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All About Ellen

Ellen is a 46-year-old mother of three wondrous kids, aged 7, 10 and 11. At the age of 39, two weeks after the birth of her third child, she was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma of the left breast with axillary metastasis. She spent a very full year of parental leave undergoing chemotherapy, mastectomy with axillary node dissection, and radiation therapy, and is currently on endocrine therapy. Her favourite past times include:

(1) doting over her children
(2) blasting unknowing bloggers with puns, and
(3) kicking cancer to the curb, then swiftly backing over it with a dump truck 

This blog chronicles her experience in being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer immediately following child birth, or as she likes to refer to it, from kegels to chemo and beyond. 

Popular posts from this blog

On Death and Dying Young

I've shelved this topic for far too long. It was too difficult to acknowledge, too absurd to believe yet too real to ignore, and so I procrastinated. Last summer, in the span of 3 short months, two young women from our Ottawa breast cancer network were taken from us, along with two of my former colleagues - remarkable women, professionals and human beings, who were snatched away by terminal illnesses. We said goodbye to Sarah, 30. Simona, 36. Shelly, 48. Linda, 58. The finality of death was never more apparent than it was in the summer of 2018. 
Enter 2019. Metastatic breast cancer rears its ugly head again, and takes two more young women from our ever-growing Ottawa network. Monica, 43. Katie, 35.

And then came Wednesday, the day when our little sisterhood fell apart. We lost Danielle, and this shook us to the core. Dani was our no-nonsense fighter. Our champion. Our comedian. She was kind, bold and fearless. She was a mother of two young boys. She was 42. 
It was time to write abou…

Tongue-tied and tasteless in the tenacious land of Taxotere

Now that 12 days have passed since my first Taxotere infusion, I feel as though I can provide a fulsome report on the drug’s side effects and their affect on my life thus far.Taxotere round one differed drastically from my first AC treatment, in both positive and negative ways.Before I attempt to humour you with a little compare and contrast, I give you the final instalment of my short segment, entitled:

Neulasta, the wonder drug
As it turns out, Neulasta is some serious medicine.I had my first injection the day after my last AC treatment, administered in my thigh, not in my stomach, as I’d been warned would be the case (read: Don’t believe everything you’re told!). For someone who neither enjoys nor fears needles, I can report that it did sting a fair bit going in, but the pain quickly subsided.It took about 12 hours before I had any kind of reaction to the drug.I was warned it could cause bone pain in some individuals, and this time the warnings rang true.It began in my hips the day a…


If you've ever cowered beneath the behemoth head of a sunflower, this post is for you. If you like fashion, this post is also for you. If you enjoy watching cat bloopers, this post is definitely not for you, but you're here now so you may as well just read on!

I was invited to be a guest writer on my friend Colleen Kanna's blog, "Keeping Abreast". It was an easy yes as Colleen is an amazing person with whom I feel a special connection. Like me, Colleen faced breast cancer as a young woman and mother. She has channelled her experience, insight and creativity into designing her own line of bamboo-knit adaptive clothing (woot!) which meets the needs of young women touched by cancer – functional (i.e. zippered) while fashionable and feminine. I wish I’d had these during my recovery. 

I encourage everyone to check out all of the beautiful pieces she has created at coKANna Designs, and if you've hung on this far and are still keen on reading my latest piece of writin…