Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Coles Notes on Healthcare & The Pandemic. The year when all the f*cks were lost

If you are emotionally invested in this pandemic and have legit only made decisions based on your emotions, be it fear or anxiety or lord knows what then this one might sting but this isn’t personal. I want to address this from a firmly fact-based place and not random hysteria because that is not my jam. Not even a little bit. So with that said, keep an open mind or not that’s cool too because we can all have opposing views and that’s the beauty of a democracy so I’m going to give my two cents now😊

 

I wish I became a magician and the last almost 2years would be why. Wish I could make some people just disappear or better yet turn them into a rabbit or some other form where I could respect them a smidgen more but here I am not a magician but a quiet observer. Get ready folks I haven’t written in a looong time but I’m ready to tackle thisπŸ˜‰

 


I am done with sitting back and being quiet. This is too far now and I’m done sitting like a good girl and just doing what I’m told to do by the government(?). Bahahahahaha…I wasn’t raised to trust nor to rely on the government for anything. I owe nothing to nobody so it’s time to speak up because for the last 2 years we have listened to some of the most absurd, fear mongering propaganda I have ever heard that has now proven we only follow science when it fits the agenda of our elected officials. This “pandemic” has given me the luxury to sit back and observe. Observe just how much a pandemic could divide people. How gov’t and health authorities could pit people against each other, whilst purposely taking the blame off of THEM for their shortcomings starting with vaccine procurement to the complete and utter lack of investment in healthcare dating back years and years. Guys, let me explain a little bit about healthcare and how we have been on the “verge of collapse” for OVER 20 YEARS. Say whaaaat?? Take a deep breath and get ready…Yup, sorry to burst your bubble but let me break this down for anyone who has never worked within our health system and has no clue WHAT the problem is…

 

Firstly, there was a nursing shortage when my dad died. My dad died well over 20 years ago. Yes, we closed down the nearest trauma center right next to our city’s downtown core – makes so much sense, right? My career choice was molded and formed from watching my dad slowly die and I can remember every little detail of sitting in a waiting room and not even realizing how sick my father was and I was 11yrs old. That’s when I grew up. There were signs plastered throughout the hospital that stated – “Ralph Klein is hazardous to your health.” For those not from our province, that was our premier and that was the first time I learned about how dirty politics was. As a child, I couldn’t fathom how another person could not care about those that were so sick but that was also when I learned that there are those that would walk all over you to further their own careers and that’s what I quickly learned was the basis of politics – advance your career, gain more power, and fuck everyone over while doing it. And it has never been more pronounced than as it is today.

 

From there, obviously, I grew up and went into nursing. When I started my career, I would undergrad and work in acute care on an adult inpatient unit. It was akin to a step-down ICU and let me tell you: I. RAN. MY. ASS. OFF. I’d compare it to treading water whilst someone simultaneously tried to drown you all the while someone else tried to shoot you in the head when you bobbed up for air, while someone else screamed “go fuck yourself.” Welcome to the profession of nursing where you will be used and abused all while you need to smile and run and then when you get to your car you cry your eyes out because you never felt like you could give your all to everyone because there were too many patients and not enough nurses – that was over a decade ago. I will always remember a conversation I had with a physician at that time who said: “Why don’t you just go work in the ICU that way you have one patient as all these patients would have been in an ICU just a year earlier.” SO, let’s back that bus up for a second as that’s an important tidbit to unpack with our collapsing healthcare system. You ready? Let’s go:

 

Firstly, as the ICUs started to fill with sicker and sicker patients, instead of INVESTING in healthcare and increasing capacity by also hiring more skilled/qualified nurses cause ya know a bed is just a bed without a nurse and a patient in an ICU with no nurse is basically a corpse. Soooo, our bright eyed and bushy tailed management decide hmmmm…let’s just dump them on inpatient units and we’re good. Except, in ICU these patients would have 1:1 nursing care and then there I was as an undergrad and a brand-new nurse with up to 6 patients that were CRAZY sick. I think for anyone who has never worked in healthcare you can’t quite fathom the reality of this place. Also, let me just tell you I learned nothing in nursing about how to care for my own mental health and my well-being, and it suffered. I know now because I never put myself and my health first and so here I am in the shitstorm of continuing to try-not-to-die due to having advanced cancer.

Our governing health authority wants nurses to work with less and less, take abuse, work OT, don’t pee or eat because there just isn’t any time because they need to pay their insanely inflated wages to those that don’t even see patients but sit in their cozy offices dictating to frontline staff how they should be doing more. AAAAAND this is where I need to say to those to go fu*k themselves for what they have done to so many good, hardworking people. 


What will we do when you no longer have qualified and competent nurses because they are reaching their breaking points where none of it is worth it anymore? THAT, along with all the cancer screenings we have ignored, mental health issues, cardiac tests, specialist appts that are virtual, etc… THOSE things will collapse our system. So simply locking people in their homes and then being so proud of the numbers going down was quite possibly like the dumbest magic trick I’ve ever seen because it’s not fucken magic. For the love of everything holy no shit the numbers go down. Oh, but let the hysteria come back because then when we go back out what happens?? Oh my gosh the sky is falling the sky is falling the numbers are going up. You know if you told everyone NO DRIVING today do you know what you would see? A bloody dramatic decrease in car accidents so do we just ban cars because as some love to say “one death is one death too many?” NO, because that would be crazy but here we are Canada banging our heads into the same wall and somehow assuming that after almost two years of banging we would somehow end up with a different result? Seriously, the only thing we have ended up with is a bigger headache but we persist and keep doing it. OK…. This is NOT normal nor productive and yet we persist. STOP. Read. There’s data out there on COVID and it’s bloody reassuring so WHY do those that are supposed to look out for our best interests continue to implement policies that are HURTING us? MORE PEOPLE ARE DYING DUE TO THE POLICIES IMPOSED THAN FROM COVID.

 

So then when the managers realize phew, we dodged a bullet we have dispersed the extremely sick throughout the hospital. Perfect. High five team. They put a band-aid on an arterial bleed and that lasted…you guessed it, it didn’t last it started to bleed right through like a garden hose but only those working within the system saw this. Next, the units are blowing at the seams now because everyone is so damn sick and they keep coming but there are now no more rooms to put them in. Again, a healthcare mismanagement problem so instead of investing in healthcare what do they do to cover up the shambles they’re in? Let’s start putting the patients into janitor’s closets and the family living rooms where families used to gather. I remember them saying – “we will put the stable patients in there.”  Stable?? Where the fuck are those patients at as I have yet to find one. So you took the “stable patients” and put them in closets and living rooms that had NO OXYGEN OR SUCTION set up. That’s a very big deal as ya know if someone codes you have NO OXYGEN OR SUCTION = DEATH.

The patients in these rooms many times were far from stable, but they didn’t want to address the actual problem – again, this was a healthcare mismanagement problem. Capacity and staffing. What did our government and Alberta Health Services do? Absolutely nothing other than add managers to manage the managers. At what damn point do we hold them accountable for the shambles we’re in? At what point does the expectation change for management to do more with less? That’s what we expect of our frontline doctors and nurses, so why are the managers so dumb that you need half a dozen of them with six figure salaries and they have their heads up each other’s asses – I’m sorry but people should really ask what their tax payer dollars are paying for because you are paying some people at the top to be useless AF while the frontline staff are so burnt out they may just retire completely and that will collapse our system altogether. Why aren’t the managers in the trenches? Why aren’t they talking about this all over the news? Are there any real journalists left or is everything just about quick stories with no actual basis around facts? Without nurses in a hospital, you have no healthcare. This is far scarier than a respiratory virus. The abuse in this profession has become normalized and tolerated, but the part that should disturb everyone is the abuse many times comes from management. Anyone want to stand up for this cause (??) or just keep bitching and virtue signaling which does absolutely fucken nothing for anybody.

