Nighttime Waves in the Middle of the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2

We’ve had smooth sailing on the Queen Mary 2, except for the waves that kicked up last night. In the evening prior to dinner, Zsolt and I were down in the games alley near the bottom of the ship, staring out the windows with other guests and saying along the lines of: “Look at that! Woah! Here’s another!” as the waves coming off the ship collides with waves approaching from the oceans for robust claps of water that shot spray high into the air. It was powerful and wonderful.


But then, later in the evening, as we lay in bed and rocked back and forth – suddenly, I no longer found it so wonderful. There was some point where we suddenly seems to tilt a little too much in the other direction unexpectedly (to me at least), and this was startling. So I opened my eyes and began to worry.

And that is what I did for quite a while. I worried. I lay in the darkness and thought about how we were literally in the middle of the Atlantic all alone. How this massive ship looked like a toy boat against the spread of Atlantic all around us. How one employee had been saying that in the winter, they’d once sailed through 12 meter waves, which was quite scary (yesterday waves were about 4 meters high). How if the ship flipped, we’d be stuck. How if we went into the water, we’d freeze and drown. How many things could go wrong? And part of me waited just in case the alarm signal went off, and we’d need to jump out of bed and grab the life jackets.

Zsolt was sound asleep throughout all of this, totally minta bunda – which is Hungarian for ‘like a fur’ as in, like a bear hibernating in the winter. As in, it really wasn’t a big deal and I was most certainly over exaggerating.

And the logical side of my mind realized this over exaggeration. Only hours earlier, I had been thrilled with the sight of those waves, and was loving watching them slam and crash together. It was beautiful.

The logical side of my mind also said: Hey, you are in a warm and comfortable bed, next to the person you always want to be next to, and you are on a gorgeous holiday – enjoy it, lady.

To which I replied: WE MIGHT TIP OVER!

To which the logical side said: then deal with it as it comes, and go to sleep in the meanwhile.

And then I had to agree with myself. It reminded me very much of the later-coming September scans. This time I’ll have my chest scanned and my head. I am, of course, very nervous about with may be seen – particularly since the news wasn’t happy last time. So you know, I dread September and that is the truth.

But at the moment, I’m on the way to Hungary with my husband. It is our 10 year anniversary since having met, and we will be stopping by Nice – the place we met – to be sentimental and romantic and possibly get a tan on the beach.

Perhaps I should extend my experience on the boat to that in life: deal with it as it comes, and just enjoy in the meanwhile.

It’s a challenge to let the logical and the emotional meet in one place. I am still scared of the scan. I am still nervous of nighttime waves . . . but then, so many wonderful things are happening all around today. And sometimes, I have to make my body and mind realize that worrying won’t do anything. It won’t make the ship sail better, and it won’t help the scans to come.

After trying a couple restoration yoga poses, I finally settled into sleep mode and began to think about Romeo and Juliet. The actor troop here on the boat will be performing it today, and Zsolt would like to catch the show – never having seen it done live. I began thinking how way back in high school, grade 10, I was lucky enough to play Juliette in a classroom dramatization. It was the death scene. I worth a skirt and dress shoes, which looked clunky under the white sheet they draped over me as I lay there ‘fake dead’ while Romeo threw his life away over a miscommunication. Then I got to shot myself in the head with a foam Nerf gun, and fall to the ground – trying to hide my fit of giggles.

The teacher said I, and my friend Derrick who played the priest, had done particularly good jobs in acting the parts. Based on this single compliment back when I was 15 years old, I have always quietly held the belief that I’m a damn good actor. Of course, I have not tested that hypothesis ever since.

And then, I realized, I’d forgotten all about the waves, and was finally ready to fall asleep.

One thing about the past, it is certainly useful when distractions are needed.

So that is the story of big wave-like metaphors, and trying to fall asleep.

P.S. We are having a lovely time.

P.P.S. This post brought to you by my man Zsolt, who has been working much of the trip and I’m literally snagging some of his precious internet minutes. Thanks babe!

P.P.S Picture time!

Queen Mary Southampton to New York Queen Mary 2 Queen Mary 2

Life between the scans

So, upon my request, my oncology and CT appointments are being moved.

