You are not going to LIKE this post

thumbs down emoji

I created this blog as a way of sharing news about my health. When I first started writing, blogging seemed an effective way to keep people in the loop. Thanks to your diligent readership, the blog has helped me feel connected with you.

It can’t have been easy to read my posts sometimes. You have joined me on the ups and downs of my cancer roller coaster, sharing your wisdom and words of support. You’ve laughed at my jokes, which I realize are often funny only to me. You’ve stuck with me as I’ve muddled through both physically and emotionally. I couldn’t have asked for more from all of you.

You know my worries about my health have been rampant of late. I was hoping that my concerns about my recent bone marrow biopsy were unfounded, that my anxiety had gotten the better of me, that I was facing a challenge that was surmountable. Unfortunately, I was wrong. My story will not have a fairy tale ending today.

The results of the biopsy were not good. The fibrosis in my marrow has increased significantly since it was last assessed three years ago. The more scarring there is, the less space is left for healthy blood cells to be produced. This progression explains my recent anemia and my drop in platelets. Unfortunately, as the fibrosis continues to take over my marrow, my body will have increasing difficulty producing blood cells.

All is not lost, however. With the help of a red-blood-cell producing hormone and IV iron infusions, my red blood cell counts should improve in the immediate future. This will help me to feel less fatigued, thank goodness. I will also receive the occasional whole blood transfusion as needed. The doctor has reassured me that my low platelet count is manageable. We’ve agreed to my abstaining from touch football and full-contact hockey for now.

Sadly, my health will continue to decline from here. At some point, there will be no more room in my bone marrow for the creation of blood cells. The methods I described of raising my red blood cell counts will no longer be effective. I will feel increasingly unwell, and yes, I will die.

The doctor asked if I wanted a time line. However anxious I am, I find not knowing much more stressful than knowing, so I said yes. He believes that I have a year or so left to live. This may not seem like much, but for me it is an eternity. I’ve had the fear of death hanging over me since I was first diagnosed with polycythemia 18 years ago, and I have outlived all predictions. Now I will be grateful for however long I have and will do my best to relish every moment. So will J.

There is so much more to tell you about what I’ve learned and what the next steps are, but I think this post has been heavy enough for one day. Furthermore, I rigidly adhere to my 500-word post limit no matter what. Thanks as always for reading. I’ll continue blogging for as long as I can, and hope you’ll stay on board. I could use your support now more than ever.

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How Canadian Blood Services saved my life

Woman's hand spraying and wiping a table clean, bucket in backgroundThis afternoon. I will be volunteering for the last time at Canadian Blood Services. I am hoping for a busy shift, so I can serve a lot of soup and dole out a lot of cookies. Time passes quickly when all those donor chairs are filled.

I owe a great deal to CBS. We are blessed with easy access to blood products when we need them in Canada. In the past, I have needed them. Whenever I did, the gift of life was there, thanks to the generosity of donors. When I was bleeding internally several years back and doctors couldn’t easily identify the source, a series of transfusions kept me alive.

I seem to be entering a phase of my illness where I may again need frequent topping up. Last week I was infused with mega doses of platelets. On Friday, I was due to receive two units of whole blood but the transfusion was cancelled last minute when my body decided to ramp up its own blood-cell production. I am leaving CBS as my need for its products is rising.

Sometimes I worry about how the clinic will run without me, which is ridiculous because it was running well without me before I got there and will thrive with the fresh blood of new volunteers. I’m not irreplaceable. But who can better thank the donors for coming? Who will be able to stress how important their donations are from personal experience? And who will wipe the tables after the donors leave? There’s a stray cookie crumb hiding on every table.

I have worked with many wonderful volunteers over the past year and a half at CBS. Many are students seeking entry to science programs or medicine. Others are grown adults like me who have some connection to blood donation through their own or others’ need. Some have set ways of doing things, while others go with the flow.

Some volunteers provide soup with one package of salty crackers while others give two packs; some push the cookies while others encourage fluids, offering juice or pop; some stock the shelves while others schmooze with donors. There have been long discussions over whether to place the spoons facing up or down in the dishwasher. This I do not feel strongly about, although I’ve learned that others do.

