If you are a frequent reader of my blog you may have noticed I do not write as often as I used to. There’s a reason for it. Now that I am not only working on myself physically but also mentally, I have been trying to find healthy distractions to keep my mind occupied. These range from walking the dog, visiting value village, among other things. I’m not saying writing in my blog isn’t healthy, but it does force me to reflect on my life. Most days I would rather try not to focus on my current life situation. I still haven’t stopped crying at least once a day, but the tears are becoming less and less. I started seeing my therapist again so that has also helped immensely. She is helping me to become more social again. I always retreat in my cocoon for a bit after surgery, but this time it has lasted longer. I have developed trust issues with friends since that big blow out in the Spring with one of them. I’ve developed this idea in my mind that if I don’t hear from them, then so be it. I used to be the one who would make sure to always maintain those connections, but that old me seems to have fallen at the waist-side. This is what I am working on. I have to try and believe that not everyone is a bad person and I should stay connected. It will take some time, but I’m willing to take those baby steps. As for this blog, I’m not quitting don’t worry! I still have so much I would like to say and share – it just may take a little longer for me to do so.

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Flip Flop

Do you want to know how I know my brain is fucked up right now? I just had a great day in Toronto. It started because I had to go to the hospital for a blood test, but even that didn’t bother me. After, I went shopping with my now sister-in-law and got a sweet new pair of jeans. I haven’t purchased jeans in 3 years. I have been reluctant to do so, since when I am sick I live in sweat pants and leggings. But today I said, fuck it, I am buying some nice ass fucking denim. We had a nice lunch together, I saw her new place and just chilled. Here are some important points to note:

1 – The whole purpose of this trip to the city was for blood work

2 – Every time I tried on pants I had to make sure they didn’t rub on my scar

3 – My short hair was air-dried and not in the best shape because it’s hard to style myself

4 – I had to buy a shirt in a medium instead of a small just because the bumps on my stomach showed

Even after thinking and talking about all of those things, none of it bothered me. I was out, surrounded by good company and I was feeling great. On the drive home there were some great tunes on the radio and I was car dancing and reflecting on my lovely day. What happened next? Tears. Here are some important points to note:

1 – The whole purpose of this trip to the city was for blood work

2 – Every time I tried on pants I had to make sure they didn’t rub on my scar

3 – My short hair was air-dried and not in the best shape because it’s hard to style myself

4 – I had to buy a shirt in a medium instead of a small just because the bumps on my stomach showed

It’s funny how none of those things even bothered me at the time. They came in my mind and just as quickly left it because that is just normal life for me now. But as soon as I am alone and its quiet, my stupid brain doesn’t shut off and just likes to put emphasis on all the bad parts. Thank goodness my therapy sessions start up again next month.

Oh She Glows – Apple Bake

First off – For those of you who have read my post from a few months back about how I am was going to start cooking everyday, and you are sitting around and laughing at my lies – I would just like to say, it’s been harder than you think.

I had good intentions, but then I went through a major slump. I was depressed, eating still fairly healthy, but not perfect. Most days I didn’t want to do much of anything. I also was stressed over planning for my wedding – which I will post about on a later date.

Now – back to the good stuff!

This oatmeal apple bake found in the Oh She Glows cookbook is AMAZING. I have actually already made it twice. It is so easy once you figure it out for the first time.

Here is a picture of all of the ingredients I used the first time around. I try to stay as healthy and organic as possible. The Simply Organic products are my absolute favourite.

And there is the beautiful finished product. I transferred it to a few containers as it keeps really well in the fridge – I continued to eat it up to 4-5 days later. I am also sure it freezes really well in case you have too many leftovers.

After doing it the second time around I changed a few things. For starters, as you can see I did not add pears. I am not the biggest fan of baked pears. I also included 4 apples and did not skin them. The first time I made this I found skinning every apple to be tedious and I just didn’t want to do it again. It honestly tastes the exact same.

Highly recommended!!

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Lose My Breath

Three lung surgeries in one year, that fact is a little tough to swallow – and breathe. When your bad lung is relying on your other lung for support, but that lung was just bothered a month ago, it’s a struggle. Thankfully I am through the thick of it now. My hospital stay this time was shorter than usual. In on a Tuesday and out on the Saturday. Other than the usual chest tube annoyances, it was a pretty regular hospital stay for me. What I was not expecting since I was feeling like a pro now when it came to lung surgeries, was just how different this one was. My first two were wedge resections, this one was a partial lobectomy. What is the difference? Well the simplest way to put it is that my first two tumours were on the surface of my lung. My surgeon just has to go in and cut it off the top. My last tumour was in the tissue of the lung, so this time he had to take an actual portion of it. So that on top of everything else, made it hard for me to even walk up the stairs. One day I was so winded when I got to the top, I sat down on the bed to catch my breath. I was so exhausted from just those few steps, that I did not want to have to deal with it all over again just to get back downstairs. So I just sat there. This was my life now. Would I rather starve on the couch or get up and deal with not being about to breathe? I’ll starve.

