Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fairness and God?

Today I read an article and had trouble even getting my mind around the title, let alone the content.
"Girl, 4, battles rare ovarian cancer"
A combination of sadness and encouragement filled my heart as I gazed upon the impish grin of this precious little angel. Check out her story, here, if you like:

 As I read through the story, I wondered about the fairness of it all. I thought upon the perfect world that God created then I remembered how it is no longer perfect and we have no one else to blame but ourselves. Instead of the harmony and the peace that God intended when He said 'it was good,' humankind has opted for greed and discontentment. How foolish we are. Thank goodness God loves us anyway, and wants us to love Him back. When I look into the eyes of this little angel, I am encouraged and I see Jesus.

 I am 54 so for me to get Ovarian Cancer is one thing. But a mere whisp of a child at 4 years of age, just doesn't seem right. But, the control is in His hands and I believe things happen for a reason. I don't have answers but I do have faith. My faith is resting in Him and hoping and praying that God will heal this little girl and through it all He will be glorified.
Jesus loves the little children; all the children of the world!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Storytelling at it's Finest

Isn't this the sweetest rendition of the story of Jonah ever? What a story teller.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We were a bit of a motley crew, but we worked together like a well-oiled machine. The boys (and Lisa) hit the trails and the mountain pathways and helped make more than one person happy last week.

There were foundations to be laid and cupboards to be made. A deck was needed and a fence had to be replaced. By the end of the week, more than a few mountain boys and girls were grinning from ear to ear thanks to the grit and dogged determination of our strong and willing men (and Lisa!)

Meanwhile, I had the privilege of accompanying the other four gals to the distribution centre in town. What an eye opener. We worked at the foodbank distributing food and performing a myriad of tasks - the greatest benefit being our interaction with the locals. What an experience. What an amazing and hugely necessary ministry. After experiencing the many stories and witnessing the abject poverty that still prevails in the belly of the oft-termed affluent USA, I vowed to never complain about being hungry again. Nor would I moan and groan about having nothing to wear. I am also slightly guilt-ridden as I returned home to a new dwelling. Folks in Neon, Kentucky were over the hill grateful to have a trailer home or a simple roof over their heads. There was such a contrast in lifestyle, culture and the socio-economic deprivation was obvious.

As I took photographs of the East Letcher Ministry I made special note of the table outside the former grocery store. Piles of faded, thrice-worn clothing adorned two long tables on the sidewalk. Apparently these articles of clothing are available 24/7 to anyone in need. There is a sign asking people to be careful that items are not tossed haphazardly on the ground. I was informed that people who are too shy or embarassed to come during the day will come at all hours to sort through and take needed items of clothing.

I am ashamed to say that I have laughed at jokes about mountain people and their hillbillly ways, but to experience it first hand last week caused me to think. I also saw first hand the dirty little secret that remains virtually hidden, tucked away in this little mining community in the Appalacians - that wretched and seemingly never ending cycle of poverty.
But I was also so blessed to encounter some beautiful, faith-filled people on their own territory. Many just seemed to need someone to listen to their stories and to care about them, even if for a fleeting moment.

One girl, in particular, who came to the foodbank broke my heart. She was twenty years old. I asked her how she was. That was to be the segue to her story. Her divorce was just being finalized and she had a toddler at home who was not bearing up too well. She was on kidney dialysis and she was also just recently diagnosed with cervical cancer and possibly ovarian cancer. Because she has limited income and no benefits, she was unable to pay for her dialysis or chemotherapy which was scheduled to begin in a short while. She did say she might get a little help from Medicare but it was limited. I didn't know what to do for her. So I let her talk.

We cried together. Another gal who was with me shared in the conversation and the tears. I was wearing my survivor pin under my sweater (I wondered that morning why I felt led to wear it) so I gave it to the young mom. I told her I would pray and hope. She said her faith was strong and she relied on God each day. Then then this brave, young soul thanked us for listening and disappeared with her few bags of groceries as quickly as she appeared.

