---
Laurie Kingston, 1967-2018Laurie passed away peacefully at Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario on Monday January 8th, 2018 at the age of 50 years. Loving partner of Tim Wayne. Beloved mother of Sacha Kingston-Wayne and Daniel Kingston-Wayne. Daughter of Diane Kingston and the late Bob Kingston of Hawkesbury, Ontario. Daughter-in-law of Susan Way ne, Jack Wayne and Susan Silva of Toronto, Ontario. Will be dearly missed by her sister Linda Kingston and her partner Ian (Ottawa); brother-in-law Andrew Wayne, his partner Brenda MacDonald, nieces Claire, Esme and nephew Noah (Guelph); brother-in-law Ian W...
Source: Not just about cancer - January 16, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Source Type: blogs

---
Hello All, I have sad news. Laurie died yesterday morning. She was comfortable and pain-free until the end. Her end of life care was exceptional. I am beyond grateful for all the love and support we have received. It has made going through an impossible ordeal possible.As I have been reminded over the last few days, knowing something is coming doesn't make it any easier.In the next while we will be thinking about the best ways to remember Laurie. I would welcome your thoughts and input in the future.With Love,TimIf you are reading this post on a site other than Not Just About Cancer (besides Facebook or a feed re...
Source: Not just about cancer - January 9, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Source Type: blogs

---
An update from Tim:Here are the last few Facebook posts I made on Laurie's behalf over the last few months. Apologies for everyone who is not on Facebook or connected with me by email.November 16I would like to let you all know how Laurie is doing and what is going on health wise with her.Over the last few weeks Laurie has been suffering from some cognitive issues that has limited her ability to post and comment here, As these issues got more serious her oncologist scheduled an MRI to try and find out the cause and to make a plan to deal with it. The MRI showed that there are new tumours in her brain. I have not read ...
Source: Not just about cancer - January 8, 2018 Category: Cancer & Oncology Source Type: blogs

never a dull moment: the blood clot edition
On Monday, I got a call from the nurse who works with my oncologist. I had a CT scan last week, so the phone call made me I brace myself for the worst kind of news.Instead, she said " You have a blood clot on your lung. "What unfolded next is a bit blurry but I know that I asked if there was cancer on the CT (no), whether this was life-threatening ( " absolutely not " ) and what I should do next.I was instructed to get myself to a specific ER (at the General Campus of the Ottawa Hospital, which also houses the Cancer Centre). They would be told to expect me. Tim and I gathered up our stuff, made sure Da...
Source: Not just about cancer - February 18, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: breast cancer cancer blog chronic illness CT scan health care metastatic pissed off Source Type: blogs

stable and unremarkable. my new favourite words.
If you are reading this post on a site other than Not Just About Cancer (besides Facebook or a feed reader), you are reading stolen content. (Source: Not just about cancer)
Source: Not just about cancer - January 31, 2017 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog good stuff herceptin metastatic news show and tell Source Type: blogs

progress and next steps
I had an MRI a couple of weeks ago and got the results last week. There has been slight progression in all three tumours in the brain.That's the bad news.The good news is that there are no new tumours and that my spine and cerebrospinal fluid remain clear, with no detectable cancer. This means that the Herceptin must be doing something for things to be progressing relatively slowly.We just have to figure out how to make it better at its job.There is very little research, when it comes to leptomeningeal disease (orleptomeningeal carcinomatosis), so in lots of ways we are making things up as we go along. The first thing we a...
Source: Not just about cancer - November 30, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer chemotherapy health care herceptin metastatic things i do for my health weird Source Type: blogs

every week. in pictures.
I have now had24 treatments ofIntrathecal Herceptin. A few weeks ago, my friend Karin came and took photos. They were for me (because I can't see my own head) and they helped me a lot to understand the process. It's occurred to me that some of you might like to see them too. Every week, I am placed in a private room. It's been the same room every time and I have come to think of it as mine. I get the usual " pre-meds " of intravenous Gravol (dramamine) and Demerol (meperidine) that I have had for years with Herceptin to keep fromhaving a reaction. My oncologist (only doctors are trained to dealwith the ...
Source: Not just about cancer - November 14, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog herceptin show and tell weird Source Type: blogs

