My Study Buddy

I’m studying.  Again.

You see, I have another sporadically scheduled treatment planning exam this Tuesday.  I had one last Tuesday (which got cancelled… And has yet to be rescheduled… UGH).  It seems that I have a “get me to do something” sign taped to my face.  This week’s topic is Rectal Cancer.  Last week’s was Small Cell Lung Cancer.  We can’t get much further apart.

I spent my morning picking up a few things at the grocery store and cleaning (ah, I do love a clean house (just don’t look in the guest/to-be-baby room or our room)).  I have mac and cheese in the slow cooker and the oven preheating to make some veggie crisps (looked like a good idea on the internet).  Patrick is playing Wii with his little brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters (great organization, by the way).

I decided to hole up finally and get some studying done.

I can’t study on my own anymore.  I have these two study buddies.  One goes everywhere with me, thanks to a little thing I call the placenta.  The other is the feline that can only travel as far as the confines of the apartment (hypothetically).

Jeter has a strange obsession with sticking nearby.  Today, he passed out on my textbooks.  Including the one I wanted to read. 10325749_10153286555099316_5885870976480320603_n

Silly cat.

Plus, the placenta attached study buddy is having a small dance party in my uterus.

Clearly these folks are not the best study partners.  They did not get the memo.

So, I’m updating my phone and my laptop and writing a blog post.  With a textbook open in front of me.  If it is open, it at least half counts, right?

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Positives in the Tunnel

I wish I could say there is a light at the end of my tunnel of insanity.

But alas, there isn’t one.

Sometimes being a resident and a wife and having a life is discouraging.  Sometimes because it is so hard to do it all.

But, on a bright side to my frustrations, I do have a supportive program.  I may have a million expectations and things to do.  But, it is also a place where the staff person I worked with on call this weekend offered (insisted, really) to take my pager overnight for a few hours so baby and I can get some sleep.  And where I get encouraged to go to appointments and eat.

And I have a supportive husband.  Who picks me up late and is okay with a haphazard supper (again).  Who puts up with my hours of studying and pauses the TV when the pager beeps and who lets me take the car when I have a chance to go to a church ladies’ movie night.

Plus, I have outside friends who try to get it.

And a kind of cuddly and entertaining cat (with a bald spot that is finally growing in (that is a story for another time)).

And of course, I have a great Saviour who is the reason I can do and be all of these things and get through the day.

There are lots of things to be thankful for amidst the crazy.

Merry Christmas from the M household

It is just about Christmas, which means it is time for a festive blogging holiday (I know, its not like I’ve been writing that much anyway).

This is the first year EVER (and likely the last for a long time) that Patrick and I are just the two of us for Christmas (and Jeter).  I’m excited.  I’m also a little sad because it is weird not being home, but it works out that I have a bit more time off this way somehow.

I’m on call for Christmas Eve.  How holly jolly of me.

But, that hasn’t stopped us from concocting and continuing traditions.

We decorated our tree a few weeks ago.  Our tree is a hand-me-down from my Grandmother with “built-in” lights.  Last year a small chunk of them around the back were burnt out.  This year, once we had the tree fully assembled and pretty looking it was a full strip around the lower middle.  The whole way around.  I freaked out.  I mean, it looked ugly and I tried my darndest to find the broken bulb, but eventually gave up in tears.  Patrick and I opted to decorate it anyway and maybe look at getting a new tree next year.  After the tree was fully assembled with decorations and everything, Jeter promptly settled in under it, then by the next day went back to his previous routine of chewing on the branches, chewing on the wires and knocking off ornaments.  One morning 5 were down.  About 3 days after we put the tree up, I turned on the lights and lo and behold, they all worked.  Then, a few days later a different chunk were out.  Then, I saw Jeter chewing on the tree (and the lights)… It hit me… It has been him.  There is some sort of short and he intermittently reconnects it by gnawing on it.  The lights are presently all on again, but who knows how long.

The tree with the lightless strip before Jeter "fixed" it.

The tree with the lightless strip before Jeter “fixed” it.

Jeter in his spot under the tree.

Jeter in his spot under the tree.

On a related note, we do try really hard to discourage him from chewing the electrical wires.  We know its bad.  We even gave him an object lesson with the cat from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but he persists in causing all sorts of tree related troubles.

Image from thethoughtexperiment.wordpress.com.

Tonight, we went out and looked at lights.  In the rain.  Because nothing says Christmas like pouring rain.  Patrick downloaded 100 Christmas classics and we listened to some festive music and admired lights, much like I have done since I was a kid.

Tomorrow, despite the call, we are hoping to go to church (yay!) and I am cooking french onion soup for supper because it seemed like a good idea.  We always read the Christmas story to each other at bed time, so hopefully I’ll be home for that.

