Tony’s Daily Journal - 2023

See my daily journal for 2018, for 2019, for 2020, for 2021, and for 2022.

On 18 January 2022, Laurie-Ann and Tony Copple returned from South Africa. This daily journal focuses on their time in Etobicoke as caregivers to her father Steve, and looking after their own health challenges. Please start to read at the bottom. Latest postings are at the top.

Jan 2023 | Feb 2023 | Mar 2023 | Apr 2023

Sun May 28

Shortly after I gave Steve his two Tylenol, he said he needed to pee, so I helped him with the teapot. Ideally he would be able to hold it in a little longer until his legs would be less painful. I didn't attend church in the flesh, feeling strangely unsettled. In the afternoon I sent Bella her next transfer from XE, and then sent Elizabeth Gliem $US160 for Rui Vasco. This is a lot of money and I made it clear it wasn't the start of a regular support plan. Added to the $US 20 I had sent yesterday, it is the equivalent of 11,385 Mozambican Mets. In the past he had difficulty finding a friend with a bank account or Paypal who wouldn't cream off a portion of any funds I sent Rui. We were surprized and pleased when Steve joined us under his own steam just as we turned on a movie. His mobility seems to be increasing daily.

Sat May 27

I got up at my 7:30 alarm. Steve hadn't moved in the night. I gave him 2 Tylenols instead of the one he has been having, and then left him for them to take effect. About 8:15 a new PSW, Beverly, arrived and I started by giving her the recent background. When she go to work to move him to where she could wash him on the bed, it was clear he was a lot more mobile than he had been at midnight. Also, he wasn't as wet as previous mornings; the double diapers had been effective. When she was done he walked into the living room with his walker and I sat him on the couch and got him cereal, toast and coffee. He fell asleep holding the coffee and some of it soaked his shirt and the couch. I fed L-A her breakfast; she was up early because of a lady's tea party at church. All this time I was aware John could turn up to assemble the hospital bed, and I was grateful Beverly had come early. Steve decided he wanted to return to bed, and then I took L-A to CTF. I picked her up about 1 pm and she had had a great time with the ladies; scones, hot drinks and a talk from Lilian Brown. As we got home we saw that John and family had arrived, and he was already engaged in assembling the hospital bed. Tara had got Steve out of bed and into the kitchen and given him a snack, and I gave him soup. Kennedy was her dad's constant companion with the construction, probably learning a bunch of engineering common sense. L-A had eaten with the ladies, so I had some lunch. As John (and Kennedy) worked on with the bed, Tara entertained us with political understories. It took them till about 4 pm when Kennedy came out to tell me it was ready for my training course. Then took place the best conversation I've had with John in a long while, possibly ever, which I'm grateful for, as he demonstrated the pump which keeps the air bed at the right pressure, and the controller which will allow me and the PSWs to raise and lower the bed, or just the head or foot of the bed for maximum comfort. It was far better than I had expected and had every indication of being brand new. As I write this, Steve hasn't seen it yet, and I am trying to devise a way to capture the moment. He is not one to express surprise or wonder, but this might at least elicit a smile. Assembling the bed was no small feat, and demonstrates one more of John's many talents. John plans to return before next garbage day to put the old bed out on the street for collection by the city. When John and Tara had left in their cars, L-A and I went for a sleep, from which I have just arisen, feeling energised again. When Steve did see the bed for the first time it was somewhat underwhelming with no surprise or reaction, but he smiled for the camera, which is better than nothing. When he was settled on it, and I had demonstrated some of its capabilities, I celebrated with a Bushmills. Rui Vasco has been begging me for a week for money to pay his kids medical bills, and gave me the name of an Iris Missionary, Elizabeth Gliem, with a Paypal account. I sent $US20 to Elisabeth, and then emailed her. She was full of praise for Rui. who is a security guard for her. The $20 got through.

Fri May 26

I felt very good today on the wellness index: (7). Maybe the benefits of the hydration therapy have really made themselves felt. The extraordinary thing is that today my taste buds are behaving, I am ready to tackle tasks I have been avoiding, I enjoy music more, including music I previously didn't particuarly choose to listen to, my appetite is great, I love my wife more (if that's possible), and I am more skilled at getting her father Steve off the floor when he falls. I was able to get Steve back on his bed when he had fallen half way through his door. I finally responded to the FICA organization in South Africa who basically froze my FNB account while they investigated me for money laundering. or something of that nature. They sent me forms to complete on 19 May, and today I completed the forms and sent them back by email. I told them I expect a pretty huge apology when they find their accusations were groundless. Readers of this journal will know that I circumvented the problem by sending money direct to Bella's account, and this will be our method going forward. After feeding Steve his lunch, I asked him to sign cheques totalling $676 for his recent ambulance ride and food. I am concerned that eventually he won't be able to sign his name, but today he managed it. I continued my current correspondence with John and Tara by saying I sensed we were making progress with Steve, and that having him readmitted to hospital could make things worse, since what he needs now is more strength in his legs. This afternoon he actually got up and went into the bathroom to pee, and returned to bed, for the first time since hospital. We watched the final episode of Series 1 of The Diplomat on Netflix; this show is terrific once you get your head around all diplomats and senior politicians communicating like sailors with F-bombs. About 11:30 L-A woke me to say Steve was on the floor. He had been trying to return to his room but couldn't make it past his door. With difficulty I pulled and guided him towards his bed but his legs and arms were useless. Eventually I got him onto the bed with his legs on the walker, a stable position. This episode was very worrisome since I felt he had been making progress. Then the idea came to my mind (TKOG) that such apparent paralysis could also present itself through a lack of painkillers. He was only taking one Tylenol Extra Strength first thing in the morning and that was it. I am taking 6 Tylenols a day and if I miss one I notice it. How foolish to have him taken to hospital for the want of over-the-counter painkillers.

Thu May 25

Mid morning I wrote this report to Tara: ' Yesterday afternoon he showed signs of losing strength in his legs. Sometimes this can be countered with Tylenol, but it seemed less effective. When he can't get himself to the toilet, there is big increase in urine-soaked clothes and bed linen. Last evening I got him onto the bed with some difficulty and he slept through most of the night. But around 6:15 am I suspect he tried to get out of bed, and when I saw him at 6:30 he was kneeling before the bed and his bedclothes were absolutely soaked. I waited for Allison's opinion when she came about 8:30. She cleaned him up in the bed. But if she can't get him for a proper shower we have a problem. If he doesn't improve the next steps would either be to call an ambulance, or get him to long-term care. I am not sure of details of your plans for long term care, or if he is on a waiting list or how long before he could move in there. If he does improve and is able to continue at home, Allison is adamant that the new hospital bed is urgent, with his decreased mobility. If John can't do that maybe we should call in a handyman. But John said he had put part of the bed downstairs, and I can't find it. We propose calling an ambulance tomorrow Friday, depending on the next 18 hours. The loss of strength came on quite fast yesterday, and should be confirmed (or not) by then. He has taken a few falls recently and is getting pain in one of his arms that is quite severe and adds to the difficulty of getting him up off the floor, which normally I am able to do. Despite his difficulties he has been fully co-operative and shown no anti-social behaviour! Bless him.'
I started the day with a wellness factor of about 6, perhaps good effects of the hydration. Shortly after my breakfast I felt the pangs of constipation and for the next couple of hours was in great discomfort, and unable to do anything useful. I had taken Clearlax in the night but should have taken it yesterday morning. Today I had a second dose, and eventually it had the desired effect. By late afternoon Steve really needed a dry diaper, so having turned down a second PSW visit, I did it. It wasn't too hard. I took Steve breakfast, lunch and dinner in bed on the table John had brought. The best thing that happened today was that Dr Makar called Laurie-Ann in response to the email we had sent her on 22 May about L-A's spots on her legs, with a photo, and prescribed a cream. We have never had a doctor before who would communicate by email to the extent of making a prescription. What a difference a pandemic makes. From 2 - 4:30 pm we watched the online version of Alpha's Leadership Conference 23 filmed at the Albert Hall, finding it inspiring, motivating and full of wonderful teaching around the theme of Christian leadership. The impressive speakers included Anthony Tan and Danielle Strickland.

Wed May 24

The hydration had caused me to pee a lot the last three nights, and last night I ran into Steve in the bathroom twice. He was trying to pee, and having difficulty. I now don't think this is the same prostate problem as I am having, because he has no problem soaking his clothes and bed linnen with urine. He had a very wet diaper on, but not enough strength in his legs to change it. So I decided to get him back in bed, despite the damp, and hopefully recover some energy by the morning. Allison came quite early, before I had given him his morning Tylenol, and she also had difficulty getting him to move around, but she did clean him up and dry him out in the bed. For this reason I served him (cooked) breakfast in bed, and then encouraged him to stay there for a while, recovering energy. I had a follow-up appointment with Dr John Morrell who had got my prostate sorted out. He checked my urine, then carried out an ultrasound on my bladder, and presumably all was well. He said I should continue on two Flowmax a day, and return to Dutasteride, for the long term. No side effects other than in some people a loss of sexual performance. I took the liberty to ask him about Steve, and he cautiously offerred that putting him on the same dosage as I with both drugs could be beneficial, and that it was not unknown for a patient with incontinence also to have difficulty peeing. He said he'd like to see me again late in the year, and I booked 6 Dec at 11:15 with Sylvana. I called Ruth, the co-ordinator at CBI, which supplies the PSWs, and told her that despite the hospital's recommendation, we didn't think having two PSW visits a day was warranted. He didn't need two showers. I bribed Steve to come into the kitchen for lunch with the promise of some chocolate cake I had bought this morning at Loblaws. He came, unsteadily, ate lunch and loved the cake. He slept the rest of the afternoon, but was able to join us in the kitchen for the last of the cacciatore, and then returned to bed.

Tue May 23    Med

I woke with Phil on my mind, and when I was dressed turned on my computer was relieved to see Maureen had just sent out a message: Hi Neesa, Dianne and Tony, Phil is making slow but good progress. The C Difficile infection seems to be under control. He is still very weak and unable to walk on his own. The collarbone is still painful. He tires easily. The doctors are aiming for him to be transferred to the Rehabilitation section soon. He would be there for about 2 weeks, possibly more. He is enjoying a visit from Lynn and Lisa today. I wrote them a status report, but my motivation was to express relief for Phil and Maureen. Laurie-Ann went by Uber to a dental cleaning for 3 pm because that was the time my third and final hydration was due to start. Today's nurse, Maria, arrived about 2:40 and soon had me up ship-shape, showed me how to un-hook myself and answered my questions well. Soon the pump was pumping and I was receiving, and she'd gone. I was able to use the computer easily enough while hooked up, and discovered a series of early Frank Sinatra compilations on Spotify: The Columbia Years. This was very similar to Sinatra Plus, which I had bought in ~1964 for the HMS Collingwood record library (along with Beatles For Sale). That is my favourite Sinatra era, but somehow the recording I had on Tape A4 had not survived the great digitisation. It'll be back there soon, together with Ketty Lester - Love Letters. As a relaxation therapy to compensate for caregiving and other duties, I love doing this, particularly when the house is quiet. I also added a resource: 'A guide for parents on how to introduce Christianity to their children' to the 'Other links' page on the Good News Christian Ministries site. It was sent me by a lady called, but my initial response to her about the article was somewhat critical: I said, 'I would like to comment on the reasons given for introducing Christianity to children. You are missing the #1 reason: Christianity is the history of the universe, the plan unveiled by God for his creation, and the sacrifice of the life of Jesus in atonement for sin, without which we can never hope for everlasting life as promised in the Bible. Our time on earth is just the introduction to life eternal. (or words to that effect. The way it reads at present is a list of philosophical principles, that could apply to many religions or even atheism). I had some difficulty editing the GNCM page until I remembered it was a Weebly project, and I was then able to figure out how to edit it. The hydration pump stopped about 6:45, and I carefully disconnected my arm from the very thin plastic tube that had been in my vein three days. Now I was free, and able to heat up dinner without encumbrances.

Mon May 22

A small miracle when I got up and brought Steve his morning pill (Tylenol): there were small leaves on the little tree outside his window. I had almost given up on it. All that work getting hoses and watering it had paid off, with a little help from the Creator. While on a high I emailed Dr. Makar with a photo of Laurie-Ann's leg spots and asked if she could help, mentioning that for L-A to come into the surgery and get up on one of her beds for examination could well be impossible. I also authoriized her to find us a private specialist who could advise on L-A's fatty liver disease. I wasn't really confident of a response since doctors don't generally like email.
My fear that I might rip the insertion kit out of my arm in the night proved unfounded. L-A didn't wake me at my 6:30 alarm and instead at 7:30 my phone rang. Fortuitously it hadn't needed charging last light and was on my bedside table. It was Fatima, my nurse for today on hydration. She asked when would be good times for me, and I said 9:30 or 2. She had other people to fit in and wasn't sure if she could make it for those times. I got up, and as I left the bathroom, Shirley, Steve's PSW for today arrived. That worked out well because I had his (not cooked) breakfast ready by the time she finished. Fatima arrived as he finished breakfast. She looked at the pump with its display and immediately realised something that Loveline hadn't explained: the hydration following the one which ended at 7 last night couldn't begin before 3 pm today. There had to be a certain interval between hydrations. There was now a choice needed. She could turn off the pump and instruct me how to turn it on for 3, or she could leave it on and all I would have to do before 3 was loosen a plastic clip so the fluid could flow. When she then said I would need to key in a code if we went with choice 1, I opted for choice 2 to reduce the chance of anything going wrong. But it meant I would carry the pump around with me for the next 7 hours. It would be a different kind of day. Bella responded to my request for her financial needs over the next 6 weeks in addition to her weekly allowances: July's rent, various school stuff, and a practical exercise where she would teach stuff she had learned to a live audience. I told her that it was inneficient to send small amounts, and I would rather send amounts between R4,000 and R5,000. Then I sent her R4,260 ($310) listing what it should cover, which included 6 allowances. This system can work well for both of us if Bella is as well organized as I believe her to be. I managed to feed the three of us lunch carrying around the bag. The pump was due to switch itself on about 3 pm, and at 2 minutes to 3 I loosened the plastic clip to allow the fluid through the pipes into my vein. The pump started, but I couldn't be sure the fluid was actually entering the arm. I was too influenced by the behavious of small bubbles in the pipework, which were leaving the pump, but didn't appear to be reaching the vein. So after half an hour in my ultra caution, I phoned Home Services, who managed to get Fatima to call me back. She asked if the top left indicator on the pump screen were counting down, which it was, which told her that all was well. I now think the bubbles were being absorbed into the fluid under the pressure of the pump. All was well, as was clearly demonstrated an hour later when I checked the bottle and it was almost half empty. Meantime, Laurie-Ann had handled almost all the preparation of our evening meal which I would normally have been available to her for fetching and carrying, etc. The hydration pump stopped at 7, and I naively thought our problems were over. But firstly, I couldn't unscrew the connector for the plastic tube to the insertion kit in my arm, and secondly the pump started beeping and I couldn't stop it! Should I seek help from Home Care, or should we have dinner? We did the latter, enjoying cacciatore from the dutch oven while I had the beeping pump and bag over my shoulder. When I finished mine, I phoned Home Care and told them of our predicament and they said they would have Fatima call me back. I wasn't too confident this would happen at 8:30 on Victoria Day, and continued trying to solve the problem myself. The connector for the plastic tube wasn't giving up, but when I tried the other end of the connector, it came apart, allowing me freedom to move around without the bag. This was important because I would be able to sleep tonight. As for the everlasting beep, I decided to just let it continue in the living room while we slept in the bedroom, and did the washing up before retiring. About 10 pm Home Care rang. I gave them the good news that I was no more tethered to the bag, and they told me how to switch off the unit. No more beeps!

Sun May 21

I didn't finish admin work till 12:30, 2 hours after L-A retired. I slept till about 2, then felt like a cup of tea. I added raisin bread with blackcurrent jam, and almost as an afterthought, a tot of the Glenlivet that had awaited us when we returned from Collingwood. As I went to sit on the couch I glanced at my package of chats with Jesus, and instantly, like a message back from him, the idea came to my mind to send a message to John and Tara thanking them for the Glenlivet. What I really wanted was to begin a dialogue with him, however brief, to mend fences. Maybe that will come. Around 3:30 I returned to bed and my 6:30 alarm for meds. So I didn't get much sleep last night but my wellness remained around 5/10, and at 7:30 I got up and dressed. I gave Steve his morning pill, but then he decided to get up. and fell with a bang on his floor - a bang I heard from the kitchen. I was able to guide him to get back on the bed, and then to help him change his soaked trousers and diaper. I prepared a cooked breakfast for Steve and me, and L-A's usual. L-A decided she wasn't coming to church because we didn't know when the PSW was coming, but I went to see Marc Dupont again. I got home in good time to serve Steve and L-A their lunch, and clear up, before Loveline arrived to set up my hydration. She had only two insertion kits and her plan, if she failed with both of them, was to send me off to emergency at Etobicoke General Hospital and have them do the insertion. I refused, not wishing to wait several hours as a non-urgent patient, and said we should instead delay the hydration until she had enough insertion kits. Anyway, it turned out that she had been praying, as I had, that all would be well. I had arranged her a power supply so I could be on the couch with her in front of me on a chair, and whether this was the reason, or the prayer, she managed it first time. She was so relieved. Soon she had me all connected up. Without an overhead contraption to hang the saline from, the kit included a pump to force the saline into my vein. It turned out the pump had fully charged batteries in it, so the power source wasn't necessary, and I was able to get around, for example, to type this. We watched an episode of 'Diplomat.' While all this was going on, Joko (?), a Nigerian PSW who hadn't been here before, turned up and I briefed her from the couch about Steve, and she managed OK. Also Tara and Kennedy turned up, mainly to collect Kennedy's iPad, and we three had a good chat. She mentioned that John had had a good laugh from my 3 am. message, which wasn't my intention for it at all. L-A asked when he might be able to set up Steve's hospital bed, and she said possibly next weekend. Let's hope so. The pump stopped about 7, signalling the end of hydration. It had made me quite tired. I was able to disconnect myself and place a sleeve over the insertion kit so it wouldn't snag. Four hours of hydration creates challenges, but I had managed them by being careful. Now I needed to serve up the dinner, and my main problem was fatigue from the hydration. I had looked forward to the second half of my Yorkshire pudding and roast beef, and it was just as good as I hoped. But I didn't have room for it all so I now have lunch for tomorrow. I went to bed quite early.

Sat May 20    Med

Bella messaged to say that her money had come through. This was, and is, huge, because from now on we will be able to send her cash direct to her account, as as I now know, within a day if I pay a $10 fee to use my mastercard. So I sent her a further R1,010 to cover the balance of her rent and the allowance that had been due on 18th. Nothing could dent my day now, and amoung other tasks I would get on with proving my FNB account was not being used for money laundering.
I sent an early message to Tara:
'Hi Tara Your dad slept through the night, which was a pleasant surprise. Its now 10 am. L-A is in touch with the psw organization and we expect them today at least once. He's not quite ready to stand on his own with the walker, but I think that will come during the morning. Meantime his green hospital diaper is there for him and I can't smell any No. 2. Laurie-Ann wisely had the ambulance bring him home with a couple of Pakistani drivers who did way more than I could have done at 9:30 pm (and after chemo that day). It would have been impossible for him to walk from the driveway up the steps to the house with just my help. She paid the $175 on her card and I'll get a cheque from him for it. When they had gone and he was lying on his bed and I asked if there was anything he would like, he asked for an OhHenry, and enjoyed it. He has communicated normally during this time and this morning. My relationship with him is very good. Yesterday his hospital doctor Dr Bell called me. (see 18 May Journal)
So he's not on his deathbed, but may be near to going to a nursing home. I think his problem at the moment with standing and walking is he hasn't done much of it this past week in hospital, and I believe I'll have him moving around today with walker or walking stick, and I will let you know. If he can manage these things, we can get back to the status quo here, and are happy to do that. I have been watering the little tree and the hydrangea.'
Listened to Canadian Spaces, which mentioned a local band CA & Sonny doing a tribute to local musician and promoter Howie Hooper, who died 2 years ago. Before he died of cancer, he recorded some songs on Soundcloud, which I checked out. He reminded me of William Hawkins (ie my favourite sub-genre of folk music). I have made a recording of the songs on Soundcloud, which is called Howie Hooper's last act. Most are in excellent sound quality, though some were recorded on his phone in mono with poor stereo image.
We had heard from Allison who will be here around 2 for Steve. She was, and when she tried to get him on his feet to walk to the bathroom he miraculously stood up and did so like the last time he had done it. She soon had him shipshape and clean. He had slept a long time today without mishap beyond a soaked geen hospital doaper - and that was by design. He has been as good as gold, communicating and cooperating. Before supper I shaved off most of his beard and will remove the rest and the moustache when time permits. He enjoyed the process, and was rewarded with delivery cottage pie which he finished with gusto. I am very grateful for his progress today. I am having intravenous hydration 4 hours a day for the next 3 days with a nurse coming to the house. This is in association with chemo.  She came today but failed to find the right vein after 4 attempts by when she'd run out of insertion kits. No blood was flowing, but my ticker was still tocking so she rightfully realized the problem was at her end.  I felt very badly for her but after hearing that it was a four-hour stint I was quite happy about it all;  it didn't interrupt our dinner.   I have felt good today - quite high on a wellness index, with an appetite. So although it's been busy I have enjoyed it. And I did get $94 back from Shoppers for Feramax now that I am comfortable with CanPrev Bis-Glycinate 25. There's a story there. I first took the Feramax back to George at Renforth IDA and asked them for my money back, and even though the slip was clearly a Shoppers slip, they paid up! Maybe I am such a good customer. Anyway I gave them the $94, and collected same from Shoppers 10 minutes later.

Fri May 19    Med   4th chemo infusion.

Wellness about 4/10 as I got up, not expecting any appointments today, and thinking we would have Steve home sometime tomorrow, or even after the long weekend. After breakfast I went shopping and the hospital started calling L-A. They were ready for him to come home today, but not till 9:30 pm! PMH Chemo unit called me and said they'd expected me for chemo at 9 am. I later checked the PMH portal again and a 'changed appointment' notice was sent out at 10:51 this morning giving me a 9:00 appointment! It also stated it was an appointment change, but didn't state the day of the original appointment (9 June). This is an improvement I would like to see in the portal, and I think I have even suggested it. So I got in the car, on my way to the hospital, getting there about noon, and being called for chemo by about 1:15, which was good because at noon I had taken the anti-side-effect meds I had needed one hour before chemo. While in the chair I checked my text messages, L-A confirming Steve would be brought home by ambulance, so I was off the hook. On the way home I bought from Loblaws various salad dishes for our dinner, some which were rather definitely 'me;' Melton Moybray pork pies, and chicken vindaloo portions. I went to church for a special service featuring Marc Dupont, who we had last seen at Citychurch, Ottawa in ~2002. He did not disappoint. He covered off quite well the reasons why many prophets got things wrong over Y2K, and then with the pandemic. At the end I went with many others to the front to be prayed for to re-invigorate my spiritual passion. When he called individuals with certain medical conditions for prayer, I hoped he might say there was someone with mesothelioma, but I was not to be favoured. Laurie-Ann had indeed wisely had the ambulance bring Steve home, with a couple of Pakistani drivers who did way more than I could have done at 9:30 pm (and after chemo that day). It would have been impossible for him to walk from the driveway up the steps to the house with just my help. She paid the $175 on her card and I'll get a cheque from him for it. When they had gone and he was lying on his bed and I asked if there was anything he would like, he asked for an OhHenry, and enjoyed it. He has communicated normally during this time and this morning. My relationship with him is very good. We enjoyed the salad dinner, except the pork pies were disappointing. Steve slept through it all.

Thu May 18    Med

Bath day, and I didn't rush. I got dressed and went into the living room and sat down and waited for some level of wellbeing to invade my body, like yesterday. I didn't feel like breakfast, and when I had a clementine it had no taste. I got onto the computer and worked on yesterday's journal, and that gave me a little wellbeing. I called Solutions Banking, and queried my Mastercard balance of $2267.26, but the agent convinced me that all was well. I paid. I had used mastercard as the source of $359.46 (R5,000) sent to Bella by XE, which will soon be on its way back to me. I checked PayPal and my bank statement and am confident M-A's loan of $US 6250 has gone through. Bella messaged L-A to say the had downloaded the Sikhona app and registered on Sikhona. With everything therefore in place for a repeat of the earlier wire transfer, I went to XE and attempted the transfer to Bella, but near the end when they presented me with a French 2-stage verification requirement on my mastercard, I lost the screen which required the verification numbers. Dr Bell called from the Trillium Hospital and gave me a pretty full report of Steve's condition, all good news. Yes, he has advanced dementia. He had a urine infection which has been treated successfully with an anti-biotic. She doesn't think he has ever had a seizure. All other tests they ran have proved negative. His geriatrician there is Dr. Joshi Cura, and his social worker is Amina. It is she who can bring in hospice care when it becomes necessary, which is not yet. In the afternoon I slept till woken by the 5pm meds alarm, and my wellbeing index was about 4, having been 2 earlier in the day. We both had tea. I tried again to send Bella's transfer, and perhaps being at a higher wellbeing index, it all went through including the French verification of Mastercard. We watched 'Diplomat' before supper so as not to conflict with connect group. Connect Group was good, including an ex-Ukrainian missionary to Turkey, Dimitri.

Wed May 17    Med

Messages from both XE Money Transfer and Sikhona confirmed the that the money I had sent to Bella's Capitec account was being sent back (a) because Sikhona was using her old email address, and (b) Bella hadn't registered on Sikhona. I went to PMH for blood collection, followed by a meeting with Dr Fowler. I was happy to tell her I was feeling better than for the last few days, but wasn't sure if it was from the iron supplementation, or any other possible change. She had seen the report from Dr Kujawa, and we all agreed that getting back to chemo should be the next thing on my agenda. She was concerned I wasn't drinking enough water (I'm not) and said she would arrange for a nurse to visit for a few days after the chemo to give me hydration. As I left the clinic, I could hear jazz. It was the Wednesday concert, so I went and listened for about 45 minutes to some enjoyable tunes from a trio with piano, bass and guitar. I went home the same way I had come, using the elevator at Queen's Park station rather than the less reliable escalator. I hadn't felt like eating at the hospital, and arrived back at Kipling feeling a little hungry, but not wanting to eat anything - except pizza. There was still some left from last night, but not enough so I bought a couple of slices from Pizza Nova, which, added to what we had made a good lunch for us both. Before re-sending money to Bella, I wanted to make sure we had all our ducks in a row. L-A asked for her phone number and that was different from what I had used when I set her up as a recipient of money on XE. I resent my message to her asking her to register on Sikhona, and also asking her to confirm with Capitec that her bank account is in good order, because I cannot send to it from my FNB account. The fact that Steve wasn't around didn't stop L-A making a nourishing and filling chicken dish for dinner. So far I have never lost my appetite for her dinners. After supper I took her to the church to join a well-attended talk on discernment by April Stevenson, who L-A knew from her past. In her absence I got some good computer work done, including editing Bella's details as a recipient of XE funds. I went to pick her up about 9:15, still feeling pretty good as I had all day.

Tue May 16    Med

I emailed Bella asking her to download the Sikhona app onto her phone and then register. Dr Kujawa called me on a Teams link. I hadn't realised that she was part of the Race Clinic, which specialises in pleural effusions. Dr Bradbury had asked her to advise on whether my recent chest X-Rays suggested another drainage would be beneficial. She didn't, even if she were successful in sucking out any significant fluid. She thought it more important to get back on chemo. I visited Steve again in the Trillium hosital. I had dreamed last night about how I would bring him home, and as I walked in today I saw the answer: a bunch of wheel chairs that live near the entrance across the road from the car park. He was in the same good spirits as on Saturday, and we had friendly and easy conversation. I showed him a short video L-A had made on my phone, which went down well. I told him I had phoned his nurse, and that his doctor, Dr Bell, would call me back. He didn't remember much about a fall her had had; there was a notice on his board about an X-Ray post fall, so one assumed there were no ill effects. Some of my day was spent on the income tax return, and I realized I hadn't received any tax slips, so I messaged Carlos, who told me I can get them myself from the 'Tax Centre.'

