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)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 27 2011

We're at the Aston Mahana. It is very quiet. There is even an imposed quiet time between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. No swim up bars - no raucousness. It's lovely. We can visit the two sister hotels for raucousness if we wish!

Peace - it's magical here.

Emma Lee

Sunday, June 26, 2011

We Made It!

This is the 5:30 a.m. Maui time view from our Lanai (balcony). We figured out that upon arrival, we probably hadn't slept for about 24 hours, other than little cat naps on the planes. We didn't have any problems, and thank goodness for passenger assistance for me - especially in Toronto - where Pearson was insane and we were turning the corner for our Denver gate when we heard Last Call for Flight 301 to Denver where we connected to our eventual 7 hour Maui flight. The only way we made it was Jim was running and pushing me in the wheelchair - it was probably quite comical! But we made it.

And we have internet in the room. So, we're off to orientation. As you know, this will not be action adventure vacation, rather fun, rest, floral and fauna vacation. There's already been two little birds adventure onto our lanai.

Will check in later on. The coffee is marvelous as is the fresh pineapple - just about $2 and so fresh, like nothing I've tasted before. It's beautiful here.

Peace to you all today! Thank you friends and family for this incredible time in our lives.

Emma Lee and Jim.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 22, 23, 24, 1984

So, it's June 22nd, 1984. The Band - Hal Britton - a wickedly tight little ensemble -Doug Turnbull, bass; Barry Ray, lead and rhythm guitar; John "The Mouse" Fraser, drums, me, vocals and keys, and as back-up for our upcoming gig on the 23rd -Jim - are rehearsing cause we have a gig scheduled for the evening of the 23rd of June and that coincidentally is my "due" date. So, we're getting Jim and the boys up to speed so they can cover the dance numbers that folks would be looking forward to hearing. Jim and I are living in Stellarton, on Stellar Street at the time, and music is our mainstay. In other words, we are dirt poor. Hal Britton's repertoire is good: classic 60's, 70's rock, with a smattering of new music and originals of course (Beatles, Animals, Janice, Tina, Golden Earring, Deep Purple, Mitch Ryder, etc.) We were the band called upon to open for any "acts" that were coming to town and we loved doing those shows. We were tight and in fact the previous weekend had opened for Doug & The Slugs in Port Hood. I was quite pregnant at the time, but the work out I was getting from the music kept me very much in shape.

So back to the 22nd, 23rd, 24th of June. We finished rehearsal and the boys went home and we settled in for the night. First thing on the 23rd I got up, and realized my water had broken! Yay. I called the Aberdeen and they told me that labour should kick in within hours. Bring it on! Well, I've never cleared a room so fast. The boys wouldn't even sit in the room with me and hightailed it far, far away. I was left alone to wait for my contractions to be less than 10 minutes apart so I could go to the Hospital. That happened around 10:00 p.m. or so - it was a long day - I knew the rink where HB was playing would be rocking so I called Jim's Taxi and had a drive in the stinkiest, smokiest taxi around to the Aberdeen Hospital - in fact the driver was smoking and yakking up a storm.

Anyway, around 2:30 a.m. or so on the 24th, in walks "His Nibs", carrying a large bag of ice chips. I had taken all of the Lamaze classes with Alex Keir and one of the ones that Jim attended made note that having ice chips to suck on was helpful during labour. So Jim had whoever stop at a store and pick-up an entire large bag of ice chips. Better still, he was 'IN THE BAG', and smelling almost as good as the taxi. Well, my breathing was so under control that as Jim sat with me, he started falling asleep, which really, really, really bothered me. The nurses made him go to the doctor's lounge and sleep. Thank you. Please don't think badly of Jim. It was 27 years ago. I forgave him a long time ago, and in fact can now have quite a laugh about it. At 5:00a.m. I am pushing in earnest. Jim is awake. We are in the delivery room. It was supposed to be Dr. George MacDonald for the delivery, but he's in Newfoundland, so Dr. Kent Clarke delivered my beautiful son at 5:18 a.m. on June 24th, 1984: Introducing LEE JAMES STEWART, 8 lbs 7.5 ounces.

