Category Archives: Fun

On My Bookshelf

Happy Monday! I spent part of the weekend at yet another cottage.

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My family has three cottages among us. Two of which are in the countryside of the north shore of Nova Scotia just over an hour drive away.

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The other one is near Shediac, a small French beach town 20 minutes away.

It’s a hard life, I know.

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Shediac is a little more populated, a little more noisy. But it’s also closer and the beach is nicer. It’s where people eat lobster by the table-ful.

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Not our party by the way, but a pile of lobster that big is worthy of capturing on my iPhone!

These days, my cottage visits involve no parties. No trips to the crowded beach, or dips into the cold Bay of Fundy waters. Cottage visits for me are now all about rest, relaxation, fresh air, and maybe a long walk or two.

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Oh yes, and reading!! I have been doing lots and lots of reading since I stopped working 8 weeks ago. Not as much as I’d like, because I surprisingly don’t spend that much time alone (my family likes to sit and stare at me at various times throughout the day). But I wanted to share some of what I’ve been going through in case there’s anyone out there who can benefit from it.

What I’ve Read:

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This was the first book I read in the hospital after finding out I have cancer. You would think that I’d immediately be drawn to material about my disease. But what I really wanted was to hear about others like me who I could relate with and would hold my hand through those first few days with cancer. This book totally delivered. It features stories and accounts of young adults with various forms and experiences with cancer. My sisters have read this book too and both found it interesting even though they don’t have cancer. Be warned, it’s honest and doesn’t sugarcoat anything. My middle sister said it was hard to read at times. But that’s what I loved about it. It gave me a real life account of cancer when I needed to hear the truth the most.

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This book starts out describing some of the cellular make-up and causes of cancer, all of which I found very interesting. Then it goes into lifestyle changes one can make to prevent and manage cancer. I really enjoyed this book as it gave me a good base knowledge. I’d recommend it to people who don’t even have cancer, as the lifestyle advice in here should be taken on by everyone! I should also note that the book’s author recently passed away. He lived 19 years after his brain cancer diagnosis, which is a phenomenal thing.

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My sister gave me this book and I am SO glad she did!! If you know anyone with cancer, this would be a fantastic gift. If I had known better, I would have read this book first after my diagnosis. It goes through and describes all the tests and procedures, what to expect from chemo, side effects the doctors don’t talk about, and tons of other useful information. It’s edited so you can read bits at a time which was nice on days I had trouble focusing. My only pet peeve is that the writing was really dumbed down. I’m young adult, not uneducated.

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This is a book I would recommend to anyone with an interest in nutrition, cancer or not. It’s got great info about healthy and healing foods. A lot of which I already learned getting my nutritionist certification, but with an extra focus on how it relates to cancer (as opposed to sports nutrition). This book was also a nice kick in the butt to get me eating better when chemo tempts me to eat like crap.

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I knew about Kris Carr waaaay before the C-Word was ever uttered to me, but boy am I glad she’s around now! I’ve since re-watched her documentary with a new eye, and completely devoured this book. It’s a lot like the Planet Cancer book, written specifically for people going through cancer. It’s edited for easy reading and Kris makes cancer conversational. My cancer and Kris’ cancer are total opposites (mine is curable with treatment, hers is not), so I also appreciated that she brought in other women to talk about experiences that I could relate to better.

What I’m Reading Now

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This is kind of a beast of a book, so I’m taking my time with it. I’m about halfway through and so far absolutely love it. I have learned SO much about the disease thanks to this book. Especially about how treatment came to be. It’s a little dense at times, but the author still takes his time to develop an interesting narrative, and dare I say, is a page turner at times.

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A fiction book! The first one I’ve read in months! Madeline sent this to me because of our shared love for young adult fiction. The only thing I don’t like about it, is that I find the premise of the book disturbing. It’s about kids killing each other for game. It’s really fast paced, and instead of going through it all in one sitting, I find I need a break to catch my breath just after a few chapters!

What’s On My Reading List:

More fiction!

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I read everything Nick Hornby writes. He’s an easy to read, funny, entertaining British author. Most well known for dreaming up the story behind my favourite movie of all time – High Fidelity.

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This one was recommended by a blog reader and I downloaded it immediately on to my Kindle after reading the abstract. Dan Shapiro writes about his experience with lymphoma with a little pot humour thrown in for good measure.

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This has been on my reading list for a while, but now I feel like it’s got enough useful nutrition information that I should probably crack it open already!