It’s funny, a lot of this business with cancer really does take place in the mind. I happen to be in the very fortunate circumstance where there isn’t any pain. Many others don’t have that luxury, but I do and I am thankful for this moment. The pain in my chest has quieted down, and I only get that wheeze when my anxiety kicks in. Actually, as I’ve said before, different moods seem to trigger different reactions in my chest.

Anyhow, all that to say, the appointments are being moved. Some may say it’s risky to move the scan back five weeks. But there are always risks in this “game” of health. There’s the risk of over-treating, the risk of under-treating, the risk of too much radiation, the risk of not knowing what is happening, the risk of knowing too much, the risk of knowing too little.

Or I guess you could say, they are the choices. There are a lot of choices, and yet sometime it also feels like I have no choice at all. This shit is happening and I am dealing.

little bug

Lady Bug. She’s happy to offer a distraction from the swearing in this post.

I have chosen to move my CT scan by five weeks so that for just a little window of time, it can feel like life isn’t all about cancer. This isn’t a cowardly decision, it’s a brave one. That’s how I see it. What is life all about anyhow? Is it about the terror of scans and the waiting for results? Fuck no. Those are not the benchmarks I want to live by. I get the need to be aware and be strategic and yet I need my dose of “normal” too.

Anyhow. Don’t get me started 🙂

The scans are postponed and I’m happy about it (and apparently defensive). They aren’t gone, but they will keep. And then, once they arrive, life will reboot and we’ll start again from scratch. That’s what it feels like after each of these tests, it feels like starting again from scratch – for better or for worse and no matter what the news, I need to recover and rebuild.

In the meanwhile, I’m dreaming again. It’s a possibly bad habit that I am associating my happiness with my busy project creation, but ever since last year I’ve been compelled to go-go-go.

There is the book, my Literary Love, which I will leave alone for a little while apart from a book signing in June.

And I’m also working on a project to help local writers find one another more easily within Ottawa. Kevin and I are creating a podcast to go with the #OttawaWrites venture, and that is rather exciting. More news to come.

Zsolt and I maintain our big dream of living in both countries, though I’m honestly scared sometimes we won’t get to realize those moments if we keep putting them off. Next year is our ten year anniversary and Zsolt wants us to go back to Nice where we met. 🙂 He is awfully romantic. And I just want to make it there. I want to make it there, and then I want to make it much, much further for years upon years of growing businesses, travelling to Hungary and back, visiting new places, writing in this blog and so much more. Maybe we’ll get a dog?

I’d love to start planning writing retreats for writers, bloggers, authors, etc. Can you imagine going somewhere beautiful and being encouraged to write, write, write while also having a group of like-minded folks to bounce off ideas? A special time made just for you and your passion? That’s what I’d like to do, and I have absolutely no idea how to start that rolling!

Hello gorgeous place to write and retreat! This is from Le Nordic outside of Ottawa, it’s a cabin in the woods by a spa with about 10 different saunas, rest spaces and excuses to live in your bathrobe.

I’d like to also maybe one day set up a writer’s house – which would work just like those shared office hubs – where people could book time to come and work/write and have resources for editing, designing, printing etc. And this place would be in a gorgeous location that feels like a retreat even though it’s really connected to town. 🙂 I don’t know. I just feel like creating and entrepreneuring 🙂

Plus, I want to give myself time for my own personal creativity – whatever that may be. My next project may not be a book, or maybe it will be . . . I don’t know until I find the quiet space in which to experiment. I have this mental image of throwing spaghatti against the wall till something sticks. That’s kinda the way it goes with me and my mind.

So many ideas.

So many ambitions.

There is so much life to live in between the scans. Putting them off five weeks is a good compromise, I guess. Ideally I’d run away from everything and go live on a beach with Zsolt somewhere. But since isn’t an option . . . five extra weeks, and then we’ll start again.


Holy Moly, look what just landed in my inbox today (1 day after the post). Did some sophisticated cookies or internet spiders do this? I swear I didn’t google Nice, France, I only wrote it in the blog. I’m quitely freaking out now as I read way too much into this as a sign . . .when it could simply be very strategic marketing. How is a girl meant to distinguish a sign from the universe from google ninja internet crawlers?! Now I’m all “maybe we should jump on a plane now while we can!” vs “be practical, you are saving for big dreams!”  Air Canada, you done confused me. Probably best to ignore the coincidence since it’s most likely google ninja crawlers. . . I hope, hope, hope.

Air Canada