Back in those days babies were all taken to their mothers at the same time for feeding. I can very clearly remember the first time I heard all of those babies coming down the hall crying, and from my ward bed being able to immediately recognize my son's cry. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard.

May you all be blessed in hearing a most beautiful sound today that fills your heart with gratitude for everything that you have been given.


Emma Lee

Leah Hagerman

Well, yesterday afternoon a young musician friend of mine made a big sacrifice on my behalf - she donated her incredibly beautiful long hair to Beautiful Lengths, an organization which creates wigs for children. We travelled together with her mom Karen over to Jane's Salon 254 and her sister Holly Lynn met us there. We had fun and laughs and took lots of pictures, which I will post at some point. Now this is a powerful family. I am predicting that their energy is going to make some real differences in this world. Leah is a fabulous musician (saxophone and piano and voice), but music will not be her mainstay, rather her stress relief I think. I believe her sights are set on the health care system, which is thrilling me. She is the NOW, and she is making a decision that I would make if it were 40 years ago and I knew what I know today. Her summer job is at the Aberdeen Hospital. Mentor her well Aberdeen Hospital. Mentor her well. She is our NOW.

Peace to you all,

Emma Lee

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Reason for Hope CD Project Update

Wow - the team is working hard you guys. This CD comp is going to be extraordinary.

Our last two invitees are on board and I hope I'm not premature in announcing that Matt Minglewood has offered a song, as has Lennie Gallant. Matt's contribution is Brushed By An Angel, and Lennie's is Extraordinary Ordinary Life. You're going to love the CD. All in aid of Metastatic Breast Cancer Research - for the future!!

We are getting very close to manufacturing. We are hoping for an initial release on July 25th in Halifax. I am hoping that H&R Music here in New Glasgow will be my outlet. $20.00 will be the retail price.

I would be remiss if I didn't introduce you to Codapop Recording Studios - it was built on a foundation of an undeniable passion for music, framed in a desire to collaborate with emerging artists. And can I just endorse that philosophy? The project simply would not have been possible without Tammy Milbury and Doug Taylor. It simply would not have occurred. These are the kinds of friends that my Mary has gained along her way.

My goal is $10,000.00 to go to the Canadian Breast Cancer Network for Metastatic Breast Cancer Research. With your help, we will reach that goal. My goal for Pictou County is 100 units. Can you help me reach that goal? I'm thinking Dragon Boat weekend will be our release here in the County. I'm scheduled to sing at the opening, and will be doing Send Someone For Me, the song that is on the comp, and Lennie is the headliner of the 10th Annual Dragon Boat Festival so it really makes sense.

Releases - Halifax - The Carleton on the 25th of July with a spectacular song writer's circle and silent auction (with some Turbine products!) - more to follow, then Dragon Boat - August 5th, and then the Horseshoe Tavern in August for the Toronto acts - later in August. Mary and Dave are there, and Mary has arranged it all, and Lee and Tessa are going up for that and with luck Jim and I will be there too! The Horseshoe Tavern - what a riot!

I hope my Mary doesn't mind me posting this. This project was her genesis and it has become so much more than we originally thought. She has done all of the work on this project - gathering musicians, and friends and songs, and the art work. I'm so proud of her.

Anyway, just inspired to post this so that you guys are aware of what we're doing and of what my plans are.

And of course, I'm getting ready for Saturday's departure to sunnier climes - i.e. Maui. And by getting ready I mean I am resting. A deep tiredness has descended in and around me and I am giving in. I am resting this week big time cause my feet are headed to Maui and my thoughts are thinking of the sunsets Jim and I will enjoy there over 10 days. Wow. How blessed we are that this is happening.

Peace to you all today. I pray that you have projects in your life that keep you excited. Go make a difference - don't think for one minute that you can't - cause you can!

Emma Lee

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Saving of Honey

Last night I witnessed what I like to call "The Saving of Honey". She's becoming a real dog. Jim and I were invited to Liz's for the most incredible meal and fellowship and laughs with GREAT friends. And it was Honey's first dinner party. Well, she is really settling in. What a lucky little beast she is. As we walked down to the barn to feed the gang before bed, she trekked right along with us, leading the way, and keeping Willis in line. She appears to be very respectful of all of the boundaries that have been drawn for her and I am simply amazed at the change. She's lost weight and even her fur is softer. She knew me though. I know she did, cause she had a little piddle when she first greeted me! So, well done Liz and Rob. She is calmly and quietly becoming a great farm dog. I'm so happy for her.

