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New Members!

Re: New Members!

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Jun 12, 2019 8:24 am

Hi, Lacey_adminCCS‍ , Ray RPM‍ Has primary cancer of the small intestine, Mets to his liver. I just read his post on another thread. He and his wife have been surfing the site, so I’m sure he’ll pop in here at some point!

Re: New Members!

Posted by HootOwlNic on Jun 25, 2019 6:18 am

New Member here.  Diagnosis yesterday.  Invasive Ductual Carsinoma (i think i need to learn how to spell that).  Still in shock.  My mom had breast cancer that spread when i was young and passed away when I was 8.  I have a 3 year old, and all i keep thinking is that this must have been what it felt like for her.  See the surgical team on Friday for treatment plan and options.  grateful for a supportive husband that is coming with me for all the appointments.  
it's amazing what you google when you find something like this out.  

Re: New Members!

Posted by Brighty on Jun 25, 2019 7:16 am

HootOwlNic‍  welcome to cancer connection!  Sorry you have to find yourself here.   You will find many ladies who share your diagnoses  or similar who have come out the other side.   Please meet these wonderful ladies.   cancertakesflight‍     Runner Girl‍     Kims1961‍      LPPK‍      ashcon‍      Essjay‍      to share their experiences .    And I'm sure others will chime in too to add to their experience and give you hope.   

Re: New Members!

Posted by LPPK on Jun 25, 2019 8:37 am

Good morning HootOwlNic‍   I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis but as Brighty‍  mentioned there are a lot of us on this site that have gone through the diagnosis, treatment and now are on the other side.  
One thing I was told was to Google only on reputable sites such as Canadian Cancer Society and American Cancer Society.  Their information is correct and up to date.  The CCS has several booklets that will be helpful for you; Breast Cancer understanding your diagnosisUnderstanding treatment for Breast cancer,   and Exercises after breast cancer
I am so glad your husband has been supporting you by going to appointments.  My husband was my rock and we got through it together.
Let us know the outcome of your appointment on Friday.  Know that you are not alone.  We are here with information and support.
Elaine   LPPK

Re: New Members!

Posted by Runner Girl on Jun 25, 2019 12:04 pm

Hello HootOwlNic‍ ,

Thank you for the tag Brighty‍ ,

Welcome to Cancer Connection.  I'm so sorry you have to be here.  I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma May 7, 2018.  I have since had a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and continue with Herceptin treatments as my tumors were HER2+.  I am also on Tamoxifen.  I was able to continue working thru all of my treatment.  I also ran every weekend thru treatment, except for the weekend of chemo treatment.  Being active really helped me with the entire journey.

Once you meet with the surgical team and have a plan in place you will feel alot better.  Right now it's the great unknown.  There is a lot of misinformation on the internet so try to stick to reputable sites.

We will help you thru this journey.  Feel free to ask ANYTHING, vent your frustrations, share your fears.  We will be here to help you.

Good luck Friday, please update us when you can.

Runner Girl - Gayle

Re: New Members!

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jun 25, 2019 3:55 pm

Welcome HootOwlNic‍ 

I'm sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. I'm glad that you found this wonderful community of people who understand to walk you through this. 

Feel free to ask any questions you have, share how you are feeling, and vent when needed. There is a wealth of information on the site. Have you viewed our breast cancer forum? 

I'm sorry to hear that your Mom passed from breast cancer when you were quite young. Having that experience may make this experience feel even more difficult. One positive thing to consider is that treatments for breast cancer have come a long way over the years. 

Please let us know how your appointment goes!

Re: New Members!

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jun 25, 2019 3:56 pm

Brighty‍ , Runner Girl‍ , LPPK‍ - Thanks for providing the warm welcomes 

Re: New Members!

Posted by Kims1961 on Jun 25, 2019 4:59 pm

HootOwlNic‍ ....Welcome and what a great username...is there a story?

