Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Cancer Diaries’

Fear Not

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. – H.P. Lovecraft

Life was trickling along happily this summer.

And then September came.

September is a cruel month, for kids and moms. The shopping, planning, early mornings, and fights over what to wear (I think that’s a girl thing), shocks us all out of the lazy, hazy days of summer.

September was even more cruel this year, since summer didn’t start until August 3rd, or so, and peaked just after Labour Day.

But a week into Grade One, we heard Noelle had – miraculously – gotten a spot at the fine arts school, a place I just knew would be right for her, a place I thought it would take years to get her into.

She started her new school in Level 2 reading. A week and a half later, she was in Level 5.

Right now, she’s reading Amelia Bedelia to us at bedtime.

So when this mid-September school change hump was past, I started to get comfortable. I started to think, this is it. I started to believe my life – and Noelle’s, and David’s, and even little Elliana’s – would be light years better.

David is snickering right now, because just this morning we argued over the meaning of the phrase ‘light year.’ Read more

Advertisements

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

Wednesday’s Wonder Woman: Elliana Meredith

So, last weekend the thought occurred to me that this ‘prolactinoma’ they’re wondering if I have – which would be evidenced by high prolactin levels – could actually be something else. Something very different. Something very happy.

There was a simple way to find out.

I took a test.

And, for a moment, it looked positive.  Then, I noticed something else.

Must have been a false positive. Because I was definitely NOT pregnant.

But when I told all this to David, I paused in between the false positive and the NOT pregnant part. His face contorted in a mixture of horror and humor.

‘Well, our babies have never really been, um… planned.’ he said.

He’s right.

Noelle was a pleasant surprise. Elliana was a whirlwind of, oh, this again, already?

And when I look back on it, Elliana may have been the trigger that made me really sick. Read more

Game On

Welcome to the roller coaster that is now my life.

Buckle up. Keep all hands and arms inside the vehicle. I promise the ride will be bumpy, twisted, and upside down.

Good. Now that I’ve warned you, let me tell you about my week.

I’ve seen four different doctors. I’ve been to BC BioMed Labs three times. And, so far I may have one or more of the following four illnesses: pulmonary hypertension/heart failure, hypothyroidism, cervical cancer, or my favorite, pituitary tumor.

All are possible, the last three are likely. And they may all be related to the last one: a tumor in my pituitary gland.

Technically, pituitary tumor is not cancer. Nor is it a brain tumor. It’s called pituitary adenoma, a slow-growing tumor in the pituitary gland that messes up all of the body’s hormones, causing things like hypothyroidism and a host of reproductive issues, including the iron-deficiency anemia that I’ve already been diagnosed with.  Depending on its size, it’s often not operated on; best treatment is usually through medication.

It’s also often never even diagnosed. Read more

Control, Defiance, and Joy

I meant to blog on Friday.

But then I got a phone call – from my oncologist’s office.

Yeah, those usually aren’t too fun. Oncologists are – unfortunately – busy people. No news is good news, they say. And its true. If they’re calling you, then, well, something’s up.

Or down, as the case may be.

This time, there was something down. I blogged on Wednesday about having microcytic anemia (low hemoglobin due to small red blood cells). I’d had a Ferritin level blood test (iron levels) done on Tuesday, to see if the low hemoglobin was due to low iron. If it wasn’t, then we had to consider that I might be sicker than we had thought.

But, it was low. 6, to be precise. Normal is 20-100, so yes, I’m a bit iron-deficient.

Good news, right? Because then I can just take iron supplements to correct the problem.

Or, maybe not. Read more

Wednesday’s Wonder Woman:The Original, Canadian “Bones”

Week after week I pillage Google for inspiring women to write about. And, I always wonder, where are all the Canadians?

Despite the stereotype that Canadians are ‘nice’ and ‘polite,’ Canadian women are more fire and ice than most. Back a few months, when our hockey team was playing San Jose, a number of San Jose fans trolled Canucks forums, saying things like, ‘our chicks are hotter than yours.’

Typical smack talk, and all part of the fun of sports fandom, I know. But, I was pretty impressed that MORE than a few male Canuck fans jumped on that comment. ‘We grow ’em pretty, gritty, and smart up here.’

We do.

So, where are all the Canadian heroines?

I don’t mean famous people. I don’t mean rock stars or actresses. I don’t mean songwriters or athletes.

Though, we do have a few of those that make my Canadian heart swell with pride.

I mean women who otherwise would not be known except that they dared to do what others said was impossible.

And then, this week, I found these two great books by Merna Forster: 100 Canadian Heroines, and 100 More Canadian Heroines: Famous and Forgotten Faces.

The first is promoted by our only female Prime Minister, Kim Campbell: “The term ‘weaker sex’ should make one’s blood boil after reading this book,” she says.

The second, released just this month, writes about a woman whose name is so boring, but life so interesting, I had to direct attention her way.

Bones fans? You might want to pay attention here. Read more

%d bloggers like this: