Tuesday, June 24, 2008

how much resting can one girl take?

I forgot to let you all know that my ultrasound was all clear. They actually couldn't find the lump the doctor had felt, so they said not to worry about it. Easy to say...maybe not so much so to do!

In the past few months, my mind has been filled with much anxiety over my cancer spreading. Why is it so easy for us to focus on the worst case scenario and not on living each day? Every new pain or feeling I have makes me automatically drift to the idea of my cancer growing in another area of my body. Dr. Webster continues to assure me that we are hopeful that we have killed all of the cancer now, but without the tests to prove it, I am having a hard time believing in hope these days.

So, I enlisted the help of a professional! I have been seeing a wonderful counsellor at the Cancer Center and she has helped me talk through this all. Although I'm not yet where I want to be, most days I can keep my mind focused on the now and not the worst case.

What is helping me stay up is Tricia. You have all heard me talk on and on about what a walking miracle she is, but seriously! Her journey through her third transplant has definitely had a few bumps and she's not completely out of the woods yet, but overall she is continuing to be an amazing inspiration of hope!

In my spare time, I have been enjoying being a celebrity. Investors Group chose Ryan to be one of 8 people across the country that they are doing a spotlight on. They flew a crew out to Calgary to spend the day with us last week and they literally followed us both around the city. It was crazy to be out in public and have a camera crew right there, I felt like I was in a reality TV show. Ryan's business continues to do very well and considering we both are fighting cancer right now, it's truly outstanding. The next day I had a brief phone interview with a freelance writer out of Toronto who is doing a story on the benefits of writing during illness. Although this was all very tiring, my hope is that it helps one person deal with something a little bit better and it will be worthwhile.

My radiation is officially starting next week and I am meeting with Dr. Webster later this week to go through our plan again. Unfortunately I suffered another "episode" last week, but this time it was while I was getting IV treatment at the cancer center. The fact that I was already in the place where I needed to be made the situation a lot better, but it still reinforces the fact that my body is struggling. It was again a terrifying experience where I wasn't sure if my body was going to recover or not, but after pushing through a bunch of IV drugs to counteract my reaction, my body started to calm down. I have now done up an excel sheet filled with each of my 7 episodes, the details of what happened and what drugs I was taking at the time. I will review this with Dr. Webster on thursday and hopefully come to a better understanding of why this keeps happening.

On the family side, life is mostly good. We are attending an orientation for Talyn's new preschool that he starts in the fall. He is pretty proud of going to school! We have also been lucky enough to have some family come to help us out lately. Talyn's Uncle Chad & Baba (Ryan's mom). So, Talyn has had the opportunity to try his "kung fu panda" moves on someone other than his mom and dad.

One question that the interviewer asked Ryan and I that caught us both off guard was "how do you do it all?". It was funny because it left us both speechless. You would think we would have a great answer, but really all I could say was "day by day". No one knows what tomorrow will bring and we all have enough going on today, so we just deal with what we have to today. I am still learning this with the help of my counsellor, but I think it's an important lesson for us all.


  1. Dear Tasha,
    Thank you for this latest posting. It always surprises us that you are able to write about all that is happening in a way that challenges the rest of us to make the most of our lives, too.

    You must be relieved to have the ultrasound behind you now and to be discussing your anxieties with a counsellor who can help you to stay in the here-and-now as much as possible. Don't you wonder how it is that such people come into our lives exactly when we need them?

    I am glad that you are finding so much hope in Tricia's experience. Aren't we all? I believe that Tricia is inspiring everyone with her remarkable journey through this third transplant. I cannot help but think about the contribution that people like you, Ryan and Tricia are making to cancer research and to the lives of people who will come after you in their own personal battles against cancer.

    I do not know whether we will ever get to see the Toronto writer's documentary film on the benefits of writing during illness. What I do know is that when you share your life experiences with others there is growth and healing for all. Only good can come from this kind of honesty and openness. I am willing to bet that the lives of that interviewer and filming crew will never be the same after spending time with everyday heroes like you and Ryan.

    Tayln's preparation for preschool in the fall proves that life goes on no matter what. Our children are our hope and you are truly blessed to have a little guy who is caught up in kung-fu panda and is excited about the learning that awaits him. He is a great tribute to you and Ryan and you have every right to be proud of him.

    Your final paragraph really rings true for me, Tasha. I have lived long enough to know that taking things one day at a time is the only way to go. Others may look at us and wonder how it is that we can keep going against all odds. Given the circumstances in our own lives, we simply do what we have to in order to survive.

    You may not see yourself as a hero, Tasha, but others do and they take heart. You may not see your courage and stamina, but others do and they are inspired. You may not see yourself as a pioneer, but others do and they give thanks for your courage in leading the way.

    Next week's radiation treatments will begin another leg in your journey. In the meantime, continue to rest and prepare for all that lies ahead of you. We feel privileged to be among those who are supporting you every step of the way.

    Cheers and sincere best wishes,
    Louise and David

  2. Hey Tash...thanks for the update and now I can get a feel of what really how you are feeling and coping. I hope you had a good sleep last night as you sounded very tired on the phone. Where is Talyn going to Preschool? Is it close to his Daycare? He will LOVE it!! Thank god for our kids - keeps you going day to day that's for sure! Love ya and wish I lived closer so I could give you that BIG HUGE HUG that you need DAILY from people who care sooo much about you and have so much HISTORY together!!
    Talk to you this week sometime,

  3. Hi Tasha,

    I echo Louise and David's comments (I am not sure who they are to you, but they themselves sound like amazing people!). You are very eloquent with your words, and you enable your reader to feel what you feel.

    To be truly honest, I am constantly in awe of you, but you need to know that occured before the cancer, it started from the first moment I met you and it continues to be reinforeced with every interaction we have.

    I know that my life has been blessed because I have you in it.

    With love and friendship,

  4. Hi Tasha
    Thanks for your latest update. Everytime I read your blog I do wonder how you are able to do so much and share so much with those around you! Let me know details on the documentary as I would love to see it if it plays in Toronto.

    I'm glad to hear your ultrasound ok. Keep trying to rest (I know it is hard for you) and enjoy the long weekend.

    Say hi to Ryan and Talyn.