Thursday, May 31, 2007


The day I’ve been waiting for finally arrived. On May 29th, I had an appointment with the specialists at Princess Margaret Hospital to go over the results of my MRI and CT scan.
I was hoping for better results. It is now time for me to move from denial toacceptance.
Since May 3rd, after hearing the initial diagnosis from my Surgeon at Oshawa General Hospital, Garth and I have taken the time to absorb and process it all on an emotional level. We have also been in waiting mode.

Waiting....... for the first appointment with Dr.W. at Mount Sinai for another assessment.

Waiting....... for further CT Scans and MRIs.

Waiting........for the results of the CT Scans and MRIs.

Waiting....... to meet with the Oncologist who would tell us what kind of treatmentregimen will be required.
The doctors at Mount Sinai are still waiting...... to receive the patholgy sample from OGH and have expressed their frustation at the delay in receiving this as they are not able to give me a definitive diagnosis of what type of Cancer it is.

The "waiting" is one of the most difficult things to deal with.

Waiting.... to get more information. find out what happens next. "live"again.

The MRI showed clearly a tumor between my left eye and the bone in my nose. It is localized to that area in my ethmoid sinuses. It is either Squamous cell carcinoma or Mucoepidermoid carcinoma. Both will mostlikely require 5-6 weeks of daily radiation appointments to shrink the tumor. Dr.W. explained to me that there is a whole floor at Princess Margaret Hospital dedicated to the physics of radiation and how they target the beam as not to damage healthy tissue. How cool is that? He stated that surgery may be required afterwards to ensure total removal. He is optimistic that they can save my vision, but the radiation may cause me to get cateracts early. He is also optimistic that the surgery can be done intranasally which was quite a relief as some of the surgeries for paranasal sinus cancer can be quite disfiguring. The tumor board will be meeting next Tuesday, which is a minimum of 12 doctors that convene to discuss a specific and concrete treatment strategy based on the findings of the pathology report. In the meantime I have ongoing appointments for bloodwork, a hearing test at Toronto General and a dental appointment at Princess Margaret as the radiation may affect both my hearing and my teeth.

So as I continue to still it just happens between medical appointments, not during them.

My life in the next few months will be filled with lots of laughter and love, walks in the park, playing with the dog, watching my favorite movies, reading novels I’ve always meant to read, and learning to let my friends and family take care of me while I try to take care of them too.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Around The Garden

My garden is looking better than ever this year. I can't wait to see how things progress.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Recently I have become more aware of how I am feeling on a "daily basis" and becoming more aware of my emotions. I believe our emotions play a huge role in whether we are allowing our well being or not and also that the body,mind,spirit are all connected and create experiences within us.

In Nursing School, I remember learning the teachings of Dr. Kubler Ross and the stages of feelings one goes through when dying and I assume it is common for a person newly diagnosed with cancer to go through some or all of these stages. They are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and lastly,acceptance.

I am in denial. My denial is not related to fear of the diagonsis. My denial is related to the facts I have been provided with.
1. The surgeon told me, that the pathologist told him that his 2 surgical patients (I was one of them) on the same day had tissue samples indicative of cancer.
2. The type of cancer....Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the nasal cavity/sinuses very rare. Apparently only 38 cases of sinonasal mucoepidermoid carcinoma have been previously reported in the English-language literature.
3. Men are more likely than women to get it, and most patients are older than 45.
4. The risk factors that make a person more likely to develop nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer do not relate to me. Most of these risk factors are associated occupational exposure to dusts from wood, textiles, and leather and even perhaps flour. Other substances linked to this type of cancer are glues, formaldehyde, solvents used in furniture and shoe production, nickel and chromium dust, mustard gas, isopropyl ("rubbing") alcohol, and radium.
5. I have been doing some research online of Allergic Fungal Sinusitis and the literature I read the other night stated..........."Historically AFS is mistaken for a paranasal sinus tumor.
6. There is a relation to fungal infections of the paranasal sinuses and Samter Triad.
Samter Triad is........something I was diagnosed with a few years ago when I learned I am allergic to Ibuprofen.
7. The hallmark of fungal infections in the nose is.....(Something I have been experiencing for months)mucin that is thick, tenacious, and highly viscous. Its colour may vary from light tan to brown or darkgreen. Its characteristic appearence has resulted in the use of such descriptive terms as peanut butter and axle grease.
8. Allergic Fungal Mucin is normally first encountered during surgery. I remember chatting with the surgeon post-op the day after my surgery and asking him if he found any polyps in my nasal cavity that could have prevented my sinuses from draining properly and therefore causing my sinus concerns.His response was....."No, but we sent away a tissue sample because you had some funky stuff going onin there. I have never seen anything like it."Well, that funky stuff is the stuff I have been blowing out of my nose occasionally. It is the most bizarre and disgusting stuff I have ever seen. When I have described it to a few of my coworkers they have begged me to show them. Unfortunately I cannot perform when under pressure and it never presentsitself when I have a captive audience. My dear husband on the hand has been privy to see it(poor guy.) Even Garth who is weak of stomach was both disgusted yet intrigued.

