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."

January 25, 2017

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had to do a crash course in getting comfortable with the fact of cancer in my life and figuring out how to be in relation to our friends, family and colleagues. I had always been deeply uncomfortable about cancer - and have al...

January 24, 2017

[Guest Post] As I move myself to the other side of cancer treatments, I find the following post on the theme of "do you always have cancer", both timely and relevant. Kerri Morris has kindly allowed me to include her reflection.

"Do you believe that once you have c...

January 12, 2017

First breast cancer. Then, serious shoulder surgery. Would we be open about the news or not? In the end, it was a clear choice for us: to be very open about my cancer and Angie's injury and to reach out to our community. We were in the midst of an unaccustomed level of...

January 8, 2017

I found the new illness challenge overwhelming. It came as a long-term association with an organization related to my work was also concluding. I needed to create space to attend to myself and my healing. I chose to take a full medical leave. To heal on all fronts. I n...

November 22, 2016

As you may have noticed, we love our cat.

No secret. She even made onto ‘the cake’ at a work farewell.

She indicated what she’d liked to be called when we were lucky enough to see her in an Adopt-Me window over 19 years ago. She purred into my ear while nuzzling into my...

March 15, 2016

When I was first diagnosed, I received letters from a wide range of friends and colleagues – sharing their own experience.

One said “do everything the doctor tells you”; others said, “be your own advocate”. One note from a friend, a fellow breast cancer traveller convey...

February 11, 2016

[This letter was sent by Angie to our wider circle of family, friends, neighbours and colleagues.] For those of you who we have not connected with personally during the haze of the last couple of weeks, this email may bring new, sad news but also hope and an invitation...

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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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