Loss “Birthday”

This year for Ava’s birthday I decided to keep busy – it was a mistake.

Last year my husband and I got up early to watch the sunrise and then I spent the day with M.  I found it difficult, to much time to think, so I thought it might be better this year.  This year there was no sunrise – too many clouds and then by trying to keep busy it meant that K and I felt we had no time to ourselves (until late at night – and he even worked from home) and I had no time to grieve properly – a few quickly dashed tears.  It’s also difficult as no one other than people from our loss group and my mom acknowledged what the day meant to us.  My mom brought baby pink roses – the same as when we lost Ava.  I don’t think I can ever articulate what that means to me.  

The good news was that my interview went well and they are hoping to let candidates know their decision next week.


Happy Birthday Ava

It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since we said hello and goodbye in one breath.  I miss you and hope you know how much you are loved.

Early morning wake up

I’m still sleeping on the couch – I thought about moving to our bed, but the kids are finally sleeping through the night, I’m still not able to turn over very gracefully and we haven’t shared a bed in almost a month, we decided that in the interest of getting a good night’s sleep we will wait until the weekend to share a bed.  So by sleeping downstairs I’m not M’s first stop in the morning. The other day M came downstairs EARLY and announced that Daddy didn’t want him. It was hard not to laugh in his face, his adorable little face. I don’t blame his dad for telling him to find mommy – it was awfully early.

Young or old?

I’m starting to look for support since chemo is likely, but I’m getting confused. I’m at an age where I’m not considered young, as that seems to be reserved for people under 39, but I have young children at home, a 3 year and 11 month old. So what support is available for someone like me – and I’m not sure. I’ve quickly searched online and help with children seems to be for those young people. Also, unfortunately there seems to be a lack of help for families where one parent is a stay at home parent. I have NO income, except for the child benefit, which may  cover one week of daycare for 2 kids, so we have some decisions to make. Should my husband take parental leave, he has until the end of the month to decide. But he is the only income earner and his company offers no top up so this would significantly impact our financial situation; however, I think he would go crazy stuck at home with me and the kids full-time. Our other option is to put the kids in daycare – which means finding a new daycare. This actually isn’t too bad as our current provider is retiring at the end of the month and she wasn’t able to take E anyways. Unfortunately, a lot depends on how I handle the chemo (that we aren’t even sure I will receive). So we are meeting with a social worker this week to see if there is anything we can apply for.

The good news is that M finally seems to be getting over his cold. But now E has his nasty cough – for awhile we couldn’t decide who was coughing. By the way, a cold goes really well with a teething baby :-). Fortunately (fingers crossed), E seems to handle teething well. 

We are trying to decide if E’s first word is Tilly, which is the name of one of our cats. It really sounds like she is trying to say Tilly anytime she sees a cat or dog. She gets all excited waving her arms and legs and it’s awfully cute. It’s funny E wasn’t a happy infant but she’s turned into a happy baby. I enjoy her so much more now – we can put her down and she will happily play by herself. She still isn’t crawling, but she still manages to make her way across the floor. 

Here’s a photo of Tilly, she’s a Devon Rex with some Siamese which makes her a noisy little thing.

Happy birthday to me

I’m 40!

And today was a pretty good day.

My parents took the kids last night so K and I could attend the BRA day event, which meant we didn’t wake up to kids wanting something this morning. I managed to get to Starbucks for my “free” birthday drink – I brought my laptop to fill out some job applications and it was like I was back in school. I got an e-mail about a job interview next week. I’ve been sending out loads of resumes, so it’s great to get a call and even better it’s specifically in my field. Then it was off to the doctor for the pathology report and fortunately nothing surprising was found, cancer is stage 1B. The good news: left breast was normal and no cancer in the lymph nodes. The not so good news: it’s grade 3 (the worst grade) and triple negative. So for those reasons, even though the cancer is small and hasn’t spread I will likely require chemo. But we need to meet with an oncologist to clarify if any further treatment is required and if so what it maybe. So more waiting :-(, but it should only be a week or two. And then my parents brought the kids and Chinese food home and we enjoyed a good meal. So overall it was a pretty good birthday and I’m looking forward to the party with the family this weekend.


Today is BRA Day in Ottawa!  What you may be asking yourself – I certainly did and it actually pertains to me.  But it stands for Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) and I can’t believe no one had told me about the event before I started going to the BRCA support group.  If you need breast reconstruction this is a helpful event – they have doctors who discuss different methods of reconstruction and a show and tell lounge where you can look at and speak with women who have undergone reconstruction.  But I went with my husband and we both noticed somethings: the photos were of good results, but not everyone is happy with the results which they didn’t talk about, they didn’t have much in terms of speaking with the doctors, they talked about tattooing but didn’t have any tattoo artists and they had nothing for husbands. I understand that many women (and men) maybe uncomfortable looking at reconstructed breasts but my husband and I are a team – he wants to understand what’s going to happen and how he might help.

Tomorrow I get my pathology report – fingers crossed for good news.


Pregnancy and infant loss


October 15th is pregnancy and infant loss day and I had almost forgotten, which makes me sad. I will never forget Ava’s birthday, but this day is supposed to raise awareness about pregnancy and infant loss and here in Ottawa there was nothing to highlight what today should be about. I mean October is breast cancer awareness month (and believe me I am VERY aware about breast cancer) and it’s non-stop in your face – have you seen the GUNS that have pink. But did you know that October 13th was metastatic breast cancer awareness day? I don’t think many are aware and this is the breast cancer that is lethal – unless you die due to complications of treatment you wont die of breast cancer until it metastasizes. This also makes me sad, another day that should be so very important but it gets lost in the fact that everything seems to have a day, in fact October 21st is count your buttons day. Also October is dyslexia awareness month and I had no idea!

I guess I find it ironic that two things that are so near and dear to my heart, pregnancy/infant loss and metastatic breast cancer awareness, happen so close to each other (and my birthday and Ava’s). These are important issues but they are so difficult – they are the things that you think will never happen to you until they do. So I can understand why these days don’t enjoy a lot of press but difficult issues need the time in the limelight as well.