Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pay Forward

(Photo: Two more reasons to count my blessings.)

My wrist, index finger and thumb is still numb but the news sounds hopeful. My trusty remover of all things lumpy (aka nice doctor) removed the nasty little lump on my left wrist this morning in hospital and has sent the remnants away for biopsy. The results will be ready in about a week but at this point I am not sweating over it (my surgically induced menopausal hot flashes make me sweat enough as it is!) The doc said that he thinks it looks okay and the suspicious lump may be a bloodclot, which is naught to fret about. We'll wait and see when the report comes back. Meanwhile I am glad that is over. My energy meter is registering a little higher today, although my speeds are more like dead slow and stop.

I actually shouldn't be typing right now because the freezing is starting to come out and I am feeling the tingle and a bit of soreness. I'll be hitting the meds in a moment I am sure. But I did want to keep things up to date on here. I'll be sorry later, I am sure.

Gilles said he will help me remove the sutures (all three) in about a week, so that should be an interesting afternoon. Maybe he can wear his 'Handyman' shirt. There's not a lot he won't try (except maybe changing grandbaby diapers!) :) Thank goodness he is always there for me - no matter what crazy notion I may be entertaining or endless 'to-do' list I may have created on any given day.

Again this week, we are so thankful to have had all sorts of angels praying and helping us. The 'Hauser Catering Service' was once again in full force right after my chemo - we are starting to lose count of how many splendid full course meals Rick and Darlene have lovingly prepared and sent our way. How blessed we are to have them as friends.

And then there have been more casseroles appearing in our fridge (thanks Ann and Bill), cookies on the counter, cards in the mailbox and many phonecalls, e-mails and more. We've had muffins and loaves delivered, our chief garden angel was on duty again this week and the prayers from friends and family have been so needed and appreciated. What a joy to live in such a caring community and to see people really walk the talk.

I've often had trouble accepting help - likely due to my 'I can do it myself' mentality,. So this has been a big learning experience for me. I love how God teaches us lessons. So how do we repay all this? What do we do to make up for all this spoiling and loving; for all the kindness and encouragement?

Darlene (my 'adopted' little sister) gave me a good bit of advice that I will never forget. "Pay Forward..." she said. Sound advice wrapped up in two little words.

Pay forward is different than paying back. I love the concept and the practice can be wholly rewarding to the heart, body and soul. Jesus worked on that Pay Forward principal - love thy neighbour.

We hope that somehow we can be as sensitive as you have been. I don't know how we wil ever be able to pay forward 100% but we can begin by paying attention to God's nudges.

Meanwhile, thanks to you for caring and loving us through all this madness and mayhem.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Short and Sweet and Not Very Neat

(Photograph: Perth County Road 119...Though the road up ahead is filled with stormy weather, I will continue to place my trust in You, Lord.)

Well I made it through another round of chemotherapy. Thursday, August 21st heralded my 4th episode. Two more to go before the big 'home free' announcement. It seems my get up and go has got up and left. My energy level is grinding to a halt so I am going to just listen to the signals and behave accordingly, if I can over these next few days. It's funny how the mind races when the body slows. At least that is with me. Of course I have trouble sitting still at the best of times but sitting still with God is a good way for me to slow down my motor.

Last night I wrote a facebook message to someone very close to me. We had been discussing the fine art of my situation as it relates to my attitude towards God. As I was responding to some of her comments, I started thinking about how God is too big to try to figure out. Our thoughts are not His thoughts. We are merely specks of dust compared to Him who created us. As it says in Psalm 139:13-15 (Paraphrased because my memory isn't good) You formed my inward parts and knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because you are fearful and wonderful. Your works are great, too. You know me well and my frame was not hidden from you when I was being formed in secret.

Even though we are as a grain of sand, God doesn't see us that way because He values every single one of us. We are unique creatures with a unique purpose in this short life. My job is to live by faith and to recognize God's hand in every aspect of my life. I am trying.

I cling to the promise Jesus made to not leave me comfortless. I sense the Holy Spirit so much in my life lately. Oh, there are times I question and wonder. But there are more times when I feel that peace of God that passeth all understanding.

