Jordon and I have been married 20 years this Wednesday. We were going to go to Banff National Park to celebrate in a great little hotel but then he got cancer and it really hurts him to drive that far. Instead we are doing a staycation and staying in the downtown Holiday Inn in a great suite. We learned after Edmonton that if we drove to Banff Jordon would be in overwhelming pain by the time we got to MEC in Calgary and in serious pain by the time he got to Banff. He would be exhausted the next day which would be a lost day. It also meant he would be exhausted and in pain by the time we got home to Saskatoon. That is the reality of having cancer.
It’s going to be a challenge because Jordon can’t eat much other than salads for breakfast and he abhors the taste of coffee. That was something that seemed to start when the tumor was growing on his liver before he was diagnosed with cancer. It has continued on with the chemotherapy. Or it is because the tumors aren’t dead yet. Either way, he hates coffee now.
Monday we are free all day and may head out of town. It depends on how he feels in the morning. He is at the end of the chemo cycle but that doesn’t mean he feels great, especially in the mornings. I think the sleeping pills are a part of that. He may just sleep in until we need to check into the hotel.
Tuesday Jordon has to go get his blood work down and have a chemo review with an oncologist (she is one of the oncologists on his team but the only met once. I am sure she will be great like his other oncologists he deals with). We will stick around Saskatoon Tuesday and go out with some friends Tuesday night.
Wednesday is the BIG day. That is being spent with Jordon being hooked up to IVs and his headphones as he has chemo for much of the day. He goes in early in the morning and won’t get out until early afternoon. The good news is that he has a window after chemo where food doesn’t taste horrible to him so we will go out for lunch before heading home and seeing the boys and the dogs.
The hotel has Wifi so I will bring a laptop along and update each evening.
Here is Jordon being interviewed on Global Television the day after he came out publically as having terminal cancer.
It is not a cross-cultural or social phenomenon for women to respectively raise versus nurture their daughters and sons.
This trend in parenting is most often seen amongst lower economic and disenfranchised populations.
The reason being is greatly due to high volumes of single-parent homes and the frustration as well as effeminisation of the males of these groups who find it difficult to thrive or provide a soundly stable financial existence for themselves and for their families.
As such, women of these demographics feel it necessary to raise their daughters to be self-sufficient and self-preserving, while they nurture their sons by displacing their desire for emotional bonding with a male.
In other words, many women direct towards their sons the energy and efforts of love and nurture they would normally carry for an adult male partner.
This is especially true for single mothers who have been scorned. While projection of sexual feelings are not present, the mother nevertheless prizes her son as being the man in her life.
Explains a lot.
- It took four hours (four hours!) but I managed to changed our booking for our anniversary from Banff to Saskatoon with Airmiles. We are married for 20 years this year and while Jordon was willing to drive to Banff, the end result is that he would have been exhausted and slept for most of the vacation. That and we have chemo on our anniversary date. So we are spending a couple of nights at the downtown Holiday Inn and then heading to the Saskatoon Cancer Clinic when we check out. It is going to be a brutal chemo for Jordon that day which is why we are celebrating a few days early at the end of this chemo cycle. I am not sure if we will have an anniversary date that night but it doesn’t take away from 20 years of marriage. A few months ago I (and some doctors) wasn’t sure if I would take him home from the hospital.
- As an aside, they have taken Jordon off his steroids which allow him to sleep better and stop degrading his immune system but make it much harder for him to get through the day.
- Oliver is back at karate which makes him excited. He went from nothing to his green belt so he is pretty pumped to try to get his purple belt this year.
- Jordon’s chemo is working but he is paying the price in terms of side effects. He is suffering from horrible neuropathy in his hands and mouth from anything cold right now. It is also leaving his exhausted. The good news is that he went soup shopping last night with me and picked out a bunch of soups he thought he could eat and keep down. So far so good.
