Sunday, April 29, 2007

An interview in which I do not jump on a sofa.

Several weeks ago, I came across a post on Izzy's blog, where she answered some questions posed to her and offering others the chance to be interviewed in return.

I realise, as I get older, that I am an attention seeker and love the chance for a little self promotion.


I hope you enjoy,


What's the ringtone on your phone?

I dislike most ringtones, and my phone is almost always on silent. However, since I lost my last phone and got a funky new one, I am loving my new sound. It's a Hong Kong-esque kitsch little jingle.

How long did your last unrequited love-affair last, and how intense was it? Anything interesting happen?

I've had so many! The last one was a journalist I worked with, whom I had trouble speaking to. I'd get all red and stammery. The jist is, after a few sambucca shots at the Christmas party I made a complete fool of myself. The upshot is that afterwards I was not only able to speak to him afterwards but also flirt outrageously with him. I eventually got over it, and haven't met anyone for a long time who got me like that.

Would you rather be 20 pounds underweight or 20 pounds overweight?
20lbs overweight. All curves and stuff.

Which do you like better: public or private transportation? (Public being something like busses or subways, and private being something like you driving yourself.)

It's weird, I used to hate buses and public transport and loved my car. Then I moved to the UK and relied heavily on public transportation. I've been back a year and I have still not renewed my driver's licence. I'll get around to it, eventually. Would I be happy if I never had to take another bus? Not so sure, but if it was a long trip I'd rather have the music turned up and be in the comfort and solitude of my own vehicle.

Is there an author or artist whom you simply dislike, and can't fathom why he or she became famous and loved?

Where to begin? Off the top of my head: Danielle Steele. Maeve Binchy. Need I say more?

Do you prefer pen or pencil? Ballpoint or gel? Mechanical or wooden?

Pen, gel with a fine tip. Amelia once gave me a beautiful red Cross pen which I loved. I loathe those cheap biros. *shudder*
I'm such a pen snob!

Now your turn. The rules of the game are simple, leave me a comment saying, "Interview me." I respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better. If I already know you well, expect the questions to be a little more intimate!
You then update your journal/bloggy thing/whatever with the answers to the questions. (No excuses; it's required.) You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Apparently my pitituary stalk is nice. I'm so proud of its manners.

Turns out it is a tumour after all.

But only a little one.

Preliminary results suggest that nestling lovingly along the anterior lobe of my pitituary gland is a 1- 2mm microadenoma.
The good news is that it is most likely benign, it can be treated without surgery and it is treatable.

I don't have an enormous amount of information to hand and I have limited my web research as there is alot of scare mongery out there - I'd rather get my facts clear and concise; my referring doctor is on holiday and doctor who gave me the results was a woman of little words. Granted, pitituary microadenoma and endocrinologist were amongst those few words so can you blame her? I have been trying to pronounce them all afternoon and am still tongue tied.

There is an enormous amount of relief with this, I think the last 3 weeks waiting for these results have taken a toll I hadn't appreciated. There have been a lot of "what ifs', and although I think we were all convinced it was something else entirely, I'm glad I know, so that we can start working around something. The irony is that there have been symptons for a number of years, symptoms I habitually ignored. And several of the symptoms prevalent with these tumours never presented themselves. I will not go into details, but let's just say there was none of that lactating business.

Walking home from the gym this evening, I felt like screaming. Or crying. Not out of anger, or fear, but out of a general desire to feel something. Anything. I wanted to stand at the edge of a cliff and just yell and hear my voice echo back.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be seeing a variety of different doctors and will make some decisions about treatment. I will have questions, and will perhaps not hear what I want to hear. Or maybe I will. I don't know.

I just know that there is one more hurdle behind me, and more in front. As long as I keep moving forward, I will be just fine.

Monday, April 16, 2007


About 3 years ago, I made a determination to myself that I would do something that physically and mentally challenged me.

Well, apart from getting up on time each and every day.

This determination was made when I first got diagnosed with that little niggly health issue which has kept me a constant companion for these long years, has made me friends with doctors and nurses in the UK and back here in Vancouver and has, at times, made me ashamed and angry, frightened and frustrated. Last July, I seemed to be winning that battle, and then suddenly over the last few months I'm faced with a stronger foe. This time however, I know in my heart that I am going to be just fine, that despite all the uncertainty at the moment waiting on results and undergoing 'just one more test' again, I know that it will be okay. Whatever happens, I can deal with it.

