Wednesday, September 30, 2009

100 Man Run Spa Day

I was fortunate enough to be invited to participate in a "spa day" at the Saab Salon yesterday, along with a number (20?) of other cancer 'thrivers'.

Some women got new hair styles:

Some women were treated to nail services:
The people at Saab pampered us, fed us, and generally made us feel like queens-for-a-day.

In the picture below, Rita is displaying a quilt made for her using all of the t-shirts she has worn in past Run for the Cure events. What a great idea!Saab Salon Spa


Check out the for a pattern for a knitted breast prosthesis.

Reminder: I still have a regular prosthesis size 34/36 B for adoption, for anyone who needs one.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Counting down to the Run for the Cure

Only six days left! So far I have raised $2,390 and the Just Doing It team has raised a total of $15,279.00. Thank you to everyone who has supported us by sponsoring me or one of my team members.

It's not too late to Sponsor Just Doing It.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cheryl Kardish-Levitan on 'A' Channel - Sept 25

Set your VCR/PVRs!
Cheryl Kardish-Levitan, one of our Just Doing It team members who has now raised more than $110,000 for the Run for the Cure over the years, will be on A Channel tomorrow at 9.15 am.

If you can watch please do so and support her from afar.

Congratulations Cheryl!!!!

The gaping hole in our health-care system

“Canadians are covered for most treatments and drugs, but those with cancer know all too well some drugs are not paid for by government plans” - Julie Mason, Ottawa Citizen

I can identify with what Julie Mason has to say in her latest column about the potential cost of drugs for those of us needing cancer treatments. While I was on I.V. chemo, the drugs that I received were completely covered by our Canadian health care system. Now that I am on an injection drug (Faslodex) I have to pay for it myself, to the tune of a whopping $696.30 every 4 weeks.

I am incredibly fortunate to be covered by my employer’s drug plan; my portion of the prescription comes to $139.26. I am also fortunate to receive 75% of my salary through long-term-disability coverage.

Without my employer’s drug plan and disability coverage, I would be paying the $696.30 out of the $732 (after taxes) that I receive from my CPP disability. Which means that I would have to deplete my RRSPs, go on public assistance, live in my sister’s basement, or all of the above.

Read the full story

Read other stories by Julie Mason by clicking on her name after Labels below

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Beauty of the Cause

The lovely ladies of the Beauty of the Cause have created a spectacular travel-themed calendar for 2010. I had the honor of posing for one of the pictures (but won’t tell you which month because, after all, the pictures are a bit ‘revealing’ – but very tastefully done). I believe that most, if not all, models in this year's calendar are breast cancer 'thrivers'.

I am taking preorders for the calendars and they will be available some time in October (which is Breast Cancer awareness month). The printer is asking for their money within 30 days this year so we’ll be scrambling the first few weeks to sell calendars and collect the money. Please email me at to reserve your calendar.

The calendars are $20 each and make a lovely Christmas gift. All proceeds go towards the Weekend to End Breast Cancer.

The Beauty of the Cause

Further adventures of Adam and Tara

Adam was in Poland for the FIBA European Basketball Championships (aka ‘EuroBasket 2009’) this past weekend. His latest Facebook post says:

Adamski is wandering the interesting yet gritty streets of Krakow. EuroBasket semi-finals tonight: Spain vs. Greece, Slovenia vs. Serbia. Definitely hanging with the Slovenia supporters beforehand again since they are the most fun fans here (the Greeks are a close 2nd). Plus, Tara is half Slovene, so... go Slovenia!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The End of the Ride by Sue Hendler

Sue's final column appears in today's paper.

"If you are reading this, you'll know that my cancer journey has ended. I gave this column to Whig-Standard editor Steve Serviss some time ago as I wanted to have a way of providing closure to this series which started in June 2008."

Read the full story

Read past columns by Sue Hendler by clicking on her name below.

Fuck cancer

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sue Hendler

I just received a notice from Sue's friend and Care Team coordinator Karla with this sad news:

"Sue died last night. It was at about 8:00. She was at St. Mary's but had only been there since the afternoon and so her plan to stay at home for as long as possible was very successful. As well, it was her choice to leave home and go to the hospital. She made all her choices until the very end. She was surrounded by more than an dozen of her wonderful family and friends."I'm not sure how I feel: shocked... sad... numb... thankful that she didn't linger.... all initial feelings that come to mind. I sent Sue an email on Monday to let her know that I was thinking about her but I hadn't had any communication from her since she made the following comment on my Visit with Sue posting on August 17th.

"Thanks Chris ...... I'll read this often over the next while and I know it will help me get through some difficult moments .... Take care and hugs to wonder dog!"