I was diagnosed with IDC on my 56th birthday in 2017. A complete shock - I was healthy, running, biking, my husband and I were preparing to go on a bike trip out of town- when I found my lump while in the shower . I had had clear mammograms and no breast cancer in my family.

Brighty‍ and gang have provided some excellent advice.  Like you - I went to google first and completely overwhelmed myself. Thankfully I found this site  - spoke to a peer support and information specialist.  I also looked at their pamphlets as well as the US organization ....www.breastcancer.org. https://www.breastcancer.org

A friend directed me to a book called Silver Linings - written by a nurse in the US who is diagnosed with cancer.  Although a US perspective - her journey and positivity is inspiring. You can download a copy of the book on her website.


I'm so glad you posted.  I found this community my lifeline to ask questions, vent or just read what others were going through.  Really helps to not feel alone.

Along with your wonderful husband, it's worth bringing a notebook to write down notes from the appt. on Friday, any questions you may have or just worries.  I found once I started to understand the treatment plan, I felt more in control.

Let us know how your appt. goes on Friday.  Kim

Re: New Members!

Posted by HootOwlNic on Jun 25, 2019 5:23 pm

Kims1961‍ -As to my name I’m a brownie leader “hoot owl” is what I get called and Nic for nicole

Re: New Members!

Posted by Kims1961 on Jun 25, 2019 6:06 pm

What a coincidence!  HootOwlNic‍ ....when my daughter was in Brownies, I helped as well.  I called myself "Snowy Owl" due to the grey hair👩

Re: New Members!

Posted by Essjay on Jun 25, 2019 6:15 pm

Hi HootOwlNic‍ Welcome to the site, and this awesome community.

i was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma last July, stage 1, grade 3, triple negative (no receptors for estrogen progesterone or HER2). I had a partial lumpectomy in October, started chemo in December completed April and started radiation in May finishing in June. I have twice yearly Zometa infusions for the next 5 years.

The waiting is the hardest, I know. I used distraction - we renovated our kitchen And took a family holiday during diagnosis and the wait for surgery. But you know, waiting does give you time to get used to the idea of cancer and the treatments you face. 

I found it challenging waiting to hear what my treatment plan was post surgery, but once things got going my anxiety eased and I focused on staying as fit and healthy as I could so that I could cope with my treatments as best as I could. I’m a gym going, out door kind of girl and I just kept at my normal stuff as much as I could.

Going through treatment is hard - this has been a tough year, and there were days when I wondered why I was putting myself through it. But I’m still here, and I just signed up to run 5k in the CIBC Race for the Cure in Winnipeg in October and started training this week (I haven’t run since school)...fatigue is my nemesis, but I’m getting there...on a gradual return to work over the next couple of months.

wishing you well with your treatment - there’s always someone who can answer your question...we know you will have lots


Re: New Members!

Posted by Janegj on Jun 26, 2019 6:42 am

Hi Everyone, and welcome!

I hope you will find, as i did, that this group is helpful, kind, supportive and truly cares. No matter how silly you feel your question may be, remember  we have all been there, and there are no silly questions, we all seek answers and here is definitely the place to find them.

Re: New Members!

Posted by Ron 27 on Jun 26, 2019 9:22 am

Hi @HootOwlNic‍  your post initially startled me as your pic looked like my daughter Nicole, who we call Nic.  This is a good site for you to be on.  I may recommend that you don't spend time on google, as you will find old and stressing info probably not relevant today.  Use a different search engine such as duck duck go if you are searching.  You will find that cancer treatment has greatly progressed in the past couple of years so although it is still a pain in the ass, you should be able to come out the other side healthy and carry on with your life as normal.  Also, don't quit your leadership role Hoot Owl.  A couple of missed meetings isn't the end of the world.  You will be just fine.

Re: New Members!

Posted by Tesachi on Jun 26, 2019 1:15 pm

Hi HootOwlNic‍ 
Welcome to Cancer Connections, this a wonderful and supportive community that are willing to share their cancer journey experiences, provide some feedback, and listen to you when you need to express your feelings or concerns throughout your journey. Some of the members have given you useful tips and advice to start, and please feel free to pop by to chat or to ask any questions anytime.

