Mathew’s last scan was a few weeks ago and it was normal with the exception of a small nodule showing up in his left lung.

It is a small nodule but it is new in that it wasn’t there before.

Another scan, just of the lungs, will be done in another month or two, to keep a watchful eye out. Sometimes these little things pop up and disappear again just to worry and perplex us I think. As always I worry for the first day or so and then put it out of my mind until it is necessary to deal with it again. While it isn’t a common thing to pop up in normal, healthy 21 year olds it isn’t uncommon in cancer patients.

Mathew knows about the nodule but isn’t concerned. I checked through some Ewing Sarcoma sites I  belong to and there are a number of people who experience them and often they disappear or stay the same size. Mathew has had nodules before that showed up and consequently disappeared however he was on chemo during that time.

We shall see.

I still haven’t got my profile back and it is unsettling me. I like to prepare my posts in MS Word but even that wasn’t installed on our new computer. I may have to put in a special request with my husband for that favour!

Then we are also deep in the winter blues. The last time this area saw snow like this year was back in 1962-63. That is over 50 years ago!! There is so much snow the ploughs are filling up the snow dumping sites quickly. I work in downtown Saint John and it is located in an area known as the “South Peninsula”. Much akin to a peninsula. Some weeks ago there was a emergency parking ban put into place because emergency vehicles could not get through the streets. Over the course of 3-4 days over 1,600 truck loads of snow was removed from the area – and it isn’t that big. This rare event came about when 2 blizzards and another major storm dumped inches and inches of snow on us over a period of 4 weeks. Usually the weather warms up and melts here and there but not this winter. It was bitterly cold for the most part. When it does warm up then water starts forming which turns to ice once the temperature drops again. It is treacherous. Unbelievably treacherous this year. If you aren’t navigating the snowbanks then it is the ice. If it isn’t the ice then it’s gigantic puddles and now the yearly pot holes are creating holes to ruin your tires in. Walking anywhere is difficult and street walking is common – which has its own hazardous conditions; sharing a narrow road with moving vehicles. During one of the storms a paramedic wore snow shoes and dug his way to an emergency call; he is our local hero.

Cougars were sighted just outside the Province capital city, looking for food. Here there have been bobcat sightings and 3 young bobcats have been caught, starving. Two are being nursed back to health but unfortunately the third one succumbed to her malnutrition. Someone snapped photos of deer using our town’s sidewalks to get around because the snow was too high to move through easily.

The effect of the weeks of endless cold and all that incredible amount of snow, is to make this area very, very snow weary. You want to see the winter blues? Come check us out – although the winter enthusiasts are having their field day. For a time there it seemed like all we did was snow blow the driveway over and over and over. At one point there was so much snow on our back deck that John dragged the snowblower through the house (!!!!) and out onto the deck to get rid of the snow. He also made some paths through the snow for our dog, Jasmine, to use for her daily bathroom needs. She loves the snow but can’t get at it because it is too high!

Mathew is also very moody these days. It is so hard to tell what is causing it. He gets lonely easily too and looks to John and I for companionship. Me more often than John, because our interests are more similar. Since we are cooped up inside maybe this is his form of going nuts! We all long for spring followed by summer where we can just walk outside and not worry about all the outerwear winter needs.

Kristen turned 21 last week. Wow ~ where did my babies go?? Her friends celebrated with her up at University and we gave her our gifts when she returned over her reading week. She only came home for part of the week, opting instead to remain at University to work on homework and her thesis. It is hard to believe that she will complete her degree in April…that 4 years somehow slipped by so fast! I see how much she has grown up and become the beautiful independent woman I saw when she was a teenager. She has some panic when looking at the next year, kind of her “gap” year, before moving on to her Master’s programme. She still has to look at Universities, their requirements and apply. She was so overwhelmed with her Honours programme this fall when the deadlines came and went, and she needed reassurance that waiting a year wasn’t the end of the world. She had a plan for her immediate future for so long that finishing her degree and jumping off into “nothing” is causing her stress. I am sure the year will go by faster than she thinks and maybe the scariness of it all will wear off soon enough. There are many, many options open to her and we will help her explore them all.

Mathew turns 22 in 2 days. Since he is home that day John and I will be joining him; me starting at lunch time I think – I may change my mind on that! He wants to eat out at Jungle Jim’s, his favourite restaurant. I’m okay with that; they have a very tasty Pina Colada I’m fond of. If John drives then I can drink and really enjoy the day! Mathew found out what his gift will be just today. It so happens that his beloved wresting is coming to town in May and the tickets go on sale next weekend. This time around I will NOT stand in line at the box office for 3 hours…instead I will sit in front of the computer and buy tickets that way. The last time John got tickets online before I reached the front of the line at the ticket office ~ and not that it took me long at all. There are advantages to electronics these days! Mathew was excited to see the entertainment wrestling circuit is coming back to town since it was last here 5 years ago. Perfect timing for his birthday and was he excited!

John is looking to buy himself a Mustang convertible. He almost had a deal over the weekend but it fell through unfortunately. He has been looking over the stats, sales, comparing types, models, etc for months now. It will be a 3 season vehicle depending on weather and road conditions. There is no way a sane person would want to drive a car like that in winter! I hope it has a decent back seat because that is where I’m going to end up. On Sunday drives Mathew will ride shotgun in the front leaving me scrunched up and pretending joy in the back, with my knees hitting my chin no doubt. I will definitely show pictures once the big event happens (I mean when he buys the car silly, not of me squished in the back!).

I also started cooking again. I mean the stuff I used to do years ago. I bought some good cookware and gadgets and got down to business. For too long cooking was left up to John. He does try hard but his repertoire is a little limited. Everything was thrown into a huge, chaotic jumble when Mathew’s cancer was diagnosed and he underwent treatment. We just didn’t recover for months and months. Now that treatment is done and Mathew is feeling much, MUCH better, I decided to get busy in the kitchen.

I like to cook. I like the fact that I can prepare food that tastes as good as what you can get from a restaurant, for a whole lot less. I didn’t like us eating out and especially from fast food places. Given our busy schedule and the fact that John gets home first, I also didn’t want to leave everything to him. So while looking for good recipes I also started making meals in advance and preparing dishes to be made easily. That takes time; the big batch cooking I do over a weekend or in an evening or so. We are finally using up the last of what I made about a month or so ago, so this week I will plan another busy cooking marathon. First I will select the recipes (I always over estimate what I can prepare in a certain amount of time) and then make a grocery list. I compare the grocery list with what is in the house and then buy whatever else is needed. Then on Saturday morning, up and away I go.

In order to achieve excellent results I purchased some books about cooking and made a list of recommended gadgets for the kitchen. For the first time, EVER, I spent money on a pot and a pan. I bought All-Clad and that brand is uber-expensive. What a difference they make in preparing certain foods and sauces though – they are AWESOME! From Ebay I found a 12-cup food processor with its own extra attachments and then got an odd assortment of things from local stores or Amazon. My cooking abilities shot up with my new and improved kitchen. Just the other day Mathew said something to John, I can’t recall what, about some less than wonderful recipe I tried to which I heard John whisper, “Shhh! Only positive reinforcement, you hear me? Only say positive things! We have a good thing going on here and we don’t want to ruin it!”. Good tasting food and much less cooking on his part. Now….I need to work on that gourmet kitchen and renovate ours….

All right, that gives you a view into our lives lately. I didn’t mention anything about striving to keep ahead of the daily house mess, chores, etc. The hours spent with Mathew so he doesn’t get lonely and act up. Or the nights we are too tired to do much but cook, clean and maybe do a little laundry. Oh and let’s not forget about shovelling shall we?

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