Thursday, April 30, 2009

3 down...1 to go. Of the 4 of us, I'm the only one left to have my colonoscopy. Unfortunately, I have to wait until June. (I'm kidding about the unfortunately part) Connie went last Friday and John went today. Both are in the clear. (so to speak) I talked to my brother this morning as he was preparing to go in for his appointment. He said the prep wasn't too bad but was not looking forward to the procedure. I asked for him to let me know how it went as I'm a little nervous about that too.

In the meantime, I got a phone call from my dentist...turns out I need a root canal. What? Are you kidding me? One horrific procedure at a time, please!

Anyway...John emailed me tonight to say that it was a relief to have it done. And...to quote "To be honest Janice I would rather go through that than some of experiences at the dentist. It was a breeze and nothing to fret over." I thought it was ironic that he brought up the dentist :)

In the meantime...Jo-Anne is planning on having her surgery sometime next week. She has created a blog to update family and friends on progress. If you want to check it out, here is the link.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jkoiter

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Cancer. We hear the word pretty much every day:
There is a new cancer study.
It is ______ cancer awareness month.
Please donate to cancer research.

But, when it touches you personally, the word becomes so much more than just a word. It is a fear. Your worst fears realized. Last Thursday, my sister Jo-Anne was diagnosed with colon cancer. Hearing the words just did not seem real. I had no words to come out of my mouth. Even the next morning, I woke up wondering if it was just a dream.

This is my sister. She's a wife. A mom. A daughter. An aunt. A friend. This is not supposed to happen to her.

I've learned in the past few days that colon cancer is very rare in someone Jo-Anne's age. Also, because she is so young, her immediate family will need to be screened as well. That means colonoscopies for myself and my siblings.

On Friday (the day after her diagnosis) she went to have some blood work done and a chest XRAY. While she was getting the XRAY, she asked the technician if she knew how long the wait would be for her CAT scan and if she should just wait for a phone call. She had been told the day before that she would be put on an urgent list and it should be within 3 weeks. (Three weeks is a long time to wait when you're waiting to see if cancer has spread or is contained!) When the technician asked her circumstances, she was very sympathetic and said she would check on it. Amazingly, she came back to tell Jo-Anne there had been a cancellation on Monday morning at 9am...would she like that appointment? Wow!

So, Monday morning, she went for the CAT scan. We weren't really sure how long it would take to get any results, but I got a phone call from Jo-Anne that night. The doctor had reviewed her results and wanted to let her know that upon first look, it appears the cancer is contained. That is great news!

We are now just waiting for her to have her surgical consultation and book the surgery. In the meantime, my sister Connie has her colonoscopy booked for Friday and my doctor was putting in a referral for me today. (not sure if my brother has started the wheels in motion yet!) Thank you so much for your prayers and kind words. They have meant so much. I know it is a tough road ahead, but for now, I feel a bit of relief.

Thursday, April 16, 2009





During a trip home for Easter, my brother John (who is trying really hard to look like Gizzly Adams these days) brought his newest "toy". To John, a toy is something involved in the world of an Outdoorsman. ie: hunting, fishing, etc. So, when Jason & I arrived at Mom & Dad's I saw John, Dad & Josh prowling around down by the barn. I wasn't sure what they were up to, but it seemed typical enough.

After dinner, John asked if I'd like to come and see his new/old muzzle loader. I wasn't exactly sure what a muzzle loader was (actually...I still don't. some kind of really old gun) I wasn't really interested, but I thought I would give John a kick and see what this was all about. I borrowed a couple of layers from Mom as it was pretty cold and headed down to the barn.

John & Josh (his protege) were giving a demonstration on loading the gun. There were lots of steps and seemed pretty labour-intensive. I'm not really sure the point, other than just nostalgia I guess. The real excitement was when John asked if I'd like to shoot it. Ahhh, ya!






I took the gun and John helped me set up to take my shot. I was prepared for it to come back into my shoulder (from all my previous experience shooting a gun!) but it didn't really do that. It was LOUD though. After the shot was fired, Josh ran off to check the target (with a poor little groundhog on it) He came running back saying "you've got better aim than Dad!" Ha ha...I was shocked! Steve took a turn and missed the target and then Jason shot. He hit the target but wasn't quite as close as I was.





On the way home, we stopped in to see John's new puppies. They are pretty adorable, I'm sure you will agree!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


After one week of being computerless, I'm happy to have my macbook back in my posession and fully functional. Last Sunday, I opened i-tunes and it said there was an update available. I had said "later" to this message for about 2 weeks and finally decided to do the update. I let it run while Jason & I played crokinole. When it was done, it said to restart the computer. I hit restart and headed over to my friend Kim's house.

Imagine my horror when I came home and saw a blue screen. (I'm not calling it the "blue screen of death" because I thought that was a PC thing, but...I'm not sure anymore!)I tried restarting it again but I got the same thing. The next morning I went over to Jason's to google the problem. I tried various key combinations while doing the start up, but I kept getting the same result. Eek. I was totally freaking out. Mostly because all of the photos I've taken since getting my laptop would be gone...no back up. (lesson learned) Later that day, I lessened the freak out when I realized that my ipod had all my photos loaded on it. So, if worse came to worse, I still had those.

I contacted my friend Chris who is the most Mac-passionate guy I know. He's helped me out on numerous occasions and really came through for me this time. I still don't know what the problem was, but I have my computer back and better than ever. He loaded Leopard on it for me. (for all you PC users, Leopard is the most recent MAC operating system)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

FURRY HAPPY MONSTERS

While checking out Entertainment Weekly tonight, I stumbled across 25 Classic Sesame Street Visits. Being a life-long fan of the show, which incidentally is celebrating 40 years on the air, I had to check it out. (if you're interested http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20217995_6,00.html) Most of the photos had clips attached and they were so hilarious. Sesame Street has a way of making children's programming entertaining for adults and this video by REM had me laughing out loud as I sat at my desk in the newsroom :) Hope you enjoy it too!