Didn't I say that this was going to be short and sweet...? Before I go, Tuesday I am being taxied to the Palmerston Hospital by my dearly beloved happy hubby (Gilles) to get my hand amputated [just checking to see if you are paying attention!:)] Actually that silly little 'lumpette' is being removed. If it is all fluid, as Dr. Donald suspects, then we are home free. The ultrasound was indicating that there may be some indication of solid material which would mean it would have to be biopsied which is not a good thing. I am voting for door number 1. We'll see. Meanwhile I journey on with Jesus as my Comforter and you as my encouragers. Thanks for caring. Love Glynis - who is about to go pop her pills and settle in for the night.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Today I receieved a telephone call from the oncology nurse at the cancer clinic. My nice Doctor Lanvin had apparently just returned from his holidays and had read the report of the ultrasound - the one done on August 5th on the little bumpy thing on my wrist. Well it turns out that wretched little bumpy thing is sporting some solid material and requires further investigation. Since my gynecology doc doesn't work on limbs...I have to see another "body part" specialist. So the long and the short of it is that I am going to the medical clinic tomorrow to have a chat with dear Dr. Donald MD. I have to go see him first in order to get a referral to a specialist. Sweet nurse, Shirley knows I am going for my next round of chemo on Thursday so she used her charm, wit and influence and squeezed me in tomorrow on short notice. She's a good gal. So we'll see what's in store there.

So the neat part of my day was definitely not that news. But there was a neat part.

After I got off the phone with nurse Kay from the cancer clinic, I got a little emotional when I told Gilles about it. Then for some reason I went to look for Mom's poem. I went to my purse to retrieve it. Just to back up a little, this poem was one that Mom had in her wonderful repetoire of memorized verses. It is a special poem written in her handwriting and up until last week, we did not even know that it existed. Dad called me up all excited because he had found it quite by accident in the office drawer downstairs. (We had thought it was lost forever when Mom died. We had no clue that she had written it down anywhere.)

Dad asked me to take it home and fancy it up and put it in a frame for him. I did take it home to do just that. But I was devastated a few short hours ago because I could not find it. I searched all over the place for a long time and shed a few tears. I even looked in my Bible. Then I stopped (got still) and prayed and asked Jesus to help me find it. I know it sounds bonkers and wonderful and maybe even a tad unbelievable, but God led me back to the Bible. I found it there. Now I am kicking myself for not looking at the page where I I found it. Did I miss a Word? The only thing I remember, is that is was tucked somewhere midst the Psalms. Sigh...God is good. I was thinking that maybe I should tuck myself in the Psalms tonight.

This is yet another confirmation that He hears my prayers. Shalom (Peace) to you all my friends. Isn't that a lovely word? It calms my inner being when I hear or say it. Shalom...

Mom's Poem

(These lines were written on a piece of paper picked up on a battlefield during the Normandy invasion in World War 11. Mom had this poem memorized and she would recite it to anyone who had lost a loved one)

They say you will not come again
But I can always hear
Your voice in silence and in song
And feel you ever near.

They say that you have passed beyond
Unto the land SUPREME
But I can always call you back
Into the land of dream

For death is but a gateway
To the great REALITY
A new beginning and an end
Of Human Destiny

Love is all and life goes on
In spite of grief and pain
But deep within my heart I know
That we shall meet again...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Job Moment

(Photo - Trenton grinning because he now has a Royal Marine teddy bear to hug, thanks to Big Poppa)

I didn't go to church again today. I took a sleeping pill last night and I was zonked; plus my left knee was aching so I chose to loll around in my pjs instead. I curled up in a chair and dug out my Bible. I started reading the story of Job. Do you know it?

Job is a rich and happy man when he is first introduced. Then Satan tells God that he is only faithful and a Godly man because he has been blessed with a lot of material possessions and a big family. God says that Job is a good and faithful servant and that he will honour and worship Him even if he didn't have anything. Satan argues to the contrary. He said that Job will curse God if all his 'stuff' is taken away. So God ALLOWS Satan to mess with Job.

First Satan caused certain tribes to rise up and take Job's stock and kill his servants - that would be 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen,500 donkeys and a whole bunch of servants. That didn't work, so Satan caused another uprising and Job's children were all killed.