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So that’s what’s on my bookshelf, what’s on yours? Fiction, non-fiction, give me book recommendations! I’ve got months of chemo left and nothing but time. Okay, in between sessions of my family worriedly staring at me.

When Money CAN Buy Happiness

It arrived! It arrived! I finally got my grubby paws on it!

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Yes, I technically only waited one week to receive my new MacBook Pro after ordering it. But in some ways, you could also say I’ve been waiting five years for it.

When I bought my HP Pavillion dv2000 five years ago, what I really wanted was a MacBook. But my poor student bank account couldn’t afford it. In the first year of having the HP, I sent it back to the manufacturer THREE TIMES to be fixed and found out the model had actually been recalled without my knowing. They never once replaced it, instead removing and fixing whatever cheap parts were broken.

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After five years, the battery went, I’ve invested in two power chords, and a back panel fell off to expose some wires and other pieces. This computer got so hot at times I think I sustained second degree burns on my legs. And probably scorched my ovaries and ruined any chance of having children by lying with it in bed.

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The paint came off on the mouse and I lost a button. There’s also the mysterious instance of “shift + x” not working to get a capital X. I always had to press “caps lock + x.”

Anyways, that is why I was basically foaming at the mouth to get my brand new, exceptionally shiny, laptop.

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Or, for our purposes, my new “blogging machine.”

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I’ve had a lot of experience using Macs but still have a lot to learn about the operating system. As well as getting used to blogging with a different program. This post is brought to you by Ecto, but there are a few others I’d like to try out. Is there an easy way to get Windows Live Writer on a Mac?

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So far my favourite feature is the light under the keypad so I can type in the dark. Oh! And of course, the screen grab function. No print screen + copy/paste into Paintbrush for me. Megan, you know what I’m talking about.

In other news, my mom forced me to go to the doctor last night over the pain in my neck. Most of the swelling is located at the base of my throat and the doctor thinks it might have something to do with my thyroid. I’m being sent for blood work and a cat scan today to get it checked out. I’m not too worried about it (yet), mostly just bummed that I have to spend yet another day of my life at the hospital. On the bright side, I’ll get to see my friends in the imaging department. We’re all on a first name basis now.

As my friend Madeline says, make it a great one!

Notes From The Week

Happy Saturday friends!! How was everyone’s week? Mine was meh.

1. I’ve had a kink in my neck since Monday that is only getting worse. I’m fairly certain it has something to do with my sleeping arrangement, so I plan to go buy a really nice pillow today. Anyone have pillow suggestions? I’m currently using cheap IKEA ones. Anyways, my week has been filled with heat pads, Rub A535, and muscle relaxers. Hopefully a couple days off from sitting at a desk will help too.

2. UPS is holding my laptop hostage until Monday. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I ordered a MacBook Pro last weekend after A LOT of agonizing over what kind of laptop to get. I’ve been obsessively tracking it online and it arrived in my city yesterday! But I screwed up in arranging the delivery, and because it arrived on a Friday, I have to wait three more agonizing days to get my paws on it.

3. I got pulled over at a police checkpoint yesterday for two infractions. Both of which I was able to convince the policeman were not worth a fine over. I didn’t have up to date registration stickers AND my vehicle inspection was expired. Getting the car switched back into my name from my mother’s was such a headache, I totally blanked on those things. The policeman understood. No tears required.

4. I can’t decide if I like this nail polish colour. I saw it on a girl at my physiotherapy clinic and loved it on her. But on me, it reminds me of when I used to paint my nails with white-out and colour them with highlighter when I got bored in middle school.

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If you look at the back of my hand closely, you will also notice my veins are in the shape of the Pi symbol. Even though I’m an arts grad, I’m a math nerd at heart.

Well that’s all my notes from the week! It’s yet another rainy day in the Maritimes. So plans will include puttering around the mall, making a slow cooker meal, and going to the movies. I’m also going to visit the hot yoga studio here. I had a commenter the other day who encouraged me to try Bikram. While I’ve done it before and wasn’t a huge fan, I think the posture series is the most doable with my arm situation. I need yoga in my life! I’m convinced stress is why I’ve been riddled with neck and stomach pain all week, unfortunately I have to wait for this darn kink to go away before I can actually start to de-stress with yoga!

Now how is that for a disjointed post? What are some of your notes from this past week? Plans for the weekend? As my gal Holly says, sharing is caring!

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