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."

August 7, 2016

Because I had at least one positive lymph node, I was given the choice to do chemotherapy first and did so. I believe this is becoming standard of care. In this post, I set out how I approached chemotherapy and the various strategies I used to mitigate (or at least min...

July 31, 2016

Although I took a very proactive approach to managing chemotherapy, I chose not to seek out formal complementary or integrative cancer care during chemotherapy (for example, as offered by the Ottawa Integrative Care Centre). Some friends have done so and found it helpf...

July 9, 2016

[A letter to a cousin.] Just sitting with my Saturday morning Java and reading the papers. A pleasure at the end of a week. I’ve been very conscious that it’s taken me a while to write to you about my thoughts on getting cancer and my choice concerning treatment. I kno...

May 14, 2016

It’s good to re-emerge and say hello again. The last month has gone by in a flash as the tortoise might say to the hare. Meanwhile, the trilliums are out in the woods. The poppies are beginning their long growth to their single day of flowering glory. The rose bushes a...

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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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