i learned something from this one
This article explains why some of us get so annoyed when cancer " awareness " campaigns focus on saving the " girls " or the " tatas " or - well you know what I mean.Lots of food for thought here and I learned some things about cisgender privilege and breast cancer.From " Every day feminism, It's a longish read but very well done."4 Ways Breast Cancer Awareness Campaigns Can Be Sexist and Oppressive"If you are reading this post on a site other than Not Just About Cancer (besides Facebook or a feed reader), you are reading stolen content. (Source: Not just about cancer)
Source: Not just about cancer - October 17, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: activism breast cancer don ' t buy pink crap good stuff pissed off show and tell Source Type: blogs

time is running out
This is one of the very best and most powerful adds I have seen on breast cancer. And that is saying something.It's about living with metastatic breast cancer, less than 3 minutes long and very, very worth it.If you are reading this post on a site other than Not Just About Cancer (besides Facebook or a feed reader), you are reading stolen content. (Source: Not just about cancer)
Source: Not just about cancer - October 15, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: activism breast cancer community good stuff identity metastatic show and tell Source Type: blogs

update: stable
I have now had 17 intrathecal (injected into my brain) treatments of the Herceptin. I'm getting used to it.I had an brain MRI on September 15.It showed all visible tumours to be stable. There were no new visible tumours. As I said, in an email to family:" The brain MRI shows things to be stable. This is so much better than the alternative that we celebrated with gelato and a meal out.It would have been nice to see some progress but this is still good. What's difficult to know is if I am just staying stable right now on my own or if the treatment is working. What is certain is that we will not be stoppin...
Source: Not just about cancer - October 15, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog conversations good stuff herceptin joy metastatic radiation Source Type: blogs

grieving and treatment
My father passed away a couple of weeks ago (the night before I started IT Herceptin, in fact). His service was last week. It was small and private. I was very impressed with the priest who had never met my father but listened to my mom and my sister and said some very thoughtful things.The end of my father's life was not an easy one and, in his last days, I was unable to get to the hospital. I didn't (we didn't) want to put my treatment in jeopardy by exposing myself to hospital germs. It was the right call but it was hard and it made everything seem less real and further away. I have realized that gri...
Source: Not just about cancer - July 17, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog family grief herceptin metastatic my kids my love show and tell thinking Source Type: blogs

onward
There was a bit of a rocky start but I seem to be moving forward with treatment. Every Wednesday, for the rest of the summer, I will be getting Herceptin, injected through my Ommaya Reservoir. I'm not the first in Ottawa to have an Ommaya but I am the first to have Herceptin injected in this fashion. I'm hoping hard that it's working.There was some confusion on my first week. First I was told that treatment would be delayed by a day and administered by an oncologist other than Dr. G., who has treated me for for 10 years.Then, on the day of treatment, I found out that Dr. N., his replacement, had thought I had been through ...
Source: Not just about cancer - July 1, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog family fear herceptin metastatic show and tell Source Type: blogs

limbo and dreams (updated)
I am still in limbo. My head is healed and I feel more like myself, except for some odd symptoms (my jaw is still freezing shut intermittently for a minute or so. It's so annoying. And embarrassing. It's not really something I can hide and it happens at the most awkward times).I had my surgery on May 9. Everything said to me leading up to that implied that moving ahead was urgent. And yet here we are. I have a lot of faith in my medical team but this time information is not forthcoming and it's making me crazy. I can't plan a thing and I would just like some kind of information. I know I haven't fallen through the cracks. ...
Source: Not just about cancer - June 2, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog dreams herceptin metastatic surgery weird Source Type: blogs