And for Christmas day, our master plan is to sleep in (or read in bed), relax, have pancakes and bacon for brunch and open the presents we have here.  I am being adventurous since this is the one year we probably get to be adventurous and making lamb for Christmas dinner (and all the hipsters should be proud because we bought it at a local butcher and it is local baby sheep).  Besides that, we will pack and watch movies and play board games and read books and all that good stuff.

It isn’t our usual multi-family epic tour full of turkey, but we are excited for celebrating a bit differently.  Patrick calls it the blip year (or something like that) because it is more of an anomaly because there wasn’t a year quite like it before and there probably won’t be again.

So, Merry Christmas from the M household.  Hope you have fun with your traditions or anti-traditions.

The Cat’s Out of the Bag

So, I have an excuse and an announcement.

I haven’t been posting very often because my life has been consumed with trying to do my job adequately, sleeping and trying not to throw up.

Jeter has helped me out with the announcement part with his new choice reading material…IMG_0463 IMG_0469There is a tiny human growing inside me and in June, the M family will contain 3 humans (and a giant cat).  Really, it has 3 humans now, but one of them can’t live not inside of me.

Because of past events, my healthcare background (aka my insane ability to worst case scenario any possible health event because I have either seen it or have heard of it) and social norms (I know, I’m not always big on social norms, but fear was a big driver in this once) we decided to keep this whole thing on the down low until I hit the “magical” 12 week mark (which I don’t actually think is that magical).  So, now that we have released the gag orders on our parents and best friends and told our friends from our old small group, my “other mothers” and our church family, I get to tell the blogesphere (because not only am I now the kind of person who announces their pregnancy with annoying cat photos, I am the person who tells the internet).

Stuff got so much more real over the weekend (and strangely, will be a bit more real when I hit “publish”).

Funny how other people being in on your little gift from God can do that.

The cat is out of the bag, so they say.

So, yay new life who we celebrate every day because I get such frequent reminders of what a gift it really is.  I know I am so fortunate I am to get to be sick and tired and slowly expansile.  Sometimes waiting for something is hard, but the lessons in that wait are huge.  I keep seeing that piece more and more every day (more on that later too).

Thanksgiving Turkey and “Meeosh”

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here.

I was on call.  It is how I roll these days, it seems.

Despite that,  I thought it would be a good idea to have people over for Thanksgiving dinner.  Because we have a biggish dining room and I like to cook.

It was a good idea.

Some planning ahead and good luck meant that we had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with Child, D and Dr. Bond.

I was ridiculously excited that I found a “decently priced” fresh turkey that was small enough to fit in our oven and the disposable baking pan that would also fit in our oven.

Jeter made it his main goal in life to eat the turkey.  He tried to eat it raw, he tried to pick the chunk of extra skin out of the garbage can and then, once everyone arrived, he proceeded to jump on the counter and try to steal a bite repeatedly.  That cat likes his meat.

I like having some “family” away from biological family.

I also like hosting Thanksgiving because it means we wind up with leftovers… My favourite.

Tonight we had what my family calls “Meeosh.”  The recipe: Take all of the leftovers, mix and fry them together in a frying pan, then put extra gravy on top.  Other people call it hash.  I call it delicious.  Patrick and I both looked forward to it all day.

Interestingly, Patrick had never had “Meeosh” until he married me.  In fact, he never had anything quite like it.  He thought us a bit odd that time as my Mom and I combined everything we pulled from the fridge in a giant frying pan.  He was pleasantly surprised and has never gone back.

Mmmm… Turkey.

“BIFFs’ Weekend”

Last weekend, we had yet another awesome weekend.

We went away to a place near Kouchibouguac National Park with two of my best friends and their husbands (Child&D and L&C).  We decided last year to make it an annual tradition to go on a “BIFFs’ trip” (BIFFs is a word we made out of the abbreviation best friends forever back when we were in very early undergrad… We don’t really use it anymore, but it works in the context of naming the trip).  A trip where V&D, L&C and Child&D and Patrick and I could go away just (kind of) like old times no matter where we were in this world.  

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out that all of us could go.  I was very disappointed.  Such is life.  But, we went to the park from our separate corners of country and met for a weekend adventure.  It was all the more exciting for me because it was most of their first times there and it was where I spent a large chunk of my childhood summers.

