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)

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.
Heart, oh heart, where are you?
There's a struggle going on.
You can't change the world.
You can't make people understand.
But you can just be.
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 overcome.


Hopelessness overcome.

Hands grasping to hold precious air.


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


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