Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Listography 12B - List Your New Year's Resolutions

(There isn't an actual list in the book called this. I made it up given the time of year.)

This list is a work in progress. I will come back as I see fit.

92% of resolutions fail because they're just an outcome that fails to account for the process of getting to the outcome. This might be useful information for those people trying to build a list of resolutions.

In the Year of Our Lady Two Thousand and Ten, I hereby resolve to:

1. Bring sexy back.
2. Get some (literal not metaphorical) balls and put them to proper use.
3. Join the cocktail class.
4. Engage in some hockey related rioting.
5. Just Dance.
6. Take this job and shove it.
7. Ladies Night, oh what a night. (Erin, Donna, I'm looking at you. You too Adrienne.)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Listography 12 - List your Favourite Toys when you were a Child

It's that time of year, The Day That Shall Not Be Named, so this seems like a pretty good list to do. I don't remember a lot about my past, for reasons that I really, really don't want to get into other than to say, "No, my parents didn't abuse me." Moving right along...

I remember having a teddy bear that I wore out. It only had one eye, it might have started out pink, but it was sort of a weird fleshtone in the parts that weren't just the sheer fabric that held the plush. It had a huge head and not much of a body.

I don't have any idea what happened to it or even when it went away.

I loved playing Barbies with Natalie when I was a kid. She had the Barbie Chalet and I had the Camper Van.

The last Xmas I believed in Santa Claus was the one when I got my Cabbage Patch Kid "preemie" named Juliette Clarette.

My sister Julie got a CPK before that Christmas and her's was named Julia Clara. My other sister got hers at the same time I did, and it was a boy preemie named Alon Gunther.

Why do I remember this shit when I can't even remember what I had for breakfast?

My favourite "toy" after that was MTV on the satellite dish. 1984 was the year, and Michael Jackson, Madonna and Duran Duran were my heroes until I saw the Eurythmics. To this day I have wanted to be able to rawk an Annie Lennox hair cut, but my hair is too stupid to not just stand straight up on end.


In other news, there is pretty much no household chore that a couple of Cosmopolitans can't make better.

You won't get any seasonal well wishes from me. I'm not a Christian and I'm not interested. I'll be sending greetings, salutations and even gifts in the new year.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Listography 11 - List the Countries You've Visited

1. The United States of America


Yeah, not well traveled OR well read.

Since that list is lamer than the restaurants list I've decided to make up a new list.

Listography 11B - List Some the Things that Your Dream Job Will Entail

1. Work attire can be pajamas or Chanel suits or ball gowns. Tiara optional.

2. Will require lavishly catered dinners and cocktail parties.

3. Will allow me not to have to worry where the rent is coming from.

4. Will allow me to still do it even if I get sick again.

5. Will have a car and driver.

6. Will allow me to judge people without fear of recrimination.

7. Will allow me travel.

8. Will allow me to do good things for women the world over.

9. Will somehow allow me to combine misanthropy and organization.

10. Will allow me to have an entourage that I can order bowls of only green M&Ms for.

11. Will have new agencies calling me up for an opinion on the topic of the day. Regularly.

12. Will allow me at some point to tell Rex Murphy and Andrew Coyne to get stuffed.

I reserve the right to add or amend this list at any time, without notice.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Less Than 3 my Neurologist

So, we're at the annual follow up/seeing how the mito worked phase of our relationship. We both agree that I am doing and have done remarkably well. Here's all the news that's fit to print:

1. I still have some residual optic nerve damage (but nothing to worry about because my vision is 20/20) and weakness, uncoordination and spasticity on my left side (but again nothing really to worry about because my gait is generally good and I haven't needed a cane in quite some time).

2. I am being sent to the treatment patient's group on January 15 to learn how to manage the use of needles/auto-injector because on February 1, 2010 I go on Copaxone.

3. This is, of course, if we don't decide to do another round of mitoxantrone (Novantrone) around that time because...

4. There's either a oddly shaped blood vessel where my spinal cord meets my brain stem, an old lesion that didn't show up very well on my non-tracer material MRI last year that is now showing up on my tracer material MRI now, or it's a brand new lesion.

If it is a brand new lesion I'm getting one more mitoxantrone treatment. My MRI is being sent back for "reinterpretation" given my neurologist's concerns. I won't find out about that until the new year.

Even if we decide to do one more treatment, my doctor is getting all my Pharmacare stuff set up for February so I can start then. If it's delayed another 3 months, we won't have to do the paperwork then I can just start.

5. I my disease burden has decreased minorly, and my MS doesn't really appear as individual lesions, though I counted 5 very distinct spots as we viewed it together.

So that's the long and short of it. I'm doing as well as really can be expected for someone with relapsing-remitting MS with residual deficits as a result of a profound relapse almost a year ago.

Not looking forward to needles, but if it keeps me from a relapse for even a day longer than I would've had without it, I'm okay with that. With help from Pharmacare, it shouldn't be too much of a financial burden either.


a day or two ago I posted this story, about the University of British Columbia (UBC) putting together a proposal to study CCSVI at the clinic where I am a patient. I asked my neurologist about it and she was interested, but cautious.