Somehow I have become obsessed with wiping the tables. Whichever shift I’m on, I assume the task of cleaning up after donors leave. Call me the table-wiping overfunctioner. Knowing I am quick to eradicate table messes, my fellow volunteers have learned to underfunction, i.e., to neglect that task altogether. Take note, all you overfunctioners out there: leave work for others to do; they will do it in their own time.

It’s a good thing I’m leaving, then, since cleaning tables is a good skill for all to acquire, especially the young ones who will soon move out of their parents’ homes. I’ll do one final swipe before I depart this afternoon. Then I’ll say good bye, knowing someone will pick up the cloth within minutes of my leaving. Maybe the new table wiper will do a better job than me. Maybe I’ll surprise J. and start wiping counters at home. Stranger things have happened.

The dangers of following in Chicken Little’s footsteps

Newspaper heading: The sky is falling

Warning to all: if you ask me how I am, I will respond honestly. Expect an earful of my medical worries, and of the challenges of waiting for more information. Is Dr. Blood Lite’s recent concern valid? This question will not be answered until next Tuesday morning.

Considering what I was dealing with, I felt that I was holding it together at least somewhat. I wasn’t happy and, in fact, me and my little blue Sadness doll were likely spending an excessive amount of time together on the couch. I also had moments of panic because Chicken Little is my first cousin. After the initial shock passed, I felt I was coming to terms with the fact that my health may be in peril.

Then I got more bad news. Prior to the corkscrew procedure last week, the doctor sent me for blood work, which he reviewed with me before I left. In only a week, my red blood count had dropped significantly, to the point of my potentially needing a transfusion.

These ups and downs in various blood counts are not new. Sometimes the doctors know why and sometimes they don’t. In this case, with so much hanging over me, that little piece of potentially bad news threw me over the edge. I was a basket case for the following few days. A mess. Hopeless and terrified. Many tears were shed between naps.

My discombobulation is a reminder that despite my efforts to prepare myself for whatever may come, when I am truly threatened, all that preparation flies out the window. In this case, when I wasn’t overwhelmed during the day, I had dream after dream of hospitals and illness at night. There was no rest for the very weary.

What I managed to forget was that I don’t cope well emotionally when I’m feeling crummy physically. Because of the anemia, I’m exhausted and all I want to do is sleep. I am also likely dealing with the effects of withdrawal from the chemotherapy Dr. Blood Lite reduced two weeks ago. I recall vividly Dr. Blood telling me long ago that I should stay on it because the side effects of withdrawal are so adverse.

Somehow, Sunday morning at 2 a.m. when I chose insomnia over nightmares, I put one and one together: I realized my moving so quickly from feeling well to feeling sick was not helping my mood one bit. When I woke up Sunday morning, I didn’t have to drag myself out of bed. I made it to yoga, and even stayed awake through not one but two coffee dates later that day. My body did not demand a nap that day, and I felt better on all fronts. Today, despite a sleepless night, I feel even more like myself. Might my anemia be abating? I can only hope.

Sure, I’m still scared of what my little corkscrew procedure will reveal, and I’m expecting a sleepless night next Monday. Still, I can’t imagine feeling worse than I did last week when I could actually see the sky falling. Even if the sky does fall, I expect it will take some time to reach the ground.

The Syrians are coming! The Syrians are coming!

Over the holidays, I was seated beside a lovely fellow at a get together. Out of nowhere, he said he didn’t understand why Muslim women had to wear head coverings now that they were living in Canada. “They should dress more like us,” he said. Then, to my alarm, he added, “We won’t be able to tell if they are terrorists.” Whoa! I wasn’t expecting that.

I challenged him politely, suggesting I thought everybody should be able to choose the way they dressed. Maybe I was too polite, though, because he then asked me if I agreed with him. I fumbled. I didn’t want to offend someone I’d known for a long time and would likely see again, but I strongly disagreed, and told him so. The conversation was unsettling.

I frequently interact with Muslim women wearing traditional garb in my day-to-day life. They may be students at the university who pet Jelly during her visits, or professional women, or moms shopping with their children at the grocery store. I’ve never worried that they were terrorists because of the way they were dressed. Why would I? We’re all more similar than different.

Thank goodness my unsettling experience was followed by a quick counterexample. Thank goodness I volunteered at Canadian Blood Services on New Year’s Day. For weeks now, the volunteers had been reminded that a large group of recent Syrian immigrants would be donating blood that day for the first time in Canada.

