Raising Hope for Emma Lee Stewart

The Reason For Hope Compilation CD's can be ordered via email to TheReasonForHopeCD@Gmail.com payment can be made via Interact Email Money Transfer. Mail orders with payment by cash or cheque can be made to :
The Reason For Hope
170 Temperance Street New Glasgow, NS B2H3B1 ($20.00 Includes shipping)

Friday, December 31, 2010

This Morning's Amble

Honey and I hit the dark streets of this quiet little town early today. I'm conditioned to rise early. The minute my eyes open I feel like I might miss something so feet on floor and off we go to the day's adventure. Readying for outside takes longer though, as winter has definitely descended. Alas, Honey will not, under any circumstances, let me put a sweater on her and I have learned, the hard way - the best way to learn quickly - to let the sweater go! I did run into the caretaker going to work at one of the local churches this morning. Unfortunately, Honey scars that person, so we set off in an unusual direction. About 5 minutes in, Honey stopped suddenly, nose in air, head tilted and she froze. Standing about 15 feet in front of us, from out of nowhere, a young deer. They faced off. Honey doesn't stand a foot high, but has the courage of a dog 10 times her size. Luckily I had my ice grippers on, which eventually broke, but held me up for the few moments that ensued. Once the deer escaped, we ended up following its trail, and every 3 or 4 feet Honey would jam her head into her foe's hoofprints (?) and have a great snort. It was comical. Maybe it was a young reindeer who lost its way. Anyway, we followed those steps past the junior high and up to Albert Street. Things got boring I guess and we then had an almost uneventful finish to out walk, except for meeting the sweet Jack Russell terrier we often run into.

Many folks have turned off their Christmas lights, though the time is far from being over. We haven't and in fact it will be at least next weekend before we put the decorations away for another year.

It's New Year's Eve. I'm going to have a wonderful day, perhaps another adventure or two. I'm working on learning Let It Be, which I will use at worship on Jan 23 at Trinity in New Glasgow. The service working title is Music That Soothes The Soul. That Sunday is the third Sunday after Epiphany, Isaiah 9:1-4 is one of the scriptures for the day - The people have seen a great light - living in the light - the light of the living Christ, whose birth we just celebrated. Jakki Rogue, Next of Kin and Shaun McLean are my musical guests. I am trying to emulate what Murray was able to accomplish last Jan with the Spinney Brothers. So loads of music that shines with the light, and gives us hope, and, selfishly, soothes my soul. That is my goal.

Happy New Year - be safe - create and revel in adventure.

Peace, Emma Lee

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Eve, Day, Family and Friends

So, I'm continuing to improve from this cold - hallelujah. Pretty "horse" still, but every other bothersome condition is improving.

I must confess that I was feeling a bit low yesterday morning; in fact, I upped very early and came downstairs to turn the tree on and sit next to it around the 4 a.m. mark - earlier than the kids ever did. Anyway, that's how my day started. I facebooked Mary a Merry Christmas and she emailed me back that she was just home from work (in Vancouver) and would call once she had a few hours sleep. I took the dog for her morning constitutional and found that some houses, like ours, were lit and beaming with Christmas cheer. It was a very quiet New Glasgow otherwise, Santa having come and gone many hours before. We had decided on Christmas Eve, after talking with Mary that we would wait until she called us around 1:00 p.m. our time Christmas Day to open our presents and that was no problem. When Lee got up we had a beautiful breakfast (compliments of Mr. Christmas), and watched Home Alone, which we all get a kick out of. Jim then continued his Mr. Christmas role by starting dinner. We decided to cook both the tofurkee and the turkey, so that all would be ready for the 27th when Mary arrived home.

Around 12:20 or so the phone rang and it was Mary. She told me she had just posted something on my facebook wall, to have a look and then call her. Mary's wall post was "I'll Be Home for Christmas". Dah (sometimes I amaze myself). While waiting for it to load, I made a hasty trip to the watercloset. When I exited, with Jim vacuuming in the background, I turned and there she was, true to her words - home for Christmas. Screaming begins. Lee knew she was trying to be here, but he was able to keep that secret from us. She arrived in Halifax and had 4 minutes to make the bus to New Glasgow, and then taxied home. Tearful howling, more screaming, hugging, sobbing. Need I say more? We then sat round the tree and opened gifts together.

Lloyd, Gwen and Kate arrived later, by which time we had settled down, pjs for the gals, both men having gotten dressed. I wish I could have videoed "How to Pour Lord Provost's Scotch" by Mr. Christmas. It was a lot more involved than I had first thought, the stories (Jim's) long, the glasses prepared, the scotch poured, the aroma dissected, sufficient time for the ice to do its thing, and then sipped and enjoyed (not by all - Mary and Kate abstaining). We had a wonderful time of friendship. This should be a tradition. Our toast? To 2011.

Tessa is arriving today, amidst the storm advisory. Today will be wonderful. Jim, Lee, Tessa and Mary are off to Halifax tomorrow: Mary to Codapop to record "Good Wife" for the CD comp, Tessa to get on an outgoing flight, and Lee and Jim to while away a few hours while Mary records. Oh, and I think Mary has a few friends coming tomorrow night and the music will continue. Let this storm amount to nothing, let the flights be on time, the roads clear and the recording awesome.

But today is ours, right here, to enjoy.

Thank you God. I had Christmas 2010 with all of my family and it was wonderful. Now we have a few days of completeness to savour.

Peace today and always, Emma Lee

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Christmas Eve!

And there were shepherds in the fields, looking after their flocks that night, and suddenly, an Angel of the Lord appeared (Shazam!) and stood among them and the glory of the Lord shone about them and they were very afraid. But the Angel said to them, do not be afraid, for I bring you some great news!

Do not be afraid is enough for me! Oh, and the rest is pretty great too.

The wonderful tradition this Season imparts. I have been fighting this cold with all my might and I'm feeling better today. Seven days since last treatment, five days since onset of cold. I have been "vicksing" and resting and being looked after and receiving lots of best wishes. I'm going to beat it! Ha.

I put a call out for inspiration earlier this week to a webgroup that I belong to - Team Inspire - folks like me, who have joined the metastatic world. I have received so much encouragement. Sharing the news that we have mets at various places in our bodies. These women are unbelievable. I feel like they are sitting in the room with me, holding my hand, and me holding theirs. Sharing treatment information and unbelievably filled with hope and not willing to give up. I have never met any of them, yet we are closely bonded. Sharing stories that just make you want to scream.

I was supposed to sing with the choir at 7:00 p.m. and Shaun at the 10:00 p.m. service. That's out of the question; and in fact I will miss this year's Christmas Eve service, which has been part of our family's tradition. Lee and Jim are going together. Honey, Doobs, Puff and I will keep the home fires burning. I'm going to continue to immerse myself in Christmas love (books and movies!), beat this cold and enjoy this incredibly special holiday season as much as I can, understanding how lucky and fortunate I am. I love this time of year.

Mary left a message last evening - she met Gene Simmons (sp?) at the Van airport yesterday. She gave him a helping hand with something I guess. She had quite a laugh about that. She will be home on the 27th. She's paying her dues and has to work Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but she's with co-workers and this will certainly be a bonding time for those employees plodding the airport floors. Just imagine what this will do for her songwriting!

Friends gave me a book called Christmas Therapy by Karen Katafiasz and I quote:

"Believe in the meaning of Christmas: divine love embracing the world, the longing toward Infinity, life infused with Mystery. Store the meaning in your soul all year long."

Peace to you all this day and always Merry Christmas.

Emma Lee

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I Have Caught A Cold Virus

I'm going down fast. Have been trying to fight this since yesterday morning. I am ill. Will post again soon.

Peace, Emma Lee

A Message I Received Yesterday -Shared with Permission

This is Rick and you don't know me but I've known of you for a number of years. You see this is mainly from my youngest sister's wedding back in Sept./86 at the St. David's Presbyterian Church in Toney River. You were the soloist at their wedding and a very wonderful and talented singer I might add. I believe that I also saw you singing at other weddings in the Pictou area back in the mid-80's. Anyways, I just felt the need to write you as I realize that you're on a very difficult journey now, with a return of the dreaded disease. I decided basically at the last minute to attend the 4th Annual Reason For Hope that was held at North Nova. I was most certainly happy that I did. I really enjoyed listening to the surprise singer, Lennie Gallant, as he was always one of my favourites. Also, it was the first time that I had seen him singing in person. Your guest speaker, Dr. Rob Rutledge, is someone that I know very well as he was my radiation oncologist while I was in Halifax, as I too am on a journey of my own. I'm now 50 yrs. old myself and I'll tell you more about my journey a little later. Also, to see you there at North Nova, you are truly a very strong and inspiring person. Like I said, I was really glad that I had attended this event as I learned alot. I also had the opportunity to pick up Lennie Gallant's latest CD that he autographed for me. It was great to speak to Dr. Rutledge again at the end of the evening as it was last May since I last saw him. Also, I had the opportunity to pick up his book 'The Healing Circle'. Presently, I am about half way through his book and it's a very inspiring read.

