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Oh hey there

Posted on 2014.02.02 at 23:08
So yeah. I've had some cancer, but it's mostly gone now. It was Hodgkins Lymphoma, which is one of the ones that is relatively easy to get rid of. I got lucky.

Have done a lot of writing on the subject over the past few months, but it's all be on JennyLeeSilver.com. Just thought that maybe there are still a few holdouts here on livejournal who might still be reading, and curious about what I've been up to.

I'm mostly looking forward to not having chemo treatments any more. Oh, how lovely that will be. I'll start off by training for the Ride to Conquer Cancer, and then I'll ride my bike from Vancouver to Seattle. That'll be fun.

 And then I'll get on with the rest of my life.


Pandra's birth story

Posted on 2012.07.18 at 20:31
How am I?: enthralledenthralled
Tags: ,
I had a lot to say about the day Pandra was born, so I wrote the whole story down.

I can't believe she's a month old already. Crazy.


So I had a baby last week

Posted on 2012.06.24 at 13:50
Tags: , , ,
Pandra Galen Silver was born at 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 17th - Father's day. We came home on Monday afternoon and the family has been adjusting to being a group of four. All is good.

Here are photos: 

Pandra and Mom
Pandra sleeping
Lyra, Daddy and Pandra
Pandra sleeping again


I'm still around, sort of

Posted on 2012.06.04 at 15:47
Where am I?: Canada, Port Moody
How am I?: calmcalm
Now Playing: Ben Folds Five - Smoke
Tags: , ,
I'm still around, and reading if not writing. I have, however, written a couple of updates on my other blog (JennyLeeSilver.com), where things mostly reside these days:

Baby Dragon gives me super-spy dreams / Photos of me 36 weeks pregnant
Adoption fraud scam closure

I'm hoping to write more (it'll be on the other blog, not here, since I only have so much time on my hands with the new baby coming) in the next while, especially while I'm on maternity leave. Of course, I'll have a new baby plus Lyra (who's nearly 4) to take care of, so who knows how that's going to work out in the long term. I guess we'll see what happens.


Every pregnancy is different

Posted on 2012.03.28 at 22:41
Where am I?: Canada, Port Moody
How am I?: contentcontent
Tags: , ,
Also posted at JennyLeeSilver.com...

Everybody knows that every pregnancy is different. Books, websites, friends and family will repeat this bit of wisdom until you start to tune it out. It’s absolutely true, of course. At least it is in my own experience.

I’m in my sixth month of my second pregnancy now. This one has been more challenging than the first one was in a lot of ways. It’s at least in part because I’m not 32 anymore — I’m 35, part of the the ‘higher risk’ zone that brings with it a whole slew of additional tests and worries. Nothing has gone wrong — I’m lucky in a lot of ways, and I know it. But there have definitely been challenges.

The first trimester: all queasy all the time

During the first pregnancy, my first trimester was lovely. I had no morning sickness, and found that the only real side-effect was needing a whole lot more sleep. I remember coming home from work and sleeping on the couch until dinnertime, then eating and going back to sleep on the couch until bedtime a few hours later, and having no trouble at all getting to sleep. This happened nearly every night. That was it, though — no morning sickness, and none of the other first trimester issues the internet warned me about.

This time around I was not only tired out, but also found myself in a state of constant nausea. I never actually got sick, but for about three months straight I felt queasy all the time. It was beyond unpleasant. And because I have a 3 and a half year old, the concept of getting home from work and casually napping was an utterly foreign one. So for three months I was exhausted and on a constant edge of throwing up. I wasn’t unhappy about my pregnancy, but I wasn’t the picture of good cheer that I had been during the first one. I developed an uneasy relationship with food — I was hungry, but when I ate it made me queasy. I dreaded mealtimes.

Near the end of the first three months, though, the nausea vanished. I was beyond grateful, and happy to renew my formerly positive relationship with food.

The second trimester: the time of the colds

Unfortunately for me, also near the end of that first three months, I caught a cold. I’m pretty sure it came home with Lyra from daycare one day. I couldn’t take anything for the symptoms, of course, because cold medication isn’t recommended during pregnancy. I spent much of my Christmas vacation time (nearly three weeks) miserably sick. And then I developed a bladder infection and got put on antibiotics. It was not the best of times.

I recovered from the evil cold of doom, was fine for approximately 1.5 weeks, and then developed a new cold that moved in and set up camp in my sinuses. Once again I was stuck feeling awful with no medicinal recourse. I tried some natural things, but the only one that helped was lemon ginger tea, and I got tired of that pretty quickly. This one didn’t last quite as long, though — I was only sick for a week and a half.

I recovered from that cold, and was feeling fairly normal for about 2 weeks, when Lyra brought home yet another virus of some sort from daycare. I caught this one too — it didn’t just set up camp in my sinuses, it felt like it was building building itself a fortress — and was down for another week and a half. By the time I felt better, it was the beginning of March. I had basically spent the better part of three months with a cold or recovering from a cold.

