Sunday, May 30, 2010

Life After Cancer - A Year Later!

Yesterday was my one year anniversary of being cancer-free. The night I found my tumor, never did I imagine I would live long enough to see that day. What a great and wonderful day it was!

It called for celebration. We started the day at the strawberry and rhubarb patch, and finished it with a nice diner sitting outside with the children. It never felt so good to be healthy and alive.

What a difference can a year make! I meant to seldomly update my blog, whenever I had follow-up and such but never got around to it. I needed a break from cancer and unconsciously avoided it.
All in all, it was a great year. We spent the summer camping in our new VW Vanagon with the children. Both children started school this year, they did and are still doing great and are loving it. We bought a new house in the fall and have just planted our garden for the summer, which we have missed over the past 2 years for lack of outdoor space. I will be travelling soon to Prince-Edward Island with my husband for a week to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. My hair have consistently been growing to a full 7 inches long, after patiently waiting for 13 1/2 months, I finally had my first hair cut a few days ago. I'm back to my pre-chemo weight after loosing a whole 23lbs. My energy is back and I'm my old self again. I'm getting ready to enjoy another summer of camping and summer fun with the children. And most importantly, I am still completely cancer-free. Life is good!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thank You!

It's been a while since I updated my blog, today is yet another rainy day, so I thought I would stop in. I have been cured of cancer for 3 weeks now. I don't like using the term "remission" as it implies that the cancer is now dormant until it wakes up. Cancer is gone, it cannot wake up, it will not come back! I'M CURED :)

The past 3 weeks have been nice. No treatment, no doctor appointments :) I haven't done much, just relaxed, which was much needed after these past 9 months. I'm doing great, my hair are growing. I decide to color them, my poor hair have been through so much, but I found I color that is very close to my natural color. My hair actually look like a fashionable super short cut now. I still can't wait for them to be longer, the next few months will be challenging to let them grow and make them look nice. The boys are doing great, phew, the past 9 months have been pretty rough for them. They're only 5 & 6 (4 & 5 when it all started), it was a lot for them to digest. We're all happy and have quickly put this behind us. Maybe that's why I haven't been here to update, I haven't found the need to blog much lately. We're not doing too much cancer talk either.

Most people that finish cancer treatment are scared. When you're in treatment, you're closely followed by a doctor. When treatment is over, you're on your own. I'm surprised to find myself without fear and at peace with it all. I'm sure that when I go for my next mammogram in the fall there will be bits of anxiety, but I'm feeling very confident that this is all over and that I have no need to worry. It's nice.

There's no way I could have gone through this journey without the help and support of a lot of people. Many thanks are in order.

  • Thank you to my wonderful husband who has been so supportive of me throughout this entire journey. Thank you for loving me no matter what I looked like, with or without hair and a few more scars! Thank you for letting me cry when I needed to. Thank you for helping me take care of the house when I couldn't. Thank you for being a wonderful dad to our children when they needed some stability.
  • Thank you to my children, Jerome & Felix, who throughout their grief, managed to keep loving me, caring for me, cuddling with me. Your love, hugs & kisses is what help me get throughout this and what gave me the strength to beat it. I love you both very dearly.

  • Thank you to both of my moms. One that helped out through chemo and one that helped out through radiation. I couldn't have done it without either one of you.

  • Thank you to my dad who spent of good bit of the winter without my mom, letting her travel every 3 weeks to be here with us.
  • Thank you to my sister. My earring provider to make sure I looked good during this journey. I received many compliments about my earrings over the past few months and every time, it made me think about you.

  • Thank you to my dear friend Chantale who listened to me when I had enough and never told me to shut up ;) Thank you for checking on me, caring about me and loving me. I love you too xxx

  • Thank you to all my friend and family who were there for us. Even though we didn't need much help after all, I appreciated all the offer we received.

  • Thank you to our Church for bringing us meals 3 times a week for 6 months. It was very helpful not having to cook most of our meals. Thank you for everyone prayers, I'm sure it had something to do with the fact that this journey was somewhat easy compared to what it could have been.

  • Thank you to Cathy & Suzanne, my Chemo Angels, that cheered me every week by sending me cards and goodies. You were both wonderful.

  • Thank you to the December Divas at and all the other wonderful ladies that help me and provided support through every step of the journey.

  • Thank you to my fellow bloggers who provided me with extra support and camaraderie. Never did I thought that by starting a blog to keep my friends & family updated, would I meet so many other wonderful cancer fighter to help support one another.

  • Thank you to my wonderful doctors. Dr. Dickson-Whitmer, Dr. Wozniak & Dr. Koprowski, all 3 of them have been wonderful and I truly believe that I have received the best treatment.

  • Thank you to all the assistants, technicians and nurses that helped make this journey an easier one. I haven't been in contact with one that wasn't nice or that I didn't like which is quite amazing in itself, they were all great.

