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Isn't this a treat?

Things are moving muito rapido, just how I like it!

The plan is to attack the cancerous cells with chemotherapy in hopes of (1) shrinking the tumour to a more manageable size prior to surgery and (2) ridding my body of any "rogue" cancer cells that may be hiding out elsewhere.  I'm to have 8 cycles of chemo, each treatment spaced 3 weeks apart.  This will take approximately 6 months. 

The puck drops tomorrow (Thursday).  Wish it were game 7 already instead of game 1 but I'm just happy to have made it to the playoffs.  After chemo cycles have wrapped up, I may require surgery and possibly radiation therapy, depending on how the tumour responds to the chemo.  Hopefully it will be game over for the cancer after all of that - I know I'll be glad to retire my cancer jersey!

Side effects of my particular cocktail of chemo drugs MAY include, but are not limited to:

1. fatigue
2. nausea
3. hair loss (2-3 weeks after the first treatment)
4. the giggles (ok, I threw that one in for good measure)

Now, aside from #3, my recent pregnancy/new motherhood has adequately prepared me for ALL of these.  And actually, I have been snipping off an ever-increasing number of white hairs with each really, this may not be all bad!

Kidding aside, the only (and truly craptacular) downside of the chemotherapy is that I will no longer be able to breastfeed Imogen.  I have (I think) come to terms with this, as I know she will be fine, and so will I.  But the realization and acceptance of this was so much harder than accepting that I have cancer.  Strange, huh?

I'll finish off this post by highlighting three blessings that stood out to me this week: 

Location location location
We have such fantastic cancer care here in Ottawa, I am simply dumbfounded.  The facilities are uber modern and I've not had to wait for any procedure or appointment.  As so many have told me (and they're right), if you're going to get cancer, Ottawa is THE place to be!

Dream team

My friends, family and support networks rock.  Yes, that's you.  Don't be shy, you know your own awesomeness.  Too many kind acts to mention here but none have gone unnoticed.
And every day (it seems), I meet yet another fabulous health care worker, not only completely dedicated to their profession but with personalities and humour to boot.

I was at the hospital yesterday, lying on a gurney and waiting to go in for my port-a-cath insertion (minor surgical procedure).  The nurse, recognizing I was a new mum, seized the opportunity - she piled on heated blankets, dimmed the lights and suggested I nap while I waited.  When the orderly arrived to wheel me to the O.R., he flicked on the switch and said, "sorry to leave you in the dark like that!"  Come on, puns during cancer treatment?  I am definitely in the right place.

The Power of One
My newborn Imogen saved me before she was born.  During diagnosis, I learned that my tumour was hormone sensitive and as such, had grown because of the spike in hormones during my pregnancy.  This was a blessing in disguise.  Had I not been pregnant with Imogen, I may never have discovered the growing lump, or I may only have detected it much later

Count your blessings daily.  They are all around you. 



  1. Ellen, you are amazing. Your outlook and your ability to bring humour to everything are incredible.

    We'll be thinking a lot about you today and sending happy healthy Cancer-Ass-Kicking thoughts your way.

  2. yes Ellen - you are amazing! absolutely amazing - i am enjoying reading your updates - and you are so positive - you have reminded me to look around and to count my blessings! YOu are such an amazing Mama! i hope you get some rest tonight. take good care and kiss your beautiful children. lots of love. Auramarina

  3. You are touching many lives. Hope you had a good first round of chemo -- (if there is such a thing??) and looking forward to hearing the next update. hugs+++ Lee

  4. " count your blessings daily" - inspiring! Dulce


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