Browsing Category

Jody Vance

Jody Vance

Going Clear – by Jody Vance

Preventative medicine is key to longevity, we’ve all heard that mantra – time and time again – yet all too often our “procedures” take a back seat to life.

I was guilty of that.

There was always tomorrow, next week, next month.  If there was a reason to have a love one checked out, however, that was a priority.

I woke up to the reality that I was not walking the walk — preaching prevention and yet not getting the mammogram or the colonoscopy or pap that my Dr not-so-subtly suggested I do with regularity.

Well, that changed this past spring.  As we know with Canadian healthcare, we often need to wait in line for our procedures…so, I made a deal with myself that I would cover all of my missed bases this fall.  I booked it all, in ink.  My promise to myself was that these appointments would be immoveable.  I’m proud to say that today I put a big check mark beside them all.

Yesterday was the grand finale: the colonoscopy.  I’m here to tell you that it’s NOT a big deal.  Yes, the prep sucks — “prep” is a nice way of saying you clean out your system a-la a trendy cleanse without the trendy process.  It’s a massive dose of laxative that you take after 7 days of a restricted diet (no seeds, nuts, whole grain breads, corn etc).  It’s 24 hours of fasting, no big deal, and then a few hours on the toilet followed by a few more hours in the GI Clinic to have the :20 procedure.

“The Procedure” is quite uneventful. My first time, 7 years ago, I slept through it — this go around I was awake, but didn’t watch.  I think I talked the entire time, but don’t really know what about.  (insert chatty Jody remark). I do recall asking my Harvard Graduate of a GI Specialist to “come on the show”.

Yes, you get an IV – so those who hate needles will not like that part.  That said Natalie, who spends her days inserting the IV’s in patients, was amazing.  She puts you at ease – calls you “Darlin” while giving you a warm blanket and taking blood pressure…..she was an angel in a place that many might find scary.  I saw many characters move through this room.  One man was unable to tell Natalie if he’d had any medication that day as his “wife is in charge of everything” and he simply “does what she says” — needless to say, I love him.  There was another woman who came through saying that she’s had “dozens of these” when Natalie asked her ‘every patient question’ about their history.  This woman also said she’d “seen the doctor this week and he’s taking a biopsy today.”  This woman was in the thick of colon cancer — a 75 year old survivor — working hard to tack on further decades of cancer free existence.

Over the course of my 3 hours in the GI Unit, I heard many stories.

Let me take you back to my first few minutes.  I had just changed into the garb — the double tie piece of blue cotton we all draped around ourselves.  This is a very communal experience, no place to be shy.  I immediately met “Jed”, while standing at the Nurse’s station.  Jed recognized me (which is always fun when standing in a hallway dressed in only hospital robe).  This was Jed’s first time at the GI clinic and, while was clearly a kind, and cool, customer – he was a little nervous.  We found ourselves going through much of the process together. Chatting through the waiting time, navigating the various rooms involved in the process, hilariously we found we had friends in common and were even connected by business.

Jed’s Dr was running on schedule, so in he went — my physician was running behind due to a bit of an emergency.  Being on “stand by” — or sit by, I guess as I sat amidst it all watching as a gentleman in the far corner bed seemed to be suffering great discomfort.  My Doctor on him like a fly on honey.

My front row seat, while unnerving, showed me the pressure involved in the work day of a physician.  So often we hear complaints about our medical system, but WOW is it something to see a great Doctor in motion.

For reference sake, her name is Jennifer Telford.

I watched and waited.  Impressed by her care and concern – knowing that my wait meant this man would be on the fast track to finding comfort and relief.  If you need urgent care, you do not wait.  Big lessons.

While I sat there, Jed came out of his procedure.  He was wide awake and gave me the thumbs up as he reached for his iPhone to scroll through his social media.  Whew.

Once things started moving in my direction, it all happened so quickly.  All of a sudden you are everyone’s priority.  All of a sudden your well being is the #1 subject matter.  Dr. Telford was quick to tell me that it was “All Clear, no polyps, see you in 5 years.”

