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.

April 11, 2016

Until our dual challenges of cancer and injury, we had little contact with the Quebec health system and its resources. That rapidly changed! And, we have been impressed by the range of services and the quality of care offered to us. So, the message of self-care here is...

March 14, 2016

One day, the humdrum concerns of work; the next day, cancer. Suddenly cast into a new system with a great deal at stake. A new team of doctors to meet. A raft of appointments and tests.  Results to assimilate. Decisions to make. Informed consent to give. Knowledge fiel...

February 10, 2016

Before I was diagnosed, both Angie and I had a family physician in Ottawa who we’d seen occasionally over twenty years. I’d had one visit to the Wakefield Hospital emergency room when I’d had a ‘technical mishap’ assembling a squirrel-proof bird feeder system and neede...

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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...

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