 

Then as the closets filled up (I can’t even make this shit up) and the living rooms came the next change. Double occupancy rooms used to be matched with sex. So females would be placed together and then males. I remember when we would get admits in the adult world and we would be figuring out where to pair patients. Then one day they decided to throw those parameters out the window because they couldn’t maintain placing people of the same sex into a room as emerg was so backlogged. Now you had men and women cohorting and the public again had zero clue as to the crisis that was occurring behind those four walls. Again, staffing was not increased. Nurses started being unable to go for a coffee or a lunch break because you simply had no time. Charting came at the end and you simply hoped nobody would code as you hadn’t written anything about them and that shit they taught us in nursing school would just be ringing in the back of our heads – “If it’s not charted it never happened.” So you sacrifice water and food and work work work all whilst the general public thinks everything is peachy as pie.

 

And then there’s this part where the general public seems to assume all nurses are created equal. Ummmm..no, lol. Here was another slow decline with our healthcare system – back in the day you would need 5years experience in acute care to work in ICU or the ER and then as the years went by, patients increased, they changed that too. New grads welcome too. Okee dokey I’d like the experienced nurse but they’re gone so you’re left with the girl who should have never graduated but we need nurses so oh well put em through so you get overconfident and incompetent nurse Sunshine but that’s all you got sooooo….. you pray. And you better pray hard because Jesus is the only one who can save you at that point. 

 

Oh and it continues…

Then different procedures would have shorter and shorter hospital stays because again it was a healthcare mismanagement problem and we just needed the quick turnaround. It wasn’t that patients did better and quite frankly how many people are prematurely discharged from hospital because they need the bed and then that patient ends right back up in emerg and the healthcare cost simply keeps going up, up, up, but the managers are too busy making posters on “Proper Handwashing Techniques.” I’m sorry but this shit is insulting and infuriating. We know how to wash our hands. Nurses would just like proper staffing ratios so maybe they could empty their bladders – how about the managers work on that, ok? Cool? Thanks.

 

Then as the years went on and hospitals continued to burst at the seams but the general public had nillo clue still, came a global pandemic and this was the perfect time for our elected officials and governing health bodies to spew a linear narrative about COVID COVID COVID is killing EVERYONE. STAY HOME. OK, STAAAAP✋. That messaging telling sick people to stay home was quite possibly the dumbest and most irresponsible thing they could have said but you do know WHY they said that, right? Because we didn’t invest in healthcare and sure as shit it would collapse due to decades and decades of mismanagement. It’s easier if you stay home and die because then you can avoid our hospitals and it becomes the medical examiners problem. However, governing bodies will NEVER ever admit to their own shortcomings because they think their shit is made of gold, sooooo what do they decide to say? “This is all due to the unvaccinated.” Aaaaaand they actually started airing a commercial BLAMING unvaxxed with all the shortcomings of the hospitals and the reason why some wouldn’t get their surgeries. MIND FUCKEN BLOWN!!! This is a very slippery slope. Are you also blaming drug addicts then for using healthcare resources? Want to go even farther – how about the capacity of our hospitals that are filled with people as a direct result of obesity and the comorbidities associated with it? We don’t air commercials blaming them so WTF are they doing? Instead of investing on a completely useless commercial here’s a damn thought – hire more nurses, stop blocking beds, actually increase capacity, and stop deploying staff to simply make things look dire to the public. Honesty goes a far way & for myself, you lie to me once – I’ll smile but will never trust the words outta your mouth again. Once you lie, you need to climb your ass back up that mountain and prove yourself to me. Until then, one’s words have little merit and it simply becomes background noise.


 

OK, and this is where the division in society started to get really bad. This pandemic from the start should have been about protecting the vulnerable. Period. The mortality rate from COVID can be linked to many comorbidities along with old age. The vast majority that died, died in nursing homes that need to have some major oversight because the care that many received was subpar and quite frankly in many cases completely criminal. What we did to seniors is sickening and horrifying. Where is the uproar?? Oh right, nobody cares or else this is what we would be talking about. Also, those with poor outcomes seem to be morbidly obese – hey AHS, why aren’t you stratifying the data?? Because if they did, the vast majority of people wouldn’t be so damn scared. We can see a very clear link with obesity and multiple comorbidities so what do our politicians do? Let’s close gyms. Let’s hike the price of healthy foods. So, let’s make people unhealthier and further increase the burden on our already over burdened system. 

Ya makes as much sense as reversible masks – just on an off note: With COVID being airborne and people wearing the same mask for a year but then placing it on their rear-view mirror as their AC blasts…hmmm…all those germs blowing in your face but all’s good? Ok. Interesting. The only thing sweeping the globe faster than Omicron it seems is pure stupidity so then there’s that too.

 

Here's the thing, you should be angry and upset by where we are at two years into this but direct your anger where it’s due. Why are we fighting with our fellow citizens? People get paid a LOT of money to keep our hospitals running and functioning which includes ensuring adequate staffing is maintained. Yet, what we see instead are managers managing managers, incompetence at its finest, and watching mangers who have done such horrendous jobs simply get shuffled within the organization when they screw up to go manage some other area. WTF?! In any other private sector, they would have been fired but welcome to our governing health body that is run by some of the most corrupt people placed into high managerial positions by political bureaucrats. Look at their wages and then look at what they do. Big dolla dolla bills for doing little other than run our healthcare system into the ground while taking all onus off of them. 

As someone who worked as a nurse for this organization, that gave up my lunch breaks, that didn’t get a chance to pee, that fucken went for an ultrasound of my breast after a damn night shift and then still went to work after a core biopsy: I gave everything to my employer and I sacrificed my own health and look at where it has gotten me? You know what I got for dedicating my life and putting every ounce of my being into my career? I got a call after 2yrs from my manager (why she called is beyond me but they can do anything with no consequences). Sounding like she had such a fucken pep in her step she called to simply tell me I had been terminated and, essentially, all my benefits would be stripped as a result. That’s it. I gave everything to this profession. This wasn’t simply a job, I gave my heart and soul and in return when I was no longer of use to this organization, they basically kicked me when I was already in the depths of hell and then spat on me. Had I not been married I would have likely lost everything. Stripping one of their benefits when they have terminal cancer and having worked in healthcare was such a low blow. Aand that is when ladies and gents I woke up and realized life isn’t about simply smiling and agreeing to everything, but rather it’s about standing up for what is right even when it feels so hard to do so. Even when that’s not what is popular, but you know in the pit of your stomach what is right. I will always stand by the truth and for what is right. What we are doing and imposing on people is not even remotely right and I will never stand by this. Ever. Also, why does our governing health body not look at nursing attrition and staff retainment? You want to know if you’re doing a good job as a leader why have you lost 90% of your senior staff?

 

Also, there is a BIG difference between someone being admitted DUE TO COVID as opposed to someone being admitted WITH COVID. The issue is we are lying to the public by playing with our wording and this is how you breach public trust and truly erode public health. This is a big deal. This means we are throwing these inflated COVID numbers out there when one is tested on admission and simply happens to test positive for Sars-COV2. They could be completely asymptomatic and be there for a femur fracture or a bowel obstruction or basically anything else and this is simply incidental. This is another area where we need to stratify the data of patients in the hospital and the fact is if we did this, again, it would help people who are spiraling mentally but no we continue with hysteria and madness. At this point it’s about pure control. Our hospitals are not overflowing with COVID patients but we perpetuate the fear and the hysteria whilst allowing another subset of people to die from everything else creating a problem that only grows bigger over time - how will we ever catch up with all the surgeries we put on the back burner? We won't. We're creating undo hardship and suffering that are having far reaching and detrimental impacts on more people than COVID alone.

 

What am I also very worried about you may ask? This world is rapidly losing its kindness or understanding of other’s circumstances. What I have seen within the healthcare system that has blown my mind and disgusted me is this – healthcare workers and first responders who worked through the ENTIRE pandemic when there was no vaccine and they sacrificed themselves like sacrificial lambs, and now some are being villainized for not getting vaccinated???  This is MIND BLOWING. NOW, after over 85% in our province have been vaccinated PLUS you must add natural immunity as they’re good and NOW things are the worst it’s ever been? 