may you live in interesting times
It's been two weeks since my surgery and for some reason, I thought this would be the easy part. I don't really know why I thought that, except that both my surgeon a and my medical oncologist seemed to the think that putting the Ommaya in could have been like day surgery and I would be feeling like myself again in a week or so.Not so much.The nurses were much more cautious and they said to take it easy, be consistent in my activity and increase it very slowly. Ultimately, this is what makes sense. I just wish I weren't so damned impatient.My surgery was on May 9th. I was in the recovery room for much longer than planned b...
Source: Not just about cancer - May 24, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog chronic illness CT scan fear herceptin metastatic pissed off rants surgery Source Type: blogs

beating the blood brain barrier
Ouch! My writing muscle hurts! I realized this week that I have not blogged since March 23. I have so much I want to say that I don't know where to start, so it feels a little overwhelming. About 10 days ago, I had an Ommaya Reservoir, installed in my brain. Compared to my other brain surgeries it was a walk in the park but I'm still dealing with all kinds of fallout from the anesthetic, pain and healing. I had my staples out yesterday, though, so the end of the tunnel must be in sight (although my head hurts as I type this).You can see my incision and the staples here. It's in a semi-circle at the front, slightly to ...
Source: Not just about cancer - May 20, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog herceptin lucky metastatic news surgery weird writing Source Type: blogs

the latest
I wrote this in the form of a letter a few days ago. Doing so has been a huge relief to me. I know that it's not the same for everyone but expressing myself in this way has been both calming and freeing.I have sent it already to family and to friends with whom I have been speaking. It helps a lot because we can start the discussion from here and I don't need to explain from the beginning each time. Or not talk about this stuff at all, in the knowledge that they know. It works for me.You should also know that I learned all this on March 4th (and suspected before because of the symptoms I was having). The news was worse...
Source: Not just about cancer - March 23, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog chronic illness cyber knife radiation travel Source Type: blogs

good things
Time for another one! What would yours be?In random order, the things that make me happy these days:Lynn Miles.Billy Bragg.Tea.Thinking about Canadian travel.Colours.Massage and reflexology.My friends and chosen family (and that includes lots of real family).My sister (because that bears repeating).Dark humour.Dog faces.Tim (for 25 years this month. Over half my life).My brain (ironically, I know).Spring.If you are reading this post on a site other than Not Just About Cancer (besides Facebook or a feed reader), you are reading stolen content. (Source: Not just about cancer)
Source: Not just about cancer - March 21, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: community complementary treatment good stuff my friends my love Source Type: blogs

Cyber Knife is radiation (and other news)
First of all, thanks to you all for giving me all this space. It has meant a lot to me.I'm ready for questions now and to talk about it but first I have to have lunch and then go to Cyber Knife radiation.The name is confusing but it's radiation that can be done differently than whole brain (which is generally only done once). Each new tumour can be targeted directly in one to a few days and you can keep going for quite a while. It's newish technology so no one is certain what that means.My first brain tumour (in November 2012) was treated with conventional surgery, followed two months later with radiation. We did the same ...
Source: Not just about cancer - March 15, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Source Type: blogs

at least i know what to expect on the table
I have a new tumour.I will be doing Cyber Knife some time soon. I don't have a date yet but I'm not worried about that. They are on it.Both my oncologists (radiation and medical) are not just good and smart but they really care what happens to me.I have had a few days to take this in but have had some other (non blog related and not my story to tell) things on my mind. I have been feeling bad that I haven't explained here but I am letting that go.Know that I am doing OK. We are doing OK. I just need a few days to rest, sleep (which I have not been doing for more than a couple of hours a night) and take care of myself.Pleas...
Source: Not just about cancer - March 7, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog cyber knife Source Type: blogs

