Tony’s Daily Journal - 2022

See my daily journal for 2018, for 2019, for 2020, for 2021, and for 2023.

On 18 January 2022, Laurie-Ann and Tony Copple returned from South Africa. This daily journal begins a few weeks before leaving, and focuses on their time in Etobicoke looking after her father Steve. Please start to read at the bottom. Latest postings are at the top.

Jan 2022 | Feb 2022 | Mar 2022 | Apr 2022 | May2022 | Jun 2022 | Jul 2022 | Aug 2022 | Sep 2022 | Oct 2022 | Nov 2022 | Dec 2022

Sat Dec 31 - New Year's Eve

We were invited for a party (!) tonight with Dale Bolton, L-A's pastor at Thornhill Vineyard in the 90s. I spent quite a while with Google Maps trying to figure out how to get to his house in Thornhill. I drove to Loblaws to get a loaf of their in-store baked white bread with which L-A made her special egg sandwiches which we had for lunch plus turkey soup. There were two sandwiches left over which I wrapped in clingwrap that Steve would eat when he got hungry, since we didn't expect to be home till 9. After lunch I helped L-A dress into her prosthetic bra. We were ready to leave about 4:30. It was one of those parties when people come and go throughout the time of the party. I was concerned about how many things could go wrong. I was uncertain of the Google Maps result. We had no phone number for Dale. Would there be anywhere for us to sit at the party; there were 40+ expected? I had no memory of anyone there I might remember. But none of these concerns materialised. I was able to park temporarily just outside the front door so L-A didn't need her walker; just her stick. When I got into the house she was already thick with a group of ladies, with a glass of wine in her hand. I was offered wine and aperitifs including brie. Soon I was chatting with a man called Rock who was husband to the woman next to L-A. And so the party proceded, with more aperitifs appearing as people arrived. L-A was having a good time as some people people she remembered and some she didn't took a seat beside her. Around 7:30 the cakes came out and we each had some. By 8 L-A felt we should be getting home. I got our coats with the help of Dale - the ony time I was able to talk with him, the host in demand. L-A said our goodbyes and we were on our way home.

Fri Dec 30

Tara and Kennedy slept in till about noon. Then for the next 3 hours we had something that felt remarkably like Christmas, with presents being given to all. Kannedy even said "Yes" to receiving her present from me, now her mom was there to encourage her. L-A got two bottles of wine from Tara. Steve got clothes and wine from Tara. In the middle of it we had turkey soup, which L-A had made this morning. I began on the first tentative steps needed for the Navy Reunion Book, as I recount our history of the last decade. Yesterday I had sent Bella R5,000 for hospital expenses, and today I wired a further R5,000 to FNB to cover the weekly allowance and other inevitable expenses. This will put us near our Simplii overdraft limit, so I should get food money from Steve to help a bit. At 4 we both met Dr Amany Makar, Family Physician, and 'signed on with her' at the Eringate walk-in clinic. It was night and day compared with Lindholm. She took our history and read the versions we had prepared. We came away with a bunch of appointments and prescriptions. I thanked her receptionist for being efficient in organising the meeting.

Thu Dec 29

While I was fresh, first thing in the morning, I attempted to change a light bulb in the kitchen, which had popped 2 days ago. I left power on the light so I could see what I was doing, standing on a chair. Then I got 3 shocks trying to screw in the new bulb before the 4th one threw the bulb to the ground. When I have bought a new bulb, I will definitely insert the bulb with the power off. Dr Makar's assistant called to delay our meeting till next week, since she has bronchitis. Tara arrived with Kennedy about 6:15. She was going to a friend's for dinner, and left Kennedy with us for the evening, plus a frozen dinner. Steve, L-A and I had eaten chow mein cooked from scratch by L-A, and very nice too. Tara gave me a gift of lots of Rickard's Red, and lots of Fisherman's Friends which we had been unable to find anywhere. Kennedy was totally comfortable being left here with us. She wasn't in a hurry to cook and eat her dinner, but evenually did so. Wilfred the poodle was her constant companion. We had a present for her, but she didn't want to open it yet.

Wed Dec 28

First thing, I got down to the problem with the bank codes. I called Simplii and the code is CIBCCATT. In my original submission sent by regular mail I had correctly used CIBCCATT. I prepared an apologetic email and sent it to K Leach at Norcross, with an attachment of the latest form, filled in correctly, asking for my international bank codes. Instantly I received a reply that he was on vacation till 3 January. I forwarded my message to Alan Pearson, my personal helper. Had a nice conversation with Steve which started about railway switches on subway and streetcar lines, but he wasn't able to tell me how they are operated. On main lines of course which he drove each switch either has a dedicated motor or is cabled to a signal box lever, and the train driver doesn't need to think about it as long as the signal man is awake. Here's a wonderful Wiki page on the subject of switches but it doesn't answer my question about subways specifically. We watched a unique short movie by Charlie Mackesy, created from his 2019 graphic novel, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, created from his 2019 graphic novel.

Tue Dec 27

Spent quite a lot of time posting Christmas photos to Flickr and then some to this journal. An answer on Quora got me listening to Adele - the complete catalogue. 19 and 21 are as good as 25 as bodies of work in my view. Helped L-A with duck soup, which may sound simple but was actually a complex operation involving the dutch oven. Laurie-Ann's Waterpik arrived, and it wasn't long before she was reading all the instructions. It had to go on charge for 4 hours. I worked on a letter that had arrived a couple of days before by regular mail from Veterans UK. It contained yet another form for listing my international bank codes including BIC and Swift, which are actually the same code: CIBCCATT. But as I looked up previous forms asking for the same information I discovered with some concern that sometimes I had added an extra C, making it CIBCCCATT. In theory this could divert the transfer to another bank account. In practice it would more likely cause a hiccough in the Canadian system and the money could be returned.

Mon Dec 26 - Boxing Day

Sill washing up for a while. I established that this Wednesday's meeting with Dr Amany Makar was not a clash with PMH meeings, which are actually the following week. We are hoping we can switch to her from Lindholm, who has not proved satisfactory. Lunch was turkey and a muffin, and dinner was (a lot) more turkey with trimmings, and the rest of the Christmas pudding. By the end of the day I had freed up cereal/soup plates from their storage role overnight to their regular purposes.

Sun Dec 25 - Christmas Day

I got up late and was just leaving the bathroom when Alison came. I set up a mixtape of Christmas music on Foobar, which could play much of the day. I prayed with Alison as she left, then got on with the breakfast: poached eggs on toast and prosciutto, managing to serve it to all three together. After breakfast L-A prepared a bunch of stuff, culminating with getting the turkey into the oven. We watched the Catch the Fire recorded Christmas service. L-A set up the iPad for us to make a Christmas Facebook message. After lunch we had present giving. Steve was surprised when he received some Clinique skin care - he wasn't expecting any presents. Then we opened the Lindor chocolates that l-A had given to the family. He took two for now and some for later. Finally I gave him a card where I told him we feel privileged to be helping him with his life, and that it gave us joy. We watched the King's Speech - quite impressive, followed by Trudeau's. I then had an hour's lie-down, while L-A continued with preparing vegetables. I got up at 5 and took the turkey out of the oven, above 180°, looking pretty perfect. There was still a lot going on on the stove, and roast vegetables were baking in the oven. I carved the turkey for tonight; not too hard a job - a leg each for Steve and me, a wing and some breast for L-A. Ham was slow cooking in the crockpot. Christmas music was still playing and Steve had taken up a position in the living room. We were ready to eat at about 6:15. My problem as server was trying to divi up so much food onto the plates, and not forget things like gravy and ham. After grace, L-A and Steve started on the feast, while I put the Christmas pudding in the oven. L-A had made hard sauce to go with it. Soon I joined them at the table. L-A and I had white wine, while Steve opted for a mixture of white wine and ginger ale. It was a magnificent meal. As we finished the first course I served the pudding which everyone liked - not always the case. L-A and Steve repaired to the living room, and I started on the carving of the rest of the turkey, and clearing away the bowls and baking dishes and food, of which there was plenty for the next few days.

Sat Dec 24

I have taken to having a cup of tea and a slice of fruit cake, or raisin bread, etc, in the night. While I eat I sometimes chat with Jesus, imagining him sitting on the couch opposite. Sometimes these conversations yield interesting ideas. When I have finished the snack I will doze for an hour or so. I was dozing this morning about 2:30 am when there was a bang from Steve's room. I investigated. He had dropped his TV set on the floor. Why he had picked it up he had no idea about. I put it down on his table and he went back to sleep. In the morning after breakfast I checked it out. The problem with this TV was the spindly legs, and one of them had broken some time ago. Now the other was broken. I balanced the TV on 2 cassette tapes at each end, and it was fine, there was no problem with the electronics. Now - to dissuade him from picking it up next time he can't figure out how to change the channel. I vacuumed the floors and then tried to remove the accumulated dirt and dust from the machine. I don't think I put it back together again properly, and there is still dust in there. A job for another day. Bella is seriously ill in Worcester hospital with kidney problems. She could die. I sent her a message asking for her grandmother Cathy's bank account number so we can continue supporting the family with the weekly allowance if the worst happens. I told L-A I would love her to have a present from me tomorrow she wasn't expecting. What would she really like that could be ordered on line. She chose a Waterpik. She ordered a good one - cordless. It was a cruelly cold day, with wind that kept on blowing over our garbage bins, but I went to Valley Foods and got come cauliflower and clementines. We toasted Janey with Amaretto in the shot glasses she had once lent us and we failed to return when she left Worcester in a hurry. and sent her the photos. After supper L-A had me boil a few potatoes which tomorrow she will make into stuffing for our turkey. Stuffing is one of L-A's favourite foods, and lots of it!

Fri Dec 23

A very tired day. There was a storm, much worse in the US but we got the edge of it. Lots of baking and cooking in the afternoon. We have become a big fan of home grocery delivery (and not just groceries). L-A does all the work of selecting products from the menus of several grocery stores, making good savings from buying predominantly 'on sale' items. Not to say there aren't any problems. If the store doesn't have something in stock, they will substitue something in the same food genre. The selection is computerised, so with similar data, you'll get the same result, meaning that if there are two substitutions they could be the same item. Right now we have 3 boxes of ice box cookies, and recently we had three fruit cakes. As a fruit cake lover, that isn't a problem for me, but with the ice box cookies, L-A has some catching up to do.

Thu Dec 22    Med

I had taken a call on Tuesday from the palliative care department in PMH asking for a meeting, and we had set it for this morning. I had some misgivings. In my immature mind, palliative care meant a death sentence was on the horizon. Not at all. Palliative care focusses on providing the best quaity of life for people with serious illness, and is for people of all ages. Nurse Katherine interviewed me for half an hour and collected detailed information about my situation, and particularly my drug regime. Then Dr Subrata Banerjee continued the process. He didn't want to make any changes to my medications, and certainly not today, but from now on he will supervise that area, including prescribing Tylenol No 2. Dr Bradbury had referred me primarily because of shortness of breath, but I wasn't in as bad a state as Dr Banerjee had expected. The main painkiller for shortness of breath is Morphine, normally in the form of Hydromorphine, and I am getting some of that from the Codeine in Tylenol No 2. He asked me about Laurie-Ann and whether she held the powers of attorney for health. His concern was about the ultimate decisions in health, and recommended I review my will. He asked me my opinion on 'Do Not Resuscitate,' and gave me a 'Do Not Resuscitate Confirmation Form.' It appears to be valid without my signature, and primarily shows that I was of sound mind when the form was issued. I had no hesitation about the form. I want to get to heaven as fast as I can. I will count it as a blessing if my affairs are in order before I die and that Laurie-Ann's financial needs are assured. I stopped at Tim's for coffee before leaving, and noticed a new gourmet food vending machine. Much to my surprise, inside, amongst other attractive looking dishes, were cans of oat milk latte. I got one for L-A. My journey home was manageable and when I arrived I presented L-A with the oat milk latte, and she pronounced it good.

Wed Dec 21    Med

I was woken up very suddenly in the night by a loud bang on the left side of my head. I had fallen out of bed! Mercifully there was no blood as I got myself off the floor. I was still dizzy and moved carefully back to bed. When morning came I got up reasonably early since this was Slava's day as psw. I am frequently asked at the hospital if I have had any falls, and I guess the night's incident qualifies as one. If something like this happens, they want to know about it. So I left a message for them. Today I feel pretty weak. It's as if I just ran 5 Km and am out of breath - but I haven't run anywhere, just walked across a room. UHN called back. They wanted me to be checked for concussion or internal bleeding. With our doctors and potential Dr on vacation they said I should go to emergency. So about an hour later - 11 am - I checked in at EGH (Etobicoke General Hospital) Emergency. I was the only one waiting in the lobby so the receptionist got working on me. I went through a couple of preliminary testing stations and then found myself in the main waiting room for Emerg. where there were plenty of people all waiting to be called and wondering if they went for a pee or a coffee and missed the call would it be repeated. After a while I was called and saw a doctor and another learning how to do it. The doctor waggled his forefinger at me and asked me to follow it with my eyes. I needed a CT scan. Another waiting room, then the scan. Back to the main waiting room. I was called again; I needed an X-Ray. Back to DI. Then back to the main waiting room to hear my results. At one point I asked a clerk was there any way of knowing when I might be called. No, there wasn't. About 6:30 pm both our phones ran out of battery power. Nearly 2 hours after the X-Ray I was called to see the same doctors. They had checked my whole body for changes since I was last there 6 months ago and was scanned. I asked about the head. They said there was no concussion and no inner bleeding. Relief. He gave me the report and I was free to go. It was now 8:30pm and I was famished, a good feeling for someone with a (temporarily?) poor appetite. I walked to the car and drove it to the check-out. The checkout was too dark to see anything. I pushed buttons till someone answered. She said I should come back into the building and pay for my parking. She was there to meet me. After I had paid I reminded her the original problem remained: how to find the hole to insert my ticket, since my phone was out of power and had no light. She offered to walk out with me on this cold night. On the way I asked her if she was full time on this job, helping parkers. She was! When we got to the parking lot she took my ticket and fed it in as I drove out. She knew where the holes were. Before our phones had run out I had suggested to L-A getting a Tim Horton's chili for lunch and pizza for dinner. I drove to Tims but they had no chili left. So I went home. For several hours we had been out of touch but L-A had faith all was well. The idea of pizza still sounded good so she told me where the pizza places were, and I drove to Pizza Nova, to be confronted by an over complex display board. I asked the lady to sellect our large pizza by asking me questions - did I want this, did I want that. Once it was cooking I worried there might not be enough and ordered an additional pepperoni slice. When I got it home we devoured it. The crust on the main one was exceptionlly nice and the chicken, spinach, veg and pepperoni just added to the excellence. We finished eating about 10:45 and I'd cleaned up by 11. The longest day (for me) on the shortest day.

Tue Dec 20

Barrie Davies sent his adress and I wrote him and Stephanie a card. He's been kind and generous to us, and we'd been given a delightful lunch by them in Cobourg in 2019. I found the lease contract we have with the Murtas among the papers on the floor near my feet, meaning I didn't have to search the trunks in the garage. I knew it was somewhere. The contract was needed for me to respond to a request from Poulin for data on our agreement with our tenants. I suspect the objective was for the city to know how many unoccupied properties were out there. I took Barrie's card to the postal outlet at Shoppers, and then drove to the Renforth IDA where I attempted to ask for a repeat of L-A's hot flash medecine Venlafaxine. The lady told me that Dr Lindholm was away til January. So much for my B12 jabs. I mentioned it was very hard to communicate with him. I think she'd heard the story many times before, and took pity on me. She gave me the name of Dr Makari Amany, 120 Eringate Drive, 416-620-0764. Then to the bank at Kipling to deposit a food cheque from Steve. He is finding it physically harder to sign cheques. I withdrew 2 $50 notes for us to give to Alison for her faithful service, for Christmas. I drove on to Living Lighting and bought a switched night-light, and donated the decorative part back to the shop. The LED bulb I had bought from them a few days ago delivered 60 watts of light for less than 6 watts of energy in, so Steve won't be leaving his main light on all night, and the lamp holder won't melt. In the afternoon, L-A ordered a discounted pack of coffees and sweet treats, and I picked them up. The three of us then enjoyed Starbucks at home. Then I got down to completing the form from the Poulin Condo Corporation. It turned out to be a simpler task than I'd imagined - unless I wasn't doing it right. I scanned and emailed it to Poulin. Steve seemed happy in his better illuminated room. We had pork tenderloin for dinner.

Mon Dec 19    Med My 8th infusion

I had a busy time helping L-A and Steve with breakfast before leaving for an infusion at PMH. On the way to Kipling Station I mailed the last 4 cards at Shoppers to give them a chance of arriving before Christmas. My concern on today's outing is that I could be overcome by weakness during the walking part. But it didn't happen, despite the fact that two escalators were out of service. I picked up a Red Bull in Queen's Park station. I arrived on time and drank the Red Bull. I had my noon meds in my pocket and Blackberry reminded me of this. My timeliness didn't prevent a wait of 3 1/2 hours before entering the infusion room. It was just a very busy day for them due to the numbers exceeding those that had been booked in several weeks. The additional ones included me so I didn't complain. When I finally reached Yellow 41 I was greeted by Marie, my nurse on two previous occasions, and I even remembered her name. The infusion took an hour and I was on my way by 4. On the way home I gassed up the car. It was time for dinner, and Steve and I ate the leftovers from Swiss Chalet. L-A had soup she had made today. I had felt quite good all day and that ran through into the evening.

Sun Dec 18

This is the 1-year anniversary of our both being diagnosed with Covid 19 on the day we were due to fly out from Cape Town, and Kevin lending us his house for what turned out to be a month. It was a lovely month. We watched church on line together, neither feeling physically up to venturing from the house. I suggested to L-A, and she agreed, that in addition to our $10 per week givings to Catch the Fire, we should give the same amount to the North Kipling / Rexdale community, and both should be paid monthly. I finished writing the rest of the card cards, ready for mailing tomorrow. For dinner we ordered in Swiss Chalet Christmas specials, which I was somewhat disappointed in, though that may be a reaction to enjoying L-A's home made food for so long.

Sat Dec 17    Med

We are both still afflicted by the cough/cold, though mine is dying down. I couldn't find Advil cold and sinus in Shoppers, which L-A had just finished. A Shopper's pharmacist advised against taking more than one bottle of Advil cold and sinus sequentially, saying it could actually make matters worse, and recommended Otrivin natural severe congestion relief, main ingredient sea water. for L-A. I thought afterwards that the blessing here was that they were out of the Advil Cold and sinus, or I definitely would have bought it. I drove to 'Living Lighting' and bought an LED lamp that I can use in Steve's room and give him the equivalent of 40 watts. I posted Dave Kemp's very last sermon from my archives on Good News in the Morning, and sent him a thank you and acknowledgement.

Fri Dec 16    Med

Steve was already up when I came out of our bedroom, making a call on the house line! When I asked him later who he had called, he said it was the Railway (CNN). He was trying to arrage a vacation. I asked him how long ago he retired and he said about 2 years. Steve retired from CNN in 1988, 34 years ago. He did get through to someone on the phone, a subscriber in Toronto, who must have been confused. Around 11:30 James video-called and I took it on the new iPad Air. There was a third person on the call and I didn't recognise her. She was elderley but striking. It had to be Penny, and it was. James had organized the call of the decade in our family, and it was happening right there across 8 time zones. Considering the surprize, we then had a remarkably lucid conversation. Penny was laughing and joking - the whole thing was surreal yet real. It was the most important phone contact of reconciliation Penny and I had ever had. We even talked about a similar call over Christmas which would include Jasmin. Shortly after the call, my Blackberry alarm went off, and I had my noon meds. These days I seem to have a stomach ache that fills my whole torso. The anti-nausea pills help a little and I have one most mornings. If I go and lie down for a bit I start coughing, which only stops when I get up. On the bright side there's less mucus coming out of my nose. I doubt we'll be in church this Sunday.

Thu Dec 15    Med

I tried again to see Lindholm, driving to his offices about 9:30 in pouring rain, but his barrier was closed. I think I'll just wait till 9 next Tuesday, and I left him a message which might result in a call back. While I was there I managed to buy plum sauce at No Frills, with the help of a kind cashier. For some reason I missed my noon alarm for meds, though I noticed half an hour later. So I did a test, setting an alarm for half an hour ahead, and it worked. I finally decided to draw up a list of people we would like to send Christmas cards to. The list was composed of people in Canada who had sent us more than $1,000 to help with medical expenses in South Africa. There were 14. There was still time for cards to reach them in the mail, traditional style, and I had about 10 cards provided by UHN in one of their appeals which I ahd supported. I didn't have most of the addresses, but phoning the first two, Sydney and Julia, to ask them proved a most encoraging task. I just had time today to complete and address those two cards. For dinner we had most of the rest of the duck, including the vegetables that had been cooked in its belly. The plumb sauce was a good addition, nearly approximating the spices L-A had added to the legs the first time around. Duck had been really special to eat (though it generated a lot of clearing up and washing up.)

Wed Dec 14    Med

Last week I had been at Lindholm Medical Centre by 9 am because I needed to be at TGH later that morning. But Lindholm didn't see me for more than an hour, so I got there at 10, having breakfasts to prepare. But the surgery was shut at 10, so I switched to Plan B. Sherway Gardens. The only store in the mall dealing with audio is The Source. If you order any audio kit in this area, and want it delivered to a store, the store is Unit 1900, The Source. Few of the stores know their Unit No, so I found the Source by doggedness. The sales person searched on line but was unable to find any headphones with dynamic decompression. Plan C: I saw I was near a toy shop, and bought a plastic collectable Hermione Granger (Harry Potter character) for Kennedy, and a Clinique 3-product set for Steve, who likes putting things on his face. I had been concerned about my ability to find suitable presents for them, but I was in the right state of mind. I certainly wasn't keen on augmenting JK Rowling's fortune. We were the only other people on line for Connect Group, which Bob and Catherine ran from Prince George, but that didn't hinder the conversation. I told them our little nest egg had come in. I have been consistently forgetting to take my meds at noon, so today I set the alarm on my Blackberry. The big event of the day was roast duck for dinner. L-A stuffed it with vegetables and fruit and prepared roast vegetables to go with it. For my taste, duck leg tasted heavenly, probably due in part to the spices added by L-A.

Tue Dec 13

I spent the morning making as sure as I could what were the international bank codes for money being sent to a Canadian bank. I had already completed a similar, but not identical list in my original MoD claim. I emailed the result to Norcross. Everything should now be complete for the money to hit our bank acount in a couple of weeks. Nothing else productive took place tody, mainly because we all felt seriously sick.

Mon Dec 12

There was email in my inbox from Norcross. As I read it slowly it seemed to me they were about to tell me gently that my meso claim had been turned down. Then came, 'About your claim for Mesothelioma We have looked at your claim and can confirm that the diagnosed condition of Mesothelioma has been caused by your service. We call this attributable to service. We have assessed the disablement from your accepted condition as 100%.' By this stage I should have been dancing on the ceiling, but I wasn't. I think I had so conditioned myself not to get the grant, that it would take a while for this really good news to sink in. And I had been determined from the start that the money would not alter our lifestyle. The amount was enough to replace all debt from our mission - L-A's regular prayer - and then some. I went and shared the news with her as I gave her her morning MLD massage. I had never before shared the amount with her, although I had known from the start what it would be if it was 100% attributable to service. The rest of the day was hard and timeconsuming as we both went to see Dr Ryan, her dentist. I had brocken a back tooth biting into a shawarma on 5 December, and after a couple of X-Rays he told me the tooth wasn't saveable, but would have to be extracted. Laurie-Ann had two appointments with him, one in the morning to prepare two teeth for adding crowns, and then another in the afternoon to fit the crowns. Sadly, at lunch between the two appointments, with her lower lip still frozen, she bit into it and carved out a noticeable gash. Apart from that all went well with the expensive treatment. Back home we were both exhausted, and still very much suffering from the colds and coughs. After supper we both went to bed to recover.

Sun Dec 11    Med

No church for the sick and contagious today. There was snow on the ground, which wouldn't have stopped us. The day was punctuated with nose-blowing from the three of us and there wasn't a lot of silence. I have seldom felt so ill. Laurie-Ann's nose was sore from kitchen roll, so I gave her some of my handkerchiefs and determined to buy her some of her own. However they are hard to find, from initial investigations, since women no longer use handkerchiefs, because dresses have no pockets.

Sat Dec 10

I messaged Tara to tell her I had been in touch with Kimberley at Glendale Funeral Homes and explained that as executor she might want to meet with her and Shazad to make decisions about Dad's future funeral. In a separate message I gave her (Tara) an update on Steve's physical and mental state, including Alison's suggestion this morning that we should be looking at a second hand hospital bed for him, since his legs are getting weaker. The adapter arrived from Amazon to allow the use of our headphones and earbuds with the 'Air.' The sound was wonderful. I told L-A I was extremely proud of her for ordering the correct connector the first time. We have been enjoying the Christmas lights in the front window. I would leave them on all the time, but L-A likes to turn them on and off each day. Our contribution to the Christmas spirit in Alanmeade Crescent.

Fri Dec 9

In fact, in today's email a suggestion that things are on track in a reply from Alan Pearson: "Hello Tony. the case worker at Veterans UK should have sent an email confirming that the hardcopy paperwork has neen received at Norcross and that your case has been seen by the doctor and is now waiting for decision notifications to be processed which should have hopefully be done 06/12/2022. You should receive a copy of the outcome in the next couple of weeks. The notifications were sent out via the post on 07/12/2022." Considering I hadn't had any messages from Alan in three weeks, this was very encouraging. Indeed I haven't received any emails from Veterans UK. I drove to Shoppers to collect Steve's Trazodone (helps him sleep). Next stop Sherway Gardens Apple Store for a connector to allow us to listen to the iPad Air with regular headphones or ear buds, which the Air doesn't provide, presumably hoping to sell more Blue-Tooth Air Pods. The sales assistant told me the Apple doesn't sell the connector, and we should enquire at a 3rd party supplier like Amazon. I drove on to the LCBO and bought our Christmas wine, beer, cider, and spirits (Bushmills and Amoretto). At home I suggested L-A seek out the iPad Air connector on Amazon. She found the USB C Digital Audio Adapter with charging and outputs to conventional headphones, and ordered it. In the afternoon I reported to Canadian Tire at 2:45 and was impressed at their efficiency as they did the final paperwork on our new winter tires. The deal had included underbody sealing for $35 for anyone buying 4 tires on rims, and storage of our summer tires for $100. It was almost too smooth to be true, I was thinking as I went to relax in the customer waiting area. There was a large TV in there tuned into a Boston station, and they were broadcasing the match between the Netherlands and Argentina. About 6 people were in the waiting room, enjoying it more and more as the score went from 2 - 2, to extra time 0 - 0, followed by penalty shoot outs. It certainly added to our afternoon. Our car wasn't ready for 3 hours, but I had seen from the window they were 45 minutes late in starting. When I drove home it was a very smooth ride. Sadly the delay had meant that L-A had had to handle all the cooking herself, until I was there to carve the roast chicken and serve it. It had been a hard day overall but my spirits were still buoyed up by the message from Alan in the morning.

Thu Dec 8

About 1:30 am I went to the kitchen for tea and toasted raisin bread. I was followed by Steve, so I offered him the same. We both enjoyed the ~midnight snack and chat. He was sitting on Laurie-Ann's chair, and maybe the different orientation confused his balance, but suddenly he fell off it onto the floor. I edged him towards through the door to the living room, getting him to push on my legs with his legs. Soon he was half way in, and I went round into the living room, encouraging him to move his body further. Eventually I pulled him up onto his knees, and then on to his feet. I brought his walker and he returned to his room. I found a 2-pin extension cable in the garage and connected up the Christmas lights in the front window to a socket on the left of the new couch. I discoved that Alan Pearson and Sandra, his Welfare Manager. shared the same complex email: "Veterans-UK-VWS-Scot-NI (MULTIUSER)" . Sharing an email means that it is possible my emails to Alan that I thought he hadn't bothered to reply to might have been picked up by someone else, and he might not have seen them. I sent a message to Alan today entitled "Message for Alan Pearson." This also means that it's pointless to send another message to Sandra, his welfare manager. I admit to frustration over the lack of communications, but this doesn't mean things have gone wrong. I helped L-A with coooking soup and beef goulash, finding the process even more tiring than going to the hospital, so I had 90 minutes in bed during the afternoon. I slept with my boots on, encountering another problem. I was wearing compression socks, and the pain in my bunions got really bad when I was in bed. I took off footwear for the rest of the evening.

Wed Dec 7    Med

Lindholm had told me to come any time today for my B12 shot, and I chose 9:30. It was over an hour before I got the shot, and when I got home I was 15 minutes late to leave for TGH. My tardiness was exacerbated by getting on the northbound train instead of the southbound at St. George. So I was 45 minutes adrift when I got to medical imaging at Toronto General. Then I found they had no record of an appointment! I wandered back to PMH for my blood draw, and then went to Thoracic Oncology, to be seen by Dr Alghabbam. He said that the CT scan showed marginal shrinkage of the tumour in some parts and marginal increase in other parts. This was better than a general increase as shown on the last scan, so he felt we should probably stick with immunotherapy, slower but surer. What did I think? I was definitely in favour. Regarding my increased coughing, he ordered an instant X-Ray for me, followed by a Covid swab, carried out by nurse Jenny in protective clothing, and postponed tomorrow's infusion, which I was very happy to do. The X-Ray showed that I don't have pneumonia, and the Covid swab result showed I don't have Covid, and therefore it's unlikely that L-A and Steve do. I was so tired when I got home that I went to bed without a Bible reading, or Yellowstone, just a short time of prayer. But I slept quite well; one Fluxactive in 3 days seems to be working, if not all that much better than Flomax. And there's my dilemma.

Tue Dec 6

I was ready for my video call from Dr Kujawa by 8:45, but I didn't hear her voice through my speaker till about 9:15 (with ho hint of apology). The purpose of the call was to review the effectiveness of further pleural sac draining. She had see my recent X-Rays and reports stating that the fluid was now contained withing large numbers of baloons, rather than the open space that had been the case for my early drainings. Even if it were practical to draw fluid from the many cells, this presented a problem of removal of pressure on the lung, which could collapse (?). She felt the best solution was the status quo; leave things as they were. I will just have to handle the pain and discomfort from breathing difficulty and shortness of breath. Now I have been hoping to see that pain removed by draining, so this news made me realise that this is part of the process I have to go through as the tumour heightens its grip. I had no other appointments today, but I did go to Shoppers and order meds for Steve, first calculating that they would carry him past 5 January when Dr Judah returns from vacation. L-A was so tired that she went to bed shortly before dinner time. Steve and I had more of last night's shawarma.

Mon Dec 5    Med

Today I took L-A to Etobicoke General, and Steve to his eye specialist Dr Brazel. I put both walkers in the car, and we got under way about 12:15, first dropping L-A at the hospital, and then driving Steve east to 2238 Dundas West - the Clarity Eye Institute. Getting a disabled person into the building necessitates parking illegally and hoping you won't get caught by the time you get back to the car and park it in a large parking lot at the back of the building. By the time I got back to Steve in the waiting room, he hadn't been called. He was called for his preliminary eye tests after a while. I stayed in the waiting room. After nearly an hour I saw him and asked him if he was done. He didn't know, so while I found out I brought him back into the waiting room. Then a nurse came out and said he was only partly through. He had yet to see Dr Brazel! This time I accompanied him back into the inner area. We sat there for nearly another hour, wondering if he really was going to be seen by Dr Brazel. Eventually it was his turn and I went in with him. Dr Brazel took about 5 minutes to take aother look into his eyes, study the images taken by her colleagues, and then pronouce he was stable, no changes in six months. The eye drops were working. She suggested re-booking for 6 months, but I said that since he wasn't reading anyway, and the eyes were stable, and it was a nightmare bringing him into her clinic, could we make it longer, and she readily suggested a year. Getting him back to the car was another risky torture, and I parked it in front of the building and then went in to get him. But there were no police cars surrounding us when we returned. We got back to Etobicoke General at about 5:00 by when it was quite dark. I wondered if I should be driving in the dark at all, mainly because of the difficulty in reading street names and road signs, and general lack of focus of lights, and these things are getting worse. L-A reported that her ultrasound had gone smoothly enough. We had had no lunch, so went to the Shawarma Club on Burnhamthorpe to pick up a meal that would be instantly ready, and generate no washing up. They of course sold us far more than we could eat tonight, as was obvious as soon as we sat down for dinner with the Chicken Shawarmas and enough salad for several days. L-A tells me the shawarmas tasted excellent, though to my compromised taste buds that wasn't the case. Even the baklava squares I bought for dessert seemed 'off' to me.

Sun Dec 4

For the first time I can remember I missed church, still suffering yesterday's problems but less severe, and also I might be contagious. We enjoyed the service on line. I emailed Vets UK, partly to try and get confirmation when the package arrives at Norcross, partly to understand what notifications I might expect from then on, if any, and partly to see if he replies, since he never replied to my last message 2 weeks ago.

Sat Dec 3    Med

Spent a chunk of the night in the living room, coughing, and not wanting to keep L-A from sleeping. This was my worst day so far. All day I just felt ill, a combination of my normal fatigue, weakness, plus streaming cold, coughing and 'flu symptoms. I discovered that if I was able to cough up half a mouthful of phlegm and spit it out, I then didn't cough for an hour or so. Staying in bed all day would have been half an answer, but I was too busy with routine stuff for that. I did manage to remember to take my pills or it all would have been even worse. L-A worked on setting up her new iPad, so there oohs and aahs from her direction.

Fri Dec 2    Med

I had a CT scan at PMH 8:15 tonight, and mustn't eat anything for 4 hours before, so we switched lunch and dinner. This was the first time I have had a procedure at UHN that wasn't in daytime. My streaming cold had reduced a little in ferocity, but by the time I arrived at PMH it had calmed down somewhat more to the extend that when I put the smock on for the CT scan, and then had no handkerchief, I was OK. This scan didn't require me to drink a large cup of water, but my technician, Britney, did put a drip in my arm to inject various fluids. Everything went smoothly and I was out of there in 15 minutes, hungry. I went to Tims for a coffee and muffin before the trip home. The results from this scan could determine whether they switch me to chemo. I hope not.

Thu Dec 1

Bath day and toenail cutting day. I managed the latter satisfactorily. My day was characterised by using up a lot of kitchen roll to blow my nose in, more even than Steve. Occasionally I would also be coughing up phlegm. I went to bed right after lunch, asking L-A to call me when she would need help with the cooking. I slept soundly, not impeded by having to blow my nose, until my phone rang. I got up immediately, feeling better. 15 minutes later I received another call. It was someone at Toronto General hospital, saying that they hadn't realised that the consultation they had arranged for me next Wednesday could clash with the appointment with Dr Bradbury. In the end the consultation became a video consultation with Dr Kujawa on the Tuesday, much more convenient for me. I then noticed the time was earlier than I thought, and I asked L-A when she had called me. She hadn't. I must have dreamed the phone rang. The benefit was that I was ready when TGH called. I edited some digital audio files until dinner time.

Wed Nov 30

It's a week since I mailed the package to Norcross on 23 November so it may well be a few more days before it arrives. Will they acknowledge receipt? The mechanical leaf collection finally got round to our street early afternoon and vacuumed up the pile of leaves that had been there a couple of weeks. For months Steve has suffered from a streaming cold, and he has a special method of tearing strips off kitchen roll to blow his nose on, often dropping the used strips into the recyclable garbage bin. A few weeks ago, Laurie-Ann caught the same condition, and yesterday I followed suit. I used up a regular handkerchiefs in a few hours. Today I tried out Steve's method and it worked perfectly. Bob and Catherine bought tickets for flights tomorrow to Quesnel, BC, where Catherine's brother in law Lawrence is in hospital with a serious lung problem. They decided to set up tonight's connect group, and to leave after 15 minutes to pack for their trip. They had asked if Laurie-Ann would take over as leader of the group when they left, and of course she agreed. I think L-A may have been apprehensive, but no-one would have known who was on the call. She handled it like a pro, making sure the discussion didn't flag, and encouraging everyone to take part fully. Diane, Rodel, and Paula were on the call in addition to us. For the first time I had been able to log in on my computer, so the two of us were full screen, and I was much more comfortable. I had to mute myself and use her audio next to me.

Tue Nov 29

Took Steve to his regular meeting with Dr Judah. He prescribed a more powerful cough mixture, strongly recommended Steve have an extra strength Tylenol when he woke up, and then to my surprize wrote a prescription for the Tylenol so he wouldn't have to pay for it. He pronounced Steve to be in good shape, and said he (Dr Judah) would be taking a Christmas break from 19 December to 5 January, and recommended I planned ahead with Steve's medications to ensure he wouldn't run out during that period. I took Steve home and then immediately returned to the Apple Store in Sherway Gardens to pick up Laurie-Ann's new iPad Air, folio and Apple Pencil. L-A is an artist, and this iPad will allow her to create drawings and paintings using the Apple Pencil on the iPad screen. It will also allow her access to many apps that her iPad Mini can no longer reach (such as the Apple Pencil) as they require more memory and other facilities. She is a very experienced iPad user and this new machine will make a big difference in her life. I never mastered iPad, far preferring my laptop. Both the agents I spoke to in the Apple store remarked nostalgically over my Blackberry as I used it to display the smart tag that allowed them to identify our goods. It was a drier day today so I took the opportunity to replace the worn out duct tape strips I had stuck on the porch steps with some 'Safety-Walk' strips that Tara had kindly brought. The result was an improvement. I called Simplii and they gave me some clues about the signing on program, and I eventually fixed it.

Mon Nov 28

At breakfast I asked Steve what he thought would happen to him when he died, and he said everything would just stop. I said that millions of Christians believed otherwide, incuding some of the worlds most emminent scientists, convinced from their own studies, not to mention L-A and I and Carol his wife when she was alive. Mid morning I took L-A for her regular toenail chamfer with Dr Silver. Afterwards we made the mistake of walking to the Starbucks up the street, because we were parked in the one free parking spot. She went in and ordered. 12 minutes later nothing had showed up. I showed her phone to the waitress and it turned out she had ordered as if from the Starbucks up the street! I walked back to get the car and then we drove east till we found it. I went inside and collected our coffees and cakes, and we ate them in the car. The negative from this is that L-A had really walked quite a long way for her, and needed bedrest in the afternoon, suffering extra pain. Bella contacted us to say her Mobicel laptop had again given up the ghost. Friends were telling her this was not unusual with Mobicels. Via L-A's messenger I recommended she get another quote for repair from the place that fixed it the last time, and see if they were ready to blame Mobicel in general. She should also get prices from a computer store for a new [Dell, Acer, Mitsubishi] plus a set-up charge. This is all very sad but I would rather deal in my mind with the health of her computer than her own health. I seemed to have extra energy today so I swept and mopped the kitchen, a task I should do weekly but don't. Simplii had send out new debit cards, and I spent a goodly amount of time trying to get the bank app working after changing the card number. I reached the point whete I could log on as long as I then changed the password. As I worked with my computer I listened to music from the red disk via the Pyle amplifier and the single Leak speaker. Appart from the improvement in sound quality, I just enjoyed the music more that I could recall doing so in the past.

Sun Nov 27

I went to church and greeted Bob and Catherine after the service. They may be going to Quesnel, BC, to be near to Laurence, her brother in law, who may be dying. I went shopping and found the eye health product Blue Berry, which I had seen advertised in the CAA magazine, very persuasively. I am not seeing as clearly as after new glasses were fitted, but before returning to the optician I will see if Blue Berry can help. Back home I squeezed in a nap before we had an early supper. Tonight was the night of Lennie Gallant's 'The Inkeeper's Christmas Tour 2022' at the Paradise Theatre, and we had decided to take an Uber there and a Beck back. The Uber got us there in very good time for the 8 pm start. L-A had her stick but not the walker; we were able to get fine seats without any stairs to negotate, and we had a Tawse cider each before the start. When Lennie and his 3 musicians appeared and started to play, the magic began. He is an excellent acoustic guitarist, and the others covered off keyboard, violin, bass, and several percussion. They were very tight right from the start as they played mainly from 'Christmas Day on Planet Earth.' Shortly before the interval they came to The Inkeeper. Just playing it now on YouTube had me in tears, but last night at the concert I was suddenly convulsed with sobbing at the point where he has just seen the Child. This has never happened to me in my life before. Anyway, I hope you get the message about how special it all was. The second half and the two encores were also excellent. At the end we went into the foyer where there is a seat where L-A rested, and I phoned Beck's Taxis. He was there within 5 minutes, and took us home safely. It had been a night where nothing went wrong, and the music had uplifted our souls. When we arrived at Alanmeade, Steve was sleeping - one more blessing on this memorable night.

Sat Nov 26

Listened to much of CKCU's Saturday morning programming. Checking the tracking of the package wasn't very enlightening because it was already delivered to International Services, and that's where tracking stops on registered trackable mail. If it's on a plane already, the British Post Office should get it to Lancashire within 2 days. Spent a while searching for stereo headphones which decompress compressed files (eg .mp3) in real time, which sounds too good to be true, but I did see one earlier. L-A was confronted by pee on the bathroom floor (fairly common) and called me to clean it up. I was having lunch with Steve at the time and I said to him, "I know it isn't you, but that guy who comes into the house and pees on the floor has been at it again, and it so upsets Laurie-Ann." Much to my surprize he replied, "Do you think it's possible it might be me?" In the past he had always maintained that whoever was peeing on the floor, it wasn't he. So this was the edge of a possible breakthrough. For Good News in the Morning I downloaded Brian Wilkie's sermon from a week ago from the St Paul's United Church, Aylmer site, where he now serves. The sermon covers some similar ground to what L-A and I have been studying in Matthew in the last day or so; not the first time this has occured. We enjoyed prayertime as we sat together on the big couch.

Fri Nov 25

My best night for some time which is strange because it's 3 days since I decided to come off Fluxactive and return to Flomax every third day, and that's what today was. I am closer to trying to get a refund for Fluxactive. Despite sleeping better I felt a bit draggy from the get up, but just pushed on. Took a nausea pill. Sent an update to Ian McCallum to say I have mailed in the claim. Cooked Steve real porridge and L-A a cheese omelette. Apple had sent instructions for collecting the iPad from Sherway Gardens which incuded a smart tag, which I managed to transfer to Blackberry.

Thu Nov 24

I checked the Canada Post tracking system to see that my package was in transit by road. The tracking system said that it would arrive in 3 - 7 days, but the post office staff here had estimated 2 weeks. So maybe the tracking system only tracks till it leaves the country. I read carefully through my copy of the package and found no signatures missing or other problems. Pete and a pal arrived about 9 to install new eavestroughing. They finished about 2 and it looked really good. I ordered an RCI holiday in Collingwood from 5 - 12 May, and L-A ordered a new iPad Air 5 as a Black Friday purchase. This has an Apple pencil which will allow L-A to make drawings, a long term ambition of hers. I had chest pain all day, and after today's busy-ness went for a rest, which allowed pain pills to have time to work. We made meat loaf and roast vegetables, even measuring the meatloaf temperature with the new temperature thermometer.

Wed Nov 23

I worked steadily on tying up loose ends on the MoD claim till nearly 3pm, then took the package to the post office. I hadn't received a positive confirmation from Alan Pearson that what I was sending was exactly what they wanted, but it seemed logical to me. While nothing will happen for the two weeks it will be in transit, and then whatever time they take to review (another 2 weeks based on Ian's experience), there's nothing I can do about it, except get on with other items on my 'do' list. I then banked BD's large cheque for the welfare of Bella's family - Cathy and the 3 children - and I sent Bella R1500 for the hospital fee for yet another scoliosis operation. I feel so bad for Bella. How many massive medical challenges can a 20 year old survive? The best explanation is her strong faith. After banking the cheque I went next door for an ice cream: my reward to myself for the work of the morning. Then home and to bed where I was joined by L-A after she had finished talking with M-A.

Tue Nov 22

There was a message from Alan, and he asked if I had yet sent the package to Norcross. This suddenly made me realize that the on line version he had made wasn't to replace the handwritten version, but just to have sufficient information to register the claim. So my worries about how much of the claim form to send may be unfounded; I should mail in the complete claim form, and the three additional forms provided by Alan. I worked on the international bank codes so the money would reach my Simplii account, getting the information I needed on a phone call to Simplii. I took Steve to see Dr Silver and have his toenails polished, and collected my new, new orthotics, and put them on. I had to go to Shoppers to collect Steve's eye-drops prescription, and while there I noticed there was no-one lined up for Covid and 'fly shots, so I did, and got mine. We (ie L-A's brain and my arms and legs) made fish pie for supper, and L-A was despondent that the parsly sauce wouldn't thicken because she had used non-dairy half and half cream. But when we partook, it tasted just fine. The new orthotics have been comfortable, so unless that isn't the case over the next few days, I'll hang onto them. As an experiment with Fluxactive, I didn't take any today, just as when I was on Flomax, I only neeeded it every 3 days or so.

Mon Nov 21

There were no messages from Veterans UK. Received an early call from the thoracic clinic confirming a switch of the 9 Dec infusion to 8 Dec. I also asked the lady if draining the fluid from my pleural sac was being arranged, and she said that the X-Rays showed the water on the lung was no worse. If only I had always been allowed to see my scans. I told her the pain was now bad. She said she would arrange an appointment with the Race {?) clinic, which has a wider scope than just drainage. I spoke to Gemma, the insurance agent, and she said I could expect a ~$60 discount based on the purchase of winter tires. I scanned and emailed the Canadian Tire quote to her. I thanked KB for her donation to the Bella appeal. I took L-A to the dentist for some fillings, and she now has appointments for the first two crowns to be fitted. We came home via Sixpoints and Shoppers where I mailed a physical Christmas card to Matthew and Nary and the 4 children, and also send back to St Paul's Laurie-Ann's key to the church. After discussion with L-A I sent $50 to the CTF Ukraine appeal. In the evening I sent a message to Alan in Veterans UK asking him about the reference number (or access code) that he had said I would receive. With it I will be able to review the saved application.

Sun Nov 20

I checked out the city's Mechanical leaf collection web page. Tara said that we can expect the trucks in the area this week. As far as I can see we don't have to make a booking; they pick up what's there. We have to hope the snow has evaporated from the leaves in time. At the end of the church service I embraced Bob and Catherine from behind. The problem was it wasn't Bob and Catherine. The complete strangers looked confused! I arrived home to find Tara and Kennedy were visiting and had brought Steve Tim Hortons chili for lunch. L-A was having deep conversations with Kennedy. We received a donation from KB for the Bella's Story appeal. I posted a bunch of UHN appointments to my calendar, and there was an infusion on 9 December, same day as the installation of the new winter tires. I figured it would be easier to change the infusion date than reach Canadian Tire on the phone, so I put in a request to move it to 8 December. For the second day on the trot we held our daily Bible study in the afternoon rather than late at night and it certainly worked better for me. I watched a moving appeal from Catch th Fire's chief pastor in Ukraine.

Sat Nov 19

I stood in line at Canadian Tire for 30 minutes and then bought 4 winter tires on rims, which will be fitted in December. There is a big rush on buying winter tires from Canadian Tire; you can't get through on the phone. I will be able to store the tires that aren't in use at Canadian Tire for a small fee. Bought a photocel night light for Steve. Managed to find more of my favourite pot scourers in Dollarama - they had been moved to a different location. . Overjoyed to hear that Bella's computer is now sucessfully repaired after falling on the floor, and working much better! Barrie D phoned to say he would like to support the Bella's Story appeal and would send a cheque now and another in a week or so. The amounts he was prepared to give would feed Bella's family for a year! This was manna from heaven, and vindicated the idea of the appeal, which I had been getting despondent about.

Fri Nov 18    Med - My 7th infusion

After scanning the Veterans UK forms last night, I hadn't put my phone charger back in the slot shared with the scanner, so my phone would be out of action today. I went for my infusion, earlier than usual, in the purple section. I noticed early on that I hadn't been given a Tylenol, and when I queried this I don't think they had anti-hystamine laid on either to prevent an allergic reaction. My nurse called the thoracic clinic, and was able to confirm these items should have been ordered. After that all went smoothly, but the delay sorting out the anti-hystamine rippled through and I was quite late getting out of there. I was also quite hungry, and decided to go to Swiss Chalet. The regular roast chicken leg could be enhanced for the festive season, and I went for it, bringing stuffing and cranberry sauce into the feast, plus a box of Lindt chocolates. I got pretty full but still decided on lemon meringue pie for dessert. On my way home I drove to Cloverdale and bought a new night light for Steve. Sadly the bulb turned out to be faulty when I got got it home. I wasn't home till after 6: not at all fair on L-A who hadn't been able to contact me all day. We finished watching season 5 of The Crown.

Thu Nov 17

I thanked Marilyn Garriott for being our first reponder to Bella's Story appeal, though I was concerned that nothing else had come in. I double checked the UHN patient portal and saw that no infusion appintment had been booked for Thursday or Friday. Someone in the clinic had slipped up. I called the chemo reception to hear that I am not expected this week. I left a message for the thoracic oncology department which resulted in an infusion being arranged for tomorrow. James had sent me a video of Sagan's school musical (password dawsonbears) which I watched, seeing her sing a solo at one point. The house hadn't been vacuumed for a while and I did it this afternoon. I watered the tree in the snow, relieved the flow hadn't iced up. I called Canadian Tire to try and get an appointment to buy winter tires, and they are so busy they said they'll call me back. They didn't. I printed off the 3 forms sent by Alan, Veterans UK in Glasgow, filled them in, scanned and returned them plus my addional documentation for Part 7 of the claim. This is really moving! I asked L-A what she thought the award might be if we got it, and she said $5,000 or $10,000.

Wed Nov 16    Med

I went to Princess Margaret Hospital for my blood draw and examination prior to each infusion. Afer the blood draw I enjoyed the Tadioli Duo in the Music in the Atrium series. I mentioned to the nurse that in the past 3 weeks I had noticed a worsening of my breathing and an increase in fatigue. This prompted her to have Penny Bradbury see me. She listened to my lung, and decided I should go for an X-Ray which she organized for the next 10 minutes. She expected I would be needing a draining once she had seen the X-Ray, and she would organize it. I went to the imaging department and they were ready for me. I begged the technician to let me see the scan. Immediately I saw why I hadn't been feeling well for the last 3 weeks. The fluid level in the pleural sac around my left lung was at 75%, higher than I had ever seen it before. I left the hospital relieved that the issue could be solved.