Those are the facts and I am taking them with me when I go to my appointment on Tuesday.

I'm also taking the fungi ball I blew out my nose this morning while doing my saline rinse this morning. Sorry you missed it Dad......ha,ha,ha.

Things I Don't Do Often Enough

1. Dance in non-dancing places.
2. Exercise
3. Read the whole paper, front to back.
4. Walk barefoot on grass.
5. Play games we loved as kids.
6. Turn the channel from the really, really stupid show.
7. Wait for the Tootsie Pop centre to emerge gracefully, rather than crunching.
8. Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
9. Speak up at the right time.
10. Hang with my Mom & Dad

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Meredes Benz

There was a time when Garth and I used to love to mountain bike and we used to trek over cross-country terrain from Brantford to Cambridge and back. We even bought a bike seat for Brooke to join us when she was first born. This would have been a nice ride.

Dance Recital AKA Nap Time For My Dad

The girls' dance recital concludes today. Brooke danced a hip-hop number to the Spice Girls tune, "Wannabe." Both Brooke and Alley participate in Musical Theatre and this year they danced to "Thriller." Alley loves anything scary and loved being able to dress up like a zombie and really enjoyed getting into the role.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Today Was A Good Day

Today was a good day......Garth and I went for a walk.
Todays walk was not so much about exercise.
It was about meditation.
It was a way to gain tranquility before I encountered the day.
It seems to happen every once in a while, and it seems to happen in the midst of being somewhere proximate to the natural world.
When I feel is precious and poignant all at feel so...visible to myself, to understand something about the larger picture amid the smaller, busier, chaotic things I carry during the day.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Why I Blog

People are always asking me why I spend time "blogging," so I've given this some thought lately.....
-it’s a good outlet for my snarkiness and criticisms.
-this is the closest to fame i’ll ever get.
-because I want the real me to be seen, heard and known through some of my more personal writings.
-because there is too much I don't say out loud, and I want as few regrets as possible.
-I stumble over my words when I speak but I seem to make them flow when I write. It's the way I tell my story best.

My Mom and Dad are my biggest fans of when I write more personal stuff, than when I just post links or random weird stuff. Lately they have noticed and commented that the well has run dry and I have been posting less frequently.
Recently my creativity is non-existent. My words haven't been able to flow. I'm all tangled up. I'm in a war against my body.

I saw the surgeon post op on May 3 and the news was a shock. The tissue sample taken during surgery showed cancer cells. There is evidence of a tumor. I was quickly referred to specialists at Mt Sinai to determine if it is squamous cell carcinoma or Mucoepidermoid carcinoma. I am still processing all of this, I think, and maybe I am in a little bit of shock right now. It has all happened so very, very quickly. I would never have predicted two months ago that I would be facing something like this.......CT Scans, MRIs, Phonecalls from staff at Princess Margret Hospital introdcing themselves as "my cancer nurse."
I meet with another doctor at the end of the month and will find out more and until then Garth and I have chosen not to share this with the girls until we have more answers ourselves.