Well, I should tell you some more about me. On Apr. 23rd of this year, I received my diagnosis from my Urologist in Truro. He told me that I had aggressive Stage 4 Prostate Cancer that had metastasized to my lymph nodes and pelvic bone area ( a very painful area). I had many trips to the Truro Hospital within a couple of months prior to my diagnosis for many tests, a body scan and a biopsy of the prostate. Also, months before that I knew something was wrong, I just didn't know what. Finally, mid-Feb. I made an appointment to see my family doctor and like I said, I had many trips to Truro since then. I was in a lot of pain at the time in my right hip, upper leg, lower back and right pelvic bone area. I needed crutches at times to get around and then by mid-March I just basically stayed home as simple things like grocery shopping were difficult to do. I had alot of bloodwork done in Feb. right after my first doctor's appt. and one of the most important blood test, for guys over 40 years is the PSA blood test to check the count. If the count is between 4 and 10, this means that the PSA count is slightly elevated with a low chance of having prostate cancer and it's not common to be over 10. A high count of 40 means that there is definitely cancer and also that the cancer has metastasized. I knew that I was having prostate problems as I had many of the symptoms. I hoped that it was just an enlarged prostate and that all I may need is some sort of medication to correct this. But, this was not to be, it was much worse. My PSA was 716. I thought that there was a huge mistake such as a decimal point missing. But, this was the number, so needless to say my body was a mess inside. Right after I received my cancer diagnosis, which was on a Friday, the next few days were gloomy for me. However, several years before this I had learned the importance of positive thinking and I realized back then that this type of thinking really did help me...no more stinking thinking. So, realizing this on that weekend after my diagnosis, I wasn't down very long as I knew that a positive attitude will go a long ways in my healing. Meanwhile, my Urologist explained to me that they needed to be aggressive with my treatments and to get me to Halifax as soon as they could get me in for radiation treatment. He told me that the radiation will take my pain away. Well, with this news I could hardly wait to get started. He also started me right away with hormone therapy, which includes a pill a day and an injection every 4 months. He said that I'll be on this for the rest of my life as I will not be totally cured and that they will only be able to manage my cancer. He also said that I'll need chemo in the near future as that I'll need all three types of treatments to fight this aggressive cancer. Well, with all this news it was overwhelming. So anyways, by May 17th, I was in Halifax for my first radiation treatment as they got me in much sooner than I thought that they could. Like I said earlier in this letter, Dr. Rutledge was my oncologist and it sure helped to have a doctor of his caring ability, as he truly cares about each of his patients. Usually, having 35 treatments over 7 weeks is the norm, but he figured that I could handle 2 weeks of heavy radiation instead. I got along fairly well with the radiation, just that the side affects bothered me for a couple of weeks after my 2-week treatment. I now realize that May 17th was a very difficult day for you also; I'd say much more difficult for you.

The wonderful support that I received from my family and friends were and continue to be overwhelming to me. Some neighbouring friends organized a benefit on my behalf at the Pictou Legion early last June. Again this was extremely mind-numbing as a huge turnout showed up on a not so nice evening weather-wise. I have a cousin in Ontario that thinks along the same way as I do, meaning that she too believes in treatments using natural supplements, oils, powders,etc.. I do alot of researching myself on the internet and I thought that I was basically alone with this thinking, but it turned out that there are many people that believe in natural remedies. So, with this most wonderful and appreciative financial assistance that I received from the benefit, I'm easily able to take this route to help improve my health. Anyways, with my cousin, she has a neighbouring friend who is into holistic remedies and she's currently studying to be a herbalist. I'll mention a quick story regarding my cousin's friend. About 5 years ago, her husband was diagnosed with aggressive Stage 4 bone cancer and non-Hodgekin Lymphoma. This is what really sparked his wife to educate herself on the natural remedies. Fast forward to now, he is 100% cured and cancer-free. The doctors also told him that he would not be totally cured, just manageable. So, I feel very fortunate and thrilled to have my cousin and her friend helping me out big time and they have me on at least 16 to 20 different things. My cousin's friend told me to get the thought of 'not being totally cured' out of my head and she said that with some hard work for the next year that 'I will be totally cured'...needless to say I like her words better. Also, my diet is completely changed to the better. I started taking these natural remedies on June 1st, right after I arrived home fron Halifax, and as of now, I'm very happy to say that with my latest blood test on Dec. 15th, my PSA is now down to 9.66(in the slightly elevated range). Sept. 1st was my previous PSA test result and it was down to 17 then. I was of course thrilled with that number as it was at the crazy over 700 number last Feb..So, with this nice drop again, there is no mention of having to take chemo now. I'm still on the hormone therapy (like I mentioned earlier), the radiation continued to work on my body throughout the summer and into the fall. I strongly believe that the natural remedies are doing wonders for me. Some of the great remedies that I'm taking are wheatgrass juice (which I make myself and much cheaper this way), a smoothy a day loaded with quality ingredients, liquid Vitamin D-3 drops, probiotic, spirulina, flax oil, 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide ( I find this very powerful as all this is is that an extra oxygen atom is added to one's bloodstream and cancer cells cannot thrive from the oxygen), herbal tea formula and many others. I also have my own quality juicer that juices my wheatgrass ( I grow this myself) for me and I also make my own almond milk. There is alot of work to taking and remembering to take all this stuff, but I feel that this is making a huge difference with me, as the results are showing that.

Like I said earlier, I just felt the need to write to you, to just share some of the things that I'm doing to fight this and also how the results are showing this. I really enjoy reading the posts on your blog and I'm so happy that you're taking your journey with a very positive attitude and hard work also. Also, I'm very happy to hear that you're seeing Dr. Gabrielle Kropp...I heard many amazing things about her. I also realize that because of her great reputation that there can be a long wait to see her. Anyways, I know that you're doing very, very well and I know that you will beat this !!! While reading one of your blogs, this is where I saw your email address as this is the way that I wanted to contact you, to share with you my story. You mentioned in some of your blog posts about tumour markers, I don't completely understand everything about it but you said that it was over 1000 one time and that now it's 187. To me, this looks like you're making tremendous progress with your treatments and this is great to hear!!!

I have learned a great deal so far with all this, such as remedies, healthy eating, exercise, etc. and I have much to learn yet. I had mentioned earlier about being about halfway through Dr. Rutledge's book and he has several body and mind exercises mentioned. I want to learn these exercises, along with meditation, as I'm a big believer in helping the body to heal itself from all or most diseases. I read that you're into yoga, Qi Gong, etc. and this is great!! You are indeed well on your way to helping your body heal itself. That dreaded word 'metastatic' seems very overpowering when one first hears it, but I think with much hard work, it can be controlled.

I also need to say this, I mentioned that I had attended your 4th Annual Reason For Hope, well at the end of the event a few people gathered to talk, to socialize, to buy a CD from Lennie Gallant, or a book or ( I'm not sure if it was a CD or DVD ) from Dr Rutledge...anyways, I was talking to some people that I knew, and then realized that the people at Lennie Gallant's table were starting to gather up their products. While hurrying over to his table to buy a CD, we glanced at each other while walking past and I didn't say anything. I'm a shy type and I'm not as bad as I used to be, but that's no excuse, I just didn't know what to say at that moment. I could've at least said 'Hi' but I didn't and I felt bad for this and so I want to sincerely apologize to you for this. Well, anyways like I said earlier, I really do find you very inspiring and I know that with your strength, you are and will continue to affect a great many people who are going through difficult journeys themselves.

Anyways, this email is turning into a short story. I hope that you don't mind reading this as I wanted to share my story and I really enjoy reading your story. I want to wish you the very best on your journey and I hope that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas !!!...and that you improve greatly health-wise in 2011!!! You can and will beat this !! God Bless !!

Monday, December 20, 2010

One More Time

I tried to start this yesterday, but was not successful. The sun was too bright I guess. In any event, we had an awesome service at church yesterday. The music was fabulous - a great variety. Of note was Before The Marvel of This Night. I referred to this song in a post this past summer. Well, we had Alex on grand piano, Kris on upright bass and Kara on flute. Our choir also had two friends join us, Jennifer (a fab soprano) and Bronwyn (a fab alto). Something happened during that song. I felt it and I hope others did as well. It was the best we have ever sung it. The spirit was definitely there and definitely united. I had a very strong sense of being part of the greater mystery. Also of note for me, cause I was enjoying it immensely was the quartette - me and Jane and Aileen and Lori performing an arrangement of The Holly and The Ivy - I just had a blast, holding down the alto bass part while singing a great line. All of the music was great - Karen and Leah with their organ and piano duet at the beginning. Music Director Karen did a great job!

Yesterday morning Stan Karew played my version of What We All Want For Christmas. Then Mary called, then Lee left a message, and the sun was gloriously looking down upon us all. Lynn and Linda dropped off some music and chocolates: Lifted, Songs of the Spirit - a great compilation and I had the chance to listen to Sanctuary - wow - that takes you places. Janet dropped by with an interesting book: "You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought". Earlier in the day Liz called and asked if I wanted to go horseback riding. So, you can see, there is so much love.

I arrived at chemo on Friday at the appointed time, resolve in hand, only to find the decision had been made to allow my mouth to heal further. So, no aredia. My next Abraxane is Jan 7. My calendar is filling to March. I'm in quite a bit of pain after this past treatment, but managing it with prescription drugs. Let's hope this passes quickly!

When I was resting after Friday's treatment Janice dropped by with the most incredible array of homemade Christmas sweets. Absolutely beautiful. Aunt Lil also dropped in

Okay, enough for now. My aim is to heal before tomorrow night. Doris Mason is hosting a Winter Solstice Serenade at Glasgow Square. I am to sing What We All Want and with the ensemble Hey, Do You Know the Meaning? I really, really, really, want to be there. It's my 4 year anniversary since original diagnosis. Missing the New Horizons concerts hurts, but let's get real, there is absolutely no way I could have done it. I bet they sounded great!

Peace, Emma Lee

Friday, December 17, 2010

Seven Months Today

Seven months today since the news was delivered. This morning I am headed to the Aberdeen Hospital for my first treatment of Aredia and eighth treatment of Abraxane. Feeling good. Spent the past few days working on my resolve and intention and both are feeling strong. Jim is home so I am feeling doubly safe.

I opened my heart to many words of wisdom these past days. Kathy of Spirit Garden helped me a lot. Think of all the things that are working. Imagine my tumour markers falling as they have. Think of the support I am receiving. Kindred asked me how I would like to be visualized by folks as they are sending healing power over the miles. My wish is that you see me as a shining treble clef. In my mind's eye, that is what I see and feel.

Angels are near.

Yesterday Angela, Brenda, Rachael and Verna came to visit Honey and I, delivering flowers and a basket of goodies from Mac, Mac & Mac. I had a wonderful visit with my "family". Life was good to me when the people of Mac, Mac & Mac came into it.

I sang in the choir at a funeral yesterday afternoon. The message grabbed me. We are walking in such great mystery. My heart is open to give and receive love which balances me on this highwire.

