Tag Archives: breast cancer

Miscellany

Happy November, people! Only seven and a half weeks till Christmas – and only seven and a half weeks minus two days till my birthday, which is quite important too, I think.

odds_and_ends4I have just a few odds and ends today:

Halloween is over for another year, thank the powers that be. It was pretty quiet around my school – too quiet, now that I think of it. What did the kids DO with all their usual energy and high spirits around Halloween? They probably took it out on their ownneighbourhoods – lighting firecrackers, egging houses, wreaking general havoc. They didn’t do it around my house though. It was actually very subdued around here.

I have two lovely deep bruises from the dry needling and manhandling of my shoulder and armpit on Tuesday. One bruise is on the front of my shoulder, the other is right in my armpit. That’s a first. I’ve never bruised my armpit before. And my shoulder still feels a little stiff and sore. So the jury is still out on the efficacy of the treatment.

My latest friend with breast cancer turned out to be at Stage 1, so she’s had a lumpectomy and when she heals from that, there will be a course of radiation and then meds for a number of years. In the grand scheme of things, this is wonderful news. She emailed me when she came home from the hospital and said she was tired and sore, but absolutely fine. I’m so grateful!

The company that PG has worked for for the past three years has shut down. This was completely without notice, though PG did have an inkling that the jobs didn’t seem to be coming in the way they used to. They are finishing up one final job and then he’s out on the street. He does have a small private renovation job lined up for the immediate future, however, and he and two of his co-workers are seriously talking about the three of them doing inside renovation work together (the company was mostly doing huge outside jobs before – leaky condo stuff). PG would like that, but he doesn’t want to be the guy who finds the jobs and does the estimates. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, he says, and it didn’t fit.

My car, my lovely dream of a BMW, has developed a super-annoying rattle on the passenger side. I am having a hell of a time trying to figure out exactly where it is – because, you know, if you can pinpoint the location of a nasty rattle, it doesn’t bother you as much. True fact. At first, I thought it was the glove box, so I rummaged around in there a million times. No change. Then I believed it was the air vents, so I mucked around with them. Again, no change. Then I thought maybe the passenger seat, or the seatbelt, but fiddling with them didn’t help. Then I moved on to the back seat, and I wiggled everything back there that could wiggle, to no avail. Now I think it’s somewhere in the door, so I’ve been pushing and pulling the door panel and handles. So far, no change. Even having my winter tires put on didn’t help. Plus, I’m almost sure that the rattle is temperature-related. It MAY be noisier in the morning when it’s colder outside – but then again, sometimes it’s just as noisy in the warmer afternoon when I’m driving home. I just don’t know. What works best right now is to crank the music. I’m afraid that I’m going to have to be that cranky old lady who takes her car in for servicing, demanding that they “fix that damn rattle – and no, I DON’T know where it is, that’s YOUR job to figure it out! If I knew where it was, I’d deal with it myself!”

Well. Here’s hoping for a good November!

Again

La%C3%A7o+rosaIt’s October again. Breast cancer awareness month again.

And again, another of my circle of friends has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Shit. Again.

Now, I realize that my age has something to do with this. I am 55, and the vast majority of my friends are around that age too. According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, of all the Canadian women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, an estimated 82% of them will be over 50 years of age, leaving the other 18% to be under 50. The odds are heavily stacked in favour (“Favour”? Odd choice of word when we’re talking cancer, don’t you think?) of us middle-aged and older women being the ones who get this disease, rather than those under 40.

The good news in those statistics, though, is that the overall five-year survival rate for those women who have breast cancer is 88%. That percentage is increasing every year, and the actual incidence of breast cancer amongst Canadian women is decreasing a little every year. Diagnosis gets better and more efficient every year, as does treatment.

But statistics don’t always tell the story. Not when this is the fifth one of my friends to be diagnosed with breast cancer in the past six years. The FIFTH! I find this mind-boggling and am struggling to wrap my mind around it all. The FIFTH! How does this even happen?

But happen it did. Again.

My other four friends have all beaten the disease into submission. Yes, it may come back, and that is something they (and those of us who love them) have to live with. But all four women are healthy and strong and cancer-free today.

So I have to have faith that my fifth friend will also wage a successful war against her cancer, and that she too will soon be healthy and strong and cancer-free. Again.

Heavy sigh …

I wrote a post almost exactly two years ago, in April 2011, about my anger that another one of my friends had just been diagnosed with cancer. That made three in two and a half years, and I was just beside myself with fury at the time, I remember.

I just found out that one of those women has a recurrence of cancer. It’s in a different place and may be an entirely different kind or maybe it’s the original one metastasized. I don’t know. I really don’t know much at this point.

But I’m so, so sad. I just cannot believe that my friend and her family have to deal with this again. Why her? Why again? Why why why?

And if I’m in such shock, I cannot imagine what has been going through my friend’s head in the past couple of days. I know she needs time to process it all so I haven’t yet spoken to her, though I have talked to her husband. She left me a phone message where she sounded a little broken, but she was trying hard to regain her equilibrium. And once she knows exactly what’s going on and what her treatment will be, I know she’ll pull herself together and fight just as hard as she did two years ago.

And there will be a whole lot of people who love her standing right with her, cheering her on.