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)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Jacket Has Found Its Way Home

Over the past couple of weeks I have had the chance to share fellowship with both of my brothers. My brother John and his wife visited last week. John has just retired from "years" of working and now gets to enjoy some free time with his wife and family (3 children, 8 grandchildren). He may be having a hard time with that concept. He would be the first one to say he likes to keep busy. I might even make a secret wager on just how long he will stay "retired". I hope to see John and Mary soon when they come to the County to camp.

My brother Lorne and his wife visited today. Lorne and I enjoyed catching up while Honey had her morning constitutional. It was funny, but the song birds were eerily quiet this morning. Not the crows, but the song birds. Honey was extremely well behaved as she found something that she carried throughout her entire walk and ended up actually eating. I have no idea what it was.

We then took a drive to the Merb via Fraser's Mountain. You know, it is very beautiful here. When we drove out it wasn't raining and the sun was actually shining over the Strait, with rain clouds moving in behind us. You could feel the heat. We had a great Honeyless walk on the beach. Stories and laughs. Tooks some pics.

We tied up our fellowship by waiting to get into the Cosy Corner for breakfast (they don't open until 8:00 a.m.! Also, don't try to give them a $50.). Lorne and Mary drove me home, and I retrieved Lorne's "official" jacket. Can you believe that it was left at the Heather just over 3 years ago, when I was getting chemo the last time. Lorne was here on a curling bonspiel and left it in his hotel room. Jim and I retrieved it and I have been keeping it since then. I am so glad that his jacket has found its way home.

(Not whining) My head is quite sore, as my hair gets ready to say bye-bye. I have been tired, but I think I'm on the other side of that now. You know, I feel better.

I had a great chat yesterday (tea, toast, etc.) with a very good friend, who recently came through a scare, but all, it turns out, is well. Thank God for that. She is one of the kindest people I have ever met.

I'll spend the rest of the day getting ready for Jubilee. Mary will be home. Lee's gal Tessa is coming home. Jim is coming home. I'll go down and enjoy Sunday night, when my daughter will take the stage with her band, opening the evening's show which Blue Rodeo is headlining. She's a dandy girl.

I must say that I have a dandy boy as well. Lee James. He's keeping the home fires burning here, with me, this summer. I am so lucky to have him here.

I have found a "healer" and will have my first visit next week. We will come up with a plan to slay this dragon. I ask that you continue to offer prayer for me, as I offer it for all of you who may read these posts.

Peace to you all,

Emma Lee

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Call the Police - Honey is stealing hearts!

Well, maybe I exaggerate a bit. But, this past Friday, I had a visit from Janice and Kara, another great mom and daughter team, Rachael, one of my co-workers, Megan, a great, long-time friend, and Trevor who came up to do some recording with us on Saturday. Now all of these folks arrived at different times, but the constant was Honey.

When Janice and Kara were here, Honey decided that Janice was hers. So, up to the lap several times, the last of which ended with a cup of tea being drenched on Janice. Honey even managed to get an ear lick or two in before I had to resort to the "hot dog!" appeal. I snapped a pic.

When Rachael was here, same thing. Up to the lap and licking of the face. Another pic.

It was repeated twice more for Trevor and Megan. Couldn't get the camera quick enough.

But the best welcome was reserved for Jim when he arrived at the bus station. Honey was one happy little dog last Friday.


The 10th to the 14th Days

The 10th to the 14th days following treatment, I am told, are when my white cell count will be at its lowest. That is when, I am told, I am most susceptible to infection. I'm playing it safe, then. Today is the 10th day. I will be close to home this week.

This morning Karen let me know she would be rehearsing with Claude Polley, a young violinest, around 9:00 a.m. at Trinity. So I slipped up to the balcony and enjoyed a spectacular rehearsal. Claude played Adoration by Borowski and Concerto in A Minor by Vivaldi. My gracious me. He is exceptional. He is also very lucky to be accompanied by Karen, who is superb on Trinity's grand piano. If I recall correctly, I remember seeing Claude's family years ago, as participants in the family evening at the New Glasgow Music Festival. Claude is very talented and obviously a hard working, disciplined musician. I'm thinking he is going places. I also heard him "busking" outside of the new Fisheries Museum on the Pictou Waterfront, prior to knowing who he was, and tossing a coin into his violin case.

