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Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance!

In Uncategorized on November 29, 2009 at 6:55 pm

Swing, sister, swing!

Hey folks!

I just had a great weekend of singing…. and dancing!

Friday  the jazz trio played at the Old Mill: it was so lovely: a very warm listening audience around the grand piano. To my heart’s delight it was a full & appreciative crowd *including* my Mother *and* Father! Great to see them “making the scene” again.  Dad delighted in the dessert menu while I got to indulge myself playing some new (to us) old tunes, and the audience let me indulge myself by telling them the history of the songs they were hearing.

Saturday we took the dog to the vet for his regular arthritis shot, and walked by the Bradley House museum down a trail near the waterfront: Henry jogged along off leash and it did my heart gladly to see him and Tom on the trail. Luckily a large fence separated us from the Petro-can land where Tom spotted a five point buck! Old dog or no, Henry would’ve tried to give chase.  (The squirrel-killing, raccoon-murdering, deer-chasing, porcupine-terrorizing dog of ours will probably die in mortal combat with a black bear!)

Saturday night I had yet another gig, this time with my jazz quartet for the swing dancing crowd at the Dovercourt House Ballroom.  Now, they chose to put us in the penthouse suite, 3rd floor.  And while I was winded at the top of six flights of stairs, I made it: I would have needed oxygen or to be carried pre-tx! (This windedness I am hoping is merely lack of fitness. My exercise test in the assessment this week had slid back to my May level of fitness… but I’ve battled considerable things since then in my lungs and body. I am hoping all can be regained.)

Well, so I thought I’d give a shout out to my swing dancing friends (Hi Brooke!) and just say that you are, as always, inspirational.( None of YOU all were winded at the top of the stairs!) Basically in lindy hop the woman runs back and forth, so I even tried to have a few dances myself, which was both humbling, challenging, and at once familiar.  My first dance of the night was with my friend Kevin, a wonderful guy.  He was diagnosed with lung cancer about the  same time as I was listed for transplant & I’m pleased to say that last night the two of us “survivors” had a brisk dance together.  I was totally  out of puff, but this is way more fun than doing aerobics in a gym.  I followed this with a few more dances with old friends which felt warm and comfortable.  A nice way to spend an evening.

At one point one of the more advanced dancers came up and requested something “fast!”…. I let him chose the tempo and BY THUNDER it was insanely fast, and all the hotshots formed a dance jam circle in front of the band and there followed the fastest and most energetic display of dance as I’ve seen in quite some time! My kudos to you, oh fit and fantastic ones! And, to have the dancers applaud for the band, and bow to us (literally, it was charming) after THEY had been entertaining US, was quite surreal. I love playing for them: it’s utterly entertaining and better than cable television.

So… still awaiting pathology on the bronch: maybe Monday? I can’t say that it doesn’t petrify me, so I’ll just try and keep busy until then….

In the meatime, Jazz.fm has posted on their web-site the interview I gave with morning host Ralph Benmurgui.  Check it out!

Early morning radio... I need a coffee!

The Glamour and the Gore!

In Uncategorized on November 29, 2009 at 6:10 pm

I often find my life a strange confluence of opposites! For one, I am a singer born with lung disease. (She “makes beautiful music” but her lungs were far from beautiful) How incongruous is that? And then there’s the whole “country mouse/city mouse” existence I inhabit. One minute riding a sweaty horse around a hay field, the next on stage downtown in heels singing a torch song.

Well, today I had a camera down my throat, and into my lungs to take a look round and do biopsies for my one year post lung assessment. I don’t know what sort of a secretary I am, but a damned poor one: I have TWO gigs scheduled this weekend and my throat feels like I’ve passed an elephant through it!

But anyhow, if that’s the GORE, then here’s the GLAMOUR: Last week I got to be a “model for a day!” Elle Canada is graciously covering our story for their February issue (to hit stands in January). This involved an interview and an all day photography session in Valentino shoes, vintage jewels and gown, the whole deal. It was pretty cool getting fluffed by their glam squad: but will you recognise me?! I was given blond extensions for the event because the CMV treatment caused my hair to get quite straggley.    So…I’ll appear to have a thick mane of curls again thanks to the Elle people. ( And they will airbrush away my iv piccline, too, as all the dressed they “pulled” were sleeveless).