It took seemingly no time at all for me to be handed cranberry juice and the tastiest tea cookies EVER. (they gave me extra) … I went off to retrieve my belongings out of locker #14.

As I walked out, I waved to the young (I’m assuming son) man waiting for the man who’d been in pain.  They all looked much more relieved than an hour prior.  Jed left, and I likely won’t see him again — however we both have stories for our mutual friends for the next dinner party.

A couple of days out of my life to know that my high risk colon is fine. Colonoscopy = check = piece of mind.

Do it.  Just put it in ink and get it done.  Ask for Dr. Telford…..she’s the goods.

 

 

Pull Up a Chair, Comment -> Here ( 2 Comments In Post )
Jody Vance

The Man in the Next Bed – by Jody Vance

Getty Images: Sturti

Over the past week our family has been experiencing “the best of a worst case scenario”.

Two months ago my Mom had a colonoscopy that found a cancerous mass that needed immediate attention.  Being that this is mom’s second time having surgery to remove cancer from her colon, the first was 20 years ago, we were all rightfully worried. This time around, unlike the 8 inch scar from surgery #1, it would be arthroscopic — far less invasive — yet still very scary given that she’s 79 years old next month.

We held our breathe awaiting the CT scan results.  We collectively exhaled when it came back “contained”.  Once again, a precautionary colonoscopy would save her life.

We are thrilled to be able to take her home today, after 8 days at St. Paul’s Hospital where she received incredible care day and night.

Mom has been in a ward with three other beds, she in the one by the window overlooking English Bay from the 10th floor.

While two of the other three beds saw the people come and go…the man in the “next bed” was in from her arrival, and is still there.  We chatted on my daily visits, he is kind and gentle in his tone and concern for mom.  Yesterday when I went in, it was clear that he had undergone another surgery (He has Chrones) and his moans were heart-wrenching.  He’s had many visitors, so this is not a sad post of loneliness — however, I’m worried about him.  His great attitude and calm were a steadying force for our family and yet, here he is struggling to re-gain his health.

As we gather our mom’s belongings, and get set to happily take her home, we send love light and healing vibes to the Man in The Next Bed.

Hug your family and friends — and above all, value your health.

Pull Up a Chair, Comment -> Here ( 2 Comments In Post )
Jody Vance

My New Job(s) – by Jody Vance

It’s been a topsy-turvy last 18 months, and I would not change a damn thing.

Seeing opportunity in unplanned change is what I do, there’s always a silver lining.

In March of 2016 I was part of massive cost-cutting layoffs at Rogers, leaving me without a full-time job for the first time in my adult life.  It was both scary and a massive relief — I’m not really a morning person, so five years of 4am wake ups was a grind for me both physically and emotionally (with a wee lad in the mix).

After the lay-offs, my boy and I took our long overdue trip to Spain, then I got busy with “what’s next” planning.

Enter my friend Drex.  He called me to see if I might be interested in “doing radio” again — with his team at CKNW.  I started in the fall of 2016.  Exercising my Newstalk muscles during this calendar year was like learning to ride a bike while jumping into a group headed up the sea-to-sky on the Grand Fondo.  (Trump, terrorist attacks, BC election chaos, housing crisis) It was an education and great challenge, I like to think that I found my voice.

Thankfully the job taught me a great deal about our city, our country, our continent and the world.  I worked along side some of the kindest and most generous broadcasters imaginable.  The leadership was second-to-none. Yesterday I said goodbye to them, as my next adventure awaits.

THIS IS WHAT’S NEXT:

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA—September 13, 2017 – Roundhouse Radio, 98.3 has added a nationally acclaimed voice to the heart of their weekday schedule with the addition of veteran broadcaster Jody Vance beginning Monday, September 25th 2017.

MIDDAY WITH JODY VANCE – 10:00 am to 1:00 pm (Weekdays):  With energy, honesty and a wicked sense of humour, Jody will bring depth, topical conversation and her trademark wit to Roundhouse Radio middays. Expect lively conversations talking all things news, opinion, sports, parenting, pets, lifestyle and food. And that’s just to get started!