Honey had a great visit with Lloyd later in the afternoon. She really, really, really likes Lloyd. He dropped off a copy of the Sanctuary 100 Candles CD and described how the show unfolded at St. Paul's the other night. We made a promise to get together on Christmas Day - Jim was given a gift by the Lord Provost - 12 year old single malt Scotch, under LP's own private label. A glass will be raised. By then my original diagnosis anniversary will have come and gone - 4 years on Dec 21. Well done Jim for waiting to toast to Christmas!

Peace today. We are in a most wonderful "season".

Emma Lee

Friday, December 10, 2010



Quartette is Cindy Church (me - I'm just a fortunate one) Caitlin Hanford, Sylvia Tyson and Gwen Swick.

"It's Not Christmas Without Quartette", Jakki Rogue

Wow - Cindy Church was kind enough to leave two tickets for me at the box office at the DeCoste for last night's show. Jakki and I went. We thought the show started at 8:00 and had a leisurely transport over to Pictou. When I passed the Golden Boat I could hear the gals' voicing drifting out from the stage of the DeCoste - it started at 7:30 p.m., so we missed the first 2 numbers. We ended up sitting next to Jim's Aunt Nova which was a surprise! Anyway, a great house. And an amazing show. Their band is so great. I was completely transported - worries of the world disappear. If you have the chance to see this group of Canadian singer/songwriters do it. Cindy dedicated Send Someone to me. Their songs are so well crafted. They are world class. Thank you Cindy.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sunday is White Gift

Sunday is White Gift at Trinity. The children are working hard. I have a fab team with me: Keen Karen M., Musical Karen C., Stage Manager extraordinaire Jim WC, Debbie and her treats; the parents of all the children; Sheila at the office; John moving things around, too many times; Opus whom I love. The whole point: we are together, we are celebrating the most incredible story ever told. Peace,

There's a Star in the East

There's a star in the east on Christmas morn, well, in fact, before Christmas morn - and it is a bright and shining star. My goodness, this morning's walk brought to me by you know who, was chilly, but absolutely gorgeous. The eastern star made me want to follow it, so brightly is it shining.

I've been sitting quietly, making some decisions - well, not exactly quietly when you have Honey, and the battling cats in the house but I get a kick out of their antics. Doobs and Honey are continuing the tag team approach to lots of things - my health card for example (I need a new one), dog biscuits, anything on the counter really. And Puff sits talking to herself or anyone who will listen on the other side of the gate. She has gained a hankering for cat candies and we have found ones that help with litter box odor (thank goodness).

My quietness has also been disturbed by being unable to miss the Elizabeth Edwards reports, and have to tell you I had no idea she had metastatic breast cancer - I only ever heard: electioneering, cancer, cheating, baby, pain, humiliation, human cruelty, human kindness, human sorrow, love and forgiveness, but never metastatic breast cancer. Was I deaf to those words?

I'm close to finalizing my plans for Mary's CD compilation. I will be asking her to ensure this goes to The Reason for Hope Society. I think I mentioned before that originally this year's fundraising efforts would go to palliative care - that was before diagnosis. Now that I have been diagnosed, I want all proceeds to go to metastatic breast cancer research and sincerely I made this decision before I listened with intent to Elizabeth Edwards' legacy. I want The Reason for Hope to quietly go about its business finding the right beneficiary so that we ensure ALL monies go to metastatic breast cancer research. These are my words. I have also decided to make concerted efforts to raise the profile of this disease here in Nova Scotia. Back in late November I had a preliminary discussion with Ross Landry, my member of the Nova Scotia legislature, about designating October 13th as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day here in Nova Scotia. I will continue to work on that, and hopefully that dream will become a reality. The time has come and gone for silence on this dreadful disease.

But, bigger news - I'm feeling a bit better today. I had the most wonderful sleep last night. So off to piano/guitar. Later today, I will go to the Aberdeen Hospital where Reason for Hope monies raised and donated in 2008 have been spent on a digital mammography machine and that will be acknowledged. Joining me will be one of my heros, Joyce, as well as others. Then tomorrow night, I'm singing two short sets at Town Hall as part of their trip around town to see the lights. I hope people see beyond the lights. I pray people see joy, hope, love and peace - things that can sustain us year round. I pray people see possibilities (thanks Wise Donna). I pray people look to the star in the east.

Peace today. Emma Lee

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 17th Instead of December 10th

My next chemo date has been moved so that healing in my mouth can occur. It will be Friday the 17th of December instead of this Friday.

Our Christmas tree is up and it is lovely and very thirsty. The smell in the living room is grand! First real tree in many, many years.

Peace today, Emma Lee

Sleepless in New Glasgow

Off to Halifax we go. Today's adventure is brought to you by who knows what.

I met with Dr. Eunice yesterday. It was a marathon. Arrived at the Hospital at 11:30 and was home by 3:30. Tumour markers continue to fall - down to 187. But cancer has spread to my bones, and therefore we will be starting a chemotherapy to address that. I will be having 3 more Abraxane, and as soon as my mouth heals, combining the Abraxane with AREDIA (pamidronate disodium). That drug I've read is indicated, in conjunction with standard antineoplastic therapy, for the treatment of osteolytic bone metastases of breast cancer and osteolytic lesions of multiple myeloma.

Did have a great band practice last night and Jim found me a good wide bass strap so that my back doesn't get sore when I hold the bass for long periods of time. It's a lovely caramel brown one! One more rehearsal before concert week.

Well, here goes the journey. Thank God my body is strong enough to tolerate these next few months.

Peace to you today. Emma Lee

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Last Night

Well, last night was another great evening. The Mac, Mac & Mac Christmas Party. The support and affection was palpable as my name was called at the end of the show the PTPTP presented. Tears were shed. Love was shared. Support and encouragement were shown to me. We had a lot of fun. Thank you Mac, Mac & Mac, especially David and Liz and Harry and to Heather and Rob and Lloyd and Jim. We make an awesome team! It was so great to see everyone. What will the year ahead hold?

Peace today, Emma Lee

Emma Lee Stewart @ Codapop Studios

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Singing Tree, A White Kitten and a Magical House

Yesterday, during our last daylight walk, Honey and I came upon the most amazing little tree. It was a very mild day yesterday, at least that's how it felt to me - a sort of soft mild because there was no wind in my neck of the woods. We were on the home stretch, coming by the grey house where there are still cat dishes, but now empty and Honey simply glances that way, no longer determined to go up on the porch and smell. As we crossed the street, there came the most amazing singing. Chickadees, not doing their chickadee song but rather their chirping song. In the twilight that was descending, that Brigadoon time beginning, I had to stop and search them out. A little tree in front of us was alive with chickadees. Honey stopped and sat like a proper dog! I don't know who I was more fascinated with. Honey was calmly fixated on the tree and for a while the chickadees were oblivious to their audience. Slowly, one by one, they took notice of us and flew off in their most beautiful flight to varying spots around the yards to the east and west. It was sweet to watch Honey follow their flight. It was a most enjoyable quiet few moments of my day. Not a single car or other pedestrian interrupted that movie. Just us and the birds and their soundtrack. When the tree was finally deserted and I in a state of calm, we decided to continue on our way. Out of the corner of my eye there was a streak of white. A white kitten bounded towards Honey and the game was afoot. The cat sprang up the nearest telephone pool, claws wide, with Honey in her glory, having way too much fun. I had to drag her away. We deviated a bit and went by the most magically decorated house on Washington Street, as their Christmas lights and music turned on just as we said good bye to the white kitten. Honey was terrified of the "fake" carolers out front and I allowed her to explore for as long as she wanted, well, until a lady was walking down the street on our side, and I didn't feel like company, so we headed home. And as we headed home, our lights came on and I noticed Christmas lights coming on at others' homes. It is Christmas.

I think we could use Christmas all year. Note to self, others and God - let's keep it going - make Christmas a year long event.

Peace to you all today. Be careful out there.

Emma Lee

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Update Today

I awoke this morning feeling tired and unwell. Hmm. Off on our early morning walk, and I became weepy. I verbally asked Honey - what's going on? Back home to check email and low and behold a wonderful email from Caitlin Hanford regarding our version of Send Someone For Me. It was indeed a pick-up, as was the one I received from Cindy and her invite to their show at the DeCoste next week. Before breakfast, I decided to see if my music fix would work, and I was anticipating my meeting with Donna today and working on our continuing fun project. The fix did work to a certain extent, but I got the thermometer out. During breakfast, it became clear. The left side of my face, lower jaw, was very sore. Dr. Munro's office is on the phone. Sure enough, off to the dentist's office - those wonderful gals - Paula, Ellen and Lynda. I have two abscessed teeth. Out of the blue. After a consult with the chemo gals, dental surgery has been arranged for Tuesday in Halifax. I thought I was weepy before. Is my body rejecting me?

I am feeling so unwell. Feet up. Rest. Antibiotics. More later.

Peace, Emma Lee

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jakki and Me

The Hope of Advent Has Arrived

Yesterday we entered into Advent - a time of waiting. At Trinity United, as we journey in Advent together and prepare for Christmas we will be guided by the theme: A Fresh Start - Longing for a World Transformed. This really speaks to me. Lighting the candle of Hope yesterday, I was reminded that my hope has become tangible.

Boundless love. My heart overflows. Thank you.

