Thursday, March 31, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

I'm so far behind with my blog I may never catch up. I've been quite sick with a GI ailment making many of us who live here very sick. Management has decided to close the dining room to avoid too many people being too close to another. For the next three days all our meals will be delivered to our suites. We order what we want ahead of time.

I am still running a slight temperature so have to be good to myself for the next little while.

So, stick around. I shall return.

Anita Birt

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

Boo. Hoo. No comments on my blogs. I thought I'd find lovers of Don Marquis wonderful stories about Archie and Mehetebel - Archie the cockroach, a "verse libre" poet and Mehetebel, a cat with rather loose morals, who lives rough in alley ways. Their discussions are priceless.

No one commented about them. So sad. Their stories are timeless. Another topic that failed to raise a comment was my thought that we are living too long and dying, not of old age, but cancer in its various forms. I am a prime example. I am eighty eight. Until November 2009, I had never been a patient in a hospital nor suffered a serious illness. Cancer caught me by surprise.

The women in my family live long. My mother, ninety-nine and my sister, ninety-one. My husband thought we were too mean to die! He was joking, of course. He really was. My husband was born and raised in Wales in a family with a plethora of very humerous uncles. If you read Dylan Thomas about a Christmas in Wales, you'll get a sense of "the uncles."

Cancer - mine. I am doing very well. I look the picture of health but who knows what those wretched little cancer cells are doing. I hope the chemo therapy is working to shrink them.

What are you reading? I'm reading, God's Secretaries. The Making of The King James Bible, by Adam Nicolson. I have a historical novel on my Kindle set in Paris as the revolution erupted and stripped the king of his powers. Within a few pages the king and Marie Antoinette will be dragged out and beheaded. I'm reading a Donna Leon, Inspector Brunetti mystery in bed at night. Three books on the go and three newspapers every day, except Sunday. I like to read! Much more interesting then what appears on television. I can't watch a program with a laugh track. It drives me nuts. Maybe I'm too old to appreciate comedy shows with laugh tracks. A good historical drama is my cup of tea.

Enough rambling about my interests, what about yours?


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

I have a question some of you might want to answer or comment on. Are we living too long? I'm thinking of Canada,my country, but the United States and European union countries might have the same demographic.

When I glance through the obituaries in Canada's two national newspapers, I notice many people in their eighties - cause of death - cancer. Until I was diagnosed with a malignant tumour in my uterus, I had never been a hospital patient in my life! I have never had a serious illness until now. The cancer cells originated in my fallopian tubes. Stage three cancer is not operable. The oncologists can only shrink the cells and keep them from growing. Why now after 88 years of healthy living?

I had my third chemo therapy on Tuesday. One more to go and then my doctor will do some tests and I may require more chemo. We shall see. Nothing I can do about it but eat well, exercise and keep a positive attitude.

Comments please.

To change the subject. I read in the local paper about an author who released his out of print books to e-readers and is making money. My books are still available in e-format so do take a look at them at

I have a long historical romance and two contemporary romances which I have never tried to sell. I must put my brain to work on editing them and finding out how to post them to e-readers. Does anyone out there know how?

Spring is creeping slowly into Vancouver Island. I had a pleasant walk by the sea but the wind was cold. The local media are stirring us up about a possible earthquake and tsunaumi (sp?)The fault lines just off the coast shift now and again and rattle us a bit but they could create hell. The local authorities have disaster plans in place and we, the people, are supposed to have water, food, cell phone, batteries, candles, etc. to keep us going for three days. Do I? Am I ready?

Sorry about going on so long. Skip the boring parts.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

Well, folks, the test blog went off so I shall write a little more about this and that. I think the Nobel prize should go to the medical scientists who invented anti-nausea drugs. They've worked for me, praise the Lord.I had my third chemo therapy on Tuesday. To-day I feel very tired but that will pass. It's too cold to go out for a walk by the sea. Spring is taking a helluva time coming to Vancouver Island.

How many of you are familiar with the stories of Archie and Mehitebel created by Don Marquis way back in 1916? They are as popular to-day as they were during the following years. Archie is a cockroach. In a previous life he was a verse libre poet died and his soul transmigrated into Archie. Still a poet and a thinker he discovered how to write using a typewriter.

Not easy. He had to climb up the machine and dive headfirst on to the keys but he persisted. He could not use the shift key so all his work is in lower case. Mehitebel is a cat, of somewhat loose morals, who claims she is descended from Cleopatra.

Check out to find out more about these characters. They are funny and wise and guaranteed to make you smile.


Anita Birt's Note book

I wrote a long and interesting blog yesterday and could not post it. Something is not working so this is a test to see if it will got. I had my third chemo therapy on Tuesday and feel very tired to-day.

Here goes the test to see if this works. If not I shall start a new blog.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Anita Birt's Note book

As you might have noticed I am not a blogger of note. Days go by and I don't think much about cancer and have nothing to blog about. Why did I start this blog? To have others join me on my journey - I thought. However, much smarter people than I have written about cancer, sometimes sadly, sometimes upbeat, or just wondering where to go from here.

I have lost about ten pounds since the start of my cancer treatment. I am not on heavy doses if chemo -can't take chances on a woman of my age, eighty eight but my weight has taken a hit. I've never been overweight and never have had to diet so it's a bit of a shock to lose ten pounds. My oncologist wants me to snack between meals. Boo Hoo. I'm not a snacker and don't eat between meals. I am forcing myself to snack. My doctor suggests keeping chocolate handy! I do love chocolate but not in large amounts. I break off bits from chocolate bars and eat those. Delicious. I snack on crackers and cheese and other edible items.

I shall weigh myself tomorrow and see if all this snacking is working.

My next chemo is March 15th. I think I mentioned it on my last entry. We're having bloody awful weather on Vancouver Island. Gale force winds and wild seas. We may have one day with sun and calm winds and then back come the gales. Right now there's
a wild wind blowing in from the east and the sea heaving with with white caps.

Where is spring? Where is warm weather? Where is blue sky and sunshine beaming down?

I shall cease whinging and get back to sorting out my income tax file.