Tue Nov 15

A reply came through from Alan, Welfare Manager Scotland Region of Veterans UK saying he would like to talk to me by phone today. This we did at about 11. After introductions he suggested that he should recreate my claim form on-line with verbal information from me from my hand-written version. This would remove all possibilities I was using the wrong form, and meant I didn't need to mail in the claim, saving a week. He was also able to register my claim as soon as he had created the form. Some parts particularly Part 7 I could scan and email him. Also he would send me several other forms, including the lump-sum option application. Things went well on the call and I felt significant progress was made. I reported to Ian afterwards and he also felt things were going really well. I went for my B12 shot in a serious snow storm, having to clean off the car for the return trip. I need to find my gloves!

Mon Nov 14

Another good night with Fluxactive, 4th in succession. Maybe I am on the right track and this will prove itself before the first bottle is used up. I received an email from Ian with an email address within Veterans UK, so I responded to them saying I was looking for a helper for a few of the questions on the claim form. I mentioned Annette Halliwell but was careful not to suggest I was asking for her to be my helper. Two men from the landscaping company arrived with a big blower and a shovel and for an hour or so worked to shift all the leaves into one big pile on the road next to our driveway, where it has remained.

Sun Nov 13

Over my Head included our interview with one another, but we listened a couple of hours later than broadcast time. Dave had also included Marius Rabie and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Church featured in a lead singer role the girl we have seen playing rhythm guitar many times in the past. She sings really well and with confidence, and I'm not sure why it's taken so long for her to be recognized. Here's the show podcast The message was brought by Ash Smith on Wholehearted Devotion (to Jesus).

Sat Nov 12

I had a much better night last night, which may have been because I finally took the pills at the right time, or it may have been I'm getting adjusted to Fluxactive, or it may have been a fluke. Future nights may answer these questions. Listening in to Saturday Morning on CKCU I was reminded that they are in the last few days of funding drive, so I sent our customary $50 into Over My Head. I assembled a list of some of the people who have been kindest to us in the past in preparation for sending out an appeal for Bella's family based on her story. I then prepared an email linked to Bella's Story on the CoppleBlog, checked it with L-A for some vital improvements, and sent it off on a prayer. L-A would like to deposit our Calabogie week next June and then use up a week that will expire around then in the Orillia area. I started the process by calling Calabogie Lodge and paying the maintenance fee due 21 December. Then I deposited our week fom June 2023 on the RCI site. After lunch L-A asked me if I could find her Scottish cape and two tukes. I knew I would be busy for the afternoon and I might have to search all the suitcases, so I turned her down for today. Around 4 pm I went to the bedroom for pills and as I was entering I got a vision: an image of the cape in one of the suitcases - and I knew which one. So I put the case on the bed and opened up, and not only was the Scottish cape right on top, but the two tukes were beside it. So she now has them all in case she wants them for church tomorrow, and I'm thanking Holy Spirit for helping me out even when I don't ask. We had a donation! A Harvest School colleague from BC sent us $50.81. This was so encouraging because it meant the system is working. I was also reminded that people can send any amount they feel called to do, and I will just add them to a paper reckoning.

Fri Nov 11

We watched the Remembrance Day events in Ottawa live, and both thought they were very well done, with many active participants and larger numbers of the public than in earlier years. Ian answered my questions and put my mind to rest. I asked him to put me in touch with Annette Halliwell, an agent who had been extremely helpful to him, to clear up any final issues. It rained, so the landscaping men didn't show up to take away the leaves. It was the third episode of the Crown, when Dodi Fayed and his father come into the picture, and fascinating to see how the father goes about ingraciating himself with British society, the 'finest in the world' then. There was lots in this edisode that was new to me, and although it will garner its share of denyers that it was really like that, I suspect it is closer to the truth than you might expect, or some would like to admit.

Thu Nov 10

Sausages and fried eggs for breafast, but it still tasted slightly strange to my damages taste buds. After breakfast I got into the MoD application and worked much of the day on it. I reached a point where all that is left is straighforward, so I emailed Ian with several questions such as when did we enlist? I am getting somewhat excited about this. I took an hour's nap after lunch. My body likes that. I found a good recording of Il Trovatore from 1977 with Pavarotti and Southerland, and recorded it from Spotify to replace my previous version, bought in Honk Kong in 1962, which lost all but 15 minutes in the digitization process.

Wed Nov 9

The latest wire transfer from Simplii arrived in my FNB account, and I sent R4,500 to Bella, for the repair of her Mobicel laptop, which we had bought for her. When I ordered the wire transfer from XE Money Transfers I would never have guessed it would be spent on computer repairs. L-A posted Bella's Story to the Coppleblog. I plan on sending some appeal emails based on it. I emailed Tara to say it was now time for the landscaping company to do their one time leaves removal, since most of the leaves are now down from the trees. I worked most of the day on a description of the original indication of mesothelioma in South Africa, a tale of wrong conclusions and misdiagnosis. In the end I had the references I needed except the all-important report on the CT scan 28 Oct 2021. I thought I had seen it here in our files but couldn't lay hands on it. So I send an email to Worcester Radiology, who had always been helpful and efficient.

Tue Nov 8

A good day, getting started on the MoD application. I needed stuff from archives, such as my UK National Insurance number, and I found them. Also needed from the UHN Patient Portal my diagnosis. I went to get a B12 shot. There were about 5 waiting when I came in, and Dr L called me in by name within a minute! I was out of there a minute later, and went to Loblaws where I found Presiden't Choice Blue Brie. Had some good conversation with the cheese specialists. They said that Blue Bresse had been unobtainable recently, but might be back by December. I took the Fluxactive pills mid afternoon, well away from meals. Dinner was spectacular - Moroccan lamb, with figs and Moroccan vegetables. I'm looking forward to more of it tomorrow. We watched the final episode of Kleo, a good spy story made in Germany about betrayals in high places following the fall of the Berlin wall.

Mon Nov 7

Very disappointed in Fluxactive. I had a terrible night with many visits to the toilet. It was strange I didn't feel more tired when I got up. This comment may be premature, after a response from Customer service today. For a start, Fluxactive should be taken a couple of hours away from meals. Too bad they don't tell you that. Don't expect much in results in the first few weeks. Bella called with bad news, a story of wet floors and slipping, causing the table that her computer was charging on to go flying. The computer was non-responsive. I worked hard at Bella's Story and finished it. I included our expenditure on her hospital bills, residential fees and other key items since we came to Canada. Note that the hospital bills are just a small part of the actual costs of her operations, the majority of which are paid by the governmentm as a member of the coloured communities.

	Operations:       	R29,790  ($2,305)     
	Residence fees:   	R12,060  ($933)
        Travel, paper, shoes    R 2,540  ($196)
L-A OK'd it and I sent it off to Ron. Tomorrow I start on the MoD application.

Sun Nov 6

The clocks went back today, but I got up at the same time as yesterday in an effort to create an extra hour for working. I got coffee and panettone and started. 90 minutes later I cooked sausages and poached eggs for the three of us, adding fried bread for Steve and me. Then back to work on Bella's precis. At 11:15 we watched Catch the Fire, with Steve Long, and a Brazilian pastor preaching on the incredible importance of worship in the service and in our lives. As I listened to him an image kept coming into my mind of the worship team singing, with a hole or portal in the centre of them all showing Heaven in its glory and angels also worshipping to our music. L-A slept the afternoon and I continued Bella's precis, by dinner-prep time reaching June 2022. It was mentally draining but I also felt physically drained. I welcomed preparing dinner as something more relaxing.

Sat Nov 5

The first half of the night I had more uninterrupted sleep, and Fluxactive may deserve the credit. But by morning the effect seemed to have worn off. I was disappointed, though maybe over-expectant. Listening to Canadian Spaces reminded me that Dave Leibold had asked us to come up with something for the CKCU funding drive. So when breakfast was done, I set up the Marantz and the SM58. It was to be interview style, at a stroke eliminating any planning or forethought, and encouraging spontanaity. Here's the result which I sent to Dave. It makes a credible (if incomplete) record of our 4 years and how we felt about it. Dave replied saying he likes it, and will include it next Sunday 13th. Dinner was an excellent concoction of spinach and prosciuto stuffed veal rolls, a great success. During the meal I took 2 Fluxactive pills.

Fri Nov 4

I like Fridays. Generaly no appointments. Possibly a shopping trip. I got up early because I had to prove to myself that I could precis Bella's story direct from my journal, and preferably without printing it. I still made handwritten notes, and then typed them in a logical sequence into the precis. By the time Steve was ready for breakfast I had completed the hadwritten notes! But that was all I was able to do in the morning with serving breakfast to Steve and Laurie-Ann, and a series of other actions that needed to be done. In the afternoon I did go on a short shopping trip to Shoppers Drug Mart for medications for Steve, and then I was able to type up the notes I had made for Bella's precis. It was all doable and I should have it completed in a few days. I would send it to Ron in the hopes that he really would be able to use it in his community for raising the $50 per week needed by Bella's family, so that all we would have to handle would be the college residential fees, and hospital bills. The Fluxactive prostate pills I had ordered 13 October finally arrived today by Canada Post so I took one at dinner time.

Thu Nov 3

Hard on the heels of yesterday's exercise, first thing this morning we drove to Sunnybrook Hospital for L-A to see a doctor about her Lymphedema. I dropped her at the main entrance and drove on to the quiet road I relax in for the duration, collecting a Tim Hortons and a couple of Monsters from a filling station. Back home I called Solutions Banking and queried the apparent double entry of the interest payments on the AiO lines of credit, but everything is OK and the interest is paid automatically from Simplii on about the 3rd of the month. L-A was pretty tired and slept the afternoon.

Wed Nov 2

Getting ready for Uncle Fred's funeral was a precision job, involving dressing all of us, and loading two walkers into the car. Steve and I were in clothes we hadn't worn for years and I borrowed one of his ties. We were ready to leave on time for the Brampton Funeral Home, arriving for part of the visitation. Steve looked very smart and was on his best behaviour. We went into the chapel for the service at 1pm, with about 30 mourners. About 7 members of close family spoke about Fred Douglas, their father, uncle etc, in very affectionate tones. The pastor gave a short, appropriate address, alluding to Fred being in heaven. While about 10 went into the reception room for refreshments, the rest of us walked behind the hearse to the plot. I was keen to learn the procedure and took a series of photos. After the mourners had been given flowers to place on top of the casket, the pastor spoke again. About half the group then returned to the refreshments, with the core family members and I staying to see Uncle Fred well and truly transported 6 feet under. Melissa approached me and we had a good chat. We all watched the soil being returned to the grave by a caterpillar tractor and several traditonal gravediggers. The group then joined everyone else for refreshments, which by then we were definitely in need of. Laurie-Ann and Steve were at a table where I joined them. L-A had worked hard to feed Steve. At different times a few people came by to say "Hi," and Noreen and Melissa stayed longer with us. When most people had left, L-A had a chance to talk to Brian about a recent vision she had had about Fred, and then asked him if Fred had evenually given in to God and accepted him, as suggested in the vision. We were both overjoyed to hear that Brian had led him to Christ a few days earlier. It gave us hope for Steve in the same situation. L-A had a deep chat with Cathy, who had organized (very well) the whole event. We were the last to leave. As we drove home, the last thing I needed was a meal, but dinner time was approaching, so we had more of last night's stew, just in time for connect group.

Tue Nov 1

I offered Steve the 10 mini chocolate bars from last night after his breakast. A couple of minutes later I watched in fascination as he spat out the wrapping from one of the bars. He had been so eager he hadn't unwrapped it! I didn't have an appointment for my B12 after last week's chaos, so I turned up at the same time, waiting more than an hour. I greeted Dr Lindholm with a cheery "Hello James," and he asked me what was the country we had recently been in; I said South Africa. He asked me if people there had very informal relationships with their doctors, calling them by their first names. The penny dropped, and I asked him what he would like me to call him, and he said "Dr Lindholm." I had been led astry by the fact that he had called me Tony for months. The good news was that he wrote up an instant refill prescription for L-A's Venlafaxine, and the pills were ready from the IDA in 15 minutes. I had Kraft Dinner for lunch and it tasted as if it had vinegar in it. KD has always tasted right in the past. My taste buds continue to run pretty wild. In the afternoon I made good progress working on Bella's story, reaching the point - March,2020 - that I have already written a more detailed version for. After dinner Steve took out his dentures (good) but then sprinkled sugar on them (not so good).

Mon Oct 31

I managed to make a Skype call to Veterans UK before we went to see Dr Silver. While navigating their phone system, I picked a number, and it was correct! Soon I was talking to a Lancashire lass who knew the application form that I needed, and was happy to email it to me. I was a happy camper as we drove to Dr. Silver's. As he does every month or so, he chamfered up L-A's toenails and collected $75 from her. When she was done I told him that my new orthotics had been uncomfortable from the start, and had become gradually more so. In the last week I had pain in my insteps, and on Saturday had gone back to my old orthotics, with immediate relief. In fact, looking at the two orthotics, old and new, one could see the increased height of the new insteps. Dr Silver didn't seem perturbed, saying he would have replacements manufatured. I asked him if he didn't need more measurements, and he said it was quicker and easier to make new ones with a standard reduction in the instep height. If necessary this could be repeated until it was satisfactory. The cost of machining a new orthotic is clearly small. We left for home with me somewhat less concerned. Veterans UK had been as good as their word; the application form was in my inbox. As I printed it, I saw the early tell-tale signs of needing a new ink cartridge for Carol's printer. The existing one had lasted since January, so no complaints. The standards for paper size in the UK and Canada are slightly different (A4 and letter) and this had caused some of the 20 pages to be out of order. I re-collated the pages, a somewhat frustrating task. So I now have two pre-emminent and urgent tasks going forward: the precis of Bella's story, and the filling in of the Ministry of Defense form. I drove to Loblaws for some hot cross buns, and then on to Staples for a new HP98 ink cartridge. Steve was ahead of the game with Halloween candy, and twice attempted to raid the candy box before there had been any knocks on the door. The kids started arriving about 7:15, and since we live in a street where I have seen few children, I didn't expect many trick or treeters, so I gave out 2 mini chocolate bars from our box. But hard on the heals came more kids, sometimes with 5 or six all expecting candy. So when the box was half empty I started giving out one from the box. When I only had 10 left I turned off the lights and pulled the curtain shut, and there were no more visitors after that.

Sun Oct 30

Steve and I had a cooked breakfast: sausages, roast potatoes from last night's dinner and fried eggs. Sadly, they still didn't taste right to me - my taste buds are still out of whack. At the end of today's CTF service, a stranger came up to me and asked if I would pray for him. His name was Mike and he wasn't giving details of anything in particular that needed prayer. So I prayed, and he was grateful, and then he prayed for me. He had a winning smile. I drove home via Valley Farm Produce after texting L-A for the list of vegetables she needed. My text woke her up after 14 hours of sleep. She had 'crashed' as she does every couple of months. Have had no responses to my email out to GNiTM people. I had received charity requests from both TGH and PMH, and decided to send a small amount to the former and slighly less small amount to the latter. Wrote to Ian covering my condition in more detail, since he is behind me on his cancer journey. In the last week three red marks have appeared on the back of my left hand, and on on the back of my right. I decided they were probably basal cell carcinomas, and began treating them with Efudix night and morning for a month.

Sat Oct 29

Ian McCallum replied with some very pertinent details about his financial compensation for contracting mesothelioma, and wecomed a dialogue to compare our experiences. I produced GNiTM, the first one with Devin Hunt. I also updated the 'About' page on the website to reflect the changes since the disbandment of the board. I then emailed interested parties to tell them about Devin and invite them to listen. The risk here is that certain ex-members may take exception to my unilateral action, or to Devin personally, but I will argue that they have no say in a matter that I was asked to handle going forward - all aspects of the running of GNiTM.

Fri Oct 28   Med - My 5th infusion

The FNB site was open this morning so I sent the R4,000 for physio, and added via Messenger that Bella should always get a receipt for hospital (and university) expenses, and please would she send us a photograph of the receipt for the physio. I prepared porridge for breakfast. I was feeling better than usual with no nausea. I left for Princess Margaret Hospital at 10, but managed to sleep through St. George station, luckily waking before the next. After 90 minutes into my normal wait, I asked if the pager could be heard on the main floor (it can be heard on all floors) and went down to get a Sesame Seed packet and a Skor bar, for my lunch. I was called shortly after returning to the 4th floor, and given Red 80. As soon as I entered the red area, a familiar looking nurse said "Hi" and that she recognised me. It was Maria, who had supervised my 3rd infusion, 26 August. I asked her to take a photograph of me in the chair. All went well and we were done by 2pm. I arrived home shortly after 3 to find that L-A hadn't felt up to getting the lunches. Since I was also feeling like lunch by now, I was happy to oblige. Ian McCallum, my colleague in the RN replied to Mike De Malpas Finlay's exploratory email of 23 October to see who might be up to a reunion dinner in London in September 2023. Ian said that he had succumbed to one of the occupational hazards of Navy life, exposure to asbestos, and was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. I knew he was talking about mesothelioma, and responded to him. This was the first indication that any of my navy colleagues had been smitten with mesothelioma, but I am sure Ian and I are / were not the only ones. Ian replied to me and mentioned financial compensation he had received from the Ministry of Defence. Now, wouldn't that be something to solve our stretched finanial situation? I replied asking for more details. This hadn't been mentioned by the lawyer I had consulted with on the matter of compensation.

Thu Oct 27

Tweeted my new piece on the sorry state of British tory politics, written in answer to Janey's request for my comments on the matter. I feel the whole problem began with Brexit. I also sent my comments to my siblings, which might cause some friction if any of them are seriously pro-Brexit. Started doing some serious Lennie Gallant listening, starting with his Christmas Day on Planet Earth from 2021, a gem without any conventional Christmas music (ie Jingle Bells). Bella sent a message saying she needed a further R4000 for physiotherapy for 2023, payable this Monday. I responded with a message that until we receive an email from the physiotherapist detaing the payment plan, we won't be sending any more money for physio. She messaged L-A to say that she was incredibly embarassed to admit to the hospital or the college that she might have been 'begging' us for money, which is why we haven't heard from any of them directly. Laurie-Ann's favourite uncle, Fred, died today in the Brampton of old age at 12:55, surrounded by his family. Cathy had been with him round the clock for the last 2 weeks. L-A was sad she hadn't seen him since 2019. In the afternoon we drove to Woodbridge and Toronto's premier fish shop, Aqua Blue Seafood Ltd. The #1 objective was to buy smoked haddock for a fish pie but they had none in stock. We did buy other attractive fish at what I thought were reasonable prices. Although I was well up with taking my pills, I still felt very fatigued, until I had a Monster late afternoon which gave me back my normal energy. I gave L-A the second half of the can because she was feeling weak and fatigued, and it helped her. Laurie-Ann felt that the reason for the 2023 parment in advance for Physiotherapy for Bella might be a large discount; the price is attractive. Based on this I relented from my hard line and decided to sent the R4,000 to Bella. But tonight I couldn't get on to the FNB site.

Wed Oct 26

My three-weekly visit to PMH for blood test, chest X-Ray and update from Thoracic Oncology, this time by Dr Elizabeth Faour. She ordered more anti nausea pills, recommended I not waste money on protein powder from a sports medicine shop, and in answer to a direct question said my treatment is going very well. That is good news. Bought tickets for The Innkeeper's Christmas Concert, with Lennie Gallant, at the Paradise Theatre, Bloor St, Sun 27 Nov. 8 pm - 11. Our one Christmas treat.

Tue Oct 25

Laurie-Ann received a letter from Service Canada saying that her application for Canada Pension Plan had been approved, and it would start on 1 Jan 2023. I was happy that we got the application right the first time. I made some improvements to my response to Janey about the state of the UK and plan to tweet it. I am very much a voice in the wilderness on this. I took L-A to her dental appointment and then returned home, going for my B12 shot at 11:50. James was without his dozy receptionist so he was rushing around doing everything. Soon there were about 8 people in the lobby hoping to see him. When he appeared he called me in by name, and 5 minutes later had my shot. Some things are looking up! When I came out I decided to drive straight to the dental surgery, receiving a call from L-A just as I drew up in the car park. I asked if she would like to have a Chinese meal at the food court and we did. I took Steve to Dr Judah in the afternoon. He removed one of the daily meds for blood pressure and added a prescription for a 1-time urinary tract powder, Fosfomycin Tromethamine, in case this is perhaps causing the tendency to pee prematurely. Steve is generally in a relatively good state physically. I spent a very strenuous time filling one of Kinga Surma's cardboard bags with leaves in time for tomorrow's collection.

Mon Oct 24

I drove Laurie-Ann to Sunnybrook Hospital, dropping her at the main entrance from where she was given a wheel chair and pushed to various appointments, including Andrea Eisen. Meantime I drove to the same quiet road where I have waited in the past, and settled into some serious radio listening, part of which contained lots of short interviews with voters on this municipal election day. After an hour and a half I walked to the gas station and bought Tim Hortons and some cheese Doritos. Around 11 L-A texted that she would be ready soon. I couldn't get the car to start. The problem reminded me of that happened when I left the ignition key in overnight and it flattened the battery. The battery noe just couldn't get the starter going. I texted L-A and suggested she got herself to a coffee shop. I really didn't want to wait for the CAA. A better tactic would be a jump start. I checked that I had cables, and walked to the construction site up the road where where a truck had recently dropped off some supplies. The owner of a car there was remarkable helpful and said he would drive down shortly to give me a boost. But the boost didn't work, and I thought the problem must be more complex. He thought it was to do with the cables, and went to speak to his boss who might know more. While he was away I looked more carefully at my booster cables and noticed one of them was not properly connected to the battery. I fixed that and was able to start the car! I disconnectd the two cars then went to the site to find him and tell him all was well. Soon I was picking up L-A and we were on our way home. I finished the sibling letter and sent it. Here are the parts that are not medical related:

"Steve (L-A's dad) is slowly getting new and unusual behaviour traits. His planning horizon is about one minute, so when he comes to the table to eat, as soon as he can reach the food he will start eating before he sits down. Sitting down first detracts him from the objective - eating. He agrees that urine is being spilt around the bathroom and his bedroom, but insists it isn't his urine. We are now immune to any uneasiness about clearing it up. Nothing he does is dangerous as long as he stays in the house, and sometimes it can even be funny. Last week L-A and I visited the cemetery where Carol's (his widow) ashes are buried, but no grave stone had yet been laid. L-A and Tara figured out the words, and the stone will now be made. You can see some pics here - Use the right hand arrows. Today is the Toronto municipal election day. I had read that Toronto has the biggest incumbency problem of all North American cities (trying to unseat councillors or mayors who have been there for years preventing the ingress of new ideas), So I voted for the most eligible candidates excluding the incumbent. There were more than 30 people wanting to be mayor. None of my candidates will get in but some got an extra vote to encourage them to keep at it. Bella remains our #1 concern. This 20 years old brown South African has now had her first term at University in Cape Town. That is a huge achievement. During the term she had to have two operations for scoliosis and her back is now held together with screws, She also had two operations for drug resistant TB, a killer disease. We paid for her university fees and hospital bills, very subsidised because she's coloured. We also paid for her laptop and phone - essential at U/V. We have nurtured and fed her and her family since 2018, and believe that with our help she can raise herself (and the family) from abject poverty. She is our main legacy in SA. Bella "

After lunch with Steve I took him into the living room and showed him the photos of the patch of grass which is Carol's grave, and the design artwork for a gravestone. He really liked it - which was a relief. This led to a disussion of what was really left of Carol now. He said "Nothing," so I gently suggested that was hard to believe, after her full life. I suggested it was surely easier to believe what millions had believed for thousands of years, that the soul lives on, and for devout Christians, that meant in Heaven with Jesus. He wasn't ready to accept the Jesus ingredient but did say he felt it could be true that the soul lived on. This had been the most Christian minutes I had had with him to date. Janey had asked L-A what I thought of the situation in UK, after Liz Truss survived just 45 days as PM. In response I wrote a brief summary of recent events and suggested that the root cause had been Brexit. I had tweeted an article on 15 Dec 2018 saying that a referendum was unsuitable for resolving complex issues where the majority are not knowledgable in the points of law, so make their decision on emotional rhetoric. After dinner we watched the 6th and final episode of The Spy.

Sun Oct 23

Laurie-Ann came to church with me for the first time in many weeks! I think she was just determined. I forgot to take my pills there. After the service (Steve preached) L-A had a long long chat with Bob and Catherine. I had bought her a latte and waited in Atwells for her but eventually joined them in the sanctuary. I was quite late getting Steve's lunch. Before going in I photographed the green trees in next door's garden against a brilliant red tree. Only in Canada. In the afternoon I started a reply to a recent email from Neesa asking how we were all doing. L-A had an appointment at Sunnybrook tomorrow and spent some time writing up the DNA book Carica had given her when she recommneded DIM.

Sat Oct 22

My phone rang and it was Chantelle calling from Worcester! She says she is running two Mailbox Clubs weekly (Avian Park and OVD). Gerhard Strydom is providing all the materials she needs. I told her I am very proud of her - then the phone cut off. I sent her a text reminding her that international phone calls would eat up her air time. She replied asking for R250 for food for her mailbox clubs, and I replied recommending that she not give out food at Mailbox Clubs or people will come just for the food. Went shopping and suddenly all I wanted was a Mars bar. No Frills only had them in fours, so I bought four and ate one on the way home. I haven't eaten a Mars in many months, even years. There are many more things I don't feel like eating, so when I suddenly feel like it, I go for it. How's that for a cancer symptom! The motivation for going to No Frills was to buy kitchen rolls, which we use up very fast. Steven even seems to have a fetish about them, tearing them into strips few of which he uses. I sent Bella the R500 L-A thought she needed for paper to complete the backlog of her schoolwork. She had ignored my questions about how she could need R750 ($58) worth of paper for school work. Devin Hunt has agreed to take over Dave Kemp's spot as a GNiTM preacher. I must decide whether I will announce this to the ex-bard. The risk is that one of the existing preachers would bring up some aspect of Devin's life that he felt should disqualify him. James had moved further into the wilderness, presumably to climb a mountain. The map didn't show his track to get there so in my limited space for a reply I suggested he left the tracking on when he was moving. James camped on the side of a mountain in Death Valley and sent us his location. In tonight's episode of 'The Spy,' one of the characters made scrambled eggs for breakfast. I immediately wanted to eat scrambled eggs. It was the only thing my stomach desired. So at the end of the show I toasted a slice of bread and and added a single scrambled egg. It was delicious - but weird in conjunction with the mars bars earlier!

Fri Oct 21

I was all excited about tracking James and family as they drove to Death Valley (hottest place on earth) and at 10:30 logged onto his tracking site - which was frozen on the spot where our trial run ended 2 days ago. I played around with it for some time, assuming that the problem was me, and at the other end of the possibility scale was that they had a one-car collision. Around 1pm he video called me in the regular way to say that they had reached their first staging post in Deat Valley, and that he hadn't yet activated the satellite tracker to save communications costs. They were by a pond which contained the very rare Pupfish and I think I saw one on the iPad. They will be going out of wifi conact in a few hours and James says he'll email me with the tracking link. From then on I will be his only contact with civilization - quite a responsibility. The XE transfer came though and I sent Bella's allowance to her, ahead of schedule. A little later I sent the money for physiotherapy and good shoes. Before I send another R400 for paper I asked if she really needs to buy it all now, and why is it so expensive? L-A needed some yellow stickies, and Steve had a belt that no longer fitted him. I searched the suitcases for yellow stickies (we used to have many packs) finally finding one in the basement. I made a hole in the belt with tools from the basement, and took it to Steve, but he soon ascertained it still wouldn't fit him, so he kindly gave me the belt. James came through at 6:45 to say they had arrived at Wildrose camp, and sent the map so I could be impressed by the short distances between the contours. I replied within the allowed 120 words to say I was happy they were there.

Thu Oct 20

Bella received her R4,700 and has already paid the hospital (R2,000) and the computer repairman (R2,000) However she says the repairman may be prepared to fix some faults on her phone (including problems with the touch screen) and wouldn't charge her. She has bought some of the paper she needs. She has other needs however - physotherapy, techies (shoes) and more paper - which will use up most of the next XE transfer, due in a few days. Something tells me we will only be paying the minimum on the Visa this month. (We did). James called and briefed me on their camping trip to Death Valley. They will leave home at 7am tomorrow. I will be able to access the satellite tracking system and respond by satellite email. I slept in the afternoon. I am still having huge difficulty remembering to take my noon pills. To try and bring in money to help pay Bella's costs I conceived an idea. The original plan of writing Bella's Story is taking far too long. Instead, I should precis what I have written so far, and then see if I can continue the precis directly from the journal. If this can be done in a couple of weeks we could get it up on CoppleBlog and then distribute to other possible givers.

Wed Oct 19

Steve had a new psw today, since Slava was on holiday. I did paperwork most of the morning. We left at 2:30 for a meeting with one of the funeral directors at Glendale Memorial Gardens, Shazad Washington, to refine a gravestone message for Carol that Tara and L-A had come up with recently. She died 9 January, 2020, when we were restricted to South Africa by Covid regulations. Only Brian and Cathy attended the burial ceremony at the cemetery, and they left a bag of her ashes in the grave, located in the Garden of Apostles, patch 149 B2. When we arrived, Shazad took us to a downstairs room and we showed him the text for the stone. We went through several options: removing all date information except for the year was a saving. Not having a vase for flowers was a saving, including in maintenance. Steve will also be on the stone from the start with the year of death being blank, and they would add this for free. Several symbols were availanle, such as a cross in front of the word 'Believer' on Carol's section, and a railway union symbol on Steve's. Finally we were fully satisfied and he worked out the price: $4,666.90. Shazad convoyed us to the nearest spot to the grave we could drive to, and while L-A stayed in the car in the rain, I went with him to visit the actual grave. Use the photos from the right arrows to see where the grave is. Apart from a patch of grass there's nothing else to see. When we got home, Shazad had emailed us both the photograph of the grave stone design, and we were extremely relieved when Tara told us she was very happy with it.

Tue Oct 18    Med My 6th infusion

Dr Silver's assistant called fairly early to say that my orthotics were in. Late morning I drove there and put them on in the office. They didn't seem very comfortable compared with my old ones, but I left them in for the rest of the day. Then I drove to Staples in Mississauga and purchased glue pads to stick the angel back on the bedroom window, and also rubber bands because our existing ones bought in SA were perishing, and I used them frequently in the kitchen. I returned home via the LCBO where I bought three wine boxes and a six-pack of Rickard's Red. At home I got lunch and then drove to the IDA for the first in a series of new B12 shots. I told James Lindholm that we had never received L-A's Canesten prescription, so he printed off a new one and gave it to me. Unfortunately the pharmacist in IDA was unable to fill it, and there was some doubt if it even existed. So they called out James and he ended up giving me the prescription to fill in another pharmacy. Shoppers didn't have it either, but told me a prescription wasn't needed. I went home and looked up local pharmacies on Google Maps, and then went to Rexall at Cloverdale, who thought they had it in stock. It tuned out they had various combinations of the product - tablets or cream - but not exactly what James had listed. So I bought one box with one tablet, and another box with a tablet and cream. I was relieved when L-A was OK with my choice. In our prayers that evening we asked the Lord to watch over Bella, potentially with control of nearly R5,000, that she would not lose it to thieves. The key bill, for the hospital should be taken by EFT directly from her account. I would also like to hear back that the computer really was fixed, and that they maybe hadn't charged her R1,000 for storing the computer a few extra days. About 9 pm I took out the insoles from my shoes, and found the orthotics marginally more comfortable. L-A told me it took several days for her to adjust to new orthotics.

Mon Oct 17    Med

First thing, I checked the FNB account and it had R5,032. Bella needed R4,600 so I sent R4,700. This will pay her hospital bill, computer repair and special paper. Alison came at 8:30 before I had had time to wish Steve 'Good morning.' Shortly after breakfast Liam's rent arrived so I sent up a new XE money transfer of R5,000 to FNB. Bella will certainly come up with more needs. It will mean that we can pay less off our credit cards. Stewart responded to L-A that he had received the piece of art and was really happy with it. L-A had a bad morning from Candida but by afternoon reported feeling better from using pro-biotics and Kombucha. I am feeling very fatigued today and much looking forward to my B12 shot tomorrow. In fact by the end of today I probably will have slept half of it. The one good thing you can say about fatigue is that you can sit on a comfy chair and doze and you feel satisfied and even fulfilled. I mentioned this to James when he called, sying he was fatigued. He wasn't in a good way at all; not at all his normal self. I even have an advantage over him; I know I will feel better, and the whole world will look better after my B12 shot tomorrow. I failed to make progress with the medical audit or the EFT mystery, the latter because the bank's display of historic statements wasn't working; I sent them a message to tell them.

Sun Oct 16

L-A was suffering from the Candida infection, making a visit to church too uncomfortable. I put my noon pills into my shirt top pocket when I got up. I cooked pancakes for Steve and me. After the second one he asked for Cheerios. Then he had a third one. I had two. L-A had by now decided she didn't like my pancakes, so she had her regular breakfast which never changes. I saw Catherine shortly after I arrived and said I would like to get them their coffees after the service. I took my pills at noon precisely. Murray preached part 2 of his treatise on God lifting us into heavenly realms (Revelation 4). It was complex. Right after his talk I went to the coffee shop, was the first one there, and got large Americanos with 2 creams for Bob and Cathering and then set about trying to find them. Catherine found me, and by now there were seats in the coffee shop. Bob joined us in the sanctuary after the coffee shop closed. I hadn't known this but he is a marathon runner, and the Toronto marathon had passed their house off Bathhurst this morning. I decided to go home via the Renforth IDA, but L-A's Candida drugs weren't yet in. By the time I got home Tara, Kennedy and Wilfred (the poodle) had arrived. Kennedy was quite talkative both with L-A and me, and Wilfred didn't bark at L-A after being properly introduced. Later in the afternoon I returned to the second medical audit project but couldn't find a key letter to prove CRA had screwed up. Tara had kindly baked an apple crumble for our dessert. I had managed to take my meds at exactly the right times during the day, and had felt OK as a result.

Sat Oct 15

Alison wasn't coming till the afternoon, so I had set my alarm for an hour later than usual, eventually being ready to give Steve his breakfast by 9am. I listened to 'Why?' an online sermon by Deven Hunt at Eternal Hope Anglican Church in Carleton Place, and was impressed by the content and the presention. I called Dave and asked of he knew any reasons why I shouldn't ask Devin to replace him on the team of podcasting preachers. He had no problems with Devin, but mentioned Tim Parent at St Luke's, Pembroke, as a possible alternative. I listened to a some portions of sermons by Tim, but preferred Devin (on both counts). So I messaged the powers that be at Eternal Hope and invited Devin to contact me. Shazzad from Glendale called back, and I made an appointment for next Wednesday 19 Oct at 3. I drove to the IDA, and they had my B12 shots ready but not L-A's prescription for Candida. I went to No Frills to buy blackcurrent jam, a yen for which I had developed this morning, but they had none. I didn't want any other jam. So I drove to Loblaws and they had none either. As I roamed the ailes I noticed that many sweet foods I would normally have loved now turned me off. In fact, when occasionally I found something and it didn't make me slightly nauseus, I tended to buy it. This afternoon that included some very basic yellow cake, and some white chocolate. There is no doubt my taste buds are still playing up, and it significantly curbs some of the pleasures of eating. For the afternoon, L-A and I enjoyed a previous edition of 'Saturday Morning' on CKCU. Shortly after we had a large dinner: turkey korma and basmati and naan, and strawberry rhubarb pie, I had left my dessert plate on the counter, and when I entered the kitchen found Steve cleaning the plate further with my fork! He has been extra hungry these past two days. Immediately before dinner he had eaten an orange. I washed and massaged L-A's legs and feet using the Simply Bee products from South Africa. This is something I have done for her periodically for a couple of years, but recently not so often.

Fri Oct 14

We haven't heard from Stewart whether he has received his artwork, so I went onto the Canada Post tracking app and found that it had been delivered to Spencerville post office several days ago. I forwarded the report, and later sent him an email. I drove to Kinga Surma's municipal government office and collected autumn leaf bags, meeting her briefly. I completed my research on whom I would vote for in the municipal election on 24 Oct and filled in the mail-in voting forms. L-A did the same. With some trepidation I called Steve into the kitchen and attempted to guide him. It soon became apparent that he wanted to vote for the incumbent every time. So I filled in his forms accordingly and he signed. I then took the three envelopes to the post office in Shoppers. The whole exercise had taken me lots of time, but also taught me a little about municipal politics here. I had stated my voting philosophy on Facebook a few days ago, and now I added a comment, listing my top three options for mayor, and only options for councillor and trustee. I called Glendale Funeral Homes and left a message for Shazzad tht we would like to meet with hime to plan Carol's gravestone. L-A says Tara has given us carte blanche in any decisions. Then I called James Lindolm, who is more accessible after 5pm. I wanted to get back on B12 shots - he gave me a time for Tuesday and said he would fax a prescription to Renforth IDA next door. Laurie-Ann needed an antidote for a Candida infection, and when he had spoken directly with her (while she cooked the dinner) he said he would fax a prescription next door.

Thu Oct 13

Woke with a heaviness in my chest that persisted half the day. Still mindful of the recent hack (?) I changed the passwords on Simplii and IG Online. The latter required help from head office, since much of the associated information was way out of date. Updated my Mastercard information on Flickr and asked them if there was a cheaper option than 'Pro.' While on line I clicked an infomercial about a new solution to enlarged prostates. It was an interminable presentation but I watched it all, having a strong vested interest in the product. Although my problem is night-time only, it could develop into very serious consequences. The product is Fluxactive. They had multiple offers for multiple bottles, but I ordered just one. After shipping and tax it still cost $171.52 for a months supply. If I don't notice an improvement after that I will assume the product is not suited to my specific case. I continued working through mayoral candidates for the election.

Wed Oct 12

First thing, I photographed the new mixatap. Then I printed off Mr Rooter's receipt for $449.21. Steve owed a little over $300 for food. After serving his breakfast, I showed him the mixatap photo and the receipt, and then asked him to sign two cheques covering the plumbing and the food. Immediately after breakfast I drove to the ATM and deposited the cheques. Back home I checked our Simplii balance: - $23. I set up an XE Transfer of R500 to be sent to our FNB account. This was 4 days before we would receive our rent from Liam, and meant we would be able to get the money Bella needed 4 days sooner than we had advised her. I had not planned this, but maybe our all-powerful God had. TKoG. I read an excellent article on on 'How Toronto's councillors became almost unbeatable', on incumbency in Toronto, the highest of all North American cities. It made me realise that as a new Torontonian without previous experience of the situation, I could strike a blow against incumbency by voting for the best qualified non-encumbents. I continued working through the list of mayoral candidtes, also on, giving marks out of 10 to those for whom there was any information, preferably a web site. Bella was very depressed in the evening, thanking us for our help but 'it isn't working.' She is still talking about selling her phone to get the money for her taxi fare home.

Tue Oct 11

When I got up I was very nervous about what I would see when I turned on the computer, so for some time I avoided it. I had the larger pans from the dinner still to scrape clean, so I busied myself with that. Eventually however the washing up was done and I had no option but to turn on the computer. After prayer, I did so and everything was normal! TKOG. The hack had retreated. For the next hour after breakfast I completed a back up of key files to the black back-up disk. In theory, should my main computer fail, I would be able to continue using Pink Dell. Mr Rooter (Bob and Ante) had arrived at 9, viewed the problem of running hot water in the basement sink, and determined that they needed to buy a replacement tap. By the time they got back, Alison was washing Steve, so I gave them coffee and we had some good conversation till some time after Alison had finished. They got to work, starting by turning off the water main. They worked for about 2 hours, putting in a handsome looking brass mixatap. I paid Bob with my Mastercard, very aware that this action would benefit Bella. I took Steve to chiropodist Dr Silver who cut his toenails. He will continue to need this every 6 weeks. It's more than I could handle. Our dinner was roast turkey and pumpkin pie. There's lots more turkey, but L-A did good work processing the waste products and we got them into the compost pick up for tomorrow. After dinner we separately reviewed the municipal election candidates, though many had no published information, which disqualified them as far as I was concerned.

Mon Oct 10    Thanksgiving

L-A asked me to listen to a faint sound of running water that she could hear from the bathroom. I checked all taps and discovered the mixatap above the sinks in the basement was not completely turning off, and the water that was running out was hot. This needed professional attention. I didn't want to drag out Mr Rooter (our plumber) on the holiday so I called their office late afternoon, and arranged for them to come between 9 and noon tomorrow. Contrary to our immediate plan for Bella, she is asking for the hospital fee as soon as possible, but this is something we cannot do for her, so as L-A has explained it is all down to prayer. In our precarious financial situation I have been checking our bank accounts in Canada and South Africa each day in case of unexpected demands. So I was pretty familiar with our balances. Mid afternoon I had a serious hacker attack, with intructions about whom to call to deal with it. Indications were that the warning had been posted by Microsoft Defender (which I use). A man answered the phone in a thick European accent. He guided me through several stages of getting rid of it, including setting up a 'Teams' account which I assumed would allow him to remotely control my computer, but he never seemed to do that. It had an aggravating audio warning, so at one stage the bottom line of my computer was revealed and I was able to turn down the volume, making it much easier to understand him. He ran a dos program for several minutes, which ended with a statement to say my banking was hacked. The agent then had me check the current balance of all bank transactions, and nothing had changed since I had been there earlier in the day. Eventually he just disappeared, and I still don't know if he was with the good guys or the bad. Maybe he had used Teams to make notes on our accounts, in which case he would have seen there were no large positive amounts waiting to be skimmed off. But by now I was using my computer normally, so I started backing up key documents. This all put something of a damper for me on the joys of Thanksgiving turkey. Because I had been on the phone to Microsoft(?) for an hour, L-A had done many of the things I would normally help her out with, like putting the turkey in the oven. So when I became available it wasn't a heavy load. By 6:30 we were ready to eat and the whole meal, from parsnips, brocolli, sprouts, cauliflower, garlic to cranberry source plus a large turkey, was served. We enjoyed it so much we forgot to talk much. Everyone ate all they were given. And then it was time for pumpkin pie, also a hit after embellishment with special whipped cream.

Sun Oct 9

About 5:15 I woke - with a dream in my memory which didn't immediately fade. Although I dream a lot, this was the first coherent one still in my memory after waking since 11 Sept 2022, and before that March 2021. I took the dreams book to the kitchen and wrote out the short dream. L-A had two excuses for not coming to church: she got up too late and she wanted to defrost the Thanksgiving turkey. I was greeted there by bob and Catherine bearing gift - almond ring cake. We had expressed admiration for this when they brought lunch to us. I said I would try not to start on it during the sermon. What I had brought with me to eat were my noon pills (were my 1pm pills till recently). I had no water, so at noon, the only thing I could think off to wash down the pills was a slice of almond ring cake. So much for my earlier promise. The pills seemed to work immediately because I was able to follow the sermon without flagging. It was based on Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4 showing heaven being brought down to earth. The pills continued to work at home for the afternoon when I started my serious search for Steve's wallet, in the hall closet. It only took about 10 minutes, and I found in the closet a full container of floor-cleaning detergent, so I decided to sweep and mop the kitchen and bathroom floors, activities I have been putting off for days. As I did this I was also editing digitized audio files on the red disk - good multi-tasking. Bella sent us a worrying update. She had had the operation and would likely remain in hospital recuperating for a while. There would be a hospital fee to pay, of about R2,500 and taxi fares back to Worcester. For our part we have an overdraft of $750, with headroom of $1,000, so I am loath to use up the headroom on money for Bella. The monthly rent on the condo will come in on 15 October, and then we can send R5,000 to FNB by XE Transfer. But it will take 10 days after that before Bella sees the money. L-A explained all this to her, and we believe she understands that she must stay in hospital at least till 25 October by when she would be able to pay her bills. This is a stressful time for her and for us financially, and we can only pray that it will work out without unexpected costs arising. After our fish dinner we enjoyed the almond ring cake augmented with strawberries and ice cream (sorbet in L-A's case).

Sat Oct 8

I turned on 'Saturday Morning' on CKCU before even washing and listened either live or on demand throughout the day. One of the songs on the show was a new version of 'Which side are you on?', a Canadian initiative which I posted to Facebook. Breakfast was an experiment: I made Aunt Jemima pancakes (found in a cupboard) for the first time in my life. I forgot to grease the pan the first time, and put the results on one side. My next attempt was thinner and looked good enough to eat - so I did. Not so shoddy. I made a couple more pancakes, thinner and smaller. Then Steve came in for his breakfast and I gave him one of these last two, and he enjoyed it. Finally L-A arrived so she got the other one. Just for fun I got out the first attempt, and tried it with butter and maple syrup and it was tasty despite its thinckness and rough shape. My experiment had worked out better than expected, for sure. I went out for Steve's prescriptions and my Tylenol no 2. Then to Loblaws to get some more soups. I couldn't find water there and we are on our last large bottle, essential for L-A.

Fri Oct 7    Med - My 5th infusion

When James called this morning on their way to take Sagan to school, we chatted all the way back from school and then in his living room, a total of 40 minutes - None of it boring. I was not happy to see an NSF charge on Simplii. It wasn't too hard to figure out what it was for since the amount of the debit, $486.84 matched the amount of interest owing on the larger of the two AiO lines of credit. The problem was, if I paid all that I thought was owing on the AiO, it would drain the Simplii overdraft, and risk another NSF. Then I noticed that the interest on the smaller AiO line of credit, $231, had already been successfully been paid a few days ago, so I only needed to pay $500. I sent that amount off by e-Transfer, feeling very relieved as I went off for my infusion that we had dodged a bullet (TKOG), and in the process I had learned that the interest charges are called in by ETF in the few days following month end. Our subway train went out of service about 2/3 of the way to St. George, and everyone got out and waited for the next train. When it came there was quite a crush, but I spied an empty seat between two women. I said: "Don't worry; I'm thin." The woman seated on my right then said, "You're English." "English and thin" said I. This was the beginning of a very engaging conversation with her, a teacher by profession, and now a special needs teacher for dyslexic kids. In the crowded train, distracted by great conversation I missed my stop, going on two more to Yonge before realising it. I hurriedly exited and returned to St. George. I was an hour waiting before being called to my infusion station at 3 where I met my nurse, Michelle. The infusion went according to plan, but I wasn't finished till 5:45, and home at 6:53. I had felt extra energetic much of the day and I went straight into making supper. Every couple of hours during the day I had a spasm of painful ear ache in my left ear. This was new.

Thu Oct 6

I planned to start on the second exercise with the CRA today, showing that they denied us medical expenses by arbitrarily switching to the calendar year for expenses reporting. Dr Silver had offered to cut my toenails when he saw my feet last week, but he charges $85 for the first time, and then $75. So if I am able to continue cutting my own it is a badly needed savings. After my bath this morning, and before anyone else was on the move, I went to the living room with the cutting tools. There wasn't much light. I sat on the new couch with a chair in front of me, held the torch in my mouth, and got busy. I had replaced the batteries in the torch a few days ago. Much to my surprize I was able to cut all my nails, including several which have recently turned yellow, and I drew no blood. I was pleased. The latest XE transfer came through overnight so I sent Bella her allowance which had been due on 3 October. In a couple of days I will send the allowance for 11 October. Her family has been really hurting. There was still enough in the FNB account to fund her latest operation, so I sent her R3500. In the afternoon we got cooking, but were held up by the food processor. After L-A had put in a selection of home dried herbs, the processor wouldn't turn on. I tried figuring it out for 40 minutes or so, eventually realizing that the lid should only be put on in one orientation which allowed an electrical connection to the 'on' switch. We did a lot of cooking - red beans and rice, and strawberry cake, but in one of the short times when I wasn't needed for 10 minutes, I went to the filing system in the bedroom and looked up CRA tax year 2020 when we had had a medical expenses audit. I found a letter from me in February to CRA stating our medical expenses ended 22 Oct 2020, and then a letter from CRA to me in April stating they had used the calendar year for their calculations. This had the effect of denying our expense claims from 23 Oct to 31 Dec 2019, and from 22 Oct to 31 Dec 2020. These I intend to re-claim. Finding these two letters was a great boost, giving me energy for the cooking.

Wed Oct 5    Med

I was in PMH and TGH and then back to PMH this morning. Maybe there was a scarcity of X-Ray capacity in PMH. I seemed to have a little more energy than recently. For my 3-weekly visit to Thoracic Oncology, this time I actually saw Dr. Bradbury again. She asked if I had seen the CT scan results and I said I had, but that I didn't think just two measurements were enough data to draw conclusions from. She suggested there were two ways forward: to stay on immunotherapy and have another CT scan after two months, or to switch to chemo. Maybe I was influenced by Dr Max Goodwin's experience (New Amsterdam) but I preferred the first choice. So that's what we are going to do. She thought my response to immunotherapy so far had been promising. The only blood measurement that could be better was albumin, which is related my protein intake. I am at 29 g/L and the normal range is 38-50 g/L. I told her my appetite was good, and that I planned to go to Swiss Chalet on the way home, and she said 'go for it.' So I went next door for a quarter chicken, dark meat. Sadly it didn't taste exactly right to me, but I still enjoyed it. Steve hasn't seen his wallet since 28 September, when I took him for a haircut and paid with $20 cash from it. So on my way home I went to see Ben, his barber, who suggested I talk to the Mall lost and found. They took details and went off to their vault, but didn't find it. I drove home, served lunch to Steve and L-A, both of whom were asleep, and then went to sleep myself for 90 minutes. After our dinner, the second helping of chicken paprikash and tagliatelle, we joined connect group. Bob and Catherine were there as always, plus Paula, and a new addition, Tatienda. After the first hour I asked to be released because of fatigue, and then things really got underway, Laurie-Ann sharing several words of knowledge. I slept another hour, and then did urgent email work. We missed our Bible reading and prayer time (unusual), but it was now 11:45 and high time for both of us to go to bed.

