Monday, March 31, 2014

Facing Emotions

"We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails."   

Today has been a day where I have been both embracing and overcoming anger. I am adjusting my sails as I am learning that I cannot control the direction that this journey will take me. It's hard not to let frustration, anger over this happening to me and anxiety to "get going" take over. 

After a quick appointment for the gallium injection at St Mary's, I met with the surgeon who will be doing the lymph node biopsy. Once again, what you expect when you go to the appointment turns out very differently from the story you painted in your head for yourself. I have said several times, I have been nothing but grateful and impressed with the efficiency of the specialists in booking appointments for me and communicating results. It has been done in the most caring and expedient of ways. 

I will be having a lymph node biopsy of a node in my right armpit, the whole lymph node will be removed on Tuesday, April 8 during day surgery.  This is the safest procedure with the fewest risks. Removing a lymph node from my neck or collarbone regions carry risks of damaging nerves connected to my spinal cord area. While I am thinking general anesthetic is not a bad way to go for this, it involves a more lengthy recovery and pushed the surgery to next week. Looking for the silver cloud, as I continue to try to do. It allows me three uninterrupted days of work this week and am opportunity to celebrate the life of a loved one.

So the waiting period continues, allowing me to live a semblance of "normal life" as I know it now. Thank you to my oldest friend who came this weekend for a much needed visit and a basket of my favourite things. What a joy to have a friend who knows you so well that she can choose a variety of items that comfort me, inspire me and give me hope. Thank you M#1.



Saturday, March 29, 2014

Busy Week Ahead

Monday, March 31 I head to St Mary's Hospital for the first part of the Gallium scan. It should take around 2 hours. Then that afternoon I meet with Dr. Mark Maurice who will be the Surgeon working with Dr. Hentschel to biopsy one of my lymph nodes. I hoping that the funeral arrangements for Paul and the upcoming surgery can fit with each other so I can take care of my need for goodbye and the need to keep the forward motion with a final diagnosis. Friday, April 4, I return to St Mary's for the follow up Gallium Scan. I hope to hear of the Oncologist referral early next week as well. It will be calming for me to finally have the doctor who will be driving my ship to recovery. I can only hope that he/she will be as fantastic as Dr. Hentschel in managing my fears and communicating the needed information.

I am continuing to work on the days I don't have appointments as I feel well enough to do so and it allows me an escape. I am trying to work ahead and accomplish tasks that I know need to be completed down the road. I can't thank my colleagues and administration enough. Somehow they have all managed to embrace me while at the same time, allow me a sense of normal. Well-placed hugs and visits to my room give me the love I need while in front of the children, I am able to carry on with meeting the needs of students with such professional caring people. Thank you for the help I have received in planning Kindergarten lessons, covering a bus duty or providing a needed break throughout the day. It has not gone unnoticed. You are truly the greatest staff in the universe!

A Timely Celebration of Life

I received a phone call on Friday, March 28, 2014 that you know will one day come but you never really think it's going to happen. My close friend and mentor, former principal at Courtland Paul Chambers passed away after a 5 year valiant struggle with ALS. He approached his diagnosis of ALS with such strength, bravery and humour, always making sure that his loved ones were going to be taken care of, and have memories of him. It was important to him that during his time left with us that he would take advantage of every moment. His home was filled with the most amazing circle of friends and family. As his mobility and health declined, he embraced his new normal, using his i-pad to communicate and somehow always make us laugh. An image I will always remember is the thumbs up sign he would give to let us know he agreed, or was doing ok.

While Paul was my Principal,  I learned something new everyday from him. How to listen when a parent is screaming on the other end of the phone, never letting the kids see you rattled, playing by his own rules, doing what works for the kids, supporting staff. He understood people. In watching Paul handle his ALS diagnosis, there is much to be learned for me as I begin my journey. As Paul had to adjust to the changes ALS would bring to his life, knowing that there would be moments in his children's lives down the road that he would inevitably miss. He made certain that they knew how he felt and he could be counted on for straight forward advice. I received an email from him on Tuesday this week and while he was shocked at my recent diagnosis. His large font email from the i-pad carried a message. You are strong, you have this, you will be ok. While I am regretful that my visit with him this weekend, did not take place. I take comfort in knowing that there was no doubt in his mind that he made a difference in my life, and the lives of so many.