David and Joan gave us Frommer's Maui 2011 and the recommendation for Mama's Fish House. Stay tuned. We will be giving our review! Can't wait. "If you love fish, this is the place to be". And if you know me, I love fish!!

I found it hard to get out of my bed this morning, cause my bed is simply so comfie. But it's Father's Day and there are cards to deliver to Jim.

Now, I need some God-Talk!

Peace to you all,

Emma Lee

Saturday, June 18, 2011

When Love Becomes Palpable

I mentioned in a post while at the Lodge that I had been seeing some incredible examples of love; and at the time, I wasn't sure how to put these into words. I'll start with what I saw.

There was an elderly couple in the waiting room probably every day that I was there -funny that our appointment times were around the same. The gentleman was undergoing treatment, but his gal was with him for every one. I'm guessing they were in their early to mid-80s. He was very tall and on the thin side I thought, but she fit like a glove next to him. They were modestly dressed. He wore a black fedora - not a real one, but a very cool black felt fedora: on the brim on right hand side, a bright pink feather. I was drawn to that feather. I let my imagination tell me that it was placed there by a loving grandchild.

One day the machine that he was supposed to have his treatment on was "down", which meant waiting. That day was also the day for the weekly doctor check-in. The gentlemen undergoing this particular treatment (probably prostate radiation) all had to drink a certain drink a certain time before their treatment. Because the machine was down, plans were spoiled pretty well all the way around for several guys. So, I overhead the technician saying that Mr. Pink Feather would see the doctor prior to the treatment, in order to keep things moving along.

They were called in. A while later they returned and I was floored. They entered the waiting room, walking around the corner, arms linked together, faces turned to each other, sharing quiet laughter. If I could freeze that moment in time for you: their faces were completely filled with love and light - they were illuminated. You could visibly feel the years of faith and hope and love fill that waiting room. They took their seats, continued to hold hands, and waited for the drinking orders and then the treatment, by which time I was gone. I found myself in awe of Mr. Pink Feather and his Gal.

I ran into them again a few days later. He had changed the feather to a red one, so the name changed as well. I can just see that grand daughter changing the feather.

The same day that Mr. Pink Feather allowed me to fill my heart, another family arrived. The father was in a wheelchair and was quite ill and quite despondent. With him was his wife and their daughter and her husband: a well-established family, he being in his 70s I would think and the daughter and her husband being well established as well. The man was despondent. The man was ill. I understood. They settled quite close to me as there were no other spots in the waiting room and so I had a front row seat into the exchanges between the man and his wife. The care and concern and love again was palpable. My heart was becoming quite full. I had to take care as I laid on the radiation table and allowed those beams to enter and give me some quality of life because tears were welling.

When love becomes palpable. Oh that it could be that way every day when we share ourselves with the world.

Today there is a mix of blue, clouds and probably rain. Yesterday I planted a salsa garden - love homemade salsa - peppers, tomatoes, etc. Then sat in the back 40 and watched the world go by. It was absolutely heavenly.

Have a fabulous day. Enjoy some love and peace!


Emma Lee

Friday, June 17, 2011

We Can Make A Difference

It is an unusual time for me to be posting. But, I just had a crazy thought. We're really close to booking our trip - still investigating so many options, etc., and waiting to hear back on one last option before we decide, but it occurred to me that I would love to meet Dog The Bounty Hunter and his wife Beth and their Posse. I know that sounds crazy. It sounds really, really crazy. But I think it would be good for me.

Since DTBH started on A&E, he, The Dog, has been an inspiration to me. He and his family are Christians and not afraid to put it out there. They practice their spirituality. I find their exploits interesting and entertaining, and yet very touching at the same time. On television, they appear to have real/genuine concern about the lives of the people they are challenged to find.

Tonight, I sent a message on their message board; if I do get to Hawaii, to Maui, which is where we are hoping to go, I want to meet The Dog and Beth and their Posse.

I like people who make a difference - who want to make a difference. You are those people too. Go Make A Difference - We Can Make A Difference.


