If you have cancer.

If you had cancer.

If you know someone with cancer.

If you want to talk about cancer.

We won't pray.  We won't blame gods.  We won't give credit to gods.  

We face the diagnosis and know, it is what it is.  

To the extent that we can, we will define our own course.

Members: 15
Latest Activity: 13 hours ago


Cancer changes lives.

We have to deal with medical profession.

We have to deal with medications.

We have to deal with new discomfort and pain.

We have to create dignity, where there is indignity.

We have to deal with family members, friends, coworkers, and strangers, in a changed way.

We resolve to go forward with strength, resilience, purpose, pride, and integrity.

We define ourselves. Cancer does not define us.

Discussion Forum

Participant Observer, loose bowel syndrome, unexpected and unprepared.

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Patricia on Tuesday. 25 Replies

I thought I had given my last participant observer report, but just so others who may go through the same protocol as I did, here is another report on the loose bowel syndrome. The lesson here is,…Continue

Participant observer, toe and finger nails update

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Joan Denoo Apr 2. 4 Replies

Finally got all through the red-tape of health insurance referrals and saw a podiatrist this morning. A man in his late 60s, I would guess. Extremely thorough about checking my health history, and…Continue


Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Mar 31. 0 Replies

CD47The most promising cancer treatment to date will begin human trials in mid-2014.CD47 is a kind of protein that is found on the…Continue

Tags: antibody based cancer therapy, CD47

Partipant observer update: cancer treatment and toe and finger nails

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Joan Denoo Mar 18. 4 Replies

My present pain is these damnable toe and finger nails, wanting to curl into my skin. I see the doctor today about my big toe. It is now infected and looks a little like this picture. The tips of my…Continue

A Personal Cancer Blog

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Comment by Patricia on February 4, 2014 at 1:44pm
I was always a ''crier'' about almost anything, but after my diagnosis all I had were a few tears & that's the last time I cried, even slightly, until we lost my inlaws. After they died, I haven't cried about anything. Even my husband mentioned to the dr. that I didn't react as expected to the cancer news. That's why I think nature froze my emotions.
Yes, we have gone through a lot with my husband's heart etc., but that's the way it is......nature doesn't give a damn.......
Comment by Joan Denoo on February 4, 2014 at 11:56am

There is no god that loves us, watches over us, answers prayers, has a plan for us, takes sides with us on the playing field or in the real field of life.
It is that simple.
We do have, however, all the stimulating factors of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling with our skin and feeling with our emotions, a brain, everything we need to think and act in the face of challenges.
The dependent, weak, acquiescent, obedient, submissive, fainthearted, compliant, passive, cowardly, docile among us will wring out all the time, energy and money from those who produce and feel justified in doing so. They do so in the name of their "god", whoever or whatever that is.

Comment by booklover on February 4, 2014 at 8:34am

You went through an awful lot Patricia!  I'm so glad you are doing well now.  See, talking about awful things people go through just floors me as to how anyone can think that there is a loving god who is letting this happen for a reason.  ANY reason isn't good enough!

Comment by Patricia on February 4, 2014 at 1:44am

I had to go to the cancer center in Kelowna to see the oncologist which was an 8 hour bus trip one way. They have places to stay near the center for people who need to do their treatments there, but luckily I was able to have mine here in the local hospital after the decision was made on what had to be done. Kelowna is where my daughter lives, & she drove us around to places, but we stayed in a motel near the cancer center which had medical rates. I couldn't handle being around her 5 kids after being so ill, & she had the newborn as well. I also got fitted for the prosthetic while there.

Comment by Joan Denoo on February 4, 2014 at 1:22am

Yes, that is what I mean. You cry and then you think and then you act. That is emotional strength. Sure, one might run around for second opinions, or try magic potions before doing the real work. It isn't hard to sort out fact from fiction, especially in cancer treatment.

A dear friend from high school days, now living in California, called me on a regular basis telling me to drink hydrogen peroxide, and it would cure my breast cancer. I checked research reports, sorting out the nonsense from the real work, and it was easy to know what I had to do.

