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, March 31, 2011

Where Do I Begin?

Well, it has been a full few days. Janice arrived at my place on Tuesday night with a casserole, biscuits and almond cherry cake, all still warm from her oven! Can you imagine? I ate like a queen - the food was absolutely wonderful.

Then I headed over to Trinity for Carillon practice. I have a mental block on one of the tunes that we will be working on with Stephen Hatfield next Wednesday in Antigonish and I had some extra time with Karen to work before rehearsal. Karen gave me a Music Festival program and pass! Yay!! Festival starts on the 12th and I have lots of time to leisurely choose which classes I will attend. All of the classes are minutes away from my front door. It should be really enjoyable. Lots of wonderful young talent to enjoy.

Yesterday was a lovely day, although the wind had a bit of a sting to it early in the day. Anyway, Honey and I had a wonderful early morning walk. I then went to the library and renewed my library card. The library has had some major renovations done and it is quite lovely. We are lucky here in New Glasgow. I am looking for materials on Julian of Norwich. May 1st contemporary service at Trinity is calling! Anyway, they didn't have anything in, and are sending for something from the Pugwash Branch, believe it or not. From there I rambled up Provost Street, stopping in at Trudy's on my way by. She is going to be getting some hats in and I am in desperate need of spring/summer hats. We had a great chat and my odyssey continued. (Yes, odyssey - I was alone, walking, mind pretty-well empty of thoughts, enjoying the journey!) I ended up at Robbie's Salon where I met Denise Pitts. Denise has been growing her hair to donate for a cancer wig. She asked that I take part in her hair cut!

Man, Denise's hair was thick. And I got to cut the ponytail! It took me several attempts to get through all of her hair. Steve Goodwin was there to chronicle the whole event on digital film. Robbie gave Denise a sweet haircut and it was mission accomplished. I am amazed at the profundity of such an act. You may think there's not much to this, but I see it from another angle. My body (and mind) has gone through significant changes as this battle continues. When I see someone making radical changes to their looks, for the cause, it deeply affects me. I thank Denise for doing this and pray that her hair is part of a wig that provides comfort, a sense of well-being and hope to someone in the future.

Steve and I then headed over to Trinity and had a discussion that will be posted on Church Alive on April 17th (East Coast FM), around my former role in contemporary worship at Trinity as well as the many music teams I am proud to be a part of.

Finally, back home to the little gal who was very happy to see me. Off we went and the day melted into a beautiful evening. By the time I left choir practice last night the night was calm, warmish and the stars were twinkling bright as I rounded the corner to home.

Janice is driving me out for blood work this morning. Karen and I are going hat pattern shopping this afternoon. And then rest before tomorrow's treatments.

I have friends that are heading out on a road trip and my spirit is with them, praying for adventure of the safe kind!

Peace to you all. I pray for your good health and happiness!

Emma Lee

Monday, March 28, 2011

Come On Spring!

It seems that spring is slow in coming. On my way back from Donna's yesterday I noticed the sign at a local church "Whoever is praying for snow, pray for spring!". My feelings exactly. The songbirds are so slow in coming back, but I have to admit one was waiting for Honey and I as we went for our walk on Saturday morning. And then yesterday I heard an amazing song out in the Abercrombie area. Maybe today - but it still so cold.

Jim's Aunt Peggy is gone. I don't really know what to say about this. Peggy was a really lovely person, and a beautiful woman. I've known her for many, many years now and she and his other aunts readily accepted me into their family. Peggy succumbed to Alzheimer's Disease (similar to my Mom) a few years back, which robbed her and her family of her remaining years. But, her family is strong. Her husband Elmer will sure miss her as will her children, grand children and great grand children. Peggy was a teacher in her career days, and from what I have been told, she was a grand and caring teacher, just the type we need. We are going to her funeral today. I will be singing Wind Beneath My Wings, which I believe is a fitting tribute to a wonderful woman, and a life truly well lived.

My friend Julie lost her Mother late last week as well. Julie is mother to three wonderful daughters who have now lost their grandmother. The ebb and flow. I remember well Julie calling me the day after I lost my Mother and even though we were on the phone, I felt she was a shoulder for me to cry on . . . I hope that I am a shoulder to cry on too.

This is my week leading to another two treatments. I awoke yesterday with energy. Last night was not a great one - pain kept me awake for a while, but eventually I was back to sleep. I continue to have that pain, but music will take it away. Jim is back to Halifax and I am back to a single dog-parent! We have some folks who might be interested in providing Honey-respite care. Jim and I will also be looking at his future schedule and whether he can find an accommodation in Halifax which would allow him to take Honey with him every second week. I've grown so darned fond of her.

Anyway, the sun is shining. The fight continues. As a good friend told me, "Roll up your sleeves". If it means being in a foul mood for a while, I have good reason. Sometimes I could just scream.

Peace today,

Emma Lee

So much kindness continues to be shown to me. I thank you all. I am praying especially for a friend who is waiting for treatment results. I know that waiting is the hardest part. My heart is wide open. Music, comedy, reading, praying . . .