Wishing you all the best in your upcoming treatments. Sending you healing and positive vibes.

Teresa  - Tesachi


Re: New Members!

Posted by Silme on Jun 30, 2019 6:40 am

Hi CancerConnection group,

Just joined the site a few days ago and have found it very helpful to read others experiences.  I was diagnosed with stage 2 lung cancer this past Feb.,and had a lobectomy late March.  One third of my right lung removed along with the tumour and all traceable cancerous cells.  I started Chemo last Friday to get anything small that might still be floating around.

As I read through these forums I find myself noticing the common elements we all share; how to tell family, the not knowing, the fear of a new diagnosis.  One subject that really hit home was family members who didn't change their habits following diagnosis.  I think Minus2‍  brought this up first while many have a shared a similar experience.  What stuck our for me was the mention of a Father who didn't change diet etc,. I experienced something similar with my Dad.  Several heart attacks and he still ate his KFC and smoked.  Now I'm here struggling with some of those same changes.  What I'd like to share is a possible explanation, not an excuse or a reason.

I'm also struggling with staying smoke free and not doing a great job of it.  We tend to fall back on those things we know and give comfort in times of stress, even if those things are directly related to causing the stress in the first place.  Sometimes we may not have other tools to use or don't use them well enough, or even often enough to make them routine.  My medical team was really good at calling it; we're asking you to give up the thing that eases stress in what is likely one of the most stress-filled moments of your life.  They were supportive in finding some of those other tools and offering help in this area. 

I didn't have a date set or anything to smoke again after surgery.  I thought I was done and after 10 days smoke free I thought I was pretty good.  Some thoughts of smoking here and there but not much more.  Those thoughts got the better of me and I had one.  Of course it didn't stop at one and here I am struggling to get back.  When I'm really honest one of the biggest reasons for going back was the coping.  I was struggling a little with my recovery after surgery, part physical, mostly emotional, and I went back to my comfort.  I told myself this was something I'd only do until I was finished my recovery. 

When it comes to our relatives, I think others have already noted that we all make decisions for ourselves and cannot really change anyone.  Something I've come to learn about people in general is that we do ourselves a favour sometimes when we can accept people just as they are.  Dad is dad and we'll care for him, worry about him, but we'll never change him.  Who really knows his motivations, his past, his possible level of denial or feelings that's he's done enough.  None of which is easy for a child to understand and even harder to accept.  That said, I also believe that, as others mentioned, being a positive presence and not enabling the behaviour is a healthy approach for both people involved. 

As for us Dad's, our job is to find the better tools and keep striving to find ways to make better choices.  That journey is different for everyone and for some behaviours, not an easy one.  Sometimes even starting such a journey isn't even on our radar as we're unaware of the fact there could be more going on.  On my end, I've finally started looking at what's going on under the 'smoking as coping' and getting at a few things that have left me a little short handed in the coping department.  It's not fun or easy, but neither is the prospect of going through the experience of surgery, cancer and possibly a worse scenario the next time I could get diagnosed. 

I'm used to saying 'thanks for listening' when I share something personal but that doesn't sound right here.  Thanks for taking the time to read I guess?


EDIT: Cruising more of the forums and found a thread that really goes into this discussion with a little more clarity and focus.  You can find it right here

Re: New Members!

Posted by ACH2015 on Jun 30, 2019 7:21 am


Old habits die hard.

Its tough to change our lives and the habits involved.

As to smoking, I finally quit in 2008. March 06/08 to be exact.

I used nicotine replacement therapy. Back then there was only gum and mints, and those patches. Now you can purchase nicotine sprays, and a host of other nicotine devices to help get through the cravings. I used the replacement therapy for over six months, and tapered down to zero. Never smoked again. My new "fix" is just chewing gum fairly regularly. A much healthier replacement. I found I could have a coffee and "mint" , and be quite satisfied, while others were having a coffee and a smoke next to me. I got the physical kick of the nicotine, and it was interesting to feel the effects delivered to your body and the instant benefit of  stopping the destruction of your lungs etc...

