Suzy Snapper
Monday, April 30, 2007
A Day At The Beach
There is nothing better than a day at the beach in the sun to improve a mood! We took the little ones to the beach by the airport. They had a fantastic time watching the planes land and playing in the sand.

Looking for seashells, they found several intact little shells. Well, they were intact. I found a lot of remnants in the pocket of my jacket today. Oops!

Ninja training starts early, don't you know!

Ahh, this picture just reminds me of what summer is all about. Lazy days, warm sun and soft sand. And to think, this is Vancouver!!

Wishing on a dandelion. She wishes for many things, but most of all she wishes she hadn't just blown a bug onto her hand! At least I got one photo before the drama occurred.

Saturday, April 28, 2007
Waiting Game
The good news is the biopsy went better than expected. It was not painful, just merely uncomfortable.

I will know in two weeks, but it is already known that this is carcinoma-in-situ. This means that it has progressed but it is still within the local area. The results of the test will decide which procedure I will have. From what I understand, both have great success and there is 90% cure rate from a single procedure.

The specialist was a jerk. They usually are. No bedside manner. He spoke to his student as if I couldn't hear him, which is why I had knowledge of the type and stage long before I should have. Yesterday I went back to my own doctor and had a good talk with her. She spent a long time going over charts and photos to educate me on what the physiology of this condition is.,

It's obviously not the news I want to be dealing with, but when you look at the bigger picture, it's not the worst that could happen. I think of a good friend of mine right now who's supporting his best friend through bowel cancer. Or I think of my cousin, who has been suffering through long term chemo treatments for the past 6 years. When I think of what they're going through, cervical cancer seems a walk in the park.

I am blessed that if this was to happen, it was caught quickly and will be dealt with relatively easily. My only wish is that anyone out there reading this that does not have regular checkups, please do. I went three years without having one. When I did after much browbeating from my doctor, it showed abnormal cells. That has now progressed, but if I hadn't been getting it checked, we would be dealing with something much more serious.

Am I scared? I wouldn't be normal if I wasn't, but it's not something I can control and I am in good hands with people who can control it. I was very nervous leading up to the test, but now knowing what the result is, I am calm. I know things will be fine.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Almost 1 week down!
I can't believe how quickly this week has gone! I am still very much enjoying the new company. I have so many plans and tasks that I am working at a fast pace all day. It has been far too long!

Thanks for the input regarding the Dude. He and I have talked. I think he understands why I need to do this without his help. I hope he does. I am very touched by his caring though and I think this might have really been a catalyst for a new level.

Did I mention I got a haircut? Not that you can see well in this photo but I'm happy with the shot nonetheless.

Yes, that is a Canucks shirt. While I will not make predictions on the series, let's just say I've been on the bandwagon firmly.

Monday, April 16, 2007
Day One
Today was the first day at the new job. What a different environment! I love it!!

While I'm back in a cubicle rather than an office, it's a much more civil environment. I'm sure there will be issues as I get to know people, but it was such a fantastic change to be welcomed.

There is a lot to do and it will be a challenging time. The organization has just formed our department, and our timelines are tight. It's a good feeling to be busy again.

They were fine with me taking next Thursday afternoon off for my procedure. The Dude has offered to take me but I think I might decline his kind offer. Not sure if I'm ready for him to see me being as uncomfortable as I think I'm going to be. It was hard enough telling him, and even harder to hear the concern in his voice. I'm not good with that.

I have a new addiction as well. Have you tried Facebook yet? I signed up to help with the organization of my high school reunion but found even more people than I would have thought. Several people from my old company where I worked for 10 years but have now been gone for two. It's been a blast reconnecting.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Three Things
I may have done this meme before, but I'm in a reflective mood so I will again. Thank you, Pentha for the inspiration.

Three things that scare me:

1. Losing my parents or brothers
2. I'm having a biopsy on April 26. The chance of those results are weighing greatly on me.
3. That this new job doesn't work out.