Thursday, March 24, 2011

PJ Day

Okay - I'm tired. So today, to honour my tiredness, I'm not changing out of pjs, I am taking my book, some music to read, and an open heart and I am staying low. I am focusing on healing. I am sending positive healing energy into the universe. To you all: I send you my love, my peace and my prayers for your safety and good health. You are there for me again and again. I am here for you. I am thinking of you and wishing you only the greatest love, joy and dreams.

Peace to you all,

Emma Lee

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bass Debut

Well, I did it. I played bass in a public performance. So, first one is down. Now I have to find my second opportunity, i.e. with folks who don't mind me being the one ramping up, learning runs, etc. etc. etc., which is so fun.

I had the opportunity last night to sit with a 92 year old, very classy, gal. We had a delightful conversation, about angels. She initiated the conversation, asking me if I believed in angels. I told her about my recent experience of "hosting" 5 angels in my home and how that process worked, how it evolved throughout the week, my daily meditations, my wishes and how I sent them off to a friend who asked for them, and to friends and family that I felt needed them. So, we hit it off. The conversation around the table generally was lively and lovely and so beneficial. I forgot how tired I was and was simply in the moment, until they said it was time for the entertainment to start! But there is no room for shyness or fear there - there's no time like the present really, so just DO IT!

I arrived home to a little dog so happy to see me. We had a quick trit trot and then pjs and Honey and I attempted to watch Dancing with the Stars. I was dancing with the stars this morning during our first outing. What a beautiful morning. Not too cold, brisk I guess, and quiet. That big moon is still hanging out and the sky was full of beautiful bright stars. Makes you marvel.

I'm singing with the Carillons for the next little bit. Their spring repertoire is fabulous. They know that I cannot commit to 100% attendance, but when I'm there, I'm there. Their spring concert will be a dessert and music concert, on Mother's Day and they are going to call it Dames & Desserts or something like that. Venue is being decided upon. More on that later. With the repertoire, it is sure to be a loved event. Karen and I are getting together early morning to run some of the tunes, cause I need to catch up!

I have no idea whether the sun will be out today but temps look not too bad this week. Spring has sprung. Keep on springing!

Next treatments scheduled for April 1st.

Peace, Emma Lee

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday, Monday

Well, I have had a busy past few days. Since hearing my first song bird of the season, I have had a life energy balancing session, with polarity therapy, enjoyed the opera Carmen with my musician buddy Murray and his sister, and Jim, moon-gazed, had a time of fellowship and food with a wonderful group of gals, enjoyed the company of my son Lee and his gal Tessa for two days (including two movies "The Other Guys" and "Inception" and a couple of great meals), sang with Opus at Church and rehearsed (bass) with a couple of dudes putting together a little show for fun and fellowship. Okay - now I breathe!

Problem is, I'm waking up feeling like I've never slept. My energy is the lowest I can ever recall. My body is telling something and I'm listening loud and clear. I was hoping to try and get to Toronto to visit Mary, but I'm not going anywhere with my energy like this. I am hoping that it will start to rebound. My white cells are at their lowest since the last Abraxane treatment; and this is contributing. But I'm thinking that the big difference is the Aredia treatment. Hmm. Poor little Honey will have to put up with a tired Mommy. Anyway, maybe we will hear some more song birds. That should pick up my spirit, perhaps give me more energy.

Sang Jakki's song yesterday "Heart & A Home", which she wrote for the Pictou County Roots for Youth society. It's a good song. I hope we did it justice.

Peace to you all today,

Emma Lee

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 16, 2011 10:25 a.m.

First songbird - first heard, then hunted down until seen. Beautiful. I don't know what she/he was. Top of a fairly large tree at the top of Forbes. Gorgeous. Had to stop to listen to the concert. Tarried there for at least 5 minutes. A very friendly gentleman, wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs jacket and having the most amazing smile stopped across the street and we looked and quietly chatted during the show. He didn't know what it was either, but we ruled out the winter guys. We were both very pleased to hear and see her. Honey socialized with an unleashed dog during the time and there was nay a bark nor a discouraging move. Yay.

Peace today, Emma Lee

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shades of Blue

I was very surprised when we stepped out this morning. I was waiting for biting cold. Not the case. In fact, not that cold and no wind made for a lovely environment. A quick look out the window in advance had me gripper-less as well. See, Jim has been on Honey duty since last Friday's treatment, covering until he left for the city yesterday. So yesterday, we only had two "quick" outs - nothing of substance for a little dog with very short legs. She was not impressed. I'm hoping I can make-up for that today. (I'm getting a bit concerned: Jim told me a neighbour commented to him that Honey looked like she hadn't missed too many meals - hmm. Food for thought - not for her - but for me.)

This morning was another very quiet one in NG. There was a lady walking south on Temperance, on the east side, and we could hear her shoes squeak well before we could even see her. It just feels like the world is getting ready to break forth. We were able to enjoy the new morning sky turn from black to the most incredible shades of blue. Makes you stop to enjoy.

