Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Thongs....oops...THINGS... going on around here...

 Although my favourite season is spring there is still beauty to be found in the colder seasons.
Especially if the sun is shining as it was last Friday - I don't think I've seen the sun since then - 
I wasn't through with you yet!

Hungry baby birds?

A reindeer?

Had my mammogram followup meeting on Monday and learned I have a tiny mass
in each breast. Chance of it being cancerous
 is 1-2%. I can handle that. 

Looking at things logically (which is what I try do) my mother and one of my older sisters both had a number of benign cysts removed so I feel it's safe to assume I'll be the same.
It's hard to tell but things were really mucky in
Kilally Meadows on Friday and I need to whack all the dried mud
off of my boots after this post.

The next two are my favourites - the camera focussed 
on the twigs and not on the sparkly river.
 Pretty cool!

 There's the river!

The nearby pond had a thin crust of ice - 
- I love the way it looks! 
Something alien about it...


Another creature in the woods.

So I will wait somewhat patiently for my next set of x-rays and
ultra sound which happen in mid-January. 
I had my splinted finger x-rayed on Monday - better safe
than sorry. No news yet,
Too bad there's nothing exciting going on in the next six weeks 
to take my mind off of thongs! 
Typing while wearing this splint is a challenge - I have so many typos. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

My Pocket Health

For those of you who live in Canada the website for accessing x-rays etc is Yes, this is a new service and I just found out about it when I went for my mammogram. The technician gave me a piece of paper with the info on it but I didn't sign up til I found out that the mammogram was abnormal. Then I thought I want to see what an abnormal result looks like and signed up on the website.

You need to create a login - user name and password and pay a ONE TIME $5.00 fee. Within about two minutes I was looking at my x-rays and reading the results and recommendations. I have a doctor's appointment on Nov. 26 and they have set up an app't for more tests and an ultrasound at a nearby hospital in mid-January.

I am concentrating on this bit of info:
"Most women will not need further testing beyond a special mammogram or ultrasound to find out their breast change is benign or a harmless variation of normal breast tissue."

I don't find I am dwelling on this "abnormal result" in fact, whenever it does come to mind it makes me think of "Young Frankenstein"!

Yuck yuck yuck!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

If it wasn't for bad luck...

.......I'd have no luck at all!

This is what happens when you try to play volleyball like an 18 year old! The ball was being drilled over the net and I thought I could jump up and tip the ball right back to the other side!

Ummmm...NO! NO to the jumping and NO to the tipping. YES to excruciating pain like I've only felt once before...two years ago when I did the same bloody thing!

Most of the swelling is gone, and the colour is sort of getting back to normal. 

As long as it is in the splint there's no pain. But it is stiff as a board right now and I don't look forward to discarding the splint and starting physio exercises. Right now it doesn't all.

 On the bright side Kazi gets to do the dishes and take out the garbage.  I did some batch cooking last week and also had several kinds of frozen leftovers so the food situation is OK for now. 
Wow, it's like a rainbow of colours!

I really miss playing v-ball and ball hockey! I've had to replace my sports with riding my stationary bike and walking at Kilally Meadows, which is great as I haven't been to Kilally since September.

 It's still there :) The sun came out for awhile and it was +4c so I ended up good and sweaty.

It was very enjoyable and I'll go back soon. I forgot how being out in the forest can help with depression.
Wish I could get Kazi to come with me - she would benefit from some forest bathing!

Still some green leaves to be found!

And the ducks were enjoying Meander Creek.

And finally...I haven't posted any photos of Luna and Lily for a long time so here they are...

Winter naps are the best, especially when the heating pad is still warm!

Luna is just yawning but she looks ferocious!

They both love this cozy spot and there have been a few tousles! 
That's the news for now. I have a few errands to do in the neighbourhood so I'll walk and get some fresh air and exercise.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Fun Stuff...

....not really.

I got one of those follow up phone calls to schedule a doctor's app't after having a mammogram recently. After years of normal mammograms it was a bit of a shock though I know I shouldn't worry as it's likely nothing but still I worry.... after all, I AM my mother's daughter!

Recently I signed up for "My Pocket Health" which provides me with unlimited access to my medical imaging records online and goes back years and years. After a one time $5.00 fee I can actually look at and print any x-ray, MRI, ultrasound and mammogram (plus accompanying remarks, diagnosis and recommendations) I've ever had! What a great service! So I went online and had a look at my last mammogram. There are two issues: abnormal breast density (which is common) and focal asymmetry (which is also common).  With abnormally high density, which shows up on the scan as white, it can prevent masses from being seen as they also show up white. White on white - who thought that was a good idea?

And the focal asymmetry could mean there is a mass but it can't be seen in a regular x-ray so I'll likely have to have an ultrasound or MRI after consulting with my doctor. What this all boils down to is there could be small lumps lurking around waiting to pounce that can't be seen. 

Do I feel better knowing? YES! I'm one of those people who'd rather know than NOT know. I feel quite sure that after more imaging I'll be told there's nothing to worry about. I might have to have more frequent mammograms and I can live (literally) with that. Right now I don't feel any foreign masses invading my body - gotta stay positive!

Monday, November 5, 2018


Getting to Staffa required a 20 minutes train ride from Taynuilt, where we were staying, a ferry to the Isle of Mull, a coach which took us from 
one end of Mull to the other, a small boat which took us out into the Little Minch where
we were able to see the Isle of Skye where we'd been a few days prior, and a number of other
little islands, some inhabited, some not. Returning from Staff we went to Iona, another island
which has been a Christian pilgrimage destination for around 1500 years. 
Then a ferry over to Mull, a coach back to the other side of Mull, another ferry to Oban, and a train to where we were staying in Taynuilt! 
We felt extremely lucky that we were able to do this island tour because for a couple of 
days it was too windy and the water too rough. McVal told me after we returned to Canada Oban was flooded!
The Tesco where we had bought some scotch was under water.
So, we were fortunate to have missed the worst of the weather.
Here are a few amazing photos of the Isle of Staffa which is made up of thousands of basalt columns formed by intense pressure during the last ice age, and also
hot lava comes into it too along with other scientific/geological forces.
To learn more the Wikipedia link is below.

I'm no scientist!

Fingal's Cave  
Next time I go (heehee) I'll plan for August as we missed the puffins -
they leave the island to migrate at the end of August.

Looking deep into the cave.

It's hard to believe this is a natural phenomenon and
not man made. My brother was wearing a red coat but I
don't think that's him - I think he was wearing black pants.
Though in one selfie I took of myself he's in the background taking a photo!!

Natural seating area for people of all sizes!

There was a staircase providing access to the top of the wee island so I climbed
up and got some photos of cormorants, a common sea bird.

Looks like stacks of lumber.

Arriving on Staffa people start snapping right away!

Crazy beautiful! 

You can see other islands in the background.
The guy waving is afraid he is going to be stranded - talk about isolated!

They didn't forget about us :)

My feet to show you how large the basalt columns were; and the most common shape
is the hexagon. Now there's science AND math! 

The cave is like a gothic cathedral.

There are more caves than what I'm showing but we could
only access two of them - no doubt for conservations reasons.

They're like optical illusions!

Hard to tell what's up and what's down.


The stairs to the top!

There are several channels that the water crashes through.
 I really would like to return, not just to Staffa but the Isle of Skye, my favourite spot
 and a number of other places we didn't have time for. 
I would drive on Skye as it has a small population and few cars but I would NOT
drive on the busy roads again trying to navigate the roundabouts.
No thank you.