Saturday, March 04, 2006

March 4 - 6 Month Post-tx PCR = NEGATIVE

Well, that’s the very good news that I’m pleased to share this Saturday morning, with a Starbucks coffee and lemon scone in hand. Negative. That’s the last pcr testing that the government will fund, Ontario feeling that if you’re negative six months after finishing treatment, you’re negative for good. I feel inclined to share their optimism, feeling mighty optimistic myself. However, I will arrange to get tested annually, realistically disinclined to ignore the possibility of relapse.

Other hepc-related business – went for my annual liver ultrasound, which was just perfect – liver looking good, no cirrhosis, no portal hypertension and no masses. Was scheduled to do the “health care worker as patient” research interview yesterday morning, however, am sick as dog with some kind of cold, so have deferred until Monday morning, when I plan to be completely well again.

Cuba week long vacation was excelente! Resort was small, very clean, very nice, had great staff, reasonable food, fantastic white powder sand beach and a turquoise blue, clear ocean. A week “away from it all” was so good. My sister Sally and I flew with Sunwing and for the vacation charter concept, they were terrific, certainly surpassing other charters I’ve flown with previously in virtually every way. Weather was variable; we had about 3 cloudy days with some rain and about 4 knock you on your back scorchers. Managed to obtain a respectable amount of light tan and freckles. Sally, who inherited our mother’s French Canadian skin (as compared to the pale, freckled stuff I received via our Scot paternal line – thanks Dad!), is now a darkly tanned goddess. Very mixed crowd – hotel is German chain and there were lots of Canadian, Italian, German, French and British – it was great! Everyone was extremely tolerant of my continued pathetic attempts at Spanish. Kept up with daily yoga practice in the exercise facilities. The cloudy days allowed us to explore the local area, which is quite rural and beautiful; we were in the Guardalavaca area. This is the second time I’ve been to Cuba on holiday and it is lovely, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Flying into Holguin as you land at the airport, there is a long, tall white billboard/fence on which is printed in long, tall red letters “socialismo o muerte” – sort of says it all. Pics this month are Cuba vacation shots (a little variety from the regular Toronto fare).

Return to work, home and the real world now makes Caribbean vacation a distant dream. Work very busy, particularly with several of us hit by this illness. Suspect it’ll be awhile before work settles down. Lots of stuff going on with both of our kids, which is keeping us busy too. Phil off to Italy and Greece with his school music program in a week and we’re trying to get prepared. He turns 16 in two days…. man, the time flies….

Listening to: Arctic Monkeys (thanks to Banger and others on Ron’s forum, who are turning me on to tons of new music with a British/Euro slant), Boards of Canada, Rachid Taha and De-Phazz. Continuing yoga, with a restorative class on Wednesdays and, on Saturdays, a very interesting yoga practice with focus on Qigong breathing. Also still keeping up with Shiatsu massage every 2 weeks, convinced it is one of the big positives discovered during treatment.

It’s been freezing here (-20 C pre-wind chill this morning on our deck), but there is little snow. Still walking everywhere and am truly looking forward with longing to Spring, with the equinox and the balancing of the light and dark approaching.



Blogger lu said...

Hi Sue
HuRRRAAAAYYYYY! I'm thrilled for you and yours on the news of your negative pcr result! Pheeeww! I've been wondering and wondering how you are as it's been a while since you wrote saying you were still waiting! I was just elated to read just now that you can post that negative status on your blog! And so great to hear you still on the starbucks of course!
Interesting to hear you went to Cuba. What is the state of politics between Cuba and Canada? My partner has been and has some very interesting stories to tell about his trip. I will show him your photos. A very different way of living there, and as you say, somewhere that is good to visit but not stay. Hopefully things will get better there over time.
Hope you're continuing to celebrate in style despite the coldy bug things
Take care

12:36 PM  
Blogger peter said...


Congrats on the test, glad you enjoyed the holiday (us Yanks have trouble going down to Cuba, unfortunately) and...

I bet you look great on the dancefloor!

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Eddie said...

Hi Sue,
Congratulations, that`s great news.
all the best for the future

5:05 AM  
Blogger Sue, Toronto said...

Hi Lu,

Thank you! Am pretty elated too!

Don't have a huge understanding of the intricacies of the Canada-Cuba relationship, but it's relatively amicable, for about 60 years, I think. There's some shared perspective, with both of us being close neighbours to the "super power". I believe we have economic investment in the tourism trade there, as well as biomedical pharmaceuticals to a lesser degree, and that we take advantage of trade options not being utilized by the U.S. Candian general attitudes are somewhat mixed, I think, depending on whether one favours a capitalistic or a socialistic government structure. Many Canadians take advantage of our good relations to head to Cuba for vacationing, with thousands of people going there weekly from this country. It will be very interesting to see what happens in that country over the next few decades.

Great to hear from you and hope that you're continuing happy and well,

9:15 AM  
Blogger Sue, Toronto said...

Hi Peter,

Hysterical - yes, particularly when Arctic Monkeys are playing!

We obviously didn't run into too many Americans in Cuba (however, some do vacation there by departing from Canada).

Wonderful to hear from you Peter. Please take care,

9:20 AM  
Blogger Sue, Toronto said...

Hi Eddie,

Thank you so much! I hope that you and your family are doing well in Germany. All the best to you,

9:23 AM  
Blogger Ron Metcalfe said...

Hi Sue

Carol and I are delighted by your good news. Well done - you deserve it.

Looking forward to checking out the pix - Flickr is off-line at the moment - having a "massage" (even websites benefit from complementary therapies, obviously)

Speedy recovery from the cold, Sue. -20 degrees? Now I remember why I emigrated to the UK. Bad enough here today at 5 degrees.

Wishing you well

12:06 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Hi Sue,
I just stumbled across your good news posted to the Forum (thanks for the comment on my blog btw). Thats fantastic news, congratulations and a big warm hug from my heart to yours. I will get my own 6 month post tx results tomorrow morning so am hoping that I will have some good news to publish too.....I'm a wee bit nervous but very happy for you.
:):):):):)Wendy xxxxxxx

7:10 AM  
Blogger Sue, Toronto said...

Hi Ron,

Thank you and Carol for your warm wishes. Am obviously SO pleased with this result.

Yes, -20 just a bit much. Is much warmer this weekend, hovering just over 0C.

Thinking of you and sending hopes, prayers and wishes for your similar 6-mo post-tx outcome.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Sue, Toronto said...

Hi Wendy,

Thank you so much. Plus, CONGRATULATIONS to you, too! Will comment on your blog, but want to say thanks for the hugs and am sending them back big time your way. We made it!

8:01 AM  
Blogger SnoWav said...

Sounds nice beach, sun and warm in Cuba,I find the after glow of a good vacation can last for months.I had heard from some people that for the 1st year after TX they had more energy than ever,that's what I feel like for the year on TX I was winding up and now Im running non stop yep cool.Needed it this year so much going on. Looking forward to all the family home next week for the Open always fun.Your son is 16 yep they sure do grow up fast my oldest is 29 and my baby is 19.Always enjoy your positive perspective Sue. Spring is on the way Peace Out jeff

8:44 AM  
Blogger Sue, Toronto said...

Hey Jeff,

Always nice to hear from you! Agree, the energy is amazing and it's challenging trying to get the time to fit it all in.

The beach was amazing and the glow is still lasting (although the tan's fading fast...). You're heading south in April?

Nice that you're getting some home space. Have a wonderful time at the open!

8:22 AM  
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