His positive attitude and mindset that he could continue to persevere and defy the odds stacked against him place him once again in the role of my mentor. I will have considerable opportunity to reflect on the things I have learned and will continue to learn from Paul. I take comfort in knowing that he will continue to watch over me. It is my hope that he has made the realization that there is a wonderful place in heaven for him and that he has finally found peace without suffering.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

In medicine they need 100%

I received a call from the Dr Hentschel today with the results of my biopsy on Monday. I was not expecting this call so soon. I am so thankful and impressed that we have such amazing doctors and professionals right here in Kitchener.

The pathologist and another lymphoma specialist both reviewed the results of the biopsy. It is confirmed that I have Hodgkins Lymphoma. They are "pretty sure", 97% certain but not 100% certain that I have a form of Hodgkins called Nodular Sclerosis. In doing some research, I have learned that this is the most common form of Hodgkins. Between 60-80% of all Hodgkins cases are this kind. In early stages, it is very treatable with a high prognosis rate. Even in more advanced cases, the prognosis is very good.

Unfortunately in medicine, they need 100% diagnosis and confirmation of the type of Hodgkins in order to plan my treatment. In order to do this, I will need to see a surgeon early next week to have a excisional lymph node biopsy, Dr Hentschel is hoping that the surgeon will be able to remove one of the enlarged lymph nodes in my neck/collarbone area. I will also need to have a Gallium scan. A second appointment. This will involve some sort of radiology dye that travels to the cancer in my body, in order to stage the cancer they need to determine whether the lymph nodes below my diaphragm are involved.

Dr Hentschel has made the referral to an Oncologist and I will see this new doctor next week as well. It will be busy week but all of these appointments will lead me closer to the start of the treatment part of my journey. The diagnostic phase while seemingly long, is a very important one. They want to get it right. I want them to get it right. There is nothing about my health that I want to second guess.

This call is one I have anticipated and waited for. Dr. Hentschel was patient, answering all of my questions with the right amount of kindness, humour and knowledge. I firmly believe he is a large part of the quick turn-around time in getting me results and ultimate answers. I thank him for that.

I take a tiny amount of solace in knowing that if the diagnosis turns out to be this form of Hodgkins that many others have walked this journey and are survivors. This being the most common form of Hodgkins means there are many treatments available, others out there like me who have made it to the other side. I am hoping that it is the "best case scenario" out of the worst thing that has happened to me in my life so far.

Thank you to our family, our friends, the colleagues who have taken on small responsibilities to make my life easier, the friends who have stopped by, the cards, offers and prayers. Every little bit helps lighten our load and make this a little less unbearable.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I had a friend comment to me that she hoped that I wasn't becoming "comfortable with cancer". I felt compelled to respond not to her, but to me. I have been turning around what this means in my head. I can definitely say I am NOT comfortable with a cancer diagnosis. What I do feel that I have needed to do over the past week since hearing from two different specialists, a virtual certainty that I had a form of lymphoma is begin to form an acceptance in my mind. An acceptance of the journey ahead, what's to come, a reality. My first response was understandably, denial, sadness, disbelief and devestation. These emotions are not going to help me fight. I soon realized that the sooner, I progressed to acceptance, the sooner I could begin to build a strength that will help me face this hurdle and overcome. There is nothing comfortable about what I am facing. I fully intend to make my probable cancer an enemy in my body, not welcome to stay, soon to be vacated. It will be a fight. I am ready for it.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sometimes ignorance is bliss

I am thankful that the core needle biopsy is over. They definitely say "Ignorance is bliss" well I am glad I didn't really know what I was up against before I was wheeled in. To say unpleasant and uncomfortable would be an understatement. I am thankful that there was a drape so that I did not have to witness the procedure. The radiologist was able to take 9 samples. Of those samples there were 3-4 that I was told were textbook, perfect samples. That is what we want so that the pathologist is able to do all the tests necessary to begin a diagnosis of what form of Lymphoma we are dealing with.

I once again praise the calm, caring, funny nursing staff who made my stay not only bearable but comforting. I am now at home on bed rest for the next 24 hours. I do need to stay lying down in order to let my lung heal as it is punctured when the needle biopsy goes through to sample the mass. This tiny hole repairs itself on its own but I am not supposed to bend over, carry things, lean over and must sleep on my back. There are small risks but all tests done afterward (CT scan and chest x-ray) showed that everything look fine. Even with a "rush" on the results, I am told it will be 5-7 days. But at least in my mind, I hope that the scariest part is over. I have had time to process and realize that this is happening and that I very likely, have cancer. The next part is...praying that it is a form of lymphoma that responds well to treatment and has a cure. I am not prepared to hear anything otherwise.

