So I chuck fatigue under the chin and tut-tut. I give into him knowingly, an indulgent mother giving up the productive moments of her day. I have to welcome him, because to scorn him is to invite a storm.
Category Archives: Cancer Experience
Letting the Cat out of the Bag, Pardon the Pun!
I recently casually mentioned my ostomy publicly for the first time on the Dr. Wahl show. I’ve wanted to do it for a long time, because every time I hear of someone feeling devastated about the prospect of needing an ostomy my heart breaks. And there’s the rub… the stigma is real and the lackContinue reading “Letting the Cat out of the Bag, Pardon the Pun!”
Building Networks of Support
If your life has been touched by cancer, there are certain things you know. You know that the time between a scan or bloodwork and the meeting with your oncologist is a muddy pool of ugly thoughts and frantic distraction. I call it, “in the muck.” You know that people tell a lot of storiesContinue reading “Building Networks of Support”
Thank Your Kids and Teenagers Today for Their Essential Service!
We are collectively holding our breath here. Over the last 3 weeks or so, we have physically distanced ourselves for the good of our fellow citizens. We have been told by the prime minister of Canada and the premiers, chief medical officers and health ministers of all provinces and territories to do this, and mostContinue reading “Thank Your Kids and Teenagers Today for Their Essential Service!”
Want to get lucky this year? Drink your beer at home.
Some of my girlfriends and I recently ordered St. Patrick’s Day shirts from a local clothing company. Our plan was to paint the town green as we took in some local entertainment. This St. Paddy’s Day, we were going to celebrate life! Of course, things have changed in the past few weeks, and we willContinue reading “Want to get lucky this year? Drink your beer at home.”
New Information for Women. Period.
Dad forwarded an article to me recently that set me on a path of learning about hormone therapy. All women should have access to this information so that they can talk to their doctors about their health. I remember when the results of a large randomized trial called the Women’s Health Initiative were published inContinue reading “New Information for Women. Period.”
An Actual Year of Weather
It has been a year. A year since a doctor looked me in the eyes and said, “I have bad news.” There is so much to say, and nothing to say. I’ve been writing and writing. There are a thousand moments, a billion thoughts, a zillion reflections. Cancer leaves one with a multitude of thingsContinue reading “An Actual Year of Weather”
A Little Cat and a Lot of Cheer this Year!
Our kitten is slowly destroying the Christmas tree, and I’m okay with that. His name is Varjak Paw, after a cat in a book which Caleb’s beloved grade-four teacher read to his class, and to Annika’s class a couple of years later. Varjak is a sassy little guy, with slightly bowed front legs that giveContinue reading “A Little Cat and a Lot of Cheer this Year!”
Ringing the Bell – Endings and New Beginnings…
I had my last chemotherapy treatment this week. I am getting disconnected today, just in time to pass out treats for Hallowe’en. Tuesday was the first time my kids have been to the cancer center with us, and I think it was helpful for them to see what exactly has been going on all theseContinue reading “Ringing the Bell – Endings and New Beginnings…”
Getting our Facts Straight
My daughter and I had the most wonderful day yesterday. We went out for lunch, did a little shopping (and laughing) at the mall, and went bowling with some friends. I honestly did not think about cancer once. Why? Because at this moment, my cancer is gone from my body, thanks to modern medicine. AfterContinue reading “Getting our Facts Straight”
Cutting Through the Food Noise
I clearly remember the first time that I started to think about my food consumption. I was eleven years old. I had gained a little weight, as many kids do during their pre-pubescence, and my pants were tight. I was sitting in class and I coughed, and the button popped right off my pants andContinue reading “Cutting Through the Food Noise”
Art and Life, Intertwined
I have always measured my life in books in the same way we categorize events by the song we were listening to at the time. 1990 – Riding around Badger Lake on my dirtbike with Robin, my best friend, hanging off the back balancing a ghetto blaster, while my dog Midnight tore up the roadContinue reading “Art and Life, Intertwined”
The Chemo Emo and her Cloud
On our first summer weekend at the lake, I set out to do what I always do – take solace in the water. Whether it’s playing mermaids with my daughter, water-skiing, swimming, or paddling a canoe, my favourite thing in the world is to be buoyed forth, coasting weightlessly on endless peaks and troughs. AfterContinue reading “The Chemo Emo and her Cloud”
Gladys Learns the Art of Letting People Help
At some point in the course of the last 4 months, Gladys and Mabel appeared. Whether these gals are alter egos, imagined incarnations of our future selves, or just a hilarious take on the two old ladies who walk around the pond on “This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” I don’t know. In a typical NewfoundlandContinue reading “Gladys Learns the Art of Letting People Help”
Powerports, Chemo and Bambi, Oh My!
I spent most of last week wobbly and confused. For some reason I generally refused to give in to my fatigue and nausea and just lie down. Mom always said I was too nosy for my own good and, as usual, she’s right. Motherhood makes it hard to let go. When you have three kidsContinue reading “Powerports, Chemo and Bambi, Oh My!”
Quite a few years ago my husband, Asher, returned from a social gathering laughing and shaking his head. “I love the way Newfoundlanders always look on the bright side!” he said. He had overheard a story about a man who had an unfortunate accident and lost a limb. After the incident was recounted, the otherContinue reading “Some Lucky”
A Little Dose of Patience
I’ve been thinking about Doris Day since I heard about her passing this week at the age of 97. I’m envious of her longevity and daring to hope for close to the same for myself. I heard her famous rendition of “Que Sera, Sera” on CBC the other day and I’ve been singing the phraseContinue reading “A Little Dose of Patience”
Old Man Cancer, My Ass!!
Each year at our local high school the grade-twelve boys and girls are taken in separate groups into the library by the school nurse so that they can learn the steps for completing self-examinations of the breasts or testicles. Teaching people screening tools such as these that they can use at home has surely savedContinue reading “Old Man Cancer, My Ass!!”
It’s National Nursing Week
Thank a nurse today 🙂 Recently, I underwent surgery at St. Clare’s Hospital in St. John’s and I had a week-long hospital stay afterward. That was a hellish week. There were times I was writhing in pain on the bed or turning in circles in the middle of the night wringing my hands saying, “IContinue reading “It’s National Nursing Week”
Helping Others Process Emotions
As a counsellor, I am trained to use what we call an “empathic response.” Many people think that counsellors or therapists give advice, but first and foremost what we do is listen and respond with empathy. We may ask probing questions to help our client flesh out a story or an issue, but ultimately weContinue reading “Helping Others Process Emotions”