- I know most of you haven’t started your Christmas prep yet but ours is well underway. We are using Google Keep to keep track of our Christmas lists and it is working well. If you share a list on it with another person, your updates are shared real time via the app for phones and tablets and on the desktop version. It works really well for Jordon and I to keep track of all sorts of things from family birthdays to Christmas lists to Christmas events going on in the city.
- For those of you who do all your shopping on Amazon.ca and not local, you are paying more for the convenience. We have the Amazon plugin on our browser and I am shocked at how many times Amazon is more expensive than local.
- So yes, we were broken into the other night. Luckily the burglar saw Jordon (who saw him) and left but it was unnerving and scary at the same time. So we are being extra cautious with locked doors and windows. The police officer who took our report in the morning told us that four other homes were broken into on our block that night and a car on the block over was stolen. We have some new motion detection lights being installed and some extra security for the back door being made.
- That isn’t the only thing being stolen. An animal is getting into our compost bin and making a mess. I think it is a cat since I have never seen a stray dog nor does Saskatoon have raccoons. Our compost has a front door on it so you can take the compost out but we emptied it completely a few weeks ago and took all of the compost out so now there is some food scraps down there and that is what the animal is going for.
- Jordon has become a big fan of 2Cellos which is basically two guys playing rock music on their cellos. It is a quite a fusion and I have come to like them quite a bit.
- My friend Hilary inspired us to set up our bird feeder last winter and not a seed was eaten. This summer it has been busier so we will see what the result is this winter. She has a good post on feeding birds on her blog. Despite our lack of success with it, we bought a new bird house and have it hanging nearby. We’ll see what happens.
This was a long week for Jordon. He got his chemo a week ago on Wednesday. It was five hours long and took a toll on him like nothing I have ever seen. He just slept and slept, did a quick thing with CBC, and slept some more. He couldn’t physically get out of bed or off the sofa. He stumbled, he fell, he was week and for the first time, he was scared. The other night after finally getting the dog into a place where they were both comfortable, I asked him what he thinking. He replied, “I am wondering if this is what dying feels like.” I just held him.
Part of the problem is that the steroids they were giving him were weakening his immune system so they took him off them. The reality is that he needed them to allow him to function. Now they are gone. What one doctor told him is that with cancer, you fix one problem, you create another.
It’s the first time I have questioned Jordon’s ability to fight through the chemo and fight the cancer. Last weekend we drove to Spiritwood and took the scenic route through the THickwood Hills and Rabbit Lake on the way home. The drive to Spiritwood, plus the worship service with Lakeland Community Church and the drive home left Jordon in excruciating pain and just physically and mentally exhausted. On one hand Jordon wants to see people on the other hand, he is pushing himself really, really hard and paying a horrible price.
So tonight he made it half way through the first half of the University of Saskatchewan football game, a game he had been looking forward to for weeks and said, “I need to go home.” On the way to the car, he started to vomit and could barely walk by the time I got him into the car. He had thrown up several times on himself last week and was humiliated by it each time. He keeps saying, “I can’t accept this as the new normal.”
Tomorrow we are getting up early and going to Edmonton. It will possibly be our last family trip. Jordon is going to drive to Lloydminster and then Mark and I will take over. We are seeing his father for dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory in West Edmonton Mall and then watching the Edmonton Eskimos play the Winnipeg Blue Bombers compliments of Lloyd. Then on Sunday we will spend some time in the Mall. Jordon is going to pace himself with coffee shop and chair visits but I think the end result will be a nap at the hotel. Mark wants to see Kingsmen and Oliver wants to see the Ninjago movie. I am assuming Jordon will nap then. After a trip to MEC and Ikea, then it will be back home on Monday.
This is a photo from the studio of Jordon talking with CBC reporter and host Jen Quennell about his cancer diagnoses. I am here because his balance was bad enough that he was worried about falling over getting into the studio.
- Jordon got some good news that his body is responding to chemotherapy and his body is fighting the cancer. Most importantly his liver is regenerating and fighting the cancer. We were told the news yesterday and today he had a marathon chemotherapy treatment that took five hours plus the 46 hours of treatment he gets from the toxic baby bottle. He’s tired but happy with the news. His diagnosis is still terminal but some of these small victories are huge.