I can't get her out of my mind...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kentucky Bound!

I'm off to Neon, Kentucky with our church this week to help at the missions!
I'm sure I'll be back with many stories to share, many tears to shed and many thankful prayers to be said!
Blessings, Glynis

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Why (Canadian Authored) Books Make Great Christmas Gifts

There's a few practical reasons why a book makes the perfect present.

1. It is easy to wrap
2. If you buy more than one, they stack nicely under the tree.
3. You don't have to buy batteries for a book
4. You don't have to plug a book in.
5. For under $25 you can travel around the world - or anywhere else you choose

Neil Gaiman, comic writer and novelist, when asked why books make great gifts said, " Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside them, and it's much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world!"

That is so true. Walk into a bookstore - Christian or otherwise - and look around. Spell-binding journeys and exhilarating adventures abound. Prepare to be whisked off with reckless abandon to faraway lands and exotic locations. Journey back in time to the days of Jesus or travel to the future and experience life in a different galaxy, planet or realm. Tread on pathways where the noble and valiant stood sword to sword or step inside the palace and mingle with the courtiers and vie for the favour of the king.

A book can take a person to a place of hope, unveil the unknown and offer comfort and direction, love and support. What better way to escape the tyranny of the urgent than to tuck yourself in your favourite chair and nestle in with a novel? Sign me up!

Probably one of my favourite parts of the book store is the children's section. I love children's books. And I love reading to children. To me, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a child rapt as I relay the perils of the porcupine or the emotional roller coaster of Wilbur and Charlotte. Books for children make great gifts that last. I had a poster on my wall once that said, "Reading is like a young pup - it grows with you." Give a child a book and you give them an opportunity to grow in wisdom and imagination.

And why buy Canadian, you ask? Why wouldn't you? There are so many talented Canadian Authors. It is always a good idea to discover and support our own! From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Making Sense

When I was going through my chemotherapy I remember feeling so alone sometimes. Oh people were kind and sweet of tongue. Many of my friends and family found ways to cheer me and help out and for that I was so grateful and humbled. Accepting help was a biggie for this independent soul. So I learned much over the year.

But there were always moments of isolation and confusion. I suppose I was still trying to make sense of what was happening and why. I was not angry with God but my soul stirred with a million questions.

One of the best ways that I found solace, next to prayer, was when I went online and found my OC and other cancer friends. When I started blogging about my journey, it became apparent that I was not alone. Soon I had found sisters in Australia, US and in England as well as getting linked up with gals all over Canada. It's true about there being comfort in numbers. In my distraction I soon found myself grateful.

In the beginning when a body receives that hideous diagnosis of cancer, there is always that feeling of impending doom and life is cruel. But the more I spoke to others and the more I realized the fragility of life and how cancer shows no boundaries, the more thankful I became for every breath I took.

As I look back in my journal and read some of my sporadic poetry, I recall some of my emotion and then I look heavenward and give thanks for where I am today. My cancer may return, althought the powers that be tell me there is only a 20% chance. I never was much of a gambler, but I am leaning toward the 80% odds.

The following poem was written on June 30th, 2008, eleven days after my first chemotherapy treatment. In the prelude to the piece, I wrote about how I was waiting for my hair to fall out and how I had just joined an ovarian cancer support group online.

Embraceable me, reaching out
Sisters in the same canoe
Wishing we didn't have to meet
But - a necessary evil
Guilded in teal;
"A badge of honour," she said.
Wear it with dignity...
Holding chin in direct proportion to attitude
Defying the odds.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hot Flashes and the Holy Spirit

When I first started going through chemo I wasn't sure if I was flushing or flashing. My surgery had very cruelly shoved me into early menopause so I was warned that my body would be in a state of flux.
Anyone who might be a little iffy with an accurate definition of flux - be it known that it includes various stages of mental instability, uncontrollable _________ (pick an emotion and fill in the blank) and horrible weight gain.