I see San Francisco has banned e cigarettes and vaping devices. I wish the rest of the world would do so as well. https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/e-cigarette-san-francisco-ban-juul-1.5189909

We are very good at self destruction, and I think falling back into simpler times and developing better habits, preparing our own meals healthier meals, exercising and being all around more involved in living can help make our lives as healthy as they can be.

The key is to keep at it. For me it's all about really understanding the why's of what I do. Then it reinforces my desire to change, and persevere. I'm not perfect, and have had my stumbles (eating mostly) but practice makes perfect.

Keep at it, work towards a goal, and we will all get there in our own time.

ACH2015 - Andy.

An important fact to keep in mind is that we can't change or reverse the existing damage done to ourselves (cancer) in part due to our bad habits. We can however reduce the risk of recurrence, new cancer and a host of other life threatening diseases by making those healthier choices, diet, exercise, and stress reduction to name a few.


Re: New Members!

Posted by Minus2 on Jun 30, 2019 7:51 am

Hi Silme‍ , 
Thanks for the tag in your post.  My dad did choose to continue with activities that were not supportive of long term recovery and I think I understand it, but it was still difficult to watch.  Having said that, I try to make healthy choices in light of my own diagnosis but I am not as vigilant as I was when first facing down the beast.  This summer I hope to recharge and refresh my determination that slips when I am so busy at work during the school year.  And in hindsight, we didn't have all the information about my Dad's diagnosis as he recovered.  It was only after his passing that my mom and I learned his cancer was very advanced and truthfully, quitting smoking and drinking would have been stressful for him with very little, if any, benefit in slowing the disease.  One thing Dad was never very good at was compromise!
When you are ready, you will embrace the changes you wrote about and once your head is in the game, the change will be permanent.  One thing you said resonated with me - you said that you would rely on familiar coping strategies until you were through your recovery.  I was diagnosed and had surgery 3 years ago and continue to be treated with hormonal therapy.  I am still in recovery and I suspect I will be for the rest of my life.  So for me, recovery does not have a due date or a timeline - I am a work in progress.
Wishing you well as you work through all the stuff that comes with your diagnosis and treatment.

Re: New Members!

Posted by Silme on Jul 1, 2019 7:08 am

Appreciate both for your responses ACH2015‍ and Minus2‍ 

I really liked the phrase, 'when your head is in the game,' as that's fairly accurate to where Ive needed to be.  I've tried some of the medications and quickly discovered the physical withdrawal wasn't too bad, it was all the stuff in my head that kept me coming back.  I believe I've sorted out 'the head' enough that I can tackle the cravings and give this thing up.  Not going to be a walk in the park and well aware I have to tools now to succeed.  



Re: New Members!

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Jul 1, 2019 9:28 am

Hi, Silme‍ , welcome to cancer connection, and for your extremely well thought-out and well worded post. Clearly you’ve thought this through!

My Dad actually picked a date to resume smoking after his surgery. We’d bought him all the tools - lozenges, patches, etc. - and he never opened a box. As was the case for Minus2‍, my dad isn’t big on compromise, either.

One of my favourite authors expresses the belief that when we smoke, there is something going in our life that we don’t want to see, so we create a “smoke screen” to soften its edges to make it more palatable. I have a relative who did this when her partner was an alcoholic who put expectations on her to have everything perfect so that HE couldn’t see his own imperfections.

Another author (who’s also some bald guy on TV) says that we don’t ever break a habit, we replace it with a new, hopefully less dangerous one. I was ahead of him by about 10 years, when, in 1981, I picked up my knitting every time I wanted a cigarette. Yup. Still knitting.