Three people who make me laugh:

1. Ms. Thang and Little Man
2. The Dude (yes, he's still around..somewhat)
3. My brother

Three things I love:

1. baking
2. a project I can sink my teeth into (i.e, the high school reunion organization)
3. photography

Three things I hate:

1. People who talk behind others backs
2. Losing my internet connection
3. Poor Drivers

Three things I don't understand:

1. how some people have luck and others don't
2. anything to do with the inner workings of a car
3. taxes

Three things on my desk:

1. A can of Coke
2. Family history photos dating back to the 1880's
3. My Nikon D80

Three things I'm doing right now:

1. Considering taking some pain meds
2. Thinking of another creative endeavour (either scrapbooking or photo related)
3. Worrying about my parent's health.

Three things I want to do before I die:

1. Travel to Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls
2. Be Published
3. Find a new happily ever after (I agree, Pentha!)

Three things I can do:

1. Take fantastic photos
2. Write a good story
3. Think of creative new ways of doing things

Three things I can't do:

1. Anything sports related
2. Remember and repeat quotes from movies
3. Budget. ;-)

Three things I think you should listen to:

1. Anything by Eva Cassidy, Just Jinjer or Amanda Marshall
2. The people who know you best
3. Your Heart

Three things you should never listen to:

1. inflammatory or poisonous thoughts
2. uninformed opinions
3. racist epithets

Three things I'd like to learn:

1. How to be a graphic or web designer
2. How to build a dollhouse
3. How to stand up for myself

Three favorite foods:

1. Sushi (but only if the seaweed is fresh!)
2. Konafa (Lebanese desert)
3. Beef Sashimi

Three shows I watched as a kid:

1. The Donny and Marie Show
2. The Irish Rovers Show
3. Soap

Three things I regret:

1. Staying in relationships long after they'd died
2. Not having children back when I could.
3. Not being able to meet Pentha when I was in DC. =(

Three people I tag:

I'm not going to tag anyone in particular, but if you do this, I'd love to hear from you.
Well, I just had my third pap test come back positive for cancer cells. Not something I am dealing with very well but know that I am in very good hands with this doctor.

I am scheduled for a biopsy to see the stage we are dealing with and a cryotherapy session (think, liquid nitrogen for 3-4 minutes). The good news is that this will be taken care of relatively quickly - April 26. The bad news is that this is just 1 week after starting a new job.

I am scared. I wish I wasn't but the fact is that this terrifies me. I have had too many bad things lately and my resistance is down. I know that as far as types go, this is not a bad one to have - and the cure rate is very high. But that's fine if it's happening to someone else!

I found out last week. It's taken me a few days to get my head around things. Dark humour abounds with my brother asking if he can wait until his hair grows back in first before having to shave it off for me. He recently shaved his head for a friend's daughter battling with leukemia.

My local friends have been supportive. That's been a big help. In times when I am in a bit of a shell from recent events, it has been wonderful to know that a sympathetic ear is only a few digits away.

At the end of the day, I have to let things go as they're meant to go. Maybe this is a lesson I am to learn in order to become the person I am meant to be. I have to trust that this is one thing I have no control over, and must not let it take control of me.

By this time next month, let's just hope this is all just a distant memory.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Last night, I was able to see our budding softball star in action. Her third T-Ball game, ever. I don't remember seeing her mom play but I must say there is nothing more hilarious than watching a bunch of 5 year olds playing the game.

She's already got great form. But then again, her mother has seen to that. My niece was a very successful and competitive pitcher before she had Ms. Thang. The year she became pregnant, she had two scholarships at major US schools but decided that her life was with her family instead.

Ok, a little off side but at least she gave her all!

Note to Coach: Make sure all the other kids are far enough back so they don't get smacked with the bat. Ms. Thang smoke the little brown haired girl a good one...she was fine, but apparently I caught the second after impact in the photo. Good to know she has empathy!