Until then, we so appreciate your prayers, kind words, love and support. If I don't respond to all of you, it is only because I am choosing to take care of me and my family. I know you are there. I can feel your support, holding me up and shining light down on us.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Having my Back

I received a card from someone who very quickly has become an influential and important person in my life. There are definitely people who come into our lives for a reason. She is one of them.

Her message, "I admire you so much and am right there behind you. Remember when you used to sit back to back with a friend as a kid, whenever you need it, visualize me sitting there right behind your back."

There are so many friends who have my back. Thank you. You know who you are.

Friday, March 21, 2014


Once again, I need to share how incredible my experiences have been with the professionals at both St Mary's Hospital and Grand River Hospital. I received a call from a Radiology nurse at St Mary's today so that she could walk me through the procedure that I am having on Monday morning. The core needle biopsy will take samples from the mass in my chest in the mediastinum area, this is where lymph nodes are located between the hearts and lungs. After answering all my questions and reassuring me, I felt so much better about what I am facing. The results have been marked "rush" and she believes that I should have the results by the end of the week. I understand it takes one or two days for the pathologist to test the sample and you have to leave it for 48 hours etc. These things take time and I would rather that they have a conclusive diagnosis than have to go back and take another sample in order to have a firm diagnosis. So we wait again. Having these appointments, give me something to focus on to get to, another day to cross off that gets me closer to an answer and more importantly, a plan to treat this and move forward in this battle.

My friends

I received this text from one of my oldest and dearest friends. Someone who taught me how to drive on the back roads in Bloomingdale when I was 15, gave me rides to school in his Mustang, hung out afterschool watching tv, bought me alcohol when I was underage, drove us to baseball parties and came to visit us at lunch time from St Jerome's, we lived almost across the street from each other you were at your grandparents so much, he let me in at Fed Hall in university when it was lined up. We planned our weddings so that we could attend each other's and now I am blessed that his wife is one of my dearest friends at well. We have so many memories, he is part of who I am.

"I just wanted to reach out to you. First I am sorry you have to go through this but I know there is no one in the world more giving, caring, thoughtful than you. What does that will deal with and overcome whatever is in front of you... and you are not alone. All the people you have impacted are standing with you and that is a powerful force. So if you want to talk about this or nothing about this - I am here. You are one of my oldest and truest friends and I am here to help in any way I can. I hope you know that."

This message is only one of many that I have received over the past week. I am so grateful for the love and support of our friends. The outpouring of love has been overwhelming. Everyone wants to know what we need. I honestly don't know how to answer that. Sometimes I want our friends to say - here we are going to do "this" for you because making decisions is something that I am not good at these days. I just want it to be easier for Jason and the kids. Jason is trying to take care of me, I am not doing a very good job of taking care of him. The kids have been amazing. We are staying afloat and making it through each day. At some point, we will need love, support, drives to hockey and gymnastics, meals for Jason and the kids, a visit. I don't know the when, how or what of what we need. I feel that like we have all we need because we are so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and our family in our lives.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Colleagues

Wednesday, March 19, 2014. I returned to work today knowing that my administration had told my staff of my recent struggles. I was thankful to have our MDT meeting. I could ease my way in. I am so incredibly blessed to work with such an amazing staff. There are just some people who after 8 years, know what to say, when to say it. I feel so supported. It was only a year ago, that I had to draw upon the strength of this staff. I can't believe I am here in this place again, needing to lean on others. It is humbling and it is with disbelief that I am once again going through a struggle like this.

Supporting the students and being with the kids is probably the best thing for me. Surprisingly in Kindergarten, I was able to completely forget everything that was going on. Those little faces, they look at me and can't see the sadness or suspect that Mrs Low had been crying. They are joyful and full of energy. It was my favourite hour of the day.

By 3:00 though, my emotions and physical exhaustion got the best of me. I really couldn't keep going. I had held in my worries, fears, pain, discomfort and disbelief all day. I couldn't do it anymore. I needed the safety of my own house, curled up with my husband. Once again, I slept for three hours, and slept soundly. The sounds of my family downstairs comforted me. I was able to get up and spend some time with them. I am feeling like this disease is beginning to make itself at home more and more. I am feeling tired, chilled, achy and itchy. I have to take it one day at a time and not look too far down the road. It becomes too overwhelming.