I have shared the news with family and friends to let them know what was going on. The response I have received has been absolutely overwhelming. I can see that this support is the thing that is going to get me through all of this. I don’t know if I could do it without knowing that all of these people are behind me. They have been amazing. I know that many of you are reading this now, and I wish that I could convey to you all how much your words of kindness and compassion and love have meant to me.

Today......I write because I have to, because I need to, because if I don't, I will either explode or implode because by writing I have a release and that, for me, is healing and cathartic.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Movies That Have Made Garth Shed A Tear

Big Fish
King Kong 1976
Bridges Of Madison County
Forest Gump
Mr. Hollands Opus
My Life
Simon Birch
Rocky 3

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mothers Day Weekend

Recently I'm in a place I don't want to be and I felt I needed therapy. It came to me this weekend in the form of my daughters.
Sometimes our days may not be easy and our lives may be far from perfect, but we have had the joy of loving our children. doesn’t get much better than that! Thanks for a great weekend girls

We have a dove that has been nesting over our porch. In keeping with the spirit of this special day she gave birth sometime over the weekend to some wee ones.

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day Mom........We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves. Enjoy this special day and know that you are loved.

I remember similar photosessions like this.

“We only have One Mom, One Mommy, One Mother in this World, One life. Don’t wait for the Tomorrow’s to tell Mom, you love her”~Author Unknown~

Somebody said it takes about 6 weeks to get back to normal after you've had a baby............that somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother, "Normal" is history.

Somebody said being a mother is boring..........that somebody doesn't live in my house. I love you Brooke and Alley.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Movies, Movies, Movies

1. Name a movie that you have seen more than 10 times..........Grease
2. Name a movie that you’ve seen multiple times in the theater.......Star Wars
3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie......Edward Norton
4. Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie......Jim Carey
5. Name a movie that you can quote from........Pulp Fiction
6. Name a movie musical that you know all the lyrics to all the songs.........Moulin Rouge
7. Name a movie that you have been known to sing along with........Grease
8. Name a movie that you would recommend everyone see.......Jaws
9. Name a movie that you own..........Superman The Movie
10. Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.............Jennifer Lopez
11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? If so, what? ................................I love the drive in. I remember my parents used to load us all into the station wagon and hope we would fall asleep before the more adult films would come on. I stayed awake once and saw Stallone in Death Race 2000.
12. Ever made out in a movie? ..............maybe
13. Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven’t gotten around to it..........Breakfast At Tiffaneys
14. Ever walked out of a movie?Yes........."Guilty By Sin"
15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater..........Bridges Of Madison County

16. Popcorn?................ Absolutely!!
17. How often do you go to the movies? ..........Only for big blockbusters or during holidays with the kids as I prefer watching movies in our home theatre.
18. What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?..........SpiderMan 3
19. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?..............Action flick or drama.
20. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater? Benji
21. What movie do you wish you had never seen? Last Action Hero
22. What is the scariest movie you’ve seen?............High Tension

23. What is the funniest movie you’ve seen?...........I am not a fan of comedies but I guess Fast Times At Ridgemount High as it still makes me laugh to this day.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The 100 Worst Cover Songs

As I have mentioned in previous writings I love cover versions of songs and have a collection of what I believe are the greatest covers ever done. I haven't gone through this whole list of the worst but will spend the next few days giving them a listen. What are your favorite covers and what are the worst you have ever heard?

More Words From Alley

While getting ready for the day in the bathroom........

Alley: Thats a pretty shirt......where did you get it?

Me: Well thank-you. I think it's from Sears.

Alley: Thats a bad company.

Me: What do you mean by that? Why is it a bad company?

Alley: Because I think you should only shop at La Senza Girl, Old Navy and Build-a-bear.

Later in the day, Alley is using the television remote to find a program to watch on television and she pauses to notice the Dr. Phil Show is ending and he is leaving the studio with his wife on his arm..............

Alley: Is that his wife?

Me: Yes.

Alley: Wow.......... he would be a hard man to be married to.

Me: (Smiling) Why do you think so?

Alley: Because he would be "I think you need to use common sense and how's it working for you." (said in her best Dr. Phil Voice)