I was told that some of the carboplatin/taxol [bittersweet] poison that dripped into my body for six months had some interesting side effects, too - one of them being flushing.

My saint of a husband very wisely bought me a robotic like fan complete with a remote control and situated the blessed piece of whirling gadgetry next to my side of the bed. He dared not touch the remote but did get himself an extra quilt for his side.

Some days were agony. Most nights were. Between bedding being tossed and the fan running full blast throughout the wee hours of the morning, I started to feel grateful that all my hair had fallen out.

Two years later, here I am. My hair is back. Chemotherapy is over and the flushing has ceased. However, the hot flashes remain. Thanks be to the good Lord, that they are not as barbarically unbearable as they used to be and mostly they happen when the sun goes down. My fan is still strategically placed at my bedside, however, and in the two years we have owned it, there are no male fingerprints on my remote. It stays at the ready on my bedside table.

Oddly, today, I was sitting in church contemplating my life and rejoicing in all that was good. As I did so, I felt a surge. I was a little confused. Then it hit. Usually reserved for the nocturnal moments, the hot flash began to flow through my body. It somehow did not seem fair. Here I was praying, rejoicing, giving thanks and appreciating God and what He has done in my life.

As beads of sweat formed on my hairy noggin' it hit me. I wasn't having a hot flash. I was being washed; cleansed and moved. The Holy Spirit was getting my attention. That was it. At least that's what I'm saying from now on.

So here's my story (and I'm sticking to it.) I've decided that instead of dreading and whining and complaining about spontaneous hot waves wreaking havoc on my unsuspecting body, I’m going to use them as a reminder. No more will I waste a hot flash. I pledge to remember that I have a Comforter, a Source of hope, and a Reason to be happy.

In the future, as I experience my hot moments, I will (try my best) to see these as a (gulp) gift from God. Hey…some people need a wake up call with a two by four. If a hot flash works for me…(but I’m not giving up my remote.)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dales Tales

Once upon a time there was a determined young lass. Dale is her name. Promoting a zest for life and a desire to help her fellow man (woman) is her focus. I'm not sure how long Miss Dale has been doing these breast cancer luncheons in Drayton - I'm thinking 4 years. but they are certainly a big success. Theresa Scholten, another doggedly determined soul, is Dale's right hand man (woman) and she handles the registration table single handedly. And a fine job she does! I would be going cuckoo trying to keep everything straight.
Although I had ovarian cancer, not breast cancer, the gals asked me to be in the 'survivor' picture, too. I was honoured to do so. I'm the one sitting on Dale's knee! Theresa is 2nd from the right. There's 11 of us here, counting blessings and enjoying the moment. Linda is missing. Linda is a trooper. She made it to the luncheon but had to head out a little early. It was a good day, had by all. Special thanks to Dale for the super job she did as an MC. The food was great. The fellowship was fine. And the money raised for cancer research gives hope to many.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ode to a Rose

(PHOTO: Rosemary with her grandbabies - one missing!)

Rosemary, my older sister, has been a gem. She moved closer to me about a month ago and it has been a blessing magnified that she arrived on the scene just in time. With building a new home, chaos has subtly inserted itself into my life. Routine has disappeared off the radar and I am lost in the clutter and the drywall dust (that's what we get for moving into a nest before all the twigs and the mud are in place!)

Rosemary donned her cape at precisely the right moment and she was able to step in and help me with a plethora of things including sharing and caring for our 84 year old poppa bear!

So to Rosemary I offer these multicoloured roses for these reasons:

1. Pink roses mean thank you. Thank you, Rosemary for helping us lug heavy crates of books upstairs; for carrying umpteen boxes and loading them in an amazing compact way; for uprooting, transporting and replanting precious perennials and little trees, and for doing a million other hands on tasks before, during and after our move.

2. Orange Roses represent your enthusiasm to jump in and do whatever - whenever - yes, even my laundry for three weeks before we got our trusty machines tumbling and tossing again.