Emma Lee


I'd like you to imagine you are holding the biggest envelope you've ever held - maybe 3' x 5'! It will take the work of three of you to actually be able to open this envelope. It is yellow and is addressed to The Good People Who Supported Emma's Excursion Of Hope! Okay - so, between the three of you, open the seal, and pull the card out of the envelope - give it a good yank - the card too is yellow and has the words Thank You emblazoned on the front. Now, get ready, and open the card: can you see it? Light, love, hope, joy, fireworks, sparklers, fireflies come flying out - for you - to fill your heart with my thanks for the most incredible concert, fundraiser and dessert party ever. $6,063.75 was delivered to me. Can you believe it? Indeed a wonderful vacation awaits me, thanks to you my friends! I wish you all the peace of Christ. Emma Lee Stewart and Family

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Results Are In!

Are you ready? DRUM ROLL PLEASE:

Proceeds from Sunday's concert - EMMA'S EXCURSION OF HOPE:


Hawaii, here we come!

Peace and THANK YOU

Emma Lee

The Results Are In!

Oh my. Are you ready? DRUM ROLL PLEASE

The Results Are In!

Oh my. Are you ready? DRUM ROLL PLEASE

Two Great Shots!

So the first pic is Honey and I - the day I said goodbye to her, before Maritime Conference. The second was taken yesterday at Her Honour The Honourable Mayann E. Francis, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia's Garden Party at Government House. Two great shots.

Home again, home again, jiggidy jig. I'm resting today. Aredia tomorrow.


Emma Lee

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quick Check In

Continuing to feel improvement from the radiation treatments. So happy about that. One more night here at the Lodge. My room mate, Helen, and I have been having some great chats. The real thing guys. The real thing. I will be happy to keep in touch with her as her journey continues.

Have a great day everyone. I'm going to get lots of rest and reading done today. Going to the Music Nova Scotia meeting this evening. Jim, as Past President, will present the Nomination Report. I am certain there will be a gathering following, probably at the Carleton.

My treatment tomorrow morning is at 7:15 a.m. Then I'll check out and wait for Jim to be ready to get me home. And what a grand way to leave Halifax it will be. The Town Criers are invited to the Lieutenant Governor's Garden Party at Province House. I'll slide in behind them as I have no official outfit, but I'm certainly there as support. I'll wear my pink hat anyway. It should be grand and I am really looking forward to it. I'll take some shots and post one or two.

I hear there may be partial sun for Thursday and Friday. Wouldn't that be loverly?

Peace today and always,

Emma Lee

Monday, June 13, 2011

Umm, There's A Kind Of Glow

Yesterday was Emma's Excursion of Hope at Trinity United Church. My church family had been wanting to do something for me, since news of my recurrence in May of 2010 and I had been putting it off, I guess, for lack of a better term. Finally, a bit over a month ago, Janice called me and asked if they could move ahead with their plans and I said yes. And then didn't my journey move into the next stage too. So, it could not have been better timing.

I'm finding it quite hard to put into words how I am feeling. So instead I'll tell you what I saw and heard: joy, light and hope in the faces of family and friends; joy, light and hope in the voices of my friends. LOVE. There was a glow in that church yesterday - it was not my imagination. There was a lightness I would call it that I felt even as I walked across the street from my place, and heard the easy chatter of people happy to be entering and happy to be there: anticipating the wonderful music. So I gladly entered this tired old, shaky old body into that glow. I opened my pores and imagined the light entering with each breath. When I heard Jane and Lori and Shaun warming up, I joked that this is a foreshadow of what is best to come.

That light, that glow, was there as nurture for everyone yesterday.

So, here's my thinking. I have three more radiation treatments. Then Jim and I will be home Thursday. I have an Aredia treatment on Friday. I am supposed to see Dr. AJ on the 4th of July, when we will solidify our commencement of Xeloda date - the end of July. After good, honest and open consultation, I am going to ask them to make those decisions for me, knowing this: our window of opportunity to make an actual excursion of hope has to occur before this next chemo starts. I need to regroup - let the radiation work to its maximum, get my health back (don't laugh), and get ready for chemo. This next chemo has to work and it will and I intend to have my body ready for it. Jim has a new group of students joining him the week of July 11th and he has to be back then. So, somewhere between June 27th and July 10th we will be making our excursion of hope - well of joy, light and hope and rest and nutrition and sunrises and sunsets and walks on the beach and holding hands and quiet and meditation and I could go on. Hawaii if we can swing it, with 2 extra travel days built in for me so I'm not bushed when I get back to this wonderful, sleepy little home of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.

