiness. Please let me know how you're doing.

8:53 AM  
Blogger ijaz ahmad said...

Hi Sue,

i always enjoy reading your blog.every post is full of joy and infarmation. please keep writing. Good luck your next PCR test.
with best wishes.

1:22 PM  
Blogger SnoWav said...

After one week of stopping the meds I can see that getting back to the surface is not like turning on a light bulb I guess after 48 weeks under the riba it will take a little time. The universe has a hint now of being 3 dimensional but still has a picture quality most of the time.Cheers jeff

10:03 PM  
Blogger Sue, Toronto said...

Hi Ijaz,

Thank you for your kind wishes. Like you, I think it is valuable to continue to post entries after treatment. Plus, I really like blogging!

We both wait now for the results of our six month post-treatment testing, which I pray will be negative. All best wishes for continued health and happiness Ijaz,


11:12 AM  
Blogger Sue, Toronto said...

Hey Jeff,

Know what you mean - remember being a little frustrated that feeling completely "normal" wasn't an immediate thing after finishing treatment. However, it gets better and the universe once again develops depth.

I hope each day brings the surface that much closer for you! Sue

11:43 AM  
Blogger SnoWav said...

HI Sue feeling much better now,still a little winded from a lot of activity but better.The universe is unfolding on a daily basis now and the surf is up in my life.I see the documentary is playing in Canada and other parts of the world.It will be out on dvd later next month.Aloha getting closer to in the moment jeff

7:41 AM  
Blogger Sue, Toronto said...

Hi Jeff,

So great to hear that you're feeling better!

Caught the trailer on the documentary recently and it was awesome. Congratulations on the team - you are in for a busy winter. Am sure it's going to be wonderful!

Hope each day brings more healing Jeff. Take care,

10:03 AM  

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