Mon May 15    Med

I weigh 130 Lb, or 59 Kg today. Pretty steady for more than a month. I called Canadian Tire and apologized for forgetting my appointment yesterday. They said I could bring in the car any time today! So, much relieved, I got our breakfasts. I have plenty to do here and I didn't fancy spending several hours in their waiting room, so once the car was booked in I called Beck Taxis, and they brought me home for ~$20. When we went on holiday I took a stack of paperwork I was vaguely working on, but of course didn't get round to any of it so it came back with us, the only differences being it was all now in one one pile. Today I was determined to go through it, throw some out, and leave the rest in a more accessible state. I also went through emails, including this from Maureen:
'The medical saga continues for Phil. He has not been well for a few months as he told you. Unfortunately on May 3 he fell hard on a sidewalk and broke his collarbone. He has been in hospital for 10 days. He has C Difficile colitis, an inflamed colon caused by infection. He’s on an oral antibiotic for 14 days. Once he is medically stable they will focus on physiotherapy and transfer him to the Rehabilitation floor. Prior to the fall he was having a lot of difficulty walking. We thought it was because of his groin infection and sore skin. But he must have had C Difficile as well. He had been through many tests the week before but it took time to get the results. His shoulder is very painful still. He can’t stand or walk yet and has his left arm in a sling. He’s on an air bed which helps his comfort level. He’s very tired and not eating well. He was confused the first few days but the delirium has improved a lot.'
This is the worst medical news I have ever heard about my brother and I am extremely concerned. I replied to Maureen enquiring whether he was well enough to receive a phone call, and she said the C Difficile is so infectious they won't let him use a phone. I sent the second half of the second loan to M-A, and for once PayPal seemed to have behaved. I took an extra Bis-Glycinate 25 with my 5pm medications, making it 300% of the suggested daily dose, and I have felt extra energy this evening.

Sun May 14    Med

Since our holiday, I have felt weak and lacking in desire to get tasks completed. Today I returned to CanPrev Iron - Bis-Glycinate 25. I survived the day but it's hard to tell if that was the reason. We still have the blue suitcase on the couch waiting to be completely emptied. Finding places to put the contents of the two cases and the Metro boxes has been a mental struggle. I didn't attend church this morning because of feeling like this. Behind everything is the spectre of our income tax. M-A has commented that we urgently need to contact a hospice for help because he could go downhill fast at any time. But we haven't really liaised with Tara since we returned. Today Tara confirmed that we sould do this, but she didn't have the name of the gereatrician who had called her, so I will take the helm on this one.

Sat May 13

At my breakfast, having just put boiling water on the coffee in the filter, I carelessly turned round without checking the proximity of the coffee to my left hand, and the coffee went flying, much hitting the back of my hand. I yelled in pain, getting some relief from cold water. L-A brought me some aloe vera ointment, which I put on the hand. It probably helped with long term healing, but for a few hours I was in significant pain. In the afternoon I visited Steve in the Trillium Health Partners Mississauga Hospital. He looked calm and well as I entered his room. He was clearly being looked after well, and there was no suggestion that he was desperate to come home. His vascular dementia is between levels 5 and 6, 7 being the maximum when full time care from specialists will be essential. I had brought him a bag of clothes and shoes. We spent about 30 minutes together in logical conversation.

Fri May 12

The return trip home was no less hard work for me than our arrival a week before. I managed to get our two suitcases and Metro boxes through the tortuous doors of Club Cranberry by about 10:30 am. After dropping off our keys, we bought two cranberry lemon scones from a very attractive nearby bakery, and then got on our way. We decided to detour to the Millenium Park, containing the Port of Collingwood, and the former shipyard which had played a part in both world wars constructing naval vessels both for the RCN and the RN, and back at least as far as 1840. We think we even spotted the dry dock, one of the only relics left as it was when the rest of the shipyard was ploughed over. We searched for a restaurant on our way home, but didn't find one until IHOP in Brampton. We were finally home by 4.

Thu May 11

I got up early so as to increase my chance of communicating with FNB in South Africa before their closing time. I had problems reaching them on Skype on my computer even though their number had rung yesterday. With help from L-A I was able to Skype them from her computer, but after about 10 minutes the call timed out. It was clear we should investigate alternative methods of getting money to Bella. I think it was L-A who suggested we use an XE Money Transfer direct to her bank account (instead of via my FNB account). So I added her details as a recipient and sent R5,000. Very soon we had feedback from XE to say that as a new receiver of cash from abroad, she should expect contact from Sikhoma, We drove out to Sunset Point Park and parked near the beach, walking to the shore line. L-A wore her new yellow sweater for the first time. She had her red chair and I had the canvas chair we had bought for Mozambique. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon. There were three kids from a family enjoying themselves on the rocks. Driving back into town we visited the old railway station which had been turned into a museum. We went on to Starbucks for coffee and light eats, and then on to the Galaxy cinema to see Are you there God, it's me, Margaret?.

Wed May 10

I got up to a shock in the form of an email from Sikhona in SA to say that they had placed a hold on my recent R5,000 transfer from Simplii because they had received a notification from FNB to say that my account there is not FICA compliant. I immediately replied to Sikhona expressing great surprize that my account would suddenly become non-compliant, and explaining that we use the account purely to support Bella with her university fees, rent, and medical bills. I prayed they might take pity on us once they saw some details of Bella's situation. They replied an hour later, in a more conciliatry tone, but I still have to contact FNB. I called them and it rang, but I suspect the agents had all gone home. Unless we get this sorted, Bella won't be able to pay her June rent. Steve was having another bad day, peeing freely, and according to Allison, dragging his leg so she was unable to get him into the shower. We decided to have a quiet day in the unit, and L-A went for a few hours sleep. I had soup at lunch time. In the afternoon I relaxed on the balcony listening to Steely Dan and the Beatles, and getting soup for L-A about 4 pm. At 7 we cooked paella. At about 8:30 I received the second shock phone call of the day: a nurse from the Trillium hospital wanted to ask about Steve's condition before he was brought in by ambulance. We knew nothing of this development, and she had my number as caregiver. We gave her Tara's number. It turned out she had left him in the during room while she went downstairs for a Zoom call, and he had had a TIA, and when she went upstairs he was slumped over his chair and non-responsive. Se called the ambulance. The situation by evening was that his brain scan was normal but his heartbeat wasn't. He is likely to stay in overnight. In fact her stayed several nights in the cardiac unit.

Tue May 9    Med

I got up at a reasonable time, had breakfast, and took my new iron pills. L-A had an appointment for a facial in a beauty parlour called Pamper Me Spa, and while she was in I walked, somewhat shakily, to Rexall to buy more Tylenol Extra Strength. I took a photo of a mural of a ship, almost certainly built in Collingwood, where warships had been built at least as far back as 1841. L-A looked very fine after her facial, and we went for lunch at The Huron Club. I had lamb shank and she had Thai curry salmon. My appetite is very poor, so if I see something that I might really like - such as lamb shank - I go for it. When we got home I took a rest. I had felt pretty weak all day. John Whelan and Rick Beato (among others) have been discussing AI generated music, and I found a playlist on Spotify by that title. John has posted some Beatles examples on The News on the Ottawa Beatles Site. After sampling the Spotify playlist of unfamiliar tunes, I thought the Paul McCartney numbers were the best I have yet heard, particularly 'Midnight Caller,' so I downloaded them in case they are deleted.

Mon May 8    Med

I had my meds at 6:30, and by 7:15 had more of an urge to get up than to stay in bed. But when I did I was hit by a wave of fatigue. My gut told me I was very low on iron, since I'd stopped taking Feramax 2 days before, replacing it with Pharmanex Iron. I still have two Feramax capsules which I am keeping for the return journey. What I need now is some chelated iron to give me a similar result to Feramax, which is not chelated. I know there are products out there, from checking Amazon. So I called a local health store, which had no chelated iron. L-A heard the call and - much to my surprize - said she had some CanPrev Iron - Bis-Glycinate 25. The ingredient is Ferrous bis-glycinate chelate. The dose is one capsule per day, so I took two. I think I started feeling the effect within an hour, and for the rest of the day I felt as I would have done on Feramax. Success?! We drove east to Thornbury, and to the cider factory. Interestingly they also make craft beer and wine. We examined our options for tasting; L-A chose cider and I chose beer, and we both found examples we really liked. So after the tasting we went into the 'General Store' and picked up what we wanted to buy. Next stop was the Corner Cafe, just up the street, but it turned out to be closed on Mondays, so we walked a little further to the Ashanti coffee outlet - coffee from Zimbabwe, and one of only two outlets in Canada. We each had coffees and shared a large scone, and brought home with us a large bag of medium ground coffee. Across the street I found a postcard with local interest to send to Kennedy. It was lunchtime so we drove a short distance to The Mill restaurant, a delightful place, and great food. I had baked brie with various sauces, and L-A had fish tacos. We drove back to Collingwood. I had addresses for three electronic stores, but the first two no longer existed. But The Source had what I was looking for: a replacement audio cable which might allow us to listen to the Leak speaker. Next stop: home, and a rest. When I got up I checked out the audio cable, and was thrilled when I heard music. My diagnosis of the problem had been based on the most likely culprit. For dinner we had haddock and vegetables.

Sun May 7

We both deliberately slept in till 9, though I had woken several times in the early morning. We had porridge for breakfast. I posted today's 'Good News in the Morning,' featuring Brent Russett's return, and updated the site accordingly. Then I emailed the remnant of GNiTM preachers and ex-board members to tell them Brent was back. We tuned in to Catch the Fire for the 11:15 service on separate devices since I had forgotten to bring an HDMI cable, and even if I hadn't it would have been tricky plugging it in to the TV. After lunching on the rest of last night's curry, I drove to Metro to pick up the order L-A had made. It was pouring with rain there and I hadn't brought a coat, but I picked up our order without difficulty and added a couple of other items. I used a house trolly to get the boxes, and our two water bottles, up to our room. We were both tired and slept in the afternoon, not waking till 7. I managed to persuade L-A not to start cooking a fish dinner at that time. I certainly wouldn't have been able to do it justice, so I was relieved when she said she just needed tea, toast and berries. I checked my email till 9:30, gratified to see several warm messages welcoming Brent Russett's return, and retired at 10. I wanted to get back into a similar daily routine as we had at Alanmeade, and set my first alarm for 6:30 for meds.

Sat May 6

I awoke a few times with the idea in my head to watch some of King Charles III's coronation live. But it wasn't till 9 am that I actually got out of bed and turned on CBC, to hear the host say this was a good time for Canadians to be tuning in. This was shortly before the appearance of Charles and Camilla plus families and pages on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, and the fly past, all of which I watched live. L-A also found an excellent photo gallery of the key events assembled by the Washington Post. I was feeling far better than yesterday, and not at all rushed. We had a very leisurely breakfast while making a list of food items we would be needing, which I'll pick up tomorrow from Metro. This morning I went to Starbucks for coffees and sweet treats, and found they were very close to the Coriander, so I popped in and thanked Mahommad, which pleased him greatly. Laurie-Ann sunbathed on the balcony for a while, but the view wasn't the sand and sea one hopes for. Major renovations are in progress at this resort. I installed the two computers, but when I tried to play audio through the Leak speaker, there was silence. I figured out that the weak link in the system was the cable from the computer audio output to the Pyle amplifier. I have discovered through experience that plugs, sockets and cables can be more unreliable than active devices like amplifiers. I continued with the unpacking, though it tired me greatly so I also slept quite a lot. My lunch was the rest of the lamb pasanda, and L-A's was boiled eggs and naan, because she had other plans for her chicken tikka. Steve had continued to cause trouble for Tara, waking up this morning naked, with pee all over the floor. He is not a happy man. We hope and pray this is just a short episode. In early evening we received excellent news from Bella. She had gone to Capitec Bank and they had admitted being at fault in not paying her the three transfers I had made recently. They blamed it on load shedding, but I don't buy that; they still should have told her what was going on instead of putting us all though major worry. I dictated a message to her suggesting she demand the R2,750 in additional rent her landlord had charged, and she should threaten to switch to another bank if Capitec refused. I said we would pay any regular bank charges arising from a different bank, and recommended FNB. L-A sauteed vegetables and added chicken breasts, and finally added the remains of her chicken tikka massala to make a hearty dinner, of which I only had a small portion. One of the nicer aspects of being here is that we have a dishwasher, so that's where the dishes and glasses etc. went after dinner. We spent some time finding a TV channel of interest, settling on a documentary of the stories behind the USA's modern wonders of the world: The Empire State Building, Mount Rushmore, The Golden Gate Bridge, etc. We had what was for me a late night, about 11.

Fri May 5

I was wakened by l-A coming to bed shortly after midnight, and telling me Steve was on the floor in his bedroom. I went in to find him parallel with the bed and his head up against the wall. This is the first time in some months. He said he'd been there for a couple of hours and even fallen asleep for part of it. I put his pillow under his head, pulled him a foot away from the wall with his feet, and then had him roll over onto his front. From there he was able to bring up his knees so that he was in a crawling position, and from that he brought up his right leg and stood on it, holding onto the bed. It was then a simple matter first to sit on the bed and then lie on it. He had done all the 'heavy lifting' and I had done the direction, which was good because I can't lift him. The whole routine took less thn 5 minutes. In the morning I gave us a simple breakfast, and gave L-A her regular breakfast, and then we both got on with the business of working through our lists of what needed to be bought to the pile on the couch of what we would need to take on holiday. This worked until we realised L-A's list was on her phone, and she wasn't carrying anything anywhere. So I managed to persuade her to write her list on paper. Steve knew something was up so placed himself in the middle of the action. Tara arrived mid morning; she had a day's working from home to get through which she did from downstairs. I had told the resort in Collingwood we expected to arrive by 5. We finally got on our way around 3:30. By now I had got two very heavy suitcases into the car, plus 5 Metro boxes of food and kitchen stuff. Sadly. due to miss-communication, this didn't include coffee, milk or sugar. The drive was north up Airport Road, and it seemed a long time before we saw green fields. L-A had travelled the route in her youth many times, so we didn't turn on the GPS, which was a mistake because I had no idea of our progress. L-A was texting with Tara who said that Steve had behaved badly at dinner time, mouthing air instead of his food. This worried us since Tara could say enough is enough and start the preparations for a nursing home, something we don't believe is anything like imminent. We did everually arrive in Collingwood and at the timeshare, for which the GPS was essential. The reception / management representative Kevin was a cheerful character, and knowledgable. When I told him he still had Annmarie's name down as my spouse, he knew this could cause a snag. I had accepted an offer of $150 towards a meal at a really good fish restaurant, as a 'reward for answering check-in questions.' I should have known after decades of timesharing that apparent gifts are not what they seem, but inducements to buy additional units during a sales evening; the last thing we needed. But with me married to a different woman, this was never going to work when they asked to see IDs. So he cancelled the welcome event and the fish meal. The reason I had never had Annmarie's name taken off the RCI files was she was still timesharing in her own name and wanted to keep the privilege. I now had the key to Unit 173 in Club Cranberry, and a rough idea of how to get there. L-A stayed in the car looking for restaurants on the GPS while I sought out the room, and a trolly get our stuff there. With my directions she went in with the walker and I loaded the trolly. By now we were hungry, and I was very tired, and she had found a couple of contenders for our dinner dollars. I liked the idea of the Coriander Indian restaurant, though when we got there we saw the full name was Coriander to go. I really wanted a sit down experience, but decided to go in and check out the menu, which was not what I expected for a take-out joint. I found Lamb Pasanda, one of my favourites! I selected Chicken Tikka Masala for L-A because it contained no milk. The food was not cheap, and would take 20 minutes to prepare, both signs of something special. We chatted in the car for 15 minutes, and then I returned to collect the food from Mahommad, for that was his name. Back at the unit, I brought in the blue case which has wheels as L-A brought the food upstairs on her walker. I laid the table and we got to work. My Pasanda was beyound delicious; chunks of succulant lamb in a heavenly sauce and lots of it. L-A was also very happy with her Tikka. We both had sufficient to keep half for tomorrow. Now we had food in our bellies I had just enough energy to go downstairs one more time for the second case. I took the walker in case it would carry the case. It just did, and got me to the space between the outer and inner doors - but no further. I coudn't get my door key to operate the switch unit to open the inner doors. Neither could I call reception; the call needed an area code! So after 10 minutes I called L-A and told her I was trapped. Further, I had the walker and her walking stick was in the car. So she did something that would have been impossible 3 months ago before she lost a stack of weight - she walked unaided down to the door (with my heart in my mouth and my mouth praying hard) and opened it from the inside. Then she walked back up with the walker carrying the suitcase. I had just enough energy left to open up a few cases and retrieve our night clothes. Which was when I couldn't discover how to switch on the bedroom lights. I was way past sorting out engineering problems by now, so I worked in the near dark, throwing off the surplus pillows that Canadians love, and laying my clothes on them. It wasn't long before I was deeply asleep, leaving my sweetheart to do the things she does when I've gone to bed. How my elderly, emaciated body had managed the chores of the day, from packing to driving, to unpacking and installing ourselves in the hotel room is still a mystery, unless you take prayer into account. TKOG.

Thu May 4

I planned Steve's breakfast to avoid leaving bacon in the fridge when we leave on holiday. He actually came in to the kitchen unasked shortly after I gave him his morning Tylenol, so I gave him cereal and started cooking his bacon and egs. Just as I finished, Allison arrived, but no problem, I kept it in the oven for him. No ads continually interrupting my stream of thought when Googling! I decided to keep Edge in place because of the links I had created on it over time, but will go back to Google for new work and banking. For lunch I finished the liver, bacon and beans. I made a vegetable omelette for L-A, and Steve had his regular soup. Quite a lunch. Then in the afternoon, Total AV were in my face suggesting we must buy their anti-virus protection, also for $CAD 29. Again, I felt this could very usefully replace Norton, for the next year, and then we would cancel before their standard prices cut in. So I bought it and installed it. Comments on social media suggest that the Trustpilot products work, but replace the slew of (pop up) ads with their own ads. We had connect group in the evening. The subject of King Charles' coronation on Saturday came up, and the various controversies surrounding it in Christian circles. I briefly mentioned the huge events of last weekend in Kigali, and said that 85% of the world's Anglicans decided to separate themselves from the oversite of a man who apparently will make the coronation an inter-faith event. I left the group early so that we'll be better prepared tomorrow to do the final packing and get on our way.

Wed May 3

I had to be at the blood collection department in PMH by 8:15, and by getting up at 6:15 I was able to get Steve fed, and L-A partially fed. As I came out of Queen's Park station, I was confronted by both escalators out of service, and had to walk up 2 1/2 flights of staits, and was very exhausted when I reached ground level. I gave my blood, and had my X-Ray taken, and since she was alone the operator allowed me to see the image, which suggested to my untrained eye that there was less fluid in there than at the previous X-Ray (see 25 January). When Dr. Bradbury's associate came to check my vitals, I mentioned the unserviceable escalators at the subway station, and she had also experienced them, and told me there was an elevator at the station. Dr Bradbury had also seen the X-Ray and suggested I should see one of the specialists in the Race Clinic (dedicated to pleural effusions), with a view to further drainage. I told her about our holiday next week and she said she'd organize it for the following week. She also postponed this Friday's chemo, which could conflict with the Race clinic's measurements, and said that it would be a bad idea to have chemeo just before going on holiday, since if I picked up any infections with the lower immunity, I could end up in the local hospital. This was good news for me, not having chemo just before driving to Collingwood, so Friday will be less of a rush. Late afternoon I returned to Paypal and found an answer to my query about difficulty transferring money to Paypal from my bank. They suggested using a different browser, and deleting all cookies on the browser. I didn't know how to delete the cookies but I selected Chrome instead of Edge and repeated my Paypal request to fetch $4,450 from Simplii. As soon as I was using Chrome I started seeing multiple ads, including Total Ad Blocker from Trustpilot. I am familiar with Trustpilot, and they were offering their ad blocker for $CAD 29. I would need to block lots of ads if I were to start using Chrome as my browser, so I agreed to buy Total Ad Blocker. They tried to get me to buy additional software but I declined, so the final price was $29.

Tue May 2

Yesterday was the meant to be the final day when I would use Norton anti-virus. I had instructed it not to renew my subscription before the year of protection was up, since there would have been far higher fees in year 2. However, they had deluged me with messages reducing my fee for year 2 to $54. Then first thing today I got a message extending my protection, free, for 60 days. And this was a message I could reply to. My reply went: ' I thank you for the additional 60 days. However, it is only fair if I explain why I wanted to stop the service. It wasn't because of the cost. It was because of the continual stream of notifications and pop ups that Norton generates. Whenever I wanted to concentrate on my work, Norton wanted me to scan a disk, or buy additional add-ons to Norton. I expect anti virus software to quietly operate in the background while leaving me to use my computer uninterrupted. That's how Windows Defender seems to work. Is it possible for me to turn off notifications for the next 60 days?' We have had a fruit pie in the freezer for a while, and for the last 5 days I have forgotten to take it out and cook it in the oven for 50 minutes, and then let it cool before eating ot reheating. But today, L-A reminded me right after lunch, and I did it immediately. So we'll have pie for dessert tonight - which Steve and I did. L-A and I watched the final episode of Around the World in 80 Days, which had kept is in suspense for a week.

Mon May 1

Again, felt marginally better than yesterday when I got up and served Crispix for Steve and me. Maybe the Codeine takes a few days to reach the brain. Still no sign of cash transferred to Paypal from Simplii for the second part of M-A's loan, so I sent the request again. I am very frustrated with PayPal, and for future money transfers I will investigate XE Money Transfers, which has served me faithfully for years. I took L-A to her appointment with Dr Silver, and the one free parking spot for disabled people was actually available. I tried to find out how to get into a 'help' dialogue with Paypal, but failed. I have had such dialogues in the past. L-A went to bed after lunch, asking me to call her if Canada Post showed up because she thought there could be duty to pay on a sweater she had ordered. They did arrive (without attracting my attention) and left the sweater in the mail box, so I saw no need to wake her. At 3:30 I took Steve for an appointment with Dr Silver. As we approached the medical building, I prayed that the one free parking slot might be available. I was astonished to see a white car move out of the slot just before we arrived. TKOG. Since it was raining, this made it consideraly easier to get Steve into the building than if we had parked elsewhere. As I relayed the story to Dr Silver while he chamfered up Steve's toenails, he seriously suggested I should rush to buy a lottery ticket while my luck was in. I told him I didn't buy lottery tickets and didn't believe in his kind of luck. After the treatment we picked up Pizza Nova on the way home.

Sun Apr 30    Med

Although on rising I felt marginally better than yesterday, I still wasn't ready to attend CTF. So we watched the livestream and found it excellent. I shared it to Facebook. I printed Dave Atkins' letter to Premier Ford and Minister of Education Lecce, and will mail the letters on Monday. I drove to Cloverdale to buy more swiffer pads, and while there bought some Kelloggs Crispix cereal in Metro, which Dave Kemp had introduced me to a week ago. Can't find the GAFCON speeches anywhere I would expect, so I searched YouTube and found this: Recordings of the GAFCON Livestream at Kigali I can think of a few reasons why the GAFCON authorities might not want to leave official versions on line after the initial livestreaming. A confusing thing about living with cancer is that if you get aches, pain, discomfort of any kind, or a loss of appetite, or other problems, you (a) don't know whether these are from the cancer, or from chemo, or if they are independent of it, and (b) if they get extra bad, such as severe breathing difficulty after exerting yourself, maybe death is not far away. How do you know? You have no prior experience in the matter. You certainly don't want to relate all such issues and thoughts to your nearest and dearest, which would only distress them unduly.

Sat Apr 29    Med

I forgot to set my alarm so woke up 2 hours late having not taken meds at 6. I wish I could say I felt invigorated by the lie-in. Luckily Allison wasn't coming till lunch time. Steve and I breakfasted on real porridge, enjoying Pat Moore's stint on Saturday Morning on CKCU. For lunch, a real experiment: pork liver, bacon and fried tomatoes. I enjoyed it, and Steve ate it, though he volunteered he preferred soup. I slept in the afternoon, still extremely fatigued. I took the dead daffodils to the side garden and planted the bulbs for next year (will we still be here?) The hydrangea had outlasted them. Dave Atkins had sent me a form letter to send on to Premier Ford and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. Children as young as 5 are now being taught in primary school about multiple genders to appease the LGBT community, and I don't like it any more than Dave does.

Fri Apr 28    Med

I got dressed in the trousers I had found in the garage yesterday, and they are a perfect fit at my current weight. I cannot explain where they came from. I haven't shopped for clothes in years. TKOG. After breakfast I asked Steve to sign a $300 cheque for his recent food expenses, and noticed that his signature had become somewhat simpler. I searched the suitcases in the bedroom, and soon found L-A's bathing costume. I also found other clothes that we should take to Collingwood. While I was on the point of calling Dr Banerjee's office again, my phone rang and it was Nadia from Renforth Pharmacy to say they had my Tylenol No. 2! I was so happy. I imagined that after several days without the drug and feeling pretty low, I would soon be back to normal, with the wish to get on with things (including the tax return). I drove to the CIBC ATM to deposit Steve's cheque, and then to the pharmacy for my pills. I think I noticed an improvement in my state about a hour later, but it wasn't any major change. Hmm.

Thu Apr 27    Med

At 3 am I woke and went for a pee. On my way out of the bathroom I decided to have tea and a snack, just as Steve emerged from his room, so I invited him to join me. He accepted but preferred coffee. I made the drinks, and toasted raisin bread, and we ate and drank at the dinner table. I realised this was an opportunity, and mentioned that I had been to a friend's funeral on Saturday, but I wasn't concerned for her because she had long ago accepted Jesus into her life. I mentioned that I have been to many funerals where that was not the case, and I felt really bad for the people who had died. I expanded on this theme and I think Steve got the message. He made a few cryptic comments which I feel added up to the fact that he wasn't telling how he felt about the matter, since it was private to him. We both returned to our beds. I skipped my normal shampooing during my bath this morning, having given my hair a good workout last Sunday night. While in the bath I was reminded my legs and feet were not in good shape from lymphedema - if indeed that was the problem. I had been told it was a chemo side effect, but I hadn't had chemo in weeks and it was getting worse. I felt generally ill and lacking in motivation during the morning, and this may have been caused by running out of Tylenol No. 2. I updated a link on the home page. In previous years Bruce Newman would have reminded me each January to add the new year to the Good News in the Morning Podcasts button. I approached the task with some trepidation, and was greatly pleased with myself when I completed the update. I was feeling pretty useless after lunch, so I took my noon meds, and a Stilpane that L-A thought would help, and went to bed until 5 pm. I awoke feeling marginally better. Today has been a foretaste of the way I could feel in the future as my body gradually closes down. No fun. Evelina returned my call from Dr Bradbury's office to say thay had passed on the Tylenol No. 2 prescription request to Dr Banerjee, as my palliative care provider, and that included all pain meds. I should have remembered this. The prescription had still not been received at Renforth IDA by 5:15 so I left a message for Natalie Silva, Dr Subrata Banerjee's administrative assistant, asking that she call me if there were any problems at all in sending out the prescription, and saying that it was urgent. L-A wants to to take her bathing constume to Collingwood on our approaching holiday, and asked if I could find it. I went to the garage and in the first trunk I found a pair of new light brown trousers that I hadn't noticed before (I didn't find the bathing costume), I brought them into the house.

Wed Apr 26

I drove out to collect my repaired shoes, and to buy household goods and food. I can't remember a shopping trip making me so tired. I am still waiting for more Tylenol No. 2. I listened to the 3rd, 4th and 5th podcasts from Stand Firm which has been on location with their podcast team during GAFCON. I learned so much. They discussed the Kigali Commitment, sexual sin, and the apostacy of Canterbury. Surely Kigali will lead to the combining of GAFCON and the Global South, representing 85% of the world's Christians, and complete separation from the Church of England. Bella said she was still waiting for R3,500 we had promised for her rent. There is a discrepancy between what the FNB transactions show, and my givings spreadsheet, so rather than hold her in suspense I sent her R3,500, a little less than the current FNB balance. This will reach her before month end, enabling her to pay her rent. I set up a new transfer to FNB from Simplii. I paid my Solutions Banking Mastercard, and my new President's Choice Financial Mastercard. I left a message for Dr Bradbury's assistant Evelina asking if she had received the fax from Renforth IDA requesting authorization for them to give me more Tylenol No. 2.

Tue Apr 25

I woke about 2 am, a perfect time to set up the second batch of audio files. Also an excellent time for a cup of tea and a cup cake. In the morning I transferred the final batch of files, mainly videos. I needed some more Efudex for the basal cell carcinomas that continued to sprout on the backs of my hands. I called the clinic as soon as they opened and asked for a short meeting with Dr Makar, as well as my B12 shots. They said to come at 11:50. My computer was still busy transferring the video files to the new backup USB disk, so we watched Big Music on CBC Gem, about the chaotic happenings in the music industry over the years, leading to the present situation where all music was free to stream, but artists were paid so little.