I am putting my feelers out there folks, for a holistic healing retreat that will see me following chemotherapy treatments. If you have any suggestions, please get in touch with Mary, or post a comment. The search is now on. I have some inquiries out there on other types of treatment, as well. Lloyd and Gwen have suggested looking into Dendritic Therapy. I've found an American Doctor who does practice that and am waiting for a response to my initial inquiry. Julie's Christina has been very helpful with information respecting our West Coast, which seems to be head and shoulders above the rest of the country when it comes to healing. Unfortunately, it appears the Cancer Treatment Centers of America may be out of my sphere of possibilities, having been told it could be hundreds of thousands of dollars at that private facility. That's okay. We're going to look as far afield as we need to. The right place will come to me.

My email, if you wanted to get in touch directly is emmalee@eastlink.ca.

I wish you all peace,

Emma Lee

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Clootie Well

I have now uploaded a picture that Melvin sent me via his iPhone from Scotland which shows where the piece of my scarf is. It's found below. Here's the story:


A piece of my Louisville Jazz scarf is headed across the Atlantic with a former school mate of mine who is now leading a congregation in Northern Scotland. He told me of a Clootie well (also Cloutie or Cloughtie well) in his area, known for its healing properties. So, yesterday at Carvers, with my son and another long lost school mate, enjoying tea, coffee, conversation and you guessed it - laughter, I cut my Louisville Jazz Scarf, best wishes were prayed into it, and it now goes to the Well. Here's some more info from Wikipedia:

Clootie wells are places of pilgrimage in Celtic areas. They are wells or springs, almost always with a tree growing beside them, where strips of cloth or rags have been left, usually tied to the branches of the tree as part of a healing ritual. In Scots nomenclature, a "clootie" or "cloot" is a strip of cloth or rag. . . . When used at the clootie wells in Scotland and Ireland, the pieces of cloth are generally dipped in the water of the holy well and then tied to a branch while a prayer of supplication is said to the spirit of the well - in modern times usually a saint, but in pre-Christian times a goddess or local nature spirit. This is most often done by those seeking healing, though some may do it simply to honour the spirit of the well.

It's another beautiful day folks - and it was a great night. I awoke mid-night, with the feeling that healing was overtaking me. It was a wonderful feeling.


Thursday, July 22, 2010


I understand that many of you are having trouble downloading/printing the form.

Here is a text template that you can copy and paste into your word program (word, textedit ect) and fill out for email or postal mail.

When mailing : Cheques can me made payable to Evergreens for Emma Lee

Evergreens for Emma Lee
2521 Oxford Street,
Halifax NS

Evergreens For Emma Lee
Pre-order form

“There is always music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.” - Minnie Aumonier


Street Address: City/Town:

Postal Code:

Email: Telephone:

Number of Seedlings ______ Donation $_______

Paypal Confirmation Code :

Special words for Emma Lee:

We would like to extend our gratitude towards Juniper Tree Nursery for their generous support in this project.

The trees will be arriving on September 13th, 2010

You will be contacted via Email to arrange which location ( Halifax or New Glasgow you will prefer to pick up from.) Suggested donation is $20.00. At this time you will be invited to a Celebration to launch this campaign in the location of your choice.

Please Email completed form to : mary@marystewartmusic.com
We love Canada Post! Evergreens for Emma Lee
2521 Oxford Street, Halifax NS
For more Information visit : http://raisinghopeforemmalee.blogspot.com

A Busy Day

Yesterday was a busy day. Mary had arranged for some studio time for me at Codapop Studios on Quinpool Road. She wanted me to record a song that I have been doing as part of my Reason for Hope service called Send Someone For Me. SSFM was written by Cindy Church and Caitlyn Hanford. I first heard it at the 2007 Reason for Hope - Cindy intro'd it by saying the sound was so great that night (Jim S.), she wanted to do the song. I remember it well. I was in my favourite spot at any theatre or event - back stage, in the wings, alone. Clear view of the stage, great sound and able to drink it all in, without interruption. The song reached out and caught me. I was able to get a copy and then make it my own. Cindy was glad to give me permission to record it and can't wait to hear it.