I'll miss Sue's raw and honest accounts of her cancer journey in her Whig Standard column. I've already been missing our back & forth email banter about everying from mindless TV shows to our fears about the future. I hope that wherever Sue is today, she's laughing at her prediction that there's probably nothing on the other side and that it's one opinion she's just fine with being wrong about.
This message was circulated to the Queens University community:

I am very sorry to report that Dr. Sue Hendler, former Head of the Department of Women’s Studies, passed away yesterday after a long and courageous fight against breast cancer. As some of you will remember, Sue was a Co-coordinator of Women’s Studies in the 1990s and was Director/Head for five crucial years from 1999 until 2004. She will be remembered for the many important policy changes that she initiated and implemented while leading the Department, including drafting the first proposal for what has become our MA Program in Gender Studies, overseeing growth both in course offerings and the enrolment of concentrators, and recognizing the need to convert the Institute into a Department. Under her wise leadership the LGBT, now Sexual and Gender Diversity, Certificate Program was created and began to flourish. More permanent faculty members were hired and Sue guided the Department through its first Internal Academic Review. Sue was politically savvy, wise, and a very hard worker on behalf of the interests of all members of the Department. Those of us here now owe her enormous gratitude for the efforts that she devoted to ensuring Women’s Studies would flourish. At this time I do not know what arrangements will be made for a service.

You can read Sue's past columns by clicking on her name below, after Labels. Watch for one final column from Sue to be published, which she told me she submitted sometime ago.

Paint Ottawa Pink - Sept 27th

The BCA (Breast Cancer Action) Paint Ottawa Pink walk is coming up & I’m feeling guilty

I haven’t registered and I’ve focused all of my fundraising towards the Run for the Cure on October 4th. I hate asking people for money, so I limit my groveling to one event per year. Rather than asking people in person, I take the cowardly way out and send out an email to just about everyone I know asking for their financial support. I am happy to report that, as usual, my approach is working and I have received $2,195 in pledges so far.

But that leaves BCA in the cold, at least as far as my fundraising efforts go. Because they had to delay their walk this year (not sure of the details but I understand they had a valid reason), it ends up being far too close to the Run for a Cure, which I think will really hurt them this year.

Breast Cancer Action is a local organization that offers the following (and more):

> A peer counseling program
> Exercise, yoga, tai chi. lymphedema and other wellness programs
> The Busting Out survivor dragon boat program
> Speakers and the Young Women’s Breast Health education program
> On-site lending library

And, as it states on their web-site, so much more!

If you know someone who is participating in the Paint Ottawa Pink walk, please consider sponsoring them. Or you may want to support BCA at some other time by making a donation to this important and worthy organization.

Find out more about Breast Cancer Action and Paint Ottawa Pink

Friday, September 11, 2009

Now Voyager

Here's an exerpt from an email I received today from the Cancer Crusade:

And now begin to really live. No prissy, half-hearted living like you were living before. That wasn't really living, and that you doesn't exist anymore. No putting off dreams until tomorrow. Carpe diem. Carpe diem. Carpe that diem now.

Go live your life. Become who you know you're supposed to be. No holding back this time.

In the words of Walt Whitman, "Now voyager, sail thou forth to seek and find."

And don't you dare say it's too late. If you're reading this, it's not too late. It's only too late for the people who didn't wake up this morning.

Live out loud. Be outrageous. Love fiercely. Laugh and cry at the sheer beauty of it all. And thank whatever god you believe in that you have another chance to get it right.

Every day, you get another chance.

Read the full article
The Cancer Crusade

Friday, September 4, 2009

The work of living and dying, by Sue Hendler

Today Sue writes about: The work of living and dying: Will the next day be better or worse?

"Throughout the day, the phone has been ringing, with people asking if I need or want anything. There has been the occasional outing to City Park or to any sunny spot brightening the outside of my building. There is always the adding of items to my to-do list as I think about my will, my memorial service, my messy office at Queen's."

You can read other columns by Sue Hendler by clicking on her name below under Labels.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Aged to near perfection :-)

My mom and her friend Marian were here for my birthday. They've been friends since before I was born and I think of Marian as my 2nd mother.Some friends came over to have a piece of cake. Can you guess how old I am?
Here's what Jean wrote on my card:

Happy Birthday! I can think of so many words or phrases that relate to you…

book lover
world traveler
great sense of humor
Nova Scotia bed breaker avec moi! (there’s a storey there…)
onion hater
dynamite and possibly OCD organizer
shoe lover
dollar store queen
interior decorator with terrific taste
terrific cook
great party thrower & hostess
cross country skier
Katey the Wonder Dog’s mom
lover of nature
Adam – the love of your life
and last but not least … you are a wonderful friend to me and to so many others.

Much love Chris.
Jean xxoo