Mon Apr 24

A key activity today was completing my journal for the Carleton Place visit. Other things done were checking my voicemail where Dr Bradbury's assistant, Evelina had left her fax number, and then calling Nadia at Renforth IDA and giving her the number so she would be able to get me some more Tylenol No 2. I read The Kigali Commitment. Wow! I sense this is the most important statement to come out of Anglicanism in years. Words are not minced. Canterbury is castigated. I recommend any Christian to read it. On the return drive from Carleton Place I had considered that I'd been living dangerously ever since the red disk had failed on 8 April, more than 2 weeks ago. If the back-up black disk had failed during this time, we would have lost our complete music collection. As it was there were some files lost (?) on the red disk, such as the GNiTM archive after September 2021 to the end of 2022. True, these did still exist on line, and I could download them - but I was unlikely to do that in the near future. The bottom line: it was urgent, urgent, urgent to back up the back-up black disk on to the new disk from Best Buy. Then we would have the complete music collection less a few new items added while in South Africa. I would also have to re-edit the digitized cassettes, B tapes, and LPs, but this could be done over time. So tonight I made a start, setting up the first third of the files for transfer before I went to bed, and being very relieved when the transfers started.

Sun Apr 23

I slept well, and despite having no alarm clock and the Blackberry being on charge in the bathroom, I woke up about 6:20 and took my meds. When I was back in the bathroom washing, I found a small tube of very old hair gel from South Africa. I foolishly put some on my hair, and it was like glue, though it did hold my hair in place. By 9 I was packed and had breakfast with Dave. About 9:40 he drove me to Eternal Hope where about 2 were gathered. Some knew (of) me and introduced themselves, including Caroline Pollock who had supported our mission. Devin Hunt was still in Rwanda, and I was pleased that Alan Mills, who officiated, spoke about Gafcon 4, a significant event for Christianity. He had brought with him printed copies of The Kigali Commitment, summarising trends and decisions from the conference. When the service started there were about 7 gathered plus volunteers. This was my third successive Sunday in an ANiC church. Dave was sad about how the congregation had dwindled since he had retired as pastor, and shared that a reason was an over involvement in liturgy and history, which might not be attractive to a local resident checking out the church, with no knowledge of ANiC. I would have thought that the prime source of new members would be the congregation of St James' Anglican Church, where the funeral was yesterday. After the service we gathered downstairs for tea/coffee and date slices or cookies. When the date slices were finished, Dave drove me back to his home, where we said our goodbyes, and I got into the car and drove west. My first stop was at Rams Esso, near Sharbot Lake, where I gassed up, used their toilet to good effect, and bought two small blueberry pies. The pies sustained me for the whole journey. I continued on for a couple of hours till the Trenton En Route, mainly to text L-A. After that the 401 was soon into Toronto, and I left it at Islington, arriving home by 6. I was well pleased with my body, which had exhibited no side effects of either Mesothelioma or chemotherapy, and also pleased with my eyes, which had given me no problems focussing on the road. I wasn't so pleased with the sticky hair gel. L-A noticed it as soon as she saw me. So I got to work with my Nu Skin Renu volumising shampoo, and was quite relieved when after two applications I had got the horrid sticky stuff out. I completed the good work that L-A had started with the salmon dinner. After dinner we watched the final episode of 'A Spy among Friends,' Kim Philby's story up to his exit to Russia, after which there was no further story to be told. I am interested that, like me, he enjoyed marmalade.

Sat Apr 22    Med

I got up early, feeling eager to get on my way to Carleton Place for Jennifer's funeral. Steve and Laurie-Ann also got up early since they were keen for breakfast before my departure at 8. I joined the 401 at Islington Ave to find relatively light traffic and drove for an hour or so to the first En Route, where I gassed up, and bought a Starbucks breakfast wrap and coffee. That would be my only stop on the outward trip, not counting a text stop when I reached HWY 7. The GPS served me well, arriving at St James' Anglican 5 minutes before the service started, and during those minutes Ray Brule had come up and greeted me. I hadn't been in an Anglican Church of Canada in years, but hadn't missed it. I had an irreverant thought - wishing Henry and Jennifer had joined ANiC. Henry gave the first part of his eulogy, but as soon as he got to the point of their blossoming spiritual relationship, broke down completely and walked back to his seat. It was the most moving moment for me. After the service I went to the church hall where many refresments were laid out. Henry and I greeted each other and chatted, and he was clearly very happy that I'd come. I congratulated him on organizing such a smooth-running event, but hinted that despite his calm manner since Jennifer's death, he was likely not so calm inside, which he didn't dispute. The only way to get a hot drink was to sit at a table, which I did, meeting two of Jennifer's technical writer colleagues from Northern Telecom. Dave called me and I confirmed I would be at his house within an hour. I had a further chat with Ray, and a little with Lorna before leaving. I drove to Dave's and let myself in via the door pad, with L-A's help, since I had left the number at home. I relaxed for a while with a book about Elon Musk. When Dave returned we started a conversation which lasted the full time I was in his company. We went out to dinner at Maximilian's in Perth (my treat) and had Jagerschnitzels (with the mushroom sauce) and closed the place. Back home we agreed to differ over vacc vs anti-vacc, but agreed over everything else, sharing the names of resources the other wasn't using. Not too late we went to bed, and I certainly slept well.

Fri Apr 21    Med

I was about to archive my St Chad bulletin from last Sunday, and noticed it included the link to the 4th Gafcon conference in Kigali, Rwanda. One of the first things I saw was the list of delegates from Canada, which included George Sinclair and Devin Hunt! I posted information on the conference to Facebook, and noticed there was a daily podcast from Kigali on Spotify. I immediately listened to the reports from days 1 and 2, bringing me more up to date with all things Gafcon. The first podcast recommended The St. Andrew's Day Statement on homosexuality, the result of a study in 1995 caled for by the Church of England. I posted Gafcon's main page to Facebook. After lunch I took two of Steve's meds to Shoppers and ordered repeats (if they manage successfully to communicate with Dr. Judah), and then took my Tylenol No. 2 to Renforth Pharmacy, agreeing to provide a fax no. for Dr Bradbury so she can OK more Tylenol No. 2. I worked on the list of things I mustn't forget to take to Carleton Place tomorrow. I think I am feeling the benefit of the blood transfusion yesterday, if I compare my morning today with recent mornings when I have felt unwell. I wonder who it is, probably from the GTA, who gave several units of blood of his/her blood, and maybe wondered who would end up with it. I was considering where would I spend Saturday night after the funeral, and L-A reminded me that Dave Kemp would be happy for me to stay, so I called him, and he was. We have promised each other catch-up time for the past year+. He suggested we both attend Eternal Hope on Sunday morning. I went to Best Buy and was unexpectedly delighted that they refunded me all the $338.99 I had paid them to recover the data from the red disk. Then I bought a phone charger plug for the cigar lighter in the car to make sure I won't be caught out on my drive to Carleton Place on Saturday for the funeral. James had recommended that to replace the Red disk I buy a solid-state back-up drive, and I had checked them out on Amazon and Best Buy online sites, finding none for less than $200, in store at Best Buy the sales assistant offered a 2TB non-solid-state drive on sale for $75. I felt that since I would be maintaining the new disk and the black disk as close duplicates, the overall security would be good even though they were both non-solid-state. So I paid my $75. At 7:30 we had the first of our new Thursday Night connect group meetings. This was triggered by the cooking class last night, when it turned out Thursday was preferable to Wednesday for most.

Thu Apr 20    Med

I left home at 8:45 and arrived at PMH early for my blood draw. There was still an hour before I would see Dr Bradbury so I had a second breakfast at Tim Hortons. I wasn't feeling any better than the last few days and I was very keen to see if the promised blood transfusion would change that. Dr Bradbury didn't keep me waiting. She wanted to know all details of how I had been feeling recently, so I told her I have felt sick and ill and unmotivated for anything other than resting on the couch or in bed. I reminded her that on 3 April I had nearly had a transfusion, and I really wanted to get to it now that the original concerns had been resolved. She felt that my body could have been over-stressed by chemo; my third one was on 14 March. She said people normally have 6 or 7 before taking a break, but she felt I should take a break now. I quizzed her on my prognosis; what could I expect after chemo? Would it just be a question of monitoring with CT scans and hoping for a contraction of the tumour? My impression from her answers was that there weren't any other options for me, although she didn't say as much. She said she would see what could be done to get the transfusion asap, so I was very pleased as I prepared to leave when nurse Jennifer said she was going to see if I could have it right then! 20 minutes later it was set up and I was on my way back to the Oncology Day Clinic on the main floor, where I was greeted by a charming and very competetant nurse called Sarah who set up the feed into my arm. She explained this was more tricky than chemo, since the viscosity of blood meant she not only had to find a vein to open up, but one that could take a longer flow of the thicker liquid. Because my transfusion had been arranged at short notice, it then took nearly 2 hours to get the exact match of donor blood from the blood bank. She brought me an awful egg sandwich (I only ate half; it had been in a freezer and was soggy) and orange juice, and I settled down to wait. I texted L-A recommending that if I were not back by 6:15, she call an Uber, and I would meet her at the Spice Trader HQ. I also reminded her that my phone would be out of power by then. Eventually the unit of my benefactor's blood arrived and was soon trickling into my left arm. About 5:45 I moved with the donor kit up two flights since Sarah and the rest of the downstairs crew went home at 6. By 6:30 I was done and disconnected. I set out for home. I needed to go home before going to Spice Trader for our cooking class mainly to take the meds I had missed all day, but also to look in on Steve. I was finally ready by 8:15, and the cooking course would be over by 8:30. The GPS took me to the 427 down to the Gardiner and eventually North through a busy nest of streets with streetcars, and it was all a test of my driving skills. But eventually I found 877 Queen St. W. and went in to find L-A and Allison, the co-owner with her husband. All had gone well. We drove home.

Wed Apr 19

I think my eyes are improving. The magnifying glass is not being brought out nearly so frequently, and the norm on my computer is to be able to see a whole paragraph of text clearly. Perhaps the conjunctivitis is retreating.

Tue Apr 18    Med

I am still not feeling well - if anything I'm worse than yesterday. This is proving to be the main reason against going to Jennifer's funeral. Throughout my chemotherapy, my body has behaved generally as normal, but that has changed. All I want to do is doze in a chair or sleep in a bed. L-A looked up the inter-city bus schedules and found they don't go via Carleton Place. Driving the car is not hard for me though I haven't driven long distance since collecting our suitcases from Sydney and Christine Jenkins many months ago.

Mon Apr 17    Med

I am not feeling well. 'Flu symptoms except fever. The big challenge is Jennifer's funeral on Friday. Should I try and make it or would that be foolhardy. I went for a haircut at First Choice. My hairdresser was Sendi. She told me her boyfriend, Jim, of 17 years was being treated for brain cancer; chemo on the 17th floor of PMH. I recommended marriage, and prayed for him before leaving and I believe it meant a lot to her. I drove to Loblaws for Bonne Maman marmalade, and then remembered Steve's watch, so drove back to Cloverdate where the watchmaker at Silver Time did the job in less than 2 minutes, the same as he had a few months back. I went on line for Via Rail info about their line to Smiths Falls, showing that everything would have to on time for me not to be late, and cost ~$500 if I stayed the night. L-A was ill again in the afternoon, going to bed till dinner time. We had the last of the turkey soup, and beans on toast for me, followed by warm rice pudding for Steve and me. This is not the quality of meal we normally serve Steve, and I apologised to him, saying that we were both ill, and had to make some simplifications.

Sun Apr 16

We neither of us felt up to CTF, except online, where Gordon Harris preached well on living clean lives. In the afternoon I felt a tug from St Chad, so joined their service. The sermon was by Steven, who told me he preaches there about once a month. On the way home I picked up pizza for us all.

Sat Apr 15

Feeling marginally better than yesterday, I actually worked on our tax return in the afternoon. I was still generally unwell and dizzy, with not much of an appetite, and still problems with my taste buds. I washed the sheets and pillowcases on our bed. Every so often I really needed to relax on the couch. We watched The Fabelmans in the evening, about Stephen Spielberg's childhood, showing how from an early age he had a propensity for making movies. I could certainly relate to that, though my movies were all historical family events, mainly holidays. I also filmed my model trains. I forgot to post Good News in the Morning; this is getting to be chronic.

Fri Apr 14    Med

I felt ill all day. Weak, breathless, no energy to get things done. We needed breakfast food and 7-grain bread, and I had another reason to go shopping and earn Optimum points. So, feeling it was the last thing I wanted to do, I drove to Loblaws near mid-day, setting down every step with care as I walked into the store so that I would not fall. They had two sliced 7-grain loaves, just what I needed, and I wondered if I was their only customer. After finding breakfast sausage I went to the self check-out. and earned 4156 Optimum points. That should have made my total to-date 107,356, but on the Optimum site I have 106,580. Where are the missing points? And do I have the energy and skill to find out. However, it does appear that the Optimum account is linked to Loblaws. L-A had cooked turkey wild rice soup, and it contained a large volume of nutricious turkey stock. We had some for lunch. I also drank a Monster, and ate my noon medications. After lunch I had a couple of hours sleep, but it didn't raise me out of the physical blues. We had our Bible reading, communion, and prayer session in the afternoon. L-A had procured a box of communion elements which we have been using daily for about a week. L-A had prepared turkey curry (everything's turkey this week) and though I only fancied a small helping (of anything), this was really good. We watched the final episode of 'Transatlantic,' happenings from around my birthdate when some brave Americans including Varian Fry and French patriots smuggled Jews and British servicemen on the run out of France and over the Pyrenees to Spain.

Thu Apr 13

Bath and toenail clipping day, after which I ventured into Steve's room. He was wet and so was his bedding. In his subconscious the decision to continue peeing in his diaper had again triumphed over the teapot or the bathroom. I tried to get him to stand and it was really painful for him. By the time Allison joined us at least he had on a dry diaper. As she bathed him, I took off the wet bedding, replacing some with what I had washed and dried yesterday. She was very careful, fully aware that he could fall. I prepared his cereal and she brought him into the kitchen when she was done, and he ate a standard (uncooked) breakfast. He was co-operative. I suggested that he not go and lie down afterwards, but give his muscles some activity by walking round the house with his walker and sitting in the living room, but he ignored the suggestion and went to sleep in his room. I reorganized my recent do lists into one. I called Dr Melnick's office and told his assistant I wouldn't be coming for an appointment on 11 July, having been able to get into Toronto Western. I checked the FNB account and saw that the second R5,000 transfer had arrived, so I send Bella a further R3,500 to pay for her grandfather's funeral. I am glad we solved what was an awful responsibility that had fallen on her shoulders. We had agreed after Red Lobster that we should lunch one day at The Mandarin, and I suggested to L-A that today was the day. My stomach was telling me it needed a work-out with a completely different style of food from normal. I knew that it was accepting of Chinese. So I served Steve his uneaten lunch from yesterday, and soon we were on our way to the Mandarin, where I had never been before. The temperature was an unseasonal 30° which added to the pleasure of the day out. It was a similar concept to Kanata's Panda Garden, with a more varied choice. I had worried that after the (sweet sour) soup I would have already lost my appetite for more, but I hadn't. I went on to two main courses and two desserts. The dessert plates in particular were quite small. The bill was $87, just over half as much as Red Lobster; no complaints there. I definitely over-ate but not to an extent that it made me ill. L-A was able to meet her more stringent demands, but she found no sorbet. I hope there'll be sorbet in Heaven or there may be a problem.

Wed Apr 12

During the early morning hours I heard the odd noise from Steve. At 6 I got up for a pee and couldn't find him. I looked out the front door, and there he was, pushing his walker up the porch steps, and doing quite well at it. I decided to leave him at it until I was dressed, by when he was coming in the front door. I have to give him credit for such a manoeuvre, though I don't know what he was doing when he was down the steps. Perhaps he had walked down to the road. During the night L-A had persuaded him to take out his dentures, and this morning I felt like a good breakfast, so I cooked us bacon, egg, fried bread, fried tomato, and baked beans. Slava arrived in the middle of it, so it went back in the oven for a while. I was still feeling weak and with an upset stomach, which persisted throughout the day. For the first time Steve didn't want to get up for lunch, and by 5 pm had still not come into the kitchen. I took a nap after lunch which made me feel a little better. Before cooking the spaghetti for dinner I asked Steve if her wanted dinner; he did. When it was ready he ate all of his large portion. While he was eating his pumpkin pie, I cleared wet bedding from his room and replaced with dry. I carefully got him back to his room. His pants were totally soaked, and he was in a semi-TIA state so it was hard to get his pants and diaper off, but we made it. It was even harder to get dry ones on; he wasn't able to help without strength in his legs. So we abandoned getting him to stand, and I left him lying on the bed with the clean pants loose.

Tue Apr 11    Med

I went to the Geek Squad in Best Buy with the red disk. They did some tests that convinced them it was worth sending the disk to the specialist firm that they use for disk data recovery. I paid $338.99 and received a contract. A negative that was mentioned was that sometimes only ~70% of the files can be recovered. So if they require more money from me to move to the next tier, I will probably decline, and just manage with the back up disk. M-A and Field had bought a trailer that would be used as Field moved from one house he had renovated to the next, and would also bring M-A's goods from Tennessee to wherever she would be living in the future, and then act as storage space for her. They had paid $US 6,250 and M-A had asked if we would lend her the money until her house is sold. At present this seems quite hopeful since Will's son Jessie wants to buy it and his grandmother would pay (cash) for it. I agreed to this, and transferred $CAD 8,900 to Paypal. This was made easier because Carlos had failed to invest $12,000 into L-A's TFSA, his mind being more focussed on a honeymoon in Colombia with his new wife Chantal. So we cancelled the investment for the present. I put out the garbage, and wrapped more duct tape around the garden hose. Such tasks, requiring walking, tire me more than they did a few weeks ago, even though I am on full dose Vitamin C. Add to that, my stomach seems a little upset. During dinner, Steve asked for a teaspoon, and ate the whole of his root vegetable stew with turkey with it, which goes into the category of bizarre behaviour. At the end of dinner when I asked him for his dentures, he point-blank refused, at which I reminded him that unless he still had his teeth, I wouldn't cook his breakfast. His evening consisted of walking round the house with his walker, and giving L-A a hard time, as he babbled on with reminiscences from working on the railway. He was experiencing a 1 or 2 day period, which we've seen before, when he couldn't settle down, and all that could be done was to wait it out till he returned to normal.

Mon Apr 10

There was a ring at the door mid morning. Our visitor was Sally Jo Martin from Humber Valley United Church with daffodils for Steve. I invited her in so she could see him sleeping but didn't wake him. We had a very peasnat conversation with her, and introduced her to L-A's colouring books, and gave her a memory stick for their Sunday school. L-A offered to speak to their Day Timers group which her mother had been a member of. I slept in the afternoon, feeling better afterwards. I repaired more leaks in the garden hoses. We heard that one of Bella's brothers, Mikayle, died of TB today. What a sad life, and how tough on Bella as she is already burying her grandfather. The saving grace is that her brother is covered by the family funeral cover. For dinner we had part 2 of the turkey; much enjoyed. There's plenty more where that came from which L-A will use in a variety of recipes, and by the time we have finished, it will have been cheap meals.

Sun Apr 9 - Easter

I had my third daily dose of ClearLax at breakfast, and two hours later it had the desired effect (I am sure you needed to know this). I went to CTF, parking in the over 75s, and it was pretty full. There was some, but not a lot of Easter content. The visiting preacher was Kyle Philippi, a disciple commissioned to share the gospel around the world. I sat next to a black man called Philemon. I got home fairly fast to help with lunch and getting the turkey started in the oven. We opened our Easter bunnies and Steve ate all of his. At 2:30 I left for St. Chad, a small ANiC church worshipping in Kingsway Baptist, where L-A had gone for a decade in the 80's. I had read somewhere that the service started at 3, but there was no-one there, so I called the rector, Barbara Richardson, who told me it was 4:30 but lasted less than an hour, so I decided to stick around. There were about 15 in the congregation. One of the lessons was from Psalm 118, and when verse 17 was read I was startled, for Laurie-Ann had said the exact words in prayer for me many times: 'I shall not die, but live' (KJV). My presence there suddenly had even more meaning. Barbara preached an Easter sermon, and we had communion with dry white wine. After the service I joined a few of the congregation for hot brown drinks (Turtles hot chocolate for me), and conversation. I sat next to Mary. One thing was clear to me: everyone there was serious about why they were there. They made me welcome. I got home at 6 and steamed some green beans. The turkey was ready by then, as were multiple roast vegetables in the oven. We started eating about 6:45 and it was good. Steve and I ate the two massive legs. This was a large bird. After dinner there was a big job waiting for me: clearing; dishwashing; carving the rest of the turkey so it would go in the fridge. I was done by 9:45 so went to bed after a long time on my feet and 2-churching it during the day.

Sat Apr 8

As I gave Steve his morning Tylenol, he asked when breakfast would be coming, and then said, "I've never been so hungry." As he ate his Cheerios, he complained he couldn't chew them. He had only put in his upper teeth. He had no idea why he hadn't added the lower teeth. He then ate a large breakfast. I wasn't in a great hurry to test out the red disk on my computer, in case it didn't work. So I concentrated on breakfast, Laurie-Ann's MLD and this journal. But once I had no more excuses, I plugged the red disk into my main computer, and it appeared to be working fine! I was very relieved. So this was one of those situations where Microsoft had anticipated the problem, caused by one or more failures of a memory location on the disk, and their scan ensured that the memory location was by-passed. The message to me was clear: I need to complete the editing of the audio files asap and then transfer the complete contents to the music collection back up disk, which hasn't been used nearly as much and should be in a better state. The other message to me is can I rely on the disk remaining fixed, or is it on the way out? I went to Loblaws to buy bread, buying an 'Amazing Grains' loaf and a whole-wheat ciabatta. While I was out, John arrived with the various parts of Steve's new hospital bed, which will allow him to be raised or lowered, and prevent his falling out. Not sure when he might be back to assemble it; he didn't tell L-A. Bella's situation is putting her under extreme stress. Somehow she has become the point person for her grandfather's (Cathy's ex husband's) funeral. She has a quote for R8,000 and no money, and the funeral has already been delayed a week. The response from the pastor engaged to do the funeral was "You should have had funds available before engaging on the arrangements." My brainstorming is not necessarily acceptable to Bella, but here are some ideas as I get them:

  • Speak to the coffin provider and see if she really has the cheapest option;
  • Speak to her own church pastor where she volunteered for years to see if he could provide a funeral on credit. If so we would pay the full amount once we have a list of what makes up the full amount, and none of it is for food for guests. He would have to wait for the money until it arrives from Canada;
  • No refreshments, unless someone offers to pay for them and bring them (and we will not pay for them);
  • Find out if there is anyone planning to come to the funeral, and tell them there will be no refreshments unless someone offers to bring them.
  • If all the above fail to yield results, speak again to the city, and tell them the body will be left in the street unless they pick it up and bury it.
The red disk failed again, and this is a clear message that our only option is to pay the Geek Squad in Best Buy (or similar organization) to extract the data from the broken disk, if that is possible. I will do it on Tuesday after the holiday. We'll probably need another 2TB disk, and they can provide. L-A had a snooze on the green chair, and I did some more thinking about Bella. It became clear to me that there is only one answer: that we pay for the full funeral, but it must be delayed until I can get the money to her, about 17th April or later. I messaged Bella with what we are willing to do, and adding that we cannot be responsible for her families funerals, and she replied, very relieved, immediately, saying that she would delay the burial 2 weeks with the forensic department. She added that Cathy has funeral cover. That was a relief. I sent an overlapping XE Money Transfer of another R5,000 to FNB. With these challenges, I am ready to say that for most of the time I can now read my computer screen clearly, and that is far more important than drawing down a little on our MoD nest egg.

Good Friday Apr 7

Compared with the last four days, this promised to be relaxing. I noticed that there were times when I could read the computer screen text clearly, and other times when it was blurred. Is it possible that the laser surgery had worked after all? In the last few days I have seen a recurrence of the conjunctivitis that I had a few months ago. Maybe it is spreading a film of fluid on my eyes. It clears when I blink. It was a sunny day, so I made improvements to the garden hoses used for watering the little tree on the lawn outside Steve's room. The new hose I had bought on 31 March was a larger gauge than the one it was replacing, so when water flowing through it under pressure reached the connection between the larger and the smaller, the pressure increased enough to cause a leak. So this morning I switched the two hoses, moving the new one onto the lawn, and the old one into the back yard. This solved that problem, and had an additional benefit - I could immediately see leaks from the back door. I wrapped duct tape round them which reduced the leaks to a level which wouldn't matter if the water was only running for 10 minutes. I searched around for any live stream ANIC Good Friday services, and the only one I found was Church of the Messiah with a children's service. But in the YouTube teasers I found (and listened to) an interview with Eric Clapton about the late Jeff Beck and then a full album by Jeff and Johnny Depp. I knew the brilliant single 'Isolation' from the album which John Whelan had posted on the Ottawa Beatles Site. So I listened to the complete album, and it's marvellous. But when I transferred the ARW file to the red disk something went wrong with the disk and I was unable to access it, or scan it for errors. This was serious. We have a back-up of the red disk, but that excludes all new material discovered since we went to South Africa. I tried almost every trick I could think of to isolate the problem, and confirmed that it definitely was the disk causing the problem. To take my mind off it, I edited the Beck/Depp album, discovering it is called 18. For dinner dessert we had the Beigli - both types - I had bought at Blue Danube, and it was excellent. After dinner I tried one more trick, plugging the red disk into Pink Dell, which still uses Windows 7, and I admit it, offering a brief prayer to the God of technology. The initial indication was promising. The system came up with a banner suggesting a scan to repair disk errors. I agreed, and thank God the scan started. It's a 2 TB disk so it was going to take all night to scan.

Thu Apr 6 - Med - 36th anniversary of my arrival in Canada (1987)

Serious constipation for first part ofthe day, despite two doses of Clearlax. I did manage to clear it just as I heard from PMH that they need another blood draw, and I said I would make it for noon. So for the 4th time this week I was off to PMH, but just for the blood draw before coming back to Kipling station. I set up the GPS to take me to the Blue Danube Sausage House for Beigli and Hungarian Paprika, then via Loblaws to home. 3pm: we joined in The Cry zoom with Faytene Grasseschi, and senior leaders across Canada including John Arnott. Sadly, Laurie-Ann felt tired and ill before we got to the mass communion, and went to bed. The two of us had it together later in the day. About 4 my phone range and it was Dr Bradbury with the exceedingly good news that Hermolytic Anemia did not appear to be a problem, based on my blood test from the morning. So it is now OK to proceed with both chemo and the transfusion, and these will happen next week based on resource availability. How kind of her to call personally on Maundy Thursday to avoid my worrying over the Easter weekend. We watched the final episode of Season 3 of The Chosen, and look forward very much to Season 4 which is in production. By the time I had finished washing up I was dog tired and totally ready for bed.

Wed Apr 5    Med

This was an extraordinary day. On my way to PMH for chemo, all passengers were ordered off the subway at Keele station for an apparent medical incident up the line. I joined hundreds of passengers supposedly on their way to shuttle buses some distance away, none knowing for sure where they were or where they would take us, many with far greater plans messed up than I. Eventually a bus stopped right in front of me and by now I had heard on strangers' phone conversations that we were probably going to Ossington station, 4 stops up the line. The road was pretty jammed, but we eventually got there. I would be nearly an hour late for my chemo appointment, and getting to Toronto Western Hospital for my eye appointment with Dr Mandelcorn was vital. When I reported to blood collection, they were waiting with a message that I go to the thoracic clinic to see Penny Bradbury. What she had to tell me was a bit of a shock, namely that there could be traces of Hermolytic Anemia in my blood. Until they were sure, she was postponing both the blood transfusion and chemo. I thought she said I should have another blood collection as I left, but when I checked in there they were not expecting me. As I left the building I saw a Beck taxi in the taxi rank on University Avenue. I asked if he could take me to TWH, not a long way, which would definitely get me there in time, and also avoid any continuation of the mess on the subway earlier. I was there with 10 minutes to spare for a coffee and old fashioned before reporting to Maria on the 6th floor. As I sat in the waiting room and received eye drops, I noticed that my left eye was as strong as my right! I was called in by a nurse called Sarah for a series of tests with their superb machines. I was reminded of Steve during a visit to the washroom. I didn't wait too long before Dr Mandelcorn came in and continued checking me out. He also commented that my left eye was indeed as strong as my right. I mentioned that through my excellent new magnifying glass I had perfect focus on small computer text. He didn't appear too worried about anything on his screens and said that he might be able to clear the blurred vision by zapping specific parts of my right eye with his laser. He then said he could do it right now! So in another room across the corridor I had instant laser eye surgery, which didn't hurt at all. I left with a follow up on 11 July on their calendar. I very seldom ride the streetcar but on my way back to Bathurst station discovered why people don't just ride free.

