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