When I arrived, the clinic was hopping. I’ve never seen it so busy. Syrians filled every donor bed. Giving blood is ingrained in the Syrian culture because of all the political unrest: when they were back home, they never knew when a sister or child or friend might need blood, so they gave just in case. They may have donated blood regularly in Syria, but they were out of practice since their arrival here.

The Syrian group was accompanied by a bevy of interpreters to ensure they understood the process. There was genuine warm camaraderie amongst the (mostly) men. It was a social outing for them, a time to hang out with friends. I couldn’t understand their language, but it looked like some donors were being chided by the others for being nervous. Each donor had the company of a friend or two to chat with while he gave. We volunteers were to provide refreshments to these donors after they’d finished donating.

I am pleased to report I didn’t spot one terrorist among the group. These were warm, friendly fellows who seemed happy to be there that day and grateful for the chance to socialize with fellow Syrians. Whatever stresses they’d surely endured since arriving in Canada seemed irrelevant for that short time. They were simply enjoying the company of compatriots.

I wasn’t the greatest volunteer that day. I was too busy tearing up. I was astounded by the generosity of this group of newcomers. It was quite a sight to see such a crowd making an effort to give back to the country that had welcomed them. Know that I’ll gladly take your blood if I need it, Syrians. I, for one, thank you for donating.

Nurse with Syrian blood donor making peace sign as he donates

Sometimes the doctor does know best

This morning, I had my planned 6-month review with Dr. Foie Gras. I had seen the doctor last month when he performed my annual upper scope, when I get to experience the glory of sedation. Since I slept through that visit, it wasn’t a great time for us to catch up.

Today I was fully alert, and I was blessed with both the doctor and a wonderful student (fellow? resident? I don’t know for sure, but we’ll call him Dr. F.G. Wannabe who was calm and self-assured. His questions were spot on and he inspired confidence. J. liked him because he looked to her for her input.

We addressed a number of issues, including the fact that Dr. F.G.’s young son will soon be crawling. Oh yes, and my recent liver unhappiness, which seems to be resolving without intervention and causes him no concern. I pointed out the significant weight loss since the last appointment, a good reminder that no one else scrutinizes my weight as much as I do.

We also spoke of the findings of his recent scope, which were largely positive. Nonetheless, he decided there was a need for a follow up next month. Over the past several years, each scope has revealed a pancreatic rest. Let me tell you my layperson’s understanding of what this is, in case you don’t know. Some wayward cells from my pancreas have taken up residence in my stomach, where they’ve been resting for some time now, and although their appearance is unchanged, the doctor wants an internal ultrasound and biopsy done “just to be sure”. My low level of platelets will necessitate a platelet transfusion immediately prior to the procedure, so I don’t bleed excessively from the little snip snip. If you have any platelets to spare, I could use them January 24. I lost a few nights’ sleep over this procedure when I first booked it, but Dr. F.G.’s explanation has reassured me.

At some point in the visit, Dr. Wannabe completed a manual exam, which included his fondling my one-of-a-kind spleen. The doctor was poking around, trying to figure out how my organs were doing that day, and I started whining. “Ouch, that hurts!” I said. He responded, “It shouldn’t hurt there.”

What could be more patronizing? A doctor I’ve never met before tells me that my tender abdomen shouldn’t hurt? It’s not his body; how would he know? But then I thought about it for a minute. My abdomen wasn’t the only thing that was hurting; the rest of my body was sore too.

Then I had an insight. I had forgotten, as the doctor was manipulating my belly, that I’d attended a killer Pilates class the day prior. Every week, I undergo 60 minutes of torture. I never know which body parts are going to hurt the next day. The teacher, who has a striking likeness to Mr. Rogers, except for the sadistic streak, upped the ante yesterday because the gym will be closed next week. Maybe he was preemptively preparing us for our overindulgence over the holiday.

Turns out the wise doctor was right: my pain had nothing to do with his manual exam. Needless to say, I skipped my planned workout today. God forbid I should strain my abdomen any more than I already have.

Pilates movement outline--abdominal crunch

 

Happy Rebirthday to you, Fred

I may rush in last minute when we meet for coffee, but I’m always early for my volunteering shifts. That’s how I was first volunteer to arrive at my scheduled Blood Services shift last Monday, only to be met by a FRiendly Donor (Fred seems the obvious moniker here) awaiting his appointment. Fred seemed in good spirits and, as the only two people there, we chatted while I warmed the soup.