3. Red Roses symbolize your sincere, unconditional love and respect for family. I was thrilled you could be there for Dad when I was on the verge of insanity. Thanks for whipping up meals and keeping Dad happy and busy. The fish pond you made is amazing. Dad is loving the backyard sanctuary you have created. I wish I had half your talent and ability. might have been called an 'intellectual butterfly' when you were younger but your flitting and creativity has brought beauty to Dad's backyard.

4. Red & White Roses together signify unity. Thanks for being a partner, a pal and for making the decision to move closer. After all these years, it's good to spend time with you and realize heart stuff! United we stand; divided we trip and fall in the mud.

5. Yellow Roses indicate joy, gladness, friendship and "I Care." Thanks for being one of the first to ask how my appointment went at the cancer clinic last week and for rejoicing with me. I am so thankful and relieved that you, also, had the CA125 done a while ago and then you heard the word 'normal' somewhere in the medical chatter. Keep being aware!
I'm glad you are my friend.

Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another.
Romans 12:10

Monday, September 20, 2010

Que Sera, Sera!

(Photo: Where's Waldo and company?)

We made it. God was good. The rain held off until shortly after noon and that was just about the time we were headed in the general direction of home!

Last Sunday Amanda, her kiddos and I took part in the Winner's Walk of Hope (Ovarian Cancer Canada) in Barrie, Ontario.

(Photo: There they are!)

It was a good time for it to happen, for this past Thursday I had an appointment at the London Cancer Clinic and I wanted to go there armed with a trunkload of hope.

Fresh from the walk, and with my shiny survivor pin in place, after an hour and a half wait, I entered the little examination room. After a brief chat with my primary nurse, I set my clothing and dignity aside, donned my usual lovely hospital gown and waited for the oncologist to arrive.

He did. It was worth the wait. He did his usual twenty questions and exam and then informed me that things look hopeful. I am pushing my two year mark now and said
, smart oncologist indicated that in his experience that there is now only a 15% chance that the
cancer could return. I never was one to put my money on lottery tickets or door prizes or bingo, or the like, for the odds of winning anything for yours truly were always slim. I am hoping that the odds of fitting into that 15% margin are just as slim.

When I was little, my sisters used to call me Doris Day and teased me that my theme song was 'Que Sera, Sera.' Loosely translated, that means, 'Whatever will be, will be..."

Now that I have grown up and have faced a trial or two, I am seeing the God-wisdom in that song.

"...whatever will be, will be; the future's not ours to see, que sera, sera!"

Some things I seemingly have control of in my life. But the big things I leave up to God. I am thrilled, thankful and humbled that He has blessed me with a good prognosis, an incredible family and a peace that passeth all understanding. This is a new week. A new chance to see His hand at work and a fresh start to realizing my blessings.

(Photo: Crossing the Finish Line at the 2010 Winners Walk of Hope)

We had so many people supporting us in so many ways as we made our trek around the lakeshore in Barrie September 12th, 2010, at the Winners Walk of Hope. Thank you to all who sponsored us financially, prayerfully and with unconditional love. We were blessed.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Winners Walk of Hope 2010

Two years ago, as I faced six months of rigorous chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, I truly thought that God was readying me for a new heavenly home. It wasn’t that I was without hope back then. It was just that I suddenly realized that the only One who was in control was God. I trusted Him.

Once I recovered from realizing that my thorn in the flesh was to be cancer, I turned the reigns over to God. I really tried to be positive, but I thought that maybe, just maybe, my time was up and I was moving on. Many a night I poured my emotions into my handwritten journal. Tears welled and I struggled with lesson after lesson from God.

Twenty four months later, here I am. They call it remission. I have to hang in there for another three years and then they will call me a survivor and maybe even cured. In a couple of weeks I head back to the London Cancer Clinic to find out what the docs think. I'm thinking positive.

God has a plan. I may not understand that plan, but safe to say, I don’t realize the big picture, either. This is where faith steps in and I choose to follow.

