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Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Seriously WTF update

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So, I have a little problem.  The page called “Seriously WTF?” on this blog, where I’ve posted more of the ‘medical’ side of healing from cancer, has technical difficulties. The way I’ve set it up, I can’t add ‘tags’ to help others find it.  I’d like others to find it… those going through treatments for cancer, and perhaps those who support them. I’m hoping that there’s a tidbit or two in there that might be helpful – even if just to know that they are not alone.  And that is why the latest update to that page, I’m also posting here. This way I can ‘tag’ the heck out of it, and trust that if there’s someone out there needing something on that page… they’ll find it.

This post isn’t only about medical stuff,  it has a touch of whine, and a lot about what’s helping… the helping part likely includes you, unless this is the first time you’ve come across my stories. ~smile~ There’s also a great ship.. read on!

June 25 2013  Update

Oh where oh where have I been? Well, honestly… slowly, quietly meandering my way into what is now classed as ‘mildly to moderately depressed.’  I could see it happening as I began the tamoxifen treatments and slowly quietly began getting more and more side effects – with moods being a key one.  My hair all stopped regrowing – another tell tale ‘all is not ideal’ sign. And I was on continued ‘chemo’ treatments of herceptin up until mid June. I’m now finished those. YAYYYYYY!

Whoot whoot whoot whoot!  One year of injections finished! (My chemo buddies and I did something really fun/funny… we’ll reveal that soon.)  Ideally, the finish of that treatment will make the ongoing oral tamoxifen treatments easier. (Oh, and I did have the second reconstruction surgery in March … things are coming along prettily. Very impressed with what surgeons can do.)

So, although I’m aware that treatments and ‘stuff’ are playing havoc.. it’s okay. Supplements recommended by my Inspirehealth doctor are helping tremendously.  Anyone reading this who is in Canada….please consider making Inspirehealth part of your team if you have been diagnosed with cancer. This is the only place I know where there are medical doctors who are experts in what you can take or do, that will not interfere with the success of chemo and other cancer treatments. I describe it as integrative cancer care where western and eastern philosophies meet.  Sooo important.

And all of this is also okay, because I’m staying ‘reasonably’ true to doing things I love even if it’s been harder to ‘feel’ the same amount of joy, rush, and fun. Some days it’s been “just read a good book”  while avoiding other things I love because I’m just cranky. That’s been a hard one through all of this… days where I know I’m just too cranky to hang out even with my precious precious granddaughters.  Oy.

But I’ve also written a little book called “The Crash, Creatively”… so far just for my doctors, but will do more with it, I think.  I’ve played on my paddleboard at Hornby Island with dear muse friends, and paddled and hiked and hit the hot springs in the Rockies. I walk regularly and hike once in awhile. (But Kamloops, cut with all the rain!)

I’m shocked to notice that I may well have become a foodie!  Sometimes I work hard at eating… but I do it anyway, and it’s all good healthy shit stuff.

I’m delighted to have one online course going and am loving doing that, as always.  Onward… small step, by small step. And yes, I sketch, and my paint sketches, as I call them, continue to give me intuitive wisdom about what I need to keep taking steps.  In amongst selling my house and financial crashes…well, I guess I can give myself credit for creatively surviving financially, in addition to so much help from the community last year.

Sounds like I’m doing awesome, when I read all that. Ha Ha!  Okay, screw the cranky.. I’m doing awesome.  But it’s not me that’s the most awesome….

Remember when I shared this when I revealed that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer?