Best Friend

What is a friend? Or the difference between a friend, and a good friend, or even a best friend? So close to you they are like family. How should this relationship be? During my experiences I have seen many people jump in and out of each category of friend. Some seem to understand it all at first, and then slowly fall away. There are certain ones however. Ones that know that some days you might be a little more emotional. Some days you might be extra distant. This many go on for weeks – barely any communication with one another. But that doesn’t matter to them. They are able to put their ego aside and have empathy. They are your voice when you are not able to speak. They display true friendship even when you are unable to witness it. THESE people are what it means to be a true friend. I hope everyone can find it within themselves to be this person every day. To think of others before themselves. To have understanding and compassion. It’s really not hard. 


These past two and a half years have been go, go, go. My day to day focus was usually about preparing for something coming up. Whether it was a surgery, chemo, whatever. I’ve always been told by others that they are surprised how well I am able to hold it together. They weren’t wrong, for the most part I did have it all together. Now I just feel completely unraveled. It is almost like being sick was in a way, easier, because it was physical. I had a focus, where now I don’t. Everyday I have a fist full of sand that is just leaking out of every crack and I am just struggling to keep it all intact. It feels like an impossible task. 

I have learned along the way to fake it pretty well. So I’m not sure most would even think anything is wrong. In a social setting I can handle myself and can speak and act as if everything is just fine and dandy. Inside however, I feel black and cold. Every day I feel alone and trapped in this hole that I can’t get out of. People can say they understand, but when it comes down to it, they don’t. All the depressed thoughts have been pushed aside week and week because I have had bigger things to focus on. Now everyday each little thought pops out of its hiding spot and adds to the pile of shit in my head. 

The wedding is just a few weeks away and I am trying my hardest to pull it together. I thought the planning of it would take my mind off of everything else, but in fact it makes it worse. Every little detail and stress makes me want to pull more and more away. 

I’m sure it won’t be like this forever. But just a day of it feels like an eternity. 


Since I have been home from the hospital, I have gone through my usual routine of being a hermit – or so I thought. Usually after any of my surgeries, I spend a lot of my time recovering quietly. Sure, I will go out the odd time, but always try not to make those times too social. I am never interested in talking to anyone – I just enjoy the peace and quiet. So this time I have been the same way, except I should be starting to turn the corner by now. I have been in a “funk” emotionally for the past few weeks and could not figure out what was wrong. At first I thought it was the recovery process, and then I thought maybe it is the stress of the wedding. Both of those do play a part in the way I am feeling, but they still were not enough. Yesterday I finally broke down and figured it out. I’m entering into a world of unknown. I have been here before, last summer to be exact. I had a successful surgery and entered into the “monitor” stage, only to find out after my first scan that everything was back. So this time I do not have the same delusions in my head that maybe, just maybe, I have finally beat this cancer shit. After my post op this week I just am left to sit around until October when I will have my next scan. It weighs so heavy on my mind.

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Port Advocate

When I see the hospital calling I always assume the worst. For the first time in a long while, this call was only good news. Let me back track before I get into my conversation with Dr. Jay.

During my time in the hospital for my first two surgeries in 2014, I was a human pin cushion. I had IV lines coming out of every vein they could tap. My hand, wrist, and arm were all covered with lines that weren’t even hooked up to anything. They were all there “just in case” they were needed. On top of this, I was still bothered once a day by a nurse, who would poke at me to take my blood. Worse even still, were my constant arguments in the ICU over a picc line. (If you are not familiar with this term, it is a tube they insert and leave open in your veins, so they have direct access to your blood.) I would fight tooth and nail with every nurse that came in to inform me that they were going to put one in. “Why do you need to put one in, I have a PORT!” The first time my yelling worked and I was able to keep them away until I made it to the surgery ward. The second surgery, I was not as successful. I had three nurses hold my arms down, while a male doctor cut into different parts of my hand and arm trying to start the line. I was crying the whole time and begging them to stop. After trying in four different areas, they were nice enough to give me a break. (This sentence couldn’t be any more sarcastic.) An hour or so later a new nurse came in to let me know they were going to try again soon. I cried and said, “Please just explain something to me. What is the point of me having a Port-a-cath if it is not going to be used? The whole reason I had it implanted is so I wouldn’t have to get a picc line. This doesn’t make any sense!” She surprisingly agreed, and then proceeded to call off the picc line.

