BFF · Brampton · breast cancer · Canada · cancer · hope · meditation · Michele · Wellspring

Butterfly of Hope

Yep, I’m back in the chilly Pacific Northwest, where the temperatures and the accents are more familiar to me. My visit to Canada was cut short, but thankfully, BFF is doing much better! While the doctors attribute this to the  chemo, I believe it was due to the powers of  ME!
Truthfully, friendship, laughter, entertainment & some relief of tension, all of which I was there to provide, due have a positive effect on everyone, sick or healthy. Never have I been so glad to be able to make someone smile as I was this last month. Sitting in the Oncology Clinic with BFF as she received blood transfusions & chemo, and saying something that made her grin or giggle was simply fabulous.
While visiting BFF, I was blessed to accompany her to Wellspring Cancer Support Center for relaxation and visualization classes. In these sessions, led by an amazing woman named Rachel, we practiced guided meditation, then had a time of discussion, sometimes about a reading Rachel presented, others about something brought up during the meditation or things going on with members of the group. The members of the group, all cancer patients and caregivers, are a mixed bunch– men & women at all stages of treatment, from the recently diagnosed to those going through second or third diagnoses. They’ve learned to support themselves and each other, and I was amazed at both their vulnerability and their strength. There was hope, fear and beauty in that room, and I am proud to have been there.
Each day I continue to pray for BFF, and all the others struck by cancer. Truly, this is the sharpest weapon in Satan’s armory. Pray with me, would you?
Bollywood · Brampton · breast cancer · Canada · children · hot · Michele · Music · stress · Summer · Toronto

The Frozen North?

I thought Canada was supposed to be cold. That’s why I packed more cardigans than t-shirts for my visit to Toronto.  I’ve been here a week, and the temperature has been in the high 70’s or 80’s every day! Jeez Louise, I felt like I was on the bayou one day, it was so muggy & hot. I kept listening for a jazz band to start playing, or frogs to croak; instead, I heard Indian & Scottish accents, Bollywood music, and saw seagulls overhead.
I’m here in Brampton, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, for the summer, staying with my BFF Michele and her family. As my readers know, Michele is going through chemo for breast cancer. I’m came up to help her out, give my support, and entertain her if at all possible. She and her husband have three boys, ages 14, 4 & 2, so I’m trying to help with them, as well.
This is not an easy time for any of us. Stress levels are high, and there have been moments in the last week when I wanted to scream. I know I cried at least once, but I did it alone, in my room. Since they were tears of frustration & exhaustion, they were especially annoying to me.
There have been many tears here this week, as often happens in a house with little kids. These children  cry and scream a lot more than usual, and I’m not sure if that’s due to the tension of their parents, or their father’s parenting style.
I never understand parents who holler at their little kids “Stop crying!” as if that will work. Especially when the child has had a tantrum, and is at that point where they cannot physically make themself stop; what they need is to be held, and soothed. Shouting never works. I find myself very frustrated here, because I want so much to help, and yet I can’t really interfere. I have been given the go-ahead on some things, but not others. Some of teacher skills are being used, others, ignored or contradicted. 
I have to remind myself “they aren’t your kids, not really your problem, nobody really asked for your advice,” and keep my mouth shut. If I can do that, and keep the eye-rolling to a minimum, all will be well.
I may need to send home for more warm weather clothes, though. It’s hot here in the frozen North!