Tue Apr 4    Med

We all got up an hour early so that I would be able to get to PMH by 9am. Steve and I had a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs. I was able to serve breakfast to L-A before I left. With the thought of 2 - 3 hours in the chair, I took my headphones in a plastic bad. I had to ask two people on the PMH main floor where was the Day Oncology clinic, and when I got there, there was finally a sign(!) I hadn't been there long when my phone rang and it was (Dr) Adibi saying that due to antibodies developed in my blood from immunotherapy, he wasn't comfortable with my having a transfusion today. He came down to the Day Oncology clinic when he was sure and explained it in person, saying we should be able to re-schedule later this week or next week. I was disappointed because I wanted to feel better as soon as possible. He wanted yet more samples of my blood to work on, but persuaded Amyia, the transfusion nurse assigned to me (from Eritrea) to draw the blood to save me standing in line in the blood collection department. Soon I was on my way home, but seeking some kind of psychological compemsation for the hiccough, drove to Global Cheese, intending to buy more of their Fromager d'Affinois Bleu. I asked about Epoisses, and they had some and raved about it. $29. Should I? I bought, forsaking the d'Affinois Bleu. At home I couldn't wait to taste it and found it very agreeable on a cracker.

Mon Apr 3    Med

Today was a rare time when our appointments clashed. I drove L-A to Dr Silver's office, and then went home via Loblawa where I bought batteries for the magnifying glass, raisin bread and bacon. Half an hour later I was on my way to PMH, and she had finished her chiropody, and had walked with her cane to the nearby Starbucks. After her coffee etc. she called an Uber, which brought her home. I fell asleep on the subway and had to return two stops, but the extra 15 minutes wasn't a problem, and soon my blood had been collected. It then took me 90 minutes waiting to see one of Dr Bradbury's associates, new to me, who later told me I could call him Adibi. The good part of this was that for the first time my low haemoglobin was mentioned, as it had been by Dr. Makar a few weeks ago. His recommendation was a blood transfusion (rather than shots). He also told me that my sore legs were a side effect of chemo. I needed to go for another blood test to be certain I would heve a match with the donor's blood. So I was somewhat later than expected leaving the hospital, and for the first time in months felt like patronising the hot dog vendor. I gave my loony change to a Muslim woman begging in Queen's Park Station, and also bought a Red Bull, so I soon felt somewhat better than I had all day, and certainly well enough to assist L-A with serving up pork tenderloin. Nurse Jennifer called to confirm my blood transfusion appointment would be at 9 am the next day, and this also came up on the patient portal, so I was able to confirm in good time.

Sun Apr 2

My weight was up to 128 Lb. Steve should have birthdays more often. We both went to church, for the first time in weeks, and on the way home picked up L-A's prescriptions, which Dr Makar had kindly signed off on without seeing her. We both rested in the afternoon, though my fatigue was less than the previous day.

Sat Apr l    Med

Tara stayed till mid afternoon. I was seriously fatigued, peaking mid afternoon. and as bad as any previous example. I didn't feel like serious work (eg tax return) so spent time finishing C21 S2, the tape that went missing, by transferring McCartney (1) from Spotify to the red disk. Steve had some more birthday cake for elevenses. After lunch I was still weary, so had an hour on my bed. Then I drove to Renforth Pharmacy, but they were closed, so L-A must wait a little longer for her prescriptions. An hour before supper, Steve asked for another slice of birthday cake, and I gave it to him. For dinner we had the remainder of the turkey breast with new roast and steamed vegetables. While the plates with cold meat and stuffing were on the counter, Steve came into the kitchen, clearly very hungry. I asked him if he was so hungry that he wanted to eat the cold food before it was cooked and vegetables added, and he said yes, so I served it to him. I then continued with the cooking, and soon we were all eating, we with hot food and he with a plate of cold and a plate of hot food, both of which he continued to devour. When it was almost all done, he got up and walked to his bedroom. After 15 minutes I went to see he was OK, and he said he didn't want any more dinner, or any cake. We watched the news, and The Chosen, and he then returned to the living room. L-A asked how he was feeling, and he said 'lost.' She then suggested we pray for him. I asked his permission, and he ageed. So the two of us said some short prayers after annointing his forhead with oil, and my laying a hand on his shoulder.

Fri Mar 31 - Steve's 94th birthday

My weight was back up to 123 Lb, the high of recent months. Maybe it will burst through to 124 Lb this time. My chest and torso do seem marginally less wrinkled. It was a rainy day as I drove out to collect Steve's birthday cake. A year ago we had bought him a German chocolate cake for his birthday which was the best cake I have tasted from Loblaws. Loblaws no longer offer it, but research by L-A revealed that German chocolate cake was sold by the Lloyd Manor Metro, so we ordered one, and this morning I collected it. I then drove towards Home Depot, and on the way bought a hydrangea at Loblaws to brighten up the living room. Home Depot proved more rewarding than had Lowe's and I soon found a coil of standard garden hose. Back home, L-A was well into preparing tonight's turkey dinner, Steve's favourite meat. Steve meanwhile was sleeping on his bad, his main occupation, birthday or not. After lunch L-A got right down to the preparation of dinner, calling me in when needed. We eventually ate at about 6:45. The food looked delicious and indeed it was. Our objective was to make Steve feel special on his birthday. However, it was when I placed his birthday cake in front of him, and we all ate our first slices that he really became enthusiastic, running to three slices! L-A and I had two, and it really was excellent chocolate cake, about which I am not ignorant! I had completed the washing up, and was about to discuss with L-A how we would spent the remaining part of the evening, when there came a ring at the door. I wondered if Ted had seen that our garage door was open, but no, it was Kennedy, come with her mom to wish her granddad a happy birthday. Tara brought a bottle of single malt whiskey as a gift to Steve from John. Later in the evening, Steve appeared in the kitchen, and sheepishly asked for another slice of his birthday cake, which of course I gave him.

Thu Mar 30

In my night chat with Jesus, he answered my burning question about how best to reach S and J by referring me to last night's episode of The Chosen, 2 by 2, and I added it to my current night journal. TKOG. I went shopping round 12:30, first to Loblaws to quiz PC Financial about linking to my Optimum card, and then to the bakery for two 7-grain loaves. I then went on to Lowe's, and thought I'd found a bargain with 'Smart Soaker,' at half the price of regualr hose. But when I got it home I found it was pierced with thousands of holes to soak a flowerbed. We decided to keep it for the rhubarb patch.

Wed Mar 29

I was one under par till after lunch, as if I had not taken my Tylenol No 2 with its codeine (with its opiods). I was lacking motivation for actually doing things. So I dealt with email and background tasks. The weather was alternately snowstorm and sunshine, giving me yet another excuse not to go out to challenge PC Financial about how to link my Optimum card to my Mastercard, and buy garden hose from Lowe's. Eric emailed back saying it would be OK for me to arrive a little later to see Dr Mandelcorn next Wednesday - a burden lifted. The two magnifying devices arrived from Amazon, and both turned out to be helpful, which I hadn't expected, and I was using them immediately. The Fresnel sheet was ideal for reading the computer screen. The Chosen episode, 2 by 2, was extra powerful, including Matthew making peace with his father after the sermon on the mount, and showing how the very unprepared 12 viewed their upcoming first mission to villages and towns. It also included little James asking why Jesus hadn't healed him before sending him out to heal others.

Tue Mar 28

It turned out that the Staples selection I found yesterday was US only. That started me on a new search, and I ended up buying two products (delivery tomorrow) - one a triple lens magnifier and the other a Fresnel sheet which I suspect will be better for reading the computer screen. Not one of the many products I looked at were advertised for reading computer screens. I went for my monthly B12 shot at Eringate, and then on to Loblaws where the cheese lady was actually in. I asked about Epoisses, and she confirmed they didn't stock it, but suggested Portneuf 'La Sauvagine' soft surface ripened cheese, which turned out to be very pleasant, particularly on a digestive biscuit. 'Thrive for Good' sent L-A basil seeds as a thank you, and I planted some of them in the side garden near the garbage bins. We'll see if anything comes up after a couple of weeks, but it may be too cold for germination. Continuing with my list of 20 actions referred to on yesterday's journal, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to correctly link my new PC Mastercard to my PC Optimum account, and failed. There are 100,000 points at stake here,andas far as I can tell no human help at PCF.

Mon Mar 27

I had gone to bed last night with a list of 16 rather urgent things to do today, and by 9 pm had done 10 of them, including replacing missing photos on Flickr, sending R5K to FNB, uploading GNITM (a day and a half late), paying my Mastercard, sending Bella R1,000 for Cathy's operation, and making some progress finding a more powerful magnifying glass than the one I've been using the past few months. This last is interesting. There is a fine range of magnifying glasses on the Staples online store. but my local Staples had only about 4 of them, none strong enough for my eyes. The lady understood that customers would be unlikely to buy on line without trying it out. Her solution: order online and return the unsatisfactory ones to any store. This isn't so crazy as it sounded at first. L-A fell asleep for a couple of hours in the green chair after dinner, and I didn't have the heart to wake her for The Chosen and our Bible study. I was unable to change the time of my chemo appointment next day using the help line, but needed to call the chemo reception direct. This I did, only to hear they were fully booked - no changes from Tuesday to Thursday.

Sun Mar 26

I was keen to go to CTF again and now there was no impediment. I arrived in time for the healing room, between the two services, in fact early enough to hear the tail end of Murray's sermon. When we were dismissed I went into the healing room, and was allocated to a man called Ben. He listened to my blessings (no catheter) and medical challenges, and also heard about L-A's fatty liver disease, and then prayed most sincerely for us. I was comforted though when he asked if I was feeling any different, I confessed I wasn't. There was some time before the second service would start, so I went to Atwel's for coffee and a very nice oatmeal cookie. Ash kicked off the service and soon we were into worship. The second song was led by Rachel Broadway, whom we really like. I was feeling stronger than in the past and decided to accept the invitation to go up to the front. It was still a little blury for me, but I knew it would be more powerful from there, and it was. After a few songs I returned to my seat and looked forward to Murray's message, which included an exhortation to all the older members of the congregagtion to do their part to pass on the goof news of the Gospel and related matters of our faith to the next generation. It had been a good service and perhaps I was a little over-confident as I backed the car out from its row. There wasn't much room amd I vaguely felt the car touch another car very lightly. When I got home I examined the rear bumper and saw scratch marks. So I had touched the other car. When I got inside I emailed the church to own up, with my details, and said that if the owner of the other car contacted them to report the incident, they should put him/her onto me. Bella messaged L-A with the bad news that (her grandmother who raised her) Cathy was in Tygerberg hospital for an operation on her cellulite-ridden legs. The cost to her would be R2,500, and she had R1,500 in savings. Would we provide the balance? In the evening we rented Top Gun Maverick from Prime Video and watche on our big screen. A remarkable achievement by Mr Cruise - it has been said by one critic that it has saved the Hollywood movie industry, which lurches from failures to failures to profitable movies.

Sar Mar 25

My night was good! I wanted to pee about 5 times, and I did pee, maybe not like a stallion, but pee nevertheless. So so far so good for my prostate. While researching duophonic recordingsm CBGChat introduced me to the band Parquet Courts, suggesting they used the technique on some tracks on their album Wide Awake. I really like the album and added it to our Alt Rock selection on the red disk, but can't say I identified any duophony on it. Tara and Kennedy arrived midday and picked up Steve's tax return summaries for 2020 and 2021. I went out in the afternoon to bank a food cheque from Steve, mail M=A's birthday present - a giving key, and collect my prescriptions from Dr Morrell, which were Flowmax and Dutasteride. It was a little like a birthday celebration (for Steve) going on when I got back, samplings of Hungarian wine and Thornbury cider. Tara told us that John had met Preident Biden yesterday in his capacity as deputy chief of staff to Pierre Poilivre. Tara and Kennedy stayed the night. L-A and I watched our regular edition of The Chosen, and then a special edition titled The Messengers, focussed on the two Marys, suggesting how the Magnficat may finally have seen the light of day via Luke after Jesus' mother decided not to hold the special prayer just in her heart. It was a very moving and powerful piece.

Fri Mar 24

During the night, with my tea and snack, I had asked Jesus a question: Lord, how should we handle mass suffering, such as the earthquakes in Turkey? I feel so inadequate, compared with praying for a sick friend. Jesus answered: "My love is never stretched nor reduced, when shared with thousands, or millions. If they have never heard the Gospel, that is the same for me as it would be if a single unreached pagan dies. I brought them into this dangerous world, and there is a special route to eternity for them, in the seconds before they die. How else could it be? Your prayers therefore should be asking that in the moments before death, and I reveal a glorious future to them, they should accept me as their saviour. Some will, some won't, but that is not your responsibility.
I felt unusually well after waking, and not focussed on the cystoscopy this afternoon. L-A had some excellent news: she had lost another 10 Lb; that's a total of 45 Lb, suggesting that she hasn't (yet) plateaued I arrived at the Ambulatory Procedure Unit in Etobicoke General about 12:30 and was given blue smocks to put on. I wasn't kept waiting long before a nurse called Paramenter (?) led me in to the theatre, and after asking me to lie on the bed, expertly removed the catheter. There was a large screen TV easy for me to view. Soon Dr Morrell arrived. and told me he was going to look into my bladder and I could watch the movie on the screen. I knew from L-A that the camera was extremely small, and it took him just a few seconds to have the probe with the camera up my penis and into my bladder. The pain was about 4/10 just for those seconds, and then we were swiming in the bladder and taking a look at the prostate, a red area. He seemed to satisfied and removed the camera, and told me that there was nothing in there that concerned him. He asked if I felt I needed a pee, and I did. I got off the bed and went to a special toilet, and pee'd normally. It was a good feeling. At this stage I was expecting that a new cathether would be fitted, but no! He said I should take 2 Flomax capsules a day, changing the times to whatever allowed me to max the flow. He would also prescribe a second pill and send it to the pharmacy. I wouldn't be needing a catheter (yippee!) and the pills should keep the prostate from causing further problems. The big test will be at night when in the past peeing has been much harder than during the day. If the plan didn't work out, a prostate operation might be needed. I was elated. This was not what I had expected at all. But it was very OK with me. I thanked him and Paramenter very warmly and returned to the changing rooms, and then to the car. I hadn't had lunch, and there is a burrito take-away near the hospital, so I had one. James has one on his way to work every day, which would be far too much for me, but I quite liked it.

Thu Mar 23

I took Steve to Cloverdale. First stop, a haircut with Ben. We arrived just as he finished his previous client. I went across the corridor and bought 3 wine boxes and cider. I also got cash at the checkout so I could pay for the haircut. I arrived just as they finished. It was too early for our next appointment so we waited on nearby seats. 10 minutes before the next appointment at H & R Block Steve needed to go to the toilet, so we got walking, he with L-A's walker. We got to H & R Block at 5 past 2 and told the receptionist we needed printouts of Steve's last 2 returns. He found an available agent who didn't need to speak to Steve, but just to know his S.I.N, and see his ID. Soon we had the printouts. Next stop: Pearl Vision, very close. I bought him a new frame for the glasses he had bought there, and recently broken by wearing them in bed. The deal was that he could buy new glasses only if he didn't wear them in bed. The lady explained that she had no unbreakable frames, and the only frame she had that would fit his lenses was the identical one to the original pair. She fitted the new frame, and charged $105. Back home I had a cup of tea and malva pudding - exquisite! I had more as dessert after our lasanga dinner - just as exquisite! The idea of having a tube with a camera inserted up my penis and into my bladder tomorrow, cystoscopy, did not appeal to me at all. I had prayed for strength in this - not to freak out at the thought - and I believe my prayers and those of close friends were being answered.

Wed Mar 22

In the mail this morning were my new driver's licence, and my new PC Mastercard. I had great difficulty activating my card on line, which turned out to be a couple of check boxes I just couldn't see. I was able to activate it by calling in. I then set up an online account, which triggered me to set up an online account with PC Optimum, and link the two. The 10,000 points that came with the Mastercard should now transfer to Optimum, but if they don't within a day or so, I should query with Optimum, and make sure that the online account is for the Optimum card, since the account set-up process didn't ask for the number on my card. The hassle now involved in setting up these accounts is concerning. In the never-ending battle to stay ahead of the bad guys, banks have brought in ever more complex procedures. For example, both these accounts now required 10 character passwords, wheras in the past 9 characters has been enough for all passwords. I cancelled the renewal of my Norton subscription on 1 May. They then offered me a reduced renewal contract of $129, but I still cancelled. I have become aggravated by the continual stream of notifications, offers and pop-ups. Windows Security is operational on my machine and I suspect it will protect us sufficiently. I called Eringate Clinic about L-A's appointment to see a specialist on fatty liver disease. V said that they had just heard from a specialist who was unavailable, so they were contacting another. Mid afternoon I called Henry and we had a short but valuable chat. I think he is being protected by busy-ness as he makes preparations. The funeral will be at St James' Anglican Church, Carleton Place at 1pm on Sat April 22.

Tue Mar 21

It turned out that the next occupant of Neesa's acommodation has mended her computer. Such acquaintabces are valuable. I spent the morning adding the 'Kenosis at Bethesda' tracks to the new Facebook Group for people's memories. In the afternoon I attacked my email, including completing a survey of how I had found the process of claiming the mesothelioma grant from Veterans UK. We had a roast chicken for dinner which I enjoyed greatly. Afte dinner, Laurie-Ann again went to bed for the second successive night. This is not like her and I am concerned.

Mon Mar 20

Steve had broken his glasses frame in the night, probably from wearing the glasses in bed and rolling over. Late moring I went shopping and two optometrists told me they couldn't be repaired other than by buying a new frame. Our 500 grams of Calcium Ascorbate arrived from Amazon. While waiting for it I ony took about 3 grams a day, but I have decided to return to the full 8 grams a day, since its efficacy in reducing tiredmess and fatigue had been remarkable, but was less remarkable on the lower dose. Mid afternoon I had my scheduled call from Dr Banajee's office (paliative care) and a nurse called vanessa wanted to know how I am doing, and the medications I am on. She seemed to think I am fine under the circumstances, but emphasised that if that changed I could call them. I didin't bother her with the pain in my fingers which is always part of the Canadian winter for me, with cuts that don't heal, and sore areas at the tips of the fingers that are right now hurting as I type. Here are some comments on our situation sent to my siblings in answer to a message from Neesa:

On Mon, 20 Mar 2023 at 14:15, Tony Copple wrote:
Dear Neesa
Sounds like your laptop is sicker than I am.  (Please let me know more details of what is wrong with it).  The PSW who just came in to give Steve a shower told me she had not seen a chemo patient handle it as well as I do,  She says I am very strong.  Actually I think the key factor is the anti-side-effect pills I take at the time and around the time of the infusion.(Aprepitant, Odansetron, Dexamethasone, Folic Acid).  My hair is not falling out with this particular chemo,  Much less pleasant than the cancer are the catheter because of  my enlarged prostate, and my eyes getting dimmer. My magnifying glass gets me through. I have been able to get an appointment with the eminent eye surgeon (Effrem Mandelcorn) on 5 April who worked on my left eye a year ago, but it is my right eye that is weak now.   My urologist is doing tests to see if I am eligible for prostate surgery.  Laurie-Ann is in a much worse physical state than I with her arthritic knees. But she has lost 35 Lb on her current diet which has improved her situation,   No sign of a return of her cancer.   Her father seems stable. My cooking skills are improving.  L-A and I are enjoying an exceptional series called 'The Chosen'. available for mobile devices from App stores)   
Love to all = Tony

      On Mon, 20 Mar 2023 at 08:46, Neesa Copple wrote:
Hi Everyone,
My laptop is broken so I can't easily access or send  emails at the moment, just occasional trips to the library.  Doesn't look as if I've missed anything... wondering how you are Tony, and haven't got time to check your journal unfortunately as only have half an hour on the library computer.  Also wondering  how Maureen is?
with love to all
Neesa xx

Sun Mar 19

I successfully uploaded today's Good News in the Morning, with George Sinclair. After online church, I completed the transfer of programs to the archive on the red disc. Jennifer Bullman died of heart attacks about 11 am. Total shock. I am considering attending the funeral, going by train, but Christ Church Ashton will surely be full. Bella told us her Mobicel Blink phone was dying. We had bought it for her 2 years ago. L-A suggested she look for a new iPhone 7, the same as hers which has proved itself. Bella checked around and found one for R1,150 ($CAD 85). L-A's had cost $150. We will send her the money. I made a start on our tax return, figuring out our Netfile Access Codes for tax year 2022. Around 11:30 pm I woke up to empty the catheter bag. I was sleepy and not concentrating hard enough. There is a green plastic stopper that is removed to empty the bag, and I empty it into a plastic soup container. Tonight I didn't point the stopper in the right direction, and some urine flowed onto the floor. It wasn't a big job to clean up.

Sat Mar 18    Med

CKCU put out a staff and listener survey, and I selected 'Saturday Morning' as (currently) my favourite program. Breakfast: cheese ommelette for L-A, and scrambled egg for me on some nice 7-grain bread baked in Loblaws for me. Jakob Dylan on Spotify. A pleasant Saturday morning. We heard via Facebook that Jennifer Bulman was in the Queensway Carleton Hospital with multiple cardiac events. Very worrisome. Much prayer coming her way = may she be well enough to be comforted by it. I took a shower, my first since our quarantine hotel in January 2022, since I have found baths simpler at Alanmeade. I had been concerned that the velcro straps would undo in the water, but they didn't. The whole process was less complex than I'd expected. L-A was feeling nauseus and rested in bed late morning. Ever since we arrived here, Steve has been a slave to his TV set. often on 24/7, mainly for background noise. Several times in recent weeks he had knocked it over, and its cables had come out. I had re-set it up for him. Today however the set had been rather neatly laid on its back on the TV table, there since yesterday, and with no indication from him that he wanted to watch it. Possibly he has actually lost interest in having it on. I'll leave it there for a few days and see. I had had quite a restful day, with dizziness and nausea earlier, listening for a while to Bach fugues on Spotify, and then Arcade Fire on th red disc. Mid afternoon I prepared to produce Good News in the Morning. Last week I had downloaded NCH 'Mixpad' and used it successfully. Today they were demanding $Aus 99 for th paid version. Going back to Adobe Audition was a lot more; their free version appeared to be no longer available. So I decided to try Audacity, which is always free. It was quite a stretch getting to know it, but by the end of today I had successfully created a mixdown. I'll complete the upload tomorrow.

Fri Mar 17    Med

The day I hadn't been looking forward to: my third catheter insertion. I delayed my departure to EGH because of early mornig constipation, going in about 11:30. Surprisingly I was ushered in immediately to the triage nurse. I was in no pain and explained I was requesting a catheter change, partly wondering if she would send me elswhere. Soon I was in the inner waiting room, and didn't wait long there before seeing a doctor (with a medical student).. He asked a few questions before OKing the procedures. It wasn't long before a nurse came in and said she would be replacing the catheter. She was in her 20s and seemed experienced and knowledgable. There was almost no pain from removing the catheter. Preparing for inserting the new one she mentioned there was evidence of dried matter around my penis, and I said I hadn't been showering. She recommended it and said the catheter would survive. Her name is Jen. She applied some numbing cream to my penis, something I don't think my previous nurses had done. The insertion was the least painful of all three, helped by the fact that I was actually able to relax a bit, thanks to the cream. Soon I was strapped into the new catheter, and able to go home. On the way I called L-A and said I was craving a pizza nova. and she asked me to bring some for all of us. It was a large, with chicken, spinage, green pepper and sun-dried tomato, the best selection yet to my taste. Cathy asked if we would officiate at Pat Codner's 'memorial' service.

Thu Mar 16    Med

I woke at 6, feeling fresh, and got a cup of tea. After giving Steve his morning pill (Tylenol) I keyed in recent grocery orders to the tracking spreadsheet, and then updated this journal. I had experienced a high level of wellbeing recently, and that received a boost when I realised I hadn't needed the magnifying glass to read my screen. Maybe the VisiFree and VisiDefend were kicking in! L-A says she is seeing better from them. If confirmed as the days pass, this would be wonderful. I went to Kipling Heights Diagnostic Centre for an ultrasound and transrectal, performed by a very good female nurse who took a ton of scans. When I asked her at the end if she thought I would probably qualify for a prostate operation, she hinted I would. The National Bank is not far from there so I drove over and changed my Mastercard PIN. Recently this new M/C wouldn't tap, and I couldn't remember the PIN. I tested the new PIN buying AAA batteries for my trusty bedside torch and it worked.

Wed Mar 15    Med

My weight was up to 123 Lb again for the first tim since 10 Feb. My eyes still need the magnifying glass to read much of this screen I am typing on to, and the next 10 days for my prostate has unanswered questions and urologist Dr Morrell is away. I have drafted the questions on a list in case I can get answers elsewhere, such as Dr Makar or (tel 811). Now being morning, when I solve problems better, I tested that the audio cable from the lap-top to the Pyle amplifier was good by playing from the Blackberry. Then I went to the sound setting on the lap-top and found that the master volume was very low. Volume sliders on laptops have a mind of their own. I turned it up, plugged the cable going to the Pyle back into the lap-top, and bingo, I was listening to Q107. However, I was still not able to use BlueTooth from the laptop to the Pyle, though it has worked in the past. Late morning we drove to Florence Meats for SA delicacies, like South African fudge, Malva Pudding, nougat, Appletiser, fruit cake (!), Boerewors (many types), samosas, Mrs Balls sauce, lamb sausage and Woolworths Cape Malay curry. For lunch we added samosas and Mrs Balls to eat with pea soup; much enjoyed by all, and Steve and I had a piece of fudge. Bella needs more dental work - two extractions and copies of the missing teeth added to her plate; we arranged an XE Money Trandfer to pay for this. I worked through my email backlog for the afternoon, listening to Q107 with the excellent Fred Kennedy (Fearless Fred). For dinner we had lots more of the Biryani from yesterday, and large slices of apple maple cranbury pie. Yet within an hour Steve was looking for more ... anything (his word). So we all had toasted raisin bread, and that seemed to satisfy. I really sympathise with him, feeling hungry almost all of the time. At my normal bedtime of 10 pm I still felt energetic so I returned to the computer. L-A retired about 11. Something (or Someone) reminded me I hadn't taken the suppository 'Dulcelax' earlier in the evening in preparation for the ultrasound at Kipling Heights Diagnostic Imaging tomorrow. I found the pill and got to it after 11. It was nearly midnight before I figured our how I could most easily insert it. The instructions said to lie on my side in bed, but L-A was sleeping, and I felt it would be easy enough standing in the bathroom. It was. but though the instruction said it would take less than half an hour, it was two hours including a cup of tea (but no food) before I got action.

Tue Mar 14    Med - 3rd chemo infusion

My infusion was set for 9:30 so I got up early to give bacon and egg breakfast to Steve and me, and her normal Cheerios to L-A. When I arrived at the chemo reception, I asked if it might be possible for them to find me an Aprepant capsule to be taken before the infusion. A pharmacist attached to the chemo department worked really hard on this, and switched the previous prescription to the hospital pharmacy. She then got Dr Bradbury's permission to give me one pill before the infusion. Agmad was my (male) nurse at Purple 2, and I was able to assure him I had taken my chemo meds. On my way home from Kipling Station, I bought expensive cup cakes from BakeSale at Six-Points, and felt an urge for, and gave in, to 2 slices of spinach pizza from Pizza Nova, Much of my afternoon was spent trying to play sound from my lap-top to the Leak speaker, either direct by wire, or via Blue Tooth, and failed, but I will overcome.

Mon Mar 13    Med, most dictated to L-A; final section written by her.

My weight was unexpectedly up to 120 Lb (including the catheter). I didn’t have an appointment with Canadian Tire but after breakfast, I drove there anyway and they were able to take the car immediately to fit a new battery and fix a couple of problems with lights. I relaxed in their waiting room for about an hour and a half, before picking up the car, and I went to the Renforth IDA to see if the prescription for the chemo meds had been sent by the hospital – they had not. I came home to see the unusual sight of Laurie-Ann and Steve sitting together watching her AIR iPad, and the subject of their concentration was the short movie The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, which had been awarded an Oscar last night. It seemed to capture his attention. When the movie was done, L-A watched a documentary, 'Behind Charlie Mackesy,' and I had time to see about half of it with her, before preparing lunch. I’m looking forward to seeing the other half, before she turns off the free Apple TV trial. Charlie is unique, and we have known of his work through Alpha for years. L-A’s dietician Tracey called her and she was delighted that L-A had lost 33 pounds. She advised L-A to count the MCT Wellness oil that she was using as a supplement as part of her 6-8 tsps of oil per day, but was otherwise hopeful to continue and chat again in another month.

After lunch, I went to PMH for blood work, followed by a meeting with Dr. Penny Bradbury. She was quite excited when she came in, telling me that the last CT scan had shown that the tumour was definitely shrinking! This excited me too! This is the first sign that we have had of positive results since the beginning of treatment last summer. I told her that the severe fatigue and tiredness after walking upstairs had disappeared, and that I had been taking high dose Vitamin C, which appeared to have been beneficial in this regard. She said, they didn’t normally recommend higher doses than normal, but did not try and suggest that I shouldn’t be taking it. She did suggest that the shrinking of the tumour could also have the same effect. I told her about my unrelated problems with my prostate and my eyesight. She said that there is some evidence of a side effect of chemotherapy being a weakening of vision. She was very pleased to hear that I would be seeing Dr. Mandelcorn on 5 th April. She was concerned about the fact that I was now needing a catheter, but not because it was related to the cancer. Soon, I was on my way home, arriving in time to warm up the vegetarian supper. But first, I stopped at Renforth IDA for my pre-chemo meds, and found that they had most of my meds, except for an important one that I am to take one hour before my infusion. I also found that L-A had started drawing again, with a drawing of Western Cape fire lilies. These unique flowers grow after there has been a wildflower in the “veld” – and the fire germinates the seeds, which grow quickly into red lilies. A teacher of L-A’s in South Africa used them as an illustration of how we can rebuild our lives after loss, trauma and change.