This is what we are thinking.

Peace and light to you all! Bathe in the glow.

Emma Lee

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Oyez, Oyez - Maritime Conference YouTube Site Is Up!

http://www.youtube.com/user/MaritimeConference - this is the Maritime Conference YouTube site and includes a video of the gigantic quilt constructed at this year's conference, as well as my song and a couple of fab songs by the Message. Enjoy!

P.S. Oh, and by the way, Jim Stewart just won the Nova Scotia Provincial Town Crier Championship and the Ambassador Award at the Provincial Competition in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia!!!!!!!!

Oyez, Oyez, Oyez

Emma Lee

Friday, June 10, 2011


Yup, title says it all. Xeloda will be my next chemo drug, to start mid-July. It's a tablet form and Dr. AJ tells me the gals at Aberdeen Chemo have lots of experience with it. He will give me an initial 6 cycles. Works this way: every 21 days will be divided into 14 and 7 - during the 14 days I will take Xeloda morning and night, on the seventh days my body will rest. Then begin the cycle again. You can google it. Based on everything, this is the best possible drug for me. I qualify for the manufacturer's contribution to the co-pay portion of this drug. Dr. AJ will do all of the paperwork for me. So let it be written, so let it be done.

My meeting with him yesterday was awesome. In Halifax, Dr. AJ is a different man. I had a wonderful triage with his nurse and then I sat with him for the better part of an hour. We talked about everything and he answered all of my questions. It was an enjoyable meeting, not at all like the one I thought I might have. It was cool. I will see him again on the 4th of July.

So, the window for our travel plans is becoming clearer. I don't want to be too far from home once Xeloda starts. I want to be close to medical attention should side effects occur.

Jim was on the path yesterday - McCartney appears to be doing some kind of North American tour. I'm not in a position to make any commitments yet so I had to get Jim to back off. I wish I could loosen the strains of this medical problem on him. I just wish he could be joyful and happy and unfettered with care. I just wish he didn't have to worry about me so much. He's on his way to a Town Crier competition in Yarmouth. I'm going to tell him to forget about me, about cancer, and just be joyful to be with his fraternity of Criers, and cry with joy because that's the best kind of crying. I'm keeping him very close in my thoughts and prayers.

So, it's Friday. Treatment at 12:45. Home at ? Angela Kennedy is leaving the folds of Mac, Mac & Mac today. I'm going to wish her well. She's one dandy girl. Tomorrow Holy Potion is rehearsing and I'm going to the church. Then the sun is supposed to be out. The hammock that Lloyd and Gwen loaned me is calling from the backyard and I will continue to read Pillars of the Earth that Megan loaned to me. Lynn and Linda are picking up a lobster supper for me and dropping it off. Does it get any better than that? Sunday will be a big day. Emma's Excursion at Trinity. My newest family member, my newest great niece might be there! Can't wait. I anticipate musical memories (including baby coos) that will warm my soul in the days ahead.

Peace today,

Emma Lee

Thursday, June 9, 2011

i think i am, I Think I Am, I THINK I AM!

Sorry for any typos and grammar problems - there is a queue (?) behind me!

The night before last, when I emerged from exhaustion, I could feel a difference in how I was feeling. I didn't want to say anything, cause I didn't want to jinx anything. But, it seems to be building. I am feeling a difference. I am feeling better. I'm still swimming, but not so much, and I feel better! Hallelujah to the sky! And by the way, it is not just the radiation - you do know that it has something to do with the prayers, light and positive thought being channeled my way and if you think I don't know you are doing it, you are sooooo wrong. I do know. I can feel it. My sensory perception is on high alert. So thank you.