Fun fact, studies have now “demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162B2 two dose vaccine-induced immunity” (Comparing SARS-CoV-2 natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity: reinfections versus breakthrough infections | medRxiv). And yet I haven't seen the breaking news or press conferences addressing this very important fact cause ya know we fired many who had superior immunity due to prior infection. The fact that nobody can admit they were wrong and instead double down is both disappointing and infuriating. So instead they allow for unsafe staffing and dangerous working conditions, essentially putting patients at risk just to maintain their narrative?

 Pssst… did you know in the fall/winter our hospitals are always full so really we wouldn’t have been able to handle much. When I worked over 8yrs ago we were always above 100% capacity during these times. It’s a HEALTHCARE MISMANGEMENT PROBLEM.  I have had friends crying, some of the best nurses I know because they’re being bullied by their colleagues for not being vaxxed, despite having natural immunity. You know what scares me far more than this virus? Nurses who don’t understand natural immunity. People are being pushed so far to the brink that at this point COVID is not what one should fear but the mental health crisis we have created. Everyone acts like they give a shit – Bell lets talk day everyone posts for one fucken day but then in reality they are the ones pushing people to their breaking points. I implore everyone spewing profanities at others to look inward. Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself this – “What am I afraid of?” The ugliness spewing from many is a direct projection of their own fears and nothing more. Irrational fears at best. Stop watching the news. READ DATA and studies. Guys there’s real world data that should help ease many fears but it’s like nobody wants to read anymore. Everyone wants 2min fear porn off Global or CTV or basically any media outlet that has been bailed out by our current government. If you are angry, you have every right to be, but for the love of all that’s holy direct it in the right direction which is at your government and health authority. Also, take some initiative, and try to get back to risk mitigation because many have a very distorted and unrealistic view of COVID – your child has an almost 10 times more likely chance of dying in a car accident so try to take some deep breaths and understand the actual risk this poses to you, your children and family. Invest in a good care seat as it’s more important. We don’t need to stay in this hysteria forever.

 

Next point - I feel mandating this vaccine is asinine as it is completely ineffective. Why is our city council not mandated to get vaccinated but they mandate every other city department? Whoa back that up there miss mayor, so city council gets bodily autonomy but the rest of society doesn’t get a choice? Again, a nice way for the gov’t to pit people against each other and to try and take the focus off of what a horrible job they’re doing with mandates which have proven completely useless AF.

 Now there’s the “good people” who do as they’re told and then there are those that are the “problem.” For starters, if you got to work from home and managed to get your vax and are screaming at those who haven’t gotten their vax did you ever stop to consider WHY? Here’s the thing as I’ve sat back and observed - I noticed those screaming the loudest are also coming from a background oozing of privilege and sadly they don’t get it. For starters, many people feel like shit after their shot but if you’re a single parent with 3 kids working two jobs, with no vehicle, or sick time, please tell me how they can do it?? You know what you’re doing when you scream at them? You cause greater division and marginalize the poorest people in our society. It’s disgusting. If you notice you’re snapping at people or treating those that are unvaccinated like second class citizens then YOU need to take a step back and go inwards to the fears that you are projecting onto others and maybe reach out for mental help. Stop posting. Stop watching the news and work on you. How does proving I’m vaccinated with vax passports solve anything when you go out for dinner if one can still have and transmit Sars-COV2 when vaccinated? How? People saying they feel safe when they go out knowing everyone around them has had their vax is completely crazy. Did everyone prove their MMR vaccine status prior to entering? How about proof of their flu shot (?) because it actually kills far more young, healthy people than COVID. Anyone care? We are simply segregating people and creating a two-tier society. This is no longer the Canada I once knew whatsoever. Also, the ugliness helps nobody, solves nothing, and simply projects who YOU are onto others.

 

Project your anger where it’s due and that’s geared back at your elected officials…also, if you keep seeing the same healthcare provider all over the news you might want to dig deep because what you will see with all of them is this – they are paying a certain political side to fuel their bullshit and I feel there should be disclosure the exact same way you get doctors to disclose at medical conferences any financial compensation they get from a pharmaceutical company. As someone who worked in healthcare and am now on the receiving end, I’ve had enough of the bullshit being propagated and simply creating completely unnecessary fear into the public when one had no clue how badly our system was collapsing prior to this. You see, this is all a healthcare mismanagement problem and now it’s time to hold those accountable for these massive failures to accord. Also, if a doctor is tweeting every 20min they likely don’t see patients whatsoever but rather sit in their cozy offices dictating to those actually working how things should be done – cue vomit emoji. It’s this weird virtue signaling popularity that has some people on some weird high and so they just perpetuate fear, Fear, and more FEAR. STOP IT. This helps nobody and simply makes me question your own mental health.

 

I’m pleading with people to try and reign back in some common sense, assessing risk in daily life, and to bring back our rapidly eroding humanity. It seems that our ability to mitigate risk in life is gone. Like flew away with the smallest gust of wind. People’s risk perception is completely distorted and unrealistic. For all the parents out there who seem to think that their child’s risk of death due to COVID is so high, did you know that at this point 50% of the population will get cancer? So look at your kids. HALF of them will develop cancer at some point in their lives and a portion of them will die and yet any urgency is non-existent. “But it’s not contagious” they say. WOW, so that’s your polite way of saying – “I really don’t give a fuck about that.” Your silence on this topic actually SCREAMS loudly how ignorant and selfish you are. How about all the delayed cancer diagnoses that have resulted in so many deaths already because we stopped cancer screening for bullshit predictions and algorithms that never came to fruition?? In our province alone 60 people are diagnosed with cancer EVERY DAY and 25% will die (1 in 4). THE MORTALITY IS FAR WORSE THAN COVID!! What about all the cardiac patients that have been ignored? What about the mental illness that has skyrocketed and the number of suicides, especially amongst young people? Addictions, disease progression to the point that these people won’t recover and we still think we are doing the right thing? There are many determinants of health but If all you see is COVID in regards to public health than you are on a sinking ship of delusion. People are dying, but at this point it’s NOT from COVID it’s as a result of our COVID policies.

 

I need to do a little offshoot on freedom here because if I hear one more person say something like “fuck your freedom.” Ok Karen, how about you pack your bags and grab that one-way ticket to North Korea and leave your freedoms behind as you clearly don’t care or value it. You know people died to give us the luxuries we enjoy today and there really is nothing more disrespectful and uglier than pretending that their deaths meant nothing. I cringe when people make these off the cusp remarks and don’t recognize that we are just giving up our freedoms willingly like it means nothing when so many people literally lost everything. If it wasn’t for the bravery of teenagers (CHILDREN), during World War 2, who went to war for our freedoms we wouldn’t be able to sit on our asses today in our cozy homes and scroll social media bitching about our privileged lives. The bravery that those teenagers possessed going to war, sacrificing everything, is the ultimate sacrifice.  Could you imagine how they would cringe to see what many men in society have become today. Very few stand behind what is right. They hide behind a screen and troll people while being some of the biggest hypocrites to walk the planet. Our Prime Minister with his racist and misogynistic views but yet people back him as a leader of our country, despite knowing this?? We're quick to cancel others for their wrongdoings, but apparently our standards and expectations only matter when it aligns with one's own political views. The media bias in our country is out of control. I would love to see debates and discussions from both sides because I would happily change my views on things if one could prove otherwise, but censorship has gotten so out of control that all you see is one, linear narrative, hence why so many don't watch any of the mainstream media outlets anymore. 

 

Alrighty onto the next… for all you healthy young fucks that went out to get a booster….WHYY?! Let me just add I’m not talking about seniors, those who are immunocompromised or are living with someone who is immunocompromised. Honestly, at this point, maybe we shouldn’t be allowed to give vaccines to people until we can get them to explain how they work because not having global equity makes those of us in our country complete and utter assholes. You know there are countries where high risk individuals can’t even get ONE shot because we are hoarding it over here like a bunch of crazies…I think we need to pump the breaks on dousing people with more vaccines and maybe start referrals to therapists and a script for Ativan as this isn’t normal anymore. Anyone look at the data out of Israel where numbers are skyrocketing post 4th dose, plus they have mask mandates and passports?

