Musings on Montreal, Part 1B: A Few More Updates :c)

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Hello all, and apologies for going so long between posts. Hope those of you here in the States had a lovely Thanksgiving. :c)

I'm doing well, other than being quite tired. As I mentioned in my reply to Halle, Jenna, and Stace's comments in my previous post, time flies when you return to work, as I did on Monday the 13th, and are still in the three-times-a-day stage of recovery. Follow along below for details - and for information on the handsome gent keeping an eye on the donuts, above. ;-p)


Musings on Montreal Pt. 1A: A Few Updates

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Hi all - hope everyone is doing well.

I do have several longer posts in the works; I hope to get one of them finished and posted by the end of this week. In the meantime, just a quick update on a few things I've written about recently.

My nephew C is slowly improving, fortunately. He's lost quite a bit of weight, and, consequently, strength. He has a ways to go to get back to normal, but he's on the right track. thankfully.

I'm doing well too. I have some soreness, and I wish I was able to do more in terms of exercise, but I'm being careful not to overdo it. Not surprisingly, I was having a great deal of trouble sleeping, even by my lifelong insomniac standards.

Without going into detail, it was because nerve endings are slowly regenerating as part of the healing process. This is a good thing, needless to say, but it also resulted in an unfortunate side effect: it was very difficult for me to get comfortable while trying to sleep. I tried all of the suggestions offered by the staff in Montreal, and by my sister C (a nurse practitioner), but nothing worked for more than a single night, if that.

For several weeks I was fortunate if I got three or four hours, which is insufficient even for someone used to getting by on six hours. Fortunately things finally seem to have improved the past few days, a trend I hope will continue. There's still some discomfort, but at least I'm able to fall asleep, and to go back to sleep when it wakes me up.

On a totally different topic, I was greatly heartened by the number of openly transgender candidates who won office in the elections here in the United States last week. Danicia Roem, in particular, demonstrated a level of grace and class inversely proportional to the disgusting, transphobic tactics employed by her opponent. Congratulations to all of you for your courage and commitment to public service.

I think that will cover things for now. As I mentioned, watch this space for a longer post - hopefully by the end of this week. I certainly have no shortage of things to write about; I have a lot to look forward to, happily. :c) However, trying to sort them all out in a coherent manner is a challenge. But as my friend B says, all will be revealed in the fullness of time. :c) In the meantime, be well, everyone, and I hope you have a wonderful week.

***

I'll be writing in more detail about my experience with the surgery and recovery process in future posts. For now, I can say that music plays an important role for me. And the one band I've been listening to more than any other the past two months is Blue Rodeo. I've loved them for a long, long time, and find their music very comforting. It has helped more times than I can count to relax, take a deep breath, and keep the big picture in mind during that time.

I'll post more of their songs in my upcoming posts, but here's a terrific live version of one of my favorites: "New Morning Sun," from their excellent 2013 album In Our Nature. I've listened to it, and them, over and over, and will continue to listen to over and over as the healing process continues. Check this out to see why:


The introduction shows why they've been together for so long: they genuinely like other. That is no small accomplishment after 30-plus years together. :c)

Musings on Montreal, Pt. 1: The Way I Feel

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Hello all. Hope everyone had a good week.

After what felt like an eternity of endless heat & humidity, both here and in Montreal, it finally feels like something approximating autumn. This being New England, of course, that meant receiving three inches of rain in barely 36 hours earlier this week, with an even more powerful storm headed our way tomorrow evening into Monday. Oh well, we badly need the rain. And at least the humidity is finally gone. I'll take that trade. :c)

My nephew C is doing a bit better every day. He's still quite weak, and doesn't have much of an appetite, but he's still slowly improving. Thank you again to those of you checking in on him.

If you've read my most recent posts, you know I've been planing to write about my experience having my surgery with Dr. Brassard in Montreal last month. Amazingly, it was over five weeks ago already; it seems as if it was simultaneously yesterday and a million years ago.

Confession time: I've started this post several times now, only to feel dissatisfied and abandon what I'd written.

I finally realized why: trying to summarize the most important thing I've ever done in my life in a single post is daunting.

So, I won't. :c)

Instead, I think I'll just share my thoughts in more than one post.

How many posts, you ask?

I'm not sure, to be honest. But please feel free to tag along, and we can find out together. For now, follow along below the jump. I'll see you on the other side (as we told each other as our turn came for surgery up in Montreal). :-p

My Nephew C: On the Mend (Thankfully)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hello all. Just wanted to post a quick followup to my previous post about my nephew C. I'm happy to report that he's home from the hospital.

My sister C, his mother, is a nurse practitioner, which I suspect is why they let C go home, even though he's still quite ill. He's been staying with my parents in his old bedroom, where he can get the rest he needs in his own bed. And my sister lives next door, so she can monitor his condition.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I don't want to violate C's privacy. That said, I can say that I was badly shaken by how sick he was. C is 24 years old, in excellent shape, and in good health overall. It was scary, and quite sobering, to see how quickly his condition deteriorated. I try not to think about what would have happened had my sister not trusted her instincts and gone in to check on him once he had been sick for four days (C lives in Boston, while she lives about a half-hour outside the city).

If you could, please continue to keep C in your thoughts; he's been through a lot, and will likely be recuperating for some time. I'd like to thank Alice, Halle, my colleague M, and my manager L, among others, who have been checking in regularly to ask about C. It means a great to myself, my sister, and to C.

I went over to say hello when he got home from the hospital. We only spoke for a few minutes, as he was exhausted. He told me his mother had passed along the greetings from everyone, and asked me to thank them all on his behalf. I promised I would, but he was dozing off before I finished answering.

