Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Reflections of Our Time

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less,
we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge,
but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hgold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones,
because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe,
because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is
the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment
for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give
time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away.

Friday, April 11, 2008

When I said I do

I have had a friend over from Saskatchewan visiting here for last couple of weeks. We have been friends for 26 years. It was an instant bond between us. She made a comment the other day that Keith was going to have a hard time when I got better as he wouldn't have anything to do. I asked her what she meant as it didn't make any sense to me and she said "because he has been getting your food, helping you shower and get dressed and taking care of you since you got home from the hospital". I smiled at her and told her it was obvious she hadn't been around for a long time as Keith has been like that for many years. But she just remembers him as "The Wild Man" and had a hard time seeing this new and improved version. I told her that when Keith and I met I don't know if it was the Spirit that told me, my instincts, or what it was but I was the only one that seemed to be able to see what was so deeply hidden beneath layers of protective brick wall.

But her comment made me think if I take him for granted so when he came home from work that day I talked to him about it and he said no he never once thought I was taking advantage of him and it was all part of the package. I said what package. He said the "for better or worse package". We accepted that part when we got married just that you took on more then you bargained for when you had to take me when I was wild and had 3 small boys. He continued on by saying that what kind of man would he be now these last couple of years if he bailed on me when it was my turn in the "worse part" of our vows?

Of course I had to cry and hug him as hard as my chest would allow me to. I am going to attempt to add a video to this post but if for some reason it doesn't work please check out the link and click on the song "When I said I do" and please take the time to listen to it if you wish. It is from Clint Black and his wife Lisa Hartman and there is a line in there that says even with everything around them going on that only they could undo what they had built together. I thought how true that is. So many times in life in marriages people say that such and such broke them up, loss of job, infedility, kids, etc but when it is all said and done, the only thing that can undo what a couple builds together is themselves.

I am so thankful I have a husband who has taken care of his end of the vows and believes in them. I am so blessed to have a husband who loves me unconditionally even when he is holding my head out of the puke bucket. He thinks I am the most beautiful woman he has ever known and tells me that every day. I am sure I would still be able to deal with this whole mess this past 6 months but I thank my Father in Heaven every single day that I have such a strong and loving man by my side to help me through this. I truly believe with every heat of my heart that when he said I do he meant it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Putting things into perspective

Today has made a year that my cousin, Darell Cloutier has gone missing. These past couple of months have flown by as I have dealt with my cancer and going from one specialist appointment and one surgery to another. I have been so wrapped up with my health and pain that everything else just got swept under the carpet so to speak. I haven't spent very much time online (so completely forgot what time of the year it was since my surgery as it has been too painful to check out my sites) but now realizing what day it is has put things into perspective. I may be hurting more then I have ever hurt in my life but at least my family knows where I am. At least my pain reminds me I am alive and kicking.. well ok maybe not kicking but you get the point.

Stefan, Jaime and Uncle Raymond, my heart and prayers go out to you today and every day.

Thu, April 10, 2008
From anger to tears: Missing man's friends try to move on as hurting family can only hope for closure in year-old case
UPDATED: 2008-04-10 01:53:52 MST


A full year has passed, but for the family of Darrell Cloutier, life refuses to move on.

The 34-year-old Calgarian vanished in the Bahamas one year ago today, leaving friends and relatives in a purgatory of pain and frustration, with only one realistic conclusion: It was murder.

"At this point, we're pretty sure he was, ah, taken care of," said Stefan Cloutier, Darrell's brother.

"Whether it was random, or whether it was building up over time -- whether he was a target -- we just don't know."

Colleagues who went looking for Darrell after he failed to show up for work found the front door of Cloutier's condominium open and his groceries still sitting in his car.

There was no sign of Darrell, who was only two weeks away from returning to Calgary when he vanished.

Police acted quickly at first, and a 36-year-old Bahamian woman, said to be an acquaintance of Darrell's, was arrested and charged with fraud after Darrell's bank card was found in her possession.

That woman has since been released on bail without further charges, while another suspect in the case -- a man described as "armed and dangerous" in the days following Darrell's disappearance -- was let go without charge.

No further arrests have been made, and Darrell's brother says he doesn't expect the situation to change any time soon.

Stefan says police in the Bahamas have let the trail go cold, and seem content to let the file gather dust.

"It's just been incredibly frustrating, and nothing seems to be getting done," he said.

"Everything moves in slow motion."

A $10,000 reward fronted by Darrell's street hockey pals in the Bahamas remains unclaimed, and a website posted by the Royal Bahamas Police Force asking for public help seems to have withered on the vine -- two tip lines, when tried, ring unanswered.

Police there do answer other phone lines, but attempts to reach the officers in charge of the case leads to multiple transferred calls, and apparent confusion over who is investigating.