I received a call from Grand River Hospital that my biopsy is scheduled for Monday, March 24. I have not yet heard from St Mary's Hospital in terms of my instructions or timing. But at least I have a date and can make plans for next week at work. I was also thankful that the biopsy actually wasn't until Monday as then I will be able to watch Jordan's competition on Saturday. This was something very important to me. She has been working so hard and I can't wait to see her new routines! So proud of my girl.

Once step closer

Tuesday,  March 18 - I had an appointment at the Grand River Cancer Centre, Diagnosis Assessment Program. Dr Hentschel is a Respirologist who works on a team and diagnoses suspected issues within the lungs and chest. Right away, I could tell that he was warm, funny, but gets things done. I felt comfortable right away. I was so impressed with how the centre made me feel welcome, explained everything and I just felt like finally I was surrounded by people who knew how I felt and what it was like to be there. Walking through those wooden doors of the Cancer Centre was a place that I had never envisioned I would be.

Dr Hentschel reviewed my tests and examined me. Unfortunately, he was able to locate more enlarged lymph nodes and realized that we needed to get things moving as it appeared that this disease was progressing quickly. He left the room and was on the phone. He made some calls and came back to tell me that he was 99% certain that I did have lymphoma and that I needed a guided CT scan needle biopsy which could be done at St Mary's. The radiologist would use a needle to obtain a biopsy of the mass that was in my chest. It would take 5 days for the results to be sent over to Dr Hentschel but he was going to speed things along and make sure that the waiting was minimal. But there was still more waiting. I was sent up for bloodword to the 4th floor and was on my way. 2 hours later.

As I left the hospital, I felt strangely calm. I was one step closer to certainty, to an answer. Then we could get a plan and treatment going. I need to hear from someone, this is what you have and we are able to treat you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Rallying the Troops

It is truly humbling when I reflect on the many wonderful amazing people in our lives. Heading back to school was difficult yesterday as some of my closer inner circle knew what has been happening in my life. Seeing my "people" evokes emotions, difficult to keep control of in front of the wonderful kids I work with. I managed to go about my regular day and soon became busy and wrapped up in the many facets of my work. Even though in the morning, I didn't want to go to work, Jason got me out of bed and for that I am grateful. It was the best thing for me. Towards the end of the day, I was emotionally spent, having shared my health worries with a few more people on staff, all I wanted to do was go home to the safety of my little bubble here at home. I ended up sleeping for three hours. My body must have needed it. I continue to receive texts, quick visits and messages from my friends and family and for those I am truly thankful. Cell phones and facebook have a way of making distance just a little bit closer. We will need to rally the troops over the next days, weeks and months as we figure this out and I know that I have the most amazing team.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


I received a call from the Grand River Cancer Centre on Friday. I am booked for a consultation with Dr Hentschel who is a Respirologist and a Nurse Sandy. (519-749-4370 x2344)   Respirologist? What the heck is that? I was confused talking to Erin the nurse on the phone because it is a Lung Diagnostic Assessment Centre. She explained because it has to do with the chest area that a Respirologist is the first specialist who I will be involved with. I have an appointment on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. The doctor will review the bloodwork, ultrasound and ct scan and examine me and make a decision how to proceed and what tests will be needed next. I feel strangely calm almost now knowing that I have an appointment, and that we are moving closer to figuring out a diagnosis. Then we can get rolling towards a plan. I need a plan. I am a task oriented , get things done kind of girl so the sooner we have a plan then I will have something to focus on.

Schoolhouse Therapy

Our decision to drive up to the Schoolhouse owned by my beloved Aunt Marilyn was probably one of the best decisions. After a very difficult tearful conversation with my children, we knew that they needed normal. Cam and Jordan are two of the most amazing, mature, strong and wise children I know. While they were devestated that something could be wrong with me, I know they are going to be just fine. The weather was not cooperating well and we faced a long snowy drive but a good distraction for all of us. Marilyn's good friends Carmen and Jack and their children were joining us and the first night a houseful of laughing, talking, good food and red wine was exactly what I needed. I had moments where I found myself thinking about where this journey may take me but I was able to enjoy the moment.