After dinner, we had no problem dismissing Steve to be on his own, and we settled in to watch first the rest of “Behind Charlie Mackesy.” It was heartwarming and incredibly kind in the depiction of Charlie’s story when turning his book into a film. Charlie’s very last line “An act of kindness can save a life” stuck in our hearts as we listened to the beautiful music score and watched the credits. This was followed by a chapter of The Chosen, which included the healing of a leper, the continued reaction from other miracles and teaching sessions, and the healing of the paralytic who was lowered down from the roof, in view of the crowd watching through the windows, doors and from the roof across the street. Differing reactions deepened the sense of urgency after the miracle, since Jesus referred to who he actually was. But Nicodemus stood in wonder. I found my eyes were filled with tears. L-A felt excitement and laughed at Matthew’s lost sense of wanting more, and the child disciples’ delight on what was going on. Surely the Lord’s kindness brings us to repentance. Afterwards, I had L-A read what I wrote when journaling with Holy Spirit. I had a sense of conviction, and yet L-A read and spiritually explained what the Lord wanted to do, to turn me from a non-frazzled Martha who serves as a way to show love, to my heart being expanded supernaturally to love my neighbour, family and more deeply, my spouse.

Sun Mar 12

We watched CTF on our separate machines; Steve Long preached on belonging. I was building up a pile of papers with actions beside my computer, and I dealt with some of them. I called Penny Bradbury's assistant to say that to have my chemo meds by my infusion on Tuesday, I would need the prescriptions faxed to Renforth IDA tomorrow morning. i had left a message on about this without response. According to a message by Sylvana on Dr Morrell's phone number, they will be away all next week. No point therefore to seeing if the transrectal exam that was done on 9 Jan would have saved needing the new one ordered by Dr Morrell, or contacting Sylvana to see who I should expect to replace the catheter on Friday. I am plagued by oncologists taking vacations!

Sat Mar 11    Med

Exactly twenty five years ago, a stranger, Laurie-Ann Zachar, had responded to my Moderator webpage, and introduced herself by email, saying that it was helping her with an apologetics essay at Tyndale Seminary. The power of an email! I started to take the Ciprofloxacin morning and night prescribed by the ER doctor, which came with 2 pages of warnings and side effects. such as 'Some of these effects may not go away, and may lead to disability or death.' I went shopping primarily for toilet paper. We can use a roll a day, and I used one all on my own on the nights trying to pee - we were down to our last roll. I also wanted blackcurrent jam, but settled for cherry jam in Loblaws. I called L-A from Loblaws to see if it would mess her up preparing supper if I were to go on to The Bay and buy her a new watch strap. She said she could manage. Thank goodness the watch repair booth in The Bay was still open when I got there, and the strap he put on for me was actually slightly longer than the broken one. By the time I was home, dinner was ready to eat through no effort of mine. After dinner, we cuddled up for The Chosen, which I enjoy more and more with every episode.

Fri Mar 10    Med, dictated to L-A

The day started off slightly better than yesterday, in that I slept until 3 am. From then on, it was worse. The pee just wouldn’t come! I was encouraged however by what the Shopper’s Drug Mart pharmacist had told me about the hormone ADH, which regulates the urinary system, turning it down during the night. So I hoped that it would be much easier to pee by breakfast time. It was only slightly easier, so maybe the ADH loses track after 24 hours. I realized that I would have to go to ER this morning, but I still delayed it, just in case I started to pee better. L-A ordered an Uber and it arrived at 11:45 am. Again, I was fast-tracked, and was in significant pain. I had had the good sense to put on one of Steve’s diapers. Quite soon I saw a doctor who realized my predicament and I found myself lying on a bed with a nurse, Thelma, looking after me. She was better at inserting catheters than the gentleman who did it two weeks before. A minute or so later, all the pain had gone. At my request she cut off the diaper, replacing it with a green hospital issue. I remained there for some time while they analyzed a urine sample, and the doctor returned and gave me a prescription for Ciprofloxan, since the urine had become cloudy, possibly due to the two weeks that the first catheter had been in. After a free hospital tuna sandwich, I left the emergency area, called a City Taxi, and was soon on my way, coincidentally with the same driver who had brought me home two weeks ago. Without the pain, I felt great, as I walked in through the door, to discover that L-A had put away nearly all the Metro and M+M groceries that had arrived in my absence. It crossed my mind, that it was very providential for me that in the past six weeks, she had lost weight and was able to do these things. She told me that Steve had been agitated throughout the day. L-A had bribed him with many treats just to stay in the house, since he kept trying to leave to go to “work” – the same work that he retired from in 1989. This continued with at one point late at night, my having to persuade him not to push his walker down the stairs, in extension of one of his many dreams. At another point a little later, I heard the front door slam and found that he was on the porch, picking up little bits of stuff from the snowy porch floor. I decided not to call him back immediately, because it was pretty cold, and I watched him as he came back inside after ten minutes.

Thu Mar 9    Med, dictated to L-A

From midnight to about 6:30, I managed a little pee about every 15 minutes. Sometimes it took a while. I wondered if I would have to drive to the ER, and have another catheter put in. But the reason that I didn’t do this was that it was only at nighttime that I had the problem. So if I could last out until the morning, I would have more opportunities to find other solutions. The strange thing is that I didn’t feel all that tired, and at 7:30, started preparing breakfast. From then on, I felt better and better. At 11, I drove to the IDA, and picked up the ointment for my conjunctivitis and another pineapple. The ointment is Tobradex, and I applied it with a q-tip when I got home. I think I was a bit enthusiastic, and some of the ointment found its way into my eyes, blurring my vision. I had a short rest in the afternoon, more to see whether that would cause a problem with the prostate, but it didn’t.

As we were preparing dinner, a pharmacist from Shoppers Drug Mart called to confirm the inventory for Steve’s medications. When we got to Tamsolsin (FloMax), this triggered a side conversation, and I mentioned to him the fact that my problem was only an issue at night time. He said this was because a hormone called ADH, which the body makes, is produced in lower quantities at night. I asked him if there were any drugs to trick the ADH, and he said, “yes, there were.” I took the opportunity to ask him about tobradex, and whether my blurred eyesight would correct itself, and he suggested washing the eyes with sterilized water. (This was only partially helpful.) I thanked him and dialed the number for Dr. Morrell’s surgery. I started by apologizing for this communication, and then I said that I had not slept last night, but today had been fine. I said that I didn’t fancy another night or two nights without sleep, and what did he think of the ADH theory, and if there was a prescription drug that would help, please would he write a prescription. I think the surgery was closed by then, so I’m faced with another tough night…

Wed Mar 8    Med

Both my eyes were stuck closed at one stage during the night, but the gauze and warm water freed them up enough for my midnight snack, which was tea and a raisin and cranberry scone, baked yesterday. After giving Steve his morning Tylenol I went downstairs and folded a large batch of clothes, Steve's and ours, brought them up and put them away. For breakfast I gave Steve a poached egg and a scone with a little honey. I dodn't want him to feel too bad about trying to raid the tin last night. James emailed a link to a video of Sagan ski-ing recently at Eagle Point, Utah. Very good ski film of a remarkable young ski-er. My appointment with urologist Dr. John Morell was at 1:40. I brought him up to date, and he said he could take the catheter out immediately, or after a few days being back on Flomax. I also asked him about a prostate operation, and he said he would need to test my eligibility with a couple of procedures. I opted to have the catherter removed immediately, possibly the wrong choice as things turned out, but I wanted to be free of it as soon as possible. It was not the painful experience I was expecting, but it was a surprise as he pulled a couple of feet of white tubing out of it, with only minor discomfort. I asked him about prostate surgery, and he said two tests were necessary to see if I would be a candidate: an ultrasound and a transrectal examination, and a bladder biopsy. I picked up the requisitions for both from Sylvana before I left. We were done. His receptionist Sylvana gave me an appointment for an ultrasound + transrectal, and a cystoscopy at the hospital. I went home for tea and a scone, and then out again to see Dr Makar about the conjunctivitis. She looked at my eyes with a special light, and prescribed an ointment. Unfortunately Renforth IDA was unable to fill Dr Makar's prescription till tomorrow. Back home it wasn't long before I needed a pee, and did so with normal flow. I had a couple more during the evening, and went to bed. But before midnight I got up and wasn't able to pee normally, but with a much reduced flow. I decided to take a Flomax daily.

Tue Mar 7    Med

My left eye was stuck shut when I awoke, but responded to the gauze and warm water treatmnt. I called Dr Elias' office at 8:05 and left a message for the secretary, just asking confirmation that they had my consultation referal. About 9:30 I received a call from urologist Dr John Morrell's office in the same complex as Dr Elias, giving me an appointment tomorrow at 1:40. According to the lady who rang, Dr Kessie had sent the original consultation referral form to the wrong urologist. This error had put me back at least a week, increasing the possibility of infection. I called V in Dr Makar's office and asked for an appointment for my conjuntivitis, and also her email address to send her the diet that l-A lost 33 Lbs in 6 weeks on. Here's the regimen she is using:

A lot less red meat - just occasionally. If have, it must be very lean
Fish, chicken, turkey most days
Vegetarian twice a week
At meals, have vegetables fill half the plate
Snack on veggies and fruit
Snack on walnuts 6 a serving, almonds ok
Limit pasta, potatoes etc
No baked goods (cakes, pies, sweets)
No chips, ice cream, added sugar
Limit bread
Choose to drink less (toggle wine with meals to twice a week and drink water the other days)
Drink more water and herbal tea
Move around the house more, walking to one end to the other, up and down stairs.

I took L-A to the post office in Shoppers, since the notice said the addressee must collect, but postal services were closed due to illness till 4:30. So we went to The Bay in Sherway Gardens to replace her broken watch strap with a larger one. L-A showed me the way to The Bay's main entrace and adjacent parking. They had no larger ones, and I hadn't brought my phone to ask L-A if I should buy the standard size, so I didn't. Back home I felt like scones, so I made the second batch, raisin and cranberry. Very nice. L-A had a bite, and Steve asked for one a little later. I called the post office after 4:30, and confirmed that I could pick up the goods, and I did. The goods were supplements: Visafree, and Visidefend, good for eyes, and not cheap, so should be good. After a huge supper of pork roast, during which Steve agreed to go halves on the cost of the car battery, I caught him with his fingers in the tin which held the scones, but I was there in time. Of course I should have buttered a scone for him, but I can be greedy and wanted more for myself.

Mon Mar 6

I slept well till the 7:30 alarm, and my left eye was not stuck closed like yesterday. Maybe the conjuctivitis was on the mend. There was a full bag to empty but no discomfort. I called Dr Elias' office at 8 and they still had their holiday message up. After checking Google Maps and seeig they were actually open, I called again at 8:05, and got through to the secretary. She told me there were 200 faxes waiting for a response from Dr Elias, and he would be working through them and responding to the patients. I said I was an urgent case with a catheter in since 25 February, and in chemotherapy, and thanked her for being there. I had a couple of computing challenges around 10 am: Foobar had failed and I needed to reload the executive file. A music file had disappeared. I took L-A to a foot appointment with Dr Silver. Many of the normal parking slots were unuseable because of uncleared snow, so I parked in the lot behind the building, but didn't pay because I would be staying in the car. In fact I stayed more than an hour, with the key in the ignition, listening to the radio, and doing thought experiments on my computer problems. When I got L-A's message to say she was ready, the car wouldn't start. Same old problem; the radio appeared to have partially drained the battery. She got in and I called CAA, who were there 23 minutes later and gave me a boost. We need to buy a new battery. We had a Starbucks date on the way home. After lunch I solved the two computer issues fairly easily. I worked on the laborious process of transferring Love Song's album track by track to the red disk. New scissors - 2 really good pairs - titanium coated - arrived via Amazon. We had ordered them partly because we had lost the blue scissors, and partly because the blue scissors were getting blunt. When I put one of the new scissors into the drawer, there were the blue scissors, hiding in plain sight, and missing for a week! L-A prepared a large pork roast for dinner, searing it in the Dutch oven. Dinner was a delight, my favourite meat and lots of great vegetables. There had been no call from Dr Elias.

Sun Mar 5    Med

As part of my after-midnight tea and snack, I again imagined I was chatting to Jesus, opposite me on the couch. Here's our conversation.
Dear Lord, I have an ethical question about my future life. You are ethics personified - you designed them. I have no wish for ending up in my 90s, receiving care in a home or from an unfortunate relative. Better the Meso kill me in my 80s. Is this wrong? Jesus answered: I am the author of life, and you destroy it at your peril. But I love you, and know what is best for you. Please trust me to handle this issue as I have many others in your life. Don't concern yourself or worry about it.

After another good night's sleep, I emerged with my left eye shut from the conjunctivitis. I was able to open it with gauze swabs and warm water. However I should see if Shoppers can prescribe something. It wasn't when I walked to the bathroom, but when I was returning to our bedroom that I saw Steve was on the floor, sitting awkwardly. I got his pillow, and had him lie on his back on the floor to recover energy, while I dressed. Then I had him roll onto his front, get up into a crawl position, and then stand up. His trowsers were soaked, so I helped him get them off. He wasn't wearing a diaper, so I got one on him, and then he lay down on the bed. He was grateful for my help. I swiffed the floor. Allison arrived 15 minutes later. I am glad that she wasn't met with the mess I had had with him 40 minutes before. We joined the online congregation for CTF. L-A decided to go to bed in the early afternoon, missing lunch, unusual for her. After lunch I put on my trowsers (I often stay in my PJs for a while because of the catheter), and drove to Shoppers to try out the much advertised 'Get basic prescriptions from your pharmacist instead of bothering your doctor.' The pharmacist did have conjunctivitis drugs, and started reading a long list of conflics and side effests. When I mentioned that I was in chemotherapy, which I suggested might have stressed my immune system, he immediately said I should see my doctor for a prescription. Back home I wiped my eyes with a gauze swab, and it was when I was doing so, I realized that though my eye was sore, I was no longer having to sit down on a chair after every time I exerted myself. I had more energy. What have I been doing differently? The most significant thing was taking high dose Vitamin C in my water, but surely it was too soon for that to have impacted my energy level, though L-A thought it possible. Maybe it was the power of the prayers of many, but those had been continuous for a lot longer. Watever the reason, TKoG. L-A ordered a 500 gm bottle of Vitamin C from Amazon at a sale price of $50. She also ordered scissors to replace the blue scissors which had gone missing about 3 weeks ago. They had been given to us by Fairbairn Pharmacy in Worcester, and served us well. Our new TV series was to be 'The Chosen,' which L-A had already seen and loved, and tonight introduced me to S1 E1.

Sat Mar 4    Med

During my after-midnight tea break when I imagine a chat with Jesus seated on the white couch, I documented our conversation for the first time. When I read it to L-A later in the afternoon, it made good sense. My best night for months - only woke once. Didn't wake up early. Steve said he was very hungry so I gave him cereal and a boiled egg and nice bread toasted with strawberry jam on. One he was happy I bundled up and went to try and clear some snow so Alison could get in. The snow was the vry heavy type, and after making a cutting for a few meters my body told me not to continue. Allison called to say she wouldn't be able to get to us because of the snow. My appointment with Dr Makar was 11:20, and our snow clearing contractors arrived with their machines about 10:30! But I was in additional trouble - couldn't find either set of car keys. L-A found the keys that had been Steve's in one of the dresser drawers where I had put them for security. There was a ding at the door, and it was one of the contractors who had found my set of keys lying in the snow near the garage door. TKoG. They must have fallen out of a pocket when I went out earlier. So now I was able to drive out to Eringate Clinic, a dangerous trip because traffic lights were hidden behind small snow drifts. I was calm but concerned when Dr Makar came in to see me. Maybe it would be just a quick removal of the catheter. But no - she needed to hear the full story. She didn't have the ultrasound from the hospital and so she didn't know the state of my prostate other than by Dr Kessie's report. She (like Rob Burr) was concerned for infection. It didn't seem as if that had set in yet, but it could do so at any time. So in the end, she recommended calling Dr Elias' office on 6 March telling him I was in chemo, and attempt to get an early appointment. This made sense to me, and I thanked her for calling me in. I told her about Laurie-Ann's 33 Lb weight loss, and she asked for a copy of the diet to give to her patients. Today was Chantelle's birthday, and I felt a strong tug to support her. So I sent her R400. I have noticed increasing discomfort around my left eye from something like conjunctivitis, but it has manifested itself partly as a scab on my lower eyelid. In the afternoon I again attempted to download a paid-for album (Love Song 50th Anniversary) to my PC, using all the advice Google was offering, and came to the conclusion that the only way nowadays was to join Apple Music for $10 pm). 5 years ago I downloaded a bunch of albums, now on the red disc without any cost. So I continued the process song-by-song, the slow way, dropping the individual .mp3s into a folder on the red disk (Movies and Musicals subdirectory). What I won't have is track data, but for listening it will be identical to the original CD. While I was copying the album, I made scones from a packet. It was simple to do, and the result was as good as store-bought scones. I will enjoy these after midnight. After dinner we watched the final episode available on our streaming services of S2 of Slow Horses, a good British spy drama.

Fri Mar 3

I woke sleepless about 6, and decided to turn insomnia into use on the computer, researching the band Love Song which was hugely influential in the early seventies in spreading the new Christian music. With L-A's help (later in the morning) I found their Wikipedia page and their listing on Spotify, which told me they had a 50 year anniversary album released in 2022. I listened to it and loved it. What blew me away was the stereo harmony singing, the general production quality, and the guitar skills of at least two of them. L-A had found the album on iTunes, so I fired up iTunes on my computer and bought it. I want the album on the red disk rather than just in the iTunes library, but I have forgotten how to download an album from iTunes. Ehe latest R5,000 has still not reached the FNB account to allow Bella to pay for her most recent operation, so in case I had miscalculated and failed to send it, I sent another R5,000. In the afternoon I tackled the Adobe Audition problem by searching for alternative free software, and found it in NCH Mixpad Multi-track Recording Software. I was able to figure out how to use it the first time I tried. TKoG. So I was then able to complete the production of last Sunday's program, and upload it. A winter storm was forecast for tonight and it blew in about 7pm. It was the worst storm of the year so far, but we were snug in the warmth of Steve's house.

Thu Mar 2    Med

I called Dr Rami Elias' office, but clearly he is away and the office closed till 6 March. So I called Etobicoke General, but because Dr Kessie is in the energency department he doesn't have an assistant or office and I can't leave a message, so they advised me to call my Dr and ask for a referral to another urologist. So I did that, leaving a message for Dr Makar. I adjusted the velcro straps so that the bag doesn't pull down on me, washing the area. I sent M-A a signed copy of the contract for her loan. I had emailed Carlos 2 days ago asking how the changes to the AiO debt would be made, and he had sent me back an action plan for me, which I hadn't seen before! It required me to call Solutions Banking and instruct them. So I did theis today, completing the investment of the major part of the MoD money. We went to the cinema for the first time in years, to see the movie Jesus Revolution. We both enjoyed it greatly, particularly in view of the origin of Catch the Fire church in the Vinyard, which was birthed in the Jesus Movement. In fact the Jesus people have gone on to alter the face of Christian worship over the last 50 years. The attitudes and concepts portrayed in the film don't seem to me out of date at all; on the contrary I feel spiritually comfortable with all of it. The band 'Love Song' was a big part of the Jesus movement, and is acted in the film. Heres the Wikipedia page of the very influential original band.

Wed Mar 1    Med

After breakfast I called Dr Rami Elias' office as advised by Dr Kessie at Etobicoke General Hosptal, to hear an automated message that the office was closed till 2 March, please call back on 6 March. The prospect of waiting possibly some time beyond 6 March to have the catheter removed depressed me. However, since the ambiguous message on their answering system suggested that something would be hapening there from 2 March, I decided to wait till then, and call again, rather than try and reach Dr Kelsie today. Rob Burr went through similar problems in about 2015, and in a message said 'You will want to replace that Foley catheter with an intermittent catheter as soon as possible to prevent infection. I've had experience with this and the intermittent catheters will work fine until you're able to look after the prostate problem.' I assume looking after the problem means surgery. I had another go at getting the sound working on the DVD set-up, but failed. So I switched to plan B, the Phillips portable. The only challenge was finding a power supply close enough to the green chair. That solved, L-A was in business. I have reached the stage with my eyes that I need the magnifying glass for about half my computing activity, and for checking everything. Through the magnifying glass I see the text clearly, suggesting to me that the right prescription lens would work. It's worrying how fast the vision is deteriorating. On the bright side, I received a reply from Eric Manalang saying he had forwarded my message to Dr Mandelcorn. Despite the difficulty with seeing, I spent a fair amount of time on the computer today dealing with issues. While doing so I listened with great pleasure to the whole of Tape C45 S2, which begins with the Mahavishnu Orchestra (Birds of fire) from 1974, which I had never really got into before. Today, it seemed like just excellent rock-jaz fusion. My tastes have progressed, and as I have said before, my general appreciation of all music, new and particularly old, continues to increase. The headphones definitely play a part in this. We had our prayer and Bible study in the afternoon when I am relatively fresh and receptive. This was good because after dinner L-A asked me to wash and moisturise her legs and feet, which I have done every few weeks.

Tue Feb 28

I slept quite well, thanks to the catheter, though it still has to be emptied 4 or 5 times a day. Mid morning I drove to Eringate Clinic, where V gave me my monthly B12 shot. Even though PMH had also prescribed B12 shots, she agreed that what I was getting already covered the dosage. I went to Renforth IDA, who have not yet received a request from PMH to supply me more Tylenol #2. I asked if they had any RestoroLAX, They didn't but sold me an alternative, Clearlax, in a large bottle. I am not going to risk getting constipated again. My computer activity in the morning was getting recent photos off our phones, and uploading to Flickr, and then linking some of them to the journal. L-A has lost 33 Lb on her dietition's advice since January and we are both impressed and happy about it. I am steady at 115 Lbs. I asked Randa Malaty via Messenger if she might be able to find us new tenants for May. She now works for Property Pros Realty. Dr Rami Elias, urologist, didn't call me today so I will call him tomorrow morning. L-A has bought a couple of DVDs she would dearly like to watch. I brought in the DVD player from a suitcase in the garage and set about trying to play it through our TV screen. I was quite encouraged at first, since I got a disk playing on the screen, though without sound. And the sound proved elusive. The DVD player was from a different generation.

Mon Feb 27

As I prepared the breakfast table, Steve's false teeth were missing. He had been into the kitchen in the night and taken them. I challenged him when he came for brekfast, but he had mo memory of doing it. I gave him a fairly full breakfast, thugh not cooked. I asked him to sign a cheque to pay for the new lamp and shades in the living room. I was worried that the price, $371 would concern him, but it didn't. As he left the kitchen, he spotted an open loaf of bread on the counter, and ate a slice of it, dry. That's how hungry he was. One of the cheeses I had bought at Global Cheese last Friday is called Fromager d'Affinois Bleu - mild and creamy blue cheese, which the gentleman there told me was the closest to the unavailable Blue Bresse, my favourite cheese. This morning I had some on a cracker and he was right. Very nice. I sent a message to at PMH asking if chemo side effects ever included weakening vision. They called me back mid morning and said they had not seen instances of chemo causing dim vision. Sikhoma left me a voicemail in response to my emailing them about how to override the per-tramsfer and per month transfers of cash into SA. They needed our FNB account number. I called Toronto Western Hospital and left a voicemail for Eric Manalang. Later I found I still had his email, so sent a more detailed request, asking for an appointment with Dr Mandelcorn. Mid afternoon I went to Loblaws, and the CIBC ATM to bank Steve's cheque for the lights, and the $300 payment from Loblaws' insurance for my tripping over their carpet. It was the beginning of a storm and I was very relieved to get home safely, looking forward to a spagetti bolognaise dinner and the warmth of being inside and an evening with my sweetheart. I received the following email from Liam Murta: I have been asked by the lady across the hall if I would like to rent her unit as Ann Carol will be moving out. She is slated to move out May 2nd I believe so I was hoping I could be in this unit until Ann moves out, then I can move across the hall before your return.?I will get a solid date from them but was hoping that, that would work out and be okay? Hmmm.

Sun Feb 26    Med

I wasn’t up to church because of the new appendage hanging from my manliness, so we watched an excellent CTF service on line, I with headphones on the couch and L-A with ear buds on the green chair. I took out the garbage, carefully, in view of the catheter, and buoyed by success brought in the small ladder ftom the garage and replaced the burned out bulbs in the kitchen light with the LED from Living Lighting. My dimness of vision had made this urgent. In the afternoon I had my appointment at Cloverdale Eyecare, to diagnose why I was seeing blurred and double. I got there in good time and was soon with the same optometrist who had given me a simplified test a month ago, which showed that my prescription hadn’t changed since I bought my glasses from them in March 2022. He went through similar tests, which showed the prescriptions for both eyes still hadn’t changed. What had changed was the strength of the vision in my right eye, which had been normal throughout my eyer surgery. The vision was significantly weaker since the test a month ago, So this came out of his area of expertise and he said he would refer me to a retina specialist. That wouldn’t happen for a couple of months, and who knows how the eye would be by then? I asked him if he thought it could be a side effect of chemo and he didn’t know. His tests today were all done under OHIP, so no charge to me, the only good news of the afternoon. The implications of this are not something I want to dwell on yet. What I plan for tomorrow is to contact PMH and see if dimming of eyes is known as a chemo side effect, and if not contact Toronto Westerh Hospital, refer to my eye surgery there last year, and see if they would fast-track me for examination and possible treatment. Last thing at night after washing up, I did an experiment with Steve's teeth, not hiding them for the night after I had cleaned them.

Sat Feb 25    Med

My night was not good, and was unlikely to improve. I spent time on the white couch, trying to snatch some shuteye. I decied to put on one of Steve's diapers, which was a safety measure, and more comfortable. As Saturday morning dawned, I wodered if my problems would lessen in the day time, and they didn't. I realied I needed to go to Energency in Etobicoke General. I had cornflakes with hot milk like yesterday, since I wouldn't eat again for a while. Steve and L-A were still asleep, and I figured I should give them breakfast before they I left. I had done the washing up during th night. Around 8:30 I gave Steve his cereal, and went to speak to L-A. When I said I was thinking of calling an ambulance, she suggested an Uber - somewhat cheaper, and easier to organize. She got up for her breakfast. I packed a bag in case of an overnight stay. She called Uber, and so I got to the hospital. There weren't many people lined up yet to see a doctor, and I told my story to the nurse who took the key details. Mine must have impressed her because I was very soon with Doctor Kessie, who said I would have an ultrasound, receive a catheter, and an introduction to a urologist. After being back in the waitimg room a short time, I was called. I must have been urgent. Another doctor gave me an MRI, a little painful as he pressed on my prostate, and then it was catheter time. I had previously had one for my hip replacement, and I don't remember it hurt when it was put in, but maybe I was still sedated. This time it did hurt and I clenched my arms and legs, preventing him from putting it in. I said, "How about an anaesthetic," and he said it would make no difference. Then he decided he should use a smaller gauge catheter, and he did give me in quick succession two anaesthetic shots right into the top of the penis. They weren't pleasant but this catheter now was able to be screwed in without my clenching up. Next step, to fix the tube and urine bag held in place with velcro straps, and it was done. Then I was back in the waiting room, for quite a while since I was no longer urgent. Eventually I saw the first doctor again who gave me an introduction to a urologist, and said he should call me by Tuesday, and if he didn't, I should call him on Wednesday. The plan was that he would take out the catheter. I reminded the doctor that I had also painfully stretched my rectum during constipation, and he gave me a prescription to help. I slowly got on my way. My cell phone was now flat, but the hospital reception pointed me to a phone for calling City Taxis. As I walked to the taxi a few minutes later the urine bag was hanging heavy, and I supported the diaper and tube as I got into the cab. At home my first move was to the bathroom, where I saw that the urine bag was already full (which had made the tube pull down on my penis). I was disappointed with the velcro straps, which were inadequate for my thin legs. I remembered a small roll of sticky tape in a kitchen drawer, and I was able to add support to the tube. L-A had made some special cauliflower soup, and I enjoyed it with toast. I was slow moving around the house, but still somewhat capable. Unexpectedly, Tara, Kennedy and Wilfred their neighbour's dog arrived, and would stay the night, Tara eager to do the washing up, vacuuming, and reorganize the kitchen.

