A Breast Cancer Year

In February 2016 I was diagnosed with locally advanced stage II breast cancer. As we gathered ourselves to meet that challenge, my spouse fell on an icy driveway, shattering her shoulder. She required major surgery on the same day as I began chemotherapy. Together - two abreast - we navigated a year of treatment and recovery. This blog collects my writing through our experience. As of June 2020, we are both recovered and thriving - grateful for each new day and the people and resources in our lives.  

Over the months of treatment, I have been writing regular emails to our extended community of friends, family and colleagues. These are collected in The Letters. I have also been writing about meeting and managing various breast cancer treatments. These reflections on treatment and my tactics/tips are gathered in On Treatment. In the Sustenance section, I share ideas for care of the self and soul, and give examples of how our community of friends, family and colleagues surrounded us in their care. I also include some Resources. The Index page lists all of the blog postings and provides an additional way of navigating the blog. To learn more about who we are, go to About Us.

"What a staggering tangle of self and mutual care the two of you have been through and come through."

"What a wonderful writer you are - sassy, funny, pragmatic, indomitable, ‎and wise."

"You are a most faithful and a most informative correspondent."

April 15, 2018

You've received a diagnosis of breast cancer (or a friend has): now what? Some information to help you navigate the early days.

February 26, 2016

Do you know ‘in your body’ that you have cancer?

It isn’t completely true to say that it was a routine mammogram. I doggedly followed up with the Montfort Hospital around its scheduling. My first appointment ‘offer’ was May 22, 2016, revised to April 22. “Not soon enoug...

February 8, 2016

One day, unaware of cancer; the next day, in the middle of a 'scare', enroute to a potential crisis. How to manage these early days?

The First News: Suspicious Mammogram or UltraSound

If you’re concerned going into your mammogram or ultrasound (as I was actually), take s...

February 6, 2016

[A letter to close friends as news of my diagnosis evolved].

Dear friends, thank you for your immediate, loving support after we shared the news that my ‘bad' mammogram and ultra sound looked like breast cancer. We feel safe as we begin this journey. As Angie has said...

Please reload

tulips feb 16
iris print small
river fall
About Us

On January 22, 2016 I went for a mammogram, to confirm that a lump in my right breast was a cyst. It was. And it saved my life. Because I was overdue for my breast screening, imaging was also done on my left breast  The mammogram and ultrasound came back “highly suspicious” for breast cancer...

Read More


Search by Tags
Note: When choosing a tag, the site will scroll to the top of the page and then transition to display all posts under the selected tag.
Please reload

© 2016 Brettel Dawson. Created with Wix.com