Thursday, October 22, 2015


This has been a very long month for me. I've lost count of how many doctors appointments I've had in the last three weeks. I had to fight to have an ultrasound done properly - it took six months, and they still were not willing to give me a whole breast bilateral here in BC. My Oncologist surgeon in Calgary was livid, as was my psychiatrist.

Apparently here in BC hospitals, as I'm told by the radiologist, they will not perform whole breast ultrasounds only "targeted" ones.

"Show me your lump and I'll scan it". I finally lost it, I broke into deep crying hysterics. I fought to have my simple six month post-op follow up ultrasound, requested in May of this year, to be done as per my Calgary surgeon's requisition. It took three ultrasound appointments and three inconclusive results, of me constantly trying to explain that I needed a whole-breast-bilateral to the radiology staff at Nanaimo hospital. I had the requisition in my hand "It is doctors orders" crying hysterically to the radiology technician this past Tuesday.

She finally relented in a tantrum huff and did the damned whole breast bilateral. At that point it had been a year since my last bilateral lumpectomy surgery.  An incredible five months had passed since my surgeon had still not seen a proper six month post-op follow up ultra sound as requested.

It has been two years in a row I've had surgery to remove multiple fibroids, five surgeries in total for both my breasts and twice removed from my uterus. I have no choice to be proactive.

NO ONE should EVER have to fight that hard for a simple procedure PERIOD!!!  I have a serious history of ovarian cancer and colon cancer in my blood lines. My mother lost her fight to both.

I'm scheduled for my regular five year colonoscopy tomorrow- because I'm a WARRIOR not a worrier.

Update: I ended up having two polyps removed from my colon - the lab results to rule out malignancy will be available to me in three weeks. Fingers crossed.

Friday, June 5, 2015


It has been a long time since my last blog post. Soo much has happened since the blog about BOOBS on November 4, 2013. I ended up having my lumps removed soon after the blog and was in a great deal of pain because they had to open up my nipples, yes both, to remove huge fibroids. Life went on and exactly one year later to the day I had to have yet another bilateral lumpectomy in November 2014 to remove another set of larger fibroids. I was sent home with a requsition to have a follow up ultrasound in six months to monitor the growths.

Well its been six months and wouldn't ch'ya know it....the lil fuckers are back with a vengeance and are the same incredible size as the ones I just had removed six months ago. My oncologist surgeon wants to wait and see if they grow, so I have to wait till October for another peek with yet another ultrasound to rule out malignancy. It was bad enough that this was turning out to be an annual event, the pain/mental anguish and then suffering the physical aftermath from surgery, but every six months?

Of course all this is sending my nasty friend, anxiety, into a tail spin. My new African psychiatrist has to deal with the outfall and is hopelessly medicating the shit out of me. The good doctor is pleading with me, in his extravagant African accent, "Noot to leeve in da futcha". "You must noot tink fowad - yez" -Just handle the thoughts you have in order to deal with only today's tasks. That's easy for him to say...! He then quickly gave me the phone number of a highly respected psychologist!

Anxiety is a bitch - honestly, I don't know which is more crippling! There are days I can't even breathe, when I can finally catch a deep breath, my boob pain stabs into my rib cage! Fight or flight. It feels like the giant saber tooth tiger is constantly nipping at my heels.

This is a link that explains anxiety and what it is like to live with and it nails it on the head!

Monday, November 4, 2013


Getting very anxious about my surgery. I still want to back out. 

In just over ten days I will undergo my second "partial mastectomy", as it was written on my consent form in 1994. I have a history with fibroid cystic disease, and to complicate things further, I have dangerously dense breast tissue. I presently have as many as 8 fibroids in various stages of growth. 

Even with the new digital technology my mammograms are difficult to read. I have better results with an ultrasound but they can't see the difference between calcification's and ... well... the bad tumors. I also have fibroids of the uterus, and have a long family history of cancer. My mother fought ovarian and colon cancer and lost. My aunt just had a 15cm fibroid cyst cut out of her ovary.

I suffered dearly from my last operation, and still am suffering the effects to this day. Aside from the infected sutures, the horrible bruising over most of my torso, and the constant vomiting from the side effect from the anesthetic, I now have a bad case of vertigo, also from the anesthetic, that has been getting worse with age. 

I am in constant pain because the location of the removal was very close to all the nerves that run from your arm/hand thru the armpit. I was just recently, finally, given a cortisol injection into the scar tissue. As painful as the shot was, it relieved years of accumulating pain. You don't realize just how much pain you are in until it is taken away, even if it is just briefly! I had lost the use of my arm and fine motor skills for two months after that dreaded operation years ago.

In ten days they are cutting into that very same pocket of sensitive nerves to remove a three by one and a half centimeter growth - directly underneath my scar tissue! I will also have a two and a half centimeter growth removed from under my nipple in my other breast.

The thoughts/fears of pain management and loosing the use of my arms are very real. I've finally managed to gather the mental strength to explore my old artist self and am very much looking forward to allowing it to flourish. My pottery and photography/painting my tins, are all upper body arm strength with a need to retain my fine motor skills. The what-if's are haunting! The memories of waking up after that first surgery and asking the nurse as they were wheeling me out of the operating room if it's supposed to hurt this much, asking if I ended up having a mastectomy.

I've been saying for many years since - NEVER AGAIN! If I were to be reopened, it would have to be to save my life. I have been vigilant by cutting my caffeine intake cold turkey to zero. No pop, no dried fruit or nuts, no cured meats no bacon. And now I face more anguish and pain despite my efforts. Makes me want to go grocery shopping and go face down on all the things I love and have been holding back for too many decades! Van Houte cafe moca, in a bowl of course, with a huge piece of chocolate cake and chocolate icing! An entire box of Smarties with a coke to wash it down! Roasted cashews. I digress.

This operation just feels like I'm trading in pain for more pain without a positive outcome or improvement. It hurts if I do and it hurts if I don't go thru with it. I guess if anything, at least it will clean out the big lumps so the doc can see a clean mammo or ultrasound in the future.

I'm scared- ok terrified. All my memories that relate to hospitals since a very young age are post traumatic for which I am in treatment for. I've been in the hospital too many times in the last three years. Enough with the needles already!!

I've decided to be proactive and take charge. I am having cancer genetic testing done. I am at high risk and no longer want to live in fear every time I am being admitted. What's one more blood test right?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

 Great News!

I've been an active member of an artist collective in the Elk Valley, (ElementalArt) for about a year now and today we are presenting a proposal for funding at an open house! We hope to build a vibrant art community to aid working artists and build a solid learning environment for future artists to come.

We present or proposal at 4pm - very excited! Stay tuned!

LIKE us on Facebook!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Macro Summer Blooms

"Under the Umbrellas" Kaslo Road, BC
Potantilla - "Sweat and Shadows"
Asian Poppy 1st Hour of Bloom
Poppy Ruffles - "Flamenco"
"Bubble Bath"
"Umbrella Teeth"

Saturday, January 19, 2013







My next painting project:


Macro Photographs printed on sheets of ultra high gloss aluminum, then hand painted in fine detail with a clear acrylic tar gel medium - to enhance a stunning tactile two dimensional experience!

Art you are encouraged to touch!