This little guy was in a world of his own the entire game. I couldn't resist getting a shot of him. If he wasn't chewing on his waist string, he was picking dandelions or twirling. I'll bet he'll grow up to be the biggest star of them all! A lot of fun to do the paparazzi thing last night - the rest of the photos are here.
Monday, April 09, 2007
A few more...
Thought I'd share a few more photos I took on Friday. It feels fantastic to be behind the lens again!
The running joke here is that I have never seen a bear in the wild. I am the bear anti-magnet. Just about every time we've gone camping, there has been a bear siting just after I've left the area. However, this time, at the Greater Vancouver Zoo, I was able to get as close as I'd ever want to - with the windows of the bus between me and him.

Spring has sprung. There are colours every place you look!

What an incredible stare this owl has! A very regal bird!

Again, about as close as I'd ever want to get to such an animal. Her name is 'Sweetie' and apparently that's her nature too. We'll just trust the trainer on that but I won't test it out.

Such a gorgeous creature!

Sunday, April 08, 2007
Recipe for Relaxing
Any time things get stressed and beyond control, there is no better prescription than spending time with those you hold close. This last week has been all about getting back to those things that are important to me. There is absolutely nothing better than a genuine hug from a two-year old!

One important thing, of course, is photography. For the first time in quite a few months, I spent some quality time behind the lens. Sure, I took photos on my holiday but this was actually getting back to the art of photography. There is nothing more affirming than getting back to a hobby you truly love. I have not been able to relax enough these past few months to allow myself to look at things creatively. Now that my mind is clearing, my creativity is waking up with a vengeance. If I'm not taking photos, I'm post-processing in Paint Shop or learning a new technique in Photoshop.

I also spent some time getting back into scrapbooking in a big way. The forum I spend a lot of time in had a weekend crop challenge. The timing was perfect, and I ended up doing 8 layouts in just over 24 hours.

On Friday, we took the kids to the zoo. It was a gorgeous day and very warm. To top it off, an old friend of mine joined us with his wife, sister and two beautiful little girls. He's a friend from high school now living in Ontario. We've reconnected because of the high school reunion, although we've always talked on and off.

This morning, I woke up more relaxed than I have in months. I've lost nearly 25 lbs. since January 1, but my appetite is finally coming back. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not - I kinda liked having my clothes feel too big!

Easter was quiet. My Dad isn't well right now and not very mobile. Unfortunately, my brother's family fell ill with the flu so it ended up just being Mom, Dad and I and a pizza. It's the small things that count though - and we were together.

Tomorrow, we'll be working on the endless renovations on my bathroom. Hopefully it will actually get somewhere as it's been weeks of a little bit of work, and a lot of waiting. I'm living with a mirror propped up on the wall!

This week, I have many plans ahead. Mostly reconnecting with people I haven't had chance and a trip to the outlet stores in Washington State. I just feel so much better in just these few days - it's like I'm reawakening from some sort of hibernation.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Free at Last!
I am now officially done with my previous company. It was not pretty, or gracious or tidy. However, at the end of the day, it is done and I have a great weight lifted off my shoulders.

I sought legal advice on Friday evening and had a better grasp of what I could and should expect.

On Monday, I came in to find the issues had intensified and the inappropriate behaviour increased. When my supervisor came in, I asked to speak with her and told her I felt very uncomfortable. I then spoke with her supervisor and he convinced me to try and stick out the rest of the week.

'Don't let the [bleep]'s win', he said. I thought it odd that instead of condemning poor behaviour, he asked me to ignore it.

In the afternoon, I realized it simply wasn't worth it. Who was I letting win? Me, really. I had nothing to prove, nothing to gain by continuing in a toxic environment.

So I moved up my resignation date officially and left at the end of the day.

Now I just need to relax and destress. And I have 13 more days in which to do it in.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer trapped in a corporate buyer's body. Steel shopping by day, and freeflowing prose by night. One day I hope to have the nights become my days, but am intimidated by the sheer amount of people who share my dream. So I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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