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Let’s Discuss…2023

The new year is here, and it can bring with it a time for reflection and planning for the year ahead. What are you hoping to see, feel, experience, or accomplish this year? It can be big or small as long as it is important to you.

Thinking of reconnecting with an old friend? Starting a new hobby? Spending more time in nature?

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Share with us below, so we can support you along the way! Feel free to drop back in with updates.

28 Replies
Kathy49
34 Posts

I haven't posted here in a long time, maybe one year or so. I've had breast cancer, uterine and endometrial cancer and now (Jan. 2023) they think I have lung cancer in one lung. I'm 70 and alone because my mother slandered me to a lot of people and My brother and sister-in-law believe her so I was cut out of the family many years ago. They even conspired with each other to steal my inheritance, which they did. It was so upsetting with my first cancer - breast - when I was frightened and alone and the only one that hugged me/gave me a bit of emotional support was the driver of the patient van that took me to the hospital. Then the uterine/endometrial cancer I had no one, and now Jan. 2023 I have no one. I have to be strong for myself. Apparently the lung cancer is in a very difficult place and the upcoming biopsy will be life-threatening. I've made a Will but I'm not at all sure that the person I named as Executor will be able to handle things, so I just have to hope that I don't die during the biopsy. It's a whole different ballgame when cancer patients are totally alone with no neighbours, no family, no friends, etc. So my wish for 2023 is to not die, so I can be with my 3 cats and try to make more plans for after my death.

Pickles
20 Posts

@Lacey_Moderator

Good morning everyone,

I received an invitation from a fellow band member (I play trombone in a few bands) who had breast cancer in 2003 to attend an information meeting for the Abreast In A Boat information meeting on January 14th. I am going to attend with a dear friend who had breast cancer treatment back in 1999. My friend used to row with a local club here in Delta, BC. I have never rowed, but this will be one of the things I will be trying this new year.

As well, my family (brother and sister as well as myself and our two sons) have mental illness. I am going to try to give back as a person who has the often thought of as the ugly duckling of the health care system. I am going to volunteer with helping newly diagnosed adults who have mental health issues. I used to moderate a group for families who had relatives with mental illness. This time, after having a major new mental health crisis in 2020 which, at first, I denied, will try to help others who, at the late age of 67 two years ago was diagnosed with bipolar.

It is one thing to come out by announcing one has cancer, but it is quite a different and sometimes scary thing to come out and admit one has a mental illness. Mental health is only at the stage that cancer was at many years ago.

Here is to new beginnings for both women who have had breast cancer as well as for people like me who deal with mental illness every day of my life.

@Kathy49
Hello and welcome back. Nice to see you again but sorry to hear of your most recent health challenges. We might not be a good replacement for your family, but do know you have a whole community here to walk along side you as you go through your current situation.

I am wishing you well with your biopsy and look forward to your update when you are up to it.

Lianne

@Pickles

Thank you for sharing. One thing cancer doesn't care about is if you are already dealing with another type of illness, whether it be physical or mental. Suddenly we can find ourselves trying to manage more than one. You are definitely not alone in this.

Kudos to putting yourself out there and trying dragon boating! I have tried it and really enjoyed it and I know many who belong to Abreast in a Boat who really get a lot out of it - almost like a support group on the water.

Let us know how it goes for you.

Lianne

Essjay
2153 Posts

@Lacey_Moderator

I have a few new things this year.

The local breast cancer survivor group I’ve set up has a core group of women meeting monthly for breakfast and to chat. It’s been great to build some new friendships and it seems to be filling a need.

I’m starting a program for cancer survivors this spring. It’s online workshops through www.afreshchapter.com, and organization that helps survivors and thrivers find their way through treatment and afterwards. I’m hoping it will give me some inspiration for how I can give back to my community and use what I’ve learned through my cancer experience.

I‘m stepping up the fitness and diet regime after slipping a bit with the arrival of a new puppy last summer. I want to eat less sugar (for various reasons), and I want to move every day, and not just dog walking. So far this month I have hiked, worked out on the trampoline, lifted weights and run on a treadmill so that’s motivating me to keep going if my butt doesn't ache too much!

And the puppy - we are starting obedience classes next week and working towards our canine good neighbour certificate. He loves to learn and we’ve learned a couple of new things this week on our own at home. It’s great bonding for both of us and training does actually tire him out!

And to keep providing support on here - I mostly stick to my breast cancer lane, but if I see something I can share elsewhere I do venture beyond the breast cancer and introductory forums.

wishing everyone the best for 2023, whatever that looks like for you ❤️

princessmaura
338 Posts

@Lacey_Moderator everyday is a gift….through pain and pleasure….everything happens for a reason….

@princessmaura
Great to hear from you!

@Essjay
What a great idea to meet for breakfast with your support group.

You have a great intentional year planned ahead!

