Frankie & Miss Daisy, Nicholas & Barney

Stupid Cancer and Stupid Hospital

We’ve slept the night at Larry and Donna’s farm west of Olds, AB. Woken to the sounds of farm animals we have breakfast in the sun drenched kitchen. Larry goes off to work, but Aaron his son, takes us for a tour around the perimeters of the farm, along gravel grid roads undulating through prairie land laid to rest in fallow fields, and through surprisingly deep coulees, Alberta’s rendition of green valleys so lovely to this homesick girl missing the mountains of British Columbia. September 9, 1999 Larry and Donna have fueled their big motor home and given us the keys. We leave for Auntie and Uncle’s campground in Strathmore. It will take almost four hours to drive. The boys take turns … [Read More...]

Nicholas Olds Farm (2)

Back to Olds, Alberta

In the cafeteria at the hospital I bite into a hot dog and it goes crunch. If you’ve ever wondered about the ingredients of wieners you could understand that I was concerned and then somewhat relieved when I discovered that I’d broken a filling. I phone my dentist at home and he recommends a friend of his in downtown Calgary. The dentist is kind enough to see me today and charges me a minimal fee to fix the filling. Dr. Anderson is giving Nicholas an actual vacation from the hospital. He asks us to be careful because Nick is “fragile.” This afternoon we drove through Olds, the town where Frankie was born, where FH and I first lived after we were married to stay with Larry and Donna on their … [Read More...]

Prairie sunset

Kidneys, Chemo and Camping

Alberta Children’s Hospital. Children’s Oncology in-patient rooms is called Q cluster. The patient rooms are situated in a square with the nursing station in the center. You can enter a patient room at the back from an outside hallway or, from the front where the nursing station is. It’s early morning and the nurses have just started their shift. A sweet brunette pokes her head in the door. She sees Nick is sleeping so in a whisper she asks how his night was. I’m sitting up in a cot near his bed. I whisper that he slept well. Nick is stirring under the covers when Dr. Anderson taps on the door. I really like this doctor. His face reflects he has a heart and treating children with cancer … [Read More...]

Dogs, Cats, Horses & Critters

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