 ANYONE? Oh right, because they probably just need their 5th. Guys, we do need to read and we should be looking at real world data. It exists. It’s been almost TWO YEARS. If all we are doing is continuing to add another vax and another vax with absolutely nothing changing in terms of masking, distancing, and all that than WTF are we doing?? WHY do we continue to boost when it seems to be making things worse? What booster # is the magic number? Oh whoops, sorry it simply has to do with using up everything we purchased. In fairness to Israel, they did flatten the curve...just along the wrong axis.

 

Important to also note that there are therapeutics available to those who get COVID now. If you’re young and healthy you’ll likely fair just fine and recover like you had a cold or a mild flu. However, there’s monoclonal antibodies available to prevent severe disease in high-risk groups along with oral antivirals now – there are options so why do we feel this need to continue to penalize and punish the unvaxxed?

 

What about when we closed schools and can’t account for THOUSANDS of children because many are from impoverished regions and their only way out was through education and then nobody knows where they’re at? Are they alive? Are they being brutally abused? ANYONE CARE?? NO, they don’t because nobody talks about that. People are more fucken worried about your nose poking out of your mask – this is completely ass backwards. Read that again. If you still don’t get it, read it again. And if you still don’t get it then congrats you are a completely self-centered asshole. Did you know the private schools continued in-person learning in many places while public schools went to online? What does this say? We assume everyone can afford multiple laptops for online learning or even access to internet. If this isn’t something you’re worried about, again, you are oozing of privilege. The rich got richer, continued on with their lives uninterrupted, while the poorest people suffered greatly. This is ok? You have people in power who are so out of touch with the average person and they’re going to create the rules – correction – they’re going to create rules for you to live by and then there’s rules for them which is they can do whatever they want. If you think our idiot Prime Minister stayed home over the holidays you are delusional. I’m surprised he can even form a sentence but these are the people implementing rules and governing our country?? Bloody HORRIFYING. That man will party and do whatever the heck he wants while telling the rest of us what we should be doing while dividing the country. No thank you. We stopped following the science the moment you discredited natural immunity, the moment you started adjusting numbers in the hospital to align with the narrative, the moment you spewed masks are the end all be all and must be mandated despite data showing it’s pretty useless AF - Oh right, my mask is my virtue signaling of what a good person I am. At this point, it’s all about perception and control and I’m going to be stepping off this crazy train and going to stand for what is right. Period.

 

Our government and health authorities have had almost TWO YEARS to deal with this and they continue to scream the same shit which has worked dismally and it’s like they have no brain cells left because they keep telling the masses to do the same shit and expect some different result. NO, I’m sorry this is NOT the public’s problem anymore it is the leaders that have failed so badly and what does the Canadian gov’t do? Scream about harsher lockdowns in different parts of the country because now there’s OMICRON and the media then instills a bunch of bullshit fear into people. HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. THEY ARE THE PROBLEM. WAKE UP. This will NEVER end and we have invested how much into our healthcare system and WHERE HAS THE MONEY GONE?? A large portion of our tax dollars go into our public healthcare system and those running it make a massive amount so my question is directed right at them – How in the world have you done such a horrendous job? WHERE is this money going?? WHAT are we getting? It’s paying bureaucrats and you need to ask for some sweeping audits and oversight at this point as it is completely out of control. The public has a right to know. HOW is it that after 2 years we haven’t increased capacity or nursing staff?? If anything, you’re losing nurses and the hospitals are collapsing because they have no staff!! NO STAFF. And yet they fired unvaccinated staff with natural immunity when they’re the ones with superior immunity! It’s really quite the circus act with our governing health body and gov’t. When their numbers or algorithms aren’t following the narrative then suddenly they can’t give any updated COVID numbers – shocker. Time for a dash of accountability and a sprinkle of oversight. I'm still trying to figure out the "science" our gov't follows.

Public health does not equate to coercion. Forcing people to get vaccinated or lose your livelihood is completely asinine. That is NOT informed consent and that is not how healthcare works. Here’s an example: When I was diagnosed with cancer we went over my treatment options and when chemotherapy was presented to me I was given an explanation of the risk vs benefits and I made an INFROMED DECISION based on that. I could refuse. I would die. However, that was MY decision to make. Nobody else’s.  

 

Let’s move onto the next useless thing. PCR tests have noted at least a 20% FALSE POSITIVE rate and we rely on that?!! Are you fucken kidding me??!! Could you imagine being told your cancer screening test had a 20% false positive rate – WOWZERS we would send people spiraling, aaaand that’s exactly what we are doing with these useless PCR tests. People are actually relying on something with such dismal results and using this as a Holy Grail of some sorts? NO, this is adding and fueling people’s irrational and distorted fears and we should stand up and hold the media accountable also when they report pure fallacies. It is maddening that in 2022, a tabloid magazine does more fact checking than those that are supposed to be journalists. Also, since when in history do we treat healthy people like they’re sick and need to prove otherwise? Since when do we test asymptomatic people? Oh, and I guess who cares about landfills now. The same people who post about dirty Diesel and our “dirty” oil sands are doing rapid tests like shots at Mardi Gras but who gives a shit about the dolphins now. You can’t say you’re willing to die on the hill with your views when your views change based on the gust of the wind.

 

What we will all see is COVID is a learn-to-live-with-it sort of virus. It’s here to stay forever guys. You might have had it already and had a cough and some sniffles. It’s ok! You survived. Woohoo. BUT, what will become ever so clear is that our hospitals won’t be able to even have baseline nursing staff because they left. They left due to the abuse and bullying. Due to lack of staffing and dangerous patient to nurse ratios. Zero respect from the organization you give your all to. Physicians as well. Many are exhausted and done and sadly that is the moment you will see our entire healthcare system come crashing down unless we stand up today to defend it and demand our government and health authority make some major changes….what’s your bottom line? When everyone is vaccinated and we keep perpetuating fear and everyone still gets COVID? Oh, and our hospitals now have more vaxxed COVID positive patients than unvaxxed on a side note so nobody is better than anyone elseπŸ˜‰. When we are on booster #8, 12? Or when your loved one doesn’t get screened in time and dies rapidly from advanced cancer who you ignored the last two years because you were so afraid of a virus with >99% survival rate? Get ready, because that’s what we should all fear and it’s simply a matter of time.

 


So welcome 2022 the year where all my fucks have officially disappeared. Where I will not be smiling and nodding to simply agree and make others comfortable…nopety nope. If you want to spew media garbage at me without READING a single real-world study then buckle up friends because I will happily bore you to death to the point that you can finally mitigate risk in your life again. If one wants to continue to wear a mask go for it, I really don’t care. However, my life is not going to be lived locked in my home wasting my precious time. For those that are happy inside just stay there but your *opinions* hold no weight in my life because until you have walked in the shoes of those already living on borrowed time, you will never truly understand the impact this has had on us. Never. I’m happy that the laptop class can live so comfortably that they can use their technology to complain non-stop about the most unsubstantial and trivial of things…if only the lives of others could be as easy. I’ve given up a lot. Too much. I’ve lost a lot. And I will not tolerate anymore bullshit without calling it out. Period. Cheers everyone….here’s to 2022 and to a year of living and loving and leaving all the bullshit and pure crazy in the rear-view mirror. Here’s to unity, peace, love, and freedom✌



ARTICLES:

https://sites.krieger.jhu.edu/iae/files/2022/01/A-Literature-Review-and-Meta-Analysis-of-the-Effects-of-Lockdowns-on-COVID-19-Mortality.pdf

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/abcnews.go.com/amp/US/thousands-students-reported-missing-school-systems-nationwide-amid/story%3fid=76063922

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2022/01/special-childrens-mental-health

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.24.21262415v1

https://relevantdata.substack.com/p/possible-pediatric-pathogens




Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Cheers to 2021

 Oh gosh, another year I didn’t get my Christmas cards out – Shocker and apologies everyone. I get addresses, have the best of intentions, I purchase cards with the utmost excitement that this will be the year that everyone around the world that I care about gets a card. Then there’s reality…I get the addresses, mentally tell myself that I must write it down in a “safe spot,” and then I get distracted, start cooking, chase my dog around, and then when I go to write the cards I forget where that “safe spot” is and I’m back at the beginning. I also feel really sketchy asking people for their addresses again and again….soooo, if you were one of many that I got the address for and sent nothing, I am SO sorry and please know you matter, Merry Christmas,  Happy New Year, and here’s hoping I can find the “safe spot” so I can mail cards out this year as pretty soon these Christmas cards will become collectable items at the rate to which I ship…anyhoo, by the time I post this blog due to my rambling it’ll be Easter. I think it’s fair to say I’ve turned into the procrastinator of procrastinators.