“On this journey,
I will use creativity.
 I will use magic.
I will use laughter.
I will use adavan …
I will hang out in nature
But most of all, I will bask in the love and support
and wonder of those around me
For all of that, I feel blessed.”
The reason I’ve been able to get through this the way I have, is not so much cuz I said I’d do these things; it was because my family and friends believed in me. That kept me going. Thank you for believing in me, even when I have some serious doubts.
And for those I know who are also going through this difficult experience, I sit in awe of you… some are dear friends and some are people I’ve met through this process… some with diagnosis that are really very difficult… well, you all inspire me with your courage, and ways of being through it all. My wishes for happiness and wellness are always with you.
Cindys ship

My Ship – full colour, full sail ahead…. I can do this… with great thanks to my supporters and cheerleaders who believe in me. Artwork by Cindy Hayden, Gifted by her and ‘everyone’ ~smile~

Now I’m trying to kick it up a notch, what with herceptin treatments over. There’s more to get me moving; my daughters have given me a whitewater rafting trip as a celebration gift, – they know how to kick their momma’s butt in gear, and I’m looking forward to that. And I applied for a two week training on a tall ship. … haven’t heard back from that yet, but hoping… won’t that just kick me in gear to prepare! And the reminder to apply for this training ( this was something I was going to do before the diagnosis of cancer) came within moments of another amazing gift given to me.

This extraordinary stained glass ship was given to me by Cindy Hayden, artist, and from ‘everyone’.. yes, that’s what they said, this gift is from ‘everyone’ who have been supporting me.  This is my ship.. full colours, sailing forward, filling me with the energy, passion and “Oh ya, let’s rock this” feeling once again.  So grateful to Everyone! It is such a symbol of how much I didn’t do this alone.

And now?… recreating life…. an overwhelm of ideas  (yes, a little slow yet on bringing those to life!)  and I am healthy and well!  If a little cranky, a little anxious, a little weaker, but this too shall pass.

Play, create, nature, give back, recreate my business,  explore, dream, discover, family and friends and people a priority, permission to keep asking “what will lift your spirit today, Janet?” or “How can you make this fun/funny?”, permission to ask you ‘what will lift your spirits today?” or “How can you make this fun/funny?” (snicker)       ….. life rocks! Even if some of the YO HO YO HO’s are simply a quiet yo ho sometimes. ~smile~

Saving the best news to last… Baby Emaline was born December 28th, a beautiful miracle child, and she and my other two granddaughters, light up my life!!!


For those interested, this is the link to the Seriously WTF? page… where more of the medical type info is.  Also within this blog,  I’ve posted other things about what has worked for me in the category “Healthy Me – A healing adventure.”

If you are someone who is dealing with healing from cancer, on tamoxifen and/or herceptin, and want to know more about the side effects I’m experiencing recently, and what I’ve learned, and other resources, particularly for rare breast cancers… please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Inspiration from the Mediocre Weather.

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grey sky copy

Driving to a creativity event, under a grey sky, I wondered where the huge thunderstorm that had been predicted, had gone.

And I wondered if the weather has struggles deciding what to do.

I imagined the Weather thinking to itself:

“Oh, it’d be fabulous to have a wild adventure of thunder and lightning and wind and rain!!!!” the Weather leaps with the anticipation of it all, but then adds, as its spirit drops,  “But gee, people get so upset if I cause damage…maybe I better not.”

“Oh wait,” the weather brightens enthusiastically, “I could have long sunny days with beautiful sunrises, sunsets and crystal blue skies!” But downtrodden once again, the weather adds, “Nah, my sun is too hot this time of year. People complain too much.   Maybe I better just stay mediocre.”

On Being Nervous, by a Six Year Old.

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Phone call to my granddaughter before I went to be on the creativity panel, (billed as a ‘Creativity Expert’) at the Thrive Festival:

ME: Hi Sweetheart, you know what I get to do today? I get to speak in front of a lot of people about creativity and I’m nervous.


ME: Yes, I phoned for you to wish me good luck.

GRANDDAUGHTER: I know what to do. When I was going to my very first day at my School of the Arts Elementary School, I was very nervous. So what I did was just say Hi to people. And as I went along my way, I got happier and happier. Soon, I was even able to say more.

ME, with jaw dropped, heart smiling:  Honey, that’s beautiful. I will try that. And I will write that down and share it with others to help them, too.

(ps. It worked like a charm)

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