Peace today and always, Emma Lee

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Heart-Filled Celebration

On Friday evening musical friends and members of my larger community gathered together to fill my heart with joy. A spirit of love filled Trinity United Church and my cup was overflowing. It is hard for me to put into words really. The concert was unbelievable. Shaun and I opened it with You Raise Me Up and The Prayer; then Ross & The Romantics rocked the place with Lost in the 50's, Runaround Sue, Sweet Nothins and The Wanderer. Janice Alcorn, singer extraordinaie followed, and she had members of her high school jazz choir with her and they did two fab pieces; next up was Holy Potion (me, Aileen MacPhee, David Pos and Karen Crowley) and we did a wonderful arrangement of Amazing Grace. Sanctuary Singers were next (Jane Jones, Lori Miller, Karen Crowley and Shaun) and they did a couple of upbeat religious pieces and then the Trinity Senior Choir (of which I am a member) sang Creation Will Be At Peace. We then had an intermission when oatcakes and lemonade were served. The second act started with Anne of Boat Harbour - a skit that Shaun and Ross MacVicar wrote that was hilarious. After that Jakki Rogue performed and she took it upon herself to learn "When Emma Sings", the song Doris Mason wrote for my birthday. Then I sang with Jakki. Shaun and Ross were next and they previewed some of the songs that will be on their CD. My dear friend Lloyd MacLean graced our grand piano with a medley of songs he and I have performed together, including Masqarade (sp?). Shaun joined him for one song, and then I joined them and we did Baby It's Cold Outside and we ended the show with Bridge Over Troubled Water - standing ovation! It was fabulous. Everyone enjoyed it. But probably me the most. To have that support . . . .

The spirit of Mary and Lee were there in the room with me.

I am sincerely blessed. My heart is full. My eyes are teary. I am loved.

At Church this morning we will sing Creation again. Then I'm joining Shaun and Ross on the Christmas Fund for one number.

Listen to your hearts. Peace, Emma Lee

Friday, November 26, 2010

4th Annual Reason for Hope


Remembrances of Last Night

I just have to write these rambling thoughts down, so that I don't forget everything that happened last night. So many great moments. First of all the venue was great. Perfect place. Andrew Alcorn, one of the school music teachers, had two of his students with him - Nathaniel MacDonald and Devon Petroff - both from Trenton, who worked the show with him, helping him set-up, and run the show. Wow they did a great job. My surprise musical guest was Lennie Gallant. Even the sound check was great. Lennie has a new CD that is absolutely fabulous - If We Had A Fire - check it out at his website. Oh my - so many great songs. Extraordinary Ordinary Life in particular strikes a chord with me. Anyway, Janet Powerhouse Ervin and her team got there right on cue and set up. Dr. Rob Rutledge and his team arrived, again, right on cue. April helped us get the laptop geared up. I's being dotted, t's being crossed, and people began to arrive. So many new and old friends there. We had a great crowd - and they were responsive. After opening the show, I introed Lennie and he dedicated his second number to me - You Don't Know How Beautiful You Are (from his new CD). Oh my. Knees are weak. Jim and I got to dance to his next song. Can you believe it? And he ended with Peter's Dream and everyone sang and clapped and it was a "moment". It was a "great to be in the moment" moment. When the boys were changing the stage Janet and I drew all 20 door prizes which were great by the way. Then Dr. Rob Rutledge. Who was amazing. We started by doing "flying clouds", a Qigong exercise. It was a completely selfish night I have to tell you. Rob inspired me. He convinced me that acceptance of this disease is the very best way I can beat it. During his closing meditation, he asked all of those in attendance to send their love and positive thoughts to me. I'm crying. Okay, more later, but I just wanted to share these initial thoughts. When I got home, there was an email from an old, old friend of mine, with a picture attached from at least 66 or 67. Once I hear from her and have her permission I'm going to post it. Visit Codapop Studios website to hear a copy of Send Someone for Me!

Peace today - I'm getting ready for tonight and am trying to keep my excitement and emergy at a good level!

Emma Lee

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Honey Loves Treats!

Yesterday, Honey was the recipient of some great little treats - dog biscuits and hot dogs - the two things in the world that can pretty well make her do anything! Blanche, a little gal that lives around the corner, arrived with them for her. Poor Blanche had to endure Honey barking the whole time she was here, but I guess I have learned to turn that switch off. Anyway, that package also contained a beautiful note for me. I have learned during this journey that receiving cards and letters is very powerful. I'm not sending this out as a request to receive them, but I think as a society we might be losing a wonderful gift. Maybe this is a challenge today to take the time to sit down and write a letter to someone. I know that writing for me has become very therapeutic.

I've been working on the program for tomorrow night and thinking about Friday night and I am so looking forward to everything. Now, if things would just settle down inside this body of mine . . .

Today will be a quiet day, for which I am thankful. Honey and I will have a few trit trots and I will enjoy some me time.

My tumour marker blood work was not completed prior to the 6th treatment, so I have no update. I do know that it was drawn and sent away before the 7th treatment, because Meredith did it and confirmed it with me. CT scan tomorrow. I'm going to go an hour early to make sure I check in, and then have the line put into my powerport at oncology and then head back down to the xray department. I don't want a repeat of last time. With luck, they will draw blood right away - they did at the last treatment, so . . . fingers crossed. The results of the scan should be ready to be reviewed with Dr. Kumar at my meeting with him in early December.

Peace to you today.

Emma Lee

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Everlasting Boughs of Joy Concert

Friday, November 26th, 2010, Trinity United Church

Friday night at Trinity is going to be special. Show starts at 7:00 p.m. The music planned is going to be special. That's all I can say. We're having such fun putting this program together.

Everlasting Boughs of Joy it's being called. Shaun McLean is putting his energy into this in a big way. It is to be a wrap up to the Evergreens for Emma Lee campaign that my Mary started earlier this year. Here's the program:

Shaun and I open the show with two inspirational pieces. We have formed a group called The New Hope Seekers and the name really speaks for itself. Then Holy Potion, a group that I have been a part of for over 10 years at Trinity United's Contemporary Services - David Pos, Aileen Grant, me, Karen Crowley, and perhaps Alex Lank will join us for a sweet song. Very jazzy. Cool. Groovy. Got it? Then we're turning the clock back to the 50's with Ross & The Romantics. Awesome harmonies and fun as we feature 4 great old tunes. I dare anyone not to be bopping in their seats. Then songstress extraordinaire - we don't hear her enough - Janice Alcorn. She and I go way back, she having gotten my musical education into full gear and I thank her for that. I recall fondly me and her dad George competiting at the provincial level. It was wild and believe it or not, we were good! Then Sanctuary Singers. Okay - that group is made up of Jane Turner Jones, Lori Miller, Shaun McLean and Karen Crowley. These guys are also a group that worships at Trinity's Contemporary Services and they will wow you. Can you say Powerful? And then Trinity United's Senior Choir will do a beautifully contemplative piece to end the first act.

During intermission oat cakes and lemonade! The raffle from the night before will continue - Janet Powerhouse Ervin will make sure of that. Then lights down for the second act.

I hear there is a guest or two coming to discuss a matter out the Pictou Landing way - Anne of Boat Harbour. I am interested to hear her message. Then my dear friend Jakki Rogue. Now, Jakki left here last night with Doris' song "When Emma Sings" and it may just make the show. Doris would sing it if she were in the province. Plus Jakki is becoming an extraordinary pianist and the grand piano will be resounding under her touch. Then Shaun and Ross are going to offer you some of their brand new tunes, which are in the workshop phase of recording. Finally, my dear friend Lloyd MacLean - whose music I can never get enough of - will play that grand piano for us. Just wait. Shaun and I will end the show with our thanks to you and then it's off for the rest of your Friday night.

So, do you think I'm excited?

Peace to you this day. Emma Lee

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day Before 7th Treatment

A bit of a transformation happening here. I have mentioned my cat of 11 years, Boobadee (it's a good rhymning name) moving upstairs when the "dog" arrived almost 2 years ago. (Boobadee may in fact be one of my Angels.) Well, since Puff arrived (another orphan from Halifax) a miracle is occurring. Boobadee is taking control of the downstairs again! Yesterday Honey was having her afternoon nap and Boo walked right up to her, gave her a good sniff and sauntered away. Boo is down here all the time now. Their fights are even becoming less frequent, and there have been occasions when they have tag teamed treat-getters. Boo knocked a keychain of St. Werburg that I picked up in Chester, England on the floor and it was quickly grabbed by Honey to be a great chew toy. Of course when we discovered what she had in her mouth, it was a different story, but I'm hopeful about this. I have dreamt of the day when they would co-exist. Puff may have been a "catalyst" of change. I may change her name. Puff is a beauty by the way, only one year old, gorgeous and a nice personality. She sits on the other side of the baby gate watching the proceedings. She and Honey glare at each other. She could take Honey, whereas Boobadee is much smaller. Anyway, there's that word "hope" again.

Rehearsals are going well for the various events coming up at Church,the Boughs of Joy Concert,the PTPTP and the New Horizon concert. What fabulous distractions! And don't forget Dr. Rutledge next Thursday night - the 25th AND the musical guest!!!!!

7th treatment tomorrow. Meredith is coming for bloodwork early a.m., and Megan is coming with me to the Hospital. Jim will be home tomorrow night. I am blessed. Will report on tumour marker progress.

Off to Antigonish.

Peace, Emma Lee

Sunday, November 14, 2010

When Emma Sings

Well, we brought my b'day in, in style. Lee arrived home as a surprise for me! Yay! He looks so great: healthy, fit. I don't know how Jim kept that a surprise for as many days as he did. Then I thought we were headed for wings at the Thistle and then a matinee, but folks started arriving at the Thistle and I thought it strange that these friends of mine would have chosen yesterday to go to the Thistle - co-workers and dear friends. So we shared some laughs there. Then headed home, where Doris played a song that she had written for me called "When Emma Sings". It is so wonderful. We all cried and then sang and sang, including Jim and Brenda and Karen. Jim hooked up the 4 track and we recorded it - 3 vocal versions and one instrumental so now I can listen to it when I want. I think Jim is going to try and get Doris into CAT so it can be professionally recorded. We shall see. I spoke with Mary and John and Mary, and Debbie brought over the greatest stuffed mushrooms.

Honey became Houdini in the night, escaping from her kennel. And, because we didn't have the baby gate up I was awakened around 4:30 a.m when Puff and Honey decided it was a good time to get vocal and get to know each other. I herded Honey back downstairs, but by then it was too late for sleep to return. Tonight will be an early one.

(Oh - my email has been completely wiped out. So if you sent me an email yesterday - please re-send. I'll call Eastlink later on.)

But what a beautiful day it is. We're singing Pacem in Church today - an SATB arrangement, with music by Lee Dengler. And the song fits the day!

Have a great one and thank you for the good wishes.