 

2020 was a year.  I really didn’t do much. We couldn’t travel anywhere hot so our fireplace was about the only thing providing any heat. Howevs, it was nice to get back into riding? OK, I don’t even know what to call it as an adult – I’m not talking horseback riding but bicycling. Here’s the thing, the last time I rode a bike was childhood, but in my head, I always think I will have the same amount of energy and stamina as I did as a 10yr old me. Ya, not quite. The first time we went I felt like I needed a tank of 02 as I was gasping for air, whilst simultaneously cursing under my breath as to WHY it was necessary to go uphill. I wanted so bad to get off and just push the bike up but the hubs man was Lance Armstronging it all the way, just simply yelling back at me to “change gears.” Ya, it wasn’t a gear issue, I needed a damn motor to push my ass up that hill, but I did it! It was nice to feel that sort of exhaustion from simply being outside in the fresh air and pushing my body. Not exhausted from the treatments but from “normal” things. I am forever grateful for what my body is still able to do and when I feel good, I want to see how far I can push it. So there was biking and hiking and just some lovely days in the garden, planting and gardening.


 I also wanted to do some things around the house like hang up the picture frames I bought 3 years ago. Yup, didn’t accomplish that. Still. I went to a furniture store and bought, what I thought, was a scrunchie holder. Ladies, I have a legit scrunchie addiction as if I need two dozen scrunchies and yet will wear the same two 99.9% of the time. I proudly brought it home and was happy as could be to show the hubs man my superb purchase and also for the fact that it was the biggest scrunchie holder I have every found which could hold my hair paraphernalia. No joke, but when I pulled it out of the bag to show him my stellar purchase, he simply looked at me and said, “you know that’s a paper towel holder, right?” No dear, I had no fucken clue but ah yes. Yes, indeed it was a paper towel holder. In the end, I needed a paper towel holder so decided to use it for that instead. However, if your scrunchie addiction is as bad as mine then a paper towel holder is really quite brilliant and versatile for use. I know everyone is secretly going: huh…never thought of that.


Overall, this year can be easily summed up by emotions…happy, stressed, sad, angry, mish-mash of everything described in one day, and then the end of the year ended with pure gratitude and feeling humbled. You know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness. This year was a year of growth and a year of lessons. A year of acceptance. And a year of truly focusing on the things I could control and letting go of the things I couldn’t. I tried hard to lean into all of it. These were my takeaways…

1.) Life NEVER EVER goes as planned. So this one is a biggie in my world but I don’t even think I need to delve deeper as I feel many people this year got a pretty big wake-up call with the COVID bit. Don’t ever assume plan A will flourish into big, amazing dreams come true -life is not a Disney fairytale so the sooner we wake up to this the easier the blow when we realize we are moreso living in Contagion. Got to pivot a little in our expectations. Sorry for the spoiler alert, but ALWAYS have a plan B, C, D, etc… life is a series of obstacles. Learn from every twist and turn.

 

2.) It’s ok to say NO. In fact, say it more often. This is the most freeing and liberating thing you will do and it will benefit YOU. Yes, life is not meant to be lived in sprints running around like you’re being perpetually chased by a serial killer. NO. We are constantly trying to please others at the expense of our own happiness and health. Just say no. And I mean say it proudly and don’t ever look back. Channel your inner Walter White…minus making meth, moreso the giving zero fu*ks. YOU are worthy.

 

3.) Time is your most valuable resource. Truly, treasure every minute because at some point it will be your last. Are you happy with who you are and what you left behind in this world? If not, then stop and change. Period. No excuses. Excuses are simply our way to cheap talk our way to laziness and continue to sit in complacency to do nothing.

 

4.) Facebook should officially be called Fakebook. Don’t compare your life to the faΓ§ade that people post on social media. You all know what I’m talking about, lol. I’ve referred to these posts before. You know that FB or IG pic that someone posts after hiking for some ungodly amount of time, up before sunrise, probably hiking after a night shift, lol, whilst standing on the top of a mountain with perfect hair as the wind hits it at the perfect angle, and they don’t even look a little tired? They’re like a damn mountain goat in their element. And then there’s me who literally got her laces caught in her shoes and fell flat on my face. The worst was this was at the very front doors of a funeral home. They likely thought this was their first walk-up client, lol. Life is messy and complicated. Can we just be more real in 2021? You’d be surprised by how many people are in the same boat as you, and are just yearning to hear that they’re not alone in how they feel. Be honest and be real. Sometimes we trip on our laces and that’s ok, just always get back up, dust it off, and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can. That’s it. Nobody is perfect.

 

5.) Embrace what you have. STOP searching for something better. Sometimes life is bloody hard and imperfect and you need to dig deep to find beauty in that day. Embrace what you have and truly cherish it. One day you’ll look back, and realize you missed out on some of the best days of your life simply because you were too busy with irrelevant things…such as probably #4…get off FB.

 

6.) Not everyone in life will like you – that’s ok. Hold your head high, find your people, and don’t ever let them go. Respect everyone. It’s not about the number of friends you have in life, it’s about the authenticity of those friendships. Will your FB friends show up on your doorstep during your darkest hour? It’s not about followers, or likes, or this pretend social media world we live in. It’s about how genuine, real, and raw those friendships are. Find more of those people. You will never go wrong and they will bring out the best in you.

 

7.) Your health is the most important thing. Don’t compromise and take it for granted. Don’t put your health on the back burner, regardless of age or how healthy you think you are. Healthy, fit people get cancer. Give yourself the best chance of survival by putting yourself first and making your health a priority. Oh, how I regret all those OT night shifts. For what? To make a few extra dollars? It won’t matter one bit once your health is gone. Don’t put your employer above your health as I’ll tell you they will never give two sh*ts about you. You are simply a number, on an assembly line. Go back to #2 – you are worthy.

 

8.) Life is short and sometimes life ends far sooner than it should. 2020 was a year where I realized that healthy people, with promising futures can have it all end in the blink of an eye. Love your people hard. ALWAYS tell those you love that you love them. You will never regret this but you sure will regret it if you choose to never tell those you love how you feel. This is a burden that will eat away at your soul till the day you die. We always assume we have time, but truth is it is the biggest lie we tell ourselves. Let go of your ego and live with grace and integrity. We NEED more of this in today’s world.

 

9.) Hold people accountable for their actions but not at the expense of breaking your heart. Good people make mistakes too, but don’t ever allow yourself to be walked all over repeatedly. Actions speak louder than words. What one DOES is who they are. What one SAYS is simply who they pretend to be.

 

10.) Don’t get medical advice from someone on IG who has a lot of followers or is deemed an “influencer.” Still, not sure WTF that really means in today’s age but sometimes I cringe when I see people simply jumping on a bandwagon that’s on a disaster, head on course with a train, but because they have lots of followers people shamefully try to promote themselves and then credibility towards the person/organization is basically gone/over in an instant. That’s it. And then you watch false info get spread around like wildfire because nobody knows what they’re talking about and nobody corrects them & I just roll my eyes and shake my head and wonder WTF twilight zone are we living in? The information becomes diluted and uncredible, but it spreads faster than an STD on spring break.

 

11.) Instant gratification will never amount to the gratification you feel from working hard, never giving up, and pursuing your dreams. Be realistic, set goals, network, and if you fail – learn from it and do better. Period. 