Jody Vance brings decades of radio and TV experience to our airwaves both locally and across Canada — among many accomplishments, she has had her own national sports program, news anchor, host of Breakfast Television, and most recently she has been at CKNW talking about news and current affairs.  Mother to a young son, she knows the path of parenting and holds a red seal in Culinary Arts so there may be a recipe or two to be shared every now and then…

Roundhouse Radio CEO Don Shafer: “We are very excited to bring Jody’s considerable talents to Roundhouse Radio on a daily basis. Her level of broadcast experience and professionalism runs deep. People will be tuning in for her signature style of conversation”.

Added to the mix is an unexpected puzzle piece, and if you know me – and my passion for sports – it’s an important piece, indeed.  I get to continue to grow my role with Sportsnet 650 radio, the newest arm of that great brand here in Vancouver.  Nothing specific to report at the moment, but as we say in radio: Stay Tuned.

It’s all very exciting and I will continue to share news, views and adventures here on Mybackyard.press along side our wonderful contributors.

Get to your radio and lock in FM 98.3, I will meet you there each day starting in two weeks time.

 

Pull Up a Chair, Comment -> Here ( 20 Comments In Post )
Jody Vance

Marissa Shen – by Jody Vance

 

Marissa Shen — Photo of her (left) and day of disappearance (right)

With news cycles making us all feel as though we are caught under waves in a storm surge surf it’s a tough time to focus on what is happening here, in our backyard.

One thing consuming my quiet moments, like so many parents, is the tragic story of Marissa Shen’s murder.

I’m twisted in knots over the tragic taking of an innocent girl’s life in my exceptionally safe city.  In a time where we are inundated with stories of politics, terror and random acts of violence world-wide — this one hurts…extra.

Every single day we parents force ourselves to let our kids broaden boundaries, trust we’ve taught them enough, at least, to stay out of harms way in the world.

My boy is still young enough that letting him walk out the door with a curfew, and little else information-wise, isn’t my reality – yet.

This 13 year old girl, a girl well beyond the age of babysitting and pondering a future in junior high school in September, was free ranging in daylight hours when the unthinkable happened.

Details continue to be exceptionally sketchy with regard how she met her fate — however — having the RCMP, VPD and Homicide Investigators asking the public “to be vigilant” should be beyond frightening for citizens.

I’m in news … and unnerved.

Since her murder I’ve not let the kids in my care out of my sight, not even for a minute.  I won’t, until this homicide is solved.  It’s going against everything I’ve learned from the likes of Lenore Skenazy (read her) who’ve said, a million times how these events are like lightening strikes in how rare they are.  Rare….but real.

Many of my vintage were Tweens when Clifford Robert Olson was on the prowl…. I remember the calls to “be vigilant”.

Is there a predator on the loose in Metro Vancouver?  Is there someone who’s preying on young girls, boys, adults?  It’s tough to not assume so, with no suspect – or even “person of interest”- announced.

The obsession with world news (US Politics) is seeing this story fade from the headlines….it can’t and shouldn’t, until solved.

WE need to be diligent, WE need to help authorities figure out the timeline of her movements prior to her death.  We need to keep this story alive so that we can help bring the person, or people, responsible for this tragedy to justice.

Please consider sharing this post so that anyone with the slightest bit of intel might communicate with IHIT to share any information.  The tip line is: 1-877-551-4448.  Anonymous tips to Crimestoppers.

For more on the humanity side of this tragedy….read what her brother said this about his sister’s death ….. tragic.

 

Pull Up a Chair, Comment -> Here ( No Comments )
Jody Vance

Working with Friends – by Jody Vance

Larry Hennessey

Me and Drex with a couple of political guests. (FTR, Drex is standing on books to be this tall.)

Working with friends can be tricky.

Over my years in broadcast I’ve been lucky enough to make life-long friends through work: Sarah Daniels, Claire Martin, Jim Van Horne, Alison Redmond, Becky Posh, Theresa Warburton, Daren Millard, Kevin Quinn, Jamie Campbell, Joe Leary, Cynthia Ott, Kathy Woodgate, Mike Hennigar, Patrick Zulinov, Cheryl Loveseth, Lucia Polifroni, Allison Cooper, Dean Bender, Richard Garner….god, the list is (thankfully) endless.  I could go on and on….but that’s not the point here.

