Friday, April 4, 2014


"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."

Survivor is one of our families favourite shows. Often we are not able to watch on Wednesdays, but we gather around the tv together when we find the time and catch up on episodes. I always marvel at the immunity challenges where the competitors have to stand on a small pole for hours, or balance something without moving or dropping it. You can see in their faces when they show how much time has lasped that they are using all of their strength to hold on and be the last one standing. That is much of how I felt today.

A gallium scan is a test of strength, patience and one's ability to breath through it and make it until the end. I am thankful that it is broken up into two parts. The first part seemed long enough. 22 minutes lying on your back, not being able to move at all, with a flat table over your face about an inch away from your nose. You go through the machine so it scans your whole body, moving every so slightly until you reach your feet. I took a little longer because I'm fairly tall. After a quick break, the real true Survivor test came.

Not only was I lying on a very narrow table on my back,  in a hospital gown. I had to place my arms over my head with my wrists crossed, they used a piece of tape to hold my feet together. Somehow I imagined myself in this position in more of a Fifty Shades of Grey scenario than a scanning machine... Not so much. I closed my eyes as the camera circled around my body in 40 second intervals, I imagined those Survivor contestants holding out for immunity, their muscles screaming at them like mine were. At around 30 minutes, the technician told me what a great job I was doing. Only 10 more minutes. Are you kidding me? Somehow I breathed through it, my eyes needed to be closed for the last part where a CT machine also took pictures. It was hard not to feel a bit of panic. Then I also imagined the many other people who have gone through this test before me, sicker than I am, older and not as strong as I am - they made it through, I will too.

The end point, my prize for holding strong until the end, not moving and damaging the scans is the ability to see inside my body and determine where the cancerous cells are. Have they travelled past my diaphragm putting me into a more advanced stage of cancer? The results will arrive to my doctor by Monday.

I received a call that I have a referral to an oncologist, I am grateful of the compassion of several professionals who understood the importance of attending Paul's service combined with the reality that seeing the oncologist would be more productive when they had the results of the gallium scan and the biopsy that I have on Tuesday. We are hoping to hear that I have an appointment with Dr. Bonnie McCarron at the Cancer Centre on Thursday, April 10.

Once again, I need to express our extreme and humble gratitude to Jordan's gymnastics training centre, Revolution Gymnastics. The kindness of the owners extended to our family leaves me without words. I take comfort in knowing the support and love that Jordan will receive from her gymnastics family. I look forward to my parents visiting this weekend. The troops are rallied, the fight is near. We could not do it without all of you. xoxo

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