inconclusive
Today's appointment did not work out as I had hoped, in that there weren't a lot of answers.I was kind of hoping that I'd go in today, get the results from my test and talk about a plan of action for whatever is coming next.It didn't work out that way.I first saw a doctor who works with the oncologists. It wasn't my usual doctor and he had to be brought up to speed on where things are at with me. He was very thorough and very nice but I really wanted to feel like they were on top of things.He had my CT scan and the attached report. There is still a spot on my liver and it's possible that it's a tiny bit bigger but they rea...
Source: Not just about cancer - February 17, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: BlogDay2007 brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog CT scan cyber knife metastatic pissed off travel Source Type: blogs

seriously.
If you are reading this post on a site other than Not Just About Cancer (besides Facebook or a feed reader), you are reading stolen content. (Source: Not just about cancer)
Source: Not just about cancer - February 10, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Source Type: blogs

Be. Here. Now. (an update)
I just had a bath to help me relax. I plopped a bath cube in the water and immediately started to worry that it was the last one and that I needed to make time to get more."Be. Here. Now."Then my phone alarm went off to remind me to take the supplements that I have been forgetting. I had to get Tim to come and switch it off, so that I didn't have to climb out of the hot water. He took the phone right out of the bathroom when he left."Be. Here. Now."There is a lot of uncertainty in my life right now. I still haven't had the MRI that will tell me if the Cyber Knife radiation I had in December got rid...
Source: Not just about cancer - February 8, 2016 Category: Cancer & Oncology Source Type: blogs

patience
I am being taught a lesson in patience. I finished the last of my radiation on December 7. They told me it would be two to three weeks before I feel like myself again. It's only been 11 days but I feel so frustrated that I still can't do much, especially at a time of year when so much is happening and there is so much to be done.I am definitely on the mend and have felt that way for the last few days. It's nice to have a bit of energy but I have learned that it goes suddenly. I can go out to do an errand and before I am done, I can barely make it back to the car. I need to be more patient with myself.The ear ache and ...
Source: Not just about cancer - December 18, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog chronic illness cyber knife fear metastatic radiation show and tell Source Type: blogs

the wisdom of my therapist
I've been seeing a therapist for a couple of years and, at this point, she knows me really well. I honestly don't know how I would have lived through the last couple of years without her and only wish I had started working with her sooner.I've been thinking of some of the things that I have learned from her.Patients who advocate for themselves have better outcomes. My therapist used to work in a hospital and this is something she learned then. I find it very comforting, especially as I make call after call to make sure I get the information I need to know how I am being treated and why. I feel so much better when I know wh...
Source: Not just about cancer - November 30, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: conversations good stuff show and tell things i do for my health Source Type: blogs

the latest developments in the brain of Laurie K
I have been planning for ages to return to writing in this space and feeling a bit guilty about it. I've just been really busy with other writing, volunteering, having fun and getting healthy.Ironically, what brings me back is a return of the cancer in my brain. The letter below is an edited version of one I sent out via email earlier this week. I am happy to have this blog. I just wish I had different news to share at this time.Dear friends and family,My last MRI revealed two new tumours in my brain. Both are the same area as before - the cerebellum. One is in my inner auditory canal and the other is in the cerebellu...
Source: Not just about cancer - November 27, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog chemotherapy chronic illness community conversations cyber knife metastatic my friends my kids my love news pissed off remission Source Type: blogs

i'm aware. are you?
Circulating on Facebook, posted by the late Lisa Bonchek Adams Yesterday was Metastic Breast Cancer Awareness Day . This is official in the United States but not in Canada.   I should have written about this yesterday but I was busy getting treatment, which I do every 4 weeks and will continue to do until it stops working.   Despite a liver that once had " more tumours than you can count " and two brain malignant brain tumours, I have been very, very lucky. As per the graphic above, the median survival of someone with a diagnoses of metastasis is three years. It has been almost 10 years...
Source: Not just about cancer - October 14, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: activism breast cancer cancer blog chronic illness community don ' t buy pink crap herceptin lucky metastatic pissed off rants show and tell Source Type: blogs