It was a crazy week: riding horse on Wednesday afternoon (and shooing about 75 Canadian geese from the riding ring) the next day I pretended like I knew what to do in front of a team of fashion magazine people, then the following day I sat in a hospital bed picking the glue out of my scalp from the hair extensions while I got my immunoglobulin iv, and capped it off with a mad dash to the Rex where I again donned a dress and sang for a couple hours. See what I mean? I’m awash in variety and contradictions! Wait — athlete? model? patient? working girl? Who is Alex Pangman: the answer, ALL these things! And, I am reallllly hoping to put a human face to organ donation & with these lungs, to sing and spread the good word of hope.

Clinic findings…

In Uncategorized on November 29, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Well, my doc today did say that it *is* unusual for a tx patient to have had all the various infections that I have/had post transplant. (I ask myself why I’ve always been a bit of a medical exception to the rule….) I mean, it’s normal to have *some*, but I am the not-so-lucky recipient of quite a few of them. Little ol’ me!

As always it’s a shifting changing “work in progress” for me on the other side of transplant.  Sure I feel like I spend ridiculous amounts of time in waiting rooms, labs, etc, etc, (and I do, in fact, have a bout three apointments per week on average)  but on the whole my quality of life is so improved at this stage.

Sure the wrinkles are scary. I’m not kidding you. I get scared, but we take them as they come. What choice have we got? It’s like before with my CF lungs: I didn’t have a choice but to fight and try my best. Nothing changes.

So… it’s looking sort of possible that I gotta’ go on some i.v. anti-biotics to fight this current infection. And an inhaled anti-biotic too. Wah! It’s just a bit too familiar: like my old CF life, morning and evening masks, hanging ivs…. but this is the trade off I make for getting to ride my horse again, to sing, to romp around Queen street. To LIVE. The immuno supressants necessary to prevent rejection increase your risk of infection. It’s part of “the new deal”.

Well, so that’s all I got tonight. I’m just in from a nice brisk walk in the cool night air. It was delightful. Seriously. Tomorrow AM… yummy radio active sandwich for breakfast. I’m not even kidding!

YES!

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2009 at 1:39 am

As I washed dishes this morning I heard Tom shout, “I’m reading the Toronto Star online… Natalia got her lung transplant!” I dropped the pot scraper in disbelief, mouth agape, the news of it sifting in. I asked him to repeat himself (almost in disbelief!) I came running into the room looking over his shoulder at the screen which heralded the happy news. I turned my back, goosebumps coming all over, stood at the window and said grateful prayers while tears sprang forth.

Natalia has been in the news a lot lately bravely & candidly putting forth her story in an effort to bring attention to our low donor rates. She is a fellow CFer who’d been very ill and put on a ventilator recently and made top priority for transplant. She is the mother of a baby girl, amazingly brave, determined, and hopeful in the face of the menace of CF.

Hearing her news of hope I thought immediately of our first few days post transplant, of what lies ahead for her. And then my mind rushed forward to that image of her pushing her daughter through the park in her stroller. I am so happy and so praying that she makes a smooth recovery and can see this happen.

Thank you to her donor family. Sometimes there *is* good news in the paper after all….

In other news, Dad is looking fantastic, in fact, better than he has in a couple of months. We visited him today after riding and told him of Tom’s adventures in the saddle today on this, his first day of “horse shopping”. (Gypsy wants a sibling). Oh boy… this could be a long process. In any event, folks, live your life fully, every day! I’m onto my one year post tx assessment this week: bronch, exercise test, etc. Wish me luck. As always, pray for a rejection free biopsy.

Oh My Goodness — THE WEATHER! And some numbers.

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2009 at 3:33 am

I have ridden my horse every day this week. WHAT AN AUTUMN!

Usually as we head into the Royal Winter Fair & the Santa Claus Parade we are getting our first taste of snow… but not this year! I’ve ridden every day outdoors – 6 days running.

You see, it’s  all about LIVING. I have to remind myself of this because with recent events in the transplant community (some ailing badly) and with Tom’s very beloved God-Mother passing away this week I just NEED to feel the GOOD in life.  As my transplant friend Bree reminded me, “some astronomically bad things have happened in our lives — but some astronomically GOOD things have too!”  So, to honour my donor, and for the sheer LOVE of LIVING I took every spare hour I could and spent it with Gypsy this week! Yesterday we rode bareback through the leaves and Tom joined on Mister. The sun was warm, and the warm  horses between our legs made it extra toasty. Today pony and I galloped in the field because it felt great. IT FELT GREAT! The fresh air on my face, the unadulterated wind up my nostrils, the sound of her hooves galloping along.