Job was devastated and he ripped his robes, shaved his head, fell to the ground and worshipped God. Satan came before God again and God reminded him how faithful Job was. Satan still wasn't buying it so he told God that if he attacked Job's health and put sores all over his body and make him ill, then he will curse God. God told Satan to do what he had to do but not to take Job's life. So Satan did. And Job suffered. Even Job's wife told him he should curse God for what had happened. Job refused. He still remained faithful, even though it was tough. People tried to sway Job in his thinking, but Job never gave up. He didn't shake his fist at God. He didn't blame God or waiver in his faith. He remained steadfast and faithful.

I am trying to be a Job. I have always loved this story but never thought about how it would impact me one day. There are times when I am not a very good servant, I know it. But when I think of my cancer as being a Job moment in my life, I somehow am encouraged. The temptation has been presented to me to blame God...and if there really is a God...but I try not to think like that.

I guess maybe I need to fall on my face a little more. My hair has all fallen out so I don't have to shave my head. I haven't any camels or donkeys to lose - (I lost seven goldfish - does that count?) But in all seriousness, I believe that this is happening to me for a reason. God doesn't inflict disease and pain - he allows it. And if it is about my faith, then Satan can go to somewhere hot. He might have my body but my mind and soul are already spoken for!

What brought a smile to my face lately?
1) Gilles finished making my hat rack and it is up sporting my cool head gear.
2) We had a birthday get together for Trevor last night. It is so much fun having my family around, laughing and talking about their lives and plans, hopes and dreams.
3) My baby turned 26 and is taller than I ever imagined he would be.
4) I went golfing with Gilles this afternoon. We had fun, even though I was as weak as a rubber chicken. He won, of course!
5) I beat Gilles at Canasta.
6) Gilles talked to some very generous friends who are sponsoring me on the Walk of Hope. We have raised over $1500 to help increase awareness and help in the fight to conquer ovarian cancer! I am head over heels ecstatic. How blessed are we to have such support!
7) It didn't rain.
8) My high speed connection is not giving me any trouble this weekend.
9) Heidi sent me a bag of writing 'goodies'
10) My Dad found his lost Royal Marines crucifix. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Flying the Coop

Yesterday I went to London all by myself. I have been cooped up in my cage since my surgery so I was ready to stretch my wings. Gilles was a little unsure as to whether I should go or not but he knew I was sporting my stubborn streak and I had to at least try it. I did say I would turn around if I thought it too far. But I did fine. I made it to London and had a good visit with my sister - Sue, and my Dad. I hadn't been to my mother's gravesite for a long time, either, so I was well ready to say 'hello' to Mom.

I sure do miss my mother. We'd been through a lot together over the years and there is just something about a mother's hug that helps a daughter (no matter how old) make it through a stinky day. I've had a lot of stinky days lately and I sure could have done with a few maternal hugs.

On my way back from London, I rendezvoued with Gilles in Stratford and we had supper at Swiss Chalet. I think he planned it that way just so I wouldn't be driving for so long! After supper we popped over to Rosie and Mike's. We haven't seen them for a long time so they were pretty shocked when I came to the door with a bald head. At first I don't think they even recognized me. They probably thought they were being invaded by aliens. Gilles, with his shaved head and me with my hairless noggin'. At least they didn't produce any stun guns! It was so nice to see Rosie and Mike again. we had a lot to catch up on. One thing about Rosie and Mike, is that they never change. We have been friends for years but sometimes we lose touch. It's great, though - we can always pick up as if we haven't been apart. Of course there is a ton of news to catch up with. For instance, I discovered that Rosie's three brothers each had prostate cancer. One of the brothers is still undergoing chemotherapy and it doesn't sound like he is doing so well.

The big 'C' is always lurking around somewhere waiting to consume and devour. We need to relish the moments, hold our children and grandchildren closer and longer, kiss our husbands (or wives) more often, keep in touch with our extended families even though it's hard sometimes, and cherish our friendships, for we never know what lies around the corner.

The more I talk to people, the more I realize that there is barely a soul out there who isn't touched one way or another with cancer. I often wonder why that is. Why does God allow such a disease to infiltrate, to change lives and to sometimes take lives?

