missed milestones (by Laurie)

December 3, 2009

This  year, two dates –  November 24th (the anniversary of my diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer) and December 2nd (the anniversary of the night I found the first lump) – came and went without causing me the anxiety of previous years. I noted both events in passing, took the time to breathe deeply and be grateful, and then got on with my day.

It’s been four years since I found the lump. It’s been three since the cancer spread to my liver. And it’s been two and a half years since my first clean scan.

I had an appointment with my oncologist yesterday. I had nothing to tell him. He said, “Shall we keep dragging you in here every few months just to say ‘hi’?”

I readily agreed.

I have chemo next week. They’ve been building a new treatment centre for what seems like years. I have often jokingly pointed in the direction of the new building and said, “They’re building that for me.”

Yesterday, I discovered that the new building is open and the chemo room has been moved. No more listening to the sounds of construction during treatment. No more listening to the intimate details of the constitutional issues of the patient beside me. There will be a little more light and a little more room and hopefully, a little less noise.

I’m kind of excited.

And yes, that is somewhat ironic. I have lived long enough to be excited about getting chemo in the new building.


my husband’s chest

November 11, 2009

You don’t need to tell me how lucky I am.

I have a roof over my head, great medical care and I’m surrounded by people who love me.

And don’t think I forget how very lucky I am to be alive at all. Why did I get to go into remission? Why me? I am indeed very fortunate.

But there are times when I do feel sad that I will never put this cancer behind me. I feel the toll ongoing treatment takes on my body and my emotional well being.

So last night I stood in my kitchen, with my head on my husband’s chest (we say we were built for each other. My head lands flat on his chest and tucks under his chin). He put his arms around me and we just stood there, breathing together.

He didn’t need to say anything. He understood my frustration. Only a few hours before I was finallly feeling sharp and healthy and energized. And then, after chemo, I stood in his arms, feeling sick and more than a little shaky.

He didn’t remind me how lucky I am.

But I know it.


routine anxiety

September 8, 2009

In less than 48 hours, I made a total of three trips to the General Hospital last week for tests and an appointment with my oncologist (I toyed with the idea of staying at the hospital all day one day but, with 4 and half hours between appointments, I chose to come home. This meant an extra bike ride up the really big hill that is Smythe Rd but I chose that as the lesser of two evils. Also, it’s reassures me enormously that I can meet that kind of physical challenge).

These appointments will probably never stop making me anxious but I this week they really stressed me out, perhaps because the timing was so compressed.

On Thursday morning, I had an echo-cardiogram.

That afternoon, I saw the oncologist (My appointment was set a week earlier than it usually is in the cycle and his nurse insisted that I come in for the appointment, as opposed to calling in. I had no evidence to back this up, but I became irrationally convinced that I was being called in to hear bad news of some kind – perhaps that my oncologist was breaking up with me or quitting medicine. Or moving to Florida. Or something).

And Friday morning, I had a CT scan.

All of these things are just a routine part of my life. But I don’t think they will ever feel routine to me.

Cross-posted (sort of) from Not Just About Cancer.


A different kind of good-bye

December 8, 2008

Every few days I peruse the other MotherswithCancer personal blogs. I am still trying to get to know everyones personal stories and it is so interesting to read all of the things going on in everyones lives. Yesterday I made a stop at PunkRockMommy’s blog and I felt many emotions surface again. The message was to inform all of her readers that the blog will be no more. I spent some time reading all of the comments and feeling many of the same emotions as written. It is another good-bye, a different kind. This internet is a funny thing. We can feel like we know someone, like we have new friendships where we otherwise would probably never have. We can share in people’s joy from afar, but also read of their pain and hopefully learn from both.

My personal feeling is that it would be good for so many others “out there” to hear about how Andrea’s children are doing, how their lives progress, to see the influence that she had and will continue to have in them plays out.  But I understand that they need to live their lives, to move forward, to live their new normal. One reader commented on turning all of her posts into a book, such a great idea.

So I guess my message today is take a minute, visit her blog and pay your respects…


friend as client or client as friend

September 18, 2008

The bell rang and I just thought it was my nanny forgetting her keys again, but no. There before my eyes was a dear friend that I had not seen in months. Later that same week my girlfriend I call Roomie called and had a watershed moment. Not a moment could be found after that, about wanting to get on the first plane to the states, because I missed my room-mate so dearly.

Just when I was feeling lonely because my silly little car had a flat tire and I did not have the strength to turn a lug nut. I waited out side my door for the road service person. While the gentleman fixed my flat tire, along strolls my Irish friend with a big hug and a how are you.  I retort: Fine, what are you doing in my neck of the woods today? She said:Didn’t you remember you have physical therapy. I said yes I just don’t know who is going to show up. She and I had a good laugh, because it was her. She is officially my new physical therapist. She said there was something great about having a friend as a client or was it client as a friend. Either way it was a win win situation for both of us.

I thanked the AAA road service gentleman, and we were on our way to have a good catch up chat  during the treatment and knowing that she gets paid to visit and I have a constant time to see her weekly. It’s a perfect situation. I am so happy I could burst!


Stick to your goals!

September 10, 2008

Do not alter your ambitions to match the ambitions of others. Stick to your goals! Well that was my Horror-scope today, and as I screen through what other mom bloggers are writing about, I ponder if my blog is interesting enough or down right stale.

I hear the school children play baseball in the park below my house and I stop for more than a few moments and enjoy the sounds of cheering children, cheering for their classmates and fellow team members. Then I am really drawn in as if it is the world series, I found myself cheering.

Then it struck me…

This is my goal. Not only do I want to blog about breast cancer, but I also want to cheer for the other players- IE. researcher, docs and specialists and I want to be drawn in enough to find myself cheering for each and every individual on the field of cancer… people like  the children below in the park.

So I am taking the plunge and agreed to read the contract for Trusera. I hope to start cheering /blogging as soon as possible. For those who have be following this process, thanks for your input. I will look out for all the pitfalls that are suggested.


flying high on the good news

September 8, 2008

http://cancervisa.wordpress.com/2008/07/14/blood-levels-are-up-and-my-tumor-markers-are-down/

More good news, tumor marker only 52 point off of what is considered normal.  25 is normal, I have 77. I just wanted to share and spread the love and joy I am feeling. I can’t wait to let my family know that their diligent prayers are working!