Monday, March 24, 2014

Solidarity for a friend fighting breast cancer

The ability to effectively demonstrate empathy is an important factor in supporting a friend's healing process.

What these ladies do is a fine example of sticking up for someone you care about. Watch how they made a startling difference here.




Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Breast cancer mum defies Facebook backlash


Beth Whaanga has the same diagnosis as Pace. She's also had people take issue with her public stand on Breast Cancer. She's also taken it one step further and I commend her bravery of taking her message on prevention to Facebook.

This brought back some memories. When we posted pictures of Pace`s body and scaring after her surgeries, some people were upset. The issue people had was nudity equals sexual except that the the photos were of the ravages of beating cancer. 

Stay strong and God bless you Beth.

Breast cancer mum defies Facebook backlash


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Then Reality TV Came a-Calling


Pascale stared in a program called "Grin and Build It". A lot of people told us that we were great, I had a supporting role, it was an entertaining episode.

Here is a snippit. Hope you like it.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another "Clean" Report

Pace saw her onconogist yesterday and all of the results of the MRI, organ and bone, bloodwork and other scans are back from the labs. Everything is all clear.

She asked me if I had been worried
"No." I replied because we have been going through the sames testing process every 6 months for 3 years. I'd rather not borrow trouble.

There has also been nothing physically nor spiritually that was making me uneasy. However, I would be lying if I said that there is no post-traumatic stress response when I go to pick her up from the hospital and see her in a hospital gown. I compartmentalize the feeling but it is still there. I just don't think Pace needs to see it.

Just another example of our "normal".

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A year already

Time flies.

A year ago today I had one of my last suppers with Pace's Mom France.

It was a great evening, her birthday and my first day at a new job. She said her present was that I would be bringing Pace and the wee one back to Montréal.

Pace felt bad that she had not been there but her Mom said that her prayers were answered and that she was very happy that things are working out for the better.

We miss you France.

Robert

Saturday, May 31, 2008

So the diagnosis is....

Three abdominal pain episodes later, Pace finally went to the clinic on Monday. Three doctors look at her and decide she's having an appendicitis attack. So Pace calls me and I end up taking her to emergency.

It's not like I am living Zen moments and this is an isolated stressor. I'm in a five day countdown to the launch of a major IT initiative at work, I've got pending communications to get out and 50 people to get through training in 3 days. Then there's the mortgage negotiations...

Just to make life more interesting, Pace still does not have a Quebec Medicare card. It's been 9 months since the process started. While Pace could have been more proactive it is a case of Bureaucrats gone wild!

I have to leave Pace at the hospital and luckily the Godmother came over to baby-sit the wee one. The docs rule out a bladder infection but are stumped about the pains and decide to keep her overnight. A day later they are still puzzled so they discharge her!


So I call the Doctor back and ask him what I should tell the wee one to do if her Maman collapses from pain in the middle of the grocery store. He made an appointment for Pace to see an internalist. So while we do not have a diagnosis, the process continues just because of the sales philosophy if you don't ask for the sale you probably won't get it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

... and if it's not that, call your oncologist

Pace has been getting gut pains recently. Not the IBS that she's suffered from since I've known her. Something different in the lower right abdomen; "I have to go lie down pain." That's how bad it is.

So she goes to our local health center who says... it’s probably not appendicitis but I recommend you get a test done for a urinary tract infection, and if it's not that, call your oncologist.

Few things set me off quite like the catch all diagnoses, that usually conclude with "cancer could be the answer" thrown in for good measure and malpractice insurance. I'd rather not borrow trouble, thanks all the same.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Unreasonable fear of the unexpected...


Late this morning my cell phone started beeping at me that I had a message. I checked the call log and saw that it was my parents had called. Then as I get back to my desk there is a message on my voice mail, from an outside caller, from my parent’s number. I get worried by multiple pings.

My parents haven't called me at work for years unless it was serious. Given the pressure of my project at the moment I was bit apprehensive. Then again my parents’ calling me at work was always welcome but occasionally awkward.

At my first real software job after university Joanie our receptionist at QW Page would call over the intercom "Bob... It's your mother, line one!" The only thing that made that less embarrassing was when Joanie would announce. Peter Ross it's your therapist, line two... Thank God we're too conservative at my company for those kind of antics.

I know why I fear the worst. After all Pace, the wee one and I have been through I can rationalize my justifications. My head swims when my parents call me at work. It shouldn't, but it does.

As it turns out my parents were eating lunch and across the street and eight stories down there were some big CAT machines working on the road opposite their condo. Of the many machines Mom only knew the backhoe by name but it made me smile. Before she said goodbye she said "We miss you Bob."

I miss you too Mom and Dad.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Riding for cancer

So here is something to look forward to. My friend Brian has been training for a ride to raise finds for cancer research. Considering the most exercise Brian and partake in is raising beers, this is a good thing.

He committed to getting in shape to complete this 200km ride. I really nver thought I'd hear aabout him going out cycling in -4C in February. Hey try it in -25 ya Ontario wuss.