This false hope that so many are more than happy to shove down ones throat do more harm than good and should be told that.   

Comment by Patricia on February 4, 2014 at 12:22am

I don't consider myself emotionally strong, but I do think nature ''froze'' my emotions after a few tears at diagnosis. I just felt I had to do what I had to do as soon as possible. I also never felt I couldn't get through it, so facing up to reality right away, & let's get this show on the road was how I felt. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on February 3, 2014 at 11:42pm

Oh Patricia! What an ordeal. I can't help but think about the experiences of women of my grandmothers' and mother's era and what they had to go through. Those of us who have easy access to facilities and modern technology are fortunate today. For rural men and women the drives to and from treatments are gruelling. I talked to many people who had 6 and 8 hour drives from home to the CCNW facility. Some of them had meager means and had to camp out in the best arrangements they could make. There is now a place where people can stay for these frequent treatment. It just opened up. Kind of like McDonald House. 

I'm sorry you had that long wait for test results. Nine weeks are a long time to wait. Surgery, then chemo ... oh my goodness, you must have emotional strength of a lioness. "Cancer waits for nobody!" You are my inspiration.

Comment by Patricia on February 3, 2014 at 11:21pm

I had my biopsy on a Thursday, got the diagnosis on the Monday, full mastectomy, & 12 lymph nodes removed, on the following Monday.

My youngest granddaughter was being born by C-section at the same time so my daughter was on an operating table too, although in different towns. A date we won't forget. 

The only thing I had to wait 9 weeks for was the results from Vancouver, where my tissues were sent, on whether it had spread to the lymph nodes. Then I saw the oncologist to be told I'd have to have chemo, & to set up the treatments. That 9 weeks was an awful wait, but apparently Vancouver was very ''busy'' & I kept thinking that cancer waits for nobody!

Whatever the case, I could not dwell on it as I had the surgery & an infected incision to recover from, & treatment couldn't begin until the 6 weeks healing time was up anyway.

My lymph nodes were clear......a plus! 

Comment by booklover on February 3, 2014 at 10:47pm
Thanks Joan and Daniel. Joan, my sister isn't the pessimist, but her husband is. I am OCD only with worrying about my kids. It's weird. The first thing I think when my son says his knee is swollen and hurts is "what if it's cancer?" I know it's unreasonable, yet the thought automatically comes to me. I am not like that with anything else. I do try and make myself think good thoughts, etc.
Daniel, I can only imagine how frustrating it is to wait for results from pathologists, etc! I know my brother-in-law will worry himself sick until he gets the results. Luckily my sister is a strong woman, and not pessimistic!
Comment by Joan Denoo on February 3, 2014 at 10:16pm

Living with an OCD is like living with someone with pessimism prisms, seeing the world through worst case scenario glasses. Quite the opposite of living with someone with optimism prisms, seeing the world through "what do I do now?" glasses. 

I do hope your sister has emotional strength to overcome pessimism! It appears to me to be such a useless frame for living. Further, it seems pessimism is easier to catch than optimism. 

Maybe exposing your sister to some positive images will help her maintain equilibrium.  It isn't enough to think positive thoughts, the negative thoughts can be replaced with healthy, positive, nurturing, life-affirming thoughts. Keeping track of the good things in one's life may help.  Try not to catch the pessimism virus.

We are here to back you up. Just know you are not alone in this event. 

Just a wee bit of cheer:

Winter is a time of quiet contemplation, of many things unknown, of darkness, and mysteries. It is that time of the year of dormancy; the time of an event that is undiagnosed.

Because time does not cure all ills, this is a time of thinking, of getting information, accumulating knowledge in preparation for the unknown and all it entails. This period is one in which one seeks information, explores options, weighs the pros and cons of each option.

Once all the information from professionals and your own inquiry commences, decisions need to be made and planning for action takes place. One step at a time. One bump in the road at a time until all that can be done is done.

I love Daniel's statement, "What is, is."

That period of unknowns is the beginning of a process of healing.     


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