Side note: While driving the other day I thought about this moment, and I cried underneath my Raybans. I wish my memories in the hospital could all be erased.

From my weight gain in the winter of 2014, I developed a lot of extra fat on top of my port. This made it really tricky to access. So when it came time for my surgery in 2015, I did not bring it up.

When I met with Dr. Jay and Dr. Ko this year to discuss my May surgeries, I was quick to touch on this subject.

“Can I ask you guys something? Why the hell am I poked at everyday – which hurts by the way – when I have a bloody port? What the hell is the point of having this thing if every nurse I speak to, other than the ones in oncology, don’t know how to use it?”

“You’re right.”

WHHHAATTTTT!? This was the first and probably last time they will ever tell me I am right. Even though I have been right SO many times before, and will probably continue to be.

“It is a little tricky to explain why they are not trained to access it. However, I will make sure this time it is used.”

To my surprise, they kept their word. For both my surgeries in May, my port was used. I was administered all of my drugs through it, and all of my blood was taken from it. No more tube city!

Which brings us to today. Dr. Jay called and asked me if I wouldn’t mind speaking about all of this to a colleague of his in the hospital. Since I was such an advocate for myself during all of my hospital stays, it started a movement. Nurses are now starting to be trained on how to access ports. A woman is putting together a proposal for more funding, in order to be able to have the supplies and training needed, so all nurses will know how to use the port to their full advantage in the future. I obviously said yes right away. If I can help prevent future surgical patients from having to experience what I have been through, I am all for it!

I will also request to have it called “The Jamie Protocol”. Just kidding……… not really.


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The New Plan

If you are reading this and wondering how my surgery went, I apologize. I was called by my surgeon 3 weeks ago and told that he had to bump me. There was a patient he had who has a more complicated problem and needed my time slot. So my new surgery date is July 5th. I have been asked a lot, “How do you feel about that?”. Truthfully – I feel fine. I’m confident my surgeon wouldn’t have chosen me to move if he did not think that I would be ok.

The other interesting piece of information I found out recently is that I will no longer have to go back on chemo. During my post operation appointment, Dr. Jay let me know that after my last lung surgery I would be put back on chemo, particularly Oxaliplatin (or Eloxatin). This is the drug that is used in the FolFox treatment. I spoke up faster than he could finish his sentence and let out a big “Hell no”.

If you want to know why I was so fast to react – please refer to my posts in October 2015.

Dr. Jay was quick to respond and let me know that this was the only drug which is proven to work with cancer that has not yet formed a tumour. But my answer was still no. I am one of the rare people whose bodies cannot handle this drug. I told Dr. Jay that my oncologist would back me up but he wasn’t hearing it. I get it – I am known to complain about being on chemo because I hate it. So I assume he just thought this was me being dramatic. Jokes on him.

A few weeks ago I met up again with Dr. Jay and he let me know I was right and he should just listen to me moving forward.

Just kidding.

What he did say however is that he had a meeting with my oncologist and THEY decided that I cannot be on FolFox. It does not react well with my body and it would do more harm than good.

Oh reaaalllyyyyy???

So – no more chemo for me this summer. This news is amazing because I really didn’t want to be sick and bald for my wedding in September. I am slightly worried however. I have been off chemo for this long before and just exploded all over again with tumours. So I am being cautiously optimistic. Not one of my doctors is saying, “After this next surgery you will be cancer free and we will never see you again.” Actually what they have said is, “This most likely won’t be the last operation you have – just so you know.”



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Oh She Glows

Eating out is so much easier than cooking. That is probably one of the main reasons I got into this mess – I was the queen of fast food. Even though I no longer spend my days in a drive-thru, I do still eat out a lot. With my kitchen renovation complete, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to actually use it. For my birthday I received the Oh She Glows vegan cookbook by Angela Liddon. I have heard the recipes are easy to follow and that the food is AMAZING. So let’s give it a shot. For the next little while I will be trying to make one dish a week. I will post my progress on here so you all can follow along! This will also hold me accountable so I can’t just run out and grab a pita. Maybe I will actually enjoy this? I will get started after my next surgery (which is July 5th). My food will become my new drug since I am not being put back on chemo right away.