Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2014

Ditch the filter and expose your dreams

On Saturday night I participated in a "fashion mob" photo shoot as a lead up to Harvest Noir 2014, a flash picnic set to pop up in downtown Ottawa on September 27, 2014.  This will be my third time attending the picnic and this was my second time modelling for the photo shoot.

The first photo shoot was in 2012.  It was so much fun, but I was undergoing chemo at the time so posing in heels was challenging to say the least!  Last year I couldn't attend so I was determined to participate in this year's shoot - until its date was set for September 6 - four days after my oophorectomy.  I immediately abandoned the idea as I was sure I would be in no shape to head out, much less strut my stuff for a professional photographer in an outdoor setting.  I was heartbroken as this event combined three of my passions: fashion, photography and nature.

Enter best friends and family.

Once they caught wind of how important it was for me to attend, they sprung into action and made it happ…

Back to the Drawing Board

Today marks the start of a new school year for many of us.  We all remember what that first day is like; the anticipation, counting of school supplies, ransacking of wardrobes to select that perfect outfit, reuniting with old classmates, and the excitement of new friends, new teachers and new routines.  Growing up I loved school, and in my twenties I worked teaching English abroad, so I have a soft spot for this time of year.

It was fitting that I update you today as I too am about to embark on a new chapter and new phase of treatment right after my kids head to school.
Let me just get it out there - so far so good, I am still cancer-free.  I've had a couple of CT scans over the past few months and nothing to report.  But as I've come to realize over the past six months, you don't get the all-clear until the 5-year mark, but more importantly, that 5-year mark is rather arbitrary as recurrence can occur beyond 5 years.  The risk just becomes less and less as time goes on.  I…

A letter to two-years-ago me

Dear Ellen,

The end of March has forever been a special time of year for you, as it is for many people.  It is when winter sheds its dark, cumbersome and constricting cloak for the promise of light, freedom and the rebirth of spring.  It is a time of change, and a time to reflect.  And so, I write these words to you.

Today is March 21, 2012.  You are sitting in your doctor’s office as you have countless times before, but today is different.  You know what you are about to face and you know what it means but you still hold a glimmer of hope that Dr. D has simply pushed you to the last time slot because she adores your witty humour and doesn’t want to rush the appointment.  Her receptionist is giving you kind, encouraging and empathetic smiles.  Not nervous, anxious or worried glances, but bold, confident reassurance that you will face whatever is behind that door.  He already knows, as do you, that you are about to be diagnosed with breast cancer, but he knows something you do not.  That…