Also,  DAD is feeling MUCH BETTER this weekend, (hopefully discharged soon). Oh, and on Friday I got to sing at The Rex. I’m back again on Friday the 20th of November, (4-6pm) filling in for my friend Terra Hazelton with the Hogtown Syncopaters . It’s as great jazz band and I’ve known them for years & they were tickled to see and hear me sounding strong… although I was nursing a bit of a cough, as a result of immuno supression. DAMNIT. Can’t say this doesn’t petrify me, although I’m taking pills for it. (Speaking of immune systems, at the recommendation  of the transplant team I was immunized against H1N1, as was Tom. )

I needed to cheer myself up a bit (just feeling a bit anxious and blue of late, despite all the horsing around and dog walking) so I visited the Trillium Gift for Life webpage.  Here’s where it stands currently;

Picture 5

See how many lives can be changed when you sign your donor card? TGH have already done more than the 84 lungs transplanted in 2008 — but lesss than 2007’s whopping 99 transplants. LET’S MAKE 2009 THE BEST YEAR TO DATE! If you are 16 or older  you can sign your consent when you renew your OHIP, drivers license or On line. Also, it’s critical you TALK TO YOUR LOVED ONES about your desire to donate posthumously.  You can specify and donate certain organs, or chose to donate all of them. (You can specify! Isn’t that great?!) Age is also not a factor.  One of Tom’s school students proudly confessed that they had decided to become an organ donor (out of the mouths of babes!), and one of the oldest donors was 90+ years old!

As you can see below, we’re still struggling to keep up with “supply and demand” and NOT ONE soul should have to die for want of organs.

Picture 6 22-07-22For full statistics visit here.

Ciao my lovelies!

Alex

Remembrance Day

In Uncategorized on November 12, 2009 at 5:50 am

I heard the war planes over head this morning, and I knew it was 11am & the ceremony was begun. The hour of remembrance.

I’d  picked up a very special poppy from the Canadian Corps Hall just last night; a pristine cloth poppy from decades ago! Proudly this replaced the steady stream of the plastic poppies I’d found missing from my lapel this week.  (They kept “popping” off!)

horse

Soldier and Horse in Gas Masks.

I’d been reading last night a photo journal I’d purchased of the first world war. Reading how men still fought on cavalry mounts as recently as 100 years ago.  I recall an artwork I painted after reading Timothy Findlay’s The Wars. It was a memorial to all the horses who fought and gave their life for freedom. Indeed thousands died. Sank in the mud at battle, shot, you name it.

Help_Horse

Cavalry assaults weren’t a very useful tactic with the invention of the machine gun, even still, some charges were still made in  WW1. Later on, horses & mules primary use became in transporting supplies, munitions, & artillery to the front.  It is estimated that 8 million horses & mules perished on the western front, (in Britain many of them were conscripts from local farms and families — imagine sending Gypsy to war?!?!)  Click here to watch National Film board of Canada footage of horses being trained for war. Fascinating.

And the human losses. Well, lest I forget the human cost of war.

As I rode my horse today in the sunshine I thought all about this. Riding around the orchard and seeing the row on row of trees I found myself thinking of the white crosses in France…the poppies on those crosses row on row.  Through their grace and courtesy have I lived such a free life. Indeed this blog should really be called “most grateful redhead”. Bravery I’ve none. Not like our grandfathers.

As Gypsy was startled by the wind today,  I thought how it might have sucked to have gone to war on a spooky horse. I thought how equine arts such as dressage came out of military movements on the horse.  (The capriole? Designed to get you out of a tight spot on the battle field.) In any event, I wondered how many soldiers throughout history with affection loved their mounts, spoke to them softly under their breath.  Fell from them. Fell under them. Had to put a bullet in them.

