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”

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”

Some Lucky

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”

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”