 

12.) If you don’t like something in your life then change it. Complaining gets you nowhere other than annoy those around you.

 

13.) Running from your problems won’t eliminate your problems. You will just have new scenery with the same problems.

 

14.) Life is not fair. I have no tips for this but we must accept it, or you risk boarding the train of denial and wasting your time simply going in circles, turning into the woe is me/victim…NOBODY cares to listen to the woe is me crap anymore because every person in this world has a story and a hardship. Watch the people who rise above their adversity to enact change. Don’t follow the complainers. Follow those who are powerful enough to do the right thing when the right thing isn’t the popular thing to do. 

 

15.) It’s ok to simply be. We don’t need to be productive all the time. You can watch Netflix all day if you just need a break. Don’t feel guilty. You don’t owe anyone an explanation as to how you live your life. However, don’t ever allow yourself to get stuck. We all have shitty and depressing days where we feel like the world is swallowing us whole and spitting us out, but always get up and try. Tomorrow will look different but don’t let yourself stay stuck in despair. If you feel you have no way out then reach out for help. Your mental health is important. Take care of it and don’t be ashamed to get professional help. YOU are worth it.

 

16.) Find a reason to smile & laugh & surround yourself with people who make life just a little bit sweeter. When you find your people, you exude a sense of pure joy & happiness that becomes contagious. We need more happy in our world😊


l

This past year also made me realize that social media platforms are eroding people’s sanity. Listen, I am not perfect by any means, not even close. I’ve spent too much time on social media platforms myself, but I’ve come to realize that a LOT of ugly, a lot of misinformation, and a lot of irrelevance exists on these platforms. At this point, I feel that our excessive technology and social media platforms have created an extremely divisive, and ugly separation amongst people. There are no more respectful discussions just flat out: “you’re dumb and an idiot.” And these are supposed “PROFESSIONALS?” Everything is misconstrued and becomes distorted and even if it was a very thought-provoking and educational piece with actual FACTS, not opinions, people take out ONE sentence, and start to attack the other person, whilst simultaneously stating what a good person they are. Hold up. This is turning into some weird, fu*ked up popularity contest and then the distorted message gets shared because, naturally, that’s what gains traction and everyone is now a perfect Mother Teresa, while calling someone dumb? It’s this virtue signaling that makes me want to vomit in my mouth a little. Anyone else see what’s going on?

We live in a world where opinions are running rampant and facts are just an afterthought. At this point, I feel like the world would be a better place if social media platforms disappeared. Gone. If people held media accountable and put things within context as opposed to fear mongering, creating further divisiveness. There are no longer two sides to a story. There is one side which is typically SO distorted that everyone believes it and if you don’t, then you will be crucified for even stating there was falsities in what was reported. Everything has become clickbait. Nothing more. We have truly lost touch with reality.

All the people who are suddenly “woke” on social media but are far from it in reality. THAT I have an issue with. The people who preach it but don’t live it. The people who feel they need to post a photo on social media “doing the right thing.” Listen, if you need to post something good that you did then you’re not doing it for the right reasons. It’s this faΓ§ade that many people create and these people are dangerous because they’re the ones creating the separation. An example would look like this: “I wear a mask all the time because I actually care about the elderly (me: ummm…never said I don’t wear one around the elderly, nor did I say I don’t care), alone in my car, alone outside, around my goldfish because you never know and that’s a fishy life so got to protect them, plus if I’m in the garden just in case because I also care about our planet more than you because you asshole took your mask off when you saw that ant on the floor and I support the life of bugs too, so that makes you dumb, self centered and ignorant.” Wowzers, anything else? Virtue away…thanks for basically telling me what a good person YOU are, despite knowing nothing about me. Next time you want to post about what a good person YOU are let this ring in your head before you quickly click post: 

The authenticity you post on social media platforms is usually the inauthentic version of yourself because those who truly live it and are authentic in their day to day REAL LIVES don’t post about it, nor do they require recognition for who they are…just think about it…

 

Anyhoo, here’s to 2021…God help us all…thanks for coming to my TED talk😊




Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Pandemic. Progression. Perspective

2020 where has it gone? Oh right we are still circling the drain with this one. I think as a collective society this year is one where you just look back and go WTF just happened? I think I said the same thing about last year actually, lol. I feel like I stepped in shit and can’t get it off my shoes...that’s a fair way to sum up this year. This shit is stuck to us and we can’t escape it. I feel as though as I am living in a circus watching as decision makers use us as puppets, as literally everything has become politicized. Cue vomit emoji & plead for common sense and understanding.

 

For months I have written, saved, deleted, written, forgotten, and then just got stuck. At the start of the pandemic and everything else that has happened since, everything became ‘judgy’ and if you didn’t do X,Y, Z  then you were…you guessed it…judged. I lost a bit of desire to even write because of it. Yet, then I wondered WHY do I even care? I never cared in the past so why do I care now? I mean, seriously and truly, we can all have differing views on everything but we don’t need to go down people’s throats disagreeing with them, their beliefs, and how they choose to deal with everything that all started with ONE person eating a bat???? I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be patient zero – in fact, I’ve thought about this a lot once I’ve consumed my medicinals late in the evenings, lol.  ALL this shit due to a damn BAT??!! I never was a fan of bats but now I utterly hate them. I’m sure “Bob the bat” never thought he would change the living world as we know it… should have been the year of the bat.

 

Now we are into the part of the year where we have stopped hoarding mass amounts of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, or craft supplies, and into the part where everyone has a differing opinion on everything and suddenly every living creature has an expert opinion on this pandemic! We have a mass amount of graduates this year from Dr. Google PhD. Not sure when they graduated but they are ready to give their “expert” opinions in a hot minute. Then you provide scientific facts and their amazing counter argument is: agree to disagree…ummm…ok, but science is science. Sometimes I wonder WTF is happening to the world in which we live? Common sense is as rampant as…well…it’s not rampant and that’s the problem. Common sense has sailed away…likely on that Princess Cruise line. For those of us living with advanced cancer I’ll tell you the worst has happened. We are living on a timer as is, doing therapies that are toxic AF, but we do it because we want to LIVE. Let me give a little perspective on how this pandemic impacted me, and many others with cancer…

 

This pandemic put a serious pickle jam into my plans. I know I know everyone will say: “no shit Sherlock do you know how it impacted me?” Yes, yes I know. HOWEVS, for many advanced cancer patients, this halt in everything may have been what ended their lives. This disease is always about treading water and simply trying to stay afloat before the next wave hits you. The hardest part of this pandemic for me was watching as the world shifted to COVID research and cancer research took a massive backseat. Many clinical trials stopped enrolling patients and, in turn as a result, many succumbed to the disease. THIS has been the hardest part of the pandemic for me. The isolation that many with advanced cancer already feel became heightened and worse. For some, they planned their bucket list vacations, only to lose not only a substantial amount of money but also the very last opportunity they had to take a trip. Ever again. You see, for many, the pandemic was simply the last roadblock to living that sealed their fate towards death. This pandemic was never about “The Pandemic” for many of us.

 

For those that have died, there were no funeral services. Some died alone. Nobody there to hold their hand. The death of a respected and amazing young mom just the other day was my tipping point. HOW can we possibly allow anyone to die alone? HOW? I can’t find the words to express my anger and disbelief that this was allowed to even occur. Families never got closure for their loved ones death. Allowing a young child to see his mother before death is not closure. It’s TRAUMA that he will need to live with for the rest of his life and there is nothing even remotely ok about this. Yet, it was done and it’s over. It’s not televised because it does not fit the mainstream media’s narrative which is all about politics and COVID – Selfish and self promotional. That’s it. Those that have suffered unimaginable loss had their grief contained to the four walls of their home because people couldn’t gather to offer support. Let that sink in. I know we can quantify the number of deaths from COVID, but what if you could quantify the psychological distress that we have created? We have mentally tormented many and left them spiraling in grief. But, we gotta keep people safe from COVID? Our reality is distorted and people are suffering immensely as a result.  