But then, the human tole keeps coming back to my mind. Timothy Findlay’s novel The Wars sticks in my mind still, to this day. His description of a gas attack on a muddy cold battlefield is etched in my mind & proves the human race has come up with creative and nasty ways to off one another. An excerpt;

“Sir?” said one of the men who was with him on the ledge.
“Be quiet!” said Robert. Both of them were whispering.
“But Sir…”
The man pointed.
Robert looked.
Slithering over the crater’s rim — a pale blue fog appeared. Like a veil his mother might’ve worn.
Robert Blinked.
It tumbled over the edge and began to spread out over their heads — drifting on a layer of cold, dank air rising from the pool below them.
Jesus.
Gas.
Bates had scrabbled up the ledge.
“Put on your masks,” Robert whispered. There air seemed to be alive with sibilance. The canisters were that close.
Bates just stared.
“Put your mask on Corperal Bates!”
“I can’t,” said Bates.
“What the hell do you mean?” Robert turned and shouted hoarsely to the men below him. “Put your masks on!”
“We can‘t sir,” said Bates, “They sent us up so quick that none of us was issued masks.”
Every man is issued a mask!” Robert shouted out loud (It was like being told that none of the men had been issued boots.)
“No, sir,” said Bates. “It aint true.” He was shaking. Shivering. His voice was barely audible. Robert might as well have yelled at God for all the good it would do. He looked at the weaving strands of gas. They were spreading  further out –like a spider’s web above the crater–reaching for the other side. Some of it was spilling down towards them.
Robert didn’t even think. He just yelled, “Jump!” and leapt into the air.

qorofficers1941

Grandad in the Essex Scottish Regiment

My Grandad Pangman was an army man in WWII. (He’s the third from centre soldier/front row).  I never got to talk to him about the war because he died before I was old enough to ask. I remember he was a great man in whose lap to sit. He smelt of manly solid things like tweed, a drink, and of cigarettes. (While he survived the war years, it’s very nearly possible that the smoking habit he took away from the conflict hastened his fatal heart attack.)  I recall that I made him a sign once, “Kids with CF need clean air to breath…” so he stopped blowing smoke up the chimney and started going outdoors to have a puff. Honestly, me, a two and a three foot tall pip squeak bossing around a Brigadier General.  He came from Winnipeg usually at Christmas. I liked his hands, and I remember his knees for I was at their height. He was tall  with long fingers bushy great eyebrows and fine grey hair that I could see the comb marks in.   In his lap I would climb and bounce. That same lap that belonged to the man who was in charge of so many at war…

As I said, I never got to talking about war with him as I was primarily interested in The Smurfs at the time I was hanging out at his ankles… but I read in a book some things about him of how he had saved a large number of his own men on the Italian front. It was in the big Canada’s Who’s Who. I felt proud he was in the red book. Dad said he won an award and met the king.

My other Grampa, Sawyer, how I wished I’d had the forethought to record him…  Boy he was cheesed off about the war. He was so good at teaching the boys and making them good soldiers that they never sent him over to see any action.  And he was mad about it! Even up until the week before he suddenly died when I recall him talking to my Thomas about the war years. I never knew he was so cheesed off  to have never seen action, but it doesn’t suprize me that such a strong brave and honorable man would feel that way.  I knew Grampa better as he lived into my adulthood. To think he’d seen the rise and fall of Hitler in his days. Wow. For me I rely on books, film, poetry to make it seem real. For my Grandparents generation it was very real indeed.

So, lest I forget what sacrifice and struggle they made, I took with me to bed the other night the poems of Siegfried Sassoon and of Wilfred Owen.  Reading them is like reading little snapshots of the war. Frightening. Surreal. And yet very very real. Holy shit. I can say no more, except to include a few poems (though there are many I like).   Lots of great films to make you take pause: Paschendeal’s battle field is frightenintly real.  Gallipoli is beautiful. Tragic. Compelling.  Scads of moving WWII films also.

Don’t let’s get started on war songs! We’ll Meet Again and the like not withstanding,  I am most moved by Eric Bogle’s “The Band Played Waltzin’ Matilda”. (Yes, a Scotsman singing about the Australian slaughter in Turkey… I’ll give you it’s odd, but only odder when sung by an Irishman! Copiously covered, I prefer Bogle’s own version best.) His other song that moves me is “No Man’s Land” where he sings, “I can see by your gravestone you were only nineteen/ when you joined the gloriously fallen in 1916/ well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean/ or willie mcbride was it slow and obscene?”. Moving stuff. (He also has some delightfully silly songs too, to balance out his set the time I heard him live in Toronto).