I woke the next day and it was very different. I felt overwhelmed with all the what if's, the unknowns, how is this going to impact my kids, my job and my family. There were many tears and Jason held me through it all. I brushed myself off and spend a great afternoon with Marilyn and Carmen. Marilyn is one of the strongest people I know. She is a hero to me. She has always been there for me through so many different difficult times and there to celebrate the most wonderful times with me. She looked at me over appetizers and beers at the Bruce Wine Bar in Thornbury and said "you have to be STRONG, you have to be", you are going to be. I am going to make you strong physically and mentally to get through this, that's what i am going to do." That is what I need to hear.

Worry like I have never felt before

Wednesday, March 13, 2014. Probably a date that will stand out in my life for me. February 12, 2013 is also a day where my strength was tested. Haven't I gone through enough hardship? Do I really deserve for this to be happening to me?

I received a call from my doctor's office while I was in the shower, Cam came in smiling and said "you're a popular person" and gave me a message that I needed to call the office right back. The smile dropped from my face, the lump re-appeared in my throat and a feeling of panic came over me. Shaking I called the office back and was told that Dr Tahira needed to see me today and that I could come in the morning and just wait for her to fit me in between patients. I texted Jason who was at an appointment with Jordan. The minutes crawled by until he got home.

As soon as Dr Tahira came into the office. I knew. She sat down and looked me in the eye and said "I'm sorry, it's not good". I was strangely calm. She explained that the ct scan had unfortunately shown a small mass in the anterior section of the mediastinum and that there were "many" enlarged lymph nodes through my chest. The recommendation was that I have a guided CT scan or guided ultrasound biopsy to confirm lymphoma.

It was somewhere around there that I began to crumble. Slowly dissolve into a haze of disbelief. Really? This is really happening to me? Through my tears, she explained the only way they can really know it's cancer was to do the biopsy. Jason asked whether the lymph nodes in my chest could be due to infection, she shook her head no. She said many times, over the course of our conversation, we don't know.

Her compassion began to show during the past appointments. It just shows how important it is to have a relationship with your doctor. I have been missing out on that but maybe just maybe this is the beginning of a positive one. I am all about relationships so it has been incredibly difficult for me not to have that. I shared my increasing and overwhelming feelings of anxiety with her and she supportively prescribed me some meds to help me get through the next few weeks which undoubtedly will still be wrought with uncertainty and worry.

March Break - CT and Schoolhouse

I was thankful that the CT scan was scheduled for the first day of March Break. Jason took me to St Mary's Hospital and the procedure was relatively quick and simple. I had some anxiety about the claustrophobic feeling of the ct scan machine but it was nowhere near as bad as I had imagined. The test was over and I was told that the results would be available to my doctor's office by the end of the week. I left with a skip in my step thinking, my doctor had said she would only call me if there was "something wrong" - I just had talked myself into the feeling that I would not hear from her. A couple of the lumps on my neck had actually felt like they had gotten smaller. The lump near my collarbone definitely had not. It was squishy and definitely seemed swollen. I had only a few other sweating episodes and decided they were more due to anxiety or hormonal changes. We were going to get ready to go to my Aunt's Schoolhouse so Jay and the kids could do some skiing. I was looking forward to getting away and Jason being out of the house for a change of scenery. Looking for a job is a frustrating, lengthy experience.

Unfortunately, this feeling was short-lived.

Results..Relief and then

Jason and I went to the doctor's appointment together. I was extremely nervous, anxious and basically a mess. We were the first appointment of the day, thankfully we didn't have to wait long. Dr Tahira came in and was positive when she told me that my bloodwork was good, normal and in good ranges. Thyroid functioning all good. The ultrasound of thyroid and neck was also "normal" in that the lymph nodes were reactive which she said are reacting to some sort of infection. Jason asked whether she would be putting me on antibiotics to which she said, "no not at this time." All in all, I felt such relief and felt like if the bloodwork is normal, how could something possibly be wrong? Then Dr Tahira did say that the chest x-ray did show a widening of an area called the mediastinum area. This is where the lymph nodes in my chest are. She also said that there could be a simple explanation for this such as positioning, my aorta creating a shadow or unfortunately a mass and/or lymph nodes that are enlarged. So while we left the appointment feeling a sense of relief, we also had another test. A CT scan of my chest.  Jason and I spent the rest of the day together, and for once I didn't have a nagging feeling in my heart, I believed that everything was going to be ok.

Testing and the Canadian Women's Gold Medal win

I was able to schedule my ultrasound and chest x-ray for the following day. My amazingly supportive Vice Principal Wendy Campbell has truly been a source of strength, support and love for me. She is one of the pillars of the support system that I will begin to build around me.

