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Showing posts from December, 2017

The Cancer Diaries: Jennette's Year in Review

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On the eve of 2017, Jennette was looking forward to a new life, unencumbered by caregiving, armed with a new set of choppers the doctors said she would never have. Sure, she missed her dad terribly, as she did her husband who had been her wingman and drinking buddy for over 30 years.

But now, she was set. Dad had left her a tidy sum in his will, and she had inherited all of his sunny Florida-themed white furniture. She had bought a new car, and had set herself up in a tidy little apartment on Kilborn Avenue, her little dream palace.

Jennette had survived her own personal war. In her late middle age, she worked two jobs because Roger was too sick to work anymore (largely due to a rum and Camels habit that would have put Hemingway to shame). Soon after she retired from her job as an executive assistant for Canada's electronic spy agency, she found herself out of both jobs -- her other job in a clothing store had been stolen away when retail went bust -- and so she became a full tim…

The Cancer Diaries: Sex, Lies and Videotapes

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Last week, Jennette and I had the big talk.
You know the one, the talk where you set everything straight, and confess to past transgressions, lies and half-truths.
If you're a caregiver for a cancer patient, you know what I'm talking about.
Even the most solid gold hearted caregiver sometimes has to lie to the patient, if for no other reason than to keep heart and soul together.

My big lie concerned Jennette's apartment which I had to empty out over the course of about six days when she undergoing radiation at the Ottawa Hospital. Her doctor told us that Jay needed to go into assisted living, and would no longer be able to live the swinging single life at her pad on Kilborn Avenue. The oral cancer was now Stage Four, and it was inhabiting the side of her face like a burrowed squirrel.
"Unless you have someone to care for her 24/7, she might choke to death one night," he explained in that concerned oncologist voice. "You don't want to come to her apartme…

My Merry Christmas Newsletter: LOL!!

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Remember the good old days, back when there was snail mail, and your mailbox was filled with Christmas newsletters from friends near and far? I believe it was the 80s when those Christmas essays were all the rage, mailed to the masses, included in cards filled with photos of expensively dressed rich families in their matching sweaters -- including the dog.

I always hoped at least one dog bit the photographer.

I haven't gotten any in recent years. And that's because we're all entering our dotage. Those massively successful kids? The ones who went to good schools? Unemployed, divorced and living in the basement.

But some of the families are still out there. They're the ones who inherited cottages from their parents.

Anyway, I miss those cards and letters. So I thought I'd write one this year. You'll have to read it here -- like most Canadians, I cannot afford stamps.


Hello! Bonjour! Friends:

How are you!!!

We are fine, and enjoying a green De…