Within a few minutes, I’d learned that Fred was donating blood that day, his 37th birthday. After offering him unlimited cookies (sadly I had no cake), he added, “I celebrated another birthday yesterday.” I looked confused, so he explained.

The day before his 33rd birthday, Fred underwent brain surgery to remove a benign tumour. He said the doctors had found the growth by chance. The surgery was successful, and after it was over, Fred experienced two major changes: the migraines he’d endured for years stopped and he was no longer depressed. He wasn’t aware that the tumour was causing these problems and was pleasantly surprised when they vanished. No wonder Fred celebrates that day. He considers his surgery-related birthday more important than his real birthday because of how his life has changed for the better since.

Hanging whole blood unitsWhat does this have to do with blood donation? Before the surgery, Fred noticed ten units of blood hanging nearby in case they were needed during his operation. Thankfully he did not need any of that blood, but the experience motivated him to become a regular donor.

I became unexpectedly emotional as Fred shared his story. When I was at my sickest, I received 22 transfusions–whole blood, platelets, and plasma–and I’ve required the odd top up since. Thank goodness Fred didn’t need all that blood during his surgery; he left more in reserve for cancerous people like me. And now, with his donations, he’s bolstering these life-saving supplies on a regular basis.

Fred had shared so much that I did something I don’t often do when I’m volunteering there: I told Fred I had leukemia, which deepens my gratitude for donors like him. Although I always feel this gratitude, I rarely tell donors how much their giving means to me personally. Could Fred’s blood have helped me at some point? I’ll never know, but I think he’d have good blood. He seemed like a decent person.

I’m not one to hijack a conversation, yet my sharing felt appropriate in that moment. Fred had disclosed a lot to me, and I wanted to let him know in the only way I knew how why his story had moved me as deeply as it did. The psychologist in me wondered whether Fred was as touched by my disclosure as I was by his. He asked me how I was doing with appropriate caring and concern and without a touch of pity, thank God.

As is my nature, I returned the focus to Fred within a minute or two, but I was glad I trusted him in that moment. Donors can only benefit from the chance to meet a recipient who is alive because of donations like theirs. I can be that grateful recipient, even while I’m warming soup.

Hopefully Fred and I will cross paths again so I can ask him his real name.

The problem with paying to procure plasma

Arm outstretched of someone who has just donated blood with quote: If you really want to lend a hand, lend an arm.

Until recently, I didn’t realize that we had a shortage of plasma in Canada. You may not have either, unless you too are obsessed with the health news. Someone’s gotta be.

Last year, a private plasma donation clinic opened in Saskatoon. The clinic pays every donor with a $25 gift card. By allowing this clinic to open, the Saskatchewan government has reduced donations to the non-paying Canadian Blood Services clinic in the region. If you could be paid for your plasma donation or do it out of the goodness of your heart, what would you do? Turns out a lot of people like to be paid for their efforts.

Although in the U.S., blood donors are paid, in Canada they are not. We Canadians have historically relied on the good will of donors, and, according to Canadian Blood Services, we will continue to do so.

Maybe this wouldn’t be a problem if the donations procured at the paying clinic were adding to Canada’s plasma supply, but there’s no assurance they are. This company is selling the plasma to the highest bidder, wherever that bidder is. The clinic is a for-profit venture; its first concern isn’t Canada’s plasma supply.

As it stands, Canada doesn’t have enough plasma to meet patients’ needs, so we buy plasma from the U.S. to make up the shortfall. But what if we continue to rely on foreign blood products and that supply dries up? I can envision American plasma being stopped at the border in the near future, under the new America First policies. That crazy new president south of the border rules with an iron fist, as he has proven too many times over the past few weeks.

Plasma donations are needed both for infusions–I’ve needed a few over the course of my illness–but also to make drugs for very sick people with rare diseases. We need to ensure we have enough of these drugs to keep these people alive, or at least to improve their quality of life.

So, Canadians, consider donating your plasma for free. It’s one needle prick*, except it takes a little longer than donating whole blood. The special machine will take your plasma only and kindly return all your other blood products to you. Easy peasy. And you’ll get all the benefits that whole-blood donors get and more.