i'm aware. are you?
Circulating on Facebook, posted by the late Lisa Bonchek AdamsYesterday was Metastic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. This is official in the United States but not in Canada. I should have written about this yesterday but I was busy getting treatment, which I do every 4 weeks and will continue to do until it stops working. Despite a liver that once had "more tumours than you can count" and two brain malignant brain tumours, I have been very, very lucky. As per the graphic above, the median survival of someone with a diagnoses of metastasis is three years. It has been almost 10 years since my original diagno...
Source: Not just about cancer - October 14, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: activism breast cancer cancer blog chronic illness community don ' t buy pink crap herceptin lucky metastatic pissed off rants show and tell Source Type: blogs

the myth of early detection
This article does it well. The greatest myth serving the early detection belief system is that breast cancer is a single, homogeneous disease that always behaves in the same way, progressing from early to late to lethal (stage 0, 1, 2, 3, 4). From this linear perspective, catching breast cancer "early" suggests that the cancer can be nipped in the bud, stopped in its tracks, prevented from progressing to a lethal stage. A cancer stage, however, is not a point in a definite progression.If you are reading this post on a site other than Not Just About Cancer (besides Facebook or a feed reader), you ar...
Source: Not just about cancer - October 8, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: activism breast cancer cancer blog chronic illness conversations don ' t buy pink crap good stuff health care metastatic pissed off rants show and tell Source Type: blogs

it's october!
I'm fine and I know I owe an update but I could't let this month pass without sharing some the best that's out there when it comes to writing about pink ribbons. To begin, here's one from Breast Cancer Action (thanks to Kate for drawing my attention to this one). The post is by   Jeanette  Koncikowski. Here's an excerpt.   " When I start talking about my concerns about the pink ribbon, people often ask me what my problem is (not in that seriously inquisitive kinda way, but in the seriously, you are taking issue with THIS?! kinda way). They equate questioning this symbol with a l...
Source: Not just about cancer - October 1, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: activism breast cancer don ' t buy pink crap good stuff Source Type: blogs

it's october!
I'm fine and I know I owe an update but I could't let this month pass without sharing some the best that's out there when it comes to writing about pink ribbons.To begin, here's one from Breast Cancer Action (thanks to Kate for drawing my attention to this one).The post is by Jeanette Koncikowski. Here's an excerpt. "When I start talking about my concerns about the pink ribbon, people often ask me what my problem is (not in that seriously inquisitive kinda way, but in the seriously, you are taking issue with THIS?! kinda way). They equate questioning this symbol with a lack of support for women living w...
Source: Not just about cancer - October 1, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: activism breast cancer don ' t buy pink crap good stuff Source Type: blogs

update on the fly
I am finally feeling like myself again. I realized that today, in fact, despite the fact that I have a cold, gifted to me by my children.Since I last wrote, I had a wonderful week in Florida. I then attended my son's Grade 6 "leaving ceremony" and had treatment.Today was spent attempting to get ready for a little family vacation. There is so much catching up to do that it seems a little silly to be going away but it will be good for us.The neurosurgeon says all is well. No heavy lifting or dyeing my hair for three months. My head still hurts enough to need Tylenol a couple of times a day. I have an MRI at the end...
Source: Not just about cancer - June 29, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog family good stuff joy surgery Source Type: blogs

others' eloquent voices
I was actually doing much better between when I blogged last time and when I went in for CyberKnife radiation last Thursday. I was walking and eating (and had even been out for dinner once and gone to book club). I was still needing to rest a lot but I could see the improvement in every day. And that was heartening. CyberKnife was a major setback. I remember that it was last time, too (so much so that I never really wrote about it - just wanted to move on). That's just how it goes for me, I guess. I had brain swelling, headache, nausea, loss of balance, fatigue (yet little sleep) and a very odd taste in my mouth.I sti...
Source: Not just about cancer - June 8, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: activism brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog chronic illness community cyber knife good stuff metastatic radiation show and tell surgery writing Source Type: blogs