I wondered what I might say if someone asked me what I have learned through all of this. I think that just might be my list for tonight:

What have I learned since I was diagnosed with cancer?
1) God doesn't just pop in for a visit. He is with me always.
2) Cancer cannot eat away at my faith as it does at my body.
3) Friends love at all times
4) Being still and listening for God's voice is more than an exercise - it is an experience.
5) Cancer might invade my body but it cannot invade my soul.
6) Women who have lost their hair because of chemotherapy all look the same.
7) Age doesn't matter when it comes to friendship
8) Forgiveness is tantamount to peace
9) Laughter really is good medicine.
10) "In sickness and in health" has real significance in the marriage vows

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Count Your Blessings, Name Them One by One

(Photo: Head Gardening Angel - Irene)

I talked to Brenda (nurse) at the clinic today about my ultrasound report. It seems the news about my recent ultrasound is inconclusive, although I was told it may be just a small cyst on my wrist (now there's a sweet little rhyming couplet...) So I guess I will have to wait and see what the oncologist says next week. I'm not too worried about it - besides worrying is a sin and I'm trying to cut down on those if I can!

I was absolutely pampered today. First of all, Kate my nice nurse came and she tried to 'make it all better.' She is really nice but we really have to stop getting into such interesting conversations. :) She ended up staying for almost 2 hours. And my blood pressure was behaving and everything. She did say she was going to order me some horrible (my word) stretchy support stockings for when my legs swell. Sigh...I never thought I would see the day. Oh well, I keep telling myself, this is all temporary.

Then, at noon, Yvonne brought lunch and we chatted for ages. We have absolutely no trouble finding something to say to one another. She is such a good friend and knows how to make me smile. Oh, and did I mention she also brought muffins and cookies and a casserole for supper. I don't deserve all this pampering.

This is the first week that I have not had my garden angels on duty. They were ready to fly in at Irene's (head gardening angel's) command and whisk any weed or garden culprit away. But I wanted to have a go myself this week. So I told Irene I would be okay. I am wondering though, about what God thought of my refusing this week's offer. Twice I attempted to head outside and play in the soil. Twice it started to rain. Eventually I gave up and came inside to write instead. Hmmmm. We'll see what happens tomorrow. I might need to make a call!

I actually wrote a little more in my children's chapter book today - Mrs. B Has Cancer. I am shooting for around 7 or 8,000 words and I am about half way so far. Writing this creative non-fiction book is good therapy for me. It'll be even better therapy if a publisher picks it up! We'll see.

Well, I'm rambling so I think I will sign off now with 5 things that made me thankful, today:

1) Rosemary called (big sister) and told me to stop being so daft and to take all the drugs that are offered and sleep all day if necessary. She yells at me because she loves me.

2) Dad found the 'missing poem' of Mom's. It was quite by accident he found, it too...or was it an accident? I cried when he read it to me over the phone.

3) I figured out how to download (upload?) photos onto Facebook.

4) Gilles is almost finished making my hatrack.

5) We got our "Sunflower Seeds" tee-shirts and my hat in the mail for the Ovarian Cancer Walk for Hope.

6) I have lots of friends in The Word Guild and Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship who love me. Some I have never met, but they still love me and tell me so often.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I catch a glimpse in the mirror
A hairless sight to behold
I do not like this pathway
I'm starting to feel very old.

But then I remember my Jesus
Who knows every hair on my head
That counting, of late, has been fruitless
So He reminds me to count blessings, instead! [Written in my journal July 8/08]

Yes, I've been doing a lot of that lately - counting my blessngs, that is. I'm getting to the point now that I sometimes forget that I don't have a hat on when someone comes to the door. For a while, after I lost my hair, I would turn tail and run like the wind to my bedroom. My hat and scarf stash is in there and I would not have been caught without something covering my naked noggin'.

Of course you can still tell that I am as bald as a baby even with my hat on, but it does offer a measure of covering for those times when I am in public. I must say I do find it funny how people react to a bald woman. Children don't stare half as much as grown-ups. In fact, when I talk to children it's as if they don't even notice. It's the big people who either stare or look away as quickly as they notice. I hate making people feel uncomfortable and I just wish they would ask me if I either have cancer or am going for the Britanny Spears look.

Today (Sunday) I feel tired. I am still not sleeping that well but am afraid to take medication to knock me out lest I have a hangover the next day again! I still haven't heard about the results of my ultrasound from last week but the nurse from the cancer clinic said she would call when they get the report.
My legs were swollen last night. I haven't had that problem since before my surgery. They are also sore at times, and then I find myself walking like a little old lady. That drives me absolutely bananas because I have always been able to leap small buildings in a single bound in the past (at least when I was wearing my superhero cape!) They are not really swollen tonight but 'I feel puffy.' I don't like these naughty steroids!