She was pleased to hear that I don't think that this is *THE ANSWER* but perhaps *an answer* and that I was still confused by what CCSVI doesn't explain. She did write in my file that I was interested in being a participant in any study that does happen - but she did caution me on a couple of things.

a) This proposed study has no funding, no protocol and no ethical review yet. It's going to be be March before they even know how many people they are going to let in, let alone the scope of the study.

b) A vascular surgeon at UBC who has done angioplasty on veins, but not the inner jugular or azygos (chest) veins, thinks that the possibility of stroke or stroke leading to death with the "Liberation Procedure" could be as high as 1 in 100. Angioplasty on other less dangerously located veins have a stroke/death odds of about 1 in 1000 to 5000.

Sobering odds, really.

So that is the State of Lori's Brain n' such for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2010. Profits and output have improved 100000000000000000000000000000000 times from this time last year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Listography 10 - List your Favourite Restaurants

I'm not really what you would call a "foodie". By this I mean I prefer to eat food cooked by someone else but I never really get attached to a restaurant. I am more attached to a style of cuisine. Every single time I find an establishment that I love more than anything, the food begins to SUCK or something bad happens.

That happened with my favourite Italian place on Queen St.
That happened with Sala Thai on Burrard.
That happened with Red Fort on Queensway.
That happened with Sushi King on the Drive.
That happened with Subeez over by the library.
Kishu Island Sushi burned to the ground a month or so ago.

So I am not going to curse any of the places I currently love by making it known that I love them.

To be honest though, I'm just as happy to grab a burger at Wendy's or heat some rice stuff up in the microwave. I tend to look at food as fuel and a headache preventative rather than something to be fussed about. If I am hungry and it takes more than 30 seconds thought and 5 to 10 minutes to prepare and get to eating, I'm just as likely not to eat at all.

Of course, I make the exception for purveyors of food that deliver to my house. I'll wait 30 to 45 minutes for that.

I hope the next list is more interesting for all of us.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


My life completely changed one year ago today.

I knew I was sick, and was fairly certain it was MS, but I wanted it to be something "fixable" - something that I could get medication or surgery for and it would be gone. I wanted that more than anything even though I knew deep down that it wasn't fixable. I wouldn't even speak the words or share what I suspected because I wanted it to be something fixable.

If it weren't for Joe, Mum, Dad, Joe's parents and Nicole I would not have made it through my diagnosis, sickness and recovery. My friends have been extremely loving and patient this year and I cannot believe how a misanthrope like me has ended up with such amazing people in her life.

I am a lot better today, probably even better than I was 18 months ago. I get dizzy pretty easy, I lose my balance for no apparent reason, I get weird stabby/shooting pain in my shoulders and biceps, and my hips/upper thighs are bruised from running into the corners of furniture and fixtures, but that's pretty much it.

No fatigue.
No heat sensitivity.
No nerve fatigue on short walks, or when I stand for a long time. I can even get through a medium length walk without foot drop.

This year has been hell on wheels, but thanks to mitoxantrone, yoga and physiotherapy techniques, Wellbutrin and opting more often for healthy food options, I'm feeling pretty good.

This might just be the anti-depressants talking, but I'm feeling pretty positive about 2010.

Thursday is my 1 year check up/follow up after mitoxantrone treatment #5, so we'll see if my brains are still there, we'll see if my body is actually moving as well as I think it is and we'll talk about Copaxone or whatever until they find a cure.

A cure is my only hope, because I know with certainty that this "pretty good" isn't going to last. I don't know how long I've got before it all goes to shit, but that is the truth. It *is* going to go all to shit. That's MS. That's what makes me crazy.

Donate now to the MS Society of Canada

Donate now to the National MS Society

Donate now to the MS Society

End MS

Friday, December 11, 2009


I posted this terrific post by Wheelchair Kamikaze regarding CCSVI to a couple of Facebook groups. This post is thorough and thoughtful and explains better than I could why I am cautiously optimistic about CCSVI and the "Liberation procedure" but not completely sold.

I was then attacked via Facebook messages by people who were completely happy to drink the Zamboni Flavor Aid and were *ANGRY* at me for not being as thrilled and ecstatic about the *cure* as they were.

Oh "ye of little faith"! I, like a lot of us with M.S., am very excited about this treatment if only for the spotlight that this discovery casts on this disease! Don't dash our hopes with your negativity!

That's the only one I didn't delete. The other ones were just fucking rude, like I was purposely trying to piss all over their day by pointing out the obvious unknowns about CCSVI!

I was told that I must be so incredibly disabled that I've just lost all hope and now I can't stand to see other people happy.

I was told that I just needed to get on the MS Recovery Diet and I'll never have an attack again.

I was told to "Think Positively", "Accept Jesus into (my) heart!" and "Count my Blessings! (I'm) not Dying!"