The point today is, that for all of the friends I’ve met – and made – through work, I’ve also lost a great one.  It was so sad and shockingly painful.  The red flag went up our very first shift, I thought he was just having a bad day.  He wasn’t. I went into our gig, that would take us from “friends” to “co-workers”,  thinking it was the perfect storm of magic – it wasn’t.  Sure, we made the on air product work, but behind the scenes it was brutal.  Brutal. It’s a long story, suffice to say: our friendship was irreparably broken.

The person you know as your friend can often be wearing a completely different persona at work.  It was, and is, a very painful truth.

To say I’ve been gun-shy about working with my friends since is an understatement.  Nothing is “worth” losing a friend. Nothing.

In the past two weeks, I’ve jumped back into the friend/work pool.  (I must qualify that both friends that I’ve paired up with on radio, recently, weren’t as woven into my world as my lost one) It was with a good dose of nervousness that I dove in.

First at Roundhouse Radio — I was invited to fill in on the afternoon drive show, solo.  I wondered aloud to the boss there “if I might invite someone to join me”. Enter Larry Hennessey (who you have read here) — a pro’s pro, kind doesn’t begin to describe Larry.  We had never worked together on air before, and yet, after four days of togetherness it was clear that we could jive.  The shorthand came quickly, the respect and support was pure.  Time flew by and we were both sad to see our fill-in stint end. We loved it.

As the newly anointed “Pirate of Radio” in Vancouver — with zero time between — the following week off I went to my “other” day-job, filling in on CKNW.  I am thrilled to say that I get lots of shifts at The Top Dog, I love it.  Last week I had a chance to join Justin Wilcomes (Drex) to fill in for Lynda Steele on their outstanding Afternoon Drive show. Now, Drex and I had never met when he texted me, via twitter of all things, 18 months ago to see if I might like to “do radio”.  (It’s his fault that I’m AT CKNW.)  It wasn’t until this past Monday that we actually shared the airwaves.  Drex is a beast of a broadcaster, there is very little he won’t say – or do – in the name of great radio.  He’s driven and funny, kind and tough, all wrapped into one package.  We, too, saw time fly while on air.  I’m very excited to wake up tomorrow for more.

Life throws you curve balls, and sometimes the disappointments of a bad pitch can keep you up at night — as is the case with my lost friend — but the great moments of magic do heal you.

I’ve learned these past two weeks that every experience is unique.  You can’t paint it all with the same broad stroking brush.  Live.  Learn. Embrace.

You’ve likely noticed I’ve not named my lost friend, that is out of respect.  He knows who he is and I hope he knows that I love and miss him.  The interesting part of losing a friend, after trying to take a walk on the work-side, is that if given the choice — 100% of the time you’d save the friendship if given the luxury of hindsight.

Too late now for regrets. I’ve replaced that hollow place with a fortunate feeling, one that has me lucky to know that one can find fun when working with friends.

Thank you Larry and Drex — Lynda: You are up next…and I can’t wait!

 

Pull Up a Chair, Comment -> Here ( 4 Comments In Post )
Jody Vance

Mother’s Day – by Jody Vance

Getty Images: Cora Niele

May is for Mother’s day. Happy for so many, tough for so many.

Some of us are lucky enough to celebrate Mother’s Day today — my thoughts are with those who crave this gift and can’t conceive.

This is not like Valentines Day with a broken heart, or Christmas during a divorce – this is harder.  (I speak from experience.)  I’ve done Mother’s Day after a miscarriage and have lived through it during fertility treatment, luckily I’ve also been through one while nervously navigating the first trimester of pregnancy.

This can be an incredibly sad time for those who are knee-deep in the struggle.  It’s a feeling that cannot be realized without having survived it.

Motherhood, becoming a mother, seems so simple to the masses —  “an accident”, “unplanned”, “an oops baby” or a “we were ready and it happened”.

Right now there are thousands and thousands of women struggling to conceive — crying tears of soulful failure — on Mother’s day.

I feel you.

I’ve been you.