 

Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand the magnitude of this virus, but at this point I’m left to wonder about the real toll this pandemic has taken on all of us. Cancer screening took a hit and I can’t help but wonder the death rate we created because our world took a hard stall and froze to delve into everything COVID related. I can’t help but wonder why cancer research never felt as urgent as COVID research? “It’s so we don’t overwhelm the healthcare system/the hospitals” they said. OK. They placed a temporary tent-like structure to deal with the influx of COVID patients at one of the hospitals in our city. It has since been dismantled as it wasn’t even used. However, we are building a massive cancer centre that is as big as a large hospital because cancer cases are through the roof and we have completely outgrown our current centre…we outgrew it many, many years ago (I mean like over 20yrs ago). Unfortunately, I feel more so that as a society, we have reached such complacency that we just feel we have some form of control over developing cancer. That’s about the biggest myth out there or is it because it isn’t contagious that people live in a delusional state of assumption that it can’t happen to them? When stats show almost 50% of the population will get cancer at some point in their life, I would think the urgency would be greater. When I see the daily count of people who got COVID in our province I can’t help but think, why dont you show the picture of every child diagnosed with cancer? You want perspective? In our province, according to the Canadian Cancer Society & the Gov’t of Canada stats, in 2019 alone, approximately 19 people died of cancer. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. If you look at the most populated province of Ontario, the cancer deaths are approximately 81 DEATHS. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Nobody cares. It’s a complacency I truly hope people wake up from before they become a part of this statistic.

 

During the height of the pandemic I had scans. I went alone as the hospital didn’t allow visitors. I have been on the same oral chemotherapy now for almost 5yrs and really had no reason to think anything would be any different. I went to my scan results alone because, again, they didn’t allow visitors, but if you were celebrating the happiest day of your life by giving birth you could still take your partner. Hmmm…really? So happy times are exempt from this highly infectious virus? Those in the depths of hell, so sick from treatments and the disease ravishing their bodies, need to do it alone? WOW. That was the biggest disservice we could have ever done. Inhumane really. Loved ones sitting alone in their cars in the cancer centre parking lot waiting for their loved one to come out. Cancer is the pandemic of lowest priority. And then I heard the words that my current treatment was no longer working. Say whaaaat???!!! The SBRT I did to my sternum one year prior did not work the way we had hoped. Apparently, this happens to less than 5% of people…oh how I fucken love numbers…and cancer… and all the shitty stats one falls under. Truthfully, the ONLY good thing to come of this pandemic has been the free parking at the hospital. That’s about it. Correction: They are now charging for parking again, lol. Not sure why they think touching these machines when flu season is around the corner is the way to go but welcome to our profit driven world and NO, not a dime you pay for parking goes into our healthcare system. Moving forward, treatment-wise, I decided to go on T-DM1/Kadcyla (drug conjugate which binds Herceptin to a potent chemo called Emtansine). Side effects and all the deets on this therapy I’ll discuss in another post otherwise this one will keep on going and that’s not the purpose of this post.

 

This year has been hard as I am sure it has been for many. I’ve found some who use the pandemic as an excuse for everything, whilst I have never really been scared of this virus. I do all the things that they recommend – wearing a mask, hand washing, social distancing, etc… I have already heard the worst news one can hear and I choose to live my life with perspective. Perspective that I literally have not known one person, personally, who died of COVID, but innumerable number of friends who have died from cancer. Sometimes on a weekly basis. And sometimes so unexpectedly that I can’t quite grasp how or why…or if this will ever get better? Perspective that the couple people I did know recovered from COVID with no lingering consequences, and yet those living with stage IV cancer are still on some form of therapy for the rest of their lives, whilst remaining isolated even further. I think perspective can help us see that there has always been a horrible pandemic that has inflicted our society for millions of years and that’s called cancer. We are dropping like flies over here, but our biggest concerns have been reopening bars and strip clubs and then we panic when 4 more people have been diagnosed and we hurriedly go into panic mode? Here’s a thought, bars and strip clubs are somehow essential but the future generation’s education is not? Is this seriously the fu*^ed-up world we live in? If we aren’t worried about children’s mental health and the detrimental impact we have created by having an overly media obsessed frenzy over everything COVID COVID COVID, then God help us all. Perspective needs to be placed on COVID screening and the impact that has. YES, when we test 6,455 people in a 24hr period and have 7 new cases, why is this even on the news? I would hope basic math is something we can still do and hasn’t been lost in the hysteria of “breaking news headlines”. That is less than 1% of that population. LESS THAN ONE PERCENT. Hey, here’s a nice lil comparison: If we were to tell everyone in our province to have some form of cancer screening tomorrow, do you know what would likely happen? We would see a large increase in cancer cases. SHOCKING!! Ya, not so much. We can instill fear by talking about new cases or you can switch perspective by giving out the percentage of people who have recovered. You know that whole glass half full or empty shit?

 

We all balance and assume risks - Every. Single. Day. When we get in our cars and drive somewhere – we assume risk. When we go for a walk – we assume an element of risk. Right now, I feel we have disproportionally balanced risk over benefit and the toll this will have will be far worse than what the media is reporting in regards to COVID deaths. We need to see that this isn’t only an issue that equates to ONE cause. This is simply what is above the surface. It’s what lays below that we are ignoring that is the REAL problem and we need to start to open our own eyes. People not seeking medical attention in a timely manner for cardiac issues, cancer screening, & the toll on mental health which I feel is horrifying and will far outlive this COVID pandemic. According to the NCI, cancer remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In 2012 alone, 8.2 MILLION people died of cancer worldwide. 8.2 MILLION in ONE YEAR. Oh, and according to the World Health Organization in 2018, 9.6 MILLION died of cancer globally. You see how much that number is increasing??? This number continues to increase and cancer has been around for MILLIONS of years, yet we have normalized it. It has become a disease where people give off the cuff remarks as soon as one is diagnosed such as; “Did you smoke?” or “Did you breastfeed and have babies young?” We literally try to find a reason to place blame on the patient as if they had any control over their rogue cells. Is this the way in which people look for immunity from this disease?  

 

At this point, I think we all need to evaluate our own risks and assess what is best for us and STOP attacking others behind a damn keyboard if their actions don’t align with yours. I can’t help but think back to my grandparent’s generation and think about what they all lived through – Wars, the Great Depression, the Spanish flu, Communism, etc… I think they dealt with it like a bunch of adults without all the “stuff” we have today to simply complain. There was no Instagram to post about your current feelings or what random crap one ate that day. NO, they just dealt with it. Without all the hoards of technology we have today to sit around and whine and complain every second there’s a news story that we don’t agree with. Great. Don’t agree but can we get back to civility? Our obsession with technology is eroding our common sense. How about build some resilience into our future generations as opposed to creating fear and impending doom? We are becoming passive aggressive assholes on social media and what does that accomplish, other than prove one is an asshole? None of us knows what the future holds, but I chose to let fear go on this one because perspective opens the door to my reality and I refuse to live in a shell fearful of all that I have zero control over. Treat people with dignity, keep your opinions to yourself when you know nothing about somebody’s personal circumstance, and let’s see if we can get back to humanity, decency, and self respect. Perspective is a beautiful thing but only if you choose to open your eyes, take a deep breath, and see it.




Thursday, 9 January 2020

2019 Recap


Here we are into another year. Here’s a little recap and update of this past year. With my memory I tried to cram everything I could remember so it’s truly a recap of all I could remember, lol.