Glad our community continues to be part of your year ahead.We so appreciate your kind voice and wisdom.

All the best,

Lacey

JenG
282 Posts

@Lacey_Moderator I’m not one for resolutions as I’ve come up with so many over the years that I haven’t done! But, having said that, I‘m doing a version of dry January and so far, so good!

I’m still moving through the grief of my mom’s death. Christmas wasn’t too bad, all things considered. And I moved the photo of her and I that had been beside my chair in the living room (like a shrine) to an upstairs bedroom as a signal to go forward.

Turns out I inherited her arthritis (that she got from her dad) and that’s affecting my day-to-day life. It’s in my hands (as it was for her and Gramps) and that’s proving to be a challenge. So I’m trying different medications and figuring out how to do things differently so as not to aggravate it. It’s another thing to grieve and yet helps me to understand her more.

So I’m mostly taking it day by day. We have a few trips planned - Quebec in August to see friends and Vegas in October to see Pink with Brandi Carlile. Good things to look forward to.

Take it easy all…

jeng

Gladyslove
3 Posts

@Kathy49 Kathy I’m so sorry for your losses. cancer is a lonely battle even with support so I can’t imagine! Feel free to vent here all you want ❤️

Sadie12
298 Posts

@Kathy49 I am sorry to hear about your family estrangement…I've had a bit of that myself. Reading your post, I wonder if talking to a support worker at your cancer centre could 1) assist you with getting homecare assistance and 2) allow you to speak to someone about your family situation to help you make peace with this hurtful situation.

All the best to you.

Sadie12

law1
770 Posts

Hi Readers,

First thing this Year is to applaud everyone here on the site who is emotionally stronger than I could ever be!! The posts of @Kathy49, @Pickles, @Essjay , @Gladyslove , @Sadie12 , @JenG , and various replies kinda startle me into reflecting upon my good fortune to be as healthy as I am. I continue to age and fall apart (like an old car on the hydraulic lift being repaired) and deal with my arthritic hands and trigger fingers…so, if my clarinet playing decreases, my wrinkles increase, and the lack of doctors available in this wacky BC grow and grow, I am determined to treasure every moment of 2023 as the year whizzes by. Bad news, challenges, good news, victories, and my adorably soft, slashing pet cat----I look at life as a comedic drama-documentary: A 2023 dramedy.

Pickles
20 Posts

@law1 Music is such a healer. It is my happy place. I broke my scaphoid on my right hand this past summer (while in Strasburg), but didn't have it casted until the day before Thanksgiving. Because it was my right hand, which is the slide hand, I managed to play for the 8 weeks that it was casted - just had to rework my other fingers so as not to use my right thumb. So when you are given lemons - make lemonade.

What one learns when one has cancer is you face it, deal with it and come out fighting!

Sadie12
298 Posts

Happy New Year.

During my early recovery, it was important to me to set a goal to work towards. Priorities change when you have faced the Big C and realize that there is a big probability that you will be facing it again…y'all know that.

We bought a used short school bus and are transforming it into a travelling camper…although a lot of the work must wait until warmer weather. My goal is that I will show my 2 young boys the East Coast, the West Coast and the mountains within 5 years.

Our youngest is 2, so we've set our sites on camping in provincial parks close to home in Ontario this summer. 2023 will be the year 1 of our Canadian Camping Adventure. I am getting excited as the planning.

I don't do resolutions…but I have the intention of getting back on track with my wellness tools (yoga, meditation, nutrition, etc.).

All the best.

Sadie

Kathy49
34 Posts

@Gladyslove
Hi, thanks for your kind words. They really help. Have a great and safe day!

Kathy49
34 Posts

@Sadie12 Hi and thanks so much for your kind words. I'm in a small town so I have to go to Ottawa Ontario (Canada) for the biopsy in mid January 2023. I had the PET scan on Dec. 13 2023 and the thoracic surgeon phoned me on Dec. 22 2023. One of the lung cancer nurses phoned me on Jan. 4 2023 and told me I can't be alone the night after the biopsy is done in case my lung collapses or I get a blood clot, and she said that the social worker for the lung cancer unit will phone me to make arrangements for me to stay at a local retirement home in their respite room. This means more work and stress for me because I will have to pack an overnight bag and I will be away from my cats (3) and not there to feed them. I hope I will return home the next day.

Kathy49
34 Posts

@Lianne_Moderator Hi and thanks so much for your kind words. I'm in a small town so I have to go to Ottawa Ontario (Canada) for the biopsy in mid January 2023. I had the PET scan on Dec. 13 2023 and the thoracic surgeon phoned me on Dec. 22 2023. One of the lung cancer nurses phoned me on Jan. 4 2023 and told me I can't be alone the night after the biopsy is done in case my lung collapses or I get a blood clot, and she said that the social worker for the lung cancer unit will phone me to make arrangements for me to stay at a local retirement home in their respite room. This means more work and stress for me because I will have to pack an overnight bag and I will be away from my cats (3) and not there to feed them. I hope I will return home the next day.