Emma Lee

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's A Big Day

Well, here it is - my birthday. I can tell you when the news was delivered to me on May 17th did I think I would be sitting here, feeling like this? No. The treatment is working and I can't wait for the results of my CT scan on Nov 25/10.

I was recalling my birth day and my mom. I guess I was a c-section baby, and I guess my mother became "ill" following my birth and I was sent to live with my Godparents at that time. I don't know many things about that: why? how long? I do know that a life long bond of friendship was formed with Mac & Louise and I often dream of them. I am not worried that I don't know the answers to these questions - my heart is telling me all is well. Perhaps Mom had post-partum depression, but whatever, there was always love surrounding me. And the memories of those folks fill me with love today.

My birthday leads me to thinking of the birth of both of my children. Natural births all the way - both were phenomenal experiences. I think if I needed to, I could have moved mountains both times and I guess I probably did. Two young people, smart, healthy and compassionate - out in the world making their mark. Hallelujah!

I am having my own private celebration today. The cake has been made. The sun is shining and I have made it to 53. I'm not thinking any further than that. Thank God!

Peace to you all.

Emma Lee

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Paddles and Prayers Up


Paddles Up is the message closing Phyllis from Women Alike uses for all of her messages. She's the glue that keeps us connected. Sometimes though she is given a tough task. Today's message is such a task. One of our original boaters has left us. To Pearl. Paddles and Prayers Up.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Odds and Beginnings

The time change has me a bit confused. I haven't used an alarm clock for years and years, always waking with the dawn or pre-dawn. So I'm waking earlier than ever. That's alright. I think there will be a settling down of this soon.

Monday morning David, Aileen, Karen and I got together to rehearse a wonderful version of Amazing Grace, which will be part of the Nov 21 contemporary service at Trinity - a reunion of Holy Potion. And, we will be performing the song as part of the Boughs of Joy concert Shaun is producing for Nov 26 - again at Trinity. We have so much fun together. I totally forget I have cancer. Aileen and I also started working on a fabulous arrangement of The Holly and the Ivy. I get to sing the wickedest part!

Then Monday afternoon I met with Dr. Eunice at the oncology department. I like him. He's very positive. Talked about my headaches etc. We're going to monitor things. But, my tumour markers continue to fall. I am responding so well to this chemo. CT Scan on Nov 25, same day as the Reason For Hope.

Then band, which was great - we are working on our Christmas pieces. Dec 19 at the deCoste and Dec 20 at the Marigold. What a blast I am having learning how to play the bass.

Monday was our wedding anniversary. Jim prepared a great meal and we talked about the future. When I met with Dr. Eunice, he ended that conversation by saying I should plan a great trip for the next year, so we talked about that. We spoke with both Lee and Mary. Family is it.

After picking up the posters for Nov 25 yesterday, I had a very positive life energy balancing session yesterday with Kathy. Check-in, Qigong, and Kathy's practice. She found my right side sluggish. So did I, but after a while it came around with a "rush".

Today will be busy. I am meeting with go-getter Janet, who is helping with Nov 25. Then I am going to Look Good Feel Better at St. Martha's in Antigonish. Karen is giving me a drive there and will come in with me. That will be a good session for me. If you want to know more about LGFB, I would be happy to share with you. Choir and singing tonight.

And now, piano and Qigong before I go out into the world. My mind is somewhat distressed today. I need to get grounded. I want to balance my "emergy". My white cell count is at its lowest today, so I'll be very careful, and pay attention to what my body is telling me, cause it is telling me something. Just need to listen.

If you are reading this entry, I am sending positive vibes your way. I pray that you take the time to listen to your body and pay attention to what your heart is telling you.

Peace today,

Emma Lee

Sunday, November 7, 2010

4th Annual Reason for Hope


PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
November 8th, 2010

4th ANNUAL REASON FOR HOPE PRESENTS
AN INSPIRATIONAL EVENING OF HEALING
With DR. ROB RUTLEDGE, Radiation Oncologist and
Associate Professor, Dalhousie University
November 25th, 2010, 6:30 p.m. for 7:00 p.m.
North Nova Education Centre, 343 Park Street, New Glasgow, NS

November 25th will be an exciting night for the Reason for Hope Society. The Society will be celebrating its 4th Annual Event, this time, a free public talk. “It kind of feels like a birthday, in a way”, says Emma Lee Stewart, Chair. “Planning for this year was bitter-sweet, as we wanted to move forward, and at the same time acknowledge my latest battle with metastatic breast cancer. It was important for us to surround the event with hope. So being able to present Dr. Rob Rutledge, known for his compassion and real-world wisdom is a perfect fit, not only for those of us battling cancer, but for others who want to live a life filled with love and purpose”, adds Stewart, “which is, for me, a perfect birthday present”.

Dr. Rob Rutledge, an Oncologist with the Nova Scotia Cancer Centre and Associate Professor at Dalhousie University, knew he wanted to extend his help beyond his regular medical practice. “I realized early in my career that I wanted to understand the human side of the cancer experience and apply those learnings to help others,” he says.

Dr. Rutledge is known as a passionate and dynamic public speaker. He believes by choosing to lead a peaceful and fulfilling life, we can have a profound influence on our health. Presenting scientific knowledge and providing insights gained from serving people dealing with life-threatening disease, he has touched the hearts and minds of diverse audiences.

“This free public talk will offer life skills training and a unique perspective on mind, body and spirit that can transform the experience of illness into a journey toward wholeness” says Stewart. “It is our hope that many people will take advantage of this opportunity to be invigorated and inspired in ways that will improve their health and overall well-being”.

Surprise musical guest and door prizes in store for those who attend!

The 4th Annual Reason for Hope is honoured to be presented by Mac, Mac & Mac Law Offices. Other sponsors include close friend Fraser & Hoyt, and friend of the Society WearWell Garments. Country Inns & Suites provides accommodations for The Reason for Hope.

For more information, contact Emma Lee Stewart at the Reason for Hope, 752-1650 emmalee@eastlink.ca

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Life's Like That

Yesterday was a very strange day. Started off really well, as I had scheduled a rest day to make up for the hectic schedule on Monday. I awoke refreshed. Everything I ate tasted great. I found humour around me. I felt more wonderful than I have in days. Things started to sour at the noonish mark for me - but I realize today that it wasn't things souring, it was me, allowing myself to let fear and anger step in and rule my thoughts. Those thoughts then controlled my "emergy" for the day, evening and night. I awoke very eary this morning, having had an unrestful night, but determined to do some inner housecleaning.

I have recently learned that a relative of mine, a young woman, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Jim tells me she is my first cousin, once removed. Okay - I need a primer on all of that. This info was definitely one of the things that precipitated the current episode of fear and anger and the resultant consequences i.e. listlessness, fatigue (over and above the side effects), self-pity, surliness, impatience. Need I say more? At least I was 50 the first time round, and had the opportunity to live a life of love, mistakes, joy, sorrow, attempted dreams and everything else that gets lumped into it.

This morning as I worked to turn the tables on this mindset, my mind returned to 2007 when I was in Halifax receiving radiation treatments. I walked alot, as it was Spring and surprisingly Halifax is quite beautiful in the Spring - especially the Public Gardens and historic Citadel Hill, which both seemed like magnets to my feet. One day walking towards me was a lovely young family: a smart young couple, a little boy and a little girl, happy, dressed-up and excited to be going wherever it was they were going. Could have been a Hallmark picture. Joyous. It made me feel happy just to see them. Then, the little girl tripped and fell, cutting her bare knee under her pretty dress. Joy was shattered, and their day was suddenly altered. As my walk continued, it occurred to me that Life is just Like That. But that thought was followed by another, Emma - if it is happiness you are looking for, look no further than within. I felt it. I had to stop. I had to stop and experience real happiness right there. I should have known that already right? After 50 years? I guess I did know it on some level, certainly having been told that by various sources, but that day, right there, alone on a city street in Halifax, I felt true happiness. I will now add this thought to my daily healing regime.

Another practice in my daily healing regime is chakra clearing. I try to do this every morning, and I can tell you the days when I do not practise it are different. I didn't yesterday, because I felt so great. Well, I did practise it this morning. Here are some key mantras for this day, which will be accompanied by some deep cleansing breaths and quiet solitude. I thank God for Doreen Virtue who shares these words in her book and on her CD "Awakening Your Spiritual Power to Know and Heal". This book was loaned to me by Kate, who just knew that I could benefit. Thank God for Kate:

"I know that I am perfectly safe as I follow my inner spiritual guidance. I allow this guidance to lead me to beautiful opportunities where I share my true nature as a powerful, loving, spiritual being".

"I allow the light of my holy spirit to dissolve away all barriers to Divine wisdom and guidance. I release all fear about listening to my higher self, God and the angels".

So right now and for this day, I am allowing that light . . . . . .

Peace, Emma Lee

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When I'm In Music, I Do Not Have Cancer!

6th Treatment under my belt. 7th on the 19th and 8th on the 10th of Dec, if all goes well. Massive headache continues. Saw my optomotrist yesterday - and as I already knew, healthy eyes. I've developed this strange "aura" I guess you would call it. Started back in August and I attributed it to chemo side effects. Perhaps it is a new side effect. A "smoke-like" aura, both eyes, lower field of vision, especially in bright, out doors light. We'll get to the bottom of it - but my eyes are healthy and that's a very good thing.

And, big news, my tumour markers continue to fall - last week results, which were before my 5th treatment - down to 298.1. Can't believe how this chemo is working.

I connected with an old friend again last week. Had a great chat over the phone. We go waaayyy back and have had some pretty crazy adventures together. Man oh man! How wonderful to catch up with Gwen.

I was able to post a picture of Marie and I from Indianapolis on Facebook, but so far, it is escaping me how to get that picture on here - but I'll keep trying, because I have one of David Pos planting my evergreens on his property that I want to share!! It is priceless.