Through another shade of blue, I will be sending positive prayers specifically to Japan today, for a variety of reasons. It will be a big day for the country and its people and its nuclear program. I remember when the children were very young, I took part in a "walk" from Pictou Council Chambers to Westville Council Chambers - touching all Town Halls in between. We were asking all Councils to adopt nuclear-free zones. I recall that Pictou did adopt it; but for the life of me I don't remember what the rest did. I wore new sneakers. Good choice. For you that know our geography, that's a hike (several klms) across the causeway, through Abercrombie, into Trenton, down Trenton Road to Provost Street. Anyway, by the time I reached New Glasgow Chambers, my feet had had it. I had to call Jim to come and fetch me. He did, with our children in tow. He may even have been driving the Lord Selkirk we affectionately called her. More on that later. I have always had a great fear of nuclear energy. I can't tell you how I feel when I enter hospital rooms with posted warnings. My family will tell you that I never really got The Simpsons, but I must admit I became numb to it and in fact laughed along once in a while.

Peace to you all. We are reminded daily, it is not really in our hands, but we can certainly help out where help is needed.

Emma Lee

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jim, Water, Acetaminophen and Popsicles

Friday went well. I arrived at the Aberdeen around 8:45 a.m. Nurses - check. Port - check. Lunch - check. Comfort level - check. We were back home around 1:30 or so. Pjs were donned and a meal was planned. By early Friday evening, a wave of tired overcame me. Fever hit close to midnight and lasted until mid-afternoon yesterday. Brutal. Fever is one of the side effects of aredia and we understand that it only occurs on the first treatment. I will let you know if that is correct. It was a most unenjoyable time, but was aided by Jim, water, acetaminophen and Popsicles!

Yesterday, the sun was shining. I had to miss church. In the afternoon, I stepped outside to enjoy the smell of a barbecue, then back in to try and defeat the muscular and skeletal pain that was taking over. Brutal.

I am so much better today. The pain is much more tolerable.

When will we hear that first spring song bird?

Time change hasn't affected Honey too much! In fact, I think she prepared herself for it. She so loves having both Jim and I here to entertain her. Who wouldn't?

Lee is coming home this weekend for a visit. Can't wait to see him!

Peace to you all today,

Emma Lee

Friday, March 11, 2011

13TH Chemo, 1ST Aredia

Off to the Aberdeen. Praying for working port and fabulous nurses! Be in touch soon

Emma Lee

Monday, March 7, 2011

Double Dose on Friday

I'm working on getting my courage and resolve toughened up for Friday - or at least trying to do that. I had a very bad case of cabin fever last week, well by the time Jim got home on Saturday afternoon. I'm trying to get over that and planning for this coming Friday. I'll have bloodwork done Thursday morning and if all is well, head to the hospital for 9:00 a.m. on Friday.

I've been fighting with some pretty strong demons over the past few days - pretty heavy stuff, well, since Mary left and the weather has been sooooo gloomy. Bottom line: I'm longing to be happy but I'm having a hard time focusing my thoughts. I'm working on making some pledges with myself. I've had the calendar out to help with the focus part. Clocks ahead this coming weekend. That's good. Lighter later. Honey is becoming a real handful for me too. I'm trying to get my head around the amount of work she is. I love her so much, and I'm really conflicted. She's soooo much work. I look at the calendar and Jim's schedule and try and see when, if, how, . . . . . I think you get the drift? Another bottom line: something has to change.

So, back to the drawing board in so many ways. I think I need a vacation.

I wish you peace today,

Emma Lee

Thursday, March 3, 2011



The girls are playing with Craig Cardiff at the Halifax/Wolfville/Halifax gigs.

Busy Days

It has been an exciting few days. The house was full of great vibes as Mary was home and we had her musician friend Robyn Dell'Unto with us as well. The two did a green room show at Glasgow Square on March 1st. Mary had the chance to be home, and to get together with friends. But, as a friend did say to me, it was very draining on both of us for her to leave. Very draining indeed. It must have been draining on Honey too, cause she misbehaved to the point where I had to come downstairs and sleep on the couch with her to settle her. Yesterday was a bit of a fog therefore. I had to excuse myself from choir last night, put the pjs on, and hit the hay. Honey was tired too. We both had a great sleep, but I awoke with puffy eyes. They will heal. The girls were in Hampden (sp?) New Brunswick last night for a show. I hope they had a good one. CBC early morning show featured Mary yesterday and Robyn today. Visit Robyn's website and Mary's website for a sampling of the talent. They make a good match - the show at Glasgow Square was awesome and funny and touching. Today they are back in Halifax to do a presentation at 1, Mainstreet at 4 and then Wolfville for a show tonight. Then back to Halifax for a few days - shows at the Company House.

Added to all of the above was the word "stable", and my friends that came to support the show the other night. Angels here in our midst.

Today will be busy. New Glasgow is having a reception to feature the area's newest performing arts centre - the Celtic Corner. A couple of performances, etc. Plus meeting with Lloyd and Gwen, and Harry - at different times! And then there's walks with Honey! Sounds like a TV show.

So, pacing oneself is important today. Peace to you all. Stay warm in this awful weather.

Emma Lee