No 2023 resolutions for me, but I do have some goals.

Short

The rapidly of my decline was shocking. To go from an big, strong, athletic man in his 40s, to a wraith crippled by immense pain. My short term goals:

1. Continue to get a grasp on pain management, and somehow find a way to alleviate the accused side effect of constipation.

2. Try to embrace some kind of routine (like a morning / afternoon wheel around the island, with my walker).

3. Accept that I will have many bad days, but try to make the most of the good by arranging a visitor to swing by for a chat.

Medium

On a bad day I cannot see beyond short term goals, but I have been very aware that I'm the slowest moving patient at the Cancer Centre. It sounds laughably absurd, but I look forward to one day passing even a single patient in the halls. I look forward to that day, because I'm the kind of guy that people always relied upon for strength. If If I can pass someone, that's a mental achievement that tells me - your strength is returning… perhaps one day soon, you can be the strength you once were, to help others walk the halls.

Long

I had a friend at Christmas tell me that he knows it's tough to forecast what even tomorrow holds. - But he encouraged me to at least try on occasion to imagine what a future might hold. If I'm lucky enough to battle my cancer in to regression, I would like to set a goal to take a trip. That may not happen in 2023, but if all goes well, I will at least know in 2023 whether a 2024 trip is possible.

All that said, I know that each of us and our predicament is unique. To you all, I hope 2023 brings the promise of human connection, and as always, good health.

@Kathy49
I really want you to get your wishes. Hugs.

@Lianne_Moderator You are a wonderful moderator. Happy New Year.

Kathy49
34 Posts

@DAIYYAM2022;
Thanks so much for your kind wishes. Have a great day!

@DAIYYAM2022;
Thank you for your kind words 🤗 Happy New Year to you as well.

Lianne

nel
46 Posts

@Kathy49
Hugs to you. Keep posting. I have read your post and I am now praying for your procedure.

@WyteWolf004
I'm only at the beginning of this journey but I see how difficult it is to keep making future plans. I'm keeping my eyes fixed on some travel/work goals despite all the impediments that are going to come along. All the very best to you.

Kathy49
34 Posts

@nel
Thanks so much for your kind words and prayers. The doctors told me that I couldn't be home alone after the biopsy so that resulted in a day's worth of phoning around to find out what I could do. The hospital social worker helped me and we eventually found a retirement home that would let me have a room for a day. All the other homes had a minimum stay of 30 days at $80 a day.

law1
770 Posts

@Pickles
Hi Pickles---and yes, musical lemonade is a very tasty concoction!! I hope your hand has healed quickly!!

Sipsi
124 Posts

@Lacey_Moderator

2023 starts with some challenges I didn't expect. I am doing fine myself as a 5 yr survivor of Lung cancer but I haven't been very active on the forums for a while.I had a wake up call about how tragic cancer can be and am still grieving over the loss of three friends to lung cancer over the past holiday season. I count my blessings every day.

My role has changed from being the sufferer to being the carer. It brings a whole new perspective to the whole universe of cancer treatment and care. My husband of 50 years now, who is 72 yrs old and has never been sick, except for a kidney stone episode LOL, had a rectal tutor removed before xmas and is now starting radiation and chemo treatment for the next 5 weeks. He is a very cheerful fellow and puts on a very brave face but I know first hand the kind of worries that float through the mind going through all this. Add to that his particular concern about being the ‘provider’ and having to ‘put things in order’. His father died of this in his early 60's and back then there was very little they could do to help. His mother lived for another 30 years alone to the ripe old age of 96!

We had already decided to retire more permanently than we had in our first try! Our house and business is up for grabs and we have to be ready to move forward with that should an opportunity come our way. Anyone who had done this will know how complicated and stressful that can be even for the most straightforward deal. I hope that we will be playing a waiting game for the time that he is going through his treatment though if called upon I will do the best I can to make things go smoothly.

My recent initiative to raise awareness and some funds for research and early screening of Lung Cancer with BCCancer foundation has recently been thwarted by the recent dictum coming down from WHO about alcohol consumption and its effects on various health issues, notably Cancer. Hopefully it will not be of significance since we will soon some time this next season sell out of our current vintage and I will not be making the next vintage of our champagne (aka sparkling wine)! There will be other ways we can give back that will emerge and with two survivors advocating who know what we will come up with.

2023 is a year of wait and see for me and hoping for many reasons to celebrate as things settle down.

@Sipsi
Nice to hear from you. It sounds like you have a lot going on. I remember you talking about your business before. I hope that transition goes smoothly for you, and in a timeline that suits you both well. Wishing your husband well as he embarks on his treatment.

Take care

Lianne

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