Anyway, Lee and I headed off early yesterday, once Honey was happy, hot dog in tummy, in kennel. Lee drove down. Tummy rumblings accompanied me throughout the day, but they are better today. When we landed at Mary's I noted the CTV car outside. Sure enough, she was mid-point in her Liz Rigney interview. I met Liz and we had a great chat and I was able to sit through the whole taping. Liz was talking about Mary's song-a-day. She was at 283 yesterday. If you go to her blog entry here you will see her link. Please visit her. She's trying her hardest to carve out a living. Once that was done it was off to the studio and what a studio. A beaut! Mary's friend Tammy owns it. Yesterday, Joel was my engineer. It was a wonderful experience. Mary had also arranged for her friend Colin, a videographer, to film the whole thing. His most recent film will be released soon - ABOUT ZOMBIES!!! (Can't wait - it was filmed in Stellarton last summer.) Later on, Mary's friend Kinley came to record some violin tracks. I left the whole recording in Mary's hands. About 3:15 we were headed back to New Glasgow. Mary will produce the song, which will be on a compilation CD that her peers are all giving her songs for. It's going to be an amazing East Coast CD.

Honey was so glad to see us when we got home.

This morning's walk was pretty incredible. I was out before it rained: and I had to repeat to myself red sky in morning - sailors take warning. Before I knew it a rainbow streaked across the sky that was simply amazing and with the blue sky above me, it started to sprinkle. Honey didn't mind. She had found a stick that was all consuming and one that she carried all the way home. It awaits her next yard visit.

Peace to all,

Emma Lee

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Settling In

Returning home on Sunday afternoon, following a fabulous day at the beach with great friends, a wonderful host and way too much food, neuropathy set in. Sensory neuropathy may accompany me for the balance of this journey. It worsens as the day progresses. Luckily, it does not interfere with my early morning walks with Honey. Did you know how incredibly beautiful it is around 5:30 a.m. or so? Quiet, cool breezes. And I stop to enjoy the feeling of that breeze on my face. A chorus of song birds seem to follow me around our walk. It is so incredibly peaceful to watch the sky brighten and know that it's going to be another great day. Thinking about cutting what hair I have so that it's not such a shocker when it falls out next week. If Jane is free, I think I'll take the plunge.

Have a wonderful day,


Sunday, July 18, 2010

What Really Counts

Well, just finished the first batch of Ondansetron, and have Prochlorperazine, if needed. But, I'm thinking it will not be needed. Abraxane is living up to posts written by my peers on the Metastatic Breast Cancer site I have joined. Other than quite obnoxious cramping, which I hope will disappear as time goes along, that's been it. And I have adjusted my home to deal with that. It's early days yet.

What really counts is the friendship that has extended into this little home of mine. Meredith arrived on behalf of the Women Alike the other evening, with her sister, laden with cards, teas, jams, cookies, lotions and potions all designed to lighten my outlook. You succeeded. I have always looked up to the Women Alike Dragon Boat team as my heros. I can't wait to get back in the boat. Money cannot buy the feeling of the breeze on your face as you stroke to cross the finish line. Sincerely, nothing can equal it. Good luck as you head off to Cape Breton - I'm expecting BIG things.

I'm trying really hard to stay positive and focussed. The week ahead is getting filled up with some fun activities, and I am looking forward to it. There will be lots to report.

Today is a marvelous gift - right now is what really counts, feeling the love that surrounds me, my family and my little house. My heart is filled with gratitude.

Peace, Emma Lee

Friday, July 16, 2010

First Chemo Down - My Port is Beautiful

Well, the gals at the chemo clinic tell me my port is beautiful - so well done Dr. Cole. First chemo down. Much different than last time. I've already mentioned the drug is abraxane. Only 30 minutes to administer that. Wow. If all is well, and I don't pick-up any infection, my next treatment is 21 days from today.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Evergreens for Emma Lee

Hello Everyone, Its the youngest here- Mary.

When heard the news of my mothers diagnosis I immediately wanted to do something with all of the negative that has been placed around us and create some positive. A breeding ground for happy memories, and the power to do something good with the unfortunate we've been handed.

Thus, I've assembled a group of fantastic, supportive people who will be working with my family and I to help with a series of fundraisers for my mother. We will give you information on every event shortly...

This one however requires a little bit of work.

