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Wednesday’s Wonder Woman: Margaret Thatcher

I’m extraordinarily patient provided I get my own way in the end. – Margaret Thatcher

Sometimes I’ve wondered if me being sick is harder on other people than on me.

Think about it: have you ever felt it harder to watch someone go through something hard, than to go through that thing yourself?

Six years ago next Monday, I was on my hands-and-knees in the tiniest labour room at MSA General Hospital, wondering what on earth is happening to me and when in the world it would be over, and through the haze of nitrous oxide, I heard my doctor tell my husband that maybe he should take a minute outside.

I giggled. It’s called laughing gas for a reason.

But I wasn’t that surprised that he found it harder to watch me be in pain than to be in pain himself.

It’s something I see a lot in my job. Maternal grandmas get overwhelmed at their daughter’s experience; concerned dads are shocked to realize they had no idea what women went through to do this. Read more

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Exercise, Another Tool in Your Fight: A Guest Post from the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance’s David Haas

A huge welcome to those of you new to this blog. Check out the ‘About’ Page for my background and the ‘CML’ page for details on the cancer I fight. And please don’t drop in and run away! I’d love it if you said hi and told me a bit about you, either through a blog comment, on Twitter, Facebook, or by email.

Yesterday, my fabulously talented physical trainer friend posted a photo of a rather out-of-shape person attempting to jog.

The caption: It doesn’t matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping the people sitting on the couch.

So true. No matter what you do, its better than nothing.

I blogged yesterday about exercise and optimism, including my rebellious need to run up the stairs right before I’m scheduled for an echocardiogram.

There’s something so empowering about exercising, despite our limitations. It changes us, physically, mentally, and socially. It gives us resilience, confidence, and something like gumption. And though I no longer make it to the gym like I used to, I am a faithful Jillian Michaels and Insanity exerciser. I like daring myself to see how far I can challenge myself, without, of course, overdoing it.

Yes, in another life, with another body, I would be a woman’s moguls skier.

In this life, I’m merely a young mom fighting cancer. Read more

Optimism, Denial, and Echocardiograms

echocardiogram – often referred to in the medical community as an ECHO, is a sonogram of the heart, otherwise known as a cardiac ultrasound (wikipedia).

Lonna?

Yes, the lady with the dreary white lab coat and short red hair meant me. Many people assume my name should be pronounced the exotic way.

Just so you know, it’s not exotic. It rhymes with one of my less-than-favorite fruits.

As a child, I had difficulty sucking in my stomach. My ballet teacher told me I had to stop standinglike a banana.

Hmm.

Maybe that’s why I got the nickname.

(shakes head) Now is not the time to bring up childhood torments.

Back to yesterday morning.

We have to go to the second floor, lab coat lady said (I never did find out her name).

I glanced at David. We’d spent the hour-and-a-half drive to the hospital laughing and singing and thinking, hey, this might be a date.

We’ve always had less-than-traditional dates. Read more

Living the Dream

Last week, a woman died at the Occupy Vancouver site.

We’re not entirely sure why. Many believe it was a drug overdose. Some say its her own fault. Some say its the mayor’s fault. Some say it’s the richest 1%’s fault for causing her life to feel so hopeless she felt she needed that large of an escape.

I say, that large, because, how many of us don’t need an escape, from time to time?

It’s interesting that we’re so quick to attach fault and blame to events. I spoke with a few colleagues recently about how personally we take each delivery we’re a part of. If it goes well, we attribute it to ourselves. If it doesn’t, we also attribute it to ourselves. And yet there’s always a few events in life – birth, death, and all the little things in between – that don’t seem to have been anyone’s fault.

Sure, if you’re looking for it, we can attach blame to anyone, for anything. Usually I find I need to blame someone or something when I’m the most afraid or ashamed about something. When my world has been shifted significantly, I’d like to find the giant who knocked it off its curve.

Sometimes, there’s no giant though. Sometimes there’s a thousand tiny hamsters, seeming to run in different directions, that make enough scurry to move something really, really big. Read more

Wednesday’s Wonder Woman: Mary Electa Adams

‘I dread the idea of living uselessly.’ – Mary Electa Adams

Quick disclaimer: know that neither my husband nor I work for Amazon or have any connection with them.

No, really, we don’t.

Promise.

Last Christmas my husband told me he wanted a Kindle for Christmas. I scathingly told him he was flying in the face of the spirit of reading and promoting an instant-satisfaction culture. I told him the point of books over television was the media difference of paper and words versus images and screens.

He eventually capitulated, claiming he just wanted to read more and thought the Kindle would help him do that.

After my purist monologue, I thought about what he said, and did some research.

And, I bought him a Kindle for Christmas.

Considering my previous rant, he was completely surprised on Christmas Day. Read more

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