Okay, I am starting to whine. I'm outa' here.

But before I go, I am going to think for a second and count 10 blessings for today.
Here they are:
1) It's only my legs that are swollen - not my brain
2) Gilles beat me at Canasta and I didn't pout
3) Trenton used the potty twice today
4) My family still loves me even though I am falling apart
5) God still loves me even though I didn't make it to church
6) I am looking at some red, some blue and some white ribbons from the Drayton fair
7) Dick and Irene came to visit and said I didn't look funny without hair. Then I put my glasses on and then Dick said "Now you look funny!"
8) I can still laugh.
9) Gilles got a whole bunch of nice people to sponsor me for the Winners Walk of Hope for Ovarian Cancer.
10) Having hot flashes and being bald is actually okay

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

And whatever you do...

This morning I went to Palmerston District Hospital for an ultrasound. I have a small lump on what appears to be a blood vessel on my right wrist. My oncologist wanted to check it out so I am doing what I am told. :) I am thankful that they arranged for me to go to my lovely local hospital instead of travelling all the way to London to have this little pea-sized annoyance checked out. I happen to be a lumpy person to begin with - I've been collecting harmless lipomas (basically fat deposits - sigh) in different areas for a while now. This one seems a little different than the others, however, so we are just making sure. Which is fine with me given the present state of affairs.

Has anyone heard of an excellent book called Hot Apple Cider? It's a delicious concoction of favourite stories from Canadian Writers who are Christian. The distinctive flavour of this 'northern' title rings through every intriguing story. Nancy Lindquist and Wendy E. Nelles are the editors of this book and the co-founders of The Word Guild. When I got sick, Nancy proceeded to send me 6 of these great books. She said she was going to send flowers but then decided that I might like these books to hand out to people I encounter on my journey.

Today I gave one to Casey. Casey was actually one of the first kind people I encountered on my cancer journey. She did my first ultrasound at Palmerston District Hospital that verified the tumours on my ovaries. After that initial visit, I think I saw her three or four more times to check out the lymphedema in my leg. Each time, her professionalism tempered with compassion and kindness was like good medicine. I gave Casey a copy of Hot Apple Cider for a few reasons. First, she was so kind and gentle. She also had a way of putting me at ease and we discovered we could work up quite a conversation about books and reading and our opinions of such. So I thought she might like this book.

I hadn't seen Casey in a while because of my surgery and my chemo treatments but when this ultrasound was ordered for today I was excited about going back. Unfortunately she wasn't there but another nice young lady (Christa) helped me out with the ultrasound this time. She said she would give the book to Casey! :)

Janette Oke wrote the forward in Hot Apple Cider, "...Words are powerful. They are power-filled. They can encourage, direct, bring hope, empathize, instruct or empower. Put simply - yet honestly - words can change lives..."

I know Casey's words to me were encouraging and hopeful and many other things. So I pray that this book will be a 'pay forward' as she reads through the stories and tastes the simmering cider!

What did I learn today? a) Be careful little tongue what you say...
b) How can I change a life with my words? (Am I changing it for the better?)
c) Warm jelly on ultrasound gadgetry is better than cold.