  • Thank you to everyone else I might have forgotten :)

I'm not sure that I will be back. I will miss blogging, this was a first for me, it was fun. I might try to find something else to blog about, but I'm ready to turn the page, so I guess this is it.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Relay For Life

What an emotional event! I took the first lap with Steve and the boys and cried the whole way. It was great to be part of the Survivor group. We didn't stay that long, it was rainning, but hand's up to all those over there that had their tents set-up and ready for the night. I did manage to find my luminaria that Steve's aunt got for me. We didn't stay until they were lit, I bet it's beautiful to see all those little lights in honor or memory of someone. If it wasn't for the rain, I would have stuck around to see them, but I doubt they were able to light them, so we headed back home.

Well, on his way to bed, Jerome came to me, gave me a big hug, started crying and before I could say anything, he told me "Mommy, I'm so happy it's all over!". What a sweet child, what else could I do but to hug him back just as tight, hold him and pour out some more tears of joy with him. Now, Jerome is the one that had the hardest time dealing with my cancer, the numerous doctors appointments and all the side effects. Jerome is also the one who cannot and has NEVER voiced his emotions that way before. It melted my heart.

I Have Officially Survived Cancer :)

I'm officially a Survivor. The last possible tiny cancer cell left in my body was killed at 11:30AM. What a great feeling! Although, I have been crying all day, happy tears. I was so excited and happy to be done with treatment that my eyes got watery before the machine was even done working :)

We'll be heading to the Relay For Life shortly. Hopefully the rain will stop soon.

Happy Day :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One More :)

I can't believe that tomorrow will be the end of my cancer treatment. That tomorrow I will be able to call myself an official cancer survivor. That is somewhat of a bitter-sweet title, I'm so thankful to have survived this disease, but then again, never in my wildest dreams did I ever thought I would be going through cancer in my lifetime, especially not at the age of 33!

I learn so much over the past few months. The night I found my lump (at 3:30AM I must say!) I cried all night thinking that I was going to die and couldn't keep my children off my mind feeling so sorry for them that they would have to grow up without a mommy. Remember, it was 3:30AM, I wasn't thinking very straight. After very little sleep, I found myself in front of the computer getting information about breast cancer. Very soon, I found out that about 80% of all tumor are non-cancer, so it put myself at ease until I could get a mammogram & ultrasound. The tests showed a cyst I was told but my breast surgeon quickly told me this was no cyst, she had to biopsy the tumor to be on the safe side but she was certain it was nothing and that I should worry. Well, the rest is history. All that was 9 months ago. I have NO idea where those 9 months went. It's all a blur, like a bad dream and I'm finally waking up. I was never in denial that I had cancer, but at the same time, I can't believe I just went through cancer treatment. I barely remember going through chemo! I'm feeling like this didn't happen to me, maybe it's my coping mechanism that erased it from my memory as soon as it happened, I don't know. But what I know is that I am so thankful that I had a cancer that was caught early and that was highly curable. I so thankful to be able to start enjoying life again with a brand new set of eyes.

Back to what I was saying, 9 months ago, I had no idea that so many people were or had been dealing with cancer. I had no idea that cancer is now curable, I always thought of it as a death sentence, hence my crying all night when the tumor was found. I had no idea that cancer treatment were actually not that bad. I might be one of the lucky ones less side effects than the rest, but now that it's over, I can say that it wasn't all that horrible, it wasn't fun, but I was expecting it to be A LOT worse than what it was. I had no idea that there is more and more younger people with cancer. I always thought of cancer as either an elderly disease (80+) or childhood disease like leukemia. Well, there is now a whole lot of ladies dealing with breast cancer in their 30's-40's now. Cancer isn't what is used to be. We shouldn't be scared of cancer anymore.

I probably won't sleep tonight, I'm just way to excited about tomorrow. Radiation at 11:30. At 11:35, I'll be able to put all this behind me :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Growing Hair - Week 7

The boys decided to pop in my weekly picture today. They're so precious :) Still growing, although right now I'm debating about dying my hair or not. The grey is driving me crazy. But I would need to find a natural hair dye as I don't need to put more junk on myself. Still thinking...

The skin under my arm is feeling much better. I was ready to go into the office armed with suggestions on Tuesday, but as I was expecting, it started healing over the weekend. Well, by healing, I mean peeling. As soon as the skin peeled, the pain went away and I was able to start moving my arm again. Phew, that was some pain! Skin is still a little tight, but I'm keeping it moisturized.
The boosts are so easy & quick. The radiation techs drew a big blue circle around my scar, so everyday, they just wiggle the table until the machine hits the circle perfectly. And for the boosts, I only get 1 zap everyday. So instead of being in the office for about 4.5 minutes, I'm there for about 2 minutes everyday. Short & sweet. Well, maybe not sweet!

31 down, 2 to go...