Although it was my second weekend full of people, it was worthwhile.  We saw lots of beautiful scenery (and Child too tons of pictures).   I took people on random back road adventures.  I got to eat scallops at this place we always stopped at when I was a kid.  We took L and Child for their first trips on kayaks.  We saw giant man-eating (okay, not really man-eating that we know of) jellyfish and caught all kinds of marine life at the beach.  We ate a ton of food.  Played some games, including one of my favourites, Bang where the other outlaws and I won, read books and laughed a bunch. IMG_0202 IMG_0214IMG_0197IMG_0219

A highlight of the trip was the fact that the house next door seemed to be particularly sketchy and had a lot of animals.   We think that a very feral looking cat who hung around while we cooked and barbecued was part of that household.  When we went out for a bonfire that evening, we acquired a very adorable kitten, who crawled into all of our laps and ate our hot dogs (she stole them from beside someone while she snubbed him).  Patrick had to try really hard to get her to go back to what we thought was her home, only to have her show up crying at our cabin door.  She wasn’t the only one, as it turned out, cats started appearing everywhere once night fell.  IMG_0230 IMG_0224 IMG_0226

I’m lucky to have friends who have been around since I was an awkward teenager (or even tween… ugh), or who I have stuck with since they were awkward teenagers.  I know not everyone is so fortunate.  Yes, that proves to be challenging because people do grow up, get married and change, but they are the closest things I have to siblings, so I’m stuck with them for life.  Even if it is sometimes insanely difficult for some and suspiciously easy for others.

A terribly embarrassing "selfie" from Christmas vacation 2007.  Back when the Child was still literally a Child.

A terribly unflattering photo from Christmas vacation 2006(?).  Back when the Child was still literally a Child.

So, I have someone who gets up early, drinks coffee by the pound and discusses things like books, life and music.  I have someone else who hugs me more than anyone else I know (less my mother and my husband) and somehow understands my crazy and knows what I actually am feeling even when I don’t.  I have someone who will always laugh hard and long at stories with me (even if they shouldn’t be that funny).  The cool part is that although everyone is unique, they all crossover too.  

Pretty cool, huh?

Nacho breakfast, unicycles and cat. Some random updates.

We had friends visiting from that lovely island where we once lived this weekend.  It was great minus the fact that I was on call (minor detail).  Thus the absence yet again of blog updates.  So, here are some random updates…

Our cat is currently trying to chew his way into a giant Costco box of garbage bags.  We think (and hope) it is because he can smell his cat food on the box.

There are some people in your life that you can just pick up where you left off… Even if you haven’t seen them in two years.  The people visiting are precisely some of those people.  

We played a new game this weekend basically about swimming robots.  What more can you want?

Image from amazon.com.

I got hit in the face with a chunk of tree walking in our tail of a hurricane weather a few weeks ago.  Instead of being distressed or mad… I found it funny.  

I saw someone riding a unicycle down the street the other day.  That is something that always makes me smile.

My cat is out to kill our cilantro and our carpet.  He has knocked the whole pot over three times.  I think the cilantro is now dying. 

Some person or group in our city hung random red swings from trees in various places.  I really want to find one and swing on one.  There is one right by the hospital.  One day, I will do it.

When I see a hopscotch thing drawn on the sidewalk, I almost can’t resist hopping on it.  Almost.

My to do list at work is an expansile mass.  But, it is a colourful one.

I drew lungs on a piece of my patient list this weekend while teaching the new resident on call.  Patrick saw the drawing and asked why I had lungs on my paper.  I was super impressed that he identified the body part!

We went to a wildlife park last weekend and saw a ton of peacocks just wandering around.  They screech like mad, but are kind of entertaining to see.photo

Nachos can make a good breakfast.  Especially if you are on call.  At least I think so.

 

Physics Avoidance

I have been eaten by physics.

Okay, I really like physics, but I have this exam coming up on Thursday (unless someone decides to move it again).  And unlike last year, I have to pass it this time around.  Silly world expecting me to actually know stuff.

Needless to say, I goofed off all last week on vacation with my parents visiting and such (and before that it was manuscript writing), so this week is hammer time with the physics books, well, that and showing up to my Molecular Genetics classes and labs and watching playoff hockey (please don’t let tonight be the last game for the Habs, please!?!?).

And yet, I am here, writing a post.  It will be short and sweet and simply some randoms.

I finished The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion on Sunday night (it was my final act of vacation… That and staying up late to watch the hockey game, but I do that during the playoffs without vacation, so it doesn’t count).  It was one of the better books I have read recently.  I can relate to the main character who has a Sheldon Cooper-like (and thus, in some ways, a Trisha-like) personality.  Very funny, very easy read.  You should check it out.

The Child and I, after about 2 years of playing Super Mario Brothers on the Wii have made it to level 3.  If you can’t guess based on the timeline, we die a lot.  And level 3 is filled with us screaming “PENGUINS” and then dying.  I think it makes the death more fun.

My “nephews” turn 12 next week.  They are the same age as the kids Patrick teaches.  That makes me feel so freaking old.  It also makes me remember I need to get them cards.