I reached over and shut off the light next to his bed, then headed for the door. Just before I closed it I heard his voice:

"Auntie?"

I stopped and turned.

"Hey, C. I'm still here."

"I just wanted to say... you have really good friends, Auntie."

Yes, I do, C. Yes I do.

***

Now that C is home where he belongs, I'm hoping to finally finish my post about Montreal in the next day or two. Have a good week 'til then, everyone. And give your loved ones a hug. Just because.

***

This Greg Brown song, from his 1988 album One More Goodnight Kiss, has been running through my head the past 10 days. You'll understand why when you listen to it. Prepare to be moved:


As a bonus, here's "Daughters," the first Greg Brown song I ever heard, from his second album, 1983's The Iowa Waltz. It was this verse that made - and still makes - the hairs on my neck stand on end:

When my daughter who is tall now was not so tall
One night we were driving home in the truck
And I was sad because I was busted and disgusted
And she looked out the window and said,
"Dad, the moon is coming home with us"
She said, "Dad, the moon is coming home with us"

I'm a man who's rich in daughters
And if by some wild chance I get rich in money
Like another two thou a year, or even one thou a year
I'm gonna look into havin' some more daughters



A Brief Post About My Nephew C

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Hi everyone. Just a very brief post to apologize for my recent absence. I'm doing well, and gradually getting my strength back, although I still tire quite easily. I'll write more about that, as well as the long-promised post about my time in Montreal at Dr. Brassard's clinic, very soon.

The reason I haven't posted is because my nephew C (from the Conversations with C series on my blog) has been quite ill the past ten days. I don't want to go into details, out of respect for his privacy, but he was very, very sick. He is improving, thankfully, although he still has a ways to go.

He's been a trouper, as always, but he could really use all of the positive energy you can send his way. He is a remarkable young man, as anyone who's read my posts about him can tell. So, if you could, please keep him in your thoughts; I would be grateful. Thank you, everyone, and have a good week. Hopefully I'll have positive news to post about C very soon. :c)


Checking In, and Mourning Mr. Petty

Saturday, October 7, 2017


Hi everyone. Hope you are all well. This is a very brief post to say thank you to everyone who has left comments and/or contacted me privately about my surgery in Montreal. Thank you all; it means a great deal. Big hugs to all of you! xoxoxo

I'll write more soon about my entire Montreal experience (hopefully tomorrow, in fact), but the headline is that I'm doing well overall. I'm back in the Boston area, slowly healing day by day. I have some minor discomfort, and get tired very easily. I've learned the hard way - repeatedly lol - not to push myself too far, too fast, and that has proved to be a wise decision. Again, I'll write more about it in my next post, but I'm playing it same and taking the long view.

I also want to mention how deeply saddened I was, and am, by the sudden death of Tom Petty on Monday. His music means a great deal to me; in fact, I read the excellent biography Warren Zanes wrote about him while I was in Montreal, specifically holding off on reading it for nearly a year so I could do so. I spent much of my time there, and this week, listening to his amazing catalogue and marveling at his consistency over a 40-year career.

Of all of his work - and he never made a bad album, or even a mediocre one, in his entire career - his 1981 album Hard Promises in particular means a great deal to me.

I was in high school when it came out, locked in an incredibly painful struggle with myself (even if I didn't fully understand its cause at the time), one that would take many years to resolve. I remember how comforting the entire album was, particularly the song "Insider."

He originally wrote it for Stevie Nicks when she requested a song for what became her debut album; when he played it for her, she told him she couldn't take it because it was clearly such an intensely personal song, but that she would be honored to sing it with him - which she did:


I've listened to "Insider" countless times over the years. It helped a lonely, confused, frightened 15-year-old realize that someone else understood how she felt and let her know that she, too, could crawl through the briars. That she, too, could persevere - that she could also be an Insider. Thank you for that, Tom. RIP.

GCS? Y-E-S! (a/k/a Miss Cass Goes to Montreal!)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

No burying the lead here: your humble blogstress Cassidy is in Montreal, and had my GCS on Monday with Dr. Brassard! Woo hoo!!!

I'm feeling as well as I could possibly hope so far, other than one bout with light-headedness/dizziness after walking from the hospital to the convalescence center yesterday morning. I did a bit too much too soon in that case, but otherwise I'm fine so far. Fingers crossed it continues this way!

The entire staff here, from Dr. Brassard himself on down, is absolutely wonderful. A special shout-out to the lovely Miss V, at the Gite du Marigot. Miss you already, girl!

As for the food... Oh. My. God. I told one of the nurses yesterday that the food is so good I've decided to just stay here permanently. lol

(My manager L, meanwhile, who has very kindly taken over attending my team meetings in my absence, asked if I could have Dr. Brassard send *her* some of my drugs. lol I guess we can't *all* win in these deals...  ;-p)

I want to finish with a huge, heartfelt THANK YOU to Alice, who was with me from my arrival here in Montreal on Saturday until I finally (albeit begrudgingly) agreed to loan her back to her husband  B yesterday. ;-p Thank you so much, hon; love you to pieces!!! xoxoxo xoxoxo And the same to Halle, who has been checking in several times each day to check on me and fill me in on what to expect next. Love you, hon!!! xoxoxo

Time to wrap up; I drafted this at 4:00 AM after a quick trip to the bathroom. (Cass's quick tip: water is your post-surgery friend. Even if it means becoming  VERY well-acquainted with the bathroom. lol) I don't want to wake up my roommate, the sweet and lovely Miss A, so I'll stop here. We want her in top form when her equally sweet boyfriend D comes by later today. (You two rock!)

Be well, everyone! More soon! xoxoxo
 

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