Today I send this out to the universe because I want, even one, hopeful Mom to know that you are not alone.

One big moment in my journey to parenthood was when a very wise physician said to me: “It’s a miracle, you can literally do everything right and still not be successful in conception and carrying to term.”  It was devastating — poignant and heady.  In hind site, it was a comfort along the way.  Yes, we can use modern medicine to assist us in our desire to parent our biological child, but being a Mom isn’t about biology.  It’s about love.

Do not hate your body for failing you. (I did, and wish I hadn’t)  Do not feel a failure for infertility, it’s not your fault.

If your friend, or loved one, is going through this — talk with them about it. Bring it up.  Share.  The isolation of “not wanting to hurt their feelings” is the journey’s very worst part, believe it or not.

Food for thought on this day to celebrate a special level of love.

Peace.

 

Pull Up a Chair, Comment -> Here ( 3 Comments In Post )
Jody Vance

Voter Turn Out – by Jody Vance

Dear President Donald J. Trump,

 

Sincere thanks to you today for teaching voters, world-wide, to show up at the polls on Voting Day.  We have watched what can happen to a Nation when one neglects their civil duty.

There have been many years, here in Canada, where voter turn out has been embarrassingly low.  Today, in my home province of British Columbia we are voting, en masse.  Hopefully in numbers rarely seen at polling stations, thanks to you.

Many in line to cast their ballots are doing so for the first time, some in their mid-50’s, and their reason for finally getting up out of the armchair is largely due to what they’ve witnessed you do with the power given by your “base”.  Today, I have personally over-heard many say that they’d “learned from Trump winning” — that they “will never sit idly by again”.  You have created a world ready to be better educated on platforms and facts — ready to do their duty, in the name of protecting our precious democracy.

We all witnessed you lose the popular vote, while taking swing states — we’ve learned the consequences of being lazy on election day.  The world believes, if given the chance for a do-over, you would lose in a landslide thanks to voter turn out likely doubling.

The world now knows, more than perhaps ever before, the value of their ONE VOTE.

Thank you and best regards,

 

Jody Vance

Proud Canadian

Pull Up a Chair, Comment -> Here ( 4 Comments In Post )
Jody Vance

“Old Fashionable” – by Jody Vance

Yesterday, at a family bbq, my sister in-law inadvertently coined a new phrase.  Chatting with my 79 year old mother (who was calling herself “old” and “old-fashioned”, of which she neither) my sister said: “you are old fashionABLE.”

We all loved that newly coined phrase.

Question: Why can’t we be fabulous at any age?  Answer: We can.

My mom is fashionable to the nth degree.  She’s always been independent and smart, driven and kind, sensitive and strong; beautiful.  She’s a fashionista on the inside, and out.  At almost 80 she’s cooler than most will ever be, yet is incredibly self deprecating.  She is a strong woman who will, often, say what no one else has the guts to say — she is the queen of nice, with a big dose of crassness.

While spring cleaning yesterday, I came across this photo of her from 1975.  That was the year that the hard working, single mom of two, scraped together enough money to take her kids to her homeland of Yugoslavia:

Later yesterday, here she is at the Everett Family Lamb Roast:

My mom has sparkle, she loves a sparkle. She is beautiful.  She is Old Fashionable, and one day I hope to be as old and fashionable as she is.

Sure, much to the chagrin of my Dad, she shops for things that she will never wear.  Sure, she wears things that no one really understands (the moon stones from her mom, the gecko pin I gave her in 1985, the gold Tiffany ‘bean’ necklace I talked my Dad into buying her one year for her birthday.)

As I look across the table to my mom, with all of the above, a fedora with designer knock off sunnies propped on them, the leopard print cardigan, the rings that tell a life story……I see myself.  I love that my mom dresses for herself.  She dresses for her history and for her soul.

She is Old Fashionable.

This post is about us all, men and women, taking a moment to consider our age and then ponder becoming Old Fashionable.  Own it.  Live it.  Devour it.  Like my Mom.

Perfectly imperfect.  Loveable and beautiful always.