- He is still really weak. Tonight he fell while going up our front steps and had to call for help. Part of the reason was he was talking with his Aunt Bev and didn’t want to drop his phone but the main reason is that he is really, really weak still and it is going to be a long journey to get back to normal.
- We are married 20 years this year and were planning to go to Banff for our anniversary. Today we found out Jordon’s chemotherapy falls on our vacation so we are going a week early. A little better weather (hopefully) will make for some nicer short hikes and times out in Banff and Lake Louise. We may even go into Kootenay National Park and check out Radium Hot Springs.
- Jordon spoke at the Saskatoon Terry Fox Run last Sunday. Here is a photo of him moments before he spoke. We had a nice time and he and some family and friends plan to do the walk next year. What blows me mind is that Terry Fox averaged 42 km a day and then got up and did it the next day.
- What struck me about Jordon’s talking to the event is that he knew he was too weak to do it but did it anyways. His balance is still really bad from the lack of leg muscles but he committed to it anyways. If it is important, he will be there and then figure out how to do it after he says yes. He has been really tough through all of this.
- We went out to City Perks to celebrate Jordon’s good news with our friends Janice and Hilary. They have this random Twitter DM thread that has been going on forever and it is just stream of consciousness really but they have been two amazing friends not only to Jordon but to me. There has been a lot of good friends and we appreciate all of you.
- Finally, Jordon had a five hour chemo session today and thanks to all of you who sent in random stuff on Twitter. It makes the session a lot shorter and funnier. We appreciate it a lot.
I found this history of Jordon’s grandparents. I thought I would save it here since if the server goes down, I’ll have a copy for the boys.
Here is the text
Cooper, George & Minerva (Grenerud)
I was born February 7th, 1900, the fourth son of Christopher and Ada Cooper. I started school at Keelerville with Wray Wylie as the teacher. After three years I attended school in the village of Keeler. On leaving school, I worked for several farmers in the district and helped my dad who was the in the draying business as well as farming.
I enlisted into the army in 1939, and, later transferring to the R.C.A.F. I spent time in Brandon, St. Thomas, Ont. and in Dauphin, Manitoba. It was was while stationed in Dauphin that I became ill and spend nine months in Deere Lodge in WInnipeg before being given a medical discharge.
On returning to Keeler, I operated a general store for several years. I married Minerva Grenerud of Broderick, Saskatchewan in 1947. Our first daughter Patsy was born in 1949. She is married to Bob Prior and they live on Vancouver Island. They have a son Jeff and daughter Michelle. In 1952 Lloyd was born. He married, was divorced, and has three children by this marriage. Jordon, Jolene, and Lee. He now lives in Edson, Alberta and has a daughter Dani Lee.
In 1961 our youngest daughter Beverly was born. She is married to Roy Sztym and has a son Scott. They live in Red Deer.
I rented and farmed land from 1951 to 1979. I also operated a garage in my last years in Keeler. We took over the post office from W.F. Fowle and operated it until we moved to Red Deer in 1980. I was a village councilor following the death of C. Stuart and was the town secretary-treasurer for 19 years.
During our time in Keeler I tried we always tried to keep an active part in our community and served on various boards while we lived there.
This one is Jordon’s great grandparents. Christopher and Ada. Of course Jordon calls Minerva and George “grandma and grandpa” while his aunts refer to Christopher and Ada as “grandma and grandpa”. It’s a tad bit confusing.
The Cooper’s are hilarious story tellers, both accurate and ficticious. The stories of Tip (the dog) are amazing and worth a book all by itself. I don’t care of any of them are true (there are some great true stories but the stories of Tip the Dog as a powerful local politician who was brought down by scandal aren’t the most believable). They are hilarious though. If you want to see the Christopher and Ada family homestead, Jordon posted some photos here.