others' eloquent voices
I was actually doing much better between when I blogged last time and when I went in for CyberKnife radiation last Thursday. I was walking and eating (and had even been out for dinner once and gone to book club). I was still needing to rest a lot but I could see the improvement in every day. And that was heartening.CyberKnife was a major setback. I remember that it was last time, too (so much so that I never really wrote about it - just wanted to move on). That's just how it goes for me, I guess. I had brain swelling, headache, nausea, loss of balance, fatigue (yet little sleep) and a very odd taste in my mouth.I still do....
Source: Not just about cancer - June 8, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: activism brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog chronic illness community cyber knife good stuff metastatic radiation show and tell surgery writing Source Type: blogs

twilight zone
Week two was harder than week one. This is partly because I am more impatient and partly that I think this is what happens at week two. It's two steps forward, one step back.I had my staples out on Tuesday. And then slept for hours.I'm walking a little further every day.I still have trouble concentrating and haven't read anything. I have a writing contest to enter for the first time and I am not sure I can do it.I watched Baby Mama this week, finished Brooklyn NineNine and Midsomer Murders.My head hurts. Apparently it's quite swollen. I'm also told there are sutures inside my head, which is kind of weird.Last week I had th...
Source: Not just about cancer - May 23, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog CT scan metastatic pissed off radiation Source Type: blogs

for tim
In 1991, Tim and I, newly in love, had just moved to Toronto. Very soon after, he left on a pre-planned trip to the West Coast of the US and Canada. When we were re-united three months later (an eternity when you are 24), I had my own home, my own friends, job and way of doing things.We were still madly in love. We joined up some things but continued to lead our own lives with separate interests and friendships in addition to the ones we hold together. This is why it struck us both as so very funny when, on our wedding night in 1996, after all the madness was over, I got quite drunk on all the left-over free wine (our gues...
Source: Not just about cancer - May 18, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog chronic illness community good stuff joy my friends my love Source Type: blogs

healing
Waiting for surgeryIn the end, I was in surgery for 9 hours. It was hard but every day was a little better. And by Sunday night, I was home.7 inches of staplesDr. S doesn't shave his patients before surgery.A shiner that appears to have been caused on the inside.I have no idea why there are staples in my forehead.All three spots were biopsied and then removed. The one at the original site (that has caused the roller coaster we've been on since the summer) was necrotic tissue. So was the new one that had just appeared, not too far away. But the other one, the one nearer to the brain stem that was a bit hard to see from diff...
Source: Not just about cancer - May 16, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog CT scan cyber knife health care lucky metastatic radiation surgery Source Type: blogs

it's on
Tomorrow morning. I have to be  there at 6am. Surgery scheduled for 8am (when Tim will be kicked out of the hospital and forced to go to Costco). Tim will be updating, as he has news   on Twitter (as he says, his stream will now be news of me and how much he hates the drivers at Lansdowne). Don't look for too much too soon, as the surgery has been booked for 7 hours, so he's unlikely to have news between when he leaves me and at least 3pm or so (last time it was 9 hours. Sometimes, it takes longer and it doesn't necessarily mean anything went wrong). Tim will likely have biopsy results of all three...
Source: Not just about cancer - May 6, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog my love surgery Source Type: blogs

it's on
Tomorrow morning. I have to be  there at 6am. Surgery scheduled for 8am (when Tim will be kicked out of the hospital and forced to go to Costco).Tim will be updating, as he has news on Twitter (as he says, his stream will now be news of me and how much he hates the drivers at Lansdowne). Don't look for too much too soon, as the surgery has been booked for 7 hours, so he's unlikely to have news between when he leaves me and at least 3pm or so (last time it was 9 hours. Sometimes, it takes longer and it doesn't necessarily mean anything went wrong).Tim will likely have biopsy results of all three spots once the sur...
Source: Not just about cancer - May 6, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog my love surgery Source Type: blogs