I went to the clinic during the afternoon and the Women's hockey team was battling for the gold medal. Coming from a 2-0 deficit, somehow they tied the game in the last few minutes and the team was going into overtime. Here we are, strangers, gathered around the tv in the waiting area of the ultrasound imaging clinic. Time had stopped. No one was concerned about their tests. And that team of women fought back and won in overtime. What an amazing feeling. I need to bottle that fight, the belief of never giving up and facing a loss. I need to go back to that day when I look down the road at what I could be dealing with.

I had the tests done and of course you are trying to read the technicians' faces and look for any sign of whether I am ok. I was told that Dr. Takira put a STAT on the results and that they would be at her office by the next day. Let the waiting begin.

I received a call on Saturday, February 22, 2014. that the doctor's office would like to schedule a followup appointment for Wednesday, February 26, 2014. Although it is easy to say that I am going to remain positive, it is the hardest thing to actually do. I was able to immerse myself into work and teaching and our kids activities. I was taking the entire day off work not knowing the news I was about to receive. In addition, my mother-in-law Diane was also having surgery the same day as she is unfortunately on her own journey with a return of breast cancer. A heavy burden for my amazingly strong husband to be enduring. Somehow we find the strength in a specific moment of time and look back and wonder how we continued to move forward, but we do. We just do.

The first of many visits - February 19, 2014

I grew up with a family doctor that we could call up and make an appointment the same day. Dr Rueffer. Dr Rueffer has known me since I was a toddler, he has seen me through many childhood illness and was there with the birth of my two beautiful kids. His daughter and I know each other from school. It is so different when you have a relationship. When Dr Rueffer retired, he moved his practice over to Northfield Medical Centre. We have found it difficult to embrace the changes. Not having a relationship with any of the doctors, receptionists or procedures makes one reluctant or hesitant to try and make an appointment. You call in the morning and are on hold for such lengths of time, it becomes frustrating and you almost just "don't bother". Thankfully, Jason being home was able to persevere and make an appointment for me on February 20, 2014.

I had an appointment with Dr. Shamim Tahira. I had never met this doctor before. I explained my symptoms. She felt the lumps on the side of my neck and I showed her the swelling area above my collarbone. She expressed that she was concerned. She asked many questions about whether I had a fever, chills, weight loss - all no. I did share about the handful of times where I did wake up with night sweats. I also shared that I had a cough that just seemed to linger, especially in the morning. She felt my other lymph node areas - armpit and groin but thankfully none of those lymph nodes seemed to be enlarged.

She sent me for bloodwork, a thyroid and neck ultrasound and a chest x-ray.
Let the tests begin.

The beginning of my journey - February 7-18, 2014

February is normally my favourite month of the winter. Our annual winter camping trip was coming up on February 7-9, 2014. We were eagerly getting ready, packing, planning a Hawaiian tiki party for the Jasons birthday. My neck had been a bit stiff and sore, I put a heating pad on it, thinking that I had slept funny on it. Our busy lives took back over and my sore neck was an inconvenience. The day we were leaving for our favourite camping trip with "our people" I received a call from my husband that he had been let go from his position at Eramosa Engineering. We were understandably devestated and in shock. But we pick ourselves back up, head up to the Pinery and make the best of our weekend with our wonderful friends.

An uneasiness continued in the back of my head, my neck felt tender and during yurting I had woken up covered in sweat. A strange occurrence when we are sleeping in very cold quarters. But it's easy when surrounded by our friends to enjoy the outdoors and the sunshine, feeding the birds and watching our kids have so much fun.

After we returned from yurting, we had hockey, gymnastics, the stress of Jason looking for a job. One night I had a heating pad on my neck and was rubbing it and found a hard pea sized lump on the right side of my neck, there was another lump close to it that was bigger, like an olive size? I called Jason over to feel it and he definitely felt it. I didn't feel sick nor had been sick recently with a cold. I did have a terrible cold in December and was on anti-biotics for it but other than that I had been feeling fine. It's hard to define "tiredness" because our lives are constantly moving, looking back did I feel exhausted, no but definitely tired. We kept an eye on the strange lumps, I found myself touching them absent-mindedly. The lumps moved around and were tender, my neck still felt tender. The lumps didn't change in size.

I can be a bit of an anxious, worried person. Something being wrong with me is probably my greatest fear. Jason continued to reassure me and calm my worries as he always does.

I decided it was time to go to the doctor.