Tue Oct 4    Med

Steve had 2 Cheerios breakfasts, one when I got him up, and another after Alison left. He has been extra hungry for several days. An email from the bank warned me I have again allowed a line of credit to fall below $100 above its limit. This in itself is not serious, but when I investigated I found we were on the hook for last months AiO monthly interest - about $731. The statement of interest owed is only available on 29 of the month, and I paid earlier than this. In future I must wait till 29th before paying the Mastercard, or estimate the interest. We are sailing very close to the wind with our finances. I sent L-A's commissioned portrait to Stewart Curry, fixing a USB with all of the colouring book B&W art inside the package. The postage and insurance were $3.60 and $25.02 respectively. We were shocked to receive this message from Bella: You would not believe what happened yesterday at school . While I was talking with some of my roommates and one of them was telling a joke I was laughing my foot slipped and I fell on my back over a big Stone . My back got hurt. They took me to a medical room on campus to see what's the problem, one of my my bones in my back bone fall off again, that old place on my back which was operated on 2 times got hurt all over again this time much worse. I want to show you a picture of how bad it looks like but they don't want me to. I must go back to hospital again, so that the doctors can operate over again, then I will probably have to be there some time to recover. I guess I have to sell something of me to pay for this surgery cause it was R3500 last time and will be the same this time, cause it's the same surgery. At lunch time I couldn't find Steve. He had wandered out of the house and down the driveway. At least he put his shoes on this time. We have told him often that he mustn't leave the porch. He has the potential to fall and cause a head injury. He believes the neighbours will always rescue him.

Mon Oct 3

We went to see the chiropodist, Dr Silver. We had successive appointments. L-A went first and had her toenails chamfered while I filled in a form stating my health condition. When she was done, I took off my shoes and socks and he got out his sophisticated 3D laser foot contour measurer, which rapidly compiled the geography of the bottom of my feet, from which a new pair of orthotics will be made. Dr Silver is pleasant to talk to as he does his stuff. I had worn my present orthotics since late 2017, and 2 years is considered the maximum time that orthotics can be useful before the feet have changed. So I have been fortunate that they have allowed me to walk and function as long as this. I paid the full bill of $680. The orthotics will take a few weeks to manufacture. We had coffee and sweet treats at Starbucks at Six Points on our way home. Back home I went to Shoppers and to No Frills for urgent things. Laurie-Ann had a better day than yesterday. One factor in that was that we received her commission - $180 - for the piece of art done for Stewart Curry. This is a big event for us!

Sun Oct 2

Chantelle caught me on a Facebook video call and told me about a modelling experience she had taken part in - we had already seen the photos sent by Jan Buchanan. Then she started her well prepared routine to have me sent her money, something I couldn't do at this time, so I declined. She mentioned once again that Bella was pregnant, but she wasn't even in the same town as Bella. I told her it wasn't true and she mustn't pass on false rumours. L-A had been insistent that I go up for prayer after church. I told my situation to a lady called Milana originally from Bolivia, that I wasn't sure how to shape my prayers now that the opposite of what we had prayed for had happened. She said she had suffered from sciatica for some time with apparently no benefit from prayer, but she and her prayer supporters had just increased the level of praise, worshp and prayer. A while later she woke up one day to find the sciatica gone. She also mentioned that the pain had returned that very morning, and when she came into church she was drawn towards a woman obviously in pain, which was the same pain as she had. The moment she started praying for the woman, the pain ceased in both of them! I think Milana knew a thing or two about healing prayer. Bob and Catherine were no longer in church by the time I came out, but I saw them with another couple on the patio. I sat nearby for a few minutes, but then decided not to interrupt, and drove home. Mid afternoon, L-A was suffering from ear ache, headache, nausia and sinus issues, and she went to bed. I cooked Steve and me cheese omelettes with wedgies for dinner, and then gave him the rest of the cake from yesterday. L-A got up around 8, feeling somewhat better. It may be that she just needed to crash, catching up on extra sleep. I communicated again with Pierre Coulombe on the subject of the rogue EFTs (see 21 Sep), and he responded with information that might take me closer to solving the mystery.

Sat Oct 1

The CRA was as good as its word. When I tried again today to access Laurie-Ann's CRA MyAccount, using the multi-factor authentication I had set up to complete her income tax last year, it all worked. So she has one multi-factor authentification grid for CRA and another for MSCA. I read somewhere that one can only have one grid, but maybe that meant one grid within MSCA. We should hear from CPP within three weeks whether her new pension has been set up, and how much it will be. Today's big event was a visit from Al Clarkson whom we communicate with regularly on Facebook, but haven't seen in 7 years or do. He had been to a pastor's funeral at Six Points and came on afterwards to us. The conversation was fast and full and continued as we prepared the dinner, so it was only right to invite him, and for him to see a little of Steve. The chat continued apace till about 8:30 when I drove him to a bus stop on Eglington Avenue. Al doesn't drive, but is a master of the transit authorities in several cities. He also has no cell-phone, showing this is possible to do, and survive.

Fri Sep 30

Correspondence from Bella this morning suggests she now needs the residence fee for November, but then there would be four months when the fee would be paid by the unversity. This is very different from what she previously told us, but it's better than hearing we were on the hook for every month. I have the money in the FNB account to pay the November bill, and I sent it. L-A thinks the university is being extra strict on her because she was a little late on recent payments. I received the UHN report on the CT of my chest, stating the the tumour is growing. Here's an excerpt. 'A right paratracheal lymph node on image 35 now measures 12 mm in short axis in comparison to 10 mm previously on image 44, mildly larger. Right lower paratracheal lymph node on image 46 measures 14 mm in short axis in comparison to 11 mm previously. Similarly, a subcarinal lymph node on image 16 now measures 12 mm in comparison to 9 mm previously. Left epiphrenic lymph nodes are slightly less prominent on image 100 measuring up to 13 mm ensure axis in comparison to 15 mm previously on image 114.' This is the opposite of what we have been hoping and praying for. It may explain my increased breathlessness as the left lung becomes less functional. But in the middle of the potential storm I felt calm, something we pray for and had prayed for ealier today. The tumour may yet start to shrink, after initial expansion. I tried to log in to Laurie-Ann's My CRA account, but annoyingly I used her Multi-factor Authenticaltion Grid from MSCA that I had set up yesterday. It logged me out and told me to try again later. So I tried again to set up her CPP, as I had tried and failed multiple times yesterday - and this time it worked like a knife through butter, without asking the confusing questions that had floored me yesterday - TKoG. I was so grateful and relieved I went and soaked with L-A to Blessings and Journeys for an hour, a real time of rest.

Thu Sep 29

We had pancakes for breakfast and again they went down very well. Today L-A got one as well. The report arrived on the UHN patient portal from my CT scan last Friday. It confirmed a bunch of conditions I thankfully don't have, but the summary report was absent. I will be seeing Penny Bradbury or her deputy next Wednesday and I am sure all will be explained. We had received Laurie-Ann's personal access code to her GC-Key, and I was able to set that up. But when I attempted to set up her CPP I was repeatedly confronted by issues in my understanding of the app. With dinner approaching I put it on one side until tomorrow, In the afternoon I was feeling extremely weak even though I had taken my pills. It is possible I hadn't taken my iron this morning. L-A needed my help with preparing the evening meal, but I was dragging myself around the kitchen. Eventually I was able to lie down on the couch, and after dinner I was feeling better.

Wed Sep 28

Steve's breakfast consisted of the regular Cheerios, followed by a slice of buttered raisin bread sliced in two. He was immediately sceptical, saying this had got him into trouble last night. I said it was much nicer with butter on, and left him to it. He only ate one of the slices, saying it was too sweet for him! I took L-A to her dental appointment at 11 in Cloverdale. It turns out that because the dentist who had previously examined her in relation to the request from Sunnybrook that a dentist advise whether she could tolerate a drug to lower the chances of breast cancer resurgence had moved back to BC, she would now need confirmation of his findings from another dentist. This was done during this appointment but the results are awaited. She did have a cleaning. While she was in there and I was walking in the mall I was tempted by a small Chinese take-away, so when she was done we had noodles and chicken for our lunch. It's strange how I could feel hungry for Chinese chow even though it was only noon, but not wanting anything else. Same thing happened later in the afternoon when the only thing I was hungry for was Philadelphia on crackers. Later in the afternoon I took Steve for a haircut with 'Ben.' The moment Steve stepped into the mall he announced he needed a pee, so we spent a worrying 10 minutes getting to the toilets, but we made it before problems arose. Ben did a good job. They only take cash, so Steve paid for it from his wallet. That was a first! Laurie-Ann was having difficulty getting email to run on her iPhone and iPad. When she ran the 2 stage verification, it sent a code to her tel number ending ..56. but no code was received on her phone. Eentually she realised that her South African number also ended ..56. That's where the messages were going. On her laptop she was able to change the number, and then turn off 2-stage verification alltogether.

Tue Sep 27

Overnight the money had come in from the XE Transfer from Simplii to FNB! Very soon I had send on to Bella the second half of the residence fee, and her weekly allowance that was due two days ago. It remains to be seen if the university will be able to collect the residence fee, allowing Bella to remain at the university. When L-A got up she told Bella. When I went for my B12 shot I also asked Dr Lindholm about seeing L-A to allow him to requisition for a neurologist who would hopefully corroberate the SA MRA. He said it wouldn't be necessary to bring L-A in, but I should bring him the MRI report, and she should then call in. I have completed the course of B12 shots, and Lindholm says I should call in for further shots as necessary, eg if I become extra fatigued. I picked up turkey breast at No Frills and then looked for Coffee Crisp, finding only packets of four. Sadly by the time I got home it was a packet of three. Shortly after getting home I went back with the MRI. Metro delivered food about 4, including extremely good raisin bread. I had two slices immediately with butter. L-A is having problems with her iPad, preventing it running Google applications like GMail. After dinner Steve went food foraging and found my raisin bread on the counter. By the time I arrived he had a slice in his hand and he knew I wouldn't be happy. I said I would put the bread away where he couldn't find it. I felt bad about this incident because he had every right to the food in the house. I planned what I should do to make up for not being mynormal friendly self.

Mon Sep 26    Med

In the continuing process of creating Bella's story, I started on extracting the significant references to Bella in 2021, the year we began sending cash to the families instead of doing their shopping and delivery (18 April). I was able to contact EFT Canada (see 21 Sept), and contrary to what Simplii had told me, the customer service representative said that the item on my bank statement did NOT refer to them, but was merely an electronic funds transfer to Ministry Growth Fund, whatever that may turn out to be. I will get back to Simplii. I took down the hanging basket. It had lasted well but the squirrel had finally won the battle. I was able to hammer in the panel under the sink that Steve had removed, after straightening the four nails at its corners. Just after 5 we got through to James Lindholm on the first try (!) L-A asked for replacement prescriptions, reported on her gynacologist appointment, and then brought up the subject of her disability tax credit certificate. He wants her to see a neurologist to confirm the MRI findings from November 2021. It was a good call.

Sun Sep 25

L-A didn't feel comfortable with leaving Steve alone in the house after yesterday's performance, so she watched church online. I took the blender with me that Bob and Catherine had lent us, and after the service was able to return it to them as we had coffee, initially in Atwell's, and when they ousted us, in the sanctuary, using the blender box as a coffee table. They introduced me to two friends, one called Gilbert. Considering they even bought my coffee, I feel very blessed with their friendship. During our conversation I told them how I have no stress over my cancer, and never have done. It turned out that Steve had a normal day without destructive moments, so perhaps yesterday will be an aberation. I emailed Tara with the good news about the Steve's repair of the stove. I checked the FNB bank account several times, anxious to get money to Bella asap. She is at the mercy of the university authorities, but on her side is the power of prayer. I realized I had forgotten to post Good News in the Morning yesterday, so I did it a day late. I had been looking forward to our dinner tonight, gingered beef, but I was disappointed, mainly by the sauce which the instructions recommended should smother the beef. However, L-A and Steve seemed to like it well enough. It was another opportunity to use the Cambodian chopsticks that Matthew McCulloch had given us.

Sat Sep 24

Steve's behaviour today was very different from normal. He spent much less time sleeping, but instead wandered around looking for jobs that he thought he could tackle. This included washing up, which in his version includes moving plates and cutlery from their regular spaces to somewhere else. He will try eating anything he finds; for example he tried munching on raw tagliatelle that was on the counter. Not everything he did was unhelpful. He swept areas of the kitchen floor. Around noon we began to hear an unfamiliar scraping noise. It didn't sound dangerous so at first I didn't investigate. When I did finally check what the noise was, I found he was scraping the top of one of the broken stove hobs with a razor scraper blade from a packet he had found in a kitchen drawer. At first I was concerned he might be damaging the stove further, but then maybe he has done this in the past with success. After quite a lot of scraping, the hob was smoother than I had ever seen it. I turned on the power, and the look of the element below was normal! I boiled a saucepan of water and it operated normally. Earlier in the day when I had shown him the 'broken' stove, we had even discussed the possibility of needing a new one. So this was such a relief, and Steve was the author of it. In the afternoon I continued the scraping on the other defective burner, and plan to scrape the good burners as a preventative measure. I wondered if his capability in repairing the stove was a different manifestation of the unhelpful things he continued to do throughout the day. At dinner time he blatantly started to eat my salad. When we were settled down in front of the screen to watch 'New Amsterdam,' he interupted with irrelevant qestions. We heard strange noises coming from the kitchen, but at first ignored them. When I finally investigated, he had prized off the plank of wood nailed in front of the sinks because he found a nail protruding. So he has reached a point in his dememtia journey when he will (in a small way) demolish his house. Scary. I will have to repair that tomorrow.

Fri Sep 23    Med

Bella and L-A corresponded at length, for example on why so little notice had been given to her to pay a residence fee that previously she had been told would be paid from her bursary. L-A is very angry about the situation. I am less so unless we hear the threat of denying her continued schooling is actually carried out. I left home at 9:30 without eating for my CT Scan at Toronto West Hospital, arriving on time, and getting the scan a little earlier as a result. The technician inserted a drip in my arm. The total scan took only about 15 minutes. For the final 2 minutes something changed related to the drip and my arm hurt for a few seconds. But all was well. I asked another patient to untie my blue gown - I have never mastered how to do that. This scan is very important for monitoring my progress under immunotherapy, and possibly even estimating ting my life expectancy. I was cold on the way home, as I had been on the way out, because although the sun was shining the temperature was low, and I just had on a light shirt. I was home in time to serve lunch. While doing this, a second burner on the stove cracked and spluttered. The first one had done so a few days ago. We will need a large appliance repairman, but first I e-mailed Tara to see if she had a recommended technician. I emailed EFT Canada to try and identify who the $16 monthy payments were for. I went for a haircut at First Choice and it turned out the most expensive I have ever had at $26 + tip. Seniors' discounts are now only available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Time to switch to Steve's barber.

Thu Sep 22

I drove L-A to see gynacologist Dr Liao for a pap test and advice on her hot flashes. He cannot prescribe hormones without an OK from her Sunnybrook oncologist, and in the meantime she should try evening primrose oil and particularly soy based remedies and maybe find some relief. He is a very kind and considerate man, and charming, even showing interest in my maladies. We went home along Finch Avenue West, currently under LRT construction. Toronto is a whole city under construction, a sign of prosperity. Bella sent a message saying the university was demanding her R3000 residence fee for October by this weekend. They had given her a different schedule of payments than she had previously told us, which had shown her October payment coming from her bursary. Apparently a fair number of students can't come up with the money, so they are let go, allowing others to take their places. So she would need to explain her situation asap. Tonight I sent her half her residence fee which should allow her to bargain, and earlier today I had transferred a further R5,000 to FNB which will take about five days. In the afternoon L-A made apple pie crumble and meatloaf which we enjoyed for dinner. I was not very kind to her as she was doing the creative part of the cooking, complaining that all my time was being given up in fetching and carrying for her.

Wed Sep 21

We received a message from Bella, including, 'I'm OK - the last operation is done. I can't wait to be back on campus again. I hope everything goes smoothly. Thanks for everything.' This was a comfort to hear. The focus is switching back from her health to her studies. I progressed Bella's story. I went grocery shopping at Loblaws, mainly to replenish our soups with ones not tried before, and also to get some different dessert. I need some variety! I noticed a monthly deduction from Simplii of $15, and the first thought was that we were still paying into BHCC. I emailed Pierre and her assured me it wasn't possible. I called Simply and they stopped the payments for 6 months, but were unable to identify the recipient, other than it was going via bill-payment organization called EFT. After a month's break, our connect group started up again, with both Paula and Bonnie present. One of them mentioned that we should investigate day care programs for Steve from the psw organization, CBI.

Tue Sep 20    Med

It was time to bring up the subject pf the Disability Tax Credit Certificate with Dr Lindholm. Before breakfast I went through all the medical paperwork searching for L-A's application and supporting documentation, but couldn't find it. When I went for my weekly B12 shot, I asked Lindholm about the Disability Tax Credit application. I asked if he really didn't want to get involved in it. He said she should call in to him and he would review the guidelines with her. The evidence is the MRI and her more recent hip X-Ray. The question is: is this sufficient? Back home, with no more scheduled events, I resolved to search for both the Disability Tax Credit application, and L-A's sandals with orthotics that I started looking for 10 days ago. I prayed for help in finding them. It wasn't long before my prayer was answered in part. I remembered that the 'Find a Doctor' folder was near my computer since I refiled things for the medical audit. Inside the folder was the application and the MRI result and disk. I thanked the Lord. I fed Steve on one of two cabbage rolls I had found in the fridge, with his normal roast beef bagel, plus a Costco rice pudding for dessert. He got right into the cabbage roll, ignoring the bagel (normally what he starts on). I got out the rice pudding before he had finished the bagel and he started on it immediately. He hadn't used his knife for the cabbage roll, but he used it to scrape every morsel of rice pudding out of the plastic container. So it's not just that he hates knives! After lunch and clearing up I targetted L-A's sandals, going through first the area in her bedroom within a metre of her. I rationalized various boxes and swept clean dust and hair. Now I had more scope to look under her bed, and wouldn't you know, both pairs of sandals were directly under her head when she slept. I let out a heartfelt prayer of gratefulness. She had been reminding me every week, and I had achieved nothing, till now. I still had a vague memory of finding her sandals in a trunk, and giving them to her for safe keeping. We haven't heard from Bella in 2 days and I am worried.

Mon Sep 19    The Queen's funeral

I got up at 5:30 to watch the funeral (L-A was up by 5). The Order of Service was helpful since the commentators were deliberately less chatty than at previous state state events I have seen (except in the US where their never-ending comments attracted media complaints). It was an indellible statement of the affection and respect held by the British people for their late queen, and a Christian statement of some magnitude. L-A carried on watching for 7 hours. I took Steve to Dr Judah for a follow-up on his persistent cough. The medication has been effective, and the X-Ray showed nothing to be concerned about. He prescribed another bottle of the cough mixture. I was on my way to bed and saw Steve in the bathroom wiping something off the floor. He said, "Someone's been peeing on the floor and it wasn't me." I didn't contradict him, but showed him how best to clean it with two sheets of kitchen roll, folded.

Sun Sep 18

Robbie Dawkens would be the speaker at CTF today and I wasn't going to miss it. Sadly, L-A wasn't up to it. I was there in good time but the numbers were fairly normal. Worship leader was Jonathan Clarke, who was a previous worship leader here. Also Robbie had brought some musicians. The music was Spirit filled. Then Murray introduced Robbie, who told stories of signs and wonders he had experienced, starting with a raising. There was extensive ministry time afterwards, and L-A actually saw me waiting in line as she watched on line. I asked for prayer for my tumour to have reduced or even disappeared by my CT scan next Friday. I was walking out via the seat I had occupied and the man still sitting behind me spoke to me and blessed me. His name was Robert, and it turned out he was suffering from anxiety that prevented him getting work. We agreed to continue our chat in future weeks. As I walked towards the exit I felt like a coffee and took it outside to the patio. There was a man sitting alone and I joined him. His name was also Robert, and he had been running a ophanage in India for 20 years, after being convicted right here at CTF. He is in significant danger from other religion fanatics when he goes there, and it's too dangerous for his wife to accompany him. Despite this I had the impression he was only really happy in India. After a while a lady turned up whom I rightly guessed to be his wife. Her name was Heidi, and they had been to Harvest School in Mozambique. I returned home after enjoying being at CTF more than usual. Shortly after I got home, Tara and Kennedy arrived unexpectedly, bringing a Tim's chili for Steve, zuchini bread and banana bread, and also the designer dog Wilfred that she dog-sits from time to time. Very strangely, Wilfred barked at L-A. They stayed an hour or so, when L-A took a nap.

Sat Sep 17

After normal morning stuff, and helping L-A make home-made Italian tomato sauce, I went into the garage and cleaned up the BBQ from last night. I called Rick, the tasker who had finished the assembly of the couch, and said we would like to go ahead with the replacement of our bathroom window frame. He will get back to me by email. Bella sent us a heartwrenching message bordering on despair. She needs another big operation on her legs to prevent her becoming a cripple for life. We sent the money for it: R2000. We prayed a lot, partly with M-A. L-A sent her my email address to give to her doctors. We need to talk about upcoming operations with them - how many? I am finding this very hard. We cooked pasta sauce from scratch in the Dutch oven for 6 hours, eating it over tagliatelle for dinner.

Fri Sep 16

After breakfasts I got down to applying for L-A's CPP. This is done through My Service Canada Account, and I haven't previously set one up for her, so I had to start from scratch obtaining a PAC (Personal Access Code). This required the family name of one of her parents at birth and I chose Zachar, which caused an error message. After checking a number of options I called the help line and they immediately suggested using her mother's name, Neilsen. This went through, and we will receive the code in the mail in a week. We had an unusual lunch: couscous salad, potato salad, bagel with cream cheese, prosciutto, and rice pilaf from last night. In the afternoon I finished making the notes for 2020 on Bella's story, and and transcribed January and February into her actual story. We are celebrating Oktoberfest a day before others, and my job was to BBQ the sausages in L-A's BBQ. I moved it out of the garage about 5pm and fired it up. The temperature soon rose above 300 F and I kept it below 400. The sausages cooked from frozen, and I made sure they were well browned. I put the rolls in the BBQ for a minute or so when we were almost done. The result was fine and we ate them with special sauerkraut, special Oktoberfest mustard, potato salad and couscous. After the main course our dessert was pear cake with ice cream or sorbet plus berries - a full plate. An hour later Steve was back in the kitchen foraging for food! He was satisfied by a slice of toast and jam.

Thu Sep 15    Med. My 4th infusion

After breakfast I drove to Home Hardware and bought a propane cylinder for Laurie-Ann's BBQ, bought in 2013 in Nelson, BC. Back home I was somewhat intimidated by the user's manual, but persevered and was rewarded by successfully screwing in the propane cylinder, and then soon after seeing a flame and feeling the warmth. Success - we would be able to BBQ tomorrow's Oktoberfest sausages. Before leaving for my PMH infusion, we had coffee and pear cake. The latter plus a few M&Ms may have stopped me feeing hungry till dinner time. I waited a couple of hours for my chair in the chemo rooms, when my male nurse Ahmed did all the work with the infusion drugs, again including anti-allergic reaction components. In the next bed was a 60 year old man with cancer of the esophagus, on an experimental drug, and other treatments. Sadly it is hard to have an extensive conversation with another patient. I was done my 4:45, and home shortly after 6; L-A had done all the heavy lifting for dinner - rainbow trout - and we ate about 6:30.

Wed Sep 14

With a slice of pear cake recently swallowed I was on route to PMH by 11 am, getting to the hot dog stand by noon - time for a mild Polish. I wasn't hungry enough (the pear cake?) but I knew I needed the protein. I got my bloodworks done, and then my chest X-Ray. The techician deliberately looked the other way and I saw my chest - the left lung was less than half full of fluid. That was better than I had seen it for 6 months. Maybe Cordymax is working. I went to Tim's for coffee and a chocolate donut. I could hear music, and soon I found it: the Odin Quartet was entertaining the hospital on the second floor. I watched and listened for 40 minutes. Apparently there are concerts like this every Wednesday. I waited a while to see Dr Feng, and when he came he said all was going well. I guess he had seen my report from yesterday and blood results from 2 hours before. So that was good news. I felt peckish and bought some peanut M&Ms and a sesame seed bar from the pharmacy, finishing the sesame bar in one go in the Tim's sitting area. My instincts had been good: the sesame and the M&Ms both tasted right and gave me a sugar boost. I got another in the subway station with a Red Bull, and a few stops down the line was awake and not focused on sleeping. The Celebrex I had taken at 6:30 seemed to have been only marginally more effective than Tylenol No 2. At home I joined L-A in bed for half an hour and then got up to put a deep dish chicken pie in the oven and take some rainbow trout out of the freezer. L-A's skill with planning our meals ahead is extraordinary. We heard yesterday from Faisal Yaqoob in Pakistan, asking for a letter of introduction for him to come to Canada for a month. That could be doable. but then he is offering to help us with chores and looking after Steve, and the whole idea seems very risky to me. We are just holding our heads above water, and any kind of responsibility for a visitor could take us over a tipping point. Worst case scenario, he asks us for money to deal with unforseen problems when he's here. We are committed to Bella.

Tue Sep 13

B12 shot at 10am. For the first time I called Dr Lindholm 'James.' He has called me Tony for a couple of months. I spent some hours working on Bella's story during 2020, extracting relevant events from my journal. This was the time when Covid rose up, and when our township families experienced real hardship. I completed my e-check-ins for my three meetings in PMH tomorrow. In the afternoon and evening, L-A made pear cake, and we finally got to eat some about 9:30 pm. It was well worth the effort!

Mon Sep 12

I emailed Tara for her gut feel on whether we should fix the bathroom window. Then I scanned the most recent 4 drawings which had been half completed but were now complete. I helped L-A put on all her compression garments except the socks. We drove to the Lymphedema Centre in Scarborough. We arrived at a good time when we were able to pick up the second chest compression garment, but also get advice from Sandra about some areas of difficulty we had experienced. I even bought a pair of compression socks, to replace the cheap ones I had bought in Dis-Chem about a year ago and worn extensively. At first she offered high compression socks at $126. When she saw my reaction to the price she brought out a pair at less than half that, and similar compression to my existing socks. I have worn them all day and they seem to be good. Back home, L-A said the activated charcoal had reduced her gas, but she still had a hot flash.

Sun Sep 11    Med

Again, Laurie-Ann's virtually continuous hot flashes made it not feasible for her to accompany me to church. When I got there, sitting in the same central seat as last week, Paula came over and said she had brought her blender to give to us. Catherine had lent us hers for the last few weeks and I had used it effectively for mixing Appeal. Shortly after, Bob and Catherine came over to me and I told them why L-A wasn't here. Gordon Harris brought the message, showing how we shoudn't pack away our emotional selves into a box, but to work through them and process them, perhaps with help, and always bringing them to Jesus. I maintained that I don't have a box full of such episodes when I was discussing the matter later with L-A. I sought out Paula when the service was over, and walked with her to her van, which she thinks is falling apart, and she gave us her blender. She also recommended Matcha Green Tea, and Black Charcoal for Laurie-Ann's hot flashes. I drove home and L-A said she hated the taste of Machta Green Tea. I called Nature's Pantry, and they had Activated Charcoal pills, so that is probably what Paula meant. I could find no reference on line to a capability of relieving hot flashes. I drove to Nature's Pantry, and bought the Activated Charcoal, and well as Menoforce, which the lady recommended, and clearly stated it helps with hot flashes. If Paula really had received relief from the charcoal, then I was prepared to spend the $14.75. I suggested to L-A she start with the charcoal for a week or so, and then switch to Menoforce to guage the difference.

Sat Sep 10

These recent messages from Bella are very relevant to us at this time.
Hi L-A
I saw that Tony posted something on my timeline. Some things are personal. I don't tell a lot of people about my health and I also don't want others to know the connection I have with you and Tony . When I get really sick and cannot contact you then I will let the doctor send you an email. Hi L-A
Yes I'm in hospital, the doctors did a lot of scans but they still haven't found out what really is the problem. I've got lung infection and the TB got very worse also. They want to do 2 operations now. I also have a kidney problem and that's why my lower back is in pain so much lately. Sorry that I didn't text you I was busy learning for the tests and projects which is very difficult but I will give my best. Keep me in prayers. I didn't receive the money yet for the first operation yet, but I will probably get it on Monday and then do the payment, because they already did the one operation on Wednesday - thank God it was successful. And this week they will do another, still don't how I will get that money . I'm just praying that my health will be better and to be discharged soon, so I can go back to campus. I don't want to be behind with my school work . I'm also missing my roommates a lot 😔😔😔
Hi L-A
My second operation will be on Tuesday, I think it will be somewhere in my kidney. it will be quite a long operation, between 2-3 hours. The cost is R2000. Just got the info this morning 😔 Keep me in prayers. I hope for the best and to be healthy for school soon.
Hi L-A
I you still drawing during the day? Send me some of your drawings please.


I sent her R2000 for the kidney operation. What else can we do? We trust in the Lord both for her health and that our money will not be exhausted. I checked on Google how much water a young tree needs, and we are in the ball park. We have green leaves on the tree. The irrigation system I set up a few weeks ago is working well. For dinner we had a dish new to me, pork ribs with sauerkraut. After 2 hours in the dutch oven, the meat just fell off the ribs and tasted wonderful. We enjoyed New Amsterdam, a hospital drama we've now watched a few times.

Fri Sep 9

At breakfast I suggested to Steve that he use the teapot for peeing at night rather than risking dizziness and a fall by walking into the bathroom. The trigger for this was that twice yesterday he peed around the toilet and Laurie-Ann stepped in it. Following recent security notifications, I changed my passwords for Facebook and Twitter. We watched the whole of the service from St Paul's Cathedral which began with Kind Charles III's first speech to the world, and where incidentally he expressed his Chritian faith as very important to him. We had last heard from Bella three days ago when she asked us for R1500 for her TB operation. Supposing she became too sick to phone, or didn't pull through? We have no contact with any of her friends in college who could tell us. I posted to her FaceBook timeline asking if anyone had had news from her since her recent operation. Also, we don't know Cathy's bank account number, to continue payments to the family direct. So I was very relieved when she messaged L-A today to say the operation had been successful, but she could need more operations. In her reply L-A asked her to introduce us to one of her friends in college, preferably a FaceBook friend who we could then befriend, and we asked her for Cathy's account number with Capitec. After dinner I swept and mopped the kitchen floor. It needed it.

Thu Sep 8   The queen died.

L-A left the living room to come to bed at about 12:15 am, and as she approached the bathroom she heard a bang, and then saw Steve's head protruding from the bathroom door. She called me. He said he had felt dizzy and the next thing he knew he was on the floor. I pulled him a foot back into the bathroom, from where he could reach several handholds, and he was able to pull himself up on his feet. I got the walker and he returned to bed. It was fortunate that L-A had heard and seen what had occurred, or he might have lain there some time. When I got up I rubbed the areas of mold on the bathroom with a cloth, and marginally improved the situation, but it was far from dealt with. I will repeat the process on future nights and see if we can make any more headway. Patsy called to delay the time I should get to her house till 12:30. I left about 11:25, and arrived at Dufferin station at 12. I soon found a 929 bus (similar to 29) and got on. My Presto card worked fine. I attempted to keep an eye out for her building, but it was hard to read house numbers. Then I saw number 300, followed by 200, and I knew I had seriously overshot. I got off, crossed the street, and caught the next 929 going north. But again, I overshot mumber 661, getting off at about 673. This was my first experience of Toronto buses. I walked about 5 minutes and there was her building. It was only 12:35, and soon I was knocking at her door. She had aged since I saw her last. She was already in her wheelchair. I had a 5-minute rest and then we got on our way to the restaurant. Unfortunately she didn't see it and we went twice as far before she said we must have passed it. We went back and found the Sunset Restaurant - 'best everything in town.' She chose an omelette and I a burger, and both came with a plateful of fries that neither of us touched. We had quite good conversation about her present life. Her main problem is pancreatitis. Her main joy is remembering the time she spent with her second husband, Paul, whom we met. Much to my surprise, she asked the waiter for just one bill. She had said it was her treat, but I wasn't expecting it to materialise as such. I offered to pay, or to pay half, but she wasn't having any of it. Including the tip, it cost her $40. Walking back to number 661 didn't take long and soon she was on her bed, and I was recuperating in a chair. It had been a lot of exercise for me. I caught a 29 bus, which meant buying a fare with Presto, which worked fine. I asked someone if they would tell me when we got to Dufferin station and she got out her maps app and it clearly showed we were going south, away from the station. I had got on the bus on the wrong side of the street! I got off and tried again and this time I was finally at the station. Thanks to Presto, the two extra trips had cost me nothing. I was confused inside Dufferin station by the signs, which suggested there was another line there, and no signs to Line 2 for Kipling. As I was wandering around looking for direction, a total stranger spoke to me, and said "The Queen has died." And it was true. By the time I reached the car in the Kipling parking lot, CBC radio was doing a special hosted by Piya Chattopadhyay. She domiated the airwaves for the rest of the day - all complimentary and rightly so. The news on France 24 that evening was entirely about her. I went straight to bed for 90 minutes when I got home, realizing that what I should have done this morning was take a Celebrex. However, my body did handle the extra exertion, and the exercise might even have been good for it. I got up at 5 and helped L-A make SA style spaghetti and meatballs. At prayer time I prayed hard for Bella. If she is really ill, and unable to use her phone, we will not know.

Wed Sep 7    Med

We had planned to join the intercession team this morning at church but Laurie-Ann wasn't well enough. I was disappointed, because it was good work, but the compensation was the time it gave me for analysing our givings (see below). I was a little more vigourous in the morning after breakfast, maybe due to the B12 shot yesterday. I calculated our income (direct from bank statements) from 17 Jan to 31 August: $25,512. This came from rent and pensions. So we have been titheing at 17%, and 13.5% just for Bella. Admittedly givings included our gift to Kevin of $2500, and two scoliosis operations for Bella in February and March totalling $593 which we hope will not be repeated. Before the recycling truck turned up I was able to cut up the final cardboard from the couch boxes and get them in the bin. In a conversation with James yesterday, when he said I have probably been hacked, one obvious action came from it: change my Google Account password. I did this today. Maybe I will notice a reduction in notifications that I have security problems. If I do, Norton should have dealt with them. We also discussed migration from Blackberry to an i-Phone. He says I should be able to back up Blackberry to the cloud. In the evening L-A and I crowded into the bathroom to treat mold with the Concrobium Mold Control that I had bought at Home Depot. We squirted it into places L-A thought were black mold and left it overnight. By the end of the day I was still feeling better than for several weeks, so I must credit this to the B12.

Tue Sep 6    Med

To Dr Silver for L-A's toes. I took the opportunity to ask him if it would be beneficial to remake my 4-year old orthotics, and he was certain it would, and we have booked an appointment for 3 Oct at 11 and 11:15. From there we went to Nature's Counter where I bought Circumen and Chia seed. Then on to Mississauga to Blue Danube House, specialising in Hungarian foods to buy paprika and a number of other good things. At 3:30 we (both) went to see Dr Lindholm, I for a B12 shot, and L-A to tell him about her virtually continual hot flashes. He wants her to have a Pap test and gave her the name of a doctor - Dr Cha - who would do it. Late afternoon I turned on the water for the little tree and then forgot about it, till Steve said it had been running for ages - actually a hour. I felt extremely bad about this. He got us out of a jam - again. I received a notification from Mike de-Malpas Finlay that Rob Walmsley had died. He was a good friend of mine in the Navy, ending as an admiral. Bella contacted L-A with bad news - she needs an urgent operation for her TB treatment. She had been feeling unwell and went to the university medical centre, at Laurie-Ann's suggestion. They sent her urgently to the hospital who told her the operation will be R1500. She had no option but to ask us, but in the back of her mind she will remember that such unplanned payments will reduce what we can pay for her residence. My concern is that this hospital bill will not be the last. I totalled the money we have donated since 17 January to 31 August and it came to a staggering $4,341, of which $3,939 was in rands for the girls sent via FNB. The figures exclude the latest hospital bill and other September givings. This is way more than a 10% tithe. We watched the final episode of 'Catherdral of the Sea,' a Spanish production set in the 1300s and ending in the time of the inquisition.

Mon Sep 5

Rick J, Tasker, arrived at 11 to complete the assembly of the couch. He clearly had the know-how to clip the 4 units together, because the job was done within 15 minutes! This was fine with me, although the minimum payment is for an hour. In his additinal time he took a look at the bathroom window. This would be quite a big job, requiring the replacement of the window frame. He would be happy to undertake the work, which would take about 3 hours plus the cost of a window frame. I have his direct line. in the afternoon I harvested the first batches of elderberries from the tree in the yard. I needed a ladder from the garage, but got enough fruit for L-A to make a dessert. She spent a long time taking the individual berries off their stalks with great patience.

Sun Sep 4

Laurie-Ann got up feeling several degrees under - certainly not well enough to attend church. I wasn't feeling too great either, but I felt the church service would take my mind off it, clearing the problem. I sat in the middle section behind a young Chinese couple clearly in love. When the time for communion came, the leader encouraged us all to exchange our little containers of elements with someone near us. Imagine my surprize when Peter - for that was his name - turned round and switched with me, instead of his friend Audrey. I found it moving. Murray preached on the power of weakness - sometimes demonstrated even in Jesus - to illuminate the Gospel. There were free hot dogs for eveyone to celebrate Labour Day tomorrow, but I repidly realized I was making a big mistake in participating. Maybe it's because I have enjoyed some excellent hot dogs recently, but these tasted awful to me, and it wasn't a taste buds thing. I ate enough to act as my lunch and threw the rest away when I got home. For the last week or so I have been inconvenienced by dried-up conjunctivitis specs around my eyes, and I suspect some of them getting into the eyes and causing irritation. Today I remembered that in the final months in SA I had bathed the eyes in warm water each morning using gause swabs, as recommended by one of my eye doctors. I searched in our medicine supplies and found the gause swabs, and bathed my eyes - for instant relief. I progressed my piece on Bella's story, for Ron Piggott and a possible thinly disguised appeal. It's laborious. In late afternoon as L-A slept in the green chair I had time for a treat - listening to a George Sinclair sermon: 'Christian counter-culture: wives and husbands.' He nailed it of course.

Sat Sep 3    Med

I had set my first alarm for 6:30 instead of 6, and the second remaining at 8. This was an attempt to see if the Tylenol No 2 was losing potency after 2 hours. I did have a better morning than yesterday. Before breakfast I consolidated my 'Do' and 'Buy' lists. I was able to complete several of the 'Do' items quite rapidly. I called Pat and explained that Laurie-Ann's disabilities meant that going out anywhere was a major exercise, but I said she could take me to lunch if she wished. She took up the offer, and we'll have lunch next Thursday. I confirmed the tasker for Monday, despite it being the Labour Day holiday. I checked the UHN portal to see if I had yet been given an infusion appointment between 14-16 September. I hadn't. I will call them on Tuesday. I drove to Home Depot and bought an anti-mold product to treat the bathroom, which has no exhaust fan, and it is even possible that Steve's persitant cough is a reaction to mold.

Fri Sep 2

Tara replied in the affirmative. I registered with a tasker with Brick experience, who was meant to get back to me within the hour, but didn't. By the end of breakfast I was feeling twice the fatigue that I normally would have by then. This continued for most of the day and I wondered if my morning pills would work better a little later. We had been a little apprehensive when Kennedy went home with her birthday gifts of explicit Christian material. Imagine the joy when L-A received the following message form Tara: 'Hey hey. Just wanted to drop a note about Kennedy’s gift. She’s so proud of it. She tells everyone her Aunt made a colouring book and page 39 features her. She shows it around. Thank you again for making her feel special.' Pat Codner had left a message, and when I called her back she invited the two of us for lunch at a restaurant near her home. I said I would get back to her.

Thu Sep 1

I sent a sibling letter - haven't done that in a few months. I adapted last Saturday's journal which looks at our general routine here rather than specific things that happened on Saturday - which I couldn't remember. At 12:30 a video call came in from Chantelle and I happened to be on my computer and able to receive it (unusual). Lottie (her grandmother) died this morning in Worcester hospital. Chantelle was in Cape Town but came back to Worcester. She was in good spirits (partly at getting through to me on video) and had had lost none of her powers of persuasion. After I convinced her we weren't paying any funeral costs, she homed in on her need for R250 for outstanding school fees. She says she has a scholarship for CPUT (where Bella is) next year. If she has potential sources of funds for the things she isn't expecting, Chantelle could have a bright future. I emphasised that we were no longer able to send money on a reguar basis, but that I would send the R250. I finally got down to attempting to connect the main sections of the Brick couch together. I definitely had the right orientation of the RH arm rest and the RH unit, and to facilitate the process I raised the RH unit with books, but was totally unable to apply the necesary force and see what I was doing at the same time. I called the Brick customer Service, and they do not offer to complete installations that have been partially completed. The lady also told me that the task I was attempting was known as a particular challenge. On line searching revealed a species of handyman called 'taskers' who specialise in furniture assembly, charging by the hour. So I emailed Tara to see if we should engage a tasker.

Wed Aug 31

We got up early so that we would be at the church intercession group meeting by 10. Slava is the psw on Wednesdays and she is always quite early. L-A is a signed up member, and while I am just her driver, I was made to feel like one of the group. Paula and Catherine were present from the connect group, and Sandra Long led the session. There were about 18 present, and Sandra explained we were preparing the School of Ministry building spiritually for the forthcoming school. She split us into groups of 3 or 4, assigning us to stay in the sanctuary, while other groups went to different parts of the building. Our group leader was Jason, and our 4th member was Penny. Laurie-Ann offered to take notes. I actually kicked off our prayer, focussing on the young people shortly to leave their homes, some from abroad, and come here for the 3-month school. We offered prayer for all aspects of the school, the team and the learners, for about 90 minutes, when Sandra returned for a short plenary session. L-A was really keen that we went to Starbucks afterwards, a kind of approximation to a date. We drove some distance to Bloor Street West. At home L-A made sauteed garden tomatoes with fresh herbs, with farfalle, a different style of lunch from our usual and very nice. After lunch I got down to getting a hose pipe rigged up to water the dying(?) tree. There was a piece of hose in the garage, with the same fittings as the one in the back yard. I reached the tree easily, putting the two together. I got a little wet after turning on the tap and walking round the house to the tree. The hose had a number of leaks in one area, but not enough to stop my giving a couple of gallons to the tree. I had enlisted God's assistance from the start of the job, and, as usual, He had come through. My next task was to see why the management fees and interest payments we made in August seemed so high, and I was poised to call Solutions Banking and ask them the question. But further analysis showed it was the interest on the larger of the two lines of credit that contributed the bulk of the fees. I was relieved when I revisited the spreadsheet of cash flow going forward, and found that I had built in approximately this amount. Steve rested on the couch till about 10:15 and then decided to walk to his room - without the help of his walker or a cane. We heard a bump as he fell to the floor a yard short of his door. He wasn't hurt. I was able to coax him to a crawl which got him to the bed, and then for him to ease himself onto it. I didn't attempt to lift him during this process, mainly because I would have surely failed.

Tue Aug 30

My first action was to clear the way for the plumbers to replace the tap, by moving furniture away from the wall, and bringing down a small ladder from the garage. After feeding Steve, I ate a fried egg and the last slice of bacon. The bacon had a weird taste - my taste buds are not yet back to normal. The light was poor but I thought it was just sufficient to screw in the last two wheels and the last two legs, but I wasn't able to summon up enough twist energy to finish the legs. James called and we got the low down on Sagan's party in the woods last Saturday. While fresh on my mind I downloaded the last few months' Sagan photos from Kathy's website and uploaded them to my Sagan page. Then I posted the best of the birthday pics (there are some really good ones) to my FaceBook, with a link to my Sagan Flickr Album. Alfred and Michael from Mr Router arrived promptly after 1. I took them down to examine the job and Alfred whipped out his iPad and showed me a quote of $327 to get on with the job. I was a little skeptical since to me this job might require extra work such as stripping some plaster off the wall. They needed the water turned off so that delayed our lunch, but they worked diligently and replace the defunct tap with a modern unit with an on-off bar for ease of use. When they were finished they charged exactly as quoted, which I paid on my Mastercard. I don't think I'll be able to fix up a hose to water the tree till tomorrow. I had a rest after lunch. I cut some of the Brick's cardboard into shape to protect Stewart's piece of art so that it would fit snugly into an envelope. We were watching TV at about 9 when Steve came in and reminded me I hadn't put out the garbage. Bless him. If we miss a garbage pick-up I would have to take the garbage to a collection site.

Mon Aug 29

I was locked out of my South African WhatsApp by a 2-stage verification requiring me to respond from my SA number, which no longer exists. The only way for me to get back on WhatsApp is to delete my existing WhatsApp (if that doesn't require 2-stage verification) and then set up a new WhatsApp based on my Canadian number. I tried to call The Brick customer service before starting on the round legs for the central section, but they weren't answering. So I went ahead and managed to screw in the first leg through the cloth. I called Mr Router and he'll be coming tomorrow to fix the seized tap. The new tree still has some green leaves (but many more brown ones), and I carried out a gallon of water to it. I drove Steve to the imaging lab at 150 Sherway Drive for a chest X-Ray in connection with his persistent cough. Parking is limited but there is a seat near the entrance he could sit on while I parked the car. There were wheelchairs inside the entrance and this saved him a lot of walking to the imaging department. All went well I believe inside the X-Ray room. I screwed a round leg and two wheels into the couch. We had our Bible reading after lunch when I noticed a resolution in this journal that we should move it from late night when we were tired. This worked better. I was relaxed in the afternoon, and at one point sensed a canopy of joy over me. I sent three pictures of Kennedy on Sunday to Tara.

Sun Aug 28

I dreamed about various ways I might be able to screw in the legs of the couch, the most interesting being using the bent bradawl from the kitchen to make the screw hole larger. I wasn't keen on borrowing or buying an electric drill because I would also need drills. After breakfast I tried again using a better screwdriver that I found in the basement. It helped a bit, but when I wrapped the screwdriver with the wet dishcloth from the kitchen sink, I was able to turn the screw several more revolutions, and completed the job. Buoyed up, I moved the couch so I could get to the fourth leg, and managed it quite rapidly. Made my day. This means that with only four more legs to go I should be able to complete the job, but not before Tara arrives with Kennedy this afternoon. I helped L-A on with her compression garments and there was a time when she said she wasn't coming to church because we couldn't get the prosthetic level with her real breast. She is very sensitive to getting this right, and the design of the garment leaves a lot to be desired to my mind. However, she did manage to fix things and we did leave for church on time, though with Steve still eating at the kitchen table. I feel he's a lot safer from wandering too far if we leave him lying on his bed. Laurie-Ann had quite a chat with Ash as she came in, while I was getting seats fairly near the front. The music seemed extra good - though maybe that was a result of being closer to it. Steve Long brought up member of the church who had witnessed an instant healing of a woman at the Saturday community event that the church supports, followed by her and family members accepting Christ. While we were still seated after the service Murray came by and we had quite a long chat with him. L-A told him about my cancer. Murray and Ash are getting to know us. We arrived home with the possibility that Tara would already had arrived, but she didn't come for several hours, bringing herbs and cup cakes. She took Steve for a burger mid afternoon, which meant he didn't join us for matapa later. She and Kennedy entertained us with stories about a designer dog belonging to a friend that they dog-watched from time to time, and had cost $5000! Kennedy opened cards from Steve and from us, and then opened the special present from L-A: both colouring books. All went well, and L-A and Kennedy had some special 1-on-1 time as well. In the evening we watched the final episode of 'Bodyguard.' Gripping.

Sat Aug 27    Med

I am writing this on Monday, after writing Sunday's journal, and can remember very little about Saturday. I must have been very busy, or I would have had time for the journal 'as it happened.' I must have been very tired at the end of the day - which is normal - or I would at least have added some highlights before retiring. Laurie-Ann will have continued with the many things she does, primarily drawing, reading and study, designing meals and cooking, and computer work, despite worsening pain in her knees and back. Steve will have become just a little more cantankerous, and with a little less appetite, though his long term cough is responding to Azithromycin and Hydrocodone Bitar. He will have walked round the house with his walker several times, bending down to pick up very small pieces of dirt every so often, wrap them in kitchen roll and drop them in the recycling. As a variation he may have come to the sink when I was in the middle of washing up, pushing small pieces of food waste down the drain. Most of time however he sleeps, mainly on his bed, but sometimes on a couch. I will have felt a little more fatigued and less like getting involved with things. The war in Ukraine would have continued to worry me, particularly the danger to Zaporizhzhia, Europe's largest nuclear power plant. I will have helped L-A get her compression legs on, though probably not her chest or arm garments. I tried and failed to get the 3rd leg screwed into the new couch. I will have played music from our massive digital library to accompany activities that didn't require hard concentration, in wonderment for the amount of pleasure it gave me. I will have checked my email and maybe even FaceBook Messenger. I will have spent an hour fetching and carrying for L-A as she made tonight's meal, and an hour washing up. I will have done laundry, including several pairs of Steve's urine-soaked trousers. Since it's a Saturday, I will have produced and posted Good News in the Morning. I do remember going out to Staples to buy wrapping paper and a card for Kennedy, forgetting that Tara had supplied us with cards for her. I bought a new kettle from Loblaws to replace the one from Home Hardware which had stopped switching itself off. It was Sagan's birthday so I embellished the card I had got for Kennedy, and scanned and emailed it.

Fri Aug 26   Med - My 3rd infusion

Wait time was just over an hour as they prepared my specific cocktail of drugs. I was relieved that my nurse, Maria, was aware of my allergic reaction last time. She gave me a Tylenol extra strength by mouth, and an antihystamine through the drip before starting on the drugs - so they were taking no chances of a another 'episode,' but it didn't happen. There was one period of a few seconds when I felt a much reduced version of the pain in my middle body that I had had last time, but it passed. I was in the chair around 3 hours. I spent some of the time on the hospital Internet, but for most of it I dozed. After leaving I was delighted to see the hot dog stand still in operation and had a 'mild polish.' I had a small amount of bread left at the end and I threw it towards a couple of pidgeons. Within three seconds about 100 pidgeons swooped in, but few of them would have got a morsel. It was quite a clatter. I gave $1 from my change from the hot dog to a student playing a small glockenspiel quite well at the foot of the escalator, and got on my way home. I stopped at Shoppers to pick up Steve's cough prescription. At home I had some important tasks: continue cutting up the cardboard box from the couch so that I could empty the recycling, screw a second leg into the couch, and something else I now forget.