2 more days in the sun
Yesterday, I had the best massage of my life. During my appointment my phone was off. When I turned it back on, there was voice mail.My surgery was delayed for two days until Thursday, May 7.Maybe it was the massage or maybe it was the chance to have two more days to enjoy the beautiful weather we have been having but the delay didn't bother me at all. It helps to remember that not much bumps a brain tumour - whoever had surgery instead today must have needed it very badly.So today, I worked my way through my to do list, walked the dogs, puttered a bit and had a visit with an a old friend. We had a wonderful dinner, ate Di...
Source: Not just about cancer - May 6, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog good stuff health care metastatic surgery Source Type: blogs

pre-op
Some people need to gain some interpersonal skills.Yesterday, morning I had my pre-admission appointment at the hospital.First I checked in with admissions, gave them my insurance info, requested a private or semi-private room, if available and declined to rent a TV or phone (note to self: make sure to pack phone and charger and load up tablet with mindless videos).Next we went to the pre-surgery unit (not it's official name but you get the idea) where we met with a bunch more people (last time, I remember going from room to room instead of having folks come to us but my memory of the last time is extremely untrustworthy)....
Source: Not just about cancer - May 1, 2015 Category: Cancer & Oncology Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog health care metastatic Source Type: blogs

winners!
The random number generator has spoken and Shari and Jo will get copies of "Getting Past the Fear. A Guide to Help you Mentally Prepare for Chemotherapy." I just need your contact info! You can send me an email by clicking on the photo of my book (Not Done Yet) in the right sidebar. Congratulations!If you are reading this post on a site other than Not Just About Cancer (besides Facebook or a feed reader), you are reading stolen content. (Source: Not just about cancer)
Source: Not just about cancer - July 8, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: book review chemotherapy good stuff show and tell Source Type: blogs

bloggers who live with mets and write about that and other things
The other day, Katherine O'Brien shared a Pinterest board called "Metastatic Breast Cancer: Stage 4 People and their Stories." I'm not on Pinterest but I clicked through and was floored by all the beautiful and interesting people from so many different walks of life. So many are so young. So many of little kids, as I did when I was first diagnosed.It got me thinking how much connections with others has mattered to me over the last 8 years. I looked back at some of my own lists. I looked at the blogrolls of others. And I realized that far too many of these amazing women are no longer with us.Today's post is n...
Source: Not just about cancer - June 20, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: activism breast cancer cancer blog community good stuff identity metastatic my friends pissed off show and tell writing Source Type: blogs

book review: Getting Past the Fear. A Guide to Help You Mentally Prepare for Chemotherapy
Nancy Stordahl is an outspoken breast cancer advocate. She's been through treatment herself and lived through her mother's illness and death from metastatic disease. She started her blog, Nancy's Point, when she was still in treatment and continues to write there today. Nancy is generous with her experience and supportive of others living through breast cancer. Who better, then, to write a guide to conquering the fear of chemotherapy?Not just another advice manual, Getting Past the Fear: A Guide to Help you Mentally Prepare for Chemotherapy is full of advice and personal observations. It's not a long book, only 60 pages, b...
Source: Not just about cancer - June 17, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: book review books breast cancer cancer blog chemo chemotherapy community good stuff metastatic show and tell Source Type: blogs

not just about breast cancer
Today's post is a guest post from the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. This is the first guest post ever on this blog but I wanted to share this issue and felt it would be best if someone from MCA explained the issue in their own words.Here are some facts provided by Cameron Von St. James, whose wife Heather is a mesothelioma survivor. Note that while Cameron is in the US and writes about that country, asbestos is not banned in Canada, either (Update: This is the June 16 editorial from the Globe and Mail: "Ottawa's sunny outlook on asbestos is out of step with the facts."). In fact, Canada's Mesothelioma Center says...
Source: Not just about cancer - June 16, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: cancer blog community preventing cancer show and tell Source Type: blogs