Nov 26th is back on - this time at Trinity United Church, and I am doing little other than singing! When I'm in Music, I do not have cancer. My friend Shaun, who owns Lolly's Gifts, downtown New Glasgow, is leading the charge and he is putting together a wonderful musical evening. He's calling it Boughs of Joy, a finale to the Evergreen Campaign. Lots of friends taking part. We started rehearsing a few songs we will do together - they will be quite special.

Band yesterday was very enjoyale too - our Christmas concert, at the deCoste on December 19th. I am making Jim attend!!! Should be a riot. Adult Beginners - David Pos is made of patience.

So, I pushed myself yesterday. Today is a gentle, restful day. Hopefully get this headache under control. Could I have a permanent Migraine? We shall see.

I am sending loving thoughts.

Peace to you all,

Emma Lee

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fishermen's Friends, Musical Friends, Friends

I remember a time several years ago, having the luxury one day to listen to a call in show on CBC. A lady had called to ask a question of one of their "experts". She stumbled over her words for a second and said, you'll have to excuse me, I have a fisherman's friend in my mouth. I found that quite hilarious. Costos H. (sp?) didn't miss a beat.

Last evening Lloyd dropped in on his way to a meeting across the street. Honey loves Lloyd. Quite a display of dog love. Anyway, after 10 minutes or so, we were able to settle in for a chat. Lloyd hung his jacket over the back of his chair. After the obligatory jump into lap - hey pay attention to me - scatch my head, (Honey - not me), pocket time arrived. I noticed that Honey was too quiet. I asked Lloyd if he had anything in his jacket pockets? Why yes, Extra Strength Fishermen's Friends. Sure enough, not a second later, Honey was noisily tearing off with her discovery. A display of coaching followed. Biscuit? Turkey? Chicken? Hot Dog? A trade was finally made for chicken, but by then she had opened the pack, at the exact right spot - a triangular little spot on the corner, and had put an original extra strength lozenger into her mouth. It was spit out and left on the floor. If dogs can show their disgust at a taste, I think that was the expression.

This past Sunday, Honey experienced a band and especially drums being played for the first time. John was here, as was Ross, Shaun and Jakki. John had his snare drum, with practice pad and brushes. Honey plunked herself right in the middle of all of us, in front of John and matched his brush work blink for blink. Too cute. She loved it. We're going to put our Rock'n'Roll show on the back burner. My yes is quite strongly coming across as a no. Since I intend on making it into the Miracle Book, I must listen.

Friends of mine are suffering, just from life. So strange. Here I am, fighting for time. Others are discontented with the time they have. There may not be a happy medium for any us. It's a struggle to find that space inside where happiness dwells. But I know it's there and that's where I want to live.

People tell me I look great. I appreciate that, but would like to trade places for 5 minutes. It's hard to describe this disease. I danced with Jim Shaffner in Church this past Sunday, I must be well!

Enough of that. I'm going to have a great day - meditation, dog walks, great diet, practice, cat conversations, choir. I have no time to waste on doldrums. Next treatment on Friday. I start Astragalus Plus Extract today in preparation (immune system support).

Peace to you all, Emma Lee

P.S. Sorry for the typos and grammatical errors!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Devils & Demons

It's 3:00 a.m.
Of course it is.
A heavy sweat, chilling and hot.
Hello D&D.
Why must you choose this time?
I call out, welcome to my nightmare.
Breathe.
Heart, oh heart, where are you?
There's a struggle going on.
Breathe.
Pray.
Listen.
You can't change the world.
You can't make people understand.
But you can just be.
Breathe.
Pray.
Listen.
Heart Wisdom.
Knowing yes, knowing no.
Hang in there.
You are loved.
You are safe.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Video Link

Faces of Metastatic Breast Cancer - on YouTube - I can't share the link for some reason, but I can copy and paste it here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM_Sz-ZLt5M

Thank Goodness For Today!

Well, Jim and I will be re-organizing our downstairs this weekend. November has for many years brought some fun musical rehearsals into this little house. First, I will be working on the Christmas Party skit for Mac, Mac & Mac. We always have a blast. It is, for me, one of the highlights of the year. David W. is a genius, creating and writing thematic lyrics for songs for many of the staff and we always have a real laugh at rehearsals and at the party. It's the combo of a lot of "emergy", really. Lloyd will play keyboard and find keys for the 7 songs so that Liz, Harry, David, Heather and I can shine and have some real good fun.

Then, Ross & The Romantics are going to be rehearsing here, getting ready for the Rock'n'Roll Christmas Dance on the 26th of November at Glasgow Square. Tickets at Lolly's, available next week, but you could email me if you wanted. Prizes for best costume and dancers - ala 50's and 60's. Ross & The Romantic are: Ross MacVicar, Jakki Rogue, John Muirhead, Bradley Stewart and Shaun McLean. I will do a few Brenda Lee songs, and a couple of Christmas rock'n'roll classics. The dance will start at 9:00 p.m.

Honey is going to have to be very well behaved, but she really likes music, so, she should enjoy the company.

So, a transforming, fun weekend is in store.

And an even better November - we will be busy at Church with White Gift planning too. That will also be a fabulous, spirit-filled time for me.

My roommate last weekend, Marie, is a real fighter. She's in a walk this weekend, with his husband Christopher, and I bet others will be trying to keep up with her. She's so strong. I am so happy I met her. My camera didn't work - she was able to take a photo on her phone and I hope I am able to get a copy from her.

I received a video link today from the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. I am going to try and download it here. I did share it on facebook for those of you on facebook. It's the real deal.

I'm looking forward to so many things. I hope you have a great day!

Peace to you today, Emma Lee

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

There And Back

These are the words of Ellen Moskowitz, President of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. She opened the conference. More than 250 patients and care givers were there. It was extremely emotional for me. I cried through the first hour. Ellen has been living with MBC for 7 years. In a big way, she speaks for me.

"When someone gets a dx of MBC, life totally changes. Unfamiliar territory . . . new vocabulary and rules that seem to be carved in quicksand . . . with lots of questions and few answers. Everything we thought we knew about breast cancer shatters.

. . . In this country [and ours] we seem to have developed a kind of "romanticized" vision of breast cancer . . tied up with a pretty pink bow.

We're told to be a warrior and do battle. We're led to believe that if we have enough happy thoughts, eat enough broccoli, take the right supplements, we will be fine. We are expected to become a better person because we have cancer . . . as if cancer were a growth experience - not a growth.

We are often expected to carry on with life as usual . . . even though our life is now segmented into (weeks) months between treatments and scans and we are always wondering what happens next.

The world of breast cancer is full of people who will happily tell you how they beat the disease . . and people cheer them on and everyone is happy. Well, the fact is that 30% of them will become us . . . the metastatic community. And no one knows why.
. . .

People need to know about us. We need to be seen and we need to be heard. Yes, MBC is a scary disease. . . But here we are . . alive and kicking, maybe not as high as pre-metastases - but there is life after a diagnosis.

Most people only know of those who HAD breast cancer and those who died of breast cancer. What about us who are living with breast cancer? We are here and we want to remain here - we need treatments to extend life. We need researchers to focus on the process of metastases - to learn how to stop that process. A cure is a wonderful thing - but - stable - it's good enough."

More later.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Have a Great Weekend

Setting off fairly early this a.m. for the airport. Hoping the weather will not be an impediment. But whatever happens, this will be an adventure. Everyone needs an adventure. I hope your day today holds adventure!

Mary tells me that Codapop will soon be posting Send Someone For Me - the song I recorded in July, which will be part of the CD compilation. I'll let you know - I'm so excited - I haven't heard it yet, but I have oodles of faith in the professionals involved.

I'm also getting very excited about Ross & The Romantics Rock'n'Roll Christmas, Glasgow Square, November 26th, 2010 - 9:00 p.m. Hopefully we'll have some special guests; there will be prizes for best costumes/best jivers, etc. Decorated treble clefs on the silent auction table. Should be a blast. Tickets will be limited. If you're interested, let me know. Myself, along with Shaun, will be handling ticket sales - $50.00 a couple.

And Dr. Rob Rutledge coming on the 25th of November. The Reason for Hope will host this free public talk at North Nova and Mac, Mac & Mac is our presenting sponsor. When I get home next week, I will begin work in earnest on these events, which are allowing me creative release. I am blessed. A powerful message by an inspirational speaker on healing - mind, body and spirit.

Last evening, Kindred emailed me Letters to Emma - a collection of videos that a friend of hers is putting together for me about healing my life - saving my life. I hope to share these letters with you if I am technologically able. More later.

So, today, I wish for you patience; good weather; a ripe sense of humour; and an adventurous spirit.

I'm going to the land of information and new friends. I'm putting the last few items in my carry on, two paperbacks, my passport and some American coin. My Emergy is good. I love adventure. Indianapolis Here I Come!!!

Peace, Emma Lee

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Miners Rescued in Chile

The world watching, holding its breath.

One by one. Thirty-three stories of life change.

Months without sunlight.

Extreme adverse conditions.

Fear.

Fear overcome.

Hopelessness.

Hopelessness overcome.

Hands grasping to hold precious air.

Miracles.

Oh, for the headline: "Miracles For All!"

Put your hands out and grasp!

Raise your voices - Shout - Miracles for All!

My hands, grasping precious air . . . .

My voice shouting . . . . Miracles for All!

Miracles for All!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Thanksgiving

I'm sitting here pinching myself - I know stop it. But, it's Thanksgiving. It's October. I started this blog in July, when the world appeared quite different to me than it does today. And it's almost 5 months since diagnosis.

The view out my front window this morning is quite beautiful. Everything I have to be grateful for is flooding in, and I must confess to tearing up. The house is warm and comfortable, sort of like a blanket. I'm in need of that. Even a few extra hugs needed today.

I'm going to treat myself to a pedicure this morning, complements of my friend Karen - who ran into me in late August, believe it or not, and gave me this gift. It's a perfect day to do it. I'll rest and enjoy some pampering while the bubble scrubbing dudes are working their magic inside.

Brenda came with me to chemo yesterday. Three more to go. I watched as the milky white substance ran down the tube, drop by drop, and said a secret blessing to myself. Brenda's parents are going to drive me to the airport next Friday - they have rearranged their life to do that. I am so thankful. I will have a safe journey to the airport with loving parents.

