Friday, June 30, 2006

My friend's day

I went shopping today at Yorkdale and Square One with a friend of mine. She's going to a wedding in 4 or 5 weeks and needed an outfit. We figured that it was best if we got the shoes first, because it's hard to find shoes for her (and I know from past experience that if you have an idea for a specific shoe in your head that you might not find it.... but it's easy enough to make an outfit, if it comes to that). Luckily, we did find shoes today at Yorkdale - they look fabulous and she got them 25% off because they needed a minor repair that she can easily do :) We spent the rest of the time looking for a dress. We didn't find one, but we did eliminate types of dresses from consideration. Therefore, it was a very productive day.

That same friend turned 28 today, and her husband had a BBQ this evening for her. It was fun. The food was yummy (he made a great potato salad and cake) and the company was good.

There were three babies at the BBQ that were all under a year old. It wasn't as hard to see and be around them as I thought it might be - I'd been a bit worried about that, since, well, I won't be able to have them. I find it difficult to be around very small newborns, but apparently that feeling doesn't extend to eight- or nine-month old babies.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Superman in 3D

Today we went to see Superman in IMAX 3D. The movie was ok - it was your standard comic book-type movie. Considering that the movie wasn't shot in 3D, the 3D post-production stuff was pretty well done. The 3D rendering isn't perfect yet (we're certainly not at the level of a Star Trek holodeck, for example :), but it was ok. The trailers for the 3D animated features like Ant Bully looked awesome, though.

The experience was marred a bit by this family of 6 or so that ended up sitting in front and to the right of us. Some family members arrived after the movie had started, disrupting people during the opening sequences. They brought a 3 or 4 year old child who was clearly not prepared to sit still and keep quiet through the entire movie - and in fact, this child spent the entire movie running from family member to family member and babbling loud enough for the entire theatre to hear. One person that was late made two calls on his cellphone during the movie. Grrrrr. People seem so much ruder in the movie theatre now than they used to be.

While I'm ranting, they've made the appointment for the ultrasound on July 17. I'm supposed to get the results on July 13. Sigh. I've already called and asked them to move the appointment up - this is the third appointment they've booked, and the third appointment I've had to ask them to move up. There's no good reason to have to wait that long for an ultrasound (or for the bone scan, or for the oncologist). They are going to get tired of me calling and asking them to change each appointment, that's for sure....

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


After 5 years of growing my hair, I finally had it cut short today. While the long hair was gorgeous, it didn't really suit me - it dragged my face down and made me look shorter than I already am. The new cut is much, much nicer. The stylist and I spent about 20 minutes discussing hthe style (I went in saying only "cut it short and make it more flattering", so we needed to work out what, exactly, we were going to do), and then she spent another 50 minutes cutting it. She used all sorts of cutting techniques - dry cutting it, using a razor, and textured scissors.

Before it was cut, it hung straight down to the middle of my back. Now, it's follows my jawline in front and is way above my chin in back. I feel lighter and prettier with it short like this :)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I paddled with the Silvermasters for the first time this season. It went better than I had expected; I was paddling on the left side, since that will be easier on the incision right now. I was a bit clumsy on that side last year, and that hasn't changed :)

I've also started work on a jacket that I'm making. Since I have all this time off, I thought that I would do some sewing. To make it more interesting, I'm trying to sew things that I've never done before. The jacket I'm trying out has a standard jacket collar and it has piping; I've never sewn either of those before. I'm working with a seersucker fabric. I got the pattern from the Burda pattern magazine - Ian had given me a subscription to the magazine for my birthday a couple of years ago. The magazine means that I rarely, if ever, need to buy patterns.

I also found out today that the abdominal ultrasound hasn't been ordered yet. I called because I'd have thought that I would have received an appointment booking. While I'm sure that the care I'm receiving is good, I'm concerned that I'm somehow falling through the cracks a bit. I'm sure it'll all get straightened out once I see the oncologist that I'll be seeing permanently.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bone scan day

Today I had the bone scan. The way a bone scan works is they first inject you with a radioactive tracer that settles in your bones. Then you drink a lot of water over two or three hours to flush the tracer through your system. Finally, you lie on a table and they run a scanner over you. The scanner is only an inch or so above your nose, so if you're at all claustrophobic and you have to have one of these, talk to your doctor about a mild tranquilizer or practice some meditations to keep calm.

