Personal Pain

Am I allowed to feel a moment of personal pain?  I feel guilty expressing my pain when it pales in comparison to other’s pain. The pain of Humbolt.  The pain of Toronto. The pain on the other sides of those stories.  The pain of the truck driver.  What kind of pain did Alek Minassian feel…

Mind the Gap

In search of peace of mind … I’ve tried everything.  Meditation.  Mindfulness.  Mindless drugs and mind-numbing alcohol.  Yoga.  Sex.  Music. Mindfulness and meditation are two sides of the same coin … they share similarities, yet they have different approaches. Meditation predates prayer in religion, originating as sounds and chants or mantras. Mindfulness is the act…

It Can Always Be Worse

My feet suddenly slid out from under me, and I crashed down to ground with a “thud”.  Stunned, I sat in the thick mud puddle, trying to figure out what the hell happened.  Did I break anything?  My legs were splayed out to the side and my left hand was buried in the sludge on…

Chemo Brain

At first, I thought it was just the acute stress of my Triple Negative Breast Cancer diagnosis.  February 7th … I was on a train heading home, leaning my head against the freezing rain splattered window and crying.  My GP had called the day before and said they had an appointment for me to see…

Yin & Yang in Autumn

Are you familiar with the concept of Yin and Yang?  Chinese philosphy describes it as the duality of life.  Opposite forces which are really just different sides of the same coin: Dark to Light Female to Male Contracting to Expanding Cold to Hot Water to Fire Earth to Heaven Good to Evil The two contradictory…

The Resilience Factor

While once having a deep and philosophical 5-hour telephone conversation with a potential date, we discussed the role of resilience in our lives. He had suffered huge losses. Marriage breakdown with a wife from Japan who wanted to go back, and take their 10-year-old daughter with her. He loved them both enough to say yes….

Thanks Chester … I owe you more than one life …

In the words of my 19-year-old son “This is the first celebrity death that truly affects me personally.” Me too, Kiddo. When I was Numb from the pain, fear and confusion in my abusive relationship, my world closed in around me … and Chester was there to put the words to my silent scream.  I…

Friends With Cancer

This blog entry has been guest authored by my friend Sherri, whom I love with all my heart.  She has been by my side since my cancer journey started … understands me best since she has seen a similar road … and taps me on the shoulder when she has something to say … I…

Taxol on my Nerves

I’m an adventurous person.  I’ll try anything twice. Most of my childhood summer weekends were spent in rural Vermont.  My Father would arrive home from work on Friday night, grab a quick sandwich for dinner, and we would pile into the car for the over two-hour drive from the south shore of Montreal, Quebec. to…

Don’t Tell Me How to Feel

Would you tell someone that it’s great their son only lost his arm rather than die in a car accident? Say “Oh my God! That is fucking fantastic that you just have epileptic seizures!  Better than brain damage or worse!” No?  Then why tell me how to feel about my cancer and my life? Why…

Stage IV

What is your favourite season? What is your most favourite thing to do in that season? What is something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t yet done? What is your biggest wish? Now close your eyes and imagine you’ve just been told you have Stage IV cancer and only 6 months to live. What…

(Ir)+rational fears

I have this reoccurring nightmare that my PICC line will bleed out.  The nurses tell me that it can’t happen because there is a valve that prevents the backflow of blood … but what if the line is severed?  As in a car accident?  May as well slice my neck. The nightmare has me slowly…