Today I meet with Dr. AJ, my chemo oncologist. I haven't seen him since early April, so I'm looking forward to that visit. He has a very gentle yet matter of fact approach. Sort of like that teacher that maybe you didn't always want to have to sit down with; or that lawyer who has reviewed your case and is not going to give you the actual news you want to hear; or that employer who might have told you something that perhaps you really didn't want to know; or that significant other that sometimes was delivering some news that wasn't going to sit too well, at first, but then would gradually sink in. He's got me for his patient, along with hundreds of others. He has to deal with me the way he gets me. My health data speaks for itself. He is doing his very best to improve my quality of life and for that I am eternally grateful. But he's going to tell it like it is, and we're going to stand up and put one foot in front of the other and get 'er done!

I am looking forward to getting home for the weekend and back to my diet. The food here is plentiful, but not what I am used to. I miss my fruit smoothies and flax, and beautiful granola that Aileen made for me, and red, red MacIntosh apples at 10 and sweet potatoes and fresh fish and beautiful breads that Karen and Sue make, and avocado and fresh salad and I could go on and on. (Sorry - I haven't been "punked", I've been "clumped".) So this weekend I will enjoy some really fresh food at home and then I only have, according to the currently known plan, 3 more days here next week. When I complete my exit survey, I will include a "blog" on nutritional options, which I am certain they will receive in the spirit intended.

Yesterday afternoon I met up with a long time friend, Sue. She took me out to the most adorable little crepe house on Charles Street. I will return there. Very fresh food and lovely atmosphere. We had a wonderful visit. Sue and I are long time musician friends. It was Sue who introduced me to Youth Forum and Maritime Conference of the United Church of Canada, I can't tell you how many years ago. It was "BL" Before Lloyd even. We had such a blast with the kids at Youth Forum in those days. Such a blast. What awesome times.

I've begun noticing some pretty touching scenes around me between folks travelling together on this journey. The waiting room is a veritable garden of it. I'm seeing some pretty remarkable and tender love being expressed. When I figure out how to describe this properly, I'll try and post my thoughts. This ain't Hollywood folks. This is the real thing. Real tender and caring love, like raindrops on the dessert floor.

Peace to you all today and always. Be happy.

Emma Lee

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Just Another Rainy Tuesday

Sorry for the typos/grammar problems.

Well, here I am at the Lodge in Halifax. I have an appointment in Nuclear Medicine at 7:30 a.m. so thought I would pop a quick update.

Jim is staying at a wonderful place that friends have loaned to us for free. Otherwise he would be here for $55 per night, but it just seems to make sense to do what we are doing. Anyway, that means that I get to meet new people. A wonderful gal shared my room with me last night - she's on the exact same journey - and I mean the exact same journey - we both have mets - liver, bones and brain. Both initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. She's going to be starting full brain radiation. We have a lot in common - a lot. Prognosis-wise I mean. Also, she just got back from 3 weeks in Europe and is filling me in on everything she and her significant other did! Can you believe it?

Okay - what's up with Vancouver? Enough said.

So, bone scan this morning - a dye is injected which is allowed 2 hours to travel throughout the body. Then I will go into the nuclear imaging machine. Should be an interesting story. This afternoon treatment at 2:30 and then a meeting with Dr. Rutledge following treatment. My body will be full of "stuff" today.

I'm not feeling a great deal of difference yet; I can't sleep so I think that must have something to do with the fact that I no longer feel like the old Emma. But as good old Arnold (yikes) would say - "I'll be Back!". And I will be back. My tolerance for stairs and inclines is gone. Pray it will return.

Last night for supper we used a gift certificate that Jim's students gave him for The Keg. I had the most amazing surf and turf and creme brulee for dessert. (Last Sunday, Aunt Lil told me to have cheesecake everyday, but I just couldn't refuse the brulee. Sorry Lil.)

Alright, I left the windows opened last night so I could hear Halifax around me. It wasn't too bad. The birds still wake-up at the same time; but there are a lot more weird noises. I don't mind. There was a lovely cool breeze coming through - I have two little windows: one at my head and one at my feet. I needed the cool breezes as the hot flushes are rampant. Not complaining. Might mean something is working. I wonder who my room mate will be tonight as my current gal is leaving after her appointment today. I will keep in touch wit her. She's from the southshore.