Monday, August 4, 2008

This is the Day that the Lord has Made

Dog-tired is probably a good way to describe me today! Sleeping has been a big 'problemo' almost since the onset of my chemo. After my second treatment, I barely slept three hours in a row at night. A few times I would get up at three or four in the morning and just stay up. So after this last chemo session I was armed with Oxazepam. Oh the doctors had offered it to me in the past but I am so loathe to add yet another dose of pharmaceutical preparation to my system that I bucked it. Because I was becoming a little frazzled and likely a little touchy in the emotions department (menopause is touchy enough) this time I smiled and nodded at my dear doctor's suggestion. Well for four nights now I have taken the wretched drug. The first time it didn't do much. I was still up at 3am but the next few nights were different. I did get longer hours of sleep and when I did wake up, after a little while I would nod off again. But...today...I feel so rough. I am not sure if it is a drug-induced hangover, but it is not pleasant. Of course there are a multitude of other little nigglies happening for side effects which don't help. but I am dealing with them. The hardest part of these first days after chemo is keeping still. The best part about these days is feeling the love and caring of friends and family.
Here is a list of today's blessings:
1) Gilles kissed my bald head when he said good morning, and goodbye and hello.
2) Amanda, Jocelyn and Trenton were here brightening my day
3) Trenton ran to me and said, "Grandma, Grandma, Grandma!" Then he hugged and kissed me
4) Jocelyn smiled at me and 'talked' to me in her sweet, goo-goo baby language. I understood her completely
5) For a split second when Jocelyn was smiling at me, I felt like I was holding Amanda again
6) Janice called and made us laugh
7) Trevor went out on his first call as a volunteer firefighter. I am still waiting to hear what happened.
8) Rosemary called and told me that she was not going out west. She also told me she was waiting for the news of her doctor's thorough test. She even asked for a CA125 bloodtest- the one that can detect ovarian cancer (God let it be okay)
9) I talked to Dad today and he said that he is feeling good and is having a good day.
10) So far I have gathered $70 in sponsorships for the 5KM walk for Ovarian Cancer that we are doing on September 7th/08
11) Annie called today and just wanted to chat with Auntie Glynis.
12) Gilles loves me at my worst
13) Darlene and Rick are bringing supper tonight
14) Trudy is with Jesus - I keep thinking of her and her family

So what God thing did I learn today? Love is patient and kind. xxx

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Here is a poem that I wrote in my journal on June 28th, 2008. My hair was completely gone by July 6th:

The crown of a woman
Her glory; her honour.
As if awaiting my de-throning
I watch the clock; the calendar; the mirror.
Insidious, silent enemy
Preparing for battle
I bathe. The bubbles disappear.
The drain gurgles
Strands of hair cling tenaciously to the fibreglass cavity.
More than usual? Strands of hair curled into a question mark.
Reaching for the removable shower head
I chase the delinquent locks
They disappear down the drain.
Dare I check tomorrow?


Bill and Ann are our good friends. They have not quite reached our 50 something age group yet, although they are grandparents! But there is something about friendship that defies and ignores the years.

Yesterday, Bill's mom, Trudy, breathed her last. She died after a lengthy hospitalization for cancer and congestive heart failure. Jesus was calling her home so today she is resting in his arms and likely has already been reunited with her husband, Fred, who passed away almost 15 years ago.

Trudy was a wonderful woman with a ready smile and a gentle manner. She loved company and cherished her family. Our hearts broke for Bill and Ann. They are such good people and we love them so much. They have helped us immensely in so many ways but particularly since my own cancer diagnosis. Bill and his sons have helped us with mowing our lawn. Ann has brought us everything from meals to cookies and their visits and prayers have been sincere and regular.

God brings people into our lives for a purpose. I tend to be a bit of an introvert and I like to do things for myself but over these past few months I have discovered that I need to let go of things and to allow others to step in and help out. If I refuse to do this then perhaps I am refusing God. We need more Bill and Anns in this world. We need to realize how finite life on this earth is. And we need to put life into perspective and love unconditionally, forgive fully and give God the glory. For He is in control.

We are praying for the Kabbes family for strength and peace during this time of grieving. A year ago last week, my sweet Mom died from congestive heart failure, too. I long for her hugs right now. I might be a fifty something lass but when something goes awry, there's naught like a mother's arms... (That's a picture of my Mom taken at Trevor and Janice's wedding in 2005)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Winners Walk of Hope

It's nice to have a goal. Sometimes I feel like I am floundering in this sea of cancer. Other times I wonder why I am so uptight. That's on my good days! :) I suppose it is because I am out of my comfort zone and things are not going according to my agenda. I have learned quite a lesson over these months - it's all about God; not all about me! He is the one in control.

So with that in mind I am setting a goal and feeling good about it. Amanda (darling daughter) and I, along with my little munchkin grandchildren, are going to be participating in the Winners Walk of Hope on September 7th.08, as long as I am feeling okay. The intent of this 5KM walk is to raise awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research. Ovarian cancer is an insidious disease and often it is not caught until the later stages. So I am fully supportive of getting onto the wagon and helping in whatever way I can to raise awareness and get the word out about this disease.