Fri Feb 24    Med

After a very bad prostate night (I was probably a day late taking a Flomax), about 6am I decided to try and change my state by having comfort food, namely corn flakes with hot milk. It seemed to work because I then slept till 7:30, and got up. Steve and I had sausage and scrambled eggs for breakfast. I wasn't feeling well. I had problems with my computer on start-up, but after a few minutes they resolved themselves and the machine ran at normal speed, in time a our Zoom call with Karen Bergenstein. It was a pleasant discourse. She told us of how St. Peter's and St. Paul's was managing in the aftermath of its senior pastor Brent Stiller's sudden death. I recalculated the amount of Vitamin C powder to add to a 4L bottle in order to take 8 Grams per day, and put it in the bottle. One result will be I'll be drinking much more water in the process. I put half as much into Laurie-Ann's next bottle - the maintenance amount according to Richard. I unfriended some of my 1,000 Facebook friends. We decided to transfer another R5,000 to FNB even though the previous R5,000 hadn't yet arrived, and this new transfer would probably take us over our monthly limit, and not be released yill 1 March. I drove to Global Cheese on Norseman and bought us some special cheeses. Then on to Living Lighting when I was well served and purchased a much needed lampshade for the antique standard lamp in the living room, and a new standard lamp for the other end of the living room which had always been so dim, and a LED for the kitchen to replace two incandescents that had failed simultaneously a few days ago. I was lucky - not only did Steve and L-A like the lamp and shades, the new lamp just fitted between the couch and the wall. Both lamps looked great, and when it was darker the LED's shone well. We had an early dinner so that I could get to PMH for a CT Scan by 7:45. The scan went according to plan. On my way home however constipation broke out and it was a very uncomfortabel ride on the subway. Chemo can cause both constipation though the formet bay have been exaccerbated by eating white bread for a week. I got home safely and got straight onto the toilet, but nothing came from some serious straining at stool. L-A brought me some RestoroLAX, and I just sat there hoping it would hurry up. It didn't in the next half hour, and peeing became increasingly sparse. When I tried to pee, small amounts of shit came out of my bum. So I had another dose of RestoroLAX. About 45 minutes later, results came, with relief, but it didn't help the peeing problem. It was like that for the whole night and I had very little sleep. I rested on the white couch after peeing the few drops which came out every 20 minutes or so,

Thu Feb 23    Med

I decided to post the 10 year Dartmouth Reunion page for the Reunion Book that Bryan Barrett has so well designed. Although the book in printed form won't be available till later in the year, I felt it appropriate to be on-line earlier for my friends who are not naval colleagues. I do look forward to reading the stories from my dwindling numbers of shipmates. Quite a few have died in the past year, including Rob Walmsley. friend, and an admiral. Previous pages are available here. I listened to United Pursuit's album, Simple Gospel (Live). Brock Hunan is the co-leader of this excellent collective. He is Heidi Baker's son-in-law and he was with us in Mozambique and sang some of his songs. It was afternoon when the first chemo side effect cut in: brain fog. I just couldn't do a simple calculation: how much Vitamin C to add to a 4L water bottle so as to get 10 grams a day. So I went to bed. After resting I was able to figure out the dose, though lingering doubts remain after also calculating the annual cost. I noticed that the basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) on my forehead has almost faded completely after treatment with Efudix, and several newer ones on my left hand have disappeared without treatment.

Wed Feb 22    Med

Here are things that got done or happened today, in chronological disorder: Richard confirmed he's taking 8 grams of calcium ascorbate daily, and recommended I do likewise. I asked him how much should L-A take as a recovering (?) breast cancer patient. At 10 we had a most engaging video call with Fred Onyango and his wife Joy in Nairobi. Fred had been the local Alpha representative on our mission to Migori in 2005, and we had stayed in touch. He has two children, Bradley (8) and Belishia, 2. Bradley has had severe medical issues (autism?) and they had taken him to India for treatment. He is doing better now and spoke with us on the call. Fred has achieved so much in Christian-inspired activities, including feeding many starving people. Tomorrow he was going to Rwanda to introduce pastors to Alpha. I said I would try and get/send him the Alpha videos. We finally transmitted our Docusign signatures to Carlos successfully so that he can make the changes to our portfolios as a result of the MoD grant. There had been a problem with our phone numbers on the AiO profiles, so verification of ID wasn't working. But also I suspect Carlos is on a learning curve with this. It should bring down our indebtedness on the AiO which has been at the max $155K for years. I emailed Sikhona to find out how I can bring in more money per transfer to FNB. We received a cheque for $300 and vouchers for $200 from Loblaws for my tripping over their mat on on February 2, and agreeing not to sue them. My several scars on my upper lip have gone after 3 weeks. I corrected a couple of errors in music on the red disk. On one of yhese, half of a track was missing from the recording made from our CD, so I replaced it with the same track from Spotify. Bella has large medical and school bills to pay. Up to now we have kept to Sikhoma's absurdly low limits for bringing small amounts of money into South Aftica, so I emailed them asking how we get round those limits. I am now needing to use a magnifying glass to read some parts of my computer screen, but the eyes get sore after half an hour, so I only use the glass when really necessary. I am looking forward to seeing the optometrist on Sunday so that something might br done.

Tue Feb 21    Med: second chemo infusion

I have recently got up for tea and something twice in a night. Early this morning I was feeling hot and couldn't sleep, so got up for a second cup of tea. On the way I checked the thermostat. 87° - no wonder the house felt hot. I turned it to 72° (22° Celcius). After drinking my tea and a yoghurt, and not feeling like sleeping, I spent time on the computer attempting to add podcast101 to the source code of the CWCR ( page so people could directly access the interview. I did it to an offline version. My brain was in good form, and I had figured out the code, but in the end chickened out when I remembered I would have to upload the modified program, and being on my computer rather than L-A's it was conceivable I might lose or damage the original file. I did post to my Facebook but just referred to the podcast page and suggested scrolling down to Podcast 101. It was a rush at breakfast because I had to leave for PMH by 8. I felt so well that in the station carpark I parked at the back and walked. I had Theresa as my chemo nurse. She gave me some Odansetron pills even though the schedule I had didn't require it on the day of treatment, just the day before. I asked her if my wakefulness in the night might have been caused by pills, and she identified Aprepritant as the culprit. Maybe why I get an allowance of only three at a time in case I might be tempted to use as wake up pills. I was done by 11:30, with an appetite, and wanted to redeem Swiss Chalet for the home delivery version we had 18 December. I had it with chips. It was just fine, though instead of finishing the chips I had a lemon meringue pie. So I didn't need lunch when I got home. On the way there I dropped off my letter to Dr. Lindholm, asking for the disk back of L=A's knee MRI. and then posted Steve's medical receipts, those that were filed here, including $800 for glasses) and a T4, to Tara.

Mon Feb 20

Steve spent a lot of time out of his bedroom during the night, and when I came into the living room he was sitting on the new couch, fast asleep. I hadn't the heart to rouse him for his morning pain pill (Tylenol Extra Strength). On this last day before Chemo, while I was feeling pretty good, I chose several tasks that I might just not feel like doing after tomorrow. The most fun and time consuming was adding our recent CKCU interview with each other as Podcast 101 on The Worcester Reports page. Carlos has tried multiple times to send me a message that would allow me return a Docusign message to him allowing him to complete certain forms without seeing us personally. The problem was ID verification, which seemed to have previous phone numbers. So I checked the profiles for the two of us. These were set up by Carlos' assistant, and she had made several typos. I updated them. Maybe Carlos' messages will work now. and he'll be able to cpmplete the transfers of MoD money to the All-in-One.

Sun Feb 19

Today was the Sunday I would have most energy in the 3-week chemo cycle, and I was determined to go to church, which I did. Murray did an expose of a familiar passage from Ephesians, drawing out a wealth of meaning that was new to me. Walking to and from the parking lot took a lot of my scarce energy. I Swiffed, and it was good. Yes, after an afternoon rest I had the energy to check out the Swiffer that I bought 9 February at Allison's suggestion. Took me a while to unfold a heavy duty wet cloth, but then I swiffed the kitchen with it, followed by our bedroom, the bathroom, snf Steve's room with another. Sure beats sweeping and mopping, and the 2 hours that took to dry. I reviwed our givings to CTF and set them to $80 monthly, with half going to tithes and offerings and half to the Rexdale outreach. I reviewed a letter from Co-operators insurance stating that our new homeowners premiun beginning in March would ne $45.09. Bella told us about near future hospital bills, one of which will take us over our monthly limit, so she will have to wait till March, and argue her case with the hospital.

Sat Feb 18

The most important thing done today was to complete my submission for the RN Reunion book with a selection of photos, and send it to Bryan Barrett. It took a lot longer than expected, and I didn't finish till around 9. It focussed on 4 aspects of th last 10 years: (1) visits to Oxford, Wellington and Colonial Williamsburg; (2) Mum's funeral; (3) Missionary school in Mozambique; (4) Long term mission in South Africa. I finally figured out how to sort my downloads so the the most recent were listed first. This is how it was for years till something caused them to be listed randomly. We paid L-A's visa; more than $1,800 for the month, but no interest will be charged - this time or in future. .

Fri Feb 17

First thing I did was list key things I wanted to get done today. Here are the ones I made good progress with or completed. I went to the IDA and collected the meds I'll need for offsetting the side effects of chemo next Tuesday. There were more than I expected but they won't be wasted. Then I went on to Walmart and bought myself a water bottle for getting my daily dose of calcium ascorbate (Vitamin C). I needed a bottle that was easy to replenish, and easy to drink from. Not all of them are! I think I found something suitable. Back home I calculated how much calcium ascorbate to add to a 4L water bottle. Richard used Linus Pauling's measurements, 10 tomes the dose recommened on the bottle. I have been wondering if I was turning the headphones on and off with the right switch, which is quite small. I checked the manual, and I am doing it correctly. I finished all the text I need for the reunion book. I had 685 words. They only wanted 500 wordes to keep each story to one page, so I removed some sentences and one paragraph. I will, however, use the longer version to go on my website. I edited the digitized version of tape D3, S2, where some jazz I didn't like much had crept in and didn't fit in the space available. Finally I responded to Carlos' requests for me to complete a 'Digisign' digital signature so the changes could be made to our portfolio. It's still not right. I was pleased to have got these things done - gave me a warm feeling - even though the last segment replaced our 1 hour of TV watching for the evening.

Thu Feb 16

We arrived at Red Lobster at 1:30 for my birthday lunch, postponed from yesterday. We were welcomed by our excellent waitress, Natasha. and settled down with the rich menu. For me however there was only one item - the full lobster. L-A chose tilapia with lobster topping. Their house reisling was half price a bottle, so we went for it and weren't disappointed. We were both feeling good and expectant. Natasha brought us the complete unprepared still alive lobster for our inspection! She didn't keep us too long for the prepared version, and the tilapia. We had both chosen crispy sprouts and mashed potatoes as accompanying vegetables. As aficionardos will know, you don't get a lot of meat on a lobster, but my 1 1/2 pounder was large and well endowed. The taste was as I had hoped and expected - delicious. We both got to the eating part and it was a real pleasure - just what a birthday lunch should be. When we were done, I had an apple pastry, which Natasha didn't charge for as a birthday treat, on a plate with 'Happy Birthday' in chocolate writing. We drove home via Staples for a printer cartridge, Starbucks for a coffee, and Loblaws for a birthday cake. I ordered vanilla Appeal and shampoo from Nu Skin, though it occured to me that for a while I won't need the shampoo, since I'll be bald from the chemo. After a lighter than normal dinner (but with birthday cake for dessert), we watched a live online performance from her home by Dar Williams, one of our favourite singers.

Wed Feb 15 - my 82nd birthday

I got up a little early so as to handle the breakfasts before I needed to leave for PMH. Steve and I had quite nice fried sausage and egg. I left at 9 feeling a little weaker than usual. The blood test and X-Ray went as per normal. I waited nearly 2 hours in the thoracic clinic before seeing Dr Fowler. They were worried that my weight had fallen 7 Lb since my last visit here, and I added that that was after some months of stable weight. I should weigh myself daily and report any serious changes. I will also get back on Appeal. I need to eat more calories, including ice cream (her words). I was still feeling weak as I walked to the Tim Hortons near Queen's Park station and ordered chili. Then I ordered a chocolate fudge muffin and coffee. I arrived home looking forward to an hour in bed, but what I saw when I opened the front door around 2:30 was Steve lying on his floor. He said he'd been there an hour and couldn't get up. It became clear that he had no strength in his legs, exactly what happens after a TIA. I got him to lie on his back with a pillow for his head and just rest till the strength returned. He asked for chocolate for energy, and I got him an OhHenry. Half an hour later he had actually stayed there, so I had him roll over onto his front and then on to his knees, then to grab the walker and get up on his legs. Soon he was lying on the bed. The plan had worked! TKoG. I continued weak for the rest of the day but was able to help L-A with the dinner. After washing up and some computer work, I went to bed without our daily prayer and Bible study. A whole bunch of people had wished me happy birthday on Facebook during the day, bless them.

Tue Feb 14

About 3am I got up restless and went to the kitchen and had a small rice pudding. It was very difficult to swallow, although it eventually went down my throat. I wouldn't mention this except 2 days ago I had a similar experience with a yoghurt, also after midnight. Is this a chemo side effect? During the day I have been eating well and lots with no problem. I decided to use a version of my recent sibling newsletter to update friends who maybe wonder what is going on with us. I sent the first one to Cindy and we'll see how she reacts, and then send some more. I successfully sent the final part of our loan to M-A. The problem had been too many 'high value' attempts, even if they didn't succeed, but after 72 hours you can try again. Laurie-Ann was extremely sore, and for the first time needed Steve's walker to get from the bedroom to the living room, and then into the kitchen. I really felt for her. At 11 was the Teams call from Carlos and Tyler from IG. Tyler had clearly done his homework on the Living Plan (successor to PFP). The first thing he proposed, that I hadn't thought of, was to use up all my TFSA space. He then suggested a new line of credit in the AiO with enough to pay off the loan for the smaller of my two current credit lines. We did an analysis and I was (still) found to be moderate aggressive. It was a comprehensive review and should stand us in good stead. UHN tried to call me twice during the call; happily they also called after it. They had realised (as I had) that I had been given an infusion before instead of after the blood test and X-Ray next week. To correct this error they want me in tomorrow for blood, X-Ray and Bradbury, which I had already seen on the portal. My birthday lunch at Red Lobster will therefore be on Thursday. Dr Bradbury will give me prescriptions for taking around the time of the infusion, as I did the first time. After lunch, we had our daily prayer and Bible study session before L-A went to bed for the afternoon, the edge taken off her pain with pills, but still needing the walker to get to the bedroom. Luckily Steve didn't challenge her use of his walker (her's is in the car trunk). I spent the afternoon on my email backlog, and actions arising, before preparing supper while listening to worship music and jazz on the headphones. Reading the computer screen is now getting more difficult for me due to my double vision, so L-A suggested increasing my font size. On Windows 19 I was only able to find a setting to increase my everything size, which I did from 100 to 150. This makes some things more difficult, and we'll see if I need to go back to 100 and use a magnifying glass more often.

Mon Feb 13

Steve had pulled all his bed linen and blankets off his bed in the night. The nearest explanation I got to any form of reality was that they needed washing, but they didn't. My weight had fallen to 115 Lb, the Lowe'st ever, after being at ~123 for weeks. It was strange because I felt better than on sme days. Had a great call with Dave Kemp, who recommended the Epoch Times, and unrecommended the World Economic Forum. He has to be a rare close friend. Not treated well by the church he founded when he retired - so sad. Went to Service Ontario to arrange for my new driver's licence. My Mastercard worked on the fouth try after the lady wiped it with a cloth. Since the tap capability had failed I need to get a new card. While in Cloverdale I also bought breakfast sausages and cider. I found myself outside Cloverdate Dental and booked myself another appointment (26 Feb at 4) to address my double vision, which seems to be getting worse. I finally decided to fix the stove. Several weeks ago the microswitch that turned on the internal light got stuck in the 'on' position, and the light was running 24/7. The waste of power was finally bugging me more than the disadvantage of not easily seeing inside the oven. I couldn't get the bulb out; it was (always) too hot. So in the basement I pulled the circuit breaker for the stove, and shortly after was able to remove the bulb. I then tried to cook lunch, forgetting the stove was off, so back down to the the basement to turn on the circuit breaker. Two tubes of Aquafresh toothpaste arrived at the front door ordered online. It's almost impossible to find Aquafresh in drugstores any more. Only Colgate and Crest, neither of which I like. Also from Amazon came a large bottle of Calcium Ascorbate crystals to add to our water, as recommended by Richard on Saturday. I photographed the signed full and final release form from SCM/Loblaws and emailed it to SCM. I tried to send an email to Dallas Wigston thanking him for his powerful singing at church yesterday, but his email was blocked. While doing these tasks I listened to and enjoyed a couple of Bethel albums. I moved Steve into the living room so I could make up his bed. I called MasterCard to report my damaged card and the whole thing was dealt with by robot voices. I will have a new card in 10 days, and my reference number is 40892. This is in line with a recent radio program I heard suggesting that companies are getting their customers to do increasing amounts of the work that the company used to do, but without their being compensated for it. The companies can therefore lay off staff and save money.

Sun Feb 12

I was dead worried about the Group Education Session to renew my driver's licence at 1:30. My eyes were not good. With the help of our new GPS I got to the testing centre in North York early, after about 25 minutes drive. There were about 40 people in our session. We would first have an eye test, and then another test which turned out to be an Alzheimer's test. Because of the seat I had chosen, I was thw first up for the eye test. I was taken to a desk with a vision-testing machine. The first part of the test was to read letters on the fourth line down. As soon as I looked at the lines I knew I was in trouble. I have had my eyes tested by similar means numbers of times in the last couple of years. I was asked to read the 7 letter, and had to guess half of them. She said, OK, read the third line, which I was able to do. Back to the fourth line. Different guesses. I'm thinking about the consequenses to our little family should I fail, and was scared. Would we get taxis and Ubers everywhere? How would I get our stuff back to Ottawa? If I got it right it would last 2 years without worrying about this again. Then she said that I just had the last three letters to go, which were easier. She said I'd got them right. It's hard to believe I had got all seven letters right unless she wasn't interpreting what I was. Maybe only 5 out of 7 correct answers were needed. Maybe the prayers of friends persuaded her to give me the benefit of the considerable doubt. However, I was onto a second test of peripheral vision, with lights flashing to right and left, which was easy for me. I had passed the eye test! While all the others were being tested I conversed with a most engaging man called Walter who had made signs along Canadian roads and in the Toronto airport, and whose brother was a natural engineering genius who assisted the aviation industry when they had apparently insoluble problems. After the eye tests were done, we were all given a sheet of paper and asked to draw a clock with the time set at 10 past 11, something that apparently Alzheimer's and dementia patients cannot do. An interesting aspect of this story is that my left eye seems to be improving. It certainly brings in necessary light, and its focus is getting sharper. I suspect my problem is that the two eyes are not yet pointing in the same direction, which might be correctible, or might correct itself. I had texted the news to L-A who had already told Bella and M-A, prayer warriors, by the time I got home. I was there in time to get us a late lunch. Steve had a difficult day, insisting he could play with L-A's Air connectors and sockets, walking around the house continually, and after dinner coming into the kitchen and trying to make himself a cup of coffee with tea leaves, and breaking one of our four glass dishes. He just couldn't lie down and sleep.

Sat Feb 11

I sent R3300 to Bella as the last stage in fixing her cash flow problem (see 6 Feb). L-A had suggested to her that she use the money we had sent for her new glasses, and this she had done. Now we were sending the money so she could get the new glasses. Her rent is R5500 per month, and if she rented for the rest of the school year, that would amount to $3,696, a hefty sum for us to fund. She will get her name down to get back into residence, and that would significantly reduce this figure. James called, as he does most days, and showed me video from the drone he had bought Sagan for $80. I have been remiss in not mentioning James's faithful calls more often, just because they are such a regular part of my life. He normally (video) calls when driving to work in his self-drive Tesla, and we have amazing conversations about politics, world events, the human condition, music, any number of subjects, and I learn a lot from this wise man. He is currently seeking an ideal job in US for when he retires this year from the RAF, and has now obtained his green card. His experience with drones is pretty rare, and in demand. I love the calls and I love our relationship. Often Kathy and Sagan are also in the car. I called Richard Bendall, and he persuaded me that at the present state of my illness I need to get back on OGF, and also high dose vitamin C Calcium Ascorbate crystals. I had consumed 6 bottles recently, but stopped when our finances were tight and the MoD money hadn't yet arrived. I watched a startling video by Jack Hibbs recommended by Dave Kemp showing how dangerous a state the world is in from China's intentions.

Fri Feb 10    Med

For the first time since chemo 11 days ago (31 Jan) I felt normal when I got up. No nausea, no dizziness, and it was great, though it didn't last. I wanted to get on with the RN Reunion Book, but decided that first I would go through the papers within arm's length to make sure I was aware of things I must do but had put on one side. The first item to come up was my driver's licence application, so that was urgent. I also emailed our lawyer (whom I've never met) to look at our wills and PoAs and replace the names of people there who were no longer appropriate, like John Kebe. The driver's licence required me to take a Group Education Session before my birthday (the renewal date). I phoned the number and was able to join a session on Sunday at 1:30 in North York. I worry now because of my eyes which still seem out of focus and blury, despite the recent eye test. Carlos got back to me with the date - 14 Feb - for a Teams meeting to discuss investment strategy for the MoD money. Late afternoon Laurie-Ann received a message from Cathy that Pat Codner was fading. I decided I would go to the hospital to be with her for a while. We didn't know which hospital, so I called several, but none had her as a patient. I called Cathy to hear that her real name was Patricia Morgan - she had never changed it after her first husband. It was Toronto General ICU on the 10th floor, room 133, and she, Brian and Aunt Nancy were all there. So I went there my regular way via the subway, and had no difficulty in finding them. I seemed to have extra strength. I had to wear protective clothing with a plastic mask in addition to a regular mask. There could only be three visitors, so Brian came out as I went in. Patsy by then was not receiving any undue methods to bring her round because they hadn't worked. She was breathing through her very open mouth (or was it through one of the tubes?) and didn't appear to have difficulty doing so. I took her hand and prayed for her, asking God to numb any pain and take her gently. Then the three of us talked as we watched the numbers on the monitor screen. Cathy went out for a while and I had a really good chat with Nancy, answering some financial questions relating to Fred. Brian returned about 7:15. We all held hands round the bed and I prayed for Pat. Brian offered to drive me to Kipling station, saying it was on their way home, so I got to see where the TGH parking was, and had a much more comfortable ride than the TTC. On my way home from Kipling I bought some pizza, and it turned out to be very delicious. I was still benefitting from the 'extra strength' and didn't go to bed till 11.
Patricia Morgan (Codner) died at 11pm that night, peacefully.

Thu Feb 9    Med

When I went into the living room after getting up, Steve was sitting on the couch, swigging from L-A's oat milk half and half. This won't please her. He had been in the kitchen foraging in the fridge, and eaten bread, but actually put butter on it. I kidded him that he had already had his breakfast. I tested out the headphones paired to my Blackberry, where I have a lot of music, most loaded in South Africa. The sound quality was identical to the original on the red disk when listening to Goodluck, a good test. So this would work for me if I was waiting for L-A at Sunnybrook, for example. But not when actually driving, because the noise cancelling facility would stop me heating external driving sounds, like car horns. I called Carlos (our financial planner at Investors Group) and asked his help in deciding how much of our nest egg go to equity growth, and how much to paying down our debt, which was costing us more with the higher interest rates. He will consult with Tyler, his associate who has helped us before. L-A was better than yesterday, able to spend the morning in the green chair. She had experienced what she thought could be the beginning of a period, but she checked out the huge list of side effects of zoledronic acid on the Mayo Clinic site, and they included blood in the urine, as well as almost all of the recent problems she had been having. She wanted to check her temperature, but couldn't find the thermometer. I had used it recently and was pretty sure it was somewhere on top of the stereo, which proved to be the case. Her temperature was OK, but the process reminded me that I was meant to check mine daily, a fever being serious news, so I checked it and it was 97.5°. Preparing lunch I felt desperately tired, so when it was done I headed to the bedroom for a rest, and L-A joined me. I went shopping in the afternoon, mainly to buy a Swiffer that Allison had requested, but I stopped off at Loblaws and bought some chocolate cake for my night refreshment, some Paczki donuts, and maple syrup. I thought the donuts might assuage Steve's increasing hunger, and also wondered if they would be like the doughnuts I remember from England. They weren't. Around 5 Steve wanted food and I gave him half of one of them (they are large). At about 6 he came looking for the other half, and I gave it to him even though dinner would be an hour later. Dinner was chicken pot pie, and I served large portions, and then he had strawberry and rhubarb pie and ice cream, also a large portion. After both courses he spent some time meticulously scraping the plate almost clean. It was about half an hour after dinner that he came to the kitchen looking desperate, and when I asked him what he wanted, he said in a pathetic voice, "I want my dignity back." I believe he knows his forever hunger is unusual and he should be able to overcome it, but he doesn't know how, and neither do we. By now I had taken his teeth for the night, so I gave him a coffee crisp, and asked if that would restore his dignity, and he said it would, and walked slowly to his room, slowly because he had already started the coffee crisp while walking; couldn't wait till he got to his room. We watched the fourth and final episode of 'Madof,' which made me feel so fortunate to have worked for an honest financial company like Investors Group, whose CEO Murray Taylor for much of my time there was a Christian, married to a missionary.

Wed Feb 8    Med

When I went to Laurie-Ann, after feeding Steve his breakfast, she could hardly move. She had bone/muscle pain in many parts of her body, side effects of yesterday's infusion. She asked me for a Stilpane. I suggested she remain in bed, possibly all day, but at least for the time being. For me it was a day to relax after the last two days. I had plenty of tasks to get on with on the computer, not least dealing with email. Sony reminded me of where the online manual is with full detailed information on the headphones, and I continued learning more about them. To get L-A to the living room before lunch, she used Steve's walker (her's being in the car trunk). She had Knorr chicken noodle soup, while Steve and I shared the rest of the pork roast, which was very delicious still. By the evening L-A was able to get around without the walker after some pretty heavy painkillers during the day. She had the rest of the Knorr chicken noodle, while we had M&M beef stew and veg. After dinner it was time for CTF connect group, but L-A wasn't up to joining in fully. So she watched on her phone. She still got plenty of prayer. Early in the discussion we were looking at praying for financial provision. Near the end of the program, I testified how after much prayer (including from this group) we had received a totally unexpected payout from the British Ministry of Defence which arrived just in tme to allow our current support of a widow and an orphan (M-A and Bella), and pay off our credit cards. God does answer financial prayer, and I wanted one of those in the group particularly to hear this.

Tue Feb 7    Med

We got up even earlier than yesterday (my alarm was set for 6:45) and fitted in breakfast where Steve needed to be done and out of the kitchen before we left. We were off to Sunnybrook by 7:45. The traffic wasn't too bad and we arrived in good time for L-A to report for blood tests, followed by an infusion of zoledronic acid which would would reduce the chance of her cancer (if it resurged) spreading to her bones. Meantime, I returned home so Steve wouldn't be alone too long. I needed gas and I needed a toilet. The gas lasted till our normal Esso station, but we got home just as Allison arrived. No toilet for me for another 25 minutes or so. Eventually the bathroom was clear. I have medium strength diarrhea as a side effect of chemo. L-A called a little later to say all was well at her end. We had expected she wouldn't be ready for pick up till some time later, but her infusion only took 18 minutes and there had been no other delays. So I drove back and picked her up. One of her worries had been that they would find a vein for the needle, as happened in South Africa, resulting in her needing a port implant. But the nurse here had found a vein in her hand easily enough. She was in good spirits as we drove home. After all the driving I was only too glad to get into bed for 90 minutes or so in the afternoon, and L-A joined me. I had looked forward all day to our dinner tonight, pork roast. I served large portions to all, paricularly the always hungry Steve. It was delicious with great roast and steamed vegetables. When he had almost finished, I asked Steve if it had filled him, or was he still hungry. He said he could eat half of another similar dinner. After he had had a large portion of bluebelly pie and ice cream it was time to take his teeth out. There were still some remnants of the pork in his denture. He sought out evey morsel! I worry that he has a medical condition that prevents him knowing he is full, but from the doctor's point of view, a good appetite is good news.