Thu Aug 25

After breakfast I called The Brick's customer service number 905 629 2900 and was pleasantly surprized to get through quite fast to someone who answered my question on screwing on the legs. It was recommended to remove the black protective material from the area where the legs would be attached. She said there were pre-positioned nuts, but that wasn't the case - there was just a firm wooden block. However it was easier to see exactly where to position the leg, and I was able to do this and screw it in with my multi-screwdriver. I eventually did one of them before the light inside was insufficient. I drove to the bank ATM and deposited two of Steve's cheques (Dr Silver and food), and then to the Rathbone IDA where my Tylenol No 2 prescription had been received. After lunch I took Steve to see Dr Judah about his long-standing cough. I explaind he had been on Shopper's non-prescription product with only marginal effect. The doctor prescribed two antibiotics, and gave me a requisition for a chest X-Ray. I then asked him if he could tell me the result of my PSA test, and it turned out I am only at 4.2. This is even better than South African figures (about 5.5) so I guess this is where I stop worrying about my prostate. TKOG.

Wed Aug 24

I am wearing my new glasses! - More about that later. Before the others got up I moved the unit of furniture currently on the right hand of the lounge to its final resting place on the left hand. This gave us more space. I studied the 'hardware' and hardware drawings, and hadn't come across the legs for the RH part of the couch. I messaged Tara on this, asking for the telepone number for the Brick because I needed help to know exactly how to screw in the legs. I also foolishly mentioned that I couldn't find four of the legs. Then, when my computer had been turned off before I left for Princess Margaret, I suddenly remembered the drawer in the front of the RH unit with cushions in it, and there I saw the package with the legs, hidden. It was too late to email Tara, but I still need the phone mumber to get help on how to screw in the legs. Meanwhile she had decided to call the Brick and order the four 'missing' legs! I left for PMH at 11:40, getting there half an hour early - time for a hot dog. I got a basic beef, and it wasn't nearly as good as the polish I had had a few weeks ago for an extra $2. I gave my regular blood sample and mentioned to the nurse that so many tests were done on each sample as I had seen on the Patient Portal, and wondered how anyone would have time to check them all. She told me the checking/monitoring was all done automatically, just reporting on measurements out of the normal range. I was in good time for the Thoracic Oncology unit where I was called in after a very short wait. Dr Feng saw me in place of Penny Bradbury. I asked him about the chance of a repeat of the allergic reaction from last time, and he said they only happened once. I told him about my recent constipation, and he said it was not caused by immunotherapy. I said my fatigue and dizzyness were up 5 - 10% compared with 3 week ago. He promised to fax a Tylenol no 2 prescription to Rathbone IDA. Before leaving the building I had a fruit smoothie - expensive but nice. Going home I gave the dollar change from the hot dog to the beggar at the entrance to the Subway and reminded him that Jesus loves him. Earlier I had received a call from Cloverdale Eyecare to say my glasses were ready, so when I arrived at Kipling Station I headed there. The glasses immediately felt comfortable and I felt I could generally see better than before. For a day or so I'll be adjusting to the progressive lenses. I think I will notice things I didn't see well before which I now do. When I set my alarm clock before going to bed, the display was crystal clear; previously it was a struggle. My peripheral vision appears better meaning I won't bump into things on my left. I went on to the Loblaws pharmacy, and the pharmacist sold me Restoralax laxative, which worked in less than 24 hours. He told me the constipation was caused by all three of the drugs I am on daily.

Tue Aug 23

The Brick turned up at 9:15 with a surprize I never thought of - the new couch was in two large boxes, and I will be assembling it! I got breakfast for Steve and me - bacon, mushrooms and fried bread, and then for L-A. To minimize their departure from the normal I started with the deacon's bench, returning it to the hallway, and taking out some things that should go into the garage. Then after a coffee break to recover some energy I attacked the larger of the two boxes with my Exacto knife. I had no instructions, just common sense. Soon I had it out of the box and could see that it was the left hand section of the couch which sticks out. I turned it until it was the right way round, but left it at the wrong end of the room for the time being. Laurie-Ann was well into her course by now. I prepared lunches for the three of us, aware that L-A would only have 10 minutes to eat it. In the afternoon, I took the huge empty cardboard box to the garage and cut it into squares small enough to go into the recycle bin, eventually getting in the whole box. As I cut up one of the pieces, assembly instructions for the whole couch fell out onto the driveway! Better late than never. Later in the afternoon I started work on the other box, getting out the right hand part of the couch, and then took the empty cardboard box to the garage. It will go into the recycling 2 weeks from now. My Mozambique phone had been out of action for WhatsApp Web for several days, overloaded with videos. I managed to remove many of them and was able to get back on WhatsApp Web. Lovejoy had messaged on Sunday: 'The insurance did pay in the money to fix the car and I went to my bank to transfer all the money into the company M And N. So they took the car last week from Monday to Friday when it was finished. We praise God after such some time, he made a way. Thank you too for the help. Blessings.' I had long given up on his receiving the payout, so this was extremely good and welcome news. He sent a photo of himself beside the repaired car. Chantelle sent a message that she met with Gerhard Strydom and he has given her books for her mailbox club. This is no small achievement for Chantelle. She also said that Lottie is very ill in hospital. In our nightly prayers I asked the Lord to have arranged for the broken central locking system controller in the driver's door to be replaced when the Mercedes was repaired, but only if this would not offend him, since the broken locks pre-dated the damage caused by the church bus. My prayer was ansered; Lovejoy told me the locks were still only partially working.

Mon Aug 22

I wasn't sure what time 1-800 Got Junk was coming to take away the piano, the long couch and the TV console from the basement, so as soon as I was up I started preparing. Moving the deacon's bench into the kitchen was one of the heavier jobs. Then, when I was extricating the TV from its many peripherals and needed to use the light on my phone, I saw an email from Tara saying they would arrive at 1:30. I carried on with the preparation, moving all the pictures and other decorations from the piano and placing them in boxes. I put the telephone table on the other couch after disconnecting the phone. It all took more than an hour. We weren't sure what Steve's reaction would be seeing that furniture would be leaving his house, but it didn't seem to cause him grief. Tara changed the time they would come to 3 pm so it wouldn't interrupt Laurie-Ann's participation in the 'Unlocking your book,' workshop which atarted today. Then I got a call from Got Junk to see if they could come earlier, about 12:15, and they did. The two strong men decided to start with the couch. It wasn't easy for them and they struggled for some time, but eventually got it out. After that, the piano and TV were relatively straightforward. After lunch I had a rest, but was awoken by a call from Got Junk to say they would be arriving at three. I told them their colleagues had already completed the job. L-A clearly enjoyed the 'Unlocking your Book' workshop, and particularly Brian Simmons, translator of 'The Passion' Bible. He mentioned difficulties he had had with Ezekiel, which was interesting for us, having recently been studying it and much appreciating Ezekiel as an amazing person. I wanted to buy some more micro enemas after yesterday's experience, and went to Shoppers, but they didn't stock them. Back on my computer I read that the company that had made them no longer did so. L-A found an alternative on Amazon and ordered it. The event of the night was the final episode (S3 S3) of 'Servant of the people.' I have seldom been so engaged in a TV series, and knowing all the time that fiction would become fact just added to the fascination. See 'The uncanny prescience of Servant of the People'.

Sun Aug 21

I woke with a blockage in my bowels. I tried 4 times to crap without success. Looking for solutions I knew we had used micro enemas occasionally. When L-A awoke she was led to a plastic container of medications, one of which was Microlax, and it had one more enema in the box, with instructions. I held on till I had fed Steve and L-A and then gave myself the enema. It worked in less than 10 minutes. I am only mentioning it unless it is a side effect of my infusions. The relief came fast. I feel like giving it a TKOG - for the fact that we still had it, and L-A found it. I went alone to church. L-A had stomach pain (possibly doe to gallstones). Sandra Long preached on how we can best counter the tough episodes in our lives without allowing them to dent our joy. She invided those who were going through such troubles to come an kneel at the front and I was motivated to join them. Our time in Canada has been a journey through all sorts of stresses so far, although we have been leaning on the Lord continually. The most important event of the day was our Skype call to Bella. It was really good just to get through to her at our time 3pm., and we began with saying how much we missed her. Then I worked through the agenda which I listed in yesterday's journal. I believe she understood all the uncertainties, and I am sure she was relieved that the plan does have the potential to see her through university. As a strongly believing Christian she understands that we will need support from Holy Spirit sources should something go wrong. As an indicator of this she says her computer recovered from slow performance after a 'disk clean.' Both Laurie-Ann and I are pumped about being the channel by which this deserving and talented young lady receives a university eduction, that has the potential to take her and her family out of poverty. This would be a real legacy from our time in SA.

Sat Aug 20

Andy from Sonic Boom called mid morning with the news that they had gone through our complete selection and found just a handful of CDs that they would like to buy, and to pay us just $9! I told them that they were my last opportunity to offload the discs, and that they could give them all away, perhaps to a church, or trash them. 6 years ago in Ottawa the Record Store would have given me $150. I calculated that the money we would be providing for Bella's residence, plus the weekly allowance would gobble up the complete monthly surplus I had previously calculated we should have while not living in the condo. The implication of this is that an unexpected change in our situation could radically affect Bella's education, unless we have Holy Ghost staying power. If I were to die, all income streams from pensions cease abruptly (except CPP spousal allowance). So we cannot commit to helping her for the full 2 years of her course. But we can say that we will help her barring such events. We spent some time attempting to reach her for a video call on Messenger, or Skype, and today we weren't successful. It is very important we have proper communication before entering into this agreement. The only communications channel we have at present is Messenger with L-A. Mid afternoon I drove to Westmount Galleries and collected the repaired pieces of art. Then I went to Six Points to get vegetables and milk.

Fri Aug 19

I had a much better night, only getting up to pee twice! I had more energy the next day from being better rested. This was a very good result from my experiment. Today I planned to attempt to sell our CDs. The majority I had given to Joel Bernard for use on Over my Head, but he had given them back via Christine Jenkins (See Apr 8). All had been previously digitized by us. I has identified 'Sonic Boom' at 215 Spadina Ave as probably Toronto's premier store for vinyl and CDs, new and used, and was quite excited to be going there. The best route had caused me some considerable Google Maps searching. Via the Gardiner Expressway, or more directly through the suburbs. Without a GPS, the prospect of navigating my way successfully off the Gardiner seemed daunting, and then I noticed that Dundas Street West took me almost door to door, albeit with some departures from a crow's route. After setting up L-A to make pear cake, I put the 4 boxes of CDs into the car and got on my way. The Dundas Street part took about 45 minutes. I found the building easily enough (with a little help from L-A) and carried the largest box into the entrance. There was a greeter/security guard on the door who immedediately saw why I was there. I left the box with him while I went to park the car. That was easier than I expected, with a nearby park and pay meter guarding 5 spaces, and one of them vacant. Back in the store, the greeter saw me coming, picked up the big box of CDs and asked me to follow him. Down the stairs and not far into the massive store was a counter where he put my box. He went to fetch the person responsible for checking in new music. Her name is Andy, and she was charming as she took a quick glance at some of the items in the box. She said she would need to assess them over a couple of days. I said I would go and get my other two boxes from the car. When I got back she took my name and number. After wandering around the store and finding no Christian music section, I wondered if they might start one with this collection. As I left the store, the security guard was in the process of ejecting a suspicious character. The homebound drive was uneventful, getting me there by 2, in time to get the lunch. Strange to relate, the whole drive and the carrying of boxes hadn't fatigued me! I sent a 'thank you' email to Bob and Catherine, demonstrating my similarity to the pinball wizzard by saying they had entertained us on Wednesday, not Thursday.

Thu Aug 18    Med

I adapted the kitchen table to be used for 5, some of what was on it going to temporary locations. I pulled the table a foot from the wall, and stored the items like water and ginger ale against the wall, freeing up space to the right of the table where Catherine would sit. When I was done the table looked hospitable. They arrived about 12:45, with salmon, salad, water, and an almond wheel cake. Catherine helped me set these things up. I suggested we bring Steve into the living room for him to meet them. There was continual good conversation. We went in to eat and ejoyed a truly healthy repast. Steve stayed quite a while but eventually returned to his room. He had been the perfect gentleman. We moved back into the living room for some more coonversation before they left. In the afternoon I worked on the financial calculations of whether we could pay half of Bella's residence fees for the next 2 years while she is there. I found we could, based on our Poulin cash flow calculations. Paying R500 for Bella's family a week was actually a heavier burden, but without it she would be forced to give up her studies and get a job. It will mean that we need to tighten our belts as far as expensive purchases are concerned. My biggest worry is that there could be a month when we just don't have the money availanle and our only option is to load up our credit cards again. We no longer have the comfort of non-registered investments that could be redeemed. My biggest comfort is that we feel called to do this by the Lord, and he will surely make it possible. For the last few nights I have been having extra prostate problems - getting up to pee 8 or 9 times, yet once I was in front of the toilet bowl, only peeing a small amount. It crossed my mind that one of my pain pills might reduce the pain from the prostate, so I wouldn't wake so often. I talked to L-A, my pain management specialist, and she agreed, suggesting I take a Tylenol No 2 at night. I did so as I went to bed tonight.

Wed Aug 17

Today I was busy helping L-A with tonight's beef bourguignon, meaning no leaving the house, morning or afternoon. Catherine and Bob messaged to confirm that they will be visiting us tomorrow and bringing a salmon lunch for the three of us! Their continuing kindness and generosity are extraordinary. Laurie-Ann took part in a Zoom with the Intercession Community at the church, and I have seldom heard such a well organised event on such a subject. It seemed many of them are professionally trained intercessors with strong media skills, and indeed Catch the Fire provides these things. At one point they were split in small groups for prayer and Laurie-Ann contributed several times and very well. Finally after hours of marinating and detailed attention our evening meal was ready to eat, and we got to taste the fruit of Laurie-Ann's considerable skills and labour. To call it a stew doesn't come close, with those melt in the mouth large pieces of beef. One thing I had been able to make progress with during the day was washing our bed sheets, and when the washing up was done I brought them up from the drier and put them on the bed. I also found clothes to wear for tomorrow that I haven't worn a hundred times.

Tue Aug 16

I went for a B12 shot with James Lindholm and was surprised that he said I should call again in September to re-start, contradicting what he had said on 11 Aug. Brian and Cathy visited us for the rest of the morning, triggered by his leaving his barber kit here last time, but entirely social. I heard a lot about Brian's story as a successful salesman, currently working for Lowes. After lunch I tackled two of my tasks for the week, washing the floor in the kitchen and bathroom, and updating an inventory for L-A of what food we have stored in fridge-freezers and the downstairs floor pantry. Tomorrow night we are having beef bourguignon, a project L-A has been working on for several days

Mon Aug 15

The alarm went at 6 and I had the pills, and I reset it to 8, and turned over - and woke at 8. I knew immediately I was in a better state than yesterday; I had given the drugs time to do their thing. In contrast to yesterday the whole day was better. But not all things were good. My weight was back to were it had been 3 weeks ago - about 122 Lb. I won't be reporting it in this medium unless it goes up or down more than 5 Lb. At noon I was at Cloverdale Eyecare, who surprized me with their overal professionalism. I first saw the optometrist who produced the figures on my vision. Then on to a glasses expert who persuaded me, once she showed me the prices, to go for progressives rather than single vision, and helped me choose a frame. I was also able to clip my sunglasses on the the frame, a major plus. Best of all was the price, just $328.50. I turned down the $50 1-year breakage insurance. Frankly I will be delighted with any improvement in my vision. We keep our toiletries at the far left end of the bathroom counter. Yet I caught Steve using my toothbrush, when he has three or four of his own much closer. Add to this the fact that I am cleaning his dentures 3 times a day, and they aren't even in his mouth between meals and we have an interesting magpie condition - the need to try out other people's things. I have now hidden my toothbrush in a place he won't find it. Tersia has been sending desperate messages that the R450 I sent was insufficient for their immediated needs. I ignored the messages for a while but today finally felt The Lord wanted me to respond. I sent another R300, and a stern message that until she gets a better job her problems will continue, but we are not going to be the solution, when a few years ago she was drinking. At 2:30 I took Steve to see Chiropodist Dr H Silver, whom L-A has visited twice. He started by cutting Steve's toenails with an implement similar to what we use, but then he got to work with his drill to cut through the large build-up of nail material on his big toes. It all went according to plan, and we were on our way home. I reorganized Steved clothing shelves, moving half his massive stock of socks to winter storage. This was the first of the tasks I had identified to be done this week when I'm not doing medical audit work. L-A decided to come to bed at 9:45, a wise decision.

Sun Aug 14

I felt a little dizzy and nauseous when I got up about 7:20. An anti-nausea pill took care of the former, allowing me to enjoy my breakfast. When L-A had eaten I helped her put on the full compresssion gear, ready for church. It was a good service - music and a sermon on Joy by Ash Smith that L-A said was the best she had heard, and it is a subject L-A has written on several times. I, on the other hand, missed the overall coherence, just as I had with Murray's sermon a week earlier. So this is not related to the quality of the sermons, but my state of reception of them. I will be watching Ash's sermon a second time. Coming home from church I was overwhelmed by lethargy and an unrequited wish for a hot dog. Throughout the time of the medical audit I have put on one side a series of lower priority jobs. Today I decided that for the next week, with time available from not doing audit work, I would catch up on those actions. So I made a list. Some will be fun to do; others not so much. Then, hopefully having made some progress on them a week from now, I would return to the world of medical expenses, making a claim for the expenses CRA excluded in 2020 when they unilaterally moved my expenses year to the calendar year. My day was generally not good, even though I slept in the afternoon. I emailed Gerhard Strydom to say that Chantelle might call him. L-A kept the compression gear on till quite late. Also quite late I realized I had forgotten to post Good news in the Morning in time for this morning. So I did it now. One item on my list of actions for this week is to make my irregular assessment of how many are listening, based on bandwidth used.

Sat Aug 13    Med

I figured out how to renew the two audiobooks from Toronto Public Library that we had optimistically hoped could capture Steve's attention. They did capture our attention and are good for us when seeking rest. Chantelle asked me for R200 to pay her recent hospital bill, and said tht her mailbox club was running, but she needed books for it. I haven't sent her money for months, and she does have her own bank account, so I sent her R250. This was possible because my second recent transfer from Simplii had gone through. I also gave her Gerhard Strydom's phone number sho she could get some mailbox materials. I finally documented the 4 missing medical expenses on the covering letter to CRA. It will be interesting to see if they increase our tax by the amounts of these expenses, or give us the benefit of the doubt and accept from the detail of our reply that we are honest. As I get to the end of this exercise I am experiencing a mild sadness that I won't have it as my daily companion (like this journal). By 4:30 I had double checked everything and put the final report to CRA in an envelope. Then I filed the various supporting papers I had been using. I watched Murray Smith's sermon from last Sunday - Living in the emotional health of Jesus. L-A has been transcribing it for ideas for her next 'Ways to Grow in God.' While I was looking for something else on YouTube, I noticed this video from ABC TV in 1978 featuring Olivia Newton-John (who died on Thursday), Andy Gibb and Abba. An instant supergroup, and with true stereo sound (a whole other story). We watched it before I went to bed.

Fri Aug 12    Med

L-A stayed in bed till after 11 this morning, and seemed to be in good spirits. Maybe it compensated for recent months of staying up till 1 am. After I had given Steve his breakfast I hunkered down to complete writing 'C0051561387-001-17 470 933 771 Expense transferred from spouse Anthony Copple 492 555 743' on each of the 22 receipts transferred. To reduce the tedium I played H7 S1 from the Copples and friends Cassette Club which had been in Neesa's car when she drove me to aunt Mollie's funeral (Jan 2015). That was when I decided to make version 2 of the Cassette Club with my favourite music since 1975 added, which I gave to my siblings on CD. How I enjoy listening to those now digitised recordings. I had felt somewhat draggy all morning; not wanting to actually do things. Writing my name plus other things was the sort of level of accomplishment I could manage. As I gave L-A her MLD it occured to me I hadn't put out my 6 am meds. It was now 11:30 and the next batch was due at 12. So I took them early. I said to L-A I felt very tired and she suggested I joined her on the bed for a time. I woke at 12:30 feeling my normal self after the Tylenol 2. There was a broken pastry cutter on the counter that needed a screw, and I had studiously avoided for several days. Today I took it to the basement where there are many screws, and the second one I tried fitted. This illustrates the power of Tylenol 2 plus some Tylenol extra strength to improve my state. What's in Tylenol 2 that makes the difference? Just a very little opium in the Codeine: 'Codeine is an opiate and prodrug of morphine used to treat pain, coughing, and diarrhea. It is found naturally in the sap of the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum. It is typically used to treat mild to moderate degrees of pain.' I cleared up some anomalies on the medical expenses, making corrections to my corrections, until the Wite-Out ran out. I went shopping for bacon and a few other things but the closest place for Wite-out was Staples. There was a lot of cooking in the afternoon - peach crisp #2 and red beans on rice - which got in the way of more audit work. L-A said she was feeling the benefits of her long sleep last night, explaining that every so often she has to crash, but it didn't persuade her to come to bed at a reasonable time tonight.

Thu Aug 11    Med

I cut my toenails. No big deal you would think. But at my age toenails may behave strangely. Mine can only be cut after a bath, and they need special implements. The biggest problem is my eyesight. The focus is poor at the distance my toes are from my eyes. Despite this I was able to do a reasonable job, and my shoes will be more comfortable for the next couple of months. After praying about it last night I sent Tersia R460. Anthonica was sent home from school yesterday because she didn't have school shoes. R150 of the R450 will go to the shoes. She won't get the money for 2 days so she'll miss 3 days of school. The school rules show little understanding of the poor. I hadn't been able to get through to Lindholm Medical to confirm my appointment time despite multiple calls, so I went at the time originally given me on the earlier date. It turned out to be 10:30 but they still let me in. After the shot I asked how long I could expect to have these weekly shots, and he said for the forseeable furure. He told me I only need to call once, because their system displays all the recent callers. I showed James Lindholm a sheet I had written up showing our 3 current projects with him. He had examined my hip X-Ray, and said that it showed a possible loosening of the metal hip. Since I am able to handle the pain with current medication he didn't recommend a revamp of hip surgery, and I am OK with that. So he crossed that one off my list and gave me back the list. I am still concerned that he missed other aspects of the X-Ray which had so concerned the doctors in 2018 (see journal entry for 15 June). I drove on to the LCBO and got 3 boxes of wine: red, rose and white. Then to Staples to buy a pack of 3 Moleskine notebooks for L-A to use during her forthcoming course on book publishing. Finally, on my way home, I went to the Yellow Cup Cafe. L-A says we have been there a couple of times before but I don't remember. I bought coffee and a chocolate truffle. Both were excellent, and my taste buds were not offended. I had liver for dinner, Steve also had a small portion to add to his meat loaf. L-A doesn't touch liver so she had meat loaf. Steve is getting better at remembering to put his teeth in before meals and taking them out after. I now clean them with Polident after each meal. Tonight was almost comical. The moment he sits down at the table he wants to start eating. No waiting for the ladies for him. Watched by L-A, he first inserted his upper denture, and then took a mouthful of dinner! We persuaded him to clean out his mouth as much as possuble before inserting the lower denture. L-A retired to bed about 8pm very tired. This is extremely unusual.

Wed Aug 10    Med

Last night I slept 3 hours on the couch in the living room. It just felt more inviting than the bed. My weight this morning was 125 Lb (56.70 Kg). Maybe it really is on an upswing. I certainly felt good. I have noticed that my taste buds are getting back to normal over the last couple of weeks. This is tremendous! Bob and his friend Miguel from Mr Router arrived about 9:15. I showed them the historical 'evidence' of a drip into water in the basement, and they confirmed it by flushing the toilet a few times. They examined the toilet they had installed in January 2022, and I told them we really weren't interested in buying another one. I left them to it. Half an hour later they said they had screwed the toilet down harder, and this had stopped the drip when the toilet was flushed. There was no cost to us. I felt very bad that I hadn't waited till Tara had arrived last Saturday before calling Precise Plumbing. I noticed that the small tree planted into the stump of the maple that had been chopped down was dying - at least most of the leaves had turned brown. I never understood how it could grow, but I decided to water it. I found a large plastic container in the garage, and used my polythene tube to syphon water from the kitchen sink. I was just able to carry the water to the tree. I have an appointment tomorrow with Lindholm Medical for a B12 shot, but I've lost the time. I called them about 6 times to confirm but never got through. I called the CRA and asked them whose SIN should I put on my medical receipts transferred from me to L-A by MAXback. The answer was both SINs. Amazon delivered a 'Dutch oven' (ceramic covered cast-iron pot) that will enable L-A to extend her range of recipes, such as beef bourguignon, cabbage rolls. I checked the dimension of the couch Tara has bought from the Brick to replace the couch and found that there will be restricted room for walking into the living room while the other couch stays in position. Until the piano is sold or given away, the new couch would have to be in a temporary position, restricting movement in the living room. I started applying Efudix cream to three suspicious discolorations that have appeared on the back of my left hand in recent days - probably basal cell carcinomas.

Tue Aug 9    Med

Hip X-Ray at Richmond Gardens. I got an appointment with optometrist firm in Cloverdale for 12:30 on Mon 15 Aug, and then called Toronto Western and spoke to Eric Manalang and asked him to fax my details to them. I finally found my very last medical invoice and began the repetitive task of stating the CRA reference number and the patient's SIN onto each invoice. As I did it L-A made peach crisp. Our desserts these days are to die for, and this was one of the best. 'Servant of the People' continues to intrigue us and mke us laugh each evening after dinner.

Mon Aug 8

I collected the three pieces of art that needed first aid. 'Jesus makes all things new' was the only item broken by freight forwarding: the glass was shattered. Maggie Milligan's portrait of Laurie-Ann from 1977 had been in the house ever since but its glass was also broken. Finally Orpha Racknor's piece which we hung above our bed a few months ago has water damage from the flood. These all went with us in the car when I took L-A for her second appointment with Dr Silver for her toenails. He chamfered up her nails, and will have to do so a few more times before they have been retrained to grow in a way they can be cut by me. We drove on to Westmount Gallery and I took in the art to June, who has worked there for decades and done framing for Laurie-Ann. It will take about a week. In the afternoon after a short rest I worked on my remaining medical receipts, finding all but one by the time the table was needed to prepare tonight's dinner. France 24 featured a powerful interview by Gulliver Cragg with Mykhailo Federov, Deputy PM of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation. With this kind of capability, never write off Ukraine.

Sun Aug 7    Med

My weight was slightly up: to 124 Lb (56.25 Kg). Is this significant; the beginning of an upturn? We'll see. I sent another R5,000 to FNB ($391.27) since Bella has exhausted the previous R5,000. What can we do? FNB asked for my new address, which I supplied, and this triggered a slew of extra checks including uploading my passport followed by an image of my face to prove I was the same person. We didn't go to church but watched on line. L-A had an extra sore knee and I wanted all the time I could get for the tax audit. Mr Rooter (Merric?) arrived on schedule and confirmed the diagnosis. He talked big money solutions but I reminded him that if the problem really was an incorrectly installed flange, then we shouldn't have to pay for a new toilet. He will arrage for his colleague, who installed the toilet in January to come here during the week. He will also arrange for a carpenter to contact me about replacing the corroded ceiling tiles. I progressed on the audit from L-A's receipts to mine and should be able to complete the collation of the invoices tomorrow. Bella received the money for the hospital. People around had taken pity on her and shared food. I am much more confident of the use of my medications than I was a few weeks ago. At 6am, 12pm and 6pm I take a Tylenol #2 and a Tylenol extra strength. These control my right hip pain, and the codeine in the #2 puts me in a goodish state to deal with the day's challenges. It's not like Tramacet but Dr Lal has suceeded in weening me off that; a good thing. If faced with a day of extra walking or exertion I take Celebrex at 6 am instead of the Tylenols. and depending on how I'm feeling take them later in the day. I haven't had a reccurence of the severe leg pain of a couple of weeks ago. I also take Feramax 150 at 6am. At breakfast I take 6 OGF, Prochlorazine anti-nausea if I am nauseaus, Cordymax, and Overdrive. The last two are Nu Skin. Add a Flomax and a magnesium tablet (anti leg cramps) about once a week. This total cocktail of drugs and vitamins/minerals also reduces fatigue from the cancer.

Sat Aug 6

Bella asked for R3000 for university fees, which had to be paid in the next few days. This was a shock to us. Here's part of my response to her after I had sent her the money, and asked what evidence she had that she actually received a scholarship: I was told verbally, they told me that the bursary covers only half of the time I'm studying. So basically it would be me paying one month and the school the next and so it will be repeated. Thank you for helping. I will go to the bank an ask if I can get a scholarship loan, to cover for the months that I have to pay. You sent: Since you were only told verbally, you need to ask your counsellor to get you a statement in writing from the university, so you know where you stand. This is urgent. - Tony Okay I will do as you say. I haven't vacuumed for too long and Tara was coming today so I did the ground floor, and three quarters of the way round one of the dust hoses blew off! So I switched to clearing out the dust bags that were stuffed full. Then I used the last of the Air-wick around the house to hide the smell of dust. I made steady progress with the medical receipts, which gets easier the the more receipts I collate so the less there are to go through. I went downstairs about 3:30 and noticed the dripping sound was more more prominent. I got a chair and soon determined it wasn't the smoke alarm asking for new batteries. Then I noticed the ceiling tiles were bowed down and looked like with the weight of water. This could turn into a small flood any moment, although thankfully the water would fall directly around the drain. I decided to call a plumber - Precise plumbing of Etobicoke was first on Google. They suggested I turn off the water, which I did. As things turned out I should have waited till Tara arrived before calling Precise, because she has a contract with Roto Rooter. She arrived half an hour before Mathieu from Precise. I took him downstairs and he started the work, removing the ceiling tiles, which by this time had no loose water behind them. He asked me to turn on the water, which meant L-A and I could have a cup of tea. He worked on and eventually came to the conclusion that the source of the dripping water was a corroded gasket on the toilet. The toilet had been installed by Roto Rooter just a few months before. At this stage we told Mathieu we'd get them - Roto Rooter - back. Mathieu continued checking other sources for the dripping water - the bath, the sink. He found corroded plumbing in the sink drain, and offered to fix it. Tara had said she would pay the bill with Steve's credit card. The bill was eventually about twice what Mathieu had quoted me when he first arrived. Tara has already arranged with Roto Rooter to come tomorrow afternoon. Tara had dinner with us - chicken paprikash. We had a lovely time of family fellowship and warmth. Dessert was strawberry cake, just baked today, with fresh strawberries. Much enjoyed by the four of us.

Fri Aug 5    Med

Getting up and getting breakfast was pretty frantic, taking account of 'no-teeth Steve.' I left the house at 9:30 and was at the hot dog stand on University Avenue at 10:30. I was in the Systematic Therapy waiting area for 2 hours before being called to my bed, and nurse Amanda. When she had finished putting in my drip, I asked her how long today's session would take and she said 45 minutes. It was about 10 minutes later than I suddenly felt I was going to faint. I called the nearest nurse and she called Amanda and soon there were four of them around me. Then my middle back started giving major pain, radiating around my trunk. One of them told me this was temporary and that the pain would go as they gave me Benadryl, used to treat severe allergies. Her words were a great comfort because before that moment it crossed my mind I was breathing my last. I had experienced an allergic reaction to the infusion. They had stopped the infusion while the Benadryl did its work and the pain in my back subsided. A doctor arrived who directed operations. While the nurses measured my vitals evey few minutes, I rested for half an hour, and then they turned on the infusion drug. After 5 minutes the pain in my back returned, but at much lower level than before, so they again stopped the infusion drug and started up the Benadryl. This time it was sufficient, and the infusion drug was re-started until I had taken in the full dose. They weren't going to waste any of the precious liquid. I was assured that this would not affect my staying on the immunotherapy program, and they told me it happened to a small proportion of patients. Soon I was on my way back to the subway, if a little wobbly. I was home at 5:30 thinking about dinner, but not getting on with it. Steve still had no teeth. I roused L-A and she suggested M&M lasangna. My mind instead thought she meant the individual packs of no name lasangna that had been in the freezer since we arrived, probably for Kennedy. I brought them up and turned on the oven. I went into Steve's room where he stood at the window and he said that his teeth had been on the window ledge. This was nonsence; it was the first place I had looked when he lost them two days ago. Imagine my surprize when he came in for his dinner and the teeth were wrapped in the Etobicoke Guardian! The fact that they were found was far more important than how they were found. The lasanga was not all that nice but it had been fast. At the end I reminded Steve that we should keep his teeth, always cleaned, for mealtimes in the kitchen, and he agreed. This would be a great timesaver for him and us. This was the first night we did it.

Thu Aug 4    Med

I felt extra tired on rising and it only got worse during the morning. About 10:30 I drove to Richmond Gardens for a hip X-Ray, but they hadn't received a requisition from Dr Lal. They said they would chase it up and then call me. I then drove to Access Abilities Etobicoke (formerly Medichair Etobicoke) at 154 Norseman and bought a new controller for the green chair for $63. I then drove to Renforth IDA, feeling hungry. I tentatively asked if PMH had sent through a prescription for Celebrex - and they had! Only 20 tablets and only 100 mg, but at least a legal way to obtain them when I have finished my SA supplies. This seems to confirm our impresssion of the reluctance of Canadian doctors to prescribe drugs as freely as South African doctors. I also bought a goodly supply of Tylenol Extra Strength. Finally I went to Hong Kong Gourmet take-out and bought myself Pad Thai Beef Noodles. When I got home I ate half the noodles, and then got L-A's and Steve's lunch. I was beginning to feel better. I progressed the audit then took afternoon meds and slept 90 minutes, waking up feeling better than earlier in the day. At dinner Steve still had no teeth and I ended up ditching a third of his hamburger meal. But I did have an idea. We should look after his teeth (when they were found) and issue them to him for meals. Dinner was rushed because I was booked in on a Poulin 'Town Hall' meeting at 7. Legal action is likely against the Poulin Board for non-payment of disputedly non-done work last February. The legal firm representing the Board explained their position. This is unlikely to affect individual owners, unless the whole case goes to full trial, so great efforts will be made to settle. Later L-A and I had a good discussion about our general situation. Steves' progress physically and his growing confusion mentally; our financial situation; L-A's health; my health. We found that things are moving in a positive direction.

Wed Aug 3    Med

I took regular meds at 6 (Tylenol 2, Tylenol extra strength, Feramax). I was walking quite well by 8:15, but I now think that was the residual effect of Celebrex. Half my time in the bathroom was interrupted by Slava, and I ended up serving Steve's breakfast in my pyjamas. I took a Celebrex just before leaving for Kipling station on my way to PMH. As I exited the subway station I soon reached the hot-dog stall. In the past I have never been tempted, but today I actually felt hungry enough, and had a mild Italian. It was excellent and tasted exactly right. Inside the hospital I had a blood test, an X-Ray, and a visit with two of Dr Bradbury's colleagues, but not her. My status seemed good to them, but I think they mainly needed to know I should stay on immunotherapy. I asked if Dr Bradbury might write me a Celebrex prescription, and this will be discussed, and if approved sent direct to Renforth IDA. If not approved, her colleague recommended Advil. By the time I arrived home, with virtually no leg pain, L-A was napping and napped till dinner. Steve lay on the couch listening to the Byrds and Simon & Garfunkel, as I progressed the tax audit work.

Tue Aug 2    Med

I took the Tramacet at 6 am. and reset the alarm for 8. At 8:15 I walked to the bathroom and realised that Tramacet hadn't worked. Yet I felt 'up,' the opposite of depressed. I enjoyed brushing my teeth. I was ready for the challenges of the day even though my right leg was hurting. Then the penny dropped. I had had a double dose of the opiates in the codeine in Tramacet, but only marginal pain relief. What I needed was Celebrex. Dr Lal had said it was dangerous for the elderly. I woke Steve up and opened his curtain and turned off his light. He had lost his upper teeth; the lower ones were in his window ledge. I searched but couldn't find them. I told him I would make proper porridge for him which he can eat without teeth. I made it with milk though i couldn't remember the instructions from being taught by Patrick in Pomegranate in 2016. While it was cooking I checked out Celebrex for dangers to the elderly on Google and found nothing to worry about. I went to the bedroom and got one of our remaining stock. There was still time today for it to prove itself with my current leg pain. I should take advantage of the opium in my body to deal with issues I had been putting off. I was eager to get to work on them. It's a great feeling, and it had kept me in a good state of mind for 4 years in SA. In this state I tackled the green chair which had been unplugged for several weeks. The installation sheet suggested it needed 2 PP9 batteries in an external unit connecting it to the power supply, but I hadn't been able to open the battery compartment. This morning, after praying for God's help, I put the chair on its side so I could see better, then re-examined the compartment where the batteries should go, and saw more clearly than before how it was manufactured. I then was able to open it with thumb pressure! There were no batteries inside. Maybe they were redundant in this model of the chair. However, I will go and buy 2 PP9s today. It's worth a try. What a difference the Tranacet had made to my brain with something I had struggled hard with weeks ago. After giving MLD to L-A I went out, first to the bank to deposit a cheque from Steve for food, and then to Home Hardware for 2 PP9s. In the checkout line I bought Aquafresh toothpaste! Then on to Metro for ovaltine. Sadly, the PP9 batteries didn't solve the green chair's problem. Liam finally replied to say they would be happy not to vacate this October. Good News! Even TKOG. I emailed to say April would suit us better, but this would only be enforcable if one party wanted it. Then I send a second email bringing up the issue of the missing 1 month rent from early 2020, and also saying we need to raise the rent by $150 from September. I appealed to his sense of fairness without being demanding. I found an old invoice in the green chair side pocket from Medichair Etobicoke, and they service 'Pride' Lift Chairs. I had a good conversation with a man called Ed. Laurie-Ann got started on colouring the drawing of Stewart - exciting for her, and for me, and for Stewart if he had known. Although I haven't yet found the missing medical invoices, I have decided to go ahead and collate all the invoices I do have, and spent some time on this, working in the kitchen. The light was insufficient for my eyes, so I searched the house for a lamp, finding one in Tara's room. It made a big difference. Apparently it dates from the 1940s, like me. Our Nu Skin shipment had arrived today and last thing before going to sleep I applied a non-inconsiderable amount of NAPca to my rough face.

Mon Aug 1    Med

It was crucial for me to be able to walk this week but the pain in my hip was threatening that. I set out the pills for 6am, also applying Voltaren to my hip and leg then, and reset the alarm to 7:30 to give them time to work. I was able to walk, with some background pain, so hopefully this will allow me to get to PMH on Wednesday and Thursday. Steve was still complaining of pain in his chest, and I said we should go to energency, but he was sure they wouldn't be able to do anything. Laurie-Ann was under par, and when challenged about her compression garments said she wasn't up to putting them on. Dr Lal called to change the day for my B12 shots and I took the opportunity to tell her about the pain in my leg and lower back. She will send an X-Ray requisition direct to Richmond Gardens wich will be accessible after Wednesday. I spent some of the morning and afternoon re-examining the paper files which were the most likely to have the missing receipts, and I did find some. I found 20 of Este Mellet's small blue receipts in the box where all keyed in receipts should have been. This means I must have filed the rest of them in some other safe place. My leg was walkable on, but not without some pain. L-A made rhubarb crumble using some of the rhubarb we had harvested from the garden and then frozen. It was delicious after our pork cutlets. Before going to sleep I decided to set out two Tramacet tablets for the morning. I have to find out if they would allow me to walk normally on Wednesday.

Sun Jul 31    Med

From when I got up I felt ill. It was a combination of depression and a lack of wanting to do anything to a new physical pain in my lower back, right side, that had me hobbling. My morning Tylenol couldn't hack it. I measured my weight: down from 123 Lb to 121.5 (55.11Kg). The trend is in the wrong direction; not what the hospital wants to hear. I was determined to go to church. After breakfast I helped L-A on with her almost-complete compression kit (without the socks but with her shoes instead). Still feeling I would rather be horizontal we drove to church to be greeted by Catherine. I gave her a half empty 'Insomia' bottle and mentioned some of the practicalities. Instead of a sermon, 5 stalwart church members in armchairs on stage discussed how they had personally integrated themselves into this city, and other cities. After the service we had coffee with Bob and Catherine in Atwell's, and when they closed, outside on the patio. All four of us enjoyed this very much. I asked them to pray for my new pain in my back. L-A told them the story of how we met. Back home I felt I wanted to continue with a restful Sabbath. Instead of my taking a 90 minute nap, L-A and I listened to the rest of the first disk of 'Make me,' which is pretty slow paced and restful. By now I had taken more pain pills and my back pain had reduced significantly, either through prayer or pain pills, or (my preference) both. We'll see how the pain is at breakfast tomorrow.

Sat Jul 30

I got up early and the final E-Transfer of funds for paying down the MasterCard was finally in Protonmail. I paid off about $8,500 of Mastercard debt. Steve was ready to get up by 8:45 and I decided to cook us poached eggs on crumpets. He came into the kitchen. No complaints about his body pain. I served the eggs. And then got a shock. My egg had no taste. Zero. I asked Steve if his egg was OK and he said it was. So I have finally experienced the nadir of taste problems, which I know about from reading the dietry reports from PMH and also other sources. I sincerely hope this isn't with me for a while - it is a most weird feeling eating without tasting. As I got back into the tax audit, I realised that if I could print the relavent few pages from L-A's complete tax return, I could then work on finding the tax receipts without having to be in front of the computer. At first I had no luck printing from UFile's document, but when I downloaded the .pdf, there was more flexibility. I was able to select just the 2 pages I needed and suck them into Libre Office. Then there was only one problem remaining: the file would only print without punctuation. The next task was to edit in the punctuation and bingo, I printed out a 2-pager I could really work with. I set up shop at the breakfast table and started looking for tax receipts, finding a couple, but not finding several that surely should have been there. The only explanation is that I don't have handy all the receipts from the early days of keying them in. I would have filed those paper receipts and placed them in a safe, logical spot. So I went through all the piles of receipts, but at the time of writing have not found them. I would never have destroyed them, but may well have selected a good place for them. We need some divine guidance as to where that would be. In the afternoon we made chili con carne which we much enjoyed for supper.

Fri Jul 29

Steve didn't want to get out of bed, not even with the encouragement of breakfast. His whole body was hurting from his fall in the front yard. Sometimes he'll hold off on breakfast till he's been washed by the psw. but today he skipped breakfast altogether, for the first time since we've been here. Laurie-Ann did have breakfast and after that I helped her put on her compression garments, except the top one. I made a few edits to her new 'Ways to Grow in God through rest,' the first for several months. The morning disappeared with e-mails and other admin. I took Steve a turkey meat bagel for lunch in his bedroom so he didn't have to strain his body to eat. L-A asked her dad if we could pray for his sore body and he readily accepted! This would happen a little later in the day. Tara phoned to say she had found Steve's missing health card under her car seat! This saves me time and effort in applying for a replacement. After lunch I re-read the 'help' reply from UFile and got started pulling out the receipts listed for L-A. The problem was that it took an hour to find just the first two receipts. But that was a start. After that hour I wanted to do something else. I played the complete music file made by Sylvia Tauvette (RIP) and me in BHCC. I had never played it in full before and it was the perfect way to rest, as called for in Ways to Grow in God through rest. Steve joined us for roast turkey dinner (with fake gravy), but refused to put his teeth in even though they were right in front of him on the table. He did actually finish the turkey without them. Then, inexplicably, he put them in, probably just to show us that he was the one making the decisions. Control issue. When he had finished we laid hands on him and both of us prayed for him to receive divine relief from the pain in his body from the fall.

Thu Jul 28

I found time in the morning to read through half the medical background material sent to me by PMH, including how to combat changes in taste and smell. It sounds as if in my case they are a symptom of the cancer rather than the treatment since I experienced them before my first infusion. It also appears they are quite common, and my best weapon is avoiding them when I have developed enough experience to know what triggers any given umpleasant taste. Despite the audit that CRA want to do of L-A's medical expenses, they still sent us the promised refunds today, so I allocated an additional $3K to the MasterCard. U-File finally replied to my 'Help' request about how I can know which medical expenses were finally added do each of us by 'Maxback.' It's on the main Taz return under 'Medical Expenses Federal.' I went for my B12 shot at 10:30, and mentioned to Dr Lindholm that I had hastened the psa results from Dr Judah, and that L-A had had her knee X-Ray. Then I went to Cloverdate and got a new battery for Steve's surviving watch, and a pack of Boost for me. At noon the Microsoft Teams video meeting began with Carlos and Tyler. Tyler is a wiz on IG's latest financial projection software, Capitail?, and had assimilated everything I had sent for my long term plan as I saw it. It seems my plan is good, and the IG software confirmed it by running the numbers into the long term. Some additional recommendations were: (a) L-A sould apply for CPP asap. She would have to live into her 80's, delaying the start, to do better than receiving the money now. (b) When negotiating with the Murtas, if they are interested in staying on, make it till April/May, when the rental market will be more attractive. The meeting had been really quite helpful. Apparently Carlos rarely goes to the office, conducting business from home, often using Teams. Steve sat on the couch after dinner and I took the opportunity to test out if he might enjoy the other audio book, 'Heads you win,' more than the first one. And he did listen for a chapter or so before going back to his room. He is mainly interested in himself at this time and audiobooks don't do anything for that. Servant of the People was E1 S2 and was some of the most extraordinary TV I have ever seen, the explanation for what happened being revealed to the hero and to listeners only in the final 5 minutes. If Zelenskyy came up with this, and I assume he did, his talent in screenwriting truly is phenomenal.

Wed Jul 27

Steve's night had not included diapers or trousers, so while he was breakfasting I stripped the bedding and put it all in the wash. Mid afternoon he was on the porch, and I thought he'd like some vanilla pudding, but when I opened the front door he wasn't there. Then I raised my eyes and saw him on the ground at the far end of the driveway with the recyclables bin lying on top of him. At about the same time, Tom amd Jenny from across the street saw him too and were hurrying over. As we found out later, he had taken it into his head to bring in the bin from its temporary place on the sidewalk. So without a walking stick or even a pair of shoes he must have walked over to it, grabbed onto it and pulled it towards him at which point it took over control and knocked him down and then sat on him. As we reached him our first concern was wether he was badly hurt. But Steve has a guardian angel who protects him. No damage to his head, just the beginning of bruising on his left arm, with which and with instinct he had broken his fall on the rough tarmac. By now Steve was surrounded by one of his favourite things, an audience ready to laugh at his stories. With we three anxious young friends looking on, and concerned, he entertained us and clearly was loving it! After 5 - 10 minutes I suggested we get him on his feet and on to a walking stick that I had brought from the house. Tom and Jenny had no difficulty getting him up. and walked him back up to the porch, where Steve clearly thought the performance should continue. We exchanged names and they said they were there at the house almost opposite weekdays and I could call on them if help were needed. Tom had known Steve for 20 years. Our dinner tonight was roast turkey, just like Christmas. It all worked out well, from beautiful meat to cranberry sauce. We finished just in time for our Connect Group call. Paula was also on the call, in addition of course to Bob and Catherine. Catherine has been sleeping very badly and after several prayers for her, I suggested Insomnia, the homeopathic remedy I have taken for years. We chatted, prayed and commented for 90 minutes. By this time Steve had retired to his naked bed which I had intended to make up during dinner but forgot. I asked him to take a walk round the house while I did it, and then I got on with the Christmas style washing up.

Tue Jul 26    Med

Steve not feeling well - weak - or wanting to eat when I woke him about 8:30. Alison managed him at 9, running the gauntlet of landscape firm PPM who were busy at work from an early hour grinding out both of the stumps from our lawns. Steve got up when I warned him they would be making major noise outside his bedroom on the later stump, and had some breakfast. Instead of Quaker instant oatmeal I offered him the choice of all the cereals now stored on the dining room table and he chose the basic granola. I needed to be sure we didn't have any medical reports stored with the 25 CDs and DVDs (and one memory stick), but all that turned up was the disk of the lumber spine MRI. About half of the disks are mine. As I went though them I couldn't help reflecting on how they represented a huge amount of medical resources we needed in South Africa, having needed virtually none before going there. Had we known what to expect, and the fact that we would be dumped by Allianz half way through, would we ever have left the safety of Canada? I am sure many would say no, but while it all was going on we were repeatedly blessed in our ministry by God who solved the Allianz problem. Surely that is all the proof needed that we were right to embark on the amazing venture. I had sent $31,000 to pay down L-A's Visa last Thursday, and up to yesterday it had not shown up on her Visa account. But this morning there it was! I was extremely relieved. The Plan is unfolding. Another thought in a related category - financial management and managing our money. Throughout the whole African adventure up to the present, our computers never let us down, and we were able to manage several different accounts including FNB in South Africa. Where would the Cupido family be today had we not come into their lives? How would several other families have managed the challenges of Covid in the township without a supply of $Canadian for all their emergencies? Bella needed stationary supplies for her university work, and told us she is able to walk from the hospital to a place she can buy them. I sent her an addional allowance of R500, though whether that is sufficient she won't know till she goes there. L-A received an omminous notification of a message from the CRA. It turned out they want to audit our medical expenses from 2021, just as they did the previous year. It remains to be seen if they will still send our full tax rebates. We are only claiming about half of the expenses we claimed last year. After the $31,000 worth of good news earlier in the day, I didn't let the audit get me down. We have worked through them before and this time we are in Canada. L-A and I phoned Janice Thomason since we had heard Jim's time was running out fast. We had talked to Steve about being part of the conversation but he was very resistant. Jim isn't talking to anyone. Janice sounded very down; slightly less so by the end of our conversations. I tried to entice Steve to listen to more of the audiobook, re-telling him the story so far, but her didn't join us. I sense today was hard on him. In bed I had multiple dreams about dealing with the tax audit.