Our team is called "The Sunflower Seeds." We called ourselves this because we are wanting to help raise awareness by planting seeds about ovarian cancer. The sunflower is actually the symbol for ovarian cancer so we are getting ourselves tee-shirts with our name on them (and maybe another hat for my collection!)This is actually a mini-walk we are going on. There are bigger cities where the (I think it is) 10KM walks happen but this particular one fits in between my rounds of chemo. I am usually pretty good just before going in. This particular mini-walk is on September 7th and my 5th round will be September 11th. So we are hoping for a good day and stamina!

I am glad that you are reading my blog. I may not know who you are unless you leave a comment, of course, but know this - I appreciate you. I also want to encourage you to put into practise one of my favourite Bible verses - Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God." I am in this forced stillness lately, and it is right. I may not like this cancer but I am counting it all joy for it has opened my eyes in ways that I can hardly explain. Hugs to you. And I will keep you posted.

Friday, August 1, 2008


April 24th, 2008 - This was a day of reckoning and realization. Gilles asked me if I wanted him to go with me to see Dr. Norman for the results of an ultrasound I had the previous week. I, being the brave independent warrior, said no and traipsed off to the clinic thinking I would hear words like "uterus slightly out of kilter," or the like. Once I received the diagnosis of "ovarian cancer" I heard nothing. My brain was numb.

The purpose for me writing this blog is so that I can keep whoever might be interested updated on what is happening with us. Sometimes it gets to be a bit of a chore writing to everyone individually, although I do love keeping in touch. I love you all so much and appreciate your concerns and the many different ways you show your love to us. So if you like you may keep tabs on my journey.

Today is August 1st, 2008. The good news is that I am now half way through my chemotherapy. This entire cancer issue has changed our lives in a dramatic way. No one ever knows what is around the corner so if I had to offer some advice, it would be to love your family unconditionally...hold them close if you can or make sure you keep in touch; pray and trust God for the big things and the details and talk to Him regularly; pursue your dreams and make sure you forgive with furvor, laugh without restraint and dance whenever your heart wants.

Yesterday (July 31st, 2008) I had my third round of chemo. Gilles took me to the cancer clinic as usual. We had to be there for 8am so it was an early beginning to the day. But since I haven't been sleeping well lately it was okay with me. Gilles is the one who is being a trooper. He is always at the ready and comes to my rescue whenever and wherever. He really is my knight! Our day at the clinic is long - my chemotherapy is 6 hours and by the time we are finished with bloodwork and a visit with the oncologist, then the day is 8 hours. But they treat us well there. They are so kind and willing to do the best for you. Most of the time you can hear laughter. It is respectful laughter, though and the team works so well together and are an encouraging lot. Angels in blue, I call them. :)

I am constantly amazed by how God puts people in our path. Yesterday I met Cathy. Cathy was a lovely lady who was given the chair next to my bed. She has ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed in 2003 but sadly hers resurfaced a while ago so she has to go through the rigours once again. Cathy's friend came with her. We all got talking about our respective professions. Cathy works for the government so she shared a little of that with me. Then she asked what I did. I told her about my wonderful students who I teach then I told her I am a writer. She asked me what I write. I told her I mostly write for the Christian market. She said that was nice and then she moved on. A little while later Cathy had to go to the bathroom. Then her friend shared with me that she is a Christian but Cathy us not. She says she has been praying for her so she wanted to share that with me and so I said I would love to pray for Cathy. We talked about lots of wonderful faith matters (Cathy went to the bathroom a lot!) when we could. Cathy's friend also shared with me about how her husband had walked out on her during this whole ordeal with cancer. How thankful I was for my loving husband and his faithfulness. I was so sad for Cathy and could not imagine what that would be like. So Cathy is now on my prayer list. Maybe I will meet her at the clinic another time. I would like that.
I am going to close with a poem. In my regular journalling I usually have some sort of poem that I finish off with that shows my mood of the day. This one was written on June 18th, 2008 - the day before my first chemotherapy treatment.
Tomorrow the floodgates open
My emotions tossed and tethered to an IV pole
Will begin the incessant fatal
Dripping, dripping, dripping;
Untoward, cancerous, vilest of the vile
I will vomit them out
Rip out my hair; tufts of coarse fabric
Sentimental vanity;
Tears cleansing my soul
Dripping faster than the Taxol/Carboplatin team
United for the common cause
Out darn spot - out!
Then the angels and Jesus tend and kiss my wounds;
I sleep.

Bless you friends and family. You mean the world to me. I love you all. Glynis