Monday, August 30, 2010

my favorite bday card

Thanks to all you folks that called, emailed and facebooked me today. I'm having a great birthday; lunch with my mom and aunt and dinner with friends.

This email card from Adam made me laugh!

Cancer Self Management Program - Sept 1

This free six week program will help you: Manage symptoms and treatment side-effects, Learn strategies to manage medications, Work with your healthcare team, Set goals and solve problems, Handle difficult emotions, Feel better and enjoy more activities, Make changes to diet and exercise
Start Date: Wed Sep 1, 2010

Date Notes: Free six week program
Time: 7pm
Cost: Free

Venue: Canadian Cancer Society
Address: 1745 Woodward Dr.
Postal Code: K2C 0P9

Contact Email:
Phone: 613-7231744

Shred-if For A Cure

Shred-it - Founded in 1988 by Greg Brophy, Shred-it is a Canadian company, committed to helping organizations secure their business information by shredding documents and various media.

Shred-it For A Cure - Each year the Ottawa Shred-it branch donates all funds raised from Shred-it For A Cure events to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. On the second Saturday of each month between 9:00AM and 1:00PM, the public can bring up to 5 cubic feet of material (1 cubic foot is about the size of a photocopy paper box) to the Shred-it facility and it will be securely shredded for free while you wait. You are encouraged at that time to make a donation (any amount is appreciated) and tax receipts are available.

Not only will you be securing your unwanted personal information and protecting your identity, you will be helping a very important cause.

The location and dates are:

SECURIT/SHRED-IT – 1171 Kenaston Street Ottawa ON K1B-3N9 (613) 270-9457 (613) 270-9457

2010 Shred Dates
September 11, October 9, November 13, December 11

Yaron Givati
Inside Sales Representative
Shred-it – Ottawa
T: 613.270.9457 613.270.9457 EXT 70394
F: 613.270.8895
Making sure it’s secure

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tips on how to forget your health worries – My “New Normal” is all about ‘fun’, by Amy Lessack

I found an entry by Amy Lessack on the LBBC (Living beyond Breast Cancer) website that I thought was worth sharing. Amy was diagnosed with metastatic bc at 43 in 2008.

"Well, what I learned when I was first diagnosed in 2002 when I was 36 is that every day is a gift. Now, I am sure that sounds very trite and I don’t mean it to be. Believe me, there are still many days that don’t always feel like a gift. However, to have the day, even if it is a crappy one, is still one more day alive. For me, that’s a good day."

Read the full article

What I'm grateful for today: That I'm going to see the EAT PRAY LOVE movie this afternoon. And we'll probably want to go out for Italian food afterwards!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Short update

I'm typing this with one finger, It was confirmed that the hand is indeed broken and I am wearing a splint (kind of a half-cast). My GP is arranging for an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon but I am obviously hoping that surgery won't be necessary.

Adam has been here and gone. His visit flew by far too fast and I am missing him since he left on Sunday.

My mom is still here and will stay until after my birthday on the 30th. I think she's getting bored. It's pretty sad that my 72 year old mother has a more exciting life than I do!

Friday, August 13, 2010

1 finger typing

my blog posts over the next few weeks will probably be brief. it hasn't been confirmed but it appears that i have broken some bones in left hand.

i woke up last night with acid reflux and, in a fog i suspect was caused by the codine cough med i'm taking, i somehow managed to fall down my stairs on the way for a glass of milk. this morning my hand was swollen and my baby finger is pointing off to the side at a rather odd angle.

i saw my family doctor and he said to put a tensor bandage on it and keep it elevated. he could send me for xrays but it would be monday before he gets the results and by then i'll be out of town. so he suggested i go to the hospital in st. jovite; shorter waiting time in a small town hospital and, being close to the ski hills, they are used to dealing with this kind of fracture.

i was at the general hospital today to pick up my xeloda pills and thought i'd take a chance and try the emerg. they said it would be a 2-3 hour wait. in my experience they usually lie so i figured i was looking at 4 hours so i left.

i needed this like i need a hole in my head. speaking of... i'm having an mri on my brain next week to have another look at my aneurysm.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


When I was at the conference in Philly, I picked up a car magnet from METAvivors, a charible organization for women with metastatic cancer. I finally got around to visiting their website at

Here's an excerpt from an essay by one of their founding members.

