Week 41: Nice and normal

Just a nice and normal week, with wonderful spring weather, lots of walks and bike rides, and my regular blog and other work. The only disadvantage of the weather is that, in addition to sunscreen and SPF clothing, I need to avoid the peak sun period of the day. Small price to pay.

I made it to another milestone. Our daughter turned 18 and has her formal high school graduation next month. Just to think that at this time last year, was not sure I would make it (and likely would have not, or barely, had I not gone with the stem cell transplant). As the cliché goes, my how the time flies, from a new-born to a young woman full of promise and potential, but it is rich in shared memories lived together.

For those of you who have not seen it, my Cancerwise piece on What we call ourselves: Finding the right term for cancer is on the blog under the ‘Terms‘ tab. As noted earlier this week, overwhelming preferred term is ‘fighter’ or its variants. I would have expected this to be more evenly balanced with survivor or combinations of terms. This may reflect that ‘fighters’ are more disposed to comment than others (MD Anderson itself tends to use the term survivor) or just how embedded the fighting metaphor is. I was pleased by the number and tenor of comments it generated on the MD Anderson Facebook page (the number of comments was ‘huge’ according to my editor at Cancerwise, link here). Fun piece to reflect upon and write.

We saw the Van Gogh exhibition at the National Gallery. Nice small exhibition, focussing on love of nature and how his art developed, with complementary displays of photographs and prints that may have influenced him, as well as Japanese prints which definitely did (lovely prints shown). Some wonderful pieces and some great blow-ups that show his technique and brushwork. Not sure where the exhibition is going after Ottawa but a good one to catch.

I have been reading Gilles Paquet’s Deep Cultural Diversity: A Governance Challenge (back to non-fiction). At first blush, it paints an overly bleak and not sufficiently nuanced analysis to the highly diverse societies. Will comment a bit more next week when I have finished it – part of broadening my perspective and understanding..

Yesterday was our neighbourhood garage sale (it is a big one and attracts a wide and varied range of people), and spend a few hours clearing out some of the stuff we have accumulated over the years. The trick is to price things to move, and we shared our spot with friends to generate more traffic and interest. And part of the proceeds go to our local food bank, as a reminder of those less fortunate.

Only special event next week is a lymphoma symposium at the Ottawa Hospital which will give me an opportunity to get an update on developments – as well as seeing if my haematologist managed a Prezi!


2 thoughts on “Week 41: Nice and normal

  1. Superb blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you propose starting with a free platform
    like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out
    there that I’m totally confused .. Any recommendations? Thanks a lot!

    • My general suggestion is start with something like WordPress which is very flexible and can adapt to your needs as they evolve (my blog started off quite simply and then I added material and features as needed). The one area that I have not explored is the commercial side, and not sure whether WordPress offers much in this area (it may, but as my blog content is all free, and the only advertising I have is for my book, have not explored WordPress capability).

      I think what to write, how frequently, what is your audience, and how to build it, are harder than the platform choice.

      Best of luck,


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