I need help with Honey who misbehaved yesterday. I was quite tired following treatment for some reason, and was having a rest, when the door bell rang. It was Adrienne, here to gather her seedlings. Honey went out to greet her and followed her a bit too close to the street. Adrienne tired to help her - Honey didn't want any help! I think you have the picture. That did sadden me. A bandaid later, and Honey tightly in the house, it was cold and I felt saddened. But I had to let that feeling go. Honey, Honey, Honey. Puff is settling in and because of that my cat is downstairs - yay - defying Honey at every chance. Maybe that is the tonic that is needed. We shall see. I'm proud of Doobs who is starting to stand up to Honey. Puff will eventually, I know, and she is even bigger than Honey.

Anyway, I digress. I'm thankful. Almost five months later - Okay: Family = Love; Life and Breath; Music; Shelter; Nourishment; Pets; Friends; the Ability to find and appreciate Beauty; Medicine; kind and caring Nurses; My Church Family; living in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia; numerous other thoughts and feelings that I will take time to pay attention to today.

I will miss Mary this Thanksgiving. She missed 2004 Thanksgiving and now will miss this year. We will talk, I am certain. I bet she will try and cook a Turkey, so Jim will be guiding her through that - or not.

BUT MOST OF ALL, I am indeed grateful and thankful for the opportunity to share this journey with you. I pray for Peace for you and the world -

Emma Lee

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Beautiful Sunset from the East River

Yesterday afternoon/evening was pretty close to a classic fall day here in New Glasgow. As I wasn't feeling too bad, I decided to see if there might be room on the dragon boat. There was. It was spectacular. Charleen did the steering, and an admirable job she did. We set out around 6:15 p.m. from the New Glasgow Marina and headed down the River towards Stellarton. I hadn't been out since we beached during the DB Festival, so I stuck to the back of the boat. It was great to see everyone. We did a run down and then headed back towards the Marina. The wind had completely died down. The River became a mirror. We tried to find some songs to sing, but instead, almost drifted to shore! But we diverted disaster and ended up turning around again. I'm glad we did. There had been a bank of marshmallow-like clouds in the southern sky. When we turned those clouds were now the reflection of the sunset - what a sight to behold. We stopped, in awe almost. The leaves along the banks just starting to show their magnificence. Above us flocks of geese in formation, heading to ports unknown. None of us had cameras, so we must hold these sights in our memories. Paddling season is almost over. Folks are, like the geese, heading to warmer climes. Can't help but wonder what shall transpire between now and when we meet again.

This morning I awoke with a migraine. So, today is Emma day until tonight when I'll take part in a contemporary worship session at Trinity. I'll be careful. Blood work tomorrow before Friday's chemo.

Peace to you all. I hear there are viruses going around. I guess it is that time of year. Take care of yourselves!

Emma Lee

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Fun Continues!

I had a big day yesterday. Jane and I found a wig. First thing yesterday morning, off to the Cat's Meow, outside of Westville. What a great little shop. Previously loved apparel, wigs, salon/spa and unbelievable costumes! We had fun. I tried on a lot of wigs. We finally found one. I love the color. We even took over the hair salon, and Jane gave my wig a cut. I'm calling her Suzie. I'm pleased. I now have a new look. Soon, and very soon, I will have someone take a shot of me, sans hair, and with my new wig. I will post them if I am able.

Then, off to the oncology clinic. It was a very positive meeting. We are all on the same page. Things are going well. My tumour markers continue to fall. The first reading I was well over 1000, second reading around the 800 mark. Yesterday I was told they are down into the 400s. Can you believe it? Because my side effects are now predictable and last only a few days, I have been offered two more chemo, for a total of 8. I have accepted. My next CT scan will be in December, when the truth will be out there to see. I had some nice positive comments on my new look. My questions were answered, for now, re: stem cell/bone marrow, Zometa and radiofrequency energy ablation.

Then off to band practice. I'm digging it. I like playing the bass. It's real downhome fun.

And then, Puff arrived. She is one of Mary's two cats. Mary couldn't take her to TO. She's here. Boobadee is not handling this well. Honey hasn't clued in yet. I think Paula is going to be able to take Puff until Mary returns to NS. We are working on that! Not that I don't love her, I do. It's just that Boobadee is getting old, and wasting away, and deserves my total attention until her time is through. I want to give her that. I disrupted her life greatly when Honey came along. Puff is beautiful by the way. Her name speaks for itself - she is predominantly white, but her tail is lovely and dark - very bushy - beautiful fur and the sweetest little face. She's a big girl. She jumped up on the bed a couple of times with me, but no purring so far. I pray we get her settled soon.

I will be making brownies today, using black beans, virgin coconut oil, stevia and raw cocoa, among other things. Hmm. I'll let you know how they taste! I'm thinking delicious.

A lovely thought for today - "Leap and the net will appear." - Julia Cameron, Cameron is the best-selling author of "The Artist's Way". This is exactly how I am feeling today. This quote is from The Daily Love. A family friend, Don (thanks Don), sent me a link to that site. Give it a google, and I pray you find something inspiring.

But first, meditation. Take some time today to be still and listen to your heart. She knows what to do. She's just waiting for us to allow her to work. Peace to you all today -

Emma Lee

Monday, October 4, 2010

Not Just Another Manic Monday

Starting out as a lovely Monday morning. The view across the river to the Westside is very beautiful, with the changing leaves. Yesterday was a great day - very relaxing, surrounded by music and friends. I heard from both children yesterday. Lee will be home for Thanksgiving. Jim is going to Halifax to help Mary get on the plane to Toronto. She will be back before I know it.

I'm feeling well. Off to the oncology clinic today. Resolved. Strong. My list in hand.

Jane and I are going wig shopping. I have mixed feelings about this, but as the weather is cooling, it might not be a bad thing. I will know the right wig if it comes along.

I have the power to make this day a great day. So let it be written. So let it be done.

Peace to one and all!

Emma Lee

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Yesterday was a good day. I felt strong and in control. A friend has loaned me her +/-20 minute strength/cardio CD and it was my second time through. Wow. I like it. I'm sore but it's a good sore. Then I met with Donna to go over "Sure on this shining night" by Samuel Barber. But, it was so much more than that. We started with gentle scales and then exercises by Concone for low voice. These are precious. The whole time together was exciting. I'm reading Anita Diamant's The Red Tent right now (tks Megan)and came across this: "It was like hearing a piece of fabric woven with all the colors of a rainbow." That's how it felt. Donna has a beautiful piano,and she is a master of it. The arrangements which accompany the vocal lines were exactly like that. The lyrics of the song:

Sure on this shining night
Of star-made shadows round,
Kindness must watch for me
This side the ground.
The late year lies down the north.
All is healed,all is health.
High summer holds the earth.
Hearts all whole.
Sure on this shining night
I weep for wonder
wandring far alone
Of shadows on the stars.

What a fabulous challenge.

I also was able to work out more details on Nov 25. North Nova Education Centre will host the free public talk, which The Reason for Hope will host! It is all coming together. 7:00 p.m. Dr. Rob Rutledge and Dr. Tim Walker, Founders of the Healing and Cancer Foundation and authors of The Healing Circle. An evening and message that will have something for everyone!

It is a rainy and windy morning. Our walks will be short ones. But it will be another great day. Church tomorrow and I am on the hunt for a scarf to match my choir gown.

Peace to you all. Make the time to do something you love!!

Emma Lee

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Love When This Happens

Leah had me listen to a song by Sugarland the other day. It Happens. What a tune. I love when that happens. Now, I've got the bug for that song. Listened to it three times, doing the osmosis thing. Now to the car, as I drive to Stellarton for my life energy balancing session.

Ain't no rhyme or reason
No complicated meaning
Ain't no need to over think it
Let go laughing
Life don't go quite like you planned it
We try so hard to understand
Irrefutable, indisputable
The fact is
Psssh
It happens

Peace to you all today,

P.S. I am interested in anything and everything surrounding stem cells. Send it along. emmalee@eastlink.ca

Emma Lee

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mary Is Moving To Toronto! Seedling Order Form to be Updated!

Mary is moving to Toronto, at least until year's end so that she can complete a mentoring program with a music business company there. Pretty exciting for her. Pretty sad for Mom.

Before she left, she delivered to me the balance of the seedlings. On Monday I peat-potted many of them. I think there are around 75 seedlings left out of the order. Not bad. Unfortunately, although I would like to live to see a forest of hope grow, I simply do not have the room for that many trees in my little part of the world. Mary will get around to updating the order form, but until she does - 170 Temperance Street, New Glasgow, NS B2H 3B1 is the order destination. The seedlings will be fine now that they are potted.

I met with Dr. Kropp yesterday. We have a plan. I want to live.

Following this round of chemo, we will be starting an intense battle with natural supplements. First to detoxify my body from chemo, and then to battle the cancer that remains. Dr. Kropp is coming up with a dollar figure for the drugs that she will be recommending for me - just for me: things like shark liver oil; enzymes; Q10, Astragalus, among many other things. . . no sugar; no alcohol; exercise 5 times a week (or so); balancing my pH; she has already provided me with a meal plan to try to increase my metabolism and balance my nutrients. She will be connecting me with my inner child. I'm excited about this. I have made many changes since diagnosis on May 17th; however, I will now have someone walking this journey with me. Knowing she is there, supporting me, will make an incredible difference to me emotionally. And if I can, I also plan on continuing the life energy balancing sessions with Kathy Roy at Spirit Garden, listening to and taking counsel from my heart.

I'm having lunch with a friend today: Aileen. We have been singing together for many, many years. And laughing. And crying. Depending on the weather, we may get to go for a great walk too. And I'm looking forward to choir tonight. Any time I get to lose myself in music is therapeutic.

Peace to you all. I pray you manage your personal stressors. Find balance. Don't worry.