Mon Jul 25

I filled the car with gas, which because of Doug Ford's subsidy was somewhat cheaper than the last few fill-ups. Then on to Canadian Tire for an oil change. I had opted for synthetic oil, not just because of a $20 discount, but also doing my tiny bit to reduce purchases of Russian oil (in theory), and I'd never tried it before. The price quoted had been $73.51, and that was what I paid. They also checked all lights, the battery, air filter, and brakes. My first stop on the way home was McDonalds for a strawberry milk shake, recommended by TGH. Although I drank most of it, it just didn't taste right. Then I went to WalMart and bought face flannels for us and for the kitchen sink. Tara had pointed out the public library, and I drove slowly along the East Mall so I wouldn't miss it. We had decided to see if Steve would enjoy an audiobook. I joined the library, then borrowed a Lee Child and a Jeffrey Archer, due back on 15 August. Finally to M&M to pick up a delivery. When I got home I forgot to take my pills for the new 3-times a day routine. I got the lunch and then went to bed, putting the kibosh on L-A's wearing her compression garments for today. I called Dr Judah's office and reminded them about sending on my psa result to Dr. Lindholm, initially giving them the wrong fax number, but they phoned back and I got them the right number. Maybe I'd given them the wrong number immediately after having the test. We finally read (the last chapter) of Ezekiel about 5 pm. Must do earlier tomorrow. Must also get L-A's compression garments on tomorrow when I won't be getting tired with trips out. After eating the last of the jambalaya, we tried out Steve on listening to an audiobook. Pink Dell would play it through the stereo. I chose Lee Child's 'Make me,' a Jack Reacher novel. He seemed to listen to most of the first two chapters, then got up to go to his room, saying he thought the book a bit slow moving. The disk drive started giving trouble at that point; not unexpected. I will use the external drive in future.

Sun Jul 24    Med

I weighed myself: still 123 Lb (55KG) - same as 12 July. I thought it might have risen a notch after all the protein and snacking I have been taking recently. We read from Ezekiel about 10 am, as decided yesterday. I went alone to church; L-A wasn't up to it. Many were baptised. Steve Long publicised the new CD by CTF worship leaders Hope and Dallas Wigston, and by evening we had listened to it on Spotify and bought it on I-Tunes. I chatted with Bob and Catherine. In the afternoon I searched all my computer files for any medical reports that could be used as evidence for Dr Lindholm for L-A's disability certificate, finding none. After dinner and 'Servant of the People,' instead of our previous reading from Ezekiel, I edited a couple of record album files, digitized in 2017. There are 141 more records and cassettes to be edited. There was a thunder and lightning storm very late evening, but my morning it was a nornal sunny day for this time of year.

Sat Jul 23    Med

I helped L-A get ready for her knee and hip X-Rays at Richmond Gardens. It was still cool and last night's moisturization seemed to have been beneficial. Her shoes went on normally. She wore capris. We drove there and began the long walk via the elevator to the clinic, with several rests. She bravely kept going. Dr Lindholm had failed to complete the requisition form and I filled in the details. Quite soon she was seen by a Chinese technician who was very gentle with her, sensing her pain. He was able to work through the capris. He said the hip X-Ray was blurred in spots and she might have to return. She said that was not a good idea, so he repeated it there. She came out to reception and re-gathered her strength. But when she tried to stand, assisted by me, she couldn't. We waited 15 minutes and tried again. She still couldn't take her weight, standing. Another 15 minutes rest; what else could she do? She prayed. I prayed, and tried to figure out ways to get her home. After 15 minutes we tried again, and this time, thank the Lord, she was able to stand with the walker. She was also able to get along the passageway via the elevator to the car. Halleluja! Today I had wanted to read up on the dietry recommendations from PMH, but it wasn't to be. I slept a couple of hours, and then worked on Good News in the Morning. We cooked and ate jumbalaya. Finally quite late I completed GNiTM, but made several unforced errors, like substituting .img for .mp3 on one of the files. I was tired and error-prone. And then it seemed to me a rectangular dark screen was superimposed on my computer screen. No writing appeared on the screen, but in my mind I heard the Lord saying, 'Tony, you are not at your best at this time of night, and yet a little later you and Laurie-Ann will read and study my Word, as spoken to Ezekiel. You should not to this when you are tired and error-prone.' I discussed this revelation with L-A and we have decided to do our Bible study before or after breakfast, or on Sunday after Church.

Fri Jul 22

Before breakfast I had updated my 'buy' and current 'do' lists to make today efficient. About 12:30 I drove to Canadian Tire and booked the car in on Monday at 10 for an oil change. The guy was efficient, discovering all my details from my phone number. They had been keyed in by the Whitby store. Then I went to Cloverdale, and in Metro found Ensure, Oikos yoghurt, and cereal. On my way out past the Silver Time booth, I noticed alarm clocks nestling among the watches and jewelry. I bought one for L-A, whose alarm clock had expired. In Dollarama, for the first time in any store, when I asked an employee for help, he said "No," he was too busy. On to Valley Farm Produce, who don't sell Boston lettuce, but I got peaches. I arrived home exhausted, and immediately started on the lunch, which made me more exhausted. I resolved in future not to do anything strenuous immediately before preparing a meal. We had planned to go to Richmond Gardens for X-Rays of Laurie-Ann's knees, a step towards her disability tax credit certificate, and this was the first afternoon with space available. But when I tried to put her socks and shoes on there was a serious problem: her feet had swelled through lymphedema. I did get the shoes on but they were uncomfortable. In the hopes that the shoes themselves would act as compression garments, we waited half an hour, but she still couldn't walk. We will hope for a cooler day tomorrow and go early morning. I soaked and massaged Laurie-Ann's feet, removing lots of dead skin, and then moisturised them with her trusty Simply Bee products from SA.

Thu Jul 21

Up early, and worked on 'Copples - The longer term plan.' This was always going to be necessary to confirm that the Poulin cash flow spreadsheet that suggested we don't sell the condo is also the basis for a plan that accommodates Steve's dying or going into a nursing home at any time in the next few months or years. As I developed it, it seemed pretty secure to me, though there is always the possibility I forgot something important. The near removal of credit card debt was a crucial factor, showing that we should be able to save significantly on a monthy basis, although that will be offset by medical costs. When I had finished the draft I asked L-A to read it, which threw up my misunderstanding of financial adjustments agreed by the family if Steve went into a home and the house was sold at that point to pay for it. When I had made those adjustments she read it again and was happy. We had a long term plan! I sent it to Carlos and Tyler, so that the information could be incorporated into their long term plan for us. Then I sent a message to Liam Murta asking if he now had firm arrangements for leaving the condo in October. We received the redemption from our non-registered investments, a day earlier than the deadline which was the date the TD Visa had to be paid (today). I was therefore able to pay down $31,000 from the TD visa balance. Our R5000 reached FNB through XE Transfer, so we now have more flexibility there for Bella's needs. I received a wealth of nutrition info from Canadice Nguyen at PMH, including on taste and smell issues. I need to set aside time to read this in detail, and soon. It had been a full and good day and I felt better than for some days.

Wed Jul 20

Early in the morning I noticed a weakness in my right leg just below the hip. It was a similar, though less intense pain to what I had experienced in 2018, resulting in being put on Tramacet and Celebrex. I wonder what's going on. I sent Carlos our complete tax return; he had requested just the T1 General but it's all one big pdf. We had received 'express' notices of assessment from the CRA already. I also resent him Matthew's question about the use of RESP EAPs in a foreign educational establishment. L-A had her MLD and then the compression garments except for the arm which would have made it impossible to cook. It was a warm day and Steve spent much of it on the porch. Then he would come in and feel cool, and ask for the the thermostat to be turned up! To humour him, I did this - a couple of degrees - resulting in L-A sweating most of the night. A firm of arborists arrived early and started cutting down the maple outsite Steve's window. I got reprimanded for walking along the sidewalk to take pictures - but I got some pictures. They were here most of the morning. According to Tara, others will be back to grind out the stump. It is all quite an undertaking. We had a 30 minute area power failure around noon.

Tue Jul 19    Med

To Toronto Western Hospital for my check up, the first in a month. Again I only saw Eric Manalang and Dr Flynn and one other, but not Dr Mandelcorn. But this was good; they reported to him and he said I didn't need to return unless a problem had arisen. They don't expect the eye to be able to fully focus even with a prescription lens. In a month I should go and see an optometrist, and then call Maria to provide them with background information amd measurements. Then (presumably) I can order a pair of glasses. Again I enjoyed my trip home partially on the streetcar. At about 5pm I Netfiled our taxes! What a relief. For several hours I have been correcting the issues that U-File tells you about. Finally it said we could both Netfile, though we should be sure to follow CRA rules. There seemed to be an issue with the deduction for net capital losses, but I decided to try and netfile anyway - and it went through! Our rebate will be $6,898.19, though in the months to come we could be reassessed and have to pay some of it back. I was feeling quite euphoric and I went to sit on the porch in the sun with Steve and we had a really good conversation. Bella told us that even after receiving R500 on 18 July she had exhausted their money for the next week, and that Cathy is in hospital. How Bella and Cathy are managing the family I can only imagine. I sent her another R500. Our FNB account is now down to ~R400, but money from the sale of colouring books should reach it this week, and then the XE Transfer. What really worries me about the Cupido situation is that if one of their phones broke or was stolen, the only way they could survive would be for us to replace them, or all the careful recent planning would be for nothing. They live so close to disaster. I sent a birthday email to Phil in advance of 20 July.

Mon Jul 18

It was a rainy dark day when I got up. L-A wasn't feeling well, again, and wisely stayed in bed till nearly dinner time. I went for this weeks B12 shot. Dr Lindholm had not received a report on the PSA test from Dr Judah. I entered the British pension into U-File, but got a message saying I had forgotten my CPP and OAS. I hadn't received the tax slips. I decided to implement the CRA's facility for downloading all tax-slip data, instead of filling it in manually, because this would include my CPP and OAS slips. I took Steve to the denturist at 2pm, and she did a thorough job of filing down the part of the lower denture that had caused him pain. If this stays as well as it started, he will indeed benefit hugely. We had a call from a dietition at Princess Margaret Hospital wanting to have an online chat with both of us. We had decided that we would continue supporting Bella and family even though we have almost exhausted the funds in FNB, so I logged into XE transfer and sent R5,000, which cost us only $386.67 because the Rand is very low right now, part of the fall-out from serious loadshedding.

Sun Jul 17    Laurie-Ann is 61

Birthdays are big in the Zachar family. You see it in the many birthday parties Kennedy attends, and I see it in L-A. This day had been thought about and finalized for weeks. Things from her bucket list are incorporated. First we went to church. We skipped the compression garments as a birthday treat. It had been at last week's service that I had been prayed for by an elderly prayer team member, and in the following six days we had got to the point of cashing our non-registered investments to pay down out credit cards. Big decision. This is a key aspect of how we could hang onto the condo. The idea came to me through something L-A had said about rents being sky high, and a spreadsheet I had developed that suggested there was sufficient cash flow to keep the condo both when we had renters, and also if we moved in. This was the part that germinated after that short prayer session. Today I wanted to find her and thank her. I couldn't see her among the prayer team after the service. I decided to walk through the congregation and see if she was here. I got out of my seat, took one step, and she was in front of me. I thanked her walmly for her prayer a week before. and that it had borne fruit. Her name is Vivian. I'm sure it blessed her - but it didn't surprise her. We left church promptly and drove to the nearby Lone Star. We had to wait 15 minutes but that was OK. Soon we were in a booth. L-A did the ordering: a frozen mango Margarita for her, and a zero-alcohol beer for me (post-chemo rule), and fish tacos for us both. She had told me about fish tacos that she last had some years ago and she really wanted them. With such enthusiasm I naturally wanted the same. She had a salad with it and I had onion rings. It arrived after 10 minutes and we got stuck in. The food was excellent, if near my limits of capacity - I didn't finish the huge onion rings. Best of all was being with my sweetheart on her special day and relaxing. We drove home to give Steve his lunch, and I snatched a half-hour shuteye. Then L-A and I went to Starbucks for her birthday treat - a free non-dairy latte. She had ordered everything using the Starbucks app, and it was waiting for us. That was my mid afternoon snack, as recommended by Dr Bradbury. Back home everyone was soon asleep, until I got up to prepare salad, Quich Florentine, and Key Lime Pie which is L-A's favourite taste in the world. We rounded off her day with 'Servant of the People,' Ezekiel, and prayer, as usual. She had enjoyed her birthday.

Sat Jul 16    Med

I turned on CKCU and listened to Saturday Morning and a chunk of Canadian Spaces. I only turn on music when I'm well enough to enjoy it. I hadn't expected to feel this good the day after immunotherapy. After L-A had had breakfast we put on her compression garments and it wasn't fun. We need another lesson so we can get better at it. I was determined not to give up, and she did wear them for the balance of the day. I went to the IDA and filled the prescriptions Penny Bradbury had given me for Tylenol 2 and an anti-nausea drug Prochlorazine. This didn't cost a lot because they are both prescription only, and I have finally reached my $100 target after which drugs are free for seniors. Unfortunately the new year for that is August, not the calendar year. I'll start on it at breakfast tomorrow instead of Clopamon. I vacuumed upstairs. I was really tired after lunch and went to bed for a couple of hours, during which Tara visited, bringing sparkling wine for L-A's birthday, and a mortar and pestle, which l_A had often said she needed. Tara is very generous and creative in acknowledging birthdays and anniversaries. I benefitted from the sleep and for the rest of the evening I felt better than I have for days! I kissed L-A happy 61st birthday at midnight. I had trouble reporting the interest paid on the line of credit which is an expense against rental income. So at prayer time I gave it to the Lord. My the time I was brushing my teeth I had the answer, and it was the same methodology used in previous years. TKOG.

Fri Jul 15    Med; Infusion #1

There was something more immediate than my immunotherapy today. If I want to go ahead with the plan initiated by me and endosed by Tyler, then there was no time to lose in saving credit card interest. The next payment for the Visa was due on 22 July, but to get the non-registered cash by then I must ask for it today, and still no guarantee of success. So I sent a redempion request to Carlos and asked him to confirm when the request had gone in. This was a big decision. If it works out we should save the condo. But if I have failed to take account of some showstopper, we could well lose it. I left for Kipling Station at 9:15 after getting Steve and L-A breakfasted. I arrived in good time at Princess Margaret Hospital and reported to the Systematic Therapy Unit. I took a number, which was called immediately, and given a pager. I waited half an hour, listening to a George Sinclair podcast on GNiTM via the free wifi. I was called to a triage room where a nurse explained that the cost of the drugs I would be having for immunotherapy was $14,000, specially mixed for me, so there had to be absolutely no chance of my not being fit to receive them. She tested my vitals, which must have been good since I got to return to reception with the pager, and waited another half hour during which time my personal drug dose was being made up. The pager rang and I was directed to Orange 20. Only now did I realize the extent of this chemo facility. The whole of the 6th floor was a myriad of rooms with chemo chairs. I found Orange 20, and my nurse was waiting for me. His name was Jojo and he is from Austria. He had an assistant called Maria. Jojo expertly prepared my right arm for the miracle liquids. It wasn't long before they were permeating all parts of my body, but I felt nothing umpleasant. And so this continued about 3 1/2 hours till 3 pm. I still felt the same as when I came in. I thanked Jojo and headed to Tim Horton's for a snack. For some reason I decided to walk To St. Patrick station - but I couldn't find it. There was extensive construction in the area. Finally I asked a street vendor and he asked me to look behind me and I saw a staircase going down to St Patrick. I was home about 4:30, still feeling OK. This had been a big day in my current life. Feeling good about life, and needing photos off my phone, I attempted to re-install my Gmail account on my Blackberry, using the correct Google account password, and it worked! I have been without it for months.

Thu Jul 14    Med

I dreamed about the tax credit certificate application until I was tired of dreaming and just wanted to get started on it. After a plate of Cherios I first checked to see if Carlos or Tyler had responded to my question. Tyler had. He seemed to be some kind of shared tech support that Carlos uses, based in Kingston. First he said there was nothing illegal about what I wanted to do with the AiO. Then he built on the cash flow plan to show that it indeed could be developed to enable us to keep the condo. The most urgent part of all this is to cash out the non-registered money and use it to pay down the credit cards. I reprinted p1 of the disability tax credit certificate application and re-wrote it as an application by L-A on behalf of herself. This immediately simplified the application. To simplify it further we had already decided that we would only claim from 2022, with no prior year claims. By 8:30 it was done! So I was able to give L-A her MLD and breakfast after all, with an application that would have more chance of success because it wasn't greedy. At 11:30 we went to the Lindholm Medical Centre, and soon(ish) were with Dr James Lindholm. He gave me my B12 shot. Then he educated us on the disability tax credit certificate. He doubted whether her lymphedema would be relevant, particulatly since it was diagnosed by a physiotherapist. (We didn't respond that none of her previous doctors had recognized the illness; that took a mere physiotherapist). His homework for us was to find any supporting reports from SA doctors relating to disability. We had shown him the report on the MRI of L-A's spine, which explained why she couldn't be on the computer for long. Meantime he gave her a requisition for knee X-Rays. L-A liked him, and he had now met her - a major re-requisite. This application might even go through, but it will be slow getting there. From the IDA we drove to Service Ontario on Wincott. With L-A's birthday on Sunday, she wanted to renew her health card. The clerk said there was a problem; her card was no longer valid! She recommended we go to the big Service Ontario in Islington. It was an appointment system, but they let us in, to wait about an hour. Eventually we reached the head of the line and I pointed out to the clerk that L-A's healthcard renewal date was 7 July; what problem could there be? It turned out that part of the rules for extended OHIP was that we were required to report to Service Ontario when we had arrived back. This was news to us. Anyway, she did some computer magic, took L-A's photo, and issued a temporary OHIP sheet. Then she did the same for me, since I was equally delinquent. We eventually got home to a hungry Steve about 4pm. I devoured almost a whole packet of Kraft Dinner (macaroni & cheese). I haven't eaten that in nearly 5 years. Being really hungry is an opportunity I must not pass up! I was looking for my crosses on the window ledge, and lifted a black oblong case, to find, underneath it - our passports, which we had lost on 11 July.

Wed Jul 13    Med

I got up at my normal time, but L-A was up by 7:45, somewhat earlier than hers. She supervised Steve's breakfast while I was on the train to Princess Margaret Hospital. I got there early, but they did the blood test early. I was at the medical imaging department early, but they X-Rayed me early - but wouldn't show me the picture. I was in the Thoracic (lung) Clinic 30 minutes early, but wasn't seen till mor than an hour after the time. I had no problem with the delays. Finally I saw an assistant doctor, and then Dr Bradbury. I learned a lot. My weight loss is a concern, but not my blood sugar, so anything to get weight back on is good. Like snacking. They are ready to start with the immunotherapy this Friday at 11am! They took me through aspects of possible side effects, and I am to call them if there is any change to my health from the drugs. I must watch carefully for fever, keep my skin healthy, and drink 2L a day (unlikely). There was lots of good information. Naturally, on my way out I dropped into the internal Starbucks for a coffee and a slice of iced lemon cake. I was hope by 2 to feed the three of us. About 3pm, Mathew McCulloch called to see if it could be possible to drop in here to see us. It was absolutely possible, and he soon arrived. Talking close-up with a missionary of his experience and compassion, both about Cambodia, and about his supporting churches was fascinating. We had our bi-weekly Zoom collect Group with with Bob and Catherine; tonight it was just the four of us. Catherine mentioned that I might have opportunities for witnessing in the chemo room. I decided that I should wear a cross. After supper I got out the draft disability tax credit certificate application and reviewed the first page and making some changes including adding an addendum. This tired me out and I resolved to get it done tomorrow morning even if it encroached on other activities. M/A called L-A quite later to pray for her, and I went to bed without waiting till they were finished. As I put on my pyjames I realised that the disability certificate should not we written we me as L-A's supporting family member, which might have has some extra tax benefits, but with her making the application for herself. My reason, after I die, she wouldn't have to go through the tortuous business again.

Tue Jul 12    Med

The passports are not in the basement. Next place to look will be the trunks and suitcases, but I didn't have time to do that today. In the normal course of events however, around the house, I continued searching. When I eventually got to help L-A with her compression garments, something strange. On of the parts of the arm complex is called an extender, and I had placed it on the couch last night, but now it was missing. She was able to manage without it. I took Steve to the denture clinic at Cloverdale to find they were now by appointment only. So I called - and it will be Monday before they can adjust his dentures so he isn't in quite severe pain. I weighed myself and got a shock. 55KG (123 lbs). That is my lowest ever and a fall from 60KG in the last 2 months. I was very tired at lunch and took my pills and a 2 hour sleep after it, which made me feel almost normal again. We need repeat prescriptions for L-A and throughout the day I attempted to get through - until about 5 pm. Dr Lal almost immediately asked to speak direct with L-A, so I woke her and put her on. She asked questions about the meds L-A needed, said L-A should come with me when I get the B12 shot, and then agreed that she would considers signing the disability tax credit certificate! This could be a major breakthrough.

Mon Jul 11

I drove Laurie-Ann to the medical office of Dr Silver, Chiropodist. Parking was very short in supply so I stayed in the car up the street and we communicaed by text. She really liked him, and more important he filed down her toenails with his special tool to be delightfully smooth. At the time he was doing it his 4-month old son was in chemo. He has a lot on his plate. He says she doesn't need an operation on any of her toes, but will have to come back periodically to have them filed. L-A received a notice to go to Service Ontario to apply for her new drivers licence, since her birthday is on Sunday. She spent a while updating regular payments made on her Visa. She was concerned that Service Ontario might ask for her passport as additional ID, and then we realized we didn't know where the passports were. We don't believe they have left the house in the past couple of months, but I may have filed them in a new, 'safer' place. I searched the bedroom and living room extensively, feeling remarkably calm. Then I sensed a voice in my mind saying, 'don't spend the rest of the evening searching while you are tired and it's dark, but finish clearing the kitchen and have your Bible time, and resume seaching downstairs tomorrow.' So that's what I did.

Sun Jul 10

L-A came to bed late, with a bunch of questions relating to our cash flow if we lived back in the condo. I said I wasn't in a good frame of mind to discuss, but she had triggered an idea in my mind. In the morning first thing however, I ran the cash flow figures and they appeared to show she could be right, with a healthy surplus. After breakfast however I factored in our current credit card interest, $746 pm, and removed an arithmetic error, showing that our expenses would exceed income by $559. So that wouldn't work. L-A had breakfast and then we put on her complession vest, left arm, and legs, but not feet. It went more smoothly than last Thursday, and we were ready for church in good time. After the sermon from Murray on unity-encouraging in Toronto, I went for prayer, and picked an elderly lady to get help from. I said I had a serious financial problem endangering the keeping of our house, and asked for clarity of thought and not to worry about it all the time. A variation on the 'plan' from this morning came to mind, and I will do some work on it. Bella replied to my message saying our FNB account was almost dry: 'Yes we do run out of money every so often. Cathy only gets money now for my one brother 😔💔 it's quite tough. Study is sometimes very hard, with TB also but I'm managing.' In the afternoon, L-A gritted her teeth and got behind the computer working on the digital editing of Stuart's portrait. I say gritted her teeth because she was wearing the compression garments, and recently has had to ration her time on the computer because it causes her additional pain. At the same time I keyed in the rest of the T5008 details, tedious but must be accurate. It was a lovely day and Steve was out on the porch for much of it. I gave him the last of the cinnamon iced buns that Tara had left here a week ago. I began thinking in more depth about the idea L-A had suggested to allow us to live in the condo. There are so many other factors, primarily any plan must take into account the unknown date when Steve will be with us no more. But at the heart of this plan is paying down the credit cards from our non-registered investments, so I sent a copy of the Poulin Cash Flow spreadsheet to Carlos and asked him to check it wouldn't break the AiO rules.

Sat Jul 9

I emailed my sibling update to Phil, Dianne, Neesa, James and Laurie-Ann (though I had read it to her last night). After breakfast with Steve, I gave L-A MLD this morning, but she then lingered a long while over phone matters, having been out of touch a day, and by the time she had breakfast, she didn't think it worth while to put on the compression garments. Maybe she was still a degree under from yesterday. I expressed my disappointment, but part of me saw it as an opportunity to get back to the tax return. First however I collected her shoes from the shoemaker who had very adequately extended the velcro on the longer straps. I am actually very grateful that throughout our few years as missionaries, and particularly after she got sick, she has taken our communication with friends and social media activities so seriously, allowing me to just add cream on the social media cake. She has of course done this for a living for a time with Darren, so she is good. Less than 10% of is my work. Actually both of us have become semi-expert at the computer technology we use, and that includes getting computers and devices fixed when they fail. It would have been hard on the mission field without these skills. Case in point - figuring out quite rapidly yesterday that the problem was not us but Rogers, even thought that is very rare. In the afternoon I was able to work on the taxes for a while until dinner preparation. If I had 8 uninterrupted hours I could complete them.

Fri Jul 8    Med

24 hours ago I wrote this: "Right now the Internet is down on all our computers, and rebooting the modem did nothing, so I am assuming it’s a Rogers problem. Good time to write to you." Well it was a huge Rogers problem. All their services were down till nearly midnight. Even the house line here was down, and Steve's TV. 'Good time to write to you' referred to my brother, sisters and son. who get an occasional newsletter from me. So over the course of the day I wrote them an update. The second unfortunate happening this morning was that Laurie-Ann felt too ill for MLD or her compression garments. She gradually improved throughout the day, but it's rare for her to feel that sick. Despite her many medical issues, underneath it all she has a surprizingly strong constitution. I decided to tell her that (from Carlos' preliminary assessments) we wouldn't be able to afford to move back into Poulin. Without the rent from the Myrtas, my pensions wouldn't be enough for our other needs. We don't know this for certain till Carlos produces some calculations, but I didn't think it fair that she not be aware of the probability. I though she would have a hissy fit, but she didn't. Today I went to see Dr Lindholm again for my (now regular) B12 shots. I waited in his surgery 75 minutes, then the shot took one minute. He gave me a piece of cotton wool to hold onto the injection spot, but no plaster, and then a time and day for my next shot. He also gave me the bottle of vaccine to take home and bring back next week, since there’s no more space to store patient stuff in his office. I could only write down the appointment with my left hand as I held the cotton wool in place. It was all quite comical. Getting your own GP assigned to you has become rare, and the walk in clinics have taken over the load. I tell this story because it illustrates how overloaded the medical system has become here as we approach the 7th wave. There is absolutely no time for doctors to know anything other than bare bones about their patients. Totally different from our time in the private system in South Africa. No TV tonight for us or any other Rogers' customers. After studying Ezekiel together I went to bed. L-A was up at midnight when the Internet had returned so she used the opportunity to catch up on today's communications. the most important one was from Carica reporting that they had sold all their 150 colouring books to an business colleague of Louis' and they were destined for use in a school. L-A was very disappointed that the price raised represented a severe loss compared with the cost of production, each book essentially going for R28 instead of the R150 that would have seemed reasonable to us, even discounted to a school. However, the books are now out there acting as silent missionaries in a place of learning, and every book has the potential for additional sales via Takealot, the online book store in South Africa.

Thu Jul 7    Med

I got up before the 8am alarm feeling quite good and wanting to get on with this morning's challenging schedule. I cooked mushrooms and tomatoes plus ham and toast for Steve and me, and we enjoyed them. That freed me up for L-A's MLD, while Alison washed Steve. Then L-A walked to the green chair and we started reconstructing her compression clothing, starting with the vest. Then she moved to the red chair which made it easier to work with on her left arm. She was able to take quite a major role in getting the arm wrap in place. Then we switched to her legs. This puzzled both of us for a while but eventually had them on, though the left one had the black inner stocking inside out, and the top wrap was upsde down. The right leg was better from the experience of the left. We had the most difficulty putting on the feet - but we remembered Sandra had also faltered with these. In the end the legs needed to be tighter. We had expected some problems the first time. What challenges us (me) most is the need to do this every day for the rest of Laurie-Ann's life - or if it were for the rest of mine, what would she do after that? One she was set up I drove to the shoemaker on Dundas Ave W and showed him that she needs additional velcro to accommodate the increased size of her feet with the foot wrappings. He said it would be done by Saturday, which means she can still go to church. In the afternoon I went to Shoppers to refil one of Steve's meds. They said it would be an hour. I asked about Covid jabs, and they said I could book online or walk in on Sundays. So when I got home I went to the online booking app and saw they had a slot available for 5:30 this afternoon. I applied. At 5:20 I was back, picked up Steve's pills, then filled in a written application for the vaccination. When it came it was fast, taking half a minute. So that was my 4th dose, in time for the surging 7th wave in Ontario. By 6pm some of L-A's wraps were coming off, but we knew we hadn't put them on tightly enough. First day of the learning curve.

Wed Jul 6    Med

I was gratified when the 5th garbage truck to drive along our street took the garden refuse - containing some pretty hefty short branches from the maple. Now there's just one thicker branch to go in 2 weeks. We had an early lunch of home made soup that L-A had prepared last night and this morning. At 1pm we two drove to 'The Lympedema Fitter,' Sandra Persaud in Scarborough. Sandra had now received the balance of the products that L-A was buying from her. She gave us (both) a lesson in putting on the compression vest. When I first saw it I was reminded of a cross between a suicide vest and a bullet proof vest. It even had pockets for ammunition. Sandra put it round L-A's back and chest like a massive bra, with me watching and learning. She brought out a prosthetic breast for L-A's left side which was way lighter and more comfortable than the one she bought in SA, so she decided to keep it. Next garment was for her left arm, up to the shoulder, and it had a glove for the hand with holes for her fingers so she could still operate her phone. She didn't need one for her right arm because her right lymph nodes are still intact. Then we got to her legs. The garments are all black so she is looking like Johnny Cash. By now I am increasingly worried if we will remember how to put the garments on tomorrow morning. She has to wear them every day, and some should be washed every 2 days. This is a tall order. There were special garments for the feet. These made it hard to get her regular shoes on, and we need to have the shoemaker adjust the velcro. We finally had everything, and paid the balance of her bill. We returned home via Six Points where I collected an M&M order, and mushrooms, green beans and plumbs from the vegetable store next door.

Tue Jul 5    Med

The day started in the usual way - alarm for 8 - get Steve's breakfast - but it was to be a pretty good day. I started by looking for the invoice from Canadian Tire who fixed us up on the way to Calibogie. In the doze time before the alarm I thought I might have lost it. But it was in a pile of near-future priority items. Carlos had replied to mine of yesterday, and he made a few logical comments that got me thinking, and pleased that he was progressing along the same lines. I replied point by point. I then re-sorted a number of other paper folders. We have no filing cabinet here. Folders of our papers are kept in spare space on the floor in the bedroom and living room. L-A called me to give her MLD (manual lymph drainage), and was keen that we continue on a daily basis now she will shortly own new lymphodema compression garments. At 11:30 I was fatigued and slept till noon. This seems to have been a pattern of the last few days. At 5 past 12 I was en route to Dr. Judah's office with Steve. After the initial chatting I explained that he was now more active at night and getting frustrated over it. My suggestion was to gradually return him to Trazodone via quarter pills and them to half pills, but since the recommended dose is one pill he said we should skip the quarter pills, and move to one pill if needed after speaking to him. So tonight it will be a half pill. I mentioned his frustration with his slowness peeing, and Dr Judah said he would take a urine sample to see if it was a urinary tract infection, and also a blood sample. I hadn't realized that he has an enlarged prostate, like me, and I happened to mention I was currently waiting to see a urologist till almost year end because I needed a minitoring PSA. Imagine my surprise when he said he could do a PSA right there in his rooms! And he was happy to do so without bringing in the services of a urologist since it was for monitoring an existing condition. I took Steve to their lab at the end of the corridor and watched as a nurse took his blood sample. This is really convenient in a doctor's office, and certainly less likely in a walk-in clinic. I took Steve to the washroom where he successfully delivered a urine sample without spilling a drop. While he was in there I filled out a registration as a new patient. I now have three doctors! Soon I was in the lab room having blood drawn for a PSA. And then we were on our way home for Habitant soup. Laurie-Ann was very excited to hear how we had speeded up the system for the PSA. After lunch I drove to Midas armed with their invoice for brake repairs 25 May, and Canadian Tires's invoice, 24 June, to fix the problem caused by Midas. The duty service person was not Luc, who I had dealt with in the past, but another service person. I showed him the two invoices, and asked him to read the part on the Canadian Tire invoice which stated: 'Vehicle towed in. Customer indicates a rubbing sound on the rear driver's wheel. The vehicle stopped and wouldn't move. Vehicle will go forwards and not reverse. The wheel locks, and will not move. Tech Notes: Driver's rear has two anchor bolts for caliper loose and missing.' The service receptionist asked if he could make some investigations (ie, talk to the man who did the work). He came back after 20 minutes. He said the mechanic was one of their best with a spotless record. Then he asked what kind of compensation I was looking for. I said $64.98, Canadian Tire's bill. He said OK and returned the money to my Mastercard. As I was driving around I heard an ad on CBC for a program tonight at 10 on The National and CBC Gem. Apparently it showed a number of westerners (including 2 Canadians) engaged in the media war over Ukraine on the side of the Russians. I was horrified to hear this, but wanted to see the program so I slept from 9-10 and got up to watch it. It showed some individuals willing to be interviewed who regularly broadcast on YouTube to millions of Russians spreading Putin's propaganda. I hope the Canadian authorities were making notes because these people deserve to be shot. Memories of Lord Haw Haw in WW2.

Mon Jul 4

I started the day patching the front steps matting with duct tape. Then I sawed a couple of the branches that had fallen from the maple leaf into smaller lengths to be taken by the municipality. Breakfast was leftovers which I tested before giving to Steve and he got a better deal. The two-day old chips from Nandos were awful. I sent Carlos information on our income and some of our expenses. He replied immediately saying he had a potential buyer for our condo. I responded that we weren't ready to sell unless some life events would have taken place. I have to remember that he suggested we sell before we went to South Africa, which would have heft us without $1400 monthly income, but earned him a nice commission on the investment of the proceeds. I called the Lindholm Clinic. The phone routine there is that at certain times of day the message says 'Please hold.' It may then be 10 - 15 minutes before they answer, and there is no background music on the call so you would know they were still there. So I took the phone to my nap and lay with my ear on the earpiece, and when they finally answered I heard them. It was Dr Lal. I asked when I could have a second B12 shot, hoping for tomorrow, but the earliest was Friday. When I woke from the nap I started the keying in of T-forms to uFile. I called Dr Judah's office about Steve's increasing restlessness. The receptionist said I could bring him in tomorrow at noon.

Sun Jul 3

I was so fatigued after breakfast that I fell asleep on the bed, and L-A was unable to wake me to welcome the psw. I was determined to go to church. Murray preached on intergrating ourselves into our city and not separating into Christian silos, with texts from Jeremiah and Jonah. Since I have always had a bad habit of silently critizing people with nose rings, heavy tattoos, and weird hair this was good for me to hear. The thought crossed my mind that maybe we should also integrate ourselves into 'pride' parades. London and Toronto just held their 50th - massive events. We lingered over my free Father's Day coffee from 2 weeks ago. When we got home I took my second dose pills which gave me a much better afternoon. I read the preface to the new Book of Common Prayer, authorized by ACNA, and the history of the Book of Common Prayer by Thomas Cranmer brought me to tears. Who knew? Thank you Sydney for giving me this book. Mid afternoon L-A took a nap. This was my chance for concentrating on tax calculations. We agreed I would wake her at 4. In Calabogie I had keyed in almost all of the medical expenses, except for two Mediclinic downpayments - R10,000 and R8,000 - which I had clearly paid but wasn't sure which other expenses they should be filed with. So I began a painstaking process of matching up hospital visits with associated expenses, at one point resorting to this journal to pinpoint when I was actually in the hospital. At 4pm I wasn't done. At 4:10 I woke L-A but begged her if she got up not to interrupt me with fetch requests. I really needed to concentrate. I finally worked it out. I had completed the entry of our medical expenses for 2021 calendar year! I told L-A that not only was I now available to help her with preparing the dinner, but I suggested that after dinner, as her reward for accommodating me we watch 'Downton Abbey - A new Era,' the second movie which was now in cinemas and on iTunes. She had been talking about it for months. L-A's from-scratch spaghetti bolognaise took us 3 hours to prepare and eat but it was worth it. Afterwards I skipped most of the dishes and we got into the the movie. From the start it seemed to me better than the first movie, and even better that the TV episodes. which is saying a lot. Thoroughly enjoyable and a huge credit to the writer Julian Fellowes.

Sat Jul 2

The day after returning from holiday for us is a full day in terms of unpacking the suitcase, then repacking two cases with the contents, other than what will be needed regularly, for which we have drawer and floor space in the bedroom. Then there's the laundry, taking over the unloading and reloading from Tara, and putting Steve's washed clothes into his shelves. Laurie-Ann had finished the drawing of Stewart Curry, and needed it to be scanned. This was our first use of the Epson scanner since SA but it worked perfectly. Next week she will be colouring it. I drove to Cloverdate Dollarama and got 2 replacments for Steve's nightlight and some more plastic containers for food left-overs. I tried the first bulb and and it flashed on, then died. I broke the bulb physically trying to remove it from the fitting, but was able to fix that with the long pliers. Luckily the second bulb worked OK. When I got up and walked into the kitchen, Steve was gazing at the kettle. He had filled it to the brim with water and then turned it on. When I questioned him, it emerged that he just enjoyed doing this; it gave him a buzz. For dinner we ate a Chinese selection Tara had left, which I enjoyed, but L-A found too spicy. Steve liked it. I was still in the basement at 11pm folding clothes and bringing them upstairs.

Fri Jul 1    Canada Day

We got up early, but had a worrysome episode when L-A wasn't able to get up off the couch even with my help; her knees were in so much pain. She took more pain pills and 15 minutes later was able to make it up, using the walker. After the final packing we were ready to turn in our keys at reception and get on our way. After a few Km towards Perth, L-A reported that the Gaia GPS was operating fine in offline mode. At Perth we turned West along highway 7, driving about 90 minutes before turning south on the 37 via Tweed to Belleville. We had coffee and a cinnamon & raisin bagel in Tweed Tim Horton's, giving the driver a needed boost. Then we drove on to our rendezvous with Ron in Belleville, where we found him in an excellent state, smiling and chatting, sitting in front of his multi-computer screen system, which he can even drive like a racing car. L-A gave him a download of all the colouring book images, and related materials. He has a box of attractive ornamental small cushions which he says L-A gave him a few years ago, and he was wondering if this could be monetised with online sales. However, we though a craft sale would be more likely to bring results, and Ron knows someone who is soon to stage such an event. It seemed to have been a mutually enjoyable time together. We continued on our way, with one coffee/gas stop in Port Hope, and then we targeted Nando's in Etobicoke, where we bought enough dinner food for the three of us for the next 2 days. That wasn't the plan; but here in Canada Nando's portion sizes are double those in SA. As we arrived 'home,' Tara was still here - she had decided to stay till we arrived. Steve was pleased to see us, and enjoyed his dinner. Sadly the day included bad news: I had left 1 1/2 bottles of Jackson Triggs white wine in the fridge in Calabogie. Seeking an antidote to foolishnes I checked L-A's iPhone, and found that it clearly showed the car parked at 28 Alanmeade. Steve was attempting to fix his nightlight, and I found the bulb had burned out. After dinner we watched the country-wide Canada Day concert highlights, followed by (some of the) fireworks, on CBC Gem. This was some of the better music that I have heard at a Canada Day. And we didn't have to stand in the crowd wondering how we would get home!

Thu Jun 30

While L-A was still asleep I started my review of The Kingdom Way of Life, by Kobus Theron, which I have almost finished after many months and consider a very important Christian Book. When L-A got up and had had something to eat she turned on her computer. Nothing had changed. She asked me what we should do and I ran a diagnostic suggesting the problem was a DNS Server error. I didn't know how to fix that, particularly since it was impossible to download any diagnostic software. So I called The Trailing Edge in Ottawa where we had bought the machine, and they said they would look at it immediately if I brought it in. About an hour later they turned it on using a wired Internet connection as well as their wifi, and it worked normally! He suggested the only thing we might have tried was to reboot the router. So when I got home I went to the router to find strongly worded instructions not to turn it off. I turned on the computer - it worked. So maybe it was an itermittent fault on the router. I sent a link to the Kingdom Way of Life publisher in Cape Town, my main motivation being to give Kobus encouragement. Most of the afternoon was taken up completing the posting of our medical expenses to uFile. TKOG. I watched the France24 debate on Ukraine and found the situation very concerning, not just for Ukraine but for Nato. I hope they have a really good plan now they have so many troups in the area. L-A spent time on the balcony while I packed the items we won't need till Etobicoke, and put them in the car. We are almost at the end of a strange holiday, when I don't think we were able to properly relax because of the many challenges and unknows going forward. But we did sleep quite well and it certainly was a change from Alanmeade.

Thu Jun 29    Med

Today it rained, just a little, but it didn't affect 'stay-inside' guests like us. It did remind us how good the rest of the weather had been. I updated a spreadsheet showing our assets and debt for the last few years. There has been a serious fall in net worth from both these factors in the past year. Before that the markets were very kind to us but that has changed post Ukraine. I called Carlos, our financial advisor at IG, gave him the gist of the situation, and told him I would send him the spreadsheet. Maybe he can see a way ahead. It was good chatting with him. My thoughts wandered to last night's post, and the photo of Laurie-Ann in her new red chair. This chair is the same size as the purple chair that she used thoughout our time in Africa, and eventually gave to Bella's grandmother Cathy. She has a little difficulty getting out of the red chair, whereas that was not the case with the purple chair, suggesting she is continuing to get larger, particularly round the hips. She is less mobile, and getting into some beds requires my help. My heart cries out to her; her physical disabiity caused by lymphodema is way harder for her than any physical discomfort I will have to handle. She is so determined and brave in the face of it all. She is my soulmate, spiritual teacher, best friend, sweetheart, and I love her as much as ever. I made an audio recording for Worcester Christian Church of a modified version of the prodigal son parable and sent it off to John Henry. L-A had planned to work on the latest 'Ways to Grow in God' after dinner but her computer was fighting with the wifi, even though mine was running fine. Nothing I was able to suggest made a difference, other than to try again tomorrow. Here's the photo of the day.

Tue Jun 28    Med

I posted photos on this journal, one for each day we have been here, and all taken with the Fuji. I sent Annette Fleury a congratulatory note for the quality of the Zoom last night. We had sausage and poached eggs for breakfast, after which L-A returned to bed. I borrowed her phone with the new Gaia GPS App and managed to set a route to Perth. I saved the route. This downloads that part of the map so it is available where there is no wifi and you have no data. I turned on Airplane Mode, and the route stayed. So I drove a few Km towards Perth, and was happy to see that the car icon had come along the route. Now this isn't going to give 'Turn right at the lights' information, but it sure beats searching around for a human to ask the way. I paid $1,300 on my MasterCard. I expected problems reaching banks on this wifi that doesn't require a password, but maybe Norton made that possible. We received a message saying that the available credit on one of the Solutions Banking credit lines was less than $100, but I may have solved the immediate problem when I sent the cash to pay the M/C. Another thought came to mind that we had heared nothing from Canadian Tire about my application last Friday, suggesting we don't qualify, which doesn't surprise me. Frog in Mozambique had sent a message on Messenger asking if we could communicate on WhatsApp. He sent his phone number and I WhatsApped him. It was a balmy windless evening. After our pork roast dinner, we sat out on our balcony for an hour or so, L-A in her red chair.

Mon Jun 27    Med

I woke in the middle of a big dream. I was in a military environment and had called a meeting of some specialists. But other people kept turning up and there were more than 50 there. I tried getting the attention of the crowd so I could at least hold my meeting. Then a gas canister exploded, and the smell was one of the most umpleasant that I smell from time to time, and affect my taste. I only mention this because of the smell, and the fact that I very rarely remember any dreams these days. I had a shower and dressed, still smelling the smell. I checked Messenger. Anthonica needs a new phone. Chantelle needs food money. But we are down to the last R3000 in FNB which we must keep for Bella. I downloaded the Gaia GPS app onto the iPhone, finding it good in its initial presentation. When James called he told me there is a mode for stating a destination, and Gaia will plan a trip. Then I must figure out how to download a local map so this can be done offline. I went to the store for various items for tonight's dinner, and then on to reception to report some missing things. I mentioned the scalding temperature in the hot taps. They also gave me information on how to put the unit up for sale. A maintenence man called Tom turned up, and said that the water temperature was set for groups of 6 units, so without other complaints he wouldn't want to change it. Then he actually felt our hot water, and agreed it was dangerously hot. He went somewhere for 5 minutes, and came back saying he had turned us all down a notch. After lunch I started back on income tax. Among the papers I found a note someone sent me in advance of my retina detachment surgery. It said: "Jeremiah 30: But I will restore you to health and I will heal your wounds. I will break the yoke of the enemy, so do not fear." In earlier visits to Calabogie I would swim from this beach out to a raft, but the raft has gone. Today I felt a lot better than the last two days, even with a hint of the holiday feeling I get 2-3 days after the beginning of a holiday. I had signed up to watch the Poulin AGM online, and had never attended one before. I nearly missed it because I didn't check my calendar, and it was only because the final reminder also went to L-A that she reminded me. We have paid a lot into the new windows and special assessments and part of my motivation was to see how well the board of directors had done with the access to all that money. The meeting was the best example of a Zoom business meeting I have seen, and was run expertly by a lawyer brought in for the task, who had done all her homework. I feel more confident that the value of our investment in Poulin will prove beneficial, though current global economic factors beyomd our control will prove challenging.

Sun Jun 26    Med

Today was less hard than yesterday, but there were moments when I thought 'can chemo be worse than this?' I hadn't been able to connect my computer to the unit TV set by HDMI cable, possibly because the TV's HDMI-2 here had been previously set up for gaming. So we both watched Catch the Fire on different devices. Steve Long spoke powerfully on anger management. I don't believe either of us suffers from that affiction, at least that's the conclusion we came to when we discussed it after the service. James called and when I told him we were missing our GPS, he suggested that stand alone GPS units were no longer the way to go, with the advance of cell-phone based soluions. He recommended Gaia GPS, which allows the downloading of maps whene wifi is available, but then the app can operate just fine without wifi or phone data. There are many young people here engaging with one another and watersports. We both again rested in the afternoon. In the evening I was lucky to catch a documentary about the making of 'The Beatles - Get Back,' which featured Peter Jackson. Then there was a most encouraging documentary (for me) about childhood leukemia survivor Claudia Rose. I had no idea channel surfing could yield such results!

Sat Jun 25    Med

It was as if the energy to get here were subtracted from my quota for today. I went to the general store and bought eggs, milk and Sidekicks(!). We had egg and sausage for breakfast. Lunch was soup and toast. We didn't leave the unit other than for my trips to the general store. We slept in the afternoon. I posted GNiTM. Richard Bendall called to answer an email I'd send a few days before. I am to continue with OGF, and I should take 10 gms a day of Calcium Ascorbate (Vit C). And I shoud come off sugar. He also recommended Devon Hunt to replace Dave Kemp on GNiTM. Dinner was chicken cutlets and sidekicks. The whole day was draggy. Here's today's photo.

Fri Jun 24

We aimed to leave at 10:30, but the final packing of course took longer and we rolled out about 11:30. The 401 Express lanes weren't too busy, and we we made good progress. I thought the road sounded rough in places, and then the roughness got some rhythm, so I slowed down and began to feel strange vibrations from the offside rear wheel. I switched to the slowest lane, my greatest concern being how far to go before we could get off the highway and stop the car. We had driven for an hour and were only now out of Toronto and approaching other towns with refreshments and gas advertized. Within a minute, up came a turn off for Whitby, with all those signs. It now seemed unlikely that we would breakdown on the 401. TK0G. We pulled off, and soon saw a sign for a Petro Canada station. By now the car was proceeding in lurches, and clearly wouldn't go much further. It actually stopped completely with a final grand lurch of the rear wheel in a safe place near their air station. TKOG. I called CAA. They would be there in 90 minutes, about 2pm. I explained we would need a flatbed truck to get all four wheels off the road, and that my wife was disabled and would need help to get in their vehicle. Then we walked to a nearby Tim Hortons. L-A sensibly had chicken noodle soup, and I less sensibly had coffee and a doughnut. These days I tend to eat what I fancy when I fancy anything, because mostly I don't have much of an appetite. James called on video Messenger and I brought him up to date. We had hoped to see Ron Piggott in Belleville on our way through, but we got though to him and told him it wasn't to be. L-A also told about 3 close friends whom she wanted to be praying for us, and Tara. The truck arrived and the driver got into the car and tried a few things, and decided it would be possible to hoist the front wheels off the ground and let the rear ones trail. This was good because he had brought the wrong size of truck for any other solution. I went to Petro Canada and borrowed a plastic container we could use as a step to get L-A into the CAA truck. It worked - she managed it. When the driver was ready to start off I stood on the side and watched the offending wheel carefully. There didn't seem to be a problem so I got in. The driver recommended a close-by very large Canadian Tire and drove right into their bay. I went to talk to reception, and was surprised a few minutes later when L-A appeared. The CAA driver had helped her out. The receptionist listened to our story and said it would cost $50 to diagnose the problem. L-A and I went and sat in very comfortable chairs in their waiting room, and considered just how fortunate we were. it was as if our guardian angels had figured out exactly the right place for us to end up where competant mechanics got to work. We just felt blessed - TKOG. The problem might even have caused a pile-up on the 401. About 45 minutes later the receptionist asked me to see her. She said the car was fixed and ready for us to drive off. They had even parked it right outside the waiting room to make it easier for L-A. Here is a sentence from the technical report. "Driver's rear has two anchor bolts for caliper loose and missing." So the problem was caused by Midas failing to tighten caliper bolts when they replaced all four brakes etc on 25 May. This possibility had crossed my mind, with the extra load on the car today finally shaking the bolts loose. Then she told me that the total bill was just $64.98, which included the $50 diagnosis. TKOG. Maybe I can persuade Midas to pay the $64.98. Before leaving I searched for a high caffeine energy drink, and while searching I was found by a most energeting salesman for the Canadian Tire Master Card. I had had one on the past and I knew it offered savings, so I signed up. He told ne to expect confirmation in my inbox. I never did find an energy drink. We got on our way. In fact I drove non-stop to a Starbucks in Kingston, wondering where the energy was coming from. L-A wanted to test out her Starbucks app for ordering on her phone. It worked. I had coffee, an oat bar, and a ginger cookie which tasted bitter to my still weird tast buds. We drove north on the 10, via Westport to Perth, and then NW on the 511 to Calabogie. Without a GPS this wasn't easy, particularly since the signposting in that part of the world is inadequate. One of the reasons we took this route was its beauty. Westport is special, though we took a couple of wrong turns in it. 10 minutes out of Perth we missed a sign that actually says Calabogie, and went off for 15 minutes to an unknown destination. We saw a human in his yard and he put us back on track. Calabogie reception closes at 9, though we had kept them abreast of our situation. We even got a little lost within Calabogie, but finally saw the red roofs, and were at reception in time just before they closed shop. Soon we were in our unit, 108, and relieved to be there. They had remembered to prodide us an additional folding table so we weren't both eating and using our computers on the one. We had some soup and toast, and fell into bed early. It had been a long day, but my body had managed the driving with no difficulty. We were relieved to be there - TKOG. Skeptics will dismiss the number of times we received the Kindness of God (TKOG) as luck. But we have learned after 4 years on the mission field to distinguish between luck, and intelligent divine intervention. And that was what we sensed over and over today, as every challenge was solved fast and elegantly. I find a supernatural explanation just so much easier to accept than a series of targetted pieces of luck.

