About TT

My Mom & I - 1967
It's Not Forever, It's Just For Now was what I kept telling myself when I was in the thick of cancer treatments, surgeries, medications, side-affects and other un-fun things.  It kept me going, kept me positive and kept me looking to a future with no cancer.

Who am I?
A work in progress I suppose.  One thing I am is a cancer graduate.  I have no idea why I got breast cancer but I do know that I have had many people ask me about it.  They are either curious or have someone close to them that has been affected by cancer and are looking for some advice, guidance and someone who has been through it to simply just talk to.  Ask questions.  Connect.  When I was going through my treatments and surgeries, I sent email updates to my friends, family and colleagues to let them know what was going on and to give them an out when they didn't know what to ask or what to say.  Many told me that they learned new things from my updates or that they thought it would make a good book for others who may have the unfortunate experience to have a personal connection to cancer.  

So I started a journal, put it into a full manuscript and now I am sharing it via this blog.  My hope is that it may help, inspire or comfort somebody, somewhere, sometime.  Even if I can reach one person then I have accomplished so much.

I am not a celebrity.  I am not a rock star.  I am not a famous doctor or a superstar athlete or an influential business person.

I am, however, a woman, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law, a mother, an aunt, and a godmother (it all happened in that order by the way). 

Where did I come from?
If you grew up in Copper Cliff in the 60s and 70s then you probably knew me as a kid.  If you know where Gore Bay is, we are probably related.  

My life now?
I am proud to say that my teenagers actually like to do things with us.  (Or they are good at faking it.)  They are incredible and make me laugh and feel young and I am constantly amazed by them.  My wonderful husband has stuck around for 20 years.  I must be doing something right or very, very wrong.
Alex, Me, Tasza - Paris 2012

Wanna know some other boring stuff about me?
·         Born in 1966
·         Had an extraordinary ordinary childhood
·         Finished high school
·         Went to university
·         Took off to Lake Louise for a summer
·         Met my future husband (Mike)
·         Returned to school together
·         Went backpacking in Europe
·         Moved to Ottawa
·         Lived in sin
·         Lost my amazing Mom in 1991 (miss her every day)
·         Got married in 1992
·         Had a beautiful son in 1995
·         Had a gorgeous daughter in 1998
·         Kids started school
·         Kids started hockey and life has never been the same
·         Bailey joined our family (best Portie ever)
·         Diagnosed with cancer in 2006
·         Had chemo (8 months)
·         Had a bilateral mastectomy
·         Had radiation (25 rounds)
·         Mike finished his MBA
·         Had a hysterectomy
Mike & I - Poland 2012
·         Got my life back
·         Had breast reconstruction
·         Mike started playing hockey
·         Ran a ½ marathon
·         Did a try a triathlon
·         Went sea kayaking
·         Started playing hockey
·         Took golf lessons
·         Did the Grouse Grind
·         Went downhill skiing
·         Kids both in high school
·         Hockey consumes our life
·         We love our life

Things I love?
Aside from my family and friends and my dog Bailey, I love the outdoors, travelling and I love all kinds of music.  This song below is a great pick me up when I am running (which I do daily in the warm months and not so often in the cold months).  The words are something I can totally relate to.

I Run For Life Lyrics
Artist(Band):Melissa Etheridge

It's been years since they told her about it
The darkness her body possessed
And the scars are still there in the mirror
Everyday that she gets herself dressed
Though the pain is miles and miles behind her
And the fear is now a docile beast
If you ask her why she is still running
She'll tell you it makes her complete

I run for hope

I run to feel
I run for the truth

For all that is real
I run for your mother, your sister, your wife
I run for you and me, my friend
I run for life

It's a blur since they told me about it
How the darkness had taken its toll
And they cut into my skin and they cut into my body
But they will never get a piece of my soul
And now I'm still learning the lesson
To awake when I hear the call
And if you ask me why I am still running
I'll tell you I run for us all

I run for hope

I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother your sister your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run for life

And someday if they tell you about it
If the darkness knocks on your door
Remember her remember me
We will be running as we have before
Running for answers

A favorite running path
Running for more

I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real

I run for your mother, your sister, your wife

I run for you and me my friend
I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real  

Contact:  tebotarnowski@gmail.com


  1. Hello Tracy,
    I'm glad to read the worst is behind you, and I hope your manuscript gets published. My wife is now a five year survivor, so I'm guessing we're at about the same place in life. I'd like to send you a pre-release copy of "Pink Christmas" which I've been offering to breast cancer bloggers. We've got 11 of the 16 songs done, and I'm sending it out to friends and family this year, as a sampler for next year's release. I think breast cancers blogs do a wonderful service for those in need, and this is our way of giving back. I hope you'll accept the offer and that our work brings you some joy. You can see the artwork at: http://Kunaki.com/Sales.asp?PID=PX00HQI69Y but the audio won't be up until we get the project done in Feb 2013.

    Geoff Szabo

    1. Hi Geoff - Thanks for your message and for reading this blog. I am very happy that your wife has reached the five year mark as well. Thank you for the offer and good luck with your CD! Sounds like a great project.


  2. Hey Boobie Sister! Such a lovely blog and a lovely lady! I will be a 2 year survivor next month, and I, too, am a writer and pontificator when it comes to ideas on how to get through the rough spots of life. My company, Courage Concepts, cultivates courage in women and girls.

    I am also the board VP of a great new organization called the Women Survivors Alliance. Our inaugural event is in Nashville this year, the National Women Survivors Convention.

    Be well, Sister Survivor!

    I'd love to connect. I'm at judy@courageconcepts.com

    1. Hi Judy - Thanks for your comments. Congrats on the two year survivor mark! Sounds like you are doing great work for women and survivors. Awesome!


  3. Hi girlfriend - it was so great seeing you last weekend! And meeting hubby Mike for the first time :) I am in Thunder Bay visiting with my Anishnawbekwe friend Shelley and her family. She is currently undergoing treatment here for breast cancer. Her positive spirit and love of life keeps her going, as well as support from friends and family. So I have referred her to your blog to help her through. Keep shining your light on this earth, you are an inspiration to many through this wired world. Happy long weekend and have a great summer!

    1. Hey Sherry - It was so nice to see you as well! Thank you so so so much for your kind words. It means a lot and I am sending Shelley lots of positive vibes and warm thoughts. Take care my friend!


Thanks for reading and for your support!