Emma Lee

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Potential for Inspiring November 25th

Okay - here's the scoop - I will be hosting Dr. Rob Rutledge for a public talk - Healing and Cancer on November 25th. He and Dr. Tim Walker have just released The Healing Circle:

“The Healing Circle offers those affected by cancer a compassionate companion for the road. By sharing the actual words of experts… people who have faced cancer themselves, Rob Rutledge MD and Timothy Walker PhD offer healing from loneliness, and practical guidance for the journey. A book for anyone who has ever sought their wholeness in the midst of a cancer crisis. Don’t go to your doctor’s office without it.”
Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, author of Kitchen Table Wisdom

See their website - Healing and Cancer - I haven't yet confirmed the venue for that talk, but will soon. I just wanted to pass this along so that the word can get out there. I am in need of positivity and hope, and Dr. Rutledge has agreed to come to New Glasgow and assist with that. I will also be updating folks on my attendance at the Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference in Indianapolis - very briefly of course, but I am hopeful there will be information that I will learn there that folks will be interested in. So, as soon as I confirm the venue, I'll be in touch again.

Do you think this is a good idea? As I said, I am in NEED of a good dash of hope, so I'm "hopeful" this will fill that bill.

And it will not just be pertinent to those with cancer or survivors of cancer. The strategies of meditation and so on will appeal to everyone.

Peace today, Emma Lee

Thanks Barb. I hope things are going well with you.

Emma Lee

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Great Start To The Week

Morning walk with Honey; before the town wakes up. Beautiful. The few cumulous clouds in the morning sky bathed with hues of sunrise. Restful. Peaceful. Berries, pineapple and banana smoothie. Practise. Chakra cleaning. Two Qigong exercises, with a beautiful meditation Cd as sound track. Feeling well. The potential is there for not only a great day, but a great week.

Yesterday was a busy day and I didn't have a lot of "free mind" time. Today, I will be making up for that. Putting all else in the background today. It is very easy to lose yourself. Not today. Today I am first. Repeat after me . . . Today I am first.

Peace to you all.

Emma Lee

Friday, September 24, 2010

Good Morning

So, I just realized that the neuropathy symptoms are pretty well gone. Hallelujah. One week since my treatment and that part is over. Tired, but tired is okay.

Yay.

Shaun and I are singing at Trinity's Glenhaven service on Sunday and then in Hopewell at the Presbyterian Church. I am looking forward to that. A couple of numbers. I am also involved in Trinity's Sunday morning service, which should be a hoot and nourishing as well.

Honey ate something on her walk and is acting strange. She likes a certain kind of bug I think. She's, when she's able, constantly sticking her nose into the ground and then chowing down! Goodness knows.

Looking forward to sharing a meal with someone tonight.

I'm feeling better. Hopefully emotionally I will start to feel stronger as well. Countdown is on for Indianapolis!

This morning's walk was lovely, out just as the sun was starting to rise and the sky had the most gorgeous colors. Quiet, except for the construction dudes who like to start talking outside around 6:00 a.m. But, very nice walk.

When inspiration hits again, I'll be in touch. Come on inspiration!

Peace, Emma Lee

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

So, Report

My appointment is one week from today! Ha Ha Ha - hilarious - that made me laugh. Then, cause I was foot loose, I hit the highway, turned up the CD player (McCartney) and spent some quality me time at Greenhill. Very, very nice. Just what the doctor ordered.

On the advice of a good friend, I will be assigning cranky time as needed. Sorry.

Peace,

Emma Lee

Is This "My" Life?

I woke up yesterday and today so incredibly cranky that I cannot believe it! I also woke up with the question on my mind, is this my life? Crazy. I'm so far into this and I'm still having to pinch myself and ask is this really happening to me? I have to confess that the mindless action of farmville has enticed me to waste some time, so that I can "focus" (if you can call it that) on something else. I have had terrible nightmares for the past two nights as well. Both times, demons entering my house. In the first one, Honey had positioned herself between two windows, the first of which was shattered, and she was barking, and barking, and barking, at what I had thought to be a young child. When I went to the door and opened it, a demon pushed in, wearing a bright lime colored shirt, suspenders, and wild pants. Hairless of course. With the most awful facial expression. Wakey, wakey. In the next one I was walking into the hallway, and spotted someone in a wheelchair with their back to me. They had long dark hair. When they spun around, well, you don't want to know, but I faced "her" and yelled, what do you want from me? I then woke up, without receiving an answer. So, I'm cranky, I'm pinching myself, and I'm wishing that I would soon come out of these side effects, which were the worst they've yet been last evening as midnight approached. Sleep was difficult but I must have finally dozed off, waking for good at 4:33 a.m.

This is my rant. I thank you for listening. Maybe I will feel better sharing this.

I am seeing Dr. Gabrielle Kropp for my first appointment this afternoon. She is the naturopathic doctor I have been mentioning. I am excited about that, but wish I felt better. I also hope my crankiness is gone by the time I see her, because the appointment will be intense, I just know it.

Okay. I think I'm settling down. I'll post later today, once I've met with Dr. Kropp.

I have to add peace to you. I pray you will have a great day!

Emma Lee

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's Working!

I know the treatment is working. Started yesterday afternoon and is progressing nicely. I'm not complaining! Do your thing.

What a beautiful day yesterday was. The weather was exquisite and today appears to be following suit. By mid-afternoon yesterday, however, hot water bottle, magic bag, comforter and Honey were my closest friends on the couch. Oh, and Jim, walking the dog and making sure I was comfie.

Lynn and Linda held the first of their idea last night - "Friends For Friends", in my honour. I am so touched and thankful. I hope to be able to host such an event in the future for a Friend. Apparently left overs are on their way for me! Can't wait. Veggie lasagna, etc. Yumm.

Chemo was uneventful, other than my blood work had not been processed until 10:30 and therefore the drugs weren't ready, so an hour's wait, but the time flew by. Meg and I had a great chat. Then the drugs arrived! The port was hooked up and away we went. I even had the courage to watch the Abraxane make its way to my port. You must think I am a whimp, but I find it a little scary - scary and hopeful at the same time. My heart is telling me to relax, while my mind is saying run away, run away.

Alice went over the blood work which measures the tumour markers (CA125 I know that's wrong - I'll verify it soon). Very interesting. When I get my next results back, I'll fill you in on the details. But good results so far. The first test, however, came back very high. Not to be dismayed Miss Emma. I am wondering why any patient that has had cancer does not regularly get these tests, just as a monitoring device. The tests are not processed at the Aberdeen, rather the QEII Cancer Clinic and apparently the cost is high; however, if an elevated reading came back at a regular check-up, would not that be good to know? No one has ever discussed this test with me before. I am finding that odd as well.

The sun is coming through my window. I couldn't make Church this morning. I may be out for the count today; I'm taking it easy - it's Emma Lee Day! Couch, bathroom, Honey. That's all I need today. Oh yes, and friends. Lovely, dearest friends.

Peace to you all,

Emma Lee

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just Before I Head Out The Door- To Les and Mac (Julie)

The weather has changed. I can't believe how quickly it has happened. I had to turn on the heat this morning. Dressing for this now presents new opportunities. Today, I will wear the most adorable black hat sent to me from England- from our friends Les and Julie Cutts. It's a perfect day for that and I will take a wool hat to wear during treatment. I may also need a blanket. On my jacket is hung an angel which Julie (Mac) sent with prayer, hope and love. Same back at you Mac. My prayers are in the air heading to Halifax, Yorkshire, England.

Peace,

Emma Lee

On My Way To The Chemo Department

On my way for the fourth treatment. Megan, my dear friend, is giving me a drive and sitting wih me today. I thank her for that. Meredith, another dear friend, was here at 6:30 a.m. to collect my blood specimen. My blood work has to be taken on the day of. Two specimens are taken - one for blood count, and the other is a tumour marker, which measures the cancer's actvity in my blood. I will be asking for the latter results today. I haven't been given those before. I will also be asking for a complete copy of my file, at their convenience, which I will review for accuracy. If I need to consult another doctor, or am lucky enough to become part of a trial, I will need it. It is my file.

My hope is raised this morning. I'm imaging The Hope Team in next year's dragon boat race. All of us paddling together, with hope and positivity, that I will slay this beast. If you ain't got that hope, you're out of the boat. I need people around me to buoy me, not sink me.

Tonight at the Whitetail Pub in Westville, our good friend Alan Gerber will be performing. I am praying that I can get out to see Alan. He has stayed with us when he has passed through New Glasgow before. He rocked the Jubilee the first time he was here. The last time he played here he was in the wrong venue, but we still had a blast. Alan is one great musician - he's a master of guitar, fiddle and keyboard, and his voice - his voice. He is amazing! He's got the blues that's for sure. The Whitetail will be rocking, and he can do that, all by himself. I am praying I can hang out for one set tonight. His version of People Get Ready has to be heard! Alan was the keyboard player for the rock group Rhinoceros.

I also hope to get to see a wonderful person who is undergoing some medical complications right now. She is one of the kindest people I know - selfless really. What a supporter of me she is. She is in the Aberdeen and I hope to get to bring her cheer today. I'm also delivering a tree there today!

Alright. Here we go. I'll touch base soon.

Peace to you. Forgiveness, forgiveness, fogiveness.

Emma Lee

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fantastic Friends Hold Me Up

I have a confession to make. I haven't been quite honest about my last meeting with Dr. AJ. In fact, what happened at the end of that conversation has been bothering me since that appointment on Monday. So bad that at one point, I thought I was headed to the valley of no hope.

See, when I questioned Dr. AJ about what was next, he ended that conversation by saying something to the effect that eventually none of the drugs will work, as the cancer will find its way around them. Bitter sweet - on one hand the CT scan results were great, and on the other hand, his closing comments were dark and my happy, hopeful parade was instantly rained on.

His words sent me for a tail-spin and I've spent the majority of the week working my way through this. I have also unfortunately burdened several friends already, and now you and I do apologize. But, I guess I need help putting this all into perspective.

I have had so many fantastic responses to this news and so many stories of miracles. Keep 'em coming.

I am powerful.

I think I will demand that no such comments are issued in my presence by any medical practitioner.

I pray . . .

I pray for peace to you all,

Emma Lee