Shattered Happiness – Part One

I haven’t written in three years.  In those years I truly found my happiness.  Over the past three years my husband John and I left a toxic business relationship (earlier I mentioned my husband sold his accounting practice to another chartered professional accountant but we remained to help her transition into the business) and we concentrated on ourselves and our family.  My husband continued to work part time (because he truly loved what he did) and I took on other projects.  John and I began to enjoy our “semi-retirement”.  We travelled to Hawaii in October 2013 and were there when our daughter Amanda became engaged to her “sun and stars” Brandon.  Over the next 10 months I planned a beach wedding in Florida for the happy couple.  John and I started spending more time together at our condo in Florida, sprinkling in cruises, a trip to the Dominician Repulic and one to Cuba and just enjoying each other.  Another daughter, Laura, was married September 2015.  We were happier than we have ever been together.  Then things changed.

In September my husband had surgery to remove his ascending colon.  In a colonoscopy they discovered a flat polyp that the specialist felt should be removed.  The kids always were amazed at my husband’s healing powers but this time was different.  He didn’t bounce back quite as fast.  We saw the surgeon late October and he suggested we go south and get some sunshine.  We took a cruise to Grand Caymen and Cozumel but mostly sat on our balcony on the ship and enjoyed the sunshine.  But John still wasn’t recovering.



We came back home and told the surgeon that John continued to lose weight and was passing blood in his stool.  We were assured this is normal after bowel surgery.

We came home for Christmas but everyone could see John was still ill.  He was cold all the time and tired.  Not like him at all.  We saw the doctor again who assured us John would be fine.  We headed back down to Florida for more rest and relaxation hoping that John would get stronger.

By New Years John was weak and in pain.  He had lost about 25 pounds since his surgery.  On January 10 John had to fly back home.  He was near death from loss of blood.  The incision where his bowels had been rejoined was leaking at he had lost almost half the blood in his body.  No wonder he was weak.  They operated on January 11, 2016.  We thought the worst was over.


John started to get stronger.  The surgeon mentioned there was a “shadow” on the pancreas and felt John also suffered from pancreatitis.  We asked .. “Is it cancer?” But we were assured it was just the leaking intestine and pancreatitis.  After 6 weeks John and I went back to Florida with the surgeons blessing.  We felt more sun and seafood would put the meat back on my hubby and he would get strong again.

John had to fly home again in March to work on some client files.  I stayed behind because my grandson and his dad were visiting me in Florida.  John was still complaining about pain in his belly but the doctors felt it was a combination of things but no one considered cancer.

John had to have a CT Scan done of his kidneys because he routinely passed kidney stones. While having the scan he asked the technician to go higher because his pain was across the top of his belly.  She complied.  A few days later our family doctor phoned us saying he had booked an enhanced CT Scan on March 16.  I flew home to be with John for the test.

John was still passing blood so the surgeon had scheduled another colonoscopy on March 21.  While John was having this procedure our family doctor called to tell me he believed John had pancreatic cancer.

On April 7 we went to Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto only to be told John’s cancer was too far spread to do anything.  All they could do is recommend palliative care.  John had a couple of months at the most.  They recommended a stent be inserted in John’s gallbladder to prevent jaundice and told us they were sorry but nothing else could be done. We came home devastated.  OK .. I amend that.  I was devastated.  John was accepting.  I will write more about that later.

It took a week to have the stent inserted.  That is going to be another post that deals with his last months of life.



Bucket List

I have decided this is a good time to start my bucket lost. I have already crossed off many things on my bucket list (such as touching Uluru) so this is for moving forward. This post will constantly evolve and be updated. Once I complete an item I will bold it and continue working on my list until I die.

My list is (in no particular order):

Learn a new language. For some reason I have always wanted to learn Italian or Spanish. I would like to be able to have a casual conversation in another language.

I would like to take cooking lessons, either in person or online, so I can make extraordinary meals.

I want to start a cookbook blog of favourite family recipes.

I would like to learn how to play chess. This will help my brain as I age.

I want to learn CPR.

I would like to see a real iceberg.

I would like to visit the British Museum.

I would like to go to the Dali Museum.

I have ALWAYS wanted to write a book.

I would like to fly a kite.

I would like to take art lessons. I would like to know how to paint or draw.

I want to take photography lessons and learn how to use Photoshop.

I would like to read 25 of the top novels of all time.

I want to see a live volcano.

I want to visit Key West.

I would like to go to Holland and see where my father was born.

I want to be proud of something I create in fused glass.

I would like to drive through Nappa Valley.

I would like to visit New Orleans.

I would like to visit England, see the historical sites like castles, Stonehenge etc.

I would like to take a bus tour of Italy.

I would like to photograph the Loch Ness monster.

I would like to learn how to knit.

I want to finish Adam’s Christmas stocking.

Mother Mother Ocean

I love water. When I was young I had a canoe and small sailboat and I spent hours at the cottage on the water. As I got older I started coming to Florida. For a few years we had a condo on the Gulf of Mexico. I would watch the waves and dream of the ocean. I wanted to sail on the water, feel the spray on my face and watch the dolphins play in the wake.

I will never have an ocean-going sailboat but I have been on a cruise ship. I know it is not the same, but I have spent hours on the balcony watching the water. It is like heaven to me.

Today I touched heaven again. Tourist heaven, but heaven nonetheless. I went on a tug boat out onto the Gulf of Mexico to look for dolphins with my son and his girlfriend. I loved the motion of the boat, the sun on my face and smell of the salt water. Within the first few minutes of the trip I spotted a solitary dolphin. The boat headed out to the Gulf to see if we could find any other dolphins. Gulf was choppy so the spray was fierce and waves lapped into the boat. We came back to the intercoastal and found the original dolphin. The dolphin played in the wake of the boat. Watching him play filled me with such a feeling of joy and peace.

Tonight I hope to dream of the ocean.