I have discovered during this Molecular Genetics rotation that DNA is beautiful.  Especially when being analyzed by FISH or SKY.

Spectral karyotyping. I love the pretty colours.

BCR/ABL is an abnormal fusion gene that is found in leukemias. Image from Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene.

My herbs are sprouting!  I have no clue what is what.  Hopefully that will become more clear as they mature.

On another plant related note, Jeter killed our orchid.  Snapped it clean in half.  Jerk.

Jeter broke a mug at 3am.  Well, we assume it was him.  Or we have a poltergeist.  Or a clumsy thief who forgot to steal stuff.  Really, this is another reminder why we shouldn’t leave stuff on the counter.  It is also why I am grateful that I sleep like I am dead because Patrick had to wake up and deal with it.

Speaking of my destructive cat, the Child showed me these videos on YouTube called Simon’s Cat.  I find them delightful.

Patrick is going on a field trip this week with his class overnight.  He is excited.  I can think of few things I would want to do less than hang out at a camp with a ton of 11 and 12 year olds.  That is what makes us different.

Call Conundrums

This weekend is a call weekend. And tomorrow I am off (after 8 and once I give appropriate handover), followed by a trip half way across the country to present my research. I am excited.

My calls lately have had some odd streaks to them.

For instance, I had one that was, well, a complete surprise.

The program administrator sent me my schedule for the next block including my 5 dates for call in the next four weeks. I didn’t get a copy of the master call schedule, but so long as I knew when I was on call, that is all that really mattered. I could call locating to find out who the staff was.

But, then, I was in teaching one day when one of the staff docs came in and gave me a post-it note, said we were on call together and all his info was there and left. I though it was for when I was on with him that coming holiday Monday.

Then I read the post-it. It informed me that we had 2 beds available, the floor was quiet and that we were on together tonight.

But I wasn’t scheduled for call. So I thought.

Turns out I was according to the board in the nursing unit. And Locating. Apparently, they forgot to list one of my dates when they sent out my schedule. Fail.

So much for a date night out with Patrick.

Call is the worst when you aren’t mentally prepared for it. Even if it is home call. I was rotted.

This weekend, I was super tired Friday night and decided to go to bed early after a very quiet night. I went to bed just before 10 and fell asleep. I woke up to my pager just after 11 with a “I wanted to call before you went to bed” call. Little do they know I am like an old person and was already asleep for an hour.

Yesterday, I was in and out of the hospital much of the day. So much so, the security staff (two of them) got to know me by name.

Also yesterday, I had to go to the university library to use their computers to get access to SPSS, the statistics program I did the stats for my research on. This because I discovered the university only licenses the downloads for one year for staff. And both of my supervisors aren’t around to take the time to email computing services and get a new code for me this week.

I get in to the library, which is strangely quiet and am working away when a random guy comes in and sits at the next set of computers away and starts watching something that was making horrifying screaming-like-someone-was-being-murdered noises and other bizarre sounds. I looked around and nobody else seemed to notice. I questioned whether I was part of a weird social experiment for a bit because it kept happening and he was making no effort to turn down his sound or plug in headphones. The sounds of murder had just stopped when my pager decides to go off. And I get a dirty look from some people.

Seriously? We just heard screams of death and other weirdness for the last 10 minutes and the 2 beeps of my pager it took to turn it off is what earns a look of death.

The cat picked up my pager by its “bungee cord” and dropped it in his litter box this morning while I was getting out of the shower. It was in a clean patch, thankfully. I think he hates it as much as I do.

Unique

The Top Ten Tuesday topic this week is the top ten unique books you have read.

Sounds cool.  Too bad I spent my evening trying to finish up my presentation for the conference I am going to in a few weeks.

Yes, I am that keen.  But, the real reason I am getting it done now is because I want my research supervisors to give me useful feedback and the only way to ensure they give me said feedback is to give them a fake deadline much before it is actually needed.

So, I spent much of my evening curled up on the couch with my laptop listening to the leak drip (yes, we still have that leak, although it has slowed) and watching television while creating a powerpoint presentation all about my research.  Which then reminds me I need to start working on my manuscript, but that is a challenge for another day.

My current “unique” is that I know a lot about current research around cancer support groups, education programs and mood scales.

In other “uniques,” the only book I could think of for the list in question was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  Because I LOVE death as the narrator.

I start my palliative medicine rotation tomorrow.  I am excited because I really like palliative medicine.  Also, it is the first rotation I have looked forward to since the Fall.    That makes me and it kind of unique.

The cat is unique.  He has a strange love of Q-Tips.  He carries them around and chews them and finds them a particular delicacy worth digging through the garbage for if they have ear wax on them.

I am uniqued out now.