I am moving on. I will one day look forward to a heavenly home, but meanwhile, God has blessed me mightily as Gilles and I are in the throes of building our new earthly home in downtown Drayton.
It’s funny how life happens. Some days are diamonds. Some days are coal.

Right now my life is full. The diamonds shimmer and shine in my life and for that I am grateful.

On September 12th, Amanda, Trenton, Jocelyn and I are once again making our annual trek to Barrie to participate in the Winners Walk of Hope put on by Ovarian Cancer Canada. This is our special weekend away and we will join ranks with other ovarian cancer survivors and supporters. It is a bittersweet time as we do our part to fundraise and to help raise awareness so that ovarian cancer can be detected early and lives can be saved.

Ovarian Cancer is sometimes called the disease that whispers. We are going to do our best to help turn up the volume and help our sisters, mothers, daughters, granddaughters, grandmothers, aunts, nieces, cousins, friends and for all those amazing women we are yet to meet and even those we will never see face to face! We journey on with love and hope in our hearts.

(Photo: Our fearless leaders and encouragers at the Barrie Winners Walk of Hope!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Too Bee or Not to Bee

It was an innocent hand offered. My 84 year old father had managed to get to the back of his property and there he stood, cane in one hand steadying himself and the saw in the other cutting away at the fence post, trying to create a space for another birdhouse.

As any bossy daughter would do, I gave him the talk about being careful and not hurting himself It didn't make a lick of difference that Dad had single handedly installed the other six or seven birdhouses.

I assured Poppa Bear that I could easily slide the saw back and forth and knock the top of the fence post, making it an ideal location for the little wooden birdhouse. He agreed and relinquished his toothed tool. I started cutting away at the post.

Suddenly, as if on cue, a swarm of buzzing bees hightailed it out of one of the birdhouses already in place, and went into attack mode. I was the target. My arms flailed and the saw went flying. Luckily Dad had started to move away when I took over the task. The saw missed him. A few angry buzzers alighted and headed his way, but his safari hat afforded him the protection he needed. I wasn't quite as lucky. The nasty little critters would show me no mercy. How dare I interrupt their homestead and shake up the neighbourhood with that incessant sawing? I was surrounded. As what seemed like fifty angry bees, buzzing maniacally around my face, I swatted and screamed and must have looked like a psychotic karate dropout. Those determined stingers got me on the neck, under my arm and on my lip. Then they were gone. Just like that. I stood there wondering how long it would be before I might go into anaphylatic shock. Stupid things, like did my chemotherapy lower my resistance and now am I doomed to die from a mere bee sting or two? entered my noggin. How long would it take for me to keel over anyway?
Minutes passed. Nothing happened, other than localized throbbing. I dashed inside and doused my wounds with vinegar. Nasty bees.

A short while later, fat lip and all, I went outside to face my attackers and to figure out what to do with the half-sawn fance post.
There was Dad, cane in hand, blowing the dust off his saw. I really should have minded my own business...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Becky Hubbert Tribute

dbriscoeful July 23, 2010
Becky Hubbert passed away July 19th form Ovarian Cancer, this video is a tribute to her which is/was to be played at her funeral. Although it is edited from the original being played at her funeral, I hope it still captures who she was - a beautiful person who was an exceptional friend, aunt, daughter, sister, mother and wife. She will be missed by all...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.
Today, I went to my mother's graveside with my father, my older sister, my younger sister, my younger brother, my daughter, my two grandchildren, my niece and my great niece. We spent some time in reflection. We remembered Mom three years ago to the day as she bravely smiled and peacefully stepped over the threshold to the Great Beyond and went to be with Jesus.