For tonight, I leave you with a few poems that you might’nt have heard lately;

THE LETTER,
by Wilfred Owen

With B.E.F. June 10. Dear Wife,

(O Blast this pencil. ‘Ere, Bill, lend’s a knife.)

I’m in the pink at present, dear.

I think the war will end this year.

We don’t see much of them square’eaded ‘Uns.

We’re out of harm’s way, not bad fed.

I’m longing for a taste of your old buns.

(Say, Jimmie, spare’s a bite of bread.)

There don’t seem much to say just now.

(Yer what? Then don’t, yer ruddy cow!

And give us back me cigarette!)

I’ll soon be ‘ome. You mustn’t fret.

My feet’s improvin’, as I told you of.

We’re out in rest now. Never fear.

(VRACH! By crumbs, but that was near.)

Mother might spare you half a sov.

Kiss Nell and Bert. When me and you –

(Eh? What the ‘ell! Stand to? Stand to!

Jim give’s a hand with pack on, lad.

Guh! Christ! I’m hit. Take ‘old. Aye, bad.

No, damn your iodine. Jim? ‘Ere!

Write my old girl, Jim, there’s a dear.)

DULCE ET DECORUM EST
Wilfred Owen
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,

Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs

And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots

But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;

Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots

Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling,

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling

And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…

Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,

As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace

Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

(Translation: “it is sweet and good to die for one’s country”)

AFTERMATH

S. Sassoon, 1919.

Have you forgotten yet?…

For the world’s events have rumbled on since those gagged days,

Like traffic checked a while at the crossing of city ways:

And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow

Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you’re a man reprieved to go,

Taking your peaceful share of Time, with jot to spare.

But the past is just the same, —-and War’s a bloody game…

Have you forgotten yet?…

Look down, and swear by the slain of the war that you’ll never forget.


Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at the Mametz,–

The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?

Do you remember the rats; and the stench

Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench, —

And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?

Do you ever stop and ask, ‘Is it all going to happen again?”

Do you remember that hour of din before the attack,

And anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then

As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?

Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back–

With dying eyes and lolling heads, –those ashen-grey

Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet?…
Look up, and swear by the green of the Spring that you’ll never forget.

remembrance-poppy

A Year Ago…

In Uncategorized on November 4, 2009 at 4:57 pm

A year about this time a surgeon had just been to see me. I was given the green-light to proceed to the O.R, and he had just signed his initials on my chest for proof.  As he did this I remember looking across at Tom with amazed eyes that said, “HOLY COW: ITS REALLY GONNA HAPPEN!”  My family around me, we prepared for what was to be a miraculous day and an even more miraculous year. At 1 o’clock pm I was rolled into the OR after saying loving farewells to my family. Surreal.

Yesterday I did my “Great Ontarian  Radio Tour” hitting Jazz.fm, AM680, AM740, and CBC to raise awareness for organ donation. Then last night we had a great concert for a warm crowd with both the Alleycats and Lickin’ Good Fried (who launched our new CD). I sang into the night and never felt tired. Musically it was thrilling (for those who missed it, stay tuned, the concert will be aired on CBC Radio 2!)

After the show I met a wonderful woman who told me that her son had given his organs when he passed. It was a sobering sublime moment amongst all the happiness. As I gave her a hug I was speechless.  I may never know my donor’s family, so meeting her was very emotional because I know that she could see the joy that’s returned into our lives as the results of my kind donor, and I could see in her eyes the pride c0mingling with sadness as she told me.  So, if I haven’t said it yet today, THANK YOU to my donor and their family. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.



Goodness!

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2009 at 5:23 am

Picture 1

Holy cow — I was leaving the house tonight: just dashing out to the car to get a can of pop I’d left there, and it dawned on me that a year ago I wouldn’t of been so able to just “nip out to the car and grab that pop can.” NO, a year ago I was getting tangled up in oxygen hosing, nebulizer hosing, and iv hosing. Exhausted. In fact this time last year I was for lack of a better phrase, slowly dying. “End Stage” Cystic Fibrosis. Not pretty.