And so I wanted to do something that would push me, physically and mentally. I have never been an athlete, have never really taken much joy in physical exertion. I've joined gyms and rarely gone, or started fitness programs and never seen them through to the end. Indifference or laziness, or a combination of the two, I've never been sure.
So what better solution to my determination than to attempt to run? And how about that 10K? And I tried, a little. Back when I was living in the Wonky Cottage in Bromley, November rains and dark, wet pavements provided a training ground. But then December came with its promises of parties and Saturday morning runs became Saturday morning lay ins to sleep off vodka induced fugs. There was always something, after all. And so it fell by the wayside. And I tried again, with The Swiss attempting to drag my protesting form out of warm Sunday morning beds and get my feet flying along Hampstead Heath. I tried, halfheartedly. In my heart I wanted to, it was my mind and my feet and my sprained ankle and my hangover and my laziness that pushed that determination to the wayside again.

And then January 2007. Why not? This year? And so I ran. Looked at training schedules and plugged my ipod in. Ran along the seawall, at night, in pouring rain and hail.
And then I fell, losing my edge snowboarding and bruising my tailbone on an icy slope and somehow I couldn't seem to get myself back out there. I lost focus, again.
Yet this time something had happened, had shifted. The day I hear that what may be the cause is a tumour, I walk home slowly, without thought. Sit down and for the first time in a number of week pull on my running shoes and run. I run as long as I can, breathing slowly. Nobody lets me give up on myself this time, despite my grumbles and complaints. Friends come and run beside me, at my pace. Amelia takes me to the Endowment Lands and keeps me on track. I, on the other hand, carry on with my hangovers. A date with the Rockstar, or Tall Dave or a night out with friends give me an excuse, prove my undoing. No one gives up on me, no matter how hard I try, lending support and encouragement and still we run, through forests and trails, past other runners, in cold and rain and sunsets and somehow I get a small sense of what peace may feel like.

I quit my job, start a new one and the second week in I am ill with a cold, struggling to get through each day. For the first time in years, I am in bed early, exhausted mentally and physically. There is a week to go until the big run, and I am ready to give up. Yet I feel like I have let myself down. Again. And this time I actually feel ashamed, that I had the opportunity to do it and lost focus. That for the last 2 weeks I had been looking for any excuse to get out of this.

And then suddenly, it is Sunday morning and we are stood in a crowd of people. Shuffling slowly, some of us eager to get to that Start line. Me, perhaps not so eager.

The first mile goes by quickly, turning the corner towards Lost Lagoon the air smells of fresh blossoms. And so we run, slowly. Cheering every km passed, setting little goals, running a full km and then a short walk. Over the Burrard Street Bridge and past Granville Island. Halfway there, and passing 7k, 8k, the 9k mark at the top of the Cambie Street bridge, I can't yet see the Finish Line but Amelia is beside me telling me we're almost there.
The last k hurts, I feel a blister on my left foot, my ankle throbs and lungs burn.

We cross the line, together, and I almost weep. I am elated and relieved, proud, sore, hot and sweaty.

It may not be the fastest time, or the most graceful of runs. But it's mine. It took 3 years, 84 minutes and 1 second to get me over that line, kicking and screaming against myself. But I did it.

There are going to be a few more challenges over the next few months, that I know. That is life. But I learned some valuable lessons yesterday, cleared my mind and realised that I am my own worst enemy. But that I can be stronger than that, if I want.

And that every determination, however small it seems, can be so much more than what it appears.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Having head CT's, sitting in hospital waiting rooms. Injections for contrast material. More jabs for those Hep bedfellows, MMR and tetanus. Leaving an old job and starting a new one. Waiting for results. Joining a gym. Falling for the wrong man. New haircut. Ray Lamontagne. Reading guidebooks and blogs and planning. Tattoos. The Irish Heather. Freedom. New babies. Twitter. Book Mooch. UBC Endowment Lands. Trying to slow down. Wishing, hoping, dreaming.

What have you been up to?