I was scheduled to receive the injection at 7:45am today and the scan at 10:45am. My grand plan was to bring a book and my water and stay there while I was waiting for the scan so that I didn't have to pay for parking twice. I remembered the book but forgot both the water and my health card, so I ended up having to leave and go home anyways :)

The scan went ok. My technician was kinda new at it, I think, but she did a fine job. My body seemed to tingle as the scan went over each part, but that's apparently not something that usually happens :) They ended up doing a close-up scan of my left ribcage and chest, which I wasn't expecting.

I'll get the results on July 13.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Shopping and videos

I was finally able to buy a rashguard today. My left breast, collarbone, and shoulder are not supposed to be exposed to the sun since they were irradiated when I had the previous cancer treatments. Standard bathing suits leave parts of those areas exposed, and the solution to the problem comes from surfer culture. Surfers wear rashguards over bathing suits and under wetsuits to prevent rashes and irritation from the surfboard or wetsuit. They're made out of bathing suit material and may have sleeves of some kind.

I also bought board shorts. Board shorts are longer shorts that can be immersed in water. They provide more coverage for my hips and thighs than a regular bathing suit does. :)

Anyways, I bought these so that I can go out onto the water without worrying about damaging my skin or feeling self-conscious.

In other news, we've been adding some content to our site. Check out our Mitchell dragonboat videos and our chipmunk videos.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Today the SilverMasters paddled at the Mitchell Dragonboat Festival (aka the "Riverboat on the Thames Jamboree"). It was the first event of the SilverMaster season, and we came in 5th overall. That's not too bad :). We spent the day under sunny skies, low humidity, and a light breeze.

Things I liked about the event:
  • The portalets were clean and handwashing facilities were provided.
  • There were flush toilets available.
Ok, those don't sound like much to like... until you've spent all day at an event like this with too few portalets that aren't cleaned through the day. We always take hand sanitizer with us to these events :)

Things I didn't like about the event:
  • The organizers allowed a team that was visibly drunk to get into a boat. That team almost swamped and capsized, and should never have gone onto the water.
  • The people seemed a bit unfriendly.
  • No recycling facilities were provided.
  • The event took forever and was somewhat disorganized, especially at the start line.
  • There was a ton of poo all over the loading dock and in the viewing areas. We think it was goose poo. Or at least, that's what we hope it was.
I won't go back to this event. Clean portalets don't make up for all of the other problems :)

In other news, I'm going to paddle with the team for the next few weeks, until the next treatment steps start. I'm hoping that I can paddle in Waterloo on July 15 and maybe St. Catherines on July 22.

Oncology appointments

I saw two oncologists this week: a radiation oncologist on Wednesday and a medical oncologist on Friday.

The radiation oncologist said that I would have a mastectomy and that I would have chemo if the bone scan wasn't clear. The medical oncologist went a lot further than that :(

The treatment plan, assuming that the cancer is in fact a recurrence, is to first do a bone scan and an abdominal ultrasound (to check my liver). If both come back clear, then we'll do a mastectomy and remove my ovaries. If the bone scan shows cancer, then we'll remove my ovaries. If the liver shows signs of cancer, then we'll do chemo. If the cancer isn't a recurrence, then we'll do chemo. There are other possibilities as well, but these are the main ones.

It's hard enough to think about losing one or both breasts, but to have the ovaries taken out as well is very, very hard to deal with. I mean, I'm not going to have children anyways, but I was hoping to go through life with my body parts mostly intact.

It really sucks to think that in the best case recurrence scenario (which is the most likely), I'll lose my breast and ovaries. There's something inherently unfair about that.


Welcome to my blog! I decided to start this because I am dealing with breast cancer for the second time. I know that there are many people who want to know what's going on, and I'm having a hard time making sure that everyone is in the loop. Hence, the blog. This way, everyone can now be informed about, well, me :)

I'll also be using this space to talk about.... stuff. Like my hobbies (sewing, knitting, and hopefully soon to be painting), or stuff I like, or whatever.