Sunday, September 12, 2010

Christine Lynds, 1957-2010: We will miss you, mom

Dear readers of my mom’s blog,

This is Christine’s son Adam writing this. This is extremely difficult for me to write, but I wanted to post one final message to let her readers know that she passed away early Friday morning. She went peacefully in her sleep at 12:25 a.m.

My grandmother took her to the hospital on Wednesday after having difficulty breathing. It turned out to be a blood clot that went to her lung and the doctors were not able to do anything for her. The nurses in palliative care at the Ottawa General – along with my grandmother – did a great job of making her as comfortable as possible to minimize any pain and help her go with dignity. She didn’t want to be kept alive on machines and have her family and friends see her sick. She also didn’t want to be in pain and have the final stage drag on. She had a very good quality of life up until her final two days (I visited her just a few weeks ago and we spent a week at a cottage on a lake in Quebec together).

I was in Lebanon when I got the call that mom was in the hospital and her condition was deteriorating quickly. The doctors said at that point that she didn't have much time left and probably wouldn't make it through the night, so I spoke to her on the phone and said what I thought was my final goodbye. I booked a flight out of Beirut right away in an effort to get back to Ottawa as quickly as I could. I didn’t think that there would be any chance that I would get to see her alive again, but when I landed I found out that she was still holding on. So I rushed to the hospital and got to see her one last time. I was able to give her a hug, sit with her, play her some of her favourite music and say goodbye in person while she was still alert and could respond to me. For that, I will always be thankful. The strongest person I have ever known, my mom amazed me one final time by hanging on until I arrived. About five hours after I got to the hospital, she went into a deep sleep and never woke up again.

My mom was such an incredible person and mother to me – I attribute so much of who I am to her and am so grateful for everything she did for me. I miss her immensely already and there will be a massive void in my life without her around. Someday if/when I have my own children, I hope that I can be even half the parent that she was to me.

She was also a great friend to a lot of people (she had such a wonderful group of friends and I know they will really miss her, too). Although my mom has passed on, she will live on in the many people she had a positive impact on and all of us who were lucky enough to have known her and care about her. 

Below is my mom’s obituary, which appeared in the Ottawa Citizen today. She wrote it herself.

You are welcome to post any thoughts/comments/questions below. Or if you would rather contact me directly, you can e-mail me at


Christine (Chris) Mary Lynds of Ottawa died September 10, 2010 at the end of a full and adventurous life. She was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the eldest daughter of Janice Rivest (Rowe) and the late Merlyn Lynds. Christine worked in the field of Human Resources for over 20 years, most recently at Carleton University. A lifetime of passion for travel led her to far off places, such as Europe, India, Nepal, Australia, Vietnam, China, Tanzania and South Africa. She was a past member of the Busting Out breast cancer dragon boat team and enjoyed a variety of activities, including hiking, snow shoeing and cycling. Above all, she was most proud of being a mother to Adam Chiasson, currently living in the Netherlands. She is also survived by her mother Janice Rivest (nee Rowe) of Stevensville, sister Nadine Allen of Fort McMurray, brother Darrell Lynds of Cold Lake, Katey the Wonder Dog and a wonderful community of friends. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on September 14 at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa (30 Cleary Avenue). Donations to Breast Cancer Action Ottawa ( in Christine’s name would be appreciated in lieu of flowers.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The cancer clinic - my 2nd home

I have 5 appointments next week; 3 of them on the same day:

1. orthopedic surgeon (re my broken hand)
2. radiation oncologist (re my brain lesions)
3. plurex specialist (re the fluid on my lung)
4. medical oncologist (re changing my chemo)
5. cancer clinic social worker (re trying to make sense of all this).


What I’m grateful for today: Vanilla milkshakes. My appetite isn’t great but I crave milkshakes. My mom is gone to the store right now to get vanilla ice cream to keep me in supply.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Run for the Cure - Oct 3

I decided that I would focus my fundraising efforts to the BCA run this year. I only like to ask for support for one event a year, but it you missed donating to the BCA run and would like to donate to the Run for the Cure instead, you can do so on my personal fundraising page at

This will be the 10th year that the JUST DOING IT team of survivors has participated in the Run for the Cure.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Crappy update

i ended up in the cancer triage yesterday because of increased shortness of breath and a distended belly. they thought that maybe i had fluid buildup in the belly because of my liver but they didn't find fluid there. they did find fluid in one of my lungs so they are making an appointment for me to possibly have the fluid drained.

the doctor i saw gave me the results of the latest scans and it appears that the current treatment isn't working and the cancer is progressing in my lungs, lower spine and liver. also they found two lesions on the brain that appear to be cancer.

i suspect i will now go back on taxotere, the iv chemo i had last time. i had really good results last time so i'm hoping it will do the same this time.

no news from the ortho specialist. i might just say to hell with it and just live with a baby finger that won't bend.

what i'm grateful for today: that my mom is here to help me and she doesn't complain about all of the hours spent at the hospital having tests and waiting, waiting, waiting.

Breast Fest - apply by Oct 1

Breast Fest Film Festival - Travel Subsidies Available! Inquire and apply by OCT. 1 2010

Rethink Breast Cancer
215 Spadina Ave. Studio 570 Toronto, ON M5T 2C7
T.416-920-0980 ext.228 or 1-866-738-4465

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