He who plants a tree, plants a hope.
- Lucy Larcom, Plant a Tree

On September 13th, 2010 we will be receiving 500 Saplings that need to be brought to new homes, to clean our air, get our families together, and be planted. I've created a really simple pre order form that you can print off and mail to me with your donation, or with the magic of the internet click the Donate Now button on this blog and its as easy as that. Just make sure you submit your form to me through email or postal. You will be contacted via Email after your order has been received to discuss pick up possibilities.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please Download and View the Pre Order here :

The suggested donation is $20.00 per sapling, however we will graciously accept whatever amount you can spare.

Readying for Treatment

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to receive the care of the best medical pros around - Dr. Cole and his team at the Aberdeen Hospital. A "Power Port" was installed. This will make chemo treatments and CT scans abundantly easier and faster. I must admit, typing today is challenging! Blood work today; and if all is well, first chemo treatment tomorrow. Abraxane.

I had a fabulous meal with two friends on Wednesday evening - Amy and Karen. What a mom and daughter team they are. Just marvelous. Took my mind off things for a while. Karen also acted as my driver and caretaker yesteday, since I couldn't leave the Hospital without someone coming in to get me. Another Karen will be my driver today.

Thanks to another friend, Jim S., for loaning his air conditioner. What a difference that has made in my living room.

Finally for today, what can I say to Adriana for arranging this blog?

To my family and friends - THANK YOU! Whenever fear starts to poke through, I just think of you and know that I am not alone.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


First of all, I am a wife and mother of two young adults. My partner is Jim Stewart. My son is Lee James Stewart. My daughter is Mary Louise Stewart, a wonderful musician in her own right. I was born in Pictou, Nova Scotia, and was brought up as a singer and lover of all genres of music.

Following a wonderful, but too short career on the road with Granfalloon, Citizen and Hal Britton, I was amazingly lucky to begin work as a legal support member with the firm MacIntosh, MacDonnell & MacDonald. My family has planted roots in Pictou County, where we have all been dedicated volunteers. I have volunteered for decades, in, among other things, leading the Town of New Glasgow’s 125 celebrations, chairing the New Glasgow Music Festival, being New Glasgow’s CBC community contact, founding chair of the New Glasgow Jubilee, where I served for 10 years, former Board member for the New Glasgow Dragon Boat Society, leading team recruitment in 2009 where the highest dollar figure to date was raised, member of the Women Alike Dragon Boat Team, Board member for Tearmann Society for Abused Women, provincial Chair of Breast Cancer Network Nova Scotia, Contemporary Worship Coordinator for Trinity United Church and creator and founder of The Reason For Hope, a society dedicated to the elimination of cancer. In 2003 I was nominated as East Coast Music volunteer of the year.

In 2006, I finally turned my mind again to my own musical love, recording The Reason, which was released on September 29th. (Two 2007 Music Nova Scotia nominations – Inspirational and Country). On December 21st of that year I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At that point, my musical project was re-branded to The Reason for Hope. On my 50th birthday, in November of 2007, the first Reason for Hope concert was held featuring Cindy Church, 2 time John Lennon Song Contest Winner Arthur Godfrey, Jakki Rogue and Audra Raulyns, raising $11,500.00 for the Lodge That Gives, a Canadian Cancer Society venue which is invaluable to people outside the City needing treatment in Halifax.

In 2008 the second Reason for Hope was hosted at Trinity United Church in New Glasgow. Funds raised that year totaled $2000.00, going towards improvements to the Aberdeen Hospital‘s Oncology Department. Featured performers included 11 time JUNO Award Winner Murray McLauchlan, Quartette member Cindy Church, my daughter Mary Stewart and very talented and upcoming artist Kate MacLean, currently studying music at Humber College in Toronto.

2009 saw the third Reason for Hope being hosted at Summer Street Industries in New Glasgow, this time, with funds directed to Breast Cancer Network Nova Scotia. $3,000.00 was presented to the group. Featured performers were Dave Carroll, Tony Quinn, Mary Stewart and my good friends Shaun McLean and Ross MacVicar.

On May 17th, 2010 I was told my cancer has returned this time metastatic breast cancer. Currently there is no cure. The medical profession has suggested a series of chemotherapy treatments to begin mid-July. The future is uncertain. But one thing is certain: the love of my family can never be taken away; the love of friends can never be taken away; hope can never be taken away; and positive thought and gratitude for all we have can never be taken away.