This year was a bit more of a shit-show-what-the-hell-happened from literally January 1st type of a year. Hubby was in emerg on New Years day, then back two days later, then surgery in there to fix his back, then complications from surgery, another ER visit, more surgery, an ambulance ride to cap off his birthday because you know we like to party hard with lights and sirens (NOT). Then in the midst of all these “wonderful” ER visits I caught the spawn of satins awful respiratory illness which then led to a rib fracture. So that was the first quarter of the year, lol. After all that, we were ready to try and find some enjoyment but then my sternum decided to light up more indicating the cancer was becoming unruly again and I mean why not add more shit to the already exhaustingly shitty year we were having. Throw in some targeted radiation to my sternum (SBRT), exhaustion that accompanied it and we were ready for some good ole times. Just as a public service announcement to the peeps who have never had radiation: Don’t assume we are simply “tired” or lazy. NO. It is a very overwhelming type of exhaustion. Sleep does not rectify the exhaustion. Unless you have experienced radiation please don’t assume we are simply sleepy. That’s easy to deal with, just sleep and you’re good, lol. Radiation fatigue is an annoyingly overwhelming feeling. Anyhoo, Scans that came after rads were amazing with reduced activity to my sternum and nothing in my brain and we were finally headed in the right direction!! After these scans we decided to move imaging from every 3mo to every 4mo. I have had brain MRIs and PET scans consistently now every 3mo for over 5yrs. I’ve stated numerously the stress they create and how truly unimaginably difficult they are, so knowing things were headed in the right direction made me feel ready and more than happy to push scans back by a month. I finally felt like we could focus more on the living part and less on the illness part that can be so damn all encompassing. I felt like we could plan a little more and dare I say, think less about cancer?


Somewhere in the shit show of life I also went to Toronto for our annual Rethink MBC advisory board meeting in February as well as heading back in June to attend the Canadian Breast Cancer Symposium. This was the first time they had patient advocates at this conference, something I hope is on the cusp of change. Patients are the most invested in research and I think a patient stream should become a regular event at these national conferences. It was a wonderful experience. As well, I was lucky to take part in Stretch Heal Grow in Emerald Lake later in the year and got to meet some amazing women affected by breast cancer. Amongst all the craziness of life there were also moments of pure joy: my youngest nephew’s first birthday, and a week in BC with family over the summer. I don’t ever want to forget the moments that fuel my soul even amidst some hard times because we all must grab onto something to keep us afloat during those, what feels like never-ending moments of hardship. For myself, I need to hope and think of what’s yet to come even if that means only being able to plan a few months in advance. And sometimes due to the side effects of Xeloda, it may simply mean planning for that day and recognizing that tomorrow will be better.


Throughout the craziness of the year, I made the difficult decision to step down from co-chairing Rethink’s MBC advisory board. After 1.5yrs, between the travel and the commitment and the realization that I could no longer give 100% of myself to this board, I decided to step down. I felt torn in a sense like I needed to advocate, to try and make things better for our community. Advocacy forced me to constantly think about cancer and after 5yrs of immersing myself in this I think I knew deep down that it was finally time to take a step back and focus on my own life and my own health. To not have any additional stress and to not fill my days simply thinking about cancer. The moment I stepped down I felt like this weight was lifted off my shoulders. I truly made the best decision for me and my family and It made me realize that saying no is sometimes a necessity and we should never feel bad for putting ourselves first. Ever.


Fast forward to the end of the year, I had my last scans and posted about my good results! Heck, I posted a stupid boomerang with the hubs about how happy we both were. We celebrated, had my fave annual chestnut praline latte and went out for dinner. The next day I bought myself a pair of shoes I loved because I mean…why not? Remember, ALWAYS buy the shoesπŸ˜‰…and the purse…ok, just buy whatever your heart desires. As well, the SBRT (targeted radiation) I had earlier this year showed that there was continued decrease in metabolic activity to my sternum. Could I seriously end the year on a better note?? I truly felt like our luck was finally shifting and I really felt like life had hit a sweet spot.



The next day as I was sitting enjoying another chestnut praline latte (I was really happy about my scan results & life in general at this point), I got a call from my oncologist noting that the actual radiologist report was received and unfortunately there was something concerning noted on my brain MRI. First thing I thought was fuck NOOOOOO, not my damn brain…again!!! The pickily situation was the fact that this spot was noted just adjacent to an area I had radiated in 2014, and so there was some confusion about whether it was cancer progression or radiation necrosis. Radiation necrosis is basically a type of radiation injury which causes the loss of blood supply to an area, and essentially that area starts to become necrotic, or in other words the area dies. I suppose the “good” news is that it is still tiny (mm’s in size) but damn, why did it need to pop up in my brain. I could deal with a tiny new spot to a bone but the thing with the brain is that it’s contained within the skull so things can’t grow and flourish in there without causing significant issues. I kept this info on the downlow as I didn’t know myself what the heck was happening and I’ve found having people ask questions when I don’t have the answers simply causes me more stress.



The scans were further reviewed by both my neuro radiation onc along with the rest of the radiation team and they came back stating that they believed it was indeed radiation necrosis. Yay-ish (??), but not really. I know as soon as everyone hears that it is anything other than cancer it’s this huge relief, but it’s not really the greatest thing either. On imaging, a radiologist can’t decipher between necrosis or cancer as they look basically the same and they can both continue to grow and essentially cause detrimental issues within the brain. It can also cause symptoms identical to cancer so essentially, it’s kinda like the asshole friend of cancer – both are like the shittiest gifts that keep on giving.



With that, I went away to Cabo with my mom for one week because I just needed a break. Hubby was a gem as we wanted to get away but told me he would hold down the fort with the dogs and to just get away with my mom as I had the opportunity which I was beyond thankful for. There’s something about the ocean that literally draws me in and allows me to simply be. Maybe it’s because the waves in Cabo are unpredictable so I’m too focused on not being swept away into the Pacific, lol, but there’s nothing more perfect then to sit and be by the ocean all day. To relax away from any stress that occupies my mind with the everyday life back home. We ate a LOT, ate anything and everything I felt like having, enjoyed a glass of wine with zero guilt with dinner and was just simply so damn thankful that I could still travel and enjoy it.



This year I learned that regardless of how hard we try to plan for anything they are exactly that; simply plans with no guarantees. I’m thankful my hubby’s back is finally fixed. I’m grateful for another year, and I’m thankful that all those I love have their health. Now moving forward, I am back to imaging every 3mo and we will watch this area of necrosis. If I become symptomatic then we will deal with it. Typically, they start with steroids so here’s hoping things remain chill as the last thing I want is to go into 2020 needing steroids which I utterly can’t stand. Oh life you keep me on my toes. Obviously, I know how much worse it could be – trust me, I watch far too many beautiful people suffer and die from this disease but I won’t pretend as if my life is all sunshine and roses all the time either. I first heard I had cancer when I was 26, came back with a vengeance when I was 28 and have been living on some form of toxic therapy ever since. I simply want more research and better therapies that not only extend our lives but give us a better quality as well. Here’s to another year…I want nothing more then to be happy…to feel physically well & not wake up at night feeling awful…less drama…more sunshine and oceans and family. Cheers everyone and hope 2020 is a good one😊




This is just a fraction of treatments from 2019, but all these moments were worth it for the moments below

Canadian Breast Cancer Symposium with some amazing advocates



This boy turned ONE:). Oh gosh I love his squishiness and basically everything about this sweet little dude. Can't help but smile when I'm around him:)


This is the mould from SBRT. Told the hubs that pretty soon I'll have a full body worth of this...so far I've got a head, neck, and chest, lol. Truthfully though, THIS IS ENOUGH! However, I'm thankful SBRT was even available as a treatment option for me


Vacationing with this little dude who is like a retired, old soul. He truly is one of the sweetest boys you'll ever meet and I simply hope his massive heart and empathetic soul stays with him forever


yup, my niece got me on a horse again


Some of my fave times were mornings on vacay with this guy


This face!!! Summers are the best


I couldn't resist not posting a pic of Lola



My summer days, just relaxing with a cup of coffee and obviously Lola are my type of days. Oh gosh I am craving the summer already!!


Another wedding anniversary - year 7!!


Tolerating the freezing cold, lol. Tried to embrace it with some sledding


This sign in Mexico made me laugh. This pharmacy had EVERYTHING clearly, but my fave was probably the "smart pills," hahahaha


Seriously, love my mom and all she has sacrificed and done for me. Thank you is never enough & had an amazing time with her in Mexico


Give me all the sun...love love love the ocean


Cabo you were good to me...seeya 2019