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Tomorrow is a big day: Anniversary and CT scan

11:26pm Wednesday July 29th 2015

How I’m feeling: Wonderful. Nostalgic. A touch of anxious. A bigger touch of satisfied.

I just got in from what was such a lovely and beautiful night. I spent it with an old friend from university. We shared some of the substantial things we were up to, reminisced about crazy university days, revealed some serendipitous life events, discussed exciting challenges of growing up and things to come, letting go of ego, our own individual paths, being vulnerable with others, what bravery really is, being in a state of peace and how to get there – and then some. No small talk. I don’t love small talk – if you can’t already tell. haha.

Some photos from tonight:


I think…we like salmon sashimi 🙂


Yonge/Dundas square. I hadn’t sat in this square in years. We sat here and admired everything around us.


City hall. It’s so easy to take the city you were born and raised in for granted. It’s so easy to take anything and anyone you spent your time with for granted. Never go for easy. It won’t get you far. Don’t let it happen.


My hand on the lit up “T” of the “TORONTO” display in City Hall

A few weeks ago, I emailed Dr. C (my oncologist) because while I knew I had a couple of appointments coming up – I forgot where I had put my appointment sheet and so I didn’t remember exactly when they were. He promptly replied (which is rare by the way – it’s tough to get a hold of doctors via email – or at all) and he informed me that I had actually missed an appointment the previous week, asked me how I was feeling and that he was thinking of moving my scan up – to the end of July. I agreed – because well, if Dr. C was making the suggestion to move it up for any particular reason – I wasn’t going to disagree. And so, the appointment is tomorrow.

But wait – why was he making the suggestion to move it up? Is he concerned? These thoughts – they mildly hung around my mind while the rest of life happened and while I chose to live 🙂 And live, I did – and do!

So here we are. 19.5 hours away from this scan. For a reminder of how the last scan went – check out this post. You’d think that by now, I’d be used to stepping in to PMH. You’d think that I’d be used to CT scans. You’d think that all of this is almost as routine as brushing my teeth by now.

Not so much the case. The thought of stepping in to PMH makes me nervous. The smell that punches me in the face as soon as the sliding doors open for me make me feel ill (I have lemon essential oil and lavender oil to help me with that this time). I feel almost light-headed as I press the elevator button. The multiple tries from nurses trying to get an IV in me is something I dread (damn chemo-veins!). The feeling of contrast dye shooting through my veins is unsettling. I get nervous that the IV will get misplaced and I will get an infection again from it (it’s happened in the past – and it was really painful).

So, tomorrow is a big day. I have no idea what my results will be like. Not even a hunch. Nobody knows. I’m hoping that at the very least it has gotten smaller. Let’s start there! I also know that it is not 10×10 centimetres – which is what the size of the mass was when I was diagnosed – because it if was, I would know. I’d hope I’d know? Scratch that. I would definitely know. I know better than this. I need to remind myself that I need to trust my gut. I have gotten SO good at being spot on over the past year and a half. It’s as if, there’s this sacred trusting and loving relationship between my intuition and myself that nobody else quite understands.

Another reason why tomorrow is a big day is because it’s the one year anniversary of the epic No Good Woman Left Behind fundraiser that was put on in my honour. Really – it was surreal. It still is surreal. To say that I am touched by the hundreds of friends, family, acquaintances, colleagues and strangers that demonstrated their support – is an understatement. I have no words that accurately describe how I feel about it. Tonight, I shared with my friend some of the things a few people came up to me and said that night – including memories that I had barely remembered (or didn’t at all) about me that they will forever hold on to. I don’t even know how to describe how some of those things expressed to me make me feel. I often share how healthy it is to think about mortality – and how facing it in a very real way has changed every moment in life for me. It was almost as if, those around me were faced with the mortality as well. And specifically the possibility of me leaving this world. In a way, some of the things that were said and expressed to me – were things one would say to me or about me at my funeral. Eerie, I know. It’s tough to think about. I get goosebumps whenever I stop to realize this. But, it’s true. It’s crazy how it isn’t until we almost lose someone or something when we decide to make moves. We all do it. But let’s do it less – or not at all…Be brave.


My closing remarks at the No Good Woman Left Behind fundraiser at The Virgin Mobile Mod Club. I managed to hold back my tears as gushed about all of the corporate sponsors, performers, production crew and attendees who showed their support and love by donating their time, blood, sweat, tears, money and presence.


This photo was snapped from Ashley Lewis as hundreds of people watched my video projected on massive screens throughout Virgin Mobile Mod Club as the night was kicked off. I was standing at the back of the room noticing twinkles in people’s eyes. Seeing so many I had some sort of an encounter with throughout my life overwhelmed me.

I’ve written about this many times on here. I’ve shared my experience with this to many. We all preach it – but I’ve experienced it in a very real way. I’ve made a promise to myself that I’d treat my every day as if – IF I’d leave this world tomorrow – that I’d be ok with it. Sometimes  I need to re-remind myself – but that’s ok. I’m human. Overall, I know I do a pretty good job at it because of how I feel as a result. I make a point to tuck away my ego (that damn ego gets in the way of our happiness and relationships all the time) and have made some uncomfortable and scary moves. It is incredibly far from easy. But after I decide to drum up some courage, in the end I feel happy, honest, light and peaceful.

Whether it’s this cancer that takes me – or I get hit by a car on my way to work – I am not invincible. And neither are you. Life is short. We hear and preach this a bajillion times, don’t we? Nothing new here. The difference is that I can really speak to it. And I’m doing more than speak to it. I’m walking the talk. I’m living it.

I’m off to wind down now. Everything that I feel at this very moment has been addressed in my thoughts – and some of it was even captured in this post. I’m going to cap this night off with a meditation and smile before I refresh myself for a new day 🙂

Thanks for sticking around. Wish me luck for tomorrow!

With so much gratitude,

2 replies »

  1. Carolyn, I hope for good results from your scan! I work with a young woman who was diagnosed at 25 and has passed her 5 year cancer free mark which I hope for you one day too. She described the experience to me; the symptoms about neck discomfort, trouble breathing and sleeping were all the same except that it took doctors a very long time to diagnose her. Good luck and enjoy the long weeken in the meantime !

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