Radon Awareness and Action

Now is a terrific time to test your home for radon. Radon is an invisible odourless gas, but it should not be ignored. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Test kits are easy to find and easy to use. You can find a test kit provider at https://takeactiononradon.ca/test/radon-test-kits/. (They may cost around $35-$55, but if you have been affected by lung cancer and live in Canada, see below* to order a free one.) The best kind of test is one that you put in your basement for over 90 days then send in to get your results. The test kits are clear and easy to use. Please get one and use it! Now is the best time to test for radon in Canada since our windows and doors are generally closed during Winter. Radon action matters!

It’s exciting that Health Canada sent these radon awareness post cards out recently. According to this CBC report from November, Canada has the third highest radon levels in the world, and rates are increasing in new homes. If you’re interested in a report about radon levels across Canada, you can read the details here. Radon awareness matters.

The important thing is to use the test, send it in, and take action to mitigate the radon if levels are high. (There is some financial support available for radon mitigation.)

Radon awareness and action both matter.

* If you or your family member has been diagnosed with lung cancer, you can receive a free radon test kit. Take Action on Radon has a terrific initiative which provides free radon tests to families in Canada affected by lung cancer and covers all shipping costs. If you or your family member has been diagnosed with lung cancer, you can order a free radon test kit here. Their initiative is called “White Ribbon Radon Testing Program”, not to be confused with The White Ribbon Project, the international inclusive unbranded movement changing public perception of lung cancer.

In the Bleak Midwinter

First of all, dear friends, let me remind you that January is radon month, so if you haven’t checked your home for radon, please do it this week-end! Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Please protect yourself and your loved ones by getting a test kit this week-end and using it! You can read more in my previous blog post: How Two Trips to the Basement Could Save Your Life. Thus ends my radon public service announcement! 🙂

You’re probably wondering what I’ve been up to lately, besides hanging out with my boys and walking the dog. The answer is LOTS!

The Ottawa support group is going well: 13 out at our January meeting. We have an awareness day planned at the General next Thursday. Drop by the Cancer Centre and say hello if you’re around!

Our December Ottawa support group party, with a delicious and generously catered meal from Chances R Restaurant

I’m working at collecting and connecting lung cancer patients across the country, so if you know of any, please send them in my direction! Today I was talking with dear folks in Winnipeg. Yesterday it was Calgary. It can be pretty lonely here in Canada, without other lung cancer friends around! That’s why I’m working to find and connect lung cancer patients in various geographic regions across this large land. I hope we will have patient support groups, awareness days and summits across the country!

There aren’t enough hours in the day! I love serving as a catalyst, a creative problem solver! I’m energized by this work, and eager to meet people, gather them together, and help build lung cancer communities.

I joined the Canadian Cancer Trials Group as (volunteer) patient representative, Lung Site, in November. The CCTG develops and conducts clinical trials, and includes all major cancer centres and many community hospitals across the country. This will afford me the opportunity to meet people doing lung cancer research across the country, and that should help with my community building work! As patient representative, I have opportunities to give input into the clinical trial process at many points along the way. Steep learning curve and big responsibility! It’s important that I get to know a wide variety of lung cancer patients so that I can fulfill my obligation to represent us all. I hope to listen and learn a lot in the coming months and hopefully years. I hope to live long enough to fulfill my three year term commitment. Perhaps another clinical trial will help extend my life once again!

I’ve also applied to the Scientist-Survivor program at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting this Spring in Atlanta. What a wonderful opportunity to meet researchers, advocates, oncologists and learn many things about research into all kinds of cancer, then pass my learning along to many others! I should hear any day if I’ve been accepted, and I am eagerly hoping!

Christmas Day 2018

But it’s not all lung cancer around here. Sadly, Jono’s Mum is extremely unwell. Jono and our youngest rushed off to Australia right after Christmas to be with her and the rest of Jono’s family. We wished we all could have gone. They shared many joyous times together in the midst of such sorrow, and have just returned home. We’d be grateful if you could spare a prayer or warm thought for the family as it seems the end is drawing near.