Saturday, June 20, 2015

My RV Retreat

Queridos; Dear friends

As you may have noticed, I have not been at my computer for several months. Here is an update on my health: In March I began my fourth kind of chemo.  I did two rounds and then my oncologist decided that it was not working. As you can well imagine the feelings that went through me when the doctor said this was the last chemo option. And after a moment he suggested to try radiation.  Our radiation oncologist seemed quite optimistic that it could be treated. And so I begin radiation in the abdominal area this coming Thursday, June 25.

We did fit in six days of camping at Cultus Lake since I had a week without appointments.  It was a relaxing time with a few friends stopping in for short visits.

Thanks for all the cards, emails, and phone calls. I appreciate them even though I do not respond.

Lots of love to you from us,
Hilda and Peter

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A flower tattoo..?

Today, I asked for a flower tattoo and all I got was a good laugh

and a pin head size of a tattoo on the left side of my chest; the lump is under my arm.
Purple PJM and the white Magnolia tree
This Friday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I go in for radiation--that makes 5.

I just finished reading the following quote and so I thought I'd share it with you:

What if: (Danny Gregory)
You could know,
with absolute certainty,
that the worst day of your life was behind you.
And the second worst too.
Would that knowledge change how you lived,
what risks you took,
what dreams you had?
And what if you could know that
the best day of your life
was yet to come.
How would that change your life?
And, even if you couldn’t really know for sure,
what would happen if you lived
as if you did?

Always...take good care,
Hilda G.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chemo 4, Friends and Mostly Knitting

Today, is round three of chemo.
(Feb. 16, 17, 18 – the computer was down for a couple of days)
Yes, believe it or not, but here I go again. 
Am I mad? You bet I am! 
And sad, and disappointed, and, and, and, so many different feelings running through me.

Once a month, for three days, I take three pills a day called Etoposide (at home). So far I am feeling pretty good, but in a few days my immune system will go way down, and then I will feel pretty weak and who knows what. So far I have not felt a change in the lump under my left arm pit. Patience.

To keep our minds on other things...we celebrate.
(l-r) Eve, Laurie, Betty Lou, Hilda B., Elma, Hilda G., Arlene, Mary, Heidi, Marg–the birthday girl.
Location: Harvest Store and Cafe on Mill St.
The macarons I brought from Paris with these friends in mind. You can see that they split a bit because I put them in the fridge as soon as we came home. But still tasted good. They make a BIG fuss over there over them; it all has to do with the procedure of creating them: the right flour, the right temperature, the age of the egg, how long you beat the dough, etc.
Breakfast. Happy Valentine's Day!
The dishes are a gift from Sandra to make us feel good. Thank you. Should use them more often!
One says, Hello handsome and the other one, Morning gorgeous.

My Christmas gift from Peter was a soprano ukulele (made by Martin and Co.). I keep practicing and there are signs of improvement already.
I read a lot of books on my ereader. It's so easy to order a book, especially while reading in bed. (Ha. No photo of that!)
Peter picked up a book for me at Coles. 
Oh, yes, and as you can see, I also decided to go strawberry blond. Strawberry blond ... sounds good, eh? Changes are good, especially while I still have hair. 
Yesterday, was my second knitting class.
What fun we have! I am not a total beginner, but I chose to make a big scarf for Andrea (daughter). She asked if I was going to knit her a hat as well. Of course I will––but I am sure I will need help with that. By the time I'm finished perhaps winter will be over in Winnipeg. There is always next winter... 
It's not about how much we get done in one evening, but a time for friends to get together for show and tell, share our stories and joke around. Sometimes the stories are on a more serious note and other times the room bursts with peals of laughter, coming mostly from our side of the table, as we knit and talk. Mennonites at this end and the Dutch on the other, with others in between. 
We are all happy to be there.
On Ontario Ave.
Bought some more wool today. I finished two scarves. 
When the owner asked me what size needles I was using, my reply was, "two baguettes." 
Your arms become the needles.
Looks like this is serious business!

Keep doing what you like doing.


PS–Peter's dad had a new pace maker put in this morning at the St. Paul's Hospital. All is well at 102! That should give him a few more years!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Spring time in the Valley?

Has spring really arrived in the Fraser Valley? At least that's how it felt like yesterday, but who knows what could happen to our weather in a few weeks.
The rains had stopped, and the sun was shining. It was time to get out of the house. So off we drove to Harrison Hot Springs, walked around the lagoon, had a snack, and watched people–that can be more entertaining than watching TV...
But the closer we got to Harrison the cloudier it got. What was happening to the sunshine?
We found a parking spot and walked all around the lagoon
 We spotted two bald eagles high up on the tree,
pussy willows
boats rocking back and forth 
 and drift wood along the shore. 
Someone had built a tepee with drift wood when the water had been low. 
Harrison Hotel on the right.
And now it was time for a cup of coffee which we bought at Muddy Waters. They also have wonderful food.
We walked back to our truck, turned the dial to country music
 and being the Mennos that we are, I brought from home a snack: granola with chia and hemp hearts and panforte which we had learned to enjoy in Italy a few years back–it's full of nuts, seeds and dried fruit.
 The sun soon made its appearance again and we watched as more and more people came with family and friends.
Lots of people out with their dogs
 all shapes and sizes
This one had a mind of his own, he kept pulling his owner along.
Some families came out to play ball
and our music played on.
The weather was perfect for motorcycling, and we wondered again why we had sold ours...and then we remembered.
Time to go home and rest. Tonight was Bible study night.
A disease went through the hazelnut orchard a couple of years ago, which caused much damage therefore
 most of the trees had been cut down.
Mount Cheam up ahead.
Thought of you, Hertha, when I saw this photo.
We have our faith and our friends, and that's a good thing.

 Swans in a field in Agazzis.
We are home.
This was the last house that is being built in our cul-de-sac. The lot sold for $225 or so.
 As soon as we stepped out of our truck we were hit by this intense sweet-smelling evergreen bush called: Sarcococca.
The Christmas Rose plants are blooming, as well as the
Daphne bush. Also very fragrant.
 The rhubarb
and the chives too are making an appearance.
Snowdrops are always a welcome sight.

 I think we will have to buy another rhododendron like this one (yes, I looked up the spelling for this one too) to replace some of the evergreen bushes on the side that are just too big.
The little piles of branches that Peter made, after a wind storm,
will have to be cleaned up as well.
He is out there raking right now and talking to our neighbour. 

Take good care and get over your cough, if you have one. Or whatever ailment you may have.

Love to you,

Monday, February 2, 2015

To Paris and Back

Yes, surprise, we are back!
The reason we went was to see Michael who had a couple of week off from teaching, and, yes, yes, the wonderful baguettes...
The apartment we stayed in (on line photo). Our small bedroom was in the other room. This looks very neat!
...and the reason we came back early--Peter.
Okay. A few days later I felt and looked about the same.

 We had phoned Dr. Galraith before we left home, to find out about my CTscan results from a few weeks ago, and the result was that I have a lump under my left arm arm and also in my groin. Radiation here we go again! He strongly advised us to stay home, not because of the lumps, but should I get ill while in Paris, medical would not cover me, and the fee could well be over $100,000. Not a pretty picture...

But the week that we were there we managed to see a lot:

I will add a few more photos soon, but this will do for now.

The wash is pretty well done... the fresh bread I baked this morning looks and tastes just as good as a French baguette... the hash browns with Mennonite farmers sausage is now ready for breakfast. When it comes right down to it, we like our food the best, our home the best, our valley the best, and our friends and family the best.

Love to you,

PS--Michael is staying in Paris till Friday.