Thu Jun 23

I began the process of preparing to get out of here tomorrow for our holiday by analysing the medical receipts returned to us by CRA after auditing our medical expenses for 2020. In the process of the audit they unilaterally changed the date for annual expenses to the calendar year from 22 October, citing I hadn't informed them of the date. But that is untrue - I state on my covering letter (which they have now returned) that "Our medical expenses year ended 22 Oct 2020." By their action they caused the exclusion of expenses from 23 Oct to 31 Dec 2019, and the exclusion of quite heavy expenses 22 Oct to 31 Dec 2020, which I had not claimed in my 2020 return. My plan is to report calendar year 2021 expenses in the Netfile return, and then, hopefully after a rebate to start negotiations of the expenses not previously claimed. That process can go on for some time; what is urgent is getting the 2021 rebate. We have hundreds of medical expenses which make a significant difference to our tax. I then refiled the other tax work in progress, so it's not lying around the living room while we are away. Dr. Bradbury called. I told her about the apparent success of the B12 shot. She gently nudged me towards immunotherapy. It works by strenghtening ones immune system to fight the cancer symptoms, whereas chemo just fights everything. It will be available across most Canadian cities in our timeframe. It is a once every 3-week visit to PMH. In the event it becomes too umpleasant, I will have the option to switch to chemotherapy. She will get back to me with a start date. In the past I don't think a top oncologist would call a patient at home. More likely arrange a special visit to the hospital. But this was really efficient in decision-making and the doctor's time. I also told her about our mutual friend Jill Hamer Wilson, and her strong personal recommendation. In the afternoon we continued packing for tomorrow, using this list and that list. In fact I need to go and work through a list right now!

Wed Jun 22    Med

L-A heard through her U of T connections that Volodymyr Zelenskyy would be speaking live to Canadian universities this morning at 10. We were privileged to watch the full video-broadcast live. It was statesmanship in the new guise created by Zelenskyy, and he certainly convinced a generation of future Canadian leaders, and Ukrainian leaders since there were many exchange students involved. After his address he took about 20 questions from indivduals across the country. At 2 I was at Connect Hearing. Dana the audiologist had called and asked if I had had my ears syringed after I saw her on 15 March. She said the original offer of a free hearing exam still stood. So I had the test, and my hearing wasn't too bad. Left and right were almost identical. She suggested I returned (to Connect Hearing) in another year to check for deterioration, and she gave me a bunch of useful hearing-aid information. I mentioned the Zelenskyy broadcast because she has a daughter in university, and she recommended Servant of the People which is on Netflix. The council wagon came and emptied our green bins of wood that I had painstakingly assembled by sawing. Yeah! A load off my mind! I will have to saw up the remaining branch so they'll take it in 2 weeks. I called Dr Gupta's office - urologist - to hear he was booking towards year end! This just to arrange a psa test. My afternoon and evening were as energetic and productive as in tramacet times. Is it possible the B12 shot finally reached my brain? We'll see over the next few days. We watched S1E1 of Servant of the People, the satirical TV series created by Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who stars as the President of Ukraine. It was way more entertaining than I had expected.

Tue Jun 21

I definitely wasn't feeling well in the early part of today; a combination of fatigue and nausea. I did manage to reach Dr Lindholm and get the number for a urologist, Dr Gupta, whom I should call tomorrow. I also had a fun chat with Cornelius Babalola and forwarded him a notice from Corporations Canada, reminding them that they must make the annual filing in the next week. Aparently my successor as treasurer did nothing and IPLF has struggled somewhat ever since. I also left a message for Maria at TWH to find out if I still need to take the eye drops. L-A had been planning a picnic for weeks at Lakeshore, (Lake Ontario) due south from us, and about noon I got together the various picnicky foods: sandwiches, potato salad, macaroni salad, iced tea, berries. They went into two grocery bags. Steve was the unknown factor, and when I went to his room, he said he didn't want to go. He relented when I told him L-A would be so disappointed. Soon he was in the car, and L-A was in; her new red chair ready for business. We drove down and found a parking area not too far from the water's edge. There was one unoccupied park bench in an ideal spot for us, so we needed to get there fast - which we did as fast as disabled duos can do - and were successful. We started by putting on sunscreen, even though the Sunright was way past its best before date. It had been with us throughout South Africa, which shows how little lying on beaches we did there. Then we opened up the feast and got munching. All was very pleasant, Steve was content, and the sun was quite warm. Some seagulls gathered nearby hoping for crusts, and I gave them a couple that Steve didn't need. Then, just when I had gone to the car to get a camera, he decided to try to stand up, and then got the shakes. It was obvious to a passer-by that something was wrong, and the passer-by helped him sit down. About half an hour later he was ready to go home, but he was unable to stand with the help of his cane. I got him to sit on the walker, and started to pull him towards the car. He had lost all control of his legs and they dragged on the ground. He was still communicating almost normally. Then as we came over a short incline, his bum slipped off the walker. Another passer-by saw the problem and helped me get his bum back on the walker seat. He had regained some leg strength and as I pushed the walker, he walked his feet, and we got to the car, which I had brought much closer to where we were. Once he was able to grab the car door, he got himself into the back seat. He wanted a pee but was unable to perform into the hand-held urinal. This had been a combination of TIA23, and a seizure, where he never dropped into the full body immobility of the TIA, and retained his communications, but it lasted much longer than the normal seizure. One implication of this is that we won’t be taking him on any more picnics, or similar. But there are implications for any time that he leaves the house. Two people are needed to get him up after a fall from his walker, or losing balance with his stick. This is always possible if he is taken to a restaurant, or a store, or a doctor’s office. We think his condition in these things is deteriorating. We got home, but he was still unsteady, and I sat him in the red chair to wake up properly. His neighbour Rocky noticed him and came out to chat. After a further half hour I wheeled him in the walker to the porch stairs, and he was just able to get up them with his stick. Once inside he removed his trousers, and then lay on the couch in his briefs for some time before he woke properly so he was able to return to his room.

Mon Jun 20    Med

We missed our 8 am alarm, and when I got up at 9 I was feeling terrific - ie as normal used to be. By the time I had prepared breakfast I was back to where normal is now. Morning was tax work. At 2 I was at Lindholm Clinic and was given a B12 shot by Dr Lindholm. He asked me to call him tomorrow morning for an introdution to a urologist prior to getting another psa. If I was expecting some immediate effect on my body from the B12 I was to be disappointed, but Dr Google strongly recommends these shots, and not remaining deficient. By evening I hadn't noticed any difference. James video-called and said he was considering bringing Kathy and Sagan to Toronto, pimarily to enable Sagan to get to know her grandfather (while she still can). My response was that our video calls on weekends already go a long way to provide that, and the practicalities of visiting here are somewhat fraught. They would need to stay in a hotel, and would only be able to spend time with me when I'm not engaged in food preparation, which is not a lot. L-A needs me around to help with virtually everything. This is not a good situation to be in, but as far as meeting the objectives of being here, I believe we are doing well, and it's a happy household. But it's hard work, as shown by how long it is taking me to do the tax return.

Sun Jun 19

Was awoken in the early hours by a leg cramp from my left hip to my toes. Got out of bed in serious pain, and hobbled to the kitchen. Drank 2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup, and by the time I was back in the bedroom I had recovered. I had taken a magnesium tablet before falling asleep. Today was a huge day in the history of Catch The Fire church and its 150 (?) churches worldwide. Murray and Ash Smith have become senior pastors in the mother church, receiving the baton from Steve and Sandra Long, who remain on staff to assist them. Leaders from John and Carol Arnott to the team in Raleigh, and everyone's children, were on stage for the event. As we left the sanctuary, Laurie-Ann was able to present Ash Smith with copies of her two colouring books. Afterwards there were hot dogs for everyone. Bryant from our connect group had been brought by his father-in-law. In the afternoon I responded to a Newsweek article suggesting that Trump and cronies would walk free after the 6 Jan 2021 insurrection. Here's my contribution, coloured by our time in Africa:
One of the characteristics of democracy is the peaceful transfer of power. There are numbers of countries in Africa particularly where presidents will contradict their own constitutions in order to extend their presidencies. Power corrupts. This has not yet been seen in Europe. That it should rise first in the west in the US is a terrible indictment on the quality of democracy and institutions there. Unless the current hearings reverse the situation and some serious jailtime is allocated by the Justice department, USA will never recover from the scourge, and will be viewed in the same category as those failed African states, and we may expect future presidents to try the same trick and succeed.
Our dinner tonight seemed extra special, partly because we listened to my mother's cassette 'Songs of hope and inspiraton,' but there seemed to be growing a bond between we three that was stronger than the frustrations. The food was really good too: M&M fish cakes and Knorr parmesan-presto sidekicks. And we are still on key lime pie. The evening wouldn't be complete without L-A's reading of a xhapter from Ezekiel, and then our trying to make sense of it, and usually, with her superior understanding, succeeding.

Sat Jun 18   23 Wedding anniversary

L-A asked me if I really expected we would make it this far, and I answered "Yes." I then said: did I still expect to be as much in love as we are, and I answered "No." Both answers were truthful, a good basis for marriage. Lots of people sent warm greetings. I started the day with a full scale assault on our taxes, and kept it up several hours. Remember the tree branch that had fallen from the maple, and I had sawn into smaller branches and put into green bins - the bins had fallen over in windy conditions today, and I dragged them closer to the garage from where I would put them out on Wednesday. I harvested the second rhubarb plant and L-A chopped it up. In the afternoon I bought what I thought might be fluffy dental floss for L-A (Oral-B Superfloss) except that when I opened it it wasn'r fluffy at all, the way Nu Skin's dental floss used to be. I bought Draino because L-A thinks she can smell bad stuff in the sink drain, even though my boiling water water cleared the blockage. This is interesting because of the bad smells I was getting a week or so ago. I bought a new battery for the thermometer. We got Steve all dressed up to go for dinner with Tara at 5 and then prepared and cooked our own anniversary roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, followed by Key Lime pie. It was a first class meal, better than any local restaurant, I say. When I tried to log into the Weebly site to edit it for the GNiTM upload, I couldn't. Investigation showed that many others couldn't either, but a suggestion from someone to try a different browser worked for me - Firefox. So tomorrow's audience won't be dissappointed.

Fri Jun 17

It is time to let a few more people know about the cancer, to encourage prayer, which in our experience can alter statistical expectations. I sent a message to Mike DeMalpas Finlay, RN, who coordinantes communication between the dwindling numbers of survivors from my entry term at Dartmouth in March 1958. I suggested that others may be interested in the messothelioma diagnosis, since all of them would have been exposed to asbestos, at least to the extent that I was. I don't even like to think about the men who built the ships. I sent a message to Danielle DiPietro at the Mesothelioma Centre, who has offered regular mentoring now that my diagnosis is firm. Later today I plan to put WhatsApps on the groups we were part of in South Africa. I added a post to my Facebook, showing photos of the park in University Avenue and asking for prayer. Here's that post, which has already garnered a harvest of encouragement. FaceBook is at its best when it's doing this. I am sad for my closest relatives who don't use it. I called Sonic Boom Record Store on Spadina, and they agreed to examine our collection of Canadian Christian artists and quote me a price. My body quite likes the new routine of a second Tylenol No 1 and a Tylenol extra strength after 2 pm, and my afternoons and evenings are more productive. This evening after watching the France24 News at 7, we searched through 'romance' options on Netflix, selecting 'Toscana,' a coooking film, and an excellent story. L-A picked up some recipe tips. This was in preparation for our wedding anniversary, #23, tomorrow. TKOG!

Thu Jun 16    Med

Late morning I drove to the IDA and presented the Tylenol No 1 precription from Dr Bradbury. The pharmacist was happy to oblige but said no prescription was necessary. I said I needed additional painkilling, and he recommended Acetaminophen 500 Mg (Tylenol Extra Strength). I asked him was there a stronger version of Tylenol No 1, with more codeine, and he said Tylenol No 2. Who knew? Certainly not Penny Bradbury, who should have prescribed it, since it needs a prescription, it would have given me a codeine boost, and it would have been deductible against my $100 seniors drug ceiling, and eligible for medical expense deductions on income tax. Next time. Next stop the shoe repair company, and they had done a fine job with my sandals. Then to Loblaws for a key lime pie and a free 1.7K orange juice courtesy of a Cherios coupon. Finally to Healthy Planet for Quercetin. Back home I took a Tylenol No 1 and a Tylenol Extra Strength. At lunch I had 2 B12 tabs, and clopamon for nausea. Mid afternoon I got a call from Felicia Zhang at PMH. Before she got started I apologised for my failure on Monday to have told the team from the start of our likely return to Ottawa before year end. She said it hadn't been an issue - but her call had saved me getting that message through in some other way. When she was calling about was the clinical trial option. It might after all be possible for me to continue the trial in Ottawa. But now I know more details, and particularly the greater commitment through 2 years, I am not convinced it offers me a better choice than the basic chemo. She also seemed to be pushing the imminotherapy option despite its lack of benefit for the over 70s. She will take these thoughts back to Dr Bradbury, who may call me next week. I had slept from 4 to 5:30, and woke feeling pretty good. No nausea; no pain. After dinner, both sinks in the kitchen became blocked. I tried the bathroom plunger, which served to show the blockage was south of where the two drains combined, but wouldn't dislodge it. I couldn't find Draino in the kitchen, so L-A added it to an online order she was making from Loblaws, but was frustrated that for some reason the order woudn't go through. Half an hour later the sinks had finally drained, and in a last ditch attempt for a solution, I poured 3 litres of boiling water down the sink directly above the blockage. The hot water went down without a problem! I said to l-A to cancel the Draino order, and a few minutes after that the problem at Loblaws resolved itself.

Wed Jun 15    Med

We drove to Scarborough to a lymphedema wrap specialist called Sandra. She measured L-A and placed orders for a new set of wraps. They are sourced out of Germany, just as they had been in SA. She gets quite significant government grants on some of the items. Going home along the 401 was slow, and Steve had been on his own 4 hours when we got there. I'd given him cake and coffee before we left, but he was ready for his soup. When the very late lunch was done, L-A started working on dinner, Pacific salmon, which we were ready to eat by 6:45. Our connect Zoom with Bob, Catherine, Paula, Bryant, Nabil was at 7:30. At 9:30 I did the washing up, then completed this journal for last Monday. That was a long day. Today we we received a $200 donation from long-term supporter MF, which allowed me to pay the minimum on L-A's Visa without going into overdraft on our bank account.

Tue Jun 14    Med

I drove L-A to Etobicoke General Hospital for the result of her recent biopsy on her right breast. Something has shown up there on scans for a couple of years, but today she heard that it is benign - yeah! TKOG. On our way home we detoured to a couple of shoe repair businesses. This morning my trusty orthotic sandals that brought me through South Africa had suffered a failure in the back strap round the heel. The first store we went to on Wincott was no longer there. But L-A had remembered a second on Islington Avenue and it was still there. My sandals would take 2 days and cost $15. Our third stop was at Shoppers for drug refils for Steve. L-A worked on our latest newsletter to supporters. The part describing my time at PMH yesterday was hard to write and edit because of the uncertainty of when we return to Ottawa, and the way that affects my treatment choices.

Mon Jun 13    Med

My appointment at TWH to follow up my eye operation 2 weeks ago was at 8:15, so I was at Kipling station by 7 and arrived about 8. Eric Manalang and Dr Lynn (?) made their examinations and told me everything was in good shape, which is probably why Efrem Mandelcorn didn't see me. He just needed to know all was well. Eric did say they had discussed the changes in my senses of smell and taste, but Dr M hadn't heard of such a reaction. I am still getting taste distortions but not so often. Maybe I have long Covid, but I was negative 3 days before the surgery. I left the department with another appointment for 19 July at 9:30. Maria suggested 8:30 at first, but relented when she saw my reaction. I asked if I should be looking for new prescription glasses, and she said not in the next month. And now how to pass the next 5 hours before seeing Dr Penny Bradbury at 2:30 at PMH. I had checked on Google Maps that Dundas St. West would take me directly to University Avenue, and I was feeling energised by the good news about my eye, so, protected by my trusty sunglasses that clip perfectly on my regular glasses, I started walking into the sun. I'd had nothing to eat today, so I looked for breakfast restaurants, but this was a multi ethnic area soon changing into Chinatown. I realized I was out of luck for a mixed grill, but then spotted a Chinese Tim Hortons, where I bought a breakfast sandwich and coffee. I struck up a conversation with a Carribean man who was wearing a wooden drawer on his head as a hat, but he wanted $20 for me to taken his picture. I dawdled there for about an hour and then got walking again among the invigorating community. It wasn't long before I reached the Art Gallery of Ontario, unfortunately closed for today. University Avenue came up after a few more streets and I walked north. I decided to check out the green space between the carriageways. It's a park. With benches! Just what I needed. The benches were designed to dissuade people from sleeping on them, but I figured out a way, and actually slept. It was all quite pleasant. It was getting closer to my appointment so I walked North, and past PMH, looking for lunch. I didn't feel like a hot dog, and ended up in Tim Hortons, thinking I would try out a Bieb's Brew (the Justin Bieber-Tim Horton's collaboration) Also had a raisin biscuit. I must have failed to ask for one of the options in the Bieb's Brew, because it was umpleasantly bitter, and all I could taste was ice, cream and a faint suspicion of coffee. The toilet in Tim's was locked, so by the time I was inside Princess Margaret Hospital I really needed it, resulting in my being a little late - after 5 hours! It wasn't a problem. Soon Dr Garcia, a Spaniard, came in. He started by saying Laurie-Ann would have been most welcome to be there, but I explained her disability. He said she could listen in on a phone link, and I called her to let her know, but saw my phone was almost out of power. He said the cancer wasn't curable, but it was treatable, and this particular cancer was well sensitive to chemo. He explained there were 3 choices:
1. Chemotherapy using the drugs Cisplatin and Pemetrexed, every three weeks for 5 months. As the tumour (hopefully) shrinks, the discomfort (fatigue, breathlessness) reduces.
2. Immunotherapy using the drugs Nivolumab and Ipilimumab, (just approved two days before) every two weeks for up to 2 years. Bloodwork every 2 weeks. Experience has shown that in patients older than 70, immunotherapy shows no advantage over basic chemo.
3. Clinical trial based on a combination of (1) and (2) plus other therapies that could arise in the future. This would add to the knowledge base. Chemo every 2 weeks. I liked that idea, but it was not to be.
Then Dr Bradbury joined us. Instantly we had perfect communications even through the masks; she is English. She gave me a sheet of telephone numbers to call for questions or emergencies. 416-946-2250 ext 1 to talk to administrative staff (ie the equivalent of Mary Macedo). 416-946-2250 ext 2 for nursing staff. After hours: 1-877-681-3057 to talk to a nurse. She went over everything that Dr Garcia had described (he, by the way is a fan of Cable Girls.) I asked her if it were possible to bring up the CT scan of my tumour, and she did it right there in the room. It bore no resemblance to what Erik Van Dijk had shown me more than 6 months ago and I wondered if the scan he selected had different parameters, or whether it had just grown so much. This one showed the thickening mass of the tumour as she moved down from the top of the lung. It was clear that the left lung was almost irrelevant to my breathing. Thank God for the right one. No wonder Dr De Perrot didn't want to operate. I explained I am caregiver for my wife and her father, and that she has excellent relevant experience for nursing me, as a cancer survivor. I told her my last 3 weeks had shown a serious fall in my welbeing, and that I had been tested for thyroid issues, and found to have B12 defficiency requiring shots. My recent issues could be unrelated to the cancer, and Dr Bradbury certainly wasn't suggesting they were. She asked me about the medication I had been on and was on, and I explained the veto of tramacet and celebrex, and that I was now on Tylenol No 1 (Teva-Lenoltec No 1), one a day, that Laurie-Ann had suggested. She expressed surprise that I had bought it over the counter. She gave me a prescription, stating I could take a tablet every 6-8 hours with a total 3,000 Mg in 24 hours. That is way more than I have been taking. The only side effect is constipation. This may make a big difference. I asked her the same key question that I'd put to Dr Garcia: were the treatments a precurser to a second phase such as surgery or radiation (as was the case for Laurie-Ann)? In my case it is clear the illness is far more advanced. The chemotherapy itself and its ability to shrink the tumour were the only reason for it. This sounds somewhat wishful thinking to me, but I'm OK with it because I don't wish for any heroic measures. Since I had shown interest in the clinical trial option, Dr Bradbury sent in Felicia Zhang from Clinical Trials nursing to tell me more. As soon as we were talking, a bell went off in my mind. How could I take place in a special trial when we are due to return to Ottawa in a few months. These trials don't run in more than one location. She immediately appreciated my dilemma. I then asked her about immunotherapy, and that is a 2-year course, and not transferrable to Ottawa. Clearly, my only option is the basic chemo. It's only once every 3 weels for 5 months, and Felicia thought the same course would be availanle in Ottawa. I felt bad that the first thing I had mentioned to Dr Garcia was not our need for movement flexibility. It would have saved time. Felicia was kind enough to give me background print-outs on all the options, even though, as far as I can see, there are no alternatives in my case to basic chemo.

Sun Jun 12

Although we got up intending to go to Catch the Fire, neither of us felt up to it, and decided to watch from home. The sermon was on pornography, delivered by a man who had been introduced to it in a church media room at age 11. He was also brought up in a pastor's family and knew his Bible, so the story of how he overcame it carries some weight. And now his worlwide misssion is teaching others in group and individual settings how to rid themselves of the scourge, which is a massive industry, affecting churchgoers and non churchgoers equally. After the broadcast, L-A and I had promised each other a time of discussion, soaking, prayer and Chritian fellowship because we havn't spent enough of our time being with the Lord. It was a really good communion. With my big day at the hospitals tomorrow, he went to bed really early.

Sat Jun 11    Med

TIA22 happened after breakfast. I decided to leave him on his chair but keep him under surveilance. The previous one I registered in these pages was 14 May, but I suspect he's had 4 or 5 in his room since then. I had another go at identifying our Netfile action codes, required for the tax return. Apparently it was an 8 character number included on Notices of assessment, but not called the Netfile Access Code. I went through the NoAs and Notices of Reassessment from last year, finding one for each of us with an 8 charachter alphanumeric, and labelled 'Access Code,' - but not Netfile Access Code. In the end I decided it was the most likely candidate, and noted ours on the 'Allstream' file and on uFile. As an experienced tax-return maker, this kind of ambiguity annoys me. Mid afternoon I started boiling the rhubarb I had brought in a few days ago, and then harvested the rest of the first rhubarb plant so L-A would process it before freezing. Kathy posted a very well written eulogy for her father on her facebook, which may be protected. I went through the messages from UHN about my 2 appointments on Monday. The system has been upgraded so the specialist has a very detailed picture of the patient's health before he/she arrives in their office. L-A had ordered Chapmans Premium Ice Cream French Vanilla, and I added some to a plate of newly cooked fresh rhubarb, and both tasted normal and were delicious. When working on Good News in the Morning for tomorrow, I discovered with a shock that I had clean forgotten to post last Sunday. I have never before forgotten in more than 18 years, and felt bad, so I posted my excuse. Ulterior motive: all previous associates need to be aware of my health situation insofar as it affects future podcasts. Some of you may have noticed there was no podcast last Sunday, 5 June 2022. After posting almost every broadcast /podcast for years, it is a great personal disappointment to me that I would have forgotten to do so, and not noticed till the following week. But it was a sign; hence this message. The fact is I have not been physically well in recent weeks. I have been diagnosed with Epithelioid Mesothelioma, a cancer which you don't recover from. I am watching myself become less efficient and reliable as the weeks pass, and am in some physical discomfort. The cancer results from asbestos exposure aboard Royal Navy ships in the 60's. I will soon be in chemo, but that won't help my efficiency. Posting these wonderful sermons has been a vital ministry for me and I will continue as long as possible. - Tony

Fri Jun 10

I woke feeling better than yesterday. Maybe the Monster is still working? As I shaved I also decided to get my hair cut today in advance of medical meetings on Monday. Before breakfast I got my summer clothes (T-Shirts and shorts) into the wash. After breakfast at 10:30 I attempted to video-call, and then regular call Sydney, getting through on the latter, though not for long since she was cooking breakfast. James called on Messenger and told us that Bob Maddox's funeral would be on Saturday, and that they would be staying in Texas a weeek. I went to The Hair Centre and got an excellent cut. It wasn't till she gave me her card that I recognised her name, Mariam, the same girl who had cut me on 4 March. Then I took the application for car plate renewal to Service Ontario, and they were happy to issue a receipt that stays in the car instead of the old sticker. No charge for the next 2 years. I called Lindholm Clinic, and Dr Lindholm called me back. The result of the thyroid blood test was not significant, but apparently it showed a serious B12 deficiency. He wants me to have B12 shots, but because I'll be at PMH on Monday, it has to be the following Monday. I can't wait. Anything that might give me my energy and breath back is urgent. Our excellent dinner was port tenderloin followed by bread and butter pudding. After dinner I turned on France24 hoping to hear more from the hearings of the Capitol storming 6 January 2021, but there was nothing so I found the first episode of 'Minder' on YouTube and we watched Dennis Waterman and George Cole in 'The gunfight at the OK Laundrette,' Which went out on ITV in 1979

Thu Jun 9

From the moment I got out of bed, today was tough. Walking to the bathroom fatigued me. My bath fatigued me (it was my first hairwash with shampoo since the eye surgery because the eye must be kept dry). When I was dressed I didn't feel like making breakfast, so I didn't for a while. In addition to fatigue, my lung was hurting a bit, and every breath harder than it normally is. Although the bubble in my eye was now pretty small, the sight in the left eye was improving, and making it harder for the brain to merge the images. Eventually I felt sorry for Steve and prepared his hot cereal, which he just had time for before Alison arrived. As I prepared Steve's car licence plate renewal, and got him to sign a permission note that he agreed I could act on his behalf, I turned on Tape A16. I'd woken up with the song by The Firm 'Arthur Daley, He's all right.' and since it's not on Spotify, I had gone through my tape indexes from A3-A16 to confirm the name of the song, which I couldn't remember - a sign of old age. It comes from the British TV series 'Minder.' I played the whole of A16 and half of A17, enjoying every second of these songs from ~1982/3. We had early lunches because in early afternoon I drove L-A to Sunnybrook Hospital for the first lymphedema class. She took with her the leg wraps that until we cane to Canada I had put on her about twice a week to encourage the lymph fluids to circulate her body. I found driving the 401 stretched me more than my 81-year old brain wanted to be stretched, and resolved to minimize my use of that 16 lane highway from now on. I dropped L-A at the Odette Centre and drove 5 minutes to the same spot I had waited in last time. I turned on the radio and heard a seriously worrying interview with an Ottawa GP complaining (with reason) that the CMA had let many doctors down, finding it very hard just to make a living after working 60 hour weeks. The only way to go was to form a group of 6 or more doctors working together. I realized that in such a situation we had been quite fortunate to find the walk-in clinics that we have. I walked to the Esso station and bought 2 Monster energy drinks (the second almost free), an almond magnum and cheese doritos. I really enjoyed my purchases and they tasted exactly right. The second Monster went home with us. It was about an hour and half after I dropped her that L-A called me to pick her up. She seemed to have had a useful time although she is very knowledgeable about lymphedema. We drove home along Lawrence West, mush less stressful. Steve had been alone 3 1/2 hours, and was at the door to greet us. I was definitely benefitting from the Monster, considering how lousy I had felt at the beginning of the day. After dinner I turned on France24 and we watched 2 hours of the first day of the hearings to analyse Trump's insurrection on 6 January 2021. This was the once great nation attempting to prove can again be great if it expunges itself of the attempt by a criminal president to extend his term illegally, just like the banana republics.

Wed Jun 8

I was awake 1 minute before Slava (psw) arrived and able to unlock the front door in time. But I forfeited my use of the bathroom till she had left. When Steve had eaten I went outside to see if it was too late to get the council to take away even part of the tree branches that had come down in the storm from the big maple. It was for today, but by observing their pick-up from neighbours, I was able to plan for the future and sawed off a number of branches and put them in our green bins. The Rock from next door came by and we had a good chat, although I called him Mario - the two of them have similar build and voices. He commented that as recently as last summer Steve's mental health was in very good shape. Instead of cereal for breakfast I had the first helping of the garden rhubarb that I had harvested yesterday. L-A had chopped and frozen most of it, leaving me some which I boiled with sugar last night. Today it was wonderful to my taste buds. There is enough for tomorrow's breakfast. PMH called to give me my appointment to meet oncologist Penny Bradbury at 2:30 next Monday 13 June. In the afternoon the two of us got down to a task that we had planned to get on with for several weeks, but I never had the energy. Most of our summer clothes were in the trunks and suitcases in the garage. It was a sunny day. I moved the car out of the garage and spread a sheet over the garage floor. Then I opened each case/trunk in turn and showed each item of clothing to L-A, sitting in the red chair. Those we would need for summer in Toronto, and particularly for our Calabogie holiday, were selected. The rest went back into the cases. It didn't take us more than an hour, and I didn't stop for a break. Later, while L-A was resting, I got two empty suitcases from the basement, and put the clothes, hers and mine, into the suitcases. I will wash the more tired-looking clothes of mine in the excellent machines here before using them. We had heard from James that Bob Maddox, Kathy's father, had died yesterday (7 June). he and her mother had lived in Texas in recent years. I emailed a letter of condolence to Kathy. I had met Bob twice and liked him. His carreer was in the US military mainly in aircraft maintenance since WW2 and he'd met and married Kay in Okinawa (?). They were Christians (rare for Japanese), so we had a bond with them from the start.

Tue Jun 7

I called Beth and Bob Carson at 12:30 on Messenger - Beth had suggested it yesterday - and we had a good chat. L-A listened in. Bob has advanced Parkinson's, but always a smile. They live in Chillawack, and find the costs of medical services very high after OHIP. I had forgotten they had moved from Kanata, and called too early the first time. I spent an hour or so on the tax return, keying in medical expenses. This was the first time in 2 weeks, and more represents my state of health than my state of personal organization. L-A made banana bread with some bananas Tara had left here and it was good. We all had a large slice. Steve was in the kitchen alone for his and helped himself to a second slice, though he'd only eaten half by the time I found him, leaning over the counter top.
A Quora Digest reached me today titled 'What is the one band you have lost all respect for?' The writer's choice was 'Yes.' This thrust me to action. Here is my comment, and this is something I passionately believe as a music lover:
'As consumers of music (these days free) we are immensely privileged but many don’t realize it. We can wallow in appreciation of a currently favourite band, and 3 weeks or 3 years later can wallow in appreciation of another current favourite. Do we care what mountains of creativity the first band went through to give us all that pleasure? Clearly not, when phrases like ‘bands you’ve lost all respect for’ are used. How arrogant. How unappreciative. How ignorant! Every good song (there are thousands) I have loved over the years doesn’t become a bad song just because they haven’t charted recently. Bands have a right to issue any music they like. The most talented artists lead the frontiers of music as they ignore what trends and styles are already out there. The less talented try and slot into whatever is selling well right now, and sometimes they’ll score a good song. Meantime, they’ll return to their day jobs - nothing wrong with that. How can we who do absolutely nothing to contribute criticise them in any way? If we have found other singers and bands we like in the meantime, then to ‘lose all respect for’ the previous favourite is like kicking dirt in their eyes as they try one more time to make you happy with a tune. I was partly stimulated to write this when ‘Yes’ was chosen to badmouth. I remember when I bought Time and a Word, and then The Yes Album realizing this was so different and the musicianship so far ahead of anything else at the time. Watch the DVD ‘Symphonic Yes’ and tell me I’m wrong. Whatever else Jon and the band wanted to do with the rest of their lives, they had already got to musician heaven. And no latter day pundit would ever change that. So please, people, let’s have more appreciation for our musical heroes and no kicking when they are down.'
In the afternoon I turned on the playlist I'd created for Doxa, an event at WGC when they let me loose on the sound system. It runs for hours with primarily Christian music and including some African and Afrikaans. Again I joined L-A in our evening routine and it wasn't a major strain for me. My breathing seems to be improving. To cap off the evening we had a brandy and ginger - mmm.

Mon Jun 6

Spent some time in the morning catching up with computer-related communications, like tracking our givings and money going to the girls, and food expenditure here. The first 2 hours of the day are my best, when the Teva-Lenoltec No 1 (Tylenol No 1) is still bringing me minute doses of opiates. Also, L-A and Steve are still sleeping so I can get work done. I felt like listening to music for the first time in a week, and we played Boston and Chicago selections on Spotify. Bella had told us yesterday of the need for a further urgent operation on her upper spine related to the scoliosis - this was her fourth operation, and that the hospital fee was R3500. James had told us that Chantelle had latched onto him via FaceBook and had said that Bella was pregnant. I angrily responded to Chantelle that passing on unverified information to people she didn't know was sinful, and she said it was all over Smartie-Town. What I think has happened here was that someone noticed Bella wasn't around and made a huge leep of assuming she must be away to have a baby. This falsehood then spread like wildfire among the Avian Park crowd. But I also had an urgent decision to send half our remaining SA funds to Bella. I centainly wasn't going to compound the hurt by asking if she was pregnant, so instead I asked her for a photo of the account from the hospital asking for R3500, and proving she was having the operation. Bella replied she would get that for me, and today I sent her the money, and told her if it wasn't through in time for the operation tomorrow to show them our correspondence. I went to M&Ms and the next-door vegetable shop at 6-Points with enough to fill the downstairs freezer and the fridge. I then drove to Home Hardware in Cloverdale and bought a better kettle than the one that has been rumbling and spluttering for weeks. Then to Shell where the fill-up cost more than $100. At dinner I mentioned that at the age of 81, I was thinking of becoming more cantancerous, and that life would be easier for me if I became less friendly in my verbal communication (joke). Steve instantly commented that my level of communication friendliness had been low for some time. His mind is razor sharp in some things. Ater dinner I watched the news, and then a TV series called 'This is us,' and then L-A read from Ezekiel and we prayed. Haven't done that routine for a few nights. I had had a little more energy today, considering I hadn't had a sleep. Maybe the thyroxin was making a difference. But I am still very fatigued.

Sun Jun 5

I cooked up scrambled eggs and bacon with fried tomato for breakfast. Steve refused to put his teeth in, which meant that when a new psw came the bacon was never eaten. His dislike of his teeth has become an obsession. I will take him to the supplier for a re-adjustment. CTF this morning was awesome, beginning with 'Can you hear the mountains tremble,' and ending with a Pentecost Fire Tunnel. Sadly the fire tunnel isn't on the video, or you might have see me. But there is much quality in Pastor Steve's and Lillian Brown's messages. On the way home I bought a new lightbulb to replace the finally burned-out bulb in Steve's bedroom. I also bought a half bottle of brandy for me and a selection wine mainly for L-A. We had a pretty late lunch. I was really careful using a ladder to replace Steve's bulb. In the afternoon emailed Eric Manalang at TWH: Hello Eric It's nearly a week since the removal of oil from my left eye at TWH. You have been a part of my eye journey for many months. I think all is well. I took the attached photo Friday for my own records. I have had no pain. The 'bubble' is at about 20%. What has changed dramatically are my senses of smell and taste. Wherever I take a breath, there is always the same smell that is what I imagine might be caused by a rotting rabbit carcase below the sink drain. I can even sometimes smell it when I am out of the house. Now that obviously plays havoc with my taste buds. This was apparent when I got home after the surgery; many things I have eaten or drunk since then taste worse. When I'm not eating/drinking I have dry-mouth So my appetite has shrunk, and I am losing weight, not what my cancer doctor (De Perrot at TGH) wants to hear. BTW I am not yet on chemo, well known for causing this problem.
Is it possible the anaesthetics I was given had this side effect? However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel. This afternoon I had a cup of tea and a slice of lemon cake, It tasted so normal, I thought it was a mistake and had another tea and cake. Excellent. I look forward to my follow-up with Dr Mandelcorn 13 June at 8:15.

Sat Jun 4

The hanging basket that Tara bought when it was still freezing finally gave up the ghost. It was high maintenance. I went to Loblaws and replaced it with petunias which look fine. I also replaced L-A's long serving green bottle with a purple bottle which can actually be cleaned. The green bottle will now feed the petunias. I bought potato salad to go with our Angus burgers for tonight's dinner. L-A had taken a video call from James when I was asleep yesterday and he had mentioned he would like me to talk with Sagan. I pondered this at length and when James called this morning after dropping Sagan at karate I said I have something important I would love to share with her. I told him that she needed to know that her grandfather was a Christian for most of his life, and the same with GrandmaLala. Kids need to know such things about their grandparents. He said he'd call back with the family in a few hours time. And he did. We had regular chit chat for a while and Sagan was doing everything not to be seen, partictularly when I asked her about karate or anything. Eventually Kathy rescued the situation. It turned out she had recently brought up a similar subject with Sagan. So when she asked me what it was I wanted to say to her, and I answered did she know what a Christian is, she said yes, and that she knew of some Christians. Then I said that I had been a Christian most of my life, and I wanted her to know that. That was all I wanted the 6-year old to hear at this time. Kathy said that if she asked any questions she could pass them on and I could answer them. This is a real break-through in this family where nothing spiritual is ever acknowledged or discussed. Sagan's isolation from the Christian faith is possibly the saddest thing in my life. But maybe, a spark has been lit that could catch fire. Hallelujah!

Fri Jun 3

Mid morning I went to Dynacare for a blood test to look at my thyroid situation. They also asked for a urine sample. On the way home I went to Shoppers to hand in the list from Dr Judah, and I also bought myself an eye patch. As the vision gets brighter in my left eye, my brain is having to sort out two very different images. The patch allows full control by the right eye, and is a definite help in many activities including driving and eating. I was motivated enough to complete my journal for the important recent days at TWH and PMH. Strange that the climaxes of the eye operation and the report back of my cancer status would come within 2 days of each other. The last week had been big in my life. At the beginning of it we had major car problems to sort out. Throughout the week I had felt less and less well; nausea, lack of appetite for food that didn't taste right, and extreme fatigue. My duties here of helping prepare food, and washing up were becoming more exhausing. Were these things caused by the mesothelioma as it tightened its grip, or by something completely different like a thyroid issue? Maybe the next week will bring some answers.

Thu Jun 2 - Ontario elections

This morning the bubble was marginally lower, and so was my general health. I was well enough to cook bacon and eggs for Steve and me, anf it actually tasted right. After breakfast I sat around, not even with enough energy for this journal, which I had neglected several days. Steve had an appointment with Dr Judah at 12:30. He asked me how he was, compaired with his last appointment 27 April, and I answered with Alison's answer to me on the same question this mornong - 'more confused.' L-A had prepared a list of his current medications that were running low, and he wrote a prescription to facilitate their repeats. I mentioned that in the last couple of months there had been a lot less foraging for food at night in the kitchen, probably because his diet was more nutritious and satisfying, and he suggested I give him 1/4 pill of Trazodone instead of 1/2 pill each night. Then after a week I should stop it completely and see how he reacts. He will call me around then. He didn't give me a date for the next appointment here. Back in the car outside the office I reminded him of the recent all round brakes replacement, and asked him if he thought it would be fair if we split the cost, since very little of the break wear would have been caused while I have been driving the car. He agreed. On our way home we would pass Burnhamthorpe Collegiate, the main local voting station. For the last time I gently suggested that he vote, but he was adamant. This will have contributed to the historically low turnout of 40%, suggesting voter satisfaction in Etobicoke with Doug Ford and his team, and no credible opposition candidates.

Wed Jun 1    Med = medical content

We have been back in Canada 4 months, and I have had many scans and tests, and particularly the pleuroscopy on 4 May to confirm my cancer diagnosis. Today was when I would hear the accumulated results from Dr De Perrot. The meeting was at the Princess Margaret Hospital Cancer Centre. I had no further details but a kind receptionist found me on the daily schedule. That got me to the right vicinity, but guesswork was still needed to find the actual place due to a rare scarcity of direction signs. I was there early so this wasn't a problem, and suddenly I saw Mary Macedo in one of the reception booths, which I didn't expect, thinking she would always work across the street in TGH Thoracic Surgery. She found me a room to wait in. After quite a while one of Dr De Perrot's surgery students came in, so I asked her some of the questions I had prepared for him. (1) I have Epithelioid Mesothelioma, the most common form. (2) It is entirely possible that the first symptom would have been the sudden loss of iron that vetoed my second blood donation on 12 Feb 2019. Then she left and I waited a further 40 minutes before she returned with 2 other students and Dr De Perrot. When he asked me how I was feeling I told him of the instability in my senses of smell and taste. Nothing is attractive to eat. He suggested it could be side effects of recent anaesthetics. That could certainly include the eye surgery - but would the pleuroscopy still be having an effect after nearly a month? Maybe they they have both had similar effects, because the changes of taste certainly pre-date the eye surgery. He confirmed the answers given by the first student. I mentioned Laurie-Ann's cancer journey, and that her experience is already proving useful to me. Then he outlined 3 choices for treatment. 1) Conventional chemo; 2) Chemo plus immunotherapy; 3) Surgery: removal of the left lung. He wasn't at all keen on that, because he said the tumour had grown a lot, and such an operation would be high-risk. He preferred that the next stage be chemo + immunotherapy. He didn't mention what would happen after the chemo, and the question wouldn't have crossed my mind except from what we learned from L-A's cancer journey, namely that the chemo is not a cure, but a preparation for surgery or radiation. He told me he was passing me on to oncologist Penny Bradbury. I would hear from her soon. I mentioned our upcoming holiday 24 June -1 July (Calabogie) and he said the chemo wouldn't start before that. Then I asked my final and overriding question: wasn't he going to take me off sugar and other things I like, and was delighted to hear that no: I should eat as much of everything as I can! The important thing was maintaining my weight. The interview was over, and I left via a small essentials store where I found a Red Bull. At least it tasted approximately right. When I got home I was pretty exhaused, and not feeling like eating. I did discover a drink that tasted exactly right: iced water, and my dry mouth appreciated it over the next few days.

Tue May 31

I was back at Toronto Western Hospital by 9:30am to have the big bandage taken off my left eye by Eric Manalang. He measured the pressure in my eyeball and it was perfect. Then several tests and measurement were done by one of the female doctors on the team. I couldn't see much at all through the left eye, exept for a bubble of something with a horizon near the top. There was no pain; I checked in with Maria who gave me a review appointment for a couple of weeks. I was armed with a booklet on how to treat the eye, including not rubbing it, or touching it with fingers. I went home via streetcar and subway. On the drive home from Kipling Station, I suddenly realised that I had just rubbed the eye, fairly gently, but obviously I must remain alert. I had a prescription for Tobradex eye drops, so I went to the IDA and they had it ready in 15 minutes. While I was waiting I called the Lindholm Clinic next door, and got through to Dr Lal. I asked if there was anything useful learned from my recent iron blood test. Apparently I am still anaemic but not to the extent that requires prescription iron. But she now wants to check my thyroid and sent out a requizition (to all Dynacares) for an appropriate blood test. When I looked at the eye in a mirror at home It was bloodshot except for the pupil and iris. When I re-read the instructions they said it is normal for your eye to be red, so I stopped worrying. They also said it is normal for the eye to be uncomforable, and I have had no discomfort. I went to see Komal Moondi at Moondi Law Professional Corporation. The objective was to produce a sworn affidavit that I had sold the Mercedes to Lovejoy, and in the process provide a certified copy of my ID (passport) to the lawyers in Cape Town acting for WGC, one of whose drivers had backed into the driver's door of the Mercedes. Komal was both charming and efficient, and after I had signed the package I had drafted in her presence, she emailed it to me to forward to those lawyers and to Lovejoy. This cost about $54. The big question now is whether they will demand the original, or be satisfied by the emailed version. There was a questionaire from Dr De Perrot's department on the 'Path' System asking me to answer about 20 questions on how I am feeling - nausea, appetite, lethargy etc., which I completed.

Mon May 30

This was a big medical day for both of us. The small growth in L-A's remaining breast needed further investigation following her MRI last Tuesday 24th. Since I was booked for eye surgery today, L-A had enlisted the help of Cathy and Brian. They arrived after I had left, and while Cathy drove Laurie-Ann to Etobicoke General for a biopsy, Brian stayed here and gave company to Steve, and lunch when it was time. That was very kind; Brian and Steve go back a long time, and he has sometimes cut Steve's hair, and today brought his kit, but Steve wasn't ready for a haircut. For once, my eye surgery to remove the oil that Dr James Acton had put in a year ago required that I present myself at 11, rather than 7am. or other unsociable hour. Thank you Toronto Western Hospital! I arrived in good time via subway and streetcar, and went to the 4th floor day surgeries department. They had me on their radar, and asked that I remove all upper clothing, shoes, dentures, rings, watch, phone, and put them in a locker. In a prep roon I received endless eyedrops and a drip into my hand. The anaesthetist explaind that the fluid via the drip would make me drowsy but not put me out. They marked a cross above my left eye and was asked my name, DoB and which eye repeatedly. No problem for me that they wanted to get those things right! I was waiting an hour or so to the point that I was the second last patient. I overheard that one of the others was also there to have oil removed. I have been wheeled into eye surgery a few times, and come out without trauma, so as I was walked into the operating theatre today, I was calm, but ready for possible glitches. Soon the drip port in my hand was connected up, but I noticed no change in alertness, to the point that I remember asking when would I get the anaesthetic. Then they froze the area around the eye, but I felt no needle going in. The nurses and surgeon got on with the job. I could hear their conversation. One of them mentioned extra virgin olive oil. Was that an in-joke? During the next hour, all of which I was awake for, three times I felt a sudden pain, like a sharp point going into the eye. Every time this happened I gave a groan, and usually got back an apology. It is possible this is the reason for the local anaesthetic: they need a form of feedback should they go a little too far. I am guessing I was in there at least an hour before they had done. For half of that time I had been hearing the calming voice of Dr Mandelcorn as they progressed. Nurse Svetlana had been with me since the prepping, and was still there near the end. Some of the nurses have been on this work 20 years. One of them brought me applejuice and small cookies - very enjoyable. Another made the phone call to Bob Stambula to come and pick me up at the Bathurst St. entrance. She also took me down and delivered me to him personally. At last I could relax, and we had a lovely conversation as he brought me home via the Gardiner. When we got home he wouldn't come in, saying the higher priority was for me to rest. I had an email to send to Moodie Law Professional Coproration to suggest a time for our meeting tomorrow. Whan I had sent it I did go to bed, only allowed to sleep on my side. We both work up with a start at 8:45 - I thought it was 8:45am! But it was still Monday. Steve hadn't eaten since 2. I got some quiche lorraines from the freezer and cooked them up with steamed green beans and baby potatoes. Unfortunately I was so 'out of it,' I allowed the steamer to boil dry, which took me 3 days of scrubbing with oven cleansers to rectify.

Sun May 29

I woke at 6 for my meds and was relaxed and in a good state, and returned for the last 2 hours sleep. But at 7:30 I was drenched in sweat and had to get up and wash myself. Apart from the soaking I felt fine - no nausea, pain, and brain crystal clear. When I returned to the bedroom I saw the sheets were soaked through. I dressed and put my pyjamas in the wash. I set up Steve's breakfast and called him. When I tasted my Cherios, it was as if the honey had changed to a metallic taste. L-A had joined us in the kitchen, so I got the sheets off the bed, noticing a large damp area on the matress where my back had been. I took the bedsheets to the washing machine and got things started down there. Alison arrived at 9 and took Steve for his wash. The majority of things I tried to eat this morning tasted weird. I cooked bacon and eggs for Steve and me, and finally something tasted the way it was meant to be. Laurie-Ann was still suffering pain from her port removal and decided not to go to church. I had no energy whenever I tried to exert myself, and decided not to go to church either. We watched on line. I didn't feel much like actually doing anything, and lazed around, the first time soaking my shirt. L-A was also very tired and went to lie on the bed for a while, right on the mattress. I had almost no appetite so it was a fluke when I saw Steve needed to be fed. I heated up the lentil soup from yesterday and served it with his usual bagel. I had the second half of the gumbo soup from yesterday but no bagel. After lunch he decided to sit on his porch chair. He was there for some time, mostly I could see him well enough. But when suddenly I couldn't see him I assumed he must have returned to his bedroom. Then the doorbell rang, and a neighbour called Christine appeared. She had seen him standing at the foot of the porch steps, and had guided him back up to the top level and got him to sit in his walker. Her mother was with her, and appeared to have similar issues to Steve. I thanked her warmly, and brought him in for his dinner, more of yesterday's pork tenderloin. L-A was woken by a Sobey's delivery warning and got up. I thought I would have some tea, but even that didn't satisfy. After dinner I tried iced water, and it tasted great. I went though recent emails, and eventually found Maria's with the instructions for tomorrow at TWH. I must be there by 11. Then I called Bob Stambula and said my best estimate was between 1:30 and 2:30 for him to pick me up.