health care is an election issue
I heard on the radio this morning that health care has not been a key issue during this provincial election. I disagree. Maybe the media hasn't picked it up, but health care has been very much on the radar for several groups and the people who support them.The Fair Cancer Care campaign asks that everyone sign a petition and get their candidates to support access to the best chemotherapies regardless of cost or ability to pay.Cancertainty has pulled together more than 40 organizations to get the province to pay for oral chemotherapy. The majority of new chemotherapies will be oral and are not currently paid for by OHIP, as ...
Source: Not just about cancer - June 11, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: breast cancer cancer blog community health care metastatic rants show and tell Source Type: blogs

please be kind on election day
Three years ago, I took a job as a Deputy Returning Officer for Elections Ontario. I'd read a post by Zoom about how she worked during one election and it intrigued me. At that time, I was mostly pushing myself to step outside my comfort zone. Fast forward to June 2014. It turns out that while it feels like much too soon for another election, three years is enough to forget - much like childbirth - the agony of 18 hours of pain, anxiety and boredom.So I'm doing it again.Last week I went to the mandatory training session. It turns out that only some of the candidates and the Returning Office have changed. We were given...
Source: Not just about cancer - June 3, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: activism community show and tell Source Type: blogs

not as simple as it would seem
As someone living with metastatic breast cancer, I pay keen attention to the development of new cancer drugs. And of course I pay particular attention to the drugs that are likely to one day benefit me.I have been on Herceptin for 7.5 years. My response was rapid and complete and there is no sign that the drug has stopped working. That doesn't mean, however, that I don't worry about the future and how I will proceed once I come to the end of the line with this miracle drug.Enter trastuzumab emtansine, or TDM-1, as it was more commonly known. Over the last couple of years, I watched with great interest as clinical trials oc...
Source: Not just about cancer - June 2, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: brain metastasis breast cancer cancer blog chemotherapy community fear good stuff health care herceptin lucky show and tell Source Type: blogs

only love
A couple of weekends ago, my family spent the day in Prince Edward County, celebrating my father-in-law's 75 birthday. It was a wonderful day and we were all pretty tired on the long drive home. Since the kids both had there headphones on, I started looking through my ipod for music I hadn't heard in a while. I decided I was in the mood for PEI's Lennie Gallant (did you know that practically every second person on the East side of PEI is named Gallant? It really is the name on every other mailbox).As we listened, Tim and I remembered that one of our first dates was a Lennie Gallant concert at Artspace in Peterborough....
Source: Not just about cancer - May 27, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: community good stuff my kids my love travel Source Type: blogs

drugs are usually > major surgery
Catherine Brunelle, who blogs at Bumpyboobs.ca shared the story of what happened when she was diagonosed with metastatic breast cancer in Ontario:"I would be put (back) on Zoladex, I was told, which is a drug that puts your ovaries to sleep. Zoladex isnot covered by OHIP. The oncologist wasn’t sure if it would help, but he figured we should try that first and foremost before doing anything else. Except. . . except that monthly shot costs about 500 bucks a pop. Or I could pay 1500 a go and get the three month shot.But insurance would pay for it.Right?…Oh wait, you don’t have insurance? Well then...
Source: Not just about cancer - May 23, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: breast cancer cancer blog good stuff health care metastatic show and tell Source Type: blogs

wishing you continued good health
As, I mentioned in my last post,  I've been working on a campaign called Fair Cancer Care. We're hoping to create awareness, followed by change to how chemotherapy drugs are covered in Ontario. We launched in time for the provincial election campaign, in the hopes that we can get our local candidates to take an interest. You can find out more at FairCancerCare.ca.The people behind the campaign are a group of Ottawa residents who have all been affected by cancer. We've all been promoting the hell out of this campaign as the election date draws nearer. My good friend Andrea is a driving force in our group. Her creativit...
Source: Not just about cancer - May 16, 2014 Category: Cancer Tags: breast cancer cancer blog chemotherapy community news pissed off show and tell Source Type: blogs