I also quit smoking over the weekend between a change in jobs. At the time, “they” recommend that you try and quit when you’re making a major change - new job, new house, becoming a parent, etc. Back then, smoking was allowed in the workplace, so it was easy to resolve not to smoke at the new job. Grandparents sometimes decide to quite when they reach that milestone.

As Andy ACH2015‍ Points out, there’s also the comorbidity aspect to certain habits — when we have a coffee, for example, it doesn’t feel right unless there’s a smoke involved. If we can separate out the two habits so that one doesn’t necessarily trigger the other, that, too, can help. And, of course, there’s the actual addiction added to the mix.

I saw the article about San Fran banning vaping, too, and was interested to learn that that’s where one of the largest vape manufacturers is located!

I believe I have come to grips with my Dad’s smoking (other than the actual physical effects that I get when I visit him now that he’s smoking in the house), and I hope that you are able to achieve your personal goals.

Thank you again for sharing your insights.

Re: New Members!

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on Jul 1, 2019 1:57 pm

Silme‍  Welcome to the community and thank you so much for trusting us with your diagnosis and back story. You already have incredible perspective and insight and I believe this will serve you well going forward. I am happy to see you have also connected with some of our awesome members.

When we are diagnosed ( I am 8 years post treatment for breast cancer) it is fairly common to try to figure out what we "did" to make this happen. I did it myself. But a better focus, I believe, is how do I go forward from here. I have made lots of changes to diet, joined a gym, say No more often, try to reduce my stress and take time when I need it. But these changes have taken time and I have stumbled many times. And I forgive myself and get back to it.

I understand your desire to quit smoking and I have no doubt you will get there in your own time. I am certainly not here to put any more pressure on you than you are already putting on yourself, but wanted to provide a resource for when it works for you. You may already have seen it but for others following along that may not have, I am posting it here.  There are a couple of CCS's publications 

For smokers who want to quit  

There is also one for those who don't want to quit ( for those this applies to )

For those who don't want to quit

Wishing you all the best going forward Silme. Continue to reach out here, we are listening



Re: New Members!

Posted by Treepeo on Jul 1, 2019 2:28 pm

Hi Silme‍ 

Thank you for sharing your situation and insights with us.  I can relate to falling back on what gives us comfort, because I certainly do that myself.

I smoked for 43 years.  I became increasingly embarrassed by my habit, and made up my mind that I was going to quit no matter what.  I stumbled upon The Smoker's Helpline, which is an online resource of the Canadian Cancer Society.  The site provides people with the knowledge and tools to quit smoking.  There is also an online forum where you can reach out to other people who are trying to quit smoking, or who have already quit.  I really had no idea how to go about quitting, and what I learned from that site was invaluable.  The information about how to quit, along with the online support, was the key to my success.  I quit on December 29, 2016 and have not smoked since.  I am truly grateful to The Smoker's Helpline for helping me to become a non-smoker.  You might want to check it out.  It is an invaluable resource that might just help you to achieve your goal of becoming a non-smoker.

Re: New Members!

Posted by Silme on Jul 3, 2019 7:41 pm

Appreciate the supportive comments, suggestions and encouragement. Really ready to give it up. Quit date tomorrow at noon. 

Thanks again

Re: New Members!

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Jul 4, 2019 9:24 am

Oh, SMOKING! You had me going for a minute, there Silme‍ ! I thought “But his posts were SO positive, what has happened!”

Way to keep us on our toes!

PS: You can have no greater champion to cheer you on with your endeavour. I once said here on the site that if I could have a super power, it would be to help everybody in the world quit smoking.

Re: New Members!

Posted by Silme on Jul 11, 2019 1:45 am

Thanks for the support Cynthia Mac‍  That would be an awesome superpower; smoking can be such an insidious habit.

Ready to follow your suggestions Treepeo‍ and utilise the Smokers Helpline and Website.  Think by now I'd accept the need for support in some areas as doing this on my own isn't happening.  Guess if I could have done this on my own I wouldn't be still trying to quit. 


Re: New Members!

Posted by moorezt on Jul 11, 2019 3:49 pm