Last Halloween I was gorging on chocolate (about the only thing I COULD still do!) knowing that the transplant would more than likely make me Diabetic. (We were hopeful for transplant…though gaining fear slowly) This Halloween I’m glad to say that Tom and I played & sang music on the porch for the trick or treaters, handing out candy and country music before going ourselves to a Halloween party a mere three blocks away that would have seemed impossible  to walk to a year ago. Last night I screamed at a zombie movie without fearing it would send me into a coughing fit that would end in more blood than in the ghoulish movie. A year ago… ugh…  coughing blood was happening all too frequently (a the drop of a hat really) & a scary movie in summer 2008 did actually end in a horrific blood coughing episode for me. But now? I’m  staggered routinely by the promise in today.  Sure I have to take an insulin shot with my tootsie roll. Sure there are side effects & wrinkles…. but look what I HAVE!!!!!!!!! LOOOOOOK!!!!!! (Inserting frantic “pinching myself” sounds)

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This Halloween: a ridiculous costume, I am a character from the song Frankie and Johnnie! "...and the gun went rootie toot!"

In any event, I was out riding my pony again today. She gave  a good buck at one point which cheered me endlessly as she’s been skirting an illness herself : COPD. To hear her cough underneath me is gut wrenching. I love her so much and to think she might be felled by lung disease… Well, I’m just hoping the “horse pills” (Septra!) and Prednisone (yes! She’s hungry too!) will work. Vet says perhaps Ventolin is next… Eerily familiar drug names to me. And yet, today? Not one cough.  She was like a  filly.  We’ll take the good where we may.  A wonderfully written story about my therapy pony & her place on Team Transplant appears in this issue of Horse Canada magazine.

2

November 1st, 2009. A year ago things were a lot less pastoral than today!

Anyhow, as I was easily nipping out to the car this evening to get that can of pop, I got quite emotional. SO MUCH has happened in one year. It’s astonishing. Those of you who’ve followed on the blog here from day 1 of the surgery, thanks for reading along. The desire is to reach more positive milestones & spread hope and awareness to increase the numbers of consent.

Watching the ones you love struggle is hard. In theory I always understood this as my parents, husband, & friends watched me and supported me through my illness. But to know it first hand: Yikes. Seeing Gypsy struggle is hard for me. But imagining my parents struggling is 100 times worse. I’ve spent all week baking and cooking packages for Mom to take to my Dad in hospital while he deals with some physical challenges himself.  Anyhow I couldn’t visit Dad personally as he spent half the week in the ER — no ward beds available — and me with no immune system? Gah!  Helpless, I baked care packages instead to drop off at the house…  Honestly Connie and John are admirable parents, but having the tables turned, well, can I just say that I admire them even more for always being upbeat and supportive. They’ve set a great example. I was pleased to have Mom deliver a little pick-me-up to Dad in his hospital room in the form of newspapers: both The Toronto Sun, and The Mississauga News featured yours truly on the cover this week to help in spreading the good word that transplant can change lives!

Please do come down and see for yourself at the Lula Lounge this Tuesday November 3rd. We will be celebrating the honest to goodness one year anniversary of when I got my second wind. (I am emotional just typing those words! Could need some water proof mascara.) What better way to celebrate than with the release of Lickin’ Good Fried’s new CD?!?! I’ll be singing with my new lungs with the new band. Singing Tom’s lovely songs. For jazz lovers, the stalwart Alleycats and I will open the show.  Nobody  can say if my donor liked country music or even jazz, (donor identity is kept anonymous in Canada) but I will say they are well adjusted now to those songbooks.

So, providing you’re in fine physical fettle I Hope to see you there! (Tickets $15 at the door. Or reserve @ www.lula.ca or just come to 1585 Dundas Street West, Toronto at 8:30 when it all kicks off!) Part of the proceeds will go to CARD, the Community Association for the Riding for the Disabled.

Very exciting. Apologies if it all seems like crowing. Not intended as such. Just bursting at the seams with enthusiasm,

Alex

ps: if you can handle one more reading recommendation, a Blogger friend named Natalia is a CF woman awaiting transplant. I remember swapping several emails with her as she made the decision to go “on the list”.  Well, her remarkable story was on the cover of the Toronto Star this week! Hopefully between the multiple stories she’ll get her lungs, as well as everyone else on the waiting list for organs who is hoping their pager would go off. We’ve got to keep up with supply and demand, damnit!