Peace to you all. I pray you will find something to have a great chuckle about today, and share a soul story with a friend, old or new, just to remind yourselves that you're living like you are ready to fly.

Emma Lee

Monday, June 6, 2011

Answered Prayers

We crested the hill leading to the barn about mid-morning. There were several dogs sauntering around and I spied for one the color of honey. There was a Corgi there that confused me for a second but then I spied her. Liz called her name. She looked up the hill. I waved and cried out. She started up the incline, crouching as she always did when she was getting excited to meet someone she knew or challenge a dog she didn't know - that attitude - but then an air of recognition and full steam ahead. As we knelt together, there were whispers of whimpers, from both of us, and then off to see and cuddle Jim and then off to show off.

I sat and watched as that little dog became a part of the pack, roaming around with out a leash, being a bit bad to Oliver, but I think she was indeed showing off. She jumped up in my lap a few times and I got to stroke her and smell her, which I loved.

I feel so great and blessed that this has worked out for her and for me. I simply am not able to care for her as is needed. What a great treat for me to see it all unfolding in real life.

Thank you Liz and Rob. I safe this for pretty special things - but I think you deserve the Order of Canada! Gems.

Another prayer was answered yesterday when Aunt Lil and Susan dropped in. Jim's Ross Clan delivered the most incredible messages of hope and love. "If there's one thing you can be sure of, it's this: whatever comes, you won't be alone. You'll have thoughts and prayers surrounding and protecting you every step of the way. So just picture yourself right there in the middle of a big circle of caring . . . because that's where you are and there's no safer place to be. With an Everest of love from your Ross Clan". I know there are family involved that perhaps Jim doesn't even know - and I certainly don't know. My hope meter was charged - our hope meter was charged.

Off to the City, with my hope and my angels and another prayer for feeling better!

Peace to you all,

Emma Lee

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Gang From the MidTown

From left to right: Lee, Tessa, Mary, Dave, Reg, Joan, me, Jim!

Good Morning New Glasgow

Well, I'm thinking of the teams over at the Parkdale complex, having been up and about all night in this kind of dreary weather. It's cool and damp and they are indeed true heroes. I hope everyone faired well last night. They raised a lot of money. It would be great to hear the final tally. All funds will go to the Nova Scotia Division of the Canadian Cancer Society and be used here in NS for a variety of needs. Awesome, awesome, awesome. I was very proud to be a part of that opening last night. I hope I left some hope and inspiration on that field.

We have been busy. All of the plans that I set for these past days were met, the most important one being that my children and their significant others were present, and I mean present, with me and Dr. Rutledge for my initial consult before beginning full brain radiation. I am thrilled that was able to happen. I know the kids felt better and lighter when they left the hospital to journey to their homes. Now when they think of me they know where I am, safe in the arms of medical help.

And we had a fabulous and fun meal together at the MidTown and I was able to meet all of Jim's friends - the gang that support him. More on support for the other spouse later. Jim works in Halifax. He shares a kitchen with virtual strangers. So he eats at the MidTown and has developed a fraternity (I will call it) with folks there, including staff and customers. I hear all the stories and it is a part of his Halifax life and routine. They go to sporting events and watch the playoffs and tell tall tales, and laugh, and support each other. What would he do without that? He doesn't have that network in New Glasgow. When he is home, it is all about us - well me - well it used to be all about Honey - but now it is all about me and us and trying to make our home the most comfortable we can as we deal with this reality.

So, at the MidTown there was a great picture taken and I will find it and get it posted. Of course my camera quit as I was showing Dave's mother Joan pictures of our trip to Scotland last year. Dave MacMichael is my daughter Mary's significant other. His parents Reg and Joan joined us for dinner. With Lee was Tessa Morse, Lee's significant other. Lee and Tessa are vegetarians and work out like mad, but I understand the nachos - the large size - at the MidTown filled the bill for them. Everyone else had fish and chips, which I also enjoyed and it was too much to finish.

We met for "breakfast" at Cora's the next day and Dave delivered homemade shortbread that Joan had made for me - and it is the most delicious shortbread ever! The real deal.