What benefits, you ask? First off, after you donate, you can pop by the donor cafe, where a bevy of volunteers will eagerly meet your every need. Remember the soup and cookies? We also stock fruit cups and sesame snaps for the gluten free among you. There’s coffee and tea and pop and juice (go for the mango). Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

And don’t forget the coveted pins. When you reach certain donor milestones, you receive a commemorative pin. You plasma donors will reach those milestones all the faster because you can donate plasma much more frequently than whole blood if you choose.

And what about the good feeling that goes along with knowing you’re helping someone? That’s worth a lot more than a $25 gift card, I think.

 

*If a needle phobia is holding you back, come see me. I can help you with that.

Not everyone has the holiday Monday off

Four volunteers and a donor at Canadian Blood Services

Just like these lovely women, you too could feel this fantastic.

I realize it’s a holiday Monday and you probably don’t want to be pestered with a post, but in order to keep with my usual blogging schedule, I went out in search of a worthy story. And so J. and I heeded the call of the Canadian Blood Services, since they’re experiencing a shortage of blood products. J. is the star of this story since she is the picture of health. I can’t donate myself, unfortunately, because of my defective, i.e., genetically mutated, blood. Darn those blood disorders.

J. agreed that I could join her if I promised not to cry. Yeah, right. How long do you think that lasted?  She knows me too well.

Turns out that on this holiday Monday, not everyone was out enjoying the glorious summer day. The clinic was a hubbub of activity, with numerous staff and volunteers sacrificing their time to accommodate all the generous donors. It wasn’t overly busy when we got there, but by the time we left, it was standing room–or should I say “reclining room”–only.  Man, those chairs looked comfy.

We saw donors of all colours, shapes and sizes, and everyone seemed happy to be there. I wondered what motivated these people to donate. Do they know someone who’s been in a car accident, or someone battling cancer?  Or maybe they just donate because they are kind, generous people.

I wanted to walk around and thank each donor personally, but I envisioned two potential pitfalls: 1) I would have started sobbing uncontrollably, and I was barely holding it together as it was; and 2) people may have been reluctant to donate in the future, fearing they’d have to deal with an emotional wreck like me each time they came in.

J. passed screening and was called over to one of those deluxe recliners to donate. The astute nurse, Liane, invited me out of the cheap seats to lend my adoring support to J., except when the needle went in and I had to look away. Liane told us that she loves working at the clinic because, in her words: “The people who come here are good folk.” She’s right. [Insert more tears here.] Her joy was infectious.

Competitive one that she is, J.’s bloody bag was filled before you could say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (that was the longest word I could think of). So off we traipsed to the donors’ café, where four eager volunteers kindly waited on us hand and foot. J. placed her order of chicken noodle soup and juice, while Michele, the lovely volunteer who greeted us, encouraged me to have a snack too even though I had not donated. In fact, she insisted I could not leave empty stomached. And so, under duress, I accepted a drink, and, under more duress, a bite of J.’s milk chocolate chunk cookie.

I left convinced I’d like to volunteer here. I’d just have to find a way to contain my emotion (or maybe not–those donations saved my life), and not to steal too many of those cookies.

What’s wrong with sharing my gratitude aloud? These people–the clinic staff, the volunteers, the donors–should know how important their contribution is. I now regret not telling each and every one of them. So what if I cry in public? Let everyone think I’m crazy for all I care.

Amidst all the bad, good is still happening in the world.

It’s been really hard to turn on the news lately. Every day it seems there’s another tragedy, bigger than the one the day before. Incidents like the mass killing in Nice fuel the xenophobia in the Western world. Some start questioning immigration policies and that crazy scary US presidential candidate only adds fuel to the fire. It’s a mess out there.

Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed by all the tragedy, I go to the Canadian Blood Services Facebook page. This past week, CBS posted a number of stories that reminded me of the good in the world. Every story is a feel-good story on that Facebook page.

There I read about the Texan student who joined the stem-cell registry during a high school blood drive. A few years later, he was matched with a child in need, so he stepped up and saved a life. A 6-year-old Calgary boy undergoing a recurrence of leukemia, a recurrence that would likely have ended his life, received that healthy Texan’s marrow and is now cancer free and thriving. Donor and recipient met for the first time this week.