It was a good day. It was a sad day.
The sun shone down on us as Dad sat in the folding chair and the rest of us stood and sat on the concrete around Mom's veteran's plot at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in London. We laughed. We cried. Dad read a poem. I read Psalm 23 - the Lord is my Shepherd. My sisters shared special memories about the way things used to be. My brother remained quiet and pensive. My daughter and niece were the breath of fresh air and youthful exuberance as they chatted about children and life in general. The children played. Mom would have liked that. She loved family gatherings and she especially loved the little ones.

One of Mom's last request was that we remain strong as a family and that we looked after one another. It became clear to me today that that has happened. My family may be a bit of a motley crew, but our core is solid and secure and the family ties that bound, still bind us. I miss my Mom terribly and am reduced to a little girl each time I try to think of her, but I am thankful for the legacy she left behind. She taught us to laugh and to be strong. She taught us to cope and to laugh some more. She equipped us with a love for adventure and a boldness to dare. She taught me to pray when I was a little girl.

May four good angels guard my bed...
two at the foot...
two at the head.
And keep me safe all through the night...
until I see the morning light...
Thank you God...

Good night Mom...Rest well - may four good angels be guarding your bed. xx

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fretting Forgetting

Of all the things I miss,
I think I miss my mind the most.

Have I said that before? Probably. Humour me. Chemo brain on the loose again...

Such silly little things. Such a big ego. Today I was running an errand or two for my dear 84 year old poppa' bear.

Dad...if you are reading this, do turn away. Go check the latest family shenanigans on Facebook.

For the rest of you, I guess I am looking for a bit of sympathy...empathy...pity...maybe.

Dad had called me earlier and asked me to pick up a gift certificate from the local bistro and take it over to his friend's place. It was a nice birthday gift. It was a nice gesture. Now if I could have only found a nice way to tell him I forgot to stop and pick it up, then it wouldn't have been so bad.

I arrived at Dad's and lo and behold, I looked him in the eye and suddenly became aware that I had neglected to do the task. Panic took over and I immediately dashed out to fulfill my duty. I left Dad in a whir and uttered something about being right back. I think he is getting used to my fretful forgetful moments.

The lovely gal in the restaurant, chatted away to me and I nodded and smiled. She nicely prepared the certificate. I thanked her and dashed out the door reminding myself not to toss the gift card into the depths of my delightfully lovely oversize, teal carry on bag.

I got to my car, pressed my keyless lock on my keychain. Nothing. I pressed it again. Still nothing. I noticed the time and looked around the parking lot for anyone who might be staring at a full grown middle aged nitwit talking to her key chain.

I tried the driver's side door, just incase it was already open and I didn't hear the familiar 'click.'

Wouldn't open. I went around the other side and did the same. Panic and confusion filled any available recesses of sanity and I wondered what to do next. Then a trickle of hope tickled my inner child as I remembered that there was a telephone number on my rear window. I would call and they would pop my locks.

Suddenly I had a burst of sanity and my inner child whispered, "You dope...try the key in the lock first."

I fiddled with my keys and found the one that should have opened the door. I fiddled and tried the seven or eight keys on my chain. What was going on? None fit. I looked inside the car, and to my chagrin...I didn't recognize the tidy inners. The folded blanket. The dangling chain. I saw the neatly placed items in the little cup holders and realized that I'd just been trying to break into someone else's car.

I talked to my keychain once again and glanced around the parking lot. I tried not to make eye contact with anyone who might have spotted the strange lady trying to break into the car at the downtown restaurant.
Three cars over I spotted it. Another car just like mine with all the lights on, doors unlocked, the trunk ajar. It really was mine this time. I sheepishly meandered over, closed the trunk, slid into the driver's seat and buckled up. :)

I'm really hoping no one got me on video...small towns are great but I really don't want it to be official that I am going slightly cuckoo (yet.) Sigh.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Real Zeal for Teal

Well, we made it! As far as I can tell, and from a quick scan of the evaluation forms, a good time was had by all.

Saturday may have been a bit gloomy with a weather pleasing only to ducks, but the sun was certainly shining inside the Drayton Arena at our 2nd annual Zeal for Teal - A Day at the Beach.