Stefan says the family's frustration over the lack of police progress and concern led them to hire an investigator in Canada, but when the private eye flew south, police in the Bahamas refused to co-operate.

"They basically kicked him out," he said.

Both Stefan and his father Raymond have visited the island trying to find answers, but they, too, returned empty- handed.

Back home, there's been no service acknowledging Darrell is gone, said Stefan.

"We're not ready for that," he said.

"There's no closure yet."

Darrell's friends feel a similar frustration, but while a family is endlessly reminded of the son and brother missing from their lives, they have no choice but to move on with theirs.

Dylan Murray, who lives in Calgary, says the year since Darrell disappeared has been painful for those who knew the generous, hockey-loving Canuck, who donated time to the local kids hockey street league.

"I'm hurt, the guys back in Bahamas are hurt, because until you know what happened, it's hard to have closure," he said.

"I feel horrible for his family; it must be excruciating."

Murray says he has come to terms with never seeing his friend again, and he's sure Darrell met with foul play,

As a year passed, Murray says he forced himself to face that reality.

"That's the toughest part, but it's what I've done," he said.

"At first, you feel mad at yourself for giving up, but then you have to admit it to yourself -- when someone is missing for this long, you can't imagine they'll ever be found."

As Murray mourns, other friends remain angry that Darrell's killer remains free.

Jason Kinsale, a Canadian who worked with Darrell, says the apparent lack of a serious police investigation is the hardest part to accept.

"The reality is, he's not coming back, and after a while, you come to that conclusion," said Kinsale.

"But the people who committed this crime need to be charged -- someone is out there who has gotten away with this."

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Back at the Helm

Hi Everybody

Bet you guys all thought I had died and gone to Heaven huh? I haven't been online other then a line here or there as it is still quite painful to move my arms up any height. You know my head knows I did the right decision of having the double mastectomies but let me tell you, if I had to do it again knowing how much pain I would have, I would have thought twice. We all have said in the course of our lives, "I've been to hell and back" or "I had a day from hell". Now I have never personally been to hell nor do I plan on ever going there but I can honestly say it FEELS like I have been to hell and back. Unbelievable pain like nothing I have ever encountered in my life. And I have had to deal with it on a daily basis for years. Shaking head. The things you take for granted like reaching up to shampoo your head or lifting your arm to brush your teeth feels like someone is holding a blow torch to your chest. They took the draining tubes out of both sides last week and that took 45 minutes it was so painful. I am the type of person that has to be in control of my everything. You don't see me cry or lose control etc. That was as close to screaming out loud as I have ever gotten. I am surprised my daughter's fingers were not broken as I had been squeezing them so hard. Sorry Lareta. What a sweetheart! She said it was ok that it was payback for all the times she squeezed my fingers numb when she was in labour.

I saw my surgeon last week and she said I have a triple whammy, first the mastectomy itself, they had to cut the muscles on TOP of the chest wall to remove the breasts. secondly, they had to cut the muscles UNDER the chest wall to put the tissue expander in, thirdly because of the Fibromyalgia, the muscles that are remaining are screaming their heads off due to the cutting. It never ends. On the positive side, the surgeons say the incisions themselves look perfect, no redness, no spreading just very thin lines that will barely leave a scar when this is over with. But I want that today. I want this to be desperately over. I get these swelling pockets for lack of a better word that fill with fluid all over my chest and down my sides. Then every now and then I will literally feel a pop, get a searing burning pain for a few more hours and then that will subside. I have found out that is normal and that is just the muscles being pulled from the scar tissue forming which is why I have to be diligent with my exercises so they won't continue.

But that is enough whining. The women from my church have been phenomenal!! 2 weeks worth of meals was wonderful. And Friday 2 of them came over to do vacuuming and bathrooms. Now you might think how wonderful that is but I never let people come clean my house. That's my job and if it wasn't for the fact that my head was in the puke bucket the whole time they were here I would have made a more valiant effort to object.

There have been many many times these past 3 weeks that I have been thankful I don't drink alcohol. I swear I would have been hitting those bottles just to numb this. I have had enough of this. I haven't even been able to get any of the saline injections yet as my skin quote and unquote "is way too hypersensitive to touch it right now". No DUH!! what was supposed to be a 2 month deal is now going to be 4-5 months before I finish healing because of the FM and everything else going on.

BUT!!!!!! Pathology came back and it is a clean bill of health!!! No new cancer YEAAA Well my armpits are killing me so I will sign off here. For those of you that have emailed me and sent me e-cards and regular cards and flowers I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Every email has been printed and everything has gone into a "Positive Book" that I go through during mu dark hours. This shall pass as all things in life. But just not today.