Friday, February 15, 2013

No news.......good news! news is good news.   Well there is really nothing new to report.   Tests proved to be good...the nasty beast is growing but still is not infringing on anything so the doctor wants us to 'stay the course'.   It is my decision ultimately because the turmour is operable but I for one am not interested in doing surgery again so close to the last one....August 2012.    If I don't have to it will be better in the long run to let the last incision heal and mend before cutting into it again!!!! always a bit of an oxymoron :)

As for the nausea, well we still aren't sure what's up with that.   As the doctor says the only thing we do know is that there is very little to no chance that the cancer is causing it.    He even says that there is no evidence of any blockage, adhesion etc that could be the cause.   In addition he checked the head CT scan....brain is there but nothing else!!!! :)   Essentially, it is a mystery still to be solved....but by my GP not my specialist.   OMG I never envisioned a life so involved with our medical community.....thank goodness I live in Canada and have no worries about cost....and as far as I have experienced I have had nothing but good care, timely and with compassion....I would probably be a great 'poster girl' for universal health care.

It is amazing how one's psychological health improves when you realize that the symptoms that you are experiencing are not serious or life threatening.   It is difficult at times to deal with anything new because one immediately thinks it might be something sinister....but alas.....this time I am just normally being annoyed by something that at this point is not diagnosed but also not cancer related.....yea I can deal with that. 

I want to thank everyone for all your support and prayers at this time.   I am not one to easily express what is actually going on in my life and the positive responses always surprise me.    This blog has allowed me the opportunity to be honest about what is going on without having to look into the faces of those I care about and see their concern for me.   I am not good at that , although that may surprise many who know me, plus in many ways that count I am a private person.   The one thing that I have learnt over the past couple of years is that when we are honest about our trials and troubles, there is a world of love and support out there........I have been blessed with this knowledge many times over.

So.....on Valentine's Day I have found that I am those known and unknown and that has been my blessing on this day.......Happy Love Day to everyone and blessing too!!!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

See what tomorrow brings????

Just a quick post.   Tomorrow I go to the doctor and usually I hate these appointments.   I am actually looking forward to it because I have been feeling so lousy.   I don't think there will be any earth shattering decisions made but I think it is time to have a talk about what the future (near future) holds.   

My fatigue has really started to take its toll and the damn nausea is not going away.    Also, really bad pain in the side of  my head but I think that is from clenching my jaw so tight at night that I am having muscle spasms.   It is an indication that I am more stressed that even I admit to......

So here we go again........maybe!!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Snow and Memories!

Quiet snowy winter days.    Well winter has arrived finally and I don't mind.   I guess when you live in Canada there is an expectation that it will be cold, snowy and brisk (love that word) for a period of time.   When it doesn't come, it is a little disconcerting!!!   The snow storm on Friday was just like the "old days" with lots of snow, blowing and no plows out!!!!!!  Later in the evening I had the chance to walk out and it was wonderful.  The crisp air, the clear sky and the snow up to my shins reminded me of when I was young.   We would dress up in our snow pants, scarves (we were allowed to wear them then) and double up on our mitts, grab our toboggans (wooden and waxed) and meet up with friends to go tobogganing on the golf course hill.   I am sure there would be numerous liability issues today....

Off we would go, and slide and climb for hours.   It would be 10 p.m. before I would fall in the door, rosy cheeked and exhausted.   Mom would take my soaking mitts off and take my hands in hers and blow her breath on them to warm them.   The fingers would be white on the tips and they would burn at first but it always felt good.  Then she would make a pot of tea and sit in the kitchen and listen to all the stories and mishaps that had happened.    Memories are so good to have.......especially when I have been missing my Mom and Dad so much lately.    So snowstorms bring back a time and a place that I will carry in my heart forever!!!!  We had so much fun in those days.....outside, fresh air, and no adults around!!!!!

Like life, a beautiful time once the storm has passed....glorious sunrise and frosted trees...the earth is fresh and new to greet another day.