(All Y'all KNOW how much I love being "Brightsided". Fucking gives me the warm fuzzies ALL OVER.)

To recap, all I did was share a well thought out and researched post about CCSVI and then people felt it necessary to send me messages trying to make me feel bad for not believing what they believe.

WHY do people do that?

I disagree with a LOT of what people post to the internet (I have a Twitter account for crying out loud.) but I don't find it necessary to privately message them to tell them that they are wrong for what they think or believe about their own medical condition, even if they are wrong and I know that they will suffer for it. ;)

It's not like I'm some Glen Beck fan spouting crazy in public.


I'll be back tomorrow, it's a big day.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Listography 9 - List the People You Love the Most

(Other than the first three the remainder of the list is random as long as its understood that I love Lady Gaga MORE than Simon, Finn and Virgil. Possibly combined.)

1. Joe Kidwell
2. My mum.
3. My grandma.
4. Erin
5. Drew
6. Joe's mum.
7. Lady Gaga
8. Simon
9. Smart people.
10. Mrs. Gillespie (though I'm pretty sure she's dead. What the hell, I'll add dead people to this list.)
11. Finn
12. Whomever created the Colagallo. (It's a cocktail that includes tequila AND Coca-Cola!)
13. Louise Arbour
14. Coco Chanel (see? More dead people!)
15. Virgil
16. Cathy Hickson (also dead, but most of you don't know her)
17. Sherry Trafford? Meuris?
18. Christian Louboutin
19. Oscar
20. Ben
21. Donna

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"If you say you're not a feminist, you're almost denying your own existence...

...To be a feminist is to be alive."
- Margaret Cho

It was almost 20 years ago *exactly* that I had my first feminist awakening, though I wouldn't have called it that at the the time. I was 15 and passionate about very little but partying, carrying on and trying to be accepted by my peer group. I had had my introduction to the greater human rights community about a year earlier, but it was all a little bit "big" for me to get my head around . The problems of the women of the world certainly would never come to affect me and my life in small town Ontario.

I'm not sure if it was the next day or the day after that that I saw the newspapers and saw the "honour roll" of young women's faces, with their names and ages listed below, but the events at École Polytechnique on December 6, 1989 changed my life forever even though I was miles and miles from the blood and fear. What was becoming clear to me was the fact that there were men in this world who hated me.

They hated me, not because I had done anything to harm them, but because I was a female who had the crazy idea that women were equal to, but different from, men. I was young teenager moving far too quickly to adulthood, but I understood at that moment, on that day...

by looking at the faces, the names and the ages on the front page of the newspaper...

that my life as a woman in Canada would never be the same.

I was 15 years old and I was taught the lessons...

- that there were men in my own country who would like to kill me for going to school.

- that there were men in my own country who were threatened by my mere existence on this planet.

- that there were men in my own country who saw me only as a house cleaning, 5'6" blow job & baby birthing machine, there to pander to the whim of any man who would graciously have me.

That's a big moment. That's the kind of moment that inspires fear and loathing, but also a little bit of hope.

By the time I was 25 I had fully embraced the feminist descriptor for myself, but it probably took me another 5 or 10 to fully accept the responsibility that goes with that.

I'm not a "Feminism 101" type, but I do subscribe to the radical notion that women are human and equal and have the right and ability to make their own choices... even if those choices aren't what I would agree with. Autonomy and choice. That's what feminism is to me.

When I think Geneviève, Hélène, Nathalie, Barbara, Anne-Marie, Maud , Maryse, Maryse, Anne-Marie, Sonia, Michèle, Annie, Annie and Barbara, I'm sorry that it had to come to this. I think of them often, not just on this anniversary, but when I think about the responsibility I have for my own life.

It was in their lives ending that I started my own and I feel as though I am standing on the shoulders of giants. I will never forget sitting down at my parents' kitchen table with the front page of the newspaper looking at those faces, names and ages.

I will never forget.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Listography 8 - List Things Most People Probably Don't Know About You

1. My bladder is one-third larger than it should be.
2. I only watch The Grinch Who Stole Christmas up to the point where the Grinch steals Christmas and then I change the channel.
3. My favourite holiday is my birthday, but I tell everyone its Thanksgiving.
4. Pepsi is NEVER a substitute for Coca-Cola.
5. My heroes are Louise Arbour, Margaret Cho and Joe Kidwell.
6. I know the lyrics to every Def Leppard song from the Pyromania and Hysteria albums.
7. I don't like plain chocolate, even really expensive plain chocolate. I need to have nuts, caramel or nougat in it for me to eat chocolate.
8. I've never had cornbread. I had never had biscuits and gravy until I was 33.
9. I am pro-gun control mostly because people like me should never be allowed to own guns.
10. I cry every day, but I never do it in front of anyone.
11. I realized that I felt bad about not having a relationship with either of my sisters because it makes my mum feel bad, but I would LOVE to have a greater relationship with my brother.