 

** Update from Dad: “One error, her sun glasses are not knock offs, they are originals Now, I do have a problem getting her to wear them over her many knock offs ……………Why, only she knows.”

Pull Up a Chair, Comment -> Here ( 8 Comments In Post )
Jody Vance

Bill O’Reilly – by Jody Vance

 

Getty Images: CBS Archive Photo

Anyone else missing David Letterman?  It’s hard to put into words how much I do.  He was my “must watch” daily.

You might assume that my motivation to write about my “Letterman Withdrawal” is Trump related, it’s not — as much as I’d love Dave to be going “no holds barred” on his nightly monologue about POTUS — today I’m missing Letterman because I’d love him to weigh in on Bill O’Reilly.

The O’Reilly Factor here (pun intended) is that the FOX News Host had been accused, by five women, of sexual harassment and – between himself personally and FOX News owner Rupert Murdoch – had paid out a reported $13m dollars in settlements.

O’Reilly kept his job.

He KEPT HIS JOB.

When the story of these payouts were leaked, public outrage was significant. One woman, Wendy Walsh, a psychologist by trade and regular contributor on The O’Reilly Factor, accused the host of backtracking on a job offer after she declined to join him in his hotel suite after a dinner in 2013.

O’Reilly has denied all allegations, even while acknowledging millions in personal payouts, in the name of “protecting his family” from a media circus.  With 4 million nightly viewers, a ratings juggernaut, he didn’t blink.

O’Reilly kept his job.

He KEPT HIS JOB.

Bill O’Reilly is known for his viewership of right-wing Americans who watch religiously and often believe everything he says as The Gospel.  If you’ve ever watched The O’Reilly Factor, you know that it’s anything but steeped in truth.  It’s a ratings beast and therefore a magnet for advertising money.

Enter the all-powerful advertising dollars.  A couple of weeks ago advertisers started to pull their sponsorship and spots from his show: Mercedes, BMW, Hyundai — Caldwell Banker, GlaxoSmithKline, Mitsubishi, Lexus, Bayer, and on and on.  To date more than 50 have bailed, good for them.  Proof that there is power in the ad dollar, clearly more power than a group of women accusing a famous “News” man of sexual harassment.

Early today we woke up to “several reports”, in The New York Times and from The BBC (among others), saying that “high level meetings were taking place today to plan his exit”.

O’Reilly’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz has gone on record saying that this was all being driven by “far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly for political and financial reasons”.

According to the BBC, 21st Century Fox (Fox News Parent Company) owner, Rupert Murdoch was “in favour of keeping Mr. O’Reilly in his post, while his son – James Murdoch who is the CEO of 21st CF wanted him gone.

Now the news has come down that he’s been forced out, fired.

Just released statement from 21st Century Fox:

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.”

This isn’t the first scandal to hit FOX News, the top guy – Roger Ailes – was recently sacked due to his own scandal of the sexual harassment kind.  The man who built the Fox News conservative television empire lost his job.  How is it that Bill O’Reilly kept his for so long?

This is what’s really at issue.

David Letterman is by no means an angel (we all saw his mea culpa about the affair with the intern) but how he addressed his own indiscretions would certainly have given him carte blanche to throw down the facts, and hold O’Reilly’s feet to the fire.

Boy-oh-boy would I love to see Bill sit with Dave tonight.   Damn … I truly do have Letterman Withdrawl.

Pull Up a Chair, Comment -> Here ( No Comments )
Jody Vance

Your Song, Your Playlist? – by Jody Vance

My 9 year old has discovered music, it’s the best! (thank you Santa for the iPod Shuffle)

Unlike the old days, when we would sit at the ready with pause/play/record depressed on the tape recorder and the radio on, he has unlimited options sitting before him on iTunes.

His first downloads were “Hey Jude” (The Beatles) and “Ahead By A Century” (The Tragically Hip) — I instantly felt good about my parenting skills with his choices.  Of course, being mother of the year, I introduced him to the clean versions of Eminem, Jay-Z and 50 Cent….(while impressing him and his bestie with the fact that I know all the words to the raps. cool mom) Continue Reading

Pull Up a Chair, Comment -> Here ( 7 Comments In Post )