We ask that the public understand that the 110+ Americans dying every day from breast cancer [I don't know the Canadian stats] are not dying because they were not vigilant or were not courageous enough, and they are not dying because their will to live wasn’t strong enough. To the contrary, it takes tremendous courage and the strongest of wills to face this diagnosis squarely, to wear a smile on your face and move forward with your life while wondering what tomorrow’s test will reveal, how your body will react to the next series of treatments and/or clinical trials ... never knowing when your oncologist will tell you he has run out of options or your body will not tolerate any more drugs, and hoping against hope that there will be a medical breakthrough before that time arrives. No … these people are not dying because they were somehow inadequate to the task, they are dying for the simple reason that the lack of research has kept this disease un-survivable.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Upcoming events

Sept 11: Ride the Rideau

Sept 15: Living Well Beyond Breast Cancer

Sept 18: Sacred Circles Workshop

Oct 6: Read for the Cure

Nov 19: BCA Autumn Gala and Auction

Oct 3: Run for the Cure

Sacred Circles workshop - Sept 18

Labrynth Walking, Creating Mandalas and Sacred Circle Dancing

Date: Sept 18
Time: 9:30 - 5:00
Location: St. John's March/Kanata
Cost: $110

For a copy of the flyer email
For registration contact Cynthia Sabiston at 613-692-0302.

No Pink for Profit - Run for the Cure team

I'm passing this on from Laurie K's blog. She's looking for Ottawa women to join her Run for the Cure team.
Ottawa women friends and family,

Last week end, my friend Cathy Remus and I were talking about doing the Run for the Cure on October 3rd. I suggested forming a team named something along the lines of "We hate pink crap but we hate breast cancer even more."

Elegant slogans were never my forte.

Cathy reminded me that the brilliant Karin Jordan had already come up with "No Pink for Profit." I think this is perfect and I have registered a team with that name. Want to join me? We need ten women (anyone can participate but I'd really like to form a women's team) and you can run it or walk it, raise money or not.

All it would involve on your part would be registering, raising money if you want (or just paying the registration fee) meeting at the start of the run to get your team t-shirt and then either walking or runnning 5k at your pace. Then, as many of us who want to could meet up at the end and go out for a yummy breakfast.

I have a bit of an agenda here, other than the exercise, friendship and a good cause. How cool would it be to have a really large group of women wearing "No Pink for Profit" on their Run for the Cure t-shirts? And if the name is rejected by run organizers (which I truly hope doesn't happen), we have another opportunity for education.

So, what say you? Please feel free to forward this message to any women you know. I want to cast as wide a net as possible.


p.s.: You can sign up here

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A short update

I saw my onc yesterday but it was pretty routine. I hadn’t had a scan or test, so there was nothing to report – I’m not even really sure why I had the appointment. I see the radiation oncologist about my aneurysm on Monday.

The big news is… that Adam (aka the prodigal son) arrives today from Holland for 2 weeks! I can’t wait to give him a big hug. My mom will join us towards the end of his visit and she will stay until after my birthday at the end of the month.

What I’m grateful for today: No contest, Adam’s visit!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Living well beyond cancer - starts Sept 15

The Canadian Cancer Society will offer a program this fall for post-treatment cancer patients and their caregivers who strive to live a healthy life.

Living Well Beyond Cancer is based ont he Chronic Disease Self-Management Program researched and developed at Standord University.

This free program is conducted as a 2-hour workshop held weekly for 6 weeks. The highly interactive meetings focus on building skills, sharing experiences and mutual support. Skills are taught to support day-to-day living with and beyond cancer, and to maintain or increase life's activities.

Living Well Beyond Cancer will address: techniques to deal with the psychosocial aspects of cancer, appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, communication and healthy eating. You will learn how to:
  • Manage symptoms, treatment side effects and medications
  • Work with your health-care team
  • Set goals and make plans to achieve goals
  • Solve problems and handle difficult emotions
The next session will be held at the Canadian Cancer Society Ottawa office at 1745 Woodward Drive from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm, starting Wednesday Sept 15, for 6 weeks. Space is limited, so please register by contacting the Ottawa office at 613-723-1744 ext. 3621.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Nadine was back this week for part II of her visit. In between her visits she was in Boston on business and in Halifax with her daughter (my niece) Erin.

We spent part of one day at the Nordic Spa, relaxing in the pools and the saunas. We curled up in these lovely hanging chairs that felt like rocking cocoons and read and napped. In the evening we went to see The Kids are Alright (I’m not sure that the kids are truly ‘alright’ but it was an interesting movie).

On her last day here Peggy came by. Nadine made sausage/potato/squash tacos, so we had no problem talking Peggy into staying for lunch. It was a day of great eating because we went to Dianne’s for dinner and a swim (although I was the only one who actually swam).
It was wonderful to just spend time with Nadine. We’re very different people, but there is a life-long bond between us that keeps us connected through the good times and the bad. I’m glad that she’s my sister.

After she left, I spent most of yesterday napping. It seems that when I have company or when I was away in Halifax, it tires me out and I need some recovery time. But it's worth it!