Mon Feb 6    Med

After getting up early, welcoming Allison about 8:30, Steve and I drove to Dr Judah's for 9:30. He wanted to review Steve's status after the fall and bruised face and the accompanying bizarre activities (see 28 January). He said he wanted Steve checked out for possible complications that might have given rise to his behaviour. He suggested I take him to the hospital today. I said "Should I call an anbulance? He said "Yes, but he could also call one from there." I said "No, I must go home to pack a bag for him." Actually my real nead was to have something to eat. So we went home. After some cornflakes and bread I called 911 for the first time in my life. The paramedics arrived in about 20 minutes. When I described Steve's situation, having a TIA and then falling on the floor, one of them challenged me as to how I knew it was a TIA if I wasn't a doctor. The other one said that doctors are far too ready to call ambulances, just to reduce their personal liability. I inferred I should be taking Steve in my car, and if he fell on the way in or out, then I should call an ambulance. I was apologetic because it appeared we were on our way to Etobicoke General. He was put in room 1938, and someone got me a chair. The rest of the day was as expected: a lot of waiting, vitals taken periodically, and feeling hungry. Around 2:30 I asked if I could get him some food, but needed to be sure he was allowed ahead of tests which a Dr Becker had said would be done. The result was they brought him a sandwich and juice. While he was eating I found the cafetaria and had a burgher. When I returned he said he had had the tests, which included a brain scan. I wasn't sure he understood me, but a nurse confirmed it. Eventualy another doctor came by and said that the tests showed his brain was normal, and there were no concerning results from the other tests. This was a relief. We were able to go home. L-A and I had been texting throughout, with her updating Tara, and she had suggested I brought home a chicken pizza. So we returned via Pizza Nova, arriving home at 6 and quite ready to devour it, without having to cook and wash up. During the day, Bella had messaged L-A: 'I'm sitting with a problem right now. The aunty which helped me with accommodation her son is coming back home now. He was living with his wife but they are getting a divorce now because of personal reasons.Now he is coming back tomorrow and I'm staying in his room at the moment. The aunty now suggested that I should rent an student apartment and i have been looking for a cheap one the whole day but I just don't get one for a small amount. The cheapest one is R5,500 . And her son is coming back tomorrow.' Normally we can solve her problems with money, but this time the timeframes were to tight to get it to her.

Sun Feb 5 c

For the first time in three weeks I didn't get up in the night for tea and cake, a combination of the effects of a quieter prostate night and sleeping better under the big duvet. I had given the last piece of chocolate cake to Steve yesterday. I wasn't ready to return to church physically. L-A and I watched / listened to a remarkable service from Catch the Fire church. Different format from usual since this capped off the 6 days of prayer for our city, which we had also watched on line. Murray and Ash introducted us to a whole new level of worship and adoration of our great and powerful God. It cannot be possible for them to do this without a continual downpouring of ideas, inspiration, concepts and words from God himself. And they did it twice in the morning. For the first time I listened to the service, in almost perfect sound on headphones, sitting on the couch, and even when I was getting L-A her breakfast in the kitchen. In the afternoon I went for an eye test at Cloverdale Eyecare. I had felt my eyes weren't focussing as well as they had. It might be possible for chemo to have caused this, or even my trip in Loblaws. But it turned out that my sight was as good as it had been when I bought my glasses nearly 6 months ago, based on reading text with each eye. In fact the optitian was surprised how well I was doing. So I decided not to have a full eye exam, which wouldn't have been covered by OHIP, and went on my way rejoicing. I had another helpful session with Sony customer service. Christopher explained how the system decides whether to turn on DSEE, based on the quality of sound coming through, and activates DSEE if necessary. He also told be how to keep the headphones playing if I take them off my head. The default is that they stop, but I prefer them to continue because I will normally be back soon.

Sat Feb 4    Med

I was feeling a little better than yesterday, but that doesn't mean I was good. At breakfast, Steve said he had found one of his pills on the table, and had taken it. He then wouldn't take the regular four in case he overdosed. I judged the worry of overdose to him was more serious than insisting on the pills. After breakfast was done I continued with the headphones setup. First I paired the headphones with the iPhone. Soon I was downloading the latest software to the Sony Headphones Connect app, which took a while. But once the app was running, I couldn't find the DSEE or noise cancellation software on the app. Had I searched harder I would have found it, but having had good support on the customer service chat line, I clicked on that, reaching Alexander, who rapidly told me where to find them. It was all quite logical. Soon I had turned on both of them. At that point I just wanted to hear some of my music through the headphones. So I paired the headphones with the computer. It would have remembered the new settings. The music sounded very good, as I sampled some of my favourites. I was happy! There are a few more options to explore on the app. But the phones are working, and that's what I needed to know today. I felt pretty dizzy as I prepared supper, so was extra careful not to fall, which could have been a disaster. After dinner we had planned to watch CTF on the final, and pre-recorded session on praying for our city, but it didn't come on, at least not at the advertized time. I fully charged the headphones overnight using a Blackberry charger, rather than just pluggin into a computer USB port.

Fri Feb 3    Med

This was the first day I really felt the effect of the chemo. As I made breakfast I was intensely tired. Although I could do things with extra determination, I just wanted to lie down. I had to plan the time of the call to the CAA. What I actually did after serving breakfast was to go back to bed for 90 minutes, and it helped. After coffee and a tartlet, I called the CAA, to hear they would be here in 23 minutes. In fact it was sooner. The serviceman came into the garage with his booster/battery checker. The battery checked out, and then when he asked me to start the car, it started on the first twist of the key. It appeared that I had left an indicator light on (or some other lights). So that was a relief, and I thanked him for his (free) service. There was half an hour before our regular lunch time. The first 5 minutes were spent pairing the headphones to my computer, something I had worried about, but everything worked instantly. I listened to some music (actually The Passion of the Christ from the Classical Gonk archive), and it sounded good. I walked across the room and sat on the couch and it still sounded good. At this point I haven't checked out the DSEE Extractive Audio Upscaling system, and don't know if it is always 'on,' or maybe it hasn't been on at all. Ditto the noise cancelling system. Time for lunch. After lunch I was feeling better than after breakfast so I continued studying the on line manual. Soon it became apparent that there was a lot more potential with the headphones than had so far been revealed. One interesting thing was that the outside of the right headphone was actually a touch-sensitive area where I could raise or lower the volume with my finger, and other other things I could do on the touch area once I had enabled them on the app. We had the app on L-A's iPhone and lots of instructions about what I could do with it, but I had two questions that weren't answered in the manual. Firstly, did I need to pair the headphones with the iPhone as I made the settings on the app. Secondly, would the headphones remember the settings? The most important settings were activating the noise cancelling system, and activating the DSEE Extractive Audio Upscaling system, the reason I had chosen these paricular headphones. I needed to speak to someone at Sony. The young man in Best Buy had given me wrong information, saying that the headphones were fully useable without the app. Well I guess it is partly useable, but someone might own the headphones for years, and miss many of the key capabilities. So I Googled 'Sony Headphones customer service,' and soon found a chat line, where I was first in line to speak to Gilberto. He immediately answered both my questions in the affirmative. It looked like I would have fun tomorrow continuing the process. I was pretty happy with Sony at this stage. Before dinner we three sat on the two couches and just relaxed and chatted. Not something I have done enough of, and very good for me.

Thu Feb 2

In the night when I happened to get up, I found Steve in front of the microwave, trying to remember how to operate it, with an egg in his hand. He dropped the egg and albumen came out. He talked about coffee, so i made him some (decaf). He walked the egg back to his bedroom, and then back to the kitchen. After breakfast I checked that paying off my Mastercard in full had gone through, because Paypal was going to collect the money from it for the first transfer to M-A. It had gone through, and yesterday they had collected the money, so she could now use it with no worries. They'd cancelled the second transfer so I was working on replacing the transfer with another. Also this morning Sikhona had released R5,000 into my FNB account. Bella had told us she needs new glasses to replace those which we bought her about 2 years ago, for which the prescription was now inadequate so when she gets a quote we will send the money. This time they will need to be progressive, a lot more expensive. I updated the spreadsheet which is tracking all expenses we feel should come from the MoD compensation for Mesothelioma, which now included my new Sony headphones. I was feeling extra tired, unusual for the morning, so after feeding L-A I went to bed and slept soundly. At about 1:15 I had a call, which woke me, from Shane at SCM Insurance, 905-554-6127, on behalf of Loblaws. He asked me questions about the fall, 2 days ago. He wasn't aware that there might be CCTV coverage. At the end of the chat, to my great surprise, he offered me a $300 store voucher, and $200 in cash for my inconvenience! TKoG. He insisted there were no conditions, like promising not to take my claim further should my tooth loosen. I accepted the very kind offer. An hour later he called back, ostensibly to double check our post code. Then he said he would be sending a form to be signed by me. Again I asked would this form nullify any further financial liability by Loblaws, and he admitted it would. I said he sould send it, and I would consider whether to sign. I will at least wait a reasonable time to see if any medical complications seem to arise. At 5, the car wouldn't start when I was hoping to go on a small errand. It seemed like a flat battery, though not completely dead. Tomorrow I will call the CAA unless the battery somehow recovers. We finished watching 'Slow Horses' on Netflix.

Wed Feb 1

In the night Steve again moved his TV onto its back. I asked him who he thouht would fix it this time and he said "Tony." I told him I wouldn't, but later relented. I have gained a little weight. After being about 123 Lb for sometime I was at 127 Lb. Is this a trend? Probably a blip. He was civilised at breakfast. I was feeling no effects yet of the Chemo, but as I ate my cereal and read the instructions for which pre and post chemo meds I should take, noticed I had failed to take Aprepitant an hour before treatment. And that was the higher dose - 125 Mg. I decided to take it with lunch today. So far I have seen no ill-effests. Amanda called and we had a very pleasant chat. She sounded very well. After lunch I drove to Shoppers to order Steve more Tamsulosin, and check out Garmin on a short run. Garmin worked well, and any more changes to additional settings I'll get from the software now on my computer. James and I had a great call and he made a good suggestion regarding my fall yesterday - that I or one of the Loblaws medically trained staff shuld obtain/view any CCTV coverage. I called and got Matt, one of Carly's colleagues, who was helpful, took the details, and said he would see if he could find any relevant footage, and call me back.

Tues Jan 31    Med

I left home by 7:45 for my first Chemo. L-A also got up to support me but I was feeling good. I was in on time, and amazingly only waited 10 minutes before being called into the chemo room. It was less than an hour so I was ready to go home by 11. No side effects yet! I drove from Kipling to Loblaws to buy cake. As I entered the store a man tossed his used cart into the middle of the lobby and I turned to say something to him although I was in no danger. However it did distract me and I didn't notice one of their large carpets was not flat on the floor. My right foot caught on it and I fell prostrate on my face. I have no memory of actually falling, which would have been normal. I remember feeling my front tooth hit the tiled floor, and my nose must have done the same because members of small crowd that saw the incident said I had a cut there. It was certainly bleeding. One of them kindly called the staff medical people, who came with ice and gauze, which was soothing. I could feel that my lip had been damaged, possibly pierced, by my remaining and important front tooth. Another member of the crowd said he had seen the whole incident and the edge of the carpet had definitely been raised off the floor before I fell. The incident happened about 12:45. One of the medics suggested calling an ambulance, but I was pretty certain I didn't need that, and didn't want another day in Etobicoke General. I would see Dr Makar this afternoon with L-A, and she would advise me. At this stage my cut lip wasn't sore. Soon I was well enough to get up off the floor (with the help of L-A's cane) and go shopping. I bought tartlets and a slice each of chocolate cake and carrot cake for my midnight snacks. I walked to the car feeling fine and drove home. At home I thought my eye was focussing a little less well than normal, and my lip didn't look too good and was getting sorer, so I called Loblaws and spoke to the medic who had attended me (who turned out to be the store manager Carly), 416-695-8990. She had aready started an incident report and had my name. She said I should get myself checked out and then get back to her. either way. Now lets look more deeply at this incident. I fell from standing and landed on my nose and mouth and forehead. Bone should have cracked; teeth should have been knocked out. Concussion? My hip or other lower part of my body should have been bruised. Bruises could have come up on my face the next day; there was no sign of them. With the blood I might have been carried off unconscious to the hospital. In fact I didn't lose consciousness for a second after falling. It was as if I was lowered to the hard floor gently by forces unknown. Only one explanation comes to my mind of what those forces were: angels, watching me from before I tripped and taking instant action. TKOG. I drove home without a problem. I opened the box with the Garmin that had arrived several days ago. At last I had some time to familiarise myself with it. It was somwhat different from the one that was stolen 2 years ago in a Worcester parking lot. I left it uploading maps and things while we went to see Dr. Makar, who wanted to see L-A after her recent fatty liver blood test. She is sending her to a specialist. L-A has lost 8 lbs since starting on her now diet just a week or so ago, and losing weight and drinking more water are the best things she can do for her liver. I told Dr Maker about my fall, and amazigly she said I didn't need to alert the hospital, because it really was not a fall but a trip. A fall is when there is no apparent reason other than a symptom of the cancer. She looked at my lip, warned that it would be sore and swell up for a day or so, but needed no treatment. We both left feeling relieved. We had the third part of the Thai curry for dinner, and lots of it. Garmin had finished uploading, and seemed good, though I couldn't get it to display a map of a new journey to destination. Maybe I would have to be on my way for that to happen. I was able that the map that was on the device already at least covered Toronto and Ottawa. Quite a day.

Mon Jan 30

Early on we heard a bang and a curse and found Steve had fallen backwards into the bath. Initially I never thought he would get out of there without the fire brigade, but with a combination of my encouragement and his residual strength he managed to move himself to a standing position. A little later I saw him through the bathroom open door having a pee. He had no trousers on; just his diapers. The diapers were still fully on as he peed. He had just made room for his penis under the side of the diaper. No wonder he would likely pee on the floor, which indeed he had done. He watched as I mopped it up with kitchen roll. I had woken up with the idea that fried egs and fried bread and prosciutto would be nice for Steve and me and help him not be so hungry for the rest of the day. It was tight, since L-A had an appointment with Dr Silver at 11. Before he had even finished the breakfast we saw a TIA was coming on, and persuaded him to use the walker, and get safely to bed before we left. With snow on the pathways at the foot clinic, and no parking spaces left, L-A went in alone with the walker. She was less happy when she re-appeared having not been able to raise me on the phone (it apprears likely I fell asleep), but she found the car. I phoned Dr Judah's office and his assistant said he would call me back after 6. Then I called the Source to hear that the Sony WH_1000XM4 had been replaced by a newer model, the WH_1000XM5, and they would have no stock for at least two weeks. Laurie-Ann had listened to the call and established that Best Buy had units available. I called the Best Buy call centre which confirmed they had at least 5 of the new XM5s at our local store. So after lunch I drove there and there they were in all their glory. A young Indian man from Mumbai assisted me. His previous job had been a year with the Arsenal Football Club and he loved Arsenal. After I had made the purchase, discovering there was no customer service help available from Best Buy unless one bought a 2 or 3 year total replacement warranty. I decided that since I wanted no future hassles I would pay ~$145 for the 3-year package. I was quite pleased with the basic price, $500, so this seemed reasonable. I drove home with the precious goods, not knowing when I would have the spare time actually to try out the phones, but they were already giving me pleasure as I set the package next to the Garmin. For the rest of the day Steve gave us none of the hassles that he had yesterday. We listened on line to the first of a 6-day series of special prayer events.

Sun Jan 29    Med

The news from Paypal was not so good this morning: 'Tony, please be informed that you have made the payment using your bank ending with 00 not **48. On the second transaction I see that you have made the payment as eCheck. In this case you can contact your bank and get the eCheck cancelled and initate a new transaction using the correct funding source. For the first transaction please make sure you have sufficient funds on the account ending with **00 so that you won't face an NSF fee charged from your bank. ' As soon as we had watched CTF, I got on the phone to Simplii and asked them to transfer sufficient cash to the savings account, which they did immediately. As far as e-Check is concerned they hadn't heard of it. I then replied to Paypal accordingly asking what can be done about the second purchase. Some time before we lunched, Steve found and ate raw a bagel. He then asked if he could have an apple, but instead started on a second bagel. At lunch time I served him soup and half a toasted bagel with roast beef. Has his stomach no limits?! We are two invalids looking after someone who is rapidly losing his mind and hearing, while becoming more cantankerous. In the afternoon while L-A prepared a Thai chicken curry for dinner, I responded to the Vacant Unit Tax Property Occupancy Declaration. Failure to show that a domestic residence has been lying unoccupied can now incur severe financial penalties, and the VTUP declaration is the way owners of properties avoid those penalties. Once I had the roll number and access code for Poulin it was all fairly plain sailing. Once that task was completed I got down to a more pleasant one. I am going to buy a very high quality pair of headphones to really enjoy my music into the distant future. This is my one fun purchase following the award of the MoD compensation. I had decided on the Sony WH_1000XM4, with its unique (?) DSEE Extractive Audio Upscaling system. The reason I had delayed the purchase thus far was I couldn't demonstrate that the Blue Tooth system on my main computer was working, though we had used it extensively through the August (MR230) unit in Poulin. But since then I had even forgotten how to set it up, or there was a fault either on the computer Blue Tooth or the August. In recent weeks I had attempted to get it working into the Leak Mini-Sandwich speaker. If I couldn't fix it, I planned to take my computer into The Source and have them test out the Blue Tooth facility with any pair of headphones. Today was my final attempt to prove all was well with my computer (and the August). I fiddled and fiddled, and suddenly the sound of the source music went off, as it would if the destination device was properly paired. I switched my attention to the Pyle amplifier, and held down the mode button set to Blue Tooth for several seconds. Suddenly music was coming through! I would no longer have to take my computer into The Source to check its Blue Tooth was working. Steve's condition was going from bad to worse, fast. He didn't want to sleep, day or night. He was talking continually in loud gibberish, with occasional animal noises. He was belligerent when challenged. Overnight he ate 8 of my Folic Acid pills. He has never taken our medications before. He left taps running several times. He moved a box of my financial records from the dining room to his room, though he hadn't tamper with them. He moved a carton of Vegan yoghurt from the 'fridge to the oven, though did not turn on the oven. I resolved to call Dr Judah tomorrow.

Sat Jan 28    Med

I was not attentive to Steve as he finished his breakfast. I went to give L-A her MLD, and heard a bang. Steve had had TIA24 and fallen off his chair. It was with some difficulty that I got him sitting on his walker, but when I pulled it backwards out of the kitchen, the chair slipped forward and I was unable to hold the weight and felt the ligaments in my leg and back stretch - the same ones as caused all the trouble back in 2018. Suddenly I was a worse case than he. I managed to pull the walker from under him, and then he was able to crawl to the couch. I was only able to move without severe pain with the help of a stick or his walker. By now L-A had arrived, and gave me some Stilpane, and Voltaren for my leg and back. I managed to serve L-A our breakfasts. The 4th R5000 had still not reached FNB, so I sent Bella R14,010 and transfered another R5000 from Simplii. Hopefully the R14,010 will give her some credibility with the school authorities. Paypal had mysteriously set my preferred linked bank account to my Simplii savings account, which had no cash in it. I communicated with Paypal by text, and they actually replied quite soon: 'I have reviewed your PayPal account. I see that you have made payment of $5000 USD to “Mirjana Meeks” where PayPal has upfronted the funds to the merchant and we have attempted to take the funds from your bank ending with **00 which is under processing. Need not worry, our system will automatically deduct the funds from your bank at the earliest.' I called Simplii and they confirmed no money had been taken from my accounts. L-A was in conversation with M-A so I broke in and recommended M-A not withdraw any more of the $US 5,000 she had received until the problem was sorted out; she had already paid her Mastercard. XE Transfers forwarded a message from Sikhona, the South African watchdog that ensures limits on money transfers into the country, saying that I had exceeded my monthy limit, but not to worry, they would forward the overpayments on 1 February. So I stopped worrying; the problems had been partly beyond my control. Hobbling around making lunch was a nuisance but not painful, using L-A's walking stick. I managed to get downstairs and back up with the soup. I made a chart of which of my new medications needed to be taken when. In the process I found they had forgotten to put in the folic acid, which I should have started on yesterday. As L-A had a long nap in the green chair, I decided to ensure I could still drive, by going to get the folic acid and some spring onions. It wasn't hard, though I parked illegally for both.

Fri Jan 27    Med

I collected my 7 prescriptions of anti-chemo drugs from Renforth IDA. They are: folic acid 1 mg, ondansetron 8mg, aprepitant 125 mg, aprepitant 80 mg, dexamethasone 4mg, prochlorperazine 5mg (which I have taken for nausea for months). I phoned V at Eringate Pharmacy and asked her the dosage of my B12 shots. It is 1ML. This data I passed to Dr Bradbuty using

Thu Jan 26    Med

I was a little apprehensive as I tried again to send the money to M-A. Paypal behaved as it did yesterday, ending with the same error message to the effect that the transaction could not be made at this time. No explanation as to why, or error code. At this point, L-A made a suggestion she had made yesterday but I had ignored: to switch from one transaction to two transactions of $US 5,000. She has never been a financial planner and is not a Paypal expert, but I decided to humour her. It worked! I have since done some checking any not found any restrictions on the transfer amount till $US 60,000. Yet both transfers indicated success. This feels awfully like TKOG. A couple of hours later M-A had received notifications of the transfers, though not the money itself, which remained in our bank account. I began to feel a warm glow, even joy, from being able to help our friend. I checked the UHN Portal and found I have a chemo session next Tuesday at 8:45 am. I copied the 7 prescriptions and took them to Renforth IDA. They will be ready tomorrow afternoon. Among Steve's clothes I found a brand new pair of sweat pants and they fitted him, and even looked good.

Wed Jan 25    Med

I was ready for my X-Ray at PMH by 10:15. With the benedit of hindsight I am glad not to have been shown the result by the technician, but you can see it now. The left lung is almost completely obscured by pleural fluid that can't be drained. When the time came to see Penny Bradbury she didn't keep me waiting, and soon had the X-Ray image from this morning up on the screen. It was worse than I have ever seen it. She was surprized I wasn't having even more problems breathing. She said the time had come to switch from immunotherapy to chemotherapy, the only questions were whether it should be immediate, or after the next CT Scan on 24 February - or sooner if she could organize it. I was all for making the switch as soon as possible. Here's a segment from the Health Update that L-A would send out tomorrow: 'Tony's mesothelioma cancer situation has been monitored by Dr. Penny Bradbury and team. Tony is not a surgical candidate at this time. The tumour seemed to be shrinking a little in some spots, although this did not continue. His latest chest X-Ray shows very little of his left lung visible, unobscured by pleural fluid. His most recent CT scan shows a continuing increase in the size of the tumour, as it presses against the lung. Tony will start chemotherapy this coming Tues 31 January. Tony is hopeful with a good attitude. The need to switch to chemo is disappointing, but it really can shrink tumours. Otherwise, Tony has been managing, but he experiences breathlessness while doing anything involving moving his body. Driving does not cause breathlessness. He takes regular rests to accomplish needed tasks. He has a palliative team that advises on his painkillers, and currently have kept him on Tylenol # 2s, and our new GP Dr. Amany Makar has continued Tony’s B12 injections. Tony continues to have taste issues with all kinds of foods, which spoil his enjoyment in some meals, but not most dinners. However, he has not lost any more weight.' Dr Bradbury gave me 7 prescriptions for drugs to counter the side effects of chemo, with detailed instructions. When I left the hospital armed with sesame snaps and Skor the snow was falling as forecast for a big storm. I had left the car in a disabled spot right in front of the station entrance at Kipling, so I only had to deal with clearing the snow off the car. For dinner we enjoyed a pork tenderloin stew with peppers. I wrote a list of the many additional things that must be done over the next few days. We had a connect group meeting at 7:30. At one stage we were asked had we experienced the joy of the Lord recently. I told how the process of being able to halp M-A, allowing her to get to the next phase of her life, had given me joy. It is the same when one is being used by the Lord to fulfill someone's prayers. I tried to send the loan money to M-A by Paypal but ran into problems. It was late and I was probably not very efficient.

Tue Jan 24    Med

I went back again to Eringate Clinic and Pharmacy. V knew what I was there for and she went and spoke to the pharmacy. Soon I was talking to them and they gave me the B12 prescription, only charging the $4:11 that Renforth would have charged. So now I know you aren't linked just to one Pharmacy to get the senior's discount. I took the B12 across to V and she gave me the injection. I dropped into Shoppers on the way home but they didn't have Steve's Trazodone yet. I queried it and discovered they had been assuming he was only having half a pill a day, whereas Dr Judah had authorized a full pill a month or so ago. We sorted it out by getting his receptionist and finally Dr Judah himself on the phone. Judah sent in a new prescription immediately, but it wouldn't be ready for an hour. I drove on to Loblaws to try and find cake or similar for snacking, ending up with 6 cranberry lemon muffins and 4 large slices of chocolate fudge cake, great for my after-midnight snacks. After lunch I solved the html problem of linking to a word doc on Sunday's journal by doing the key work on the Black Vista computer. The problem is that I am using Libre Office on my main computer, and it isn't perfect, particularly in incorporating non-HTML words or phrases in an HTML document. but saved me the major expense of MS Word when I upgraded to Windows 10. I had received a letter from UK Pensions saying that they were aware I had moved from South Africa to Canada, and was this permanent? I mailed the reply form.
We had known Mirjana (M-A) Meeks for well over a decade, enjoying her on-line courtship by Will Meeks from Tennessee, and attending their wedding in Ottawa in August 2012, I as Will's best man, and both of us as official witnesses. She had been a prayer partner for L-A throughout our mission to South Africa. Then in 2022 trajedy struck, as Will died from cancer on 17 January, the day we flew back from SA, just 9 1/2 years married, leaving M-A high and dry in Tennessee. Because of associations with Will's family, she needed to sell their house by April/May 2023. But her cash was close to exhausted and she was living hand to mouth in early 2023, with just a part-time job at Cracker Barrel. We had sent her $100 US around Christmas, but the bigger problem remained. Then our nest egg finally arrived in January from the MoD. From listening to one half of her regular video/prayer chats with L-A I realised we might be able to help her. It seemed she needed about $US 10,000 to be able to complete the sale of her house, and living expenses while this was done. Over the past few days I had found out more about her situation, and realized that what she needed was an interest-free loan, not a gift, and furthermore that was something we could supply without financial pain for us. This afternoon the three of us had a video chat and I proposed an interest free loan of $US 10,000 to be repaid from the proceeds of her house sale within 6 months. I said we would send the money quickly via Paypal.

Mon Jan 23    Med

I went to Eringate hopefully to collect my prescription for B12 shots, which Renforth IDA had sent over, but V was unsure of my wishes for it. I confirmed she should pass it to the Eringate pharmacy and I'll buy the drugs from them, thinking that this would not get me the ~free drugs benefit since it was a different pharmacy. But I had no choice with Lindholm being very rarely in his surgery. She said I should come back tomorrow. I helped L-A cook chicken thighs for dinner which were excellent. Dealing with Steve took extra patience, and at one point a raised voice on my part as he refused to leave the kitchen when L-A wanted to go to bed. His mental state is worsening.

Sun Jan 22 Family Conference 2023

Busy breakfast. I seemed to be rushing to clear the washing up, feed Steve and L-A and myself, vacuum, and be ready to leave for church by 10:45. As we entered the church I was pleasantly surprized when Murray called me Tony. He is now the head of a large network of churches world-wide in adition to this one, yet he knows the names of two of his least active members who have minimal roles. Ash brought the message: how big is your ask? In the gospels Jesus repeatedly encourages us to ask for anything we can imagine, and he will give it to us. At the end of her talk, anyone with a big ask in regard to their health and medical matters was invited to the front to pray for matters we had perhaps not thoughts ourselves worthy of in the past. So of course I went up, the realization coming to me that I am the perfect candidate, who hasn't believed in a complete cure for the cancer, even though many others have prayed for it. My ask has been far too small, but this is going to chnage. In my prayers for myself, and in my acceptance of prayers for me by friends I will expand my horizon to to a complete cure, allowing me to live out my natural life with Laurie-Ann. I will also pray for the cessation of the continual breathlessness and fatigue, symptoms of the cancer. Catherine, Bob and Paula joined us for a while, and L-A told them of her recent evangelistic chat with Steve, to which he still said "No." We came home via Renforth IDA where I belatedly submitted my dental prescriptions, but was pleased they were ready in 10 minutes. I was relieved Tara hadn't beaten us home for the family conference; I still had a lunch to prepare and other household things. She came earlier than I had expected, and John arrived in his car with Kennedy shortly after. I was really happy John was joining us, though he could only be with us an hour before he would be returning to Ottawa, where he volunteered that as (one of) Pierre Poilievre's senior staffers he had 800 people reporting to him. I had put out the agenda and the one pager on 'What to do when Steve dies in the first 7 days.' When we 4 were seated I suggested Tara lead the meeting and I would take minutes. As these things were agreed I became less stressed over the dynamics of the meeting. Everyone was co-operating. Tara started on the ajenda. Here are a few of the decisions that were made. We should investigate air tags for Steve's jackets; a few pairs of elastic topped trousers will be bought; We may need to engage professional sitters if we are out of the house more than 3 hours, but first we should see if Ted would consider providing the service to his old friend; Tara will cover for us when we go to Collingwood so we both gat a much needed holiday; Tara will get a date for a pre-planning meeting with Glendale; Steve's tax return will be done by John's mother's accountatnt in Pickering, which will lead neatly to the year-of-death paperwork; John will look into second hand hospital beds; To offset Steve's TV being knocked over we need a wall mount, and it is possible John has one; We can expect Warren Kinsella to let Tara have an immediate week off following Steve's death.
Before he left for Ottawa, we watched a touching father daughter chat as John and Kennedy relaxed together. Then John was gone, and Tara soon after. Around 5:30 L-A said she needed to go to bed, but hoped to get up and would eat her dinner then. The dinner was meatloaf leftovers to which I would add steamed potatoes, cauliflower and peas. I had sliced the cold meatloaf onto three plates. In the previous 2 hours Steve had asked me for food, and I given him strudel. Steve wandered into the kitchen and saw the meatloaf on the plates. He made to take the small slice on my plate. I offered him the larger slice on his own plate, and said he could eat it cold now, or wait 10 minutes to have his complete hot meal. He opted for the former and took the plate back to his room! I continued the final stage of cooking the vegetables in the steamer. After 5 minutes I went to his room and found him lying on the bed having eaten two thirds of his meatloaf with his fingers. I looked him in the eyes and asked if he would like to have the rest of his meal hot. He smiled at me and said yes. 5 minutes after that I called him into the kitchen and he ate up. When I asked him if he was still hungry he said "No." However, as he passed the counter, where L-A's meat loaf still lay, cold, he made to grab it, but stopped when I remonstrated with him.