The first pregnancy, by contrast, didn’t have much in the way of health impacts. It’s possible, again, that this was in part because I didn’t have a kid in daycare bringing home the germs. Or maybe my immune system was more depressed this time around than it was the first time, and I was better able to fight off the viruses. Either way, it was something different.

Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a few other differences between the first and second pregnancies. Last time I had weird anti-cravings happen — I suddenly could not stand the taste of perogies for much of my last pregnancy (how does one hate potatoes and cheese together?) — I got over that. I also spent a week eating mostly bread, cheese, and canned peaches, because everything else I ate tasted like pencil shavings.

The only similar thing that happened during this pregnancy was finding that my daily latte was completely unpalatable — I hated the stuff for about four months, and desperately missed drinking it at the same time. The irony here is that I started drinking coffee during my first pregnancy to fight the daily 3pm narcolepsy. I really, really missed coffee for that four months. I can drink it again now, but I’m not having a cup any day anymore

The third trimester: in the home stretch

I feel like my belly is bigger this time than it was the first time, at the same point. I don’t have any scientific evidence to back this up — it’s more of an overall feeling of being extra-crowded than anything else. Adam agrees with me, though, so I might not be totally crazy.

I’ve had more general discomfort, like back pain and tiredness, with this pregnancy. Plus, the last round of blood tests showed that I was overall in good shape, other than being just a little bit anemic — which didn’t happen last time. I’m on iron supplements now to address that.

My varicose veins, which appeared during the first pregnancy, have taken over more of my legs. This is something I’ve mostly come to terms with, except for every so often when I’m showering and notice them. They’re ugly, but they’re part of me now. So be it.

And I’ve had to deal a little bit with additional worry from Adam. Because I’ve been sick more often, because this pregnancy has been a bit harder on my body, because I haven’t been as upbeat and obviously happy about everything, he’s been more worried about me. Ultimately I feel like everything is fine; that this is just a different pregnancy, and that there are a lot of other factors at play here. I’ve reassured him of the same.

My due date is June 23rd, which means there is less than three months left to wait and prepare. I expect it to be reasonably smooth sailing from here, but this pregnancy has driven home the realization that yes, every pregnancy really is different.


It's 2012...

Posted on 2012.01.01 at 01:11
And I've written a post about it, but it's not on LJ: The obligatory end-of-year post

There are a lot of reasons to preserve the environment. It's good to have clean air to breath, water to drink, and healthy food to eat. I'm a big fan of these things.

I've been feeling a little guilty about driving to work occasionally, so I've decided to offset it by riding in to the office. I used to ride all the time, of course - but that was before I lived over 30km and many hills away from work. That's over 60km of riding to top and tail a full workday... and I'm out of shape.

When I decided to do some fundraising for the David Suzuki Foundation, I realized that I needed a goal to work towards - so if you sponsor me in support of David Suzuki's 75th birthday this Thursday, I promise to bike to work - the full 60+ km - one day this spring. If it doesn't kill me, maybe I'll do it more than once!

The funds I raise will go towards the Foundation's mission for a healthy environment - because a healthy environment equals healthy people. Pollution can cause all sorts of health problems like cancer and asthma; wouldn't it be great if those issues went away at the source?

Please help me reach my goal and force me onto my bike this spring, and help support the work of the David Suzuki Foundation for David's 75th birthday. Please sponsor me.

Every little bit counts, and thanks so much! If you aren't able to sponsor me, you can heckle me into riding...


Who needs a job description?

Posted on 2011.03.01 at 23:30
How am I?: exhaustedexhausted
Tags: ,
It's come to my attention that I have a tendency to get involved in projects at work that land outside the Web Strategy Coordinator title I have. Titles are really more of a guideline anyway, right?

According to my job description, I do web strategy, social media strategy, email marketing, web marketing, reporting, intern & volunteer management, and general web grunt work. I think. I haven't looked at it in a while.

I also fill in the gaps whenever there's something that needs doing. If I see a problem, I want to fix it. I like to sum up this part of my work by saying "I do things."

For the past few weeks, however, I've spent a lot of my time working with one of our interns (another misleading title, I think) to create a documentary about the people and work of the David Suzuki Foundation. At some point she asked me for help on part of the treatment (kind of like a pitch document, I guess) for the film, which evolved into helping flesh out the script, which moved on to helping find the equipment we were lacking for filming, and finally to assisting with many of the actual film shoots themselves. I've done second camera, I've done boom op and sound engineer, and I've done all sorts of running around to various locations to shoot on-site some of the varied work and personalities that are part of the Foundation.

It's been a whirlwind of activity, applying skills that I haven't used in years and learning new ones. I don't even know how to credit myself on this film - which might show up as a special feature on an upcoming DVD release of another film, if we do it right and the stars align. I don't know enough about film credits to even know where to start.

