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Meet law...

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It's June 1st! For some, spring weather is here. For others, you may still be waiting... Please take a moment to read about law and her experience with oral cancer


Well, now let me think how I would introduce myself to the World of CancerConnection..……


Uppermost in my autobiography is the crucial possession and need for humour.  For some reason, I doubt that life, for me, would be interesting or tolerable without one. I am someone who is quickly bored, quick to get antsy, yet I take my life and relative health as  good fortune to have been dealt a winning hand at poker. Although I have no idea how to play poker, and could not sit still long enough to learn, I see my life as a wild card and lucky or unlucky with the hands  I am dealt. 

Born to Canadian parents residing and working in the US state of Texas, I am fortunate to have dual citizenship…… which is why I prefer living in Victoria, BC. The older I got, the more I could not wait to retire and move to Canada.  I wanted to chill, get to know my huge Canadian family of cousins before they got too old to remember me, and live in a beautiful part of the world with nature at my doorstep. I lived for a long time in San Francisco, which is a diverse city. 
My careers involved teaching vocational English to immigrants, and also coordinating printing and design marketing projects in the world of advertising. Both careers have lost funding and become computer-oriented,  so I feel I left just in time.

Upon arriving in Canada permanently in 2011, life became so mellow! And then I was diagnosed with cancer of the tongue following a year with an increasingly sore throat. As with most traumas in my life, I took the diagnosis with a cavalier and blasé attitude….Radiation? “Sure, zap me”… and the day I finish I planned to go dancing and eat pizza with friends. Boy, was I in for a shock. Pain and the inability to swallow, chew, talk, yawn, and enjoy the 24 hours in a day became a constant nightmare and I lost my mind. Who knew dehydration and a diet of fentanyl and opioid pain killers would become my life for about a year?  My sense of humour remained intact and, according to my lovingly supportive friends and caregivers, it was the only quality I still possessed.
CancerConnection and a brilliant staff of shrinks at the BC Cancer Centre – Victoria saved my sanity and opened a world of support, honesty, information, and amazingly educated people whose courage and strength kept me functioning mentally and physically. I don’t recall how I learned of the site, but it continues to make a profoundly positive effect upon my life.
As I am still learning how to swallow without choking, and how to maintain good health, it has taken about 3 years of being cancer-free to adapt to my ‘new normal’.  3 years ago I thought that phrase was a bunch of hooey – until I actually lived it.
My hobbies have helped me carry on, and, even Covid isolation has had its benefits for me.  A clarinet player, my chops were destroyed after head neck radiation, so my playing was nil for a long while.  In time for the passing of Covid, I have almost returned to my previous performance level. I play in an 8-member, women’s Klezmer band and we play wild music at benefits…primarily synagogues as Klezmer is known as a genre from the Jewish ghettos of Eastern Europe with influences of Middle Eastern minor key  tones. I also play in a community band of seniors which is a hoot…as half those members are deaf anyway!
In addition to music, my interests are animal rights (as reflected in my Profile photo), birding, and spoiling my sassy 10 yr.-old cat, Gem. She was a rescue and thus exhibits rather frightened, anti-social behaviours. That’s fine with me as I let her run the household anyway.

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All in all, I am a lucky gal with a full life, cable TV, salsa music, no hassles to speak of, and a little Vespa to scoot around town. It is my good fortune to be able to share thoughts with the readers and contributors to this marvellously moderated CancerConnection community.

Thank you for sharing your story with us. Canada and CancerConnection are better for having you here.  PS Gem is a beauty!




Comments

howdy neighbour law
(I am also having trouble tagging you??)
I am in Alberta, and so appreciate your beautiful Victoria, as I have visited in the before times. lovely place to call home!!

thank you for this introduction---love meeting the neighbours!!!
I agree 100% with you - humour is a great tool to have in the kit.

your life sounds so satisfying and full. here, we all know that is not by accident, but by lots of hard work - good for you.

enjoy zipping around on the vespa - that and your positive and sunny attitude are what really stood out to me in your post!

cheers
su

#meetthecancerneighbors
  • Posted Fri 04 Jun 2021 07:38 AM EDT
Hello @Law - I’m so glad to have you as a neighbour and getting to know you more! I remember you had posted your band performing but did not get a chance to watch it. Would you mind posting it here?

Thank goodness you were able to get back to the level of playing you enjoyed but I imagine that was mot without your determined hard work.

I am sure that I would have sat at the next table or walked through the village on the Island where I also lived. We may have even talked in the coffee line up. You definitely picked a beautiful place to retire and only footsteps to the USA.

I wish you continued good health and an enjoyable retirement. Thank you for being here with all of your courage and humour to share with us and the support you provide for others.

Your cat is very lucky to have such a great mom. I’m glad you found your mind again too. I’m not sure if I have found all if mine yet. 🙃

Warm hugs
Trillium
  • Posted Thu 03 Jun 2021 02:08 PM EDT
Thank you all for your comments and appreciation for my "Meet....Neighbour" posting. You all are responsible for my continual positive attitude in the world: cancer world, control world, lack of control world, the need for humour balanced with reality and I am quite awed by everyone's fortitude as we carry on with our lives.
I know my mental and physical health are strengthened by this site and its contributors.
Additionally, it helps to have a wacky and loving furry cat
law
  • Posted Thu 03 Jun 2021 02:48 PM EDT
Hello law‍. Well aren't we lucky to have you here in Canada, and on this site. Your humour, perspectives, and vulnerability are beautiful. Your diagnosis is so similar to my cousin's wife (diagnosed over 6 years ago) but she just succumbed to all the side effects, and is resigned to consuming only liquids even now. You are an inspiration, and I'm glad you are back playing the clarinet!
  • Posted Wed 02 Jun 2021 06:24 PM EDT
@law

I am having trouble tagging you
I wanted you to know you made me smile this morning and I was quite down.
Your humor and love of life shines through your words.
I've loved getting to know you and your story. What a great share.
Keep up your positive attitude!!!
Wishing you much love ❤
Karen
  • Posted Wed 02 Jun 2021 06:22 AM EDT
law While it isn't always easy to find the humour in the world of cancer, you manage very nicely. I too found it helpful during my own cancer experience and during other difficult times in my life.

Thanks for allowing us to get to know you ( and Gem ) a little better.

Lianne
  • Posted Tue 01 Jun 2021 04:06 PM EDT

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