Thursday, May 19, 2011

My new nephew

Jennifer had Baby Iain on Sunday May 15 at 12:46pm. He was born at home with midwives present at a weight of 9 lbs 1 oz (4.15kg).

Chatted with Jenn today - she said the baby was 'brilliant' but the labour was the worst pain she's ever felt in her life. So everything was normal from what I've heard.... LOL

Here are some pics!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Improving my Attitude

OK, I have to admit that I have been less that enthusiastic about my return to work. I have been bitching & moaning & pissing to anyone who asked me. (not about the work itself, just having to be there instead of in California playing waterball....)

I then started wondering why I would have that crappy attitude about something as simple as going to work when I had a great attitude all through my cancer treatment. And as I said to a friend on the weekend, 'going to work HAS to be better than cancer, right?'. So I've decided to put a positive spin and attitude on my return to work as well.

And this morning I was cleaning out some old emails and came across some that will help me do this. The following story is one my mom sent me because she said 'it fit me to a T'. It made me cry and was one of the nicest things she has ever said to me (and naturally there have been many... )


There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. 'Well,' she said, 'I think I'll braid my hair today.' So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. 'H-M-M,' she said, 'I think I'll part my hair down the middle today.' So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. 'Well,' she said, 'today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony tail.' So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head. 'YAY!' she exclaimed. 'I don't have to fix my hair today!'

So I am going to use this example to make the best out of returning to work - like the good things of seeing my awesome colleagues who are all great people, and also the bigger paycheque! And the fact that being at work means I don't have cancer! So I have now given myself an attitude adjustment - my own 'kick in the ass'

I have another great email to share but I'll save it for next time.....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Officially back to work.

Yesterday was my first day back at work. Well... half-day anyway. I'm on a 'graduated return to work' for a couple of months where I add more time over the weeks until I'm up to fulltime.

It is strange being back at work - and I have to admit I did start to feel somewhat overwhelmed during a meeting today, however, I added my 'new perspective' to it to make myself feel better.

Basically, I'm thinking - hell, if I can get through cancer treatment, that I can definitely get through this process of getting back to work. This is nothing compared with what I've already gone through - and of course is necessary for me to put the cancer experience behind me.

Am I happy to be at work? No. But honestly - who is, other than dolphin trainers?

I consider myself very very lucky to have had the benefits & support from my employer that I have had and so feel that it is only fair to do my best to return to work in an efficient (yet healthy for me) manner. I don't plan on dragging it out.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The 11th hour.....

Meaning, tomorrow is the big day of my 'Return to Work'..... ACK!

I haven't even told you all the story of my 'Return to Canada' from Scotland and here I am already 'Returning to Work'. ACK!

So, my trip to Scotland was fabulous - most notably for the fact of seeing my ever-so-pregnant but not for long sister-in-law Jennifer (who actually is due today however there is so far no sign of said baby arriving as yet). We had lots of quality time together and I really enjoyed getting to know her other half & his mother. I had already done most of the 'tourist' type things when I was in Scotland in 1996 (my first honeymoon - but that's a whole other story). So this was 'family time'. Although that didn't stop us from going up Arthur's seat. I know - that sounds so weird, doesn't it? But what it means is that 'Arthur's Seat' is the name of this sort-of mountain near Holyrood Palace and the top of it offers a fabulous view of the city. So it was a beautiful spring day and Jennifer was feeling up for it so we actually hiked up this hill. Me and my 8 3/4 months pregnant companion..... sadly, she was faring much better than me - But despite that - and many of my other best efforts - no baby arrived on my watch.....

Anyway, my out to Scotland, I had window seats all the way. The ride home was aisle seats for me. So my row had a largish teenager at the window, a little old lady in the middle seat and then me on the aisle. About 2 hours into the flight, the lady got up for the restroom and then, in broken English, asked me to move to the middle seat. See, I am the kind of person who would give up my seat on a bus for someone who is old, or pregnant or disabled.... but I learned I am NOT the kind of person who will give up my aisle seat on a 9 hour plane ride for someone old - especially when there are 7 hours left in the flight. She was trying to wangle her way into a seat in the row behind me because her daughter & granddaughter were there. But there was a man in the aisle seat there and I guess he probably didn't want to move to a middle seat either - so she figured he would be willing to move to another aisle seat one row up and if only I would move to the middle, she could sit on the aisle with her family.

Admittedly, there was some guilt attached to my decision - but who wants to sit in a middle seat for 7 hours? She certainly didn't so why would I??? Then she asked the flight attendant about changing seats and was told there were extras so if she found one she liked she could move there. So she scoped the plane, and obviously found an empty seat because she came back to me and asked ME to move to the other seat she found! I refused again. Guilt factor ramping up but I stuck to my guns, thinking that my 5'7" frame more needed an aisle seat than hers did....

So in the end, she moved to the other empty seat which was a bonus for me and my other row-mate as we had no one between us anymore. And the EXTRA bonus is that at the end of the flight during the descent, the guy who was sitting in the row behind (the one she tried to convince to move to my row with me) got air sick and puked 3 times into the bags provided. So I was really glad I hadn't crammed myself into a middle seat in order to sit next to a guy who would be puking......

So I arrived around 2pm on Wednesday (which was 10pm Scotland time) - and the trick to beating the jetlag is to stay up & go to bed at a normal time. So Cam took me to flyball practice where I was dead on my feet but knew it was for a good cause - especially because I had stupidly committed to running Cooper at the flyball tournament on the weekend. But it did help me with the jetlag as I had no problem sleeping through the night & was pretty much ok after that.

Thursday night I went to my TOPS meeting, Friday night I had a double-header of slo-pitch then Saturday I ran flyball all day (for the 2nd time in my life - the first with one of my own dogs). I was not only exhausted from all this - but also sore and injured. My muscles were MAD. There was no thought of me doing the same on Sunday as per the original plan. I was pretty much useless all day on Sunday. I was so tired Saturday night that I woke up in overtime and had no idea the predators had tied the game up with less than a minute to go.

So today was my last day of freedom - but I got an interesting phone call from my 'return to work' guy. My doctor had told me to go back to work half time for 2 months when I finally do go. So I planned for that. But then THIS guy called me today to explain that Return to Work schedules are usually more graduated - which actually makes a lot more sense than what I had scheduled based on the doctor's recommendation.

So instead of starting half-time tomorrow, I am doing more like 1/3 time for a couple of weeks, then moving up to almost half-time, then 2/3 then 3/4 etc. until I am accustomed to working closer to full-time hours. So that is actually a much smarter plan - I hadn't realized that there was an option for this. I just assumed that since the doc said 1/2 time, that's what I had to do. This guy explained that doctors are not usually extremely specific - they will often just say 'graduated return to work' with no specific hours identified. So they go with their own info as long as it doesn't contradict the doctor's (like trying to make me work MORE hours than the doctor recommended). I'm happy about this - it seems more logical. And less stressful. And I'm not talking about the stress of actually working - I'm talking about the stress of realizing that I have to 'get back to normal'. That my 'life of leisure' is over..... my trial retirement has drawn to a close. But now it is closing JUST a little more gradually to make it that much more palatable.

But now it is 11:15 - and I have to go to bed - because I have to work in the morning!!! This is still blowing my mind and freaking me out a little.

But, that's life! Here I go - getting busy living!!!