I think a lot about the stem-cell registry because I know someone who might have benefitted from it. My dear friend Scott, whom I wrote about in one of my first posts, died of lymphoma 22 years ago this month. I vividly remember his despair upon learning doctors could not locate a bone-marrow match. Gruelling chemotherapy had decimated his immune system. As a result, he developed an opportunistic infection and died 4 short months following his diagnosis. Would a bone-marrow transplant have saved his life too?

Out of interest, I learned that registering to be a stem-cell donor is as simple as four painless cheek swabs. The process of donating stem cells or bone marrow is more involved but that’s assuming the potential donor is matched with someone in need. Somehow I think I could endure a bit of discomfort to save someone’s life, but nobody would want my tainted marrow and I’m too old anyhow (registry age limits are between 17 and 35 years). I will have to count on others to step up, not for me since I wouldn’t survive the rigorous process of a transplant, but for those who could benefit.

There’s another CBS story that made me cry happy tears, one that Trumps all others. (Try fearing people from far lands after you read this.) Over the last few years, a group of Syrian refugees arrived in Canada, settling in Winnipeg. They wanted to find a way to express their thanks to the community that welcomed them.

Group of Syrian men having just donated blood in Winnipeg

So two dozen of these Syrian refugees donated blood. (This picture is from the CBS Facebook page; I didn’t think they’d mind if I borrowed it.) What an amazing way to give back to Canada. They’d escaped a war-torn country. The frequent bombings and shootings resulted in a constant need for blood, so they became experts at donating to help their compatriots. One fellow in the group had donated three dozen times in Syria. When they heard there was a blood shortage here, they willingly pulled up their sleeves. Thanks, Syrians, for giving where you live. You’re helping people like me.

I’ll gladly take your gay blood

Chart of groups in high need of blood donations from Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services’ transfusion needs.

I’ve been posting more than usual in the “Being Gay” category lately. Can you bear with me for one more? I’ll go back in the closet soon.

One of the groups marching in the Pride Parade was the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI [do you think their acronym writer has a learning disability?]). The group’s motto? “There’s no such thing as gay blood.” CCDI is challenging Canadian Blood Services’ longstanding ban on sexually active gay men’s blood donations.

In the mid-80s, Canadian Blood Services instigated a lifetime ban on sexually active gay men (their acronym is “MSM” for men having sex with men) donating blood. Anyone who wants to donate blood has to answer a series of screening questions, and if a man acknowledges he’s an MSM, he is turned away.

In 2013 the rules changed, but not by much: gay males who have abstained from sex for the past 5 years are free to give, but any gay man who has been sexually active more recently is refused. (In the US, it’s 12 months, but even that limitation is being challenged.) Does this not presume that every gay man is recklessly sexually promiscuous and takes no precautions to lessen the possibility of HIV transmission? What about all the promiscuous straight people? Does the name “Ashley Madison” ring a not-too-distant bell?

I understand why this ban was instigated: HIV was a very scary beast when it first appeared in the early 80s, and there were not yet ways of screening for it. That resulted in the tainted blood scandal, a horrific time when too many people, including a generation of hemophiliacs, were infected with diseased blood. But those days are long past. Blood can now be tested for HIV and other pathogens, and unsafe blood is not transfused. Given that, the ongoing ban is prejudicial.

People with blood cancers often need top ups. Other cancer patients undergoing treatment often need blood products too because many chemotherapies suppress blood cell production. Even zapping (radiation) can interfere with blood counts.

I have needed a ton of blood products since my leukemia diagnosis 3 years ago. Plasma, platelets, red blood cells, I’ve received them all. I was most in need when I was first diagnosed with leukemia and could not keep my counts up. I’d have been sunk if blood donors had not given generously of themselves.

So, Canadian Blood Services, maybe you could start collecting gay blood again. Next time I need some, I’ll take it. I don’t care who it came from, and I’m trusting you’ll screen it carefully. And I imagine I’m not the only gay person willing to take those blood products off your hands. Start with giving gay blood to the gays, and when they don’t get sick, maybe the straight people will take some too. You never know. This is Canada, the home of gay marriage and equal rights for people of all shapes and sizes and persuasions. I hope you never find yourself in need, but if you do, wouldn’t you appreciate those donors?