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Thankful for another school year

This morning was as glum as they come. While tomorrow we will be celebrating the first of many days of summer ahead, this morning the air was rife with mixed emotions - those of celebration, of sadness, and of impending farewells. It was the last day of school, and no amount of Canada-themed spirit day hype or paraphernalia was going to mask that. 
I couldn't quite wrap my head around my children's thinking, I mean, summer holidays were about to begin! It was only after I left them at school and walked back home that I realized I had forgotten what it's like to be in my kids' shoes on this joyous day. 
I remember the celebratory cheers at the final bell and the rushing out of school to the tune of 'no more homework' and 'swimming pools here we come!" But as I carefully thought back to my fourth grader's face at the breakfast table, I dug deeper and started remembering all of the other bigger thoughts that came with this day. The joy at having found t…
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FIVE

Wishes do come true. But only if you make them happen. 
It was late evening on March 21, 2012. I was standing on my front porch, surrounded by the chill night air, and listening to the melting creek bed whispering notes of spring. I had just left the hospital and my MRI and there was nothing to do now but wait, and live in this moment. 
I stared up at our second storey windows. Inside, my children slept soundly, oblivious to the turmoil in their mother's mind. I turned my head to the baby's window. She stirred. There would be no nursing tonight, the MRI's contrast agent coursing through me had nixed that. At 15 days old, she was already getting used to my not being around. I wondered if this was to become a pattern. Would I be there to hear her first words, to see her first steps, and to watch her enter kindergarten? I was angry and determined to do away with most, if not all of these unknowns. I didn't know how I would do it, but I was going to give it my all.
Of course,…

Time to Choose

Today, I caught myself making excuses for not writing. Again. So I will now attempt (and hopefully succeed) in proving myself wrong, thereby throwing all previously held misconceptions on what I can actually get done in an evening out the window. Here goes...
A lovely colleague stopped me in the hall today to let me know she'd enjoyed reading my most recent post, and suggested that I should continue writing. I was taken aback, and of course, deeply thankful for the compliment, but at the same time, I was reminded of the fact that writing for me is a luxury, to which I devote very little time. I'm a mom first, a professional second, and I leave writing for the rare occasions when I have enough time and energy left over to make a proper attempt. I believe I uttered a heartfelt thank you, followed by a series of excuses that began with, "I love writing but I wish I could find time to write more often", and, "perhaps if I wrote through the night." I walked awa…

Faith

We were just a few days into December when my 9-year-old came home from school demanding an explanation as to why our family couldn't have an Elf-on-the-Shelf. Now I'd had this discussion in previous years, but it was clear to me that he wasn't going to let it go so I had to choose my words quickly and carefully. I was reminded of his favourite holiday film, The Polar Express, in which a little boy comes to believe in Santa, and that magic stays with him into adulthood, unlike his friends and sister, for whom the magic disappears. That was it, I had my retort.
"First off, remind me how this elf works. How exactly does he move about?" to which he replied, "First you must name the elf. Then it comes to life and starts doing all of these crazy and fun things at night" - I interrupted, "So you have to name him and believe in him for the magic to work?" "Yes, that's right". I could almost see the finish line. "Oh dear...well here&…

Shake the Disease

Here is a plea
From my heart to you
Nobody knows me
As well as you do
You know how hard it is for me
To shake the disease
That takes hold of my tongue
In situations like these
Understand me...understand me...

"Shake the Disease"
Writer: Martin Gore. Copyright: EMI Music Publishing Ltd.

Oh, Martin Gore, you are so wise. Little did I know that his lyrics, which pulled at my heart strings as a tween, would be so relevant 30 years later. This is a love song for the ages. You don't need to have a lover to relate to this song, in fact, it resonates more if you haven't yet found your true love. And not only does it describe one person's angst at wanting to be loved and understood, but how strongly our drive is to express ourselves with the right words at the right time.

The song has special meaning for me, as it is quite literally a disease that has shaken my ability to express myself.

If you've read any of my previous posts you already know that cancer treatment …

And the survey says...

Blessings Report:
See above. Hallelujah!

Does this mean I am cured, in remission or any of the other terms used to describe someone in my situation? Short answer, no, but it means there is currently no evidence of metastatic disease, which is a very very good thing indeed. Scanxiety, you may take a back seat now, buh bye!

Ellen

Happy New Fear!

Ah, January 2nd!  This is normally the time of year when relaxation is at the top of my agenda.  The buzz and bustle of holiday commitments has subsided, leaving in their wake plenty of time for rejuvenation, reflection and rest.  A New Year promises hope, love and joy, but this year, for me, it rings in another emotion loud and clear, fear.  I’ve wanted to tackle this aspect of post-cancer life in the past, but never knew quite how or when to approach it.  I’ve been open about my experience with breast cancer from the get-go; in fact, that was my objective, to narrate my story in a raw and unedited format.  But I admittedly held back sharing this aspect until now, perhaps out of humility, or more likely, out of fear.  I feared fear.  But when my oncologist ordered a follow-up CT scan for December 31st, I took it as a sign that it was time to delve in to this unpopular yet prevalent phenomenon that we cancer patients refer to as the dreaded, scanxiety.

Before I tell you about the scan,…