As for health....well things are what they are.    Sleeping is still allusive but I seem to make up for it by not doing much the next day.   Last night was brutal so didn't do much today...not even Church....imagine that.    Wanted to go for a long  walk, but even the dog wasn't interested in going out.....she walked to the end of the walkway and turned no  walk for me.
Have been cooking up some new recipes from my Mom's old ones and so that has made the house smell good and my belly feel full.    Meds seem to be working relatively well, as long as I remember in the morning to take my always takes me a little while to get used to taking new pills.
I did find an new show to watch and think that I am going to become addicted to it.    It's a British show called Downton Abbey.   Got the first season and watched it all day today....loved it.   I don't have t.v so I will have to get the other seasons as they come out.    It's been a long time since I found something so interesting to watch and with such good actors ......suggest it to everyone.   I think I will have to get the movie that it was made from called Gosford Park.

Well that is all she wrote today........

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Difficult Days.......

Well this is not going to be a good post.  I usually try hard to find some positive little spin on things, and I am often successful.   Today, I don't seem to have that ability.   Maybe not sleeping very well last night has something to do with it.   

Lately, I haven't been feeling my best and have been to the doctor to see what we can do.   I have had this nausea for weeks and it is driving me crazy.   It wakes me up in the night and lasts all day.   Sort of like morning sickness with out the pregnancy!!!!!   So last week went to the GP and she prescribed something.   Saturday, I realized that I wasn't having my nausea and was thrilled.   Well it's BACK!

Woke up during the night with it and again this morning.  Drugs aren't working.   I feel like crap.   I know that the tumour is growing and that eventually I will have to deal with it...but I never felt sick before.   I had a CT scan two weeks ago for my belly and will find out the results next week....although my GP did look it up and said that the tumour is 6.1 cm x 4 cm now (compared to 3 cm a year ago)...but there is nothing else new.   So it really is positive news.    She did send me for a CT scan on my head though because with the nausea I have been experiencing headaches and that isn't a good thing.  The nausea centre is in the brain so she wants to make sure nothing is going on there.   Metastasis to the brain is extremely rare in my cancer (mind you rare seems to be my middle name) and I don't think there is anything wrong in that way.      I think the headaches are due to the fact that I don't sleep well when feeling sick and so am tired and headachey.   She agreed but said 'better safe than sorry'.

I just want to feel better.  I have absolutely no energy and am almost afraid to take a nap in the afternoon because I wake up and it's night.   Lay down one day at 3 p.m. and woke up at 8 p.m.    A little confused as to whether it was morning or night!!!!   Canada is pretty dark in the early morning :)
So am just trying to get through the day sometimes......Yoga has been helping I must admit.  It is hard to get the energy up to go sometimes.   It's in the evening and its dark, and cold, and sometimes snowy and I have the urge to hunker down and just stay warm and cozy.    BUT, when I go I am so glad because I actually feel better afterwards.   I walk to and from so I get fresh (read very cold) air and it wakes me up and stretches all my  muscles.   The nice part is I usually sleep really well that night too.   Maybe my frustration is that last night I didn't!!!!   Even yoga didn't work. 

Oh well, life sucks sometimes and then we just have to move on.   I am sure there are people in this world that are having a much more difficult day than me.   Maybe I will pray for  them and take the focus off myself.......

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Old Post......New reflections!

The following is a post that I wrote about a year ago.  I thought that it might be worth re posting because it still rings true and I am still amazed at how life evolves in the midst of the events we struggle with......

Simultaneously, a happening in our life that occurs 'at the same time' that can often be overlooked. Last night I realized that this was exactly what happened at the time I was diagnosed with cancer.

When major things happen in our lives we are so focused on them that we miss the other things that may be going on at the same time. I had this amazing revelation and know this is true because after my initial diagnoses I seemed to have gone to a place that just kept me sane enough to deal with what was happening as far as the cancer was concerned. I remember very clearly that one day about six months later I noticed a small donut shop that had always been close to my house was now a diner. I was so surprised and sure that it must have changed over night. No, friends told me its been like that for about six months!!!! There were other moments like that for a few years seems that I just wasn't noticing anything that didn't directly concern my cancer. The brain is an amazing creation and it was probably all I could do to just find my way through my own immediate life than try and assimilate the normal everyday occurrences happening all around.

