~ one year on the good side! 🎉

It is almost two years since this health adventure began, which seems long ago and yet feels like yesterday. This year has been filled with memories on anniversary dates of the things that I have experienced. Today being a very important one. Last year on this date my doctor called to give me the results of the PET scan and the news was great, I was in remission!!! So this anniversary is meaningful as the first year is an important one to get through. 

So thankful for sparkle shields!!!  ✨✨✨

I still believe in the power of sparkles! I think I always will. It may be silly to some and seem like I am covering up how I truly feel. To each their own. Since I still have a scar tissue mass in my chest that I feel every day, I continue to visualize it encased in sparkles to keep it contained. Whatever it takes to put my mind at ease. 

Now to get on with life! To find the answer to the nagging question in my head…what do I want to be when I grow up? That is a tough question. Since the socially acceptable norms have never added joy to my life this may be interesting and take Vodka and I to new places. We will see what I discover that appeals to the new normal me.  😉

Still sparkling…one day at a time   😃

~ the quest to identify my nemesis continues…

It’s been a little over five weeks since that bizarre day of chest pain started this adventure in illness. My Italian vocabulary now consists of words I didn’t expect…dottore ~ male de testa ~ febbre ~ male de gola ~ la tosse ~ polmone ~ bronchite ~ medicina ~ la farmacia ~ influenza ~ riposo. As the quest to identify my illness continued the words expanded to infermiere ~ iniezione ~ dolore ~ fa male? ~ polmonite ~ radiografia ~ urgente and once again riposo!

I have taken more medicine that I would have ever imagined. It started with a week of antibiotics in tablet form along with a bottle of something that would help my bronchial tract and some other tablets. I gave it a few days to see if the medicine just needed a little more time.

Nope, I returned to the doctor. This time a requisition for a radiografia and after viewing the results, I was told you must respect the riposo and to rest another 10 days. Along with more prescriptions for another bottle of a different medicine for the bronchial tract and something else I can’t even remember. These were accompanied by 14 injections of antibiotics administered by the best nurse in the world, a charming young man that came to my apartment daily. A brilliant service considering that when I looked in my bag of goodies from the pharmacy I cringed at the needles and wondered how on earth I was going to manage this on my own. It was a good way to practice speaking Italian and we shared laughs as he would practice speaking English with me and say ‘Stop!’ when I would cough pathetically, as I continued to cough he would then flip back to Italian and say ‘Basta!’ accompanied by the usual body and hand gestures Italians use to emphasis the message.

At the end of these two weeks my lungs continue to feel like they have taken on a life of their own. I can’t say I have ever been more aware of my lungs. Previously I was only aware of the feeling of breathing, shallow and deep, that’s it. Having taken breathing for granted as most do. Through this experience I have felt my lungs almost bring me to my knees in gripping pain and change to a feeling of tingling and crawling combined with an odd combination of pressure and pain.

Which takes me to once again visit the doctor, who is puzzled as to why after all the medicine I have taken this illness continues to plague me and asks, ‘what have you been exposed to that you are this sick?’ I had no clear answer to this question but it sure led to some humorous reflection of my life since the beginning of the year. The requisition form is printed for another radiografia. When at the clinic for this xray the technician recognized me and said ‘polmonite, how are you feeling?’. I guess as a foreigner who is not feeling well I stand out.

The reading of this radiografia lead to an urgent requisition to see a pulmonary specialist. Impressive that I was able to see him within 2 days. This time I am told bronchial pneumonia, likely caused by a virus. He too emphasized the importance of the riposo. Once again new medicine of which I have 8 boxes lined up on the counter and an interesting machine to inhale medicine to ‘clean’ my lungs. Best of all he recommends covering my nose and mouth when I go outside. Lovely, I can just picture myself walking around with a surgical mask on.

Riposo, riposo, riposo!!! Now I understand why it is important to respect the riposo.

There is something to be said for the frigid cold of Canadian winters…it is too damn cold for germs to survive! That’s a damn good thing! 🙂

Ciao ciao!
You must respect the riposo!

What does your sign say?

I handle most things in life with a laugh. Many of these things have become stories. These stories are related to the funny things that happen in my life. All of these events result in my asking, ‘what does my sign say?’.

The time I gave my bbq away to a guy passing by in the back lane behind my house, saved me the effort of hauling it away. A few weeks later I received a mysterious package of flowers on my front door step with a name and phone number scribbled on a torn yellow sticky note that read “text me”. Being a little creeped out that I didn’t know anyone by this name, the 18 roses were nice but the creepy factor was greater. The following day one of my colleagues text him and after a little game playing on his end I made the connection and said, it’s BBQ Guy with a look of shock on my face. Kindness is great but can sometimes be misread.

Once I went to speed dating to be supportive of a friend. Yes I went to speed dating, to be supportive of a friend. It was fun and hilarious. Five minutes IS really enough time to know if you want to get to know someone any further. Being the curious one that I am at the end of the evening I checked one name just to see what would happen. The following day I received a call, the lady said ‘oh hi, oh my, you were very popular last night but you only checked one name and he will be calling you.’ haha!! Popular? What followed has become known as the speed dating yogurt date with the guy who giggles more than I do.

While on a work trip in Kazakhstan, the colleague who asked my boss if he could keep me and make me his wife. He renamed me Sasha and was yelling I love you. Yikes!

I needed a ride to the airport when I went to California and have an aunt who sent one of her staff to drive me. We chatted on the drive to the airport, nothing unusual for me. This particular fellow also knows my parents and the next time he saw them he said to my mom ‘hello mother in law’. When she asked how did I become your mother in law? He responded with ‘I saw your daughter’. This was news to me. haha

I took a taxi to pick up my car from the repair shop…a 15 minute ride talking about the book the driver was reading. When I paid for the trip he gave me his card and phone number because I had been so nice to talk with. Wow, another example of when I am just too friendly.

Life in Italy continues to add to this list.

One Wednesday afternoon train cancellation which caused me to take a later train, far too chatty and get invited by this fellow to visit him in his town. Since I am ‘molto simpatico’ once again so nice to chat with. I see a trend… haha

The latest is receiving a friend request on Facebook from a doctor I had seen professionally… within an hour of leaving the office. Wow! That is all I have to say about that.

This takes me to what my sign says. At one time I said to my mom that I must have a sign on my forehead that says ‘stay away from me’. As we laughed about this she suggested I swap it with someone else’s that said something I won’t repeat here, which only made us laugh harder. Since then I believe that we all wear a sign and recently my sign must read “weirdos wanted”. Note to self, change your sign. 🙂

I enjoy my life, it is always an adventure.
Ciao ciao 🙂