I just do things.

Filming on the beach
Claudia setting up for the shoot with David Suzuki at Kits beach


My daughter doesn't do sick quite right

Posted on 2011.02.21 at 21:18
How am I?: awakeawake
Tags: ,
Last night when I was putting Lyra to bed, I thought she seemed a little off somehow. I commented on it to Adam after she was asleep, and didn't think about it again.

At two a.m., I woke up to a little body climbing in to bed next to me. This often happens in the morning, although usually it's closer to five or six. Last night, however, was different - the little body was radiating enough heat for my sleep-riddled brain to start prodding my unwilling consciousness. Something's wrong, I could hear whispering in the back of my mind, you should wake up and check the little girl's temperature. I think I had an argument in my head for a minute or so before I hauled myself up and stumbled to around in the dark looking for the thermometer I hadn't used since long before we moved.

When I got back to the bedroom, I asked Lyra to sit up. She complied without argument, so I switched on the lamp and stuck the thermometer under her arm until it beeped at me. I looked at it and thought huh. I don't think 38.8 celcius is a good place to be. By this point Adam was awake too, asking me what was wrong.

I told him her temperature and then asked Lyra if she was feeling okay. The conversation went a little like this:

Me: Are you okay Lyra?
Lyra: Yeah
M: Really? Are you hot?
L: Yeah
M: Do you want something to drink?
L: Okay
M: Do you feel all right, do you have any owies?
L: Yeah. I have an owie on my hand. Penny scratched me. Can you kiss it better? (Penny is our friend's cat - they had a small run-in earlier in the day)
M: Sure. I'm going to get you some medecine, okay?
L: Okay.

I got up and found the infant tylenol (tastes like candy!) and brought some in for her. She happily drank it. She was actually pretty happy throughout the entire exchange - speaking clearly and answering questions appropriately - not at all seeming sick or upset by anything.

She lay back down in my bed, and I tried to give her a lot of room so my body heat didn't add to her already high temperature. We all lay there in silence for a few minutes, until we had another brief exchange.

Adam: Is she asleep?
Me: I don't know... Lyra, are you asleep?
Lyra: Yeah.

I know fevers and sickness aren't funny, but man... that was just funny.

Poor Adam was being pushed right off the bed by me trying to give Lyra all the space in the world, so he moved to the couch, where he didn't get any sleep because he was worried about Lyra.

Lyra and I eventually fell back asleep around three in the morning, after I had established that the tylenol had brought her fever down at least a little bit, and then we slept through until 8:30. Adam went to work on his two hours of sleep while I kept Lyra home for the day.

When her nose started bleeding around 9:30, I got a little more concerned, so we went out to the walk-in clinic. A fantastic experience, the walk-in clinic - I was told it would be a 1 hour wait, so we got on the list and walked off to get a coffee and 'special treat' for Lyra.

Lyra's version of a special treat is apparently Lava Cake:

Lava Cake Girl

We went back to the clinic, since an hour was nearly up, and waited in their waiting room. Time passed.

More time passed. An hour became two, then two and a half. Just after the three hour point, Lyra was starting to hit a high fever again, and was spending her time cuddling in my lap and singing songs to herself and her giraffe:

Toddler with A Fever

We were finally admitted in to the exam room, where we were left to our own devices for another ten minutes or so. We spent some time looking at a diagram of the digestive tract, which Lyra thought was absolutely amazing. She actually talked about the digestive system a bunch of times over the rest of the day. Apparently she's very interested in the way food moves through the body.

The doctor came in, spent around five minutes with us taking Lyra's temperature (38.5 at that point) and checking her ears, nose, throat, heart, and congestion. Conclusion: flu. The nosebleed was just an added bonus due to dryness in her nose.

We got home at 1:30 (nearly four hours after we left the house), ate some lunch, and she went down for a nap without a complaint. When she got up, she wanted nothing more than to sit happily in my lap and watch videos while I worked on the computer.

I have never seen anything quite like my child with this sickness. She's cheerful, talkative, and polite. She gets excited about the same things she would normally. She didn't have any meltdowns, even with 3 hours of waiting in the boring doctor's office. She spent the evening laughing and chatting with us like normal. She ate a bit less than usual at dinner, but then downed about ten little carrots and a slice of bread.

She went to bed tonight a bit early and fell asleep after stories and songs, again without a complaint.

I swear I'm more worried that something's wrong with her because she's shrugging this flu off so easily on the emotional level... but I'm going to just accept it an be glad she's not a screaming ball of headache and crazy. I'm lucky. But it's very, very strange.


She talks like a human being!

Posted on 2010.12.22 at 12:54
Where am I?: Port Moody, BC
How am I?: happyhappy
This is my daughter having a conversation with me about the bikes that hang from a rack in our dining room. It's terrifying and awesome.

I definitely have a little girl now... that's no baby.

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