Thursday, October 29, 2009
Before I had cancer, I had up days and down days. My down days were usually because of something that happened at work, or a disagreement with a friend or family member, or even because they didn’t have double bacon cheeseburgers at McD’s as advertised (there’s a story there…).
That hasn’t changed. However, my down days are more likely to be related to my health, simply because that’s where I’m at right now.
I won’t deny that I’ve felt sadder and more reflective since Sue Hendler’s death, even though I knew it was coming for some time. But overall, I think my spirits are pretty good. I’ve had good results with the current treatment and very few side effects. So please don’t worry (Mom!).
Do you think it’s best to be honest and open about the ‘dark days’ or do you tend to protect others by always trying to appear ‘up’? Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Here is part of a message I received about next week's meeting:
Our guest this week will be Ron Seguin from the Funeral Home, Hulse Playfair and McGarry.
The one and only time I attended, they talked about hospice care. The group is called Living for Today but my fear is that it's more about dying than living.
While I know that some people in the group might be ready for that information, I'm not.
To use one of my mom's sayings: "mark me down for no!!"
For some participants the feathers and ringing were symbolic, or reminded them of other experiences they had had in the past. I simply focused on seeing and listening without feeling the need to analyze the experience to death.
I spent so many of my earlier years analyzing my experiences, my relationships, searching for meaning, asking WHY? It feels good just to live in the moment and just BE.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Maybe I just need a good cry. During the class (while I was supposed to be chanting and breathing through my chakras) I found myself trying to remember how many times I’ve cried in the past year. Aside from the open floodgates of my father’s funeral just over a year ago, there have only been a few.
I remember getting weepy for no reason last Christmas when I was going through chemo and feeling over-tired. The tears came again when I was saying goodbye to my son Adam at the Amsterdam airport in June (airports make me emotional because I always seem to be saying goodbye). Other than a few sniffley moments watching The Time Traveler’s Wife (the part where he met his mother on the train got to me), that’s about it.
Some women can cry and then look like a million bucks afterwards. Not me. My upper and lower lids swell up and look raw enough to be more at home on the ass end of a dog in heat than on my face. They stay like that for about 2 days.
So if I need to have a good cleansing cry (which is where I think this cranky feeling is heading), I’d better make sure it’s worth it. It may be time to bring out the big guns: Out of Africa. I’ve probably watched it 5 or 6 times and have never been able to get through it without what Oprah refers to as ‘the ugly cry’. Not only do I cry at the sad parts, I know the movie so well that I start to cry just before the sad parts, in anticipation.
I may be wearing sun glasses for the next few days…
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
On days like this I find my mind involuntarily asking questions. Questions like:
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
The mom's name is Daiva and she writes a blog at http://daivastory.blogspot.com/. I read through Davia's blog and came across information about a resource called Army of Women.
I finally joined the "Army of Women" today (www.armyofwomen.org). Their goal is to have more than a million women join their group so that they can get information on breast cancer studies and be available for research. I urge all you ladies out there to join.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
The read more about the calendar, click on the label Weekend to End Breast Cancer below.
If you are a breast cancer 'thriver' and are interested in posing for next year's calendar, contact Emilie and Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Beauty of the Cause
Friday, October 16, 2009
Telegraph Journal, Published Thursday October 8th, 2009
TORONTO - In a world first, Canadian scientists have decoded all three billion letters in the DNA sequence of a metastatic breast cancer tumour and identified the mutations that caused the malignancy to spread.
Read the full story
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I did a combination of walking and snail running, crossing the finish line in just under 38 minutes. For those of you who don’t run, that’s an incredibly slow time, but I ended up running much more of it than I would have thought I could.
The Just Doing It team once again took the prize for the highest amount collected by a women’s community team. Year after year this team of survivors raises money and participates in the run. Year after year more women are diagnosed. But the women on my team and the enthusiasm of the crowd continues to give me hope that eventually there will be a cure. Until then, I'll continue to run, walk and/or crawl.
~ Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
The important thing is to not stop questioning. ~ Albert Einstein
Saturday, October 3, 2009
As of this morning we are 3rd top team nationally! What a feat given the fact that an article in the paper this morning said donations were down for this run. Congratulations!
Thank you to all of you who contributed to this achievement. Tomorrow is the big day and we plan to cross the finish line upright & smiling.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
With her permission, here's a message I received from Meridy today.
I know you will all be upset to know that I have had to cancel my trip totally. Thank you for the many "bon voyage" messages. It seems I am not destined to travel at the moment. I was just starting to feel well enough to make the trip (next chemo would have been tomorrow), my appetite was improving, my taste buds were getting back to normal, and I felt stronger ...... and then I woke up during the night on Tuesday with severe lower chest pains, so it was off to emergency once again.
To make a long story short, my oncologist thought it could be a pulmonary embolism and I was tested for this yesterday afternoon in a scheduled CT scan. Fortunately, it is not a blood clot in my lungs but they are not quite sure what it is. Therefore I do not want to take the chance of getting to Europe and having a blood clot show up in my abdomen or somewhere and not be able to fly back to Canada. The pain in my midriff would also make sitting on a plane uncomfortable and I don't want to spend the entire holiday on pain killers.
As you can imagine, I am very disappointed but cannot dwell on it. I have spent the morning cancelling the reservations and have at least been able to get my Aeropoints reinstated, and some money reimbursed for the cruise as I had taken out extra insurance. Fortunately this happened before I left and not while I was away. The oncologist has agreed that I can still have a little break from chemo, but I may have to start on another one because the tumours are not shrinking and so this one is not working. I felt quite confident that it was as the pain on the liver side of my midriff was diminishing, I had thought. It is possible that the new pain on the left hand side is referred along the diaphragm. It seems as if at the moment the cancer is winning the battle; certainly it is having a huge effect on my life and what I can and can't do.
I will spend the next week enjoying myself here in Ottawa - seeing friends, perhaps eating out, and going to movies. If I plan another trip, it will be somewhere much closer to home.
Never take your health for granted. Make the most of every day. Do not put off the things you would like to do. I am copying something from my friend Chris Lynd's Blog:
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.
All the best,
Today was the 100 Man Run. We had a police escort from the police station through downtown Ottawa to City Hall. It was a great warmup for the event on Sunday.I think I would make a good motorcycle cop, don't you?
It's not too late to sponsor Just Doing It (all breast cancer 'thrivers') at Just Doing It.