The reason I write this is that last night I was made aware of another simultaneous event that took place at exactly the same time as my cancer diagnoses, but until now I never made the connection. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason and there are no coincidences. Here is what happened.

Just before June of 2001 when I would find out that I had Ovarian Cancer, a woman came into my life. She started out by offering to help me organize an event at the high school as she was on maternity leave and was coming to the high school in the fall. It was an opportunity for her to re-enter the work arena on a volunteer basis, get her children used to her being out of the house periodically, and meet some of the students she would be teaching in the fall. We became fast friends. Over the past 10 1/2 years our friendship has blossomed into almost a sister relationship and I feel very much a part of her family. Through her I have come to know the most wonderful group of people and they have been the backbone of my support over the years. Each one has brought something into my life, usually initially through their children. Not working and being a little older allowed me to become sort of the universal babysitter for the various couples. These relationships now though are more than what I have ever had with a group of friends. Last night we celebrated our Christmas dinner and there was 20 of us who ate, drank, laughed, talked, hugged and just enjoyed each others company before heading off to celebrated Christmas with our various families. This is the second year that we have done a planned Christmas dinner. We usually meet as a group of women once a month regularly and at this time we allow the men to join us!!!!

Simultaneously, God gave me what I was going to need to deal with my disease, and the new life that it would entail. I have in my life the most wonderful people. The second event that happened not immediately after but because of the situation I found myself in, not being able to work due to my illness, is the knitting group. Now I have friends who mainly live a similar lifestyle as myself with days that include many other things besides going to work. I have a part time job because of the knitting which has allowed me to get to know many more people I again would never have met otherwise. My life as evolved in a way that I would never have imagined, but until now I don't think I ever realized that it was evolving at the 'same time' I was dealing with my disease.

So, what's the moral of this story. I guess when we find ourselves in times of struggle, sadness, and perhaps just overwhelmed by parts of life maybe we should take a minute and see what is going on simultaneously. Our lives are always multi-faceted and we must never ignore the whole picture by being too focused on the parts.

Simultaneously to receiving my cancer diagnoses my life was exploding in blessings that still exist today, as does the cancer.......what an interesting life I have and I wouldn't change it for anything!

Friday, February 1, 2013


So today is February 1st.   It has been a memorable day for the past 24 years due to the fact that I gave birth to my beautiful daughter on January 31 that many years ago.    Amazing how time flies!

I remember 11 years ago, when she turned 13, I thought I might be celebrating my last birthday with her....and here we are 2013.    I have learnt that no matter what we think we know, the one thing we don't know is what is going to happen tomorrow.   Living each day is the best thing we can do.   Worrying about tomorrow or the 'what if'  only takes away from the actual time we do have to live. Being present to the NOW, means that no matter what happens we lived.

  I must admit this way of thinking did not come immediately and still is allusive at times. The main point is that I try and have done so since I was diagnosed.  When we celebrated her birthday so many years ago, I made a decision that presents, gifts and material things were not as important as memories of the day.   That year we went to Toronto and saw the Lion was incredible and I have vivid memories of each thing we did that day......a material gift would have been long gone by now....but the memories are a gift that keeps on giving.  Yesterday was another one of those days.    We had a small party, with balloons ( I hate balloons and never wanted her to have now she is old enough!), good food, great laughs, people who meant alot to us of all ages (the three year old made it really fun).   It is amazing how children can bring out the fun in all of us......even when they turn 24!!!!   So more memories to store for those times when I need a lift. 

The other neat thing is that the whole meal was gluten free.    I made the most amazing lasagna with rice noodles, Cesar salad with gluten free croutons and a home made ice cream cake!   So one of the memories is how good the food tasted (if I do say so myself) and how full I was afterwards :)

So, I shared another birthday and for that I am grateful.   Now if I could just find someone to come in and clean up I could just sit back and relive the memory!!!!!!