Sat Jan 21    Med

I checked the times of my 3 medical meetings - two pharmacies and an off-OHIP dental surgeon. It turned out I should have had Renforth Pharmacy fax Eringate Pharmacy the original prescription for B12 shots. So they have now done that and I should get my shot on Monday. I turned up at 1pm at the surgery of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Dr Santino Bambara, within the Cloverdale Dental Group. I mentioned that he had been brought in by Dr Ryan for the extraction because of the immunotherapy drugs I am on. He asked me what drugs they were, and I was surprised he didn't know, but suggested he ask Dr Ryan. He went out for a while, returning with the information and a warning that there were risks associated with the surgery. I said I had been told this and was prepared to accept the risks. Soon he was giving me local anaesthetics. He went out for 15 minutes for them to work, and then got to work. He brandished a handful of extraction pliers, but as he did the job I felt no pain. There were some strange sounds as parts of the tooth broke off. He was joking with his assistant most of the time which I felt comforting; it suggested things were going according to plan. Afer a while he announced it was all done, though I could feel there was something large still stuck in my mouth. He said it was a roll of gauze and should stay there half an hour. He gave me a prescription for Tylenol No 3 for pain, and Amoxicillin 500 MG for infection. I asked if I could eat when I took it out and he said yes. So I returned to the waiting room for the duration. I attempted to pay the bill, $566, but for some reason the credit card machine didn't like my PIN, but the receptionist asked me for the card and keyed in a bunch of numbers from it, and managed to make it work without the PIN! Half an hour later I was munching carefully on sweet sour pork and noodles from the takeaway. It was around then that the jaw started hurting. though nothing I couldn't handle. I should have taken the prescriptions to Renforth IDA on my way home, but I didn't. When I got home I should have read the other info he gave me for immediate wound care, but I didn't. I just wasn't feeling very efficient, and instead suggested to L-A that I didn't feel up to doing anything useful but could handle the next episode of 'Slow Horses.' on Apple TV.

Fri Jan 20

As on every day in the last week or so, my first action after dressing was to check the bank account. Even when the MoD finally sent the money, there was still a potentail problem with the National Bank network interpreting the bank codes I had provided, and sending to the right bank account. These had always been where I thought any difficulties would lie. So when I checked the bank account I really wasn't expecting anything different. Imagine my happiness therefore when I saw the full payout from my claim just sitting in the account, like it was the most normal thing in the world! I didn't rush into our bedroom to tell my sleeping wife. I thought I would let her know in a way she wouldn't be expecting. I copied her on thank-you emails to Kate Leach and Alan Pearson, and Ian McCallum, and waited till she would tell me the news. Which happened an hour or so later, and she whispered it since Steve was sleeping on the couch. In the morning I made a spreadsheet to track the progress of the fund, and ensure its use for legitimate purposes. The one who needs this money is L-A when I'm gone, and I will make every effort to ensure that happens. We had our regular lunch and Steve had a large plate of hearty soup and half a bagel with beef, which is normally quite sufficient for him. I was surprised to see him munching into an untoasted English muffin, which he finished. It was in a packet on the counter and he couldn't resist it! His previous meal, breakfast, had been baked beans on fried bread with a poached egg on top. Not much more than an hour later he was again foraging, so I offered him some very dry poppyseed loaf with a cup of tea. He ate all the poppyseed before taking some tea. In the evening we both paid off our credit cards completely - the balances that had acrued since we had paid them off with the non-registered funds from the AiO. My next step is to replace most of that same fund with the money from the MoD.

Thu Jan 19

Bath morning, followed by toenail cutting morning, using for the first time James' magnifying light. The magnifying capability was not a major bonus because I couldn't achieve a perfect focus with any of the 5 lenses, but the light was extremely helpful and I successfully cut all the toes. I was able to find the waste collection schedule for 2023 online and printed it. Unlikely as this sounds, it doesn't accurately follow 2022, calling for the recycling bin yesterday, which I'd what I put out. Although I took an anti-nausea pill at breakfast, by mid-day I had fairly severe stomach pains, reminiscent of indigestion. There were some old Rolaids in the bathroom cabinet, so I took one. Had to chew it and some of it ended up in the big hole in the tooth that will be extracted tomorrow. Nevertheless the pain had largely subsided by mid afternoon. Dr Silver's office called to say that my new orthotic was in. This was left foot only, where I had pain from the arch, and had taken it in on 3 January. I made a special trip to collect it. I called the contact number at Sony, leaving a message to say that I was very interested in the WH_1000XM4 headphones, but was concerned because the associated infomation on their site suggested that the DSEE extractive audio upscaling facility replaces Bluetooth, and I wondered how the headphones would receive a signal from the laptop.

Wed Jan 18

In the early hours, after getting up for a pee, I tried to sleep on my back, which a few months ago was most comfortable for me, but more recently I've been sleeping on my side. It was an effort to breathe while on my back. In my dozy state I felt that if I fell asleep, I might stop breathing. So I turned over onto my right side, and soon must have gone to sleep. I had forgotten about putting the garbage bins on the side of the road yesterday, so as soon as I was dressed this morning I put the compost bin by the road. The truck arrived at exactly the time I got it there, earning me a big grin from the driver. I then managed to put out the recycling bin instead of the garbage bin. We don't have this year's chart yet. So we are now out of sync. Not sure what I'll do about this. I asked ChatGPT about headphones with dynamic decompression, and the technology is available. They recommended a couple of models that use it: Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II, and Sony WH_1000XM4. I investigated both. The Bose seems to depend on additional external apps that run on an associated Apple device. Their manual and associated literature do not mention the process. Sony calls it DSEE extractive audio upscaling, and it replaces (?) the Bluetooth link with the source. It is available around half price from Amazon's refurbished catalogue. I need to have a chat with a tech specialist at Sony. My dizziness and breathlessness seem to be getting worse and I worry about getting to PMH next week. Tara acknowledged to L-A my message about the family conference. We had Ratatouille for dinner. James called while I was helping to make it and recommended the movie of the same name, so we enjoyed it after dinner.

Tue Jan 17

This from Veterans UK: 'Good morning Mr Copple I have been in touch with our finance dept. this morning and hopefully the payment will be with you very shortly. I do not work every day so last week a colleague had to validate your home address for banking purposes, so this having been done, finance confirmed the payment will be on its way to you in the next few days. If there are any issues we shall certainly be in touch immediately. Thank you for your patience - Kate Leach'
So that sounded like good news. Bella's money reached FNB so we sent her a stack of medical and school payments. Then I sent another R5,000 to FNB to be able to keep up the weekly allowance. Bella is going to need a R17,000 payment for school fees, but for this she may have to wait for our nest egg. I took L-A to a dental cleaning at Cloverdale in the afternoon. She was very tired when she got back. We had a simple dinner that didn't require her involvement. M-A called her after dinner. This was the first anniversary of Will's death. They talked for several hours, probably the longest call they had ever had. I updated my message to Tara with an agenda for our family conference on Sunday plus a 'Waht to do when Steve Dies' article.

Mon Jan 16

At breakfast I aked Steve if he would like some of his ashes scattered anywhere, and he was non-commital. They will probably go beside Carol's in the grave. L-A had two dental appointments with Dr Ryan to fit her third and fourth crown. I came home after dropping her for the first appointment, but in the afternoon I stayed out visiting the European bakery. I bought way too much and even ate some in the car while waiting for her. They had poppyseed roll but it was inferior to what we have bought in the past. Steve was very reserved all day, sleeping most of the time. I worked on 'What to do when somebody dies,' finding some useful material by, a Canadian cremation company. She was very tired by early evening and went to bed. I wrote an email to Kate Leach at Veterans UK:
'On 3 January you wrote: It does however take a little time to set up overseas payments since they go via our overseas service provider. As soon as we have confirmation that the account has been setup, we will let you know Really sorry to pester you, but has the account with your overseas service provider been set up yet? If not, are we talking weeks, or months?'

Sun Jan 15

Quite early I went into the garage with Steve's car keys (which he cannot use since he has no valid driver's licence). The car started instantly. The keys must have been designed to be resistant to water damage. I was impressed. At breakfast I asked Steve if he would prefer to be cremated of buried, and he opted for cremation. I didn't feel well enough to go to church this morning but I went anyway on the grounds that I would feel just the same at home. Murray preached on the Lord's Prayer, and I spoke to him afterwards, with wonder that he is able to handle preaching twice on a Sunday. When I got home, L-A told me Steve had been hallucinating about getting a job that paid time and a half, he had dressed himself in outside clothes, put on shoes, and now he just had to wait outside to be picked up. Had she not been there, that's what would have happened. At one time in the afternoon he found L-A's towel, drying after she washed her hair. He tried to spread it on the floor, but I took it from him and back to the bedroom. A few miutes later her referred to me as 'old sourpus.' I sent Lynn and birthday letter (tomorrow she would reply in very friendly fashion). I thanked Neesa for her card card for Christmas.

Sat Jan 14

I got my B12 shot from V in the Eringate Clinic. James and I had an excellent video conversation on world events as I watched him eat his breakfast, 2 fried eggs on toast and ham, getting amost as much pleasure as he did, but I can't any more. L-A had made an excellent carrot and parsnip soup for lunch. Late afternoon I was in the basement doing Steve's washing. As I removed the last few garments from the washer and put them in the drier, I heard a chinking sound. I looked down and had a real shock; my car keys were in the machine! Before even considering how they could have got there, I had visions of how we could survive the next few weeks without the car, as I obtained a new set of keys. It was a nightmare. Yet all my worst fears turned out groundless. I couldn't imagine how the keys got in there. None of my pants were in the wash, and I never keep the keys in pants pockets. I went upstairs to the bedroom to the place I always keep the keys - and they were there! The keys in the washer were a second set I dodn't know existed. Steve must have found them and put them in one of his pockets. I always go through his pockets before washing clothes but I must have missed them this time. I couldn't imagine the keys would have survived the wash. I went into the living room and pressed the 'where is the car?' key, and faintly from the basement I heard the three beeps on the horn! Tomorrw I would see if they would start the car.

Fri Jan 13

Snowfall overnight brought our contractors out this morning, and I managed to ask one of them please not to scatter salt over our porch steps, which then gets walked into the house. I called Cloverdale Eyecare, and asked about eyetests. It turned out my next free test would be in August, but cost $98 if I paid to have it now. Then the receptionist came up with a better plan, where I come in on Sunday and see the same optometrist who did the work on my glasses, all under OHIP. I spent a lot of time today on an end-of-year task on my journal; getting each year correctly to link to all the other years. It's a very finicky HTML problem, but I finally got it working. It became harder to do as I changed the name from African Journal to Journal. For dinner we had the 4th full meal based on the prime rib, the last two being stir fries where L-A had marinated the beef to soften it. It may be the last time we'll have a major beef meal, under L-A's new diet.

Thu Jan 12    Med

After Steve was fed, but before Laurie-Ann was, I drove to the nearest National Bank. After about 15 minutes the clerk gave me a yellow sticky with a temporary PIN, and directed me to one of their ATMs. I was to log on with the temporary PIN, and then key in my new PIN twice. It all worked. I then drew out $500 in cash from the Mastercard. Next I drove to the CIBC ATM on Rathbone and deposited the $500 in Simplii. At home Steve had been causing trouble with his wanderings and curiosity. In his mind, he's helping with household chores. I found him emerging from our bedroom with a bar of my chocolate, one which my taste buds could tolerate. It actually made me angry and I threw the remnants of the bar at him; not a good idea or good carer behaviour. However, by lunch he seemed to have forgotten the incident. I made an XE transfer from Simplii to FNB in Worcester of $R,500, about $400. This will be sufficient to cover Bella's immediate needs for hospital fees and university fees. She will get the money 3 days before we had previously told her based on waiting for Liam's rent. In the afternoon I opened up the main hose on the vacuum cleaner, found it was a third full of carpet dirt as I had suspected, removed the dirt with a bent wire coat hanger, and put the hose back in place. The vacuum cleaner then performed just fine. Made me happy. Steve continued to give us a hard time with his antics for the rest of the day. Here are some other strange things he has done recently. Foraging in the fridge at night and eating cold leftover roast potatoes; while sitting at the dinner table he'll pick up his pill bottles and examine them minutely, sometimes taking them out of the bottle, and then forget which pill basket they came fron: the morning one or the evening one; after a dinner when he had declined another helping, as he walked past the counter on his way to his room, taking an additional slice of pie and eating it with his fingers. This had nothing to do with whether he was still hungry, and everything to do with the pleasure of taking food that hadn't been offered to him. Taking his teapot (which he pees in and has developed scale) to the kitchen in the middle of the night and trying to remove the scale with one of our sharp kitchen knives; having long conversations on an imaginary phone with his former colleagues in CN; when frustrated with his TV because he can't remember how to change channel, pulling the whole TV over so that the power and HDMI cables come out. So far the TV has survived; refusing to take out his teeth after dinner, thus risking losing them during the night and not being able to eat solid food. His hearing seems to have reduced considerably over the past week making it necessary to repeat everything, as he makes wild guesses as to what had been said to him. His wasn't the only sense that was declining in the family. My eyesight was now making it harder even to read the computer screen. I would like to have another eye test and find out if anything is changing.

Wed Jan 11    Med

When I got up about 1:30 am for my midnight snack, Steve was soundly asleep on the white couch. I didn't disturb him as I made tea and sat on my favourite seat on the new couch. I slept more than an hour, and when I woke he had gone back to his room. I made a similar breakfast to yesterday's, but with baked beans added. Bella needs cash for her new term at university, but we are waiting for the 15th of the month when the $1,500 condo rent will come through. Even then it will take 10 days to reach her, jeopardising her standing as a student. The only answer is to redeem cash from a credit card, to give us some flexibility while we await the funds from the MoD. So it's urgent I do this. I drove to the CIBC ATM and tried redeeming cash using two ancient passwords from Allstream. Didn't work. I went on to M&M for a pick-up. Back home I called Solutions Banking and they said if I go to a National Bank they will change my PIN while I wait. There wasn't time to do this today. I got lunch for the family and then went to my appointment with Dr Makar. I was expecting bad news about the prostate because because most doctors only call you in when it's bad news. But it wasn't. The ultrasound and transrectal didn't show any worrying trends, and Dr Makar said we needn't take any action, but monitor it a year from now. We really like this doctor! She gave me a new prescription for Flomax and I went home via the IDA where they filled it. I noticed my letter for Lindholm was still on the floor where I left it. One of the pharmacists said he thought he would be in next week, and this week was working on the telephone. I looked up Flomax on line, and the article recommended taking the pill 30 minutes after the same meal each day. On the news tonight was that the book Harry and Meghan had been published today and become an instant bestseller. We decided to watch the Netflix documentary of the same title tonight.

Tue Jan 10    Med

I must have taken the Flomax at the wrong time, or without food. or some other transgression because I had a terrible night; at least 10 times to the toilet. Because I was so tired last night I set my alarm for an hour later, and appreciataed the lie-in. About 9:30 I served Steve with fried mushrooms, scrambled egg and toast, and I must say it was excellent, with no taste problems for me. Steve loved it. As he finished, Allison arrived. When she had finished washing him, he came back into the kitchen, although his breakfast was complete. I went shopping at about noon, to the pharmacies and to Metro. At Shoppers I bought three nutritional bars. At the IDA I ordered more Tylenol #2 to be obtained from Dr Banerjee. I stuck the Dear John letter for Lindholm under the screen that separated his area from the pharmacy. I was home in time to feed Steve and then take L-A to the Ontario Diagnostic Centre. I had told them when I booked it on the phone that it was for a pelvic ultrasound, but when the receptionist saw the requisition she saw it was nothing of the sort, but to check her liver. I had had my tests on my mind when I booked the appointment. Anyway, she was kind to us (TKOG) and said she would try and fit her in. We only waited about 15 minutes. On our way home we first stopped at a European bakery on North Queen. L-A had bought beigli there in the past, but they had never heard of it now. in compensation I bought three Ukrainian/European treats. Then on to Loblaws. I wanted fruit cake - but they had none! So I bought some alternatives for my midnight feasts. I also bought Yorkshire puddings to go with our beef. Back home we were relieved to see Steve sleeping on the couch, since we had left him eating his lunch. He had been foraging - most of the cereal boxes were scattered and there was a half-eaten English muffin on the counter. A Quest energy bar I had left on the Deacon's bench was missing. I was feeling stronger than this time yeterday, thank goodness.

Mon Jan 9    Med

I called the accounting department at Poulin and apologised that my condo fees last week had bounced. He hadn't noticed, but said he'd check and get back to me by email. This he did. I took Steve to the hairdresser's and we both had cuts from 2 stylists - Ben was on a day off. I had forgotten they don't accept credit cards but one of the stylists mentioned tha LCBO across the corridor gave cash-backs, so we ended up with a bottle of Italian Cavit Moscato, one of the few on their shelf that isn't Pino Grigio. My stylist was Hungarian but when she tried to talk with Steve they didn't connect. Steve's excuse was that he only spoke pigeon Hungarian. Both haircuts were acceptably good. In the afternoon I went to the Ontario Diagnostic Centre for an ultrasound on my abdomen, and a transrectal, ordered by Dr Makar. These are designed to check the status of my enlarged prostate. The transrectal deserved the technician's warning that this was going to hurt, as first he pushed two lunbricated fingers up my rectum, followed by a camera. I wasn't tempted to ask to see the pictures; will leave that to Amany Makar. Back home we worked on a large prime rib that would feed us for some time. I wasn't expecting too much, but come dinner time I was pleasantly surprised with the flavour and tenderness of the meat, which had been in the oven with a vegetable selection for several hours. After dinner however I felt really fatigued, and not much company for my sweetheart, as we studied Luke and prayed to our faithful Lord. I took one Flomax pill before closing my eyes; for the previous 2 nights Flowmax had given me way more rest and absense of trips to the toilet than usual.

Sun Jan 8

I completed a letter to Dr Lindholm thanking him for his medical services for most of the last year, but saying the time had come to move on to another clinic. My stated reason was that the new clinic had a full-time receptionist so we would be able to communicate with the doctor. I didn't list our other reasons for being dissatisfied. He was always too busy to talk. Trying to get more hot flash pills for L-A had proved an impossibility. He had introduced a new system which relied on text and video on the patient's phone. Trying to phone him or leave a message was close to impossible. He had made no progress with L-A's disability tax certificate, but had not communicated with us on it. L-A was well enough for us both to go to church. and it was a very special service. The complete management of the church welcomed Murray and Ash and celebrated how they had been chosen. Two of the readings were taken from the Passion translation. Oil was poured over Murray and Ash's heads (Ash used a towel before she spoke). There were many heartfelt prayers, that included Steve and Sandra as they become ambassadors, who will visit many of the 50 CTF churches in Europe, but will still be here a couple of Sundays every 6 weeks. I told Steve on the way out I had never witnessed such a service before, and encouraged him with brushing up on his European. There were sweet treats galore after the service and I collected a lemon coconut square and hot chocolate for me (both delicious), and nothing for L-A under her new abstinence routine. We had seen Bob and Catherine and Paula before the service. Switching to the end of the day we watched S4 E10 of Yellowstone on Prime Video. The later seasons switch to another streaming service. This is a magnificent production.

Sat Jan 7    Med

We went to our new doctor, Amany Makar, for a 'flu shot for L-A and a B12 shot for me, continuing the sequence interupted when I was late for Lindholm a month ago. 'V' is the name of the doctor's efficient assistant and she gave me the shot. Dr Makar had the results back from L-A's blood test on Thursday, and it showed all results normal except her liver. So now she has more tests. Back home after coffee and cake I got the short ladder from the garage and successfully inserted a LED bulb, 40 watts equivalent from 4 watts, and therefore a lot less heat generated. I had bought 2 bulbs, so I put the second one in the other kitchen light fitting. And no shocks this time! I suspect the first bulb blew because it overheated inside the small glass shade. Hopefully this won't happen again Next job was to stop the leak in the hose connection from the back was tap. I tried tightening it with a wrench without success. I did run the water for 15 minutes to water the little tree in the balmy weather. We have no other lengths of compatible hose so maybe I will buy some. A few days ago I had done the totalling on my 'giving' spreadsheet since our arrival in Canada, and found it to be $10,480, a significant part of which would have been Bella's expenses. Today L-A calculated the total we had spent on food for the three of us as $14,527. That includes Steve's food, which he reimburses us for. If he is using a third of the food, that leaves $9.733 spent on us. Since we buy quite a lot of food just for us, like L-A's non-dairy products, the amount we are spending on charity isn't far off from what we are spending on our food. We now have a date from Tara for a family conference, Sunday 22 January, when we will review with Tara (and John?) our first year of caregiving. I updated an agenda I had written a week ago, and got comments from L-A, before sending it to Tara.

Fri Jan 6    Med My 9th infusion

I needed to leave the house by 9:15 so breakfast was rushed, but it all worked out well enough. I arrived on time in the Chemo waiting room. Quite soon after receiving my pager I went down to Tim Hortons, and got a breakfast sandwich and coffee. The bacon and egg in the sandwich tasted normal, so what's happening differently at home? After an hour or so I struck up a conversation with the woman next to me and she was quite ready to chat. I asked her what she thought about the 5 days so far that the Republicans had failed to elect a speaker, since that item was on the TV news. Her reply was dismissive of politicians generally. After that we talked about many things. She was from Scotland and still had gaelic connections. She had fairly serious skin cancer, and had had two growths surgically removed from her legs. She came in by train from Barrie. Her name is Gillian with a hard G. I asked about her religion and it is Presbyterian. I asked if I could pray for her, which I did, and then she prayed for me, which I didn't expect. Shortly after that my pager went off, and I probably will never see her again, something we had just discussed. My nurse for the infusion was Carrie, and it took a couple of hours without incident. On the way out of the hospital I bought sesame snaps and two chocolate bars and ate most of them on the way to Kipling.

Thu Jan 5    Med

We had been given three requisitions for tests by Dr Makar, two for L-A; one for me. We went to the lab across from Etobicoke General Hospital, and Laurie-Ann got hers done. We went home via Renforth IDA and filled some presciptions for L-A, including the hot flashed medicine that had precipitated the problem that led to our switching from Dr Lindholm. After lunch I went to the lab on North Queen but found they work by appointment, so I made one for Monday at 2pm.

Wed Jan 4

My main concern with my 3 weekly visit to PMH today was getting there without physical mishap, but I made it, despite the rain, arriving for my blood draw on time. I had drunk a whole Monster before leaving home and that helped. Then quite a wait before my thoracic oncology appointment, but I'm used to that. First Dr Fowler came in with a Spanish trainee, Carlos, and checked my vitals. I told her that for the past 2 - 3 weeks my breathlessness and fatigue and weakness had been twice as bad. She tested the strength in my arms and legs and asked a bunch of questions. She mentioned the possibility of thyroid issues and said she would check the latest blood results when she had them. According to the resuts I see on the UHN Patient Portal, the thyroid is not checked in my regular blood tests. Dr Fowler then brought in Dr. Bradbury. My main quesion was abut the general rogression of the illness. Can I expect the deterioration I have seen to continue till I'm unable to move, or is it caused by separate activities and might it be dealt with. I don't think she knows the answer at this point, or whether the condition os caused by mesothelioma or by immunotherapy. She is concerned about my ability to cope as a caregiver in the future and said she would organize a social worker to advise me. We talked about our new Dr., Dr Makar, and I felt we should see how she shapes up. If she doesn't there is the Toronto Western Hospital Family Health Care Team to consider, and provide services like a GP. In all it was an excellent meeting. I got hoem in time to cook the rice for the stew L-A had prepared.

Tue Jan 3

First thing, I checked email and was delighted to read this from Norcross: 'Good morning and Happy New Year to you too We have had possible problems with emails today so you may have two from us with the same details, this being the second. It was to confirm that all the details we have sent to our finance department are correct so please do not worry. It does however take a little time to set up overseas payments since they go via our overseas service provider. As soon as we have confirmation that the account has been set up, we will let you know.
Many thanks, Kate Leach, Payments & Maintenance Team 2, Veterans UK'

Needless to say this message changed my state. I felt an immediate improvement in wellbeing. For the rest of the day I had extra energy and resilience. For breakfast I wanted to confirm what happened yesterday, so cooked up beans on fried bread in the wok, with the beans well fried, the way I have always loved them best. Same problem. Just didn't have the taste of Heinz original beans. Steve however ate them without hesitation. We all bundled into the car to see Dr Silver at 11. I used the 'time' facility on the parking machine, just booking us in for half an hour for $2.25, instead of $9. I suggested to Dr Silver that Steve not see him so often, since it is so hard for him just to get into the car, and in my view his toenails were not bad enough to warrant coming so often. I also asked him to adjust my left orthotic instep a little lower. At the checkout I booked Steve's next appointment for early April, 3 months ahead. At 4 we had our first appointment with Dr Amany Makar at her surgery within the Eringate pharmacy. Her receptionist was there full time. She started by getting basic details down, and I gave her the written summaries of our medical situations which we had prepared over the last few days. She took full account of these, asking us questions arising. She picked up on things like why no-one was monitoring my prostate and arranged a transrectal examination with a specialist. She was efficient and friendly, and gave us her time without rushing. At one point she asked who was our family doctor, and I answered, "You are." Laurie-Ann got the three prescriptions she needed, one of which had precipitatied the switch from Lindholm. We went to Renforth IDA on the way home and collected all three drugs. L-A had had a painful day, as if her strongest medications were insufficient for the task.

Mon Jan 2

Baked beans on toast has been a favourite comfort food of mine forever. For breakfast I subjected Steve to it and he liked it. For me it seemed tasteless. Maybe I'll fry the beans next time. L-A slept in till after 12, trying to get rid of the final manifestations of the virus, and before she went to sleep tonight I put Vicks on her chest, reminding me of the Avian Park girls, particularly Jamelia. I emailed K Leach at Veterans UK to be sure he would see mine of 28 December, and to ask if the money had already been sent. He is back from vacation tomorrow.

Sun Jan 1

I awoke feeling ready to go to church for the first time since 4 December. Not so L-A. When I arrived I spotted Catherine, and waved. She waved back. They have been in Prince George at the bedside of her brother-in law Lawrence for several weeks but came back last night. Today was history at Catch the Fire as Steve and Sandra officiated for the last time before becoming ambassadors, which will take them visiting the many CTF churches in Europe. The service ended with two fire tunnels, one at the front which I went through, and another at the back for youth. I found Bob and Catherine keeping the back tunnel up and whispered "Welcome back" to them before going home. I came home via the CIBC ATM and banked Steve's food cheque for $250. At home I paid the minimum on my MasterCard. Tomorrow we'll be billed the AiO interest but won't get too close to the overdraft limit. At lunch I asked Steve if he'd like a dessert and he said "Yes." I also had one - a rice pudding. Its taste was very different from what it always had been, and I persevered only to get the nutrition. The taste buds are going further downhill. We had finished our dinner that evening but were still seated at the table, when we both noticed that Steve looked as if he were falling a sleep. We weren't able to rouse him at first. It had all the hallmarks of a TIA coming on. We were able to get him standing and holding his walker, though his legs looked as though they could collapse any time. I guided the front of the walker, and he gingerly brought up the rear as we moved slowly towards his bedroom. I was very relieved when he got there and was lying on the bed, and we hadn't had to try and lift him off the floor.

Tony Copple
Copples in Western Cape