Sunday, January 19, 2014


My Family - Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts - Summer 2004
December 5, 2007 was a pretty amazing day for me.  That afternoon I arrived at the hospital right on time to have my port-a-cath removed.  The young fellow that took me up in the elevator and showed me to the right room asked me if I was nervous.  “Hell no!” was my answer.  “I’ve been through enough other stuff this year that this little thing is no big deal.  In fact I just can’t wait to get it done!”  He smiled at me like I was a tad bit crazy or something but was very polite and wished me well.

I didn’t have to wait very long and before I knew it I was in a little room with a gown on, lying down and waiting for the doctor to come in.  There was a TV so the nurse gave me the remote and I found an old episode of the Cosby Show and watched that for about 10 minutes.  I always loved that show.  The doctor and nurse came in shortly and they were ready to get on with this little minor surgery right away.  They wanted to make sure that I was okay because I guess a lot of people get nervous and some even change their minds about the whole thing.  Not me.  I couldn’t understand that at all.  I told them how happy I was that I was getting this port out because I wasn’t going to need it anymore.  Plus it was a daily reminder of the cancer and I simply wanted it gone.

My Family - Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia - Summer 2010
They gave me a local anesthetic so I didn’t feel a thing.  The doctor made an incision and removed the port and then sewed me back up.  It only took about 15 minutes or so and we were done.  I thanked them both a few times during the procedure.  We all chit-chatted throughout the entire thing and I really was truly happy.

When I left the Cancer Centre and headed outside to my car I felt like my step was lighter and my head was in the clouds.  I paid the parking guy, made my way to the on-ramp and drove up onto the highway.  I was heading home and for the first time in a long time I felt free.  I felt like a huge weight had been lifted and I was flying down the highway, observing the speed limit of course, until I got just outside of the city.  At that point I lost it and started to shake and cry.  It was kind of the same sort of relieved feeling that I had when I got the results of the pathology report after the breast surgery.  I had to pull over.  I called Mike and sobbed over the phone with him and he was so happy for me and I was crying but I was so happy and thankful that I was done.  I mean I was DONE!  This last little surgery represented so much more.  It was the last thing I had to do.  Now I was free and I could move forward with my life.  With our life.

Me - December 2007 - Greely, Ontario
That night when the kids got home and Mike was there and we were all together they told me to ring the bell.  Ring the victory bell Mom!  We are so proud of you and you did it!  We knew you could do it and look at how strong you are and how brave and how awesome!  I couldn’t have come through this so well without my amazing family.  I told Mike as he was holding me close to his chest and I could hear his heart beating that I simply wanted to say “thank you”.  He has always been my strength and the one person that I could count on always.  Always by my side.  In sickness and in health.  You don’t realize at the time you make your wedding vows how those vows will become so incredibly important and how much they could be tested over the years.

My children too were so strong and mature and responsible.  I told them that.  I also told them that if something like that had of happened to my Mom when I was their age that it would have scared the crap out of me.  I told them that they were my heroes and in fact it was them that were the brave ones.  I just did what I had to and what choice did I have anyway?  Mike eventually said enough already would you just ring the damn bell?!?  So I did.  Many times.  Very loud.  With much bravado and a smile on my face, I looked at these three people, my family, and at that moment I felt joyful and truly blessed.  It was a wonderful Christmas that year.

Counting Stars - OneRepublic


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