[PHOTO: The Sunflower Seeds Committee 2010; Zeal for Teal]

This Ovarian Cancer Canada (OCC) Winner's Walk of Hope fundraiser welcomed around 40 eager scrappers and vendors alike.

Not only did we raise some funds for OCC and hopefully helped raise a little awareness about ovarian cancer too, we had a blast. A roomful of happy women, sharing in a relaxing day, good food and some great shopping experiences - how lovely is that once in a while?

Jan, one of the gals who hails from Burlington, made me a precious little gift...a card that reads the following:

[PHOTO: Jan & Lee sharing their talents!]

What Cancer Cannot Do

Cancer is so limited...

It cannot cripple love.

It cannot shatter hope.

It cannot corrode faith.

It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.

It cannot kill friendship.

It cannot shut out memories.

It cannot silence courage.

It cannot reduce eternal life.

It cannot quench the Spirit.

When I was going through my chemo, my sweet long distance Florida friend sent me a plaque with this poem inscribed upon it. I remember the timing. That morning, when I opened up my package, I cried my eyes out. It was a good cry, though, and just what I needed at the time. Reassurance that all will be well was the order of the day. God knew what I needed that day.

When Jan handed me the gorgeous, handcrafted easel card on Saturday the timing was once again right. Her thoughtful gift made me stop, inhale, and think about my blessings and also my OC sisters everywhere.
How blessed am I as I read through the Canadian statistics - 2500 women are diagnosed each year; 1700 women die from ovarian cancer each year?

But the good news is, if ovarian cancer is detected early, there is a 90% chance of survival! I'm hoping I can stand up and be counted in that number!

Meanwhile we will keep doing what we do.

Special thanks to all who attended our 2nd Annual Zeal for Teal. You completed our day.
You are the best!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Silver Mirror

Her tresses tickled her forehead as she gazed into the silver hand held mirror. Her mother had told her she could have that silver dressing table set when she died. How she treasured it.

The tarnished covering begged to be clean once again and it really was on her list of things to do. But she had been too busy, as usual. And it simply had not been a priority.

She would have given it back in a moment, though, if only she could feel the loving arms of her sweet mother once more.

It was a fleeting, childlike thought, but the woman wondered what might happen if she rubbed her mirror with silver polish. As she did, she remembered the story of Aladdin and his lamp. She remembered reading how when he rubbed his silver lamp, the genie appeared and Aladdin's wishes were granted.

What would she wish if it were so? Aladdin was granted three. Dare she desire the same? For what would she ask if she was granted three, too?

Crystal tears glimmered in her eyes has she contemplated.

As she held the mirror, she slowly turned it. A vision of what had once been, flashed across the hand held silver piece. Her life, played out, before her as she desperately tried to drop it. Her heart pounded. Her chest felt as if it would burst. Her knuckles, white, clenched the handle of the mirror and stuck like strong glue. She wanted to drop the mirror and run. She wanted to deny the vision; to pretend it wasn't so.

The mirror grew large and murky. The filth that had been her life exuded forth. The bad choices. The stupid words. The thoughtless deeds. It was all there, reflecting a life that was a shambles, a waste, a desecration.

She tried to look away in abject desperation. What was causing the palpitations and the sinking, sickening, churning feeling in the pit of her stomach?

She tried to shake the silver mirror that burned her clenched fist. She wanted to run and hurl the wretched silver mirror. But her grip tightened. A fire raged and now she could not even turn her eyes from the vision. In her desperation she sought for words. Her mind reeled.


Two wishes dropped desperately from her dry, cracked lips.

I wish I had not hurt You
I wish I could make it up to You

Just as she was about to buckle and fall, her grip loosened on the silver mirror. Her knuckles relaxed and her once shallow, panicked breath sounds became more rhythmic and quieter.

She looked at the mirror once again. Her eyes, drawn to the vision, widened at the sight.

