Good News and Good Gifts

Here’s a bit of good news that made me cheer yesterday morning:

My regular clinical trial protocol has changed! So, instead of going in to the hospital two days in a row every three weeks, I’ll now have all my appointments on the same day – yay! It will be one long day, but only one day and I’m pretty sure it will be less tiring overall!

To celebrate, I slept in this morning! My 8:30 am appointment was cancelled because I did all my tests and meetings yesterday! I feel tired today, but not as tired as I typically do on the second appointment day!

Yesterday at the hospital, I rejoiced again to receive comments about how thick my file is and how many weeks I’ve been on this trial. I’m very thankful that these meds continue to work for me! I’m grateful that I get to keep taking them, and hopeful that the good work they are doing will continue for a very long time!

In other exciting news, my kids have been away at camp (a great opportunity for which we are deeply grateful!), and they’re coming home soon! I wrote a poem this year which I will have posted below. (Sorry about the formatting: not exactly what I wanted, but it’ll do!)

I hope you will enjoy the rest of the Summer (or Winter, for those in the Southern Hemisphere), and give thanks for the gifts of each day! Our doorbell just rang, announcing the good gift of a dear friend visiting and presenting me with a gorgeous shirt she just made for me! I’m feeling rather bowled over by this generous gift! I am grateful for so many gifts, including your ongoing prayers and encouragement! Thank you!

Heart Pressed

They bump out the door,

Duffle bags bulging with sleeping bags and swimsuits,

Enough for fourteen fun packed days

The door bangs behind them,

Its vacuum pulling my heart along with them, 

Pressed up against the glass,

Aching for their presence

Yearning for their laughter

Echoing around these now empty rooms

And they’re off!

Bundled into the car

Bright smiles, cheerful waves and calls of, “I love you!” “xoxoxoxo!”

Last year, she said, she blew me kisses all the way down our street, down the next one and the one after that, and even along the highway …

Our love is a bungie cord

It stretches and stretches and

Will not break

My heart squeezes out through the door and sneaks into the car with them,

Travelling that 400km journey, tucked away like the messages I hide in their bags,

Like my note she keeps safe under her pillow at camp

And I remain, heart pressed against the glass,

Aching for them to deeply know the One who will never leave nor forsake them,

Yearning for them to encounter Him in bigger and truer ways,

Trusting that as they grow, He is always more than enough.

Heart eagerly pressed against the glass,

Excited about the people they will meet, skills they will learn, songs they will sing, stories they will savour, beauty they will behold …

And bundle up to bring back home to me


A sample of our summer adventures:

(Diefenbunker, Nature Museum, History Museum)


My firstborn, serving his delicious homemade ice cream!

What’s in a Name?

Words are powerful!

My Mom always taught me to keep it simple: speak and write so that people understand my meaning. She worked with lawyers and knew the importance of precise language. She also knew that legal language could be hard for ordinary folks to understand.

We all have stories of damage caused by communication failures. For many years I worked with university students, listening intently and trying to choose my words with care. Communication has always been important to me, and many times I’ve appreciated the wisdom of my Mom’s advice to keep it simple, to communicate so that others will understand.

I’m finding it much more challenging to communicate well these past two and a half years. It takes energy and ability that I don’t always have. I’m thankful for the ways friends and family members help me by occasionally suggesting words and/or deciphering my words when I can’t get the right ones. I’m so grateful when they extend grace by assuming the best from me rather than letting potential miscommunications damage our relationship. We all need that kind of grace, don’t we!

I can see ways in which my abilities have been improving due to the homework my OT has given me. I still overdo things and have better / worse days, but overall the trend seems to be improving. I’m learning my limits … sort of! 🙂

Sometimes medical language is challenging. Occasionally I attempt to read articles which are not written for ordinary people like me. Sometimes I think I’m getting the gist of it. Other times I haven’t got a clue!

So, while I can’t give you accurate details about the articles I’ve been trying to understand, I can tell you that there is good news in cancer research for people with a diagnosis like mine! More drugs are being developed to fight the kind of cancer I was diagnosed with in December 2013. Back then, there was only one new targeted therapy available. Now I’m on my second, and if it stops working for me, there are several more which are in various stages of development.

The one I’m taking now is not yet (I think!) available in Canada by prescription. I continue to receive it through the clinical trial I am participating in. I am currently finishing up Cycle 22, and the medical folks keep adding pages to my file, praise God! Last time I was in, the nurse said they had to contact the company, since the information they had for the clinical trial didn’t go this many cycles! I’m glad to be pushing the boundaries! 🙂

Tests often reveal good news using language like: “stable”, “no progression”, or “unremarkable”. I much prefer the word my oncologist used to describe how my lungs look after my CT scan last month: “perfect”! This is a word that has power to make my heart sing and my feet jump for joy!

Lungs perfect, heart grateful beyond words!


Green goodness!


Lovely afternoon at a friend’s peaceful cottage!


Loon on a green lake