Oct 01, 2002, 9:15pm
It's tough, sitting outside on the balcony of the home where a person with serious and active cancer lives. Especially when it's your Mom.
I'm sitting here, in a typical Ottawa summer night weather (although it's officially October now), just thinking about things, and digesting what happened today. We got some harsh news. Not the worst news we were expecting, but some pretty bad news none the less.
And I'm sitting here, not thinking about myself. Not even feeling sorry about the situation (I do, but that's not what I'm thinking about). Nope. I'm trying to perceive what it's like from the viewpoint of that wonderful woman who is sleeping not 10 yards away from me.
And I cannot imagine it.
There's courage. And then there's courage. I saw it today. It wasn't in me either. It was in her. Myself? After getting the talk from the doctor, I had to go take a walk. I used as an excuse the carů must go to the car to check something, get the ticket, something like that. I used as an excuse "Dad, you may want to talk to Mom for a bit...". But it was a lie. I had to go off on my own for a bit so I could cry.
I have to be strong for my Mom, I know that, and that's one reason why I went off and cried on my own. I didn't want her to see that. But now, she's probably reading this, and knows anyway.
I have to be positive for my Mom, and I'm trying to do that. Maybe it helps, maybe it shows, I dunno. But I'm going on the premise it is.
I'm trying to be "light and normal" about the situation. Not talking to her about the cancer, but talking about just everyday life things. That's probably more for me and my lack of courage to face the situation, but I like to convince myself that it's for her benefit, to show her "hey, things are good, normal, fine, life is going on, etc etc".
Thursday evening I get back on the plane, heading back to Vancouver, and in some ways, I'm looking forward to it, and in some ways, I'm not. I'm looking forward to finally being able to "release" everything that's built up in me. I don't cry often, but I think I'll head to the lavatory and have a good long one. I need that. But I'm leaving my Mom.
The last time I left her (May, when I was here for my brother's wedding), she still looked okay, but tired all the time, and ramping up for her first chemo.
This time around, she's down to skin and bones, very weak, platelet count so low that she risks dying if she suffers a cut.
What's in store next time I'm here?
My hope is that she gets her platelet count up high enough that they operate, cut out the aggressive, growing stuff, (they cannot get it all out - it's in the pelvis, and inoperable), and that she starts to recover some weight, muscle mass, and conditioning. So that by the time I get here around Christmas, she'll be "better".
But she'll never be healed. Unless some miracle cancer cure is found soon.
It's tough, sitting here on the balcony. I'm the one who's trying to provide strength, but it's ironic. As I sit here, I find I'm actually drawing some strength from her courage and will.
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Photos from Algonquin Park
Photos from my trip to Algonquin Park this fall with my Mom and two brothers.
Making Snow for the Fortress
One of the worst jobs I ever had... till I got out.
Tools I Use
The tools I use to build websites and lead a tech life.
iPod and iTunes Offline
iMark's iTunes and iPod isn't iPlaying anything right iNow.
Most Recent Songs
Fiddlers Green by The Tragically Hip
Around The Bend by Pearl Jam
Here With Me (Rollo's Chillin' With the Family Mix) by Dido
With arms open wide by Creed
truffle pigs by Matthew Good Band
In the News
Burundi and Beyond - NY Times
Great article by Peter Meehan - provided some background.
St. Petersburg Times
Side mention in an article about good machines
AP Story on Espresso
Background and information provided
NY Times - Grinders Article
Especially proud of this one - got the reporter to focus on grinders
Globe and Mail
LOL - showing bad reporting, dude says I'm an American-based site!
The Olympian, WA
Talks about my love for the El Sal Siberia Pacamara
Seattle Times - Clover
Interviewed for comments on the Clover brewer
NY Times - How it Works
Background and information for various espresso machines
Time Mag Article
Just a brief mention, article about roasting beans.
Front page article about consumers getting into specialty coffee.
Quoted reference to what I wrote in an article at CoffeeGeek.
USA Today - Barista Jam
Intereviewed for my thoughts on what the epitome of espresso is.
The Wall Street Journal has interviewed me 3 times. This is the first time my name got in a story.
Interview with Reuters, Jan 2 - this is the USA Today version.
My Other Stuff
Launched Dec 22, 2001, this is THE online community for espresso and coffee fanatics.
It's all new, as of March, 2002. My personal coffee obsession site.
My company's site - needs an update!
Hey, if you feel the need to buy me something, check here!
Great gadget site run by the guy who used to do Gizmodo.
This is how I get my daily news fix.
The most active forums for digital photography online today.
Need my Daily Zen fix!
A blog about car stuff. Vroom Vroom.
An industrial design blog. Very cool stuff.
Friends and Family Plan
Beata's got her own blog! She updates it most days.
Riddla on Flickr
Matt Riddle's flickr account, updated regularly
Irdy, my friend from Jakharta, on Flickr
Canon EF 24-105 f4 L Lens
The best lens I've ever owned. Super sharp and quick.
A full frame dSLR, with luscious colour reproduction.
Alzo Digital Lights
Some amazing florescent cold lights for product photography
Canon Xsi dSLR
Amazing technology and image quality in a tiny package.
Latest prosumer camera from Canon - a much better upgrade than the 30D
Great 2.2lb computer that does most of my travel / writing needs
28mm f1.8 Lens
A great lens for closeup work and full picture photography
Finally got the right tools for freezing green coffee.
Canon 50mm 1.4
Most amazing lens I've ever owned. Produces stellar photos.
Super wide angle (full frame fisheye) zoom for my Canon 20D