A faraway cross. She looked closer. A solitary oaken tree with a crossbar. Then a man. His brilliant garment was whiter than what she could ever have imagined. She watched Him kneel to gather the remnants of her life. She watched Him breathe over the seething coals.

"Forgiven," He whispered.

She turned her head from the silver mirror. She was back. She was free.

Once again she looked in the mirror. This time, she saw her reflection as it was. The few creases on her forehead made her smile. The terror that cursed through her veins - obliterated and non-existent.

As she stroked the glass, she thought she saw her mother; smiling, sitting next to Him. Oh how she longed to be with her. She peered closer. She knew, then, what her final wish would be...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Relay for Life

Rest and Tickling Time with Momma bear and her jolly little cubs at Relay for Life.
Two year old Jocelyn walked 440yards around the track in her little pink sleepers! Now that's the tenacity of a two year old!

Four year old Trenton rode around the track 5 times on his mighty red bicycle with training wheels. What a trooper!

Grandma and Jocelyn jogging around the track (sort of.) The only way to travel!

One of the nicest lions I have ever met and Erin, the organizer, welcome the troops!

RELAY FOR LIFE - June 4, 2010


Never underestimate the enthusiasm and amazing joy and determination of our youth! My darling daughter, Amanda, and my sweet grandbabies trekked out last Friday evening and joined the sterling student body at St. James Catholic High School in Guelph at their very first Relay for Life. It was a grand evening. I have sent a message to St. James High School Principal expressing my sincere gratitude and for inviting me to be part of their first Relay for Life sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Society.


"Dear Principal Ingram:

You should be proud to be the principal of St.James Catholic High School. I certainly was proud for you and your entire student body who attended your first (hopefully annual) Relay for Life last Friday evening. I was honoured to have been invited to participate as a one and a half year cancer survivor.

Too often we hear about all the negative behaviour and poor choices of youth in society but I want to stand on your St.James rooftop and tell everyone how great young people are, especially those St. James cast and crew who I had the privilege of meeting last Friday. My daughter, grandson and granddaughter accompanied me that evening and we were thrilled to be in the company of such charming, fun-filled, purpose driven students.

Right off the top, I was hugged by the sweet Miss Angela McCleod who willingly shared cake, juice and then her incredible story that made me cry. I tapped into her enthusiasm and energy right away and being slightly over half a century myself, that was no easy task. But I managed to make it 9 times non-stop around the track, intent on first giving thanks that I had regained enough strength to make it. Then my daughter and I, along with our trusty tots in tow, walked for Uncle Don who we buried just last Thursday from lung and liver cancer. Then we walked for Aunt Pauline who is in hospital in Toronto and slowly dying from breast cancer as we speak. Then there was Doc Mott and Cindy and Daria, and Judy and Karen and far too many more who are still fighting the good fight.

Hats off, to the organizers, Erin and Derek. I am sure there were many others involved, but those are the names I remember. The beautiful singers were amazing and when the words Allelujah echoed across the busy track as we walked, I could do nothing but sing along, raise my hands and give thanks for everyone of the wonderful kids who surrounded me. From superman and Spiderman flying by and decked out in all their finery, to the friendliest lion I have ever met (thanks for removing your head for a moment to appease Jocelyn and Trenton!) I was moved in more ways than you can imagine.

So, I hope the Relay for Life was considered a success. It surely was in my heart and soul. My daughter was equally moved and as she has been my stalwart 'rock' throughout my journey, I was overjoyed that she and my grandbabies accompanied me to St.James last week.

I am including a few photographs. Every young person had a smile or a word of encouragement. One sweet gal even asked me to sign her shirt. How humbling is that? Bless you all. My prayers are that each one of your students make good choices and make a mark in this world. Whoever I saw or met last Friday sure made a mark on my heart. Thanks for the memories. And special thanks to Simone Roesink who invited me to be part of this special event. Joy!

Kind Regards, Glynis Belec a (very thankful) ovarian cancer survivor from Drayton, Ontario!