Sat May 28

When I reminded Steve that I was taking him to the advance polling station, on this final day that it is open, he immediately responded that he wasn't going to vote. I had had a dream that I had taken him to the polling station, had not of course been allowed into the box with him, and in his utter frustration about his failing powers he had taken it out on the government, and had peed all over the desk where everyone voted. Bearing in mind what I had witnessed on 16 May and being someone who has been occasionally guided by dreams, I didn't fight Steve. He is no longer mentally competant to vote, and my higher duty is to reduce stress in his life. He didn't even want to get up for breakfast, possibly because he thought that when breakfast was done, the next stop was the polling station. L-A and I had breakfast, but several of my favourite tastes had been adulterated in my brain, including a fresh orange. One taste that remained faithful was coffee. Such loss of taste is normally associated with chemotherapy (which I have never had yet) and Covid (which I have none as per yesterday's test). So what's going on here? To take a mouthful of a favourite food, and for it to taste umpleasant is no fun. I think I have mentioned that I often smell rotting food, eg when I turn on the taps. including in the bathroom. If my smell detection has gone off kilter, that could affect taste as well. I worked on the draft affidavit for Lovejoy, which I had also dreamed about, with some stress. L-A had prepared some special soup last night, and I put it onto the heat at breakfast time. Steve showed up about noon and we all enjoyed the new soup - he was spontaneous in his praise for it. After lunch I drove to the polling station without Steve, but with our signed 'vote by mail' kits. So at least 67% of us here have voted. At lunchtime Steve mentiond that the neighbour on Harrop had been mowing our lawn, so I went to see him while he was there and explained that a landscaping firm had contracted to mow for us once a week. His name is Val, and we commiserated over the victorious weeds, despite weedkiller. After lunch I needed rest, and took it for a couple of hours. When I got up, L-A went to bed. I woke her at 6:30 when the lassangna was warmed up. I paid my MasterCard. Mella sent a photo of Bella with her computer, but it didn't say whether it was now safely at her home. We fervently pray she made it back since Mella had declined to drive her home.

Fri May 27

We all got up early, and Steve got hot cereal and other items of his regular breakfast. L-A and I were on the road to Sunnybrook before 8, via Lawrence Ave W. I was on the lookout for the Bathurst intersection, and it came up 15 minutes before our ETA. I dropped L-A and her walker right outside the main door. Then I drove back on my tracks to the Bathurst turning, and then ran south towards Toronto Western Hospital. I got there in half the time I had planned for, so I was 45 minutes early. I spent that time looking for parking, but in the end I used the hospital parking lot. I was in the pre-admission clinic with 10 minutes to spare. 15 minutes later I'd had the Covid swab, which was pre-requisite for the eye surgery on Monday. I texted L-A who said she was finished and was in 2nd Cup. So I abandoned the idea of driving home, and instead went north on Bathurst to St. Lawrence Ave W, and then on to Sunnybrook, arriving on the dot of my estimate at 11:30. We went home via the 401. At 4 pm I received a message from the EHN patient portal that Covid 19 had NOT been detected, but I had returned to bed by then and slept till 6:60. The pork tenderloin that L-A had prepared after lunch was now ready for us to eat.

Thu May 26

Today Alison brought in a non-slip bath mat and a bath cleaning mop she had bought (with my permission) at Home Hardware for $33.92. She'd parked in the centre of the driveway, so I couldn't get her money from the bank while she was here today, but mid morning I did, and also banked Steve's R300 for food, and bought a cranberry lemon loaf from Java Joe's. It was elevensies time when I brought these home, and I was disappointed in my half of the the lemon loaf. I have since realised that my taste buds have been awry for several days. We drove to Sunnybrook via the 401 for bloodwork prior to the removal of her chemo port tomorrow. Once I had offloaded her at the Odette Cancer Centre, I drove out of the hospital and found a back street where I could park for free. After an hour I bought cheese doritos and two Monster energy drings. I got two becase the price of one was ~$4:25, but a second was just $.25! I do get much needed extra energy from them, and I like the taste. L-A texted that she was ready about half an hour later; I picked her up where I had dropped her and this time managed to find our way out without circumnavigation. We were both relieved that today's hospital trip had gone according to plan, but when we got home I was not in good physical shape, and just looked forward to getting into bed. This has been how it is for more than a week now, and I don't know if I am experiencing early cancer symptoms, or whether I have the 'flu. I WhatsApped Mella to hear whether she had driven the laptop computer to Bell'a house. Apparently she had tried but Bella was out when she got there yesterday afternoon, and Bella had never answered her phone in repeated calls.

Wed May 25

My alarm was set for 7 but I got up earlier to take the car to Midas. The keys weren't on the dresser, and then I remembered that I had noticed them in the ignition when I got out of the car last night. I opened the garage, and that's where they were. My relief was short-lived. When I attempted to turn on the car, nothing happened. Not even a clicking noise. Our schedule of hospital visits depended on the car. As I tried to think outside the box, I also looked for equipment that might help, finding jumper cables, and a slow battery charger. I walked across the street to Ted's, but no-one came when I rang. I called Midas to say I wouldn't be there at 8, and was struggling to get the car started. They thanked me for letting them know. My next hope was a jump start from psw Slava, but when she arrived she explained that her car was electric, a Volt, and jump starting was a no-no. The neighbours on our right were just leaving, and were late for a hospital appointment. I asked them where Mario lived, and heard it was the next house after them. Mario said he would come round in 10 minutes. We hooked his car up with the jumper cables, and I knew I was using up my options. Mario reved his car to the max, and I turned the ignition key. Nothing! Mario suggested that a fuse may have blown. I later believe that because he doesn't drive his car much, the battery wasn't delivering a strong charge. The next thing for me to do was to rejoin the CAA. Joining on line was easy enough, and then requesting help was also easy. Did they have these on-line options 5 years ago? The technician arrived with his tow-truck after half an hour. Soon we were on our way. At Midas I explained to Luc, the receptionist, that things had changed. He was fine with it, and said we could park the car in any empty slot. The CAA driver didn't charge for extra kilometers over 10m and I think there were a few. Soon I was nestling in a reception room chair, and the problem belonged to someone else. It was now about 11 am, and the steady work on the car continued till 5 pm. I did go out for a coffee and a spring roll at one of the ethnic restaurants across the street. The bill was $924, and they had decided the battery and alternator were good. The car ran beautifully, and I was thanking God on the way home for another TKOG. Now we would both make our hospital appointments.

Tue May 24

Every morning for the last week I have woken in a cold sweat. After removing my soaked T-Shirt or vest and washing the top part of my body, I feel OK. Today I drove L-A to Etobicoke General Hospital for an ultrasound, investigating the probably benign spot in her right breast that came to light a couple of years ago. The ultrasound went according to plan and she had a particularly helpful nurse. I has been waiting in the small mall opposite the hospital. As we began the homeward journey we noticed a grating noise coming from the rear brakes. By the time we got home it sounded as if we needed new break pads (?). I called the Midas who had fixed the muffler system, and they said I should come in at 8 am tomorrow. The car will be taking us both on vital hospital visits for the next few day, and it's essenstial to get this fixed. L-A recorded 'Ways to Grow in God through Perseverence' and I slept to give her a better studio experience. I didn't feel too good for the rest of the evening and was in bed by 10, very tired. Mary Macedo emailed me with an appointment (I think) with Dr De Perrot on Wed 1 June at 1:30 at Princess Margaret Hospital. Or this may be just a report back on the pleuroscopy. Will the truth set me free, or would I be freer not knowing the truth for a bit longer. So far, no doctor has told me to cut out sugar ...

Mon May 23

We both slept around 11 hours last night, after which I felt good, but L-A didn't. About midnight I woke, and checked the front door, which was unlocked because Tara and Kennedy were out. By midnight it was unlikely they would return tonight so I locked up. In the morning we heard that they had retuned about 12:15, decided they didn't want to wake us, and returned to Scarborough. Jamelia reported that of the R200 I had sent her mother they had received R150, so now we knew she had owed R150 in charges to the bank. We sent a further R300 so Jamelia would have some clothes to wear in bed and in the hospital ward. I keyed in some medical expenses, but then needed to get to other things. Whether 'other things' are more urgent or important than the tax return is debatable. I don't even know for sure if we can expect a rebate, and it's already May. The rest of my day was a drag, healthwise, centred around my stomach, and general fatigue. Have I got a bug that is nothing to do with the cancer, or are these mesothelioma symptoms as it tightens its grip? I still haven't heard from Dr De Perrot. Does that mean there's no need for urgency and he has other patients who are more urgent? I decided not to email Mary Macedo again, at least for a week when I will have had my eye surgery.

Sun May 22

My computer screen was shining when I got to it this Sunday morning - Rock had uploaded successfully. I made some small edits to the accompanying information, and added it to my Homemovies page. Here's the direct link. I cooked up bacon and eggs for Steve and me. He ate every morsel, cleaning his plate. Even though he had found his glasses after 3 days under his TV table, he preferred not to use them to eat his crispy bacon. They are uncomfortable, so he prefers to use them just for the hardest chewing. His Sunday psw Chritian had called last night to say he wouldn't be coming till 11am, by when we would be at CTF. To be more accurate, L-A would be in her seat, while I would be in the Attwell Coffee line-up to claim her fee mother's day cup. I joined her when the worship was in full swing. Murray Smith preached on 'Connecting 2' - the purpose of gathering in church. Near the end he had us all pray for forgiveness for expecting some kind of temporal pay-back from Church, when what's actually happening, regardless of which church, is the opportunity to praise God as a group. Bob and Catherine had a flat tire on their way in, and then turned back, and we saw noone else from our connect group. Back home I sent $830 to Bella, and L-A told her that we are now closer to the time when our SA money will run out. I also sent R200 to Mandy September in the hope that the bank won't withhold all of that as well as the first R100. James called up and we had a very interesting converstion about my kind of prescription drug addiction. The closest he's been to it was when he was on an opiod after a colonoscopy. He even experienced the feeling that however things really were, the drug makes you believe that everything you think, touch, experience is good. Today is a great day! You love everyone, starting with the Lord. Until you come off it, when things all seem the opposite, and keeping going without another pill is a hard decision. But keeping going is what you must do, otherwise the number of days it takes to return to something like normal keeps increasing. I haven't had any since 8 May, 2 weeks ago, and the last few days have been really hard. Going to bed and staying there was super attractive. Not waking up at all was somewhat attractive. The only thing that broke my mood was posting 'Rock' to Vimeo last night. It seemed to be my only recent feeling of achievement, doing something to give others pleasure. I started to prepare lunch as Kennedy crept in throught the front door. Mella sent a WhatsApp voice note to confirm she would deliver the computer to Bella on Wednesday. Fast forward to dinner time, which Steve really enjoyed. But as he stood up, he faltered and was fighting to keep on his feet. We both grabbed him and got him back on to his chair, and then on to his walker. This was not a TIA, but probably a seizure, and he's had a few recently. There was no dozing off in advance, and no nonsense talking, just a sudden change, and we had to be concentrating on him as it happened. I mentioned the seizure to Tara, and she will call Dr Judah.

Sat May 21

We had received an invitation to join Nextdoor, the social media site for neighbours. I had some teething issues signing up, but today I found the Sign-in page, and we are members. While its interesting to feel connected to the neighbours, my main motivation was to publicise garage sales when the weather is warmer. I had filmed the Roger Jones musical 'Rock' in March 2010 in St. Paul's Anglican Church. I had edited it back then, mixing in the original music soundtrack with the live recording, but never put it up online. In 2016 I contacted Roger Jones, the writer at CMM and told him I would like to post it for the benefit of the local people who had been involved, which included Laurie-Ann. Although he acknowledged my message he never replied with permission. More recently I decided to post it anyway with severe privacy restrictions (eg, unable to be posted on FaceBook), and tonight I started the upload to Vimeo. Jamelia had told L-A that no money had come through yet to her mother's back account, but then she admitted that her mother owed R90 to the bank. This was one of the reason's I had only sent R100 in the first place. Bella contacted us to say she now needed an additional R700 for transportation to Cape Town. Today a major storm known as a derecho hit Toronto, and Ottawa where it turned into a tornado. 9 people died in Ontario and Quebec, 8 from falling trees, and thousands were out of power. We were only affected to a minor degee: a half-hour power failure and a couple of branches down from the maple. TKOG.

Fri May 20

Steve was extra well this morning. I haven't given him his half pill (Trazodone) for two successive nights. Is there a connection? I read up on Trazodone, (which is also used to calm down dogs) and it takes a couple of months to become effective, so stopping for two days is irrelevant. I edited the Good Samaritan story that John-Henry had sent, taking out mainly typos (murderer for murmurer) and bad punctuation, with his enthusiastic permission. Then I recorded it on the Marantz with the SM58 microphone, which we had only used in the last year for messages to Over my Head. Finally I emailed the result to John-Henry. About 4 we got a call from The Butcher Shoppe to say that an order was ready for pick-up. I drove down, and once I found the door was given a sheet and told to collect from the back, but I couldn't find any rear customer entrance, only one being used continually by fork-lifts. Eventually an employee asked of he could get my order, which he did, and even put it in the trunk of the car. Amanda and Pamela visited us, and had arrived when I got back. Both seemed better physically than I remembered from 2016. Amanda has lost weight. She stayed in their car, since she wouldn't have been able to climb the porch steps. Laurie-Ann sat in her new red chair that had arrived a week before - the same as the pink chair that she left with Cathy in Avian Park. They had been to Princess Margaret hospital where Amanda had received a second opinion about her new ovarian cancer to add to all her other ills. Apparently the second opinion matched the first opinion. She is attempting to heal it naturally. Pamela has her own set of medical issues, but dealing with them takes second place to being Amanda's caregiver. We had lent them our air purifying unit, and they remembered to bring it back. They had two small dogs with them. I took the meat from the Butcher Shoppe down to our basement, except a ham, and then I made a serious error. I took the items out of the various boxes failing to notice that the items themselves were not labelled; only the boxes. There were several varieties of ground meat, all looking much the same. Pamela and Amanda left about 6:30, and Steve was pretty hungry by then, so I suggested to L-A that we have ham omelettes, which would only take the time it took for an omelette. I sliced off some of the ham and got to work on the eggs. It all worked out.

Thu May 19

I went in to Steve's room to see if he was ready to come for breakfast. On the TV table was an OhHenry wrapper, and all the nuts from the bar I had given him. When I asked what was going on, he said he hadn't eaten the nuts because he hadn't had his teeth. After that the day gradually got better, even though I had felt not that good on waking. I cooked bacon and eggs for Steve and me. I got to grips with the voting information for the provincial election on 2 June. I figured it would save effort if both L-A and I voted by mail, and I emailed my application for a voter's kit to do that. It would also be good if Steve did the same. His votor information card will have been forwarded to Tara, and I won't be advising her on such a subject. Around 2:30 I tried TD Customer Service once more. M-A was due to call L-A in half an hour, but she was held up and didn't call till 4. I left a message for a call back instead of waiting on the line, and it was only 10 minutes before a Chinese lady called Grace got back to me. She quickly understood the situation and gave me good information and instructions. Once she had our new telephone numbers from me, and a new password, she said all was ready, I asked if she would stay on the line while I tried to log in. The process took me to a screen where I could add two more numbers and delete the South African numbers. Each new number was verified by sending back a text message with a number. Then I deleted the SA numbers. At that point I thanked her profusely. It was such a joy to be back into the account. There was certainly nothing fraudulent. All my payments had got through. It was worrying to see we were being charged more than $500 a month interest, and interest rates are on the rise to stem inflation. It's vital we get the balances down, and at least now we can see the exact situation. I paid $2000 off the balance, and deleted my Twitter complaint on the basis that the TD system did work on a good day. Bella messaged L-A with a new major challenge in her life. She has been diagnosed with drug-resistant TB (MDR TB) and must spend a month in a Cape Town hospital. She asked for R1000 to pay the hospital fees. CPUT will be making arrangements for her to begin her studies from the hospital, using her computer. Considering how they haven't exactly communicated with her in the past, this was a bright spot in an otherwise very sad situation. The very fact that she seems determinined still to go to CPUT in view of the family's financial situation is most encouraging to me. So of course I sent her the R1000 immediately. She is worth all the support we can offer. As dinner time arrived I didn't start to feel really fatigued as I had the last two nights, and during our boerewors meal I wasn't just sitting in silence. At least part of this change in state was having achieved the breakthrough with the TD bank. I was also looking forward to High Seas, and after dinner we were back in our normal evening routine. Before turning in I re-sent the email to Santam asking exactly what they needed as a certfied ID, but it crossed my mind that they hadn't responded because it would break some rule about talking to the other side in a potential judicial situation. So tomorrow I will find a local organization that says they know what is needed.

Wed May 18

I slept long and well, but couldn't shake the worry about the TD Credit Card. Steve has managed to soak his bedding. After breakfast, I checked email to find an authoritativly - bordering on officious - message from Maria at TWH, confirming yy eye operation on 30 May, and a Covid swab the previous Friday. It was the Friday that seemed to have the biggest challenge for us, since the time of the swab was about the same time that Laurie-Ann would be having port removal surgery at Sunnybrook. An idea came into my mind that depended on how long it would take me to drive from Sunnybrook to TWH. I checked Google Maps to see that the route was simple: Laurence Avenue West till Bathhurst, and then straight down Bathurst, and it would take less than an hour. So it would be possible to drop L-A at Sunnybrook, and then get to TWH in time. After my Covid swab I would drive home so Steve would have been alone less than 3 hours. I would then await L-A's call to come and get her from Sunnybrook. This plan didn't need Seniors for Seniors, or any taxis. L-A agreed that I should call the TD and that she would verify her identity (big relief). I was on the phone for what seemed like hours waiting in vain for a response from a customer service live person. Even without finding one, I was able to discover that a minimum of $500 was due on 24 May, and that the current balance was $30,929. That was $13,000 more that I would have expected based on what I remembered from the balance in January - about $20,000 and the payments we had made in the last 2 months. After I had given up on the call, L-A shared with me that there had been legitimate expenses on her card of around $13,000. More than $5,000 had been for freight forwarding and the 2 weeks at the Residence Inn. Food costs here have been substantial. Because I hadn't been able to access the Visa since our return to Canada, I hadn't noticed the serious rise in the Visa debt. It is now higher than ever before, and our interest charges are substantial. I posted on Twitter: 'Appalling customer service from #TD_Canada. Since January I have been trying to speak to a live person to change my telephone number from South African number, to re-enable 2-stage verification. The telephone menu system desperately needs a redesign.' Within half an hour I had received a response: 'Hi Laurie-Ann, you've reached Mathieu. I hope your day is going well! I completely understand your concern and I'm happy to provide you further direction for assistance. Just to confirm, do you still have access to the phone number you have for Two Step Verification?' While impressed by the fact that they were monitoring #TD_Canada so closely, I was hardly impressed with this comment. Obviously, if I still had access to the SA numbers, we wouldn't have a problem. And so, after several more exchanges, they suggested I call the customer service line! Back to square 1. I got Steve to sign the application for the Seniors for Seniors service agreement, confirmed with them that though we should pay monthly, there was no charge unless we used the service. Also, despite the statement in the agreement that we couldn't pay by credit card, we can. I photographed the agreement and emailed it to Seniors for Seniors, copying L-A and Tara. Laurie-Ann was extremely tired in the afternoon, and went to bed, so that put paid to any more attempts to reach TD today. After dinner we joined our connect group call with Bob and Catherine, and after a while Paula appeared, being driven by her friend Nabil. Nabil owns a small company that has developed an app to facilitate social events by businesses. I was feeling exhausted and when the call was over, and the washing up done, no small task. Steve came to the kitchen asking for chocolate, and I gave him an OhHenry. I went to bed.

Tue May 17

My appointment at Toronto West Hospital in advance of eye surgery to remove the oil put in by Dr Acton for the retinal re-attachment was at 8:30 am. I got there by subway to Bathurst station and then a 25 minute walk south on Bathhurst. There were streetcars going the same way, and I could have taken one for free, but at the time I didn't know if they took Presto. I was there with 15 minutes to spare, and met with Dr Mandelcorn's receptionist Maria Tantalo. From there I was passed to a series of technicians, including Eric Manalang, to measure the eyes. Soon I was in the presence of Dr Efrem Mandelcorn, who looked in both my eyes with his torch. I was gratified to hear that the reattachment of the retina was still holding. He told me I should receive some improvement in my sight when the oil was removed. That sounded good to me, and he wrote a note to Maria. I gave it her on my way out and she said she might be able to arange an appointment on 30 May. I walked back to Bathhurst station. The walking had been quite tiring for me. When I got home a landscaping company was busy making the garden look great. It crossed my mind that their company might even have mowed the lawns yesterday. I asked one of them but he didn't know and wasn't able to find out by calling hs office. It was shortly after this that Tara messaged L-A to say that she had engaged a landscaping company, and that they had already mowed the lawns yesterday(!) In addition to prettying up the garden they would also be dealing with the large maple tree outside Steve's window, which they had reported was dangerous, and they would be mowing the lawns weekly. I felt ambivolent about what should have been good news in view of the big effort I had made with the lawnmower on Saturday. I was comfortable with continuing the mowing. However, this might not be the case if I end up in chemotherapy. After lunch, I took L-A to a dental appointment at Cloverdale for four fillings. Afterwards she asked me to buy a couple of Starbucks oat bars. When we got home I asked her if we might try the call to TD, but she said her mouth was numb from the freezing, and didn't want to have to talk on the phone. At the rest of the day continued, I felt more and more uncomfortable and unsettled in my stomach and mind. The fact that we hadn't been able to access the TD customer service line since arriving in Canada didn't help. After serving dinner I just wanted to sleep, so I retired around 9 pm.

Mon May 16

I got up at 7:15 and was at Dynacare by 8, as they opened. The nurse expertly drew a blood sample, which will be tested for iron levels. I hadn't taken Feramax at 6 am and as an experiment today will see how long I can manage without it (It's 10:47 as I write this.) I went on to NoFrills and bought bacon and a kale salad bag. As I was about to exit the store, I changed my mind abruptly when I saw a cloudburst had deluged everything. I stayed in the store another 15 minutes and was then able to get to the car without being soaked. I cooked an excellent bacon and eggs breakfast for Steve and me, and watched as he ate it all except the bacon. In the past he's always enjoyed bacon. Julia Loewen had emailed me a could of days ago asking how things went at Sunnybrook on 25 April, so I wrote her a comprehensive answer, culled from this journal. In the morning I did good work on the tax return, removing some ineligible items. Since CRA changed our medical expenses year to the calendar year, I have been trying to figure out a way that I can still claim the quite large medical expenses occurring between 23 Oct - 31 Dec 2020. It probably won't work but I am listing them after the legit expensed for 2021, with an explanation. I am determined to be able to use L-A's on-line statement for her TD Visa, but since it still has our South African telephone numbers for 2-step verification, I can't get into the account. The only way to fix this is by calling customer service, which L-A has tried at least twice previously, but nothing changed. Because it didn't work on the previous calls, she won't co-operate in making a further call, even if all she has to do is confirm her identity. She believes that the bank's failure to make the edits is sufficient reason for us not to attempt the changes one more time. She cannot explain to me why she feels like this, but I suspect it is a symptom of aphasia; the effort of talking to a stranger on the phone even for a few minutes frightens her that much, in case she can't think of a word. She also remembered waiting for what seemed like hours for TD to answer. This morning I asked her once again if I could make the call, and she said yes, after lunch. But after lunch she only wanted to go to bed, and did. My main concern is that I have been paying $$$$ every month onto the card, but have no way of proving the balance has come down. I was working on the taxes in the afternoon, and L-A was sleeping, when I heard Steve walk into the kitchen. He may have thought no-one was in earshot, or he may not have thought at all - quite likely. I heard the sound of water pouring onto metal, and I hoped he was doing some washing up, but when I got up to look, I saw him peeing into the sink. I told him he was disgusting and reminded him he had walked past the empty bathroom to get there. I am sure he'll remember nothing of this incident or what I called him. It seems I am living in a house where logic and common sense have deserted both the disabled people in my charge. Either that or it's my brain that's faulty. What's needed is tolerance. I heard the sound of a nearby lawnmower, but it seemed to be coming from the neighbour's house behind us. Later on when I went out with recyclables, I saw that all of our grass is in great condition - not just the parts I had mowed on Saturday. Did our neighbour at the back do it! What kindness - and I need to thank him. Around 4:30 after L-A had got up, Steve returned to the kitchen hungry. I asked him if he wanted chocolate, and he replied he would like soup. I gave him a plate of soup, and he took a large apply, and finished them both. At dinner less than 2 hours after he ate Hungarian goulash, followed by strawberry and rhubarb pie. His appetite is back!

Sun May 15

Tara was till here when we left for church. I had an anxious moment as I backed the car out of the garage, forgetting Tara's car was in the driveway. But through God's mercy I missed it by a few inches. TKOG. I don't like to think of the angst that I would have created here had I hit it. Pastor Steve was back - in short pants - from a visit to CTF churches in Paris and London. There was a baptism for about 20 youth in the pool on the altar steps (hence Steve's shorts), and hearing the joy in the hearts of each of them as they were asked why they wanted to be baptised was very moving. The sermon was by Gordon Harris, and at one point he used the life of Charles Simeon as an illustration. Gordon was promoting the great value of connect groups. I went for healing prayer and was paired with a lady called Catalina. I explained I was now diagnosed, and wasn't concerned about my life expectancy, but was concerned about leaving L-A in the lurch, since I have to help her get dressed due to her disability - at that point Catalina saw a way forward for the conversation, switching entirely to prayer for L-A's healing. I wasn't going to butt in, and it was possible the Holy Spirit had prompted her, but what I had wanted prayer for was to live long enough to see L-A independent of her family and settled in Poulin with her possessions reclaimed, and then to depart in peace, like Simeon after meeting the baby Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem. After lunch I was weary and slept deeply for 90 minutes. Jamelia is still messaging L-A about needing money for hospital. I tried to set up accounts for her mother Mandy September, but the FNB app rejected both the bank account numbers she had sent, suggesting the accounts are not in good standing. Jamelia had asked if we might be able to send money via Shoprite, an African grocery store, which does fund transfers within cartain African countries primarily for customers without bank accounts. Steve had been close to a TIA when I wheeled him to the couch after a good dinner, still today was less traumatic than yesterday. I have felt under-par all day, with tightening of the chest. More significant than that has been a feeling that everything is hard, and in some case that translated to being short with Laurie-Ann. An easy solution to that state of mind tomorrow would be a hydromorhphone or a tramacet pill at 6 tomorrow. But I'm not going to do that. Somehow I must get used to the new me, where my body and mind are always fighting me to some extent. But I do miss the feeling good feeling, even if chemically induced. And I am grateful that the pills were available to me in South Africa, giving me well being. What I need is some of the resilience of Charles Simeon, totally alone except for his Lord, and fighting the powers that wanted to tear him down.

Sat May 14

There was one remaining patch of ground I han't mowed - the one bordering Harrop Avenue. Tara had said she would be coming today and would do some mowing, but I didn't think that was fair on her, since I am capable of doing it, and getting my heart rate up may even be good for me. So when Steve had had some cereal and Alison had arrived, I took the mower there. It took longer to rake away small branches from the grass, than to do the actual mowing. The grass looked great (ie no visible dandelions) when it was done, but I was very tired so I took a break inside. Alison had put out a pair of Steve's wet trousers to be washed, and going through the pockets I found my eye drops! He is like a magpie. Yesterday I had found two $5 dollar bills of his. Later, he never remembers doing things like this. Steve was in the lounge, so I carried out an idea from yesterday that might fix his broken TV leg. I put the 5 minute epoxy resin I had bought at Dollarama on the part of the boken leg that was designed to be flush with the underside of the TV, and held it there for more than 5 minutes. When I took off the pressure with my fingers, the leg stayed in position. A couple of hours later I turned the TV to the upright position, and the leg stayed in place, holding half the weight of the TV. We'll see if it survived the night time attacks by unknown beings on Steve. I went out with the mower a second time and did the grass beside Alanmeade, and then half of the right side lawn. Chantelle was still saying that the R400 I sent a week ago hadn't arrived, so I told her I wouldn't send more because that wouldn't arrive either. I took a green bin to the path beside Harrop and picked up all the branches I had taken from the grass and put them in it. Back in the house, Chantelle was now saying she had received the R400 on 7 May! The technique of asking for money, and then saying it hasn't arrived (so please send more) has occurred to many needy people. Pushing his walker back to his room, with me following, I saw his legs getting further and further behind the walker. As he reached the door of his room the inevitable happens and he goes down on his knees. Somehow we must stop him going right down on the floor. L-A is soon there to help, and encouraged by both of us he decides to stand for long enough to turn round and sit on the walker. I get him to his bed. At lunch time he enthusiastically agrees when I suggest bringing it to him here. An hour before I had baked the 6 ramikins of shepherd's pie left over from our recent dinner, so I brought him one, plus an English muffin and cheese, and while he ate them I watched CP24 on his TV. I had enough energy to have one more session with the lawnmower, and I finished the right lawn and then (for the first time) mowed the section opposite it next to Alanmeade. This called for lots of small branches and sticks to be cleared first, and we now have two almost full green bins of branches ready for the next time the city will take it. Tara and Kennedy arrived about 5:30. They live near the lake where it is cooler, but as they drove north the heat hit them - heat that had come upon us only in this past week. I had turned on the AC, but last night had turned it off. This is that great time of year in Canada when for a few weeks you can manage without heating or cooling. Tara had brought several new pairs of trousers for Steve, of the right size. He was wearing one of them when he came for dinner, and although they looked good, he wasn't looking well. Half way through his burger he didn't want any more (unusual) and then slumped into TIA21. I managed to get him to his bed.

Fri May 13

An arborist assessor knocked on the door saying he had been asked to take information on the maple tree outside Steve's bedroom window. Tara had mentioned something about this. After breakfast, I couldn't find Steve's walker. Eventually, looking in very unlikely places, I found it at the bottom of the basement stairs! He had no memory (he said) of the painstaking business of getting his walker all the way down the stairs. He certainly didn't push it from the top step, since it was neatly stowed at the bottom. Jamelia messaged L-A to say she would be in Tygerberg(?) for 4 weeks with her kidney problems, and asking us for money for clothes. She sent a photo of Mandy September's bank card, and a second photo of another bank card. We would like to help her but recent experience has taught us to be very careful sending money to any bank that we weren't already sending to in Worcester. So I messaged Jamelia for some clarity. Meantime Chantelle has resorted to saying that the last $400 I sent hasn't arrived. Steve languished in a virtual TIA20 from when Alison had finished washing him to way after breakfast. I am calling it virtual because it wasn't as focussed as normal, but taking account of his state for the whole of today, I would call it a TIA. When he did get up off the couch at about noon, I saw my chance and took him to Service Ontario to order his new health card. I got him inside sitting on a chair near the head of the queue while I joined the queue. 20 minutes later I was at a wicket, and I told the lady where he was (she could see his legs) and that I would bring him to the wicket when he was needed. He wasn't. She understood the situation and issued his temporary health card, saying the permanent one would arrive in eight weeks. Getting him home wasn't so easy. He was very unsteady on his feet, but slowly slowly managed to get into the car. When we got home, I coaxed him just to the porch chair. L-A told Tara that he now has a temporary health card. Her commennt was that we should have asked my potential MPP Kinga Surma, who would have got him the card without his physical appearance at Service Ontario. After lunch I went to Dynacare with the blood test requisition from Dr Lindholm. When I finally got there it was 4pm, too late for the test, but they also told me I sould have fasted several hours. I will do it Monday morning, skipping iron meds and breakfast. There was a Dollarama close, so I went in as was able to buy some epoxy resin. While looking for it I found steel wool for cleaning pots. On his way into the kitchen for dinner, Steve staggered, saving himself from falling by grabbing the 'fridge door, and my getting to his left arm in time. I brought him to his chair, but he remained sleepy and didn't finish his cottage pie.

Thu May 12

I received the report of the biopsy from the UHL patient portal.
Spec #44384640: 4 May 22 0947 Copath #:S22-17417 Pathology Report:Pathology Report
1. Lung: Left Pleural biopsy
Lung, left pleura, biopsy: Epithelioid mesothelioma, high grade. (see comment).
COMMENT: Note is made of the patient's CT findings of nodular left pleural thickening encasing left lung associated with pleural effusion.
Sections display an invasive epithelioid neoplasm involving the pleura. The tumor is composed of nests, cords and single epithelioid cells with visible nucleoli and moderate nuclear atypia. The mitotic rate is up to 3 per 2 mm2. Necrosis is readily seen. By immunohistochemistry, the neoplastic cells are positive for AE1/AE3 and CK5, WT1 and calretinin, while negative for Claudin-4. BAP1 immunohistochemistry shows negative staining in tumor cells (lost expression). Sarcomatoid features are not seen in the present material. As per WHO recommendation, the tumor shows nuclear atypia of grade 2, with mitosis and necrosis, consistent with a high-grade epithelioid mesothelioma.
The results of CDKN2A FISH studies will be reported in an addendum.
CLINICAL HISTORY: 81M L pleural thickening, effusion, ? mesothelioma
GROSS DESCRIPTION: The specimen labeled with the patient's name and as "Lung left pleural biopsy" consists of Multiple irregular fragments of pale tan to congested tissue (1.7-0.3 cm), received in 10% buffered formalin.
Cancer Cytogenetics Status: Ordered
Barbara A. Morash, PhD FCCMG Date Reported:

* Preliminary *

So there is no doubt now that I have a malignant form of mesothelioma. This report doesn't tell us whether it has spread to any other part of my body, but certainly suggests the situation is serious. There is a high likelihood I will die from this condition - but when? L-A reads all she can about it, mainly on, and thinks I have a maximum of 7 years. The question I want to ask Dr De Perrot is whether my low iron count in 2018, when I tried to give blood a second time, might have been the first symptom of the disease. If that is true I have already had it for 4 years. The idea of dying doesn't bother me at all as a confessing Christian, but there are a number of practical reasons that the later it happens the better. Primarily I have pensions that will stop when I die, really important to reduce our credit card debt. Secondly, here we are in Etobicoke living out of suitcases with our personal belongings scattered in many places in Ottawa (mainly Canotek Self Storage, now bought our by Make Space Storage), and until she is back in Poulin with her stuff around her, I have to be with her.

I went outside and did some weeding with the new trowel. I was at Lindholm Clinic at 3 and Dr Lindholm unstitched my biopsy wound. I told him I needed more powerful iron supplements and he gave me a prescription for a blood test. I asked if I should fast from iron supplements before being tested and he said no, but didn't want to spend time explaining why. I went to NoFrills and bought more Quaker oats packets for Steve. I assisted L_A in making shepherd's pie for dinner, and it kind of drained me. But it didn't stop me mowing the front strip of grass next to the road. Back inside Steve sheepishly asked me to fix his TV. It was lying flat on its back, with the HDMI cable out. He of course at first denied responsibily, saying that unspecified beings had been creeping around in his room and did it. They had also broken off the right leg support, so now it stays upright only with a balancing act. I recommended he not try this trick again, or he would break the other leg, making the TV useless. I asured him I wouldn't be buying him a replacement.

Wed May 11

I got up at 8, enough time to wash and prepare for Slava at 8:20. Steve had gone through four diapers in the night, and also wet his blankets. I took the diapers to the garbage bin at the kerb, but it had already been emptied. I did notice that Ted, opposite, had put out garden branches in old style bins. There was a large pile of such garden refuse in our garden, so I filled a plastic bin and took it to the kerb. Slava's explanation after she had cleaned him up was that he wasn't putting the diapers on properly. Mid morning I had a call from Brian Wilkie - wanting to know how things were with us. Such calls are unusual. This one was great and we chatted for 20 minutes. I am still trying to set up the capability of digitizing cassettes and vinyl albums as I was able to do in Poulin. There seem to be several problems. I don't have the potentiometer/attenuator that I used there, matching the level coming from the input device to the external sound card (blue box) overloads the audio input in Pink Dell. I cannot get an audio signal from the record-out RCA sockets on the JVC amplifier. I have to take the outdut signal from the cassette player, so can't monitor the sound while recording. The external sound card doesn't operate in the way I would expect under the control of the sound settings on any of the computers. My session this morning finally convinced me to give up, and wait till we are back in Poulin before digitizing the rest of the cassettes. It's just taking too much of my time. I took L-A to Cloverdale Dental to see their hygenist, costing 4 times the price at Dr Hofmeyr's practice in Worcester. Their explanation of course was that they have to abide by the Ontario scale (to ensure all dentists become millionaires). For we seniors with no health or dental insurance, it's a problem. The good part of it was that the hygenist had done an exceptional job, guided by the X-Rays taken last week. While she was in I went to Service Ontario to assess my chances of getting a replacement for Steve's lost health card, and was delighted that the only ID they need was his driver's licence. But he does have to be there in person. When we got home I took two Nu Skin iron pills (a total of 18 Mg, but probably much more absorbable than the Feramax 150 Mg I'd taken at 6 am.) After lunch I tackled the remainder of the right side lawn mowing. By now the bin of branches had been collected. I was very happy about that. Over time I will be able to get the council to take the rest of the pile. The mowing went well, and I was also able to do the small back yard. I wasn't exhausted yet, so I christened the trowel I had bought yesterday, weeding the patch between the two rhubarb plants. The soil was soft and easy to work with. I took pictures of the result. The only parts left to mow are the grass boarders on the edge of the road.

Tue May 10

I took L-A to Etobicoke General Hospital for an appointment with Dr Zane Jackson. This was arranged by Dr Lal after seeing something near the nipple of her right breast on her recent mammogram. We had been aware of this for two years but it wasn't thought dangerous. While she was in the waiting room I had to stay outside, where there were no chairs, and ended up sitting on the floor from where I took this picture. Then I dozed off, missing the moment when she went in to see Dr Jackson. He expressed surprize that Dr Lal had called for the consultation, when Sunnybrook didn't. This is the sort of thing that happens when there is more than one doctor running your case. Dr Jackson is arranging a repetition of the mammogram and ultrasound, focussed on the spot in question.

Mon May 9

In the morning I returned to what I'd neglected for a week: my tax return. I'm still on the first and most time-consuming stage - keying in medical expenses, which can be pretty boring. There are so many. It was a beautiful day and Steve spent some of it sitting on his chair on the porch. When Alison came she called me into the bathroom to see Steve's back which had two red marks on it. This must have been caused when he fell down in the kitchen and the walker checked his fall. For a couple of weeks I had been putting all banana peels into a pot with water. Tara has recommended the water from the process for fertilizing the two rhubarb plants that were growing quote strongly against the house wall in the right side garden. It is presumably because of the potassium in bananas. Today I poured the water gathered so far on the rhubarb. In the afternoon I mowed the grass on the right side of the house, now exposed to viewing by every passer-by since the demise of the fence. We are in the season when the grass grows fastest, and as I got further from the house, it got thicker and longer. Suddenly the mower abruptly stopped. After checking the gas and trying the quick start, I raised the platform so that the cut would be less close. Maybe I had been asking too much of it. I went inside for a rest, and when I came out again, it started, and worked much better. I got too tired to finish it today. I started searching for Steve's birth certificate in our room. I was pretty sure it wasn't in his room. It will almost certainly be needed for the multiple ID requirements to get him a new health card. Today has been hard on him. Several times he appeared to be slipping towards a TIA but didn't actually get there. His behaviour has been more illogical than usual. He often can't remember where he is.

Sun May 8

The hydromorphone at 6 am yesterday morning had headed off almost all the pain from the wound all day, so I didn't take another till 24 hours later, 6 this morning. This doesn't mean I had a restful night - I was up about 7 times to pee. But when I got up at 8 I was very ready for the day. The lift I get from hydromorphone is the same as from Tramacet. Even more interesting it's the same as from Overdrive, a wholly natural Nu Skin product. I remember when I first took Overdrive, and I seemed to feel mentally in full working order for the first time. It took away depression, inadequacy. I have often wondered what the results would be if psychiatrists recommended Overdrive instead of opiates. However recent tests have shown that replacing the opiates with Overdrive is not able to replicate the full effect of the opiates. I can also well understand why some people take opiates for non-medical conditions. Instead of the trance or hallucinations associated with LSD, they feel more capable in every way, from complex thinking to articulation and social skills. Does all this mean I am now a drug user, or abuser? There were the years I took tramacet daily (2018-2021) though it was hardly because I was in great pain. I served up boiled eggs to my disabled clients for breakfast, and then for the first time, L-A and I went to church leaving Steve on his own for nearly 3 hours. He had no problem with that, and it had been Tara who had suggested it. It was L-A's first time in church for more than a month, and she chose a good day because there were more from our cell group than we had seen before. I had particularly good conversations with the Chinese couple, Bernard and Sandra, and their daughter and son. Laurie-Ann showed them the colouring books, and they expressed interest in seeing more of her art, so when we got home I emailed links to the galleries. After lunch I mowed the front and left side lawns. It was a beautiful warm day. For me this took a lot of energy with the petrol-powered machine without any of that power driving the wheels. So I took several naps right out there on the grass when I got tired. The result made it worthwhile. We had asked psw Christan if he would come in the afternoon and he did, at 4. After supper we watched our current Netflix series, 'High Seas,' and then the second half of 'Clive Davis - The Soundtrack of our lives' - magic. I had listened to the audiobook of 'Clive Davis - The Soundtrack of my life' in 2016, and written a detailed review. Till then I had hardly noticed Whitney Houston. That book turned me into an avid fan.

Sat May 7

By 6 my pain was back, so I took another hydromorphone. which lasted all day as a painkiller, but I was very fatigued all day. After Alison's visit and his breakfast, he lay on the couch, so I took the opportuity to mop his floor with disinfectant. Then I did the same with the bathroom. Steve came into the kitchen after I'd told him lunch was ready, but instead of walking to his chair, he stopped at the central counter, appearing to study in detail anything within his reach. I let him be, since usually he'll move on. Not this time. Suddenly there was a bang as he fell back on the floor, and his shoulder hit the walker. We were both intantly with him. This was not (yet) a TIA. He was cooperative, grabbing the counter top with both hands, which enabled us to lift him back on his feet, and then to seat him in the walker, and move him to the lunch table where he immediately started drinking soup and eating his bagel. He didn't finish either. After 15 minutes he had slipped into TIA19. TIA18 had been in 26 April, 11 days ago. I pulled him in the walker to his bed where he stayed till dinner time. Lovejoy and I corresponded about the problem he is having following an accident in the church parking lot when he was sideswiped to the driver's door by a church bus. It turned out Lovejoy had never got round to completing the paperwork wih the Traffic Department, so as of now the car is still in my name! here's one of his emails:
Thanks for your reply Mr Tony. I would appreciate it soon. By Monday I have to send all the outstanding they need. Yes the car is still in your name. When I wanted to go sort things out at the traffic end of January that is when my mum passed away and I spend a lot and thought I will do it around March after I had given you that other balance. So I was in the process of changing the car into my name when this incident happened. So I told the insurance that I bought the car from you and the car was mine but was not yet in my name and I showed the all the papers of the car. So with the insurance here I heard they always have a way of avoiding to pay for their client's damage or try to pay little money though they know that their client was wrong. so an adviser with that some experience told me that with the kind of money I have paid for the car was cheap compared to the cost of the damage to fix the car because it's a benz the costs are high and if the insurance heard the price they will by all means try to avoid paying for the damage at a good and better place which does a great job. so one client consultant said you must just write a letter saying you sold the car to me before leaving back to your country. and signed all the traffic papers needed for me to change the car into my name including the car papers. that's all. so the letter is needed and your iD copy certified. thank you.
Here's the letter I wrote for him to sent to the insurer:
7 May 2022
Mr Nazam Jacobs
Ref Your insured Worcester Christen Gemeente, Policy 208445383
Accident involving your insured and my 2004 Mercedes E270 CD1 earlier this year.
Before our plan to leave South Africa for our home country Canada on 18 December 2021, we had completed all the necessary transfer documentation from the Traffic Department in Worcester, leaving that documentation and the complete service file of the car with Lovejoy Nyaruwo, the buyer. I did not ask Mr Nyaruwo to sign any additional sales agreement. I had known him well for four years and I felt the Traffic Department’s transfer documentation was adequate. Mr Nyaruwo had paid me half the asking price by EFT, and said he would pay the rest as soon as he had the funds. This was acceptable to me, and he has indeed paid the majority of the agreed price. He had also accompanied me to the Traffic Department on 14 November and paid the full price for the licence disc for 2022.
Shortly after we arrived in Canada, Mr Nyaruwo’s mother died in Zimbabwe. He went there for some time to oversee funeral arrangements and be with family members. I suspect that this event got in the way of his returning to the Traffic Department promptly. In fact I now understand that he has not yet returned there. The result of this is that I am still the registered owner of the car, as I have discovered in the last 24 hours.
The purpose of this letter is to assure you that the sale of the car was indeed legitimate, certainly from my perspective, even though the paperwork has not been completed.
I enclose photographs of my passport. As a foreigner in South Africa, volunteering to help the poorest of the poor in Worcester townships, I do not have a South African ID. The logistics of having a certified copy of my passport sent to you will not be possible within your time frames, but I hope the second photograph gives the passport legitimacy.
Yours faithfully

I didn't say this to Lovejoy, but his inefficiency with the transfer of ownership is somewhere between criminal and comical.

Fri May 6

My night was unsettled because of the pain from the wound. At 4 am I took a Celebrex as an experiment and it made no difference whatsoever. So at 6 I took Tramacet as I had done yesterday and by 8 I was fine. 10 minutes later we were woken by the front doorbell - Alison. After she had done Steve I got him his breakfast, and then finally I got to shave and wash. I couldn't find the T-Shirt that I had been wearing as a pyjama top. I'm inserting this comment three days later, and it still hasn't come to light. I went through my sparce stock of shirts of any kind so far unpacked and found a new smart blue T-Shirt that Sydney had given me on our arrival. I decided to use it in bed, and like it a lot in that role. Somewhere I have the Blackburn Hamlet T-Shirt that I have used in bed, so Sydney's gift will be restored to daytime use. About 8:30 a call came through from TGH to see how I was doing after my biopsy. Around noon L-A pulled the large dressing off my biopsy wound and replaced it with a plaster covering just the hole with stitches. It appears and feels healthy. While I still had my shirt off Chantelle got through to us on a FB Messenger video call. She was cheerful and seemed in a good state - not starving. What she wanted was R400 for school fees. On the spot I was nudged to let her have it. We went to Cloverdale Dental for 1pm. Sunnybrook had asked that L-A have a full dental review, and a statement from the dentist that she is safe for them to use the drug Adjuvant Zoledronic Acid. This can lower the chance of cancer spreading, particularly to bones, but it can have side effects on teeth. She will first have to have some fillings, but after that her new dentist said she would be able to take Adjuvant. While she was being examined I had a Chinese meal in the food court, and then bought a bag of flax seed after reading a glowing report of its healing properties in Bulk'n Bits, a store I had previously ignored that sells many nutrition raw materials. When L-A emerged she had an A & W burger. So the only one to be fed when we got home was Steve, and he had steak and eggs - the steak he had left on his plate the previous night. Steve then came outside with me, and remembered that the lawnmower needed a few squirts of 'quick-start' which I was able to find in the garage, and then, lo and behold, it started, and I mowed most of the front lawn, which was all I had energy for. After sitting down for a while I drove to Shoppers to collect one of Steve's morning prescriptions, and then to the IDA for for my hydromorphone. Half an hour later I popped it in with orange juice. Any benefits of my morning tramacet had long passed, so it will be interesting to see what happens. At 10pm I was still feeling the benefits of the opiod on my mind: alert, ready to engage, not sad or worried. But the pain from the wound had returned, if not in full force. We'll see what transpires when I am trying to sleep tonight. I heared an omminous sound from Steve's room. and as I entered he was trying to pee into the teaput, and missing completely, covering the floor area near his bed. I got kitchen roll and wiped it up. Since he was compus mentos I shared an idea with him, that his problem with aiming his stream is because he is uncircumcised. As we used to say in school, he is a cavalier and I am a roundhead.