I gotta praise his attitude. Brian says "I encourage you to donate now and not to wait. Your donation goes directly and immediately to the Princess Margaret, so sooner truly is better. Don’t worry, I’ll be doing the ride, and you get the added benefit of being able to harass me about how hard I’m training and whether you’re getting your money’s worth out of me."

He has a fundraising goal to $10,000. Brian is a guy who makes a difference.

Click here to visit Brian Bourne's personal page at the weblink below. If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:http://www.conquercancer.ca/site/TR/Events/Toronto2008?px=1510118&pg=personal&fr_id=1201&et=PQwCI9uqElDwaSRKyV1DkQ..&s_tafId=108982

Monday, December 17, 2007

Celebrating 65 Years of Life







France will always be remembered by the people that knew her as a woman of love, strength and conviction.
Pace is understandably upset over her mothers death. France had beaten breast cancer for 7 years and it came back with a vengence. It's a scary thing.
France, we know that you are an angel riding along in Charlemans Wagon. God bless us all

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"I Run for Life"

So I am listening to the radio today and this song , "I Run for Life" by Melissa Etheridge comes on. I've heard about it but never hunted it down. And while it great song, the poignancy of it's lyrics and a melody in the key of E force open the emotions and the memories. The only thing that this reminds me of is smelling a dentist's office and the sound of the drill...


"I Run for Life"

It's been years since they told her about it
The darkness her body possessed
And the scars are still there in the mirror
Every day that she gets herself dressed
Though the pain is miles and miles behind her
And the fear is now a docile beast,
If you ask her why she is still running,
She'll tell you it makes her complete

I run for hope, I run to feel
I run for the truth for all that is real
I run for your mother, your sister, your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run life

It's a blur since they told me about it
How the darkness had taken its toll
And they cut into my skin
And they cut into my body
But they will never get a piece of my soul

And now I'm still learning a lesson
To awake when I hear the call
And if you ask me why I am still running
I'll tell you I run for her soul

I run for hope, I run to feel
I run for the truth for all that is real
I run for your mother, your sister, your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run life

Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh
Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh
Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh
Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh

And someday if they tell you about it
If the darkness knocks on your door
Remember her, remember me
We will be running as we have before
Running for answers, running for more

I run for hope, I run to feel
I run for the truth, for all that is real
I run for your mother, your sister, your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run for hope, I run to feel
I run for the truth, for all that is real
I run for your mother, your sister, your daughter, your wife
For you and me my friend
I run for life

Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh

I run for your mother, your sister, your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run for life

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pace's Mom's Cancer prognosis and dealing with the emotional reprecussions

On Monday the 17th of September, the doctors told France that she has secondary bone and liver cancer.

It means that the cancer is not originating in the bone or the liver cells but is cancer that has spread from another part of her body. The doctors determined that she's had relapse and that cancer cells that have spread to her liver and that are growing on her bones are the same pathology as her breast cancer from 7 years ago.

Pace and I, and most obviously France and "the Rock" are most definitely going through the spectrum of emotions that come with catastrophic news; denial, anger, bargaining, depression; all with the hope of coming to acceptance.

As we battled Breast cancer with Pace I discovered the he trick is to know that you're going to go through a rage of negative feelings and keeping them in perspective is paramount to functioning normally. Emotional pain is a tough one especially if you can not forgive yourself or others. I try to understand why I feel a certain way, and if the emotional pain is due to any of my unresolved or unprocessed issues.

Still it feels like from out of the blue, we're into the fire.The doctors are mobilizing but the speed of the health system always seems glacial.The family is rallying as well. France we're here to fight this with you.

Monday, September 17, 2007

6 weeks of normal is over

As you surmised from the previous post, we've picked ourselves up and reinvented ourselves in West Montreal. However, some things can not be bought or traded for, like a normal life.

Pace gave me the news of her mom France's biopsy results today.

The stains on her bones are breast cancer cells that have metastasised into the skeleton, eating the bone weakening the vertebra. The pelvic girdle is covered up to her ribcage, portions of her skull have been attacked and her right femur is covered as well.

The cells are stage 4; there is no stage five. I knew things were not good when the doctors delicately talk about long term, prospects but stepped around the issue of short term chances of survival. They talked about painkillers: Dilodyl, morphine patches, Tylenol and oh yeah you might want to consider palliative care for managing her pain. The palliative care comment drove the point home.

Pace went out and spent 80$ on a shopping therapy session. Even if she wanted to see a family therapist the waiting list is over a year long. Vianne played with the neighbours and Pace went to spend the day with her mother.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

getting good news and building a new nest

During Pace's latest trip to the doctor he told her to stop worrying. They got the cancer out of her and that she should focus on raising a daughter and loving her husband. Yeah Pace, pour some sugar on me baby.

Pace is getting aquainted to the new neighborhood and decorating our new home. I love my new job. A big portion of it is change management. It makes me laugh case change really doesn't phase me like it used to.