Also, Mary and I met with Tammy of Codapop, for a marketing and production meeting on The Reason For Hope CD compilation project. Oh my. Very exciting. And we just landed our last two contributors. My goal is to sell 100 units here in the County - and I will be calling on people to support this project. Our goal is to raise $10,000.00 to go to metastatic breast cancer research. My friends at the Canadian Breast Cancer Network will receive the funds and get them into the right hands. There will be a release at the Carleton in Halifax, at Glasgow Square and in Toronto. Lots of work to be done. This will be a big focus for me. We're on it - you're going to love the compilation - 15 artists - big variety - and great songs at a reasonable price with funds going to help the 25% of women who go one to develop this hideous disease.

Ok - and the concert is coming up on the 12th. Okay that's enough for now.

Rest is calling. I have my medication calendar that Dr. Rutledge made for me - steroids to get me through radiation as some of the tumours may continue to swell for a bit, and then get me weaned off. I start that cycle today. Good. The pills make me shake inside. Might not see it outside, but I can sure feel it inside.

Sing With Me:

When you move in right up close to me
That's when I get the shakes all over me

Quivers down my backbone
I got the shakes in the knee bones
Shivers down my thigh bones
Like I'm
Shakin' all over

That's what happens when you say goodnight to me
Bring this feeling all inside of me
Quivers down my backbone
I got the shakes in the knee bones
Shivers in the thigh bones
Like I'm
Shakin' all over

Peace to you all today - please look for inspiration and when, not if you find it, share it with those you love!

Emma Lee

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Quick Addendum

Mable dropped by on Monday too. It was an exciting visit. She delivered a poem that she tells me I was the inspiration in her being able to complete. It arose out of our sing-along JC Superstar day and in typical fashion, when the spirit calls me to move, I do. It is a quite a poem, a tribute to a friend she lost to ovarian cancer. She also gave me flowers and delivered a beautiful and most huggable teddy bear, another poem, and her own great soul story. So thank you Mable for your visit and kind heartedness. Just had to mention that.

The Road Ahead

Well, it is very early morning, but I thought I would post something now, since I'm up! The past few days have been a whirlwind. Maritime Conference was such a wonderful experience, I am just so happy that I was able to take part. And then home again, and all of the little details to get worked out and ready for the next part of this journey. I've had so many lovely visits and calls and emails and trips to the dentist and vet and backyard hammock and laundry and wonderful meals and time with Jim and Mary and Dave and Lloyd and Gwen and Megan and her mom and Lynda, and the new Puff and Boobadee and time alone. Whew! Oh, and my fair share of meltdowns, which I just let happen cause there's no stopping them, but I think I'm getting that out of my system for now. You know, when you keep yourself in a vacuum, it is easy to stay strong. But when you surround yourself with your loved ones and dream of the futures yet to come, it is obligatory that the tears flow as you pray for love and happiness in their futures.

The gang is meeting up tomorrow night for dinner at the MidTown. Jim's fave restaurant in Halifax. I will get a picture and post it. We will be meeting Dr. Rutledge before my first treatment and moving on from there. I am hoping I will begin to feel results immediately following the first treatment. Cross your fingers for me. Then they can start to wean me off these incredible steroids, which I really believe are a major contributing factor to my new sleepless state! Only sleep when totally exhausted and then awaken by crazy, horrible dreams. These days are numbered.

I went for a couple of small neighbourhood rambles yesterday, wondering where I am going to find my inspiration now that Honey is in the Pictou County boondocks - and by the way - she is flourishing and behaving like a real dog - part of a pack, respectful and happy. She is running and off leash and it is an absolute miracle. I am so happy for her. Puff is kind of taking her place in the inspiration department, and is starting to stick to me like glue too. Who knew? Puff is a beautiful boy - Mr. Puff, Puff Diddy, Pufferdoodle - you get the drift!

Alright. I'll be in touch. Take care of yourselves. Write your own soul story - cause your stories are awesome and important.

From Now On will be up on the Maritime Conference site very soon! We recorded it last night - just a simple easy recording - but Jim and Mary and Dave are all on it!! Yay. If Lee and Tessa would have been here, they would have been too! (And Gwen and Vicki and Lloyd and Kirby.) I am so happy about that, laughing on the inside. Good for you guys.

Peace to you all! Maybe see you at the Relay on Friday night.

Emma Lee