Thu May 5

It was a long night, as the pain kept waking me. It was expected because I had been given a prescription for hydromorphone, though I mustn't drive for 24 hours to get it! At 4 am I decided to take a tramacet tablet, and when I got up at 8 all the pain from the wound had gone, and I was feeling happy, ready for the day and efficient. L-A recommended I get the hydromorphone rather than using up my stock of tramacet. I won't be driving till tomorrow. I took a photo of the large dressing covering the wound in my side. We had a pleasant breakfast, after which I got photos from Blackberry and the iPhone and posted them to Flickr, including the photos I had recently taken of L-A's artwork found in the garage. I added links from some of these to this journal. L-A removed the large dressing from my side, and underneath there was a much smaller stitched up wound. Later in the afternoon I called Dr Lindholm and he gave me an appointment next Thursday to remove the stitches. Steve was in a convivial mood all day. I called Seniors for Seniors on 416-48-2733 and after asking for their rates for senior sitting, completed an application verbally. The rate for senior sitting is $28.50 per hour and a minimum of 3 hours. With tax that would be a minimum of ~$100. Tara suggested that Steve could probably be left for up to 3 hours alone. The grass needs to be cut. After lunch I failed to get the lawnmower to start. I spoke to Steve and he said there is a separate knob or lever to push. He attempted to draw a picture (better than I expected) but I'll get him to show me when it's sunny. My side started to become tender mid afternoon and I took a couple of basic Tylenol which helped for a time. We had M&M steak for dinner as a special treat. After dinner I checked the UHN Patient Portal and found Dr Kujawas's report:

PREOPERATIVE DIAGNOSIS: Left pleural thickening, pleural effusion, mesothelioma.
POSTOPERATIVE DIAGNOSIS: Left pleural thickening, pleural effusion, mesothelioma. Extensive parietal pleural disease with tumor involving the entire visualized parietal pleura including diaphragmatic portion; extensive intrapleural adhesions; 400 cc of serosanguineous pleural effusion
CLINICAL NOTE: Mr. Copple is a pleasant 81-year-old presenting with left pleural thickening and effusion. This is suspicious for mesothelioma. He was brought into ITSS Suite for left awake thoracoscopy, pleural biopsy. Informed consent was obtained prior to procedure.
OPERATIVE NOTE: The patient was brought to ITSS Suite and hemodynamic monitoring was initiated. After a surgical pause, the patient was placed in the right lateral decubitus position for left-sided procedure. Thoracic ultrasound was performed identifying multiloculated left pleural effusion above the left hemidiaphragm. We marked the site for insertion of the port in the posterior axillary line at approximately the seventh intercostal space. The patient was then prepped and draped in a sterile fashion. SENSORCAINE was infiltrated all the way down to the pleural space, performing intercostal nerve block in this manner. Then, we performed 1 cm incision at the anesthetized site and through it, we performed blunt dissection of soft tissues of the chest wall all the way down to the pleural space. Pneumothorax was induced with no difficulty. We inserted a semi-rigid Thoracoport into the chest and through it, a semi-rigid thoracoscope.
FINDINGS: There were extensive intrapleural adhesions. Some of them appeared to have been broken on entry into the chest. We used the rigid forceps to remove some of this fibrinous debris. Then, we drained approximately 400 cc of serosanguineous fluid. We visualized the pleural space.
There appears to be partial pleurodesis with some of the lung apically being adherent to the chest wall. There was extensive parietal pleural disease with thick tumor involving the entire visualized parietal pleura. There was also disease on the diaphragmatic pleura
We performed multiple rigid forceps biopsies of the parietal pleural tumor. Some bleeding was noted. We controlled that with 110 cc of cold saline. After ensuring hemostasis at the end of procedure, we removed the scope from the patient and inserted a 20-French chest tube into the pleural space through the port. The tube was secured to the chest wall with 0 silk suture and connected to Pleur-Evac under water seal. The patient was discharged in stable hemodynamic condition to Recovery after he was awakened by the Anesthesia Team in the Endoscopy Suite. No immediate complications.
Overall blood loss about 100 cc.
FOLLOWUP PLAN: The patient will receive routine post-awake thoracoscopy care. If there are no complications, he will be discharged home with followup with Dr. De Perrot to review pathology results.
Thank you for allowing us to take part in the care of this pleasant gentleman.
Dictated by: Dr. Katarzyna Czarnecka-Kujawa, MD FRCPC
Respirology Interventional Thoracic Surgery

Wed May 4

I woke several times in the night, sure that it must be time to rise and go to the hospital. Evenutally it was. I dutifully had a bath and washed my hair. Eating and drinking were not allowed after midnight. Soon it was 5:45 and the taxi arrived. We were at Kipling station before 6, and I was at the hospital by 6:30, half an hour early. I waited in the surgery admissions room until endescopy opened at 7. Soon I had almost nothing but the blue smock on, and my clothes and teeth and phone and glasses were bagged. A passing-by nurse tied the back of my smock because I can never do that. Pre-admission started soon, with a drip set up into my lower left arm, which took her two tries to be satisfied, and lots of questions answered. It was explained that I wouldn't be having a general anaesthetic, but something between local and general because they needed to gauge my reactions. They asked me for Bob Stambula's name and number. Dr Kujawa came by to say hello. She was in mufti and beautiful. I was wheeled into the Interventional Thoracic Surgery Suite. Here there was a group of about 7 doctor-like people all eager to get to work on me and having animated conversations; I assume most were learners in this teaching hospital. It took quite a while for them to get me how they wanted me, on the operating table and wired and tubed up. Around this time the drip in my arm began to be more and more painful. I brought this to the attention of the anaesthetists and they decided to abandon the drip feed and inject numbing agents into my fingers and hand, which sounds umpleasant, but I was OK with it when the pain in my arm subsided. A Sony screen was wheeled into a position from where I could see it. I don't know if that was intentional. When they were ready, the process started. A lot of things happened around my body and at some stage (although I didn't know it because of local sedation) they made a 1 cm hole in my side to insert the endoscope, a tube with a light, a camera and medical forcepts for fishing for suspected malignant tissue. I was watching the whole thing through the eye of the camera. There was a lot of talking from more than one group. I couldn't tell which part of my chest or pleural area they were looking at, and I wasn't able to tell when they (hopefully) reached the tumour at the top of my chest. Because of the semi-general anaesthetic I had moments when what I was seeing on the screen morphed into other colourful images and the process became more like a dream. It wasn't painful, but when they pulled off tissue with the forcepts I definitely felt a sensation in my body. The process went on for about an hour and then they wound down. Nurses disconnected me from electrodes, and soon I was wheeled back into a recovery room. I wasn't feeling bad or in pain - still sedated. Soon I noticed that pleural fluid was draining through a tube out of my lung area. They brought a battery powered X-Ray machine to measure the before and after statuses of the draining, but I didn't get to see the images. I heard later they had drained a litre. Around noon I was pronounced well enough to get out of bed and start dressing. Soon I had retrieved my clothes and bag with my teeth and phone, etc., and I dressed. The first thing I needed on standing was a pee and I found a washroom. I was a little dizzy so I was extra careful not to fall. My kind blonde nurse brought me some apple juice, and soon she escorted me down to the entrance floor. She had called Bob 10 minutes before and he should be arriving very soon. As I exited from the main door, I saw his grey Audi, and he was walking towards me. It was a good feeling to be with him, and soon we were driving through streets I remembered from 1987, including Adelaide St. West, where the Data General downtown office was located. Then on to the Gardiner Expressway, and eventually the 427 and Rathburn. Bob came in and said hello to L-A. I of course felt great to be home. I got the lunch ready and told L-A and Steve about my day. I didn't feel like doing anything mentally strenuous, but I thought it would nice to watch the rest of the investigative documentary on Netflix: The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes. We had seen the first 40 minutes a week ago. It's better than the disparaging review on Roger L-A slept from 4 and I forgot to put the frozen chicken pie in the oven till nearly 6, so we didn't eat till 7. My side was getting more painful by the hour and I went to bed about 10.

Tue May 3

By this time tomorrow the medical information will have been made available to the mesothelioma team led by Dr De Perrot at TGH that will decide the status of my illness and may determine events for the rest of my life. However, I never forget that God created us as healing machines, and there is plenty of evidence that he is well capable of speeding up that healing process. So I have an attitude of hope as today becomes tomorrow. I was at TGH by 10, and began with a Covid Test. Then a chest X-Ray, followed by bloodwork and an ECG. Everything was conducted efficiently and in friendliness. I was home in time to cook lunch. I took out the garbage, washed my (only) vest, and called Beck Taxis to pick me up at 5:45 tomorrow morning. This afternoon at 2pm was the International online Alpha Conference from UK. The first guests to speak were Rachel and Siya Kolisi, he the very successful South African rugby captain, and the first black one ever. The whole conference lasted about 3 hours and was uniformly excellent. I was preparing the dinner and checking email when I noticed about 10 emails from the UHN Patient Portal advising me that the results of today's tests had been posted. The results were not too uplifting. For example four aspects of my blood count are abnormally low - i.e. nearly half the measurements. They let me see the chest X-Ray and it was much the same as a few weeks ago - half my left lung obscured by the pleural effusion. My ECG was 'abnormal.' The Covid test was negative. However there was one test that I chose to read as encouraging: 'Brain natriuretic 48.3 pg/ml = 99.9. Was that a percentage? I later checked that is is nothing to do with how well my brain is working; it's a test of succeptibility to heart attack, and my result is good. A lot of stuff for Dr De Perrot to mull over. About 9:30 I took a shower, and am required to take another one in the morning, and wear clean clothes. This is to minimize the chance of any infection entering my body in the plastic tube. We had good news on the form of a tax rebate from CRA for tax year 2020, the one when they demanded all the medical records. The rebate was $1,301.06.

Mon May 2

First thing I did today was to make an inventory of all the foods in the downstairs freezer, and the cans and packages on the floor near the door. After breakfast I persuaded Steve to try on the second pair of pants that Tara had bought him (for $84). Both pairs seem to have been designed to meet the new fashions that young men demand, but are impractical, and certainly for a 93 year old. They stay up with elastic, and have drawstrings that he can handle but take him a while. L-A had a 1-on-1 Zoom with Brian Britton at noon, and I listened into. This was really fine mentorship. I called Shoppers and asked them to order two of Steve's medications that are low. I printed off an application form to replace his lost health card, getting the number on his health card from Dr Judah's office. Now I need 3 types of ID. Dr Zane Jackson confirmed that L-A will have a biopsy to her right breast, with a pre-consultation on 10 May. She will need some special skin cream, Emla, in preparation for the biopsy. Dr Jackson also wants to see the disks of the recent mammogram and ultrasound from Richmond Gardens, but when I called them they said that all she would need was the report that they could fax to her. I left a message for Dr Jackson, querying this. In the afternoon I went to Shoppers for the Emla for L-A. She has known about some sort of nodule there for years, but it wasn't thought to be malignant. As I was getting out of the car my phone rang. Dr Jackson or her assistant had already taken the initiative to call Richmond Gardens and state that she did need the scan, not just a report. So after Shoppers I drove there and picked up the disk. Back home I felt very weary and slept 2 hours, while L-A worked alone on our lamb meatball dinner. After dinner I mopped the kitchen floor before we watched the news and the final episode of Jaguar, our usualy exciting evening routine.

Sun May 1

Steve didn't really want to get up for breakfast - unusual - so he lay in for an hour. He had taken off his wet diaper in the night, without putting on a dry one. When the bed linnen got wet, he kicked it onto the floor. I'll wash it all today. L-A had a chill and wasn't feeling well. I decided not to leave her alone to be in charge of the strange things that go on here from time to time, so we both watched the CTF service on line. I went though the preparation materials and calls that I had received from TGH in advance of my biopsy. Actually the correct name for what I am having is a Pleuroscopy. At lunch, Steve was again a no-show. He may have been having a TIA on his bed. In the afternoon I updated my ~4 monthly net worth spreadsheet. Since the last one when we were at Kevin's, I had withdrawn $14,415 to pay a Poulin special assessment from our non-registered fund, and the markets had had a very recent serious reversal, meaning our investments had fallen about $49,000! I should redo the figures after the TSX and other markets recover. There was however good news on the investment front. I went to a realtor site in Ottawa and posted a message that I was interested in condos in the Britannia area. An hour later the realtor phoned me. I admitted I was just looking for a valuation on our condo. He said a unit sold a week or so ago for $346.000, and there had been quite a few sales in the past few months. This is probably because peope couldn't afford the special assessment. Since I have kept the value of our unit at $260,000 for 4 years, it is good that it has risen probably $80,000, in line with rising property prices across North America. I woke Steve about 3:30 and suggested he come for his lunch, which I heated up. It is the first time he was late to eat twice in one day. It didn't seem to affect his appetite at 7 when we ate together.

Sat Apr 30

Tara had told us last evening that she would pick up Steve at 9:10 (previously 8:30) to take him to the bank. I was very careful to ensure he had dry briefs and trousers, and a warm coat, and he was ready in good time, having had breakfast. Tara's arrival was on the dot, and off they went to pay his income tax bill, and then have chicken wings. In the morning I surveyed various anti-virus products and selected Norton's basic offering at a first year cost of $32.59. I don't want a repeat of Thursday night's hack if I can avoid it. I do have Window's Defender, and a free McAfee, which it was necessary to uninstall. Download and installation were lengthy but trouble free. One of the free options was a secure password storage vault. Steve was dropped off by Tara about 1pm, and the first thing he said was 'when's lunch?' So we had regular lunch. Lynn emailed to say neither of the dates I had supplied to collect our stuff were good for her, and she would give me more options. She also suggested I rent a U-Haul and collect from everybody. I replied explaining why this wasn't possible, including my health. Apparently she has the boxes that Brenda DesRoches had looked after. We had found more pieces of art in the garage, and I got them down. Many were early works by L-A. They'll go up on Flickr in the next day or so. For GNiTM morning tomorrow I started on some audio files of Dave Kemp's sermons I had kept since 2016/17, and the first one is 'Our Town,' a very brave indictment of the seedier side of Carlton Place, which I remember well.

Fri Apr 29

On this second day without anti-inflamatories or vitamins I was beginning to feel weaker and not my normal happy self. We went to Cloverdale for L-A's dental appointment as required by Sunnybrook only to find we were a week early. It was correct in my calendar but I hadn't checked the calendar! It wasn't a wasted trip however, because I was able to collect her new accessible parking permit at Service Ontario. My computer was working fine today - no signs of yesterday's attack. However, it is entirely possible that that hacker can now access my machine. If Windows Defender didn't stop him, I need something else, starting with a screen lock. I needed to look at my MasterCard statement and saw that I had been billed $2 by JustAnswer, and then $66. I checked a number of things - they appeared legit - and then spoke to their customer service who said that as soon as I set up an account I was billed for the first month. I cancelled the account, but I'll have to eat the $66. I decided it was high time to wash our bed linen for the first time since we came. The sheets are huge, but the washer and dryer handled them well on two separate loads. In the afternoon I tackled more of the broken links on the Kanata Page, in the resources section. At dinner I tried to open a bottle of sparking rosé, but for the first time in my life failed to do so. L-A had wanted to celebrate her new accessible parking permit. I'll work on the bottle tomorrow evening using some leverage - and then we'll celebrate.

Thu Apr 28

This was my first day without anti-inflamatories or vitamins as required by Toronto General Hospital in the 7 days before my biopsy next Wednesday. I called Waste Management (800-665-1898) and they confirmed I could bring in the wood from the fence. Mid morning I planted the daffodils that Kate from Humber Valley United had brought at Easter. They are now in the front garden outside 'Tara's' room, and should bloom again in a year. Then I loaded all the wood that hadn't been picked up by neighbours into the trunk of the Malibu. There was just enough room. I checked my email and the CRA pointed me to MyAccount. I logged in there and there were 3 new messages relating to my re-assesement after they disallowed all our medical expenses for year 2020 until they had reviewed the actual receipts, which I had sent them a couple of months ago. The good news was that there was a tax rebate on its way of $1,301.06. This compares with the $1,282.06 demand last year after they disallowed our medical expenses. The other main news was that they said I hadn't told them that my expenses year was not the calendar year, so they had calculated everything based on calendar year. This misunderstanding arose because I had stated my expenses year began 22 October on my uFile return, but this information doesn't find its way to the tax return(!). I certainly can't find it there. So I called the CRA and queried this, and they confirmed that for 2021 and subsequent years I should use the calendar year. After lunch we made shortbread, and then I drove to Waste Management at 260 New Toronto St. At a kiosk I was told they had a minimum rate to drop off anything of $50. I asked him if he knew anywhere cheaper, and he said there were several places on Shorncliffe, north of North Queen. I drove there and the first one I saw was at 51 Shorncliffe, tel 46-239-2009. I figured it would be cheaper than Waste Management. I drove up a ramp where the car was weighed. On the green light I drove on and a man directed me to back into an alcove. I got all the wood out and stacked it by a wall. Around me were mountains of garbage. I drove back up the ramp and the car was weighed again. At the office they calculated that the price was $30. I asked him what would happen to my wood. He said it would be shipped to Michigan where they would process it for recycling. I was relieved that I'd got this far without being stopped by the police - though I had loaded the car carefully for safety. I drove home to tea and warm shortbread with my sweetheart. Now the wood was gone, it can rain or snow tomorrow and the front yard will look good when Tara gets here. About 5:15 my computer screen lit up with an apparent security alert from Windows Defender. There was a number I must call to get back control of my machine. I rebooted, but the same screen came up. I decided to call the number, and a man calling himself David Brandon with an Asian (?) accent guided me through the process of getting my machine cleaned up. He ran a series of scans in dos mode which he said proved that our local network of 2 computers and 2 phones was being monitored and watched for the last 48 hours. Laurie-Ann didn't like what she was hearing of the situation, particularly after he had asked that her machine be switched off. Brandon had by now opened a secure line to my phone to prevent the hackers listening, and he said his number was 301-539-2580, and his Employee ID at Microsoft was MS4147382. He said the hack was at 4:30 AM the previous night (when my computer was switched off). He said any credit or debit cards with numbers beginning 5,6,3 and 4 had been hacked. He asked that I check my banks and credit cards for the last 48 hours for unusual transactions. There were none. Then he said he wanted to call my bank, and put me on via the secure line he had set up so I could advise them of the hack. But when the bank asked for my debit card number, my suspicions became severe enough to pull the plug on him. He had said that when I was speaking to the bank he would not be able to monitor the call, but I didn't believe him. We had dinner then, and after dinner my machine appeared normal. I searched for Microsoft help and was directed to, which I assumed was a Microsoft facility. I briefly described my experience and asked if it was a scam. I had to pay $2 to get that far, requiring me to give them my credit card number. I was put on to a specialist, Dan Potts, who, after my initial brief statement of my experience, pronounced it to be a well-known scam. That was a relief, so when I got an email from them inviting me to open an account with JustAnswer, I did - that was a mistake.

Wed Apr 27

Slava was due at 8, so I rose at 7:30. While she was washing Steve I checked the oven. The oven cleaner had done an excellent job; when I cleaned it off with kitchen roll the oven looked better than ever. I attacked the few remaining burn marks with our SA cleaner. L-A finished preparing Scotch Broth from the stock from our recent lamb roast, and we set it to cook on the stove. I took Steve to his 3-monthly visit with Dr Judah. I had a list of his current pills, and the TIA history, plus comments on his increasing incontinence and 'confusion,' which he readily admitted to when the doctor asked him how he was. The TIA history was a worry, but Dr Judah thought there may be other explanations, such as seizures. He listened to his lungs and measured his blood pressure. Many aspects of Steve's health are satisfactory. Nevertheless, Dr Judah wanted more accurate diagnoses for the things that ail him, so he will set up appointments at Etobicoke General for an ECG, for neurological tests and a brain scan. We have a next appointment with him at 11:30 on 1 June. It was cold going home and Steve had to walk for 5 minutes back to the car, but he managed it well with his cane. Back home we lunched on Scotch Broth and bagels. My day so far had been good, despite the switch from Feramax to Pharmanex iron. About 4 pm in a break from helping with evening meal preparations, I broke down the final garden fence panel and piled up the planks, then raked last autumn's leaves that had been beneath it. I had been in touch with Chantelle who said she had TB and debts. Today she sent me photos of her confirmation at Easter, 10 days ago, which I posted on FaceBook. It melted my heart. I sent her R500, less than she had asked, but will certainly help her. As I was working on this, Google showed me a video called From science to God, by Dr Sy Garte. This had many parallels with my own faith journey, and on FB I said "this one's for you, Carlos F.

Tue Apr 26

I got up late. When I finished some journal updates, and wanted to check something on my calendar, I saw that TGH would be phoning any time after 10, which was in 10 minutes. They had actually left two reminder messages on my voicemail. The prep nurse, Leslie, called with various instructions. No Aleve or vitamins for 7 days before the biopsy, but can take Tylenol. Shower in the morning before I come, and wear clean clothes. No ring. Bring a bag for glasses, dental plate and phone. Expect to go home 1 - 2pm. Bob Stambula needs to know that. By the time the call was over, L-A was tired of waiting for me and had started preparing the breakfast, with grunts and groans. Steve had fallen into TIA18. This was the first since 15 April, 10 days ago! We let him sleep it off, but then he did have his breakfast. An hour later an anaesthetist called and told me it would be a semi - general anaesthetic. I would be very drowsy, but wakeable. The drugs they would have given me would make me feel good, but with reduced judgement facility. So I must not drive or make financial decisions for 24 hours. So now I knew the real reason I needed Bob to take me home. Steve was still very drowsy. L-A had an appointment with Richmond Gardens X-Ray etc at noon, but we weren't comfortable with leaving Steve in his present condition. So I called and postponed the appointment till 4 this afternoon. Steve was well enough to lunch with us about 1:30. We left for Richmond Gardens at 3:15. L-A had taken a Diclofenac and a Celebrex to try and prevent any reoccurence of the visit here last Saturday. It worked. She and the walker almost waltzed through the corridors from the rear entrance and elevator. On our arrival we found that this 'repeat' appointment wasn't for the mammogram again, but for an ultrasound requested by Dr Lindholm. She disappeared into the ultrasound room. They had asked us to bring the report on her previous mammogram, which is on a memory stick. But they found that the technology used in Worcester Radiology was different from theirs and they couldn't display it. However, they made a copy of the files and will investigate whether it can be converted. Going home was straightforward except she felt more dizzy than usual. She thought it was she'd taken the Celebrex as well as the Diclofenac, so next trip out she'll stick to just Diclofenac. Steve was fine after being alone for shortly more than an hour. I had another go at the fence post and after sawing for 5 minutes, I was able to knock it over with my shoulder. Back inside helping with dinner preparation I felt extremely fatigued. Maybe I had got too energetic with the post. When the dinner was ready I went to Steve's room but he said he just wanted to sleep more. This wasn't like him at all. I said I would keep his dinner for him. We watched the first episode of 'Jaguar' on Netflix, because it stars Blanca Suarez - Lydia from Cable Girls. We weren't disappointed by this triller about tracking down ex-membes of the Nazi high command as they attempted to escape Europe. Steve woke up ready for his dinner about 9:15, in a good state. L-A was planning a roast for tomorrow and the oven had been smoking recently, so I squirted in some of Carol's overnight oven cleaner spray. There was a loud knock on the door, with flashing lights outside. With my mind still cogitating about post-war Spain in 'Jaguar' I had thoughts about a police visit to arrest us all. But it was UPS with the Nu Skin delivery: Overdrive and the new Iron product from Pharmanex. So when I prepared my pills for early morning I decided to take 2 Iron (18 mg total) instead of Feramax (150 mg) on the basis that Pharmanex would have ensured the iron would be highly absorbable. I also had my last Overdrive for a week since TGH said no more vitamins till after the biopsy.

Mon Apr 25

To be at Sunnybrook Hospital by 9:30 - taking Steve with us - we needed to be up by 7. We were - but he was up earlier. After I persuaded him to change his briefs and put on fresh trousers, he joined us for breakfast. He was in good spirits. I remembered two other things in addition to the package I had prepared over the last few days - the memory stick with the SA mammogram, and to take an Overdrive. We left the house about 8:15, and drove for the most part along Lawrence Ave W, which we rightly surmised to be less busy than the 401 at this time. Although it sounds like a routine drive, I was conscious of the fact that if I lost concentration even for a second and we were in an accident, our present circumstances would change from instability and an uncertain future to a national state of disaster, to borrow from South Africa's emergency preparedness states. Maybe thanks to prayer we not only arrived in time at Sunnybrook, but managed to park in a disabled spot next to an elevator that took L-A a few steps with her walker from the main entrance to M building. I escorted her but didn't enter, and was relieved when I saw an orderly offer to take her on a wheel chair to M6. I returned to the car and Steve and a pleasant chat. Over the next 2+ hours we chatted and dozed and L-A and I texted. Steve talked about wanting a pee, but when I brought him the small plastic urinal, he wasn't able to perform. Eventually L-A emerged having met separately with Drs Andrea Eisen and Amanda Roberts. She was well pleased, and came with future appointments in June and October. We returned via the 401 to Java Joe's where we lunched on very think egg salad sandwiches and European cookies. At one point Steve insisted on eating the egg from inside his sandwich with a wooden sugar stirer, in danger of dropping the egg into the coffee. Back home, after collecting an M&M order, I had 5 minutes sawing the post in the garden before the forecasted rain started. Steve is exhibiting more signs of dementia. He often thinks he is somewhere completely different, often a place from earlier in his life. During our drive today he told us the car's brakes needed attention, and then recommended a mechanic he used to work with but could no longer remember the name of. The brakes are fine, and it turned out when I questioned him later that he was hearing uneven road noise and blaming the brakes. He quite often brings up subjects that exist only in his mind. Skills he used to have he has now forgotten. I am wondering if I should explain that it is the nature of his illness that he would forget such things, and not to get upset with L-A should she tell him how to do it. He hates being told to do anything, treating it as an insult to his intelligence. We video-called Amanda, who on top of her many other medical conditions has now been diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. She wants a second opinion, and will probably get it. She isn't too impressed by the doctor who gave her the first opinion. she lost 100 lb a year ago and looked and seemed much better than we remembered her from 4 years ago. When I took Steve his half pill, he dropped the water glass on the floor and it broke. I think he may have been in the early stages of a TIA.

Sun Apr 24

L-A wasn't keen to go to church, after her sudden knee problem yeterday, but I went. I was feeling a little glum, and I needed some energy from outside myself. There was plenty of energy in the sanctuary, as our favourite guitarist played bass really well and sang. After Lilian Brown's message, I went to the coffee shop and got L-A an oatmilk latte. This was very well received when I got home. After lunch L-A processed the bone from the leg of lamb from last week, producing lots of stock for scotch broth. In the afternoon I demolished the second last fence panel, piling the planks neatly to make it easier for people to take them. I studied the route to Sunnybrook hospital and made a time plan. Steve and I get up at 7 tomorrow and have breakfast at 8. Our dessert at dinner was the last of the beigli with berries and cream.

Sat Apr 23

Most of my morning was spent preparing all possible medical reports and other items for Sunnybrook on Monday. We left Steve alone a couple of hours when we went to Richmond Gardens X-Ray & Ultrasound for the mammogram that Lindholm had arranged. They have a back door allowing elevator access to Unit 202 on the 2nd floor, but since it wasn't close to the surgery, a nurse called Jeanne offered to walk me to it. She even said she'd meet me there in 5 minutes with a wheel chair. So we parked round the back and met her, but the chair was too small for L-A. So she got all the way to the surgery using her walker. After the various registrations, they invited her to come to the room with the mammogram machine, but since arriving, L-A's left leg had become virtually unuseable, as happens occasionally. Jeanne had an idea. They had a stool with 4 wheels, and when L-A sat on it, I could push her to the mammogram room. The mammogram proceeded normally. When she came out Jeanne and I got her to the car. I pulled the walker, L-A sat on the stool and held the walker handles, and Jeanne pushed the stool, the hardest job. She came originally from Guyana a long time ago and has 3 granchildren in Canada. She had gone far beyond the normal expectation for nursing service. Mid afternoon I worked on the broken parts of fence in the front garden, pulling off more planks and adding them to piles, and starting to saw off the post just below grass level. I will do more sawing on sunny days. I went to the Richmond Gardens web site and found a place for comments, so wrote a strong endorsement of Jeanne's help for us.

Fri Apr 22

The two birds that slept under the awning two days ago slept there last night. It seems they are regular visitors. I spent the majority of the day reimagining and reprogramming The Kanata Page. Over four years many of the links no longer worked, particularly links to substantial organizations. Quite a few links were broken because the entities they pointed to no longer existed, based on Google searches. It seems change is a constant here as elsewhere. I removed all party political material that can change every 4 years or less, reducing the maintenance load in the future. Joan Duffy had sent me a Nu Skin order worth $300+. Instead of sending her the goods myself I wanted to send them as from a member of my downline. This would earn me a 5% commission. I checked the Nu Skin site and found that I only have one remaining downline member: Bill Albrecht. I called him and he put me on to Vickie. She kndly brought me up to date with his health situation, cancer of the vocal chords, which has miraculously responded to immune therapy treatment. They were happy to give me their login info so I could make the transaction for Joan. I also ordered for us an Overdrive for L-A and the new(?) Pharmanex iron supplement for me. Eric Manalang emailed to say that my appointment on 17 May was not for the eye operation to remove the oil, but a preliminary consultancy for that. He also asked if we had any relevant medical records, so I sent him 6 documents, including Dr Acton's referral. I cleaned the outside of our bedroom window to see if I could photograph our nightly ornithological visitors better, and later did do. It is blurred but recognizable. Mario the neighbour can come by a week ago and, suggested I put up a sign for free wood on Harrop Street to attract more passers by. I did. Richmond Gardens X-Ray & Ultrasound called to offer a mammogram tomorrow either at 8am or 2:30. We chose the latter. After lunch I went to the IDA to collect L-A's prescriptions. Dr. Lindholm had told me he wouldn't prescribe Muprocin to replace Banogen. The good news was that he had allowed her 180 pills of Lyrica, $96.99, for a single dispensing fee of $7.99. Not so good was that it was also $7.99 for 90 Eltroxin, costing $5.54. And Dr L had refused to renew her Celebrex, citing liver damage and other side effects at her age. He had prescribed no substitute. The best over-the-counter anti-biotic cream the pharmacist could offer for her lymphedema was polysporin. When I got home and showed what I had managed to obtain to L-A, she said she would return to low doses of Diclofenac (Arthrotec), which she still has in abundance, prescribed by Esguerra. She said there was a large bottle somewhere. It was actually on her 'dressing table' (chest of drawers) but I didn't see it. So I went through the 4 suitcases in the bedroom, then the one in the basement, then the two in the garage and finally the two trunks in the garage before I gave up the effort. I actually found it in the bedroom when I went to bed and decided to have a second search of the chest of drawers. I relate this story to illustrate the nature of our days living out of suitcases here for 3 months so far, and who knows for how long in the future. Dr Lindholm called to say he had requisitioned a mammogram. We hadn't requested this but maybe he had been reading the documentation I had provided at our initial contact. Tara messaged L-A to say she would take Steve to the bank on 30 April. I called her to say I would be happy to take him sooner than the day before his deadline, to avoid the risk of her not being able to come on that day. She passed the phone to John who said I had pestered her 3 times about this (untrue), and told me to back off from Steve's financials. Later he sent me an email stating that 'Steven' didn't want me to have anything to do with his taxes or his money. All I had done was collate his financial piles into subsections for ease of reference, submit the relevant tax documents to H&R Block, and then take him there to collect the finished return. Had I not done this, would Tara have done it? My motivation as an ex-professional financial planner for 25 years was to see that a job needed doing, and to do it, since I had the skill. It's essential now however that we minimise any further family dischord so I'll be lying low. After 43 episodes of Cable Girls we reached the end tonight. What a fine series! We also reached the end of Jeremiah in our Bible reading - 53 chapters, and almost as full of action as Cable Girls. We have really come to love Jeremiah, the man.

Thu Apr 21

I woke up with an idea to solve partially the problem with Steve peeing over the bathroom floor in addition to into the toilet. He says he doesn't do it - suggesting someone else is responsible. Anyway, my idea was to get one of those toilet carpets that fit round the base of the toilet bowl. I also needed to be sure that when Tara goes to the TD on Saturday she really will be able to settle Steve's tax bill. Delay could result in interest charges. So when I went out about noon I started with the bank. They looked at the payment form from his tax return, checked his current account was in order, and yes, Tara can deal with it. Since she has PoA, Steve doesn't have to accompany her. I then went on to Walmart, but the only toilet carpets they sell are combined with bath mats for $24. All the mats are cloth and rubber, not easy to launder. They didn't have them in beige. I went home and made one with an old towel for zero cost. It has a slot for the warm air vent. It can be laundered and dried easily. I believe it will be functional.

Wed Apr 20

It was Slava's day as psw, and as she did last Wednesday she arrived early, about 8:15, waking us up. This time she was a lot more successful getting Steve to co-operate. At breakfast when my back was turned he opened L-A's Chela-Fer pills and took one, and when I remonstrated, said that all the pills were the same. Then he said "I'm not stupid." He certainly isn't. He put two daughters through university, having not attended university hiimself. Tara confirmed that she will take Steve to the TD Bank on Saturday to pay his tax bill. She says there's enugh in his bank account to cover it. I emailed Pastor Kate at Humber Valley United Church, thanking her for bringing round daffodils at Easter, and giving her a link to Carol's art.

Tue Apr 19

I took Steve for an appointment with Nataliya at H&R Block to collect his completed tax return and sign several forms. Before signing the forms he read through (or pretended to read through) the two pages of legalise on each one, something most of us don't bother with these days, because we know that whatever the form says we can't refuse to sign, and still get the service. He was rationally behaved throughout. He had a large tax bill; Natalia explained that he was no longer able to income split since Carol's death, and he needed to increase his withholding on the Via pension to bring down his bill for next year. I paid the H&R Block bill since Tara has his credit card. I will get him to write me a cheque. At lunchtime Steve turned up with his TV controller in his hand rather than his walking stick. He is showing more evidence of confusion in daily living. The snow which came down last night wasn't in evidence today. I put out a box of metal waste from the basement and it was all taken. I posted Carol's finished art album to Flickr, and then announced it on my FaceBook. Later in the evening after seeing the number of visitors to the Flickr album rise from 1 to 21 in the day, I posted it to Carol's FaceBook (yes, it's still there) and to the FaceBooks of our 7 mutual friends. Two birds joined us for the night under the eaves of the awning above our window.

Mon Apr 18

I finished digitising Christine's CDs, moving them to their categories on the red disk, and then emailed her with a word of thanks. Then I emailed Joel Bernard with a another word of thanks. I had performance problems with uFile; maybe this bank holiday half way through April floods their site. Later in the day uFile had recovered somewhat and I keyed in a bunch more of L-A's expenses. Snow started. We had found 6 letters to Carol from the 1960s. The most interesting aspect was the stamps, so I photographed one of them and posted it on FaceBook, but I got no requests from them, so it seems than none of my 'friends' collects stamps. I was unexpectedly fatigued, and slept for an hour and a half in the afternoon, during which snow started in earnest.

Sun Apr 17 - Easter, AKA Resurrection Sunday

I got up at 8 to have Steve fed before Alison came at 9. Our plan today was to attempt to take him into Catch the Fire, but if that failed, to take him back home. However, at about 10:15 his shoes were nowhere to be found, so I decided to discuss his coming to church with him. He wasn't keen; no interest in new experiences. Tara then kindly stepped in, reminding him that he used to go sometimes with Carol, and that even when he didn't feel like it, once he was out of the house, he started having fun with the women. It was all to no avail. In the end, shortly after Tara and Kennedy left (with a bag of chocolate eggs that Kannedy could hide, and then search for), L-A and I left for church, telling Steve it was just for half an hour when I would be back. I dropped L-A at the main church door, and she went in with just her cain, not the walker. I parked for an intended 10 minutes in case of problems. After 5 minutes my phone rang. L-A had experienced a wardrobe malfunction - her prosthetic bra became unhitched at the back. I had been the one to hitch it, so I felt responsible. She couldn't continue to the service, so she asked me to take her home. When we got there Steve didn't ask any questions, but since he was lying on the couch, he got to watch the whole of the service that L-A had missed, online. It included a powerful testimony from a lady who had been in jail resulting from cocaine addiction, but after meeting God in a prison Christian meeting, she was now, 2 years later, even being re-united with her 5 children. She had attended CTF for the last 6 months. Watch here, 1 hour 8 minutes in. For dessert after lunch we had Easter bunnies - one for Steve and half of one each for us. Very tasty. Steve ate his like he was on a mission and nothing would stop him. A lady pastor from Humber Valley United Church brought daffodils for Steve, as widower to their dear congregation member! The afternoon for me was spent digitising Christine's CDs, photographing the final batch of Carol's pieces, which were on the living room walls, defrosting the downstairs freezer, and helping L-A prepare our roast lamb Easter dinner. It was a first class meal, and followed by beigli. As with the chocolate after lunch, Steve's conquest of his beigli showed a man determined. But then, something interupted him, a spasm of some kind that jerked him to the right (he normally sinks towards the left during a TIA). He had a very frightened look on his face. L-A had shouted, calling me over, and I straightened him on the chair, and soon he regained his normal state, reached for his beigli, and finished it. I have been quite fatigued today, which is normal for me the day after taking tramacet. Tomorrow should be a good day. L-A ordered me some Red Bull which arrived as part of a Sober's delivery mid afternoon, and I drank one. I find energy drinks do help when I am extra fatigued, and I haven't tried Red Bull before.

Sat Apr 16

By 8 I was ready for the day. Celebrex hadn't given me a heart attack, and tramacet was working just as well as ever, making me feel that all's right with the world, and certainly no pain in my body. At this rate of consumption, once every 3 weeks, my stock will last me months, and give me a way to ensure a great day. We had egg and chips for breakfast. I digitized a number of CDs that had come from Christine and/or Joel among ours picked up on 8 April. After my recent experience with needing my ears syringed, I realized thst something similar could be causing the problem with Laurie-Ann's Apple ear buds. Lo and behold, when I looked into the ear buds with a magnifying glass, I saw that both of them had ear wax in them! I removed it with a paperclip, and the problem was resolved. They sounded better, and with perfect stereo, than they had for years. After lunch I continued working through the CDs from Christine, digitizing a number that weren't on the red disk. Then I keyed in more medical expenses. I discovered that 'vitamins and supplements are not deductible unless recommended by a doctor to treat a health condition, such as iron pills for anemia.' So I can list my iron supplements. Steve dined with Tara and Kennedy on pizza in his room, while we had spaghetti bolognaise. We all had beigli for dessert. After dinner L-A and I watched an Easter passion play. I had continuedto feel the benefit of celebrex + tramacet all day, but tomorrow it's back to the normal routine.

Fri Apr 15 - Good Friday

I posted the CWCP broadcast of 'The Terrible Meek' to FaceBook for Good Friday. Then I listened to 'Hey Hey Rise Up.' the first new music in 30 years by Pink Floyd - David Gilmour and Nick Mason, Guy Pratt and Nitin Sawhney joined by Ukrainian singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the band BoomBox. I posted the excellent video to FaceBook. I photographed another 10 of Carol's pieces and uploaded them to Flickr. Some of them had been hard to shoot through glass with sunlight around, but on the high resolution big screen they all looked good. It was a very windy day that blew over all our garbage bins. I noticed a stranger (to me) in the side yard, who turned out to be the next door neighbour trimming down our bushes to dissuade them from damaging the intervening fence. Luckily Tara had arrived and she spoke with him at length. We had decided to have a fish meal at lunch time, it being Good Friday, and I drove to McNies on Burnhamthorpe to get it, ordering 3 portions of haddock and two of chips. Imagine my surprise when I opened the package and found 5 portions of chips - and no fish. I drove back to find I was expected. They had 3 haddocks waiting for me. TIA17 came after eating our quite nice haddock and chips. In the afternoon I checked historical exchange rates between the CAD and the ZAR for 2021, and decided to settle on the average .0848 for calculating medical expenses. I keyed in the first 10 expenses. Since we had eaten a full lunch, we had a smaller evening meal, but towards the end of it Steve slipped into TIA18, the second time we know of when he had two in one day. Tara was here to assist and in both cases we got him to safety. Healthwise I had to struggle somewhat today, with chest and lung pain, and stress. I decided, as an experiment to take a celebrex and two tramacet tomorrow morning instead of my regular selection of pills.

Thu Apr 14

I woke in the night (not unusual) to see a new face lying beside me - scary! It turned out to be her pillow with it's design artwork. I spent the morning cleaning up several web pages relating to our wedding, including the service sheet, which were full of broken links developed over 23 years. The afternoon started with adding to the Recovery Page, leading to a full refit of that excellent resource. I emailed Danielle DiPietro at saying I would love to be allocated a 'patient advocate.' Tara had messaged that she and Kennedy won't be here on (Easter) Sunday, but will come for a visit tomorrow. At first this was hard on L-A who really wanted to go to Catch the Fire for the Easter service. But we figured out a solution: I will drive her there, and then return 'home.' I'll then pick her up at the end of the service. I finished digitising the new-to-me CDs that Christine had put with ours, and labelled the boxes of CDs that we now have availanle for sale. We listened to several hours of Windows of Opportunty from 2015. I made initial steps towards filling out our 2021 tax return.

Wed Apr 13

We were woken by the doorbell ringing at 8:10. It was the Slava the Polish psw, a competant and compassionate lady. She went to his room to find him soaking, and the bed, sheet and blankets soaking. These I had laundered yesterday. He refused to let her give him a shower. Maybe he was tired after yesterday. There was one benefit from this - the dressing on his forearm would stay on a day longer. She asked me what should she do. I asked Steve to get off the bed and take off his wet trousers, but he complained that he wasn't going to take orders from me. I said she should go to her next appointment, and I would deal with him. When she had gone I told him I wouldn't be getting his breakfast unless he first cleaned himself up (take off his wet pants and diapers and put on clean). He turned over and stayed in bed. I am writing this an hour later and he's still there. By noon I had asked him if he would change his trousers and diaper, but he wouldn't. I reminded him there would be no breakfast while he was wet. The Polish psw had told me she had left a voicemail on the home phone to say she'd be coming here at 8. I decided to check the home phone voicemail. It hadn't been initialized, so she couldn't have left a message on that phone. With a little help from Google I initialized it and set it up, so now people can indeed leave messages. We had lunch at about 1:30. By then Steve had finally decided to change his trousers and diaper, so he was invited. He hadn't had any breakfast, so he happily got working on his leftover portion from last night's dinner. When he was satisfied he lay on the couch. I took the wet bedding to the washing machine. This was my chance so I swept and washed the floors in the kitchen, the bathroom and Steve's room. Then I drove to H&R Block to take Steve's second American pension statement. Nataliya should now be all set to complete his return. Laurie-Ann received the long-awaited call from Sunnybrook hosptal, with a date of 25 April for an initial appointment. We will take Steve with us. It's a great relief that her referral has finally reached its goal. L-A had noticed that my web page '50 Years On' was seriously out of date. For the next couple of hours I repaired the broken links and added additional events since I'd created the page after my Dartmouth reunion in 2008. I also updated our families page. Then I posted '50 Years On' to Facebook. Steve wandered into the kitchen and I served him the coffee and cookie he had left after lunch. I discovered him with his fingers in one of Laurie-Ann/s medications. When I asked him not to play with other people's meds he complained that I was messing with his income tax. I responded that I had just taken his tax forms to H&R Block, and sorted his filing system to make it far easier to access. When I started preparing supper, I put on 'The Gospel Music of Johnny Cash.' I hoped that as we ate Steve might put two and two together when he learned from Johnny's explicit words that one of his favourites was a strong believer. During supper L-A asked him if he had any choices for music at his funeral, which threw him through a bit of a loop. But he did say that he wanted a Christian funeral. That makes him more of an agnostic than an atheist. After Johnny Cash I played some Christian songs by Elvis. Later in the evening he asked "When would we be going home?" He thought he was in Fort Erie.

Tue Apr 12

Fried egg on crumpet with mushrooms for breakfast. After breakfast I finished sorting Steve's tax documents, and I am pretty sure I now have the property tax detail that Nataliya wanted. I cleared some metal items including a car bumper from the garage and put them on the kerb. They were quite heavy. This gave more room for soring the boxes Mercifully they were taken from the kerb some time in the next hour. I got Steve to sign cheques to me for $300 for food and $109.51 for his glasses frame and medical expenses. Jason, a sanitation inspector came to assess the need for a sump pump and later a back-flow valve for the basement. The pump would cost $4,000, less a $1,700 grant from the municipality. Jason wanted to check the water meter, and I couldn't remember where I'd seen it. I asked Steve if he knew, and much to my surprise he came downstairs and went to it, behind the bar. I drove to Cloverdale to give Steve's property tax information to Nataliya. She says that since he received the disability amount last year, it will also be claimed this year. She doesn't know for how many years his disability tax credit would have been applied for by his doctor - that form would now be in the hands of the CRA. I reported these things to Tara by email. Steve had his weirdest day since we came. He had TIA16 while already lying on the couch, talking gibberish. He went out of the front door and sat on the chair for a while. 10 minutes later I went out to see him bringing the two garbage bins back from the kerb, which I had placed there an hour earlier. At dinner I saw a bad cut on his forearm, and he admitted he had fallen on the driveway. He was in his socks. He had managed to get himself off the ground, which may be when he scraped his arm. For some of the day he talked to himself, sometimes about fantasies in his mind. After dinner we couldn't get him to leave the dining room, and he wandered around looking for tiny morsels to eat, even though he had only eaten half his main course. Eventually he went back to his room, only to re-emerge later. He asked if we could play some Johnny Cash, but at this time we declined. We watched Cable Girls together, and then as L-A read from Jeremiah, he heard it. Then we prayed including praying for him, and he stayed. Eventually he did go to bed, but compared with a 'normal' day he had had very little sleep today.

Mon Apr 11

TGH emailed with the detailed schedule of tests prior to my biopsy on 4 May, including needing to find a 'responsible person' to take me home afterwards. Continuing to work on Steve's documents for his tax return, I noticed that he received a disability amount last year. I asked Nataliya by email if this doesn't mean he is still eligible this year. Eric Manalang told me he had now received the referral from St Andrew's and would get back to me with a booking. I began checking that we had indeed digitised the CDs that I brought back from Christine, ex Joel. After dinner we watched our home movie of Carol's and Laurie-Ann's visit to New York City in 2009: New York City '09 - Travel the Road. It held Steve's attention, particularly when Carol was on screen.

Sun Apr 10

Tara had told us that there were additional financial files beside the microwave. Abstaining from church today gave me some time to work through them. Instead of continuing the 'one pile' system for his correspondence and financial files, I separated them into categories. Julia Loewen had asked how we were doing, so I sent her a resume. Neesa had also asked, so I replied with a briefer resume focussed on the biopsy. We watched the movie 'The Courier,' with Benedict Cumberbatch playing Greville Wynne, the British salesman who with Oleg Penkovsky got thousands of photographs of Cuban missial silos in 1962 and other material from the Russians, probably contributing to Khrushchev's decision not to fire the missiles. After I had gone to bed, L-A challenged Steve after finding him spooning out the Cretan Thyme and Flower honey. Apparently it was a tense moment. I had unfortunately left the honey within reach after using it on the dessert at dinner.

Sat Apr 9

Steve suffered TIA15 after breakfast. We suspect he has them occasionally when lying on his bed, that we don't find out about. In this case I got him to the couch and he sat there hardly moving for half an hour, before lying down. About half of the wood from the fence has now been taken by local residents, prompting me to recommend to Tara cancelling the contract for it to be taken away for $600. I said I thought it would all be gone in a couple of weeks, and I would saw off the one post still standing. L-A had asked Bella to confirm that Marsha's mother was ill and there was no food, but Bella reported that things seemed normal, and her mother wasn't ill, so we won't be sending a rescue donation. Bella also said the bank had charged a R10 fee on her last allowance, to I sent her R510 for the one due on Monday. It's sad that just R10 is so vital to their budgetting. I went through Steve's papers again but couldn't find the items Nataliya told me in an email that she needed - his US pension and his municipal tax statement. However Tara remembered that she had taken one of these to scan, but hadn't done so. She said that there was an additional repository of tax and other correspondence beside the microwave. There was indeed, and I will go through it tomorrow. Tara won't be visiting us this weekend because Kennedy has a birthday party on Sunday. I need to see if Steve is in receipt of the disability tax credit, and if not to arrange that. It would mean that the CBI costs (for psw) would be treated as medical expenses. Late afternoon I found time to take the boxes out of the car, and bring in some of the stuff including L-A's clothes. L-A is in extra pain in her legs, so we decided that I wouldn't go to church tomorrow but be extra support for her.

Fri Apr 8

My trip to Ottawa and back can be characterised by the following memories:
I just took one extra Overdrive. I was alert all day - not just because of the Overdrive.
I didn't scoot over to the left lane for the 401 when on the 427 at the start of the day. So I took Eglinton and drove East. The sun was a blessing (for navigation) but a nuisance (I couldn't read any street signs). After 10 - 15 minutes I picked a road to go north on, and it turned out to be the one which led to the 400, with an easy turn off to the 401, which was jammed. Eglinton had been moving fast, so the dogleg probably saved me time.
I only stopped once, for Tim Horton's coffee and a doughnut, at Trenton. After that I didn't feel the need, and I arrived at Christine Jenkins' house at exactly 1pm, as I had estimated to her. I loaded the boxes I had left with her, and also with Joel Bernard, who had moved. He had returned all the CDs that I had given him, even though I had digitized them.
Leaving Christine's I sent a text to L-A with a progress report. 2 minures later I heard the ringtone for texts from L-A. I hadn't heard this since January. We had concluded there was a problem with her phone which required technical help. But she had now successfully sent me a reply! I certainly felt it was a TKOG. Later she told be that Apple had downloaded a new revision of the software. Possibly this had been a known problem and they had fixed it. Or, just maybe, our loving Lord had delegated a technical angel to fix it.
It was so good to spend some time with Marv and Sydney. She gave me more clothes, and a good lunch. We prayed. Marv is well and takes no pills, at 88. With Sydney's help I moved the boxes and suitcase she had stored four years for us into the car. I had planned to call on Karen when I left, but Sydney thought she would soon be out with her (new) dog, so called her, and Karen arrived 15 minutes later. So now I was surrounded by two of our most faithful supporters. How good is that(!) Sydney gave me a large coffee and a muffin to see me on my way.
I drove 'home.' But first I filled up with gas on Carling ($82.31), and then popped down to Poulin to see and photographed our home with its new windows. For the rest of the journey I needed to stop just once, at Trenton, for coffee and a sweet treet. My phone rang (via bluetooth) at one point and it was Nataliya from H&R Block saying she needed more documents. I asked her to email me with the details. The 401 was moving well all the way. I got home at 9:30.
Laurie-Ann had clearly looked after Steve well, and he had not suffered a TIA - TKOG.

Thu Apr 7

Pill-wise (my regular Tylenol based selection), I think this will be a good day. I sent Tersia R500. She and Anthonica have been extremely short of money. I felt it was right to do this. Holy Spirit looks after them as well. I helped L-A do a FIT bowel cancer test and will send off the sample today. L-A received an email from Marsha Browers saying her mother was ill and there was no money in the family. James called on Messenger video (as he does most days) and showed us a great movie of Sagan opening the book Makak Makes Music that I sent on 31 March. In the mail today: material from on mesothelioma. At first glance I am on the right track. There is a curable benign version. Build up of fluid in the pleural space is definitely part of the equation. At 5 I actually met Dr Lindholm, who syringed my ears, finding significant gobs of ear wax. I should now go back to the hearing centre and see what they measure. I went on to Far East Chinese Food and ordered from a list L-A had drawn up. It turned out to be excellent and should do us for tomorrow as well.

Wed Apr 6 My 35th anniversary of arriving in Canada

L-A slept in till 10, by which time Steve and I had eaten a big breakfast: s